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foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



April 2013


Lunch $7.45 Dinner $9.99 Over 100 items Salads • Desserts Steak • Seafood & Much More

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foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



April 2013

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



18-47 Local

Although the Strawberry Festival has passed, Plant City residents are still busy attending area events, especially on Saturday, March 23 which included the Little Miss Plant City pageant, the 140-Year Celebration for Turkey Creek school, the Youth Fishing Derby, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles—just to name a few. In addition, several community leaders were honored. Read about Heritage Award winner Myrle Henry, Heroism Award winner Paul Tester, and many more.


Feature: Relay For Life

Each year since 1985, over 4 million people from over 20 countries gather for the fight against cancer during annual Relay for Life events. This year’s Plant City Relay occurs on Friday, April 19 and, like always, lasts throughout the night until the following morning. Learn more about how you can celebrate with cancer survivors, honor cancer caregivers, and remember cancer victims through this organized, overnight community fundraising walk.


Spotlight: Adam Hayward

The life of standout Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Adam Hayward has changed significantly over the past year. From marriage to fatherhood to his new home in Plant City’s Walden Lake community, Hayward has much to celebrate. Focus was able to sit down with #57 and learn a little about the new aspects of his world.


april 2013


April 2013 | Volume 12 Issue 4 |

Business: Deese Scrubs

Chrystal Deese saw a need, and with the help of family and friends, opened her own business, Deese Scrubs, two years ago. A large selection of the most popular medical uniform brands and exceptional customer service has given Deese Scrubs an excellent reputation among Plant City’s leading health care professionals.


Dining: Strawberry Hut

Although famous around town for their awardwinning Cuban, the Strawberry Hut serves up a wide variety of satisfying sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And be sure to top off your meal with a fresh salad or tasty ice cream shake at this family-favorite outdoor eatery.

See Also: Talk of the Town - 14-16 Finance - 62 Real Estate - 65-71 Sports - 72 Athlete of the Month - 74 Team of the Month - 77 Derek Maul Column - 81 Candy’s Corner - 82 Wanda’s Words of Wisdom - 89 Recipe of the Month - 91 Event Calendar - 98 Obituaries - 100 Crossword - 101

onthecover Photography by Anthony Sassano

Adam Hayward

2013 Tampa Bay Bucanneers Linebacker

NOW OFFERING PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY! For 41 years the Busciglio Family has been creating picture perfect smiles! Dr. John Busciglio began the family legacy in 1972 when he opened the first fulltime orthodontic practice in the Brandon area. As he retired this year, his children, Drs. Derek and Dana Busciglio, have picked up where their father left off. They will oversee Busciglio Smiles offices in Brandon and Plant City and just opened practice in FishHawk Ranch, 16321 FishHawk Boulevard, Lithia. The Busciglios and their staff held a grand opening event and fund-raiser a few months ago featuring the Newsome High School Marching Band led by Christian Finch. With the help of the MOMS Club of Lithia-Bevis, the office held a raffle for Invisalign braces, raising $2,560 for new uniforms for the band. There’s no sibling rivalry between this brother and sister. In fact, they’re more than willing to boast about one another’s accomplishments. After 12 years of schooling, Dr. Dana has earned a Dental Degree, a Pediatric Dental degree, an Orthodontic Degree and is Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Dana is equally proud of her brother’s role as Invisalign’s Sunshine Regional Educator. Busciglio Smiles was the first “elite provider” for Invisalign in eastern Hillsborough County. “We have remarkable results with this aesthetic option for straightening teeth,” said Derek Busciglio, who, like his sister, received his degree in dentistry and orthodontics from the prestigious Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. “When Invisalign first entered the market in 1999, my dad was one of the first practitioners to use the system. Now we are taking It to the next level in terms of treatment types and results.” It’s not just teens who are seeking this clear alternative to straightening teeth. “We also treat a lot of adults, probably 30 percent of our practice,” he said. He said the cost is comparable to traditional braces. However, the treatment time with Invisalign averages 12-15 months, as compared to the 18-24 months required for regular braces. It’s not just teens who are seeking this clear alternative to braces. The Busciglios also are committed to educating children on good oral health with the help of the “tooth fairy.” Complete with wings and fairy dust, certified dental and orthodontic assistant Christine Freeman provides tooth fairy visits to schools and children’s parties, presenting educational skits and handing out goody bags containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, a floss threader, toothbox, stickers and a bracelet.

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623 E. Alexander St., Plant City • at Alexander Crossings Plaza • 813-759-9474 foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



April 2013

Letter From The Publisher

April showers and blooming flowers remind us it’s a time to celebrate new life - a time for fresh starts, when temperatures are moderate and the Florida skies are mostly a gorgeous, cloudless blue. It’s definitely a time when folks get outdoors for some sunshine fun.

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

This month’s daytime gatherings included the annual city Easter Egg Hunt, Youth Fishing Derby, Junior Woman’s Club golf outing, 140th anniversary celebration for Turkey Creek School and the Planes-Trains-Automobiles event. All were perfect venues for families to enjoy the best of Central Florida’s weather. April nights are busy, too, with the annual Wild Game Cookout, the Heritage Award recognition evening, Little Miss Plant City pageant and the community-wide Relay for Life. Please don’t miss a chance to visit the PCHS football field, beginning at 6 p.m. the night of April 19, where you’ll probably find your friends and neighbors chowing down on some great food and engaged in conversation, games and fundraising activities for the cancer cure cause. Talk about creativity, Relay for Life teams have it going on.

Plant City is full of life and the things that make life good. Thanks, as always, for sharing yours with us.

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

Publisher Mike Floyd

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

Office Manager Jared Guyer

Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Editorial Director Amanda Deck Copy Editor Linda Floyd 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 Dede Floyd | Aldo Trevino 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 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 | Amanda Deck | Deana Garrison Contributors Gil Gott | Derek Maul | Jo-An Lusk Nate Davis | Candy Owens


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And speaking of new life, we hope you’ll also appreciate our spotlight interview with Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Adam Hayward, who recently moved to Walden Lake with his new wife Angela. With a new marriage, new home and new baby girl, the couple looks forward to a great season of new neighbors, new community connections and new victories for our NFL team.


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April 2013

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A New Tradition

Instead of hosting a traditional Easter Sunday morning service, The Cynergy Church, located at 610 N. Alexander St., broke out of the mold with their first annual Easter Eggstravaganza outreach. During the event attended by 250-325 people, $2,000 worth of donated items--including bikes, gift cards, and easter baskets-- were given away, approximately 90 people committed their lives to Jesus Christ, 25-30 were water baptized, and food bags were offered to families in need. Due to the success of the Easter Eggstravaganza, The Cynergy Church, led by Dr. Jack and Marie Myers, plans to host several more outreaches in the future. For more information, contact 813-708-2783.

PCHS Class of ‘03: Save the Dates!

Volunteer of the Year The Plant City Family YMCA announced Jim Scott, General Manager of Jarrett-Scott Ford, as its Volunteer of the Year. Scott has served on the YMCA’s Board of Directors for the past eight years and hosted last year’s “Drive One 4 UR Community” fundraiser where his dealership offered free test drives of new cars. For each test drive, the Ford Motor Company donated $20 to the Plant City YMCA, which brought in $3,620 to provide financial assistance for children, adults, and families to participate in YMCA programs. Scott was recognized on March 26 at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA’s annual Community Impact Dinner. Congratulations Jim and we thank you for your hard work in our community!


april 2013

The Plant City High School Class of 2003 is excited to celebrate its 10-year reunion. A fantastic weekend of events has been planned and all PCHS ‘03 grads are encouraged attend. Events include a welcome party at Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse, a family picnic and kickball tournament, an adult reception, and a farewell brunch. The festivities will take place on Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28. Tickets are available at payitsquare. com/collect-page/11216. Send your photos and post-graduation bio to pchs2003.reunion@gmail. com. For more information, visit

Walk for Life Over 100 people attended the Walk for Life fundraiser on Saturday, April 6. Walkers traveled seven miles around the downtown area to help raise money for a new Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City ultrasound machine. In addition, the Knights of Columbus will match funds raised as part of their national Ultrasound Program. Through the event,$14,855 was raised. The center is still welcoming donations to achieve their goal of $17,000. To make a donation, contact 813-759-0886.


on the Future Kellyanne Hurst, a student at Plant City High School, has been invited to the 2013 U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar program. The seminar is a fast-paced leadership experience for rising seniors who are considering applying for admission to USNA. Apart from participating in academic and leadership workshops, Kellyanne will also take part in daily physical training activities like group runs and conditioning exercises.

Big Day Planned for

Remedi MediSpa Remedi MediSpa, located at 511 W. Alexander St., will be celebrating its recent expansion and addition of services on Thursday, May 16. Spa Owner Stacy Dunn invites the community to attend an official ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. followed by a reception including light hors d’oeurves, door prizes, and complimentary mini-spa services. The event will last until 7 p.m. If you can’t attend the celebration, be sure to stop by and check out their new nail suite, esthetics suite, and spa lobby featuring retail areas that include skin care products, bath and body lines, candles, nail polishes, and more!



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foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013


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PCHS Civinettes Give Back The Plant City High School Civinettes sponsored an Easter basket and meal for 8-year-old Natalie Harrell and her family. Civinettes along with PCHS teachers and members of the community contributed items for the basket. An Easter meal was provided for the family as well. Natalie has been receiving radiation treatments. Those attending the presentation of the Easter basket to Natalie include: STANDING: Kim Howerton, Julie Murphy, Julianna Gompf, Maddie Bradshaw, Kellyanne Hurst, Savannah Lawson, Kellie Pernula, Jennifer Tharrington, Emilie Harrell. 2nd ROW: Jackson Hardee, Shannon Harrell, Adriana Fasano, Maddy Keene, Dhara Patel, Natalie Harrell, Cynthia Tharrington, Trinity Lester. FRONT Kneeling: Jeanne Knotts, Sherrie Mueller.

SCA Cool School of the Week Sights Set on


On Saturday, March 9, students from the Chris Welbon Karate Club raised about $1,300 during a yard sale fundraiser, just one event they hold each year to raise money to help families with travel and tournament expenses for the AAU National Championships held this summer in Cincinnati, Ohio. The group has raised about $2,500 so far, with a goal of $15,000. Other upcoming fundraising events include another yard sale, a kick-a-thon, and Spirit Nights at local restaurants.

Contest Winners Announced Congratulations to Jackson Hardee who won the fourth-annual Plant City Photo Archives and History Center Photojournalism Contest, sponsored by Haught Funeral Home. The Photo Archives Center challenged students to submit a compelling story and photograph of Plant City people, places, or things. Hardee was awarded $100 for capturing first place with his “Bing Rooming House” story, while Robby Knox won 2nd place and $75 for “First Baptist Church of Plant City’s Historic Building,” and Sydney Johnson won 3rd place and $50 for “The Corner Store.” These three winning entries will be on display in the Exhibit Gallery at the Center.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



Fun for the Family

24th Annual City-Wide Easter Egg Hunt Article by Kelsie Baerwalde


he morning of March 30 was just the beginning of the Easter festivities for the families of Plant City. Hundreds of residents gathered at Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex to enjoy an assortment of activities sponsored by the hard working volunteers of the Plant City Parks and Recreation Department. As volunteers put together the final details of the free 24th Annual Easter Egg Hunt, parents and children proceeded to discover all the event had to offer, including bounce houses, trackless train rides, balloons, Easter Bunny photos and more—all of which could be purchased with Bunny Dollars. After sampling some delicious food and taking several memorable pictures, families found entertainment in the bleachers as they watched an exciting dog show. When the egg hunt area was ready, parents aided their children toward the starting point of the main event.

egg. Volunteers separated children into different age categories—ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-11—and finally, the starting lines surrounding the fields were cut and the children ran, competing with peers to collect the most eggs. After the fields were seemingly empty, the children sat with their families and friends to discover what treats were hidden within the little pastel eggs. All fields had levels of difficulty depending on age group, and each included two prized golden eggs. Two winners from each age category traded their golden egg for one large basket, which included everything from candy to toys. This year’s winners include Jesse Pinkston (age 3), Brian Castro (age 4),Ryan Doniaz (age 5), Martin Martinez (age 6), Javone Quiaada (age 7), Jaime Straily (age 8),Brandon Canceleno (age 9), and Adriana Ramirez (age 10).

Plant City Parks and Recreation put on an event loved by all ages. Thanks to their hard At 10 a.m., children were lined up to begin work, families all across town will continue their Easter egg hunt, with baskets in to enjoy this Easter tradition. Dressed in bunny ears, Giselle Mcdowell holds her mother after a tiring egg hunt. Photo by Kelsie Baerwalde hand and high hopes of finding a golden

Autumn Sanchez shares a wealth of eggs she has found. Photo by Kelsie Baerwalde


april 2013

Having just started, the children are hard at work searching for more and more eggs. Photo by Kelsie Baerwalde

Allison Sweet starts to get sticky fingers as she eats her candy. Photo by Kelsie Baerwalde

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Sunshine State AMBA Celebrates One Year

Lithia-Based Chapter Dedicated to Rescuing Once-Wild Horses Article by Amanda Deck

Association (SSAMBA) in Lithia, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and Florida’s first AMBA chapter. Their mission is to help rehabilitate rescued mustangs and train them toward a domestic lifestyle to later be adopted by loving families. Gentilini took on the role as chapter president, local horse enthusiast Jennifer Brown was named vice president, and Sloan accepted the secretary position. In addition, Sloan serves the chapter as a certified BLM TIP trainer at the chapter’s five-acre donated sanctuary property at RJ Farms.

Small child with a Mustang at the Sunshine State AMBA anniversary celebration event on Saturday, April 6. Photo by Sunshine State AMBA


ecades ago, thousands of wild mustangs, descendants of the breeds brought to America by Spanish settlers, freely roamed our country’s western plains. However, as time passed and the American population began to extend past the Mississippi River, mustangs— once considered a legendary symbol of our unique American heritage—were viewed as an invasive species, nothing more than pests.

a once-wild mustang. However, this also causes undomesticated mustangs to occasionally be placed in the care of inexperienced owners. Sadly, these owners become frustrated with their mustangs’ inability to immediately adjust to a domestic lifestyle, and the horses are left neglected.

In its one year existence, SSAMBA has rehabbed and placed 10 horses into new homes, including Roswell, who had been seized by animal control twice due to starvation by previous owners.

Furthermore, membership has grown from about eight members to over 30 in one year, in addition to an extensive network of volunteers. Four horses are currently in rehabilitation mode, while three are in training. Additionally, two horses are pending adoption after SSAMBA’s first anniversary celebration held on Saturday, April 6. Approximately 200 people attended the event and enjoyed games, prizes, food, demonstrations from EMM trainers, a raffle, a silent auction, and entertainment. SSAMBA representatives were also on hand to answer questions about volunteer, membership, and adoption opportunities. Goals for SSAMBA’s second year in operation include adding more members to the chapter, raising funds to provide care for horses and update vaccines, and to participate in the annual cross-state Cracker Trail ride.

Moreover, SSAMBA will continue to stay true to its main goal: “to save every mustang on the planet, to let it be known they are good horses, to get people involved and educated, and to grow our sanctuary,” said “He was thrown away to starve, knew Gentilini. nothing but neglect, had no one to love him,” said Gentilini. “When Roswell came To learn more about SSAMBA, visit to us, he was a skinny frail rail, not sure, call 813-463-3298, or e-mail about humans. Now he is a happy fat horse cared for by an awesome family he trusts.”

“Many people who adopt mustangs through the BLM don’t understand the process behind training a feral horse,” said Jennie Sloan. “These horses don’t know what a Therefore, wild horses that trespassed on bucket is, a lead, or even a person, and public grazing lands for cattle, sheep, and they need to learn…These are unbroken, other livestock were targeted by ranchers unhealthy wild mustangs.” for capture and slaughter. In fact, many natural watering holes were contaminated According to Sloan, many people who with poisons to help diminish the mustang don’t understand how to train mustangs population. Outraged by these inhumane view them merely as mutts, that they can’t acts, activists launched a national campaign compete well in equestrian events like encouraging the federal government to dressage or jumping. Yet this is not the case, protect wild horses. As a result, Congress as countless mustangs are trained over a 90passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses day period and their athletic skills displayed and Burros Act in 1971, allowing only the at Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to gatherings held annually throughout the control the wild horse population. country. After discovering the beauty, versatility, and trainability of wild horses at After being seized by the BLM, mustangs an EMM event in Tennessee, Sloan, along are shipped to holding facilities where with friend Stephanie Gentilini, longed to they wait to be adopted for a small fee. do more for the special breed. As a result, Any person above age 18 with no prior in March 2012, they formed the Sunshine Volunteer Robert Sloan gives rides on Paco, the lesson horse, to a Vendor, Manny conviction of animal cruelty can adopt State American Mustang and Burro Tellez (Heavenly Snow, LLC) during a break. Photo by Sunshine State AMBA


april 2013

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



Hometown Hero Plant City Police Officer Paul Tester Receives Heroism Award Article by Joe Bowles

In essence, Officer Tester saved her life. Previously in September, Tester received Plant City Police Department’s Life Saving medal.

income from the sale of life insurance, annuity, and investments. Because Modern Woodmen has no stockholders, profits are funneled back to its members and their communities. Last year MWA contributed Founded in 1883 as a fraternal organization back more than 26 million dollars through around local chapters, MWA derives its various community programs.


n July 27, 2012, Plant City Police Officer Paul Tester responded to a traffic accident at the intersection of Park Road and Jim Johnson Road. As he arrived, Tester discovered that one of the victims was bleeding profusely from her left arm. Tester borrowed a shirt from a bystander, wrapped her arm and then applied pressure to the wound until medical help arrived. On April 6, Modern Woodmen of America’s members met for dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Plant City to honor Tester for his heroism. Dan Price, the Activities Coordinator for the Plant City and Zephyrhills chapters presented Tester with their “Hometown Hero” award. The Hometown Hero program is just one of many community activities sponsored by Modern Woodmen of America. According to Sergeant Sherrie Stwan, who was at the presentation, “The doctor who later treated the victim reported to us that the brachial artery had been severed and that the victim would have died within minutes if Tester had not administered her MWA Activities Coordinator Dan Price, Senior Police Officer Paul Tester, and Sergeant Sherrie Stwan. aid.” Photo by Kelsey Snyder

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april 2013

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



Reel it in!

Plant City Park & Recreation’s Bi-Annual Youth Fishing Derby


ods, reels, shiners, chicken livers, night crawlers, baubles, and fish abound! On Saturday, March 23, the bi-annual Youth Fishing Derby coordinated by Plant City’s Parks and Recreation Department ensued with participants ages 5 to 15 fishing at the lake just behind the Randy L. Larson softball field. Registration started bright and early at 7:30 a.m.; however, parents and eager youth were there as early as 7 a.m. to be aptly prepared for the competition as soon as the green light was given. The event was sponsored by Landshark Charters, T.A. Mahoney, and Culprit. In addition to the sponsors, Florida Wildlife volunteer T.J. Vail came out as a title

The overall first bass caught and recorded was by Courvacaty Thompson at 9 years old.

