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Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Labor Day!

Freshest MEAT and LOWEST prices in town!

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

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CONTENTS August 2016 | Volume 15 Issue 08 | focusplantcity.com

14 Local What a busy month it’s been here in Plant City. We’ve covered fundraisers for the Lily Blossoms Foundation, the Kiwanis Spelling Bee, and the Joey Gude Family. You’ll also enjoy news of the 30th Annual New Teacher Breakfast, a graduation at Life Christian University, and the 100th Anniversary of Farm Credit. Sharing your stories is so much fun!

40 Feature: Plant City’s Top Realtors

Each August we shine a light on local realtors. Once again, the Keller Williams team is a top performer in our area. Read to learn more about their phenomenal success.

52 Business: College Hunks Hauling Junk

This month we profile Trent Lott and his College Hunks Hauling Junk franchise here in Plant City. Don’t miss this story of a hardworking, young local whose entrepreneurial career has only just begun.

68 Dining: Plaza Mexico Restaurant

You know you’re dining in an authentic establishment when the menus are offered in Ingles (English) and Espanol. But what is especially impressive about Plaza Mexico Restaurant is the delicious food, attentive service, and exceptionally reasonable prices. We encourage you to visit what will probably become one of your local favorite eateries.

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LETTER FROM THE

PUBLISHER Rain, rain, go away… Not really! We all know those summer showers are necessary, beneficial, and even cleansing. And just think, without rain, there would be no rainbows. Have you noticed how many we’ve witnessed this summer? We really are blessed here in Plant City. If you’ve ever doubted that, be encouraged in reading how this community rallied to raise almost $60,000 for the Joey Gude Family at a recent BBQ benefit. Even the Tampa television stations reported on the story. And thanks to our Chamber of Commerce, our new Economic Development Corporation and even the film production involved in No Postage Necessary, we are enjoying a time of growth and public exposure like never before. To picture the economic impact happening around the Two Roads Picture Company production, be sure to learn about 14-year-old Jacob Mordecai, who drove seven hours from Dothan, Alabama with his mother to experience professional filmmaking firsthand. After e-mailing Fresh Picked Talent, they even got to be extras. A few days of rain didn’t dampen their week’s joy one little bit. Plant City is experiencing economic growth through a real estate sales surge, too. Properties are selling quickly as new folks relocate homes and businesses to our community, thanks to the professional realtors who’ve built their strong careers right here. We highlight these hardworking folks in our annual Top Realtors issue, in hopes you’ll shop local when you need realty services. With school back in session, the days and weeks will fly by while families embrace the routine once again. Through stories like the New Teacher Coffee, Kiwanis Spelling Bee, Lily Blossoms Foundation, and Life Christian University Graduation, we get a small glimpse of how so many pour so much into the lives of students here. And for those, we are grateful… …just like we are thankful for you, our faithful readers and advertisers.

Warmest Regards, Mike Floyd

CREDITS Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information. Floyd Publications, Inc. 702 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. Plant City, FL 33563

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.

Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Publisher Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com

www.focusplantcity.com

Sales Dede Floyd dede@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.

Managing Editor Cheryl Johnston cjohnston@floydpublications.com

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) 7078783 or e-mail editorial@floydpublications.com. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner.

Distribution Tony 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

Art Director Anthony Sassano asassano@floydpublications.com

Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston | Heather Davis Deana Garrison | Sherrie Mueller Contributors Gil Gott | Jo-An Lusk | Nate Davis Candy Owens | Natalie Sweet | Victoria Srgo Mike Goodwine | Kristen Campbell Wanda Anderson

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Classmates from the Plant City High School Class of 1971 met recently to plan their 45th year Class Reunion. Members of the Class of 1969, 1970 and 1972 at Plant City High School are also invited to join the fun at a banquet to be held on Saturday, September 24 at Lone Palm Golf and Country Club. Those wishing to attend may make a reservation by sending $50 per person to PCHS Class of 1971 C/O Kaye Williams, 6441 Clark St, Hudson, FL 34667. For more information call Kay Robinson Williams 813-716-0157 or Sherrie Chambers Mueller 813-752-5889. During the month of August, many Plant City locals joined in the fun as filming extras for Two Roads Picture Company on the sets of the independently produced dramedy, No Postage Necessary. Visit the film’s page on Facebook to follow the progress of the story written by Jeremy Culver and starring Charleene George Blagden, Charleene Closshey, Robbie Kay, Stelio Savante with Michael Beach and Raymond J. Barry.

Pictured: (L-R seated): Maruchi Azorin, Debbie Brown Lawson, Cathy Huntsman Stein, Elaine Farmer. (L-R standing): Gayle Albright Eiland, Tonda Forbes Morris, Mike Venning, Paige Walden Ward, Sherrie Chambers Mueller, Kaye Robinson Williams

St. Clement Catholic Church welcomes all to its 4th Annual Community Yard Sale on September 10, 2016 from 7:30AM to Noon. Vendor space is available for lease (see flyer for pricing and contact info).

Plant City High School invites our community members, area businesses, and civic organizations to become “Raider Champtions.” This effort will streamline all of the various PCHS clubs, sports and fundraisers into one sponsorship request, and thereby allow for greater follow through and less duplication. Tax deductible donations and sponsorships should be made payable to the school’s PTSA, a 501(c)3 non-profit. For details, contact Susan Sullivan at 813-757-9400 or Lori Yarbrough at 813-478-3886.

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South Florida Baptist Hospital President Karen Kerr has been announced as the 14th Annual Strong Leader by the Plant City Family YMCA. The Strong Leader dinner will be 6:30 PM Tuesday, August 23rd, at the John R Trinkle Center, 1206 N Park Road. Tickets for $75 are available at the YMCA or by calling 813-7576677. Table sponsorships are also available. Contact Natalie Sweet at NSweet@KW.com or 813-758-9586 for details.

Thank you, Plant City, for your overwhelming support of the Gude Family Benefit, held July 30 at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds. The community is invited to another fundraiser, hosted by the Hardwood BBQ Team and planned by the farm family community, on Friday, September 23 in Blake Hall at Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill on SR 60, just east of SR 39. Please purchase tickets, attend, donate, contribute to auction items, sign up at takethemameal.com, and pray. Every action, thought, and prayer is appreciated.


Culligan Water of Tampa 2703 Airport Road Plant City, FL 33563 Toll Free (888)440-4542 tampaculligan.com FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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Wayne Davis stands with his loan officer Joseph Sweat at his Wimauma, Florida ranch, proudly displaying the Farm Credit of Central Florida 2016 Patronage Check.

Wayne Davis stands in front of his Brandon, Florida office with his Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives award.

FARM CREDIT CELEBRATES 100TH ANNIVERSARY WAYNE DAVIS SELECTED FOR FARM CREDIT CENTENNIAL HONOR BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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arm Credit, one of the nations’ leading agricultural lenders and financial service providers celebrated its 100th year of support to rural communities and agriculture on July 17, 2016. The Farm Credit system was established to help fund America’s food, fuel and fiber and support the thriving rural communities American farmers call home. The cooperative has a national footprint serving all 50 states and Puerto Rico, where each locally owned and operated Farm Credit organization provides services to the community where they live and work. Farm Credit organizations are memberowned cooperatives and have a deep understanding of agriculture in their area. In 2015, Farm Credit introduced

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Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives to celebrate the vision and commitment it takes to be a leader in rural enterprise today and tomorrow. Farm Credit of Central Florida is proud to announce its member, Wayne Davis of Brandon, Florida was selected for this honor. CEO and president of his own agri-business, Wayne has worked with the University of Florida to develop its innovative Agricultural Entrepreneurship program. This program focuses on identifying students who may have an entrepreneurial mindset, determining how to increase entrepreneurial thinking, and providing exposure to the concept of entrepreneurship during a student’s program of study. “I’m inspired by the desire to motivate University of Florida students to become

entrepreneurs in the agricultural industry, with the goal of sustaining agricultural production in the U.S. and beyond through the free enterprise system with highly educated and motivated participants,” Davis said. The program is being piloted with course-specific instruction, lectures by successful entrepreneurs, and mentoring by entrepreneurs. It’s incorporation of leadership training alongside academic and real-world experience is offering a solid foundation for the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs. “The potential for success is unlimited. Ag production will become much more sophisticated and technical, and many new firms and professionals will be required to support production,” Davis said.

“For a century, Farm Credit has had the privilege of working hand in hand with the rural entrepreneurs and innovators who have helped shape the fabric of our nation,” said Reggie Holt, Farm Credit of Central Florida President and CEO. “Farm Credit of Central Florida is proud of the work Wayne is doing and we consider it an honor to serve forward thinking customers like him.” Ron O’Connor, Farm Credit of Central Florida Director of Marketing and Government Affairs, agrees. He shared, “The farmers are why we’re here. Without them, there would be no Farm Credit.” Farm Credit of Central Florida is a member-owned cooperative serving 13 Central Florida counties including Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Sumter, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Brevard. Part of the nationwide Farm Credit System established in 1916, Farm Credit of Central Florida provides loans, leases and crop insurance to over 1,000 farmers, ranchers, growers and rural homeowners.


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Six-year-old Lakota Lockhart of Plant City, a patient at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Krystal Lockhart and Keri Eisenbeis, director of Government Relations for BayCare Health System, met with Congressman David Jolly on Capitol Hill June 22, 2016, to discuss health care legislation for medically complex children.

LAKOTA LOCKHART - PLANT CITY’S YOUNG HERO

including the importance of having a medical home for children with complex and chronic conditions and their coverage through Florida’s Children’s Medical Services program. Krystal Lockhart, Dakota’s mother, explained, “Parents with special needs children need to know they’re not alone. Other families out there are also experiencing the roller coaster ride of life with a medically complex child.” Together, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and the family asked Congress to support legislation that designates national pediatric networks to ensure kids like Lakota receive life-saving care, regardless of where they live. “Direct patient advocacy is the most effective form of convincing lawmakers to pass legislation or make change,” said Keri Eisenbeis, director of Government Relations for BayCare. “Lakota and his family went to great lengths to tell their story in a way that no one else can.” “St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital has been instrumental in my son’s survival,” said Lakota’s mother, Krystal Lockhart. “He spent the first 68 days of his life in their Neonatal ICU where he underwent multiple surgeries to insert a feeding tube in his stomach and a breathing tube in his

trachea, and today he’s cared for by a team of specialists in their Chronic-Complex Clinic.” Lakota’s grandmother, Annel Douglas, understands the necessity of help for families. “Everybody knows someone with a special needs child. The families and children deserve to get the help they need. Hopefully, this trip will help make that happen.” St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Chronic-Complex Clinic has been recognized nationally for its innovative work with medically complex children. Serving as a medical home for patients like Lakota, the specialized clinic provides consistent, accessible and coordinated primary care, resulting in healthier, happier and higher qualities of life for hundreds of children throughout Florida. “Parents and caregivers of medically complex children have unique needs,” offered Krystal Lockhart. “My hope is that by sharing our personal story with members of Congress, they will be reminded that real lives are being affected when decisions are made on bills such as the ACE Kids Act. To view additional photos from the family’s trip to Capitol Hill, visit facebook.com/stjosephschildrens.

CHILD ADVOCATE FOR KIDS WITH COMPLEX MEDICAL CONDITIONS VISITS CAPITOL HILL BY CHERYL JOHNSTON | PHOTOS BY BAYCARE HEALTH SYSTEMS

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n late June, 6-year-old Lakota Lockhart from Plant City joined 42 pediatric patients from across the United States on Capitol Hill. Their mission: to speak out on behalf of kids with complex medical conditions and encourage Congress to support legislation that keeps children’s health care needs top of mind. Lakota was born with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome, a central nervous system disorder which causes his breathing to stop every time he falls asleep. The condition is extremely rare, affecting less than 1,500 people throughout the world. His family traveled to Washington 18

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D.C. as part of the Children’s Hospital Association’s annual Family Advocacy Day. The June 20-22 trip included one-on-one meetings with U.S. Representatives Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, David Jolly, Dennis Ross, Daniel Webster and Senator Bill Nelson; a tour of Washington D.C. and the White House; and a celebratory dinner to honor the children and their families. Lakota Lockhart’s favorite part of the trip to the nation’s capitol was “meeting Batman.” He was also thrilled to meet a new friend with a service dog. The Lockharts shared their experiences with lawmakers of having a child with special health care needs,

In late June, 6-year-old Lakota Lockhart from Plant City joined 42 pediatric patients from across the United States on Capitol Hill to speak out on behalf of kids with complex medical conditions and encourage Congress to support legislation that keeps children’s health care needs at the forefront.


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Mollie Anderson as Dolly and Darryl Parrish as Horace Vandergelder

HELLO, DOLLY! PCE’S LATEST SUCCESS BY JOANN ROSS

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lant City Entertainment presented “Hello, Dolly!” over several weekends in July at its PCE Theatre in the historic downtown. Along with Mollie Anderson as Dolly and Darryl Parrish as Horace Vandergelder, the production had a large supporting cast that included local actors of every age, lots of children and teens, and even entire families. The delightful play made for a very enjoyable night out in town. Mollie charmed the crowd with her lovely singing and natural sense of humor. She even managed to make eating turkey and beets look like fun! Darryl was an excellent Vandergelder with his booming yell and melodic singing. Friends Laura Midyette and Helen Howard attend all PCE performances. “We try to always bring along someone who has not attended before, in order to introduce them to this great venue,” she shared. This time they brought along Randolph

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Link. “I enjoyed the show very much and will definitely return for future productions,” he said. The next event at the PCE Theatre will be the Soaring Sounds Vocal Ensemble concert on August 27, 2016. Tampa’s newest professional chamber choir, founded in 2014, features highly trained vocalists who represent schools such as Florida State University, the University of South Florida, New York University, Yale University, and many others. SSVE performs music from all musical eras, but specializes in modern music from the 1900s to today. The next PCE play presented will be in conjunction with Samuel French. The Game’s Afoot, winner of the 2012 Edgar® Award for Best Play from the Mystery Writers of America, is scheduled for November 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20. Be sure to visit pceshows.com or Plant City Entertainment, Inc. on Facebook for dates, times and tickets. Let’s support our community theatre!


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30TH ANNUAL NEW TEACHER COFFEE BY STEVE CASON

with everything from pens, pencils and notebooks to head and backscratchers. “I think it’s awesome,” said former Turkey Creek Middle School principal and coach Dennis Mayo. “The chamber and sponsors go all out to make our teachers feel supported.” Duke Gaffney, the new 7th and 8th grade civics and history teacher at Independence Academy, loved the show of support. “It feels good when teachers have the support of the community,” he said. “I’m very appreciative and thankful.” Prize winners included : OnPoint IT Solutions’ Alice Bullard presented Bailey Elementary teacher Daryll Franchi with a wireless printer Tomlin Middle School teacher Joe Pezzulich won the laptop from Happy’s Home Center. Durant High School teacher Eduardo Escudero won 2 tickets to a Rays game and an autographed baseball. Sponsors included ARCO Painting & Services, Bright House Networks, Charter School Associates, Florida Strawberry Festival, Happy’s Home Center, Jill Sessions, J.B. Shepherd & Company, Inc., Larry and Diane Martin, Mosaic Plant City Facility, Myers & Wright, P.A., OnPoint IT Solutions, PTR Baler & Compactor, State Rep. Jake Raburn, South Florida Baptist Hospital, Suncoast Credit Union, The Cottage, Walden Lake Car Wash & Service Center.

Ask me about Accident Forgiveness. With other insurance companies, having an accident can mean your rates rise as much as 40%. But with Allstate’s Accident Forgiveness, your rates won’t go up at all just because of an accident. Don’t wait! Call me today.

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Feature is optional and subject to terms and conditions. Safe Driving Bonus® won’t apply after an accident. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. Northbrook, IL © 2010 Allstate Insurance Co.

