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We positively will not be undersold

Bartow 863.533.0777 1475 W. Main St. www.BartowChevrolet.com

Zephyrhills 813.782.1538 36822 State Road 54 www.SparkmanChevrolet.com


THE

IS GROWING!

We have recently added the very best automotive professional managers available to both locations! We now have two locations to choose from with one large inventory! We now have a Business Development Center that responds to Internet requests on a -24- hour basis! Bartow Chevrolet finished December as the second highest Chevrolet dealership (out of 98 Chevrolet dealerships) in year over year sales increase in the Florida Zone! Bartow Chevrolet is now the Number One Chevrolet Customer Satisfaction Index Service dealership in the state of Florida. (-3- Months in a row!) Bartow Chevrolet is one of the ten largest Fleet and Commercial Dealerships in Florida! We have implemented value pricing at both locations.....we positively WILL NOT be undersold. Nobody can beat a Sparkman deal! We have added ‘events’ at Sparkman Chevrolet that includes free monthly concerts, BBQ, social events, breakfast gatherings, luncheons and car clubs. Event calendar available upon request! Sparkman Chevrolet is the newest and fastest growing Chevrolet dealership in Tampa Bay! Every customer that buys from a Sparkman dealership receives complimentary ‘Pit Stop’ services, priority sevice scheduling, complimentary vehicle detailing on each service visit, complimentary vehicle inspections upon request, complimentary lubrication, oil and filter services including tire rotations (for a period of -2- years on new and -1- year on pre-owned) and our General Manager’s personal cell phone number......we want our customers to be completely satisfied all the time! We call this the “Sparkman Advantage.”

CHEVY RUNS DEEP

We offer a ‘money back’ guarantee on all vehicle purchases....no questions asked. We want you completely satisfied with our vehicles and our dealerships! We want to be your transportation center and we do business the right way!

The Sparkman Way!

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Vol. 11 Iss. 2

www.focusplantcity.com

10 Years of delivering positive stories to the Plant City community.

47-80

52-57

85 134 16-36

6

Special Festival Section We’re excited this month to present what’s new for the Strawberry Festival: Ron Gainey, the new president and the new Evelyn and Batista Madonia, Sr. Agriculture Building. Also new is a queen with a pageant first: two grandmothers who also wore the crown.

ON THE COVER

Spotlight/Feature Enjoy getting to know our newly crowned Strawberry Festival Queen, Chelsea Bowden, along with her First Maid Calli Jo Parker and court members Olivia Higgins, Erica Kelley, and Chelsea Talavera in two spotlight interviews. Upbeat, cheerful, and ready to go - these young women are so excited to represent the industry and the community. Business Profile Ward’s Water Solutions is ready to serve all your H20 needs with service and helps for conditioning and repairs. Thanks for shopping local. Dining Profile It’s our pleasure to present an array of strawberry specialties served up by local dining establishments and shops. Are you ready for some berries? Local February is a time of celebrations, recognitions and stories for Black History Month along with the Annual Chamber Chairman’s Banquet, Strawberry Ball, and an exciting competition between the FCA All-Stars and the Wounded Warrior Amputees Softball Team in Plant City’s first God and Country Weekend.

FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

Watch behind the scenes of the 2012 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen cover shoot. Visit: www.focusplantcity.com/2012strawberryqueen Model: 2012 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen Chelsea Bowden Hair & Makeup: Ashley Showalter (The Artistry 813-717-7700) Photo: Mike Floyd/Anthony Sassano Location: RRR Farm (For rental inforamtion call 813-982-1172) Special Thanks: DeDe Floyd, Julie Hasting, Aldo Travino, Parkesdale Market


Braces and Invisalign for Children and Adults

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Now scheduling Pediatric Dental Patients in our Plant City Location

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623 East Alexander Street • 813.759.9474 at Alexander Crossings Plaza

TWO LOCATIONS TO BETTER SERVE YOU! 515 Corner Street, Brandon 813-681-9473 FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com


LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

February is the month friends and lovers show tender expressions of their appreciation for those special relationships in their lives. It’s also the month when fairs and festivals are ramping up to welcome crowds.

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

Such is the case especially in eastern Hillsborough County where we, and visitors from around the country, will soon be enjoying the annual Florida State Fair and Florida Strawberry Festival. Since 1930 our farmers, area businesses, and local civic organizations have celebrated the farming/ranching industries and the bountiful berry harvest. We celebrate with food, great entertainment, pageants, artwork, crafts, horticulture, animal shows, vendors and more. And almost a million people come to party with us. Are we a blessed community or what?

Read through the pages of this months issue to also meet local business owners who “love” their Plant City community and appreciate their customer relationships. Hopefully, many of you visited Neumeisters’s Candy Shoppe in our historic downtown to buy some special treats for your Valentine. To extend the celebration of love until month’s end, we also hope you’ll visit the local dining establishments that serve up those hometown strawberry specials for your eating pleasure. Happy Valentine’s Month!

Warmest Regards, Mike Floyd Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information.

Publisher Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com

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

Office Manager Dede Floyd dede@floydpublications.com

Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Copy Editor Cheryl Johnston cjohnston@floydpublications.com

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

Sales Julie Hasting | Kelleigh Klein | Aldo Trevino Sales Assistant Jared Guyer Production Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena FOCUSTV Shana Mitchell Distribution Byron Spradlin Belva DeVane Photographers Kendra Conner Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston Brian West | Joe Bowles Derek Maul | Kelleigh Klein Heather Davis Contributors Al Ruechel | Gil Gott Bruce Rodwell | Jo-An Lusk | Nate Davis

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This month we guide you through this year’s Florida Strawberry Festival with a special section to read about what’s new. You’ll meet Ron Gainey, the new director and enjoy interviews with our newly crowned 2012 Queen, Chelsea Bowden, and her court. These lovely young ladies are already proudly representing the industry and this area.

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Talk of the Town

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

53rd Annual Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award Luncheon

November 19, 2011 10AM to 5PM Plant City will play host to the Most Spectacular BBQ Contest This annual event will be held Wednesday, Ever at the Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium. Don't miss out on the: Fabulous Food, Live Entertainment, Local February 22, 2012 at the Red Rose Inn & Taverns, Great Merchandise and of course - that finger lickingSuites in the Red Rose Ballroom. Doors open Plant City businessman Earl Burkett was named as good barbecue! thea.m.. new President the Kiwanis of Plant City at 11:30 Guestsofwill enjoy Club a buffet lunch. on October 5. Burkett moved to Florida in 2006 The program begins at noon and should beto take on the responsibilities of agency president for over byStrong 1:15Tower p.m.Insurance, Inc. which he now owns. A former member of the Kiwanis Club of Valdosta, Georgia for threeis years Columbus, Georgia The event sponsor theand Kiwanis Club of for three-and-a-half years, Burkett joined the Plant City Plant City, with support from the chapter in 2009. “The Kiwanis Clubfollowing: of Plant City was to impact lives of 7,946 children last year Greaterable Plant City the Chamber of Commerce, alone,” he commented. “I’m looking forward to American Business Women’s Association, having even more opportunities this year.” Burkett Plant City Civitan Club, Inc., GFWC Woman’s resides in Lakeland with his wife of 30 years, Kamdyn competed in the Harvest Queen competition their children, Caitlin and Jacob. Club ofCarolyn, Plant and City, GFWC Junior Woman’s at the 2011 Hillsborough County Fair and in addition to Club of Plant City, Plant City Lions Club, winning the Queen in her age division, Kamdyn also received Most Photogenic and Best outfit of Choice! Plant City Optimist Club, Plant City Daybreak Congratulations Kamdyn we are very proud of you.

Newt Visits Plant City

Newt Gingrich made it to Plant City. He visited with folks at Fred’s Market on January 31, 2012

Congratulation Dottie Pollock Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year!!

Rotary, and Plant City Rotary Club.

The distinguished person to be honored has been selected, but the name will remain a guarded secret until the event. Cost for the luncheon is $25 a person.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Thursday, March 1, 2012 3:30 pm February Lee Greenwood/ 3:30 pm The Oak Ridge Boys Please RSVP before Wednesday, 7:30 pm Gretchen Wilson Louise Mandrell (khawthorne@ pm The Band Perry Even in the Rain 20, 2012 to Ken Hawthorne 7:30 Friday, March 2, 2012 these Girls came out hillsborobank.com) at 707-6506 or Anna Reitz 3:30 pm The Gatlin Thursday, March 8, 2012 to Support Autism (annaplntcty@aol.com) at 759-9546. Dottie Pollock receives 3:30 pm The Charlie Daniels Brothers/Crystal Gayle Plant City High the Auxiliary Volunteer 7:30 pm Demi Lovato Band School Civinettes of the Year award 7:30 pm Luke Bryan from Rayetta Stare. Saturday, March 3, 2012 Congratulations Dottie on Civinettes participated in the High Heel Hike to benefit Autism. Pictured pm The JaneDear Friday, March 9, 2012 Plant City High School 53rd 3:30 Annual Citizen ofGirls the Year Award a job done!– BACK: Jennifer Tharrington, Cynthia Tharrington, Virginia Bochy, Taylor Adams, 3:30 pm Cornell Gunter’s 7:30 pm Air Supply leftwell to right Coasters Morgan Moody, Sara Brummer, Amanda Rodenmeyer, Brittany Butler, Crystal Johnson, Denna Luncheon Sunday,Ballroom March 4, 2012 Bobby Hendrick’s Drifters Red Rose @ Red Rose Inn & Suites Lemelin, Samantha Black, Amber Towles, Ashley Hahn. The Platters 3:30 pm Jake Owen Left to right FRONT: Maddy Keene, Cassidy Wright, Nicole Parmley, Cassidy Dixon, Kelsey Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:30 pm Hank Williams, Jr. 7:30 pm TobyMac Moore, Laura Sarria, Alexis Lindsey, Karaline Hayes “Taking Back the Country Tour” 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Saturday, March 10, 2012 Cost:Monday, $25 March 5, 2012 3:30 pm Allstar Weekend 7:30 pm Rodney Atkins Felix Cavalier’s RSVP3:30 bypm2-20-12 to Ken Hawthorne, Rascals 707-6506 Sunday, March 11, 2012 7:30 pm Josh Turner Kids are invited to the RED CABOOSE to see SANTA on December 16th 3:30 pm or Easton Corbin (khawthorne@hillsborobank.com) and 17th from 2:00 - 6:00 pm. Get a free picture and a treat - FREE Tuesday, March 6, 2012 7:30 pm Reba McEntire Anna3:30 Reitz, 759-9546 ADMISSION - 908 Joe McIntosh Road, Plant City pm Brenda Lee 7:30 pm Vince Gill (annaplantcity@aol.com)


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Talk of the Town

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

Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Community Theater Presents The Red Velvet Cake War

November 19, 2011 10AM to 5PM Auditions to Contest be held February 20, 21 and callbacks on February 23 at 7:00 pm Plant City will play host to the Most Spectacular BBQ Auditions and Show to be held at the P.C.E., Inc. Theater Ever at the Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium. Don't 101 N. Thomas Street miss out on the: Fabulous Food, Live Entertainment, Local For more information call Kelley Gustafson at 813.77.1530 or email exshipchick@aol.com Taverns, Great Merchandise and of course - that finger licking Plant City businessman Earl Burkett was named as good barbecue! the new President of the Kiwanis Club of Plant City on October 5. Burkett moved to Florida in 2006 to take on the responsibilities of agency president for Strong Tower Insurance, Inc. which he now owns. A former member of the Kiwanis Club of Valdosta, Georgia for three years and Columbus, Georgia for three-and-a-half years, Burkett joined the Plant City chapter in 2009. “The Kiwanis Club of Plant City was able to impact the lives of 7,946 children last year alone,” he commented. “I’m looking forward to having even more opportunities this year.” Burkett resides in Lakeland with his wife of 30 years, Kamdyn competed in the Harvest Queen competition Carolyn, and their children, Caitlin and Jacob. at the 2011 Hillsborough County Fair and in addition to winning Queen in her age division, Kamdyn also Miss Forida, the Kristina Janolo, enjoyed meeting our Festival’s Jr. Royalty Softball Fundraiser for the cure! received Photogenic Best outfit in oflate Choice! queens at theMost Strawberry Festivaland Queen Pageant January. 3 Softball games and several ticket drawings will be held. Congratulations Kamdyn we are very proud of you.

Miss Florida Meets Strawberry Festival’s Junior Royalty.

The Few, The Proud, The Cure Relay for Life Team Needs your Help!

All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society and it will be cash only. Minimum donation is 11-Adult $5, Children 5-10 $3, and under 5 are free Join them on February 17, 2012 6pm to 9pm Plant City Stadium 1810 E. Park Rd

Revision on Allowable Watering Days in Plant City Even in the Rain Thursday, March 1, 2012 3:30 pm The Oak Ridge Boys 7:30 pm Gretchen Wilson

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 3:30 pm Lee Greenwood/ Louise Mandrell 7:30 pm The Band Perry

Friday, March 2, 2012 these GirlsFlorida cameWater out Management Southwest District has extend the Phase I water shortage until 3:30 pm The Gatlin Thursday, March 8, 2012 to Support February 29, Autism 2012, for all 16 counties within the District that includes Plant City. 3:30 pm The Charlie Daniels Brothers/Crystal Gayle Plant City High 7:30 pm Demi Lovato Band Allowable watering times are: School Civinettes 7:30 pm Luke Bryan Before 10 a.m. and After 4 p.m. ADDRESSES AND PROPERTIES Saturday, March 3, 2012 Allowable watering days are: 3:30 pm The JaneDear Girls Friday, March 9, 2012 Plant City High School Civinettes participated in the High Heel Hike to benefit Autism. Pictured *Even numbered addresses - Thursday and/or Sunday 3:30 pm Cornell Gunter’s 7:30 pm Air Supply left to right – BACK: Jennifer Tharrington, Cynthia Tharrington, Virginia Bochy, Taylor Adams, *Odd numbered addresses - Wednesday and/or Saturday Coasters Morgan Moody, Sara Brummer, Amanda Rodenmeyer, Brittany Butler, Crystal Johnson, Denna Sunday, March 4, 2012 Bobby Hendrick’s Drifters Lemelin, Samantha Black, Amber Towles, Ashley Hahn. Private property locations, including common areas inside a subdivision, and other areas The Platters 3:30 pm Jake Owen associated with s specific property or without discernable address, may only water on Left to right FRONT: Maddy Keene, Cassidy Wright, Nicole Parmley, Cassidy Dixon, Kelsey 7:30 pm Hank Williams, Jr. 7:30 pm TobyMac Tuesday and/or Friday. Moore, Laura Sarria, Alexis Lindsey, Karaline Hayes “Taking Back the Country Tour” Saturday, March 10, 2012 City properties and City rights-of-way are on a one-day-per-week irrigation schedule. Monday, March 5, 2012 3:30 pm Allstar Weekend 7:30 pm Rodney Atkins 3:30 pm Felix Cavalier’s Plant City Water Management officials request your help in complying with the new rules. Rascals Mr. and Mrs. Brady celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Valentine’s Contact the Water Conservation Section at 705 N. Alexander Street in Plant City, phone (813) Sunday, March 11, 2012 7:30 pm Josh Turner day this year. Congratulations year’s to of marriage! celebrateto with Ext. 4903, or e-mail mwoodward@plantcitygov.com for programs that focus on Kids on are50invited the RED We CABOOSE see SANTA on659-4298, December 16th 3:30 pm Easton Corbin you! water saving devices for toilets, faucets, showers, and garden hoses. and 17th from 2:00 - 6:00 pm. Get a free picture and a treat - FREE Tuesday, March 6, 2012 7:30 pm Reba McEntire ADMISSION - 908 Joe McIntosh Road, Plant City 3:30 pm Brenda Lee 7:30 pm Vince Gill

Happy 50th Anniversary to Gene and Jean Brady

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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LOCAL » FOCUS

The NiNe Good ReasoNs foR Dr. Brenda Dukes Chiropractic Physician

ChiRopRaCTiC CaRe

1. Studies have shown that ALL members of a family can benefit from the VALUE of chiropractic care. 2. WELLNESS CARE is always better than EMERGENCY treatment. A doctor of chiropractic emphasizes keeping your body healthy so you will have a better opportunity to live PROBLEM FREE as possible. 3. Doctors of chiropractic are well known for their ability to minimize, or even eliminate, aches and pains associated with the spine and the nervous system. 4. LESS THAN 5% of back ailments require surgery. Before saying “yes” to the knife, get a thorough examination and treatment from your doctor of chiropractic. 5. Why use medicines that are EXPENSIVE and have SIDE EFFECTS if they are not needed? 6. Doctors of chiropractic are concerned about the care of the WHOLE BODY including exercise, stress reduction, nutrition and correct posture.

7. Only doctors of chiropractic can CORRECT spinal subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae) that negatively impact the entire body and the nervous system. 8. Doctors of chiropractic receive excellent training in the care of headaches, shoulder and neck ailment as well as leg and foot problems. 9. Part of the chiropractic creed is to care about the patient’s continual well-being. PROBLEM ELIMINATION IS THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. SPECIAL NOTE: Blessings to everyone involved with the Strawberry Festival for a Great Year! Remember to get out and support our youth and their agricultural projects. Blessings, Dr. Dukes and staff

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

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

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

RANDOM ACTS OF REWARDED AT SCHOOL KINDNESS S WRITTEN BY: KELLEIGH KLEIN

tudents at Walden Lake Elementary School are being recognized for performing Random Acts of Kindness. Luke Carvahlo, a Walden Lake Elementary parent of first-grader Norah and Edward Jones Financial Advisor initiated Random Acts of Kindness at the school after learning of a similar program led by Cathy and Scott Kudlinski of Absolute Auto at Bailey Elementary. Carvahlo emphasizes, “The goal is to reward good behavior.”

Walden Lake Elementary teachers and staff select two students each grading period to be recognized for their Random Acts of Kindness. According to Walden Lake Principal Dina Wyatt, Random Acts of Kindness is a program that recognizes children for looking at the needs of others and doing something kind. It’s not about an award, but instead, it’s about doing the right thing.

This program is hopefully planting a seed in the lives of our “future leaders” by teaching them respect and how we should treat other people.” The selected students are recognized on the Walden Lake Elementary Morning Show for their acts of kindness. January’s caring students were Sydney Morrison Strickland and Nick Belo. In addition to morning show recognition, Carvahlo gives students a plaque imprinted with the thought: “We Would Like To Recognize You For Your Random Act Of Kindness And For Making Our World A Better Place. They also each receive a $25 gift card. As to his role, Carvahlo said, “My hope is that this program can emphasize the good things students are doing for each other. I feel blessed to be a part of it.”


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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LOCAL » FOCUS

STRAWBERRY BALL A NIGHT OF ELEGANCE T WRITTEN BY: KELLEIGH KLEIN

he 77th Annual Florida Strawberry Festival festivities officially began with the 40th Annual Strawberry Ball.

According to the Florida Strawberry Festival, “The ballroom graced with diamonds and live music from DeLeon Entertainment set the stage for the theme ‘Growing Sweet Memories!’ The Festival’s Board of Directors hosted the 40th Annual Strawberry Ball on Saturday, January 21, 2012. As guests entered the Evelyn & Batista Madonia Sr. Agricultural Show Center on the Strawberry Festival grounds, they were greeted by Festival Board Members and escorted down the red carpet leading to table settings fit for royalty. The evening began with a social hour

R

A M ERI CA N B U S I N ES S WO M EN ’ S A S S O C I AT I O N

offering butler served hors d’oeuvres and photograph opportunities provided by Ray Bassett. Guests enjoyed the magnificent dinner fare and signature desserts before they danced the night away. The event was flawless due to the months of planning put in by Strawberry Ball Chairpersons Renita Boles and Lane Wetheringon and their 15-member committee. Wetherington said, “It is indeed an honor to put together a function of this magnitude and satisfy everyone in attendance.” Hundreds of guests including elected officials, business leaders, festival sponsors and the 2011 Strawberry Festival Queen and Court were in attendance at the invitation only event.

Ron Gainey (Florida Strawberry Festival Board President), Evelyn & Batista Madonia, Sr. and Paul Davis (Florida Strawberry Festival General Manager)

Florida Strawberry Festival President, Ron Gainey, said he was pleased with the attendance and results. “Tonight has been a fantastic evening. The love and support of this community can truly be seen through the hundreds we have celebrating with us tonight.”

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

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For more information about events and activities associated with the Florida Strawberry Festival, visit www. flstrawberryfestival.com

A S c hol a r sh ip & Women’s E du c a t ion F u nd r a i si n g Event

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The 77th Annual Florida Strawberry Festival runs March 1st – March 11th.


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LOCAL » FOCUS “I’m ecstatic,” he said after reflecting on the hardships he and other black soldiers faced. Reaves says it was never his intention to become a hometown hero. He joined the then-segregated Air Force to help his mother, father and 12 siblings. The 2012 Cornerstone Award was presented to St. Mary’s Community Church. Plant City High School Class of 1970 – or “the class that never was.” The class was awarded the 2012 Community Service Award.

Master of Ceremony Rod Carter watches as Sharon Moody (right) presents Ephraim Reaves (center right) with the 2012 Heritage Award. (also pictured left to right: Reaves oldest granddaughter Corretta Graier and her mother Peggy Knight.) Photo by Terrika Mitchell

HOMETOWN HERITAGE THE NINTH ANNUAL BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL HONORS LOCAL HEROES

P

WRITTEN BY: TERRIKA MITCHELL

lant City is home to a rich black history and several heroes who played a role in keeping it alive. There was no shortage of either at the ninth annual Plant City Black Heritage Celebration Inc. banquet held Feb. 10.

Take Reaves for example. The Plant City native was a Tuskegee Army Air Corps aircraft mechanic in 1942. On Friday close friends and family joined Reaves, who was the 2012 Heritage Award recipient.

Bealsville native Ruby Williams is a personal favorite hero of Moody. On Friday, the owner of Ruby’s Produce Stand and walk-in” gallery accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award. In turn, she presented Moody with an original keepsake. Williams’ work has been featured at the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in Washington D.C. The 30-table buffet-style opening ceremony certainly bought out the best of Plant City – honoree and guest wise. Plant City Mayor Dan Raulerson, County Commissioner Al Higginbotham and Commissioner Mary Mathis came out to celebrate the beginning of a heritageinfluenced weekend. News Channel 8 anchor Rod Carter served as master of ceremony.

