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Dr. John Carter would like to welcome you to be part of our family. Call and schedule your appt now.

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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CONTENTS July 2013 | Volume 12 Issue 7 | focusplantcity.com

ONTHECOVER Photography by Anthony Sassano

Karen Bozeman

Broker/Owner, KP Realty Services

18-41 Local Dry In One Hour!

Heaven’s Best offers a low moisture cleaning system that won’t harm your children or pets and will leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

Plant City residents are doing great things for our community and it’s always our pleasure to give them a “shout out.” Congratulations to the Chris Welbon Karate Club and all six members who medaled at the AAU Karate National Championships in June and to former Plant City Mayor Randy Larson for being named one of Engineering News-Record Top 25 Newsmakers. We also take a look at talented area artists such as musician Chris Murphy Elliott and the entire Kazenas family for their exceptional work in music and theater.

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Looking to buy or sell a home this summer? This month we focus in on some of Plant City’s top real estate agents. Read up on their backgrounds and discover what makes each agent stand out.

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• Carpet Cleaning

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Summer CRAIG NEWSOME (813) 650-0345 Specials LOCALLY OWNED 10% OFF & OPERATED

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Feature: Focus on Real Estate

JULY 2013 focusplantcity.com

* Senior Discounts

Spotlight: KP Realty Services

Born and raised in Plant City, Karen Bozeman of KP Realty Services is dedicated to making your real estate experience stress-free. Her team’s goal is to ensure you’ll find the home that best suits your family’s needs.

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Spotlight: Meet Our New Mayor

Our own Cheryl Johnston had the pleasure of sitting down with our new community leader, Mary Thomas Mathis, for this special spotlight interview. Find out why Mayor Mathis is so thrilled about her new position to lead Plant City.

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Business: 25 Cent Walk-In Bingo

Maggie and Dan Ward recently opened 25 Cent Walk-In Bingo in February 2013 as a way to better the community, and you can join in their venture for as little as 25 cents. Play one game or stay the entire day in this relaxing atmosphere located in the Strawberry Plaza.

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Dining: Dining Challenge

The staff at Focus Magazine has had the pleasure of visiting every area restaurant, and this month, we ask you to do the same through our “Summer Dining Challenge.” We challenge you to gather up your family and friends and eat out at as many locally-owned restaurants as possible.

See Also: Talk of the Town - 14-16 Finance - 62 Real Estate - 63-71 Athlete of the Month - 76 Team of the Month - 79 Derek Maul Column - 83 Candy’s Corner - 84 Wanda’s Words of Wisdom - 89 Recipe of the Month - 91 Event Calendar - 98 Obituaries - 100 Crossword - 101


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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

Owning a home is one of our great American dreams. In this month of remembering our national independence and our freedoms, we are especially thankful for the one that allows us to choose where we live and how we live.

In other student news of note, six from the Chris Welbon Karate Club competed at the AAU Karate National Championships in Cincinnati recently. Focused and fit, they represented us well. This kind of good news thrills our new Mayor Mary Mathis, too. As an Assistant Principal of Curriculum at Marshall Middle School, she knows first hand how sports and extracurricular activities can enhance community life for our children. We hope you will enjoy the chance to know more as you read this month’s spotlight interview. The former history teacher and new mayor is also thrilled that the new Train Viewing Platform under construction near The Depot downtown is designed for safety and security. Along with preserving our community’s love for heritage, the platform is sure to be enjoyed by many. It also puts Plant City on the map as one of the few in Florida to offer this free attraction. Free train-viewing, free fireworks display, the free Focus Magazine, and the freedoms we enjoy in general…is this a wonderful city or what? Enjoy…and thanks once again, for the opportunity to deliver encouragement. We want never to take this privilege lightly. For it is you, Readers, who help us at Focus to realize our other American dream…to serve nothing but the best, in customers and in content.

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

Publisher Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com

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

Office Manager Jared Guyer jguyer@floydpublications.com

Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Editorial Director Amanda Deck adeck@floydpublications.com

www.focusplantcity.com Copy Editor Linda Floyd editorial@floydpublications.com Standards of accuracy: The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us.

Sales Dede Floyd | Jennifer Chamberlain Ivan Garcia Art Director Anthony Sassano

So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail editorial@floydpublications.com. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner.

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

FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.

Photographers NamPhan Photography Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston | Brian West Joe Bowles | Amanda Deck | Deana Garrison Contributors Gil Gott | Derek Maul | Jo-An Lusk Nate Davis | Candy Owens | Natalie Sweet

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Wheeler

Speaking of hits, of another kind that is, our town has a new sports hero in the making. Tyler Danish, who was recently drafted number 55 by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft, has already had several professional relief appearances on the mound for the White Sox’s rookie level minor league affiliate, the Bristol White Sox in Virginia. Keep your eyes on this young man…and cheer him on, every chance you get.

PLANT CITY’S URGENT CARE & WEIGHT LOSS

Davis

Because of caring companies and organizations, if Facebook posts and talk around town were any indication, this year’s community Fourth of July celebration was definitely a huge hit. We hope your family enjoyed the fireworks and fun, but in case you missed it, read the report in this issue.

AMERICAN BOARD CERTIFIED

Alexander Whitehall

And thanks to the real estate professionals in Plant City, more in our growing community are experiencing the dream of homeownership. These folks work tirelessly to present the great buys in our great town, so we thought it would be fun to share a little more about a variety of local brokers and agents. One thing you’ll discover for certain…real estate professionals also get involved in various community and charitable causes.

Reynolds

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Plant City’s Hometown Plumber You Can Depend On

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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Talk of the Town

Submit your news to: editorial@floydpublications.com

One Outstanding Year

The Rotary Club of Plant City celebrated the past year’s accomplishments during its annual Installation Banquet on June 27. Doug Gibbs was awarded the Rotarian of the Year for his service on the Board of Directors and as the club’s Program Chairperson. In addition, new members Jodi Stevens and Kyle Robinson were awarded as Rising Stars for their contributions. President Aaron Davis also presented outgoing president Billy Keel a plaque commemorating his year of service. Under Billy’s leadership, the club had two very successful fundraisers (Wild Game Cookout and Dancing With the Locals) that enabled the club to raise and donate over $75,000 into the community.

Celebrating 35 Years All 1978 graduates of Plant City High School are invited to the 35-year reunion from Friday, August 9 to Sunday August 11. Friday’s event will be held at Keel and Curley Winery at 5210 Thonotosassa Rd from 6 to 11 p.m. Due to limited space, reservations are recommended and can be made at keelandcurleywinery.com or by calling 813-752-9100. On Saturday, enjoy an social evening with dinner at Embassy Suites Brandon at 10220 Palm River Road, Tampa from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $75. There will also be an optional breakfast gathering on Sunday morning from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Embassy Suites. More information available by e-mailing PlantCity1978@aol.com or on the Plant City Class of 1978 Facebook page.

Future Entrepreneurs

Get Ready for Round 2 After a successful first event held in May, the Mudzilla Mud Run will be coming back to Plant City for another go-round this year on December 7. And with such positive response to the first event, prospective December racers are encouraged to register quickly to ensure their spot. To register, visit mudzillamudrun.com. Proceeds from the race will again benefit the Youth Alliance.

Shiloh Elementary School students who sold 20 items or more during a Spring Fundraiser won a limo ride to McDonalds for lunch. Fifty-one students won the limo ride, and a total of three limos were used to make two trips to the restaurant. Way to go, students! Pictured from L-R are Savannah Richter, Hunter Diehl, Emily Clark, Megan Landis, Chloe Spencer, Sumayah Daoud, and Alexa Newman.

Recognizing One Of Plant City’s Finest

Congratulations to Gail Lyons for receiving several Lion’s Club honors. Lyons was recently named a Melvin Jones Fellow and selected for the President’s Award for her hard work in the community. Thanks, Gail, for making Plant City a better place each and every day.

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Hays and Associates, LLC James W. Hays CPA, CFP®

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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Talk of the Town

Submit your news to: editorial@floydpublications.com

Dine for a Cause Fred’s Market of Plant City have two upcoming Spirit Nights planned to help raise funds for deserving community organizations. On Tuesday, July 15 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. stop by Fred’s Market on MLK Blvd where a portion of the night’s sales will be donated to the local YMCA. Tuesday will also be Kid’s Night where all children eat for just $1.99 with a paying adult. “To Go” orders are also available. On Thursday, August 1 from 4 to 8:30 p.m., Fred’s Market will host a Spirit Night for Madison’s Mission with the same fundraising process in place.

Supporting our Youth Unity in the Community presented the Plant City Family YMCA with a check for $10,000 on Tuesday, July 9. The giving organization raised the funds through several events held over the past year, and the YMCA is just one local cause that Unity in the Community supports. Raised funds will provide families financial assistance to participate in YMCA programs and camps.

Honoring “Coach Dave” Robbins Congratulations to Dave Robbins who has been chosen to receive the 2013 Plant City Family YMCA Strong Leader Award. Robbins, director of Plant City’s youth basketball league for the past 44 years, will be honored at the YMCA’s annual Strong Leader Dinner on August 27 at the Trinkle Center. The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. and cost is $75 per person or $1,000 table sponsor for 8. All proceeds give children and families a chance to benefit from the YMCA’s lifeenhancing programs and services in Plant City. For more information, contact Reagan Thomas or Leigh Scott at 813-757-6677.

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JULY 2013 focusplantcity.com

Learning Is Fun

Kaleidoscope Educational Services, located in Plant City, as been working with students attending summer camp at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. Recently Kaleidoscope exposed students to animals they may not be familiar with such as chicken and rabbits. Students then wrote essays describing their experience.


First Presbyterian Learning Center CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOL PROGRAM AGES INFANTS-4

FALL REGISTRATION (2013-2014)

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Infants through Pre-K Preschool 8:30am - 11:30am Pre-K Class 8:30am - Noon All-Day Care 7:00am - 6:00pm

BUY TICKETS EARLY & SAVE July $40, August $45, September $50

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LES MISERABLES COMES TO TOWN

PLAY RUNS THROUGH AUGUST 3RD Article by Cheryl Johnston

A

ct Now! Be a part of theater and Plant City history. Purchase advance tickets for any or all of nine Plant City Entertainment, Inc. (PCE) performances of the world’s longest-running and best-loved musicals, Les Miserables.

More than 65 million people in 42 countries have seen the epic tale of passion, destruction, and redemption set in 19th century France. The nation gripped by revolution and the songs of the earnest resisters will live in your heart long after the curtains close. In the end—love, redemption and freedom—“Les Mis” touches them all. PCE performance dates at 101 N. Thomas Street in Plant City are at 8 p.m. on July 19-20, 25-27, and August 1-3. A Sunday matinee on July 28 begins at 2 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. Domin Pazo, a seasoned PCE, Inc. director/performer, is thrilled for this opportunity. “It’s exciting,” he said. “For 25 years now, many have been singing these parts in our cars, or in review shows, but we could never do it onstage because the production rights hadn’t been released to community theaters. PCE, which was granted rights in January 2013, will be the first adult community theater group in Central Florida to produce the full three-hour show and only the second in the entire state. Local folks should be very proud of this organization.” With 52 cast members onstage, sell-out crowds are expected and advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. Prices are $10 for PCE members or group advance sale; $12 for seniors, non-members and students through 12th grade; and $14 for general admission, non-members pay $14. For additional info, call Domin Pazo at 813-677-8045 or visit pce-inc.com to support your local theater with membership. Because of the demand on voices, two will share the role of Jean Valjean: Rick Faurote, a 26-year veteran of theater with Pazo; and Brian Beach, who has played the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar. Jason Mann is Javert, the officer pursuing the convicton-the-run, and Maren Fernandez will perform as Fantine, the young mother whose daughter Valjean raises as his own. Pazo says, “In all my years of doing theater, I’ve never worked harder. People have no idea how much time and energy these volunteers with a passion for musical theater will have invested in this production. With sets and prop construction, painting, costume preparation and the many rehearsals, it’s a serious commitment.” “But, I can guarantee this,” he continued. “With the passion and talent we have, we will absolutely entertain people from start to finish.”

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ONE STITCH AT A TIME BRENDA MCISAAC VOLUNTEERS AS SEWING TEACHER AT STEPPIN’ STONE

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renda McIsaac learned to sew in 4-H, made her first garment at age nine, and she’s been stitching ever since.

Article by Cheryl Johnston Stone invited them for a dinner/tour.

In the library, the young tour leader said, “We used to have a sewing teacher here, but we don’t anymore.”

En route home, Brenda’s husband Skip And this September will mark 25 years encouraged, “You know, Brenda, you could she’s been teaching students at Steppin’ teach that class.” Stone Farm to do the same. Upon arrival, another board member Located on an 85-acre tract straddling phoned to say, “Brenda, did you know they the Alafia River, Steppin’ Stone Farm need a sewing teacher at Steppin’ Stone? is a Christian residential home for at- You could do that!” risk or troubled teenage girls. During their minimum one-year commitment, The next day, Brenda called to schedule an they participate in individual and family interview with the school’s director, Cindy counseling, year-round academics, 4-H Churchill. work with plants and animals, homemaking projects, chorus, sports, and interpretive “I have always believed God leads us; sometimes He uses others to help Him,” dance and art. McIsaac shared. “I’ve been teaching sewing McIsaac’s work here began in 1989 after she once a week ever since.” retired as a public schoolteacher of fourth and fifth graders. During her term on the The McIsaacs, married 47 years, moved to United Way’s board of directors, Steppin’ Plant City in 1986 from her birthplace of

Several of Brenda McIsaac’s students show a talent for sewing, something that motivates her to volunteer at Steppin’ Stone Farm each year. Photo submitted

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Steppin’ Stone Farm director Cindy Churchill thanks students for the quilt they stitched together in Brenda McIsaac’s sewing class. Photo submitted

Presque Isle, Maine, where the couple had been friends since first grade. Brenda, also a hairdresser, used her education degree to teach in Maine and in Plant City at Wilson and Jackson Elementary schools after Skip was hired by Agway Corporation to manage their potato repacking business.

a shoulder bag that could serve as purse or book bag, along with a matching zippered cosmetic case.”

This semester included a bonus. “They were so proficient in finishing their projects,” McIsaac explained, “that we made ‘Dresses for Africa’ from pillowcases for a non-profit Unfortunately, sewing is no longer being organization.” taught in the high schools. “If teens want to learn now,” McIsaac shared, “a mother The school’s sewing machines, donated by or grandmother must show her, or pay individuals, are either Singers or Brothers. for sewing classes, if and when they are available.” “In the past,” McIsaac said, “we’ve made skirts, blouses and even dresses one Motivation for Brenda comes when she semester, but it was too difficult for our sees the girls embracing the opportunity to time together. My mother from Maine make something they can be proud of. used to spend three months with me and teach crochet, but she no longer travels. The “I don’t demand perfection,” she said, “but I pillows and bags are just right.” do expect their best. Sometimes that means using the seam ripper over and over. The As to continuing, she offered, “Each year finished product always proves it was worth I’ve thought, ‘Maybe I’m getting too old to their time and effort. They learn to sew on teach 13-to-18 year-olds’. But then every buttons and do a blind hem stitch so they semester, at least one is so excited to learn can mend their own clothes. Then, as part and shows a talent for sewing. of a community project for The Pregnancy Care Center, we make patchwork squares I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep for a baby quilt.” teaching,” she added, “but God called me there, and I think he’ll let me know when “Next,” she added, “the students use written I’m done.” directions to make a designer pillow for their room at home. Their final project is


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LOCAL

BLAST 2 THE PAST!

artists such as Jolanda Nel, Dennis Hoag the fourth event Ski had attended and she and a group that was no stranger to the doesn’t just enjoy being a spectator, but has been involved with arts herself. night’s performance—Riverside.

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER EVENT

According to Worhsam, the production was three months in the making and song selections were oldies but goodies, from “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to “Unchained Melody.” Selections of songs took time and a lot of thought.

THE PLANT CITY ARTS COUNCIL COORDINATES Article by Darcie Jarrett

“I tried to choose something that was popular that all our guests would remember and bring back memories to them,” said Worsham. “Also, at the same time I wanted to choose something that would showcase the talent of the performers.”

“I took Art in school…in college,” said Ski. She has also showcased her love for dancing by learning Ballroom dancing and being engaged in different performances of the dance. “It gave me a whole new look on life. It gave me a whole new perspective on living.” The Arts Council of Plant City has been around for almost 40 years and is one of the city’s largest scholarship funds for the arts with more than $100,000 granted over the years in scholarship money.

One of the guests there to enjoy the evening was Betty Ski of Winter Haven. This was

Tony Garcia from Riverside singing Soul Man at the Blast 2 the Past fundraiser. Photo by Darcie Jarrett

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n Sunday, June 23, vinyl records were dusted off and a poodle skirt or two could be seen at the Walden Lake Golf and Country Club as the Plant City Arts Council hosted its annual Scholarship Fundraiser. The full house consisted of about 100 people and the tables were each decorated with Coca-Cola Classic soda bottles, candies, vinyl records, and other items representing “A Blast 2 the Past.”

“I didn’t want flowers for a 50s, 60s and 70s theme,” said Cheryl Worsham, Event and Concert Chair for the organization. “It’s a little nostalgic touch.” The albums were a part of Worsham’s own personal collection which she has held onto throughout the years. After enjoying a nice dinner consisting of salad, chicken, fish and vegetables, plates were cleared and the production started. The 90-minute program involved two acts and about 20 songs performed by local Nostalgic centerpieces brought back memories. Photo by Darcie Jarrett

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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MAKING PLANT CITY PROUD SIX CHRIS WELBON KARATE CLUB STUDENTS

COMPETE IN NATIONAL TOURNAMENT

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or the past few months, students of all ages at the Chris Welbon Karate Club have been hard at work improving their skills—meeting at least two to three hours a day, three to four days a week. And on June 27-28, this intense commitment to their craft paid off for several students who traveled to Cincinnati, OH to compete in the AAU Karate National Championships. In fact, all six students from the Plant City-based club who competed in nationals medaled in a field of over 1,500 participants.

Article by Amanda Deck

The big winner of the team during the national championships was 17-yearold Nick Gorman, who captured 1st place overall in 17 Heavyweight Kumite. An obvious sparring star, Gorman also gained 2nd in the 16-17 Open Kumite division and 3rd in 16-17 Team Kumite. Jack Ray also scored a gold medal in 14 Heavyweight Kumite and silver in 14 Kata. Unlike kumite, kata competitors are judged on how well they can perform a combination of choreographed techniques.

