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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


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CONTENTS | December 2012 | Volume 11 Issue 12

14-16 Talk Of

The Town

18-38 Local 41 Did You Know? 42 Plant City Chamber Of Commerce

47 Feature:

Cutest Kids Contest

54 Spotlight:

Davy Miles and Sharon Moody

78 Sports 80 Athlete Of The Month

83 Team Of

The Month

92 Enduring

Friendships

95 Candy’s Corner 99 Recipe of the Month

101 108 Event Calendar 109 Crossword Dining Profile

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

ONTHECOVER Photo by NamPhan Photography

FOCUS Magazine’s Cutest Kids Contest Winners: 0-12 month old - Sophia 1-2 year olds - Maddox 3-5 year olds - Alexis 6-8 year olds - Kylie 9-12 year olds - Nathan


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

“Tis the season to be jolly… and the Floyd family has noticed something special this year. Our joys seem multiplied. And not just ours! It seems everywhere we’re seeing more smiles, giving and getting more hugs, and hearing more and more expressions of gratitude. Definitely, it must be Christmas time. One sure sign of the season, as you are aware, is that folks in Plant City are serious about their holiday celebrations. Why, you ask? Well for one thing, nothing makes for more delightful photo ops than children anticipating a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick and happy families enjoying our annual Christmas Parade. And while we’re on the subject of great photos, be sure to check out the pics of our Cutest Kids Contest winners. Here’s a big shout out to all the parents who submitted their child’s photo and to the Facebook voters who ultimately selected one winner in each age groups Can you believe last weekend’s parade was #29? Obviously, Santa loves it here, too. Thousands came out to enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun and get into the Spirit of the season with their neighbors, friends and friends they hadn’t met yet. There’s something about a hometown parade that connects people in a way nothing else can. Feel free to share your reactions on our Facebook page! This month our spotlight focuses on Grand Marshal Sharon Moody and Christmas Parade President Davy Miles, two who worked diligently with the City and the 501(c)3 organization’s board to deliver up our largest event yet with almost 100 entries. Other local stories include those covering the Pig Jam, the Lights of Love festivities, and a very fine concert at Bailey’s Acoustic Shop by Dobros legend Ron Ickes and guitarist Jim Hurt. Churches were busy in December, too. Be sure to read about Christian comedian Tim Hawkin’s performance before a packed house at Shiloh Baptist, the 100th anniversary celebration of Clement Catholic Church and the first ever “Real Talk- Keeping it 100” community youth forum hosted by Greater Hope Anointed Ministries Prayer Center. Faith lives here, that’s for sure. Additionally, we’re inviting you to take advantage of the many opportunities to attend musical and dramatic productions, tour the local neighborhoods to see the beautiful holiday lights and of course, shop local for those on your gift list. Your priceless gift of continued support for our Focus Magazine is a cherished one. THANK YOU! So, our 2012 Christmas prayer is that the lights of God’s love will shine brightly on and through you, and that your hope for an even brighter New Year will reach out to touch someone in need. For after all and in the end, those who give are those who truly “live.” 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.

Sales Aldo Trevino | Susan Nieves Cindy Cutting | Joseph Roberts | Jennifer Chamberlain Art Director Anthony Sassano

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.

Production Intern Abby Born FOCUSTV Shana Mitchell | Victoria Garren Distribution Belva DeVane

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.

Photographers NamPhan Photography Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston Brian West | Joe Bowles Derek Maul | Kelleigh Klein Heather Davis | Deana Garrison Contributors Al Ruechel | Gil Gott Bruce Rodwell | Jo-An Lusk | Nate Davis

floyd publications, inc.

floyd publications, inc.

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


Cliff Brown is the lead singer of Clemons Road and when he’s on stage his choice is Rock & Roll Cowboy and Tony Lama from Russell’s Western Wear. Scan the QR code at the bottom of the page to see why.

Tampa, Dover, Lakeland & Ocala www.floridawesternwear.com

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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Talk of the Town

Submit your news to: editorial@oydpublications.com

Plant City Rotary donates to United Food Bank of Plant City

Billy Keel (President of the Rotary Club) presents a $1000 check to Christine Miller (Executive Director of the United Food Bank). Over the past five years the Noon Rotary club has donated over $30,000 to the United Food Bank.

HEY KIDS!

Meals on Wheels of Plant City Needs your Help! Meals on Wheels has been serving the Plant City community since 1990. They deliver hot, nutritious meals five days a week, 52 weeks a year to homebound people who are unable to provide for themselves. Your help is desperately needed. Most of the recipients are elderly, disabled or both. Please consider a donation to this charity. For more information or to contribute please either visit or call the facility. 203 N. Thomas, Plant City, FL , 813.754.9932

PCHS Softball Signing

You are invited to the

Red Caboose to see

SANTA!

Get a free picture and a treat. Admission is Free 908 Joe McIntosh Road, Plant City, FL December 21 & 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information call R.W. Willaford 813.759.3345

Plant City High School Softball Signing. Left to right: (seated) Leann Farkas, Warner University; Kristen Wykoff, University of South Florida; Shae Coughlin, South Florida State College. (Standing) Traci Durrance, PCHS Athletic Director; Amanda Sawyer, PCHS Softball Coach; Colleen Richardson, PCHS Principal.

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Last Chance to catch this Amazing Show DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

Plant City Entertainment presents: Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class A One Nun-sense Musical Event by Dan Goggin Saturday, December 15 8:00 p.m. doors open at 7:00 p.m. 101 N. Thomas Street Tickets Available at the door $14.00 Tickets are also available in advance at Hardee Fashions 1501 N. Wheeler Street, 813.754.4929 For more information visits their website www.plantictyentertainment.com


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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Talk of the Town

Submit your news to: editorial@oydpublications.com

Congratulations PC Dolphins

Plant City Dolphins JV team won the 2012 Turkey Bowl in New Port Richey Florida on 11/25/12 after a victory over the Trinity Mustangs in the Championship game after winning 3 out of 4 games and 2 shoot out games. The team’s head Coach is Tate Whatley.

Congratulations Lindsey!

Lindsey English was recently recognized by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay. Lindsey along with her mother, Chrystal English; grandmother, Tawauna English and Sherrie Mueller, College and Career Counselor attended a luncheon at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa. Lindsey earned a two year prepaid scholarship courtesy of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Lindsey is an active member of the Plant City High School FFA and was elected Student Advisor for the Hillsborough County FFA Federation. She is a member of the National Honor Society and plays on the school tennis team. He has twirled a baton competitively for 12 years. She is a junior and is taking advanced placement classes.

Plant City Little League Registration is Now Open If you register online by January 4th, you will save $15 off of the normal registration. All of the info you will need can be found by visiting the website below or emailing admin@plancitylittleleague.org. http://www.eteamz.com/PlantCityLL

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Team Jacob Quilt Raffle

15 year Old Jacob Meachum was injured in an ATV accident in June 2012. He is currently receiving treatment for a traumatic brain injury. Jacob has come so far but still has a long road to recover. Medical expenses are extraordinary. Please consider purchasing a Raffle ticket for this beautiful quilt. tickets are available at Inspire! Quilting and Sewing in Downtown Plant City. You may also call Phyllis Meachum at 813.650.7795 to purchase a ticket. Tickets are $1.00 each and you do not need to be present to win. Drawing will be held on 12/22/12

Jan Henrick Achievement Award

Twelve Plant City High School students were awarded the Jan Henrick Achievement Award. This award is selected by teacher nomination and recognizes students who have overcome obstacles Plant City High School award winners included: Joshua Benthal, Francisco Cruz, Kateri Emery, Jordan Ferrer, Markese Hargrove, Kassandra Martinez, Gilberto Montana, William Ramsey, Megan Rogers, Merissa Schearer, Brenda Solis and Kindle Vandyne.


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LOCAL » FOCUS

From the left, Father Tom Anastasia, St. Clements Parish Pastor is in red robes with centennial guest of honor Most Reverend Bishop N. Lynch of the St. Petersburg, Fl. Diocese greet parishioners before celebratory evening mass. Photo by Cheryl Kuck

ST. CLEMENT CATHOLIC CHURCH CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL S WRITTEN BY: CHERYL KUCK

to parish church when a new brick building t. Clement Catholic Church has been constructed in 1931 was built on the old celebrating ‘mass’ or the act of worship Surrency House property. The newly rebuilt in Plant City for 100 years. church was renamed St. Clement Catholic Church and served the growing Catholic The location has changed three times community for 45 years until moving to its since its modest beginnings as a Jesuit present location at 1104 North Alexander mission and still considers itself a church of Street. Originally the new 500-seat church pioneers. was called St. Clement Hall, and renamed Cronin Hall for parishioner David Cronin, The first ‘official’ Catholic Mass was held who played a major role in the continued in 1912 and conducted in a private home growth of the church. As membership by the director of Jesuit Missions in outgrew the hall, the Spanish-style church Central Florida. As more Catholic families with pillared porticos that now seats over migrated to the area, they moved to a larger 1000 was constructed in the late 1980’s. private home, eventually purchasing the Thomas and Baker St. building known as Year-long centennial celebrations Surrency House. culminated on Nov. 23, the day of ‘The Feast of St. Clement, honoring the fourth In 1929 the Plant City-Bartow Parish was Pope St. Clement I who is considered the formed and the focus shifted from ‘mission’ Apostolic Father of the Catholic Church.

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

During the past year, the centennial committee headed by Carol Rodriguez and Mary Ann Fontaine planned monthly celebratory activities of highlights which included; a Feb. recognition of those who had been married in the previous early church locations and, in March, they held an appreciation event honoring 39 years of Strawberry Festival participation, noting that their present church location was made possible by funds raised at their strawberry shortcake festival booth. In August, a community mass was held to celebrate the 14th anniversary of the dedication of the sanctuary in its present location.

Petersburg (diocese covers a five-county area) and concelebrated by former pastors and parochial vicars.

On the recent Nov. feast day, Rev. Thomas Anastasia opened the memorial parishioner procession from the current church with blessings of the centennial bricks purchased by the community for the ongoing work of the church and then continued the memorial walk to the previous churches in Cronin Hall, ending at the little 1931 brick church on Baker Street.

As the parish priest Rev. Anastasia or Fr. Tom, as he is known in the community, reinforced the comments of Bishop Lynch. “One of the goals for the future of the parish is to become a resource for the nurturing of Hispanics into the priesthood and as friends of the church. We continue to be a church of pilgrims,” he said.

A celebratory evening mass was held in thanksgiving for 100 years of spreading the gospel with the Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, Bishop of the Diocese of St.

During mass, Bishop Lynch talked about the evolution of St. Clement Church and particularly spoke about embracing immigrant populations. “There is no parish in the diocese that has been more welcoming to our Hispanic brothers and sisters than St. Clements. If there were a diadem in this parish crown today, I would easily say, it would be your tolerance, patience and understanding to welcome the stranger to our faith-community.”

When asked what his immediate plans are now that the centennial is drawing to a close, Fr. Tom replied, “Why I’m going to visit the home office (Vatican) and am taking a group with me.”

Father Tom Anastasia, St. Clements Parish Pastor, begins the parishioner procession from the existing location to their previous sites at Cronin Hall and E. Baker St. marking St. Clements 100th anniversary with blessing of the centennial bricks donated by parishioners and community members for the ongoing work of the church Photo by Cheryl Kuck


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LOCAL » FOCUS For example, in June 2009, an aggressive Chinese submarine collided with Taylor’s ship near the Philippines, causing severe damage to his vessel’s sonar equipment. Also in the summer of 2009, the USS John S. McCain tracked a North Korean cargo ship suspected of housing missiles and related parts after the confrontational country announced it had become a “proud nuclear power.” Furthermore, Taylor and his shipmates played a huge role in providing assistance to the Japanese population rocked by the horrible earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Since enrolling in the U.S. Navy, Taylor has only been able visit home four times because of expensive overseas travel costs; yet he will soon be home for good. His six-year enlistment ends February 20, 2013, and Taylor hopes to use his GI bill to attend the University of South Florida where he will most likely major in Physics. Although he could attend college anywhere, he’s looking forward to spending time with his family and friends in Plant City. “He left as a high school kid, and he’s coming home as a man of 23,” said Diane Taylor.

Daniel Taylor is stationed on the USS John S McCain naval destroyer in Yokosuka, Japan.

PROTECTING OUR PLANT CITY NATIVE AND U.S. FREEDOM NAVY OFFICER PROMOTED P WRITTEN BY: AMANDA FURMAGE-DECK

lant City native Daniel S. Taylor could have attended virtually any college of his choice. However, like both his grandfathers, the then high school senior felt the call. At age 17, Taylor graduated from Plant City High School in December 2006—one semester early—and enrolled in the United States Navy with a six-year commitment.

After a short stint at boot camp in Michigan, Taylor was stationed in San Diego where he received training to be a sonar technician and advanced to Petty Officer Third Class. Recently, Taylor was promoted to Petty Officer Second Class.

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

Since December 2008, Taylor has been stationed on the USS John S. McCain naval destroyer at the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. However, Taylor and his crew spend most of their time—over 300 days each year—in the waters near China and North Korea performing drills. “Most people may assume that because he’s stationed in Japan, he’s not experiencing intense situations,” said Diane Taylor, Daniel’s proud mother. “That’s just not the case. His time on the USS John S. McCain has been extraordinary. With being out to sea more than 300 days a year, he has experienced more than most see in a lifetime.”

Plant City native Daniel Taylor was recently promoted to U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class.


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LOCAL » FOCUS

Q ueens—children in the crowd started shouting enthusiastically for bead necklaces and candy. Individuals from the Sweetbay float caused a particular frenzy when children discovered the grocery store was handing out huge chocolate bars. Emmie Scicchitano (3), Amaya Burns (8), Ashley Chinnult (11), and Jared Gonzalez (10) reach for candy during the Plant City Christmas Parade. Photo by Anthony Sassano

PLANT CITY

CHRISTMAS PARADE T WRITTEN BY: AMANDA FURMAGE-DECK

housands of spectators lined up and down Collins and Reynolds streets for the 29th annual Plant City Hometown Christmas Parade on Friday, December 7 at 7 p.m. The celebration featured a countless number of festive floats decorated by area churches, schools, groups, sports teams, businesses, and civic organizations.

Grand Marshal Sharon Moody. Yet it was State Representative Dan Raulerson who first got the crowd jumping up and down with excitement as he exited his convertible to toss candy to the children who yelled “Merry Christmas” the loudest. Mayor Michael Sparkman, Vice Mayor Mary Thomas Mathis, and several other city officials also made appearances in sleek convertibles from Stingray Chevrolet.

Plant City Interim Chief of Police Steven Singletary and his squad led this year’s procession, followed by Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee and Parade

After floats highlighting the winners of several pageants passed—including the Strawberry Festival Court and the Hillsborough County Fair Harvest

Apart from the popular Sweetbay float where the Grinch made a special appearance, other creative floats that received huge cheers from spectators included a school bus hoisted up on gigantic monster truck wheels and a K.O.B. Kustoms Dallas Cowboys-themed car filled from top to bottom with several speakers blaring holiday music. Various musicians were on display during the parade, playing live music throughout the night—and not only those from area high school, middle school, and ministry marching bands. For example, accompanied by the Plant City Fire Rescue Ladder 1 truck, Firefighters of Tampa Pipes and Drums displayed their bagpipe and percussion talents. Furthermore, singers from Plant City’s New Radical Generation performed several Christmas pop songs. Finally, a few members from the Plant City High School Bassmasters group showed off their guitar skills on their boat-on-wheels float, and the crowd

Eight-year-old Ryan Sauls extends his hand, hoping to recieve a giant chocolate bar from Sweetbay. Photo by Anthony Sassano

enjoyed the smooth sounds from Keel and Curley Winery musicians. As always, the annual celebration concluded with an appearance from Santa. This year, his form of arrival was a Nutcracker-themed float where he wished everyone “Merry Christmas.”