The three-day event, themed Celebrating Our Culture with Love, inaugurated with an evening program honoring local notables like artist and fruit-stand-owner Ruby Williams and former Tuskegee Airman mechanic the Rev. Ephraim Reaves at the Hillsborough Community College-Plant City Trinkle Center. “This year we partnered with the Hillsborough Community College African-American Student Union to make [the banquet] a better event; even bigger and better for the community,” said Sharon Moody, Black Heritage Festival president and banquet chair person. “Everyone can look forward to seeing black history is here in Plant City; they don’t have to look for it across the nation.”

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

The Black Heritage Festival partnered with the HCC Plant City AASU to deliver a “bigger and better” banquet. Photo by Terrika Mitchell

The Rev. Frank Peterman was speaker and encouraged the audience of more than 100 to change their perception of black history and value the heritage. “If you truly love your culture, you should dig further into its history,” he said. While banquet tickets were sold at $20 per ticket, the rest of the weekend’s events were free. This included the yearly parade on Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. for which anchorwoman Tammie Fields was parade marshal. A gospel concert on Sunday, Feb. 12, officially concluded the festival and featured the University of South Florida’s Gospel Choir, Durant High School Voices of Inspiration and more. As an added bonus, the Midway Carnival was open for the weekend from 1-10 p.m. While the heritage celebration has become a treat for the Plant City Community, Moody, and banquet co-chair Cynthia Bailey explained that a lot of work goes into ensuring its mission is accomplished. “I hope this will inform our community that we have people from our community that made a difference in our lives; to take and cherish for the rest of our lives,” Moody said.


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LOCAL » FOCUS

David Walden (Plant City Civitan Youth Parade Marshal), Terry Walden, Clint Walden, Barbara Porter and Vernon Porter

THE PLANT CITY CIVITAN CLUB LEGACY OF COMMUNITY SERVICE T WRITTEN BY: KELLEIGH KLEIN

he Plant City Civitan Club represents the international Civitan community above and beyond the call of duty.

The mission of Civitan worldwide is to build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs, dedicated to serving individuals and community needs with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities (www. civitan.com). Pat Pogue, President of our city’s club, boasts that Civitan is not just an important civic organization here, but that it has been an integral part of Plant City leadership and community service for decades.

of the PCHS Civinettes (82/83).

David and Clint Walden are teens that represent another Plant City family deeply involved in the local Civitan traditions. Their mother, Terry Walden, was a PCHS Civinette from 1978-1981. Their grandmother, Barbara Porter, served as PCHS Civinettes adviser from 1982-1984 and their grandfather, Vernon Porter, has been actively involved in Civitan for 46 years.

FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

If there is a happening in Plant City, it is typically assured that a Civitan

Civitan involvement regularly includes the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Little League sports, Awards Night at PCHS and DHS, “Citizen of the Year” luncheon, the Florida Strawberry Festival and more. Needless to say, this organization exists to serve and Plant City is definitely an appreciative beneficiary.

It’s only natural that the boys would follow suit. David, a senior at Durant, is a Jr. Civitan member, as well as a Florida Strawberry Growers Association Ambassador, National Honor Society member, FFA District IX President (over 4 counties), Hillsborough County FFA Federation President, Durant Sr. FFA Chapter Vice-President and Captain of the DHS Ice Hockey team. His brother Clint, a Durant freshman, is Secretary of the JF St. Martin FFA Chapter, and Captain of the Brandon Jr. Bulls Ice Hockey Team.

For example, take the Tharrington family. Twins Jennifer and Cynthia Tharrington, 15, represent the third generation of their family to be involved with the Plant City Civitans. At Plant City High School they are members of both Raider Buddies and Civinettes, and they serve as volunteers in the Civitan Youth Parade. Their grandfather, Starkey Tharrington, has been an active member of the Plant City David Walden was recently selected Civitan Club for 37 years. Their mother, with Brittany Butler to be the 2012 Lynn (Kirby) Tharrington, was president Outstanding Youth/Grand Marshals for

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the Plant City Civitan Club Youth Parade on Saturday March 3rd. Brittany, a PCHS senior, is ranked 4th in her class and has been involved at school in Civinettes, NHS, and Best Buddies, logging more than153 community hours in the process.

member will be on hand to lead the effort, volunteer support or make a financial donation on behalf of the club.

Back row: Starkey Tharrington, Janet Tharrington, Becky Tharrington DeGraaf, Lynn Tharrington. Front row: Cynthia Tharrington and Jennifer Tharrington


Photo by Blane Jesse

Dear Plant City:

Have you ever thought about the purpose of the church? We have... a lot. And we are convinced that there is really only one. Take a close look at the definitions of “purpose” and “task” just below. We believe that they fit together—support one another. And we also believe that making the distinction between the two is powerfully important when it comes to healthy worship and healthy churches. When you stop and think about it, the dictionary definition for “purpose” is beautifully compatible with the biblical definition of worship: It’s our chief, intended aim—our life’s goal—and it’s the very reason we were born. And the definition for “task” also seems just the right way for thinking about the functions of the church: They are time-sensitive assignments—acts of service—for a Sovereign! Sometimes, even when churches have noble tasks, like making disciples, they can end up doing the tasks in their own strength if worship doesn’t come first. Remember the scene in Matthew 28 when Jesus gave the “Great Commission”? How can we go and make disciples if we don’t first go to Jesus for commissioning and sending. Those things happen in worship. And it is in His strength that we go forth into the world to love and serve the Lord. At Holy Trinity, we want to help people remember why they were born—to worship—and we really believe, with all our hearts, that if we lift up Jesus, then He will draw all people to Himself. At Holy Trinity, we have several tasks that include making disciples and loving the world as Jesus does. And we have one single purpose that fuels it all: Worship.

s at l a n o i s s e f The Pro ices f f o d n a s me making ho fect r e p e r u t pic Keleigh Broxton Photography by Jennifer Griffin Photography

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LOCAL » FOCUS

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MLK CULTURAL FESTIVAL “DEFINING THE DREAM” T WRITTEN BY: TERRIKA MITCHELL

he Improvement League of Plant City kept the spirit of celebration going throughout the 26th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Arts Festival. The four-day event—themed Defining the Dream in an Era of Change—was held January 13-16, 2012 and united residents through education, music and more. “The entertainment is just that; to keep patrons enjoying themselves while they interact with each other. To us, the festival is somewhat of a community family reunion,” said Improvement League President Liesta Sykes. Entertainers included radio personality Buckwheat from WiLD 94.1, Tom G and several local talents. Even the Lincoln IB Elementary Choir was featured during the event’s opening ceremony. But these were not the only activities for young people to enjoy.

The cultural festival’s most anticipated events took place on the Saturday, as families, friends and visitors flooded the streets to view the yearly MLK parade. The dry cold didn’t stifle attendance. Nearly 500 people took to the MLK Complex for the Midway Carnival which included food and souvenir vendors, music, and fair-style games and rides.

Sunday’s annual treat, the Plant City MLK Leadership Breakfast, featured guest speaker Albert Dotson Jr., Esquire, and many community award recipients. Dotson is president and chairman of 100 Black Men of America Inc., an organization Educating others of the history behind the with a mission “to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance King’s dream resounded throughout the educational and economic opportunities celebration. The League also encouraged for all African Americans,” according to its participants to visit additional landmarks like the Plant City Area African American website. Heritage Trail, the Laura Street restoration district, Plant City Photo Archives & The breakfast wasn’t complete without the recognition of local leaders who work History Center, Historic Glover School

Youth groups performed in a two-day statewide stepping competition in which awards included $2,000 in cash prizes. The first round of the competition was held Friday evening while round two took place in Lakeland. “I enjoy the step show. I love seeing the positive energy of young participants,” Sykes noted. 1st Place Step Team

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

campus, Ruby’s Fruit Stand and the Bealsville and Pinecrest cemeteries where former slaves are buried.

to define the dream. Greater New Hope Anointed Ministries received the Sadye Martin Award for Community Service. Sarah Chapter #76 Order of the Eastern Stars received the E.L. Bing Award for Education. Mayor Dan Raulerson was recognized with the MLK Award for Leadership, while Daisy Gilmore, League Secretary earned the Improvement League President’s Award. Monday’s Freedom Walk and Bing Rooming House tours were another element that fueled momentum, despite being the commencing event. Sykes believes it is imperative to understand one’s history. “I was taught that a tree with roots cannot grow. So, even in this era of constant change, you have to know your history or you make the same mistakes of the past,” she said.


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LOCAL » FOCUS

2012 STRAWBERRY CHELSEA BOWDEN QUEEN T WRITTEN BY: DEANA GARRISON

he 2012 Strawberry Festival Queen Pageant, presented by the Plant City Lions Club and the Florida Strawberry Festival Association, was held Saturday, January 28th at the new Evelyn and Batista Madonia, Sr. Agricultural Show Center. Gail Lyons, Ruth Shuman Brown, and Becky Brown Klein were the mistresses of ceremonies. Over 1,400 spectators enjoyed the stadium seating view as 27 beautiful contestants gave the panel of judges a difficult decision to make.

Hours before the pageant, each contestant met for an appointment alone with the panel of judges for an individual interview. Later that evening, the ladies competed in public speaking, casual wear, and the evening gown competitions. With a slight delay in the program due to a small fire in the lighting system, the girls heated up the stage in their glamorous attire. The Top 10 finalists called to the stage in random order were: Emily Gonzalez, Chelsea Bowden, Chelsea Talavera, Calli Jo Parker, Jordan Tucker, Christina Corzine, Ashton Houston, Erica Kelley, Kelsey Fry, and Olivia Higgins. The 10 contestants were asked an onstage

2012 Strawberry Queen Chelsea Bowden

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

question and were then judged on how they answered that impromptu question, their overall look, and their stage presence. When asked, “What two words describe you,” Chelsea Bowden replied that “integrity” and “genuine” were the two she would choose. She said that she is known to keep her word and she is nice to everyone she meets. Shortly after her response, Bowden was crowned the 2012 Strawberry Queen. Chelsea is the daughter of Bud and Pam Bowden of Plant City. She is a senior at Durant High School where she was recently also crowned 2012 Calendar Girl. Bowden is a member of the Leo Club, student government, the National Honor Society, and is captain of the varsity volleyball team. After graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in nursing at a four-year university. The 2012 court members are First Maid Callie Jo Parker, and Maids Chelsea Talavera, Erica Kelley, and Olivia Higgins. Miss Congeniality, an honor granted through a vote by all of the contestants, was awarded to Christina Corzine. She received a $250 scholarship from the Plant City Lions Club.


LOCAL » FOCUS

All contestants seemed to be enjoying themselves on and off the stage. Kayla Faulk said, “Strawberry Queen gave me so much more confidence in myself…I realized the heart that goes along with having the crown and not just the beauty. I’m definitely doing it again next year!” Kelsey Fry agreed, “Strawberry Queen was most definitely an amazing experience, I was able to laugh and giggle and just be

the real girl I am! The coordinators of the pageant did a fantastic job. Going out for Strawberry Queen is a memory that I will always look back on and smile :) When 2011 Strawberry Queen, Victoria Watkins crowned the 2012, Chelsea immediately put her hands to her face. She thought, “I was overwhelmed with excitement.” Now that she has had a few days to take it all in, she says, “I am very excited about making memories with the court at the Festival. After all, that is what it is all about.” WATCH

FOCUSTV

Other royalty was present, too. The Junior Royalty Baroness, Duchess, Princess, and Queen sat in the audience behind the 2011 Strawberry Queen and her court to watch the event unfold. Joining them in the audience was Miss Florida Kristina Janolo. Janolo visited with many young ladies before and during pageant breaks by answering any questions, sharing great conversation, and signing autographs.

See our coverage of this event on FOCUSTV www.focusplantcity.com

2012 Strawberry Queen and Court (L-R): Erica Kelley; Calli Jo Parker, First Maid; Chelsea Bowden, Queen; Chelsea Talavera; and Olivia Higgins. FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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Carnival workers enjoy the morning prayer time before the day’s work begins.

CAMPERS ON MISSION EXTEND COMPASSION TO STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL CARNIVAL WORKERS WRITTEN BY: DALE BLISS

F

un found at most festivals and carnivals involves exhibits, rides and games. But at the Strawberry Festival, visitors will also find people with a caring mission- a mission of concern for the carnival workers. “Campers On Mission” has ministered to the carnival workers at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida for more than 20 years,“ said Jim Clay, a leader in the group. The Florida Chapter of Campers On Mission has been in existence since 1976. It was started by a group of individual campers that are Christians. Campers On Mission is now known nationwide.

serving carnival workers the Sunday before opening Thursday.

to witness to a man and a lady and they accepted Him as Lord and Savior.”

“We provide coffee, donuts and juice for breakfast,” relayed Clay. “A sack lunch containing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, dessert, a bowl of homemade soup and a tract is given to each person,” he continued.

In 2011 we served 1,683 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 60 crock pots of homemade soup, 1,260 cups of coffee and 45 dozen donuts. We also served bowls of grits, cereal and oatmeal.

Clay commented about his staff. “We often have an opportunity to encourage them and share a testimony with the workers.” He explained in humility, “The Lord blessed us by allowing our team

Initially when they came to serve at the Strawberry Festival, Campers On Mission operated out of a single tent. They now have their own buildings located on Lowry Avenue. The buildings include a kitchen and a clothes closet. “The Shiloh Association churches and their members have generously supported the ministry by donating clothing, blankets, shoes and toiletries which we distribute to the transit workers,” explained Clay.

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A team of Campers On Mission will arrive about a week and a half before the Strawberry Festival opens and begin FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

A Campers on a Mission Festival Ministry worker gives free haircuts to carnival workers.

Jim Clay’s wife, who also works with the group, commented, “It has been a blessing to see how we have been able to develop relationships with the workers and see their lives change during the ministry.”


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Yamel Belen and her family at Walk MS: Lakeland 2011

LOCAL RESIDENT HELPS SPREAD MS FOR NATIONAL WALK AWARENESS MS TEAM Y amel Belen, Plant City resident and licensed practical nurse, treats illnesses daily, but never expected disease to strike so close to home.

Her childhood friend of many years, Emily Munoz, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. Determined to “Join the Movement,” and help create awareness for this degenerative disease, Belen joined forces with the MS Society in hopes to make efforts towards a world free of MS. Belen, 2011 Walk Ambassador, realized just how big of an impact she could have without being directly diagnosed. “I thought I wasn’t as important because I don’t have MS personally and I didn’t think people would take my word to heart,” said Belen. “Being an ambassador and a face of MS Society, I realized how even more grateful everyone was for my efforts because I didn’t have MS. I want to raise awareness and hope others like me would want to as well.”

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With the help of Belen, family and communities throughout the nation behind her, Emily’s team Just E’s raised $18,000 last year alone.

The national team proudly calls themselves Just E’s, ready to support Emily and fight the battle against MS. At Walk MS: Lakeland, Belen’s local Just E’s group will walk for their sixth year. The Mid Florida Chapter raises muchneeded funds through Walk MS, such as the one March 10 at Lake Parker Park, and other events. Money raised supports the close to 70,000 people locally who are affected by the disease, offering support services including educational programs, self-help groups, research, medical equipment and more. You can support those with MS. Join the Just E’s at Walk MS 2012 at Lakeland’s Lake Parker Park, Saturday, March 10. The family-friendly event includes 1.3 and 1.8-mile routes and is open to anyone – families, teams or individuals. To learn how to participate or volunteer, visit www. MidFloridaMSWalks.org or contact Cody Yerian, Mid Florida Chapter, NMSS, 813889-8363 ext. 201.


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LOCAL » FOCUS

Incoming Chair, Matt Buzza, is flanked by outgoing Chair, Lee Williams (l) and Emcee, John Dicks(r).

GREAT HANDOFF FOR 2012 D id you know that George Washington is credited with the first example of a “peaceful transfer of power” when he stepped down from the Presidency of the United States? Prior to this, if someone wanted to be in the power position, the position of authority, there was usually some sort of violence or threat of violence involved. Granted, here we’re talking about the Chairman for the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, but people have fought and died for less. The Annual Chairman’s Banquet for the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, held January 26, serves as an opportunity for the Chamber to formally thank the board members whose terms have come to an end, and welcome and

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

induct board members for the coming year. The Honorable John Dicks emceed the event at the Red Rose Inn and Suites Ballroom. Many Chamber members attended and everyone was treated to a plated dinner of steak and fish.

The event also provides a setting for the outgoing Chairman, Lee Williams – 2011, to address the Chamber staff, board and members, one last time as Chairman. As his reign came to an end, Williams, as always, delivered a well thought out speech. He is no stranger to speaking in front of others, having held various other positions of authority within the community. His speech included a summary of accomplishments for the year, thanks and an occasional light-hearted moment.

CHAMBER INDUCTS NEW CHAIRMAN FOR 2012 WRITTEN BY: BRIAN WEST

Finally, incoming Chairman, Matt Buzza, was presented with the gavel and took his place at the podium to share his plan for the year. Buzza will make a fine Chairman. The Chamber and its members will continue to see great things under his leadership. For the past seven years, the evening has ended with the debut of an original short video, showcasing the acting skills, or lack thereof, of the Chamber board members and staff. Past years have included tributes to Cheers, Survivor, Gilligan’s Island and other more unique ideas. So, this year the video was a look back of sorts. It was the Chamber’s version of the Academy Awards; a neat way to see some of the older videos and have a good laugh. Plant City Mayor, Dan Raulerson, hosted this portion of the evening. Dressed in a white

tux with tails and paired with a red vest, Raulerson was quite a sight. He jokingly informed those in attendance, “This is what happens when you wait until the last minute to get a tux for an event.” The nominees for Best Actress were – interesting: Gail Lyons, Diane Sparkman, Judy Martin and Charles Harris. Harris sat at our table and everyone around just knew he was going to win – Mr. Thespian. But our hopes were dashed when the award was given to Sparkman. Maybe next year, Charles. All in all, everyone had a great evening, and the Chamber officially kicked off 2012. Here’s to another great year with our Chamber.


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LOCAL » FOCUS and California- Kaci Clark, Meagan Denny-White, Charity Butler, Brooke LeSage, and Mary Helen Tyler; and pro baseball and slow pitch players, FCA coaches and clinicians Johnny McCraw, Marcus Smith, Mike Zerbe, Casey Daigle, Meredith Gilpin, Marco Aragon, and Curt Gilpin. Following Friday night’s game, hopeful fans heard the Gospel message and shared photo/autograph ops with players. During Saturday’s double-header, WWE superstar Jimmy Hart, “The Mouth of the South” did sideline announcing. FCA won two of the three tightly contested games. But in the end, the true winners were the fans and volunteers who came out to watch and express “Thank you” in a special way to the men who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

From the smiles evident on the faces, players from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Wounded Warriors program enjoyed their softball challenge in mid-January 2012 at Plant City’s softball complex off Park Road. They hope to return to larger crowds in December.

GOD AND COUNTRY WEEKEND FCA ALL-STARS VERSUS WOUNDED WARRIOR AMPUTEES P

WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

lant City had the incredible honor in mid-January, 2012, of hosting its first “God and Country Weekend.”

The weekend organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Softball Ministry featured the FCA All-Stars in a threegame competition with the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) at the International Softball Federation World Headquarters off Park Road. Through the FCA Softball Ministry, communities across the country and throughout the year reach out to welcome and encourage these very special athletes. “God and Country Weekend” events originated when the FCA softball ministry realized that many formerly affiliated FCA retired, pro and amateur players wanted to “give back” through sports and put faith into practice. Working with WWAST manager/coach David Van Sleet helped bring the dream into reality. WWAST members are athletic veterans and active duty soldiers who’ve suffered limb loss in post 9/11 military operations. Fiercely competitive members from across

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

America gear up with gloves, spikes and some very specialized equipment.

On this day, WWAST players wear about $2 million worth of prosthetic limbs, but fans don’t notice initially because they run, jump, throw, slide and catch like pros. Even with a temperature dip into the low 40s, they wear shorts to show fans that prosthetics need not limit one’s dreams.

Some enjoy leadership roles on and off the field, while others are more private. The right leg prosthetic of pitcher and oldest player Tom Carlo, 45, boasts a Marineemblem. Greg Reynolds plays right field without his right arm. The catcher, Brian Taylor Urruela, took hundreds of practice swings and physical therapy to become nearly as fast on the prosthetic leg as he was during his high school career. Josh Wege’s parents watch their warrior son play first base with two prosthetic legs. In a recent AP article, Wege explained: “One thing we say as amputees is we’re trying to get back our new normal. Our limbs aren’t going to grow back any time soon, so this is the normal you’re going to have to get used to.” FCA All-Stars coordinate fundraising

efforts across the country and help promote WWAST efforts to raise public awareness of amputees. The FCA team included: Dr. Dot Richardson, Leah O’Brien Amico and Jennie Finch – with six Olympic gold medals between them; former UF Gator stand-outs Kristen Butler, Stephanie Brombacher, Francesca Enea, Corrie Brooks and Kristina Hilberth; from Texas

Bob Pinto, National Director of FCA Athletes Softball, expressed special appreciation to Red Rose Inn and Suites for rooms donated to Warrior players, coach and trainer. With greater local promotion and attendance, the organization hopes to return November 30-December 2, 2012. Pinto said, “Our Plant City experience was amazing. I felt God was moving the whole weekend and changing lives. We’d love the opportunity to return.” To offer your personal or organization’s help, visit fcasoftball.org or contact Pinto: 352-516-4556 or e-mail bpinto@fca.org.

Prayer is an important part of the competition between Fellowship of Christian Athletes players and the Wounded Warrior veterans’ team members.


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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

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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.

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813-754-3593 FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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LOCAL » DID YOU KNOW

DR. MARIBETH MOBLEY TO THE PHOTO ARCHIVES “HERITAGE AWARD” RECEIVE SUBMITTED BY: PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES & HISTORY CENTER

attended Bryan Elementary, Tomlin Middle School, and Plant City High School, class of 1970. Maribeth Logue married Billy Mobley and moved to Bartow and later to Lakeland. She worked in a mobile home manufacturing plant, a shrimp plant, a convenience store, and more. In the early 1970s she began taking classes at the newly opened Hillsborough Community College in Plant City, both in the renovated Publix market (called “Publix U.”) and in the portable buildings on the “new” Park Road site. After a divorce in 1980 Maribeth Mobley moved back to Plant City, continued her studies at HCC-Plant City, began tutoring other students, and decided on a career in education. She completed her studies at HCC then received a B.A. degree and an M.A. from the University of South Florida. She continued to study for her doctorate and during these years she was still teaching at HCC, and at USF. It is said that she started classes at HCC-Plant City in the 1970s and has never left.

Dr. Maribeth Mobley, Business and Professional Women’s Club, Woman of Achievement Award, 1991

P

lant City Photo Archives and History Center will honor longtime educator Dr. Maribeth Mobley with the Heritage Award at its tenth annual Evening of Picture Perfect Memories, Thursday, March 29, 2012, at the Red Rose Ballroom, Red Rose Inn and Suites in Plant City.