Chris Welbon celebrates with Jack Gorman who was named national champion in the 17 Heavyweight Kumite division. Photos courtesy of Chris Welbon Karate Club

Ryan Bjelke, Nick Gorman, Jakob Arnold, Chris Welbon, Joey Spitler, Robbie Spitler, and Jack Ray show off their medals at the 2013 AAU Karate National Championships held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photos courtesy of Chris Welbon Karate Club

Speed, power, balance, and attitude are in the top 8 at a regional competition. major factors in a kata participant’s score. Although 24 students from the Chris Welbon Karate Club qualified for the Other medalists from the Chris Welbon national championship, only six were able Karate Club included Joey Spitler, who to attend. Welbon is hoping more of his placed third in 10 Heavyweight Kumite students will be able to travel to Detroit, and Robbie Spitler, who placed second in 8 MI for the AAU Junior Olympic Games Heavyweight Kumite and third in 8 Kata. and experience the same success that was Ryan Bjelke received a bronze medal in 15 found in Cincinnati. Heavyweight Kumite, while Jakob Arnold racked up three bronze medals in 15 Kata, To learn more about the Chris Welbon 15 lightweight Kumite, and 15 Kobodo—a Karate Club, visit www.PlantCityKarate. competition utilizing Japanese weapons com or call 813-752-9800 and request like the bo staff. information on different classes. Also friend them on Facebook at www. In order to qualify for the nationals, Facebook.com/cwkarate. students had to place in the top 16 of their age/experience group at a state meet and

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STRENGTHENING OUR COMMUNITY 2013 Plant City Family YMCA Strong Leader Award Dinner Honoring “Coach Dave” Robbins

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Kaleidoscope & Tutelage Inc. extend a gracious “Thank You” to our community supporters for your participation and donations at our fundraiser which will help “Make a Difference” in the life of a child. We will continue to accept donations because the FREE tutoring through the school district’s SES program is no longer available. Our goal is to continue to provide tutorial assistance to the students in our community.

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LOCAL

JULY 4TH CELEBRATION

nce again, the Plant City Recreation and Parks Department along with the Strawberry Festival, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and a huge amount of Plant City businesses joined together to help make this year’s Fourth of July event a huge success.

community support and the businesses that continue to step up to make the event possible,” said Hanlon. “We send out letters at the beginning of the year asking for sponsorships and this event could not happen without the community businesses partnering with us. This does not stop with the financial support either as we Article by Deana Garrison have many businesses that give in-kind the event. Jack Holland of the Plant City donations with products, entertainment, Recreation and Parks Department gave and volunteers that help make this event high remarks of Tim Hanlon, the events a success.” coordinator. With $20,000 worth of fireworks, enough Hanlon had many people to thank for the to shoot off 2,564 shells, it certainly took community efforts it took to make this a lot of support from the Plant City event a successful one.

Despite the boom of thunder and the threat of lightning, the fireworks display was not hindered. Many children came to jump on the inflatables, play corn hole, and even danced to the music performed by The Double Barrel Band and Highway 41 Band. Others enjoyed the roasted corn on the cob, cotton candy, and fresh lemonade to name a few. Many booths were set up including the snow cone booth with cub scouts from a local pack raising funds at

“The July 4th Celebration is our department’s largest event. It definitely takes lots of planning and hard work to make happen. Since we started it back up in 2012 after a four-year hiatus due to not enough funds, we have worked with the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and Florida Strawberry Festival to help plan the event. The hardest part is getting sponsors to cover the event costs, especially the fireworks. We are very grateful for the Many children had lots of fun while waiting for the fireworks.

IN PLANT CITY

A FUN AND EXCITING EVENT

O

community to make it all happen. Just watching the faces of all who enjoyed the show made it all worth it. The sky lit up and smiles were seen with lots of “oohs and ahhs” mumbling throughout the crowd. Shortly before the fireworks started, the ROTC from Strawberry Crest presented the Colors and six-year-old Tia Hargrove led the crowd in the Pledge. Ashley Lee of Lakeland sang the National Anthem. Great fun was had by all that attended. If you didn’t get to attend this event, put it on your calendar for next year. It is certainly one you don’t want to miss next time.

Photo by Edward Thomas

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CenterStateBank.com FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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MASTER MUSICIAN

CHRIS MURPHY ELLIOTT Article by Cheryl Johnston

I

n his own words, Chris Murphy Elliott Now the multi-instrumentalist invests “grew up obsessed with music.” much time in writing/recording/producing in his home studio in Plant City, Florida. Search his Facebook ”Official Fan Page” to see the photo of baby Chris, looking up as “It’s not about lots of money. I just want to his dad holds headphones securely over his support myself,” said Elliott. ears. The eyes say it all. This master musician is also available for These days, the multi-talented musician/ special projects, film soundtracks (think writer/composer is garnering international John Williams or Danny Elfman), and attention from experts in radio and advertising or session work/stunt guitar. television. Offer an idea and he’ll create the music. Raised on the Fraser River Delta in Surrey, British Columbia, young Elliott took to all styles of music. His dad Murphy played some guitar and mother Wendy played piano.

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His mostly instrumental debut album, entitled “33-1/3”, is rooted in blues/rock, yet reflects his versatility. A trip to the galaxy’s outer reaches via songs Chris wrote “as a soundtrack for my father’s space art” tell a story when listed to in order.” (Search Chris started as an “ear player” and was online: Murphy Art Elliott.) mostly self-taught, eventually taking private music theory lessons with instructor Dave Available on CD or in MP3 and FLAC file Lund. By age 21 he was working with types, the 15-track release has been a long Dave, teaching guitar and bass at Douglas time coming. “That’s partly why it’s named Academy of Music. 33 1/3,” Elliott shared. “Partly just ‘cause I dig records, but mostly because it took me “I knew early the details would be important 33 years, playing and teaching just to get at some point,” he offered, “so I began to here...here meaning the ability to record study and see patterns by watching and professionally in my own studio.” listening to other gifted musicians.”


He says the dazzling guitar pyrotechnics and effects are produced mostly “the old fashioned way, with phasers and flangers and unabashed guitar abuse.”

The B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix blues fan credits influencers: guitarists Danny Gatton, Paul Gilbert, Kirk Hammett, Randy Rhodes, Joe Satriani; organists Booker T and Jimmy McGriff; He sings also on “Call the Doctor” (the JJ and horn players Miles Davis and King Cale cover). “People want me to sing more. Curtis. Most influential of all has been Jeff I do write lyrics,” he shared, “but it has to Waynes’ synth-saturated “Musical Version come naturally.” of War of the Worlds.” Album notes on CD Baby compliment Elliot’s technique: “Along the way Chris has invented his own interesting duet style approach to guitar. He’s has already been compared to David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Freddie King, Billy Gibbons, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Carlos Santana… and we think that’s a pretty good list so far.”

On his self-produced 33-1/3, Chris Murphy Elliott plays “every instrument you hear except the drums and a few orchestra samples, which I programmed via MIDI. Most tracks,” he adds, “are total live improvisations recorded in one take.” “Just one note should want to make you hear more,” believes Elliott, whose musical taste developed “from digging through dad’s classic rock record collection.” He added, “The beauty of music is that it can take you places.”

International music/film promoter Regina “Gin” Swarn described herself in a March 2013 press release as “super excited to be promoting him,” referencing that Elliott “sounds like Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and ZZ Top.” And local fan support definitely drives its artists forward. Let’s do this! Elliott’s talent is obvious, but what also resonate are his passion and humility. To learn more, e-mail him at chrismurphyelliott@live.com.

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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THE TALENTED KAZENAS FAMILY

PARENTS PASS DOWN PASSION FOR ARTS TO CHILDREN

The University of Central Florida sophomore plans to double major in Theatre and Broadcast Journalism.

On scholarship, Julian will pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater senior and were active in county and state at UCF, after considering offers from Thespian competitions. Oklahoma City University’s Wanda L Bass School of Music, Chicago’s Roosevelt Julian participated in the elementary Conservatory and New York City’s school chorus and his middle school’s Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. band. After transferring from Plant City High School to Blake, in fulfillment of a Despite their busy schedules, the Kazenas boyhood promise he’d made to his father, family continues to enjoy travel, theme he represented Hillsborough County parks, movies and live theater. in the opening ceremony at the Florida State Thespians competition at Tampa’s “Everyone loves singing,” Alecsa said. “That Straz Center on the Morsani stage. Most has always been a part of our lives. We are recently, his rich bari-tenor voice wowed very supportive also when it comes to our Blake audiences in his role as Jean Valjean individual pursuit of the arts. I absolutely in Les Miserables. love seeing and hearing my dad, brother and mom sing on any occasion. I thank Instrumentally, Alecsa started with the God and my family; they will always be the flute. “Today we both play guitar and Julian most important aspect of my life, no matter really enjoys piano,” she shared, “but we where it takes me.” have also played saxophone. I thought I might have vocal talent when in third grade Of their children’s immediate future, Susan at Walden Lake Elementary I was selected explained, “We’ll visit as often as they’ll let for a chorus solo. But,” she added, “I didn’t us, but mostly we want them to enjoy their fully realize my passion for theater until I independence. Ultimately, our prayer is for was a PCHS freshman.” their happiness and that they will always use the talents God has given them.” Article by Cheryl Johnston

W

hen music brought Bruno and Susan Kazenas together, they fell in love for life. They probably had no idea then how that passion would one day benefit their children, Alecsa, now 19, and Julian, 18.

performing aside. For the last eight years, Susan has written hundreds of puppet ministry skits for the Plant City Church of God and made certain her children have had every opportunity to pursue their artistic dreams.

With a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory (CCM), Bruno’s career has included conducting Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall and with Moscow’s Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra.

She described their progression into theater: “Voice is our family’s main instrument, but Bruno plays piano and both children play piano and guitar. Their acting interest initiated when Julian was eight and Alecsa nine. The music came a little later. Prior to high school, both trained with John Casablancas and the Patel Conservatory. As their voices matured, they asked Bruno for voice lessons. That was all it took to fully ignite their love for musical theatre. They learned quickly, applying the disciplines for proper vocal control and their beautiful voices were truly amazing.”

He met Susan when she auditioned for the Youngstown Symphony Chorus he conducted. Together they wrote Christmas music, she the lyrics and he the score. One song even became an opening number for a Rosemary Clooney/Debbie Boone celebrity show. They married the following In addition to school productions, the year. siblings ventured into community theatre. When the family moved to Florida in 1996 Both transferred to Blake School of to care for Bruno’s ailing parents, both set the Arts, Julian as a junior and Alecsa a FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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n Saturday, August 3 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., First Thonotosassa Missionary Baptist Church on McIntosh Rd. will be opening their fellowship hall to those in need. Millie Dixson is the organizer of the event and says anyone and everyone is welcome to come: “We try to do it before school starts for people who don’t have much money. We have some really good clothes donated. This is for people who don’t have much money, or anybody in the community. It’s for anybody.” Dixson started the yearly event four years ago with a small group of ladies from the church. Donations come mostly from parishioners and include computers, clothing (from infants to adults), furniture and even appliances. Where other churches usually host an event of the like to raise money for mission trips or youth programs, First Thonotosassa Missionary Baptist is conducting it simply to help others.

Article by Darcie Jarrett

Not only is the church helping people locally, but they recently had an opportunity present itself to help a family affected by the Oklahoma tornado. Dixson received a call from her daughter in Kentucky asking her to send up some clothes for a family involved in the tragedy. Dixson’s daughter explained how this family had lost everything, was living in a tent and needed clothing for their two children. Dixson obliged, but as she hung up the phone, she couldn’t help but feel the urge to do more. Instead of sending a box or two of clothing, she reached out to a church member who was a trucker. It just so happened this member had been delayed for a project to the Louisville, KY area due to a shipment technicality and was heading there after the coming weekend. She was able to load the church member’s truck to the max with clothes, which he would drop off at her daughter’s home for her to complete the delivery. The church didn’t end up just helping one family, but an entire community affected by the catastrophe.

There will be no cost for the items; no explanation of a situation or proof of need “The Lord just put everybody in place,” said will be required. Dixson says they just want Dixson. “It’s fantastic the way the Lord to share the love of the Lord. works!”

“We have been very blessed and we try to If you have items you would like to donate, give back to the community,” said Dixson. or need more information, please call Millie “We try to do what we feel the Lord wants Dixson at 813-716-3605. us to do.”

On Saturday, August 3 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., First Thonotosassa Missionary Baptist Church on McIntosh Rd. will be opening their fellowship hall to those in need, offering a roomful of clothing, household items, computers, and more...for free! Photo courtesy of Millie Dixson

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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LOCAL

SUBSTANTIAL GOAL WITH

EXTENSIVE TRAVEL LARSON LOOKS TO BOOST BUSINESS WITH “500 IN 5” EFFORTS Article by Brian West

Former Plant City Mayor and City Commissioner Randy Larson was named him a Top 25 Newsmaker in Engineering News-Record. Photo courtesy of PSI

Randy Larson driving the RV for PSI’s 500 in 5, an initiative to help grow the business from about $200M a year in revenue to $500M, in just five years. Photo courtesy of PSI

R

andy Larson means many things to Plant City. He’s a resident of the downtown historic district, former City Commissioner and Mayor, and namesake of the Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex and Stadium. More recently, Larson has been hard at work trying to build his business. In January, Larson added another recognition to his ever-growing list when Engineering News-Record named him one of their Top 25 Newsmakers.

as the construction market was, we were incapable of generating market share on our own, we were really used to just answering the phone during the boom times of the construction market, so we needed to set a goal that could only be achieved if people changed the way they were doing things.”

So a goal was developed to grow the business from about $200M a year in revenue to $500M, in just five years—500 In 5. Anyone in business knows that growing Larson was hired as the President of PSI, a business isn’t as simple as developing a an engineering and consulting group, in goal and walking away to watch it happen. September 2011, just a couple of months Larson knew that, and realized this was after the sitting president passed away unexpectedly. Larson had already retired at the time, but was lured back into business, seeing this as a great opportunity. PSI is owned by a private equity group and has done very well. But the private equity group was at the end of its commitment with PSI. Larson said, “There was a real sense of urgency to break out of the doldrums of the depressed construction economy, take market share and really begin to grow.” So this was the challenge facing Larson as the new president. Larson spent his first few months just taking it all in. He visited some offices and spoke with clients. Then, in February 2012, he gathered the executive team together for a retreat to give them a report. Larson said, “We were only as good

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going to require something unique and All this travel found Larson spending special to kick-start the effort. time at high school football games across the country. He noticed that most parents Larson also realizes the effort may require find their kids are happy if their team can a few approaches, but it all starts with the win half their games. But it sets the kids people. He knows that a business is only up to practice not to lose. Practicing not as good as the people it employs, so the to lose is quite different than practicing to 500 In 5 message was important for him win. So Larson found himself using this to deliver to everyone in person. He had as part of his message, getting the people his personal motorhome wrapped with a at PSI to understand how important it is graphic depicting the American flag, the for them to change the way they approach PSI logo and the 500 In 5 goal, and then their work. The individual PSI offices have set about to visit almost all of the 80 plus been inspired to change the way they are PSI offices across the nation. The solo trip currently doing business. Now they must had him spending nights in parking lots, execute and deliver the goal. We want to but he says it was memorable; something wish Randy the best of luck with the effort. he’ll never forget. The trip began in June It will be another great accomplishment for 2012, took 5 and a half months and Larson Larson, and the people of PSI. traveled almost 20,000 miles in the process.

Randy Larson’s 500 in 5 trip began in June 2012, took 5 and a half months, almost 20,000 miles. Photo courtesy of PSI


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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LOCAL

HEAR THOSE TRAINS COMING

SOON, YOU CAN WATCH THEM I

n Plant City, there are a few certainties: hospitality from the locals, strawberries and trains. Trains were the backbone of the city as it came into existence in the 1800s, and were the primary mode of transportation as the United States formed and our country expanded into what we are today. Trains carried every supply item the people of our great nation needed: food, lumber, phosphate, people and everything in between. And everyone knows that Plant City was named after Henry B. Plant, who brought the railroad to the area. As trains dominated the landscape, we fell in love with them. There have even been songs written about trains. Only in America, right? Trains remain a staple gift on Christmas lists for young children, and even some adults. For many, trains continue to be a part of their lives well into adulthood. People collect model trains and others, with

deeper pockets, collect real trains. As all of this evolved, train enthusiasts were born, and they exist in large numbers all over the world. They take trains very seriously. You probably even know someone who could be described as a train enthusiast. One of the latest favorites of train enthusiasts is watching trains. These people are referred to as “trainspotters.” There are a few ways to watch trains, but the most popular are watching them from a computer over online camera systems, or better yet, from a viewing platform. We have a lot of trains that pass through town every day, and Plant City is about to have it’s very own train viewing platform. The platform will be located immediately south of the downtown train depot, on the south side of the railroad tracks. This location for the viewing platform is ideal

boost to the downtown and surrounding businesses.

To enhance the project, Bob Willaford, a retired railroad engineer, is donating a train caboose and some other items to the city. Article by Brian West Willaford’s caboose currently sits in his front yard. The caboose will be displayed because it will allow train watchers to see outside of the old train station at 102 N. trains traveling north bound, south bound, Palmer St. Sparkman said, “The depot east bound and west bound. will be known as the Robert Willaford Historical Train Depot and Museum”. The project has been a passion for local architect, Benny Lubrano, for the past The timeline for the project is tight. The several years, and it’s about to come to groundbreaking was held on June 19, and fruition. Former Mayor, Mike Sparkman, with not quite six months, there’s not a lot of has taken on the project as Chairman for room for delays. Most importantly, the city the committee, with a goal to complete it is not paying for the platform. The project before the end of the year. Sparkman’s goal is expected to cost approximately $200,000 is to have the project complete just in time and will be funded through businesses, civic for the Christmas tree lighting in McCall organizations and individuals. Fundraising Park; traditionally, the first Thursday in efforts are well under way. CSX provided December. Sparkman said, “We are hopeful $25,000, the Plant City Lions Club donated the train depot and the viewing platform $5,000 and individuals have also donated will become an educational area”. funds. Once the project is complete, I’m sure Henry B. Plant would be proud. If you The project is expected to draw train are interested in making a donation toward enthusiasts from all around into our the platform, contact the Greater Plant City downtown, which could mean a significant Chamber of Commerce at 813-754-3707.

Several community leaders gathered with hardhats and shovels for the groundbreaking of the Train Viewing Platform projected to open this Christmas season. Photo by Nikki McAlpine

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FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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DID YOU KNOW

PAUL SIDNEY BUCHMAN PLANT CITY’S LONG-TIME CITY ATTORNEY AND

DEVOTED FAMILY MAN (1923 – 1991) - PART 2 OF 2 Article by Plant City Photo Archives & History Center

Buchman acquired many accolades during his illustrious career. To name a few, in 1961 he received the Distinguished Service Award of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his public service. In 1977, he was awarded the Ralph A. Marsicano Award by the City, County, and Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar. This was given to an individual who over a period of time had made “significant and outstanding contributions” to the development of Local Government in Florida. He was the second recipient of this award, following Ralph A. Marsicano himself. Also in 1977, Governor Rubin Askew appointed Buchman to the Florida Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations. In 1980 and 1984, Governor Bob Graham reappointed Buchman to this position for two additional consecutive four-year terms.

I

n Part 1 of the story of Paul Sidney Buchman, we covered the timeline of his early years. This included his graduation from Plant City High School in 1941; his service with the U.S. Army Infantry from 1943-1945 and his accompanying Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Purple Heart Medal; his graduation from the University of Florida in 1948, his private law practice in Plant City later in 1948; his appointment as City Attorney in 1949; and his tireless work with various Bar committees. Part II of the story picks up where we left off...

community and families with as many as 12 people were living in units barely adequate for four.