The first overall catfish that was snagged belonged to Noah MacKenzie at 10 years sponsor for the event. Also on site were old. Deborah Haldane, Plant City Park and Recreation program manager, as well as The “Beat the Shark” award went to Anatasha Thompson at 8 years old, with a volunteer Mary Hamilton. bass coming in at 2.2 pounds. The event started back in 1997, and has been going strong two times a year ever The “Beat Captain Tom” award went to since. The competition was split into two Julia Kripas at 6 years old for her 5.2lb age categories: 5-10 year olds and 11-15 bass. (This was also an overall derby recordyear olds. Within each age group, a winner breaking catch which bested the previous was crowned for both most fish caught and record set all the way back in 2007!) biggest fish caught. The “Anglers Edge Sportsmanship Award” The competition grew hotter as 11 a.m. went to Nolan Smith at 10 years old. rolled around, which marked the end of the event and the beginning of the awards In the 11-15 age group, Raegan Arnold at ceremony. Of the 57 anglers who attended 12 years old had the biggest catch with a the event and the 20 fish caught, the results 4.6 pound bowfin. are as follows: Also in the 11-15 age group, Luis Mandujano took the prize for most fish caught. Article by Taylor Thomas

Dakota Grigson with her speckled perch. Photos by Deborah Haldane and Mary Hamilton

caught 3 fish and 3 turtles! Too bad turtles don’t count! Who is winning right In the 5-10 age group, Julia Kripas won the now, anyways?” Within earshot, T.J. Vail award for biggest fish with her astounding gingerly stated, “If anyone asks who’s 5.2 pound bass. winning, it’s the fish.” Lastly, in the 5-10 age group category, Braylon Black at 7 years old caught the most fish by tiebreaker. He narrowly defeated fellow challenger David Staddler with a combined weight of 5.2 pounds to 3.0 pounds, respectively.

Youth Fishing Derby Award Winners. Front Row: Courvacaty Thompson, Anatasha Thompson, Julia Kripas, and Braylon Black. Back Row: Noah Mackenzie, Raegan Arnold, Luis Mandujano, Nolan Smith. Photos by Deborah Haldane and Mary Hamilton

Wrapping up the event, a total of seven trophies were handed out to the listed victors, and then some rods, reels, filled tackle cases, and baits were handed out as additional prizes.

After the ceremony, Mr. Vail generously “The fish are looking great today. Extremely invited all of the participants on a Pizza healthy,” said volunteer Mary Hamilton. Hut adventure in which he covered all expenses himself. Feeding all of the hungry In the bustle towards the end of the mouths at the end of the day seemed to be event, one participant exclaimed, “I’ve the most appetizing idea, one might say.


april 2013

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April 2013


Golfing for the Children

brought along Ron Kobosky of Mosaic Industries. Although in the business world they are fierce competitors, when they step out of Article by Darcie Jarrett their suits and ties they have the funding to do so. The proceeds are great friends. They from this event give us that opportunity.” heard about the event and thought it would The club starts preparing for the project be a great opportunity around October. Jimenez explains how to get involved. the process gets executed: “Our members go to each school to measure the children’s A myriad of local shoe size and then deliver the shoes to the companies participated children after they have been purchased. in the event through We encourage our community to get their donations of raffle involved with the Shoe Project. Individuals prizes, sponsorships and companies can donate money to the and golf participants. cause or adopt a school.”

Plant City Junior Woman’s Club found success in

their First Annual Golf Tournament


aturday, April 6 gave way to a brisk and clear morning while the Plant City Junior Woman’s Club prepared for their First Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Walden Lake Country Club. The tournament, like all the chapter’s events, helps support their Shoe Project. Kendelle Jimenez, 3rd Vice President and Fundraising Chairman of the chapter, was very excited about the community’s response—with over 100 golfers signed up to participate.

To adopt a school, a donator would choose “The outcome…was even better than a certain school and provide funds for the the club anticipated,” said Jimenez. “The shoes and socks as well as participate in the proceeds from this event will allow our club sizing and distribution to the children. to provide new shoes and socks for many more children in our community. Reaching Two of the participating golfers decided to more children is something our club has collaborate for the cause. John Hammond of desired to do for a long time but did not CF Industries (one of the event’s sponsors)

About 100 golfers gathered for the first annual Plant

Immediately following City Junior Woman’s Club Golf Outing to raise money the tournament there for the community shoe project. was a lunch and awards Photo by Darcie Jarrett banquet, which was held at O’Briens Irish Pub on Alexander Blvd. If you would like to get involved with the One company in particular, 813Scapes, was Shoe Project, or participate in the golf announced first place champions and took tournament next year, Jimenez invites you to email her at kendellejimenez@yahoo. home the golden trophy. com.

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Photo by Anthony Sassano

Little Miss Plant City Pageant

Fifty-One Contestants Bring their All for a Chance at the Crown Article by Darcie Jarrett

Each year when the red carpet rolls out, the young ladies of the Plant City area hang up their leotards and cleats to put on dresses and lip gloss for the Little Miss Plant City pageant. On Saturday, March 23, Plant City High School was host to a packed auditorium for a hometown tradition dating back to 1969. The pageant is arranged by the Junior Woman’s Club of Plant City and is just one of the chapter’s many events to support their Annual Shoe Project which takes place in the fall. Last year, the project provided about 600 pairs of shoes and socks to children from 14 different elementary schools in the Plant City community. Stephanie Eisenbach, the chapter president, started off the night’s festivities with a short speech, which included an introduction of the judges for the competition. This year’s panel consisted of a school board chairwoman, a state and national pageant titleholder, a dancer and choreographer, and a financial generalist. “We strive to have a diverse panel of judges with at least one male judge,” said


april 2013

Eisenbach. “They must live outside the Plant competition from 51 down to just 15...and City area and cannot have any connection Baker was among the chosen few! with contestants or their parents.” In the second round, the remaining girls The show had 51 entrants from around the strutted the stage in their beautiful dresses Plant City, Lithia and Dover areas, and and presented an answer to the question according to Eisenbach, “Contestants are “What do you want to do when you grow judged on personality, poise, appropriate up?” in some of the most interesting and dress, grooming, stage presentation and creative ways to make sure the judges took stage performance. The girls must be notice and remembered them. [between] 8 – 10 years of age by February 1st.” The five girls who scored the highest in all combined categories and were named Participant #49 was 9-year-old McKinley a part of the 2013 Little Miss Plant City Baker. This is not McKinley’s first court included Rylee VanStronder, Amanda experience to glamour and spotlights as Astrike, and Payton Talavera. Giselle she’s been involved in these types of events Gutierrez took the position of first maid since she was five. while the new crown was presented to the youngest participant of the night, 8-year“This is all her,” admitted Taylor Baker, old Emma Showalter. McKinley’s mother, with a chuckle. “I was a tomboy. Since the very beginning, she Showalter is actually not the first in her would get up and sing and dance and play. family to experience a royal position. Her As soon as she heard about pageants she mother, Ashley, was a part of the 2001 said, ‘Mommy, I want to do that! I want to Strawberry Festival Pageant court, and her aunt, Jessica, took reign as Strawberry wear a dress!’ It’s her…it’s all her.” Festival Queen in 1998. With seasoned The first round of voting narrowed the advisors close to her side, this little heiress

has nothing to worry about as she enters into her year as the new queen. Paparazzi beware…the queen and her court are coming!

top 15 Kelli Anne Kirkland Lacie Collins Morgan Gill Lacey Hicks Brenna Sturgis Emma Showalter Giselle Gutierrez Tristyn Steele Alyssa Stahl Rylee VanStronder Emma Futch Payton Talavera McKenly Baker Tori Wegner Amanda Astrike


the 2013 Little Miss Plant City Queen & her Court!


first maid Giselle Gutierrez

Rylee VonStronder

Payton Talavera

Amanda Astrike

What was your favorite part of the pageant? Even though I really had fun playing with my friends back stage, my favorite part was when they called my name for top 15.

What was your favorite part of the pageant? Being up on stage to say my introduction and answering the top 15 question, that was my favorite part because I like speaking in front of people.

What was your favorite part of the pageant? My favorite part of the pageant was being back stage with all my friends.

What was your favorite part of the pageant? My favorite part of the pageant was getting ready! Lip gloss, nail polish and a fancy dress! But don’t forget inner beauty is whats more important! I always try to share a smile or give a hug!!

What was your favorite part of the pageant? The two times I spoke on stage were so much fun - I got to say what I practiced, hold the microphone, and I made everyone laugh.

Emma Showalter

How did you feel when they called your name? I was so excited and shocked. I couldn’t believe I had won my first pageant! What event do you most look forward to this year? I’m looking forward to the Relay for Life because its going to be fun and its great to support people with all types of cancer.

How did you feel when they called your name? I guess crossing your fingers backstage really works! I was so happy and excited. I was hoping to at least make court, but making first maid was so much better! What event do you most look forward to this year? I love Christmas, so I would have to say the Christmas parade. You get to see so many people in the Christmas spirit. Everyone is happy, smiling and enjoying all the cool floats covered in Christmas colors and lights.


How did you feel when they called your name? I was ecstatic! What event do you most look forward to this year? I am most looking forward to the baby parade.


How did you feel when they called your name? When they called my name my heart was pounding with excitement! What event do you most look forward to this year? I most look forward to the community service events we are involved in. I feel it’s important to help others!


How did you feel when they called your name? Sooo scared but sooo excited. I kept thinking that I can’t believe I made it, I can’t believe I actually made it on LMPC court. What event do you most look forward to this year? I am looking forward to the LMPC contest next year. My friend Avery was on the court last year and she told me it was so much fun the night of this years pageant. Doing the dance, being on stage so much, wearing the beautiful dress, and getting to sash one of my friends!

See Exclusive Photos From Our Photo Shoot With the LMPC Queen and Court On Our Facebook Page! foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



TIME FOR A Focus on You

CHANGE? Makeover

Nominate a Deserving Loved One for a Day of Pampering Article by Amanda Deck

Stop by and learn more about

Your Hometown Bank!

2012 FOCUS On You Makeover Winners. Photo by Anthony Sassano

I 509 West Alexander Street • Plant City (across from Plant City High School)

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

n early 2003, we, the FOCUS Magazine staff, wanted to find a way to give back to the community. As a result, the annual Focus on You Makeover was born, allowing our readers to nominate fellow friends, family members, and co-workers for a day of much-deserved pampering.

Entries can also be sent via e-mail to DeDe Floyd ( or Jared Guyer (jguyer@floydpublications. com). Write “Focus on You Makeover Plant City” in the subject line and the 300word description (including the nominee’s name, address, home phone number, and work phone number, and nominator’s Every year, we gather to read countless name) in the body of the e-mail. Please, no letters—some inspiring, others downright attachments. For faxing, send your entries heart wrenching—with each leaving a to 813-764-0990 Attn: DeDe. lasting impact on our lives. Through these letters, we learn about a number of selfless All nominations must be received by area residents who truly deserve a whole midnight, May 22. Four winners will be day devoted solely to themselves. Although chosen and notified on May 24. Winning we wish we could provide services for entries will be published in Focus each nominee, after much deliberation, Magazine’s June Plant City issue, along four people are chosen for a Focus on You with photographs and a description of each Makeover. winner’s makeover experience. If you know anyone who deserves a makeover, FOCUS Magazine is here to make it happen, along with the help of several other businesses and organizations in the community. To nominate someone for a Focus on You Makeover, send a 300word description of your loved one’s story entitled “Focus on You Makeover Plant City” to FOCUS Magazine, 702 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., Plant City, FL 33563.


April 2013

What’s in store for the lucky winners? On the evening of May 30, the winners will pick out a new outfit. Then, on May 31, each winner will enjoy a hearty breakfast at a local eatery followed by a massage, lunch, makeup, facial, manicure, pedicure, and haircut. The night concludes with a limousine ride, a photo shoot, and fine dining. It will surely be a day your loved one will always remember.

Dr. Brenda Dukes Chiropractic Physician


The past decade has seen the number of diagnosed cases of autism rapidly increase throughout the nation. Many studies are indicating that chiropractic care may alleviate-at least to some degree-some of the associates symptoms of autism. “Autism: A Chiropractic Perspective” by Jane Jennings and Martina Baker of the Newbury Chiropractic Centre, Newbury, Berkshire, UK, published in Clinical Chiropractic (2006), Vol. 9, pp. 6-10. During this study, researchers carried out a series of chiropractic adjustments on 26 autistic children over a 9-month period. The results were an improvement in certain reflexes and sensations, an increase in neck range of motion, and improvement of others health problems. Many of the children were taken off Ritalin; their bladder and bowel control improved; some children started to speak, eye contact and attention span improved while hyperactivity and aggressive behavior were reduced. Also, five children were able to attend regular classes at school for the first time.

The autistic children suffered from neurological interference that hindered their development. The researchers concluded that correcting what chiropractic calls vertebral subluxations can positively affect local neurological function and cause an overall improvement. Even though there was no control group to back up the findings, the results are encouraging: They show that chiropractic care may improve the quality of life of autistic children by relieving some of the symptom of their disease. To the extent that chiropractic care can have a positive effect that is beneficial; but improving the quality of life of autistic children is a beginning toward the goal of erasing autism. Special Note: We would like to send a special Blessing to all women, especially mothers and grandmothers on Sunday, May 12, 2013 for Mother’s Day. May God continue to Bless you. 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.

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



Steve Martin and John Candy

Would be Proud

Annual Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Continues to Draw a Crowd Article by Brian West


is a lot of coordination and many, many volunteers needed to pull off an event like this.” Nizamoff, spent countless hours coordinating the event, working alongside Marilyn Gauthier with the Plant City Airport. Most of the real planes on display belong to owners who store them on-site at the airport. A hobby club from Mulberry has participated each year with their remote controlled planes and helicopters. Some of the planes, although remote controlled, are large enough that a 4 or 5 year old could This year was the third annual event, which ride in them and must use the airport has seen a steady attendance each year, and runway. Others are small enough that was held on Saturday, March 23. The event they’re launched into the air by hand. was the brainchild of Jason Jones, Chamber Board member, and Lee Williams, Past Many of the younger attendees gravitated to Chairman. Jones thought it was a great the trains and the remote controlled planes way to draw the community together, and and helicopters, while the older attendees Williams (an avid model train enthusiast) found themselves drawn to the planes and agreed. After almost a year in the making, automobiles. One thing everyone seemed the first event was held in 2011. It was a hit, to have in common was the smiles on their and has continued to be an annual event for faces as they took in the sights. the Chamber and the airport. The event was also an opportunity for Amy Nizamoff, Administrative vendors to come out and support the Coordinator for the Chamber, said, “There community. Food vendors, some selling he Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and the Plant City Airport put on another great event this year with the return of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. As you guessed it, the event features planes (large and small)— even some that are remote controlled— model trains and automobiles (old and new). The event is still in its infancy, but continues to draw a crowd of young and old to take in the sights.

The youngest of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles patrons gravitated toward the fire trucks. Photo courtesy of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce


april 2013

A countless number of cars from different eras were on hand at the annual Planes, Trains, and Automobiles event. Photo courtesy of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce

trinkets, and even I-4 Power Equipment took the opportunity to show off some of their golf carts. A large green Yamaha with a lift kit, suspension and larger tires caught everyone’s attention as they entered the event on the east side of the runway. The event is free to everyone; paying only the cost of parking ($5.00) to enter. It brings attention to the airport, which most only visit to attend the event, and an opportunity to see a lot of history associated with transportation, all in one location. This year, the event had to compete with the egg

drop hosted by the First Baptist Church of Plant City, but attendees still turned out to take in the history. Each year, immediately following the event, the committee will meet to evaluate the event and discuss opportunities for improvement for next year. A few attendees were heard asking about a tram service to avoid the long walk from the parking area, but otherwise, the feedback seems to be positive. Congratulations on another great event for Plant City.

The Planes, Trains, and Automobiles event was a hit with vehicle enthusiasts. Photo courtesy of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



Standing Up for Children with Special Needs

Local Dental Program Leader Receives National Recognition Article by Amanda Deck

Grotto volunteer Willy Carreras, William, who is nonverbal and has autism, was able to find dental care through Dr. Steven Slavkin at Plant City’s Tooth Caboose. During his first checkup, the Tooth Caboose team discovered that William suffered from two cavities. “The staff at the Tooth Caboose figures out how to care for each unique child, something many dentists will not tolerate. Yet this is a service every child should have,” said Gillespie. “I was so relieved when I found out about the Grotto’s program because my son had never been to a dentist before. It’s been such a blessing, especially because my child couldn’t communicate that his teeth hurt.”

Dr. Steven Slavkin at the Tooth Caboose provides dental care to children with special needs.


fter learning about the Grottoes of North America Humanitarian Foundation, Beatrice Gillespie of Wesley Chapel knew the organization’s dental care program for children with special needs was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up for her 9-year-old son, William. Through the efforts of local

Mothers They

The Humanitarian Foundation’s dental program for children with special needs— the official charity of the Grottoes—was established in 1969, and in the past five years, has helped provide dental care to over 4,400 children in 32 states and Canada. In addition, the foundation has paid over $3 million for dental services for special needs children. On Thursday, March 21, Willy Carreras was presented the Humanitarian Award, signifying his Grotto area provided the most outstanding dental care in the past year when compared to other Grottoes throughout North America. During the ceremony, an interview with Carreras and Dr. Slavkin was filmed, and local Grotto patients and their families showered the highly dedicated volunteer with praise. In fact, one particular child gave Carreras a homemade plaque featuring his handprint. Many others agree that Carreras deserved

are a gift from God.

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april 2013

the recognition, including Dr. Howard Howell of the Tooth Caboose: “From our experience, the way Mr. Carreras meets the needs of the children and the way that he works seamlessly to make sure they are taken care of and the funding is there, I’ve got to believe that’s why he stood out nationally. You find that many programs don’t make that kind of effort all the way to the end.” The Tooth Caboose is one of just two providers of Humanitarian Foundation dental services in the area and is considered the perfect place for children with special needs to receive the care they require. Not only is Dr. Slavkin experienced in working with special needs children, but the Tooth Caboose also provides a non-threatening environment, unlike most sterile dental offices. Although the practice already serves about 25 children through the Humanitarian Foundation program, Dr. Slavkin is always ready to help those with special needs. To see if your child qualifies, contact Willy Carerras at 813-671-3300 or the Tooth Caboose at 813-754-2161.


Blood Donors Honored

Twenty-two Plant City Residents Give Hundreds of Gallons Article by Johanna Santana

was needed to save the life of a mother of two children. He has been donating ever since. Former nurse and paramedic, Dwaine Wills, who has also donated 51 gallons, stated the importance of real life people in helping transplant, burn, and cancer patients. “All these technological advances we’ve made since I’ve been a kid, we have yet to find anything that can replace blood to replace blood,” he said. Boyd (Mike) Conn, who was the first to donate after the event was over, reaching the times he has donated to 303, called it the best thing he has ever done.