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ew school teachers from around the Plant City area gathered for breakfast and bags of goodies at the 30th annual New Teacher Coffee hosted by The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce last month at the Strawberry Festival Expo Center. Sitting at tables adorned with towering centerpieces of school supplies, some 200 teachers attended the event, representing 24 of the area’s 25 schools. They feasted on a buffet of fruit, pastries and eggs provided by 911 Catering. “Today it’s all about you,” Suncoast Credit Union Regional Vice President Clark Smith told the mostly rookie teachers in his opening remarks. Eleven new Hillsborough district teacher breakfasts were held this year, but Plant City’s is one of the oldest, said school district superintendant Van Aryres. “I just want you to realize how important you are,” he said. “You won’t be perfect, but every day you will learn and grow.” He also reminded those in attendance that teachers “have the best job in the world, despite the ups and downs.” While attendance was down slightly from past years, retiring chamber president Marion Smith said that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. “It means less teachers are leaving,” she said. Teachers from each school performed a group-skit reflecting a theme for the new school year that began August 10. After their performances, each teacher received a rose and a goody bag that they filled

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A sample of the thin, flat copper wires that comprise the hearing loop system Gracepoint Presbyterian church installed in August.

THE HEARING LOOP “MIRACLE” AT GRACEPOINT CHURCH

the speaker is to the microphone,” said Harley, who completely lost his hearing in 2013, after many years of gradual loss following a 20-year career in the Air Force. While Harley has a state-of-the-art Cochlear implant, he still wasn’t able to hear Pastor Scott Lawry’s sermons. Competing sounds, like crowd noise or singing, often make it difficult to hear a single voice All that changed August 3rd, after the hearing loop was installed. “That Sunday he heard the sermon for the first time,” said Doris. And it didn’t cost the church a penny, thanks to the Lakeland chapter of the Hearing Loss Association (HLA), which paid for the system with grants and donations. The Crosby’s, who’ve been married for 33 years, first learned of the hearing loop in Sun City a couple of years ago. “The HLA of Sarasota is where we got introduced to the technology,” said Doris.

The two are members of the nationwide hearing support group, which operates several chapters in Florida, including the one in Lakeland. The Crosby’s credit Jackie Bowman and Art Matlock with helping them obtain the technology and the funds to pay for it. “It took about a year and a half to put it all together,” said Doris. “We’re just so grateful.” Sytsma isn’t sure how many members of the congregation will be helped by the hearing loop, but he knows of at least two others. “You don’t always know who’s hearing impaired, ” he said. Plus, people who are hearing impaired often stop coming to church. “You just withdraw,” said Harley. “You don’t go anywhere.” Harley said hearing loops are popular in Europe, but are just now catching on in the U.S. For more information, visit www. hla-lakeland.org

UNIQUE SERVICE ALLOWS HEARING-IMPAIRED TO ENJOY SERVICES BY STEVE CASON

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wo strands of flat copper wire, not much thicker than a sheet of paper, are allowing hearingimpaired worshippers at Gracepoint Presbyterian to hear sermons again, thanks to the tireless efforts of two of its members. Called a “hearing loop,” Doris and Harley Crosby, who’ve been attending Gracepoint for more than nine years, were instrumental in bringing the new technology to the church “Harley and Doris have been the driving force behind the hearing loop,” said church administrator Hank Sytsma. ”If they hadn’t pushed us, we wouldn’t have it.”

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The concept is simple. The flat wire, which is connected to the church’s sound system, is run in a rectangular loop—under the carpet—around a section of the congregation. Anyone with a hearing aid that’s compatible with T-Coil can hear, just by sitting inside the loop. While T-Coil technology is embedded in most hearing aids, those who rely on hearing aids without it can use one of the churches’s loaner headphones, similar to the way airline passenger headsets work. “If you’re sitting inside the circle, your hearing aid becomes a speaker and you are as close to the speaker as

Harley and Doris Crosby with the headphones hearing-impaired church members and visitors can use to hear services more clearly. Note the Hearing Loop technology sign.


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Chris Stovall, Big Dog’s Patio owner Kat Derosa, Jeremy Caruthers and Christina Corson kept the Christmas spirit flowing.

“Christmas in July,” the Historic District watering hole was festively adorned with a Christmas tree, glimmering silver streamers and snowflakes, raising more than $1,800, including a $1,000 contribution from FGD Logistics. Raffle prizes included gift certificates from Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Johnson Barbeque, Duke’s Brewhouse, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dixie Station Tattoo, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Octopus Carwash, Fred’s Market, Betsy’s Nails, and scratch off lottery tickets. Overall, Kaczmarek said she was very pleased with event. “It was a great turnout,” she said. “The community is really coming together in a big way.” The money raised will go toward funding another Angel Tree this Christmas. They also plan to start a sports support group to help defray the cost of equipment, safety gear, and uniforms. “We want children to persevere beyond their

circumstances,” said Kaczmarek. Since 2012, when she began assisting the Head Start program, more than 240 children from low-income families have been helped, receiving more than 900 gifts through 12 Head Start classrooms at three local elementary schools. The foundation is now looking for volunteers to work concessions at Bucs and Bulls football games at Raymond James Stadium this fall. For every volunteer, the organization receives a minimum of $50, plus a share of the proceeds. Bartender Chris Stovall, perhaps, summed up the fundraising celebration best. “Sometimes it’s not about business. It’s about love.” For more information, visit www. lilyblossoms.org. You can also contribute to the cause at www.gofundme.com/ thelilyblossoms.

THE LILY BLOSSOMS FOUNDATION CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS IN JULY BY STEVE CASON

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here’s a new angel in Plant City. She doesn’t have wings, but she does fly a lot for her day job as a logistics consultant for a host of companies around the country. It’s her love of children, however, that inspired Nicole Kaczmarek to create The Lily Blossoms Foundation, which provides essentials—like clothes, shoes, and a few toys—to underprivileged children in the Plant City area. Kaczmarek knows firsthand how hard it is for less fortunate children to succeed. At age 14, she gave birth to her first daughter, Alecia. “It was rough,” Kaczmarek said. Her experience with the Head Start program, the Angel Tree Foundation, and later, The Give a Kid a Backpack Foundation in Orlando, where she set on the board of directors, gave her the skills

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needed to start a similar organization here. After moving to Plant City in 2012, she met Janell Johnson, a Head Start teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. “I did an Angel Tree with her at Walmart,” Kaczmarek said. “That’s how it all began.” She credits Alecia, now 19, with motivating her to create the foundation. It was Alecia’s nickname, Lily, that also inspired the foundation’s name. “She’s always been the driving force that changed my life,” said Kaczmarek. “Everything blossomed from her.” Alecia, son Austin, 15, and daughter Anneliese, 10, are also involved in the foundation. “They love it,” said Kaczmarek. “They’re like my little operations managers.” The organization held its first fundraiser July 23 at Big Dog’s. Billed as

Julie Lopez purchases raffle ticks from Cornelius Wiggins and Austin Kaczmarek.

Cameron Cox, Nicole Kaczmarek, Alecia Kaczmarek, and Austin Kaczmarek with some of the many prizes that were raffled off.


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In Liberty Camp’s morning sessions, students volunteered to lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag and to pray for the day’s activities.

LIBERTY CAMP TEACHES PATRIOTISM BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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orty-six area children experienced early Colonial American history during the annual Liberty Camp week of July 25-29, 2016. Through true-to-life stories, interactive lessons, and hands-on activities, the students learned facts to retain for a lifetime. Volunteers shared their passion for the foundations of American government during the half-day, weeklong adventure, hosted again this year by the Plant City Church of God. Students participated in four classes daily, along with an outdoor recess/games period, and ate colonial snacks like cornbread with hand-shaken butter, gingerbread with sassafras tea, and root beer floats. On Liberty Camp’s first day, a tyrannical King James (Ken Winter) discussed “liberty” with William Bradford (Sheila Winter). Then he “taxed” each camper three of their initial 10 gold coins. On day two, King George III (history teacher Josiah Winter) performed a monologue and collected more tax. On Wednesday the students defied the monarch with a “tea party.” Ramona and Bart Bartlett introduced the Liberty Camp idea to Plant City two years ago. Her passion for patriotism and the price others paid for our freedoms is evident. She taught students about the Magna Carta. Teachers included Francine Hancock, Lady Liberty, Sheila Winter and Michelle

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Watson. Lessons included strategic battles, America’s foundational documents, the New England Primer, and interviews with George/Martha Washington (Earl Burkett; Lisa Herrin) and John/Abigall Adams (Nick Watson; Claudia DelValle). Students signed a Declaration of Independence with quill pens and crossed the frozen Delaware in bare feet (i.e. an icecube filled pool). They also ground corn in a hand-turned gristmill. Hancock shared, “My favorite lesson is about George Washington, a selfless servant of God. He wrote, ‘It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible’ and ‘I have only been an instrument in the hands of Providence.’ “Benjamin Rush, the Father of American public schools, stated, “’The Bible should be read in school in preference to all other books.” On day four, three Veterans supervised the flag-folding ceremony and responded to questions. Naval reservist Craig Scafidi was “impressed by their interest and the thanks for our service.” adding, “ I plan to return next year for this very important work.” At a ceremony attended by family members on Friday, students were “commissioned” to be American patriots-using voice, actions and votes to preserve our liberties. To learn more, visit Plant City Church of God Liberty Camp on Facebook.


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Jacob Mordecai, a 14-year-old filmmaker from Dothan, Alabama had fun exploring the interesting sites and the Twistee Treat set in Plant City during his recent educational adventure.

NO POSTAGE NECESSARY FOR JACOB MORDECAI

through Twitter of our trip, she has gone out of her way to make us feel welcome and to encourage Jacob in his passion for filmmaking.” “Her parents and family have encouraged her dream, like we’re trying to do for Jacob,” she continued. “Truly, everyone has been so kind and helpful. We didn’t expect to be extras, but Fresh Picked Talent said yes, so we did. Being on the set at Twistee Treat brought back childhood memories for me. We’ve had fun exploring the town and shopping, too.” In addition to watching her daughter’s filmmaking and music career expand, Jennifer Closshey is encouraged by the production’s economic impact to our community. “Throughout August, this film’s cast and crew will spend money locally for lodging, meals, gasoline, personal items, equipment rentals and entertainment,” she explained. “They are

promoting this wonderful town through social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites. In reporting on the movie’s progress, television and print media will draw attention to the Winter Strawberry Capitol and all it has to offer. That free promotion is priceless.” Writer/director Jeremy Culver also arranged to meet Jacob on set right before Culver began shooting a scene between Raymond J Barry and Stelio Savante. Jacob Mordecai has learned that movie production “takes a team and everyone’s job is important.” He’s also learning to plan, organize and budget for his own projects. Currently, he uses a Samsung Galaxy camera for filming and the Sony Vegas software package for editing. One day, he hopes to create, edit and direct with the pros. And his parents have already decided they’ll do everything possible so he’ll realize his dream.

YOUNG FILMMAKER GAINS FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE

BY CHERYL JOHNSTON | PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNIFER MORDECAI

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arents love encouraging children to pursue dreams. And like Jennifer Mordecai, a mother from Dothan, Alabama, most will go to great lengths and expense to accomplish that end. Her middle son Jacob has been a filmmaker since age three. Jennifer and her husband Mike, Coordinator of Instruction with the Toronto Blue Jays, regularly discovered photos on their camera of scenes Jacob had staged with toys. In his sixth grade graduation video, Jacob described himself as a movie director within ten years. Today, the homeschooled 14-year-old creates movies regularly, casting his friends, brothers, and himself, as necessary, in story roles. The techie then adds special effects and edits as well. But directing is his favorite part. A fan of George Blagden, Jennifer learned through social media of his

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leading role in No Postage Necessary, a project of Florida production company, Two Roads Pictures. Involving over 300 local crew, actors, extras, and musicians in Tampa and Plant City since August 1, the filming continues through the 23rd. After Mordecai researched the female lead, Charleene Closshey, mother and son Jacob drove seven hours south for an educational adventure to see professional filming in action. “Being a mom, you give up a lot, even things you wanted to do,” Jennifer shared, “but helping your children develop their talents makes it all worthwhile. Dothan is a small town also, and I wanted Jacob to see that a town’s size doesn’t limit it, that great things happen in small towns.” What they’ve discovered in Plant City are “some great people, too!” She added. “Since Charleene Closshey learned

No Postage Necessary actors: George Blagden, Charleene Closshey, and Michelle Moreno (center). Photo Courtesy of Two Roads Picture Company


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Front row (L-R): Christine Turner, Melanie Myer, Kaitlyn Myers, Pastor Josh Myers, Dr. Jack Myers, Pastor Marie Myers, Pastor Tina Sumner, Cindy Brennan, Paula Koterba, Sheri Myer, Melvin Myer Second row (L-R): Shannon Stoltzfus, Tammy Carrillo, Nona Turner, Traci Crook, Debra Purtz, Marilyn Siwinski, Sharlayne Wilson, Kerri Cunningham, Michaela Judah Third row, (L-R): Matt Costello, Pastor Kevyn Chisholm, Justin Davis, Chuck Thorpe, Rafal Siwinski, Vincent Knight

LIFE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY GRADUATION, HONDURAS TRIP AND NEW SEMESTER BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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or 21 years, Life Christian University has equipped more than 21,000 graduates for ministry. On June 26, twenty-eight of those received earned degrees in the commencement ceremony at the Plant City campus, 600 W. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Laurie Williamson received her Bachelor’s in Theology and is now working on her Master’s. “Life Christian University has taken me to another level in my relationship with God,” she said. “Teaching the Word, interpreting scripture with scripture, LCU instructors have taught me biblical principles for practical application in this life, and in the life to come!” Rev. Marie Myers directs the Plant

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City campus, the nineteenth of twenty that she and her husband/pastor Dr. Jack Myers have placed within the U.S. The accredited university provides courses for audit or credit, with distance learning available for students living more than an hour away from any LCU campus. The non-denominational program of Christian-centered classes offers degree levels from Associates through Doctorate in Theology, Biblical Studies, and Christian Counseling (prerequisite: three years of theology). Registration is now open for the fall semester, when classes meet weekly on Tuesdays from 6:30–9:30 p.m. Plant City campus students may try their first

class for $20, or purchase one full-price class and attend one for free (once only). Tuition is only $175 for undergraduate courses, $210 for graduate level, and $225 for doctorate level. Some previously taken college courses can also matriculate to fulfill LCU degree requirements. Affordability is a factor for most, like Kaitlyn Myers, who earned her Master’s in Theology. “Each instructor invests time and energy into our lives, always encouraging and pushing us towards success. LCU has given me the opportunity to have a degree at an affordable rate and at my leisure, while enriching my life so much.” At 240 campuses in 38 states and 17 other countries, faculty members equip

students to become effective and morally guided leaders in their communities, churches, and specific ministries. “Each of our Plant City campus instructors hold Master’s degrees or above,” Rev. Marie explained. Students frequently find employment as pastors, ministers, chaplains, evangelists and missionaries, here and abroad. “In mid-August, 22 from our church, with our entire team totaling 70, will minister in San Pedro Sula Honduras,” added Rev. Marie. “Many are LCU students who will put into practice what they learned.” She stresses the importance of earned degrees. “In recent years more than 300,000 non-profit organization applications have been denied status because educational qualifications of the principals involved were less than required,” she continued. “Most ministries and para-church groups are unaware of this change.” Orientation is Sunday, September 18 from 4-6 p.m. Please contact Marie Myers at 813-708-2783 or e-mail LCUPlantCity@gmail.com for to begin the application process.