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


Dr. Brenda Dukes Chiropractic Physician

CHIROPRACTIC CARE ADVANCES PERFORMANCE IN GOLF GAMES

Today’s amateur and professional golfers are turning to chiropractic care to help withstand the rigors and physical demands of the sport, as well as to improve performance. According to Dale Richardson, DC and a leading sports physician who has worked for the past 14 years full-time and exclusively on several prominent golf tours worldwide, and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, doctors of chiropractic (DC’s) play a significant role in helping golfers stay at the top of their game. “For well over 20 years, professional golfers have relied on chiropractic care to help reach their full potential,” says Richardson, who has worked with legendary players, including Nick Faldo and Padraig Harrington. “With proper care, athletes are able to enhance overall range of motion, stability, balance and endurance, and thereby remove any physical limitation, leaving the challenges of golf primarily psychological.” As more professional golfers gain the attention of widespread media for their exceptional athleticism, the overall sport continues to climb in popularity. Attraction those of nearly all ages, this challenging pastime requires proper health attention at any skill level. For professionals, having access to comprehensive care provides the attention needed to properly address general health and associated concerns.

“Professional golfers, by the nature of the game, develop asymmetrical conditions and therefore can benefit from chiropractic treatment. Such care can specifically help to restore balance and lay the foundation for high-level athletic performance,” he adds. Beginning his work at a time when sports medicine teams were nonexistent, Dr. Richardson later became inspired to establish ProGolfHealth, a personalized concierge, holistic healthcare company that meets the needs and aspirations of elite professional golfers. Regularly, golfers will purposely seek the assistance of healthcare providers to help enhance their swing and physical performance. “Professional athletes who are serious about competing at their best rely on all-inclusive multidisciplinary care to ensure there are no interferences or dysfunctions within the body,” shares Richardson. “Chiropractic care is a core component in this approach and can help athletes perform at their best” Special Note: Dr Dukes and staff would like to wish everyone a Blessed Merry Christmas and a Blessed Happy New Year!!! God Bless, Dr. Dukes & 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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LOCAL » FOCUS woman behind me, who couldn’t stop either. Tonight was so much fun. He even spoke to me and asked me a question. I hope he comes back to Plant City soon.” Hawkins shared the stage at Shiloh on December 1, 2012 with fellow comedian Bob Smiley, whose career began 16 years ago when he won a stand-up competition in college. Smiley describes himself as a man with “colossal leprechaun ears” and one who “was forced to match their manic energy (of church youth group teens)” to develop his “machine-gun approach to comedy.” Christian comedian Tim Hawkins develops the material for his much-viewed routines and song parodies by engaging in and observing everyday life with his wife and four children. Photo by: Cheryl Johnston

CHRISTIAN COMEDIAN WOWS THE CROWD AT SHILOH BAPTIST TIM HAWKINS C

The two friends are touring together now to encourage Christians to laugh out loud and share their faith in even unconventional ways. And since laughter often opens the doors to closed hearts, many church members use invitations to comedic concerts as an opportunity to show just how much fun good clean comedy can be. To paraphrase the popular verse, they know, “Laughter does the heart good, like a medicine.”

WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

hristian comedian Tim Hawkins performed before a capacity crowd this month in the sanctuary at Shiloh Baptist Church … and the laughter is probably still echoing around the building two weeks later.

and-personal look with a chance to pose questions and hear Hawkins share from his heart about his own faith journey and why he does what he does for a living. The former grocery store truck driver from St. Louis is known for explaining, ““It’s not like I have choice. Comedy is my only life skill.”

Hawkins’ draw was a multi-generational thing as folks of every age and life stage came to enjoy an evening of clean comedy and to be inspired by a man who is unafraid to share his faith through the 100-plus sold-out concerts he performs annually in more than 30 cities across the nation.

Bowles shared, “We are thankful that so many came out to see Tim and his friend Bob Smiley. He’s popular with families and his performance tonight provided us with a great opportunity to invite the community to our revival this week.”

Pastor Joe Bowles and the Shiloh volunteers were especially pleased with the turnout at the VIP session Hawkins hosted prior to the show’s start. Attendees got an up-close-

In addition to delivering humorous anecdotes, the self-taught guitarist also sings, frequently penning his own lyrics to parody popular songs in a changed-up message kind of way that his audiences just

love. Along with musical impersonations of well-known rock stars, he intersperses the rapid-fire stream of funny stories with poetic lyrics, lively beats, and jaunts around the stage.

Since 2006, Hawkins has released three CDs and five DVDs, with the most recent being “Push, Pull, Point, Pow.” The husband to Heather and father of four typically builds his routines around family topics like marriage, parenting and homeschooling.

Talk about energy - this type of comedy demands it … and Hawkins delivers. Apparently, folks relate because since 2007, his Internet videos have garnered more Engaging would be a one-word description than 100 million YouTube views and more of the Hawkins’ show experience. Just ask than 200,000 fans on Facebook. Alaina Carter, a seventh grader at Turkey Creek Middle School who has memorized The folks at Shiloh are now a part of that many of his jokes. She could barely contain popularity, and they are hoping to host her excitement at the chance to see Hawkins again one day. In the meantime, Hawkins in person from her seat near the to follow the trail of laughter as the tour front of the church. continues, visit www.timhawkins.net or view his videos via timhawkinscomedy “I couldn’t stop laughing at him and his posted at GodTube and YouTube. jokes and I laughed just as hard at the

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LOCAL » FOCUS In addition to constructing a float and participating in the parade, groups might win a trophy and $100.00 cash for use in their club, school, youth group or organization. The Club, chartered November 20, 1954, with its motto of “Builders of Good Citizenship,” also invites and encourages local businesses to sponsor a youth group in the float building competition. Specifically, the City’s proclamation honors Civitan’s sponsorship of the Youth Parade because it “gives young people a place to have fun, a place to learn new skills, and a place to shine in our community.” The “Our Masterpiece of Fun” themed 2013 Youth Parade will begin the first Saturday of the Florida Strawberry Festival® on March 2, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Entrants will line up at the State Farmer’s Market (corner of Alexander Street and MLK, Jr. Blvd.) to follow the same route as the last few years, continuing north on Alexander and then west on Reynolds Street past the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds. Photo by: Cheryl Johnston

PLANT CITY CIVITAN CLUB COMMENDED FOR 40-YEAR INVOLVEMENT IN STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL YOUTH PARADE WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

For float building sponsorship by the Plant City Civitan Club, applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis as received. The Club can also provide information on construction, materials to use, and where to purchase them.

was presented to commemorate the 40th anniversary (in 2013) of Plant City Civitan Club’s sponsorship of the Youth Parade.

parade. All schools, school PTSAs, clubs, For 2013 Youth Parade applications, visit churches and groups involved with youth www.flstrawberryfestival.com and click are encouraged to enter the Youth Parade. on contest rules, then scroll down to 2013 Youth Parade. Participants must be age In the role she has played for the past Non-profit youth groups and clubs are 18 and under, with the exception of band 15 years as Youth Parade Chairperson, also urged to enter the “float building” directors and chaperones. Chaperones are a The proclamation, with the Seal of Plant Pogue has been busy visiting area schools competition. must with all units in the parade. City attached and signed by Sparkman, to encourage participation in the local

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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LOCAL » FOCUS

Impressive behavior, plenty of role models, and adult encouragers were hallmarks of the Real Talk: Keeping it 100 evening at Greater New Hope Anointed Ministries Prayer Retreat Center. In brief, it was a class act. Photo by: Cheryl Johnston

REAL TALK - KEEPING IT 100 T oday’s teens need straight answers to some very important questions about tough issues they face in school and at home. Often they are unsure of where to go for help. Who can they trust to tell the whole truth?

The community was invited and approximately 150 attended the first “Real Talk - Keeping it 100” open forum presented by the Youth Department of the Greater New Hope Anointed Ministries Prayer Retreat Center, Inc. on November 17, 2012 at the church on Mud Lake Road. GNH Pastor Calvin Callins and his wife, Dr. Tandria Callins, were so pleased with the turnout and the process that they expect to offer a second “Real Talk” event soon.

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Teens and adults came looking for answers and a panel of 12 professional experts listened, related, and offered clear and direct responses to questions involving peer pressure, gangs, sexuality, alternative lifestyles, substance abuse, depression and suicide.

TEENS GET HONEST ANSWERS TO REAL LIFE QUESTIONS WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

Among the panel of highly educated professionals were several educators/school administrators, an Army recruiter, an attorney, a pharmacist, a Plant City Police Department detective, public relations specialists, ministers and counselors to youth and families. In hearing their brief bios read aloud, it was obvious the young The five-woman team of Shoniece Marcus, students in attendance were inspired to Terrica Ruth, and her daughters Dawntoya, pursue higher education and careers. Deondra and Shontoya Ruth organized the event as an outreach to the community. Along with Dr. Callins and Youth Minister Terrica Ruth, who served as emcee, was Christopher Sharp, the forum experts pleased with this first event’s results. included Glorice Hallback, John R. Miller, “Everything went really well,” she said. Deanna Sheffield Ward, sisters Catisha “The topics and information discussed with Smith, Esq., and Dr. Calisha Roberson, the youth were real issues and the panelists PharmD., Rev. Rod Johnson, Roosevelt provided real answers.” Broadnax, Jr., Katrice Jackson, Rakeshia Ashley and Detective Justin Lee.

The exceptionally well-organized two-hour program engaged the attentive audience through music, rap, poetry and a book excerpt read aloud before the Q & A session. Afterwards guests enjoyed a time of conversation and refreshments in the church lobby. Impressive behavior, plenty of role models, and adult encouragers were hallmarks of the evening. In brief, this was a class act. Chana Brown will invite more friends to the next Real Talk. “I thought the Real Talk event was very real and helpful to me being a young adult.” And Rosayln Johnson agreed. “ I thought it was very informational from the music to the poems to the discussion. I can’t wait until it happens again!”


FORD MOTOR COMPANY AND JARRETT SCOTT FORD CONTINUE STRONG COMMITMENT TO FFA •

Ford Motor Company’s 2012-201,3 commitment includes substantial support of National FFA events, and $1,000 collegiate scholarships for hundreds of FFA members; Ford, with local dealers uch as Jarrett Scott Ford, has awarded 7,1 19 scholarships since 1997.

For the2012-2013 school year,JaneII Scott Ford is sponsoring 3 Built Ford Tough scholarship(s), helping students attend the college of their choice

FFA develops students’ leadership, business skills and community service in preparation for a career in agriculture, which accounts for 1 out of 5 U.S. jobs.

December 4, 2012- Today, Jim Scott announced that Jarrett Scott Ford would join Ford Motor Company in its ongoing commitment to the National FFA (formerly known as the Future Farmers of America). Ford has committed to a sixteenth year of the Built Ford ToughFFA collegiate scholarship program, which will award $1,000 scholarships to hundreds ofFFA members, each co-sponsored by Ford Dealers like Jarrett Scott Ford. Ford has supported the National FFA since the first F-Series truck was introduced in 1948, and has sponsored the Built Ford Tough collegiate scholarship program since 1997. The program, equally funded by Ford Motor Company and Ford dealers, has awarded over 7 million in scholarships to FFA members. Jarrett Scott Ford is sponsoring the Built Ford Tough collegiate scholarship program for Plant City High School, Durant High School and Strawberry Crescent High School. For the 2012-2013 school year, they are helping 3 local student(s) attend the college of their choice. To be eligible, FFA members must submit an online 2013 Scholarship Application at www.ffa.org and take the required Signature Page to Jarrett Scott Ford for the dealer endorsement and official dealer code; thus providing FFA members the opportunity to meet -and thank -the dealer for their support of continuing education. “We’re pleased to be able to support the local chapter and Ford Motor Company in its strong commitment to the National FFA”, says Jim Scott. “All our previous scholarship recipients tell us

how grateful they are for the fmancial support and how the FFA experience has changed their lives.” “Visit any local farm and you can see that trucks- particularly F-Series- play an integral role in the agricultural industry,” says Jim Scott. We want to help these future leaders succeed and become our customers from the start of their careers to the end -just like many of their parents and grandparents.” About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com. About National FFA Organization The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog. FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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LOCAL » FOCUS

Flash Mob performed by Student Council to promote bucking up. A rap was performed to encourage everyone to buckle up. Photo courtesy of Plant City High School.

BELTS WEEK PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL WRITTEN BY: CHELSEA TALAVERA

H

ave you ever wondered why during the month of December there is a wrecked car in front of Plant City High School? The car is a reminder of how devastating and real being involved in a vehicle accident is. For students this is a very symbolic message. Accidents are the leading death among teenagers alongside suicide and homicide. But PCHS faculty and Student Council are taking all the necessary steps to prevent an accident from occurring. Hillsborough County’s Battle of the Belts is a weeklong event where each day students are taught and reminded of statistics and tips for vehicle collisions. Deputy Baker, the school’s resource officer, works diligently to make sure they get the point across to every student. This year’s program began with a life saver candy and note on every car in the parking lot. As you walked out and saw these you were able to read through many statistics. During lunch there were information boards hung up and members of Student Council were available to answer any questions. There was a poster hung up across the wall where every student could sign and pledge to always wear their seatbelt. Different activities took place each

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day, continually, as a reminder to make the right choices. On the final day there was a “black out”where everyone in the school was encouraged to wear all black in remembrance of the students who were killed in awful accidents. An assembly took place where guest speakers, such as people involved and hurt in accidents and family members of those killed, shared their testimonies. All of these people truly moved the entire student body. The most recent fallen Raiders include Adam Riber, Zack Tredway and Enrique Cruz. Our condolences continue to be with the families of everyone affected. Many students wore their remembrance bracelets and t-shirts of these boys throughout the entire week. What’s amazing to me is seeing the unity a school has after a tragedy. The students all are concerned for their peers and the staff tries to keep the puzzle together. Although it is always tough it is amazing to see youth grieving and recognizing that it will all be okay. This year’s student council did an amazing job spreading the message to always buckle up and drive carefully. Many lives were impacted and forever changed throughout this week.


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Thu. Feb. 28 10:30 Thu. Feb. 28 3:30 Thu. Feb. 28 7:30

Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra FREE Chubby Checker $15 & $20 FOREIGNER $25

Fri. Fri.

Mar. 1 Mar. 1

3:30 7:30

Gene Watson Casting Crowns

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Sat. Mar. 2 Sat. Mar. 2 Sat. Mar. 2

1:00 3:30 7:30

Caroline Kole Gloriana Justin Moore

FREE $15 & $20 $15 & $20

Sun. Mar. 3 Sun. Mar. 3

3:30 7:30

Randy Houser Alan Jackson

$15 & $20 $45

Mon. Mar. 4

3:30

Mon. Mar. 4

7:30

Grits & Glamour Tour with Lorrie Morgan/Pam Tillis Dwight Yoakam

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Tues. Mar. 5 Tues. Mar. 5

3:30 7:30

Bobby Vinton Martina McBride

$15 & $20 $30

Wed. Mar. 6 Wed. Mar. 6

3:30 7:30

Neal McCoy Trace Adkins

$15 & $20 $30 FREE $15 & $20 $35

Thu. Mar. 7 10:30

MARTINA McBRIDE

DWIGHT YOAKAM

BRANTLEY GILBERT

LORRIE MORGAN

Thu. Mar. 7 Thu. Mar. 7

3:30 7:30

Steve Hall & the Shotgun Red Show Mel Tillis Brantley Gilbert

Fri. Fri.