Florida Blood Services honored 22 donors in Plant City who have, collectively, donated 600 gallons of blood. (From left to right) Dwaine Wills, Robert Johnson, Dwaine Chevalier, Don Doshier, Boyd (Mike) Conn, Hardy Greenwood, Larry Hunsinger, Wayne Hall, Omer Elwer, John Styer, Ralph Ford). Photo by Johanna Santana


very three seconds, a person is in need of blood in the United States. On Wednesday, March 27, Florida Blood Services honored 22 of the top Plant City area donors who, collectively, have donated 600 gallons of blood, potentially saving thousands of lives. The human body holds 1.5 gallons of blood in its system. “Six hundred gallons of anything, that’s huge,” said Pauline Simmonds-Brown, District Director of Florida Blood Services. “Just think about how much that would cost if you had to buy 600 gallons of gas at this time, at these prices. That’s a lot of money and a lot of gas. But the lives you save cost much more than those 600 gallons of gas could ever be.” One of the donors being recognized at the Plant City Center Multi-Gallon Donor Celebration was Omer Elwer, who has donated 70 gallons of blood between Florida and his home state, Ohio. A devout Catholic, Elwer began donating to the Red Cross in the early 70s after seeing a need for blood. However, after learning of the critical need with cancer patients, he began donating platelets. In platelet donation, blood is collected, platelets are separated, and the rest of the blood components are returned to the donor. This process, which Elmer does once or twice a month, takes an average of 113 minutes to complete.

Elwer takes this time to meditate, stating his motivation as spiritual. He said he just saw a need and “jumped in” to help. “I take credit for nothing, I don’t do it to be honored,” said Elwer, adding that although he realized not everyone will have the same spiritual journey he has, he still urges the community to “just do it.”

Lakasha Reaves, Donors Services Team Leader, made a calling for potential donors to come try donating at least once.

Meanwhile, Elwer offered the best piece of advice he said he has ever received: “Never “What does it cost you to help people? You miss a meal after donating.” can’t put a price on life,” he said. Florida Blood Services (currently For his part, Robert Johnson, recognized OneBlood) in Plant City is located at 2909 for donating 14 gallons, remembered the James L. Redman Parkway Suite 6, Plant time he was called at work to give for an City, FL 33566. For more information, call emergency donation. He was told his blood 813-752-7638 or go to

But Elwer is not only a blood donor, he is also a recipient. In 2010, five surgeries left him in need of four gallons of blood from 32 donors. “You never know when you’re going to need blood,” said Daniel Eberts, Community and Donor Relations Manager for Florida Blood Services. “When you donate blood you don’t only save lives, you save families,” added Eberts, who called the donors “silent heroes saving lives every day.” The event brought tears to many, including Dwaine Chevalier, who was recognized for donating 13 gallons of blood. “It’s going to make me cry because I appreciate the fact they’re doing this,” said Chevalier, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 and stated that his goal was to eliminate tears and bring joy. Omer Elwer receives a certificate from Julie Watkinson, Community Relations Manager of Florida Blood Services, honoring 70 gallons of blood donated in Florida and his home state, Ohio. Photo by Johanna Santana foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



“Farm Credit gives us one-stop shopping for our farm, residence and vacation home.”

Cheeta Art Chad Ruis


rowing up in Plant City, Chad Ruis, a.k.a. Cheeta, created unique outlets to explore his passions for art, surfing, skate, ocean, nature and world adventure.

Article by Cheryl Johnston

These days, gallery showings, art exhibitions, live art performances, festivals and many charitable events fill his time. A master showman, Cheeta paints “live” before audiences throughout Central Florida. For the last two Focus anniversary party gatherings at Keel and Curley Winery, he has spontaneously painted a strawberry “live” on stage within a one hour time frame to be auctioned off with the proceeds benefitting the Plant City Relay for Life effort.

After years of operating his own graphic design and advertising companies, designing countless brands and marketing materials, Ruis dusted off his art brushes to pursue an old passion. This move created a new lifestyle to express his own emotions and joy with life inspirations through his Cheeta Chad desires to experience life painting. even more with an interest of escape he The entrepreneurial Cheeta Chad Ruis describes as “like trying to find your way was raised in Plant City, made his way out of the jungle.” Continuously doing through Tampa to Sarasota and then some, murals, paintings, skateboarding, surfing building a solid reputation for creativity. and living an “out of the box attitude,” he No matter the canvas, Cheeta attacks it creates this lifestyle through color, art, with his trademark style. Because of the emotion, motivation and a will to inspire... wide range of experience gained over the His attitude: “Live on the edge, take risks, years, he’s considered an artist to learn experience life. Create A Moment.” This is from—everything from his work ethic to known as CHEETA STYLE. his technique.

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Loans for land, homes & country living Cheeta Chad Ruis has created works of art at past Focus Magazine anniversary parties. Photo courtesy of Cheeta Art


april 2013


This Mother’s Day, give your mom a gift t hat keeps on giving!

Mural created by Cheeta Chad reflecting his love for bright colors, sweeping lines, and the ocean waves. Photo courtesy of Cheeta Art

product of his environment and gathers his inspiration from the surf, sand, and tropical beauty he sees every day. He has the ability to paint a scene that is part real, part fantasy, which welcomes the viewer into a serene and exotic environment. By being both an excellent surfer and artist, Cheeta is able to capture a moment in the surf and translate Cheeta, as he is known throughout Florida, that experience onto canvas. the Hawaiian Islands, Japan and gaining international recognition, is an amazing Add some color to your life through artist capable of uniquely capturing the surf Cheeta’s Art. Get a custom mural or and beach lifestyle in his work. He is very painting and check out prints and originals unique because his art is completely original. available online at Thousands can paint tropical flowers and Cheeta Chad also creates for graphic design waves, but very few have an original style. needs such as T-shirts, logos, branding and Cheeta’s work is easily recognizable by his printing. View his latest artworks and news vibrant colors, sweeping lines, and tropical on Facebook/Cheeta Art and simply send accents. It is evident that Cheeta is a him a message to explore the possibilities. Today Cheeta Chad is a resident on the beautiful Florida Gulf Coast waters of Anna Maria Island, working in his studio doing what he has strived for—living in a community where he is active and inspiring others with art, painting vibrancy all around him for others to enjoy


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MIKE’S TIRE & WHEEL Tires Wheels Truck Accessories Lift Kits 622 South Collins Street Plant City, FL 33563 813-764-8473 Mike Spiker | Larry Jessee Works from Cheeta Chad’s HeartWave series. Photo courtesy of Cheeta Art foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



Education Then and Now Turkey Creek’s 140th Year Celebration Article by Bobbie Roper


heavy rain Friday night and a muddy parking lot Saturday morning did not dampen the spirits of those attending Turkey Creek’s 140th Year Celebration held on March 23. The theme for the event was “Rounding up Decades of Dreams.” Principal Dennis Mayo welcomed the large crowd of alumni and visitors, giving a brief background of the school which actually dates back to the log cabin school started in 1863 in the middle of the Civil War. Principal Mayo read the minutes of the school board meeting which officially established the school in 1873. In the early years, the school was for first through 12 grades and operated on a nine month schedule, allowing students to be off three months during the strawberry season. The first graduating class had three students.

Deshong (Class of ’65) joined the band, and the capsule included a letter to the future Marsha Colson led the singing. principal from Principal Mayo, an FCAT booklet, curriculum guides, ETT evaluation Greta Smith, Student Government form, student messages to future gobblers, Sponsor, along with Student Government Alumni from each decade dating back to Officers, dedicated the time capsule which continued next page the 30s were asked to stand, as well as past will be opened in 2073. Items placed in and present teachers. Several local leaders were in attendance including former Tampa City Commissioner from 1978 to 1988 Tom Vann (Class of ’49) and school district staff members Jerry Jackson and Marsha Colson. The invocation was given by MacKenzie McCullough of the FCA. Ronald Jackson, representing the JROTC Club, presented the American Flag and Pledge of Alliance. Guest speaker Sonny Jones (Class of ’49) welcomed the alumni. He shared that both his parents worked at the school, his father as a trustee and driver of a homemade bus built from a Model-T, and his mother as the school’s first lunch room manager. The Turkey Creek Band played the Alma Mater, led by Tommy Green. Dewayne Mr. Tom Vann (Class of ’49) recalls his years at Turkey Creek. He was a Tampa City Councilman from 1978 to 1988. Photo by Bobbie Roper


april 2013

local a bell schedule, videos of a time line from 1950-2013, a flash drive with pictures of school events, a PE T-shirt, a school pencil and cup, a cultural collage (What’s Hot in 2013), a picture book of 2012-13 students and faculty, and a music medal won by the orchestra. The time capsule was placed at the flagpole with a brick displaying the date to be opened.

When asked how they came to have gobblers as their mascot, Planning Committee member, Pat Ballard (Class of ’66) said, “The Turkey Creek area was full of gobblers back in the early years, and it just seemed appropriate.”

The celebration ended with a Raffle/Silent to view the progression of education in one Auction hosted by the NJHS to benefit of our Plant City schools. Great job by the Relay for Life. Celebration Planning Committee. Thanks for all your hard work! It truly was a day for “Rounding up Decades of Dreams” and taking a step back in time

After the ceremony, everyone was invited to tour the Media Center where artifacts from by-gone school years were displayed, including FFA jackets, a poodle skirt and saddle shoes, and cheerleading pompoms. Photos of past school events and faculty and students as well as a video presentation could be browsed. The gym contained a bouncy house and slide for youngsters. Booths highlighting different decades offered face painting, hula hoop twisting, a cupcake walk and other activities. Popcorn and snow cones were also available. Lunch was prepared hot-offthe-grill in the courtyard by the FFA and Sam Astin.

Principal Dennis Mayo and Celebration Planning Committee member Pat Ballard greeted visitors in the Media Center. Photo by Bobbie Roper

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

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



Myrle Henry

Honored with Annual Heritage Award

Retired Pharmacist Founded Florida Opry and

Strawberry Classic Car Show


nnually since 2004, the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center has honored a local’s efforts to preserve the community’s heritage. At the recognition banquet on March 28, retired pharmacist J. Myrle Henry humbly accepted the organization’s highest award.

Article by Cheryl Johnston

have lived most of my life in Plant City.”

The civic-minded Southern gentleman with an impressive resume of accomplishments, including founder of both the Florida Opry and the Strawberry Classic Car Show, is quick to express thanks for other locals who Myrle Henry (center) with his friends (J. Seward Johnson sculptures) at the Union volunteer tirelessly, for educators, and for Station Park in Summer 2012. Photo courtesy of Plant City Photo Archives and History Center Executive Director Gil Gott acknowledged his Creator. Henry’s many contributions: “Myrle has Henry readily admits, “I’m a Floridian by town, ‘raising my family here’ and ‘giving been involved in the historical fabric of “God gives us talents,” he said. “I believe birth and a Gator by grace,” adding “I’ve back to my community.’ the Plant City area since his boyhood one of mine is organization. He has also been blessed to have attended ballgames in school days here. In addition to the almost blessed me with a wonderful wife and every SEC stadium and witnessed all three “I appreciate that Plant City has retained innumerable leadership positions held family, good health and energy, and a desire UF national championship wins against its character and hometown atmosphere,” throughout his lifetime, he has provided to help people.” FSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Until just Henry said. “It’s filled with strong churches substantial support to our organization a few years ago, we’d been to every home and people who care, who do their part and played a central role in our city. We are At age eight, Henry moved to Pinecrest game.” to make life pleasant here. I value the pleased to recognize him for all he’s done from Jacksonville with his parents, Joseph friendships and feel pleased and humbled to create and preserve our community’s Mason Henry and Ovieda Dossey Henry In August, the 74-year-old Henry will by this wonderful honor PC Photo Archives history and heritage.” and lived a year in a log cabin without celebrate 54 years of marriage to Plant has bestowed on a little old strawberry electricity or running water before they City native Tommie Claire Williams, the picker. May God bless you all.” In gratefulness, Henry responded with a moved into town. In addition to the girl he met in Latin class in 1954. The reference to Psalm 61:5 and for his life- Pinecrest strawberry school, he attended sweethearts still volunteer together at the centering faith in Jesus, in country, and in Burney, Forest Park, Tomlin, and Plant City annual Florida Strawberry Festival and are this community. High School especially proud of daughters Cheri Kim Henry Ennis of Rincon, Georgia and Dr. (Not included are awards from college and prior) “I am thankful for my Christian heritage,” As one of only six honor graduates of Kathy Lynn Henry of Pell City, Alabama. Chamber of Commerce 2001 Outstanding he shared, “and for life in the United PCHS (’56), he received the American Citizen of the Year; “Good Egg” award (2x) States of America, which even with all our Legion Award and two other scholarships Trustee- South Florida Baptist Hospital; As in his numerous UF leadership roles, Evangelical University and Seminary country’s faults, is still the greatest nation for studies at Carson-Newman College in so has the “safe, affordable housing for the Deacon- Plant City’s First Baptist Church in the world. I’m thankful also to have been Tennessee and the University of Florida, (50+ year member) elderly” idea man behind the Baptist Towers born in the great state of Florida and to earning his Bachelor of Science, Pharmacy Founder/President- Baptist Towers of Plant and Plant City Living Center continued in City; Plant City Living Center degree there in 1961. our community. Henry learned early that Founder- Florida Opry; Strawberry Classic Car Show “he who presents an idea will more than President- PC Downtown Business and likely be designated to pick up the ball and Merchants Association Director/Treasurer- East Hillsborough run with it.”

Partial List of Accomplishments

Myrle Henry was presented with the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center Heritage Award on March 28. Photo courtesy of Plant City Photo Archives and History Center


april 2013

Among the many sweet memories he recalls are: strawberry school at Pinecrest, Burney Elementary’s 4H Club and the Ocala 4H camp, exhibiting a young heifer at the Hillsborough County Fair, attending Tomlin at its downtown City Hall location, walking the halls of 1914 PCHS, the Jr. Deputy Sheriff ’s program, first job after school (plus Saturday) at Belk-Lindsey Department Store ($15/wk), high school graduation in the first class at the present Tomlin Middle School, earning his UF degree, marrying his ‘beautiful, wonderful wife Tommie’, owning three pharmacies in

Chamber of Commerce Member- Economic Development Council (PC Chamber) Director/Past President- East Hillsborough Historical Society Owner- 3 pharmacies in Plant City Past President- Hills. Co. Pharmacy Assn. Member- UF College of Pharmacy National Advisory Board Awarded- 2007 Florida Bowl of Hygeia (from FL Pharmacy Assn.) Lions Club- Past President PC Lions Club (50+ year member); Lions Club- Grand Lion - Florida Lions Foundation for the Blind Lions Club- Melvin Jones Fellow, Lions International Activist- Hillsborough County Citizen Advisory Committee Past Chairman- American Cancer Society (PC Branch)

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foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



Wild Game Equals Big Dollars

Community Benefits through Rotary Club Event Article by Brian West

Rotarians were hard at work on Friday, April 5 preparing a variety of wild game dishes. Photo submitted by Plant City Rotary


or many years now, the Plant City Rotary Club has held an annual event that nets thousands of dollars for the club, and ultimately the community— the Wild Game Cookout. The venue has changed a couple of times since its inception, but over the past three years, the event seems to have settled into a more central location: one of the parking lots of the Florida Strawberry Festival. The event is usually held on a Friday evening in late March or early April and highlights the cooking skills of the Rotarians and the wild game they prepare. This year’s cookout took place on Friday, April 5, and turkey, gator tail, catfish, venison and swamp cabbage were just a few of the items sampled by the attendees. About a thousand people, more or less, descended on the site to eat, drink and spend time catching up with each other. Many people attending the event will say that there are people they only see once a year, and they see them at the Wild Game Cookout. The evening also included a 50/50 raffle, which quickly adds up for a lucky winner,


April 2013

and a drawing for several guns and other outdoor items. These raffle items are the kind of stuff a bunch of guys would be interested in winning. And what would an event like this be without a band? Bluegrass was the sound of choice. When everything is said and done, the money raised by the Rotary Club is used to support their charities. They provide scholarships for local high school students, donate to other charitable organizations and contribute to their overall mission—to eradicate polio. In recent years, Rotarians stepped up to a challenge from the Gates Foundation and raised $200 million in about four years, all to help eradicate polio. There are many worthy organizations and community efforts in our great city, and they’re all working to make our community a better place to live. The Plant City Rotary Club is definitely among those doing great things. If you’re looking for a great organization to support, remember the Rotarians.

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013


did you know

1956 Plant City

A View From the City Directory


Article by Plant City Photo Archives & History Center

he Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce recently donated 26 volumes of the R.L. Polk City Directory for Plant City, Florida, to the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center. This month we will go back in time to 1956, the year of the oldest volume donated. According to the publishers, “the Directory reflects the achievements and ambitions of [Plant City], depicting in unbiased terms what it has to offer as a place of residence, as a business location, as a manufacturing site, and as an educational center.” Let’s take a closer look at the statistical and general information provided to the publishers by the Greater East Hillsborough County Chamber of Commerce, which was located on U.S. 92 at Warnell Street. (Note: The Greater East Hillsborough County Chamber of Commerce became the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce in 1981.) In 1956, Plant City was 8 square miles with 100 miles of paved streets and 2 streets under construction. Its population had grown from 9,230 at the time of the 1950 census to approximately 14,000, making it one of the fastest growing communities in the Southeast. Partly owing to the substantial population growth was Plant City’s strategic location, which appealed to those wishing to retire in Florida and “escape big city noise and confusion.” Plant City was described as: …a community of homes, surrounded by flowers abloom all year. Homes amid moss festooned oaks and palms. Homes that show they are lived in. Homes of friendly people. People who do not try to keep up with the Joneses because the Joneses don’t live here. But of course there were pleasant folks by the name of Jones residing in Plant City in 1956. Mr. William E. Jones was a salesman at Birdsey Seed Store and a householder with his wife Lucille N. at the corner of Avenue B and Lime Street. Mrs. Margaret L. Jones was a dental assistant with the offices of Dr. J. Elliott Martin and a householder at 802 East Alsobrook


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The police department had one station with 17 men. It was located at 200 South Evers Street and the police chief was Robert Spooner. The fire department had 2 stations, 8 paid men, and 4 pieces of motor equipment. The main station was located on the first floor of City Hall at 301 North Collins Street and the substation was located at Renfro and Evers Streets. The fire chief was Robert M. Brown.

M. Curtis Hawkins of Hawkins Radio & Television (510 South Collins Street) advertised his availability of “antenna installations” and “all makes of record players and records.”