In 1957, ground was broken for the construction of 200 public housing units at a cost of $1,679,000, the single largest building project in Plant City up to that time. By November 1958, more than 30 acres were acquired as public housing sites, 20 acres were cleared of slums, and 105 substandard dwelling units were demolished. The 200 new units were built as follows: 60 units in Larrick Court on East Alsobrook Street, 78 in Maryland Buchman not only contributed greatly to Heights in the Lincoln Park area, and 62 in the area of municipal law, but also made Madison Park. time to serve his community. A great part of his legacy is his instrumental work Buchman’s connection with the Housing in establishing the Plant City Housing Authority brought him additional Authority in 1956, for which he served as opportunities to serve. He was president attorney and executive director from 1956- of the Florida Association of Housing and 1984. The goal of the Housing Authority Redevelopment Officials from 1967-1968 was to assist the City in replacing unsightly and a member of the executive council of slums with safe and sanitary housing for the Southeastern Regional Conference of low-income families. The majority of these the National Association of Housing and families were in the African-American Redevelopment Officials from 1968-1970.

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Buchman was a life member of Rodeph Sholom of Tampa’s congregation and served on its board of directors since 1952. He was elected its president in 1972 and served as chairman of its board of directions from 1974-1975. Finally, he was an active member of B’nai B’rith. Buchman died on October 9, 1991, three days after suffering a stroke at the age of 68. He was buried at Myrtle Hill Memorial Park (also known as Myrtle Hill Cemetery) in Tampa, Florida. He was survived by his wife Beryle, sons Miles and Kenneth, brother Manuel, sister Pearl, and grandchildren Katherine Elizabeth and Stephanie Leigh. Grandson Paul would arrive after Buchman’s death.

Posthumous recognition certainly would be a given. The Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar named its Legal Public Service Award the “Paul S. Buchman Public Service Award” in March 1992. (This entity is now known as the City, County, and Local Government Law Section). Also in 1992, the Florida Municipal Attorney’s Association named the Municipal Attorney of the Year Award (its highest honor) the In addition to his professional activities, “Paul S. Buchman Award.” Buchman was active in the Masonic order since 1945 and served as worshipful master The Florida Legislature paid further tribute of the Olin S. Wright Lodge No. 79, Free to Buchman in 1994 when it designated and Accepted Masons, in 1966. He also a portion of State Road 39 the “Paul was a member of the Tampa Consistory of S. Buchman Highway.” This section of Scottish Rite Masons, Plant City Chapter highway runs from I-4 in Plant City to No. 16 of Royal Arch Masons, Tyler Council Highway 301 in Zephyrhills. No. 4 of Royal & Select Masters, and Egypt Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of In 1991, Buchman’s son Kenneth would Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. In 1962, he follow in his footsteps and take over the was a worthy patron of Plant City Chapter helm as Plant City’s city attorney, a position No. 81 of the Order of Eastern Star. He he holds to this day. Buchman’s mother was also a member of Lions International Lillian, a widow for nearly 46 years and and the Benevolent and Protective Order residing all the while at 805A West Baker of Elks. Street, died on March 13, 1993, at the age of 96. She joined her husband at Rodeph Being a World War II veteran, Buchman Sholom Cemetery in Tampa, Florida. was active in several veterans’ organizations. He served in various offices of the American We are grateful to Paul Sidney Buchman for Legion Norman McLeod Post No. 26. his tireless work in the area of municipal law He also was a member of the Disabled and in serving his community. The “badge” American Veterans and the Veterans of he wore is remembered, appreciated, and Foreign Wars. From 1956-1957, he served honored. As to the love of his family, it is as Chef de Gare of Voiture Locale No. 199 certainly an enduring legacy. Kenneth said of the Forty and Eight. The Forty and Eight of Buchman’s grandchildren in particular, is an organization of veterans of the United “I know he would be proud of them today.” States armed forces. Its official name is “La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit In 1982, he was the Plant City Citizen of the Year. He also was recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Municipal Law by the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association, of which he was a charter member. In 1989, Buchman received the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers’ Award for Outstanding National Public Service by a Municipal Attorney.

Paul Sidney Buchman, Plant City’s long-time city attorney (1923-1991). Photo courtesy of the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center

Chevaux,” which is French, and translates as “The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses.” The Forty and Eight was founded by veterans of World War I.


FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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The Strawberry Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday, June 15 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.

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no later than the Friday before the breakfast. This will allow the caterer to properly plan for the event. If you want to attend, and are unable to RSVP by Friday, you can call the Chamber and be placed on a waiting list, but there are no guarantees you’ll be able to attend. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Chamber at 813-7543707.

The Agriculture Breakfast will be held on August 14 at 7:30 a.m. at the Florida Strawberry Festival Ag Center. The breakfast is sponsored by Farm Credit The new Chamber members this month of Central Florida, and serves as an include: opportunity to recognize local recipients • Michaels Arts & Crafts will hold their with Agriculture Awards. It is the most ribbon cutting on Thurs., June 18 at 11 a.m. well attended breakfast each year, so be sure at 229 West Alexander Street to get there early. • Signature Events will hold their ribbon cutting at 7 p.m. at 10309 Highland Manor The Bike Show will be held on Saturday, Drive on Fri., July 19 in Tampa August 3 in Historic Downtown Plant City from 5 to 9 p.m. The show features Keep an eye on the Chamber calendar for hundreds of bikes from all over, with new business ribbon cuttings at plantcity. everyone riding in for a relaxing afternoon org. Then, make time to come join everyone in downtown. For the enthusiast, there are to learn a little about each business, wish bikes of all styles, makes, models, and both them luck and participate in the ribbon new and old. The show is always a little cutting photo. different, but there are often antique bikes where owners have spent countless hours Each month, the Chamber holds a Contact restoring them to their former glory. And, Breakfast. Recently, the Chamber has had like the Car Show, many of the downtown to implement a change for taking RSVPs merchants are open longer hours to for the breakfast. If you plan to attend the accommodate the crowds. breakfast, you must RSVP to the Chamber


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PLANT CITY’S TOP AGENTS! SPOTLIGHT

Karen Bozeman, KP Realty Services

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REALTY SERVICES, INC. Your Hometown Real Estate Specialists Real estate transactions are one of the largest financial investments most people make in a lifetime, usually exceeding well over $100,000. For most, it’s crucial to employ the professional assistance of a licensed realtor.

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Karen Bozeman KP Realty Services


Karen Bozeman and her experienced team of realtors at KP Realty Services, Inc. are the perfect choice if looking to buy or sell a home in Plant City and the surrounding communities. FOCUS Magazine had the pleasure of speaking with Karen to learn a little more about how her real estate business stands out. FOCUS Magazine: Please tell us a little about your background and how you got your start in the real estate business. Karen Bozeman: I was a real estate paralegal for a firm in downtown Tampa for 18 years. The last few years I was working for the law firm, I started flipping houses on the side, doing most of the work myself. I found I was very successful, so I retired from the law firm and went to flipping houses full time. I was buying and selling so many properties, that I decided to get a real estate license, and a year later got my broker’s license. FOCUS: What areas of real estate does your business specialize in? Karen: We specialize in residential, but we also do commercial and property management. I am also a state-certified licensed contractor, which goes handin-hand with the real estate aspect of my business. I build new homes, do renovations, remodels, and room additions. Today, a lot of homes on the market are bank-owned or the properties need some type of repair. People can get what’s called a FHA 203K loan, in which part of the loan goes toward repairs. However, a loan requirement is that they need to have a licensed contractor to do the work, which we are, making us very full-service. We do this at a very good price for the customer because our goal is to get them into the best home possible at the best price. FOCUS: What communities does your business primarily focus on? Karen: Our main office is located in Plant City, but we do service surrounding communities. I have realtors in Lakeland, Brandon, and Tampa. In addition, I’ve done so many short sales because I get so many referrals that I’ve actually been able to branch out into other counties. I just go where the business is, and I’ve been very blessed. FOCUS: Why should someone choose KP Realty Services? Karen: We’re very unique in the fact that we put the customer’s needs first. We’ve never put the business’ needs over our customers’, and I can give you examples of that over and over again. We represent each transaction equally, giving them all the same care and diligence. Personally, I’ve done $20,000 deals; I’ve done $2 million-plus deals. Yet each client is treated with the upmost respect no matter how big or small the transaction. FOCUS: What do you love most about being a part of the Plant City community? Karen: I love everything about Plant City. I’m Plant City’s biggest fan. I was born and raised here. My mother was born and raised here. My dad was raised here. I have three sisters and two brothers, 13 nieces and nephews, and they’re all in Plant City. I’ve got tons of cousins and aunts and uncles, all in this community. I was raised in Turkey Creek First Baptist Church, and I still go there today. I’m a member of the Lion’s Club, the Civitan Club, the food bank committee, Special Olympics, YMCA, and Ambassador with the Chamber of Commerce. I’m a strong supporter of the American Heart Foundation. My nephew, Zachary Bozeman, was born with a heart condition, and he is the

“KP Realty Services is a great place to work. You can come in here and immediately feel like part of a family—associates and customers alike. It’s a together place. You walk in the door and feel welcome by Pattye and everyone else right down the line. You just don’t get that most anywhere else.” - Linda Howe, KP Realty Services Agent

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light of my life, so I’m very passionate about that cause. I love being a part of the community and being active. FOCUS: What’s the current status of the real estate market in Plant City and eastern Hillsborough County? Karen: There are a lot of buyers out there. There tends to be a lot of competition because we find that inventory is low right now. Prices have been holding very strong, and I’ve actually seen a rise in some of the prices. I think everything is strong and steady at the moment. FOCUS: How has your business been able to remain successful over the years? Karen: My business has been very successful even when the market took a turn several years ago, but I specialize in short sales. Many people didn’t really know what a short sale was back then, but I had been doing them for years before they became the predominant market trend. In other words, I just fell right in line with the market conditions. I’ve done tons—hundreds—of short sales, so financially my business has been very blessed. Plus, I could not ask for better clients. Most of my clients become dear friends for years. As young as I am, I’ve started working with third generation buyers and sellers. FOCUS: How has your team of realtors contributed to your business’ success? Karen: My team is family. Everyone on my team is very professional, very intelligent, and very giving. I’ve seen everyone of them go above and beyond doing community service, doing things for their clients. I’ve had team members helping clients move and clean their homes, prepping them for showing. We bend over backwards—everyone here—to make sure our clients’ needs are met. Our goal is to make sure a homebuyer finds the very best home that fits their needs. We look out for each other here. You don’t feel any negativity here. You walk in and you can tell everybody is just happy to be here, enjoys working here, and it’s a pleasure coming to work every day. I have been tremendously blessed to have such a wonderful team of agents and support staff. And I want to mention my Secretary, Becky Alba, and my Broker’s Assistant, Pattye D’Avanza. Without Becky and Pattye, I would be lost. They are both very, very dear to me. They take care of me, my business, and especially my clients. I love and appreciate both of them so much that I don’t feel words are sufficient. Everyone falls in love immediately with both Beck and Pattye. They make you feel truly welcome. FOCUS: When it comes to your business, what are you most proud of? Karen: My business is very family-oriented. You can come into my office on any day, and don’t be surprised if my dad walks through the door. He’s very much a part of me and my business as any of my family, and I like that. It’s a very warm feeling when you come into my office, very homey but very professional at all times. I love coming to my office every day. This building was constructed in 1904 and I feel the awe every time I walk through the original front door. I’m very proud of my office building and I love to share it with everyone. To me, my office building represents Plant City. It’s old, but it’s sturdy. It’s sound. It’s warm and inviting. You can depend on it. We have cows next door…horses next door. We’re right out in the country, even though we’re right in the center of town. We have an awesome location. FOCUS: Karen, thanks so much for giving us a little insight into your successful business. We truly appreciate those who are committed to making our community a great place to live. Karen: I’m very blessed that I was led to follow a career in real estate. It’s the most fulfilling career I could have ever imagined. I feel like I’ve been able to help so many people and that opportunity alone gives me such satisfaction. If you want a rewarding career, I highly recommend real estate.

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“Plant City is still a community where the neighbors know each other and look out for each other and invest in each other. I like the fact that it’s a smaller community that’s growing, and we get to be a part of that growth.” - Susan Conner, KP Realty Services Agent


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Plant City’s Top Agents

(This is a paid advertisement section)

Angie Inzerillo BLUE SUN HOMES 1607 S. Alexander Street., Plant City, FLorida 33563 | Phone: 813 230-4453 | www.SellMyPCHome.com | www.bluesunhomes.com angie@bluesunhomes.com

Finding a Realtor is easy. Finding year. You might know her since she someone that your neighbors trust and typically sells the homes in your recommend—that is a challenge. neighborhood for more than the other realtors...fast. The last four homes sold Meet Angie—professional realtor in less than 60 days. Investors, please who sold $7+ million in homes last

note she manages 75+ properties with minimal vacancy. Check Zillow, for over 20 reviews and a FIVE STAR Rating for exceptional service. Give Angie a Call Now.

Maddie Alford COLDWELL BANKER 2803-4 James L. Redman Parkway, Plant City, Florida 33566 | Cell: 813-382-8382 | Office: 813-754-3586 | maddie.alford@floridamoves.com

Plant City has been my home for 25 years. My real estate career started when a golfing buddy thought I would be great in real estate. In 1996, I joined Dave McCarthy Realty. I was fortunate to be mentored by some of the most knowledgeable real estate

professionals in the industry. For 11 years, I have been with Coldwell Banker Residential. Their name recognition, innovative technology, education and support have helped bring my career to another level. I am dedicated to giving my customers

exceptional customer service. When not “listing and selling” I enjoy family, friends, golf and fishing. Thanks Plant City for my success!

Cathy Casey COLDWELL BANKER 2803-4 James L. Redman Parkway, Plant City, Florida, 33566 | Cell: 813-727-4131 | Office: 813-754-3586 | cathy.casey@floridamoves.com In today’s real estate market, there are many hurdles to overcome between the time an offer is made and the final document is signed at closing. And for first-time homebuyers, this process can be extremely intimidating. Whether you’re a first-time or experienced homebuyer, Cathy Casey with Coldwell Banker is available to help you every step of the way. “I am a realtor who’s very dependable, and I take care of the client’s needs immediately,” said Cathy. “I work hard from beginning to end. I’ve had

many first-time homebuyers who are real nervous about purchasing a home. I walk them through the procedure one step at a time in order to keep them from being overwhelmed.” Cathy’s attention to her customers has allowed her reputation as a respected realtor to grow not only in Plant City—where she was born and raised— but also throughout the surrounding communities of Zephyrhills, Dade City, Lakeland, Brandon, Riverview, and beyond.

Pat Comstock

“I am most proud when I get a call from a new client, and they tell me that a past client has given them my name because I did such a good job,” said Cathy. “I’ve had calls from clients as early as 7 a.m. to as late as 10 p.m. They know they can count on me.” To learn more about how Cathy Casey can help you find the home of your dreams, contact her at the Coldwell Banker office today.

SIGNATURE REALTY

2234 Lithia Center Ln., Valrico, FL 33596 | Phone: 813-763-5524 | patcomstock@msn.com When it came to the real estate business, Pat Comstock of Signature Realty had a sensational June, achieving over $1.2 million in sales. And as the real estate market continues to improve, this highly experienced professional is sure to continue her success throughout the rest of the summer and beyond. Her key to success is simple: listen to the customer. According to Pat—who specializes in residential sales in eastern Hillsborough County as well as the Walden Lake area in Plant City— too many times, buyers feel that they are not being listened to and are being shown things they don’t want to see or are not in their price range. Having been in the real estate business for 23 years, Pat understands that each customer has unique needs and wants when it comes to

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buying a home. In fact, over 90 percent of Pat’s new clients are referred to her by past clients. “Pat is a total professional,” said one of Pat’s satisfied customers in an online testimonial. “She helped me shortsale my old house. Then, a few years later, she helped me find and buy the house of my dreams that was new and in my price range. She is very patient and understanding; she does not waste your time.” Although 70 years old, it’s success stories like these that motivate Pat to continue her journey in the real estate business: “I’d like to retire someday, although knowing myself and how much I enjoy real estate, I don’t know if I’ll ever

retire,” she said. “I like to help people. My immediate goal is to continue as I’ve been doing. To me, nothing is more satisfying than finding a home someone absolutely loves, where everyone is happy and smiling. It’s such a wonderful feeling, knowing you’ve helped people accomplish their goal of homeownership.” The real estate market in eastern Hillsborough County is on fire as inventory is low, prices are on the rise, and interest rates are steadily increasing. Therefore, there’s never been a better time to buy or sell a home. Don’t put it off. Call Pat Comstock of Signature Realty today. She’s ready to listen.


Plant City’s Top Agents

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Susan Conner KP REALTY SERVICES 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida 33563 | Cell: 863-698-4823 | Office: 813-659-0990 Susan has been a realtor since 2004 and has survived the last few extremely challenging years. To stay in the business she so enjoys, she had to adjust to the ever-changing market. Many short sales later has taught her the proficiency in dealing with

distressed homes and homeowners.

Judicial Court makes for a happy, busy life.

A Plant City resident since 1995, wife of 25 years to her high school Susan feels blessed to be able to help sweetheart, mother of two fantastic others achieve their homeownership teenagers, and just recent volunteer goals and help you one day. as a guardian ad litem for the 13th

Renee Corzine KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY 2083-4 James L. Redman Pkwy | Plant City, Florida 33566 | 813-610-1607 | dennis.perkins@floridamoves.com Five closings in May and four closings in June helped Renee Corzine achieve “cap status” at Keller Williams Realty. Renee was able to attain this distinction because she truly immerses herself in the industry. “Remaining a full-time realtor during the challenges of the past few years adds to the value I bring to both buyers and sellers in this improving yet volatile market,” said Renee. With a lot of buyer activity and little available inventory, she knows what it takes to provide the greatest opportunity to her customers to secure the property they

want. Being readily available to her customers and paying attention to details contribute to her level of service that sets her apart. Since entering the real estate business in 2001, Renee has offered a wide variety of services to her customers, ranging from residential resales, new home construction, vacant land, short sales, REO foreclosure sales, commercial property, rentals, and first-time homebuyer services. Although she primarily assists customers in eastern Hillsborough County, she is not averse to helping families find the perfect home in Pasco, Polk and Pinellas Counties as well.

“I take my customers wherever the search leads,” said Renee. Renee has great knowledge of the area and is dedicated to working hard, listening well, and matching up properties that meet the quality of life her clients desire. With inventory low and buyer activity high, if you’re a first-time or experienced homebuyer or seller, you’ll want to choose a realtor who specializes in efficiency. Choose Renee Corzine of Keller Williams Realty.

Malissa Crawford COLDWELL BANKER 2803-4 James L. Redman Pkwy, Plant City, Florida 33566 | Office: 813-754-3586 | malissa.crawford@floridamoves.com Greater Plant City and surrounding area home buyers and sellers alike have come to know Realtor® Malissa Crawford as “the one who gets it done.” She channels her limitless drive, enthusiasm, experience and local knowledge to turning her client’s real estate goals and dreams into reality. Issues tend to appear at the most awkward times, but experience abounds and solutions

forthcoming when Malissa is at the helm of the real estate transaction. In addition to the local Plant City market, Malissa is well-versed in the South Tampa market, Polk and Pasco counties as well, wherever her client’s desires take her, she commits to giving them complete service.

This follow-through has made her a multimillion dollar producer each year since 2008, number one in Plant City’s total residential unit sales for 2012, recognized and awarded Coldwell Banker’s International Diamond Society. The primary result is a happy one. Her clients turn into friends, and they eagerly refer their family and friends to Malissa when they have a real estate need.