Mar. 8 Mar. 8

3:30 7:30

T.G. Sheppard/Janie Fricke Scotty McCreery

$15 & $20 $25 & $30

Sat. Mar. 9 Sat. Mar. 9

3:30 7:30

Gaither Vocal Band Bret Michaels

$20 & $25 $25 & $30

Sun. Mar. 10 3:30 Sun. Mar. 10 7:30

BRET MICHAELS

COMING SOON Blake Shelton

PAM TILLIS

JUSTIN MOORE

FOREIGNER

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Grits and Glamour Tour

T.G. SHEPPARD

JANIE FRICKE

GENE WATSON

NEAL McCOY

MEL TILLIS

CHUBBY CHECKER

BOBBY VINTON

JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA

CAROLINE KOLE

TRACE ADKINS

RANDY HOUSER

GLORIANA

GAITHER VOCAL BAND

$55

Concert dates and times are subject to change

Limited Free Grandstand Seating Times are 3:30 & 7:30 pm. and are on a first come, first seated basis.

CASTING CROWNS

Steve Hall & the Shotgun Red Show

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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LOCAL » FOCUS their own display at their home called “Christmas Lane” that many visit every year at Christmas. Ronald spoke of how their hearts were blessed because of lights. They were both very honored to be recognized. When the time came for the countdown, everyone gathered in tightly looking up for the big event. Many “oohs and ahhs” filled the air as the lights glistened in the night. A fulfillment of honor and memory were among the hearts of those who donated to the Lights of Love Tree as they looked on. It was a beautiful sight to see and a heartwarming event. What topped off the night was sweet little soloist, Hope Storter, who sang “Happy Birthday Jesus” along with the Children’s Choir and Praise Team. Mayor Mike Sparkman gave closing remarks and everyone headed home with a warm heart full of joy.

“The many lights on display on the gigantic tree in McCall park,

Taryn Storter gave a beautiful solo of “Bring My Praise” with the help of the. Children’s Choir and Praise Team. Photo by Deana Garrison

LIGHTS OF LOVE M any people gathered together Thursday, December 6th at McCall Park for the 14th annual Lights of Love. This event supports the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation. This foundation provides the local healthcare facility the ways and means to continue to fulfill the medical needs of Plant City as well as the surrounding areas. In the program SFBH stated, “It means a great deal to us to know that we can count on your generosity as we serve the community’s health care needs.”

A NIGHT FILLED WITH MANY EMOTIONS WRITTEN BY: DEANA GARRISON

represent many loved ones throughout the community.”

light is in memory or in honor of someone dear to our hearts. The program the PCHS Civinettes handed out to each guest contains the list of all of the people who are represented by each light. So when the lights were turned on, many family members looked on not only in excitement but also in great respect thinking of that special person.

Before the breathtaking lighting occurred, many songs were enjoyed by Pete Battaglia and the entire music department of First Baptist Church of Plant City. Of those songs, some favorites were “Look Who Socializing, enjoying hot chocolate from Just Checked In” sang by soloist Mark Tomlin Middle School’s NJHS members, Yarborough, as well as “Bring My Praise” listening to special music provided by First sang by soloist Taryn Storter along with the Baptist Church of Plant City and having Childrens’s Choir and the Praise Team. pictures made with Santa seemed to keep everyone entertained until the main event. The Invocation was given by SFBH Chaplin, Reverend James Smith, shortly The many lights on display on the gigantic before Ronald and Faye Wetherington, tree in McCall park represent many loved the Honorary Chairs, gave their remarks ones throughout the community. Each before the lighting. The couple have

Many looked on as the Lights of Love Tree was lit.. Photo by Deana Garrison FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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Let CCZ be your gift soLution! We want to be in your thoughts when you think about purchasing a gift for the person that seems to have everything. you can make a donation to Canine Comfort Zone, inc. in their name. that donation will help a homeless dog recover from an injury or illness so that it will have a chance to be adopted. What We do. We will send you a receipt/letter from Canine Comfort Zone, inc. for your income tax purposes. your gift recipient will receive a letter from Canine Comfort Zone, inc.

introducing us and our purpose. they will receive a photograph of either the dog they have helped or one that will begin treatment thanks to their gracious gift. hoW it Works. you send your donation in the amount(s) you choose to Canine Comfort Zone, inc., P.o. box 3664, Plant City, fL 33563. Provide us with the name(s) and address(es) of the gift recipient(s) and the occasion for which the gift is being sent. We will do the rest. What a great gift idea!

Holidays are for celebrating and at Women’s Care we service. We constantly seek to provide you with more, have much to celebrate! Winning #1 for Brandon and such as our convenient in-office procedures, Mammograms, South Shore’s Best OB/GYN for the second year tells Vaccines, and our new Interactive Patient Education us our patients continue to be delighted with our Systems. We look forward to seeing you this Holiday Season and in the New Year!

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LOCAL » FOCUS event Co-Chair, said, “We wanted to do a party to stand out from the other competitions.” Now, parties are becoming a standard at these events. This means there isn’t really any rest time for the teams. For the most part the cooks are up all night working their grills for the contest on Saturday.

Competing with the Poppell Insurance team was Mark Poppell and Fred Williams. Paul Burkett and Ben Copeland give their efforts a seal of approval. Photo by: Sherrie Mueller

Visitors to the event buy “Pig Bucks” exchanged dollar for dollar. The Pig Bucks are then used to purchase the food sold by the competitors. Many, but not all, of the competitors make enough food to sell to patrons. It’s definitely a family event. There’s something for everyone. This year’s event included a bounce house, rock climbing wall, mechanical bull and a bungee jump. There were several other vendors, some selling trinkets and some selling food. They had funnel cake, grilled corn and lemonade, just to name a few.

THEY SMELLED THE SMOKE 10TH ANNUAL PIG JAM SERVED UP GREAT BARBEQUE TO LARGE CROWDS WRITTEN BY: BRIAN WEST

B

elieve it or not, the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce just celebrated its 10th annual Pig Jam. This year, Pig Jam was held November 17th, in the northwest corner of the Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium property. Teams travel to Plant City from all over the country and at least one from Canada this year, to compete in the event. Most arrive on Friday to setup and begin cooking, and the event takes place on Saturday, which is open to the public. A total of 75 teams competed in the event. Our great city played host to teams from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas City, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. One team even traveled from Ontario, Canada to participate. Yes, barbeque can be, and is, competitive enough to entice people to drive across the country to cook – and show off their skills. Barbeque enthusiasts travel the states to compete in competitions with their peers, throughout the year, and the Plant City Pig Jam has become another

For more information contact the Plant City Chamber of Commerce at 813-754-3707. The Chamber also has information on their website at www.plantcity.org It’s certainly not too early to begin planning for 2013.

great destination for good barbeque and great competition. So the word is getting out. Teams enter the event in various categories;: beef brisket, chicken, pork and ribs. They cook all night long and then must determine that perfect piece of brisket or that perfect piece of chicken and then prepare it visually for the judges. Judges (the toughest job in the event) taste each entry and ultimately cast their vote for each category. There is prize money for first through fifth place in each of the four categories, with prize money in one hundred dollar increments from $500 to $100 respectively. The Grand Champion receives $2500 and the Reserve Grand Champion receives $1500. All totaled, the event provides $10,000 in prize money. The Grand Champion from last year, I.A.B 30, won Grand Champion again this year. They traveled here from Gilbert, Arizona. Several years ago, the Chamber added The Pig Jam was a family affair complete with activities for children. Enjoying their day were (back) Harper, Brett, and Carol Mueller, Erica Burris; (Front) Gracee a cook’s party to the event. Jodi Smith, Burris, Marley Mueller, Logan and Jeremy Burris. Photo by: Sherrie Mueller

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LOCAL » FOCUS

Hands-on education goes

beyond the classroom.

Ron Ickes and Jim Hurst Photo by: Scott Edwards

RON ICKES AND PERFORM IN CONCERT AT JIM HURST BAILEY’S ACOUSTIC SHOP B WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

With small class sizes, affordable tuition, and guaranteed transferability to state universities, it’s easy to see why more than 47,000 students choose HCC. Visit hccfl.edu/registernow. Hillsborough Community College is an equal access/equal opportunity educational institution. hccfl.edu/equity

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11/28/12

ailey’s Acoustic Shop in historic downtown Plant City is a music lover’s haven. Recognized as the premier supplier in Central Florida of guitars, banjos, Dobros and basses, it’s also a great place to take lessons and enjoy concerts by premier artists in the field of acoustic, bluegrass and Americana music. From 3 to 7 p.m. on November 29, 2012, Dobros master Ron Ickes and guitar artist Jim Hurst led separate workshops for enthusiasts who traveled from as far away as Georgia. Then at 8 p.m. the two performed for two hours to a packed house sold out months in advance.

which is the band Bailey performs with.

Bailey, a Plant City native who is also a full time luthier (builder and repairer of stringed instruments), is pleased to be able to bring talent of this caliber to our town. He said, “There are so many great musicians here, that it’s only natural to host events like this. Ickes and Hurst are among the best in the business.”

Bailey, whose custom-crafted guitars are purchased by musicians from around the country, also teaches the art of guitar building at his home workshop. He’s able to do this because James Hurlburt, the downtown store’s manager, helps customers and also teaches guitar, mandolin, banjo And on a moonlit night with a cool breeze and piano. blowing through the Shoppes at the Arcade, it was a perfect venue for folks to share their “Helping people enjoy and develop this 3:44 PM passion for one of the purest forms of music passion for music doesn’t feel like work,” he in the world. said. “And to host highly-regarded artists like Ickes and Hurst is an added plus.” Cheri Hornsby, who along with the shop’s owner Ken Bailey established the Central Upcoming evens include appearances by Florida Bluegrass Association, explained Dobro artist Phil Leadbetter and guitarist the draw. Steve Gulley on January 10, 2013, and the first annual Acoustic Animal Jam event in “Plant City is home to a very vibrant music Dover the weekend of January 18-19. For community, and I don’t think most people details, visit Bailey’s Acoustic Shop at 104 realize what an incredible gift this is to the W. Reynolds Street, phone 813-390-4796, area. But through performances like these, or e-mail CFBA.News@gmail.com. To we’re hoping that will change.” learn more, go to www.baileysacousticshop. com or visit Facebook. Hornsby plays bass for the Cotton-Eyed Does and also for the Dreadful Snakes,


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LOCAL » DID YOU KNOW activity. Wesley Benjamin Herring, known as W.B., moved to Plant City from Quitman, Georgia, with his parents about 1890 at the age of 19. He worked for C.S. Lowry at Lowry’s drug store and decided to make pharmacy a career, entering the School of Pharmacy at Northwestern University, and receiving his certificate and license in 1893. He returned to Plant City and bought Lowry’s drug store in 1896.

Bank of Plant City Photo courtesy of Plant City Photo Archives

PLANT CITY’S DOWNTOWN BANK BUILDINGS P SUBMITTED BY: PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES & HISTORY CENTER

rior to the many changes in banking, such as permitting interstate banking, branch banking, drive-through banking, expanded hours, etc., banking was a hometown business. You knew who owned them, who ran them, and who worked there. And they were usually outstanding structures, not like some of the box-like structures you see today. Let’s take a look at some of the early banking in Plant City, Florida. In the late 1800s it appears that there were some attempts to open banks in Plant City but there is little record of any successful bank operation. About 1885 Moreau Estes Moody moved from Tennessee to Mango, Florida, and started a drug store. In 1891 he moved the business to Plant City. Moody had a large steel safe in his store and began safekeeping money for his customers and neighbors.

was occupied by M.S. Barker’s Dry Goods and upstairs was the Olivette Hotel. After the tragic fires of 1907, which occurred first in July and then in October, constructing a building with bricks took on a new importance. Most of the brick buildings established in Plant City after the 1907 fires came from the Plant City Granite Brick Company, which was founded in 1906 and was run by Colonel Young, Moreau Moody, and others. Ironically, the Plant City Granite Brick Company burned in 1911 and the new bank building was constructed with bricks from Roux Composite Brick Company in 1914.

The bank buildings at that time were usually two stories with a large entrance for the bank, additional space for offices and other commercial activity on the first and second floors, and with several entrances. The Hillsboro State Bank building was a Following this Moody and Colonel James perfect example of this. It even had a side L. Young of Plant City organized the first entrance on Reynolds Street leading into a recorded bank in Plant City, the Hillsboro barber shop. State Bank, which opened in 1902 in a building on the southwest corner of Collins This was a time of prosperity for the area and Reynolds Street. Part of the building and there was a great deal of commercial

By 1900 Herring was a recognized community leader and operated several drug stores. Prior to 1908 he helped organize the Bank of Plant City and constructed a new building at the southeast corner of Collins and Reynolds Street. He moved one of his drug stores into it and renamed it the Central Pharmacy. It seems that Herring had plans for a bank there because the structure is another fine example of bank construction with its grandiose entrance, additional space for offices or retail on the first and second floors, and separate entrances. For years the second floor housed a medical office frequently referred to as Plant City’s hospital.

Through all the difficult times the Hillsboro State Bank continued in business; it changed its name to The Hillsboro Bank in 1957, built a drive-through in 1958, and erected a new and larger building in 1966. The vacant building became the home of the Neighborhood Service Center for a period and was acquired and occupied by the law firm of Trinkle, Redman, et al. in 1983. As of December 2012 it is still the home of the Trinkle Redman law firm.

After consolidating the First National Bank of Plant City into the Bank of Plant City in 1919 and relocating the business to the southeast corner of Collins and Reynolds Street, the Bank of Plant City finally yielded to the economic pressures and closed in July 1929. The Central Pharmacy, now owned and operated by Paul White, W.B. Herring’s brother-in-law, moved back to the corner and continued operating as White’s Central Pharmacy. White died in 1950 and his widow, Bertha White, ran the business until she died in 1964. Sons Dick and Jack White bought the business from the estate about 1971 and continued running it as White’s Central Pharmacy. In 1912 Herring organized the First After it closed in 1991 it housed several National Bank of Plant City and opened it small businesses, antique shops, etc., until in a building he constructed at the northeast 2006 when it was reopened as the Camellia corner of Haines Street and Collins Street. Rose Tea Room and Gifts, which it is as of This, too, is an example of the typical bank December 2012. building of the period, with its façade, banking operation area, and additional The First National Bank of Plant City rental space. It even housed the Armory on building housed various retail businesses the second floor for a time. over the years and was razed in 1970 for parking. Herring served as president of the First National Bank of Plant City. In 1919 it was The Farmers and Merchants Bank/Citizens absorbed into the Bank of Plant City and Bank building was closed forever in 1937. the new business moved to the building It was renovated and operated for years as Herring owned on the southeast corner Hooker’s Department Store, an upscale of Collins and Reynolds. He moved his downtown department store. When Central Pharmacy one door to the south in Hooker’s closed it became Plant City Flea, the same building. Now the apparent bank a miscellany of flea market items. This building was actually a bank. business closed about 1996 and became Frenchman’s Market, a somewhat renovated Not an inactive man, Herring, along with consignment store. After this closed about George Wilder and W.A. Haymond, 2006, the building was purchased and organized the Farmers and Merchants completely renovated and reopened as the Bank in 1920 and opened it in a new bank Church of Scientology, which is what it is building at the northeast corner of Collins as of December 2012. and North Drane Street. It, too, was the typical example of the bank building – a Four grandiose and interesting structures, large building with an impressive edifice, three of which are still occupied, were built plenty of additional space, and separate in the same time period and are still proud entrances. The economy, however, was symbols of Plant City’s fascinating history. turning and by 1927 the Farmers and Merchants Bank closed. It was reorganized Sources: Quintilla Geer Bruton and D.E. Bailey, Plant without Herring, who died in 1926, and City; Its Origin and History, Hunter Publishing Company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1984; various articles and reopened as Citizens Bank in 1928. It dates from The Courier, and Plant City Enterprise. closed permanently in 1937. FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUBMITTED BY: BRIAN WEST

The Strawberry Classic Car Show will be held Saturday, December 15th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. in downtown Plant City. The car show features cars at least 25 years old, with many classics on hand from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. This is a great family event if you’re looking for a relaxing evening. Several downtown merchants are open longer hours to accommodate the crowds. You’ll probably run into many of your friends and neighbors. There are also several food vendors, and the atmosphere is great.