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After many laughs, cheers and difficult words, trophies were awarded to: First Place - Dr. Martin Clay, sponsored by the Plant City Chamber of Commerce Second Place - Cynthia Wolf with Haught Funeral Home Third Place - Cheryl Johnston with Focus Magazine

KIWANIS SPELLING BEE 4TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISER BY EDNA RUIZ

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s kids were getting ready to go back to school, some adults were reliving being in school for one night. Members from the Plant City community participated in the Fourth Annual Kiwanis Business Spelling Bee to prove who was the spelling champion in Plant City. “What says back to school better than a spelling bee,” said President of Kiwanis and announcer for the spelling bee, David Wolf. “And we’ve been blessed with some wonderful sponsors.” “The spelling bee is a fundraiser for the Kiwanis “Stuff the Bus” and “Read Around the World campaigns, which supply backpacks and other school supplies for Plant City’s children in need. A number of community businesses sponsored the event by paying $200 to have one staff member compete in the spelling bee. The 2016 event generated approximately $5,000. “People are just scared of spelling and they’re scared of speaking in public. We put those two fears together,” Wolf said. “I applaud the people that get up and do it.” Many came out to Plant City Entertainment in support of the cause. Ticket purchasers also received raffle chances to win gift cards and baskets donated from local businesses such as

Publix, Southside Supply and others. The competition began with an introductory round of simple words so the audience could meet participants and learn of their sponsors. The second round involved more challenging words and each round after, even more so. If a contestant word their word, they left the stage. But to add a little more excitement this year, audience members had a $50 chance to buy a speller back into the contest. When this happened, that contestant selected an envelope and had to perform the enclosed instructions, such as answer trivia questions, spell three more words, or in the case of journalist Emily Topper, stand on one foot for 30 seconds while rubbing her midsection and patting her head. And woohoo! She did it. After many laughs, cheers and difficult words, trophies were awarded to: First Place - Dr. Martin Clay, sponsored by the Plant City Chamber of Commerce Second Place - Cynthia Wolf with Haught Funeral Home Third Place - Cheryl Johnston with Focus Magazine “This is fun, and not only a worthy cause, but it’s a throwback kind of competition,” Dr. Clay said. “I’m really glad we got to participate.” FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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Gude said. “When we first started talking about it a month ago, I had no idea it was going to become all of this.” About 1,400 tickets were sold for the event. Attendees were able to participate in raffles and silent auctions. One of the big prizes was a guitar signed by Luke Bryan, donated by the Dave and Veronica Morning show on WQYK 99.5. That was just one of the many sponsors who contributed to help. Dave McKay of the Dave and Veronica Morning Show, emceed the evening. He was amazed by the turnout. “This is just a testament to how Plant City’s a community like no other in this area,” Dave said. “It’s a true, solid

community where everybody comes together.” Joey not only made an appearance at the event, but also had some words for his supporters. “I just want to thank y’all for doing all of this. Thank you so much,” a tearful and obviously grateful Joey said. With the help of everyone who contributed to the cause, a total of $59,780 was raised by this event. Another fundraiser, sponsored by the Hardwood BBQ Team, is scheduled for September 24 in Blake Hall at Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill. Please make plans to attend or donate again. All contributions are welcome!

Strawberry farmer Joey Gude is surrounded by his loves: Wife Lindsey, holding baby Piper, with Ashlyn (left) and Faith.

GUDE FAMILY BENEFIT COMMUNITY OUTPOURING OVERWHELMS BY EDNA RUIZ

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enerosity, love and the aroma of homemade barbeque filled the Charlie Grimes Agricultural Center during the dinner hour on Saturday, July 30th. Hundreds came out to support the benefit hosted in honor of the Gude family. In May of this year, Brandon Farms strawberry grower Joey Gude was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors. When his treatments began, not only did the stress pile up, but so did the bills. That’s when friends and family decided to do as much as they could to make sure bills were the last thing Joey and his family had to worry about. In order to raise money, Joey’s good friend 34

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Mike Perry, started a Go Fund Me account with a goal of reaching $15,000. Within minutes, people began donating, and it didn’t stop there. After the planning, friends, family and the community came together to enjoy a barbeque dinner benefit to help the Gudes. “At first it was kind of just an idea, and then people actually started to help and contribute,” Joey’s daughter Ashlyn Gude said. “We had my Papa who wanted to help cook and all the guys in my family. Our church family helped so much.” When the day finally came, the Gude family didn’t expect the turn out. “It’s a shock,” Joey’s oldest, Faith

From the words of a Michael W. Smith song, “Friends are friends forever, when The Lord’s the lord of them.” The Joey Gude family is relying on our prayers.


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Jess Anderson index SEPT16 take2.indd 1

7/31/2016 9:23:47 AM

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ey & Cheryl

By Judy Ron

ey & Cheryl

By Judy Ron

Johnston

Johnston

So spending time with grandchildren is a priority? Every chance we get! With Rowen, who is four, we have tea parties or picnics and we color and paint our fingernails and toenails (including Steve’s). Her brother Grymes is eight months old and full of energy, too. We love it when they visit. Tell us about your choir and musical involvement when you were younger. A wonderful woman named Bobbie Hooks directed the 100-member choir at First United Methodist Church. We were known as the Warren Willis Singers. When I was 16, we travelled to sing on the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. Five years ago, 100 members attended the choir reunion celebrating her 80th birthday. She lived to age 85. What a lifelong impact she had on us.

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GA PAULA PUGH MOR

In addition to her nursing work for WellMed at Plant City Family Practice, Paula Pugh Morgan enjoys nothing more than “being at home” and “doting on grandchildren.” Her hobbies include crossstitching, collecting miniatures and adding more tea cups with saucers to her inherited collection. And like her husband Steve, she favors the “regular Andy Griffith series” over the Mayberry RFD stories that followed. Are you a Plant City native? No, I was born in Flagstaff, Arizona at the Navajo Indian Reservations’ small Army hospital, which is 70 miles from the Grand Canyon. I was the first baby to be born there in 25 years. We moved to Plant City when I was five because Mom wanted to be near her sister. You fell in love with your husband Steve in high school, right? Yes, we met in our senior year at Plant City High School when Turkey Creek (his school) and Pinecrest merged with ours. We married in 1975, two years after our graduation.

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Do you have favorite music these days? Yes, Christian music by artists like Gordon Mote and Sandi Patty. And of course, the old hymns. Knowing you’re a fan of Fred’s Market Restaurant, what dishes do you like best? That’s easy. I could make a meal out of the apple salad and the macaroni salad, two things I crave on a regular basis. What’s something you love about Plant City? Even though it’s growing, we still have that small hometown feel. People here are generally friendly and most really love people. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

JASPER WHITE As one of 11 children, Jasper White helped his parents farm corn, peas and cotton in Wrightsville, Georgia. After high school, he moved to Plant City in 1967 where his uncle and three sisters lived. At age 19, Jasper married Vickie and they had three children. He feels blessed to have them living nearby so he can spend time with nine grandchildren. Three grandsons work alongside him in the lawn maintenance business he established in 1980, In and Out Cleaning. When you’re not working, how do you enjoy your spare time? I read, mostly my Bible, and watch clean movies at home. I love being with my children and grandchildren. We play a little basketball and we like to go fishing. During his illness, I’ve also been helping my brother-in-law with his church in Bradenton three Sundays a month.

years. Robert played baseball, Anthony played football, and Ericka sang. I was always working, so I missed games and events, things they were involved in. Why would you recommend others to our town? The people here are good. They’re friendly and kind. We have good shopping and good schools and transportation is convenient. You are obviously a peaceful man. To what do you credit your contentment? God has blessed me and I have a relationship with Him. As a pastor I have seen that regardless of a person’s accomplishments, what we all are really looking for is peace. I want to know God’s perspective for my life. I believe most people are trying to be good and enjoy life, but without God, there will always be something missing.

Were you an athlete in school? Yes, I played basketball and ran track, competing in the high jump and broad jump. I could dunk a basketball, too, even though I’m only 5’9” tall. At 67, in there an area of your life you’d like a do-over? I regret not spending more time with my children in their growing up

Find more People of Plant City on Facebook. Connecting the community one story at a time. facebook.com/peopleofplantcity Find more People of Plant City on Facebook. Connecting the community one story at a time. facebook.com/peopleofplantcity


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DID YOU KNOW

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My memories: Playing on the front porch, sitting in the porch swing, the playhouse in the back yard, Aunt Robbie waking us up one morning, tickling our nose with a rose from her garden.

REMEMBERING AUNT ROBBIE AND UNCLE VICTOR BY MARY JANE JACKSON PAROLINI

In the April edition the Photo Archives introduced the reader to the great house that Dr. John Walter Alsobrook had constructed on North Evers Street, across from what later became the 1914 Plant City High School. That house has since been moved to Whitehall Street and has been restored. We have been fortunate enough to have located some of the individuals who lived there and held a small reunion there on Saturday, March 12th. We will continue the story of the great house by printing some of the poignant memories they have written for this story.

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unt Robbie and Uncle Victor Smith invited my mom, Mildred Sims Jackson, and my two sisters, Melynda Jackson Hayes and Sara Jackson Cross and myself into their beautiful home, and they made us feel “at home”. My memories: Playing on the front porch, sitting in the porch swing, the playhouse in the back yard, Aunt Robbie waking us up one morning, tickling our nose with a rose from her garden. And Uncle Victor bringing home quail that he shot, Aunt Robbie cooking the quail – delicious!

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Aunt Robbie was a good cook and the kitchen always smelled good. I remember the bushels of tomatoes on the back porch that she picked. I remember being allowed to sleep in the attic bedroom in cool weather – no air conditioning. Joe, the family birddog, would go downtown and flop down in the front entrance of McCrory’s, and Otis Andrews would call Aunt Robbie and ask her to please come and get Joe to get him out of people’s way. I remember enjoying the sunroom on the north side of the house. I remember the Hartnett boys, neighbors

from across the street, hanging with my cousins Douglas and Bruce, and always teasing and tormenting the girls. I also remember my cousin Hank as a baby. I would find him awake early in the morning. I would change him and dress him, and then I would take him downstairs to Aunt Robbie, who was busy getting everyone off to work and to school. And, as busy as she was, she would take the time to spend with my boyfriend, inviting him to sit with them during breakfast while I got ready to walk to school with him. Good times together included my grandparents, Doug and Mary Sims, Mom’s sister, Marguerite Jackson Hart, and cousins Barbara Galloway, Mary Fengler, and Douglas Hart. When Bill and I married, Aunt Robbie and Uncle Victor had our wedding reception in their wonderful home. What memories!


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RIBBON CUTTINGS

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Welcome Wagon on July 19, 2016, at the Plant City Chamber of Commerce. The Welcome Wagon helps build a sense of community, one relationship at a time. They connect new movers and new comers to the local businesses in our area. These are people who have no preconceived notion of where to do business. Why not let them know about your business first?

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting July 21, 2016 for PTR Baler & Compactor. Located at 4609 Reece Road in Plant City, the company is the leader in the production and service of trash compactors and balers of recyclable products. Their stable, thriving business is a direct result of their dedication to quality - both in the machinery PTR produces and the caliber of people they employ. It’s this superior baler and compactor construction and dedicated service that has allowed PTR Baler & Compactor to partner with many of the nation’s largest retailers. PTR has been family owned and operated since 1907.

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on July 26, 2016 for Eric Seidel for Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court, at the Plant City Chamber. Consumer Lawyer Eric Seidel has spent nearly two decades on television in the Tampa Bay area, providing reliable consumer and legal advice as well as offering his guidance in avoiding scams, frauds and consumer rip-offs. As a trusted attorney and taxpayer watchdog in Hillsborough County, Eric believes he has the best qualifications and experience to serve as your next Hillsborough Clerk of the Court. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for The Eagles Nest Coalition on Saturday, July 30, 2016, located at 10610 McIntosh Road, Thonotosassa. The Eagles Nest Coalition is a non-profit (501 c 3) organization that provides a “hand up” to people that have faced challenges in the past. They offer temporary room and board while providing “work ready” training as well as assistance to obtain documents required to re-enter the work force. In addition to residential services, Eagles Nest strives to provide assistance to all the local people in need.

WHAT EVERY MAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men. It occurs mainly in older men, with two out of three men diagnosed at age 65 or older. Prostate cancer can be serious disease but most men do not die from it. 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed during his lifetime. About 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed. More then 2.5 million American men who were diagnosed at some point in their lives are still alive today. African-American men are about 60 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime than Caucasian or Hispanic men. Men with an immediate blood relative, such as father or brother, who has had prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease. A diet high in saturated fat, as well as obesity, increases the risk of prostate cancer.

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

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

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Photos by Jenna Miller

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Keller Williams Realty, Plant City is leading the way as the recovering real estate market increases its pace. Keller Williams has sold nearly 1 in 5 homes in Plant City in the first half of 2016. Beyond their outstanding performance as RealtorsÂŽ, Keller Williams Plant City agents live, work and believe in the community they serve and have been active participants in Habitat for Humanity, United Food Bank, Florida Strawberry Festival, YMCA, and other local organizations. The second Thursday in May, or Red Day, every Keller Williams office closes, and the agents volunteer in their community. This year the Plant City office worked one day at the local food bank and on Red Day volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and gave love to three Plant City homes by painting, landscaping, and cleaning. FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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Who is Keller Williams? With offices throughout the United States and Canada Keller Williams is now the largest real estate franchise in North America. Additionally, there are now 88 offices in 51 countries worldwide. Keller Williams also recognizes that real estate is a local business driven by individual real estate associates and their local image. The Plant City office of Keller Williams is a part of the “Chadwick Group” offices with a local network of over 1030 agents working to support buyers and sellers. 2015 was a record setting year for Keller Williams Plant City and 2016 promises to exceed last year’s numbers. Lisa Spencer, General Manager for the Chadwick Group, commented that “Keller Williams is a training and consulting company that also provides the franchise systems, products, and services that lead to productivity and profitability. Agents can participate in a global network through the GPS program (Global Property Specialist) or choose to belong to other niche marketing programs such as KW Commercial, Luxury, or Farm and Ranch. Real estate is sold locally, and marketed globally by Keller Williams.” Looking to the future is an important part of the success of the Plant City Keller Williams office. Keller Williams is determined to be the real estate company of choice for a future generation of Realtors and had 6 of the “30 Under 30” agent honorees in Realtor® magazine this year. “K.W.Y.P., or Keller Williams Young Professionals is increasing its influence in Tampa Bay with a growing local chapter. With the best Training, Technology, and Support available in the real estate industry, it is no wonder that younger agents are attracted to this dynamic company,” explained Julie Swain, Team Leader and Broker for the Plant City and 42

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KELLER WILLIAMS HAS SOLD NEARLY 1 IN 5 HOMES! TOP 3 BRANDS / UNITS SOLD IN PLANT CITY 180

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140

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100

80

60

40

20

0

Keller Williams

Coldwell Banker

ReMax

Plant City Market Share Jan to June 2016, numbers provided by Multiple Listing Service.

Brandon offices. Keller Williams is known for its unique profit sharing model. Keller Williams franchise owners share the profits from their market centers each month nearly 50/50 with the agents that build the company. “When I came to Keller Williams, I was curious about how it worked,” said Broker Julie Swain. “It is brilliant. The profit sharing model makes every agent a potential partner in our business. It creates an atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork that is truly unique,” Julie added. “With an investment of over 2.2 Million Dollars per month in Technology, and the most progressive internet marketing strategy and follow up program in the real estate industry, our agents maximize online exposure for every home we list,” added, Spencer. The mobile app that KW agents share with their consumers links directly to the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and provides up to the minute information, photos, and virtual tours of listings from all companies participating in the MLS. With over 1.6 Billion Dollars in real estate sold by “The Chadwick Group” their agents have sold 1 in 5 homes in Hillsborough County. Keller Williams’ agents have helped more buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals than any other company in Tampa Bay. With over 1.6 Billion Dollars in real estate sold by “The Chadwick Group” their agents have sold 1 in 5 homes in Hillsborough County. “Our goal is to attract the best agents and provide the best service to buyers and sellers, and to have fun while doing it,” that is the simple yet powerful mission set forth by Julie Swain, Broker. “Our goal is to attract the best agents and provide the best service to buyers and sellers, and to have fun while doing it,” emphasized Julie Swain. Whether you are interested in buying, selling or investing in real estate the agents, staff, and leadership of Keller Williams Plant City is here to help you. If you would like more information about real estate services, or a career in real estate at Keller Williams, contact Julie Swain at 813-759-1200 or JulieSwain@kw.com.