Pattye D’Avanza KP REALTY SERVICES 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida | Cell: 813-325-1040 | Office: 813-659-0990 Pattye D’Avanza is a Plant City native as well as her parents and their parents. According to Pattye, this is such a great town to be raised in, a very close knit and friendly community! Her elementary and high school friends still get together on a regular basis. She is very blessed! She joined Karen at KP Realty Services in 2006 as Office Manager and Broker’s Assistant.

“It is a pleasure to work in this office. It is important for me to do something that makes a difference. I feel like we do that every day at KP Realty. Helping people navigate through the short sale process, relocation process or purchasing their 1st home is awesome! And I love the fact that we are a full services business.” Pattye also works with her son Nino in a Real

Estate investing business. They specialize in rehabs and flips. “It is such a pleasure to share this Real Estate venture with him! Prior to this we had a family restaurant for 17 years. So needless to say our hobby is cooking and entertaining! It’s all about sharing good things and caring for people. And that is what we do at KP Realty Services!”

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Plant City’s Top Agents

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Mary Hall KP REALTY SERVICES 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida | Cell: 813-716-4141 | Office: 813-659-0990

Mary has had the joy of buying and selling real estate for over 40 years in the Plant City area. She would love to help you whether you need

to sell your home, purchase a new one or buy an investment property. Mary will work together with you to make your dreams come true.

Shayne Hall KP REALTY SERVICES 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida 33563 | Office: 813-659-0990 Shayne Hall is a proud Plant City native and most proud mother of two Plant City High School/University of South Florida graduates. Second to that, is her undying love for Florida’s beautiful beaches and the Tampa Bay Rays. She has lived in the area her whole life. Her job with the Hillsborough County Schools for the past 24 years has afforded her the

opportunity to meet so many great families and to work within each individual’s needs with care and compassion. Since starting her real estate career in 2006, Shayne has been blessed to meet so many great people. Her favorite part of being a realtor is working for buyers. There is such a feeling of pride and satisfaction when keys to a newly

purchased home are exchanged at the closing table. If you are interested in buying or selling a home, please give Shayne a call to discuss your real estate needs.

Linda Howe KP REALTY SERVICES 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida | Cell: 813-716-8731 | Office: 813-659-0990 Born in North Carolina, Linda Howe grew up in Maryland, and has called several states home. She worked as a secretary and attended John Hopkins University after graduating from high school. Her interests have always been “people” so she became an airline stewardess, giving her the opportunity to travel extensively and

meet a lot of people. She and her husband Dave have lived in and raise their family in Plant City since 1973. The small town atmosphere is changing now, but it still feels like country. There’s a difference in the quality of our lives, so give Linda a call and she’ll give you the opportunity to let you discover the wonderful difference.

Angel Miller

KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY

1607 S. Alexander St., Plant City, Florida 33563 | Cell: 813-546-9863 | Office: 813-759-1200 | angelmiller@kw.com Growing up in Plant City, and then living abroad for a few years, realtor Angel Miller decided to settle down and return to her roots. Of course, that was to her wonderful hometown of Plant City, a small town, yet convenient to big city attractions. By 2004, Angel’s amazing children, Josh and Jenna, were older and more independent, so she decided to pursue a career in real estate since she always enjoyed helping others and had an interest in construction. “I enjoy living and working in Plant City. Since I reside in Walden Lake, I am most knowledgeable and up to date in this market. I like to focus on statistics and use data to

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determine the pulse of the market, which changes daily. When I describe my community, the ‘Cheers’ song always comes to mind: ‘Where everyone knows your name.’ I believe the people in Plant City make this community so great! Who wouldn’t want to live and work here?” Since buying or selling a home is the largest financial transaction most people ever make, Angel makes sure to really listen to her clients. Everyone needs to be really heard, feel important, and greatly understood. “My goal is to create customers for life. It is really bittersweet after a sale; after all, I’ve had a relationship with those clients daily. My personal mission is ‘Service with Results!’ Right

now I am studying conversational Spanish so I can assist the Hispanic community in Plant City.” “Our Sweet Team provides all residential real estate services from new construction, renting, selling or buying a home. We are very experienced in short sales and mostly finding the right home for every buyer. Our team strives to make every transaction as smooth as possible. Plant City is enjoying a nice stable market. I am telling my buyers to hurry up and take advantage of this market and lower interest rates.”


Plant City’s Top Agents

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Michele Newsome Wooten KP REALTY SERVICES, INC. 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida | Cell: 813-624-7559 | Office: 813-659-0990 Michele grew up locally, in “small town” Plant City. Enjoying her childhood and school years in this community, Michele had ties to housing industry from a young age. Michele’s father, James ‘Donnie’ Newsome was a custom builder in the Plant City area for many years. After graduating from high school, Michele attended the University of South Florida, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business, with a major in Marketing.

In 2007, Michele pursed and gained her Florida Real Estate Sales Associate license and has held her license with KP Realty from the start.

photographing weddings, families, newborns, maternity, seniors as well as commercial work for many years.

As years have passed and Plant City has grown, Michele still calls this area “home.” She lives in Dover with her husband Stephen and daughter Bristol. Michele loves traveling as well as photography. Michele is the owner of ‘photography by michele’ and has been

With a busy and full life as a full time stayat-home mom, Michele plans to continue to pursue her career in real estate and photography while allowing herself to enjoy her daughter’s childhood at the same time!

Shelton Keely KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY 1607 S. Alexander St., Suite 102, Plant City, Florida 33563 | Cell: 813-503-0999 | www.PlantCityProperties.com | shelton@PlantCityProperties.com If you’re searching for an experienced real estate professional to help you buy or sell a home, look no further than Shelton Keely from Keller Williams Realty, assisting clients from Plant City and surrounding areas for over 16 years. Specializing in single family homes, foreclosures, short sales, REOs, and rentals, Shelton is a consistent leader in listing and sales in Eastern Hillsborough County. And his hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Other clients have been continually impressed with Shelton’s accessibility and knowledge of the community.

“We were so very pleased with the warm, courteous, effective service we received from Shelton,” said a satisfied customer in an online review. “Selling my mother’s condo could have been an arduous time-consuming process. Instead, we moved the property at a realistic price without stress. Once we turned the keys over to him, all we had to do was show up to sign the flawlessly-prepared paperwork, and we were out with a check in our hands.”

Dennis Perkins

Looking to buy or sell? Be sure to turn to Shelton Keely with Keller Williams Realty. He’ll be sure to leave you highly satisfied.

COLDWELL BANKER

2083-4 James L. Redman Pkwy, Plant City, Florida 33566 | 813-610-1607 | dennis.perkins@floridamoves.com Dennis Perkins entered the real estate business at what seemed to be the peak time—during the housing boom in 2005—but little did he know the market would decrease significantly in the years to follow. Yet because of his hard work and dedication to providing exceptional customer service, Perkins persevered and

continues to make buying and selling homes a stress-free process today. “I’ve been able to make it through the tough times, the highs and lows,” said Perkins. “I’ve been able to find new clients through referrals from old clients because I make the experience easy for them.”

Jimmie Robinson

Buying and selling a home is one of the largest purchases you can make in a lifetime. Choose a realtor who will be committed to you 24/7, someone who is passionate about the industry and making homeownership a dream come true for his clients. Call Dennis Perkins at Coldwell Banker today.

COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

2803-4 James L. Redman Pkwy, Plant City, Florida 33566 | Office Phone: 813-754-3586 | Mobile Phone: 813-390-6441 | jimmie.robinson@floridamoves.com Born and raised in Plant City, Jimmie Robinson of Coldwell Banker has been in the real estate business since 1973, and according to him, selling real estate is in his blood. “When I see people I haven’t seen for awhile, they ask me if I’m retired, and I guess I’ll never retire because I enjoy what I do,” said Robinson. “I work at least 40 hours a week or more simply because I enjoy contributing to society. My grandfather sold real estate until he was 83, and I’ll work until the phone stops ringing for my services.”

Robinson has experienced much success as a real estate agent because of his hard work and competitive spirit. Since entering the business full-time, Robinson has been driven by the theory “If you chase the business the first three years, it will chase you from then on if you do a good job.” In other words, he continually goes above and beyond his customers’ expectations. “I think if you keep that in place and keep your priorities straight—God first, family second, church third—everything else will fall in line,” said Robinson,

an active deacon at the First Baptist Church of Plant City. And in between serving satisfied clients, Robinson can be found spending time with his family. “My family is everything to me and I’m very proud of my wife of 47 years, son, two daughters, and all our grandchildren,” said Robinson. “We have a total of eight grandchildren who are all involved in sports, academics, school functions, and the community. And that’s what keeps me going.”

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Plant City’s Top Agents

(This is a paid advertisement section)

Eddie Santos KP REALTY SERVICES 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida | Cell: 813-727-2424 | Office: 813-659-0990 Eddie Santos was born in Leon assurance and quality control. Since Guanjuato, Mexico and enjoys playing 2004, as a full time real estate agent, and coaching soccer. his approach to real estate is focused around building customer relationship Customer service is his passion and he and meeting and exceeding their real served as a former AT&T Engineer estate wants and needs. He speaks with 23 years experience in quality fluent Spanish and English, which

broadens his scope of client service. It would be his honor to speak with you regarding your wants, needs, desires, and expectations when it comes to buying or selling real estate.

Angela and Mike Sessa KP REALTY SERVICES REFERRAL PARTNERS 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida 33563 | Office: 813-659-0990 Angela and Mike Sessa met in Munich, Germany when she was 11 and he was 12 years old. They were buddies and soon became boyfriend and girlfriend. Mike came to Florida in 1978 to live with his dad and attend college. Angela came to visit the following year and

stayed. They’ve been married since 1988 and have lived in Plant City ever since. Angela is in marketing for Comprehensive Physician Services-Injury Care. Mike began his sales career with Jarrett Scott Ford in 2010 following a 25-year career with UPS. The Sessas have three

children: Nick, 24, who is graduating with his Masters in Finance from FIU in December; Philip, 21, who is serving in the U.S. Navy, training in Advanced Electronics and Weapons Systems; and sweet Caroline, 16, a PCHS student.

Natalie Sweet KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY 1607 S. Alexander St., Plant City, Florida 33563 | Cell: 813-758-9586 | Office: 813-759-1200 | nsweet@kw.com I’ve been married to my husband Mike for 37 years and have three wonderful children. We are now blessed with six awesome and rambunctious grandchildren. I grew up in the town of “The Perfect Storm”, Gloucester, Massachusetts, and was raised by a family of hard working fishermen with a strong sense of family. Mike and I moved to Plant City 24 years ago, and I now classify myself as a native. Besides a strong sense of family, I also have a strong sense of community. We just love the small town feel of Plant City. Giving back to my community is very important. I’m a board member at the YMCA, write the Walden Lake Review for Focus Magazine, a member of the Plant City

Chamber of Commerce, graduated from the Plant City Chamber Leadership Class, and acted in two of the Friends of the Library Murder Mystery Theaters. I previously sold real estate in Massachusetts and worked for Sunshine Designer homes in Walden Lake, so becoming a real estate professional in Plant City was a natural and allows my extroverted personality a chance to thrive. Working for Keller Williams Realty has allowed me to expand my business and to grow professionally. Staying on top of the market, using market statistics, and my strong work ethic has allowed my real estate business to skyrocket. My relationship with past customers, many of those who

are now friends, has created a steady stream of referrals. The Sweet Team specializes in residential properties, especially in Walden Lake. We are very hands on with our clients, from physically moving furniture to stage a home, to being completely available for any question. I work with my partner, Angel Miller, so one of us is always available. It’s like getting two for the price of one. Right now, it’s the perfect time to buy a home or upgrade to a new home in Plant City, while the prices are still affordable and interest rates are still low. With limited inventory, sellers are finding their homes are selling for more than they did a few years ago. Our mission is to provide “Service with Results!”

Lisa Tucker KP REALTY SERVICES 2005 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City, Florida | Cell: 863-206-2938 | Office: 813-659-0990 Lisa Tucker, realtor and property manager with KP Realty Services, is Nationally certified in Short Sales and Foreclosed properties, and accomplished in contractually representing clients in all manners of purchasing, selling and leasing

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residential real estate properties. of Commerce, Lions Club member, Lisa resides in Lakeland with her and Special Olympics of Florida. husband Terry and their three teenage sons. She enjoys volunteering for the community, an active volunteer since 1980 for the Florida Strawberry Festival, Ambassador for the Chamber


NOMINATIONS FOR THE

2013 MIKE STORTER AWARD NOW OPEN

Know of someone who gives tirelessly to the youth of our community? Maybe a special teacher, coach, mentor or civic member? We would love to hear about him/ her and pay special recognition for his/her efforts. The Youth Alliance will honor its second recipient of The Mike Storter Award at this year’s Jeans & Jacket Gala. Nominees will be announced in October. Then a tribute will be made to the winning nominee at this year’s event along with recognition of all nominees. Qualifications of Nominee: • Exhibits a life of high integrity and character • Gives back to the youth of the community • Must be at least 18 years of age; open to male or female • May be volunteer or paid position of organization that goes above and beyond

To nominate, tell us in 500 words or less about this person and include the following: • Nominee’s name, contact number, email and picture if possible • History and background of nominee • Years and description of involvement • What sets this nominee apart? Personal/specific example is welcomed. • Your name, contact number, email and relationship to nominee

Nominations must be received no later than SEPTEMBER 15, 2013. Please submit your nomination via email, fax or regular mail: Email: peggy@theyouthalliance.com Fax: 813.752.2299 Mail: The Youth Alliance, PO Box 5017, Plant City, FL 33563

Presented by Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:30 p.m. Meet-N-Greet Strawberry Festival Expo Hall 2301 W. Oak Avenue, Plant City, FL

The Youth Alliance (TYA) is a non-profit organization that seeks to break the chains of poverty, addiction and under-achievement in the lives of youth across the country. Our desire is to help youth overcome adversity and challenges by promoting a message of hope. One of the ways that is accomplished is by speaking to students in their local elementary, middle and high schools. Proceeds from this event benefit TYA.

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COLDWELL

BANKER RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE W

hen it comes to employing the assistance of a real estate agency, it’s wise to choose the company that possesses the most experience, especially considering the real estate downturn our country experienced over recent years. Although the market is finally improving, during that difficult time period, several agencies closed their doors and many realtors left the business to pursue more stable careers.

James L. Redman Parkway in the heart of Plant City’s retail district, has remained strong with its agents boasting a combined 200 years experience in real estate. Apart from experienced agents—some with over 30 years in the business, including Plant City real estate legend Dave McCarthy— Coldwell Banker is empowering tech savvy agents with tools and systems to stay ahead of the game.

However, even amid tough economic “A few of our agents have five to 10 years conditions, the Coldwell Banker of experience and are very focused on using Residential Real Estate office, located off cutting edge marketing techniques, adept in

social media, and involved in serving online “We strive to be in constant communication consumers,” said Managing Broker Jo-An with our customers,” said Lusk. “We work to protect our customers, their money, and Lusk. their real estate opportunities. We are a full Operating as part of a global business, with service agency and our number one goal is over 31,000 locations in 51 countries, the that our customers are taken care of.” agents at Plant City’s Coldwell Banker branch constantly receive training to ensure Coldwell Banker truly goes above and they are leaders in the industry and able beyond for their clients whether they need to keep up with ever-changing customer help moving, or even in need of child or demands. Therefore, newly licensed agents pet care for a couple of hours during the are able to “hit the ground running,” transition. according to Lusk, which allows them to achieve success in the business rather “We’ll do whatever it takes,” said Lusk. quickly. In addition, several agents at the Plant City office hold special designations Another way Coldwell Banker protects such as assisting senior citizens, working their customers is by being sensitive to first with distressed properties, and handling time buyers, especially during a time when corporate and military relocations. In other investors are beginning to take advantage words, Coldwell Banker is able to cater to a of them in the current market conditions. These investors realize that inventory is wide variety of consumer needs. slowly dwindling and the market is now Apart from a highly experienced and geared toward sellers. As a result, seasoned highly trained staff, Coldwell Banker is investors are able to purchase real estate truly dedicated to their customers whether at an affordable price, and then sell it to requiring services for new construction, inexperienced buyers for considerable existing home sales, bank-owned home profit. sales, commercial real estate, vacant land, In order to curb investors, Lusk and her property management, title, or mortgage. team at Coldwell Banker fully explain the current market conditions to all buyers, helping them realize the importance of making the decision to close quickly on a desirable property. So far this year, Coldwell Banker agents have done business on 137 properties, calculating to $19 ½ million in volume. And these numbers couldn’t be reached if the branch didn’t possess a great team spirit. “We work together, provide a lot of support to each other, provide feedback, and mentor each other,” said Lusk regarding her coworkers. “We work in a learning environment. There is a good degree of energy in the office and we all feed off each other’s success…We are looking forward to many more years of growth.” Experience the truly exceptional real estate services provided by Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. Call an agent today.

INFORMATION Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate 2803-4 James L. Redman Parkway Plant City, Florida 33563 Phone: 813-754-3586

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KELLER WILLIAMS

REALTY

A

ccording to several area agents, the real estate market is booming in eastern Hillsborough County. If you’re considering buying or selling a home in Plant City or surrounding communities and want to get a step up on the intense competition, employ the superior resources of Keller Williams Realty. The Plant City Keller Williams Realty office is part of a regional network which includes over 500 agents with eight locations in the Tampa Bay area, and, in addition, is part of the nation’s largest real estate franchise employing over 84,000 associates in 700plus offices around the world who can potentially refer buyers to the Plant Citybased office and drive traffic to its listings. “Our agency was listed in Real Trends National Magazine as one of the just 17 real estate groups that actually grew in the real estate market downturn,” said Keller Williams Plant City and Brandon Team Leader Lisa Spencer. “In addition, our Plant City office dominates the Plant City market, with more listings and sales

than any other real estate company in the community.” What makes Plant City’s Keller Williams Realty office stand out is its connection to the national franchise—which enables agents to utilize all the advanced technology and resources necessary to provide maximum exposure for their listings— combined with a unique hometown feel. In fact, most agents from Keller Williams Plant City are resident realtors that choose to make Plant City their home. “Our Keller Williams Plant City team lives, works, and believes in Plant City,” said Spencer. “Just like the community of Plant City itself, our agency functions as a family. We really believe that together everyone achieves more. In other words, rather than worrying about our own individual piece of the pie, we work together to bake one bigger pie.”

to training and coaching realtors at every level—truly setting them apart from competing businesses. Agents enroll in Keller Williams University, an industryleading educational program addressing every aspect of success in real estate. Multimedia training is also offered, allowing associates to be at the forefront of the ever-changing business. Therefore, The Keller Williams franchise also sets its it’s apparent Keller Williams lives out its agents for up success immediately upon company mission: “to build careers worth entering the company, as it’s committed having, businesses worth owning, and

lives worth living.” With highly trained agents available in any community, Keller Williams Realty customers can be assured they are receiving the best service possible. The Plant City Keller Williams office— primarily specializing in residential real estate—recently launched a commercial division, making it a truly full service company. “Our goal is to be an agency where agents are excited about being in real estate,” said Spencer, “and customers can come to receive stellar service…Our agency always looks for a win-win in every transaction. No commission is worth our integrity and customer satisfaction comes first.” With little available inventory, homes entering the marketplace are selling quickly. In order to secure the home you desire, you’ll need a highly trained agent by your side to help you efficiently navigate the complex market. Keller Williams Realty agents possess all the tools necessary to help you move into your dream home. Call today or visit kw.com for more information.