Be sure to vote for your favorite Christmas tree by 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 19th. Winners will be announced at 2:00 p.m. Visit each of the 23 participating merchants to see their Christmas trees, have them sign your card, then turn in your completed card to the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. You will be eligible to win a $200 gift card! For more information, please call the Chamber at 754-3707.

Kids can visit with Santa at the Red The new Chamber members this month Caboose located at 908 Joe McIntosh Road. They will be open from 2:00 – 6:00 include: p.m. on December 21st and 22nd. For • Millie’s Gift Shop held their more information, please feel free to call ribbon cutting at 11:00 a..m. on December 759-3345. 11th at 111 S. Collins St. The Bike Show will be held Saturday, • The Children’s Board Family January 5th in Historic Downtown Plant Resource of East County will have a ribbon City from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. The show cutting at 11:00 a.m. on January 11th at features hundred of bikes from all over, with everyone riding in for a relaxing afternoon 639 E. Alexander St. in downtown. For the enthusiast, there are • Continucare Medical Center will bikes of all styles, makes and models and have their grand opening from 6:00 – 8:00 both new and old. The show is always a p.m. on December 15th, with a ribbon little different, but there are often antique cutting at 6:30 p.m. They are located at 228 bikes on which owners have spent countless hours restoring them to their former W Alexander St. glory. And like the Car Show, many of Come join everyone to learn a little the downtown merchants are open longer about each business, wish them luck and hours to accommodate the crowds. participate in the ribbon cutting. The Chamber office will be closed December 24th, 25th, 25th, 31st and January 1st.


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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


Families of the Greater Plant City area are crazy about their kids. Last month we put a call out for parents to enter their child in our 2nd Annual Cutest Kids contest. More than 60 families responded with some incredibly cute photos of their children. And you, our Focus Fans and readers, did your part by voting for your favorites. Congratulations to the five winners, one in each of the following categories: 0-12 month olds 1-2 year olds 3-5 year olds 6-8 year olds 9-12 year olds

Sophia Maddox Alexis Kylie Nathan

Enjoy the view and catch the joy of these wonderful children. Focus would like to thank everyone that entered and helped spread the word to vote. You made it happen and it was great fun.

0-12 Month Olds

WINNER: SOPHIA

KINLEY

BRAYDEN

KYLEE

ABELA

BRANTLEY

MASON

SHELBY

COOPER

BRANTLEY

PRESLEY

OWEN

CADE

BRAXTON

LOGAN

RYLAN

JAXON

MILA

CARTER

ALLIE

TESS

WESTON

AUBREY

MAKENZIE

RODERICK

RONNIE

SOPHIE

CHLOE

MAKENZIE

SUTTON

EVAN MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012 FOCUS

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1-2 Year Olds

WINNER: MADDOX

48

ABIGAIL

BRAYLEN

LANDON

MAKENNA

LIAM

WILLIAM

MASON

GISELLE

RJ

VIOLET

RODNEY

CADE

BRAYDEN

BRODY

CORALYNN

EVERETT

HALEIGH

IAN

KA’BRIA

KAITLYN

KASEN (RIGHT)

AUBREY

JOSHUA

LOLA

MASON

TYLON

HAILEY

GIAVANNA

SUTTON

KENDAL

JARED

CAMILLE

CHEYENNE

ELLA

JACKSON

SHAYLEE

ELIJAH

LAUREN

DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


3-5 Year Olds

WINNER: ALEXIS

CADE

CARMEN

DEACON

JAXSON

JAYDEN

MAKENZIE

TREY

WILLIAM JR

OLIVIA”

MAYA

TRINITY

ALLAN

LEAH

NOAH

ADDYSEN (RIGHT)

KAYLIN

MADELEINE (LEFT)

TREASURE

LAYLA

GADIEL

LILA

BRENHAM

BRENNEN

JENNIFER (RIGHT)

MASON

MAKINLEY

LANDON

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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6-8 Year Olds

WINNER: KYLIE

LA`MYA

LANCE

MAKAYLA

SKYLER

AIDEN

GARRETT

KAGEN

MISAEL

ASHTON

BROOKE

LEAH

JENNIFER

ALEXIS

JUSTIN

NAILA

VIRGINIA

ZANE

TRYSTON

AVERY

CAMERYN

JAYDEN

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9-12 Year Olds

WINNER: NATHAN

MADISON

ASHLYN

ELIZABETH

MADIE

MIKENZIE

ERIKA

JENNA

KAITLYN

PAIGE

SEAN

NADIA

OLIVIA

AMANDA

KENZIE

CALLIE

HALEY

JEREMY

KELLI

ALEXANDRA

DRAKE

KELLIEANNE


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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


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Photos by

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Anthony S

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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Focus: Hello and Merry Christmas, Sharon and Dave. For those who don’t know you yet, please tell us a little about yourself, your family and your career for those who don’t know you. Sharon Moody: I was born and raised here and have lived in Plant City all my life. My parents are both deceased. Dad passed away in 2008 and my mother died of cancer in 2010. I am semi-retired and enjoy doing volunteer work in the community. For 15 years I worked in the banking industry and also spent 10 years with the State of Florida Department of Revenue as a Revenue Specialist III. I was also the Director of the Plant City Boys and Girls Club for five years. Dave Miles: I was born in Plant City 43 years ago and have 15-year-old twin daughters, Macie and Makenzie. I work currently in automotive sales at Sparkman Chevrolet in Zephyrhills and enjoy cooking BBQ as a pro on the BBQ Trail. Focus: With what other civic organizations do you currently serve? Moody: I currently serve Kiwanis as Lieutenant Governor 2012-2013 for Florida Division 14 and have held local offices, including Past President, since 2008. I have been involved with the Plant City Code Enforcement since 2001 and presently serve as ViceChair. I’m a member of the Plant City Chamber of Commerce and have been a board member with Unity in the Community since 2009. I am founder and president of the Jr. Elite Women’s Club of Plant City and of the Plant City Black Heritage Celebration, Inc. I have also served with the Boys & Girls Club Professional Association, Relay for Life (2010-11) the YMCA in its original location and as a Director for the Summer Reading Program for Lots of Hugs (2011 and 2012). Miles: I am a Past President of Plant City Lions Club and an Associate Director for the Florida Strawberry Festival. Focus: How did you come to be involved with the Christmas Parade? Moody: Fran Nielsen asked me to join the committee in 1999. I was voted in to serve as Secretary/Treasurer and presently serve as treasurer and have been involved ever since.

Miles: I have been involved with our Christmas parade for 15 years total and have worked with the Strawberry Festival parade for 30 years. I love a parade! Focus: Dave, can you explain how the Grand Marshal is selected each year? Miles: Our committee selects the Grand Marshal from names lifted up by citizens and civic groups. Focus: Sharon, what was your biggest surprise in working to present the event? Moody: That I was chosen to be the Grand Marshal. I was very honored and blessed. Focus: What are some of the features you believe made this year’s parade unique? Moody: The Plant City Christmas Parade, Inc. presented a Certificate of Participation to each parade participant. These were donated by Marsha Passmore and Dodie White who also had a committee to procure judges for the floats, in order to award the overall winner with a huge trophy. We also had marching bands from out of town to participate this year and many more churches from the community got involved. Miles: Approximately 100 entries made this event special. Two of my favorites are Mike’s Tire and Wheel monster school bus and The King of Bass. Focus: Can you detail several things the general public may not be aware of regarding the parade and the readying efforts for it? Moody: The new Plant City

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

Christmas Board and Committees meet regularly from January to December to prepare for this parade. The Rotary Club supplied and cooked the hot dogs and supplied the drinks for parade participants at the route’s end. We also have numerous volunteers from the community to help the day of the parade to make sure everyone is safe. We would especially like to thank the City of Plant City for such great support in this effort and also our major sponsor, Stingray Chevrolet. Miles: This year we have become a 501(c) 3 organization and we implemented a mandatory safety meeting, along with advanced notice of the lineup. We also established a Facebook page for the Plant City Christmas Parade. I don’t think everyone realizes how many hours we meet annually and that our funds come from donations and entry fees. It was great to get a major sponsor this year. Thank you, Stingray Chevrolet!


Focus: What advice or tips did you offer to families who came out to enjoy the community experience? Moody: Be safe and enjoy. Miles: I suggested they arrive early to save a spot, bring plenty of snacks and locate the nearest bathroom. The main thing was to “Have fun and be safe!’ Focus: If you were asked to prepare a three-sentence advertisement to promote Plant City, what would you write? Moody: Plant City is a great city to call home or to visit. In the ‘Strawberry Capitol of the World’ people are very friendly and where else can you live and get homegrown strawberries. This community of churches, civic organizations, businesses, and schools works together to make Plant City a very special place to live. Miles: Plant City’s small town atmosphere encourages lifelong friendships. People here support each other in our efforts to grow businesses, build strong families and volunteer for charitable causes. It’s a historic city with deep roots, strong traditions and a charm that connects citizens at the heart level. Focus: And what do you personally enjoy most about living here? Moody: This is a close-knit small town where everyone knows everybody. Miles: This is the only home I’ve ever known and I can’t imagine another. I love the location, the uniqueness and the friendships I’ve formed here. Focus: Thank you, ambassadors, for allowing us to shine a little spotlight on your commitment to help the kids, young and old, enjoy the holiday excitement in our historic downtown. Your hard work paid off, as evidenced in the number of families who joined with their friends and neighbors to line the streets and cheer their hearts out. We have a sense that the future of this tradition will only become brighter and brighter as the years go by. We salute you!!

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

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BUSINESS » BUSINESS PROFILE successfully serving those during their time of need, Bozeman has built quite the list of referrals from satisfied customers. “My business stands out from the competition because we truly care for people,” said Bozeman. “We place other people’s needs above our own. We take care of them, and they take care of us. As a result, my clients are pleased. I’ve been able to take care of relatives of past clients from generation to generation. I have created a referral business and that’s the greatest compliment—to be recommended by a client.” Bozeman believes that in order to continue her company’s success, she must continue to reach out to others, whether through her business or other civic organizations. In fact, the small business owner is a member of the Plant City Lions Club, Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Plant City Civitan Club, Turkey Creek First Baptist Church, and various local and national realtor associations. Furthermore, Bozeman works extensively with a local food bank, the American Heart Association, and area Hispanic families in need of clothing and food assistance. “I was born and raised in Plant City,” said Bozeman. “I love this community and all the businesses, old and new. I feel very much a part of the community, and the community is a part of me. I’m proud to be in Plant City and have bragged to people for years, those who have to commute to places like Lakeland or Tampa to work, that I’m able to work and make a living in this community I love. Plant City has blessed me.”

KP REALTY SERVICES A WRITTEN BY: AMANDA FURMAGE-DECK

lmost anyone can recite the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, it seems only a select few embrace this ethical code, including Karen Bozeman, owner of Plant City’s KP Realty Services. Her company’s mission—to place her clients’ needs first. “My business gives me the opportunity to give back,” said Bozeman. “I believe wholeheartedly that if you do good, then

in 2002, started two businesses—Premier Construction and KP Realty Services. Currently, KP Realty Services has eight real estate associates throughout the Plant good will follow. In fact, giving back is City, Brandon, and Lakeland areas selling one of the main reasons my business is and renting residential and commercial properties. successful.” During the end of her 18-year tenure as a real estate paralegal, Bozeman began to flip houses. In other words, she would purchase a property, renovate it, and then quickly sell it for a profit. Because she enjoyed the house flipping process so much, she obtained a real estate broker license, building contractor license, and mortgage broker license, and,

Managing a small business—not to mention two at the same time—is a difficult task requiring much time and effort, especially in the highly competitive and always fluctuating real estate market. Yet because of KP Realty Services’ clientcentric mission, the business has grown tremendously over the past ten years, even amid the tough economic conditions. By

If you are looking to buy, sell, or rent a property, schedule an appointment with Karen Bozeman at KP Realty Services. She’ll meet with a client anytime, anywhere—even in Tampa at 10 p.m., which she’s done before. Or you can meet at her beautiful, 108-year-old office building on the corner of Alexander Street and Mud Lake Road. No matter when or where, Bozeman will be ready to serve you.

INFORMATION KP Realty Services 2005 Mud Lake Road Plant City, Florida 33566 Phone: 813-478-1260 Email: kprealtyservices@gmail.com

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

TALKING TURKEY DURING THETHINGS TO DISCUSS WITH HOLIDAYS FAMILY MEMBERS T

to work. The best strategy is to share names he holidays are coming, and so is the and contact information now, including family. When you gather around the the financial advisor, attorney, CPA and big turkey dinner, what a great time to medical advisors. share old stories, recent news and important changes! There’s something else worth sharing when the family gets together, and it has to do with your legacy. A general discussion of strategies and expectations is a personal decision; you are certainly not obligated to share your strategy, as every family situation is unique. However, it is important to consider if and when to involve those affected by your estate strategy in broader discussions with your estate-planning attorney, as well as your financial advisor and qualified tax advisor. Here are some potential topics to consider.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

WISHES FOR FUTURE LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

While you may have a clear picture for medical care and future living or care arrangements, your children may not. Here’s an opportunity to share expectations and preparations as well as the role adult children may play.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS OR BURIAL INSTRUCTIONS Family members really should be aware of any prepaid funeral arrangements – and if there are specific burial wishes, they need to know that, too. If this topic is too uncomfortable to discuss in person, families can share information on where to find details that will help them manage arrangements more efficiently when this emotional time comes.

Perhaps you want your adult children to know where to locate the documents you have carefully prepared to protect the integrity of your legacy. These may include a will, trust, mortgage papers, power of attorney, deeds and life insurance contracts You may decide these topics are sufficient. as well as any other financial or legal Or you may let them serve as a starting point for additional information that bears documents. sharing. However much you choose to address them, talking turkey about your legacy with family members can make a big difference when decisions need to be made Adult children will save a lot of time if they down the road. have immediate access to the professionals with whom parents have carefully selected

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SEPTIC PROBLEMS? WE HAVE THE SOLUTION!

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enjoy an amazingly close relationship! In business, over the years, I have had some unique opportunities. I was responsible for bringing Valrico State Bank (now CenterState Bank) to Plant City in 1992 and then in 1997 got the opportunity to join with the group that was forming Platinum Bank and actually was able to assist in starting this bank from the ground up. Platinum Bank came to Plant City in 2004. Outside of banking I have had the opportunity to own four businesses Helping others! Whether it’s in my role over the years. as a banker or as owner of The UPS Store, everything we do in business is service related. We fully understand that we can only be successful if we help you be successful. We understand that our clients As my Grandfather used to say; “It’d have many choices for filling their banking never do to stop here!” As a banker I hope and shipping needs so we strive to provide to continue to grow in knowledge and high touch customer service in every experience so that I will be better equipped to meet the needs of my clients. And I hope relationship. to be able to continue the growth of my outside of banking business interests and hope to expand The UPS Store to multiple As a banker it is to be a trusted confidant units. My son Brad manages The UPS Store and business partner with all of our clients. day-to-day operations and it is such a joy to At some point, every business will need work with him and we both look forward to a banker they can turn to and trust and I growing that business model. want Platinum Bank to be the first name they think of when that time comes. We aspire to be the best bank in town. Being both a banker and having owned several I graduated from The University of the small businesses has afforded me the ability Cumberlands in 1981 when the prime to understand the needs of businesses from lending rate was 20.5% and the country both the entrepreneur point of view and was in a deep recession with unemployment north of 8%. The only job I could find was from the banker point of view. Likewise, at The UPS Store we strive to in the area of loan collections with a local provide shipping services and mailbox bank (and with interest rates of 20+% there services to small business customers that was plenty of collection work to be done!). assists them with back office shipping, I was fortunate that the President of the mailing and full service printing needs. Our bank, Ron Daniel, took me under his wing goal is to be the friendliest most efficient and mentored me and provided me the supplier of shipping, mailboxes and printing opportunity to get into the Management Training Program of the company and services in Plant City. eventually ended up in the commercial lending area. In this capacity I was exposed to numerous business ideas and concepts. Eventually I decided to put what I had Being married to Susan, my absolute best learned about business from banking and friend and wife for 30 years, and being from my clients to work for myself and in the father of three sons who have grown 1989 bought my first business. into fine young men with whom I still

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Shiloh Baptist Church

Discover Something Different!! Come join us Sunday School for all ages 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning worship services 10:15 a.m. Sunday night service/small groups 5:30 p.m. Wednesday Adult Service – 6:15 p.m. Youth Service – 6:00 p.m. Children’s Music & Bible – 6:00 p.m. We are different at Shiloh…Come and see! For more information call us at 813-752-8345. 905 W.Terrace Drive, Plant City, FL 33563 DiscoverSomethingDifferent.com

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Team Wainoris Multi-Million Dollar Producers

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sellmyhome@tampabay.rr.com www.teamwainoris.com Randall Wainoris 813-997-3000

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM TEAM WAINORIS

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813-967-1285 REALTOR®

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Cute as a button! Three bedroom, two bath home on one acre in South Plant City. Beautiful stained wood walls and ceilings throughout! Country setting on treed lot with workshop! Short Sale: asking $89,000.