KELLER WILLIAMS PLANT CITY | 1607 SOUTH ALEXANDER STREET SUITE 102 | PLANT CITY, FLORIDA. 33563 FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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PLANT CITY’S

TOP REALTORS

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Plant City’s Top Realtors

HeatherCampbell

Keller Williams Realty | 813-478-0296 | www.JustSoldByHeather.com

Whether buying or selling, Heather Campbell loves the excitement of seeing her customers at the closing table. She strives to meet them at a personal level and provides outstanding service and communication. From contract to close she makes sure everything runs as smooth as possible. Born and raised in Plant City, she is extremely knowledgeable of the area. In the Capper’s Club at Keller Williams Realty, Heather has over $3,000,000 sales so far this year. Heather is married with four children, and is very involved in the agricultural community with her family, 4H, Hillsborough county Junior Cattlemen’s, and volunteers at the United Food Bank. Heather is highly motivated and ready to work for you!

AshleyCarlisle

Keller Williams Realty | 813-523-5959 | ashleycarlisle@kw.com

Ashley Carlisle has lived in Hillsborough County her whole life. She grew up in Brandon, graduated from Bloomingdale High School, and has lived in Plant City for eight years with her husband of six years and three boys. Even as a child Ashley wanted to be a realtor. Ashley is a wealth of knowledge on the local real estate market and also does property management. She really enjoys helping people and is very excited when they find their dream home. Building and continuing relationships with her clients is paramount to her business as is the flexibility of being her own boss in a demanding 24/7 career. In her down time, Ashley loves fishing and being on the water.

ReneeCorzine

Keller Williams Realty | 813-716-6007

For 15 years, Renee has enjoyed seeing buyers and seller accomplish their goals. She closed 3.6 million in sales volume during 2015. Whether working with first-time homebuyers, bank foreclosures, short sales or families, her focus is to perform above and beyond expectations. She and her husband Don recently celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary and are proud parents to four daughters, all PCHS graduates. Don is lead pastor at Plant City Community Church of the Nazarene. Renee states, “It is my privilege to witness the excitement of keys being presented to new homeowners, and checks being presented to sellers moving on to new adventures.” Whatever your real estate needs, Renee is ready to apply her skills and experience to make your dream a reality.

KimCullen

Keller Williams Realty | 813-293-7752 | kimcullen413@gmail.com

If you are looking for a well-rounded experienced agent, look no farther. Kim Cullen has been in the Real Estate and Mortgage business for over 16 years. She was a licensed mortgage broker for 8 years and knows the mortgage process in depth. During the market decline, she worked for a large mortgage service/bank. Kim gained expertise and extensive knowledge, a TRUE asset, to assist buyers and sellers in today’s market. Kim grew up in the Brandon/ Plant City area and graduated from Armwood High School and is currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Saint Leo University. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, contact Kim today to assist you throughout the process. 46

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Plant City’s Top Realtors

StacyDunn

Keller Williams Realty | (813) 586-3866 (mobile) | stacydunn@kw.com | www.stacydunn.com

A lifelong Plant City resident, Stacy Dunn’s philosophy is simple: Her clients come first! Specializing in Plant City premiere properties and Walden Lake homes, Stacy tailors her service for each client always doing extra while coordinating the sales process for smooth transactions. Stacy works personally with each client throughout transactions, listening intently, answering questions completely, understanding true desires, and maintaining constant communication, so clients are never left waiting and wondering. A Public Relations & Broadcasting graduate from Florida State, Stacy utilizes her 25+ years marketing background and 15 point marketing plan by working tirelessly to sell your home as if it were her own. Ready to buy or sell? Give Stacy a call and make it a Dunn deal!

TresHall

Keller Williams Realty | 813-405-6153 | TresHall@kw.com

Born and raised in Plant City, Tres Hall knows the community well and loves working with a variety of people. Hillsborough and Manatee counties locations are his specialty. He has a twin sister, older sister, plus a huge extended family. Tres just celebrated his 1 year anniversary with his wife, Jamie Hall. Working at Keller Williams has been instrumental in growing Mr. Hall’s career. He is a Keller Williams Capper, enjoys golf, and belongs to The Elks. An excellent personable realtor, Tres Hall treats everyone with respect and kindness just like family and enjoys maintaining long term relationships with his clients.

SheltonKeely

Keller Williams Realty | 813-FOR-SALE (367-7253) | SheltonKeely@kw.com | www.SheltonKeely.com

Buying or selling a home is a very big decision. You don’t have to make that decision alone! Shelton Keely is a highly experienced real estate professional who has been assisting customers from Plant City and surrounding areas for over 18 years. Specializing in residential real estate, and vacant land, Shelton is a consistent leader in listing and sales in Eastern Hillsborough County. All his hard work doesn’t go unnoticed! “I have dealt with Shelton Keely on several transactions and I have been impressed every time,” said a satisfied customer in an online review. “Not only is he extremely professional but he is extremely knowledgeable about the entire industry. He doesn’t mind taking the time to explain anything you want to know in detail, and he makes you feel comfortable and not rushed to make decisions. He is always accessible anytime I have ever called and always has the time to discuss any issues. I will continue to use Shelton, and only Shelton for all my future transactions.” If you’re looking to buy or sell, be sure to turn to Shelton Keely with Keller Williams Realty. He’s got the power to move you!

CathyMartin

Keller Williams Realty | 813-376-0891 | cmartin4re@kw.com

Cathy, a native Floridian, has lived in the Plant City area her entire life. She is married to Greg, and together they have four children Kyle, Jared, Kaitlyn, and Ben. Cathy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance at USF. Prior to becoming a Realtor, she worked in the Financial Services Industry and held various licenses for securities trading. Cathy has been a Realtor since 2005 and works diligently with each client to make sure the Buying or Selling of their home is a smooth process. She served on Keller Williams Agent Leadership Council in 2007, is a member of the Capper’s Club, and serves in various capacities within the community. She feels that hard work and integrity are the key components to a successful business and strives for excellence with each customer. FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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Plant City’s Top Realtors

AngelMiller

Keller Williams Realty | 813-546-9863 | AngelMiller@KW.com

As the second member to join THE SWEET TEAM, I have been with the team since 2004. Growing up in Plant City and then living abroad, I have returned to my small town roots. By 2004, my amazing children, Josh and Jenna, were older and more independent so I started my real estate career with THE SWEET TEAM, since I enjoy helping others and I like construction. At THE SWEET TEAM we focus on statistics and use data to determine the pulse of the market. Buying or selling a home is the largest financial transaction most people ever make and we believe everyone needs to be really heard, feel important, and greatly understood. One of the goals of THE SWEET TEAM “is to create customers for life.” THE SWEET TEAM provides all residential real estate services from new construction, renting, selling or buying a home. We are very experienced in finding the right home for every buyer. Our team strives to make every transaction as smooth as possible. Our mission is “Service with Results!”

BarbaraPugh

Keller Williams Realty | 813-679-2019

Barbara Pugh, a retired Hillsborough County school teacher, loves the small town atmosphere of Plant City. A mother of three successful children and a proud grandmother of two boys and two girls, she is proud to be affiliated with Keller Williams Realty, emphasizing the importance of integrity and doing the right thing by being trustworthy and honest. “I always put my customer’s needs first, and I will guide them to find a home that fits your criteria.” Experienced in the selling process from listing to close, Barbara’s specialties are residential, luxury homes, short sales, lease with option to buy, and international sales. Looking to sell or list your home in Hillsborough or Polk counties? Call Barbara for her experience and dedication!

LisaRhodes

Keller Williams Realty | 813-376-8294 | lisarhodes@kw.com

Lisa Rhodes has over 20 years’ experience in new home building, remodeling, and design. This proficiency naturally led to a successful career in real estate. Lisa has a wealth of knowledge and specializes in new home sales, residential resale, and listing homes at Keller Williams. Due to her design background, she is excellent at staging homes to bring her sellers the highest offer possible. Children keep Lisa and her husband very active in the local schools supporting their children’s sports teams, events, and other school activities. She is also very active in the Plant City Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador, Leadership Plant City graduate, and a member of The American Business Women’s Association. As a highly experienced realtor, Lisa Rhodes will skillfully represent you!

CherylRoberts

Keller Williams Realty | 813-267-0542 | Cheryl Roberts@kw.com

Cheryl Roberts was born and raised in Eastern Hillsborough County and graduated from Plant City High School. Cheryl has been a licensed Realtor since 1993. Happily married for 16 years to Glen, who has joined her in the realty business, and is mother to 4 young adult children, Cheryl understands the dynamics of today’s families. Cheryl likes anything to do with the water, is scuba certified, and loves boating! If your passion is waterfront living or country life and everything in between, Cheryl Roberts is your go-to gal! Cheryl is a highly qualified and driven Realtor with Keller Williams Realty. Her expertise along with her can-do attitude makes this true professional a joy to work with. Cheryl is confident that she makes her sellers and buyers be ridiculously happy with their Real Estate experience. 48

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Plant City’s Top Realtors

GlenRoberts

Keller Williams Realty | 813-777-6846

Glen moved to eastern Hillsborough County in 1997. A 10 year Army veteran with 21 years as a senior executive and business owner, Glen brings a wealth of knowledge as a Keller Williams agent. A customer recently commented: “Glen is a great problem solver and well prepared professional.” Building on his experience, Glen takes a consultative approach with his buyers and sellers by emphasizing communication. He uses proven strategies, and is an effective negotiator during real estate transactions. Glen has been married for over 16 years, and is the proud father of 4. Glen enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends.

PatriciaSmith

Keller Williams Realty | 863-738-0593 | ctsmith2@aol.com

I’ve lived in Plant City all of my life and truly enjoy the small town feeling. Supporting my community by volunteering at the United Food Bank, working with Habitat for Humanity, and being a Strawberry Festival volunteer is very important to me. I love being able to give back to the community! Being a local girl, I’m very familiar with the Hillsborough county area and surrounding communities including all of Pasco and Polk counties. I am very personable, a go getter, dedicated, and committed to keeping in regular touch with my customers. Maintaining relationships with past customers has allowed me to continually grow my business for over ten years. Because of Keller Williams training, I have gained a wealth of knowledge, the ability to negotiate, and the experience needed to be a top realtor that puts my customer’s needs first. I truly enjoy helping people make their dreams come true.

NatalieSweet

Keller Williams Realty | 813-758-9586 | NSweet@kw.com

As the original member of THE SWEET TEAM, I started the business in 2004. Married to Mike for 40 years, I have three wonderful children and seven awesome grandchildren. As a 27-year Plant City resident, I’m community involved: YMCA Board, Walden Lake Review for FOCUS Magazine, Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Leadership graduate, and Friends of the Library plays. Twenty years of real estate experience is a natural for my extroverted personality. I love helping others! With Keller Williams Realty, THE SWEET TEAM has expanded and I’ve grown professionally. Staying on top of the market, using market statistics, and my strong work ethic allows my business to skyrocket. Relationships with past customers have created a steady stream of referrals. The best compliment is when a past customer refers me. THE SWEET TEAM, Walden Lake’s premiere real estate team, specializes in residential properties. We’re hands on from physically moving furniture and staging a home to being completely available for questions. Our mission is “Service with results!”

MaddieAlford

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate | 813-382-8382 | maddie.alford@floridamoves.com

Maddie Alford, a Walden Lake resident for 28 years, says, “Thank you, Plant City, for another successful year” in the real estate career she began in 1996. Her 14-year affiliation with Coldwell Banker resulted recently with her receipt of The Coldwell Banker International Sterling Award for exceptional sales performance among the top Coldwell Banker professionals nationwide. Maddie is dedicated to providing exceptional real estate service to her customers and all involved in their transactions. As time allows, she enjoys golfing, fishing, and friends.

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Plant City’s Top Realtors

JohnHaney

ACE Realty Advisors, LLC | 813.567.7198

Fourth generation Plant City native and lifelong resident John L. Haney is a Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker, Realtor and Certified Auction Ringmaster. He served previously as general manager for one of the nation’s largest real estate auction firms. During his 17-year career, John has listed and sold over $250 million dollars in property throughout 41 states and 3 foreign countries. In 2014, the University of South Florida graduate (Business Administration) set course on a new venture and joined ACE Realty Advisors, LLC as the Managing Broker right here in Plant City. Stop in today and let John’s knowledge and experience work for you!

EarlWilliams

ACE Realty Advisors, LLC | 813.567.7198

For nearly 11 years, Florida licensed realtor/sales associate Earl Williams has helped both buyers and sellers with their property needs. The Plant City native, PCHS graduate (1995) and lifelong resident earned his University of South Florida College of Business degree in 2000. His knowledge, attention to detail and expertise in commercial, residential and agricultural property transactions make him a tremendous asset to the ACE Realty Advisors team. With his additional experience in auctions and foreclosed properties, he’s pleased to work with a company that can cover each process from start to finish.

StephanieEisenbach

Blue Sun Realty | 813-468-0230 | Stephanie@BlueSunHomes.com

Stephanie is a licensed real estate agent with Blue Sun Realty. As a Tampa native, she enjoys sharing all that her community has to offer with home buyers. She is very active in the Plant City community. She was President of the Junior Woman’s Club of Plant City for two years, and currently holds a position on state level. She is outgoing, personable and truly loves helping people. She specializes with first-time homebuyers. She is the proud mother of two energetic boys, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Angela “Angie” Inzerillo

Blue Sun Realty | angie@bluesunhomes.com | 813-230-4453

Angie Inzerillo is the broker for Blue Sun Realty. With over 8 years of real estate and property management experience. Angie has an impressive career and has the helped hundreds of people buy, sell, invest and rent real estate throughout the Tampa Bay area. Formally with Keller Williams Realty, where she was consistently one of the top 3 agents Angie decided to open Blue Sun Realty with her partner Sarah Lenhart to provide more opportunities to market their properties and save their clients money. Under her leadership, she has built Blue Sun Realty to the largest locally owned, most respected and fastest growing real estate brokerage companies in Plant City. Angie is committed to building an exceptional team that consistently provides outstanding service and support to those in need of real estate services with a focus on helping her sellers sell for the best possible price while saving them money and helping her buyers make informed decisions with honest advice. On track to do $20M+ in home sales in addition to 100+ properties managed for various investors for 2016, It’s one of the reasons she is a preferred Realtor and local expert on Zillow website and maintains over a 4.9 star rating from past clients!

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Plant City’s Top Realtors

SarahLenhart

Blue Sun Realty | 813-365-3375 | Sarah@BlueSunHomes.com

Sarah Lenhart is a Tampa area native that lives in Plant City with 2 very furry overly protective house companions. Sarah specializes in helping first time home buyers locate the best deals in the area and a home that is perfect fit to her client’s needs. Sarah is personable and a pleasure to work with through the home buying process. Sarah has a depth of experience in the area and knows several of the communities very well so she is an excellent guide and a source of knowledge for the home buying process. Sarah is also a certified expert property manager and manages the details of the rental properties for our clients. She currently manages 100+ properties and locates most of the tenants herself through her successful screening and interviewing process. Applications are attached on the site if you are considering one of our homes or if you are a property owner looking for assistance.

CrystalMeade

Blue Sun Realty | 813-310-2911 | Crystal@BlueSunHomes.com

Crystal is a real estate agent with Blue Sun Realty and formerly with Keller Williams. A proud mother of 4 and a Plant City resident, my focus is on helping families locate, negotiate and purchase their homes. I love working with first time home buyers and I try to make the process as fun and stress free as possible. I am an expert of the greater Plant City, Lakeland,Brandon, Riverview & Valrico areas as well as Wesley Chapel. I can help guide people looking to raise families in these towns from previously living in these areas myself. I am experienced in the foreclosure and short sale process and I can help with new construction too!