INFORMATION Keller Williams Realty 1607 S. Alexander St. Plant City, Florida 33563 Office: 813-759-1200

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Meet Our New Mayor

MARY THOMAS MATHIS By Cheryl Johnston

After twelve years as a Plant City Commissioner, Mary Yvette Thomas Mathis is thrilled with her new opportunity to serve as Mayor. Prior to this term, the lifelong resident was appointed four times as Vice Mayor during her twelve years of City Commission service. On June 10, 2013, she became the second female to hold the office of mayor. Sadye Gibbs Martin, who ultimately served five terms, was the first. Faith, family and service to others are core values in the educator’s life. A former Business and Professional Women’s “Young Career Woman of the Year,” Mathis works as Assistant Principal for Curriculum at Marshall Middle School. The 28-year employee of Hillsborough County Public Schools encouraged recently, “I want local citizens to know that I will represent them well. I want to thank them for the support shown to me over the years.” We’re pleased this month to offer Focus readers a peek into our new mayor’s life and her hopes for this first year in office. Focus: Congratulations, Mayor Mathis! Will you describe your family and early history here? Mathis: My parents loved serving others. My mother, Emma Bennett Thomas, became a kindergarten teacher after graduating from USF in 1975, the same year I graduated as a member of the first class at the current PCHS. My father, Willie Thomas, Jr., was a caterer who loved making people happy through Southern cooking, BBQ, and hospitality. I was born in the Morrell Wing at Lakeland Regional Hospital, where mother’s doctor, James Johnson, was affiliated during the time of segregation. I grew up with my family in our home on Haines Street, which is now Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. My oldest brother practices law in Atlanta and the youngest is an environmental engineer with Georgia Pacific. Our sister, also an educator, is an ESE specialist in Jacksonville.

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In high school I was involved with the Lionettes, played basketball and was a dancerette for the band. I remember the year we performed in San Antonio’s Festival of Flowers in Texas. We took a boat ride on the river and attended an Astros baseball game. I also JULY 2013 focusplantcity.com


remember witnessing a riot and the boycott in our high school. My only child, Anthony, is a quality control analyst for Cargill in Atlanta. Nine years ago, I married Tony Mathis. He graduated from PCHS in 1973, so we were classmates, but I wasn’t allowed to date. He worked 30 years for the federal government in Washington, D.C. before moving back to Plant City after his wife died. I’m so thankful that friends introduced us. Our connection was instant. He is a generous, compassionate, and supportive husband and I am blessed to be his wife. Focus: How about your education? Mathis: I graduated from Clark College in Atlanta with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Education. My first teaching position was at Turkey Creek Junior High School and then I requested an energy transfer to Tomlin. The Human Relations Department of the Hillsborough County School District was that developed to accommodate racial segregation adjustments; I worked as a human relations specialist at Tomlin, Buchanan and Marshall Middle Schools.

Focus: What do you enjoy most about your work with the City? Mathis: I most enjoy seeing the positive changes and the progress in the community where I’ve grown up. The other day I was looking through a photo album and saw a picture of Laura Street at MLK, Jr. Boulevard before the Samuel Cooper pond. Today heavy rains no longer mean an overflow. Other progress includes the fields at the MLK, Jr. Center and the Snowden Park walking trail. I’m also very pleased about the economic situation in Plant City and that our town is holding its own financially. Focus: What do you see in the future for Plant City? Mathis: The lifestyle we enjoy in Plant City has been one of the state’s best-kept secrets, but now the secret is getting out. We just had the groundbreaking ceremony for our new train-viewing platform. I’m envisioning Midtown and the straightening of Wheeler Street. I see shops opening

Focus: What drew you into city commission work 12 years ago? Mathis: I went to Mayor Sadye Martin about something involving our schools and she encouraged me. She took me to several events and a Strawberry Festival Board of Directors meeting in Lakeland at Lone Palm. After I worked, along with Mike Storter, in Marshall Middle School’s summer Greenhouse Project to teach students teamwork and human relations, I presented the results at a City Commission meeting. That experience and the Commissioners’ responses added to my interest in serving the City.

Before my father died in 2008 of lung cancer, he attended the monthly commission meetings and would offer critique on my participation. He would have been there to see me elected as mayor, but I know that his spirit was present.

Focus: Would you like to express appreciation for anyone in particular with regards to your service to the City and your new role as mayor? Mathis: First, I would like to thank the commission for having enough faith in me to elect me after Rick Lott’s nomination. I’d like to acknowledge each member for their professionalism and enthusiasm in their current position. Additionally, Kerri Miller does an excellent job of preparing our monthly agenda. City Attorney Ken Buchman is an expert at preparing our resolutions and he provides invaluable knowledge and advice. City Manager Greg Horwedel also deserves recognition for his vision, his support of the City Commission, and for his work with the various departments, especially the finance department. Focus: As an Assistant Principal, what do you enjoy most about your work with the school system and specifically Marshall MS? Mathis: I enjoy seeing students succeed and accomplish their goals. I’m thrilled when we see achievement and make gains in our scores for reading, math, writing and science. I love looking in magazines or newspapers to discover students doing great things. When I was a classroom teacher, I tried to make history come alive. I will never be tired of seeing that spark in a student’s eyes when they grasp a concept or learn a new skill.

Focus: Were your parents as politically or civically active as you have been? Mathis: My parents cared about the community and helped as they could, but they were probably more concerned about raising their children. Our education was a priority to them and they sacrificed to make sure we received one.

Focus: Were you surprised by the appointment to Mayor? Mathis: I had faith that one day it would happen and believe that everything happens in its own place and time. Each year the mayor asks for nominations from the commissioners. Since I am one of the longest-serving commissioners, I felt my time was near. My husband always attends the meeting when the mayor is elected to support me one way or the other. I appreciate his support and believe he is as pleased as I am for this opportunity.

nary accomplishments. On occasion students visit because some teachers give extra credit for Commission meeting attendance. Sometimes Boy Scouts attend because they’re working on a specific badge. I would encourage citizens to become more involved in their city government. Everyone is always welcome to come and learn more about issues that concerns our city.

Focus: So, with all your responsibilities, how do you and Tony find time for fun and relaxation? Mathis: We both love to travel, and we especially love cruising. Our first cruise was our honeymoon to St. Thomas and St. Marteen with members of our wedding party. We recently returned from celebrating our anniversary on a marriage retreat cruise to San Juan and the Virgin Islands. It’s very relaxing for us.

and perhaps another grocery store…I would love to see Felton’s in the Midtown area. I see greenery and imagine families enjoying a concert series. I’m especially thankful for Rick Lott’s vision for this area of our City. Focus: Do you have specific goals for your term? Mathis: During this one-year term, I plan to concentrate on code enforcement in order to grow and beautify our great town. We will continue to identify situations that need attention and rectify those, so we have no danger with problem houses or unoccupied commercial structures. Also this year I want to focus on our youth, this is the “Year of our Youth.” Once a month we will celebrate an outstanding youth in our community that it has extraordi-

I also enjoy reading, especially The Bible. The 118 book of Psalms and the 24 verse is one I read daily, “This is the day that the LORD has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I love listening to Christian music, especially gospel music. We also love providing for my mother who is 86 years-old young. Focus: Thank you, Mayor Mathis, for a glimpse of your life and we wish you much success. With the commitment and dedication you’ve already shown to the community, we are expecting your first term will be a great one. Mathis: Thank you, Focus. I also want readers to know that I pray regularly for my family, my students, and for our City. I feel privileged, pleased, and proud to serve.

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APARTMENTS FOR SENIORS One bedroom Apartments • Rent based on income

Plant City Towers 103 W. Mahoney St. Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.5116

Plant City Living Center 405 E. Damon St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.2669

Applications available at each location

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

25 CENT WALK-IN BINGO PLANT CITY BUSINESS PROFILE

O

ne year ago, Maggie Ward decided to step down after 10 years as a Southern Hospitality store manager. She was looking forward to the next chapter of her life—retirement. She and her husband of one year, Dan, planned travel the world, and one of their first vacations together was a threeweek getaway to Europe. Yet during this particular trip something stirred inside Maggie…a deep desire to help others as she had been helped by the Connell family, owners of Southern Hospitality.

Article by Amanda Deck to the Strawberry Plaza, which has seen its share of challenges during the tough economic conditions. “Hopefully it’s helping our little community grow, our town of Plant City which I love and now my Boston man [Dan] loves, too,” said Maggie.

which buys them two bingo boards, or four facility and offers free donuts and coffee every morning. Vending machines are also cards, to be used for one game. on site providing snacks and drinks. Free “You can walk in and play one game or walk games take place each business day from 11 in and play all day, which a lot of people to 11:30 a.m., and happy hour occurs each do,” said Maggie. “For many, this is kind of day from 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. where customers receive a free purple board. All a home away from home.” in all, this Plant City bingo hall is truly In other words, not only does 25 Cent first class and provides a nice, hometown Walk-In Bingo assist charities and those atmosphere where people can relax, enjoy looking for jobs, but it also give people a themselves, and hopefully win money! place to go to relax and socialize on a daily “So, come on down and try us out!” said basis. Dan. “I think we are giving some of the people in the community something to do that they enjoy,” said Maggie. “They can come here, mix and mingle, and enjoy their life. In fact, one woman told me ‘I don’t know what I would have done if you didn’t open this right here in my backyard. I’ve been 25 Cent Walk-In Bingo so down and out, didn’t really want to do 1846/1848 James L. Redman Pkwy Plant City, Florida 33563 anything and I can come here and feel like I Phone: 813-752-2525 have people in my life.’”

Unlike a structured bingo hall, where patrons are required to buy a package of bingo cards and stay for three to four hours in order to get their money’s worth, customers at 25 Cent Walk-In Bingo 25 Cent Walk-In Bingo provides both “I was lying there one night, thinking about literally can play for as little as a quarter, smoking and nonsmoking rooms in its large how I can help people that I care about,” said Maggie. “And it was all of a sudden the Lord said, ‘What about your mom’s passion—bingo?’”

INFORMATION Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays

In fact, Maggie’s original retirement plan was to spend time with her mother doing the one thing they enjoyed together, playing bingo. “I just always dreamed of her and I going to play together during our olden, golden years,” explained Maggie, “but I lost her at 65 to cancer.” Inspired by the Lord and wanting to carry on her mother’s legacy and love for bingo, Maggie, with Dan’s help, opened 25 Cent Walk-In Bingo in February 2013 in the Strawberry Plaza off James L. Redman Parkway. Not only does her nonprofit business allow her to employ people who are down on their luck and in need of a job, but she also has several charities in mind in which a portion of her proceeds will be donated soon. Charities include national organizations like the American Cancer Society and local ones such as the United Food Bank of Plant City, the Florida English Bulldog Rescue, Pet Comfort Care, the Pregnancy Care Center, and Everyday Blessings in Thonotosassa. Apart from giving to charities and providing employment opportunities, Maggie and Dan also hope to drive traffic 25 Cent Walk-In Bingo recently celebrated their business opening with a ribbon cutting through the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Nikki McAlpine

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

IS RETIREMENT RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER?

A WOMAN’S CHECKLIST

W Need reassuraNce? I offer It.

Has your confidence in Wall Street been shaken? Volatile markets can test your conviction and purpose. But it’s important to have a thoughtful plan—and stick with it. Let me help you create a sensible, comprehensive investment plan and guide you to remain on track to reach your goals. Call today for more information or to schedule a consultation. Investing in securities involves risk, including possible loss of principal. No strategy can assure success or guarantee against loss in declining markets.

Cameron Financial Management MICHAEL CAMERON 110 W. REYNOLDS ST, STE 109 PLANT CITY, FL 33565 (813)759-8485 (813)759-8183 michaels.cameron@lpl.com Independence Powered By LPL Financial. Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC

MKT-06086-0410 Tracking #651247

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Women often have fewer years in the workforce than their male counterparts— often because they’ve taken time for parenting or caregiving responsibilities—so their benefits may be lower. And the age at which you start taking benefits can have a significant impact on your long-term retirement income. Here again, a financial advisor has the tools and resources to help Certainly, everyone must think about the evaluate how and when to take Social best way to transition to the retirement they Security in a way that is most beneficial to envision for themselves—when to retire, your situation. what expenses to expect, how to manage their retirement income. As women review 3. HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS HEALTH these and other questions, they need to CARE AND MEDICAL EXPENSES? consider some circumstances that are Women generally have significantly higher unique to their gender. health expenditures over their lifetime than men—in part because of they live longer— Here are three important questions and so this is a very important question. And how they impact women: outliving a spouse may mean you’ll need to pay for outside caregiving help. Since health 1. HOW LONG WILL RETIREMENT LAST? care expenses can dramatically affect your The longer you live, the longer your quality of life in retirement, it’s important retirement savings will need to last. As to plan for them. a rule, women live longer than men. So when you think about retirement needs These are just three questions that as a woman, it’s important to make sure demonstrate how women have unique your estimates account for a long life. To considerations as they enter retirement. It’s be helpful, those estimates need to include important to understand these factors and income and expenses. A financial advisor others as you look to build a solid retirement can help determine what potential expenses income strategy that works for you. to consider, which is what we call preparing for the unexpected. Whether retirement is 10 years away or right around the corner, now is a good time 2. HOW MUCH DO YOU EXPECT TO to don your “Transitioning to Retirement” hat. Start by contacting an Edward Jones RECEIVE FROM SOCIAL SECURITY? Social Security benefits are based on how financial advisor, who can help you sort long you’ve worked, how much you’ve through your retirement goals and your earned and when you start taking benefits. income strategy. omen wear many hats—mom, employee, friend, wife, daughter, caretaker—the list is long. And as we move closer to our retirement years, it seems the list gets longer, not shorter. If there’s not already a hat assigned to transitioning to retirement, put that on the to-do list.


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Lou McGrath

Mac McGrath

BROKER

BROKER-Salesperson

813-754-8888

813-967-1820 507 W. Dr. MLK Blvd. Plant City, FL 33566

macmcgrath@mail.com

813-754-8888

3 ACRES Beautiful Lot with Grandfather Oaks. House needs some work, but in good condition. Folio # 090324.1000 also included in list price and is a separate lot. $175,000 MLS:T2577057

HUGE COMPOUND. 11+ manicured acres with pond and decking. Full baseball field in back yard complete with dugout. Fully enclosed RV garage with 50 feet of depth or can be used for a netted batting cage. Air-conditioned and fully equipped work out room with full bathroom. 30x30 game room with full kitchen, pool table, and full bathroom. 5 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. Automated Gated entry and beautifully landscaped. This is a must see and great for a large family. Too many extras to list. $849,000 MLS:T2573253

R ED U C ED

HOUSE W/4 ACRES - Beautiful custom built home. The main living areas have tile w/carpet in the 3 lg size BRs. Master bath has large vanity, extra large jacuzzi tub & a walk-in shower. Master closet is a good size & has been cedar lined. The 2 BRs have more than ample closet space. The family rm has a beautiful flagstone fireplace. Oversized laundry rm w/cabinets that connect directly to the 3 car gar. The kitchen has stainless steel appl., granite counters w/a nice granite sink. In the large fenced in backyard, there is a wood deck with 2 Koi pond waterfalls connected by a stream. Enclosed barn & nice size storage sheds. Built-in generator w/800 gallon propane tank. Hurricane proof garage doors, clear hurricane panels for the entire house, new roof w/secondary barrier & a new efficient Trane AC Seer 19 w/whole house air filtration sys. (10 year warranty). Property is completely fenced and there is a nice entry Driveway gate with a solar powered automatic commercial gate opener. $296,000 MLS:T2575913

CUSTOM HOME 2.5 ACRES - Charming Custom Home on over 2 Acres. Home features two hot water heaters and two septic tanks. Huge wood burning fireplace. All appliances will stay. New metal roof in 2003 and new a/c in 2008. New paint on exterior 2013. $174,900 MLS:T2565264

1 SITE LEFT....READY FOR DEVELOPING. 5 near Golf Course Community of Diamond Hills...Well and impact fee credits available...Rural area of Dover / East Hillsborough County...minutes from various County Parks & Playgrounds,Horses. Owners look at all offers...Call MAC for more details...$199,900

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31+ PRISTINE ACRES LOCATED in NE Hillsborough County. Plenty of options at a great price. Property does contain some wetlands, however, boundary survey is completed with delineation. Property is currently leased for Greenbelt purposes. $269,900.

FO R 1,590 SQUARE FEET OF MEDICAL/PROFESSIONAL SPACE FOR LEASE ONLY. Negotiable Rent. Owner to pay utilities, taxes, and insurance. Available NOW.

RE DU CE D

3+ ACRES, 3 BR/3BA CUSTOM HOME Priced at Appraised Value. . . Custom Quality Built home with lots of extras...2390 SF living area includes Family rm Formal Dining & Living rms - Huge laundry room with storage. 3 BRs & 3 full baths...3.64 Acres total with nicely shaded Pond...Let the pets roam free. Call for directions to this home today. Call Mac or Lou for more details.

LE AS E

CUSTOM BUILT Home on Large Corner Lot. Beautiful Yard. Home is 3 bedrooms with split plan and 2 bathrooms with a full bath in the garage. Home has a central vacuum system. Lawn irrigation is on a private deep well. $167,000 MLS:T2568850

R ED U C ED

COMMERCIAL Almost New Commercial Development. Many possibilities if new owner would like to convert building into a different use. Two 3,044 sq ft spaces. One is built out as office, other is built out for tanning salon. Tanning salon equipment is negotiable. 3,277 sq ft Metal warehouse in rear of property. Large breezeway between buildings could be enclosed to join two office spaces for a total of 7,100 sq ft. 52 parking spaces will allow any commercial use with city zoning ordinance. $1,800,000 MLS:T2554274

COMMERCIAL LOT Ready for Development. Frontage on 3 Roads. Located within the Walden Woods Business District. Established commercial area. This is a corner lot with high visibility. $1,135,000 MLS:T2554400

E IC ED PR DUC RE

R ED U C ED

LARGE CUSTOM HOME - Not a Short Sale. Large house with large rooms. Over 3,000 sq ft under air. Custom Built with many upgrades. Metal Barn is 24X36 with concrete floor. Great neighborhood located on dead end road. Large parcels surround the 1+ acre lot. Owner will consider selling most of the furniture as well. $374,900 MLS:T2571182

COMMERCIAL SHORT SALE. Permitted and ready to turn dirt. Located directly North of US Post Office located at HWY 60 and Miller Rd. Concurrency has been met as well as County Water and Sewer Capacity for the property. Environmental Phase I audit has been performed and Site Assessment has passed EPA criteria. $125,000


Plant City High School Classes of 1956 to 1972 Combined Class Reunion

See you at “Planters Reunion”

Saturday, July 27, 2013 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm Expo Hall | 351 N. Woodrow Wilson St. Strawberry Festival Grounds

DEDICATED TO THE VALUE OF HOME AND FAMILY

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

Jimmie Robinson - 813-754-3586 ext 1622

2803-4 James L. Redman Pkwy Plant City, FL 33566

www.floridamoves.com/jimmie.robinson

E-mail: Jimmie.Robinson@floridamoves.com • cell phone 813-390-6441

00 85,0

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

,900 $54

Great remodeled condo; it looks brand new! A must see for the particular buyer. All appliances are included. This condo is move-in ready.