Wonderful and unique RV community of Mt. Olive Shores, North. Large Paver lot with paver patio and driveway. All utilities are connected and ready for use. Short sale: asking $50,000

Large 4 bedroom 2 bath home on almost 3 acres. Large rooms, family room with fireplace, separate den off of the master suite. 30 x 30ft pole barn too! Short sale: asking $89,000.

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We would like to thank all of you: our family, our friends and our clients for making 2012 a great year here at Team Wainoris! We are very excited about next year, and look forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs in 2013. Happy Holidays!

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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REAL ESTATE » JO-ANN LUSK

REAL ESTATE IN 2013 A SUBMITTED BY: JO-AN LUSK

to help fund Medicare, also known as the “Medicare tax.”

s we approach the New Year, I have pulled together some highlights of what we can look forward to in 2013 for the Real Estate Market. This information comes from experts in the Accounting/Legal field as well as the National Association of Realtors.

• On January 1, 2013 this tax will come into place.

FROM THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS:

• While this tax will not apply to all real estate transactions, it will apply to some.

• Despite public statements by the Fed to keep interest rates low into 2014, the Fed funds rate may need to be increased as early as autumn in 2013. Core inflation rate is already above its desired pace and is anticipated to rise higher because of rent increases. • Housing Starts measure the number of newly constructed homes. Starts have been rising by better than 20% so far this year. Falling inventory means builders need to ramp up production. But many small time homebuilders cannot obtain construction loans. Starts will rise 75% over the next 2 years if lending improves.

• Proceeds from the sale of real estate may be subject to the Medicare tax.

• The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act passed in 2007 for a five year sunset period will be concluding at the end of 2012 • The MFDR Act was enacted to encourage banks/lenders to write down debt while providing tax relief to the debtor • Essentially, the taxpayer does not have to include in their income debt forgiven on their principal residence. • Major implications to taxpayer since the discharge of debt is normally included in ordinary income

• Allows the taxpayer to reduce their basis • New Home Sales measure contract in the property signings. New Home Sales have been rising by 20% so far in 2012 and could • Applies to principal reductions, short reach 600,000 by 2013. That doubles the sales, foreclosures, and/or loan modifications 2011 figure of 300,000. • If not extended, the $17 billion allocated • Existing Home Sales have been rising to debt relief under the mortgage servicer around 10% from a year ago. Sales will rise settlement agreement will be senseless to nearly 5 million in 2013. because now the borrowers receiving relief will have to pay taxes on those amounts (where they did not have to previously)

LEGAL/TAX UPDATES THAT WILL AFFECT REAL ESTATE IN 2013: 70

DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

Please consult with a Real Estate Attorney or CPA for questions regarding the 3.8% • As a last minute addition to the Tax or the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt “Obamacare” law passed in 2010, a 3.8% Relief Act. tax on investment income was created


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

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

SUBMITTED BY: NATALIE SWEET

nowhere for residents to park. She asked that I write in the column asking that you contact the HOA office or the police should you notice unauthorized automobiles at our common area. I spoke with the office and they have had a hard time policing the area. Volunteers have helped with this problem but are unwilling to continue due to being sworn at and threatened by these unauthorized people. Please do not try and approach anyone on your own. I am not At this printing, the invoices for our semi- sure the police will be willing to interfere annual dues should be in your hands. with this issue, as it may not be a big The dues in 2013 will remain the same priority for them. as they have been for the last two years. The semi-annual fee is $213 and is due Walden Lake is all decked out with January 1st. The Board really appreciates lights and decorations at each of the all who pay promptly. Also, providing that neighborhood entrances. I will have the you are current on your recent dues, you results of the contest in the January issue. should have received two decals for your Take some time and look around at how automobiles. If you require additional beautiful our community looks. decals, please stop by the HOA office on Griffin Boulevard to purchase what you There is a real concern to help feed the need. The cost is $15 for the first additional hungry during this holiday season. The decal and $25 per each additional decal Board is collecting for the United Food you will need. Bank to help fill their shelves. Much needed non-perishable items are desperately We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful needed and you are encouraged to drop off community with very low HOA dues. I at the HOA office on Griffin Blvd. during sit at the Board meetings taking notes and business hours. Can you imagine if every watch how carefully our Board, which is homeowner dropped off even one can or comprised of Walden Lake homeowners, box of food? We can make a difference in watches over our money. They deliberate several families’ lives. and discuss before approving any new costs. Check around to some of the other Next month I will be writing about the communities, especially with amenities real estate sales statistics, not only for the like ours, and you will find that their HOA final quarter of 2012, but for all of 2012. dues are much higher. If you would like Please stay tuned for that issue as I know any information on HOA dues in any many of you have a lot of interest on what of the other communities, feel free to is happening in the Walden Lake real estate contact me at 813-758-9586 or via email world. at nsweet@kw.com. If you have any questions on this column, I had an anonymous call from a resident would like to see a particular topic covered who is upset about the parking situation or have any questions regarding real estate, at the park. It seems we are seeing a lot please feel free to contact me at 813-758of non-residents using our common areas 9586 or via email at nsweet@kw.com. and taking up parking spaces, leaving he Walden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at the Walden Lake Community Association office building on Griffin Boulevard in Walden Lake. The next meeting will be December 17th and will begin at 6:00. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents.

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REAL ESTATE » MORTGAGE

DO YOU REALLY SKIP A MORTGAGE PAYMENT WHEN YOU REFINANCE? SUBMITTED BY: NATE DAVIS

T

In addition to skipping a payment or two he answer is yes and no. Allow me to when you refinance, if you’re paying off a explain. loan that has an escrow account (and using a new lender), you’ll receive the balance of When you complete a mortgage refinance the escrow account, which will be refunded transaction, you typically don’t have a to you within 30-60 days of closing. If the payment due for 1-2 months. So in this new loan has an escrow account as well, the sense, yes, you skip a payment. funds to establish that account will also be a part of the closing costs, so the money The reason you don’t skip a payment in you receive as a refund does not have to be another sense is because the interest that sent to the new mortgage company. accrues under the new loan, between the funding date of the refinance and the first For these reasons, many borrowers choose payment due, is accounted for in your to refinance in December, as this is a month closing costs as “pro-rated interest.” This is where the break in payments and escrow typically added to your mortgage balance, refunds are most appreciated. I would never unless you pay the costs in cash. The old encourage someone to refinance a home saying “there is no free lunch” holds true for these reasons alone, as each transaction here, as well. While it does feel like you’re must make financial sense. However, it’s a skipping out on payment, the costs still nice bonus after the holiday season. exist.

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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SPORTS » BASEBALL the minor league system reaching the AAA level in his fourth season, when Buck Showalter, his manager for the Albany/ Colonie Yankees, asked to speak with him.

agents rather than utilize their farm system. Therefore, Green stayed in AAA ball for two more seasons before being released in 1990.

“He called me to his office and asked, ‘Are you ready to go to the big leagues? Syd Thrift (Yankees general manager) was here all week and he is looking for a righthanded hitting left fielder to bring up. I told him that you were ready. He’s going to call you.”

“It was a great time in my life and I met a lot of great people. I loved to play because I loved the game,” Bobby reflected.

That call never came because the next week, Thrift and the Yankees manager (Dallas Green) were both fired. The next season, the Yankees opted to sign additional free Bobby Green in 2012 Photos courtesy of Bobby Green

ENJOYING THE GAME BOBBY GREEN POSSESSED ALL THE TOOLS THAT MADE THE GAME FUN WRITTEN BY: JOE BOWLES

“I

played the game like it was a game. I enjoyed it. Looking back, I might not have worked at it as hard as I could have, but it was a game. I never wanted it to become a job, where it would be a chore just to get out there and play.” That’s how Bobby Green, sales representative at Jarrett-Scott Ford here in Plant City, felt about his professional baseball career. Green had fun playing… and why not? It’s called a game, isn’t it? And Green possessed all the tools that made the game fun. “He is what the scouts called a five-tool player,” said former Florida Southern College teammate Ken Kranick. “He could run fast. He has as good an arm as anyone I’ve ever seen. He was a great fielder and he could hit for power and average. He was one of the best.”

nearby Cochise Community College. In his sophomore season, he was drafted in the 5th round by the San Diego Padres, but Green chose to stay in school and subsequently transferred to Florida Southern College in Lakeland for his junior and senior years. The Atlanta Braves drafted him in the 8th round following his junior season, but once again, he chose to stay in school. It was the right decision for him. You see, in his senior season, Green set multiple single-season school records, hitting .424, with 100 RBI’s and 15 home runs. He also led the nation in doubles as he helped the Moccasins claim the NCAA Division II National Championship. The 1985 team was later named the “Greatest Team” in Florida Southern history.

Green became a first team All American selection and that June, he signed his first pro contract after being drafted in the 5th round by the New York Yankees. Those tools enabled Green to grab a college Green was apprehensive signing with the scholarship, a national championship, Yankees because they were notorious for become an All American, and get drafted signing experienced free agents rather than three times before he played his first developing young players through their minor league system. professional game. Green played baseball at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, and then at

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

Nonetheless, Green hoped to be the exception. He quickly moved up through

Bobby Green Hitting a Home Run for the Yankees Photos courtesy of Bobby Green

After his release, he coached for the PrinceWilliam Cannons of the Carolina League, one of the Yankee’s Class A teams, before settling in this area with his wife Susie, where he has coached three years in the Florida Baseball Heaven organization and two years as the head softball coach at Webber International University.


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SPORTS » ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

WRITTEN BY: JOE BOWLES | PHOTO BY: ANTHONY SASSANO

JAMARLON HAMILTON

DURANT’S HAMILTON IS HARD TO BRING DOWN ON AND OFF THE FIELD

“K

eep on moving” is the philosophy that Durant’s senior running back Jamarlon Hamilton lives by. Hamilton, at 5’9” and 215 lbs., is one big compact muscle (he squats 650 lbs.), who also happens to be fast (4.6 in the 40), and agile (35 in. vertical jump). He also happens to break tackles and carry opposing runners on his back as he fights for additional yards. This season, Hamilton has rushed for 1340 yards and has scored 20 touchdowns. He “keeps on moving” alright, and he’s hard to bring down. The same is true off the field. You see, Jamarlon’s mother, Lakisha, passed away when he was in the 8th grade. Jamarlon then moved in with his uncle, who, unfortunately, died a short time later. Now Hamilton lives with his grandparents, Donnell and Janet Smith who are presently facing a serious challenge in life. “Losing my mom and my uncle was hard for me and now my grandma, who is only 52, takes chemotherapy every Thursday. She has pancreatic cancer… but life moves on. When life sets you back, you have to keep on moving… even when it’s hard.” Jamarlon is a quiet, polite, articulate young man who has “college potential” written all over him every time he touches a football. Until recently, Hamilton flew under the radar, but all that has changed in the last few weeks. Presently, UCF, USF, and Florida Atlantic are showing interest. Hamilton has already made visits to FAU and UCF, and hopes to make an official visit to USF soon. Right now, FAU is showing the most interest in him. Hamilton was raised just south of Plant City in the close-knit community of Bealsville. Growing up, Hamilton’s parents didn’t want him to play football. (His dad, Aaron, is still much involved in his life.) They were fearful that he would get hurt. When they finally relented in his 7th grade year and gave him permission to get on the gridiron playing for the Plant City Eagles, Jamarlon got hurt in the very first game he played, just as his parents feared. So, his career was delayed another year until his 8th grade season.

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Hamilton has been impressing ever since leading up to his senior breakout season at Durant. Hamilton is one of the leaders on Durant High School’s undefeated team’s regular season. A season that resulted in a district championship, and a victory in the Region 2 quarterfinal game against Tampa Bay Tech, before a heart breaking loss to rival Newsome in the semifinals. Jamarlon, who could easily have taken some of the credit for the Cougars success this year, deflected all the credit to head Coach Mike Guttmann, “Coach Gottman has instilled into us a good work ethic. We might not have many Division I talents, but coach had taught us to work hard as a team. He knows how to put the right players in the right places and that’s why we were so successful.” Off the field, Hamilton is involved in the Junior Optimist Club and is a solid student-athlete sporting a 3.2 GPA. Jamarlon was recently selected as a first team AllWestern Conference selection in the Federal Division. He has also been selected to represent Hillsborough County in the annual Hillsborough/Pasco All star game that pits the best seniors from each county against each other.


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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SPORTS » SPORTS TEAM OF THE MONTH

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS DURANT COMPLETES MOST SUCCESSFUL SEASON IN SCHOOL HISTORY D

again, it was 14-14 and a new ball game. We kept battling and even after they scored again, we had our opportunities to put the game into overtime, but we just didn’t get it done.”

WRITTEN BY: JOE BOWLES

urant’s head football coach Mike Gottman’s ringtone is from Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s hit “Taking Care of Business,” and that is exactly what Gottman’s Cougars did during an undefeated regular football season and through the first game of the regional playoffs before falling to the Newsome Wolves 21-14 in the regional semifinals, ending their magical season at 11-1.

“Taking care of business is what we wanted to do every Friday night,” said Gottman, “… protect the football, not give up big plays, and play great special teams was our business every week and I thought our guys did a great job buying into that philosophy.”

came to Durant ten seasons ago after an eight-year stint as the defensive coordinator at East Bay. He has had other successful years at the helm of the Cougars, but nothing like this season. “I knew that we were going to be all right when we were at USF’s (football) camp this summer. We matched up well against some pretty good teams, so I thought we would be pretty good, but I never thought we would start out 11-0.”

Durant jump–started their season with three convincing victories, outscoring their opponents 213-7. In week four, the Cougars escaped with a 13-12 victory over a tough Wharton squad before cruising to six more victories in the regular season. Their only Gottman, who is a native of New York, serious challenge came from Newsome in

week seven, but Durant prevailed 36-28, taking advantage of four Wolves’ turnovers. In the regional quarterfinal game against Tampa Bay Tech, the Cougars overpowered the Titans 34-7, setting up a rematch with Newsome in the semifinals. “I knew it was going to be a tight game with Newsome,” reflected Gottman.” They’ve got a great coaching staff and I knew they would be prepared for us. They took the opening possession and drove down the field and scored. Before we knew it, it was 14-0 and we were kind of shell shocked. At halftime, I told our guys that we just had to go out and impose our will on them in the second half and that’s what we tried to do. We came out and scored our first touchdown and then we got the interception and ran it back to the 2 yard line. When we scored

They came close, however, as they moved the length of the field with little time left on the clock and no time outs as quarterback Trey Vandergrift engineered a near perfect drive that fell just short as his final pass fell incomplete as time expired. Durant was well represented on the AllWestern Conference Teams of the Federal Division. Mike Gottman was chosen as the Coach of the Year. First team selections from Durant include: Jamarlon Hamilton (RB), Alex Wood (OL), Paxton Sims (TE), Reggie Gainer (WR), Dontriel Perry (DL), Tyler Moody (LB), Randy Baker (DB), and Danny Bowers (PK). Second Team selections from Durant were: Cody Martin (OL), and Zach Hooper (KR).