Award, and that Anne Haywood, Director of the Bruton Memorial Library, and David Patton, IT Manager for City Properties Company, both long-time volunteers at the Photo Archives, would receive the Bill Parolini Award for their dedicated volunteer services over the years. Verner also stated that, after ten years, this would be the final of the annual awards galas in this format. Future events are planned to take place in or around the museum facility on South Evers Street.

The annual awards banquet will begin with a champagne reception at 6:30 p.m. and will feature the Florida Southern Jazz Combo, a photo exhibit of people, places, and events in the greater Plant City area, a special exhibit to promote the Smithsonian traveling exhibition Journey Stories, a photo trivia quiz, a full buffet, a complimentary photo corner sponsored by Sunshine State Federal, a complimentary wine bar sponsored by George and Cassandra Banning, and the Heritage and Parolini awards.

DR. MARIBETH MOBLEY

Photo Archives and History Center President Ed Verner announced that Dr. Maribeth Mobley would be honored with the Heritage

She was born Maribeth Logue in Bartow in October 1952 and moved with her family to Plant City when she was nine years old. She

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Dr. Mobley was selected to receive the award based on her many years of service to the greater Plant City community as an educator and as a volunteer with civic organizations.

Mobley has served as Professor of English, Humanities, and World Literature, and as Dean of Academic Affairs, Program Manager, and in many other capacities. She has been a speaker for the Florida Historical Society, the Bruton Memorial Library, and the East Hillsborough Historical Society, and has served on the Advisory Council of the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center since its founding in 2000. Active with the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW), Maribeth was acknowledged as “Young Careerist” in 1982. She has been a Board Member and President of the Arts Council of Plant City, a member of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Plant City STARS, a runner of 5K and 10K road races, and has helped organize the Strawberry Classic runs, and she plays the piano, bass guitar, and there’s much more. In 1991 Maribeth Mobley received her Ph.D. degree from USF and later that year was recognized by the BPW as the Plant City area “Woman of Achievement”. It is clear that Plant City has been woven into the fabric of Dr. Mobley’s life. Past recipients of the Heritage Award include: D. E. Bailey, James L. Redman, Robert Trinkle,

B. M. Mac Smith, Betty Barker Watkins, Dr. Hal Brewer, Gladys Jeffcoat, James Sonny Jones, and Robert Edwards. Past recipients of the Parolini Award include Mary Jane Parolini, Tim Martin, Linda Smith, Bill Thomas, Betty Patton, and Lou Baird. For further information on the tenth and final Evening of Picture Perfect Memories awards banquet call the Photo Archives and History Center office at 813.754.1578.

THE SMITHSONIAN IS COMING The Smithsonian exhibition Journey Stories will be on display at the Photo Archives and History Center from Saturday, May 26 through Saturday, July 7, 2012. The exhibit is free and is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

VOLUNTEER DOCENTS NEEDED We will need to have two docents (guides) on duty at all times and, therefore, we need volunteer docents. Application forms are available at the office at 106 South Evers Street, or via email request at info@ plantcityphotoarchives.org. Applicants must complete a two-hour training session before they may begin working.

LOCAL JOURNEY STORIES EVENTS SCHEDULE Hear professors of Florida history and local residents tell their family’s “journey stories” of where they came from, and how and why at these area events: • Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Union Station (The Depot) 102 N. Palmer Street 1- University of Florida Professor Steve Noll on the history of Florida transportation 2- Henry B. Plant Railroad Historical Society Members – Arthur Chappell and Carwin Baxter on the Plant System • Thursday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bing Rooming House, 205 South Allen Street 1- Improvement League of Plant City 2- Author Nick Brown on the history of the Hardee Family and Plant City Steel • Thursday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Hillsborough Community College – Plant City Campus 1- USF – St. Petersburg Professor Gary Mormino on the social development of Florida 2- Local resident and realtor Jack Gibbs on the journey story of the Gibbs family 3- Local resident and pioneer family member Martha Sue Hawkins Skinner on her story Sources: Plant City Photo Archives and History Center Oral

History Project 2012, Dr. Maribeth Mobley, Plant City Courier.


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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LOCAL » CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

GREATER PLANT CITY O

n Thursday evening, January 26th. your Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce installed new officers for 2012 at the 30th Annual Chairman’s Banquet which was held at the Red Rose Inn & Suites. Matt Buzza will serve as Chairman of the Board. Immediate Past Chair is Lee Williams. Nate Kilton is the new Treasurer, Doug Driggers is Vice Chairman of Economic Development, Michael Cameron will serve as Vice Chairman of the Community & Governmental Affairs Division, Janet Kelly is the new Vice Chairman of the Community Programs Division and Paul Davis will serve as Vice Chairman of Membership.

In addition the following new Directors were installed: Rick Bunnell, Aaron Davis, Michael Gottesman, Edwena Haney, Charles Harris, Bradley Herremans, Jason Jones, Gail Lyons, Steve Nierman, Keith Smith, Phil Waldron and Brian West. The 53rd. Annual OUTSTANDING CITIZEN OF PLANT CITY luncheon will take place at the Red Rose Inn & Suites Ballroom on Wednesday, February 22nd. at 11:30 a.m. This event is sponsored by the Plant City Kiwanis Club. Cost of the luncheon is $25. For tickets and additional information, call Ken Hawthorne at 813-750-6506 or you can e-mail him at khawthorne@hillsborobank. com. Are you ready? The 77th Annual Florida Strawberry Festival will take place March 1 through March 11. This year’s theme is “GROWING SWEET MEMORIES’. Can you imagine…77 years? And it gets better each and every year! Once again the Festival has teamed up with SweetBay Supermarkets to offer discounted general admission tickets at their stores. Tickets for adults ages 13 and up are $8 which represents a $2 saving and youth tickets ages 6-12 are $5 each which is a saving of $1.

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUBMITTED BY: BRUCE RODWELL

There is great entertainment in store from the Oak Ridge Boys to Hank Williams, Jr. to Reba McEntire. The shows will be on the Wish Farms Soundstage. Please be sure and stop by your Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce booth and say hello. We will be located in the Arthur Boring Building. You won’t want to miss the Chamber’s STRAWBERRY CLASSIC CAR SHOW which takes place on Saturday, February 18th. This month will be a tribute to all Pontiacs. The show gets underway at 4 p.m. and continues to 8 p.m. This is a great family event and takes place in McCall Park in downtown Plant City. January’s show drew a big crowd and they had an opportunity to look at over 450 classic cars and trucks.

The Chamber’s BIKE FEST will take place in McCall Park in downtown Plant City on Saturday, March 3rd. This presents a wonderful opportunity to come on downtown, check out 100’s of motorcycles, enjoy shopping in the stores that stay open late and have an all out good family time. Starts at 5 p.m. and goes on to 9 p.m. March 14th. is the date of a FREE SAFE SITTER COURSE which will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Network, 639 East Alexander Street (near Wal-Mart in the Alexander Crossings Plaza). This course teaches those 11 years old and older to be a successful baby sitter. You will learn how to handle behavior problems, rescue a choking infant or child, administer first aid, run your own babysitting business and keep yourself and the kids safe.

Call early to reserve your seat. Class size is limited. For additional information, call 813-870-4747. Don’t forget to “Spring Ahead” on Sunday, March 11th. That’s when Daylight The parade will start at the Plant City Savings time begins. Set your clock ahead Farmers Market, move north on Alexander one hour. Street to Reynolds Street, then move west on Reynolds to Sammonds Road. This brings the parade by the Festival grounds. There is a MODEL TRAIN SHOW The parade will end in the Sammonds AND SWAP MEET at the John Road area. R. Trinkle Center at Hillsborough Community College on March 17th. This is the first Saturday of the Festival FROM 9 A.M. TO 3 P.M. and kids through high school age are Also on March 17th your Chamber’s admitted FREE to the Festival on this day. STRAWBERRY CLASSIC CAR SHOW will take place in McCall Park in The theme of the parade floats is “Growing downtown Plant City. This gets underway Sweet Memories”. There are several award at 4 p.m. and goes on to 9 p.m. categories and all units to be judged must follow this theme. MEALS ON WHEELS has been serving If you would like further information, the Plant City community for over 20 please contact Pat Pogue at 813-754-4680 years. They deliver nutritious meals five or you can e-mail her at ppogue1559@aol. days a week, fifty two weeks a year to com . home bound individuals who are unable to provide for themselves. The PLANT CITY CIVITAN CLUB is presenting a YOUTH PARADE on Saturday, March 3rd. at 11 a.m. Applications are available at www. flstrawberryfestival.com .

Most of the recipients are elderly, disabled or both. Frequently, our volunteers are the only outside contact these folks may have during any given day. The Plant City Meals on Wheels is locally organized, operated and financed. It is a non-profit, non-denominational corporation. It is a totally volunteer organization with no paid staff. The meals are prepared and purchased from SweetBay Super Market on Alexander Street. Meals on Wheels receive their funds from three sources: 1. Recipients are asked to contribute toward the cost of the meal. Most contribute what they can afford. Some are unable to contribute anything. 2. Contributions from members of the business community and service organizations. 3. Contributions from Unity in the Community, a volunteer program which conducts activities to benefit food programs in Plant City. As you can see, community support is critical for the continued success. Please consider donating to this very beneficial program by providing financial support or by volunteering to help. You can call the office at 813-754-9932 for information. DON’T FORGET TO MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 24TH. THAT IS THE DATE OF THE CHAMBER EVENT, ‘PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES’ WHICH TAKES PLACE AT THE PLANT CITY AIRPORT. THE EVENT STARTS AT 10 A.M. AND GOES ON TO 3 P.M. THIS EVENT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR IT PROMISES TO BE EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER. ADMISSION IS FREE AND THERE IS A $5 PARKING CHARGE. PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS


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Neumeister’s Candy Shoppe 106 Drane Street NE, Suite 2, Plant City, FL 33563-3463 Contact: Glen Nicholson Phone: (813) 704-6923 Email: neumeisterscandyshoppe@gmail.com

Rollyson/Fearnow Insurance 1507 South Alexander Street, Suite 103, Plant City, FL 33563-8413 Contact: Rhett Rollyson Phone: (813) 707-1000 Fax: (813) 759-1789 WebSite: www.rollysonfearnow.com Email: rhett@fearnowins.com

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The BERRY best selection of Strawberry jewelry in town!

J&G Jewelers

Making Dreams Come True Since 1983 Designer Styles in Gold, Silver & Platinum

Come by and see us during the STRAWBERRY Festival. We will be set up on Woodrow Wilson St. behind the American Legion. Come see our new “Slap Watches” and Strawberry Jewelery! 304 E. Baker Street, Plant City

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Store Hours: M-F 10:30-5:30 and Sat 10-4

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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

FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

®

Artists Appearing on the Wish Farms Soundstage: Order: www.flstrawberryfestival.com or 813-754-1996

Thu. Mar. 1 10:30 Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra Thu. Mar. 1 3:30 The Oak Ridge Boys Thu. Mar. 1 7:30 Gretchen Wilson

FREE $15 & $20 $15 & $20

Fri. Fri.

$15 & $20 $30 & $35

Mar. 2 3:30 Mar. 2 7:30

The Gatlin Brothers / Crystal Gayle Demi Lovato

Sat. Mar. 3 1:00 Suite Caroline Sat. Mar. 3 3:30 To Be Announced Sat. Mar. 3 7:30 Air Supply

FREE $15 & $20

Sun. Mar. 4 3:30 Sun. Mar. 4 7:30

Jake Owen $15 & $20 Hank Williams, Jr. “Taking Back the Country Tour” $50

Mon. Mar. 5 3:30 Mon. Mar. 5 7:30

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals

Tues. Mar. 6 3:30 Tues. Mar. 6 7:30

Brenda Lee Vince Gill

$15 & $20 $35

Wed. Mar. 7 3:30 Wed. Mar. 7 7:30

Lee Greenwood / Louise Mandrell The Band Perry

$15 & $20 $25 & $30

Thu. Mar. 8 10:30 Thu. Mar. 8 3:30 Thu. Mar. 8 7:30

Ronnie McDowell The Charlie Daniels Band Luke Bryan

FREE $20 & $25 $30 & $35

Fri. Fri.

Cornell Gunter’s Coasters, Bobby Hendrick’s Drifters, The Platters $15 & $20 TobyMac $20 & $25

Mar. 9 3:30 Mar. 9 7:30

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store presents Josh Turner

s e i r o m e M t e e w S g n i Grow

$15 & $20 $25 & $30

Sat. Mar. 10 3:30 Sat. Mar. 10 7:30

Allstar Weekend Rodney Atkins

$10 & $15 $20 & $25

Sun. Mar. 11 3:30 Sun. Mar. 11 7:30

Easton Corbin Reba

$15 & $20 $50

MAR. 1 - MAR. 11, 2012 PLANT CITY, FLORIDA

REBA

HANK WILLIAMS, JR.

“TAKING BACK THE COUNTRY TOUR”

VINCE GILL

GRETCHEN WILSON

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND

LEE GREENWOOD

LOUISE MANDRELL

SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAYS

AMERICAN HEROES DAY

FREE CONCERTS Thurs, Mar 1st Jimmy Sturr Orchestra Thurs, Mar 8th Ronnie McDowell Concerts 10:30am

All Active, Reserve, Retired Military, Military Veterans, Law Enforcement, First Responders (EMS & Fire Fighters) admitted Free all day with a valid ID

C o n cert d at es an d t im es are su b ject to ch an g e

Direct Auto Insurance Free Grandstand Seating 3:30 & 7:30 pm are on a first come, first seated basis.

CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE PRESENTS

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FESTIVAL FAVORITES • Dennis Lee • Jay Taylor Band • The Walker Brothers Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Show • The Gothard Sisters • Runa Pacha • Robinson’s Racing Pigs • Rock-It The Robot NEW: • World Champion Lumberjills • Ron Diamond • Lloyd Mabrey • Makenzie Raye • Karaoke Contest • Kandu Magic Show • Sea Lion Splash Show

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Red Hat Society Day Tues, Mar, 6th $2 Off Gate Admission

Wed. Mar. 7th

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SouthFloridaBaptist.com


AGRICULTURAL CENTER A VERSATILE ADDITION TO STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL GROUNDS BY DAVE NICHOLSON

R

ain, cold or heat won’t be a major concern this year for such Florida Strawberry Festival favorites as the steer show and lamb costume contest.

Thanks to the new Evelyn & Batista Madonia Sr. Agriculture Show Center, festival livestock shows have a permanent home, complete with bleacher style seating, heating and air conditioning. “We won’t have to worry about the weather,” festival General Manager Paul Davis said. The center won’t be hard for festival guests to find. At 33,000 square feet, the Madonia center is by far the largest building on the festival grounds – nearly twice the size of the TECO Expo Hall. The center, named for the well-known owners of the Red Rose Inn and Suites and a large farming operation, was constructed at a total cost of about $3.6 million. The building is a centerpiece of the festival and will be “center stage,” when the gates open March 1, Davis said. The building sits on nearly 4 acres on Oak Avenue in the northwest corner of the festival grounds, near the Tomlin Middle School gymnasium. The center replaces rented livestock tents. The building has gotten rave reviews since it was completed early this year. It has already housed such festival events as the Strawberry Ball, festival queen’s pageant and fashion show. For the festival, it will be converted to a livestock area with gates and fencing anchored in the concrete and indoor-outdoor carpeting. Spectators shouldn’t have trouble finding a place to sit during livestock shows, sales and contests. The bleachers can seat 1,700 to 1,800, far beyond the capacity at the tents that used to house the events.

The center will only be open during festival livestock events; at other times it won’t be accessible to the general public. Competitors in the livestock shows will have access for practices and the like. The festival is all about agriculture and a permanent home for livestock shows has been in the works for many years. Davis said festival President Ron Gainey deserves credit for his extensive work on developing a versatile design for the center. City Commissioner Mike Sparkman, who previously served as president, said Gainey played a key role in shaping the center, including making trips to the Georgia National Fair in Perry to view a similar building. “Ron Gainey poured a lot of time and effort into making this a reality,” Sparkman said. Gainey gave credit to other members of his committee. “It wasn’t just Ron Gainey, it was everyone working together to make this all happen,” he said. The Madonia center is the first phase of a plan to improve festival facilities for livestock events, Gainey added. He hopes the festival can complete the vision by adding two pavilions to house livestock adjacent to the center in time for the 2013 celebration of King Strawberry. Gainey said city commissioner and Festival Director Rick Lott, with the Visions and Innovations committee, is heading up the efforts to sell naming rights to the pavilions to help pay for construction costs. He added that the relatively new committee is exploring other ways to improve the festival in years to come.

Paul Davis shows off the new Eveyln & Batista Madonia, Sr. Agricultural Show Center

“We are looking ahead not just to the next festival. We are looking 10 to 20 years down the road,” he said. FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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?

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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Queen & MEET THE 2012 FL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

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Each year since 1930, the City of Plant City and the Florida Strawberry Festival kick off the season with the selection of a new Queen and Court. And each year, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes with the Plant City Lions Club and the Lions Auxiliary to present a pageant that to make everyone proud and to deliver five young ladies who can represent the Festival and our city. And each year, we do just that. Still, we find ourselves asking, “How can we get another five girls as good as those we had the year prior?� Thankfully, year in and year out, the young ladies in our area step up to the challenge. This year is no different as the 2012 Queen and Court were named just a few weeks ago. I had a moment to speak with First Maid- Calli Jo Parker and Court Members Olivia Higgins, Erica Kelley and Chelsea Talavera.

& Court

INTERVIEW BY BRIAN WEST | PHOTOS BY ANTHONY SASSANO FOCUSTV

WATCH

Watch behind the scenes at the FOCUS Magazine Photo Shoot for the 2012 FL Strawberry Festival Queen and Court.

www.focusplantcity.com


Queen

2012 FL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL The past several years have seen several milestones in the Florida Strawberry Festival Queen’s Scholarship Pageant. Lauren and Erica Der became the first sisters to wear the crown. Then the feat was repeated last year as Victoria Watkins, younger sister to Ashlee, became the second pair of sisters to wear the crown. This year, Chelsea Bowden becomes the first Queen to have grandmothers who wore the crown. That’s right, grandmothers. Both of Bowden’s grandmothers, Barbara Alley Bowden – 1948 and Ruby Jean Barker Redman – 1953 were Strawberry Queens. And as you might imagine, they’re both pretty excited for their granddaughter. Chelsea and I had a chance to speak a couple of weeks ago, immediately following her first official appearance as the 2012 Queen at lunch with the Plant City Lions Club – sponsors of the pageant.

FOCUS: TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.

Bowden: I am one of three children. Both of my parents are educators. I come from a large family. I have 9 cousins on one side and 2 on the other. I’m really family-oriented. We spend Sundays together after church, eating dinner. We’re together for holidays and birthdays. We have a lake house where we like to spend time. When we are there, there’s usually about 20 of us, so it’s a pretty packed house and a lot of fun. Family is what’s most important to me.

FOCUS: WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY THINK ABOUT ALL THIS?

Bowden: My family is still overwhelmed and still just taking it all in. They’re all still kind of in shock. I’m just so blessed to have this opportunity. Both of my grandmothers were Strawberry Queens, and they are so excited. My grandmother’s friends call them all day. They come over to my house and talk about how their friends are coming over and writing them. It’s really exciting.

FOCUS: PRIOR TO THIS YEAR, WHAT DID THE ROLE OF STRAWBERRY QUEEN MEAN TO YOU?

Bowden: I think it was someone that was the face of the Festival and the agriculture industry. The Strawberry Queen is also a role model to the young girls who look up to her. I know I always looked up to the role. The Queen is also someone that can get along with anyone. It was always something really special to me.

FOCUS: WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM THE PAGEANT?

Bowden: The crowning moment was probably my most memorable. I’d have to say that was the number one moment for me. The interview was great. I felt like the judges really liked me. They gave

Chelsea Bowden 54

FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com


me such great compliments that I was really kind of taken back. There were just so many FOCUS: IT’S ONLY BEEN A COUPLE OF DAYS SINCE YOU WERE CROWNED QUEEN, BUT I KNOW great moments. Meeting all the girls, even the ones that didn’t make it to the top five, YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN BUSY. they were all just so nice. I realize that I’m fortunate to have this opportunity. Bowden: Yes. We’ve already ordered our evening gowns and cocktail dresses. They’re beautiful. We’ve gotten our outfits together; clothes and shoes. We’ve also been to another luncheon. FOCUS: WHAT DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO PREPARE FOR THE PAGEANT? Bowden: Oh my goodness. It took so much. I’m sure you probably know that a lot of the girls get coaches now. I had a coach, mostly for the interview portion because I was FOCUS: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN? so nervous about it. And getting the hair and makeup, and the clothes - it was a lot of Bowden: I really enjoy going to the movies or renting from Red Box. I like to be with preparation. And I couldn’t have done any of it without the support of my parents. my family of friends on a Friday or Saturday night. I’m an outdoorsy person, which a lot

FOCUS: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST?

Bowden: Getting to know all of the girls has been so much fun. And I’m really looking forward to getting to the Festival and meeting all the entertainers. That’s just going to be so much fun, and each of us have someone that we’re really excited about. I’m also looking forward to spending time at the Palace, which is where we’ll stay during the day, and it’s amazing. We went last night to check it out and we all picked our seats. It’s amazing.

FOCUS: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE INTERACTIONS YOU HAD WITH THE FIRST MAID AND COURT?

Bowden: I think we’re going to get along great. We all have different personalities but they blend really well. We’re just all so excited about everything that’s ahead of us.

of people don’t know. I have 2 dogs and I really love going to Medard Park with them. I’m really athletic and love anything outside. I also love shopping, especially bargain shopping.

FOCUS: TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT NOT EVERYONE KNOWS.

Bowden: I danced for about 8 years, competitively, before I became a volleyball player. I used to do tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip hop. Not many people know that because I stopped competing when I got to the eighth grade because there isn’t much you can do with dance in high school, except cheering, and I’d never really done any of the jumps and flips. We have a color guard, but it’s not the same thing, so I had to branch out a little to something else.

FOCUS: WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO GAIN FROM BEING QUEEN?

Bowden: I think I’ll gain more knowledge about Plant City’s history. I already know a lot, but there are a lot of things I don’t know. I also expect to gain better speaking skills, Bowden: Yes, I’m a senior this year at Durant High School. I’m planning to go to HCC because a lot of what I have to do is talk with others. I’m sure I’ll be meeting a lot of people; a lot of influential people, and hopefully they’ll make an impact on me and each and study Nursing. I would like to go to the University of Florida for my second two one of the court members. years, but I’ll have to wait and see how the first couple of years go.