DonLopez

Blue Sun Realty | 813-763-9106 | Don@BlueSunHomes.com

Don Lopez is a Blue Sun Realty agent who specializes in with working with investors and out-of-area buyers moving into this area. The Florida native and University of South Florida graduate knows the Plant City and surrounding areas very well. Focused on customer service and sales management, Don has been in the business world for over 40 years. He has been married for 45 years and has a daughter and two grandsons. After working throughout the United States, he and his family moved to Plant City in 1987. In the late ‘80s, Don accomplished his real estate license to sell and purchase properties for himself. After retiring, he decided to pursue real estate full time. Don’s goal is to make sure the buyer is happy with their purchase. For investments and for his clients, his philosophy is, would he purchase this property, at that price, for himself ?

KayeWilliams

Blue Sun Realty | 813-716-0157 | Kaye@BlueSunHomes.com

Kaye Williams is a long time Plant City native and married for 38 years to a local strawberry farmer with deep ties to Plant City. Kaye is a retired teacher from Hillsborough County that still occasionally substitute teaches in Pasco County. In addition to being a licensed agent, Kaye is also the proud mom of 4 children, all successful adults with the youngest on his 5th year in the Navy. Kaye currently lives most of her time in Hudson, FL and plans to sell real estate along the Gulf Coast, but works part time at Blue Sun in Plant City as the bookkeeper, so she is still able to help her friends in Plant City with their real estate needs while also helping her water loving friends/clients along the coast. Kaye enjoys being a boat captain in her spare time, as well as helping her classmates plan their reunions FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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Trent Lott, the hardworking franchise owner of College Hunks Hauling Junk in Plant City, is not afraid to get his hands dirty.

COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK BY EDNA RUIZ

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rent Lott didn’t waste any time starting his entrepreneurial career after his graduation from the University of Tampa in December 2015. Immediately, he began planning for his first business and decided to open a franchise of College Hunks Hauling Junk. College Hunks is a moving company which also specializes in junk removal. The company began in 2003 and now has over 60 locations, including Lott’s. His relationship with College Hunks began last summer when he started working for the Tampa company as a mover. “The first couple of weeks, I was just kind of doing the job to get money,” Lott said. “then I really started loving the company.” His love for the job sparked the idea of owning his own franchise one day and he made it his mission to do

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so. After graduating with a degree in Entrepreneurship and several months of planning, Lott opened his franchise of College Hunks Hauling Junk in his hometown of Plant City in March 2016. He started off with just one truck and one worker. Since then, the franchise has not only expanded what they do, but also added more members to the team. Now Lott has three trucks and twelve workers, who happen to be college students. “We have a very energetic team. Since they’re college students, they’re young and very motivated,” Lott said. “We’re not your typical movers or junk haulers.” Lott describes his business as a “one stop shop” and tries to make it very easy for his customers. “I don’t want them to feel stressed,” he said. “Moving is a very stressful process and we want to relieve that stress

from them.” Lott also stated, “We’re a very trustworthy company, no hidden fees. If a customer is unsatisfied, we will go to great lengths to right that wrong.” With all his success, Lott plans on giving back to his hometown, specifically his Alma Mater, Plant City High School. Lott is starting a scholarship that will be awarded to a graduating senior from PCHS. Requirements are still in the works. The amount awarded will depend on the number of reviews his customers

online leave after a job is completed. “If a customer writes a review online, a dollar amount will go to the scholarship fund,” Lott said. “In a way, our customers are also giving back to the community.” Being only 22 years-old, Lott has shown himself to be an exemplary businessman and he plans on keeping it that way. Plans for his second location of College Hunks Hauling Junk in Brandon before summer 2017 are now underway.


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THE BASICS OF CONSTRUCTION TO PERMANENT LOANS PART 2 OF 2 BY NATE DAVIS

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y article two months ago summarized the basics of construction-to-permanent financing with more emphasis on the underwriting portion of the process. In this article, I will discuss the following two phases. After a C/P loan has been underwritten, approved and closed prior to breaking ground, construction may begin. Once that part is complete, the “permanent” phase may commence.

Construction Phase During the construction phase, a house is built and is typically finished within a designated time period. This portion of the project is put on a “draw” schedule. As a builder requests funds in the form of a “draw” to fund the completion of the structure, a lender will send an inspector to review the progress. Once a home is ready to be deemed completed, a “certificate of occupancy” is requested. Once it is issued, the construction phase has ended. Permanent Phase The permanent phase of a construction-to-permanent mortgage loan is also known as “modification.” After construction has ended and a loan has closed, mortgage payments will modify into a permanent mortgage. There are no fees or underwriting 54

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requirements (e.g., new paystubs or bank statements) at this stage. Simply sign a couple of modification documents and final releases, and then move into a brand-new home. Your monthly mortgage payments, which were established at closing before construction started, will begin. For anyone who missed the first segment of this article, here are some interesting facts about construction financing: • You don’t have to own your land lot. • You can buy land and include the cost in your financing since the lot will be paid for at closing. • You can own land that is currently financed, and the balance due will be included in your new loan. • You can have land gifted to you by a family member. • You can use the equity in a land lot that you either own, or have financed, or was gifted to be applied to the new loan. • You can include the closing costs in your financing (depending on how you want to structure the loan). Florida Mortgage Firm (813-7076200) offers VA, FHA and conventional constructions loans, so let us know if you have any questions. Florida Mortgage Firm is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #289323.


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WALDEN LAKE REVIEW BY NATALIE SWEET

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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 scheduled for August 15th and September 19th at 7:00 PM. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents. Watch the announcement boards at all entrances for dates and times for special meetings and events. It’s nice to see children and adults out playing at the Walden Lake Sports Complex. Did you know you could reserve the Pavilion at the new Sports Complex at the Polo Field? It is $40 to reserve the Pavilion plus a refundable deposit of $100. If you haven’t been out to the Sports Complex, it is a must to check out. There are sponsorship and donation opportunities available as this complex grows and is improved. Please contact the Association for more details. Unfortunately, it rained during the “Back to School Ice Cream Social” on August 2nd. Approximately 50 people braved the weather and received a school supply pack, ate ice cream, played Four Square and did some hula-hooping. Due to the summer rainy season, the HOA has decided to discontinue the event indefinitely. Walden Lake donated the remaining school supply packs to the Rotary Club for their upcoming Appreciation Day. Save the Date!! October 22nd is the Eighth Annual Howl-O-Ween event and it promises

to be as good as or better than past years! This is one of the events I never miss as The Sweet Team hosts a booth taking photos and having the children (young and old) do a craft frame for their photo. On July 14th, the Planning Board met at the Trinkle Center, for the purpose of making a recommendation to the City Commissioners regarding Visions Golf ’s application for rezoning portions of the golf course. Some of the planning board had concerns about the impact on the community with the potential changes to the golf course. There were questions asked of Visions Golf ’s attorneys for clarification. Visions’ attorneys stated they would agree to change the plan from two story single family dwellings to one story single family dwellings with a minimum of 2000 square feet of living area in unit 63. They also stated they would agree to change unit 62 from multi-family to one-story single-family and would agree to a change on unit 61 from 4 connected units to duplex dwellings. The planning board made the decision to allow Visions Golf to submit a revised plan with the changes, which will open the process again. All communication, plans that have been submitted by Visions Golf and more can be found on the City of Plant City’s website, www.PlantCityGov.com. During the month of July, there were 8 sales in Walden Lake. The average sale price in Walden Lake was $228,988 with an average of days on the market of 48 days.

The July sales are as follows: Address 208 Valencia Court N 3223 Alcott Avenue 4313 Longfellow Drive 1728 Brookstone Way 3409 Silverstone Court 4109 Barret Avenue 2914 Clubhouse Drive 3014 Forest Hammock Drive

Sale Price $146,000 $161,000 $210,000 $220,000 $221,000 $240,000 $299,900 $310,000

There are currently 33 active listings for sale in Walden Lake and Walden Lake East with an average list price of $259,319 and an average of 47 days on the market. There are 20 properties Pending Contract with an average list price of $230,250 and average of 58 days on the market. We are beginning to see the inventory grow although well priced homes in good condition, especially if they have been updated, are selling quickly. If you are considering selling, please

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Living Area 1718 Sq’ 1805 Sq’ 2165 Sq’ 2055 Sq’ 1843 Sq’ 2998 Sq’ 2652 Sq’ 2573 Sq’

Pool Community Private No No Private No Private Private

Garage 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 3 Car 2 Car

contact The Sweet Team for a no obligation consultation 813-758-9586. The United Food Bank is gearing up for the holiday season and can use food donations. To make it easy, you can drop off nonperishable donations at the HOA office on Griffin Boulevard all year long. Feel free to contact me about any real estate questions or about this article. NSweet@KW.com or 813-758-9586.


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ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

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skills with the players and coaches prove he is best fit for the position – especially at such a young age! Plunk expressed the Chargers desire to win more games. “Our work ethic is much better this year and our seniors show a great amount of leadership compared to the previous years.” Behind every great athlete like Braxton Plunk is a strong inspiration for his or her success. Former teammate and close friend Tate Whatley has mentored Plunk throughout his football career. Whatley was the starting quarterback for Crest this past season, but has transferred to Lakeland Christian School where he will start for their football team this fall as a junior. These two talented athletes share the same challenges that come with the QB position, and Whatley is always there to encourage Plunk and offer feedback. “I’m always willing to help him, but he helps me a lot as well,” Whatley explained. “He has a hard-working

mentality. He will be a great leader and have a great year.” Plunk aspires to be offered a scholarship for football and attend a university for a degree in sports broadcasting. Holding 3.9 GPA after his freshman year, it’s safe to say he is on the right track to great accomplishments. Plunk has also been very busy this summer attending football camps at schools such as Mercer, Florida Atlantic, Miami, and Florida International universities to gain exposure from college coaches and compete against some of the best players in the nation. Braxton Plunk is truly an incredible young man and athlete, definitely one his community and recruitment coaches should keep an eye on these next few years. His hard work, talent, and dedication to the game suggest he will lead his fellow Chargers to victory this season and make his school and community proud.

Fifteen-year-old Braxton Plunk is the starting quarterback for the Strawberry Crest Chargers’ football team and will lead his teammates to victory through his incredible talent and great leadership capabilities.

BRAXTON PLUNK BY ASHLYN YARBROUGH | PHOTOS PROVIDED BY BRAXTON PLUNK

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ootball season is upon us once again and high school players are jamming in every last bit of workouts, conditioning, and practice before the Friday night lights are turned on. Braxton Plunk, sophomore quarterback for Strawberry Crest High School, has trained day in and day out to lead his team to victory this season. Plunk has been playing eight years now. “I love football because you’re always moving,” he explained. “There’s always something to do and it’s an extremely competitive game.” He has predominately played as quarterback but gained some experience as a wide receiver during his Little League days with the Plant City Dolphins. 58

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“Even though being a quarterback comes with more responsibilities, it doesn’t mean I’m a ‘better’ player,” Plunk expressed. “I do have to think more and be on the same page as both the coaches and the players.” This past year was a tough one for the Chargers. About 20 players left the team – either by graduation or school transfer – after last year’s losing season. “I decided to stay because I wanted to be a part of Crest,” Plunk said. “I love the school, the new coach (Coach Hawn), and I’m also getting a lot of playing time this year.” Plunk mentioned that his size and little experience on varsity put him at a slight disadvantage. However, his incredible leadership and communication

Plunk has spent countless hours this summer in preparation for the upcoming season. He spends everyday working on footwork, stretching, eating healthy, and attending camps hosted by big name universities such as FAU, FIU, Miami, and Mercer


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TEAM OF THE MONTH

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The Florida Baseball Heaven 9U team achieves their success through the hard work and determination of the athletes, and the incredible coaching and experience of FBH.

FLORIDA BASEBALL HEAVEN 9U TEAM GLOBAL SPORTS ALLIANCE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS

BY ASHLYN YARBROUGH | PHOTO BY EMILY GLOVER

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ummer is prime time for travel baseball teams. The level of competition for this sport has increased exponentially over the years, to the point where folks seek out ways to give their players a competitive edge. Florida Baseball Heaven is one organization that has given big league opportunities to young baseball players for the past eight years. On June 26, 2016, FBH 9U team 60

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won the Global Sports Alliance World Series tournament in Clearwater, Florida. FBH 9U team is composed of incredibly talented athletes, ranging in age from seven-to-eight years-old. The kids began playing together a year ago when they started their FBH career on the 8U team. One of the main goals of Florida Baseball Heaven is for the athletes to play together early on in their baseball career. As they age and move

up to older teams, they will grow both as individual players and as a team. This team chemistry is essential in success. The talented team had a 6-1 record during the GSA tournament. Earlier in the week they had lost to the Springhill War Hawks. This is the same strong opponent they would face in the championship game. Florida Baseball Heaven athletes fought hard to bring home the World Series title with a

crushing score of 14-6. Mark Persails, founder of Florida Baseball Heaven, mentioned that the young ball players succeeded because of their will to win and love for the game. Florida Baseball Heaven has impressive credentials that make its association one of the best options for young players who aspire to play in the big leagues. Throughout their many years of active training and coaching, FBH has produced baseball stars and helped them earn over 100 baseball scholarships and an astounding 15 professional draft picks! Their 16U and 18U teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally. The athletes who attend FBH are coached by no less than the best. The coaching staff members have 62 combined years of experience. These men pour their Major League Baseball knowledge into the young athletes in hopes they will eventually follow in their professional footsteps. Former Minor League players coach the FBH seasonal teams. Each athlete at Florida Baseball Heaven is placed in good hands that will guide them towards success. FBH strives to maximize each player’s skill potential, inspire the development of a great love for the game, and have the athletes advance in their abilities year after year. The organization’s core values build respect for the game. These include: ** Believe in yourself. ** Commit to excellence within yourself and Florida Baseball Heaven. ** Success will be determined by the process and not the outcome. ** Understand the entire game with the necessary skills for college. In addition to the travel teams Florida Baseball Heaven offers, they are also a venue for private lessons and birthday parties. FBH will help develop your athlete into the Major League material he has always dreamed of becoming. Call 813704-6920 or visit www.baseballheavenpc. com for information on the numerous opportunities to help your child become the next baseball star.


Cool off this summer heat with a treat from

3702 W Baker St., Plant City, FL 33563 | www.parkesdale.com FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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their neighboring ministers. These groups of four, from various churches and ethnicities (now in 40 countries), meet 1-2 hours weekly to talk freely. The Table is a prayer fortress and ‘safe place’ for requested accountability. We desire to see the Body of Christ working together in every community on earth! We love hearing that APP has positively impacted a marriage or ministry. You two serve together, right? My beautiful, highly gifted wife Linda has a tender heart for others. I need her wise counsel. We pray together daily without fail, sometimes multiple times. This is God’s way! We also minister to wives of pastors and women in ministry under the banner of ‘Women R Champions.’ We enjoy worshipping with various groups of believers, learning of many denominations and doctrines, and realizing the differences are not worth fighting about because we all love Jesus.

LEADERS IN FAITH PAUL PICKERN, ALL PRO PASTORS BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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aul and Linda Pickern are each other’s “very best friend and partner” in life and in their international ministry, All-Pro Pastors. They have five amazing children and twelve terrific grandchildren. Paul said, “It’s great to live in America where our children still have the freedom to work hard and build their own God-given opportunities.” Describe your childhood family, Paul. I’m told I’m among seven generations 62

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of pastors. My younger brother Jon Pickern died while pastoring in Alabama, cousin Steve Pickern pastors in Georgia, and an uncle pastored. Dad pastored 56 years. My very organized mother ran a tight ship at home! Around the kitchen table, we ate every meal as a family, had morning devotions with prayer, and couldn’t leave unless our plates were clean. We moved as Dad served numerous churches through the years. I sang and spoke when asked.