Street. Reverend Admiral D. Jones was a Jack Ramsey of Jack Ramsey Motors pastor at Free Will Baptist Church and a (corner of South Palmer and Drane Streets) householder with his wife Susie B. at 1807 stated it was “the only dealer in Plant City Lime Street. Free Will Baptist Church selling sanitized used cars.” would have been among the 29 churches in Plant City representing 11 denominations. Also highlighted was Plant City’s John F. Barlow, manager of Firestone Stores distinction as having the only winter (southeast corner of East Reynolds and Plant City was further described as “warm chanting auctioneer in the world. That Palmer Streets) announced the availability in winter and comfortable in summer…The auctioneer was heard nine months of of automatic and wringer washers and gas sun shines more than 330 days every year the year at the Plant City State Farmers and electric dryers. and those who like gardening can follow Market, located at 1409 West Haines their hobby or their vocation every day in Street and one of the largest in the nation. The Plant City Coca Cola Bottling the year.” His chants were about the strawberries and Company, Inc. (corner of East Baker Street area-grown vegetables being sold at auction and Pennsylvania Avenue) advertised “the There were 14,810 registered automobiles on the selling blocks. At peak season, 2 or pause that refreshes.” for the 14,000 residents and 4,623 3 auctioneers were needed for the selling telephones in service. Telephone service blocks. Ralph and Bennie Kirkland of the Kiddie was provided by Peninsular Telephone Shop (124 East Reynolds Street) touted Company located at 306 West Haines The Directory also contains “the “furniture and toys for the small fry.” Street. Plant City’s telephone numbers in advertisements and business cards of the 1956 were five digits. You could reach Lou’s more ‘progressive’ business men and firms Florida Central College (309 ½ East Doll & Hobby Shop by dialing 2-0701, in the city.” The Directory itself ran the Lafayette Street) announced it was the Lundy’s Bakery by dialing 2-3061, and following ads: “home of the stenographic-machine Loy’s Drive In Tavern by dialing 3-2371. shorthand” and that it offered training in Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of Gregg shorthand. The Directory states that Plant City had Business – The importance of keeping 2 hotels with 130 rooms; the Classified firm and product names in the public eye George Friend, manager of Plant City’s only Business section of the Directory actually is recognized by all business men. It is radio station, WPLA (1570 South Collins lists 3: Colonial Hotel at 112 West astonishing to see how a firm or product, Street A/K/A Hopewell Road), advertised Reynolds Street, Hotel Plant at 203 West however meritorious, will slip into the WPLA as “the community station.” Reynolds Street, and Market Hotel at 1111 limbo of the forgotten if not persistently West Haines Street. Market Hotel was advertised. Willard D. McGinnes of McGinnes aptly named given its close proximity to the Lumber Company (509 South Collins Plant City State Farmers Market. Post-war relocation of millions in their Street) advertised their work ethic as one permanent homes; readjustment of intended “to give you a perfect product.” Plant City had one hospital with 98 beds business to normal conditions; the great (The South Florida Baptist Hospital at new developments in civilian life just over B. L. “Ben” Willis, registered real estate North Alexander and Reynolds Streets) the horizon of the future–these and other broker (1005 West Reynolds Street) urged and one library with 12,000 books (Plant things make [a] City Directory listing a Plant Citians to “go to church on Sunday City Public Library at 501 Wheeler Street). “must” for all business people. and take the children.” The librarian was Luzette M. Spear. Other featured advertisements ran the This has been a small glimpse of life in 1956 Statistical information in the Directory gamut from appliances to druggists to Plant City as found in a gem of a resource, indicated Plant City had 3 theaters with hardware to title insurance and everything the City Directory. Perhaps this glimpse a total seating capacity of 1,700 (Capitol in between. A random sampling includes has rekindled at least one memory for you! Theatre at 109 West Reynolds Street, Star the following: Lite Drive-In on South Collins Street beyond the city limits, and State Theatre at 111 Southwest Drane Street). General information, however, stated it had 2 movie theaters and 2 drive-in theaters. We do not know if the latter was a misprint, but the 1957 Directory listed a 4th theater not shown in the 1956 Directory. The Hazel Theatre (Laura and Knight Streets) served Jack Ramsey Motors (1958) the African American community. Photo submitted by Plant City Photo Archives & History Center

foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013



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The Strawberry Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday, April 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. in Historic Downtown Plant City. The car show features cars that are 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 of the downtown merchants are open longer hours to accommodate the crowds. You’ll probably run into many of your friends and neighbors. There are several food vendors, and the atmosphere is great.

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will be holding their monthly Business After Hours on Thursday, April 18 from 5:15 to 7 p.m. The event will be sponsored by Mango Family Cleaners and held at 2404 James L. Redman Parkway. The Business After Hours is usually held the third Thursday of each month. The Business After Hours is hosted by a current Chamber member, and provides an opportunity to network and just spend time with each other in a casual environment. If you’ve never attended a Business After Hours event, come out to the Mango The new Chamber members this month Family Cleaners and spend some time with include: everyone. • All American Furniture held their ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. on April 4 at 1312 East The Children’s Classic Golf Tournament Baker St. will be held on April 19 at Walden Lake • Grimes Hardware held their ribbon Golf and Country Club. Check-in will cutting at 11 a.m. on April 5 at 3161 Paul begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at Buchman Highway 12:30 p.m. Come out and support this great • EcoWater Systems will hold their ribbon event. cutting at 11 a.m. on April 17 at 1508 Sammonds Rd. The 6th Annual Blueberry Festival is just • Toastmasters International will hold their upon us. This year’s event will be held at ribbon cutting on at 9 a.m. on April 18 at Keel & Curley Winery, located at 5202 the Chamber Thonotosassa Rd, on Saturday, April 26 • The Computer Force will hold their (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday, April 27 ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. on April 23 at the (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). The event features Chamber U-Pick Blueberries, Kids’ Areas, Vendors, Food, Arts & Crafts, Blueberry Shortcake, Come join everyone to learn a little Live Music, and Much More! For more about each business, wish them luck and information visit their website at participate in the ribbon cutting. w w w. k e e l a n d c u r l e y w i n e r y. c o m / blueberryfestival. Each month, the Chamber holds a Contact Breakfast. Recently, the Chamber has had The Bike Show will be held on Saturday, to implement a change for taking RSVPs May 4 in Historic Downtown Plant City for the breakfast. If you plan to attend the from 5 to 9 p.m. The show features hundreds breakfast, you must RSVP to the Chamber of bikes from all over, with everyone riding no later than the Friday before the breakfast. in for a relaxing afternoon in downtown. This will allow the caterer to properly plan For the enthusiast, there are bikes of all for the event. If you want to attend, and are styles, makes, models, and both new and unable to RSVP by Friday, you can call the old. The show is always a little different, but Chamber and be placed on a waiting list, there are often antique bikes where owners but there are no guarantees you’ll be able to have spent countless hours restoring them attend. If you have any questions, please feel to their former glory. And like the Car free to call the Chamber at 813-754-3707. Show, many of the downtown merchants are open longer hours to accommodate the crowds.

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ribbon cuttings

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Florida Home Partnership at Alexander Woods Townhomes 273 Alexander Woods Drive Plant City, FL 33563 813-672-7860 Earl Pfeiffer, Executive Director

Walden Lake Art & Frame 1514 South Alexander Street, Suite 104 Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-7460 Owner: Michael Kidde

Florida Traditions Bank 1907 James L. Redman Parkway Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-8800

All American Furniture & Mattress 1312 East Baker Street Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 752-9500 Owner: Bonnie Evans

Grimes Hardware Center 3161 Paul Buchman Highway Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-0851 Stacy Grimes Zemlo, Manager foCUS Magazine Plant City April 2013


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RELAY FOR LIFE A p r i l 1 9 , 2 0 1 3 | O p e n i n g C e r e m o n i e s 6 p. m . Story by Cheryl Johnston | Photos courtesy of American Cancer Society

In its 15th year as the host field, Plant City High School will welcome one and all on April 19, 2013 to our community’s annual Relay for Life. The trademarked event of the American Cancer Society is purposed to raise awareness of resources for those suffering from cancer and funds to find a cure.

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


More than 76 individual groups, businesses, churches and schools have been busy since September with a variety of creative fundraisers in an effort to combine funds for the cure. As of April 8 and prior to “Bank Night” on the 15th when many of the teams submit their funds raised, the total is $88,412. Plant City’s goal is $275,000, so we still have work to do. And every team member has a fascinating story or two to tell. Linda Herman’s story began 15 years ago when she volunteered to help the Knights Elementary team at Plant City’s very first Relay event because her mother, who died in 2003, was diagnosed with lung cancer. The Pre-K Special Needs teacher now says, “I’m pretty sure I bleed purple.” She vowed to fight the dreaded disease until a cure was found. Since that time, her passion for the event she now directs in Plant City only grows stronger each year. Herman, who now volunteers as event chair for the 3rd largest Relay for Life in Florida, explains, “The most amazing thing to me is how Plant City as a community is behind this cause. Yes, the committee organizes the event, but it’s the town that rallies each year to support us and help us celebrate our survivors, remember those we have lost and encourage us continue to fight on. Plant City is truly helping us finish the fight!” Approximately 2,000 enthusiasts will enjoy team activities at the fun-filled displays on the football field where many camp overnight. Because cancer never sleeps, each

The Sponsors! South Florida Baptist Hospital - CF Industries Sunshine State Federal Savings & Loan Heysek & Kepes Oncology - Linda Herman A Deal Roofing, Inc. - Paul Ortelli Bonds Farm Credit of Central FL - The Mayo Family


april 2013

team aims to have at least one participant on the track at all times during the 18hour event. Cancer survivors and their caretakers walk one lap around the track during an emotion-filled Survivors Lap, which follows the 6 p.m. opening ceremonies. At 9 p.m. the emotional and inspiring Luminaria Ceremony allows everyone to share both grief and hope by lighting candles inside the personalized bags that line the track in honor, memory or support of a loved one. Donation dollars can also be designated to help a specific team or participant reach their fundraising goal. After a festive night, the next day’s closing ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to noon will feature the choruses from Plant City elementary schools. Joanie Petty got involved with Relay for Life when her co-worker, and best friend of 21 years, Linda Herman asked her to serve as Team Development Chairman for Plant City’s event. Petty’s mother Betty, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1974, is a survivor. “At first,” Petty confessed, “being a teacher and a mom of two teenage boys, I feared not having the time to do the job. But after the Relay Kickoff, I saw how excited the team captains were and I’ve gotten to know wonderful people with such a desire to help in the quest for a cure. It has been such a rewarding experience and I’ve agreed to retain my position next year. So here’s a heads up: If you live in Plant City and you have a business, church, school, or family... I will probably ask you to form a team for Relay for Life 2014.” Herman’s two older sisters, Laura from Maryland and Leslie from New Jersey, will join her this weekend as she walks for a childhood friend, Dan Rogan, whose cancer is diagnosed as inoperable and incurable. “I can’t wait to have them both be a part of the most incredible Relay for Life event,” she said, adding, “My mom would definitely be proud of her girls! “ During the monthly Team Captain meetings, Herman and Petty made sure to highlight how the American Cancer Society uses the funds raised. Herman said, “Most people think it all goes to research or salaries, but it also supports the many programs ACS has to help those who are in the process of battling. The

Hope Lodge, Road to Recovery, Man to Man, and Camp ROCK are just a few. For the past two years our committee has made trips to Hope Lodge near Moffitt to serve strawberry shortcake to patients and their caregivers. It brightens their day, but it super charges our desire to help.”

The Strawberry Festival Court leads a lap during the 2011 Relay for Life.

committee supported by an amazing community. Plant City Rocks!’”

When Herman and Petty introduced themselves as from Plant City during visits to other Relay for Life events, Herman said, “Their response was always, ‘Oh, we have heard about your Relay. How do you do it?’ “My answer,” she explained, “is always the same: ‘An awesome

Our Relay for Life is a great opportunity for families to see their neighbors, watch people have good, clean fun for a cause and be a part of something so meaningful that emotions can’t contain the enthusiasm. Please come out and do your part. Visit for updates. Everyone can participate, before as well as during the event. Here are a just a few ideas: Pray for great weather! Donate online or in person. Join an existing team or pledge donations for their walkers. E-mail, text or call friends and family requesting financial donations to help the cause. Purchase from Plant City FFA & Alumni the Chick-Fil-A cards and chance drawing tickets to win a beautiful fleece pink ribbon blanket. Contact Chrystal English ( Volunteer to help set up the day of the event. Survivors and their caretakers - walk a lap of honor and enjoy a free reception. Purchase a luminaria in memory, honor or support of a loved one. Attend and walk a lap or more with colleagues and neighbors. Purchase souvenir items and great food from the various team camps. For example, baked goods, ribs, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked potato bar, smoothies, iced coffee, roasted corn, boiled peanuts, taco soup, Cuban sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, smoothies, iced coffee and much more. Get a great haircut for $10 at the Knights Elementary camp from La Salon Rouge stylists. Visit Team ToMarrow’s tent to have your mouth swabbed—one goal is to find a marrow donor for team member Dave Butcher. Make some memories by getting involved in the entertainment, games and contests on the field. These include karaoke, photo booths, crafts, fairy princess makeovers, chance drawing baskets, handmade greeting cards, and a bounce house, to name only a few.

Relay participants from Knights Elementary School enjoyed the Candy Lap in 2011.

The Teams!

Area VI Schools Bailey Elementary Bryan Elementary Buckhorn Elementary Burney Elementary Citizens for a Cure City of Plant City Employees Commotion in Motion Cork Elementary Dover Elementary Durant High School Fearless Fight for Life Fred’s Market Greater New Hope Health Center of Plant City Heart and Sole Jackson Elementary JS Robinson Elementary Knights Elementary Mark Off Cancer Marshall Middle School Nelson Elementary Nerds (Advantage Academy) Plant City HS FFA & Alumni Pinecrest Elementary Plant City Committee Plant City Community Choir Plant City High Little School Plant City High School Plant City Junior Woman’s Club Platnium Bank Publix #1212 Ronald McDonald House Charity Club Samara’s Warriors Strawberry Crest HS 2016 Strawberry Crest HS Charger 2014 Strawberry Crest HS Drumline Strawberry Crest HS FFA Strawberry Crest HS IB 2013 Seniors Strawberry Crest HS IB 2015 Sophomores Strawberry Crest HS Internact Strawberry Crest HS ISA Strawberry Crest HS Twenty Fourteen South Florida Baptist Hospital Crusaders for the Cure Shiloh Charter School Sole Sisters Sour Crest Kids Springhead Elementary St. Peters Episcopal Church Stan’s Clan Strawberry Strollers Striking Out Cancer Suncoast PayDay Team Focus Team Future Team Hi-C Team Jill Team Joan Team Singletary Team ToMarrow Terrific Teens Timberlane Pet Hospital and Resort Tomlin Middle School

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



april 2013

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foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



april 2013

Interview by Cheryl Johnston | Photos by Anthony Sassano & Submitted by Adam Hayward

Adam Hayward has a passion to help children succeed. The Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker believes in acting on that passion for which he’s found a key. And gratitude for faith is at the heart of his story.

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



he newlyweds Adam and Angela Rumore Hayward welcomed their first child, Jaslyn Faye, into the world on April 4, 2013. They are also excited and grateful for their new home and “great neighbors” in the Walden Lake community, which means Jaslyn will grow up surrounded by family living in nearby Antioch.

Throughout his career, the 28-year-old Hayward (a.k.a. “Wood”) has consistently produced, evolving into a team leader. In 2011, he served as a special teams captain after being named 2010 Buccaneers’ Man of the Year. He is humbled by opportunities to fundraise for cancer awareness/research programs, to travel abroad for missions work and to invest time with non-profits such as Score International, Idols Aside, Sons without Fathers, Respire Haiti, 4KIDS of Tampa and the Dream Center of Tampa Bay. “I am so thankful for faith, work, family, church and now my new community,” Adam said. “God has been so good and has helped me trust Him more as I play a sport I love for a living.” He added, “I feel a responsibility to share those blessings.” Welcome to his world, Focus readers. Focus: Tell us a little about your family, Adam. Hayward: I was born in Long Beach, California to athletic parents who especially loved football. My father Steve played in a Navy league and married my mother Pauline, a New Zealander who fenced and played cricket and softball. I have two older brothers, Graham in New Zealand and Nigel in Marietta, California and our youngest brother Jason, who lives in Tampa with his wife and two children. My in-laws, high school teachers Pete and JoAnn Rumore, live in Antioch. Focus: So sports have always been an important part of your life? Hayward: Yes, I started playing football at age six and dreamed of the NFL. I also learned martial arts and ran track, but I loved football. Mom even hired trainers for me, so I got better and better, earning awards. Because my dad worked nights, we spent more time with mom, but football brought our family together at game time. Focus: Was your path to the pros an easy one, Adam? Hayward: Not particularly because I got a little sidetracked. In my junior year at Marina High School in Westminster, California, 30 colleges were looking at me. But because I didn’t apply myself, my grades were very low. I felt bad when I realized I was letting my parents down. Only Colorado State remained interested if I could increase my GPA. So, in my senior year, I took seven classes plus night school, continued with football and track, and scored a 1060 on the SAT. CSU accepted me into their program and I played safety for three years there. When my mother got sick, I came home to California. By the time she died on August 6, 2004, the breast cancer that had been in remission had invaded her liver and brain. I was so angry that I cursed the doctors and God. I drove my motorcycle at 120/mph trying to kill myself. I quit the team and began drinking and doing drugs to numb the pain. When I finally started getting it back together, with the help of the CSU coaches, I transferred to Portland State in 2005, and fought in 2006 for another year of eligibility. I dedicated that next season, playing


april 2013

as a linebacker, to my mom and earned a criminal justice degree with a minor in social science. For PSU, I played in 22 games as strongside linebacker and earned All-American and All-Big Sky Conference honors. As a senior, I was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Focus: Explain the tradition of honoring your mother’s memory before each game. Hayward: At midfield before the game, I talk to her and trace the word Mom on my wrist before I kneel to say a prayer. It’s a quiet way to express thanks and remember her fight. Focus: How has life changed through your professional football career? Hayward: When Tampa Bay drafted me #182 in the sixth round (2007), my family celebrated, too! Pro football is faster and the athletes have to be stronger, so we all work harder. I’m glad to be with the Buccaneers and to have worked with Derrick Brooks, Shelton Quarles and Coach Jon Gruden among others. My work as a football player has allowed me the money and opportunities to help others and to mentor children. Through SCORE International, I’ve been to Costa Rica and to Haiti to work with an orphanage. So much help is still needed there. I’ve been to Haiti now several times with Franklin Graham.

Smiling newlyweds (and best friends) Adam and Angela Hayward were married June 8, 2012.

Focus: Your Christian faith is important to you. How did that happen? Hayward: In my third year here Jermaine Phillips invited me to Grace Family Church on VanDyke Road. I had been trying to ride the fence, doing whatever I wanted and going to church, acting like I lived the faith. One Sunday when Pastor Craig Altman talked about really knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I listened and believed that message was for me. I had been known in Tampa as somebody who was fun, a party guy. I sensed God impressing me, ‘If you’re going to be My child, you will need to quit all those behaviors.’

Adam Hayward plays linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is a team Man of the Year recipient for his work in the community and on the field.

But that was a process. One day in the locker room I cursed at a Christian teammate after he questioned me about my foul language. Afterward, I felt convicted, realizing I had just cursed God. I knew I needed to change, to surrender my life to Christ. That’s when I made a decision to really start living for Him and felt a weight lift off my shoulders from the suppressed anger over my mom’s death. Knowing my sins are forgiven because Jesus died on the cross for me is a priceless gift. The Bible and godly examples teach me life’s true values. Today my faith is my strength and I’m having so much more fun doing the right things. My priorities now are faith, family and work, in that order because if faith is first, God will bless the rest. When I have problems, I find solutions in the Bible. The book of James is one of my favorites - if that

Continued on next page

Adam’s calf Sammy can’t live in Walden Lake, so he’s with family in Antioch.