FOCUS: YOU’RE A SENIOR THIS YEAR. WHAT DO YOU INTEND TO DO AFTER YOU GRADUATE?

FOCUS: WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INTEREST IN NURSING?

Bowden: I really like Science, Biology and Chemistry. I’ve always had great teachers at Durant. I want to do something in the mission field overseas. I want to make an impact on children. That’s my biggest goal.

FOCUS: I ALSO UNDERSTAND YOU’RE INVOLVED IN THE DURANT HIGH SCHOOL LEON CLUB. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE LEOS?

Bowden: I got involved through Student Government. I’m a member and Mrs. Singletary sponsors Student Government and the Leo Club. So from Student Government, a lot of students will get involved in the Leo Club. Leo Club is the number one community service club to be involved in at Durant. Everyone is in it. We have a blast. We’ve volunteered at Pig Jam and the United Food Bank. And I have so many friends in it and that just makes it a lot of fun. Mrs. Singletary is just an amazing woman. I talk to her all the time. I spoke with her all the time leading up to the pageant and she was someone who gave me great advice. I really look up to her.

FOCUS: IS THERE ANYTHING YOU LIKE TO SAY TO CLOSE THE INTERVIEW?

Bowden: God has blessed me with such a great opportunity and I really want to thank Him and my family and friends. I’m just really looking forward to the year and getting to know the girls better. Chelsea Bowden is going to make a great Queen for the Florida Strawberry Festival. I have no doubts she will do an excellent job in representing the Festival and Plant City well. At 5’11”, Chelsea is the tallest Queen we’ve had since Beckie Brown (5’11¾”) in 1987. Interestingly, Brown and her mother Ruth, the first mother daughter Queens, were the emcees for this year’s pageant. If you find yourself out and about and happen upon Chelsea, introduce yourself. You’ll be glad you did. She’s a very sweet young lady and will make us all proud to have her as this year’s Queen. Congratulations, Chelsea! Enjoy your year and make the most of every opportunity.

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Court 2012 FL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

FOCUS: CALLI JO AND ERICA, THIS WAS YOUR SECOND YEAR COMPETING, CORRECT? Parker: Yes. It was definitely easier than my first year competing, because I knew what to expect and what was coming. This year I just kinda had it in my mind that God has a plan, and whatever it is, I’m just going to let Him use me. When He placed me in the position I’m in now, it just felt so comfortable. You get placed where you know it’s right and you just know that it’s going to work out perfectly. So that was the state of mind I held throughout the entire pageant. It definitely helped keep me calm and collected.

First Maid

Calli Jo Parker

Kelley: I made the top ten last year but I had no idea what to expect. I think I messed up on the on-stage question last year, so that’s what I worked on most this year. I didn’t take it too seriously. My dad and my brother were at all of my dress fittings. They could probably do the pageant with me and do just as well. It even got to the point where my dad, whose the most country guy you could ever meet, was giving me pointers when I practiced my walk.

FOCUS: IT’S ONLY BEEN A FEW DAYS, BUT WHAT’S BEEN MOST MEMORABLE FOR YOU? Parker: That’s difficult. The whole night was just amazing. But I think when I was answering the impromptu question was probably the most memorable for me. I’ve told everyone, it’s so crazy how fast your brain moves when you’re on stage like that, but I did not realize how funny my answer was until I saw the judge’s faces. They were all just laughing. It was a very memorable moment for me. Higgins: It’s kind of funny. Just as Amber Carapezza was coming off the stage from delivering her commercial, there was fire in the building. We heard the commotion, but didn’t know what was going on. Then she came into the dressing room and told us what happened. That was pretty memorable. And we could hear Mr. Davis say, “We just want everyone to know that we rented these lights.” Kelley: When they called my name for the top five. I was the last one called, so I was a nervous wreck. It didn’t matter whether or not I was crowned Queen, just knowing that I made the Court meant everything. I was so happy. Talavera: The day after the pageant, we got to meet the Queen and Court from last year. I’ve never really talked with them, so it was really nice to see how close they are now after a year together. They’re all very close. So I’m really looking forward to having four new best friends.

FOCUS: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST THIS YEAR? Parker: Honestly, visiting with all of the Directors’ wives. There are so many people that work the festival, and the Red Coats get a lot of recognition, but their wives and the women who work behind the scenes do just as much work as everyone else. I’m really excited to get to know them and thank them for everything they do.

Olivia Higgins

Higgins: Obviously the entertainers and the food, but one of the things I’m really looking forward to is getting to know the other girls. After seeing last year’s Queen and Court, and seeing how close they are and the relationships they have and knowing they’re relationships that will last a lifetime, that’s what I’m really looking forward to. Kelley: I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone. Today with the Lions Club was just a glimpse of what the year will be like. Everyone is so sweet and nice.


Talavera: I’m really looking forward to meeting the entertainers and lots of great food.

FOCUS: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CAREER PLANS. Parker: I’m currently a freshman at HCC studying Agriculture Communications. I told my mom the other day, when I’m standing on the stage with a microphone, I just feel like I was meant to do that. That’s what I was born to do. Most of the girls were really anxious about that moment, but I couldn’t wait for that moment. I have no idea where I could do that [as a job] but to be somewhere speaking about agriculture, my faith, about anything in front of thousands of people - that is home to me. Hopefully Agriculture Communications will lead me to something like that. Kelley: I’m attending HCC. I’m studying Business Management and I want to open my own pageant gown store in Plant City. I want the dresses to be unique and custom designed. When you put on a dress, you have to feel beautiful on the inside. I want to share that with other girls. You can’t go to Prom or compete in a pageant and have a great time if you don’t feel beautiful and I want to help other girls have that experience. Higgins: I’ve been homeschooled since I was in Kindergarten. I’m a senior this year and started dual enrollment at HCC my junior year. The state pays for that, so I’ll graduate from high school this spring and then from HCC in December. Then I’ll go on to USF to finish my Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in English. I’d like to be able to teach at the college level. Talavera: I’m currently attending Plant City High School. After high school, I’m thinking about attending Southeastern College. It’s so pretty. I went to their Christmas musical and it was just so amazing. I just like that atmosphere and I’ve just had so many people say great things about it. So I’d like to go there, or maybe USF. I’d like to major in English and become a high school English teacher.

FOCUS: OLIVIA AND CHELSEA, WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INTEREST IN TEACHING ENGLISH? Higgins: I enjoy English and I’m good at it. I like to write, and I want to be able to get married and have a family. I had a great teacher at HCC, Mrs. Galloway, and she inspired me to go for it.

Chelsea Talavera Talavera: Mrs. Jo Beth Newsome was my 9th grade teacher. She was just so amazing. I just knew that I had to be just like her.

FOCUS: CALLI JO, I KNOW YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NUMBER OF CONTESTANTS SHARING THEIR BELIEF IN GOD? Parker: The support was overwhelming. The sisterhood backstage was wonderful. Most of the girls were believers, which made it so much better. Last year I didn’t get the same feeling. This year, everyone was in the pageant to serve God, and it just made everything so much more enjoyable. We all look for the same things out of life, and especially these five girls that made the court. We all have one heartbeat. And I think it’s something that has already brought us closer together, quicker than any court I’ve seen, personally.

FOCUS: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SAY? Parker: I really want to say thanks to my family. Kelley: I would really like to thank everyone that helped me. My coach, Crystal, was a blessing. She’s such a sweetheart. And I’m so thankful for the support I got from my family and friends. Higgins: I really want to say thanks to my family. Thanks so much to Lynn and Connie at Tip to Toe for being my sponsor, and everyone in the community that was giving me such good advice. Thanks so much for the opportunities we’ll have this year.

Erica Kelley

Talavera: I just want to say thanks to everyone in my family and my friends for all their support. These are 4 great young ladies. They’re all very grounded and come from good families in our community. They will do a great job in representing our city and the Florida Strawberry Festival in 2012. Congratulations to each of you. Enjoy every moment.


STEAK RIBS N CHICKE WINGS

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Felton’s Meat & Grocery 617 North Maryland Ave. Plant City, FL • 813-752-1548 Monday - Saturday 7am-9pm Sunday 7am-8pm

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NEw ADULT PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN IN YOUR AREA! JSA Medical Group has opened a NEW Adult Primary Care Center in your community!

Accepting New Patients Including Humana and CarePlus Medicare Advantage Plan Members JSA JSA MEDICAL MEDICAL GROUP GROUP -- PLANT PLANT CITY CITY 1001 1001 East East Baker Baker Street, Street, Suite Suite 400, 400, Plant Plant City, City, FL FL 33567 33567 We We offer offer many many services services in-office in-office for for your your convenience! convenience!

RUBEN Board Cer tifi PEREZ, MD ed Internal

Medicine

Call to Make an Appointment Today! (813) 708-0164 www.JSAMedicalGroup.com

Se Habla Español

ATTENTION STRAwBERRY FESTIvAL EvENT-GOERS! A

Meet Dr. Ruben Perez & his team in person! Visit the JSA MEDICAL GROUP table on The Midway grounds on March 1st, 6th and 8th between 10 am and 2 pm!

KEPES RADIATION ONCOLOGY & K E S Y E H (Formally Known as Plant City Cancer Center)

APARTMENTS FOR THE ELDERLY One bedroom Apartments • Rent based on income

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Call 813-719-7705 for appts/consultations 303 North Alexander Street, Plant City, FL (still located with South Florida Baptist Hospital)

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Plant City Living Center

405 E. Damon St • Plant City, FL 33563 • 813.659.2669

Applications available at each location


a p V a N a l e l e h t y e O c n f e i T r e a p m x p E a e Bay m o C Our Tasting Room & Gift Shop is open daily until 6PM Sample all our wines for just $6. Due to popular demand, we have brought back our ice wine for a limited time. Host Your Next Special Moment at Keel & Curley Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions Showers, Parties, & Corporate Events

Thomas Wynn and the Believers March 3, 2012 from 7 to 11pm. $12 cover charge $10 advance tickets

Friday Evening After Hours Wine Bar Happy Hour 6PM - 7PM Wine Tasting until 9PM Live Music 6:30PM - 10:30PM

813.752.9100 5202 W. Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City www.keelandcurleywinery.com Our wines are available at:

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A FAMILY LEGACY OF FESTIVAL QUEENS CHELSEA BOWDEN AND TWO GRANDMOTHERS SHARE PAGEANT HISTORY BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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hen Chelsea Bowden was crowned 2012 Strawberry Festival Queen recently, both grandmothers could so relate. That’s because they have each worn that symbol of royalty in earlier pageants.

Chelsea, a 17-year-old Durant High School senior, is now a Queen notable as the first to have two grandmothers who had also reigned. Additionally, the three also share deep Plant City roots, strong connections through family service to the Festival, and lifelong memberships at Plant City’s First Baptist Church. Ruby Jean Barker Redman and Barbara Alley Bowden both described their response to Chelsea’s new title as “elated.” Ruby Jean Redman, the 1953 Queen, entered the competition with several friends, she said, “as a joke, thinking I had no chance. Like today, there were so many pretty girls.” Her experience, she recalled, was “quite different from Chelsea’s.” In that year’s twonight affair, the court named Monday was “fitted with matching gowns for the announcement of the Queen” crowned three evenings later on Thursday.

you’re eliminated, it’s not the end of the world. It’s fun and an honor to represent Plant City. Just make the best of it.” As for advice for her “tall and stately granddaughter with tremendous stage presence,” Redman has none. She laughed, “Mine would be so out of date. She’ll be just fine because she’s excited to do a good job.” Barbara Alley Bowden reigned in 1948, the first year the pageant established in 1930 resumed after a seven-year pause for World War II. Bowden’s pageant experience differed, too. She said, “We wore formal dresses only and mine was one I’d worn to a prior prom. Today it costs quite a bit for girls to compete with three outfits and time spent in practice. Now it’s very important to have lots of support from family and friends.” Bowden complimented the 2012 contestants. “All of the girls did a great job and anyone of them would have made a lovely Queen.” Then she added, “Obviously, though, we’re thrilled for Chelsea.”

Redman also noted a difference in pageant prizes. Today’s Queen and Court receive a New York shopping trip and scholarships. “Our prizes,” she said, “included money for a 6-week modeling course and kitchen appliances like toasters and coffeepots.”

When first time entrant Chelsea’s name was announced as 2012 Queen, her surprised look was priceless. Had the cameras zoomed in on the more than a dozen cheering family members, they also would have captured a perfectly priceless picture of hometown family love and support.

Redman, who later served numerous years with the Lions Club pageant committee, offered helpful advice to future contestants. “Don’t take the competition too seriously. If

And because of that love, our new Queen says she wants nothing more than “to carry on a legacy.”

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LOCAL OWNERS • LOCAL DECISIONS

Platinum Bank welcomes you to the 2012 Florida Strawberry Festival

Plant City Office 1804 James L. Redman Pkwy., Plant City, FL 33563 Telephone (813) 659-1234 | Fax (813) 659-9134 Other Locations: Brandon, Lakeland, Tampa, and Winter Haven

Lobby Hours: Monday –Thursday 9:00am – 4:00 pm Friday 9:00am – 6:00pm Drive Thru Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00 pm 24 hour ATM in the Drive Thru Member FDIC

www.platinumbank.com

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STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL PRESIDENT RON GAINEY LOOKS FORWARD TO OPENING DAY BY DAVE NICHOLSON

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on Gainey’s service at the Florida Strawberry Festival has literally taken him from the pigpen to the presidency.

Gainey is in his first year in the top job but he’s a veteran festival volunteer whose early roles included heading up the swine show. He promises a bumper crop of fun for guests when the fest opens its 11-day run on March 1. “We look forward to a great year at the festival,” said Gainey, who was elected to the position in April by his fellow directors. Festival General Manager Paul Davis said the choice of Gainey was a good one as the celebration stays true to its hometown roots. “Ron Gainey has a passion for the festival and he has a passion for this community,” Davis said. “He really works hard to make sure every event is better than the last.”

Gainey, a native of South Carolina, moved to Plant City in 1966 after serving in the Navy for four years. He started working at Plant City Steel but soon decided on a career switch to insurance. Colleagues in his new line of work, including Billy Vernon and Ray “Rolly” Rollyson Jr., encouraged him to help out at the festival. He and his wife Vonda soon were busy volunteering – and loving every minute of it. Over the years, his roles have included heading up the festival’s switch to electronic ticketing and leading the committee on the $3.6 million Madonia center. Gainey said the groundwork for the Madonia center goes back to the early 1980s when attorney and former state lawmaker James L. Redman and rancher and citrus grower Harry Carlton first dreamed of such a facility. He hopes the festival can complete the vision by adding two livestock pavilions on the grounds by the end of the year, thanks in no small way to an anticipated $1 million generated by naming rights.

Gainey said visitors to the festival will notice changes that include competitive livestock shows in the new Evelyn & Batista Madonia Sr. Agriculture Show Center and volunteers who will roam the grounds offering assistance. Gainey credits his wife with the idea for what he calls Berry Ambassadors, a new set of volunteers who starting this year will help guests find their way around the festival He wants to make sure that the celebration of the area’s top crop offers a great entertain- grounds. The volunteers will wear identifying vests and “give directions or whatever ment value, including a lot of free shows. “We are the third largest fair in the state of help is needed,” actively seeking out guests who appear to be lost. Florida” and one of the largest in the nation, said Gainey, a 68-year-old agent at Poppell Insurance. Gainey notes that the festival runs on its 2,000 volunteers. He is enlisting the help of associate directors to expand the pool of volunteers. With the help of strong ticket sales for such headline acts as Reba, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan and Hank Williams Jr., and a larger than ever tribute to veterans, police and other “When you get new people you get new ideas and you get new volunteers,” he said. first responders on the March 7 American Heroes Day, he’s hoping crowds will top last year’s record 545,000.

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right in your community providing you with all your More choices. Local ocal agen agent.

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2012 FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Direct Auto Insurance Free Grandstand: Limited stadium seats “FREE” for all shows with general admission. Seating is on a first-come, first seated basis. Stadium shows are at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm daily. Stadium cleared after each 3:30 pm show. Reserved seat tickets available at the Amscot Main Ticket Gate located at 2209 W. Oak Ave., Plant City, FL 33563. An additional ticket office adjacent to east side bleachers open during Festival to sell any remaining reserved seat tickets. Reserved concert seat tickets DO NOT include gate admission. Ages 3 & up require a ticket for shows. You can purchase reserved seat Tickets online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com. Gates open at 10:00 am & close at 10:00 pm daily. Children 5 & under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Children 6 to 12 require a youth ticket purchase of $5.00. General admission is $10.00 for patrons 13+. Dogs and/or other animals are not allowed on the Festival grounds unless they are a service or guide dog, non-human primate or animals in a show or contest. Certified trainers (with ID stating same) of companion dogs/animals will be allowed. All animals in shows or contests are to be removed immediately after the close of the event. No illegal drugs, firearms, alcoholic beverages, or pets are allowed on the Festival grounds. Because of the early printing of this events schedule, changes, errors, deletions, or omissions may occur, in which case the Florida Strawberry Festival® reserves the right to construe its own rules and regulations and to decide all matters and differences in regard thereto.

THURSDAY, MARCH 1ST Senior Citizen’s Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Patrons 60 years of age or older get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 all day. Senior Day is Sponsored By: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. Ride-A-Thon from 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. 10:00 am.................. Gates Open.............................. Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close.... Poultry & Rabbit Shows......................... CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am – Noon..... Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra•................. Wish Farms Soundstage Noon........................ Senior Citizens’ Drawing• ................ Wish Farms Soundstage (One drawing only-MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN) 3:30 pm.................... The Oak Ridge Boys....................... Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm.................... Youth Swine Show............................................... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:00 pm.................... Karaoke Contest..................................Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm.................... Gretchen Wilson............................. Wish Farms Soundstage

FRIDAY, MARCH 2ND

Sweetbay Supermarket Day on the Midway Moonlight Magic Night Sweetbay Supermarket Day on the Midway 12:00 Noon to 10:00 pm Present any “My Essentials” non-perishable item at entry gate & receive $2.00 off the regular price of $20.00 Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book. Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband, 11:00 pm until 3:00 am. All patrons entering the grounds are subject to search. 10:00 am.................. Gates Open...............................Midway opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close.... Poultry & Rabbit Shows • ...................... CF Industries Ag Tent 1:00 pm.................... Dairy Contestant Judging....... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm.................... The Gatlin Brothers/Crystal Gayle.......................................... ........................................................................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm.................... Youth Swine Sale.................... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

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2012FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.Bell Shoals Baptist................................................................... ...................................................................Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm.................... Demi Lovato.................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 11:00 pm – 3:00 am.Moonlight Magic........................................................... Midway

SATURDAY, MARCH 3RD Kids’ Day | Youth Parade Day

Kids through high school age admitted free all day. Youth Stemming Contest Sponsored By: SunnyRidge Farm. Kids Day is Sponsored By: Wells Fargo. Suite Caroline Sponsored By: Fantastic Sams. 10:00 am.................. Gates Open..................................Midway Opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close.... Poultry & Rabbit Shows......................... CF Industries Ag Tent 11:00 am.................. Youth Parade............................................State Farmers Market Noon........................ Dairy Show Showmanship................................... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 1:00 pm.................... Suite Caroline................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 2:00 pm.................... Youth Strawberry Stemming....................................................... ....................................................................Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 2:00 pm.................... Dairy Show............................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm.................... TBA.................................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.Hola Plant City........Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm.................... Air Supply........................................ Wish Farms Soundstage

SUNDAY, MARCH 4TH Mountain Dew Family Day

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

MONDAY, MARCH 5TH Grand Parade Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Ride-A-Thon from 10:00 am until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. Grand Parade Day Sponsored By: United States Marine Corps. Lamb Contests Sponsored By: Sunbelt Rentals 7:30 am.................... Farm Credit Strawberry Salute Breakfast................................... Invitational 10:00 am.................. Gates Open.................................. Midway opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close.... Poultry & Rabbit Shows......................... CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am.................. Invitational Parade Luncheon.............................. Sponsored by: FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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The Premier Showplace for Talent in Florida Show Guests stay overnight at special rate!

FEBRUARY 17 JOHNNY ALSTON’S - MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE A dynamite crowd pleaser! Plus, Destiny performs before and after the show.

FEBRUARY 18 TROY “SATCHMO” ANDERSON - TRIBUTE TO LOUIS ARMSTRONG

Troy Anderson on trumpet as “Satchmo,” a tribute to Louis Armstrong. Plus, a 3 hour set from The Wonderful World Band with the same instrumentation as Armstrong's bands. Destiny opens and closes.

FEBRUARY 25 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

MARCH 9 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

FEBRUARY 25

MARCH 10 BEAUTIFUL BOBBY BLACKMON & THE B3 BLUES BAND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

THE FABULOUS HUBCAPS

Come and hear one of the nation’s most sought after oldies’ bands. Their music spans generations of some of the top hits of our time. The Las Vegas Sounds also perform in the Red Rose Ballroom. Dinner served in a supperclub atmosphere.

MARCH 2 BOBBY PALERMO

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Destiny.

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

Bobby Blackmon's career began in a small town not far from the Dallas, Texas area. His Texas blues influence is heard loud ‘n’ proud in his soulful guitar playing. He's worked with the likes of Barbara Lynn, Jimmy Reed, ZZ Hill, Johnny Taylor, Lavelle White and Lou Rawls. Destiny opens and closes in the Red Rose Dining Room.

MARCH 16

BRIAN ROMAN One of Canada’s finest entertainers! Roman performs the classics – spanning the Golden Era, ranging from Sinatra to Tom Jones. Destiny also performs.

MARCH 17 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

FEBRUARY 24

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

BRIAN ROMAN One of Canada’s finest entertainers! Roman performs the classics – spanning the Golden Era, ranging from Sinatra to Tom Jones. Destiny also performs.

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MARCH 3 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Destiny.

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE

W W W. R E D R O S E I N N A N D S U I T E S . C O M

FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com


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

Mrs. Evelyn Madonia -Owner The Toys and The Las Vegas Sounds. Saturday night performances include: The Mystics, Jimmy Gallagher, The Legendary Teenagers and The Las Vegas Sounds Band will perform in the Ballroom. Bob Ryman will perform in the Dining Room.

APRIL 13 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Destiny.

MARCH 30 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE MARCH 17 “THE FIDDLER” BOB RYMAN A ST. PATRICK’S DAY BALLROOM DINNER SHOW

Come celebrate the event! Ryman is a master of the violin and takes you through a magical journey of the classics to country favorites. The Las Vegas Sounds will also perform. Car show in the afternoon and deck party with a St. Patty’s tradition of green beer before the show. Pre-show at 7–Main-show at 8.