How did you come to faith? At age six on a Wednesday night in October 1959, I walked the church aisle to my dad to say, ‘I want to be a Christian. I love Jesus.’ He questioned me and I was adamant, and still am. After my ordination and through the years, I’ve led revivals, served as staff pastor, counselor, worship leader, soloist on television (two years), and will do anything else God asks. Tell us about All-Pro Pastors. Today, Linda and I serve pastors and their families worldwide in many ways, through conferences (US, Kenya, Nigeria and Nicaragua), an Israel trip, and monthly events to encourage ministers of all denominations. Annually we show appreciation through our ‘Day of Play’ golf tournament and ladies event. By establishing ‘Champion Tables,’ pastors form trusted relationships with

Any advice for those searching for faith? Believe God created us, loves us and has a good plan for our life. Only in relationship with Jesus Christ will we experience the unconditional love that makes us truly free. Our heavenly Father desires we have a genuine, ‘all in’ relationship with His Son, who died for our sins. This brings soul satisfaction, ‘joy unspeakable,’ and power to overcome every obstacle. He longs for you. And to Christians you would say… ...because Jesus lives inside you through His Holy Spirit, He IS wherever you go, in every circumstance. His word promises: ‘I am with you always’ (Matthew 28:19). To ministers: Walk in God’s power and knowledge as a son, not a hireling. Be bold and courageous! Surround yourself with trusted friends who share a passion for your mission. And, never, never quit!


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Homework Station

THE ROAD TO ORGANIZATION

ORGANIZING ONCE SCHOOL HAS BEGUN BY KRISTEN TONEY CAMPBELL

Kristen is the voice behind www.theroadtodomestication.com, where she blogs on all things home and garden, with lots of emphasis on organization! She is married to a very patient man, and together they parent a very mischievous cat, a very happy dog, and they all enjoy home improvement projects and traveling.” We encourage you to visit her blog to learn more.

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nd just like that, school is back in session. Hope everyone had a wonderful summer full of special memories and great times! In thinking about this month’s article, I figured all of you who have kiddos back in school already know the “organizing for back-to-school” drill. You know where to find your supplies, and when to do your shopping and how to adjust your schedule. You’re experts at this, after all! But what about once schools gets going? How do you stay organized THEN? Let’s tackle THAT, why don’t we? 1. Stick to your schedule. This is pretty hard to do coming off summer! You’ve had a nice, relaxing couple of months, and now you have to stick to something? YES! You know it works – don’t waver from it! 2. Set systems into place. Does it work best for dad to drop the kids at school on his way to work? Great! Is it easier to have a sitter waiting for the kids at the bus stop than trying to stress out getting home before they do? Hire one! Does homework get done more efficiently

if the kids know there’s a treat involved? Then treat away! 3. Try a different approach to the same old issue. If completing homework and returning permission slips is always a problem, why not set up a “station” for all things school-related? Make everything funnel through the same spot, so nothing gets missed in the process! 4. Leave some time in the schedule for FUN. Once you noticed your kiddos (or yourself !) start getting weary, plan a day of fun – or a day of nothing! You’ll come back to the norm refreshed and with more energy to burn. 5. Remember: you can’t do it all, and neither can your kiddos. It’s good to be involved in your community, but there’s no point in running yourself (or your kids) into the ground while trying to be all things to all people. Try not to overbook yourself this school year. Your family will be better for it! If you’d like more tips for organization (plus recipes, home decor and DIY solutions) check out Kristen’s blog at www.theroadtodomestication.com.

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CANDY’S CORNER BY CANDY OWENS

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t might be a raggedy old bomb or a brand new Corvette, but your very first car is the one you’ll never forget! You waited such a long time for your license and you didn’t get any rest, worrying until you passed your driver’s test. You finally got your license and shot straight to the car like a bullet. You went cruising down the road, and wanted all your friends to see you finally had a car and were footloose and fancy free. I remember my fifteenth birthday back in 1977 like yesterday. Up early that morning, I had taken my shower, put on about two inches of Merle Norman makeup, and styled my hair with hot rollers, a round brush, blow dryer, curling iron, pick, and half a gallon of Final Net hairspray. It wasn’t just my fifteenth birthday. No, it was the day I was going to get my Restricted Driver’s License! I had to look just right. They…the people at the Department of Motor Vehicles, would be taking my picture and putting it on my License…well, if I passed my test that was. I hopped in my Mother’s shiny metallic 1973 Buick Limited and off I went. (Boy, let me tell you what--that Buick Limited was something else. It was cake batter yellow with plush velvet electric seats, cassette tape player, power windows, spoke hub caps, cigarette lighters along with an ashtray at each door (as-well-as a huge ashtray and lighter in the center of the dashboard and the hump in the back seat). I asked myself: “Did the Buick engineers design cars so every passenger could participate in The Great American Smokathon

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or what?” Anyway… that car was big enough to sit six people comfortably. It looked kind of like a yellow Batmobile. I drove that Buick (yes, by myself and without a parent) to 408 W. Renfro Street and parked the car. I walked towards the DMV with a pounding heart, my birth certificate, my Certificate of Completion from Driver’s Education, and my sweat soaked Driver’s Manuel that I had studied for days. I opened the door to the room with the dark wood paneled walls, shag carpet, eye charts, photo booth, rows and rows of chairs with people waiting and wondering, boxes of pencils, test forms, and those people with badges behind the counter that would make or break your future! I felt like I was going to be sick! I approached the counter, took my number and sat down with everyone else. For what seemed forever, I sat waiting and then boom, that man with the badge behind the counter called my number. This was it, the moment I’d been waiting for. He handed me a pencil and test form and directed me to the table across the room to complete the rules and road signs portion of the test. When I finished, I returned to the counter and handed my test to “that man.” He looked it over and without too much expression, said, “PASSED.” Then he checked my documentation and entered the information into his computer. A computer…WOW! I wondered if that computer knew all and if its database was located at Central Control for the United States. I just knew that computer could tell if you were a good person or a bad person. Haha! Next thing I knew, the man with the badge who had graded my test picked up his clipboard and said: “Where are

you parked?” We took a short walk and climbed into that big Buick. I made sure I displayed all the safety steps I had seen in the Driver’s Education safety films at school. I locked the doors, adjusted the rear view and side mirrors, cranked the engine, looked left then right, then left again, and off we went. (Oh! And seatbelts, I think they were tucked under the seat, because they weren’t required by law and were pretty much considered a pain, so away they went.) The man with the badge and clipboard had me drive to a dead end spot behind the old Plant City Mall at Prosser Court and Evers Street. Two metal poles were cemented firmly into two old tires the DMV used as a makeshift parking space. The man with the badge looked at me and said: “I want you to parallel park between the two poles.” I put on my blinkers just like in the filmstrip at school and went right in. The man with the badge looked over at me and said: “I have never seen someone as young as you who is driving such a big car park so easily. Great Job! Now, I want you to do a three point turn.” So I did! When the man with the badge and clipboard looked at me and said: “Passed,” I was so happy. All there was left was for me to do was drive him back to the DMV and have my photo taken and walk out with my license. When all the hoopla was complete and I turned to walk out the door, the man with the badge said: “You do have an adult with you don’t you?” I looked at him and said: “Oh, yes Sir!” (I should not have, but I told him a story). All I could think about was showing my friends that Driver’s License and that I was too cool. I was on my way to freedom and a groovy future. At age fifteen I thought passing my driver’s test would be one of life’s biggest hurdles. HAHAHAHA! Some 30-plus years later, I was sitting behind my office desk when a man walked in with aviator-styled, mirrored sunglasses. I greeted him as he removed his sunglasses and immediately recognized him. I said: “Oh, my Gosh! I know who you are…you are: Mr. Driver’s License Man!” He started laughing and replied: “Why, yes I am!” I told him how I was so scared of him and the whole process of getting my Restricted License

back when I was fifteen…way back in 1977. He just laughed. I told him we teens thought he and those ladies that worked with him at the DMV were right up there with the school principal and the Police. We thought they controlled our fate. After spending a few minutes with the person that I, along with so many other teenagers, had been afraid of, I learned he had a name and was indeed a very nice person. Jimmy Barton was born and raised in Plant City and had retired from the DMV several years back. All in all, Mr. Barton and I had a very enjoyable visit that day. Since that time, I have seen Mr. Barton in the grocery store and a few other places around own. We always greet each other with a smile and friendly “Hello.” I have come to realize the man behind the DMW counter with the badge that I was so afraid of at fifteen is just a nice person who was doing his job that day way back in 1977. I also realized the reason he didn’t spend a lot of time in conversation while I was driving, parallel parking, and making a threepoint turn was because he was letting me concentrate on my driving while he was concentrating on whether or not I was capable and worthy of being turned loose on the friendly streets of Plant City. I also realized Mr. Barton was putting his life in someone else’s hands every time he sat in a test-taker’s passenger seat. I just bet he could tell some crazy stories about some he came into contact with throughout his career. If I were Mr. Barton, I think I would’ve worn a football helmet, shoulder pads, and carried a fire extinguisher and crowbar every time I got in the car with a stranger. There’s just no telling what he went through. In fact, one other reason he said so little was probably because he was holding his breath. HAHA! Thank You, Mr. Jimmy Barton, for doing a great job of keeping our streets safe and free of rotten drivers! P.S. I just wonder if you know how many hundreds of nervous teenagers’ names appeared on your clipboard throughout your career. You may not remember us, but we sure remember you!


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WANDA’S WORDS OF WISDOM

BY WANDA “LEWIS” ANDERSON

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ith school starting back, not only are the kids adjusting to the new routine, but parents are as well. I wanted to share a few tips that may help with fatigue. Did you know that constant fatigue can keep you awake despite the overwhelming feeling of needing rest? Believe it or not, rubbing your ears, jumping up and down, completing acts of kindness, expressing gratitude and taking 10-to-25 minute power naps are effective short-term solutions. All these things can trigger the release of feel-good endorphins, which have been associated with a better state of mind and less fatigue. I always feel less fatigue and stress when I accomplish a task I have been putting off, like cleaning the oven. For those of you with gas stoves, did you know you can clean the gas burner covers/ grates off the top of your stove by placing them in your self-cleaning oven when you clean it. Not only will your oven be sparkling clean, but your stove top burner grills will be as well.

Next time you clean under your kitchen sink, paint harmful bottle caps with red nail polish. Teach your children that red means danger. Alka-Seltzer makes a great toilet bowl cleaner. Simply drop 2 tablets in your toilet and leave it for 20 minutes. The citric acid will work on the toilet bowl grime, loosening it. Then a super quick scrub, flush and it’s clean. It also neutralizes toilet bowl odors, leaving your bathroom smelling fresh. Have you ever burnt food in a pan and no matter how hard you scrub it just won’t come clean. Next time save yourself the trouble and add a couple of AlkaSeltzers to the pan before filling it with water. Place the pan in the sink and let it fizz. Afterwards, wash as normal. Instead of baking soda to remove odors in your refrigerator, try AlkaSeltzer. Just dissolve a tablet in a cup of water and place it in the refrigerator for half an hour. The odor in your refrigerator should disappear. Wishing a very special birthday wish to my sister Debbie. Happy Birthday, Sis! Until next time relax, enjoy and be thankful…

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Plant City artist Debra Bryant, who was chosen Arts Advocate of the Year 2011 by the Greater Brandon Arts Council, demonstrates oil painting at MOSI.

BACK INJURY SPURRED HAIRDRESSER DEBRA BRYANT’S ART CAREER

to study, practice, devour classical fundamentals and find online videos about not only art, but also marketing, gallery representation, contracts, modelrelease forms and exhibit opportunities. She advocates learning by doing. Her most challenging piece, because she had never sculpted before, was a nearly lifesized sculpture of her then one-year-old granddaughter. The experience advanced her understanding of form in her portrait work. Everyone benefits from art, she said. It helps children developmentally, adults psychologically and humanity historically. “Before there was a written language, there were visual and performance arts,” said Bryant. “Painting, music, dance. The early history of the world has been preserved through art forms, particularly paintings and pottery.”

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She has started some narrative artworks--recording people doing routine tasks in everyday settings--and is exploring plein-air painting to bring awareness to changes in the natural world, creating “memories in paint, using oils to depict people, places and moments in time,” she said. Bryant’s memberships include the Oil Painters of America, Light Chasers (Sarasota) and, formerly, the East Hillsborough Art Guild, as the Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show’s chairperson for the past five years. Her works have been juried into and sold at national and international art shows. Paintings are available at debrabryantfineart.com, Debra Bryant on Facebook, dailypaintworks.com and The Gallery @ 14 Days, 2602 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City. Contact her at bryantstudio@ gmail.com.

BY BARBARA ROUTEN | PHOTOS BY MIKE BRYANT

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ebra Bryant started expressing her creativity when young, drawing at 10, then enhancing people’s beauty as a hairstylist and eventually becoming a professional artist. She paints realistic portraits and impressionistic still lifes and nature. Bryant, 63, the sixth of nine siblings, grew up in rural Bardstown, Ky., in a house her father built. “We had a beautiful old elm tree which had amazing dawn back light in the winter. I used to get ready for school early and stand in the dining room doorway sketching those lovely, bare branches,” she said. “I never took art classes in school and never pursued art in any form until my family was nearly grown.” Bryant’s career as a hairdresser was interrupted by a move to Brandon in 1984, a move to Plant City in 1992 and a slow-healing back injury. She got hooked on art while recuperating—she began a local painting class and finished seven paintings the first week. After

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that, she painted “daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., taking time to get my husband and son off in the mornings and barely remembering to plan for supper.” “It’s difficult to describe the intense desire for me to paint or create in any form,” she said. “Always, I am painting in my mind...riding in a car, watching classic movies, weeding the garden. I still frame internally when the perfect light or pose strikes.” She consulted library art books, subscribed to art publications and took six week-long workshops from the nowlate classical portrait artist Frank Covino. Faces are her favorite subjects and oil her preferred medium, although she also uses acrylics, watercolors, pastels and colored pencils. “There is something wonderful about the broad stroke of a brush or palette knife, textures you can’t get from drawing media,” she said. She accepts commissions of all kinds but mostly portraits. Bryant advises aspiring artists

Debra Bryant painted this oil painting of Judy Alarcon Gaspar (left) and her daughter Sarah (right) from a photo reference by professional photographer Susan Jeffers. The portrait is in Gaspar’s private collection.

“Pie Tonight!” is a still life by Debra Bryant.


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Leslie Thompson Simmons got on some nice redfish and snook while fishing with Captain Mike Goodwine of Blackneck Adventures charters. Her husband and son joined her as they all caught redfish.

FISH TALES BY MIKE GOODWINE

Hello! It’s Captain Mike Goodwine. Welcome to Fish Tales. Each month I offer reports on where the fish are biting and I share fishing tips. I also select the catch of the month from photos emailed to blackneckadventures@icloud.com.

Please this paper! SMALL SUB AND MINI GREEK SALAD FOR $9.90 FROM 11:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. ONLY. (Excludes shrimp and 15% off coupon)

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ugust is the back-to-school month and I’m celebrating. But, the school I’m talking about is schools of redfish. They’re starting to show in smaller pods around the bay. The bite has mainly been before noon. Look for big schools of mullet and the reds will be close. Juvenile Snook are still plentiful, with some pushing over 40 inches along deep channels. The inshore snapper bite has been steady with some decent size showing up in the passes. At night the Blackdrum have been showing up around bridges going for shrimp and pass crabs. Until next time, “Live and Let Fish.” FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y AUGUST 2016

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PLAZA MEXICO RESTAURANT filled with ingredients. They don’t skimp here. Honestly, they’re so good, you don’t even need to add sauce.” Plaza Mexico Restaurant has something everyone’s appetite and a value-priced Kids’ Menu, too. In addition to beef dishes, the eatery is also known for its roasted chicken, shrimp, pork, barbeque and rib dinners. Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are available with a variety of fillings and large tortas (sandwiches) are a meal in themselves at $5.99. Desserts are another specialty. Diners can enjoy Tres Leches Cake, Flan, Rice Pudding and Fruit Gelatin. As to the beverage choices served in large glass mugs, there is fresh-brewed iced tea, sodas, and water. “Fresh Waters” in Horchata, Jamaica, and Tamarindo

3705 W. Baker Street Plant City, FL 33563 813-659-2757 www.plazamexicoplantcity.com Plazamexicopc@gmail.com Hours: Monday-Friday 10AM-10PM Saturday-Sunday 9AM-10PM

flavors are served in 20-ounce ($2.99) or 32-ounce ($3.99) sizes. Domestic and imported beer, Smirnoff, mixed drinks, and of course, Pina Coladas, Margaritas and Tequilas round off the thirstquenchers. Seriously, folks, if you’re looking for a great new dining experience, Plaza Mexico Restaurant is so worth your time and money. And shopping in the market will inspire you, too. Make haste – your taste buds will thank you for it.