$

0

,00 320

2712 Pineclub Dr. Most beautiful lot in Walden Lake with view of the Lakes Golf Course green with water view. Located on a quiet 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. This home is Florida living at its best. Call for your private showing.

t in trac Con days! 7

Located in Forest Club, this southern beauty is enhanced by lush, tropical culde-sac landscaping. The red brick and columned entry are just a hint of what awaits you inside: Formal living and dining rooms, a wonderful floor plan with huge family room and wood burning fireplace. The dinette area overlooks an inviting pool area. Den could be converted into 4th bedroom. The current owner has added many extras, like wood floors, granite counters in kitchen and bath, plus gold plated bathroom faucets. Home was painted inside and out, new roof, and new AC within the last 2 years. Owner has turned one of the 3 car bays into an air conditioned workshop or man cave area. This is truly a remarkable home.

$

CLASS OF ‘63, 50th CLASS REUNION

Friday, July 26, 7:00 P.m. At The Elks Club. For Information And Reservations: Contact Karen Dempsey Robinson (813)754-2361 FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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Over 25 Years of Real Estate Experience

Natalie Sweet

Angel Miller

REALTOR®

SPRING MEADOW MAGIC!

Your Home in

REALTOR®

813-758-9586

WALDEN LAKE BEAUTY!

Contract to Sell

813-546-9863

LAUREL LAKE VILLA w/POOL

This homes sits on a wonderful cul-de-sac lot in Emerald Forest and shows like a dream. Split plan w/large rooms & volume ceilings. Kitchen w/granite, island & walk in pantry. $229,000

This wonderful 4 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath home in Walden Lake 2635 square feet of living area, 2 car garage, nice sized yard and so much more. A little TLC and paint will go a long way with this affordable price of only $185,000

Breathless golf and water views await you in this gorgeous 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath home in desirable Laurel Lake. Sparkling kitchen with silestone counters, newly rescreened patio with heated pool and more. $209,900

EVERYONE LOVES WEDGEWOOD! 4 Bdr Arthur Rutenburg

built home on golf course w/wonderful floor plan. Kitchen opens to family room, huge lanai for entertaining, newer roof & AC. $249,900

July or August and receive a *Mini Getaway Compliments of The Sweet Team *Restrictions apply, call The Sweet Team for details.

Keller Williams Realty

1607 S. Alexander Street • Plant City, FL 33563

SOLD OVER $1.19 MILLION IN THE MONTH OF JUNE! S CRE

A 4.14

4BR/2.5BA, 2743 S/F liv area, stone columns, dual staircases, 20’ ceiling, French doors, wood laminate flooring, granite, gas cooktop,double wall ovens, breakfast bar, downstairs master w/garden tub, sep shower, huge walk-in closet, split bedroom plan, huge scr patio, fenced yard, oversized 2 car gar, 1.4 acre lot Just reduced to $297,900!

Build your dream home on this gorgeous piece of property. 4.14 acres with 290’ road frontage on one side and 622’ road frontage on the other side. Deed restricted community allows 2 horses per property. Some lowlands. Convenient location between Tampa and Lakeland. Owner financing possible. MAKE OFFER! $69,900

IF YOU NEED TO SELL, CALL ME! Pat Comstock, Realtor, GRI, DSP Signature Realty Direct Line: (813) 759-9449 Text: (813) 763-5524 Fax: (813)425-9170 E-mail: patcomstock@msn.com

Dr. Brenda Dukes Chiropractic Physician

BE A START THIS SCHOOL YEAR WITH CHIROPRATIC

If you are a chiropractic patient, you probably already know about the philosophy behind chiropractic – the human body has an intelligence which strives to heal itself and always works towards optimum health, if unimpeded by vertebral subluxations. When the vertebrae are in their proper positions, the nerves pass through without a problem. Impulses race along the nerve fibers to and from the brain relaying information and instructions without interference. When a vertebra is jarred out of its proper alignment, however, the messages are distorted. The body can no longer function at 100% of its capacity. That’s where chiropractic comes in. Review our star testimony below: “National Football League Legend Jerry Rice has a formula for lifelong success that’s grounded in hard work, a positive attitude – and Chiropractic Care. The three-time

Super Bowl champ and 13-time Pro Bowler attributes much of his long-term success to regular adjustments from his Doctor of Chiropractic, and is an official spokesperson of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of chiropractic care to the public. Let’s hear what Jerry had to say: “I’ve enjoyed considerable longevity as a professional athlete. I am now working on longevity in life. Chiropractic care has been and continues to be a key element of my game plan.” Special Note: Please join with all of us in praying for everyone involved in education for a Blessed 2013-2014 School Year! Blessings, Dr. Dukes and Staff

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

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

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REAL ESTATE » JO-AN LUSK

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SALE Column by Jo-An Lusk

A

s I preview new listings and caravan Open Houses in Plant City, I am sometimes quite amazed at how sellers have prepared to get the home ready to sell. Some Realtors do an excellent job at communicating to the seller what needs to happen before the home is listed. I have come up with, in my opinion, a list of things to consider before, during, and after the sale of your home. 1. Clean up around the exterior of the home. Pick up trash, debris, toys and items that don’t belong in the yard. The goal is for the buyer to see the “curb appeal” of the home and actually want to see the inside. Clean out the gutters, trim the landscape, pull up weeds, cut the grass, plant some flowers, etc. 2. A good pressure wash is sometimes necessary for the exterior of the home, driveway and walkway. It’s like a fresh coat of paint! 3. Clean up the interior. We love to exercise our “vision” and look past a lot of things when viewing a home, but a little cleaning goes a long way here. Rent a carpet cleaner, scrub what hasn’t been scrubbed in a long time to freshen up the home. 4. De-clutter, de-personalize, de-odorize. Have you visited a Model home lately? That’s something to shoot for. Family photos are great, but they don’t sell the home. The key here is to stage the home to sell it, and allow the buyer to visualize their personal items in the home.

5. Consider a home inspection BEFORE you market the home. Spending the time and effort now can save some valuable negotiation time later. Fix or repair anything that is major, and take care of the little things (light bulbs, slow drains, rotten wood, torn screens, etc). 6. If you are not leaving the special ceiling fan or chandelier, or the matching drapes; you need to replace them before listing the home. Otherwise you may have to negotiate. 7. Talk to your Realtor about anything else that might be necessary. Even though the market is moving away from a Buyers’ Market, you want to create energy and excitement around your home. This can even drive the price UP as buyers compete. 8. Consider incentives such as a Home Warranty, etc. to entice full price offers. 9. Ask for showing feedback! Your Realtor should be communicating weekly at a minimum. If you haven’t heard from your Realtor lately, then you need to question their efforts. 10. Energy creates Traffic – Traffic brings offers – Offers turn into a Sale. 11. Be aware of deadlines in the Contract, Buyer and Seller obligations and follow up with the Realtor to ensure time periods are within contract guidelines. Most problems with transactions can be solved by the Contract. You need to read it and consult an Attorney for legal advice. 12. Happy Selling!

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REAL ESTATE » WALDEN LAKE REVIEW

WALDEN LAKE REVIEW Column by Natalie Sweet

Plant City’s

best kePt

seCret new Home Community at Park PlaCe

T

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 meetings are July 15 and August 19, beginning at 6 p.m. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents. The past 10 years have been a roller coaster ride in real estate. I am happy to report that home sales and prices in Walden Lake have taken on a more positive direction once again. There are many factors that impact market prices, such as inventory and interest rates as well as others, and right now these two factors are extremely low. Currently, there are only 22 Active listings in Walden Lake and 2 in Walden Lake East, with an average list price of $216,390. There are 24 Pending Listings in Walden Lake and 2 in Walden Lake East with an average listing price of $173,928.

It’s that time again. Don’t forget to pay your dues. You should have received an invoice in June and it is due now. If you do not have the invoice, please get with the HOA office. There is lot of talk and many emails going around about the possible development of the Walden Lake golf course. There was a recent meeting held by the residents of the community regarding this matter. Media, three City Commissioners and approximately 200 residents attended this meeting. Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment, I was unable to attend so I cannot report firsthand what was discussed.

Also, not in attendance were any of the Homeowner’s Association Board of Directors. In the bylaws, there are rules governing when there are more than four Board of Directors at a meeting held in the HOA office. The meeting would be considered an official Board Meeting, and that is not what this meeting was intended to be. The office is for the homeowners to There were 47 properties that closed in use for meetings and the Homeowners’ MLS during the 2nd Quarter of 2013 Association offered the facility for their use. with an average sale price of $181,678, compared to the same period of 2012 The Board of Directors is concerned about where the average sale price was $157,252. the happenings at the Club. The have The highest sale was a home in Polo Place issued their official statement as follows: that sold for $800,000 and the lowest was a home in the Paddocks that sold for “Walden Lake and its Board of Directors $98,000. Of the sales, 31 properties were oppose the development of the Walden Walden Lake Single Family homes with an Lake Golf Courses. We wish to preserve average sale price of $202,297, seven were the current Walden Lake Golf Courses in Walden Lake East with an average sale and related amenities. Our residents are price of $148,271 and nine were considered very compassionate about where they live. Condos, Villas or Townhomes with an The Walden Lake Community Association average sale price of $136,693. Since July 1, Board of Directors share this compassion 2012, there were 144 sales in Walden Lake and will continue to support these efforts.” and Walden Lake East with an average sale price of $168,089.

• 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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REAL ESTATE » MORTGAGE

NUMBER NERDS AND

MORTGAGE LOANS

I

hear people say not to refinance a home mortgage unless you lower your rate by at least 1%. This rule of thumb is far too simplified. Why? The fact of relativity, my friend.

Column by Nate Davis

• She refinanced to a 4.25% interest rate. • Starting loan amount is $192,500. • Her new monthly payment is $946.98.

Instead of pocketing the difference, she still pays the old payment ($1,167.15) on I’m not saying I’m on the same level as the minimum payment of $946.98, an Albert Einstein, but my staff at Plant City additional $220.17 a month. Mortgage and I are math nerds who crunch numbers all day, and we know that interest- Why? rate savings is a relative figure. The correct way to analyze if a refinance makes sense The new loan will be paid in full after 248 is to consider the costs of the loan, and payments, or 20.67 years, which is nearly 5 whether you intend to stay in the home for years sooner. She still pays what she is used the duration it takes to recoup the savings to, and there’s no cash out of pocket since the loan costs were allocated in the new from the refinance. loan balance. Below is a scenario we recently did for one of our clients: By reducing her number of payments from • Original loan: $200,000 at 5.75% interest 312 to 248, she saves $74,697 (312-248=64; 64 x $1,167.15 = $74,697). ($ 1,167.15 per month). • She is 4 years into the loan, meaning she has 26 years or 312 payments remaining You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to (26 x 12 =312). Loan balance after 4 years is know that’s a lot of moolah! roughly $188,760. FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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SPORTS

MOVING TO THE

NEXT LEVEL

WEST FLORIDA SHOOTOUT SHOWCASES AREA FOOTBALL TALENT

O

n June 22, the Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex was the scene of the third annual 7 on 7U West Florida Shootout hosted by Plant City’s Next Level Sports Recruiting. Twelve area high school teams competed—including perennial powerhouse Plant—with Freedom taking first place, Blake grabbing the runner-up spot, and King capturing third. The West Florida Shootout is part of the 7 on 7U state series that awards each winner with a chance to compete in the National Championship held in Washington D.C. July 19 through 21. Qualifying for the nationals is the hard part because 7 on 7U is quite different from conventional football. First of all, there are no pads and no tackling. Play stops when the receiver is touched by the opposing team. The field is also shorter, only 40 yards long with a 10-yard end zone.

Article by Joe Bowles

So, each time the offense gets the ball, they start 40 yards from the end zone. By the way, there is no kicking or punting in the game, therefore taking the “foot” out of football. To get a first down, you must pass the ball, no rushing allowed. A team can relinquish the ball by loss of downs or by turnover. When a team scores, the extra point is achieved by a pass play. And there are no time outs… a continuous clock runs with each game lasting 20 minutes. There are a couple of other quirky rules, but the game is fast and exciting. And it becomes the ultimate test for skill players to hone their craft in the off-season. Florida’s 7 on 7U director, Gerold Dickens, believes that, “7 on 7 gives the opportunity for the quarterback to get their timing down, defensive backs can work on their drops and coverage and it also gives the

Newsome Coach Ken Hiscock confers with his players before the game. Photo by Joe Bowles

Haines City lines up against Plant in the West Florida Shootout. Photo by Joe Bowles

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coaches a chance to implement all that they to move to the next level, which is to play have worked on in spring practice.” college football. The program consists of conditioning, 7 on 7 tournaments, camps, Dickens knows a little about football. In mentoring, and being a liaison between fact, Dickens was a Plant City High School the athlete and college coaches, giving the standout who lettered all four years at the players the exposure needed to move to the linebacker position at the University of next level. For example, Montel McBride, Florida playing alongside Kerwin Bell one of Next Level’s success stories, and Emmitt Smith. In 1988, Dickens was was featured July 2 on ESPN when he signed by the New England Patriots as a committed to the University of Alabama. free agent and for two years played in the National Football League, followed by a Dickens and Jackson’s West Florida year in the World Football League for the Shootout also was a format for college Orlando Thunder. coaches, scouts, and members of the media to get a good look at area talent. Although A couple of years ago, Dickens and former Next Level works primarily with athletes Raider and University of Tennessee from the three area schools, Plant City, wide receiver Hasani Jackson created an Durant, and Strawberry Crest, any athlete is organization called Next Level Sports invited to contact Dickens directly at 813Recruiting. In a nutshell, Next Level 770-8367 or check out the organization on works with area athletes, developing them facebook at Nextlevel Recruiting.


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SPORTS » ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

SPONSORED BY CHILI’S

Article by Joe Bowles

TYLER DANISH A

t just 6’1” and 185 pounds, recent Durant High School graduate and varsity baseball standout Tyler Danish doesn’t possess the build most Major League Baseball scouts typically look for in a potential professional pitcher. And combine that with his unusual three-quarters delivery that borders on sidearm. However, in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft on June 6, Danish—just 18 years old—was drafted number 55 overall by the Chicago White Sox.

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What makes Danish’s draft-day story so unique was that—because of his unorthodox motion—he was not even ranked in the Top 100 prospects on MLB.com. In addition, Danish was marked just 96th overall by Baseball America, perceived as a third round pick. Many scouts only saw injuries on the horizon for the young right-hander. Yet despite not fitting the mold, the White Sox only saw positives in Danish’s game. His success during his senior year in one of Florida’s most competitive high school divisions was unparalleled. In fact, Danish boasted a 0.00 ERA during the 201213 season, allowing zero earned runs and just 32 hits while striking out 156 in 94 innings of work. Danish finished his senior year with a 15-1 record, with his only loss coming at the hands of Newsome High School, a 0-1 defeat. Under his leadership, the Cougars reached the FHSAA Class 8A State Championship game against Lake Brantley High School, finishing the season as state runner-ups and an impressive 25-6-2 record. Danish also earned a countless number of accolades, including Florida Dairy Farmers’ Mr. Baseball, the Tampa Tribune’s Male Athlete of the Year, and many more. “Tyler is not what you’d call a cookie cutter pitcher,” said Durant Head Varsity Baseball Coach Butch Valdez, “but in our division, he was effective.” Apart from his undeniable work ethic and passion for the game, Danish’s unique delivery is actually what makes him successful on the mound. His extremely quick release matched with his low-to-mid 90s fastball, a lethal slider and advanced strike zone control demonstrates he uses his mechanics to his advantage. On June 23, Danish made his professional debut with the Bristol White Sox— Chicago’s rookie level minor league affiliate in Virginia—where he pitched a scoreless and hitless 6th inning of relief, throwing just six pitches to gain three outs against the Elizabethtown Twins. “It felt amazing,” said Danish in regards to his debut. “I flashback to all the years I played, all the work I put into baseball. It just felt like I belong here.” Deciding to play professionally, forgoing his commitment to play for the University of Florida, was difficult for Danish. However, after much consideration and support from family and friends, Danish chose to play for the White Sox, making him one step closer to his ultimate dream. “Baseball truly became my passion from the first T-ball practice I ever had on my 4th birthday,” said Danish. “Playing professional baseball was something I always wanted to do, and my family and I thought that we couldn’t turn down this opportunity.” Already accomplishing his goal to play professional baseball, what’s next for Danish? “To make it to the big leagues, stay there, and hopefully make a name for myself there just like I did in high school,” he said. To date ( July 12), Danish has thrown nine innings, compiling a 2.00 ERA. He has struck out nine while giving up just five hits and two earned runs. To follow Tyler Danish and his professional baseball journey, visit bristolsox.com.

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Recent Durant High School Graduate and Varsity Baseball Standout Tyler Danish was drafted by the Chicago White Sox and is now pitching for their rookie level minor league affiliate, Bristol White Sox. Photo courtesy of Butch Valdes


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We want to thanks all of our supporters and our sponsors that have contributed to the success of our Florida Baseball Heaven Saints Golf Tournament held on May 9, 2013 at the Wedgewood Golf Club in Lakeland

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SPORTS » TEAM OF THE MONTH

POOL MASTER TIGER SHARKS

However, Lugo credits much of their success to the team’s willingness to work for what they wanted and the motivation provided to each other. With some more Article by Johanna Santana experienced players and others trying little Tournament of Champions in Haines league baseball for the first time, Coach Lugo says the team grew really close and City, the pressure was on. always provided encouragement to one “If you lose, you go home,” Lugo said “At another. that point I didn’t want to lose. We had worked so hard. We just gave it everything “They have come a long way,” said Lugo of the team, stating that at the end of we had and we pulled it off.” the season, they could count on any team Indeed, with practices at least once a week member to do anything. “They became a and games two times every week, the Tiger team really quick.” Sharks kept busy during the season.

SPORTS TEAM OF THE MONTH

H

ard work, determination and perseverance all wrapped up with a dose of fun might be the best way to describe this edition’s Team of the Month. With an impressive undefeated record of 26-0, The Pool Masters Tiger Sharks of Plant City has won both titles of City Champion and District Champion. Head Coach Kelvin Lugo, who led the Little League team for the first time this Spring, said it was teamwork as well as the boys’ willingness to work hard while still having fun that helped them achieve victory.

And while they raised the bar just by “working hard and playing hard,” becoming “the team to beat,” when others would warn them about how good they were, Lugo said to have had so much faith in his players that he remained quiet and let their talent speak for itself. “When the boys are having fun, they want to work,” said Lugo. “It’s effortless. We kept it that way. We were strict but fun if that makes any sense.”

Lugo insists that although the goal for the team, which consisted of 11 boys ages six to eight, was never to be undefeated, the thought became possible with every win. Being careful not to celebrate too early, Lugo said he, along with the two assistant coaches, Gene Mobley and Jose Machado, made every attempt to keep the team grounded and reminded them to just enjoy the game. “It was still playing a game,” said Lugo. “If you’re worried about losing more than anything it stops the fun.” To encourage the team, after winning city champions, they were treated to a team party and participated in the Baseball Buddies program at the Lakeland Flying Tiger Stadium.