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Destiny.

MARCH 31 BOB RYMAN

Bob Ryman is a master of the violin. Ryman plays favorites from Bluegrass to Broadway, from Country to Classics. Destiny before and after the show in the Red Rose Dining Room.

APRIL 14 THE JARMELS

The Jarmels are a Doo Wop/R&B group. Their single, “A Little Bit of Soap,” reached number 12 in America on the Billboard chart. Destiny opens and closes the show in the Red Rose Dining Room.

APRIL 20 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE APRIL 6 BOBBY PALERMO

MARCH 23 thru 24 DOO WOP WEEKEND EXTRAVAGANZA VI

STARRING - BARBARA HARRIS & THE TOYS THE MYSTICS • THE LEGENDARY TEENAGERS JIMMY GALLAGHER OF THE PASSIONS • DESTINY THE LAS VEGAS SOUNDS • BOB RYMAN The annual event is taking on its sixth year of fun, food, contest and great music from a bygone era. Friday night performances include: The Mystics, Jimmy Gallagher (lead singer of the Passions), Barbara Harris &

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Destiny.

Bobby Bobby Palermo has been voted Tampa Bay Entertainer of the Year two years in a row. Enjoy a night of humour, impersonations and fabulously listenable and danceable music. Destiny opens and closes.

APRIL 7 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

APRIL 8 EASTER

BUFFET

Our chefs are preparing a fabulous feast for you! Call for seating times and reservations.

APRIL 21 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

Call 813.752.3141 for Reservations Today!

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2012 FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Regions Bank 1:00 pm.................... Grand Parade Begins................................ Downtown Plant City 2:00 pm.................... Grand Parade Passes by the Festival 3:30 pm.................... Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals............... Wish Farms Soundstage 5:00 pm.................... Lamb Jumping Contest.......................... CF Industries Ag Tent 6:00 pm.................... Lamb Show............................................ CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm.................... Josh Turner..................................... Wish Farms Soundstage

TUESDAY, MARCH 6TH Red Hat Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

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

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7TH American Heroes Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

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

THURSDAY, MARCH 8TH Senior Citizen’s Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

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

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2012FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FRIDAY, MARCH 9TH

The Tampa Tribune Day on the Midway Moonlight Magic Night The Tampa Tribune Day on the Midway Noon to 10:00 pm - $2.00 off the regular price of $20.00 Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book. Sponsored by: The Tampa Tribune. Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband, 11:00 pm until 3:00 am. All patrons entering grounds are subject to search. 10:00 am.................. Gates Open.............................. Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.. Livestock Contestant Judging..................................................... ................................................................................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm.................... Cornell Gunter’s Coasters Bobby Hendrick’s Drifters The Platters..................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 6:00 pm.................... Showmanship Judging-Beef Breed............................................ CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm.................... TobyMac.......................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm... Makenzie Raye....................................Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 11:00 pm – 3:00 am.Moonlight Magic........................................................... Midway

SATURDAY, MARCH 10TH Farm Worker Appreciation Day

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

SUNDAY, MARCH 11TH Mountain Dew Family Day

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

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GIVE YOURSELF A REASON TO SMILE DENTAL A S S O C I AT E S

at WaldenWoods

RAY GUTIERREZ, DMD & SARAH DEEDS, DMD GENERAL DENTISTS 512 E. ALEXANDER STREET | PLANT CITY

WWW.DENTALASSOCIATESWALDENWOODS.COM

$

59

Cleaning,

Exam & X-rays

-OR-

$

(Reg. $299) Offer Expires in 30 days. Includes exam, cleaning (prophylaxis) & x-rays. New Patients Only. D0150, D0330, D0272, D0210, D1110, D8040, D8090 IT IS OUR OFFICE POLICY THAT THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT WHICH IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED-FEE OR REDUCED-FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT.

500

OFF

Invisible Braces

Offer Expires in 30 days. Offer not to be used in conjunction with any other offers or reduced-fee plans. A Proud Member of the Heartland Dental Care Family ADV14138

Call today! 813.305.1382

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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SeriouSly Good ChiCken

Meal dealz™ Meal Dealz™ come with Crinkle Fries and a 22 oz. Beverage.

ChiCken FinGer SAndWiCh MeAl Chicken Fingerz, Zax Sauce® and green leaf lettuce on a toasted bun

Grilled ChiCken SAndWiCh MeAl

Grilled Chicken, honey mustard and green leaf lettuce on a toasted bun

ChiCken FinGer PlATe

Chicken Fingerz, Crinkle Fries, Texas Toast, Cole Slaw and Zax Sauce®

All-white-meat chicken on honey wheat bread with lettuce and tomatoes

BoneleSS WinGS MeAl BiG ZAX SnAk® MeAl

CAJun CluB™

Blackened chicken, bacon, Ranch, green leaf lettuce, tomato and American cheese on a toasted bun

Wings, Celery and Ranch

niBBlerZ MeAl ®

Wings & Fingerz

Our classic Chicken Fingerz, tucked in toasted buns and topped with Zax Sauce®

9 SAuCeS

Zalads® The houSe

Mixed greens, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, roma tomatoes, cheddar and Jack cheese, fried onions, and Chicken Fingerz or grilled chicken, with Texas Toast

The CAeSAr

Mixed greens, Parmesan cheese, bacon, croutons, and Chicken Fingerz or grilled chicken

The Blue

Mixed greens, red cabbage, carrots, roma tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, fried onions, blackened chicken or Buffalo Fingerz®, with Texas Toast Ranch,LiteRanch,HoneyMustard,1000Island,BlueCheese,HoneyFrench, Mediterranean, Caesar, Lite Vinaigrette.

Dine In • Take Out Open 7 Days A Week

Wimpy

Original

Tongue Torch®

Nuclear

Insane • Teriyaki • BBQ • Hot Honey Mustard Sweet & Spicy

TrAdiTionAl or BoneleSS WinGS Wings are served with Celery and Ranch

5 piece/10 piece/20 piece

ChiCken FinGerZ

Chicken Fingerz are served with Zax Sauce ®

5 piece/10 piece/20 piece

BuFFAlo FinGerZ®

Buffalo Fingerz® are served with Celery and Ranch

5 piece/10 piece/20 piece

For larger orders, please see our Party Platterz™ menu.

Credit Cards Accepted

®

Visit us at the following Zaxby’s location today:

2901 1/2 James Redman Pkwy. • Plant City 813.752.1971 Each restaurant independently owned and operated. Prices may vary by location. © 2012 Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. “Zaxby’s” is a registered trademark of Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc.

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SPiCy Fried MuShrooMS

$2.99

Fried WhiTe CheddAr BiTeS

$2.99

Sides & extras The niBBler Side SAlAd Crinkle FrieS Side oF onion rinGS BASkeT oF TeXAS ToAST TeXAS ToAST Cole SlAW dreSSinG/SAuCe Side oF Fried WhiTe CheddAr BiTeS

ZAXBy’S CluB

Boneless Wings, Celery and Ranch

BuFFAlo WinGS MeAl

$2.79

Batter-fried white cheddar cheese pieces with sauce

All Sandwich Baskets are served with Crinkle Fries and pickle spear. Chicken Fingerz, bacon, green leaf lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and American cheese on Texas Toast

Chicken Fingerz, Zax Sauce® and Texas Toast

onion rinGS

Batter-fried mushroom pieces with sauce

Sandwich Baskets

Chicken Fingerz, Ranch and Tongue Torch sauce on Texas Toast

$2.79

Batter-fried onion rings with sauce

Wings and Chicken Fingerz, Crinkle Fries, Texas Toast, Celery, Ranch and Zax Sauce®

®

TATer ChiPS

Thinly sliced fried potatoes with Ranch

WinGS & ThinGS

kiCkin’ ChiCken SAndWiCh MeAl ChiCken SAlAd SAndWiCh MeAl

Zappetizers®

Most Popular

Zax kidz® kiddie FinGer® kiddie CheeSe® kidZ niBBler

$3.29 $3.29 $3.29

desserts FreSh-BAked CookieS MilkShAkeS

Beverages CoCA-ColA® FounTAin drinkS 22 oz./32 oz./42 oz. iCed TeA 22 oz./32 oz./42 oz. Milk, ChoColATe Milk, APPle JuiCe dASAni®


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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COMFORTABLE JUST GOT AFFORDABLE.

8136890817 MARLIN JAMES INC www.marlinjames.com License #CAC056868

0% APR FOR 36 MONTHS!* (WITH EQUAL MONTHLY PAYMENTS) Imagine coming home every day to an environment that’s as fresh, clean and healthy as it is comfortable. Now is the perfect time to make that a reality, with a Trane high performance heating and cooling system. And with 0% APR Financing with equal payments for 36 Months on a qualifying Trane systems, it’s never been so easy to own one. Maximum comfort, lower heating and cooling costs, clean indoor air, and affordable payment options -that’s the Trane difference. Trane heating and cooling systems have always been known for their high performance, precision engineering and solid dependability. But like any great system or tool, they can only operate at full potential when in the hands of an expert. Trane Comfort Specialist™ dealers earn their title by satisfying the most demanding critics -- the customers they serve. This elite group delivers: • The highest levels of customer satisfaction • Superior rate of customer referrals • Ongoing commitment to continuing education

Call now for a free home comfort consultation.

*Special financing offers valid on qualifying systems only. All sales must be to homeowners in the United States. Void where prohibited. The Home Projects Visa card is issued by Wells Fargo Financial National Bank. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit at participating merchants. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. 0% APR/36 Months: The minimum monthly payment will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the special terms period. For newly opened accounts, the regular APR is 27.99%. The APR will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate. The regular APR is given as of 1/10/2012. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. The regular APR will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. If you use the card for cash advances, the cash advance fee is 5.0% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10.00. Monthly payment if shown based on $7,100 purchase.

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WATCH HER COMMERCIAL FROM THE PAGEANT ONLINE AT FOCUSPLANTCITY.COM FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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Strawberry Court Member

&G A P S DAY

IFTS

Serving Royalty Since 1992 Cosmetics Hair Nails Skin Fabulous Treasures Gift Certificates Available 101 South Alexander Street

813-759-8637

www.tiptotoeplantcity.com 82

FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

0003142261-01

Congratulations Olivia Higgins

WATCH THEIR COMMERCIALS FROM THE PAGEANT ONLINE AT FOCUSPLANTCITY.COM


WATCH THEIR COMMERCIALS FROM THE PAGEANT ONLINE AT FOCUSPLANTCITY.COM

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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BUSINESS » BUSINESS PROFILE

“Michael insists on supplying and utilizing only the best products and equipment to deliver unparalleled service that is timely, courteous and friendly to his customers.”

CRITICAL INFORMATION (813) 763-6455 MICHAEL@WARDSWATERSOLUTIONS.COM AVAILABLE MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, 8 A.M. TO 9 P.M.

WARDS WATER SOLUTIONS A WRITTEN BY: TAYLOR FLUMERFELT

re you in need of a water conditioner? Do you have hard or brackish water? Ward’s Water Solutions can solve all of your water-related problems. If anybody knows water treatment, it’s Michael Ward. Michael and his wife, Vicky, started Ward’s Water Solutions in 2009. “Our mission is to provide our customers with the best equipment that will give them the best water they can have,” Michael said.

Ward’s Water Solutions handles selling, installing, and servicing reverse osmosis systems, water conditioners, and water refiners for both commercial and residential purposes. Other services include free water and water system tests. Michael even meets with residential builders to help begin the process of installing plumbing for reverse osmosis systems and

water treatment systems. He provides service to Hillsborough and Polk Counties, approximately a 75-mile radius from his home, from which he and Vicky run their business.

“Ward’s Water Solutions is one business under God. My wife…and I feel the same way. Our business has our name on it, but it is God’s business. He just lets us work for Him,” Michael explained.

Michael insists on supplying and utilizing only the best products and equipment to deliver unparalleled service that is timely, courteous and friendly to his customers. He strives to offer clients competitive prices without sacrificing the quality of the provided products and services. Ward’s Water Solutions’ prices beat those of a majority of competitors, especially the service fees charged by well-known brands and businesses.

Not only does he provide the services and install the equipment that customers need to the best of his abilities, but he also believes it is important to educate customers on the quality of their water and the water treatment systems he installs. “This business is so important because our water quality is so bad and getting worse,” Michael said.

As Ward’s Water Solutions’ slogan says, “You deserve better water. [Ward’s Water Have a water treatment system that Ward’s Solutions] can make it happen!” From skin irritations to pinhole leaks in copper pipes, Water Solutions cannot fix? You will not be charged for the time Michael spends on soap scum and high iron levels, there are numerous problems that can ensue without the service call. the proper water treatment system. The

systems Ward’s Water Solutions offers eliminate those problems and will help appliances last longer. So as you can see, the cost of a good water treatment system pays for itself, especially since most are priced below that of a new flat-screen television. Ward’s Water Solutions, a member of the Florida Water Quality Association, is currently offering one year of free salt service with the purchase of a system in the months of February and March. Ward’s Water Solutions is available Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about replacing your current water treatment system or to have your water tested, call (813) 763-6455 or email Michael at Michael@ wardswatersolutions.com.

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BUSINESS » EDWARD JONES

Contempo Spa

TM

2909 James Redman Parkway • 813-754-0212

ALL-TERRAINPREPARING FOR VARYING INVESTING: ROAD CONDITIONS L SUBMITTED BY: EDWARD JONES

ong-term investors encounter a wide variety of market conditions. They can be almost as varied as the terrain. Sometimes, it’s smoother and easy to navigate and other times, the investment landscape is rocky, slowing your progress. In general, we’re optimistic about the future, but there will be bumps along the way. Although you can’t avoid them, you can work to smooth out the ride by owning a mix of investments that tend to do well in different market environments.

During the past several years, the market’s path has been filled with major peaks and valleys, which have been the direct result of what is called “risk-on, risk-off ” behavior. When economic news is positive, investors are optimistic and more willing to take on risk with investments that depend more on the economy for growth – and therefore fluctuate more. When the headlines turn negative, investors tend to become more risk-averse, or “risk-off.” Rather than moving between “risk-on” and “risk-off ” buying, consider a variety of companies that may provide opportunities in both types of markets.

GET IN GEAR

In our view, now is not the time to “park” your investment strategy. Given

the uncertainty about European debt, U.S. budget deficits and the election, we expect market volatility to continue in the shorter term. In our view, the best way to prepare is to maintain a well-balanced portfolio with adequate holdings in quality investments. We believe equities offer an attractive opportunity and recommend the equity portion of your portfolio be well-balanced across sectors, with quality holdings that can benefit as the market landscape shifts.

$29 / MONTH TANNING VIP Standup/Laydown No Membership Required! 7oz Lotion PURCHASE required

IS YOUR PORTFOLIO PREPARED?

We think the current environment offers good opportunities for investors, but the challenges of the “risk-on, risk-off ” pattern underscore the importance of being prepared. Make sure your portfolio contains quality investments and is diversified across sectors that perform well in varying environments. When appropriate, rebalance to take advantage of market movements. And remember, even when current events temporarily impact the market, keep focusing on your longterm financial goals, such as retirement or paying for education. Regardless of the landscape, your long-term financial goals should serve as your constant horizon.

D S

ISCOUNT CREENING Marty Johnson

Inc.

®

Specializing in ReScReening & RepaiR Since 1983

Pool Enclosures Screen Rooms Lanais

Screen Entryways New Doors & Hardware Pet Screen & Pet Doors

Window Screens Vinyl Window Repairs Aluminum Repairs

5 Year Warranty on rescreening 10 Year Warranty on super-screening

We Will Meet or Beat Any Advertised Price! Free tes a estim

www.discountscreeninginc.com

813-752-3306

1406 W Knights Griffin Rd Plant City, FL 33565

lice & in nsed sure d

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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BUSINESS » SUCCESS

DENNIS HALL, CELEBRATING OVER A FERMAN CENTURY OF SERVICE

oldest continuously franchised dealership organization in the United States.

I

t seems like Fred Ferman always had a knack for anything with wheels and a steering system.

In 1895, he was running a prosperous little buggy and bicycle shop. Then, at the age of 21, some new invention called the “horseless carriage” caught his fancy, and, with employee Victor James, he began building automobiles in the bike shop. By 1902, Mr. Ferman was awarded a pioneer Oldsmobile dealership, the first of many brands that would eventually display the Ferman name. And thus, the Ferman Motor Car Company was born. Today with locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, 13 different brands and more than 800 dedicated employees, Ferman Motor Car Company pledges to continue its 100-year-plus tradition of providing quality automobiles and excellent service. It’s a claim no other automobile dealer in Central Florida can make. Ferman Motor Car Company bases its entire business philosophy on one simple premise: The Golden Rule. As Jim Ferman, Sr. sees it, “For us, treating each individual as you would like to be treated is the only rule that will suffice in any relationship, business or personal. We’ve got to do more than sell. We’re here to do whatever it takes to make people happy.” It’s a philosophy that has earned Ferman the trust and respect of the car-buying public – one customer and one car at a time. And it has helped make Ferman Motor Car Company the

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At the helm of the Ferman Acura and Ferman Mazda dealerships is General Manager Dennis Hall. Born in Detroit into a military family, Dennis began his career journey as a welder. He says, “I got tired of getting my eyes burned and having to wear eye patches and decided it was time to leave the trade and look for another career”. His father, Jim Hall, offered to let Dennis clean cars until he decided what career path he would pursue. That began his 25-year career in the car dealership business. He has been a part of the Ferman family for 11 of those years. In addition to car sales, Dennis is committed to community involvement, as is Jim Ferman and the Ferman Motor Car Company. Organizations like the United Way of Tampa Bay benefit from Ferman’s commitment to the community. In fact, Ferman Acura and Mazda employees donated $24,300 in 2011 to the United Way through a well-structured and fun giving campaign that rewarded employees for giving back. The overall Ferman United Way fundraising totaled approximately $300,000. Ferman also supports Metropolitan Ministries, MOSI and Miles for Moffitt. Dennis and his wife Ewa Hall have a blended family of six children with five grandchildren and one on the way. His leisure time passion is offshore fishing (no phone, no stress). Dennis manages the Acura and Mazda dealerships by Ferman principles: “We continue to treat our employees as family and our customers as friends, and provide the service, selection and value to earn your business one car at a time.” Ferman Acura and Mazda is located at 11025 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33612. For phone contact, dial 888-7249530.


BUSINESS » SUCCESS

RHETT ROLLYSON ROLLYSON-FEARNOW INSURANCE

*working hard so we can enjoy retirement stress-free *continuing to grow my business in a moral and ethical fashion *doing my best to give my time and talents to my church *keep running and playing tennis as long as my body holds up

HOW DID YOU GET INTO BUSINESS?

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? *my Savior’s selfless love *my dad’s work ethic *my wife’s patience *the Christian witness of Mike Storter *my competitive spirit to succeed *my desire to never let anyone down

WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS? *to be the best husband and father I can be on a daily basis *to help my kids succeed wherever they desire *to be a friend that others can depend on *to live in the world but not “of the world” *to be known as an honest businessman who looks out for clients first and foremost *to win a National age-group tennis title *staying fit so I can keep up with those half my age on tennis court

WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST SUCCESSES? *becoming a Christian at age 7 *marrying a wonderful woman *having 2 great sons *being a business co-owner *playing a pro tennis event at age 40 (2011) *losing 100 lbs. and maintaining it

WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR YOUR FUTURE? *enjoy watching my kids grow and eventually starting their own families

Out of college, I taught tennis for a brief time before I was hired by Prince as a National Promotional Rep. I travelled all over the US and through parts of Europe mainly by myself doing on-court and off-court seminars and presentations and I learned quickly how a strong selfdriven work ethic can pay dividends in the business world. I stayed in the tennis business with Prince and Babolat in sales and promotions for about 10 years until raising a family brought me off the road and back home.

MARK PERSAILS -

12 Years of Professional Baseball Detroit Tigers & Houston Astros

BENNY CASTILLO -

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

SHELDON FULSE -

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

HOSTED TOURNAMENT BY FLORIDA BASEBALL HEAVEN USSSA BASEBALL HEAVEN BASH MARCH 17-18TH, 2012 @ RANDY L. LARSON COMPLEX 8U THRU 14U Spring Baseball Clinic at South Lakeland Baseball Park at Carter Rd. in South Lakeland/Mulberry March 12th thru March 16th from 10am to 2pm Call 863-644-0500 for more information or visit our website at www.baseballheavenpc.com

I worked for my father-in-law in the building supply business for three years and it was totally different. I didn’t know a 2x4 from a 1x6 when I started, but the basic principles of business stay the same…work hard and believe in what you’re selling. After working in the tennis industry that was so familiar, it was such a great learning experience for me to be out of my comfort zone. I learned so much and I am so grateful for my time at McGinnes/Stock. Finally the insurance business called and it was a natural fit after watching my dad make a great name in that industry. I did life and health at the beginning at V&R Insurance before I switched my focus to property and casualty and started a new relationship with Fearnow Insurance. That’s where I am now, trying to grow Rollyson-Fearnow Insurance into a leader in the marketplace. I believe the key to success is simple whether you are selling a tennis racket, a piece of lumber or an insurance policy - hard- work, honesty and putting the customer first. If you do that, good things follow.

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

sellmyhome@tampabay.rr.com | www.teamwainoris.com

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

Kathleen Wainoris 863-608-1557 REALTOR® Notary

Let us help you find your dream home here in The Winter Strawberry Capital of the World Did you know that Plant City has a rich history dating back to the mid-1800s when settlers first began to populate Florida? Named in honor of Henry B. Plant, Plant City has always been away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, yet still close to the beaches and the Orlando attractions. Team Wainoris has called Plant City home for almost twenty years, and we would love the opportunity to help make you our neighbor! Please call Team Wainoris today. Let us assist you in finding your dream home in greatest place in central Florida to raise your family.....Ichepucksassa, or as we now call it, Plant City!

GREAT OPEN FLOOR PLAN Short sale: Great 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in wonderful location near Polk Parkway. Large kitchen and inside utility. Asking $74,900.

SANDPIPER GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB Immaculate 3 bedroom, 2 bath 2081 square foot home in Sandpiper Golf and Country Club is ready for you. Don’t miss this one! $169,000.

BANK APPROVED DREAM! Stunning 5 bedroom 4 bath home on beautiful secluded lot with no deed restrictions. Gourmet kitchen, real wood flooring, volume ceilings and so much more. Call today to see this incredible home. Bank approved price of $305,900.