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


book doesn’t smack you around, I don’t know what will. Devotional phone apps also Focus: What do you enjoy most about your work? help me experience God’s word throughout the day. And Angela and I love this church Hayward: I love the sport and the team and see my work as a ministry as well. I’ve been (Grace Family). Faith has changed my life. able to travel to Bahrain, Italy, South Korea, the Persian Gulf and Spain to visit with our Navy troops overseas. The income allows me to help my family and to do for others, Focus: How did you meet Angela? especially kids and also through events related to finding a cure for cancer. Hayward: Andrew Prilliman showed me a photo of Angela and I thought she was gorgeous and wanted to meet her. Later that night he posted a picture of us guys Focus: Looking ahead to your family’s future, what do you see? after hog hunting. Come to find out, Angela thought I looked good, too, and asked Andrew who that was in the picture. We decided to talk to each other and attend Hayward: I’d like to play football for as long as I’m able and healthy. I want to spend lots church together to become more comfortable with one another. We immediately hit it of time enjoying the family, including my own father and brothers, and I hope one day off and became best friends. Soon we realized we wanted to spend the rest of our lives to start a faith-based foundation to accomplish two purposes - fighting breast cancer and ministering to youth groups. Those will be things we can all do together and Jaslyn together. I married my best friend on June 8, 2012. will learn about doing for others. I want to do work that matters forever. Focus: You’re looking forward to becoming a great father to your new baby girl, right? Focus: Adam, let’s finish this interview with your two favorite Scripture verses and why Hayward: Definitely. I want to enjoy my child’s life and make lots of memories with they’ve become so meaningful to you. her and Angela and our families. As her father I will show her who God is and teach her His ways so she can do the Hayward: I discovered Proverbs 3:5-6 at the faith-based In-N-Out Burger restaurant same for her own family one day. Angela’s parents chain in San Francisco when the team Chaplain showed me the reference on the have a farm with horses, cows and other animals. bottom of their cups. When I looked it up, I found: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your We enjoy riding and team penning on Saturday heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (NIV). I’ve always been the kind of nights and want our daughter to enjoy the person that needs structure and needed to know all the details. Since I started simply outdoors, too. I actually just came from feeding trusting, God continually amazes me. Sammy, our baby bull calf. When the Christian rap artist Lecrae shared Romans 1:16 with me, I realized how We’ve named her Jaslyn after a Haitian girl I sharing Christ whenever possible can help others because the Word is life-changing. met through a mission trip. The orphanage ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of where she lived was involved in slavery and everyone who believes…’ (NIV). human trafficking. I will never forget that child’s face and innocence. Nor will I ever forget the And I am one of those people, thankful that others reached out to me. God’s Word always was and always will be the first, the last and the best. abuse she endured. Focus: Readers, to learn more or to become involved with some of Adam’s favorite outreach efforts, visit one or all of the following:,,, and

“...I had just cursed God. I knew I needed to change, to surrender my life to Christ. That’s when I made a decision to really start living for Him and felt a weight lift off my shoulders from the suppressed anger over my mom’s death.” - Adam Hayward


april 2013

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foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



april 2013

business & finance

Deese Scrubs Medical Uniforms

plant city business profile Article by Cheryl Johnston


lant City native Chrystal Deese is a young, working wife and mother who saw a need and set out to meet it. And thus, with determination, sacrifice and the help of family and friends, two years ago Deese Scrubs opened for business. In her showroom near Tractor Supply, Chrystal sells an impressive array of medical scrubs and accessories, as well as lab coats and nurse graduation dresses. The city’s exclusive representative for the popular Cherokee brand also carries the Dickies, Wink, Grey’s Anatomy, Skechers, Scrub HQ, and Baby Phat product lines. Deese Scrubs, a proud member of the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, takes seriously its reputation for quality products, competitive pricing and customer service. “For office orders,” Chrystal shared, “we can come to the business, fit employees, place the order, then have it embroidered and delivered within 2 weeks.” Raquel Fernandes of Central Florida Cancer Institute has experienced this. “Chrystal and her pleasant staff are always so helpful. They did a wonderful job on our logo and custom embroidery.”

Among the available accessories are Littman scopes, Badge reels, Shears, blood pressure cuffs and light pens. As an orthodontics technician for ten years, Chrystal had to shop for scrubs either in Tampa, Lakeland or online. “A few years ago,” she explained, “while attending a Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class through my church, I felt very strongly about opening a scrub store or going back Chrystal Deese owns Deese Scrubs, located on James Redman Parkway. Photo submitted by Deese Scrubs Medical Uniforms to school to become an RN.” Deese Scrubs exists to fill a need. We The protective and proactive mother So, she and her husband Justin accomplished offer great quality scrubs at low prices that believes also in teaching her two children that FPU debt-free goal and began “saving compare more than favorably to much larger the importance of giving back by supporting pennies.” On April 1, 2011 her Deese stores in the Tampa Bay area. Although local causes such as Relay for Life, the Scrubs dream became a reality. we’re small, our pricing is competitive with United Food Bank, the Jr. Royalty pageant, big corporations and often even lower. And the Christmas Parade and the city’s recently “Every time I put my keys in the store’s I don’t believe anyone can beat our customer revived Fourth of July fireworks display. door to open, I thank the Lord for service.” all our blessings and for this amazing Because of her faith, Chrystal Deese accomplishment,” she said. “I’ve driven as much as two hours to get believes “everything I’ve done in my life is a scrub top or pant that our customer just a stepping stone for something greater.” With a little staffing help from Justin needed by the next day and couldn’t find it and her sister Samantha, the PCHS and anywhere,” she explained. “Big corporations “It’s not always about the scrubs,” she Concorde Career Institute graduate also won’t do that!” explained. “I love and enjoy encouraging my attends HCC, with a goal to earn an customers, because you never know what Associate of Science degree in Nursing. Dr. Kelly Borders of Dental Care of Plant someone is going through. When they leave City expressed her thanks in a card to smiling and laughing, my heart smiles, too.” Regarding the company’s mission, Chrystal Chrystal, writing, “Everyone loves the said, “I want our customers to know that bright colors and the fit. Patients regularly “Thanks to word of mouth referrals and tell us they like the new look, that having steady growth, we’ve been open two years this month.” She added, “I’m proud to be everyone match feels more professional.” a business owner providing something the And other customer recommendations community needed and I appreciate our many business and individual customers for attest similarly. their loyalty and support.” Paul and Nanette Granville of Focus 4 Beauty Career Center complimented, “We have relied on Deese Scrubs to provide uniforms for our school that are both color specific and personalized for each student. We have found the service to be first class... Deese Scrubs Medical Uniforms Chrystal and her team will bend over 1803 James L Redman Pkwy Ste C backward to please their customers, and Plant City FL, 33563 without hesitation we recommend this company. They have so many options and 813-754-1584 Hours: Tues-Fri 10:30am-5pm more than enough designs to suit everyone.”


Just a small selection of what Deese Scrubs Medical Uniforms has to offer. Photo submitted by Deese Scrubs Medical Uniforms

Katie Busciglio of Busciglio Smiles agrees, “Working with Chrystal is a breeze! We order all our scrubs from her and would recommend her to anyone!”

Saturday 10:30am-3pm

Search for Deese Scrubs on Facebook for specials offers. And be sure to click the “Like” button!

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


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business & finance

april 2013

ost of us have been on the receiving end of an April Fool’s Day prank at some point in our lives. But did you know that in France, April 1 is known as Poisson d’Avril, or “April Fish”? Is some fraudster “phishing” for your personal information or pocketbook?

If you are a mature investor, scam artists may be looking particularly for you. According to the FBI, older investors tend to have concentrated wealth and are less likely to report fraud after it occurs. In addition, seniors may feel indebted to someone who has provided unsolicited advice or other assistance.

Submitted by Edward Jones Telemarketing: Seniors are more likely to be home when a telemarketer calls. The FBI estimates that scam artists have taken more than $500 million per year from unsuspecting older adults.

How Can I Protect Myself from Fraud?

Investigate before Investing + Take the time to conduct research. + Talk to other family or friends before making an important decision regarding finances.

Know the Fears Con Artists Prey Upon + Con artists know that older adults often worry about having enough income in And senior women who live alone are retirement. They may pitch a scheme as a especially vulnerable to scams. Women are way to increase financial security, but only if nearly twice as likely to be victims of elder you act immediately. financial abuse as men.

Common Types of Fraud that May Affect You or Your Loved Ones

Caregiver Fraud: A dishonest caregiver could steal valuables or cash. Other schemes involve intercepting the victim’s mail to steal personal information for identity theft.

Be Wary of Unsolicited Offers + Beware of calls or letters regarding lottery or sweepstakes winnings, but especially if it is not a contest you entered yourself. + If you send money abroad and something goes wrong, the funds are more difficult to trace and nearly impossible to recover

Grandparent Scams: A caller may claim Protect Your Personal Information to be a grandchild (or another relative or a + Shred financial documents and paperwork friend) who needs money immediately. with personal information before you discard them. Many companies, including Identity Theft and Phishing: As thieves Edward Jones, offer electronic delivery, become more sophisticated in their online which can help reduce a paper trail. approaches, less “tech-savvy” seniors may + Protect your Social Security number. find it difficult to tell whether the business Do not carry your Social Security card in requesting their personal information is your wallet or write it on a check. Give this legitimate. Threats of closing an account number out only if absolutely necessary, or or canceling a credit card may add to the ask to use another identifier. victim’s insecurity and make him or her + Do not give out personal information want to respond more quickly. over the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you know the recipient Seminars: Mature individuals are often the is legitimate. target of “free lunch” seminars. However, + Thieves can use links in unsolicited emails. these lunches are rarely free: According to the AARP, the Securities and Exchange Instead, Type in a Web Address You Know Commission (SEC) and other regulators +Firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus recently found that half of the free lunch software can help protect a home computer, seminars featured exaggerated or misleading especially if they are kept up to date. advertising claims, and 13% appeared to be + Check your credit report. The law requires fraudulent and were referred for possible the major nationwide consumer reporting disciplinary action. companies to give each American a free copy of his or her credit report on request once per year. For more information, visit

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How? You must be good at sales? Wrong. We are not “salesy” people. We are mathematical, analytical, and self-proclaimed number nerds who let the numbers do the talking. By offering loan products and rates thru nearly 20 national mortgage wholesale-lending channels, we are able to find the best deal for each individual customer, saving them thousands of dollars by way of low, Internet-style interest rates. When you call us, it is like calling about 20 lenders. But if I have good credit and a down payment, I don’t need a mortgage company. I can use my bank. You can if you want to pay more. Borrowers with strong credit are usually the ones who are most shocked when they see how we compare to their other options. But if you’re a “middle man,” doesn’t that result in more costs to me? Obviously you have to charge a fee or increase my costs right? No. We operate thru wholesale lending channels that save you money. Here it is in a nutshell. I can give you a loan thru Lender

X for a better rate/cost than Lender X itself will offer to you. Why? Because they give you the retail rate, and I give you the wholesale rate. And yes, there would be a disparity even if we were both using the exact same place. We get paid by lenders for issuing loans on a silver platter. When they account for all the overhead (banks, buildings, employees, advertising, etc.), they allocate that expense to their retail channels and retail rates. They allocate a fixed fee, which we are paid for issuing loans to their wholesale rates. Our expense is substantially less than the retail expense allocation, hence the better deal to you. Since we have access to wholesale lenders, who don’t pay for the overhead and advertising, we have the ability to offer really really low interest rates and costs. We get paid regardless of which lender we use, and this frees us up not only to focus on getting you the best deal, but also the one that is the most appropriate and fitting to your needs. All of our loan officers are salaried employees whose No. 1 priority is finding you the best deal.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


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Applications available at each location 66

april 2013

real estate » Jo-An Lusk

Managing the Transaction Column by Jo-An Lusk


t is always interesting to hear from the customer’s point of view when it comes to how much is understood about the real estate sales transaction. I would like to share with you a list of what is involved in a normal transaction. I am not quite sure what “normal” is anymore, so the list will change in varying degrees, depending on whether the property being sold is BankOwned, Short Sale, New Construction, or the traditional re-sale.

and conditions that are acceptable to both parties. 7. Contract Management: Getting approvals; manage inspection periods and appraisal/finance period and timelines; manage contingencies and repairs, if applicable.

8. Close Transaction: Ensure Title Commitment is acceptable and all parties agree on closing date and time, set up Final 1. Market Positioning: The Agent will Walk-Through if necessary. Review HUD/ develop a competitive marketing plan and Closing Statement with customer to ensure work with Seller for price position to attract accuracy and final monies required or paid. interest and inquiries, attention and support from fellow Realtors. What makes transactions different are things such as repair limits or As-Is 2.Home Enhancements: Recommendations clauses; other Addenda and disclosures are made, if needed, for making the home (Finance-FHA/VA, Short Sale, HOA/ look its best for showings and Open Houses. Condo, Property Discl, etc) in which each Addendum changes the terms of a contract. 3. A Full Service Marketing Plan: Put In a Short Sale, the listing agent or other in place to provide maximum property facilitator will contact the Lender(s) for exposure in order to generate online/virtual each mortgage recorded on the property to and in-person showings. manage and obtain approvals for the sale. Short Sales present their own challenges 4. Communication: All leads and activity and demand attention, patience and are communicated to include feedback on persistence. showings and inquiries. The agent will also keep the Seller informed of current market Contracts can be complicated and things conditions and changes. happen during transactions that cause challenges and obstacles. Without proper 5. Repositioning Strategy: If, after 30-45 representation (Legal or Professional), the days there has been no activity or interest, a customer can be at risk of default and/ new strategy is discussed and implemented or losing Good Faith Deposit/Escrow, or to generate inquiries. other out-of-pocket expenses. Interview the Realtor (they will be working for you), 6. Negotiation: Once an offer(s) is received, ask questions to ensure understanding, a period of negotiation may be needed to and always make sure you have a copy of obtain a favorable contract with terms everything you sign. Happy Selling! foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


Plant City’s

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real estate » walden lake review

walden lake review Column by Natalie Sweet

seCret new Home Community at Park PlaCe

T • 71 Home Sites on large, oversized lots • Private, gated community located 3 minutes from I-4 • Natural gas, Double-paned thermal windows, and icynene foam insulation. • Custom gourmet brick kitchens • 2, 3, and 4 car garages • No lot premiums and No CDDs fees • Prices start in the $190s • Energy Star Certified

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april 2013

he Walden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are 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 April 15 and will begin at 5 p.m. with a Presidents Meeting being held at 7:30 p.m. The meetings are usually open to all Walden Lake residents. The March meeting was a closed meeting due to legal matters that were being addressed.

$162,888 compared to 26 homes that sold in the previous quarter with an average sale price of $167,833. There are 37 properties currently pending contract with an average list price of $199,451. This is only a 2.65 month inventory in our beautiful community. The average sale price of single family homes in Walden Lake during the 1st quarter was $172,600 and $125,500 in Walden Lake East. The lowest priced property sold for $93,000 and the highest sale price was $300,000.

The 2nd Annual Walden Lake Garage Sale was a huge success. After the sale, I made my way to donate the remaining items from my sale and met up with several residents that all said their sales were booming. Thanks to all the HOA did to make this a success and especially to Bette at the office for organizing and getting the word out.

These statistics are taken from MLS and are deemed to be reliable. If you have any questions regarding these statistics, please feel free to contact me at 813-758-9586.

This is the Walden Lake real estate quarterly report for January 1 through March 31. We are seeing brisk sales on most properties that are well priced and in good condition with an average of 58 days on the market. There are currently 30 active listings on the market in Walden Lake and Walden Lake East compared to 38 at the end of the previous quarter. Twenty-three of the Active Listings are single family homes and seven are condos, townhomes or villas.

Walden Lake Golf & Country Club is offering a special on pool and fitness. Please contact the club for more information on this at 813-752-1171. As most know, the Club has had financial issues in recent years. I have heard that one of the promissory notes will be auctioned online by beginning April 22 and ending April 24. For more information on this matter, please confirm on the website,

I would be happy to answer any of your real estate questions or talk to you about covering a particular topic at any time. I During the 1st quarter of 2013, 34 can be reached by cell phone 813-758-9586 properties sold with an average sale price of or via email


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Beautiful 2 Story, 4BR, 3BA, Master Suite over 1000SF, Pool Home with fabulous wrap around Porch on over 1 Acre with access to Lake Crenshaw! Call Karen 813-478-1260 #555

SHORT SALE. Lovely 3Bedroom, 2.5Bath with 2Car Garage town home in gated community. Built in 2008 in great central location & Priced to Sell! Call 813-659-0990 #552

Short Sale. Charming 3 bedroom 2 bath block Home on huge lot in quiet neighborhood near the park, nice storage shed on the property. Priced at $79,000. Call at 813-659-0990. #479

ATTENTION POLK STATE STUDENTS DESIRABLE HISTORIC DISTRICT 2 yrs young and very well maintained Condo overlooking pond. Walking distance to PSC and just minutes from Polk parkway. Kitchen features stainless appliances, granite counter tops, solid wood cabinets and eat in space. Call Susan @ 863-698-4823 #506

Land with city utilities! Home has been removed leaving a blank slate on which to build your own work of art. May still be impact fee exempt? Motivated sellers waiting to look at offers. Dont miss your opportunity to own and build in beautiful,Historic Plant City where lots like this are scarce. Call Susan @ 863-698-4826 #521

5.55 ACRES MOL!! Fantastic Location - 5+ Acres high & dry - Value in Land Only! House to be demolished. Call 813-659-0990 #554

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


real estate » mortgage


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april 2013


WITH A PRIOR SHORT SALE Column by Nate Davis


ou might not know that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is currently “silent” on this issue; however, we have been given the following guidance from the Atlanta Regional Loan Center as general policy on short sales:

a lender can still determine the veteran is a satisfactory credit risk. Hopefully, the payments on the mortgage were paid in a timely manner, but even if there were some delinquent payments, they should just be viewed from the perspective of the entire borrower’s credit.

If you are a veteran who has been turned down due to a prior short sale and feel the above information fits your profile, I encourage you to give us a call (813707-6200) for a second opinion. Many mortgage lenders have their own selfimposed “overlays” that prohibit them from entertaining these scenarios. That is not the case with Plant City Mortgage A short sale just reflects the almost Corporation. historical collapse of the real estate market. If a borrower’s overall credit is satisfactory, Thank you for your service and sacrifice. If a veteran’s overall credit record is good, the VA does not think that if he or she sold his or her property for less than what was owed, that it should be a bar to obtaining new credit. Nor does the VA think a mandatory waiting period is necessary, which is similar to the waiting period after a foreclosure or bankruptcy.



Jimmie Robinson - 813-754-3586 ext 1622

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0,0 $55


2103 N. Golfview Dr. From the moment you walk up to the Italian marble grand entry and through the beautiful, solid cherry front doors, you will realize that this spectacular, custom home is unique. This 4 bedroom 3 1/2 bath, 3 car garage home is located on the shore of prestigious Walden Lake. The 3861 sq. ft of gracious living space boasts spectacular views of lake and woods thru large panes of fixed glass. Designed for entertaining, the gourmet dream kitchen includes custom cherry cabinetry, granite countertops, 3 separate food prep areas with sinks, stainless-steel appliances, a gas thermadore cook top with custom overhead exhaust hood, a sub-zero refrigerator/freezer, and 2 temperature controlled wine rooms upstairs and downstairs. French doors off the living area and kitchen open onto the flagstone-decked, two-story lanai where you will find an outdoor kitchen, private pool bath, and a beautiful freeform black marcite pool, complete with a flagstone waterfall and lush landscaping with beautiful Walden Lake in the background.


8,5 $34

2712 Pineclub Dr. Most beautiful lot in Walden Lake with view of the Lakes Golf Course green with water view. Located on a quite cul-de-sac in prestigious Forest Club Community of Walden Lake. Home features 3277 heated square feet with pool, 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. A wood burning fireplace in the family room keeps you warm as you gaze at the golf course in the back ground. Home features zoned A/C to cool you off or jump in the pool while the family is grilling on the outdoor grill. This home is Florida living at its best. Call for your private showing.