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EXTRA » SENIOR OF THE MONTH

MOLLY COOVEART SENIOR OF THE MONTH WRITTEN BY: CHELSEA TALAVERA

their club is the best. She plans many activities such as the Halloween costume party, a day to go putt putt golfing and a trip to the Corn Maze. She enjoys the quality time she spends with her two buddies, Gregory and Mike. They are currently preparing for this year’s Special Olympics and hopes to carry on her titles with both of her buddies to qualify for the state games. She has been a dedicated member since her freshmen year.

A

Molly is also a member of Executive Council, President of Student Government and Civinettes. In tenth grade she founded and was the co-president of a new club called the Eco Club at PCHS. She wanted to make a difference and help the campus become greener and more eco friendly. She is also a member of the Drama Club and has attended the All State Thespian Festival each year.

s school years continue to pass by, scholars continue to strive for the top. Their G.P.As are higher, the community involvement list is longer and the goals they set for themselves are great aspirations. Senior Molly Coovert is a girl who continues to do everything she can to Last but not least Miss Coovert continues be the best. to volunteer wherever she sees need. She Molly is currently ranked in the top 1 is a board member for the University of percent of the senior class. She is second South Florida’s Children’s Health Advisory overall. Obviously beyond intelligent, she Committee that promotes the health scored a 1340 on the SAT, this was the and quality of life of children worldwide fourth highest test score at PCHS. She is through pioneering programs in education, a member of the 1280 Club and received research and compassionate clinical care. the Advanced Placement Scholar Award She was a mentor for a little boy at Walden this past month. Molly also was awarded Lake Elementary under the Big Brothers a scholarship to the World Affairs Youth Big Sisters program, serves at the United Seminar at Auburn University made Food Bank and annually spends time at the possible by the Plant City Rotary Club. She American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. went to Auburn in June of this year. Molly has lettered in academics and also attended Molly is an excellent example of a student the Republican National Convention this who is passionate for school work. She will be very successful in life and we’re so happy year. it all began here. As the president of this year’s Raider Buddies, Molly works diligently to ensure

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Michael and Nancy Heckerman would like to announce the engagement of their daughter, Kara Elyse to Matthew Pepito of Crystal River, Florida. Matthew proposed to Kara this past New Years Eve while vacationing in Dubai, U.A.E. Kara is a Plant City High School 2006 graduate. She currently is working for Beth Ingram as a Speech Therapist Assistant while studying, on-line, for her masters degree, in SpeechLanguage Pathology through Florida State University. Matthew has his degree in LongTerm Health Care Administration and is working in the Human Resources Department at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. A June 2013 wedding is planned in Key West, Florida.

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EXTRA » SENIOR OF THE MONTH

JACOB GOAD SENIOR OF THE MONTH

WRITTEN BY: CHELSEA TALAVERA He has also been a Varsity football letterman since his freshmen year. Jacob competed in November for Calendar Guy and was named Mr. November. His character as “Mr. Mom” was a huge hit with the entire audience. He carried real babies, they were his cousins, and even had his cow on stage so the babies could have their milk. Jacob is known among his peers as “very funny” and “a great person to be around.”

T

welfth grade calls for hard work, chaos and a whole lot of fun. One thing Plant City High School can say is that the students there are among the top of the top. The Senior of the Month this month, Jacob Goad, is no exception.

Jacob also takes part in the “Friday Night Lights.” He has been on the Varsity football team since his sophomore year and plays the position of defensive linemen and center. On senior night this year, at his final game, Jacob was honored to be named the Captain of the football team. He has been recruited by many different colleges and is currently reviewing his film and deciding what school he would like to attend. As if it can’t get any better, Jacob is extremely dedicated to the Raider Buddies’ program. He has been a member since his freshmen year. Jacob has dedicated over 500 volunteer hours. He works with all of the special needs students for the annual Special Olympics competition. He has helped them win first place in state basketball freshmen through sophomore years where they also qualified for the National Competition and placed 1st in softball in the state. This upcoming month he will spend a weekend in Orlando with the Raider Buddies in hopes of winning a gold medal.

Jacob is currently dual enrolled with Hillsborough Community College and takes extra classes there, as well as his full schedule in high school. He currently holds a 4.5 G.P.A and is standing 77th out of 408 seniors. He has a score of 1050 on the SAT and was inducted into the National Honor Society as a sophomore. Jacob is among the elite group of scholars and attends many banquets that celebrate his dedication to Jacob finishes his weeks on Sundays at his his education. church where he plays the drums. He loves music, fishing and spending time with his This year so far, Jacob was named the family. Let’s just say he’s the all around Optimist Club Outstanding Youth and American Guy. the Panera Bread Student of the Month.

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EXTRA » AL REUCHEL pick up the short fall in funding? Is the government going to send more money to colleges? The administration also wants to increase Pell Grants to students who can’t afford to go to college. Where does that money come from? The answer to all of the above, says the Brookings Institute, is higher taxes. And here’s the part that’s really scary if you happen to be in the middle class. You, your kids (who don’t quite qualify for scholarships because you make just a little too much money), or you who don’t qualify for Pell Grants or other free government money will be forced to carry all the debt. Our society has always done a good job rewarding those at the very tippy top and those at the very bottom with incentives. The kids in the middle that slug away, work hard, don’t talk back or raise a stink are the ones who tend to be overlooked. They or their parents are the ones who end up taking out all those loans and cosigning and they’re hoping and praying the economy picks up enough so they can pay off the debt. Did you notice how this all comes back to the economy and how well we are doing as a nation on the job front? Did you also notice if we follow the lead of our government we should just keep borrowing away and not worry about paying it back. Wait!!! Did we just say that college debt is at a record and we should be concerned?

COLLEGE DEBT SKYROCKETS F WRITTEN BY: AL RUECHEL

or the first time in our history the amount of debt our college students owe is larger than our credit card debt. Maybe that little juicey-newsey slipped by you or you simply passed it up as another meaningless piece of economic news. It’s not trivial. It spells big trouble for our future, for college students and the nation.

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We have become so accustomed to borrowing for everything that we forget DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

it has consequences. If you borrow more than you can ever hope to repay, you are condemning yourself to debtor status. That wasn’t such a big deal when you could expect a salary that could easily accommodate 10 to 20-thousand in debt for a college education. But with the average college student graduating with a debt load of between 35 and 65 thousand dollars, not counting graduate school, you are in trouble. It’s even higher if you attend

an Ivy League school or the elite private schools. Enter the new Obama administration’s push to cut down on college expenses and tuition. Experts are still scratching their heads trying to figure out if this was just a campaign ploy or if he really meant it. If he did, how are colleges going to attract top notch faculty? How are they going to reduce class sizes? Who is going to

If ever there was a case of do as I say and not as I do… this is it. The government demands colleges reduce tuition, yet does nothing to help the poor students who have no choice but to borrow beyond their means to go to college. So to correct the situation, the government wants to borrow even more money to encourage even more students to take on more debt to improve their chances of landing a job that will not pay enough to cover the costs of going to school. Would somebody please tell the folks in Washington to set an example for this college bound generation! Stop spending money you don’t have. Take on a job and save some money so you can get through college without selling your soul. Set an example for the leaders in Washington. Maybe students entering college can use reverse osmosis to teach our leaders a lesson in saving our country from the insanity of spending what you don’t have. Too bad nobody in DC is listening!!!!! Even after an election!!!!!


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EXTRA » DEREK MAUL aisle and all sit in the same section.” “I’ll go a step further, I think most of the rest of us want to get rid of the aisle and all sit in the same section.” I told him that the most important thing that can happen now is for the Obama administration to prepare for the second term as if they’re assembling a coalition government.

LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE ALREADY! The

people may have spoken, but what we said is this, “Pretty much 40% of us lean to the moderate right, and around 40% of us lean to the moderate left. We’re telling you – ONE MORE TIME – to stop being manipulated by the noisy 20% and work together like 80% of us demand!” The sad thing is that it took the politicians a full year and six billion dollars ($3-billion each for the presidential race and then everything else) to find out what we’ve been telling them for the best part of two decades. And we’re still not sure that they can hear that well.

AMERICA IS CELEBRATING:

That sound you heard, all around the USA, the cheering and the applause, it wasn’t for the Democrats, and it wasn’t for the Republicans either; it was for the end of the long 18-months of manipulation, of negativity and of spin.

“300-MILLION SHADES OF PURPLE” P WRITTEN BY: DEREK MAUL

We’re also celebrating the fact of our shared love for this country. I’ve decided that they need a new political map on the television, to replace the one with huge blocks of red and blue. That division-oriented map is a lie. Our reality here in the USA is 300 million shades of purple. Our reality here in the USA is 300 million shades of purple.

He was pulling a Romney/Ryan sign from a clear message to Washington that we So here’s my challenge. Wear some purple; his front lawn. expect Congress to do the same.” send some purple to your congressional representatives; show up to the He looked up at me, shook his head slowly “But people are so polarized,” he said. inauguration wearing purple; talk purple and raised both hands – palms up – in the universal sign of “Where do we go from MEDIA SPIN: “Well that’s what we’ve with your friends; send purple messages on been told,” I replied, “but I’m beginning to the Internet; tell your preacher purple is the here?” resignation. believe that it’s only the extremes that are only liturgically correct color to wear when The morning after the presidential We’d never talked before, but his gesture polarized. Most of the rest of us want to he or she is talking about politics. election, walking the dog in an adjacent was like an invitation. “It’s OK,” I heard get along, and we want to get things done neighborhood, I ran into a “nodding myself saying, “I don’t believe this is an that help everyone despite their politics, Congratulations, President Obama! But I acquaintance.” (Nodding acquaintance Obama mandate so much as it is a mandate and we’re more than willing to join hands really don’t want a blue America, I want to means someone I exchange nods with most for reevaluation. I believe America wants across the aisle. I’ll go a step further, I think celebrate 300 million shades of purple. mornings, but we’ve never actually talked). to work together, and the nation has sent most of the rest of us want to get rid of the urple is a Christmas color; but it should be a political color too. Typically, I don’t write politics in my column. But I’m so tired of the lie that America is “polarized.” That tired cliché completely misses the point. Let me explain.

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EXTRA » ENDURING FRIENDSHIPS evangelist Stephen Hurlburt drew the crowd in closer to the platform. One young woman in particular said, “Jesus has healed my heart today and He is removing the memory of something I haven’t been able to forget.” Another reported a lump in her breast was no longer there and a gentleman reported his back pain was “gone, just like that!” Many of the children were obviously touched by the Holy Spirit as well. Festival attendees were eligible to receive boxes of groceries, clothing, gifts and gift cards, Christmas trees, bicycles and toys among other giveaway items. The children especially enjoyed the two bounce houses, the cotton candy and just being out in a crowd with so many of their friends and neighbors. In addition to an invitation to attend church services, the Cynergy team, which includes Bible college students, also plans phone follow up in order to meet specific needs for the families who attended.

Dr. Jack Myers described his love for the Hispanic people and offered the greatest gift of all to the crowd of approximately 700 people at Oakbrook Mobile Home Park in Plant City at the Festvial Latino outreach.

CYNERGY CHURCH HOSTS FESTIVAL LATINO AT OAKBROOK MOBILE HOME PARK R WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

esidents of Oakbrook Mobile Home Park in Plant City received an extra special Christmas blessing this month when Cynergy Church hosted “Festival Latino” at the community on SR 574.

Approximately 700 people showed up to enjoy an afternoon filled with music, giveaways, entertainment, free food and the message of the Gospel. And it was a beautiful sight to behold. Dr. Jack Myers, pastor of the church, explained to the crowd that the reason Cynergy (in conjunction with The River of Tampa Bay) decided to do this outreach was because of their love for the Hispanic people. Dr. Myers, along with his wife, Rev. Marie Myers, and their 35-member evangelistic team from the church and Life Christian University, regularly do large crusades in countries such as Mexico, Honduras,

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Panama, Dominican Republic, and even Then a hush and stillness fell over the crowd Nepal. as powerful prayers were offered up for those who needed “healing in their bodies, He told the people, “Because of the healing in their relationships, healing in goodness of Jesus Christ, we are able to their finances, and healing in their hearts.” bless you this Christmas.” The response was touching to watch and it Continuing, he explained, “While it’s great was encouraging to witness lives changed to receive material gifts, we came today through the process of prayer when to tell you about how you can receive the greatest gift…the gift from the One who said in John 14:6, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man comes to the Father, except through Me ( Jesus Christ). The respectful families and grateful children listened intently as the pastor explained the story of the greatest gift ever given when God sent His only Son, Jesus, to become the sacrifice for sin and to be the giver of life. When Myers invited the people to pray, many raised their hands to acknowledge their desire to receive Christ into their lives.

Dr. Myers expressed his gratitude for the area businesses that donated so generously to the cause. “We believe it’s important to involve the local businesses in this type of outreach and we’re always pleased by their response. We also encourage attendees to support those businesses when they shop. Today was exciting to be able to give to so many people in ways that will make a difference in their holidays.” He added, “We will continue to do these several times a year in different locations around Plant City and we are also praying about renting the Plant City Stadium for a Christmas Blessing to the entire community in 2014.”


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EXTRA » CANDY’S CORNER along with my dad, would tie it to the top of the car for the slow trip home. When we pulled in the driveway, my job was to run get my Radio Flyer wagon out of the garage. My dad would lay the tree across the wagon and proceed with getting, or should I say forcing, the tree stand on. This process would include the hammer, the saw, the screwdriver, and a great deal of mumbling under his breath. It sort of reminded me of Fred Flintstone. When the tree stand was finally on, we would open the front door and yell to my mother, “We’re coming in!” Her reply would be, “Please don’t get that tree sap on my shag carpet”. We would carefully walk over plastic garbage bags that mom had placed on the carpet for protection. Once inside and the tree in place, she would fill the stand with water and two Bayer aspirin. Mom said that the aspirin helped keep the tree alive.

CANDY’S CORNER C

ity sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow. Well .....maybe not snow. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As a kid in the early 1970s I had a very busy schedule during my two-week

Christmas vacation. First of all, my sister Karen and I would accompany my father to the Optimist Christmas tree lot which was across the street from where the old Kash and Karry grocery store was. We would walk up and down every aisle looking for the perfect one. It couldn’t be too tall, too short, too sparse, or have a hole in it. It had to be just right. Once we found the winning tree, the salesman,

giant Claxton fruit cake. She had never receieved one of those before. And then it happened ... Just as I was paying the cashier I heard my mother’s voice saying, “No, no, and no! You are not buying your sister a fruitcake for Christmas. Pick something else!” By that time I just threw my hands up in the air and said, “Okay, I will just take that giant peppermint stick over there.” It was the size of my forearm. Oh! Well, she had never been given one of those before either. When Christmas Eve finally arrived, there was even more work to be done. Our rooms, along with our house, had to be spotless. Our kitchen counter was set up with the good crystal platters, goblets, napkins, plates, silverware, glass bottles of Coca Cola, Seven-up, ginger ale, and even my mother’s prize punchbowl.