BEAUTIFUL TOWNHOME Short sale. Absolutely beautiful 2 bedroom 2 bath town home in Chelsea Oaks. Gourmet kitchen, large master suite and many upgrades. Asking $79,900.

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com


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

813.707.6200

PCM

PLANT CITY W W W . P L A N T C I T Y M O R T G A G E S . C O M M O R T G A G E

C O R P

We provide the interest rates that you always see or hear about on the internet and wonder if they are real. Those are our rates, excpect you also get personal and professional service from a local office. That’s why we have grown in a recession. Offer unparalleled service and do so at a cost savings to the client, and you have our business model. – Nate Davis President, Plant City Mortgage Corp.

When my wife Angela and I purchased our new home in July of 2011, there was never any doubt as to who we would use to help us with our financing. Nate and Natasha Davis and their staff at Plant City Mortgage were fantastic to work with and made the process as smooth as we could ever imagine. Nate is extremely professional and continuously kept us up to date throughout. There were never any surprises and we were treated as if we were important to them. Buying a home is usually the single largest purchase a person makes, so it’s important that you deal with people and companies that you can trust. We whole heartedly recommend the Davis’ and Plant City Mortgage to anyone wishing to secure financing for their new home. Sincerely, Chris & Angela Sparkman

I was shopping rates/fees with a couple of brokers and was not getting a clear picture of the true cost and fees. Nate was very honest and direct about the cost and how the processed worked. Nate and his staff were always available and quick to respond when I had a question. The process was very quick and did not take much of my time. There was nothing negative about working with Plant City Mortgages. The only negatives I had with the whole refi process was the runaround and hounding I got from one of the brokers from another company. My advice to my friends is to shop the rates/fees and see what is out there. Once they have a good idea what is available then call Nate and I think see what he can do. My expectation is he will win the business every time.

Nate Davis

NMLS 289323

Natasha Davis

President- Loan Officer NMLS #294701

Vice President- Office Manager

Carol Barton

Sherri Judah

Administrator

Brandi Carlough

Administrator

Paul Pritt

Administrator

Loan Officer NMLS #336840

Tom Roe

Barbara Hall

Stephanie Donalson Swindle

Office Assistant

Paitlyn Davis

Buster Davis

Loan Officer NMLS #327319

Loan Officer NMLS #338772

Sincerely , Erik Walls

• Purchase loans

• FHA LOANS

• Investment Homes

• Refinance Loans

• USDA LOANS

• Reverse Mortgages

• First Time Home Buyer

• Conventional LOANS

• Mobile Homes

• HARP (NO Equity ) REFINANCE

• Primary Residences

• VA LOANS

• Vacation Homes

• FHA/VA STREAMLINE REFINANCE

Loan Officer - NMLS #357527

Office Assistant

Jaida Davis

Security

http://www.youtube.com/user/PLANTCITYMORTGAGE FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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REAL ESTATE » JO-ANN LUSK

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

RALPH L. FEOLA, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF (813) 752 2556 1003 S COLLINS ST PLANT CITY a026519@allstate.com

SMART TIPS N SUBMITTED BY: JO-ANN LUSK

Availability varies by product type and is subject to availability and qualifications. Discount amount may vary by state.Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company: Northbrook, Illinois © 2009 Allstate Insurance Company.

Owned and Operated by Steve and Kathy Paul Thank you Plant City for 6 wonderful years of service!

Roaches • Ants • Spiders Carpenter Ants (inside & outside) Fleas and Ticks (inside and outside) Service tubes in the wall We’ll get the bugs moving in the right direction.

Steve with Walter Warren and Bud O’ Callaghan

www.homeprotectionpc.com • email: homepropc@gmail.com

3909 N. Keene Rd. • Plant City, FL 33565 Office: 813.757.6752 • Cell: 813.716.0623 92

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FOR HOME BUYERS

a period of time and it will show as one o matter where you turn these days, inquiry on your credit. you are hearing it… “Now is the time to buy!”. 4. Start your research online. Today, more than 87% of homebuyers begin their search Well, then what are you waiting for? online. There is so much information on You’ve been waiting for this article, that’s the market, the neighborhood, prices, it! I have put together some logical and community features and amenities; you can practical tips and suggestions here for filter your search to save you some time. you to consider, BEFORE you start the process. There’s no science to it; if you 5. Find a Realtor. Between references came into my office and asked me today, and online information, you can find a this is what I would tell you: Realtor who knows the market and area you want to live. Interview the 1. Know your credit score. You are entitled where agents you talk to, there are so many to one free credit report each year. Review personalities and things you may share in your report to ensure accuracy and take common. Relationships are important in care of any discrepancies. Mistakes this business. It doesn’t have to be painful! happen without your knowledge or A good Realtor will do more for you than permission; don’t get caught by surprise you might think possible. and give yourself time to repair and resolve those issues. 6. Weigh the Wants versus Needs. You are not going to find the perfect 2. Save some money for a downpayment. probably house. You might have to make repairs, Today many buyers are able to ask the or paint, etc. You might have to sacrifice seller to help with some of the closing the pool in order to get the great threecosts, but most buyers need to have bedroom that fits the rest of your criteria. money for a downpayment. The amount Know the market values in the area. Most will depend on the type and amount of homes in Plant City are selling within 5% financing you are obtaining. It will range of the asking price. from 3.5% up to 20%, on average, of the purchase price. Finally, know that NOW is the time to BUY. Rates are ridiculously low and so 3. Obtain a Pre-Approval. If you are are prices. Recovery is happening and financing the purchase, this is the most things could change. Take advantage of important early step. Know what you can homeownership! afford before you start looking at what you want. You can call several lenders within


Lorraine Ben Bennett YOUR Plant City Realtor

New Look... ? USINESS HOME B

8 ACRES

BIGGER IS BETTER… 6 BIG Bedrooms, 3 Baths, 4048 Sq Ft Home on 8 Acres in North East Plant City. Built in 2005. Open Floor Plan. Completely Tiled. Gorgeous Kitchen. Fireplace. Screened Porch. Metal Roof. Small Barn and Pole Barn. Large Screened Patio. Greenbelted. $400,000

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? HOW ABOUT BOTH??? RARE FIND… 4 B/R, 3 BATH 3377 SQ FT CUSTOM HOME ON 1+ ACRE W/ DETACHED 30X40 BUIILDING THAT CAN BE USED FOR A HOME OFFICE/WORKSHOP/MOTHER-IN-LAW SUITE; 30X16 UNDER A/C W/ A 24X30 GARAGE. BUILDER’S PERSONAL RESIDENCE – LOADED W/ UPGRADES: GOURMET KITCHEN, CROWN MOLDING THROUGHOUT, TWO TIER TRAY CEILINGS W/ CROWN MOLDING & LIGHTING, EXTRAVAGANT WINDOW CASINGS W/ CROWN MOLDING, BRICK PAVERED LANAI, HEATED LAGOON POOL & SPA, OUTDOOR KITCHEN, BUILT-IN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER W/ 65” FLAT SCREEN TV & 6.1 SURROUND SOUND, WHOLE HOUSE AUDIO, CLOSED CIRCUIT COLOR & INFRARED CAMERAS FOR SECURITY, AND SO MUCH MORE... $399,000

ERFECT MODEL P

ES 1.6 ACR

NEW CONSTRUCTION… 5 Bedroom, 3 Bath, 3 Car Garage Home. Almost 3,000 Sq Ft. Just Completed. Granite Counters. 42” Cabinets. Stainless Steel Appliances. Beautiful 18” Tile throughout except Bedrooms. Very Open Floor Plan with 3-Way Split. Triple Sliders. Wonderful Neighborhood of Executive Style Homes. Builder will pay Closing Costs! $269,000

WALDEN LAKE... 4 B/R, 3 BATH, 3 CAR GARAGE NEWER HOME! BEAUTIFUL WOOD FLOORS IN FORMAL LIVING/ DINING ROOMS, OFFICE & MASTER B/R AREAS, DESIGNER CERAMIC TILE IN FAMILY ROOM, KITCHEN & BATHS. HUGE KITCHEN, GAS FIREPLACE, 3-WAY SPLIT FLOOR PLAN, LARGE SCREENED PATIO, NEW A/C TOO! $215,000

Same Great Service!

(813) 716-3997 FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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REAL ESTATE » WALDEN LAKE

WALDEN LAKE T

he Walden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are the third Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Walden Lake Community Association office building on Griffin Boulevard in Walden Lake. The next meetings will be February 20th and March 19th. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents. Nine new trees have been planted in the medians and replanting in some of the entries will begin after the last chance of freeze is over. The Turkey Creek entrance will receive a complete strip down and sign renovation. Since there isn’t a lot of mowing needed, the crews are using this time to trim trees, shrubs and clean up roadsides. Finding healthy annuals has delayed planting at the entrances but soon we’ll see some color. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 12th. Three Board of Directors are up for re-election: Jim Chancey, Jan Griffin and Jon Corson. There have been no other nominations to the Board at this time. Ballots will be mailed in March (30 days before meeting). Did you know that almost 99% of the vehicle thefts occur in cars left unlocked? Get in the habit of always locking your car doors, even if you are running into the house for something quick. When you make this a new habit, you will be less likely to forget. An unlocked car is an open invitation to a thief who can steal

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REVIEW SUBMITTED BY: NATALIE SWEET

important items and force you to make a claim with your insurance company. The food drive continues for the United Food Bank of Plant City. Any donation of non-perishable foods are greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the HOA office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Were you a new homeowner in Walden Lake or around Plant City in 2011 and this is your primary residence? Did you know that you must file your homestead exception by March 1st to qualify for this year’s tax benefit. Homestead Exemptions save the average homeowner more than $600 per year. Also, the assessment on your home will be limited to a 3% annual increase or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower, keeping your home affordable. You can now file online at http://hcpafl.org. Don’t make a costly mistake - file today. Walden Lake Golf & Country Club is hosting Ladies Clinics on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. and Junior Clinics on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. Sign up ahead of time to be sure you can join in or you can sign up the day of the clinic. Dinners in the main dining room are on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, and the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month. A full calendar of events is posted on the website, www. waldenlakegolf.com. Come out to see and enjoy all the improvements. Feel free to call me at 813-758-9586, if you have any questions on this article about real estate.


Your Walden Lake Specialists

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

REALTOR®® REALTOR

813-758-9586 813-758-9586

REALTOR®

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EASY TOWNHOME LIVING

PRESERVE CONDO ON GOLF COURSE

WALDEN LAKE AFFORDABLE

COUNTRY LIVING IN THE CITY

Live the easy life in this 3 bedroom townhome featuring beautiful kitchen, 2 1/2 baths, 1649 sq’ living area and so much more. It’s a short sale at 75,000. Call to take your tour today!

Move right into this wonderful 2 Bedroom 2 Bath condo in this carefree gated community in Walden Lake. Move in ready for you to relax and enjoy. $119,900

You enjoy this 1632 sq’ home with 3 Bedrooms & 2 Baths, formal living and dining, family room & large fenced yard. Priced affordably at $129,900

Lush Landscaping frames this beautiful home on 3/4 Acre. 3 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath, Family Room w/fireplace, loft that overlooks the family room, large screened pool and huge fenced yard. $199,900

GOLF COURSE HOME

WALDEN LAKE WONDERFUL

*BEAUTIFUL*CHARMING*WATERFRONT*

“BIG KIDS” TREEHOUSE W/BARN

As you enter through the glass doors you will notice the love & care this home has had. Quality remodeled kitchen w/Alder wood cabinets, huge lanai w/large bar, pavers, & beautiful pool w/a great view. $235,000

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 $137,500

One look & you’ll fall in love with this home. New kitchen w/wood cabinets & quartz countertops opens to family room all w/great view. 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, Formal living & dining rooms. $155,000

Unique 2419 sq’ 3 bedroom, 3 bath home plus large office. This home is ready for your horses with a fabulous 3 stall barn & attached tack room w/water and electric, 3 paddocks & so much more. A must see at $259,900.

Inventory Homes Available Janurary 2012

New homes from the $160s

Fabulous floorplans Energy Savings Features

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 FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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SEPTIC PROBLEMS? WE HAVE THE SOLUTION!

REAL ESTATE » MORTGAGE

Honesty and Great Service Provided Daily!

* Drainfields Installed/ Replaced * Septic Tank Pump Outs * Septic System Maintenance

Owned and Operated by Greg and Tanya Mayfield

813-785-0500

plantcityseptic.com

THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES BUYERS WHEN PREPARING TO BUY A HOME MAKE (PART 1 OF 2) SUBMITTED BY: NATE DAVIS

Mention this add and recieve 5% off a Drainfield Replacement

The New Physical Therapy Gym Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy We offer a wide range of nursing services: Infusion & Enteral, Therapy~Wound, Respiratory, Tracheotomy, and Total Parenteral Nutrition Care

Providing short Term and Long Term Care. We accept Medicare, Humana, Wellcare and Other Major Insurances.

2202 West Oak Ave. • Plant City 33563 • 813-754-3761 96

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1 – NOT GETTING PRE-APPROVED IN ADVANCE OF YOUR PURCHASE.

Often times, customers rush into buying a home without planning out their pathway to loan approval. When you apply for a loan, the lender essentially takes a financial snapshot of you. Preparation is key. While there is not a “one size fits all” plan of attack on the best way to prepare, there are many things that can do to ensure you are putting yourself in a position for the best deal available. Some people fret that a credit inquiry will hurt their score and do not get pre-approved, but the truth is that by becoming pre-approved by a knowledgeable home loan specialist, the advice you receive on how to prepare often times will negate any negative affects of a credit inquiry to your risk profile.

2 - PAYING OFF CREDIT CARDS.

This seems like a smart thing to do, but it many cases it can work against you. Two things occur when you pay off and close a credit card. One, you close out an account that may be building your credit score and by closing a credit card you can actually hurt your score in some cases. Two, you are spending money to pay off a credit card that may be more beneficial to have in your savings account. Some loan programs place a lot of weight on “reserves” or money that you will have access to after closing on your home loan. The more reserves you have, the more tolerant lenders are of any negative information found in your risk profile and credit history. If you are considering paying

off debt, be sure to determine if keeping the debt and adding money to your “reserves” would be more beneficial for a loan approval.

3- DEPOSITING LARGE SUMS OF CASH INTO A CHECKING ACCOUNT IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING LOAN APPLICATION. While adding money to your accounts is perfectly fine to do, there is a right and a wrong way to do so. Basically, the key thing to remember is that lenders will want to know where any unusual or large deposits came from within 60 days of loan application. So if you have $2,000 of “mattress money” that you want to put into your account, the sooner the better before application. Deposits and gift money from relatives is fine, but the deposits must be sourced as to where the money came from. The easiest way to determine if a deposit is acceptable is to ask yourself this question: How will the lender know that the money deposited into my account was not given to me by the seller as an incentive to purchase? This is why depositing cash can lead to concerns with the lender.

It is always best to consult a mortgage planner to discuss your plans and options well in advance of your purchase. This will ensure you get the best deal. If you have any specific mortgage related questions, please feel free to email your questions to Nate@PlantCityMortgages. com


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

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Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce presents:

March 24, 2012 10 AM - 3 PM At the

Plant City Airport 4007 Airport Road

Displays, Demonstrations, and Information:       

Planes Remote Control Planes Model Trains Automobiles Police Dog Demonstrations Fire Department Fly Overs Trophy Presentation at 2:30pm

Other things to do: 

Free Flights to Kids Provided by the Young Eagles

(ages 8-17, registration closes at 1pm)    

Kids Play Area DJ Wayne, Kustom Karaoke Vendors Scouting Badge opportunities (Aviation and Railroad) Computer Flight Simulator Software

FREE ADMISSION  $5 PARKING For More Information Contact: Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce - 813-754-3707

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

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SPORTS » SOFTBALL Finch or the women’s Olympic team. We want everyone to know that softball can be played by anybody.”

Lynch Construction fromSwoyersville, MD took the runner-up trophy in the 50-54 AAA division. Photo courtesy of Laurie Gouthro

SOFTBALL IS FOR EVERYBODY ISSA/ISF WORLD TOURNAMENT HELD IN PLANT CITY WRITTEN BY: JOE BOWLES

I

n cooperation with the Plant City Parks and Recreation Department, the International Senior Softball Association and the International Softball Federation combined to bring to the state of Florida, the ISF/ISSA World Tournament of Champions that took place on January 27-29 at the ISF’s world headquarters complex here in Plant City. Fifty-four teams from all over the United States qualified to participate along with a foreign representative from Cartagena, Columbia (a World Cup participant) in six different age divisions from age 50 through 75 years and older. According to Laurie Gouthro, the ISF’s Director of Competition who worked closely with R.B. Thomas, Jr., the ISSA Executive Director, “The teams who participated either qualified through ISSA tournaments or because they were national champions from other major softball associations. The ISSA wanted to have a one tournament in which the teams participating could say that they were truly competing for a world title.” The ISF headquarters, located in Plant City adjacent to Plant City Stadium is the

“governing body of softball internationally as recognized by the International Olympic Committee.” Most understand the relationship that the ISF has with the Olympics, but the ISF is involved in much more than women’s fast pitch softball. The ISF also organizes world-class championships for juniors, men, women or co-ed, in slow pitch or fast pitch.

Despite an hour delay on Friday due to rain, the tournament began with three pool or preliminary games followed by a double-elimination championship that concluded in the early afternoon on Sunday. Winners in each age group and classification were: 50-54 AA- ILA Fifty Plus from Norfolk, VA; 50-54 AAAEagle Tile 50’s from Stevensville, MD; 50-54 Majors- TSC/Howard Constr. from Winnsboro, SC; 55-59 AA- Sneaky Pete Sports from Silver Springs, MD; 55-59 AAA- Who’s on First 55 from Stevensville, MD; 55 Majors- MN Greyhounds from Little Canada, MN; 60-64 AA- Doc Martens 60’s from Plainwell, MI; 60-64 AAA- Hamels 60’s from Silver Springs, MD; 60-64 MajorsPSL Construction from The Villages, FL; 65-69 AAA- Levin Financial/Pat’s Sports from Wellington, FL; 65-69 MajorsFlorida Thunder from Melbourne, FL; 70-74 AA- Ospreys from Cape Coral, FL; 70-74 AAA- Michiana Merchants from Jenison, MI; 70-74 Majors- Human Kinetics from Ormond Beach, Fl; 75 + Majors- Joseph Chevrolet 75 from Fort Wright, KY.

“What this tournament means, or what we hoped to bring here is the fact that we are committed to softball for everyone,” Gouthro said. “That you can even play softball at 75-years of age. It’s not just about women’s fast pitch. These guys that were here this weekend were incredibly competitive. The final game in the 50-54 age group was an exciting contest that was decided in nine innings on a grand slam home run with a final score of 38-34. We are talking about real competitive softball.” Gouthro believes that this tournament will help spread the message about competitive softball, “What I think we are trying to get across is that the ISF is committed to bringing events like this to Plant City but we also want the world to see that softball has many different facets… slow pitch, fast pitch, seniors, co-ed… it is not just Jenny

Batter from Athletic House of Montgomery Village, MD looks at a called strike. Photo courtesy of Laurie Gouthro FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS AND EBT NOW OPEN ON SUNDAYS 10-6

Come by to see our In House Specials!

206 South Evers Street Plant City, FL 33563 (entrance on Collins St.)

813-752-5724

AVAILABLE DEER PROCESSING CALL AHEAD YON WE SELL BLACK CAN SPECIAL CUTS CUTS for for Ribeyes, Ribeyes, T-bone,Porterhouse, T-bone,Porterhouse, ANGUS BEEF ONLY SPECIAL

Filet Filet Mignon, Mignon, New New York York Strip, Strip, ROAST ROAST CUTSCUTS- Pork Pork Tenderloin, Tenderloin, Beef Beef Tenderloin, Tenderloin, Sirloin, Sirloin, Prime Prime Rib, Rib, Bottom Bottom Round, Round, Boston Boston Butt Butt ALSO ALSO AVAILABLE: AVAILABLE: Pork Pork Chops, Chops, Bacon, Bacon, Sausage, Sausage, Hamburger, Hamburger, Cubed Cubed Steak, Steak, Alligator, Alligator, Rabbit, Rabbit, Goat, Goat, Black Black Canyon, Canyon, Black Black Angus Angus Jams, Jams, jellies, jellies, relishes, relishes, chicken, chicken, beefbrisket, beefbrisket, fresh fresh and and frozen frozen vegetables, vegetables, deli deli meats meats and and fresh fresh Plant Plant City City strawberries. strawberries.

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More Shelving for Natural Farm Local Honey and Rubs and Spices for your Cooking Pleasure!

HAROLD’S FEED & PET SUPPLY Corner of Martin Luther King Blvd., & McIntosh Rd., Dover, FL 33527

813-689-1570

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Sweetgum Environmental

Sweetgum Environmental is a Full Service Environmental Consulting Firm with National Experience and Recognition. Headquartered in Plant City, Sweetgum provides a full range of Services throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Sweetgum Specializes in: • Phase I and II Site Assesments (CFEA and LEP on Staff) • Wetland Delineations, Mitigation and Compliance • Protected Species Surveys and Relocations • Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent • Water/Soil/Sediment/Air Quality • Environmental Impact Assessments • Stream Condition Index (SCI) -FDEP Certified • Tree/Botanical Surveys • Additional Services Offered

For More Information, Please Contact Rob DeGraaf, President/Senior Environmental Scientist

(813) 365-2411 Robdegraaf@verizon.net • www.Sweetgumenvironmental.com

To the Plant City Community for all of your donations, volunteers and support for the 2011 Holidays! The “season” was great! Area VI schools - 31,895 pounds Post Office Collection – 24,291 Community Donations – 21,692 (local churches, charity organizations, etc)

USDA – 11,112 Local grocery stores – 53,888 Meat donations – 11,541 Local logistics Cos – 76,320

Total donated foods- 230,737 pounds.

813.764.0625 Jim Chancey- Director

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SPORTS » ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

WRITTEN BY: JOE BOWLES

BRITTANY BUTLER “I have big dreams,” remarked Brittany Butler. “I want to major in public relations in college. Then I want to go to New York City and work in a large public relations firm. I love working with people and I love managing things.”

The great philosopher Justin Beiber once said, “If you don’t dream big, there’s no use of dreaming. If you don’t have faith, there’s nothing worth believing.” (I can’t believe I quoted him.) Butler, a senior at Plant City High School and the captain of the Raiders’ swim team, has big dreams and the faith to see them through. She has already proven her management skills just by being able to keep up with her own demanding high school schedule. She does, however, have everything under control.