805 Sandalwood Dr. From the moment you arrive you will admire this 3 bedroom 2 bath home. The brick front, bay window, and double beveled doors invite you inside. The large brick foyer, which is also the back of a gas log fireplace in the living room/ family room, opens to the kitchen with granite counters and cathedral ceiling. Through the family room doors you can view the screened lanai and pool area, as well as the heated spa. This home boasts many upgrades done by local premium contractors. Anyone would love to call this their home. This is not a short sale. Close at buyer’s convenience.



610 Alexander. Convenient to Interstate 4, with commercial zoning, currently used as an office/church, and was a former funeral home. Close to hospital and medical services. Motivated sellers. Make an offer! $295,000.

,000 $59


1.37 Acre lot in Walden Lake on conservation lot. Exclusive Tanglewood community. One of 3 lots left in Walden Lake subdivision.

Beautiful shaded golf course lot on a cul-de-sac. One of 3 lots left in Walden Lake. Located in the exclusive community of Tanglewood. Priced to sell! Not a short sale.



5 $29

0 9,00 1 2 $

3401 Trapnell Rd. Two block homes on 8.5 acres! Live in one home, rent the other, or bring along your Mother-in-Law. Main house features 4 bedrooms/2 baths and in-law is a 1 bed/1 bath home. All on a 7-acre producing farm with a 6” well, currently leased for income. This property is also zoned for horses. NOT a short sale and priced at appraised value

609 Evers St. Historic District. Step back in time with this beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bath home , plus studio apartment on back courtyard with fountain, landscaped yard, and adjoining private office with its own wood burning fireplace. As you enter the foyer of the main house, you enter a living room with dazzling wood floors, warm molding, and another wood burning fireplace. The family room opens to the courtyard, and is joined to the remodeled kitchen with granite counter tops. All the appliances are included in both the main house and studio apartment. This is a must-see home if you like brick streets and homes of yesteryear! It’s priced to sell; owner is moving - NOT a short sale. foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



The Best Lessons

Learned Kenny Kelly is Teaching

What he has Learned S Article by Joe Bowles

omeone once said, “The best things that have ever happened to me have been the worst things that have ever happened to me.” That may not be the case all the time, but most know that often the best lessons learned are the hardest to bear. Such was the case for Plant City’s Kenny Kelly, former starting quarterback at the University of Miami and former Major League baseball player. In 2008, Kelly was charged with drug trafficking and other related offenses as a result of a sting operation that targeted his associate. Kelly claimed his innocence from the beginning and according to court records, the State Attorney’s office threw out

guess I ought to thank them, because it may have been the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed my life. I’m more aware of who I’m around and what I do. Today, I’m doing my best to be a positive role model. I want to give back to this community and help as many kids as I can.” And Kelly is doing just that. He has come full-circle back to his roots in his hometown, working with youth and being a positive influence, steering kids in the right direction.

Kenny was born and raised in Plant City, three charges in 2008 and the two other attending area elementary schools and charges were dismissed the following year. Tomlin Middle School. Growing up, he quarterbacked the Plant City Colts youth “The only thing that I was guilty of was football team to five Super Bowls in six associating with the wrong people,” Kelly years. He also played basketball in the city’s reflected. “In a lot of ways, it was my recreation league and Dixie Youth Baseball own fault. At the time, I at Plant City’s MLK Park. was having some personal issues As Kelly approached his freshman year, and I was not he chose to attend Tampa Catholic High around the School. At TC, Kenny lettered all four right people. years in four sports: baseball, basketball, I do want to football and track. He was also an Allapologize State selection his junior and senior years to law in all four sports and was inducted into the enforcement school’s Hall of Fame. officials for some of the In his senior year (1997), Kenny set county remarks I records in football throwing for 7,486 made at the yards and 77 touchdowns, was a Parade time. But All-American, and the Gatorade National looking High School Player of the Year. In baseball, b ac k , he was Baseball America’s 20th ranked I prospect. In February of his senior year, Kelly signed with the University of Miami, but things got complicated in June when he was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. For two years, he excelled at both sports, playing summer baseball in the Rays’ organization and football the rest of the year for the Hurricanes. As a sophomore, Kelly led the Big East Conference in passing, averaging 213 yards per game. After the 1999 season, however, he left football to concentrate solely on his baseball career. Kelly initially played 11 professional seasons and twice broke in to the majors with Tampa Bay in 2000 and Cincinnati and Washington in 2005. After the incident in 2008, Kelly decided to take time off and Starting Quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes in 1999. Photo courtesy of Kenny Kelly


april 2013

Centerfielder for the Chicago White Sox in 2007. Photo courtesy of Kenny Kelly

went back to college at Alabama State University, getting his degree in finance while serving as the school’s assistant baseball coach. In 2011, Kelly was making a successful comeback, playing for the Atlantic Independent League’s Road Warriors when he ran full-speed face first into a concrete outfield wall chasing down a fly ball. Kelly broke his jaw, three facial bones, and was unresponsive for ten minutes. He actually quit breathing for 45 seconds before being revived. That pretty much ended his comeback and sent him back to Plant City. Kelly, father to three children, Jeneisha, Kijah and Kiael is currently a co-owner of Florida Baseball Heaven, a baseball academy located on County Line Rd., helping kids pursue their baseball dreams, and giving baseball lessons and coaching one of their travel teams, the Angels 14U White squad. Kelly is also Mulberry High School’s head track coach, head J.V. basketball coach, and assistant football coach. His life has changed… he’s teaching what he has learned…on and off the field.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


Recreate PMS

Sports » athlete of the month

athlete of the month

sponsored by chili’s

Article by Joe Bowles

Kristen Wyckoff

3001 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL 813-764-8548


peed kills.” That is what opposing coaches think when they see Plant City High School senior Kristen Wyckoff step to the plate. Wyckoff can turn a roller into a single, a single into a double, and believe it or not, a double into a triple or a homerun. In fact, she has hit six inside-the-park homers over the last three seasons. And when she gets on base, which is nearly every game (she reached first base in every game but one in 2012), she is a threat to steal second and third. So far, she has stolen 130 bases in 131 attempts in the 98 games of her high school career. Wyckoff, the daughter of Clay and Jackie Wyckoff, and the younger sister of Kayla began, as most youngsters do, with tee-ball at the age of four. A couple of years later, she started playing softball through Plant City Little League, and continued until the age of twelve. At ten, she added travel ball to her schedule, playing first for the Plant City Sizzlers. At the age of fourteen, Wyckoff joined the Florida Gold and two years later moved to the Gold Coast Hurricanes. Wyckoff, a four-year starter for Plant City, recently signed a letter-of-intent to play for the University of South Florida Bulls, under head coach Ken Erickson. “It was a natural choice for me to go to USF,” remarked Wyckoff. “I’ve known the coaches since I was ten. I have always gone there for batting and pitching lessons. I just felt wanted.” Her ultimate goal is to play for the U.S. Woman’s National Team. Erickson, who led the Bulls to the College World Series last year, has been with the Bulls for 17 seasons. There is a chance that Kristen’s dream may come to reality because Erickson, who is high on Wyckoff ’s talents, is a former Olympic coach and is currently the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. There was a reason that Erickson wanted Wyckoff. You see, the speedy shortstop has helped lead the Raiders to regular season district titles in 2011 and 2012. Plant City has not lost a district game since 2011, a string of 22 consecutive wins. The Raiders have also advanced to regional play each year over the last three seasons. This year, the Raiders had a rough start, losing their first three contests, but since then, they have won fourteen of sixteen, including a perfect 9-0 district record through April 2. A career .420 hitter, Wyckoff is a prolific scorer, tallying 127 runs in 98 high school games and averaging 42 hits per season. Last season, Wyckoff led the district with a .592 batting average, besting her nearest opponent by 120 points. This year, her average is down, but Kristen, a traditional slap hitter from the left side of the plate, has been focusing on driving the ball more. So far, eight of her sixteen hits have been for extra bases, including three home runs. She also plays wide receiver and safety on the Raiders’ flag football team. Initially a four-sport athlete, Wyckoff dropped basketball after her freshman season and volleyball after her junior year. Now her concentration is strictly on softball and flag football. By the way, both sports are played during the same season. So for much of the spring, Kristen plays two football games and two softball games each week. Wyckoff is a member of the National Honor Society, the Civinettes, and the Ronald McDonald Club. She plans to study sports medicine while at USF. Congratulations to Kristen as she pursues her dream to play softball at a higher level.


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april 2013

Sports » team of the month

Plant City High School

Wrestling Team

The Region 3A-2 tournament was held the following weekend in Kissimmee at Osceola High School. Wynne, Evers, and Knight failed to attain a top-four regional finish and therefore did not qualify for the Article by Joe Bowles Florida State Championships. Knight, a Carrying a regular season record of 37-17 senior, came up one win shy after a narrow into the district tournament, Jordan Evers, a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals. junior, took three of five matches at district in the 132 lb. weight class and claimed third Doerges, a junior, however, claimed second place. Junior Kip Wynne with a regular place, qualifying him to be a member of season mark of 38-16 took two victories out the All-Region team as he advanced to of four, and garnered a fourth place finish the title match. Unfortunately, he came up in the 152 lb. class. Craig Knight led the short when he was pinned with less than Raiders’ wrestlers in wins heading into the a minute remaining by Darren Lester from tournament with a 47-10 mark, was able Brandon. Doerges advanced to the Florida to capture three of five matches, placing State Championships held at the Lakeland second in the 160 lb. class. Heavyweight

Sports Team of the Month


or numerous reasons, the wrestling team at Plant City High School suffered through a difficult season. It wasn’t that the quality of wrestling was poor, but it was the lack of athletes available to compete in each weight class. You see, there are fourteen weight classes in high school wrestling. The classes range from the lightest weight of 106 lbs to the heavyweight class at 285 lbs. For much of the year, the Raiders were forced to forfeit six or seven matches in nearly every meet they competed.

Lance Doerges (37-7) also was 3-2 with a Civic Center February 15-16, but was eliminated in the second round. runner-up finish. Even without a full team, the Raiders fared well in the post season and if there is a greater interest in participation in the future, the Raiders are in a great position heading into next season. “It was a difficult year, going into the meets without having a full team, but this was a tight-knit group of kids,” remarked Ron Evers, father of Jordan and an avid supporter of the team. “But on the other hand, it was a very positive and enjoyable season for them. For the three juniors, they took a big step forward from the tenth grade to the eleventh grade, so we’re looking forward to seeing what they will do in the future.”

In the District 3A-6 meet held at Brandon High School on February 2, for example, the Raiders competed with only six wrestlers. The goal at districts is to place in the top four of each weight class, thus qualifying for regional competition. Unfortunately, senior Ricky Huffman, a four-year letterman in the 113 lb. class, and Ramon Rebolloso, a junior in the 126 lb. division, competed well, but were unable to place in the top four of their weight class. Four Raiders, however, were able to do so. Coming off impressive showings in the county tournament, four Raiders, Jordan Evers (7th place), Kip Wynne (7th place), Craig Knight (6th place), and Lance Doerges (3rd place) ventured to the district tournament against nine other schools that included Brandon High School, who are consecutive state champions over the past thirteen years, and each placed in the top four of their weight class.

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013




APRIL 12-14

extra » senior of the month

Kellee Brown

Senior of the month Article by Chelsea Talavera

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april 2013

Kellee’s help. She also plays competitively for VSI Flames U-17 and U-18. They have won many championships and are one of the top 16 teams in Florida. Her team practices Monday to Wednesday, two Academics have always come first for hours a day, and plays scrimmage games all Kellee. She has worked diligently through weekend. her high school career. But hard work pays off. Kellee is ranked in the top 2 percent, 7th In March, she was chosen alongside 20 in the graduating class. She has a current seniors in Hillsborough County to play weighted GPA of a 6.16 and amazingly a on the all-star team. The game was against perfect unweighted GPA of a 4.0, meaning Pinellas County and was televised on Bright she has received straight A’s all four years House Sports Network, channel 47. Kellee of high school. That is such an amazing has excitedly committed to play soccer for accomplishment that most students don’t Florida Southern College. ever achieve. Kellee is very intelligent and has high scores on both the SAT and ACT Soccer has also come in handy with her tests. She was voted by her peers “most well- community service. Kellee teaches special rounded” and a Senior Superlative. She was needs students how to play her favorite also Miss June in this year’s Calendar Girl sport. It is her third year volunteering competition. with them. Every Sunday they practice to prepare for area games. The team is looking Kellee also has a passion for soccer. She forward to the state competition at Disney has played on the varsity soccer team at and hopes to place higher than their third PCHS since she was a freshman. For the place win last year. She has contributed a past two years she has been captain. She total of 124 hours to this club. has also won most valuable player two years consecutively. The soccer team has won Kellee always goes the extra mile. She is a the First Team All-Western Conference star in every aspect of her life! and District Champions twice, along with

extra » senior of the month



Zackary Besece


Senior of the month



Article by Chelsea Talavera

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enior Zackary Besece brings much laughter and happiness to everyone he meets. He is all around a great guy. Zack contains all characteristics you could imagine of a great student, athlete and person. He has a 5.2 GPA, ranking him 43rd in the Senior Class. Zack is an Honor Graduate, and has extremely high scores on the SAT and ACT tests. He is a member of the National Honor Society and also lettered in academics.

Zack is this year’s captain of the team. He has lettered in baseball and also spent many hours assisting with the cleanup of the fields. But Zack’s volunteering doesn’t stop there. He is a member of Team ToMarrow, which is a community service project benefitting the Be the Match Foundation and those in need of a bone marrow transplant. The team has raised over $3,000 and is hosting a bone marrow registry drive at this year’s Relay for Life for the second year in a row. Zack also volunteered with South Florida Baptist Hospital teen program, Cork Elementary Summer Reading Program, and Stepping Stone Farms.

Zack is very involved in clubs and organizations. He was elected by the Senior Class to make up the Executive Council as the Reporter. He is also a member of Students against Destructive Decisions, Zack has excitedly been accepted into Civitan Service Club, and Life is Good. Florida State University! He hopes to pursue a degree in Environmental He played varsity football as a freshmen Engineering. He cannot wait to begin in and sophomore. His favorite sport, and one the fall. We wish him all the success in his he excels in, is baseball. He has been on future endeavors. the varsity team since he was a sophomore.

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april 2013

extra » derek maul

Sometimes, Faith

Is All About Attitude


f we were to reassemble the New Testament in the order the books were actually written, chapter one would be the first “epistle’ that Paul penned to his friends at the church in Thessaloniki. It’s a short letter, and a wonderful piece of inspirational literature; I’d recommend reading all five chapters in one sitting.


What strikes me today, reading First Thessalonians one more time, is how deeply the idea of intentionality is woven into the writer’s understanding of faith.

Column by Derek Maul morning, first thing, and make the decision to enter into a joy-referenced frame of mind. 2. “Pray without ceasing:” Communication with God; acknowledgement of God; listening to God; talking with God; celebrating God; thinking about God. Not confining God to convenient interludes, but consciously choosing God as the operating system that runs underneath everything else. 3. “Give thanks in all circumstances:” The “attitude of gratitude” needs to be intentional rather than reactive; otherwise thankfulness is stripped of its power to transform. Gratitude that stays ahead of circumstance tends to impact the circumstance rather than the other way around. 4. “For this is the will of God:” God not only intends for us to live, joyfully, in the context of gratitude, but God intends to transform the world via our transformed disposition. 5. “Do not quench the Spirit:” When we fail to act proactively in terms of our decision to rejoice, pray, and be thankful – then we have made the choice to quench the Spirit.

Irrespective of our stand regarding church or religion, I believe many of us miss this principle. Consequently, we misunderstand the basis for assurance, faith, inspiration and certainty. We look for an emotional “feeling” we believe is supposed to be a constant in our experience as followers of I listen to people who refuse to pray, and who allow doubt, cynicism, and unbelief Jesus; too often we rely on it. to poison their minds, and they too are However, when we substitute emotion transformed. But the transformation is and “feeling” for the day-to-day work of negative, as they fail to take responsibility an intentional walk with God, then we set for the intentionality that is necessary for ourselves up for disappointment when faith “renewing our minds.”


fails to conform to our expectations.


I think we all know people (we might even be those people) who miss out on a rich life of faith because we sidestep Paul’s encouragement to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12). That’s the foundational idea of the following text: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit” (I Thessalonians 5:16-19). 1. “Rejoice always:” That’s a decision as much as it is a response. Wake up in the

God created us; God knows how our minds work. Paul understood very clearly that we don’t just wait for some magical spiritual experience to bring us assurance and confidence and transformation. No, God recommended that we take the bull by the horns and get on with it. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God; do not quench the Spirit. Any questions? - Follow Derek Maul daily at www.

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extra » candy’s corner

candy’s Corner Column by Candy Owens

Shop, which was located at Southgate Shopping Center. If mother did not find what she was looking for then we were off to Tampa to Farner’s Children’s Wear. Farner’s was an upscale clothing and shoe store for children owned by the Bessie Edelstein family and was located at 1918 S. Dale Mabry Hwy. The store served south Tampans from the 1930s until its closing back in 2001.


ere comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity Easter’s on its way. Bringing every girl and boy, baskets full of Easter joy, hippity hoppity Easter’s on its way. Baskets full of Easter Joy, Hey! That meant candy, toys, coloring books, crayons, decorating Easter eggs, hunting for Easter eggs, yummy Easter lunch, and a new Easter outfit complete with shoes, socks, gloves, hat, pocketbook, and dress.