Our family would have an early supper and then be off to the Methodist church for the candlelight service. I can The next big thing on my agenda was to remember how the church was decorated visit Santa Claus at the Plant City Plaza with luminary bags around the whole city (what is now the home of Big Lots and U­ block and all the way up the staircase. Save). During my childhood, I witnessed Santa arriving at the mall by helicopter, by My sister and I would stand alongside police car, by personal car, by Christmas our parents and sing the most beautiful float, and my least favorite of them all, Christmas hymns. Before you knew it the by fire truck. My nervous anticipation service was over. Time to rush home and of speaking with Santa coupled with the greet our guests for cookies and eggnog. scream of the siren made me just want to get back in the car and forget about Soon it was off to bed, but not without it. My mother had to basically drag me mother and daddy reading, “Twas the inside the mall to get in line for my visit night before Christmas.” We actually on Santa’s lap. As the line got closer and followed that tradition until my sister got closer I would feel my mother poking married and moved away. me in the back reminding me not to talk too long, not to point out the difference On Christmas morning my sister and I in his appearance from year to year, and would awaken to the smell of my father’s not to complain about what I did not get famous Christmas-morning pancakes. the year before, all with a big smile on We would jump out of the bed and run my face. Once that task was complete, I into the living room to see what Santa would take my candy cane in a cold sweat had left under the tree. There would be and walk back to the car with rubber Barbies and bicycles, dollhouses and legs. The truth of the matter is that I was hula hoops, books and games, clothes afraid of Santa. My mother constantly and shoes, stockings stuffed with fruit told me that Santa and/or his elves were and candy, too much to name it all. A looking in the window at our house and wonderful day filled with joy and laughter watching my behavior. I knew that I was was enjoyed by all. in some kind of trouble. This Christmas Eve at age 50, when The next thing on my agenda was the I stand with my mother and sister in shopping. I had to find the perfect gift for church, I will sing those beautiful hymns. my sister. I would have my mother drive I will think of all of those wonderful me to McCrory’s and sit outside in Christmases past and remember my sweet the car while I went inside. By myself, father, who now sleeps in heavenly peace. that was. In those days you could do things like that. I looked and looked and Merry Christmas to all and to all a good looked. There it was ...the perfect gift: a night. FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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EXTRA » AUTO REVIEW

UNLIMITED IS SO MUCH MORE J SUBMITTED BY: BRIAN WEST

eeps are such an important part of America. They’re a part of who we are. They were first introduced during World War II in 1941, and have basically been an America staple since. They’re right there with apple pie. Jeeps quickly garnered a reputation for being able to get through and out of otherwise difficult situations – road hazards. Traversing hazardous terrain eventually became fun and has since sort of caught on, so to say. In fact, I’m not aware of another country with such an appetite, or maybe just a bit of “just in case I need it” insurance, for climbing out of holes or up mountains, as Americans.

too rough for an every day driver, and they always seemed to lack in power. But times have changed. The introduction of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has changed all that. This Jeep still performs very much like a Jeep, if not better, but the longer wheelbase really helps to smooth the ride, and a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine producing 285hp, replacing a less powerful 3.8-liter V-6 producing 202hp. That’s significant!

The Wrangler is available in two body styles: the two-door and the Unlimited four-door. I had an opportunity to drive the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited. The Unlimited is a convertible, but there’s also an optional removable hard top available. There are Although I’ve always liked Jeeps, I’ve never three trim levels: the Sport, Sahara and been a fan. In the past, they’ve proven Rubicon. The Unlimited Rubicon is the over and over that the ride is just a little Jeep to own. It just doesn’t get any better.

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NEW WRANGLER HAS REACHED THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

The Rubicon comes with fender flares and a removable hard top that are bodycolored and Jeep offers a six-speed manual transmission. So, you get more power and higher efficiency. To give you an idea of the speed, the regular Wrangler is quicker now, achieving an 8.4 second time from 0-60 mph which is about 3 seconds quicker than the 2011 model. The interior continues to improve and the cabin is a much better place, but there’s still a lot of opportunity, shall we say. The noise level has decreased, but this isn’t a Lexus. The tire and roof choice are the main drivers for interior noise levels. I think the most noticeable annoyance for this Jeep is the road height. Apparently, Jeep is far more concerned with ground clearance than the driver and passenger’s ability to

enter and exit the vehicle. Here’s where a step would come in handy. Motorized with logic would be even better; something that presented itself for entry as you unlock the doors, but then tucks back out of the way when the vehicle is in motion. Maybe I just gave someone an idea. At the end of the day, this Jeep is just so much better than its predecessors. Maybe in a few more years, Jeep will have tweaked the overall design a little more to make the Jeep even more popular. One thing’s for sure, the Jeep is here to stay. As long as there is undiscovered wilderness, back country roads, an occasional mud hole, or those pesky city curbs that some drivers just can’t help but run over, the Jeep will remain as a first option.


LOVE THE HAT LOCAL ARTIST CREATES HATS WITH FLAIR WRITTEN BY: HEATHER DAVIS

N

othing can or will bring attention faster to a person than by that person wearing upon his or her head a unique hat. While wearing a hat has in itself become rare, save for the baseball cap, it is the kind of trend that may one day soon find its way back in style. This could especially be the case if artists such as Betty Jones have anything to do with it. Betty Jones has taken hat wearing to the next level by creating creations that are so unique and outlandish that it will stop someone in their tracks. Before Betty was ever a hat designer she has always been involved in art in some form or fashion. Whether acting as a docent for the Polk Museum or Art, or serving on many local Art Leagues and Guilds, or by creating her own art using mediums such as pencil, charcoal, pastel, and acrylic,

EXTRA » ARTIST OF THE MONTH wanting to purchase them right off of her for Betty’s hats, that it is not only Betty head, as well as being commissioned by who is getting enjoyment from her hats but others to create a hat for a special occasion. many others as well.

Betty is very surprised at what has evolved and is happy to let it happen as it happens, stating “As long as I enjoy what I am doing that’s what matters most.” It is clear from Betty has kept art and its creation forefront the stops, stares, and smiles of appreciation in her life. Recently, the spark to create hats was ignited by a visit she made to Goodwill where she came across an umpire uniform that she could not resist buying. The umpire uniform in the hands of Betty was transformed into her first hat. This is unique in itself as she neither likes to cut fabric or sew.

You may contact Betty Jones for more information regarding her hats at lovethehat@verizon.net or facebook: Love the Hat, Betty Jones.

Since creating her first hat Betty has not stopped creating hats that would suit the wildest of imaginations. Betty’s hats have caught on like wildfire, instigating two one-woman shows which were held at the Plant City Library and the Plant City Photo Archives. She has two more showings already scheduled for 2013, one being at Center Place Fine Art and Civic Center. Even more interesting are some of the reactions to Betty’s hats, such as people

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813-752-5146

114 North Alexander Street • Plant City, Fl. 33563 BRING THIS AD IN AND RECEIVE 15% OFF Cannot use this coupon with any in House Specials or Discounts!

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ENTERTAINMENT » RECIPE

RANOL A G ” D E D “LOA ticks)

THE LAST BEST CHRISTMAS EVER W WRITTEN BY: GAIL JONES

hen he was seven, my oldest son began to smirk and roll his eyes dramatically whenever I mentioned Santa Claus. While never questioning or expressing any doubts, he had silently joined the ranks of the non-believers. Two years later, his younger sister did not go down quite so easily.

best- Christmas-ever. Overnight, I turned into a Martha Stewart-Decorating DivaJulia Child whirlwind of Christmas mania. I filled vases with holly, made garlands and wreaths, decorated not one, but three trees, and filled every windowsill in our old stone farm house with candles and evergreens. Then I moved outside.

os butter (tw d 1 pound ar, packe g u s n w ro b s p u c 2 p aple syru ½ cup m y e shioned n z.) old-fa ½ cup ho iner (42 o ta n o c e 1 larg ts rolled oa eat germ 1 cup wh eeds nflower s 1 cup su pieces w e s cash d almond 1.5 cups r choppe o d e lic s 1.5 cups nberries dried cra d 1.5 cups cots, dice dried apri s p u d c e c .5 in 1 ,m 1 orange Zest from namon in c s n o o eg 2 tablesp ted nutm oons gra 2 tablesp

er with Melt butt n to 250°. p and honey. ve o t a e Preh le syru gar, map brown su . e in b m o Wisk to c e bowl. ts in a larg a ingredien in g it in in ix a m m I Mix re bit so es quite a d butter mixture (This mak elte y m r u o P ) . You ma t. combine stock po and stir to s. It gets messy, ts a o r ove and best se your h s are the need to u the hand s, e m ti e but som . e kitchen tools in th eet pans on two sh nd a re evenly tu ve o ix m m e d Sprea utes. R the for 45 min k bags in c o -l p zi and bake in will u re o o Y st y. n a e w let cool, th ckage and give a g in rn o r pa mas m freezer o on Christ lessings r. e ft a receive b s g y mornin and man

“What,” I asked myself “do people really want over the holidays?” They had turkey and ham and casseroles galore. And no one needed more sweets. What people needed, I decided in my holiday-obsessed brain, was a good breakfast. And so I made breakfast baskets. Wicker cradles filled with homemade jam, apple butter, quiches with sausage and onion, fancy coffee and teas, and little boxes of homemade granola. I put together the last package two days before Christmas and sent my husband and kids out on a delivery run while I attempted to recharge for the present-wrapping marathon that I now faced. On Christmas Eve, as the decorations glittered, the lights shimmered and the smell of cinnamon and brown sugar wove their way through the house, my daughter slumped next to me on the couch…and dissolved into tears. “Mom, you have to tell me the truth about Santa, this is making me crazy,” she wailed. And so after a short discussion where she also threw the Easter Bunny under the bus, we left the couch and headed into a new era in our lives.

The front stoop was graced with little pine trees wrapped with strings of popcorn and cranberries, the stairs and path to the front door were lined with luminaries and the pediment over the entry was filled with a four foot wide three foot tall mosaic of But at least the granola was good. “How does that fat guy get down the pineapples, apples, lemons, oranges and chimney?” was the first question of the pomegranates. next morning. “What about people without fireplaces? Does he just break in?” the It looked like colonial Williamsburg on barrage continued. “Do you actually know steroids. anyone who ever got coal in their stockings? ‘Cause I can make a few recommendations.” Then I started baking. Cookies, of course, and truffles and candied orange peels that I I stammered again and, at that moment, set out on platters and offered up to anyone knew for certain that we were facing the who seemed to take notice. But suddenly, end of an era in our household. Christmas I had an epiphany. A stop-in-your-tracks, would always be a special and joyous time, reverse direction kind of a moment. but the wonder of the season as seen through a young child’s eyes was about to I’d given cookies and sweets to the evaporate into a haze of distant memories. neighbors the previous year…and the one So in an effort to preserve the last bit of before that. Dang---everyone gave cookies childhood magic, I did what any holiday- at Christmas, and this year was supposed to lovin’ mom with a decent kitchen and a glue be special. gun would do…I decided to make it the last “Mom, why does Santa leave more toys for rich kids than for the poor ones?” she asked one November afternoon. “I--- uh--yeah, no fair huh?” I stammered.

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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HAYDE POT

e RCA Winn

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EDSS NEED ING NE DDING BEDD RAWW BE STRA PINEE ST UR PIN YOUR FORR YO US FO CO TO US ME TO COME

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Jesus is the Reason for the Season

Strawberry Hut would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! YOU ASKED FOR IT, YOU GOT IT, NEW EXTENDED HOURS

1505 N. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL 33563

We are open from 6:30a.m - 6:30p.m Mon - Sat. except Wed. we close at 5p.m.

813-752-3779

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

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We’re still making it like we always have since 1993

1001 S. ALEXANDER ST., PLANT CITY, FL. 33563 (813) 478-1654

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ENTERTAINMENT » DINING PROFILE more than enough but left not even a scrap the evening by singing Christmas carols (we brought our own Sandra Waldron to of lettuce on the plate. play the piano) and a prayer of gratitude to The following week, Lisa and I joined bless the restaurant and our hosts. our Sunday School class for the annual Christmas Party, which we’ve enjoyed at Two visits to the Whistle Stop in one week Whistle Stop for the last several years. For only made us want to return again soon. the price and the atmosphere, you can’t We, and the Lofstrum family are hoping beat the Lofstrum’s nighttime hospitality you will do the same. when they’re focused only on your group. Almost 50 of us enjoyed generous portions INFORMATION of chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes, salad, veggie and cheese tray selections and Whistle Stop Gourmet Coffee & of course, the famous cookies. Eatery

Photo by: Cheryl Johnston

WHISTLE STOP GOURMET COFFEE & EATERY R

What made the evening even more delightful was watching through the windows as the Lights of Love tree lit up and a $5 gift “swap match” that involved lots of laughs and a tiny bit of all-in-fun envy. Honestly, the Whistle Stop is the perfect place to host a group gathering. We ended

102 S. Collins Street Plant City, FL 33563-5530 (813) 752-7340 Open Tuesday - Saturday 10:30AM - 3:00PM Also: 1st & 3rd Saturdays (Car & Bike Shows) Open 5-9PM

WRITTEN BY: CHERYL JOHNSTON

echarge and be refreshed by a step We three friends met for lunch recently back in time when you dine at the Lisa Herrin, Amanda Furmage-Deck and Whistle Stop. myself - to eat in a charming place where we could hear ourselves talk as we updated Part of the eatery’s charm as you enter is each other on the news in our lives. And we the old-timey soda fountain area and the could and we did! Norman Rockwell era décor. And let’s don’t forget about the chance to watch a train From the easy-to-read menu, Lisa and racing by the rejuvenated depot in McCall Amanda ordered the house specialty Park or to have a friends and family photo sandwich, which combines both roast beef shoot at the old red phone booth on the and corned beef on homemade bread. They sidewalk out front. opted for the wheat and we’re obviously very satisfied with their side choice of the Along with generous portions of yummy potato bacon soup as well. food at affordable prices, it’s always a great experience to see friends and neighbors Lisa has been here often enough to know in historic downtown Plant City at the that you grab your cookie as soon as you’ve much-loved cafe. This is THE spot where ordered because if you wait too long, oh my, residents bring their out-of-town visitors it’s too bad and so sad. Each day, Whistle for a little authentic local flavor and history. Stop bakes only a certain amount of the chocolate-fudge filled chocolate chip or Hard-working owners Jerry and Marti the coconut-filled chocolate fudge cookies Lofstrum definitely know how to charm and when they’re gone, they’re gone - until hungry folks with happy hellos, hugs, the next day, that is. So regulars learn the homemade breads, belly-warming soups, cookie drill quickly. fresh salads, and deli-style sandwiches. Lunch served with a smile and topped off I wanted a little more crunch on this with the house-specialty cookies, hand- particular day, which made the Asian salad dipped ice cream and a cup of great coffee with ingredients purchased from local - what more can anyone ask? vendors the perfect choice. I was impressed with the freshness of the greens and Oh, and one more treat awaits diners - cranberries in particular. The combination pianists who play those old familiar songs of mandarin oranges, mushrooms and that remind us of the “good old days.” Chinese noodles is a tasty one indeed. I had

Fresh greens topped with cranberries, mandarin oranges, mushrooms and Chinese noodles make for a healthy and tasty lunch. Photo by: Cheryl Johnston

Photo by: Cheryl Johnston FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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» 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

ENDS OF THE EARTH CAFÉ

I

f you are looking for a neighborly environment with prices from the past, Ends of the Earth Cafe is the place. Located in the heart of Plant City, this coffee house fosters an environment suitable to all ages with free wi-fi and a monitored children’s play place or use the drive thru window. They offer a variety of coffee and teas, soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastries at prices long past. Banquet space and catering available on the 2nd floor. Located near the train station and McCall Park along the East/West tracks.