Photo Courtesy of Brittany Butler

Photo Courtesy of Brittany Butler

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“My schedule goes like this,” said Brittany. “On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings I go to the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center and train from 4:45 am until 6:15 am. I then go to school. After school, five days a week, I go back to the center and workout for two more hours. Then I come home and do my homework for about an hour every day and on weekends I work on my homework for another two hours. I generally go to bed every night around 9:30 pm.” When you add Brittany’s participation with her club team, the Blue Waves, her membership in seven high school clubs, including the Civinettes and the National Honor Society, not to mention her volunteer work or the community service hours she has logged, she is one busy girl and having management skills are mandatory.

That doesn’t mean that Brittany doesn’t have help. She has a great support system. Her mother Jana, who Brittany is very close to, has been a great encouragement to her and her father Bart is quite proud of her accomplishments too, although he has never seen her compete. You see Bart is blind. In college, he developed diabetes. His health eventually declined to the point that he was given kidney and liver transplants. Today, his overall health has improved, but he lost his vision in 2005. Brittany also has an older brother. Blair, a 2010 Raiders’ graduate, who holds several school swimming records. Motivated by her brother’s success, Brittany began competing only four years ago when she entered high school. She quickly became the swim team’s leader and was named team captain and MVP the last two seasons. This fall he took fourth and fifth place in district competition. With her strong showings at districts, she qualified for the regional championships, swimming in the 200 and 400-meter freestyle events. In November, Butler signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Florida Atlantic University on an athletic scholarship. Butler has also managed to receive the Wendy’s Heisman School Award, the Optimist Outstanding Youth Award, and was chosen as Miss July in the school’s Calendar Girl Pageant. Brittany carries a 6.14 GPA that has been fueled by her passion for learning and academics coupled with her positive attitude. “I try to live to live life to the fullest and not dwell on the negatives in the past. I like to look to the future. I love Plant City but I’m looking forward to college. I am exciting about being in new palaces, seeing new people and experiencing new things.”


DOGGY BREATH {MAYBE IT IS TIME TO HAVE A CLEANING?}

20% OFF

February Cleaning

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

Dr. Jennifer Conner

February is National Pet Dental Health Month CALL US FOR AN APPOINTMENT

3109 SR 574 West (813) 752-2869 www.animalwellnesspc.com

- New Doors - Used Doors - Electric Openers

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SPECIAL PALM

SUNDAY PRODUCTION OF THE CHOICE. APRIL 1, 2012 9:00 & 11:30A.M.

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813.752.4591

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JOIN US FOR OUR EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES APRIL 8, 2012 9:00 & 11:30 A.M. 110

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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.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE PLANT CITY Y

Join us as we celebrate 10 years at 1507 YMCA Place

Saturday, February 18 • 10am-4pm at the Plant City YMCA Join us for…

• Bounce House & Slide • Arts & Crafts • Family Games • Music • Treats • Water Safety Demonstrations • Tree dedication ceremony at 10:30am • Rock Wall • Food & more!

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT!

Plus, special savings all weekend long! No join fee when you join the Plant City Y from February 17th-19th. That’s up to $49 in savings. With your help we’ve strengthened the foundation of the Plant City community, supported and developed our local kids and teens, promoted healthy living, and have reached out to our neighbors in need. PLANT CITY FAMILY YMCA 1507 YMCA Place • Plant City, FL 33563 • 813.757.6677 • www.tampaymca.org

» Plant City Family YMCA

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REMCO

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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 role as coach. He is passionate about the game but he has other passions, as well. “I am absolutely most passionate about my Savior, my family, my friends, and my job. I absolutely love all of those things and am happier than I deserve in every one of those areas.” Beattie, with the help of assistants, Ernie Johns and Patrick Rainey, should lead a team with much more experience and with a few transfers that should shore up any weak spots they may have had. “We are very excited going into this year! We have a very deep, strong pitching staff, our defense has played very tight all fall. Offensively, the guys have gotten much more disciplined and have grown to become executing role players. We will not rely on the long ball but will focus more on getting on base, moving runners, and running smart aggressive bases,” Beattie said.

Front row (L-R): Jordan Fameree, Austin Boatwright, Lydon Perkins, Jeffrey Murray, Josh Ingram, Flabio Garcia. Middle row (L-R):1 Quinton Brower, Marcus Anderson, Matt Luber, Nick Brocato, Bubba Edwards, Ben Welsch, Paul John Roundtree, Jose Molina. Back Row (L-R): Coach Eric Beattie, Dustin Lawson, Tanner Thompson, Randall Zak, Jacob Ralyea, Matt Lemons, Tanner Emmons, Wes Carter, Ty Cherry. (Not Pictured): Coach Ernie Johns, Coach Patrick Rainey.

BASEBALL TEAM OF THE MONTH STRAWBERRY CREST CHARGERS W hen Eric Beattie became the new head baseball coach in Strawberry Crest’s inaugural year, it presented its fair amount of challenges. For one, Beattie had never coached in a team atmosphere before. Secondly, it was a new school without any history, tradition, or seniors. But, Eric looked at it more as an opportunity than a challenge.

“When the job opened up,” said Beattie, “I felt that it could be a great opportunity to work with students and players in the most important days of their lives. The school was just a couple miles from my home and

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to start a new career with a brand new school.” Most high school teams in their first season are lucky to win a single game. The Chargers, however, ended the year with an 8-15 record. Last year, in their second season, Beattie’s team improved to 9-13 against a tougher schedule. Their most impressive win came against eventual state 4A runner-up Jesuit in a come from behind 7-4 victory.

Beattie, a star athlete at Riverview High School (2001) played his college ball at the

University of Tampa. Preceding his senior season, Beattie played in the Cape Cod Baseball League, a league that features some of the best college prospects in America. He was the CCBL Pitcher of the Year, finishing with a 4-0 mark, and an ERA of 0.39. Beattie was named the nation’s top draft pick among Division II colleges being selected in the second round of the 2004 Major League draft by the Detroit Tigers. After four years with the Tigers and the Boston Red Sox organizations, Beattie moved back home and has shifted into his

Eric believes that his transfer players have meshed well into his team and they bring playoff experience that the Chargers desperately need. Matt Lemons is the team’s pitching ace and has worked hard, according to Beattie, at becoming a dominant pitcher. Others that should provide solid outings on the mound are Wes Carter, Tanner Thompson, and Matt Luber. Beattie believes that starting a new program is a lot “like buying a new house. It is a huge, exciting deal, but there is also an abundance of work ahead of you to get the program the way you envision it to be. I am still learning and developing the program with one goal in mind… to give every player that comes through the varsity program a positive experience, hoping they will learn how to win, how to lose, and how to play the game with dignity and integrity.”

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

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EXTRA » SENIOR OF THE MONTH

AMANDA RODENMEYER SENIOR OF THE MONTH WRITTEN BY: JEREMY MINAYA

Amanda constantly busy with various projects, such as designing the senior sweatshirts, promoting seatbelt safety, and coordinating activities to do with local elementary schools. Rodenmeyer is also dedicated to giving back to her community. Over the years, she has been very involved with the United Food Bank, Relay for Life, the High Heel Hike for Autism, and at the local YMCA as a summer camp volunteer. She also continually participates in the various service projects held by all the clubs in which she is involved. Just this month, Amanda is assisting Student Council in planning various fundraising events to raise money for Relay for Life.

F

rom academics to service, Amanda Rodenmeyer perpetually embodies a strong drive to better both herself and her community. This more than deserving senior continually sets the standard for an All-American girl. Amanda has been a member of the flag football team since her freshman year at Plant City High School. She has earned a varsity letter both her junior and senior year. Rodenmeyer also assisted her team last year in winning the district championship. During her sophomore and junior year, Amanda also played on the PCHS volleyball team. Amanda currently serves as senior class historian, vice president of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), secretary of the Civinettes service club, and a member of student council. She also holds active memberships in the Best Buddies club and Life is Good service club. These clubs and organizations keep

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Sporting an impressive 5.06 GPA, Amanda is currently ranked 37th in her class. This puts her in the top 9% of all seniors. Amanda’s academic achievements have earned her a letter in academics, and an induction into the National Honor Society. Her hard work has earned her many honors and awards as well. She was a 2011 PCHS Calendar Girl winner as Miss March and also was awarded the Optimist Club Outstanding Youth award. Along with the many activities Amanda is involved in, she also manages to hold down a job at Fred’s Southern Kitchen Restaurant as a hostess and cashier. Rodenmeyer has already been accepted to the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida and is now waiting to hear from the University of Florida. Next fall, Amanda plans to attend UCF to pursue a major in business. With the leadership and hard work Rodenmeyer possesses, this All-American girl will surely be an asset and a major contributor to the UCF community.


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WHAT ARE YOU

EXTRA » SENIOR OF THE MONTH

SYKES DRINKIN? MICHAEL SENIOR OF THE MONTH WRITTEN BY: JEREMY MINAYA

outstanding sophomore, best all around junior, the Exemplary Leadership award, the Director’s award, High Brass section leader and Brass section leader. Michael was also invited to participate in the University of South Florida’s Festival of Winds, in the University of Tampa Honor Band, and in the Florida All State Honor Band. Sykes is a member of the Interact Club, where he served as Historian and currently serves as treasurer. In the Science Club he serves as secretary and he’s active as well in the National Honor Society, Youth Alive, and the Math league. Sykes is also a member of the varsity track team, leading the team in long distance running.

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To go along with all the honors and awards won through his achievements ichael Sykes is known around in Band, Michael has also been named an campus as a humble leader who AP Scholar with Distinction by College works diligently at any task he Board, was the Hillsborough County is given. Ranging from academics to Sheriff ’s Office Leadership Academy band, Michael perpetually exceeds all Winner, and was inducted into the 1270 expectations placed on students considered club for having a composite SAT score of to be well-rounded. 1270 or higher.

M

Academics are very important to Michael. Sykes currently has a 5.72 weighted GPA (4.0 unweighted), which ranks him as 11th and in the top 3% of his senior class. On top of having straight A’s throughout his entire academic career, Michael has even had perfect attendance since kindergarten. Michael has been a member of the PCHS Band since his freshman year. He has also participated in the Jazz Band for three years. With the Trumpet as his instrument, Sykes has continuously worked hard to be the best player he can be. In four years Michael has been awarded most improved brass twice, most dedicated freshman, most

Michael is a dedicated Christian as well. Sykes attends the First Presbyterian Church of Plant City. There he has been a member of the youth group since his freshman year and has been the A/V operator for two years now. Sykes has also played guitar for four years in the FPC Youth Band. Next fall Sykes plans to attend the University of South Florida and pursue a double major in both Jazz Composition and Computer Engineering. Sykes surely has a lot of work cut out ahead of him, but his drive to succeed and do his best will ensure his every success in the future.


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See what we have saved others in you area... Early in 2010, we were dropped by our insurance carrier for sinkhole activity. After moving to another location in Plant City, we started the process of shopping for homeowners insurance. Rollyson/Fearnow Insurance was very aggressive in finding the right carrier for our needs. Obviously, we wanted great coverage, without breaking our bank. Rollyson/Fearnow found a provider that met all of our needs at a GREAT PRICE, I could always count on a call from our agent, Rhett, to let me know where we were in the process and what documents were needed to keep the ball moving. That really eased my mind to know I had an agent who was on top of the situation so that I didn’t have to worry about it. We were very pleased with our experience and have already recommended Rollyson/Fearnow to our friends. -Marc and Paige Zeff I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the improvement in the cost of Homeowners Insurance. The reduction of $1,400 per year was a great relief considering all of the cost increases that families are faced with today! I feel like I have much better coverage and saving money helps to make it even better. I was just surprised by the savings considering I have not researched Homeowners Insurance in 10 years. Thank you for taking care of my insurance needs. You now have a very happy customer for a long time. -Roy Peterson

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EXTRA » AL REUCHEL I will not yield. Unless, you are cute, say please, wave a 20 at me, or have red flashing lights. People who don’t stop for school buses. How tough can this be? You see the bus stopping, the red sign comes out, the gate comes across the bus…. STOP. STOP. STOP. I’ve seen too many close calls because some brainless dweeb is too busy brushing their teeth, talking on the phone, or putting on make up. And here’s my BIGGIE! People who drive with flashers on during rain storms in Florida. For crying out loud people. Emergency flashers are only to be used when your car is stopped alongside the road and you don’t want people to hit you. It is against the law to operate a moving vehicle, moving being the operative word, with your flashers on. Do you think that folks are going to be able to see you better in the rain with your flashers on? If it’s that bad just pull off to the side AND THEN put your flashers on.

DRIVING HABITS THAT ANNOY! L WRITTEN BY: AL REUCHEL

et’s face it. Nobody is perfect when it comes to driving in Florida. But there are just some things that either drive me crazy or just perplex me to the point of wanting to scream.

People who back into their parking spaces. Maybe this goes back to my days as a teenager on the farm.I was never much good a backing up the tractor. I managed to snap the tongue off a wagon, back over a 500-gallon watering trough for cattle and yes, back THROUGH a wall in one of my grandpa’s out buildings. I can never get the knack of turning the front wheel to the left or right and then looking over my shoulder to swing the vehicle’s rear end in the correct direction.

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So when I’m in our parking garage at work I just hate it when folks back into their parking spots next to my car. Do they think they are going to get out of work sooner? Are they applying for a job as an 18-wheel truck driver? Are they trying to impress me? Are they just none conformist? What’s the deal? Why do I care?

insurance company. But please, I can do without the down time.

People who wait to the last second to merge. This is tantamount to cutting in line. That’s not polite and in my school growing up it could get you punched in the head. No kidding. Butch Sheldon was the self-appointed King of standing in line. His knick name was actually “Punch”, People who don’t use their turn signals. and it wasn’t because he made KoolAid. I face this every morning I go to Is it too much to ask to people to use work. Two lanes merge to one just before those signals? This isn’t supposed to be a guessing game. You change lanes, you are this overpass. The DOT put in those soft yellow cones to prevent folks from supposed to tell me… you don’t get extra points for surprising me. And it is the law. merging too late. Cones, schmones…. Pesky little thing the law is. Takes away all every day I see people refusing to yield and your fun. Of course if you smack into me sending drivers over those invisible traffic barriers. And nobody gets a ticket. But or if I try to pass you and you decided to change lanes into me, it’s a sure win for my don’t you ever cut in front of me because

If you need reminding, consider the horrific accidents on I-75 south of Gainesville that claimed 12 lives and the wreck on I-4 that claimed 8 lives. According to the Highway Patrol in both incidents it was reported that drivers were moving with their flashers on in the fog. No, the flashers didn’t cause the accident, but if you see them on the roadways the driver’s manual suggests you prepare to stop. Translated…..emergency flashers are to be used ONLY when your vehicle could prove to be a hazard in the roadway… not to indicate you are a lemming following the rest of the clueless sheep through a quickly passing rain shower. Okay, I feel sooooo much better.

“You change lanes, you are supposed to tell me… you don’t get extra points for surprising me. ”


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EXTRA » DEREK MAUL a toe-hold on a quality of life I take for granted. When we left The Galilee in Israel our first stop was “The Valley of the Doves.” The footpath we hiked was the ancient pathway from Nazareth. I like to joke that we “Walked where Jesus walked but didn’t sleep where he slept...” But it’s no joke to realize that you are literally retracing the exact path the Lord must have followed countless times. I closed my eyes tight, listened to my footfall, and tried to imagine Christ’s companionship on an all-day hike. At Nazareth we made our way to “The Precipice” on the edge of the town, it’s the place they dragged Jesus after he spoke too close to the truth at his home church. In my photograph I’m perched on an isolated rock. If you look closely you can see the precipitous drop. I wondered what it might feel like to be hustled there by an angry mob; life held in the balance because you dared to speak the truth. “He stood up to read... ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor…’ The people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.” (see Luke 4:16-30)

TOOTHACHE I f you read my work on a regular basis then you know I tend to write about what’s going on in the here and now. My blog, after all, is titled: “Life-Charged Life: a journal of living like we mean it.”

So I really can’t skip the fact that I had my first ever root canal the other day. Long story short I woke up December 30 with the most excruciating toothache I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was a Friday morning, and by the time I realized

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AND THE HOLY LANDS WRITTEN BY: DEREK MAUL

I needed help there was no way to see a dentist until Tuesday (it was New Year’s weekend). So, Saturday morning, I went to the Walk-In clinic. “We’re not a dentist’s office,” they said. “See your dentist Tuesday.” “I’ll be in Egypt by Tuesday,” I said. “Oh...” So I talked them into a course of antibiotics and some big pain pills and headed off to the Holy Lands with a

throbbing abscess under my lower-left molar. Ouch. Our trip was amazing. But the first week, and until the antibiotics got the infection under control, involved a huge amount of pain. However, rather than spoiling the adventure, the pain heightened my awareness of the humanity we encountered. I became pointedly conscious of the absence of routine care in many of the places we visited. And I couldn’t help but note the ubiquity of day-to-day suffering, and the unremitting challenge of being human in a world struggling to get just

As I stood there, overlooking the distant valley, a jolt of pain shot from my jaw through my entire body. It may have been the cold wind working on the abscess and it may have been an urgent jab from the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t help but think about the solid humanity of Jesus and how he voluntarily positioned himself … between me and the consequences of my rebellion against Love. Jesus was doubtless roughed up on his way. But he allowed himself to be treated thus. Jesus loved each member of that mob and he loved with the same passion and pain that he feels for me. And he always refused to anesthetize himself against the consequences of such love. That thought is a real epiphany. “Jesus refused to anesthetize himself against the consequences of Love.”


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

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EXTRA » ARTIST OF THE MONTH

DUSTIN SIMMS YOUNG ARTIST PAINTS WITH AN OLD SOUL D WRITTEN BY: HEATHER DAVIS

ustin Simms is a quiet young man with an enigmatic smile that lights up his whole face. Just as his smile is sure to light up a room, so too does his art.

Courageous, strong, passionate, and bold are just a few of the synonyms that come to mind when describing Dustin’s artwork. Dustin is completely self-taught and has been painting for only one year. Abstract in design, Dustin prefers to paint the female human form and face. His artwork is fresh, exciting, and uncensored, while showing freedom of movement and expression. Dustin’s preferred choice of medium is oil, but he also sketches with charcoal. While Dustin portrays a shy demeanor, one should not be fooled, as he has made a courageous and bold move by becoming one of the newest, and at age 19, one of the youngest members of the Art Lounge

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Gallery in downtown Plant City. Dustin prefers to paint from imagination but draws inspiration from such greats as Matisse, Van Gogh, and Renoir. He is enrolled currently at HCC where he is studying criminology. When asked what his goals are in regards to his art, Dustin answers without pretentiousness or ego, replying that he “just wants to not ruin the canvas.” Based on what I see in the raw, natural and fresh creative talent he displays, there is no chance he will ruin a canvas, but will rather create something beautiful. To view more of Dustin’s artwork, visit the Art Lounge Gallery at 119 E. Reynolds St., Plant City. An artist reception for Dustin will be held in conjunction with the monthly Art After Dark event on Saturday, February 18th at the Art Lounge Gallery.


Thank You for nominaTing

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EXTRA » AUTO REVIEW

IT’S A SMALL CAR T

he Mini Cooper made a comeback here in the states several years ago. Although the newness of the reintroduction of the Mini seems to have worn off a little, it’s still a popular small car alternative and one that really appeals to females. I would imagine most males would be endlessly harassed by their male counterparts for driving this car – at least those with higher levels of testosterone.

The Mini Cooper S, as the name implies, does have a sporty look for a Mini – to a degree. But admit it. There just aren’t many angles, if any, where this car looks great. It’s kind of like a Shar Pei (you know, the dog with all the wrinkles) or a Sphinx (the cat without fur). Most people

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NEW MINI-COOPER S IS… SMALL SUBMITTED BY: BRIAN WEST

would find them unattractive altogether. But there are others who think they’re the most beautiful animals in the world and wouldn’t think of owning any other breed. The same could be said for the Mini. OK, maybe that’s a little drastic for an analogy... but on the other hand, maybe not. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. For males, getting caught driving a Mini Cooper, can be much like that old saying about the Moped, ‘They’re fun to drive, until your friend sees you.’ The Mini is really a small box-shaped twoseater. There isn’t a whole lot of legroom, so if you’re taller than about 5’8”, legroom is a challenge. There just isn’t room to adjust the seat much to make a difference because it backs up to the rear bulkhead. The plus

side to this; there is a decent amount of cargo space. Under the hood, the powertrains for the Mini include three versions of the 1.6-liter four cylinder: 121hp (naturally aspirated), 181hp (the turbocharged S version) and 208hp (the higher-output JCW turbo). The 208hp version is available with a six-speed manual gearbox (standard) or six-speed Steptronic automatic for another $1250. But the automatic transmission is limited to the base and S models. For all the shortfalls on the exterior, there are good things to say about the Mini. I can’t say that I know anyone that didn’t have fond memories of driving a go-kart. The Mini is probably the closest you can

get to that youthful experience, legally, on the streets as a daily driver. The steering is very quick. Acceleration is good and the brakes are sufficient. I drove both the manual and automatic transmissions, and found the manual to be much more fun. Other classics brought back retro-styling and experienced regained popularity – Mustang, Camaro and Beetle (admittedly, the first two just aren’t comparable to the Mini). The Mini simply produced a 21st Century version of the original classic. They didn’t really update the styling, so the Mini will have to evolve very quickly with its exterior to maintain its newfound popularity – especially considering the price tag. The base Mini will set you back in the $25k range, while a fully loaded version tops $35k. One suggestion; drive the Mini – before you buy.


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Open For Breakfast!

Terrific Breakfast at Terrific Price!

nd Gif t Cards a s y ra T Part y le b Availa

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

Busy? Pick up your Cuban Sandwich ANYTIME!

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

813-752-3779

You can View our Menu online at www.Thestrawberryhut.com

FREE 16 oz. Tea STRAWBERRY HUT

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. EXPIRES 03/15/12

20% off Any size milkshake.

(Strawberry, Banana, Pineapple, Vanilla, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Mocha...) Shakes are made with real fruit, peanut butter etc.

STRAWBERRY HUT EXPIRES 03/15/12

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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www.cowboyswesternworld.com Monday TuesDAYS Baby Back Ribs Kids Eat FREE! $9.99 Dinner Only

FREE STEAK ON YOUR BIRTHDAY Please tell your server when you arrive

4

James Redman Prkwy.

TURKEY CREEK RD.

DOVER RD.

BAKER ST.

N HWY.60

Dinner Only. One child per adult meal. One meal FROM KID’S MENU per child only. 12 & under. Dine in only

You Fly - We Buy

Order 4 Takeout Meals From Our Lunch Menu - And We’ll Buy The Fifth Meal! Mon. - Fri. 11 AM - 4 PM

Plant City, Florida 106 State Road 60 East

813-650-8888

Hours: Sun. 11am-9pm ?Mon-Fri. 11am-10pm  Sat. 11am-10pm

13649998T208

PARTIES, CATERING, WEDDINGS! BOOK YOUR SPECIAL EVENTS NOW!