As a child I was always excited about the eggs, the candy, and the toys, the part about the new dress, not so much. That meant trying on dress after dress until my mother found exactly what she was looking for. My mother always insisted that my sister and I wear matching dresses in a pastel color such as yellow or pink. Our hats, shoes, socks, gloves, and pocketbooks would be white. Our hats would usually be adorned with ribbons and flowers. I remember one year that our petticoats had jingle bells attached to the lace. I am sure that those jingle bells were adorable but ended up being way too noisy for church. When my sister and I were toddlers back in the early 1960s my mother would take us to see Mr. and Mrs. Tunall, who owned and operated The Tot Shop on Reynolds Street for all our apparel needs. The store was renamed in later years to Lad and Lassie. When we were a little older my mother would take us to Lakeland to Maas Brothers or to Ruby’s Tot and Teen april 2013

Once our Easter outfits were all in line then the real fun began with the dyeing of the Easter Eggs. My mother would boil two dozen eggs the night before. My sister and I could hardly wait as we watched her cover the kitchen counters with newspaper. Mom would put one dozen eggs on one side of the counter for my sister and one dozen eggs on the other side of the counter for me. In those days my sister and I were very territorial and would just perish at the thought of one of our eggs getting mixed up. Mom would then open up the Paaz Easter Egg Color Fun Kit. Back in the 1960’s the kit sold for 29 cents and came with a handy wire egg dipper, funny face pasteons, alphabet stickers, cut-out airplane, four wrap-around- the egg outfits, punch out drying tray that would hold six eggs, and a cellophane pack of six color tablets. In the 1970s a wax crayon was introduced to the package, which allowed any design drawn on the egg to resist the dye. My favorite part was watching my mother drop the dye tablets in the cups of vinegar water. We thought it was so cool how the tablets began to fizz into the most beautiful colors. My sister and I worked very hard at trying to create what we thought were going to be the most beautiful Easter eggs ever. When we were finished creating our masterpiece eggs I would ask my Mother if I could have a sip of the Easter egg dye. Her reply would be,” absolutely not!” My mother would place two separate baskets on the coffee table. One basket was for me and my eggs and one basket was for my sister and her eggs. You would have thought that my

sister and I were guarding jewel encrusted Faberge eggs or something. Speaking of drinking Easter egg dye, well… one year my best friend JeanAnn Weaver invited my sister Karen and I over to her house to dye eggs with her and her little brother Curt. Mrs. Weaver sat us outside at JeanAnn’s little kiddie picnic table on their patio. We had a great time decorating the eggs, but once again I was overcome with the desire to drink the dye. When it was time to clean up the mess I talked Curt into picking out a color that looked good enough to drink. Curt picked out the orange because he said it looked like orange drink. I chose the blue just because it looked good. Once JeanAnn and Karen were inside, Curt and I grabbed our cups and ran behind the Weaver’s aluminum shed and proceeded to drink the dye. Needless to say we both took a huge gulp and ended up spitting the dye halfway across the yard. Curt and I both learned that even though the colors were beautiful the dye tasted nothing like orange soda. Curt and I never got in trouble for drinking the dye that day because Mrs. Weaver said that soon enough we would have punishment enough. HAHA! When Easter morning finally arrived my sister and I would wake up and run into the living room to see what the Easter bunny had left behind. We would always find a beautiful basket with a stuffed animal, a hollow chocolate bunny, a coloring book, crayons, a jump rope, jacks and a ball, jellybeans, chocolate foil-covered eggs that we called football eggs, and our favorite of all, the robin’s eggs.

dressed and meet us at church. During the Easter service I can remember my mother reaching over telling me to get the ribbon from my hat out of my mouth and to leave the little elastic chin strap from my hat alone. She would also tell my sister and I to be very careful with our white patent leather shoes and not mark them up. My father would polish our new shoes with Jubilee wax polish the night before Easter. When church was over we would rush home to hunt for eggs. There would always be several eggs that did not get found in the hunt. My father always tried to make a mental note as to where he had hidden the eggs. Some weeks later he would find them in the flower bushes when he was doing yard work. I am sure that is why my mother had us decorate so many eggs. Easter lunch was always a sight to behold. My parents would bake a ham that was scored with cloves. Once on the platter, the ham was decorated with crab apples and pickled peaches. There would be potato salad, fresh green beans; corn on the cob; squash; and a relish tray with tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, pickles, olives of green and black, and green onions. Also, there would be rolls, fresh applesauce, an Easter egg cake from Kirby’s Bakery, and a fresh home-made coconut cake. My grandparents on my father’s side would always join us for lunch. I remember how my grandfather would give the blessing and how my grandmother doted over her coconut cake and was so thrilled that her Easter lilies were in full bloom on Easter morning.

Long gone are the patent leather shoes, the white hats with ribbons and funny flowers, the petticoats with jingle bells, and my grandparents, but every time I see an Easter lily or bow my head in prayer I think of Before we knew it, it was time to get dressed granny and granddaddy Owens and I know for church. My mother would get me just how blessed I am. dressed first and have me stand in the living room and wait for her to get herself and my I will leave you with this thought. May sister dressed. She would tell me to stand God bless you at Easter and keep you all still, do not go outside, do not sit down, and year through. May God give you all the most of all do not touch anything. Once faith it takes to make your dreams come they were dressed my father would have us true. May his love and wisdom always help pose for photos in front of the curtains with to guide you on your way. May his light our Easter baskets, out on the front porch, shine down upon you. in front of the car, and then do it all over again with his movie camera. He would even film mother putting us in the car and driving away. My father would stay behind and hide the Easter eggs in our yard. He would get the ham in the oven and then get

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013





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april 2013

extra » auto review

Affordable Sedan

Mazda 6 Delivers as a Low-Cost Alternative Review by Brian West


azda has been churning out cars available in the U.S. for a few decades now. Although Mazda seems to have lost some of the momentum of the late 80s and early 90s from its flagship sports car, the RX-7, their lineup today is solid and poised for a comeback with a targeted and tighter marketing demographic. Today, Mazda only offers seven different models in the U.S., and the Mazda 6 is right in the middle of the lineup.

ergonomically sound. The dials and gauges are exactly where the driver would want them and everything takes minimal effort to access which helps keep the driver focused on the road…when not catching up on the Internet from a smart phone. (Come on. It’s just a joke.) Personally, I love that the speedometer is in the center of the dash. I can’t understand why so many other manufacturers struggle with this. It’s the single most important stat to the driver. It goes in the center and should always be The Mazda 6 is a 4-door sedan. The sides larger than the others. Mazda got it right. are loaded with character lines. The front end seems wide in comparison to the rest The seating is comfortable, and seems to of the body, but overall it’s a good exterior. wrap around the driver. If you’re going to Apparently, the designers were trying to be sitting in the rear, you better not be very give the Mazda 6 the look of a crouching tall, or be sitting behind a tall driver. Now animal ready to spring on its prey. I don’t don’t get me wrong. There is room in the know if they accomplished their goal, but I back seat, just not a lot. like it. The Mazda 6 is also the first Mazda to incorporate LEDs and a halo ring into Driving the Mazda 6 is fun. The throttle the headlamps, which is good for Mazda response is good and the engine delivers because it instantly gives the impression of enough torque that you never find yourself a higher-market vehicle. wanting or needing more power. It handles well. Steering takes little effort. It’s just Under the hood, you’ll find Mazda’s comfortable and fun. I was impressed with Skyactiv Technology 2.5L power plant. This how quiet the engine is. Unless you’re just engine delivers 189hp, which isn’t much stomping on the gas—which I had to do a when compared to almost anything on the little of for the sake of the review—engine road these days, but it delivers. This engine noise is almost non-existent. is loaded with torque, making the 6-speed transmission a lot of fun for the driver. If Overall, the Mazda 6 is a great 4-door you should opt for the manual transmission, sedan for the money. Starting in the low you’re in luck. The new transmission was 20s, Mazda has priced it right, but they have designed after the one used for the Miata. stiff competition with Kia and Volkswagen. If you haven’t had that experience, the If you’re looking for the Mazda 6, visit the gearbox is incredibly smooth and quick. Lakeland Automall and tell them you read about it in Focus Magazine. The interior is what you’d expect from Mazda. All of the instrumentation is foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



One Person’s Trash is


Another Person’s Treasure

Kimberly Wyant

party supplies bounce houses combo units waterslides rockwalls laser tag dunk tanks & more! 50% off

extra » artist of the month



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Follow us on facebook for updates on specials and event information. Promotions end 04/31/2013.

t’s been said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Sometimes though, it may take someone with that special touch to uncover the beauty hidden within. Check out Kimberly Artist Kimberly Wyant’s studio Wyant is that located on S. Lincoln someone who Ave. in Lakeland. possesses the Photo submitted by Kimberly Wyant knack to take an item that has been cast aside and turn it into a work of art. As a completely self-taught artist, Kimberly Wyant allows life experiences to take her where she needs to go and become her best teacher. For Kimberly, there are no mediums or art forms that are off limits, which gives her the ability to create with a great sense of freedom and experimentation. Although Kimberly’s techniques may be varied,

Article by Heather Davis

there’s often one common thread that runs throughout all her works—her love to use recycled or repurposed items and turn them into unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Always an avid collector of “junk,” Kimberly has turned her talent into a business known as KRapART which stands for Kimberly’s Recycled Art Project. Currently, she is keeping busy by turning old bicycle parts into pieces of jewelry. Recently, Kimberly opened up her own Lakeland art studio and gallery which features not only her artwork, but also work from other artists. Kimberly also shows her unique custom pieces at various Farmers Markets held in Tampa, Lakeland, and Highland City, and has donated sculptures to the Plant City Gardens. As a self-proclaimed “Art Gypsy,” Kimberly has been able to show that there’s beauty in everything if you look hard enough. You may contact Kimberly Wyant for additional information at

336 Magnolia Ave. SW • Winter Haven, Florida (863) 299-9999 • • Mon-Sat • 10am - 6pm A sculpture created by Kimberly Wyant, which is still in progress, of recycled items. Photo submitted by Kimberly Wyant


april 2013

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


“We were the first Fleet Account for Walden Lake Car Wash and Service Center. Frank always makes sure we get though the car wash in a timely manner so we can serve families on time. He will open early if we need him to. Vehicles are cleaned with first class service, spotless clean and with a beautiful shine. I also have a personal account with him for my vehicle, I pay a small amount per month and can get my car cleaned as many times as I need though out the month.” - Verna McKelvin

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april 2013


extra » Wanda’s Words

Wanda’s Words

of Wisdom Column by Wanda “Lewis” Anderson

Speaking of unwanted deposits, cream of tartar isn’t just used for cooking. Mix equal parts with hydrogen peroxide to clean rust stains. An old pantyhose makes a great scrubber to apply the solution. If you run out of bathroom cleanser, use equal parts of Epsom salts and your favorite dish detergent to clean bathtubs and sinks. Besides deep cleaning, Spring is a great time to clean out closets, get rid of clutter and reminisce about all the old stuff you pring. A time to clean and get hold near and dear to your heart. organized. I love chemical-free cleaning supplies, and vinegar is one Choose one closet as the “catch all” storage of the best products you can buy. Use it area. Cover old shoe boxes with wrapping any place where you would prepare food— paper, label and stack. cutting boards, microwaves and kitchen counters. It’s safe and affordable. Not enough closets? Simply purchase bed


In addition, polish your bathroom and kitchen fixtures with a little white vinegar. Just dampen a cloth with vinegar, wipe your fixtures, and afterwards use a soft cloth to dry. This restores the shine. Dirty windows? Full strength vinegar in a spray bottle cleans film and streaks. Water line marks in the toilet? Pour two cups of white vinegar into toilet bowl and let it sit overnight to remove marks. Equal parts vinegar and baking soda can even remove calcium and lime stains.

lifts. They raise your bed up to allow for more storage. I love them and have them on all my beds. I even purchased those long storage containers and stack them two-high under the bed. Add a bed skirt, and it hides it all. If you haven’t worn something in a year chances are you won’t, so donate it. Give someone else the opportunity to rock your fashions.

t Cuban Voted Best City in Plan

Happy Mother’s Day!


Handmade Milkshakes with real Strawberries, Pineapple, Peanut Butter, Oreos and more.

d Gi ft Cards an Part y Tr ay s Available

Until next time, relax, enjoy and be thankful.

We are open from 6:30a.m - 6:30p.m Mon - Sat.

1505 N. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL 33563

813-752-3779 You can View our Menu online at

Try our Homade Spanish Bean Soup, Fresh Chef and Greek Salads

Notice portions shrinking while prices increase?


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


foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013



april 2013

d & e » recipe of the month

Better than Bacon, Bacon

recipe of the month

Better Than Bacon, Bacon

Recipe by Gail Jones


lasphemy!” the reader gasps in disbelief. After all, there is no finer food in all the world than bacon. Adored by young and old alike, bacon is universal, a taste that could one day unite humanity in peace and harmony based on a mutual love…Okay, considering that huge populations around the world are Muslim, Jewish, or really strict vegetarians, all of whom avoid pork, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration. But as I have mentioned in a previous article, I’ve known not one, but two vegetarians who were willing to compromise their gastronomic morals for a crispy little nibble of bacon.

appetizers. Had something shifted in the paradigm that I had missed? “No, it’s just that…” she hesitated again. “Well Gail, these are wonderful people. Good and kind and…well, can you just keep it kind of simple this time?”

Simple, I repeated to myself. So there would be no chicken liver mousse garnished with caramelized onions, crumbled blue cheese, and fig preserves. No home smoked salmon with horseradish cream and pumpernickel toast. And I had better not even think about showing up with a platter of cured olives, bruschetta, marinated shrimp and a variety So when my sister called last week to invite of little vegetable salads that is one of my me to dinner with a group of her husband’s favorite pre-dinner extravaganzas. relatives who were visiting, and she cautioned me that this was not a culinarily No, Donna wanted it simple, and it doesn’t adventurous group, I naturally turned to get any more basic than bacon. Well, actually, brown sugar, mustard glazed bacon, bacon. a delight that I hadn’t even thought of since I first began entertaining in the mid“I’ll bring an appetizer,” I offered. eighties. And boy was it easy to prepare! So easy in fact, that I had time to make a “Oh, if you want to,” she seemed hesitant. few brie and blue cheese balls with dried “Is there something else you want me to cranberries and toasted walnuts. bring?” I asked, confused by her tone. In our long-standing who-brings-what-for- Sorry Donna. dinner agreement, Donna always does the breads and desserts, and I always do the I just couldn’t help myself.

Use this special bacon recipe to make the best BLT you’ll ever eat. Photo by Gail Jones


½ cup brown sugar ¼ cup mustard (I used equal parts Dijon, whole grain and plain old yellow because that was what I had on-hand.) 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 lb. thick-cut bacon

Directions Preheat oven to 400º. Combine first three ingredients in a bowl. Add bacon and stir until coated.

Add some Better than Bacon, Bacon to your next BLT sandwich. Photo by Gail Jones

Remove bacon from glaze one piece at a time, sliding fingers down the length of the strip to remove excess marinade and to ensure even coating. Place the bacon on a rack in a cookie sheet or a broiler pan and cook for 2030 minutes, until browned. (Lots of recipes recommend

a foil lined cookie sheet…this method does not crisp the bacon as well; believe me, I tried.) Allow to cool and with kitchen shears, snip into bite sized pieces. If you are smart, you will double the recipe, but conveniently, forget to bring the second batch with you as there are never any leftovers to bring back home. This will allow you to make the best ever BLT for lunch the following day. foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013





We’re not just Pizza! Come try our HAMBURGERS, CHICKEN, & STEAK, too! Daily Lunch & Dinner Specials. View or print our menu at


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april 2013





d & e » dining profile

Strawberry Hut Plant City Dining Profile

and excellent friendly service are two main reasons customers keep coming back. If you are looking for party trays, they can make that happen as well. Their prices are reasonable and the taste is great. Your guests will be glad you did.

Profile by Deana Garrison

Stop in or call them today at 813-752-3779. claims this one was very different with an You may even see me up there back in line interesting taste. Needless to say, he had no once again for my favorite “Cuban...all the way...pressed,” which definitely makes my trouble finishing the drink in minutes! day complete. The Strawberry Hut opens as early as 6:30 a.m. offering a wide range of breakfast sandwiches, with of course the option to purchase lunch sandwiches for those wanting to take Strawberry Hut with them to work or school. How convenient! I also The Strawberry Hut love the fact that their sandwiches are huge. Sandwich Shoppe 1505 N Wheeler St., I’m able to eat half of my sandwich, then Plant City, FL 33563 have the other half for later. In addition, you Phone: 813-752-3779 can always call ahead and place your order Web: to send someone to pick up. Hours: Monday through Saturday,


From sunrise to sunset, customers line up outside the Strawberry Hut to order delicious sandwiches, salads, shakes, and more! Photo by Deana Garrison


f you’re looking for a place that makes the most delicious sandwiches around, then I have found the place that suits your fancy, located at 1505 North Wheeler Street, the Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shop. The Strawberry Hut has the best sandwiches and I can prove it. How? Easy….I took all three of my boys—Michael, Jacob, and Riley—with me on this adventure. Now, if you know my boys, then you know they will always tell you just what they think when you ask them their opinions. And that’s just what I did. Jacob loaded up with the Philly Steak Sub and a strawberry milkshake. He wasn’t coming up for air; therefore, he thoroughly enjoyed the taste. Michael, Riley, and I enjoyed our pressed Cubans.

It’s no wonder why Strawberry Hut has been around for 19 years. Their tasty sandwiches

6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Closed Sunday

There is something about a pressed Cuban Sandwich that gives it that delicious crunchy taste. They make them right in front of you, so you know you are getting a fresh sandwich. We devoured our meal under one of the huts located on the side of the building where we ordered. These comfy little picnic areas provide ample shade and a nice place to enjoy your meal. I know my sons enjoyed it just as much as I did because on our way home I was asked when we would be visiting again. In addition to the obvious sandwiches, they offer salads, soups, ice cream, and of course a wide variety of milkshakes. They even have a peanut butter milkshake. Michael

The wide variety of milkshakes made it hard to decide on a flavor. Photo by Deana Garrison

You have to try the pressed Cuban Sandwich. You will love it. Photo by Deana Garrison foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


» dining guide

Find deals online at

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hili’s has been spicing things up since 1975. There is something for everyone’s 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 •



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

linda’s crab shack


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.

Downtown Plant City 200 E. Reynolds St. Plant City, FL 33563 813-754-0492

mi casa


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

2613 Thonotosassa Rd Plant City, FL 813-752-0057•


april 2013

» dining guide

Find deals online at

special advertisement

olde town pizzeria


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

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

Plant City Hometown Buffet


lant City Hometown Buffet is a family owned and operated business started by Elaine Vo, a resident of Plant City for the last 24 years. They offer a wide variety of items spanning the five buffet bars, including seafood and steak. There is certainly something to fit every taste preference, especially if you’re looking for seafood with their catfish, stuffed crab, buttered shrimp and much, much, more.

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

Shrimp & Co. Express


ome visit the freshest Shrimp Plant City has to offer at Shrimp & Co. Express and Enjoy some Fresh hand breaded Shrimp with hush puppies, spicy slaw and seasoned herb potatoes, nine Po Boys Shrimp & Co. Dishes to choose from and more. Open Tues- Thurs. 11am-8pm Fri and Sat. 11am-9pm Closed on Sunday and Monday.

3503 W. Baker Street (U.S. 92), Plant City Fl. 33563 (813) 752-9040 •

taco rey


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 april 2013


Celebrate a life lived!

d & e » keel and curley

Keel and Curley

Entertainment that Surpasses Fun Article by Deana Garrison

Wells Memorial and EventCenter Verna McKelvin

Exclusiveprovider provider ofof Dignity Exclusive Dignity Memorial benefi ts ts Memorial benefi

Exclusive provider of Dignity

1903 West Reynolds Street ~ Plant City Memorial benefi ts


Verna McKelvin

1903 West Reynolds Street ~ Plant City


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(still located with South Florida Baptist Hospital)

april 2013

Kathryn L. Kepes, MD FACRO

The Smokin’ Aces entertained guests at Keel and Curley with their Country/ Classic/Rock N’ Roll style. Photo by Deana Garrison


he more I visit Keel and Curley, the more I’m amazed at how many people come out and have a great time. I really don’t think I’ve ever visited at a time where it was dull or boring. I truly believe this place has developed into a great entertainment spot. If you have never stopped in to check it out, you are missing great fun, entertainment, and social interaction.

The Smokin’ Aces have many more appearances yet to come at Keel and Curley. Take a look on the Keel and Curley website to be sure to catch their next appearance. You are sure to have a grand stomping good time.

Keel and Curley also have other ideas up their sleeves. They offer a “Paint Your Own Wine Glass” opportunity that comes around about once a month. This is another item on One recent weekend included an “uncorked your list to check out on their website for evening” on Friday night with Rob Harris, future dates. Your next favorite wine glass a regular at Keel and Curley. He played jazz could be designed by the one and only you. music while others sat around enjoying each other’s company. A younger “30ish” crowd And you definitely cannot miss out on the enjoyed the night. However, on Saturday, 6th Annual Blueberry Festival that I have more entertainment was enjoyed by all ages been talking non-stop about to family and who came to see The Smokin’ Aces. This friends. It will be held April 27-28. This band plays a variety of country music with a will definitely prove to be a fun-filled time. mix of classic and with a little Rock n’ Roll Mark your calendars and do not miss it. thrown in to get you moving and enjoying For the very first time, this festival will have the night. Many sat and listened completely its very own Queen. Make sure you read next month’s edition for all the details of enjoying themselves. the pageant. On this particular night, a wedding party came dancing in ready to enjoy There’s so much going on at Keel and the entertainment as well to help them Curley you just have to visit their website to get up-to-date happenings to keep you in celebrate their special day. the loop of the entertainment. It’s so worth your time.