Back row (L-R): Coaches Jose Machado, Kelvin Lugo, and Gene Mobley. Middle row: James Cooper, Alex Machado,

But by the time they made it to the Anthony Lugo, Gavin Dean, Chase Mobley, Seth Hogan. Front row: Steven Fountain, Adrian Sandoval, Jacob Baker, Luther Scarlett, Blake Emerine.. Photo courtesy of Coach Lugo

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EXTRA » DEREK MAUL

GOD IS IN THE DETAILS Column by Derek Maul

A

few days ago, while talking with some friends about the literally hundreds of items that need to get checked off the huge (and growing) “to-do” list Rebekah and I have going on, someone threw out the idiomatic expression, “Well, you know The Devil is in the details….”

often I witness God in the details, the supposedly insignificant, the mundane, the run-of-the-mill. • Just yesterday morning, for example, while I was walking my dog, Scout, I glanced up to see some delicate shades of color emerge across the golf course as the morning light began to pour in over the horizon: “God is in the light,” I thought to myself. “God is light.” • Then, mowing the lawn, the smell of fresh-cut grass grabbed at my senses and teased my memory. I found myself smiling, and I realized that God was there. • In the afternoon, wheeling a stack of book-boxes on the handcart from Rebekah’s church office to the SUV, I could picture myself wheeling some of those same books in the other direction, almost 17 years ago, and a warm feeling spread all over my spirit and I understood that God has been with us, so profoundly, in every detail along the way. • Mid afternoon I stopped by the barber’s for a haircut, and the stylist shared some of her family story and the pain that defines her brother’s life. When I left I took her hand and told her, “I’ll pray for Shamus,” and I did. Just a small detail, but God was most certainly there.

Typically, even though I’m a writer, I tend to appreciate clichés. Words or phrases become clichés because they work, so there’s definitely a place for them in routine And so the day progressed, and likewise communication. every day of our lives moves forward, through time and into the potential for But, “The Devil is in the details” runs significance, and the key variable is the counter to my functional theology, so I’m question of our inviting God into the going to substitute the following “Derekdetails – or simply letting it all drift by, one ism” instead, both as a prayer request and meaningless moment following another…. as an alternative thought. Here it is: “May God be in all the details.” A peaceful view of our garden, and the golf course, has been a part of my early morning pretty much every day for 17 years now. It Too often, as people of faith, we tend to looks to me like an invitation, an invitation limit our prospective apprehension of the to embrace the opportunity to not only Creator to the grandiose and the over-the- appreciate the light, but to step into the top; consequently we look for a “pillar of light, and to invite the source of all light fire,” a “parting of the Red Sea,” or a golden and life to inhabit every single detail of the coming day. chariot to swoop down to save the day.

HOUR BY HOUR:

GOD IN THE DETAILS:

However, the longer I live, and the Because, if God is in the details, then there’s more deliberately I apply myself to this really no room for anything other than contemplative spiritual life, then the more blessing.

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EXTRA » CANDY’S CORNER

CANDY’S CORNER Column by Candy Owens

I

n the good old summer time, In the good old summer time, There’s a time in each year that we always hold dear, the good old summer time. With the birds and the trees and the sweet-scented breeze, a swim in the pool and playing hooky from school, those days full of pleasure we now fondly treasure in the good old summertime. By the time July rolled around, us kids were so deep into swimming, roller skating, kite flying, bike riding, fort building, cartoon watching, movie going, kickball playing, slumber partying, and playing outside with friends. I do not think that our schedules could hold much more, but there were still many exciting things to look forward before school started again like Bible School, the Fourth of July, and picnics with the family. Back in the 1960s and 1970s we made our own fun, we used our imaginations, we spent time with friends and neighbors, we played hard, and made life-long memories. I remember how my sister and I loved to go on picnics with our parents. My mother would always fry a chicken, make potato salad, baked beans, and a jug of ice tea complete with lemon and about one cup of sugar. That tea was so sweet a spoon would stand up in the jug by itself, but boy did it quench your thirst on a hot summer day.

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There would also be a pack of Oreos or Chips Ahoy cookies and always without fail a fresh loaf of Hillbilly bread. My mother would safely pack the food in her prized picnic basket that came from the Green Stamp store in Lakeland. I remember that basket was made of what looked like plywood and had handles with a hinged lid. When you lifted the lid up there were two lines of red elastic stapled to the inside that held your silverware. The basket also came with a red checkered tablecloth and a set of Tupperware salt and pepper shakers. My father would fill a large thermos with ice and pack his hat, his transistor radio, and the family Frisbee. My sister and I would grab our pillows, a few books, and maybe even a game and head for the car. Once everyone was in the car my mother would ask if anyone had to use the bathroom because there may not be a place once we were there. My sister and I would get out and run back in the house. I can remember how my father would sigh and say to himself: “Why didn’t you all do that before you got in the car?” Once we were all back in the car and everything was in check, we headed off to what we thought was a picnic fit for a king. The Fourth of July was always and still is a time to celebrate. My parents taught my sister and I to celebrate our country’s independence and to be grateful to those who have given their lives to make our freedom possible. If we were at home and not at the beach on the Fourth of July, my parents would have a cookout on our patio. My father would grill hamburgers and hotdogs. We would also have potato chips, onion dip, corn on the cob complete with butter dripping down, ice cold watermelon, Coca Colas in the little glass bottles, and cupcakes or brownies. What a feast.

excuse not to in her book. She also believed in making people better off for knowing her. She spoke to everyone whether she knew them or not. She got involved. She believed in healthy mind, healthy body, healthy spirit. She never sat idle. She was a doer and a go-getter. She lived life to the fullest. She never, ever took the easy way out. She was in every sense of the word a woman of substance.

When it got dark my parents would take my sister and I out on the driveway and give each one of us a box of sparklers. I remember holding and waving the sparklers around, writing and drawing things in the air while waving the sparklers proudly. I loved the big fireworks that lit up the entire I remember in my mid 40s when Mrs. sky and could be heard from very far away. Chambers became terminally ill with cancer. I was at the First Baptist Church I was born and raised in the Methodist and I saw her walk in. There she was all church and always attended Bible school, dressed up with her hair and makeup done but back in the year 1969 my best friend just as perfect as always. She walked in by JeanAnn Weaver invited me to her Bible herself but slowly and without the help of school, which was held at the old First anyone. We all knew that she was in great Baptist Church of Plant City. I remember pain but she never gave in. She had that how first thing in the morning the kids beautiful smile on her face. She sat behind would line up by age and classrooms outside me along with her daughter Pec and sonthe sanctuary on the steps waiting for the in-law Dub Mcginnes. I remember I doors to open. When it was time we all turned around and told her my memories of filed inside the church, which to me as a Bible school back in 1969 and how she told six-year-old child looked like the size of us the story of Ricky Ticky Timbo; in fact Tampa Stadium. I remember looking up I recited the whole name to her. She could front at the altar and there stood a lady by not believe that I could remember that the name of Betty Chambers wearing an after all these years. I felt in my heart that Indian headdress waiting to address the this might be the last time that I saw Mrs. crowd. What I did not know back then in Chambers. I turned around and told her 1969 was what an impact that lady with how much I loved her and how much she the funny hat would have on my life. Mrs. meant to me. I even told her that I wanted Chambers told us the story of Ricky Ticky to grow and become a person just like her. Timbo, which was the story of a Chinese Mrs. Chambers leaned over and grabbed boy with a very long name who fell into a my hand and said, “Candy, you already are!” well. Each morning Mrs. Chambers would read us another chapter of the story and Let me leave you with this thought. have us join in and say his name out loud Americans, as we take time to celebrate the along with her. By the end of the week the independence held so deep in our hearts, story was finished and we could all repeat I hope that the following thoughts of the boy’s name by heart which was: Ricky America bring forth emotion for the USA Ticky Timbo No So Rimbo Ala Balla we love. So many have endured the loss of Booski Hipre Pimbo. How could a kid ever precious loved ones, we must stay aware of the tragedy they live with. For they, more forget that? than any, feel the total cost of sacrifice. Betty Chambers and I crossed paths many Praise their fallen heroes. They left freedom more times in the next 40 years. She was for us. someone to look up to, she became a mentor, and most of all she became my friend. Mrs. We shall always be “the land of the free” Chambers was involved in so many things in her church, with her family, and in our We shall always be “the home of the brave” community that I would never be able to list them all. She was an excellent person We shall always sing “God Bless America” who expected excellence from others. I remember her telling me as a teenager that We shall always love “Mom and Apple Pie.” you cannot soar with the eagles if you are on the ground hooting with the hoot owls. Betty Chambers was a person who kept her word. If she made a commitment she always followed through. There was no


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Charleston Harrisburg VSI Tampa Bay VSI Tampa Bay

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Plant City Stadium Plant City Stadium Legion Stadium City Stadium

Pittsburgh Orlando VSI Tampa Bay VSI Tampa Bay Charlotte

at VSI Tampa Bay at VSI Tampa Bay at Harrisburg at Pittsburgh at VSI Tampa Bay

Plant City Stadium Plant City Stadium Skyline Sports Complex Highmark Stadium Plant City Stadium

PHOTO BY MARK SIMS AND SCOTT MILLER

PHOTO BY MARK SIMS AND SCOTT MILLER

July 2013

Plant City Stadium 1810 East Park Road, Plant City, FL 33563

WWW.VSI-FC.COM FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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EXTRA » ARTIST OF THE MONTH

TIM HAAS ARTIST LIVES HIS DREAM Article by Heather Davis

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efore marriage, businesses, and kids I had the fortune to work as an artist’s assistant for Tim Haas of Tim Haas Artistry when I was in my early twenties. As his assistant, I would mix color, prep the wall space, and on occasion, experience the thrill of touching wall with paint. Fast forward twenty years later and the very same artist, Tim Haas of Tim Hass Artistry, is still making a living doing what he does best.

well as business owners. He loves being given an idea or a concept and then be told to run with it to create what the client envisions, whether it be a scene from nature, fantasy, or whatever the imagination can conjure up. Whatever the job, Tim enjoys the challenge. Recently Tim completed two murals for Kelly Recreation Center in Lakeland, one of which was a 100’ x 15’ underwater mural. He is now at work creating several murals for the SPCA. When I asked Tim what it is that he enjoys about what he does, I was amazed by his response, which was, “I still surprise myself by doing things I did not think I could do.” This is extremely humbling to hear when facing someone with this much talent and experience.

Tim Haas is a muralist and a Trompe l’oeil, which literally translates from French to mean “to fool the eye.” I remember standing back in amazement while watching a blank wall—his canvas—transform into a scene you could literally feel like walking right into. Dedication, skill, and out of this world talent are what makes Tim Haas a brilliant and accomplished artist. At the age of 8, To view the Artistry of Tim Hass you Tim was paid by a neighbor for his first may visit him on Facebook at facebook. painting job and he has not stopped since. com/timothyhaas or on his website TimHaasArtistry.com. Tim’s jobs are by word of mouth and are done for clients who are homeowners as

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EXTRA » AUTO REVIEW

HONDA REVEALS NINTH

GENERATION ACCORD YOUR DECISION—COUPE OR SEDAN Review by Brian West

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onda has been producing the Accord since 1976. Thirty-seven years and nine generations later, Honda has introduced its latest edition, and it’s a pleasant evolution.

Homemaker &

C

Helping HAnds cARing HeARts inc.

Assisting You in YouR

ency g A ion an p om

Home!

Meal Preparation, Light Housekeeping, Laundry, Transportation, Respite Care, Grocery shopping, Medication Reminders, and Much MORE!

Plant City 813-737-6706 HHCH07@aol.com

helpingufl.com

Locally Owned & Operated Lic # 230092

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touchscreen controls, and the list goes on. The coupe cabin is roomy for two people, but trying to fit in anyone more will begin to feel cramped—as it should. If you need more room, the sedan will meet your needs. Regardless which you choose, they both have the same interior appointments. Some of the more unique include a USB port for your USB device or even a USB drive with your favorite music, push-button start and an Econ button that allows the driver to choose which is most important, efficiency or performance, at any moment.

The exterior styling is dynamic and continues a practical evolution of the Accord. Interestingly, if you can recall what the Accord looked like in 1976, there are no similarities. If you can’t recall, it might be worth the effort to find a photo online. Either way, the new design proves Honda as a solid competitor in the mid-sized coupe/ sedan market. After all, the exterior design is the first enticement for buyers, and I’d say Under the hood, there are two options: the Honda has a winner. 185-hp, 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder or the 278-hp, 3.5-liter, V-6. Both deliver, but there is a On the interior, Honda, like all Asian clear difference. At worst, the 4-cylinder is manufacturers, continues to show that they rated 24/34 mpg and the V-6 at 18/28. Not are at least one of the best in the industry bad for either model. at ergonomics. Every control is perfectly placed and logical to the driver. It’s a shame Finally, it was time to drive. The Accord other manufacturers haven’t stolen some of handles very well. It turns on a dime, and these ideas. The simplest example of this the V-6 has more than enough power to get might be the dashboard. The speedometer the driver out of any adverse situation, or is centered and unobstructed to the view just an easy merge onto the Interstate. The of the driver, and clearly has the most real seats are comfortable and hold you in place estate. And that makes sense. All other without being too stiff or constraining. gauges are secondary, but many designers and manufacturers have a tough time If you are interested in the new Accord, visit grasping this concept. Unfortunately, it’s your local Honda dealer. I’m sure they’ll be also something foreign car drivers may happy to help you find the model and color take for granted. There are many other you’re looking for, especially when you tell great amenities: Bluetooth, HondaLink, them you read about the new Accord in LaneWatch, an audio system with Focus Magazine.


EXTRA » WANDA’S WORDS

WANDA’S WORDS

OF WISDOM SUMMER FUN EDITION Column by Wanda “Lewis” Anderson

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ummer is here and the kids are out of school, but with all this rain I’m sure you’re looking for activities to keep the kids busy indoors. With adult supervision, let’s look at a few tips. Here’s a cool idea…glowing Jell-O. You’ll need a black light, 1 cup of water, 1 package of Jell-O and 1 cup of tonic water. Place the Jell-O in a bowl, add 1 cup boiling water (adults), stir until Jell-O is dissolved, then add 1 cup of tonic water and stir. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. Cut in any shape you like and place under a black light. The Jell-O will glow blue no matter what flavor of Jell-O you use. Tonic water contains quinine which is florescent under a black light.

Next let’s try something that’s ooey and gooey…Slime. You’ll need water, white Elmer’s glue, Borax and food coloring. In a bowl, mix 1 teaspoon Borax in 1 cup of water and stir until it’s dissolved. In another bowl mix ½ cup of glue with ½ cup of water. Add food coloring and stir. Mix the contents of both bowls together and your slime will begin to form. It may be hard to stir so remove it from bowl and mix with hands. Don’t worry if there’s a little water left in the bowl. The more you work it, the stiffer the Slime becomes. Store your Slime in a plastic baggie in the refrigerator. To clean surfaces use soap and water. Do not eat your Slime or put it in your hair. Remember that your Slime has food coloring in it so don’t leave it on surfaces that it could stain. Next let’s make some Silly Putty. Gradually mix ¼ cup of liquid starch into ½ cup Elmer’s white glue, then add food coloring (optional). More starch can be added if mixture appears to be too sticky. Continue to mix until it’s firm. Store it in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator when not in use. Until next time relax, enjoy and be thankful…

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D & E » RECIPE OF THE MONTH

(NOT-SO) SUGAR-FREE

WATERMELON ICE (NOT-SO) SUGAR-FREE

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Recipe by Gail Jones y family of four is revolting. Tee vegetables dipped in hummus are a fantastic hee. It’s a double entendre. We are snack. I should have backed off from the not actually gross or disgusting. cooking years ago. It’s just that each one of us has our own agenda for what we want to eat right However, old habits die hard and I have a now and everyone seems to be rejecting difficult time shaking the guilt when their one thing or another. We are revolting hungry little faces come pleading and I tell against our normal diet. Unfortunately we them to figure it out for themselves. are dysfunctional in our revolution, and everyone seems to be trying something In an effort to assuage my guilt, I have been different, and at the same time monitoring hitting the local produce markets regularly and keeping the kitchen stocked with tons what everyone else eats. of vegetables and whatever fruit happens to My husband wants to lose weight and is be in season. Unfortunately, my husband eschewing all things fried or processed. My occasionally runs to the market without daughter is thinking gluten free may be her checking what we already have and last path to nirvana. And my son, the biggest week, this resulted in a watermelon suicide culprit of all, wants pure organic, gluten as we tried to cram one too many into the free, free range, sustainable, gourmet dining. fridge and the weakest of the bunch leapt to its demise on the hard tiles of the kitchen Personally, I want to kill all of them and go floor. to Fred’s five nights a week. But, as Fred’s probably does not deliver to prison, I am “Leave!” I commanded “Everyone out of trying to accommodate. Oh, and did I the kitchen.” It was not pretty, but it was mention that all of them have a sweet tooth salvageable. that drives them to the refrigerator nightly I mopped up the floor and scooped the in search of ice cream or cookies? center from the perfectly ripe watermelon and tossed it all into a blender. And then So what’s a girl to do? just as a little act of defiance, I threw a half Well, personally, I have decided to leave cup of sugar syrup into the mix (because, them to their own devices. And guess what? of course, they are all trying to cut down It has been semi-successful. My daughter on sweets right now) before I froze it and fed us all a delicious gluten-free pizza last turned it into a light and delicious fruit week, my son has started an organic garden ice that is as good for breakfast as it is for and my husband has decided that raw dessert.

WATERMELON ICE

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All you need to make watermelon ice is 1 watermelon cubed, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Photo by Gail Jones

Ingredients

This is so simple, it is hard to even call it a recipe. 1 medium watermelon cubed (approximately 8 cups. You can substitute cantaloupe, kiwi, berries, peaches or mix and match) ½ cup water ½ cup sugar

Directions

Puree melon in a blender until smooth. Boil water with sugar until the sugar dissolves and add to pureed fruit.

When it comes to sweet summertime treats it doesn’t get much easier than whipping up some homemade Watermelon Ice. Photo by Gail Jones

Freeze in a shallow baking dish. To serve, scrape the surface of the ice and place in a chilled bowl.

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t Cuban Voted Best City in Plan

NEW EXTENDED HOURS!

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

d Gi ft Cards an Part y Tr ay s Available

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 www.Thestrawberryhut.com

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

Notice portions shrinking while prices increase?

NOT HERE.

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

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WE WON’T ASK YOU TO SUPER SIZE YOUR COMBO CAUSE IT ALREADY IS.


D & E » DINING PROFILE

SUMMER

DINING CHALLENGE Profile by Amanda Deck

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ocus Magazine loves to support Plant City small businesses and one of our favorite things to do is taste the unique dishes at locally-owned restaurants. Over the years, we have featured a “dining profile” in each issue, a full-page article dedicated to showcasing what a particular restaurant has to offer. Recently, you have been able to learn about community favorites like 813 Chinese, Plant City Restaurant and Drive-In, Strawberry Hut, and Twistee Treat—and during the Strawberry Festival season we highlighted several tasty treats that featured Plant City’s famous produce, including Parkesdale Farms’ strawberry shortcake and Olde Town Pizzeria’s strawberry walnut salad. The staff at Focus Magazine has had the pleasure of visiting every area restaurant,

and this month, we ask you to do the same through our “Summer Dining Challenge.” From Fred’s Southern Kitchen to Plant City Hometown Buffet, we challenge you to gather up your family and friends and eat out at as many locally-owned restaurants as possible. Here’s how you can participate in the Summer Dining Challenge…it’s simple, really. Just snap a photo of yourself eating at an area restaurant, upload the photo to Facebook, and tag us in it. Tag us in the most photos, each from a different dining establishment, and you’ll win a special prize! The Summer Dining Challenge ends August 12, so get out there and support your fellow Plant City residents.