FREE DESSERT WITH MEAL

BOTH COUPONS CANNOT BE USED TOGETHER

Dinner only. Must present coupon at time of purchase. Up to $5.99 value. Not valid with any other offers. Expires 3/23/12.

FREE APPETIZER WITH MEAL

BOTH COUPONS CANNOT BE USED TOGETHER

Dinner only. Must present coupon at time of purchase. Up to $5.99 value. Not valid with any other offers. Expires 3/23/12.

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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PAT POGUE (CIVITAN PRESIDENT)

DURANT HIGH SCHOOL

DAVID WALDEN

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SONNY JONES (CIVITAN PRESIDENT 1964-65)

PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL

BRITTANY BUTLER


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

131


ENTERTAINMENT » RED ROSE After the Brian Roman Show, a special celebration was going on at one of the tables for two. Michael Cary of Brandon, a retired Tampa Police Officer, got down on his knee and sang his own beautiful solo to his significant other. Upon completion of his song he proposed and offered a beautiful diamond ring to Marianne Smith, asking her to be his bride. She quickly accepted his proposal. When asked why he planned his engagement night at the Red Rose Dining Room, Cary responded, “There is no other restaurant that offers excellent food with fabulous entertainment. It has ambiance and was the perfect place to propose.” Evelyn and Batista Madonia with Brian Roman of the Brian Roman Show and Rob Kelly of the Red Rose Dining Room staff.

BRIAN ROMAN ADDS TO THE OF THE RED ROSE ROMANTIC ATMOSPHERE DINING ROOM T WRITTEN BY: SHERRIE MUELLER

he Red Rose Dining Room has always been known as one of the most romantic restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. On a recent Friday night it was THE most romantic restaurant as diners listened to the crystal clear voice of Brian Roman. Brian made his premier appearance at the Red Rose and received rave reviews from diners of varying ages from cities surrounding the Plant City area, home of the Red Rose Inn and Suites. Destiny opened the fabulous entertainment at 6:00 with easy listening tunes for the guests dining and dancing pleasure. At 8:00 p.m. Roman was introduced by Mr. David Wright, the voice of the Red Rose. Brian opened with the romantic hit, “The Way You Look Tonight.” From that hit on he had the dining guests captivated with his charm, personality and strong charismatic voice.

Several months ago Mrs. Evelyn Madonia received a tip of Brian’s talents and encouraged him through his agent to visit the Red Rose Dining Room. It was a win – win situation for both the Red Rose Dining Room guests and Brian Roman. He exclaimed to the dining crowd that the Red Rose ranks #1 in his book for hospitality and graciousness. He was so appreciative of the friendliness of the Plant City residents and Red Rose staff. He was also complimentary of the lodging accommodations stating that “The Red Rose Inn and Suites is a first class hotel and restaurant combination.”

Roman shared his career story to the audience as he sang hit after hit of popular artists. Brian Roman is from Toronto and is the father of four children. He was a successful life insurance salesman earning the status of the Million Dollar Round Table, a prestigious accomplishment in the insurance world. Starting at age 19, he achieved this status and was the Roman continued with other fan favorites youngest male to ever qualify to attend including “For Once in My Life,”” Come the convention. The convention offered Fly With Me,” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” a Talent Show in which he shared his As he sang he distributed a complimentary singing talent. Roman continued to sell CD to each guest courtesy of the Red insurance and sing in the Talent Show for Rose Dining Room. The CD entitled, 20 years. At the age of 42 he decided to “Brian Roman . . . As Long as I have pursue his passion for singing full time Music,” was gratefully received by his new and took on the lofty goal of renting and fans. selling out the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto which is the equivalent to our

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Carnegie Hall in New York. His singing talent coupled with his salesman talents sold out the hall and he made the front page of the Toronto Star. His professional singing career had begun! Roman ended his one hour and 45-minute nonstop performance with the Frank Sinatra hits “My Way” and “New York, New York.” It was the perfect setting for anniversary and birthday celebrations which were going on throughout the restaurant.

Susie Rendon of Lakeland was celebrating her 48th birthday with her parents, Dave and Carolyn Kay. Susie said it was her first time at the Red Rose Dining Room. She said, “I loved it! Brian Roman is not only a great singer, he is an excellent entertainer. This evening has been fantastic from beginning to end.” Her mother, Carolyn added, “I knew all the songs. It was the best entertainment I have heard in a long time.” Roman cheerfully autographed each CD as a special souvenir of a wonderful night of memories. Again, Mrs. Evelyn Madonia and The Red Rose Inn and Suites had gone over the top and surpassed the expectations of the guests that attended the Brian Roman Show. For a romantic evening complete with fabulous food and outstanding live entertainment dine at the Red Rose Inn and Suites, located off I-4 Exit 21 in Plant City. For reservations call 813-752-3141.

Micahel Cary of Brandon singing to Marianne Smith asking for her hand in marriage in a song.


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ENTERTAINMENT » DINING PROFILE

STRAWBERRY DISHES IN PLANT CITY B WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

eginning in January, the folks in eastern Hillsborough County and visitors from everywhere start to plan where they can find their favorite strawberry treats. Surrounded by green fields of the luscious berries, our little corner of the world conjures up mouth-watering ways to enjoy one of the healthiest fruits around. Never mind that some of those dishes also involve sugar - at this time of year, with the gorgeous weather and thoughts of festivals, we can all cut ourselves a little slack for the sake of our mainstay industry.

STRAWBERRY PIZZA

Brandon Farms and Strawberry Palace seem to have a corner on this market - it’s the dessert (or breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner) you’ll never forget.

Support our local economy and impress your guests by enjoying some or all of the specialties pictured here.

CANDY AND COOKIES

Neumeisters in the historic downtown is an old-fashioned candy store with an entire cabinet devoted to strawberry candies and treats. The Strawberry Gummy Bears are the biggest hit with kids and adults like the molded chocolate and dipped treats. Camilla Rose dips berries in chocolate, too, while Parkesdale Farms is famous for its strawberry cookies.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

This local staple combines juicy red berries in their own sweet liquid dished in large portions over a chunk of white cake, pound cake, or homestyle biscuit and then finished off with a generous dollop of real whipped cream.

STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE AND STRAWBERRY ICECREAM TREATS

It goes without saying that real berries are required for the best strawberry milkshakes and ice cream delights no artificial flavoring for the eastern Hillsborough County connoisseurs Savor the flavor of a shake from Parkesdale Farms, Brandon Farms, Dairy Strawberry Hut, Twistee Treat and Dairy Queen (also famous for their Chocolate Covered Strawberry Waffle Bowl)

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Proudly served Parkesdale Farms, Red Rose Inn and Suites, Fred’s Market Restaurant, Johnsons BBQ, Whistlestop and Brandon Farms

STRAWBERRY PANCAKES

A breakfast delight for adults and kids alike. Get yours at Snellgroves and IHOP, with our without the healthy whipped cream topping.

STRAWBERRY SALAD

Oh, yeah! If you haven’t tried a strawberry salad made with our king of the crop, you have missed it. The good news: Olde Town Pizzeria, Fred’s Market Restaurant, and downtown’s Camilla Rose serve them year ‘round (Camilla Rose is also famous for its fresh-baked scones and tarts).Definitely, this salad develops a craving in ‘ya!


» DINING GUIDE

FIND DEALS ONLINE AT MYFOCUSCOUPONS.COM

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

CHILI’S

C

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

3001 JAMES L REDMAN PARKWAY PLANT CITY, FL 33566 813-764-8548 • WWW.CHILIS.COM

COWBOY’S SALOON AND STEAKHOUSE

C

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

KIM’S KAFE

C

ome visit Kim’s Kafe downtown from 11:30am-230pm Freshly Home made cooking with a variety of fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, and signature dishes with a little touch of love to get your day started.

Located In the heart of Plant city, Kim’s Kafe downtown is your next hot spot for lunch.

109 W. REYNOLDS ST PLANT CITY, FL 813-719-8922• WWW.NEXTTONEWFL.COM

MI CASA

M

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

2613 THONOTOSASSA RD PLANT CITY, FL 813-752-0057• WWW.MICASAMEX.COM FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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» DINING GUIDE

FIND DEALS ONLINE AT MYFOCUSCOUPONS.COM

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

OLDE TOWN PIZZERIA

I

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

3011 JAMES L REDMAN PARKWAY PLANT CITY, FL 33566 (813) 752-5800 • WWW.OLDETOWNPIZZERIA.COM

PLANT CITY HOMETOWN BUFFET

P

lant City Hometown Buffet is a family owned and operated business started by Elaine Vo, a resident of Plant City for the last 24 years. They offer a wide variety of items spanning the five buffet bars, including seafood and steak. There is certainly something to fit every taste preference, 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

T

he Red Rose Dining Room is the only 5-star rated restaurant in Plant City. Mrs. Evelyn Madonia invites you to help her welcome back Executive Chef Riccardo Ciabatti! Enjoy an elegant setting and beautiful atmosphere for lunch or dinner. On Tuesday night we have a “Southern Buffet”, and on Wednesday night it’s “Seafood Buffet”! On the weekends you can catch fabulous entertainment (visit the website for upcoming shows).

2011 N WHEELER ST PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813-752-3141 • WWW.REDROSEINNANDSUITES.COM

ZAXBY’S

Z

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.

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2901 1/2 JAMES REDMAN PKWY. PLANT CITY, FL 33564 (813) 752-1971 • WWW.ZAXBYS.COM


WISHING MOM & DAD A RD HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

83

EE 2011 FOC OMIN US DN

NOMINATED BEST ASIAN

EE 2011 FOC OMIN US DN

CHO DER’S ICE AWAR REA

CHO DER’S ICE AWAR REA

“THE TASTE IS RIGHT IN EVERY BITE”

EADER’S CHO

WINNER BEST FRIED CHICKEN

AWARD

20 1 0 F O C

SR

E IC

U

Congratulations on 62 Years of Marriage!

CHICKEN & SEAFOOD

813-752-9200 CALL AHEAD FOR FAST TAKE-OUT

At the corner of Thonotosassa & Alexander St

REA

D E R’S C H O

9-6

2010

C

US

AW

FO

ARD

S

2010

VOTED BEST STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE BY FOCUS READERS CHOICE

ARD

S

Open Daily!

ICE

FO

US

AW

C

PARKESDALE

WE’RE MORE THAN JUST SHORTCAKE

REA

D E R’S C H O

ICE

EE 2011 FOC OMIN US DN

EE 2011 FOC OMIN US DN

CHO DER’S ICE AWAR REA

NOMINATED BEST MILKSHAKE

Voted Best Milkshake in America from the December-April Food Network

CHO DER’S ICE AWAR REA

(#3 Best Dessert overall)

813-752-0502

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

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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SERVICES/MISCELLANEOUS A CHILDLESS, SUCCESSFUL, COUPLE SEEKS TO ADOPT. Large extended family. Financial security. Expenses paid. Call Lori &

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Kathy. 1-888-929-4299. (FL Bar#0150789) A CHILDLESS, SUCCESSFUL, WOMAN SEEKS TO ADOPT. Loving/stable home. Will be hands-on w/flexible schedule. Large family w/ adopted relatives. Financial security. Expenses paid. Emily or Adam 1-800-790-5260. (FL Bar#0150789) * ADOPT * Author/Filmmaker & Fiction Writer (will stay at home) yearn for 1st precious baby. Michael & Daniela FLBar42311 1-800-5520045. * Expenses Paid * ADOPTION Give your baby a loving, financially secure family. Living expenses paid. Call Attorney Charlotte Danciu 28 years experience. 1-800395-5449 www.adoption-surrogacy.com FL Bar # 307084 (PLACE IN BOLD) ADOPTION GIVE YOUR BABY THE BEST IN LIFE! Many Kind, Loving, Educated & Financially Secure Couples Waiting. Living & Medical Expenses Paid. Counseling & Transportation Provided. Former Birth Moms on Staff! FLORIDA ADOPTION LAW GROUP, P.A. Attorneys who truly care about you. Jodi Sue Rutstein, M.S.W., J.D. Mary Ann Scherer, R.N., J.D. Over 30 Combined Years of Adoption Experience. 1-800-852-0041 Confidential 24/7 (#133050&249025) (PLACE IN BOLD) ADOPTION 866-633-0397 Unplanned Pregnancy? Provide your baby with a loving, financially secure family. Living/Medical/ Counseling expenses paid. Social worker on staff. Call compassionate attorney Lauren Feingold (FL Bar#0958107) 24/7 (Place Under Special Notices, Adoption, or Attorney-Legal - PLACE IN BOLD) ADOPTION 888-812-3678 All Expenses Paid. Choose a Loving, Financially Secure family for your child 24 Hrs 7 Days Caring & Confidential. Attorney Amy Hickman. (Lic. #832340) (Place Under Attorneys - PLACE IN BOLD) Any laptop repaired just $79. Macs too. REALLY! FREE Fedex shipping! $69 extra for screen or motherboard replacement. CALL Authorized Laptop Repair Specialists 888-485-3858 ARE YOU PREGNANT? A Childless Married Couple Seeks to Adopt! Large Extended Family. Financial Security. Expenses Paid. Theresa and Steve 1-877-801-7256 (FL Bar # 0150789) (Place Under Legal Services) *DIVORCE* BANKRUPTCY Starting at $65 *1 Signature Divorce *Missing Spouse Divorce “We Come to you!” 1-888-705-7221 Since1992 PREGNANT? CONSIDERING ADOPTION? Talk with caring adoption expert. You choose from families nationwide. LIVING EXPENSES PAID. Call 24/7 Abby’s One True Gift Adoptions. 866413-6298. License #100013125 SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS. You WIN or Pay Us Nothing. Contact Disability Group, Inc. Today! BBB Accredited. Call For Your FREE Book & Consultation. 888-903-1353 SURROGATE MOM Needed to carry our Baby.

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HEALTH/MEDICAL

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(813) 707-9303

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL

EE 2011 FOC OMIN US DN

EE 2011 FOC OMIN US DN

CHO DER’S ICE AWAR REA

NOMINATED BEST MILKSHAKE CHO DER’S ICE AWAR REA

USED AUTO & RV PARTS “U-PULL” or “WE PULL”

*Bring this ad and receive free yard entry*

LOETSCHER AUTO PARTS, LLC

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

813-752-3770

WWW.LOETSCHERAUTO.COM 4306 HWY 574 W.Plant City

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE Any Cone

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 4-15-12 (813) 707-9303

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE Any Milkshake

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 4-15-12 (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 Abcpizza.com

813-752-5146

114 North Alexander Street • Plant City, Fl. 33563 BRING THIS AD IN AND RECEIVE 15% OFF

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY FEBRUARY 2012

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ENTERTAINMENT » EVENT CALENDAR

PLANT CITY

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9-20TH » Florida State Fair

For more information: www. floridastatefair.com

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 » Focus Magazine 10th

Anniversary Party 5:30PM to 10PM Keel and Curley Winery 5202 Thonotosassa Road Hosted by Dave Mckay Food, Drinks, Live Music and RCA Awards presentation Join us as we celebrate 10 years For more information: call 813.707.8783

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18

» Strawberry Distance Challenge

7:30AM Walden Lake Polo Fields Register online at www.sdc5k.com For more information: call 813.752.4591

Government Offices Closed

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 » 53rd Annual Citizen Of the

Year Award Luncheon 11:30 pm to 1:15 pm Come join your Plant City Neighbors for a delicious luncheon at the Red Rose Ballroom. $25 Please RSVP by February 20, 2012 For more information call 813.707.6506

SATURDAY, MARCH 3 » Strawberry Dash

» Bike Fest

» Celebrity Chef Dinner

THURSDAY, MARCH 1 THROUGH SUNDAY, MARCH 11

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FEBRUARY 2012 focusplantcity.com

THURSDAY, MARCH 15 » Business after Hours

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20

» Strawberry Classic Car Show

6PM Trinkle Center HCC Featuring the Firehouse Chef Joe Bonanno benefiting the United Food Bank For more information: Marsha Passmore 813.245.2244

» Spring Break

SATURDAY, MARCH 17

Celebration 10AM to 4PM 1507 YMCA Place For More Information: 813.757.6677 4PM Downtown Plant City For more information:813.754.3707

MONDAY, MARCH 12-16

Hosted by: Red Rose Inn & Suites For more information: 813.752.3141 6 pm to 10 pm Wine, refreshments, music, and a chance to meet new artists. Art Lounge Gallery 119 E. Reynolds Street » Strawberry Classic Car Show 4PM Historic Downtown Plant City For more information: 813.754.3707 » Presidents Day» Art after Dark

10:45AM Strawberry Festival Parade route Race to take place just before the Youth Parade begins For more information: visits the website www.sdc5k.com or call 813.752.4591

» Plant City YMCA 10th Birthday

For more information: visit the Festival website www.flstrawberryfestival.com

ONGOING EVENTS

»Red Rose Inn and Suites

Ongoing Events:

Red Rose Inn and SuitesEvery 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 & SuitesEvery Tuesday Prime Rib & Seafood Buffet Enjoy baked, broiled, steamed, and fried seafood including lightly battered fried shrimp.

Succulent steamed crab legs, even tender prime rib au jus with all the trimmings! All this plus salads and desserts to tempt the most demanding palates! Music from Free Time Jazz. Red Rose Inn & SuitesEvery 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! Red Rose Inn & Suites Sunday Famous Champagne Brunch Enjoy complimentary mimosas with prime rib and Georgia peach glazed ham. Sweet potato casserole, crisp salad creations and a host of fanciful desserts! Red Rose Inn & SuitesWeekdays Sensational Southern Style Lunch Buffet Weekdays 11AM to 2PM $13.95 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: www. strawberrysquaredancing.com or call the office: 813-752-0491

5:00 PM Downtown Plant City For more information: 813.754.3707

» Strawberry Festival

Music, fine arts, crafts, and great festival food. A beloved tradition throughout the community. Bands like The Band Perry, Jake Owen, TobyMac and many more artists will be performing. Check for times. 303 N. Lemon St.

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ENTERTAINMENT » CROSSWORD

HEARTS ARE TRUMP CREATED BY: CALVIN R. ANDHEARTS JACKIE MATHEWS ACROSS 1. Large, flattened bones 5. Sorrow 10. Urgent letters 14. Consider seriously 17. __ Stanford; university’s namesake 19. Wise men 21. Spice rack jar 22. Error remover 23. Darling 25. __ soup 26. Official, for short 27. Cummerbund 28. Vein deposits 30. Cistern 31. Chaotic state 32. Those with feast days: abbr. 33. Bewildered 34. Late Red leader 35. Qualified 38. Mah-jongg piece 40. Held on to 41. Get discouraged 42. Malicious look 43. Acting award 44. War casualties, for short 45. Lofty 46. Jai __ 47. French article 48. Tolerate 49. Top-selling female singer 52. Small, oily fish 54. Unknown John 55. Bright lights 57. Polish off 58. “A rose __ rose...” 59. Jeopardy 60. Look for 61. Early TV pooch 62. In a __; instantly 65. Kitty 66. Barrels: abbr. 67. Mr. Welles 68. Qom’s location 69. “Places in __”; Sally Field film 70. “Say Hey Kid” 71. Make a blunder 72. Permit 73. Heed one’s alarm clock 74. “Peg o’ __” 75. Grief-stricken 79. De Carlo et al. 81. Brae denials 83. Pres. Arthur’s monogram 84. Be generous 85. Zip 86. Lends a hand to 87. Small horse 88. To __; exactly 89. Last of 24 91. Fancy vases 92. Newsman Roger

ARE TRUMP

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12. Grow gray 13. Ill temper 14. Surpass 15. Small bills 16. Unemotional nature 18. Sags 20. Virginia, for one 24. Frank conversation 29. UV forerunners 31. Prime __; line at 0 degrees longitude 33. Memorizes 34. African nation 35. Word of lament 36. Lugosi or Bartok 37. Shakespearean king 39. Ending for Jan or Carol 40. Optima or Sorento 41. Covers 43. Albacore 44. Humble 45. Singer Williams 48. Supervisor 49. Howard and others 50. Intl. military alliance 51. __ angle; diagonally 53. Suffix for art or real 54. Depressing 56. Morays and congers 59. Regrets 61. Haughty 62. With gusto 63. Shortness: abbr. 64. Be very jealous 65. Fraternity letters

DOWN 1. Long-eared animal 2. World’s largest furniture store chain 3. Margaret, to friends 4. Gaze 5. In a cruel way 6. Supply the blood with oxygen 7. Genre 8. Corned beef __ 9. NNW plus 90° 10. Valuable 11. Tools with teeth 1

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© Puzzle Features Syndicate

O M A N

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♥B I R L E Y V A L A S

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I P S K E T O E G A N A R E M E S L E E R T A I U R D I N I S A E A T A N T T A R O N N E N O N E E G A S S S ♥ E T O D L E U R A L T Y N E

O F S T I O N N E E R P U H E I S S A U R A N R E S S

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

♥ C A P O N U D D R S P O L U E L

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Hearts Are Trump

A P G E S E E T ♥ V A T T I T O O S E♥ G H O N N A E A T A S T A R S O N R O K E N G I V E A T E E N E R D T P D T WA R E I C A L T E M


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Life is better in the Quick Lane. Auto service just got better!

813-757-6429

Quick Lane® at Jarrett-Scott Ford provides all the services your car or truck needs most. All our services are performed by factory-trained experts and on your schedule. No appointment necessary and you’ll get service while you wait, even on evenings and weekends. We’ll take care of any make or model, using quality parts from trusted brands like Motorcraft® and name-brand tires from Goodyear, Continental, Michelin and more.

MOTORCRAFT PLUS BATTERIES

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Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon or store special. Shop supplies and tax extra. Most cars and light trucks excludes diesels. Expires 3/31/2012

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ALL MAKES AND MODELS! WE’LL BEAT YOUR BEST TIRE PRICE GUARANTEED! We would like to recognize and congratulate all of the kids participating at this years Strawberry Festival in the following events and contests: Swine Steer Plant Poultry Rabbit Dairy Baby Contest

Diaper Derby Lamb Youth Strawberry Stemming Beef Breed Livestock Contestant Judging

Baby Parade Neighborhood Village Youth Art Show Photography Shoebox Float

800-545-2018 2000 East Baker St,.Plant City, FL 33563

www.JarrettScottFord.com

FOCUS Plant City 11-02  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 11-02, February 2012