The Steak Milanesa dinner is served with generous portions of refried beans, house-made guacamole, salad, tortillas, a cup of spicy vegetables and two lightly-breaded, pan-fried, perfectly-seasoned steaks

PLAZA MEXICO RESTAURANT BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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cross from Parkesdale Market on the south side of U.S. Highway 92 may just be one of the best kept dining secrets in Plant City. Plaza Mexico Restaurant is tucked away on the backside of the building that also contains a market (abarrotes) specializing in ingredients for Mexican and Central American cuisine, a bakery (panaderia), tortilla shop (tortilleria), and meat/butcher shop (carniceria). The east side entrance to the restaurant owned by Apolinar Avonce is well marked and parking space is plentiful. You know you’re dining in an authentic establishment when the menus are offered in Ingles (English) and Espanol. But what is especially impressive is the delicious food, attentive service, and obvious cleanliness. According to server Gloria Ruiz, popular menu items (from a wide selection) include Milanesa (specify Steak, Chicken or Fish), Carne Asada (seasoned & seared steak served in

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slices), and Burritos. When she brought the Steak Milanesa to our table, we were overwhelmed by the beautiful display of food gracing the large platter. Two large pieces of lightly breaded, perfectly-seasoned, pan-fried steak were surrounded by generous portions of refried beans, salad, house-made guacamole, three tortillas, and a cup of spicy vegetable mix (onions, carrots, bell pepper, cactus). Both tomatillo and verde sauces are served with the meal for those desiring extra zing for their taste buds. In one word, DELICISIO! This meal will definitely be one you’ll crave. We also sampled flour tortilla chips (homemade & available as corn, also) with salsa, and two steak tacos. Brenda Salisbury described the tacos she seasoned with lime juice as “exceptionally fresh and very tasty.” She continued, “You can definitely taste each ingredient. The steak is tender and nicely seasoned. And the soft tortilla shells are

Tres Leches Cake is a house specialty.

The cozy and family-friendly interior welcomes folks to make themselves at home and stay awhile!


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A HINT OF GARLIC BY VICTORIA WATKINS SGRO

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o be honest, the Florida weather is not for me. I spent three years living in the desert of El Paso, and I would take that dry, skin-cracking heat over this humidity any day! But what I do love about Florida is beautiful days on the beach or hanging out around the pool with family and friends. And that’s something you definitely can’t do in the desert! As you get the kids ready to go back to school this month, don’t let the Summer fun stop. Take a break, whip up these fun treats, and hang out with the family this weekend! Visit us at ahintofgarlic.com for more fun recipes and information about our catering and meal services!

ibiscus H g in h s e r f e R Tea L(serveesmtwo)onade

Ingredients

or organic agave p raw local honey rs (available • 3 tbs extract we flo illa us van isc ar hib asc ag ed • ¼ tsp Mad • 1/4 cup dri te on Amazon!) • more water to tas u can use 2 bags of ***(alternatively, yo Taza Passion Tea) • 2 cups of water on juice • 2 tbsp organic lem (bottled or fresh)

Directions

tea, boil the water If using the bagged . bags for 5 minutes tea o tw and steep the them before of se po dis d an s Squeeze the bag Allow aining ingredients. mixing in the rem d an g, tin tas before to cool in the fridge Serve over ice. d. ede ne as ter wa add more water flowers, bring the If using the dried from ter wa the ve mo to a boil in a pot. Re on lid a t pu d an wers, the heat, add the flo 15-20 minutes. for ep ste to low the pot. Al mesh tea through a fine Strain the hibiscus rs. Stir we flo the ay aw strainer and throw the redients and allow in the remaining ing Add more water if ge. frid the in l tea to coo r ice! needed and ser ve ove

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Berry Frozen

Ingredients

Yogurt Bars

(makes about 8

• 2 cups organi c plain greek yo gurt • 2 tbsp raw lo cal honey • 1 cup organi c berries (blueb erries, sliced strawberri es, blackberries, or raspberries)

Directions

bars)

• 1/4 cup raw almonds, roughl y chopped • ¼ cup chocol ate chips (Enjoy Life brand is a grea t option!) • ¼ organic sh redded coconu t (unsweetened)

Mix together th e yogurt, honey, and berries. I lik fork for some na e to mash the be tural “food color rries a little with ing”! Taste a lit enough for your a tle of the yogu taste, and add m rt to be sure its ore honey if ne Spread the yogu sweet eded. Stir in th rt mixture onto e chocolate chip a 9 by 13 inch paper. Sprinkle s. baking sheet lin the chopped alm ed with parchm onds and shred down lightly wi ent ded coconut ov th your fingers. er the top and Allow to freeze placing in a fre press for at least 3 ho ezer bag to sto urs before cutti re in the freezer. ng and YUM!


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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 to 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, you’re always welcome at Chili’s.

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

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

TACO REY

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

1818 JAMES REDMAN PARKWAY PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813.754.2100

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SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

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» DINING GUIDE

TASTE OF INDIA

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he TASTE OF INDIA offers an exquisite fine dining experience while serving Authentic Indian Cuisine for the past 6 years in Brandon. Some of the most requested dishes include Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Masala Dosa, Garlic Shrimp, Goat Curry, and Whole Fried Snapper! FULL BAR! Entree prices start at $10.95 and the Lunch Buffet prices are $9.95 weekdays and $12.95 weekends. Military Discounts! Professional Catering Available. Serving Lunch Buffet Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, Sat/Sun 12-3. Dinner Hours are Mon-Thurs 5-10pm, Sat 5-10:30pm and Sun. 5-9:30. Relax and enjoy the wonderful spices and scents of the Delicious and Delectable Indian cuisine!

902 E. BRANDON BLVD. BRANDON, FL. 33511 813-689-4040

WAYBACK BURGERS

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ayback Burgers offers premium burgers, made from 100% beef, fresh, never frozen, made to order just the way you like it. Our delicious hand dipped milkshakes hit the spot every time you try one.

Every month, Wayback Burgers features a brand new “Burger of the Month” and “Milkshake of the Month”. And burgers are only the beginning; House-made potato chips, all beef hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers, specialty burgers and fresh salads are available. We also feature local brewed beer from Two Henrys Brewing. Wayback, way better!

200 W. ALEXANDER STREET PLANT CITY, FL 33563

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can’t miss

events ONGOING

MONDAYS WEEKLY • Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club 7 AM South Florida Baptist Hospital Community Room Info: George Banning, 813-759-1638

1ST & 3RD MONDAYS MONTHLY • Improvement League of Plant City 7 PM Historic Glover School Conference Room 5104 Horton Rd. Info: William Thomas, 813-757-6760

2ND & 4TH MONDAYS MONTHLY • Plant City Commission Meeting 7:30 PM City Hall, 302 W. Reynolds St. City Clerk: 813-659-4237 (December: only the 2nd Monday)

2ND MONDAY MONTHLY • Plant City Garden Club 10 AM (Sept. thru May) info: Christy Linke; 732-322-8392

TUESDAYS WEEKLY • Plant City Lions Club 12 Noon The Catering Company & Café 115 E. Reynolds St. Info: Tony Lee, 813-752-7202 • Recovery for Life 6:30 - 8PM 12-step Bible-based program to help w/ addictions Lorena Jaeb Rainbow House 504 N. Palm Dr., Plant City Info: Debbie Ray 813-763-1562

1ST TUESDAYS MONTHLY • Economic Development Corp. Meeting 2 PM PC Chamber unless announced 106 N. Evers St. Info: Jake Austin, 863-712-0655

1ST TUESDAYS MONTHLY (SEPT-MAY) • Arts Council of Plant City 7 PM Chamber of Commerce Public Room 106 N. Evers St. Info: Dodie White, 813-752-5156

2ND TUESDAYS MONTHLY • GFWC Woman’s Club of Plant City 10:30 AM

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1110 N. Wheeler St. Info: Nancy Miller, 813-754-2544 2nd & 4th Tuesdays Monthly

2ND & 4TH TUESDAYS MONTHLY • American Legion– Norman McLeod Post#26 6 PM 2207 W. Baker St. 813-752-8608 Info: Nancy Miller, 813-754-2544

WEDNESDAYS WEEKLY • Walking Club 7:30AM for 45-minute walk Meet @Bruton Library Info: Susan Miles 813-757-9215 • Plant City Kiwanis Club 12 Noon Info: David Wolf / 813-717-9300

THURSDAYS WEEKLY • Toastmasters 7:30 AM @ PC Chamber 106 N. Evers St. • Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Services 9AM - 4PM PC Chamber, 106 N. Evers St. Dottie @813-204-9267 re: consultation • PC Local Harvest Farmers Market 4 – 8 PM McCall Park, 100 N. Collns St. 813-531-1811 pclocalharvestfarmersmarket.com

2ND THURSDAYS MONTHLY • GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Plant City 7 PM 1110 N. Wheeler St. Info: Lisa Rhodes, 813-376-8294

FRIDAYS WEEKLY • Acoustic Happy Hour 5:30 – 8:30PM O’Brien’s Irish Pub 1701 S. Alexander St. 813-764-8818 • Country Fried Fridays 9PM – 2AM Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill 106 E. SR 60 (at SR39) Ladies drink free DJ plays Top 40 Country 813-737-4444

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS WEEKLY • Music in The Loft @Krazy Kup Fridays: 6:33 - 8:33 PM Saturdays: 8:33 - 10:33PM 101 East J. Arden Mays Blvd. 813-752-1220; Facebook • O’Brien’s Live Music 9PM ‘til close O’Brien’s Irish Pub

1701 S. Alexander St. 813-764-8818

3RD SATURDAYS MONTHLY • Strawberry Classic Car Show New winter hours: 4-8 PM 102 N. Palmer St. Historic Downtown Plant City Info: Peggy Wilson at 813-754-3707 www.plantcity.org peggy@plantcity.org

AUGUST THROUGHOUT AUGUST • Roy Adams, Artist Work displayed at Bruton Memorial Library

16 TUESDAY • Plant City Connections 8 AM – 12 PM Monthly Networking Group Speaker: Becky Bywater with SCORE Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill 106 SR 60 E., Plant City www.facebook.com/groups/pcityconnections

18 THURSDAY • Social Media Class Sponsor: Small Business Development Center 2-4 PM Instructor: Danielle Moreda Plant City Chamber of Commerce Contact: James Chittenden 813-204-9267

19 FRIDAY • High School Football Games 7:30PM Durant Cougars vs. Brandon HS @DHS Plant City Raiders @ Riverview HS Strawberry Crest Chargers

20 SATURDAY • Strawberry Classic Car Show Winter hours: 4-8 PM 102 N. Palmer St. Historic Downtown Plant City Info: 813-754-3707 www.plantcity.org peggy@plantcity.org

22 MONDAY • Plant City Commission Meeting 7:30 PM Sadye Gibbs Martin Auditorium City Hall, 302 W. Reynolds St. City Clerk: 813-659-4237

23 TUESDAY • Plant City Connections 8 AM – 12 PM Monthly Networking Group Speaker: Christine Wynne of PC Dining/ Entertainment Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill 106 SR 60 E., Plant City www.facebook.com/groups/pcityconnections

25 THURSDAY • Toastmasters 7:30AM @ PC Chamber 106 N. Evers St. • PC Local Harvest Farmers Market 4-8 PM

McCall Park, 100 N. Collins St. 813-531-1911 pclocalharvestfarmersmarket.com

26 FRIDAY • High School Football Games 7:30PM Durant Cougars @ Hillsborough HS Plant City Raiders vs Armwood @PCHS Strawberry Crest Chargers @Brandon HS

27 SATURDAY • Booster Seat Class 9 -10:30 AM If your child has outgrown their car seat or needs a booster seat, a St. Joseph’s Children’s Advocacy Center child passenger safety technician will educate you on proper installation in your vehicle and provide you with a new high-back booster seat at no charge. Children’s Board Hillsborough County 639 E. Alexander St., Plant City Info: 813-752-8700

30 TUESDAY • Plant City Connections 8 AM – 12 PM Monthly Networking Group This month: “Speed Networking” Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill 106 SR 60 E., Plant City www.facebook.com/groups/pcityconnections

SEPTEMBER 1 THURSDAY • Toastmasters 7:30AM @ PC Chamber 106 N. Evers St. • PC Local Harvest Farmers Market 4-8 PM McCall Park, 100 N. Collins St. 813-531-1911 pclocalharvestfarmersmarket.com

2 FRIDAY • High School Football Games 7:30PM Durant Cougars vs. Spoto HS @DHS Plant City Raiders @ Jefferson HS Strawberry Crest Chargers vs Newsome @ SCHS

6 TUESDAY • Plant City Connections 8 AM – 12 PM Monthly Networking Group Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill 106 SR 60 E., Plant City www.facebook.com/groups/pcityconnections

9 FRIDAY • Get in the Boat Conference 6:30 PM Friday: 8:30-11:30AM Saturday Description: “Get in the Boat” is an invitation for all of us to stop floundering and start becoming stable within our life, focused on our skills, and dedicated to our “rowing” as we move through our nation’s stormy times. Two great speakers will follow the opening music on Friday night: Dr. Rusty Ricketson & Dr. Rob Jackson. A time of fellowship on Saturday at 8:30AM will precede the 4 breakout sessions 9-10:50 am (choose 2) and closing challenge at 11:00AM from Dr. Charles Roesel. Hopewell Baptist Church 6001 S. CR 39, Plant City

• High School Football Games 7:30PM Durant Cougars vs. Newsome @DHS Plant City Raiders vs Brandon @PCHS Strawberry Crest Chargers @Middleton HS

10 SATURDAY • 4th Annual Community Flea Market 7:30 AM – 12 PM Antiques/Collectables/Clothing/Furniture/ Household Items/ New/Used/ Food & more.... Vendors Wanted - Some restrictions apply St. Clement Church 1104 N. Alexander St., Plant City Info: 813-725-8251 x305 /Spanish x302

12 MONDAY • Plant City Commission Meeting 7:30 PM Sadye Gibbs Martin Auditorium City Hall, 302 W. Reynolds St. City Clerk: 813-659-4237

13 TUESDAY • Economic Development Corporation Monthly Meeting 2PM PC Chamber unless announced 106 N. Evers St. Info: Jake Austin, 863-712-0655

14 WEDNESDAY • Chamber Contact Breakfast 7-9 AM Monthly Networking Event Breakfast Registration: $15 Trinkle Center, HCC Campus, 1206 N Park Rd., Plant City Info: Joyce 813-754-3707

15 THURSDAY • Toastmasters 7:30AM @ PC Chamber 106 N. Evers St.

16 FRIDAY • High School Football Games 7:30PM Durant Cougars @ East Bay HS Plant City Raiders @Strawberry Crest HS Strawberry Crest Chargers vs PCHS @ SCHS

17 SATURDAY • Walk Across America Registration 9:30 AM; Walk begins 11AM Website: http://www.conquerchiari.org Goal: To conquer Chiari Malformation, a serious neurological disorder affecting more than 300,000 people in the US. The Conquer Chiari Walk Across America is a series of local awareness and fundraising walks held on the same day, uniting patients and their families across the country. Proceeds will fund Chiari research, education and awareness programs. Hillsborough County Fairgrounds 215 Sydney Washer Rd., Dover Serenity Harper (813) 990-7801 Free participation; T-shirts provided for preregistered walkers w/minimum $25 donation (deadline 8/16) • Strawberry Classic Car Show Winter hours: 4-8 PM 102 N. Palmer St. Historic Downtown Plant City Info: 813-754-3707 www.plantcity.org peggy@plantcity.org