BUY LOCAL! Plant City Homestyle Buffet Twistee Treat Strawberry Hut Dairy Queen Chili’s Linda’s Crab Shack Olde Town Pizzeria Fred’s Southern Kitchen ABC Pizza Plant City Drive In Restaurant Camellia Rose Tea Room Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill

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

813-752-5146

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

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» DINING GUIDE

FIND DEALS ONLINE AT MYFOCUSCOUPONS.COM

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

CHILI’S

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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 • WWW.CHILIS.COM

LINDA’S CRAB SHACK

“G

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

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

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

OLDE TOWN PIZZERIA

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

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

PLANT CITY HOMETOWN BUFFET

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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

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Find us on

(813) 707-9303

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL

local

local

local

www.FredsSouthernKitchen.com LAKELAND

::

LOCATIONS IN PLANT CITY WINTER HAVEN :: BARTOW

::

RIVERVIEW

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE Any Cone

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 8-15-13 (813) 707-9303

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE Any Milkshake

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 8-15-13 (813) 707-9303

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

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D & E » KEEL AND CURLEY

KEEL & CURLEY WINERY

OFFERING MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

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Article by Deana Garrison Along with the Uncorked Weekends, Keel and Curley have more to offer. Each month, they hold their “Paint Your Own Wine Glass” workshop. Many people have enjoyed attending these workshops and walk away with a beautiful wine glass of their very own designed specifically by themselves. What a great conversation piece at your next gathering.

ach month, it seems I am always writing about the most current entertainment that performed at Keel and Curley Winery. This month I decided to explore a little more into what Keel and Curley represent. If you follow this column, you should be well-versed in the “Uncorked Weekends” held at Keel and Curley. Uncorked Weekends consist of Friday and Saturday night entertainment where everyone can wind down from their Aside from the vast entertainment they have on the weekends, Keel and Curley Winery week. is open every day of the week for shopping. In attending many of the Uncorked With the wide variety of wines sold at Keel Weekends, I have found The Trinity River and Curley, you are sure to find the one Band to be my favorite, a professional to suit your fancy. One unique wine that bluegrass, gospel and country band from stands out from the rest is Keel and Curley’s Callahan, Florida made up of a wholesome very own Ice Wine called Monica’s Florida family that enjoys singing together. They Frost. This wine was named in honor have won many hearts and have grown to and now in memory of Monica Eastman be a strong group since 2008 when they first Naugle, a former dedicated worker at Keel began. They have made some appearances and Curley that lost her battle with cancer at Keel and Curley and bring in a big crowd in May 2012. Keel and Curley donates one dollar to the American Cancer Society for each time they come. every bottle sold of this wine.

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Keel and Curley Winery’s Uncorked Weekends provide a great venue where you can relax with friends. Photo by Deana Garrison

The American Cancer Society is not the only charity that Keel and Curley support. They are constantly holding events to raise funds to help people in need. It seems they are always ready to support a good cause. If you ever need a place to hold a special event including weddings and special parties, this may be the place for you. With a beautiful landscaped lawn and elegant gazebo, your event is sure to impress many.

So, whether you are looking for entertainment, a place to hold your special event, or just wanting to come on in to shop and maybe even make your own wine glass, Keel and Curley has just what you are looking for. The next time you and your friends are looking for a nice relaxing place to unwind, go to their website to check out the best times to attend. You will be glad that you did.


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Sewing Machines Modern Fabrics Notions Books Patterns Classes

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120 NORTH COLLINS STREET PLANT CITY, FL 33563

(813) 659-8287

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

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

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1

event

can’t miss

LES MISERABLES

The Board of Directors of the Plant City Entertainment, Inc. is extremely pleased to announce that the community theater has secured the rights from Music Theater International to present Les Miserables as its 2013 summer musical. The rights were released for the first time ever to community theaters in the U.S. in January 2013 and PCE will be the first community theater in Central PERFORMANCE DATES: Florida to perform this moving musical production to be directed by Domin Friday, July 19 | 8 p.m. Pazo. Tickets are available at the door Saturday, July 20 | 8 p.m. for each performance and are $10 for Thursday, July 25 | 8 p.m. members or group advance sales, $12 Friday, July 26 | 8 p.m. for senior citizens, non-members, and students through 12th grade, and $14 Saturday, July 27 | 8 p.m. for general admission non-members. For Sunday, July 28 | 2 p.m. Matinee more information call 813-677-8045. Thursday, August 1 | 8 p.m. Friday, August 2 | 8 p.m. Saturday, August 3 | 8 p.m. *Doors open one hour before showtime

JULY

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WEDNESDAY

20

SATURDAY

Stretching and Guided Meditation TheRoom | 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. 110 W. Reynolds St. Sophia Hyde will be leading relaxation meditation and gentle stretching exercises. Press the pause button on life and relax your body and mind. Classes are $10 at the door. For more information, contact Sophia at 813-391-0642 or theroompc@gmail.com. Also visit theroompc.com.

Elvis Tampa Bay Festival Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds Expo Hall | 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 303 E. Lemon St. 11th annual festival celebrates the life of Rock n’ Roll legend Elvis. Come and enjoy approximately 18 to 20 tribute artists perform Elvis songs. Preliminary rounds begin at 11 a.m., preliminary final (final six) will begin at 6 p.m. Memorabilia venders will be in attendance and lunch and dinner is available. An auction will be held with proceeds benefitting the Children’s Home of Tampa Bay. Several ticket options are available. For more information, contact Vickie at elvisTampatcb@yahoo.com, call 813-977-6011, or visit elvistampatcb.com. Strawberry Classic Car Show Historic Downtown Plant City | 4 to 9 p.m. For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce 813-754-3707

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SUNDAY

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WEDNESDAY

Paint Your Own Wine Glass Keel and Curley Winery | 2 to 5 p.m. 5210 W. Thonotosassa Rd. Enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon under the covered back deck patio. Cost for event is $20 and the instructor will provide all materials, including glass and paint. For more information, call Keel and Curley at 813752-9100.

Harry Potter Birthday Party Bruton Memorial Library | 4 to 6 p.m. 302 W. McLendon St. Dress up as wizarding students and come to the library for trivia, butterbeer, and wizarding fun. For more information, call 813-757-9215. Stretching and Guided Meditation TheRoom | 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. 110 W. Reynolds St. Sophia Hyde will be leading relaxation meditation and gentle stretching exercises. Press the pause button on life and relax your body and mind. Classes are $10 at the door. For more information, contact Sophia at 813-391-0642 or theroompc@gmail.com. Also visit theroompc.com.

AUGUST TUESDAY

Business Spelling Bee 1914 PCHS Community Building | 7 p.m. 605 N. Collins St. Sponsored by the Plant City Kiwanis Club, the 1st annual spelling bee will prove which business is smartest in Plant City. Proceeds benefit the Kiwanis Club’s annual “Stuff the Bus” and “Read Around the World” campaigns. Tickets are available for $10. For more information, contact David Wolf at 813-7179300 or david@haughtfuneralhome.com.

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WEDNESDAY

Salute to Agriculture Contact Breakfast Evelyn and Batista Madonia, Sr., Agricultural Show Center at the Strawberry Festival Grounds | 7:30 a.m.

Join the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Committee as they announce this year’s agriculture award winners: Agriculturalist of the Year, Steven C. Mathis; Ag Educator of the Year, Emily Petrilli; Agri-Business of the Year, Wish Farms; Support of Youth in Agriculture, Jon Poppell. Cost is $15 per person. For more information, call the Chamber at 813-7543707. RSVP by Friday, August 9 at 4:30 p.m.

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THURSDAY

New Teacher Coffee Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds | 7:30 a.m. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a warm welcome to teachers and principals new to Plant City. The event helps acquaint teachers with the community and provides an opportunity for local businesses to be involved in education. For more information, contact the Chamber at (813) 754-3707.


Sewing Machines Modern Fabrics Notions Books Patterns Classes

25¢ WALK IN “NEW SUMMER SCHEDULE” Happy Hour Daily 3PM til 5PM & 6PM til 8PM

SPECIALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY

3 JackPots Daily Bolt Bingo Friday and Saturday 6:00PM ‘til ??? $250 jackpot

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

(with min. # of players)

OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK, 10AM TO 9PM.

Smoking and Non Smoking Section

813-752-2525

1846/1848 J. L. Redman Parkway | Located in the Strawberry Plaza

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FOCUSOBITUARIES Erin Colleen Castro, 59, of Valrico, passed into the clouds peacefully in the early morning of June 7th, in the Year of Her Lord, 2013. She was a devout Christian and lived a fairy tale life for 10 years with her husband, Mike. Born September 12, 1953 in Downey, California , she was the daughter of Jack Reiley and Lois ( Jon) Fults. She was the wife of Michael Castro. Erin’s only son Travis Lee Parker, 17, preceded her in death. Erin worked as a Surgical Intensive Care Unit nurse at the Lakeland Regional Hospital and had assisted in many open heart surgeries in her 10+ years of service before retiring. She was also an accomplished acrylic painter on canvas. Surviving are daughter, Colleen Jones; sisters, Dehne Rhoades and Joan Palmer; and grandchildren, Michael and Ashley Jones. In lieu of flowers, Erin would probably want you to give flowers to the one you love the most. Do it before it’s too late. Always tell them how much you love each other every day. And make them say it back. Online condolences may be left at haughtfuneralhome.com

Randy Eugene Childers, 59, of Plant City died June 24 at his home. Born August 16, 1953 in Lapeer, Michigan, he was the son of the late Joe Childers and Jean Kabosky Turner, his mother, survives. He was predeceased by brother, Detective Rick Childers; sisters, Lindy Humphry and Barbara Ann Childers. He served in the U.S. Army from 1976 until 1979, retired from Publix as a meat cutter and store manager, enjoyed fishing, working on cars, trucks, and tractors, and raised pigmy goats. Also surviving are sons, Randy E Childers, Jr. and Scott Childers; sister, Diana Tallent; 3 grandchildren, and his sister in law, Giselle Childers. A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 8 at Whitehurst Baptist Church, 901 Whitehurst Road, Plant City. Online condolences may be made to the family at www. haughtfuneralhome.com.

She is also survived by Billy Oden. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Antonio Jesus Villorin, 66, of Plant City, died on Saturday, June 15 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Born February 7, 1947 in Havana, Cuba, he was the son of the late Armando Villorin and the late Esther Villorin. He was the husband of the late Josephine Pugliese Villorin. Antonio was a Catholic, attended St Clement Catholic Church, and love to cook. Surviving are sons, David, Antonio, and Johnny Villorin; daughter, Carmine Chance; brother, Armando Villorin; and 4 grandchildren. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com.

She was the caregiver for her mother, Ludell, who survives her. Also surviving are son, Ray (Robin) Barber; daughter, Jeanette (Stephen) McDonald; brothers, Earl ( JoAnne) Lawson, James Lawson and Jimmy (Dawn) Lawson; sister, Betty Mattair; and 6 grandchildren. A Funeral service was held at 11 a.m., Friday, June 28 at Haught Funeral Home Chapel. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Nathaniel Tyler Hoxit, infant son of Melissa Murphy and Juan Hoxit, died on June 14 at Tampa General Hospital. A gathering of family and friends was held on Friday, June 28 at Haught Funeral Home Chapel. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com

Travis Dean Bronson Kinkade, 19, of Plant City, died June 25. Born July 11, 1993 in Brandon, Florida, he was the son of William Bronson and Brenda (Shayne) Kinkade White. Travis loved anything Josefina Perez outdoors; hunting, fishing, Rivera, 93, of Plant City, ATVs, and playing on his died June 21 at her home. Michael Thomas Playstation. Born April 12, 1920 in Cole, 32, of Plant City Surviving are his son, Trenton Kinkade Bayamon, Puerto Rico, she died on Monday, July 1. and his mother Shelby Westbrook; brother, was the daughter of the Born August 25, 1980 in Troy Kinkade; sisters, Chyanne, Courtney, late Jose Perez and the late Harold Dean Boles, Tampa, Florida, he was the and Caitlynn Kinkade; grandparents, Nancy Maria Rivera. She was the 79, of Plant City, died on son of Thomas Cole and Kinkade, Kathleen (Kenny) Lamberton; Allen, wife of the late Silvestre June 15 at Saint Joseph Deborah Johnson. He was Toni, Christopher, and Ashley Kinkade; and his Amador. Hospital. the husband of Terri Cole. other mama “J”. Surviving are sons, Born February 23, 1934 Michael was a senior A memorial service was held on Thursday, July Roberto Amador, Gilberto Amador, Victor in Cookeville, Tennessee, environmental technician Perez, Wilfredo Amador and Edwin Amador; 3 at Haught Funeral Home Chapel. he was the son of the late with Mosaic, and loved his If so desired donations can be made to the daughters, Eleida Roman, Aracelis Diaz, Willie Boles and the late family greatly. family.Online condolences may be made to the Edna Campbell Boles. He Surviving are son, Collin Cole; and sisters, Raquel Torres and Olga Amador, and many family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com grandchildren and great grandchildren. was the husband of the late Brandi Wiley and Holly (Richard) McLean. A Funeral mass was held at 11 a.m., Monday, Eleanor McKee Boles. If so desired, donations may be made to the He was predeceased by sister, Helen Layne. Collin A. Cole Fund, c/o Suncoast Schools June 24 at St Clement Catholic Church, Plant Harold served in the U.S. Army in the 1950s, Federal Credit Union, 1905 S. Alexander St., City. Online condolences may be made to the was a member of Springhead Church of Christ, Plant City, FL 33563. Online condolences may be family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com worked for McIntosh Groves for 24 years, and made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome. Mary Louise Barber, 68, of Okeechobee/ was an avid gardener, who according to his com. Plant City died June 24. family, could grow anything. Born July 11, 1944, she was the daughter Surviving are son, Allan (Marsha) Boles; Melanie L. Singletary, 49, of Sanford, of the late James “Shorty” Lawson and Ludell brother, Gene Boles; and sisters, Stella Webb, Florida died July 2. Betty Sumner, Hattie Woverton and Geraldine Born November 12, 1963 in Lakeland, Florida, Bennett Butler. She was predeceased by brother, Kenneth Giddens. she was the daughter of Thomas Southerland and Lawson; sister, Doris Saranko. Online condolences may be made to the Yvonne Yeomans. family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com

In Loving Memory

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JULY 2013 focusplantcity.com


D & E » CROSSWORD

IN THE HENHOUSE

by Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews by Calvin R. & Created Jackie Mathews

IN THE HENHOUSE

ACROSS 1. Pork product 4. Play opening 8. Trip producer, for short 11. French soldier’s cap 15. Novel estate 16. Take it easy 17. Game no-show 19. Fowl store employees? 22. See 72 Down 23. Pamplona shout 24. Mountaineer’s obstacle 25. Desi’s daughter 27. German articles 28. Table clearer 30. Insert 33. __-mo 35. ERA, for one 36. Constantly, in the henhouse? 42. Common contraction 44. Symbols 45. Had the lead role 47. Pickle type 50. Big bird 52. CA’s zone 54. “Baby, __ Your Loving”; 1964 Four Tops hit 55. East 57. Destination for a G.I. in the ’60s 60. Suffix for self or child 61. Like a letter you forgot to mail 62. __ one; zilch 63. Window covering 65. Bradley & Asner 67. British custom 68. See 47 Down 72. Fond du __, WI 75. Culpa forerunner 76. Garland 77. In an aloof way 79. Cosmetics 84. Hypotheses 86. Presidential monogram 87. Adders, e.g. 88. Elegance 89. __-Cone; icy treat for a kid 90. Friend of Pooh 92. Teller’s word 93. Like pottery 95. Theorem prover 100. Prolific poet? 102. Undercover, in the henhouse? 105. Others 108. I will be: Lat. 109. Register 110. Milk sources 112. Brown shade 117. Wispy clouds 119. Jutting piece 121. Slice

122. How a hen turns a fastener to insert it? 124. Eateries for westwardmoving hens? 128. Distributed in shares 129. City in Italy 130. Connection 131. Prom-goer 132. Function & pepsia prefix 133. Deck crew boss, for short 134. Blue DOWN 1. Most robust 2. Exist 3. Sports teams’ symbolic animals 4. “...‘Happy Christmas to all and to __ good night!’” 5. Wild feline 6. Patient’s need, for short 7. Type 8. European language 9. Most brutal 10. Many an NCO 11. Tailless bird 12. Prestigious school 13. Member of la famille 14. Aggravates 15. Anklebone 17. Airwaves regulator: abbr. 18. __ out a living; get by 19. Blubber 20. See 19 Down 21. Injured arm’s support 1

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© Puzzle Features Syndicate

FOCUS MAGAZINE PLANT CITY JULY 2013

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S C A T

E L L E

P U L E

M A K C L A C E R C L D O N T

I R A E

L I R A

H T A S A L O L E B U S S T

A M A R A L E S C L C R A B O Y A T A I S N T L E M E N T Y A S P U S M E E U P S S S A M I C U C K A E R I A C C KW I O C A T N D Y

N O I S E S U N C H A I N

A M R E Y O W F S O L E D D E R R E D

M A N I C E U R

C T I O L L U C K S G L A D D I R O U N L O G

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

In the Henhouse

P K F E I C K W E I O C L U T A R I N U N S S C K I C S N A O N N O N R E U D D V E W A G L I S A

S E C O N D

T R S U T N S K A L E X

L I K E

C Y S T

K E D E D N T

C R E E

P E R E

E T O N

I R K S


C ool the Heartburn

C.R. Hall, MD, General and Bariatric Surgeon

Discover how robotic surgery can relieve your pain Relieve the pain from severe heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatal hernia through robotic surgery. Highly-trained and specialized surgeon Dr. C.R. Hall has performed more than 100 robotic-assisted surgeries to treat these conditions at South Florida Baptist Hospital. South Florida Baptist Hospital continues to blaze a trail by providing you with unique robotic services to aid in quicker healing, shorter hospital stays, reduced pain and a faster return to a healthy lifestyle.

For more information or to schedule an appointment:

(813) 708-1312 | SouthFloridaBaptistRobotics.org 301 N. Alexander St., Plant City

BC1301912-0613


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

FUEL SAVER PACKAGE

$

29.95

includes lube oil filter, rotate 4 tires, multipoint inspection, battery check

Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon or store special. Shop supplies and tax extra. Most cars and light trucks excludes diesels. Expires 07/31/2013

BEAT ALL TIRE PRICES

ON NAME BRAND TIRES free alignment check with tire purchase

Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon or store special. Most cars and light trucks. Expires 07/31/2013

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

WILD CARD SPECIAL

10% OFF ANY SERVICE UP TO $150

Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon or store special. Expires 07/31/2013

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

FOCUS Plant City 12-07  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 12-07, July 2013

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