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813-759-1023 foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013




can’t miss 6th Annual

l va ti s Fe y rr e b e lu B y a B a p m Ta

Celebrate the 2013 Spring Blueberry Harvest at the Keel and Curley Winery (5202 W. Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City) from Saturday, April 27 to Sunday, April 28. The festival kicks off on Saturday with U-Pick Blueberries at 8 a.m. and will continue until the fruit runs out. For just $3 per pound, take home some of the best blueberries around. In addition to the U-Pick, the festival includes wine tastings, 100 vendors, a large kid’s area, great food, music, and entertainment. Also meet the first-ever Blueberry Festival Court, who will make their first appearance together on Saturday at 5 p.m. Admission to the event is free and parking costs $5, $10 for VIP. For general information about the festival, visit keelandcurleywinery. com/blueberryfestival or call 813-752-9100.

Blueberry Festival Schedule of Events

n’s RICOH Childenre t

Classic Golf Tournam

This annual golf tournament—sponsored by the South Florida Baptist Hospital, the Plant City Kiwanis Club, and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce—tees off on Friday, April 19 at 11 a.m. with check-in and lunch in the Walden Lake Golf and Country Club clubhouse. Shotgun start will take place at 12:30 p.m. Proceeds from the event benefit the hospital’s wellness programs, the Chamber’s college scholarship fund, and the Kiwanis Club’s activities for underprivileged children. Please be sure to register for this great community event. For more information, call Amy at 813-754-3707.


april 2013

Saturday, April 27 8 a.m. Gates Open and U-Pick Blueberries Begins 9:30 a.m. Blueberry Wine Making and Wine Paring Class by Keel and Curley Winemaker Jared Gilbert 10 a.m. Rob Harris Jazz Band 1:30 p.m. Blueberry Farming and Tips on Growing Blueberries at Home by Keel Farms Manager Ryan Keel 2 p.m. Faces South Classic Rock Band 4:30 p.m. Blueberry Pie Contest Finals 5 p.m. Blueberry Queen Presentation and Blueberry Royalty Court Introduction Sunday, April 28 10 a.m. Gates open 10:30 a.m. Blueberry Wine Making and Wine Paring Class by Keel and Curley Winemaker Jared Gilbert 11 a.m. Charlie Olsen and the “Corkscrews” Blues and Classic Rock Band 1:30 p.m. Blueberry Farming and Tips on Growing Blueberries at Home by Keel Farms Manager Ryan Keel 2 p.m. Heffner and Heffner Jazz Band

d & e » event calendar




Relay for Life Plant City High School | 6 p.m. For more info, contact Cathy Vallianatos at cathy. or 813-685-0670. Register or donate online at



the 1950s. Unlike traditional schools which aren’t in session during the summer months, strawberry schools let out from December through April so children could help their families harvest strawberries. Light refreshments will be served and former students are encouraged to bring old school photos to pass around. For more information call Delores Townsend Tillman at 813-681-7935 or Lavon Brannen Dudley at 813752-2047. Strawberry Classic Car Show Historic Downtown Plant City | 4 to 9 p.m. For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce 813-754-3707

Cork Academy Reunion Cork Elementary School | 1 to 4 p.m. 3901 N. Cork Rd. Former students, teachers, and friends are invited to reminisce about the “strawberry school” that ran until






Plant City Community Expo Florida Strawberry Festival EXPO Building 2 to 6 p.m. 351 N. Woodrow Wilson St. 70+ local businesses will be displaying their services. Stop in for door prizes, food samples, and to learn a little bit about area businesses and what they have to offer. Admission is free and open to the public.

6th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser for Evangelical University and Seminary Plant City First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall 6 p.m. 503 N. Palmer St. Dinner catered by Fred’s Southern Kitchen. Business casual attire. Tickets are $25 and reservations can be made through Phyllis Westlake at 813-659-1903. For more information on the event call Myrle Henry at 813-752-4094 The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood Presented by Plant City Entertainment, Inc. PCE Community Theater | 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. 101 N. Thomas St. Tickets are $14 for non-member general admission, $12 for senior citizens and students through grade 12, and $10 for members and advance group sales. Other performance dates include May 4, 9, 10, and 11 at 8 p.m., and a Sunday matinee on May 5 at 2 p.m (doors open at 1 p.m.). For more information call 813-503-7993.



16th Annual Optimist Tri-Star Soccer Skills Competition Sponsored by the Optimist Club and the City of Plant City Recreation and Parks Dept. Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex | 9 to 11 a.m. 2602 E. Cherry St. Children ages 6-14 can display their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. A combined score in each round will determine the winners of each age group (6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-14). Awards will be presented at 11:30 a.m. Free event with no pre-registration required. Contact Deborah Haldane at or 813-659-4200 ext. 4302 for more information. Bike Fest Historic Downtown Plant City | 5 to 9 p.m. For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce 813.754.3707





Mother’s Day

Remedi Medispa Celebration Ribbon Cutting and Reception | 5 to 7 p.m. 511 W. Alexander St. Event includes light hors d’oeurves, door prizes, and complimentary mini-spa treatments. All are invited to attend. For more information contact 813-752-2433 or



Mudzilla Mud Run Conquer the mud and 27 manmade and natural obstacles in this Godzilla of 5K races. Spots are still available for racers of all fitness levels, ages 14 and up. Teams are also encouraged to register at Proceeds benefit The Youth Alliance, an organization that empower young people to initiate positive changes in their lives, to start new works in areas where money is scarce.

recurring events Duplicate Bridge A low-key bridge game for beginners, as well as skilled players, meets on Fridays at 1 p.m. at St. Peters Episcopal Church. You must have a partner. For more information contact Walt Arnold at 813-752-1602 The Republican Club of Plant City meets the 4th Tuesday of every month between 7:30 and 9 a.m. at Buddy Freddy’s Restaurant, 1101 Goldfinch Drive. The next meeting is March 27. 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. A full schedule of Square and Round Dancing is happening everyday at Strawberry Square. Visit www. strawberrysquaredancing or call 813-752-0491 for more information.

foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


FOCUSObitUarieS albert e. Cole

March 25, 1924 - april 1, 2013

Albert “Al” E. Cole, age 89 and one week, of Plant City, left this life for the next April 1, 2013. Born March 25, 1924 in PA, he was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie Koscur Cole in 1995, his brother Melvin & sister Eleanor. He is survived by his beloved companion of 16 years, Betty Merritt; his daughters, Yolonda Cole, Shireen Granger ( John), Cara Stare ( James), 5 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, brothers, George (Sharon) and Larry; as well as numerous nieces & nephews and their families. He was a veteran of WWII, in which he lost his dear brother Melvin in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a 55 year brother of the BPOE at Plant City Lodge 1727. He came to Plant City in 1954 to start his business as a building contractor, A.E. Cole Inc. He treasured his career and most especially the variety of projects that he embraced, from fallout shelters in the 1960s, to private homes & housing subdivisions, to churches, banks & many other well-known businesses around our city. Always outgoing and gregarious, he loved his customers and many friends as much as he loved building. He closed out his career in commercial building. During his career, he was involved in the Plant City Homebuilders Assn., The Tampa Homebuilder’s Assn, & the Tampa Apt. Assn. In addition he built &/or owned his apts. LeBon, Devonshire, Eastborne, and Coronation Ct Apartments, as well as other rental properties under the name, Cole Properties, which will be continued by his family. He loved golf and played for many years at the Plant City Golf and CC before becoming a charter member of the Walden Lake Golf and CC. Funeral Services were held on April 5, 2013 2:00 PM at Wells Memorial Funeral Home, with visitation one hour prior. At 3:00 PM a Celebration of life Service was held at the Plant City Elks Lodge.

Carolyn a. Fry

January 3, 1935 - april 5, 2013

Carolyn A. Fry, age 78, passed away on April 5, 2013 at her home in Winter Haven, FL. She was born on Jan. 3, 1935 to George and Gladys (Hunter) Geraghty in East Rockaway, NY. She married Matthew Walter Fry, who is deceased. Carolyn worked for over 20 years as an insurance agent at CH Nelson Insurance in Pawlet, VT. She is survived by a son, Matt Fry (Lisa) of GA., a daughter, Jeanine Myer, two brothers, Burt Geraghty (Babs) of Plant City, George Geraghty (Lucie) of NC, and seven grandchildren. Funeral Services were held on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 10:30 AM at Wells Memorial Funeral Home in Plant City. Burial followed at Florida National Cemetery.

James M. Hamil

September 19, 1952 - april 9, 2013

James M. Hamil, age 60, passed away on April 9, 2013 at home. He was born in Baytown, TX on Sept.


april 2013

19, 1952 to Howard R. and Janet (Hariman) Hamil. James moved to Plant City, FL. 34 years ago and worked as a mechanic at several of the local chemical plants, CF Industries, Tampa Armature Works, and retired from Mosaic after eight years. James enjoyed NASCAR racing and his family. He is survived by his Dad, Howard (Nancy), his mother, Janet Hamil, two sons, John H. Hamil (Kate), James M. Hamil Jr. ( Jennifer), daughter, Tina Hamil, one brother, Robert Hamil, and four grandchildren, Ashley, Aaron Hodges, Devin, Dylan Hamil. Visiation for Mr. Hamil was held on Friday, April 12, 2013, 6 - 8 PM and Saturday, April 13, 2013 11:00 AM at Wells Memorial Funeral Home. Burial followed at East Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Larry Long

January 11, 1941 - april 9, 2013

Larry Long, 72 of Plant City died April 9, 2013, at his home. Born January 11, 1941 in Saginaw, Michigan, he was the son of the late Noah Long and the late Edna Wenger Long. He was the husband of the late Bonnie Shoemaker Long. He was predeceased by brothers, Lamar, Bob, and Ken Long, and sister, Eleanor Mann. Larry was a veteran of the US Army and will be interred at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. He was a welder, a published author, poet, writer, gem and gold miner, and a treasure hunter. Surviving are sons, Joel (Samantha) Long and Christopher Long; daughter, Ponja (Rich) Hemphill; brothers, Don (Anna Mae) and Chuck (Pat) Long; sisters, Norma Richmond, Joyce Green, Shirley Yancer and Evelyn Perry; 12 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild. A Funeral service was held at 4:00 PM, Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Shiloh Baptist Church. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Quyen Chieu Ly

September 26, 1933 - March 31, 2013

Quyen Chieu Ly, age 79, of Valrico passed away on Sunday, March 31, 2013. He was born in Vietnam. A prayer service was held on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at Wells Memorial and Event Center, 1903 W. Reynolds Street, Plant City, FL.

Fred Mange Jr.

august 16, 1934 - March 26, 2013

Fred Mange, Jr., age 78, of Plant City passed away on March 26, 2013. Survived by his wife of 51 years, Joyce; daughters Becky (Randy) Rouse, Donna (Martin) DesCombes; son, Dana (Twalla) Mange; sisters, Delila Bennett and Thelma (Robert) Burr; nine grandchidren, and 16 great-grandchildren. Funeral Services were held on Friday, March 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM at Wells Memorial and Event Center.

toshiko Nakada Molden March 21, 1932 - March 27, 2013

Toshiko (Nakada) Molden of Plant City, FL passed away on March 27, 2013. Toshi was born in Tokyo, Japan on March 21, 1932. As a young woman, she danced ballet primarily for the Jane Barlow company. Later, she served as a tour conductor and ballet instructor. After she married Daniel Everett Molden, Jr. she moved to Kansas and was naturalized as a citizen of the United States. Always active, she played golf and taught aerobics while living in Topeka, KS. After Daniel retired, the couple relocated to Niceville, FL to enjoy their retirement years playing golf and going to the theatre. In 1997, they again relocated to Walden Lake in Plant City, FL where she was active playing golf and participating in many clubs and activities. She was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel Everett Molden, Jr. She is survived by her son Danny, Daniel’s daughter Frances K. Hudson, his sons Richard, James, Ronald, and Michael, their 13 children and 6 grandchildren, and her sister, Teruko Nagai.

timothy “tim” Patrick

January 20, 1967 - april 10, 2013

Timothy “Tim” Patrick, 46 of Plant City, died April 10, 2013, at South Florida Baptist Hospital. Born January 20, 1967 in Tampa, Florida, he was the son of the late Edward Patrick, Sr. and Billie King Patrick. Tim was a 1986 graduate from Tampa Bay Tech, an electrician with MVP Fencing, played guitar, and loved woodworking. Surviving are sons, Joshua Tellado, Dalton and Aaron Patrick; daughters, Tiffany Anderson, Jessica Patrick, Kayla Patrick; brother, Edward Patrick, Jr.; one grandson, Johnny Patrick. A Funeral service was held at noon, Monday, April 15, 2013 at Sunset Memory Gardens. The family received friends from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Sunday, April 14, 2013, at Haught Funeral Home Chapel, 708 W. Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Blvd., Plant City, Florida. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Jack V. Peterman

april 30, 1938 - March 24, 2013

Jack V. Peterman, 74, of Plant City, entered into rest Sunday, March 24, 2013. He was a retired small business owner and an animal lover. Jack is preceded in death

by his son, Van. Survivors include his loving wife of 55 years, Colleen; sons, Jack (Debbie) and Kurt; daughter, Patty Paul; brother, Ford (Esther); sister, Pat Springer (George); four grandchildren, Jamie, Justin, Joey and Colleen; and four great grandchildren, Gavin, Chance, Devyn and Remi. A celebration of Jack’s life was held on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at Wells Memorial and Event Center, 1903 W. Reynolds St., Plant City, FL 33563.

Kenneth Virgil Simmons Jr. November 11, 1978 - March 24, 2013

Kenneth Virgil Simmons Jr. passed away on Sunday, March 24, 2013. Mr. Simmons was a stock associate for WalMart and worked security for the Tampa Improv Comedy Club. He graduated from Plant City High School in 1998. He was actively involved in sports while in school. He was on the wrestling, track and football teams. After high school Kenneth graduated from McMurray College with a teaching degree in 2002. Kenneth began his career teaching at Tomlin Middle School and Bloomingdale High School. He volunteered his time for his passion of coaching football at Bloomingdale High School and Plant City High School. Kenneth spent his childhood practicing Karate, and as an adult, trained extensively in the art of Jujitsu. Survivors include his mother Carolyn S. Mock; brother, Jerry Dewayne Skidmore; two sisters: Lisa Marie Evans and Angela Diane Skidmore; three Aunts: Sheila Perryman, Tina Cole and Tammie Rodriguez; two Uncles: Thomas Perryman and Warren Cole. A Celebration of his life was held on Monday, April 1, 2013 at Wells Memorial and Event Center.

Lindy L. Sizemore

March 30, 1929 - March 23, 2013

Lindy L. Sizemore, age 83 of Plant City, Florida passed away on Saturday, March 23, 2013. He is survived by his wife Donna. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Wells Memorial and Event Center at 10:00 AM. Interment followed at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.

In Loving Memory























On the Links

Let your Mother know she’s special with flowers on Mothers’ Day, May 12, 2013. Order your arrangement Early!

Spring Bouquet

813-754-1212 116 W. Alsobrook Street Plant City, Fl 33563

d & e » crossword

on the links

Created by Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews


ACROSS 1. Sheep’s cry 4. Excited 8. Post-wedding abbr. 11. Biting reptiles 15. Remain unsettled 16. Old Spice rival 17. Golfer’s whistler? 19. Golfer’s favorite National Park? 22. Tumor zapper 23. Equal status 24. Carousel, for one 25. Go skyward 27. Fruity desserts 28. Astaire & others 30. Duplicate 33. Piece of chicken 35. Tram car loads 36. Golfer’s favorite 1956 movie? 42. Capital city 44. Secret meeting 45. Tried 47. High-fiber food 50. Ghana’s official lang. 52. Connector 54. Plentiful 55. Political system 57. Darted 60. Prefix for noun or life 61. Dr. Scholl’s product 62. Tolerate 63. First-century statesman 65. Colo. or Miss. 67. Rather, for one 68. Golfer’s rejection? 72. Yak 75. Entire 76. Statements of faith 77. Trunk tire 79. Tiny hole 84. Honeymoon forerunner 86. Cath. or Episc. 87. Snoopy, for one 88. Items in Indira’s wardrobe 89. Santa __, CA 90. Mary __ Cosmetics 92. New Mexican resort 93. Red 95. Sam or Tom 100. Sport 102. Trustworthiness in a golfer? 105. First to hit 60+ homers 3 times 108. Snakelike fish 109. Gave up 110. Self-assurance

by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews

112. Boyfriends 117. “__ cock-horse to Banbury...” 119. Twiddling one’s thumbs 121. By way of 122. Value estimator 124. Golfer’s afternoon cookies? 128. Golfer’s utensils? 129. Hole-making tools 130. Low club 131. “...__, whatever will be will be...” 132. Switch positions 133. Need a bath 134. Put in position DOWN 1. Carrier 2. Mrs. Romney 3. Talk to 4. Like Lazy Mary 5. Balkan nation 6. Not safe 7. Classic Pontiac 8. Piddling 9. Ransomed 10. __ mask 11. “__ boy!” 12. Recipe direction 13. Story line 14. Elected officials: abbr. 15. Noted museum 17. Numerical prefix 18. Polish off 1





64. 66. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 5

Avg. at the acad. Poet’s contraction Household employee Followers of 29 Down Mr. Brezhnev Permit Boatman’s item Family docs Not upside-down Wise Men’s guide Wise __ owl Aberdeen accessories Prefix for dermic or thesis Get loud Trevino or Marvin Fourth in a series Actor Garrett “Queen of Country Music” Opposed to, hillbilly-style Mischief-maker Virginia port Hombres Nonspecific one Colorful candy wafer Morning delivery Common contraction Missouri airport luggage tag letters Stray “__ a deal!” Cereal grain Song to Billie Joe 90° from NNE Lady __ First name in folk singing











62 67





116 123


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119 124




109 117

128 131


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Queens & workers Policeman’s duty PC exit key Play area Southernmost of 5 Not firm Latin I verb Smudge Parting word Actor Harry __ Floor 3/7 and 4/7 Kindhearted Shoe sole feature Top Printemps follower Views UFO pilots Fit for consumption Part of USSR Friendship Gore & his dad Univ. degrees Night fliers Dull sword Unoriginal one __ Minor Exhaust Many AMA folks Old floppy Five score Anvil site Female animal Suffix for moist or text


36 42



74. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 85. 87. 89. 91. 94. 96. 97. 98. 99. 101. 103. 104. 106. 107. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 118. 120. 123. 125. 126. 127.









19. 20. 21. 26. 29. 31. 32. 34. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 43. 46. 47. 48. 49. 51. 53. 56. 58. 59. 60. 61. 63.










© Puzzle Features Syndicate foCUS Magazine Plant City april 2013


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april 2013

FOCUS Plant City 12-04  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 12-04, April 2013

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