FOCUS OBITUARIES William “Billy” Glaros, 93, of Plant City, Florida passed away Friday, June 24th, 2016. A native of Akron, Ohio, he was the son of Jack and Margaret Griffith Glaros. Survivors include: Son- Steve (Teresa) Glaros; Brother- George Glaros; Grandchildren- Tara Garmon, Alex, Zach, and Josh Glaros, and 4 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary Helen Glaros; Son- Greg Glaros. Siblings- Jack, Ewanna, Virginia, Eileen, and Dorothy. Billy was a retired Letter Carrier with the U.S. Postal Service. Served in the U.S. Navy during WWII in the Pacific Theater. He loved to play sports, especially basketball. He was a 1942 graduate of Plant City High School. The family received friends Monday, June 27th, 2016 at Haught Funeral Home Chapel 708 W. Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Blvd. in Plant City, Florida 33563. Funeral Services followed at 1:00 pm. Online condolences may be left for the family at www. haughtfuneralhome.com. Christopher “CJ” Stewart, Jr., 22 of Lakeland died July 9, 2016. A native of Plant City, FL, he was the son of Christopher Stewart, Sr, and Donna Collogan, they survive. Also surviving are grandmother, Nancy Collogan; siblings, Britney Collogan and Sieara Stewart; nieces and nephews, Anyia Devoe, Seth McLaughlin and Brooklyn Savino. CJ loved video games and made friends very easy. He was truly loved by all. A memorial service was held on July 16, 2016 at Haught Funeral Home, 708 W Dr MLK Jr Blvd, Plant City, with visitation one hour prior. Online condolences may be left for the family at haughtfuneralhome. com Sidney Wayne Smith, 70 of Valrico died July 15, 2016 at his home. A native of Baton Rouge, LA, he was the son of Woodrow and Vernie Burch Smith. Survivors are his wife of 18 years, Melissa Nabors Brandon-Smith; brother, Stan Smith; cousin, Charles Howse; niece, Robbin Smith Lewis. Sid loved LSU Tigers football and was an inventor, holding several patents in the security systems field, and spoke to his

cousin, who lived in Baton Rouge, every day. A memorial service was held July 23, 2016, at Haught Funeral Home, 708 W Dr MLK Jr Blvd, Plant City, with visitation one hour prior. If desired, donations may be made in Sid’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Online condolences may be left for the family at haughtfuneralhome.com Roy Paul Carlisle, 38 of Dover died July 17, 2016 at Brandon Regional Hospital. Roy was born in Tampa, FL on August 9, 1977. He was a lifelong resident of Eastern Hillsborough County. He is survived by his son, Koby Carlisle, whom he loved with all his heart; parents, Evelyn and P.D.; brother, Justin (Amy); paternal grandparents, Lloyd and Esther Carlisle; maternal grandmother, Geneva Bennett; nieces, Taylor and Payton. Roy was an Inside Journeyman Wireman Electrician and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 915. He loved the outdoors and was a baseball and Miami Hurricanes fan. A Memorial Service was held on July 21, 2016, at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1104 Cason St, Plant City, with visitation prior to the 7PM service. Online condolences may be left for the family at haughtfuneralhome.com Pauletta Hutchison, 93 of Plant City died July 18, 2016. Born in Bowling Green, KY, she was the daughter of Joseph and Sina McReynolds Brewington. She was preceded in death by her husband Willard “Pinky” Hutchison; children, Bobby Hutchison, Roger Hutchison; great grandchild, Jessie Carlisle; siblings, Carl Brewington, Lena Dyer, Ethel Fisher, Jewel Carlton, Dillard Brewington. She is survived by daughter, Donna Jean Crocker; daughter in law, Dot Hutchison; grandchildren, Jeff & Cheryl Horne, Ronna “DeeDee” Horne, Vicki Schaub, Missy & Rod Mason; great grandchildren, Dustin Young, Dylan Horne, Hayden Horne, Hannah Horne, Harrison Horne, Morgan Schaub, Rachel Schaub, Gary & Chelsea Baker; great great grandchild, Jackson

Young. Pauletta attended the First Church of God. She cherished her family. A funeral service was held July 21, 2016, at Haught Funeral Home, 708 W Dr MLK Jr Blvd, Plant City, with visitation one hour prior. If desired, donations may be made in Ms Pauletta’s memory to your favorite charity. Online condolences may be left for the family at haughtfuneralhome.com

granddaughter: Emily. She was an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church, she loved to travel and enjoyed the beach. The family received friends Saturday, July 30th, 2016 at Shiloh Baptist Church 1104 Cason Street Plant City, Florida 33563, prior to the funeral services at 10:00 am. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com.

Joseph Chambers, 40, of Plant City Florida passed away Saturday, July 23rd, 2016. The Tampa native was the son of Guy and Brenda Shepler Ford, who survive. Other survivors include DaughterShealeigh Chambers, Brother- Johnathan Chambers. Girlfriend- Jamie Hunt Landrey, and Ex-wife Lisa Chambers. Joseph was an Insulator with Local #67 and local #19 in Wisconsin. He was an avid football fan and enjoyed NASCAR. The family received friends on August 1st, 2016 at Haught Funeral Home Chapel, 708 W. Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Blvd. Plant City, Florida 33563, where Funeral Services followed at 7:00 pm.

Phillip R Fenton, 89, of Plant City, Florida, went home to be with the Lord on July 29, 2016. Born September 30, 1926 in Springfield, Ohio, he was the son of the late Russell and Ida Fenton. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Joan. He is survived by his daughters, Diane S Roof (Howard), Carol E Birch (Larry), and son, John R Fenton (Betsy), 5 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. The family will be having private services. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be left for the family at haughtfuneralhome.com

Joell Greatens 49, of Lakeland, Florida passed away Tuesday, July 26th, 2016. A native of Winter Haven, she was the daughter of Brian and JoAnn Kurczewski Greatens; she survives. Other survivors include Brother: Michael (Stacey) Greatens, and a niece and a nephew. Joell was a member of Hope Lutheran Church she worked at the Polk County Sheriffs Office, St. Paul Lutheran Church and GEICO. The family received friends on August 1, 2016 at Hope Lutheran Church, 2001 N. Park Road, Plant City, Florida 33563 with funeral services followiing. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com. Nancy Scott, 92, of Plant City, Florida passed away Wednesday, July 27th, 2016. Survivors include her beloved husband Gene Scott, Children- Sandra (Bill) Bath, and Gayle (David) Eiland; 5 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, a sister: Marie Rowe and a

Denzil David Stump, 83, of Plant City Florida passed away Sunday, July 31st, 2016. He was the son of Lewis and Era Hathaway Stump. Survivors include: Wife- Mattie Alice Stump; Daughters- Shera (Drew) Rose, Diana Ballinger, Linda Nichols; Stepsons- Charles (Alicia) Easters, Melvin (Margaret) Easters; Grandchildren- Nicole Nichols, Moragan Weaver, Allen Nichols, Tyler Ballinger, Steven Easters, Chuck Easters, and Tom Bean, and many great grandchildren. Mr. Stump was preceded in death by his parents, his son David “Bo” Stump, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Denzil Stump was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving in Korea, He retired from Crystals International in Plant City. The family received friends on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 at Haught Funeral Home Chapel 708 W. Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Blvd. Plant City, Florida 33563 prior to the Funeral Services at 1:00 pm. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com.

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FOCUS OBITUARIES Juanita Acker age 86, of Plant City Florida passed away Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016. Survivors include children: Ralph (Veronica) Acker, Raymond Lee Acker, Gail ( Joe) Woods, six grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by her beloved husband: Billy Lee Acker, and son: Brian Lee Acker. Funeral Services will be held Saturday, August 6th, 2016 at at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses 2100 Providence Rd Lakeland, Florida 33805. .Online condolences may be left for the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com. Robert Odell Brooker, Sr., 76 of Plant City died August 3, 2016. Born in Tampa, FL, the son of Joseph and Lena Dupree Brooker. Robert was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Carol Rowe. Survivors include son: Robert Brooker, Jr; sisters: Pat Harrell, Jean (Danny) Dansby; several grandchildren, great grandchildren, beloved nephews: Wayne (Kim) Harrell and children, Kyle and Rachel; Glenn (Kendra) Harrell and daughters Taylor, Kelsey and Emily; Bryan, Justyn, Steven and Aaron (Karen) Dansby; Ty (Brook) Rowe and daughters Melina, Morgan, Carlie and Caroline and a host of friends. Robert was a member of Liberty Baptist Church and the Moose Lodge. He loved to fish and watch pro wrestling, Florida Gators and his Washington Redskins. A funeral was held August 9, 2016, at Haught Funeral Home, 708 W Dr MLK Jr Blvd, Plant City, with visitation one hour prior to service and interment followed in Hopewell Memorial Gardens, Plant City. Donations can be made to Liberty

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Southern Baptist Church Outreach Ministry 2505 W Granfield Ave, Plant City, FL 33563 in memory of Robert Brooker. Online condolences may be left for the family at haughtfuneralhome.com. Rebeca Cardenas, 85 of Dover died August 9, 2016 at her home. Born in Padillo Tamps, Mexico, she was the daughter of the late Felix and Guadalupe Castillo Gonzalez. She was the wife of the late Maurilio Cardenas. Surviving are children, Javier Cardenas, Marisela ( Jose) Cardenas, Alma (Lorenzo) Gonzalez, Joel (Pauly) Cardenas, Jorge Cardenas, Abriel (Maricela) Cardenas, Nelda (Emilio) Rodriguez, Delma (Ezequiel) Rodriguez, Daniel (Veronica) Cardenas; 7 brothers and sisters, 29 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. Rebeca was a member of Iglesia Bautista Ebenezer in Lakeland, loved to cook -- “best in the world”, and was the “best mother in law.” Funeral Services were held August 12, 2016, Haught Funeral Home, 708 W Dr MLK Jr Blvd, Plant City, with visitation the evening prior. Final interment in Shiloh Cemetery, Plant City followed the services. Online condolences may be left for the family at haughtfuneralhome.com

Paul Wrae Booher, Jr., left this life on August 12, 2016, at the age of 77 years. Born in Newark, Ohio, Paul is the son of the late Paul Wrae Booher, Sr., and the late Mary Marjorie Daugherty Booher. Michael Wrae Booher is married to Patricia Marie Venero Booher. Their children include Matthew Wrae “Matt” Booher (married to Emily Robertson Booher), Amy Marie Booher, and Laura Kathryn Booher. Matt and Emily have two children – Susan Marie Booher and Emmitt Wrae Booher. His is survived by his loving wife, Su, and his four sisters, Suzanne Jean Robinson (Ft. Myers, Florida), Karen Mae Pfeifer (Cottonwood, Arizona), Pamela Joan Bowman (Seminole, Florida), and Deborah Ellen Busch (Laramie, Wyoming). Paul is preceded in death by his father, Paul Wrae Booher, Sr., his mother, Mary Marjorie Booher, and his brother, Douglas William Booher. Paul was an outstanding athlete, avid sports fan, and dedicated scholar. He

attended Boca Ciega High School, played football and baseball, and graduated valedictorian in 1957. He attended the University of Florida on a baseball scholarship and graduated in 1962 with a degree in civil engineering. He had a long and professionally challenging career as an engineer, eventually retiring as a civil engineer for the State of Florida in 2012. Paul loved being outdoors. For years, he sailed the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. But his life-time joy was sports. Particularly Gator sports. At the time of their retirement, Paul and Su lived in Gainesville, Florida, and attended every possible football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and softball game, and were avid supporters of their teams. A Celebration of Life was held August 15, 2016, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 302 Carey St, Plant City, Florida. As a lifetime Episcopalian, Paul’s faith anchored the ideals that he set for himself and inspired in others. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Paul’s memory to the St Peter’s Episcopal Church – General Endowment Fund.

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ACROSS 1. The Ugly Duckling, in reality 5. Deck crew boss, for short 9. Not well 12. Pinta, for one 16. White-tailed bird 17. Rhythmic dance 19. “¡Comprendo!” 20. Window covering 21. Threesome 24. Role on “Cheers” 25. Sweet liqueur 26. Long, wimpy cry of fright 27. More forward 28. Actor Scott 29. Stylish 30. Taurus 31. Goes around 34. Small-headed monkey 35. Cooking fat 36. WWII naval transport 39. Threesome 43. Easy stride 44. Yew or yucca 45. Controversial arts org. 46. Merchandise for Sale ad letters 47. Dumbbell 48. Ella and elle 49. Threesome 54. Trauma ctrs. 55. Asian nation 56. Girl in “The Little Rascals” 57. Lofty principles 58. Part of a hostess’ plans 59. Actress Mazar & her namesakes 60. Wake up 61. Grant, McKinley or Harding 64. Evil one 65. Portrayer of 24 Across 66. Heat unit, for short 69. Threesome 72. Lowly laborer 73. __-garde 74. Inlet 75. Sec. of Defense McNamara’s monogram 76. Raid victims 77. Is greedy 78. Threesome 84. 1 of 4 in a deck 85. Little 86. Fleming & Hunter 87. Not as difficult 88. Wharf 89. Felt hat 90. Aftershave brand 91. Next to

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94. Late Israeli Prime Minister Meir 95. Refuse __; remain in denial about 99. Make right 100. Threesome 102. William Bendix role 103. Steals from 104. Cone-shaped structure 105. Roarer 106. Vega or Polaris 107. Linear measures: abbr. 108. Monster’s lake 109. Unconvincing

22. Ledger, for one 23. Taxes’ partner, in phrase 27. Cover up 29. Entree choice 30. Twirled item 31. Man-cloth connection 32. Seen less often 33. Coffin platforms 35. Mediterranean coast nation 36. Judy Garland’s middle child 37. Thread holder 38. Takes care of 40. “Shame __!” 41. Bics 42. Bread tray items 43. Recluse 47. TV and newspapers 49. “__ bet?” 50. Water-retention problem 51. Rich bigwig 52. Like saltwater 53. Bad check writer 55. Bounded 58. Complains 59. Prevent from doing something 60. Sea World performer 61. __, Nebraska 62. Devastation 63. Picture 64. Cow farm

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E M I T

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S E L A I M A G E B I E R S A N D I

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

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N B A A N E S M T I E C A K E D D E E M B A A R Y I E L D S

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

It's Triplets!

L A T C H M E D I A S C O L D

P A Y S A C A L L L O N E R S H A L L

E R I A B E N J I L O R N A H A R D

P R O M T O T O E S P O O L I D L E

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~ Margaret R., a patient of South Florida Baptist Hospital

The Care You Need, When You Need It. After having knee replacement surgery, Margaret is back to all the activities she enjoys. When it comes to her health care needs, she takes comfort in knowing that everything is available right in her Plant City community. A member of the community since 1953, South Florida Baptist Hospital was built on quality, compassionate care. You’ll find a highly skilled and experienced team that works to make patients and visitors as comfortable as possible during their hospital experience. When you’re treated at South Florida Baptist Hospital, you’ll feel at home, close to home — all your health care needs are covered, without ever leaving Plant City.

Choose South Florida Baptist Hospital. Learn more: SouthFloridaBaptistCare.org

Our Specialties: n ER: Efficient medical treatment for minor or major emergencies and illnesses n Surgery: Large operating rooms, high-tech equipment and spacious recovery rooms create a pleasant environment for patients n Heart: State-of-the-art heart and vascular center offering cardiac diagnostic services and procedures

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S TS OT OO BO B

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FOCUS Plant City 15-08  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 15-08 August 2016

FOCUS Plant City 15-08  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 15-08 August 2016

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