101 E. J. ARDEN MAYS BLVD PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813.754.2400 CAFE

FIRST CHOICE SOUTHERN BAR-B-QUE

F

or the best barbecue in town, we are your First Choice! Family owned and operated for 20 years, we value providing top quality barbecue with every bite. At First Choice, you will find the best southern style barbeque pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey, chicken, sausage, corned beef, and ribs! Our warm and friendly atmosphere is open for lunch and dinner, Monday 11am-7pm and Tuesday-Saturday 11am-8pm. Smokin’ your catering needs everyday.

712 SOUTH COLLINS STREET PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813-752-7788 WWW.FIRSTCHOICEBBQ.COM

LINDA’S CRAB SHACK

“G

et Your Crabs and Beer!” If you are looking for a place where seafood or southern cuisine in a casual dining atmosphere come together, Linda’s Crab Shack is the place.

Linda’s offers a variety of options at a decent price. Choose from deviled crab, crab cakes, steamed or fried shrimp and clams, fried grouper, crawfish or one of their un-fish alternatives -- chicken, BBQ pork, ribs, and steak. There are a wide variety of sides and enjoy a slice of homemade cake. Lunch is served until 3 p.m. Now accepting Credit Cards

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DOWNTOWN PLANT CITY 200 E. REYNOLDS ST. PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813-754-0492


» DINING GUIDE

FIND DEALS ONLINE AT MYFOCUSCOUPONS.COM

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

MI CASA

M

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

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

OLDE TOWN PIZZERIA

I

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

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

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

TACO REY

W

hether you’re in the mood for soup & salad or the tastiest mexican food in town, Taco Rey Mexican Grill is the King! We are 100% authentic and here to serve you 7 days a week. Our food is freshly prepared for your viewing pleasure and with only the finest ingredients. We offer daily lunch specials and call to order service! Adults and kids will love our menu and Aguas Frescas De Sandia, traditional natural home made drinks.

1818 JAMES REDMAN PARKWAY PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813.754.2100 FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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ENTERTAINMENT » KEEL AND CURLEY

Photos by: Jason Zalva

LATE NIGHT BRASS AT KEEL AND CURLEY BAND I WRITTEN BY: DEANA GARRISON

f you didn’t go to Keel and Curley Friday night after the Christmas Parade, then you missed a jammed packed awesome night. I am told by my new found friend Ike Digman that Friday December 7th was one of the best nights Keel and Curley has hosted. They always have great entertainment, but this night stood out from the rest with the Late Night Brass Band taking the stage. This Tampa band is always sure to pack a house. This highly qualified entertainment has opened for top bands like Chicago, Police, Sting, Michael Buble and Billy Joel, as well as the band Earth, Wind and Fire to name a few. They have also appeared at private functions for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays. Being a favorite of many people, they proved just why they are so popular at Keel and Curley. Reservations were sold out the Wednesday before the performance and the winery even set up 50 more chairs to accommodate others who wanted to stop in to listen and enjoy the tasty wine.

Digman said, “They mostly did Christmas tunes, including favorites from favorite Christmas albums like Chicago. This was quite the treat and after they finished the night with a 15-minute medley of many of the classic old Chicago songs, Earth Wind & Fire, tunes, the group received a rousing standing ovation among cheers for an encore. They obliged and had everyone on their feet singing to the oldies.”

Digman is a regular at the winery and knows every detail when it comes to their entertainment and wine. In fact, Digman also added, “Look to see some new wines coming from K&C right after Christmas. There will be five new wines expanding their current line-up of 12 award-winning wines becoming favorites of many both near and far. They ship wines to a couple dozen states currently as the reputation of their fine product becomes known.” Many people from all over have enjoyed their wines. Even Bill & Melody Digman who live in Napa Valley have enjoyed their wines over those from their local wineries With great respect of veterans, they in Napa. recognized that Friday was the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and took Make sure you check out Keel and time out to honor Veterans in the audience Curley online to view their upcoming as well as those within the band. entertainment and come on out. You will enjoy every minute of it.

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Late Night Brass band took the stage in Christmas style Photos by: Jason Zalva

Couples danced to the music of Late Night Brass. Photos by: Jason Zalva


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Sewing Machines Modern Fabrics Notions Books Patterns Classes

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K

120 NORTH COLLINS STREET PLANT CITY, FL 33563

(813) 659-8287

www.inspirequiltingandsewing.com 101 N. Collins Street, Plant City, FL 33563 813.704.4867

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A Salon Of Excellence Designed To Meet Your Tailored Looks Downtown Lee Building 110 E. Reynolds St., Ste. 400 Plant City, FL 33563

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813-759-1023 FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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/therackhydepark /therackbrandon

/theracktampa /therackbrandon

Book your Holiday Party at

D

Tampa mobile: text therackt to 77948 Brandon mobile: text therackb to 77948

reat Fun ne! G , d o o F t yo Grea g for Ever in h t e m o S

on’t be put on the naughty list and settle for a ho-hum holiday party experience! This year, book your Holiday Party at The Rack and enjoy the perfect combination of Dining, Fun and Entertainment.

The Rack can host a small intimate holiday gathering or accommodate large groups. Our staff is here to provide you with fantastic food and beverage options, along with any other personal touches you need to make your event memorable. To inquire about available dates and customized packages, please contact:

Hyde Park: Brandon:

Jerry Wilson (813) 250-1595 or wilsonrack@gmail.com Mike Hajeski (813) 571-7225 or mikehrack@gmail.com

(*) Party dates/times are subject to availability. Minimum orders must be $250 or greater. Additional deposits maybe required depending on the party size.

Hyde Park: 813-250-1595

• 1809 W. Platt St. • Tampa, FL 33606 |

Brandon: 813-571-7225

• 1025 W. Brandon Blvd. • Brandon, FL 33511

TheRackRestaurant.com | Mon. - Fri. 4pm-3am | Sat. - Sun. 12pm-3am

We Will Make Your Home Sparkle! Locally Owned and Operated

Sa me Great Service, Sa me Great Cleaners,

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

Everytime!

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

NEW SERVICE OFFERED

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

Prices are Based on Time that is Needed.

We Offer One Time Cleaning • Licensed - Insured - Bonded • References Available Upon Request FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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ENTERTAINMENT » EVENT CALENDAR

PLANT CITY SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 TO DECEMBER 30 » Nights of Shimmering Lights

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. $20 per car Thursday through Sunday until December 17 then nightly Located at the Hillsborough County Fair Grounds For more information: 813.389.6858

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY DECEMBER 15 & 16

» First Baptist Church Presents: The

Light of Christmas 7:00 p.m. on Saturday 6;30 p.m. on Sunday 503 North Palmer Street For more information: 813.752.4104

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 » Strawberry Classic Car Show

4:00 p.m. Downtown Plant City McCall Park For more information: Please call the Chamber 813.754.3707 » Plant City Entertainment

Last chance to catch this amazing show Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class A One Nun-sense Musical Event by Dan Goggin 8:00 p.m. doors open at 7:00 p.m. 101 N. Thomas Street Tickets Available at the door $14.00 For more information: www. plantcityentertainment.com

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16 » Plant City Church of God

Christmas in the Country presented by “K.I.D.S. Church” 10:15 a.m. 2103 Mud Lake Road For more information: 813.752.4591

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DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

For more information: Please call the Chamber 813.754.3707

CALENDAR OF EVENTS » Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Christmas music special 9:30 a.m. 1107 Charlie Griffin Road For more information: 813.759.9383

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20 » After the Rose Dance Party

7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Stardust Dance Center 1405 S. Collins For more information: 813-785-9493 or 863-662-4516

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY DECEMBER 21 & 22

» Meet Santa at the Red Caboose

2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. Get a free picture and a treat. Admission is Free 908 Joe McIntosh Road, Plant City, FL December 21 & 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information: Call R.W. Willaford 813.759.3345

MONDAY, DECEMBER 24 » Candlelight Communion

6:30 p.m. Evangelical Presbyterian Church Join us as we celebrate the birth of Christ with a Candlelight Communion 1107 Charlie Griffin Road For more information: 813.759.9383

SATURDAY, JANUARY 5 » Bike Fest

5:00 p.m. Downtown Plant City McCall Park For more information: Please call the Chamber 813.754.3707

SUNDAY, JANUARY 6

» Shiloh Baptist Church hosts the

Trevor Thomas Jubilee Day 6:00 p.m. This special day will be a celebration of the previous year of ministry for Trevor Thomas Drama Ministries. There will be no charge for admission; however, a love offering will be received 905 W. Terrace Dr. For more information, please contact the Shiloh Baptist Church office at 813-754-7445 or visit www. trevorthomasdramaministries.com.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17 » Business After Hours

5:15 p.m. Fairfield Inn and Suites 4307 Sterling Commerce Drive For more information: Please call the Chamber 813.754.3707

SATURDAY, JANUARY 19

» Strawberry Classic Car Show

4:00 p.m. Downtown Plant City McCall Park

ONGOING EVENTS Duplicate Bridge, a low key bridge game for beginners as well as skilled players, meets on Friday at 1:00 p.m. at St Peters Episcopal Church. You must have a partner. For more information call Walt Arnold at 752-1602. The Republican Club of Plant City meets the 4th Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9:00A.M., at Buddy Freddy’s Restaurant, 1101 Goldfinch Drive, Plant City. The next meeting is March 27th. Cost of breakfast is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Come network with your neighbors in the conservative group. Strawberry Square, 4401 Promenade Blvd., Plant City A full schedule of Square and Round Dancing is happening every day at Strawberry Square. We have many callers and cuers on the schedule. Visit our website: www.strawberrysquaredancing.com or call the office: 813-752-0491

ma s & t s i r h C y r r Me y New Y ea r 1 Ha p p & Ja nua ry Dece mber

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ENTERTAINMENT » CROSSWORD

SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS CREATED BY: CALVIN R. AND JACKIE MATHEWS SING WE NOW ACROSS 1. Freeway exit 5. Part of the arm 10. “The King __” 14. “I __ saw, I...” 15. Glanced 17. Marshy spot 20. Line from a Christmas carol 23. Four qtrs. 24. Lack firmness 25. Colorful flower 26. Heavyweight champ of 1937 28. Where swill is served 29. Down 31. T-shirt size 34. Explosive letters 35. Oman’s location 36. Steering prop 39. Dessert choice 40. “¿Cómo __ Ud.?” 41. Line from a Christmas carol 48. Bluebonnet and others 49. Get comfy 50. David’s victim 54. Grandma 55. Fight 58. Start of a marriage 60. Like a numskull 61. Finale 62. O. J. trial judge 63. “__ Rock”; Simon & Garfunkel hit 65. Football 67. Evens 70. Sticks 72. Put in 75. __ to; like 77. Item worn above the waist 78. Ad follower 81. Find out 82. Ms. Ullmann 84. Garfield or Taft 86. Hard swelling 87. 1917 revolutionary 88. Church reader 90. Pen name 91. Line from a Christmas carol 97. Single time 100. Counter’s start 101. Suffix for advert or expert 102. Mr. Ladd 103. __ double take; look again 104. Parts of the respiratory system 106. Hero alternative 107. Three in a row 110. Jolly fellow 112. Walkways 117. Calendar abbr. 119. Western Indian

OF CHRISTMAS

120. Line from a Christmas carol 125. Three months 126. Sunbathed 127. Word of welcome 128. In just a minute 129. South African Dutchmen 130. Celebrity

32. 33. 35. 36. 37. 38. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 51. 52. 53. 55. 56. 57. 59. 64.

DOWN 1. Pep __ 2. Left Bank buddy 3. Disarray 4. Artist who had a blue period 5. Perpendicular wing 6. __ Linda, CA 7. Ruth’s second husband 8. Ark.’s neighbor 9. Sentence opener for the hesitant 10. Official envoy: abbr. 11. Conjunction 12. Practice 13. Dramatic villain 14. Blood problem 16. Perishes 18. Closes 19. Time spent at a task 20. Sunday paper inserts 21. Over 22. Took a bit 27. RR building 30. Small amount 1

2

3

4

66. 67. 68. 69. 71. 72. 73. 74. 76. 78. 79. 80. 5

14

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10 16

29

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95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 104. 105. 107. 108. 109. 111. 113. 114. 115. 116. 118. 121. 122. 123. 124. 11

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32

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62 67 73

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40 47

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87 91

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Prohibited Type of acct. Nada CCCII halved Stovetop sight Ed Asner role __ Arbor, MI Retriever, familiarly Distribute Door fasteners Takes too much, for short Webster and others Lake vessel Useful rope Sediment King, for one Hoosegow Els’ peg Christmas poem opener Q-tip Jay __ Slave Prophet Temporary shelter Additionally Traveler’s stop Koch and Bradley Letter from Greece

17

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83. 85. 86. 89. 90. 92. 93. 94.

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by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews

Word with line or mail Ring around the collar Beast of burden Tall pillar Cruising One not to be trusted Way out Rib, for one Zest Give for awhile Mauna __ Sudbury’s prov. Greek classic Poke Printer’s need “Do __ say, not...” Coop resident High school course: abbr. Ring-shaped island Little one Met production Sewer inspector’s entrance Oil exporter Warfare Food eaten in the desert __ ball; enjoy oneself Premium cable channel Ailing Originally named Word with Juan or José Tiny amounts __ Glaudini False deity Second of 24

119 124

127 129

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© Puzzle Features Syndicate

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

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O N D O S A H S

C A N O E

T W A S

B E L L O L E O N A N A E N D S I N S T L E A R L E N I F E C A L D O S T

L A S S O M A N N A

B A T I T O O O T L L L I L L A L O N E U N G A T I L O N O N

R A M P A M E I L I S C L S A Y S A S S O S

E L B OW L O O K E A L M A L L G A Z A L A D I A O A R N B O B T A N E S T T L E I A M H S A A K I N V O H E C T O A L A L I S E S I S L E L W E S T A N N B O E

A N D M O I S B R E A S M A L P I E I L R I L E I D O A P I D H E R B R A I O A N R A L A L A L A B L T S O C E E T H E D E R S S

Sing We Now of Christmas

D I R A S S I G H T L O U I S L T N T E S T A N G U R I A H D E N S E G S K I N E S L I B N O D E P I L O T A L A L A N R S T T U T E E E L I E N T E R T A R


110

DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com


In an Emergency

You Need a Real ER

One that’s located in a hospital with... • On-site operating rooms • On-site team of physician specialists • On-site Heart Center • On-site Intensive Care Unit

With minimal wait times, our ER is designed to treat your little emergencies as well.*

For a physician referral or more information:

(813) 443-2037 or

PlantCityEmergency.org

Support your local community hospital *Your individual wait time may vary.

301 N. Alexander St. • Plant City

REDMAN EMERGENCY CENTER REDMAN EMERGENCY CENTER BC1203678_0912

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY DECEMBER 2012

111


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

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

THE WORKS PACKAGE

WHEEL ALIGHNMENT

Includes up to 7 quarts of synthetic blend oil, 31 point VCU inspection, Check and top off all fluids, Tire presure check, Balance check, Four Tire rotation

Regular $79.95 increases tire life,improves veh handling, recommended every 12months/12thousand miles,

$

29.95

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 12/31/12

$

69.95

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 12/31/12

813-757-6429 2000 East Baker Street Plant City, FL 33563 Service Hours Mon-Fri 7am-7pm Sat 7am-3pm

$

19.95

NITRO FILL FOR ALL 4 TIRES fill all 4 tires with nitrogen,increases fuel economy,increases tire life, decreases tire pressure fluctuation.

Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon or store special. Shop supplies and installation extra. Expires 12/31/12

ALL MAKES AND MODELS! WE’LL BEAT YOUR BEST TIRE PRICE GUARANTEED! 112

DECEMBER 2012 focusplantcity.com

FOCUS Plant City 11-12  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 11-12, December 2012

FOCUS Plant City 11-12  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 11-12, December 2012

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