Contents Table of
focusplantcity.com / Issue 17-04 / April 2018
Along with stories about the Eagle Scout project for David Harnage and the 2018 Citizen of the Year- Don Walden, in this issue you’ll enjoy those covering the East Hillsborough Discovery Quest, First Baptist Church of Plant City’s new worship center, an important announcement by the Plant City Photo Archives & History Center, and two upcoming events: the annual Blueberry Festival, and Plant City’s program for the National Day of Prayer.
Each year we take pleasure in introducing our readers to the four valedictorians from the three local high schools: Plant City, Durant, and Strawberry Crest (traditional and International Baccalaureate). Their responses to our questions offer great insight into the talented younger generation who will shape our country’s future. Enjoy the read.
Since 2004, owner Mike Arndt and his talented graphic design team at Minuteman Press have served Plant City area customers with their printing and promotional material needs. If you need help with a project, this crew can produce presentation items to make your company stand out from the crowd in the public’s eye.
With renovations to kitchen and new additions to the menu, the popularity of Keel & Curley Winery as a Central Florida dining venue is growing again. Thanks also to the increasing interest in the annual Blueberry Festival and the wedding reception options, folks are discovering one of Plant City’s best spots for entertainment as well. If you haven’t been lately, it’s time for a visit. PAGE
From The Publisher Publisher Mike Floyd email@example.com Office Manager Candy Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Cheryl Johnston email@example.com Art Director Anthony Sassano firstname.lastname@example.org Distribution Tony DeVane Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston | Barbara Routen | Kelli Tharrington Katie Loudermilk | Sherrie Mueller | Anthony Bolesta Contributors Gil Gott | Jo-An Lusk | Nate Davis | Candy Owens Natalie Sweet | Wanda Anderson | Heather Davis | Layla Keeler Drawdy
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 Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990
t’s festival time again. Are you ready?
This one, the 11th annual featuring blueberries, draws families from all over Central Florida to the Keel & Curley Winery off Forbes Road just south of I-4. For two weekends, April 14-15 and April 21-22, folks can enjoy live music, food, vendors, children’s activities, and an especially affordable U-pick for those who want to extend the celebration at home. Here’s hoping you can visit! Of note also this month, on April 14, were venues such as “Rail Fest” and the 1st-ever “Praise in the Park.” We are blessed that Plant City offers so much entertainment for people of every age and life stage. Opportunities like these, when combined with our recent Chamber of Commerce weather, make for great fun and photo ops with friends and neighbors. We’re thankful that readers look to us each month for stories about the local happenings and community successes. Your suggestions for future coverage are a huge help, so please keep them coming. You expand our Focus and we exist to capture Plant City’s memorable moments. Thanks for being part of our team.
www.focusplantcity.com Standards of accuracy: The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail email@example.com. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.
Warmest Regards, Mike Floyd PAGE
Town Talk of the
Submit your good news to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call it in 813.707.8783
The Plant City High School Key Club was honored to receive the Olin Mott Golden Heart Award at the annual Child Abuse Awareness Luncheon on April 6, 2018 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside in Tampa. They were recognized for dedication and community service hours earned by volunteering at the Joshua House. Along with some of the Key Club members, also in attendance were club advisor Danielle Odden and Sharon Moody, President of the Plant City Kiwanis Club.
Found on Facebook The inaugural Aspire Plant City event happens April 24 @6PM at Wishing Well Barn. All women are invited to attend and bring friends!
Diana Kerr is bringing tropical tunes and cups of shaved ice everywhere her Kona Ice truck stops in Plant City to benefit local schools, teams, and community organizations. To learn more about her Kona Ice of Plant City franchise and to book this distinctive blend of entertainment and gourmet frozen treats for your next event, contact Diana Kerr by email at email@example.com or by phone at 727-272-2734. Tracey Spanola, District Manager of Brokers Title, hosted an informational gathering for realtors at Keel & Curley Winery on April 5, 2018. Featured speakers were Nate Davis and Toni Simmons Raulerson of Florida Mortgage Firm, real estate attorney Reinhard Stephan, and Donna Lee, an underwriting counsel with Fidelity Commonwealth. An open Q & A session followed. Pictured L-R are: Nate Davis, Toni Simonds-Raulerson, Korrie Leonard, Madison Crawford, Moriah Basel, Debbie Williams, and Shawntel Lamarca. PAGE
Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss An Afternoon in Mayberry from 3-5PM on May 20 at the 1914 PCHS Community Center. Features Rodney & Beverly Dillard (original bluegrass team from the Mayberry RFD show), the Walker Brothers, and comedian Tom Chase.
OUR PROFITS ARE YOUR PAYDAY When you do business with Farm Credit, you are a member of a cooperative. When we do well, you do well. And we’re happy to share that success with you. LOANS FOR: • • • •
Operating expenses Farm land Lots and homes Recreational property
• • • •
Refinancing Buildings Fences Equipment
The obligation to pay patronage is established by the Association’s bylaws and board resolutions. Distributions are made only if capital requirements are achieved. Only eligible borrowers can participate in the Patronage Refunds Program.
Loans for land, homes & living. 866 . 245 . 3637 farmcreditcfl.com
Dr. Brenda Dukes Chiropractic Physician
NEW STUDY FINDS OPIOID DEPENDENCE CAN BE MINIMIZED USING CHIROPRACTIC CARE
San Jose, Calif.-March 27, 2018-A new study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concludes that adults receiving chiropractic care for low back pain (LBP) were 55 percent less likely to fill a prescription for an opioid analgesic in comparison to adults who did not receive chiropractic care. The object of the investigation was to evaluate the association between utilization of chiropractic services and the use of prescription opioid medications. Based on the findings, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not for profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, notes that pain management services provided by doctors of chiropractic (DCs) may allow to use lower or less frequent doses of opioids, leading to reduce costs and risk of adverse effects. • Of the 13,384 subjects studied, only 19 percent of the subjects receiving chiropractic care filled a prescription for opioids, while 35 percent who did not receive chiropractic care filled these prescriptions. • All categories of prescription charges were significantly lower for recipients of chiropractic services in comparison with non-recipients.
“Consumers are actively looking for safe, clinically and cost-effective, drug-free approaches to manage back pain, “said Sherry McAllister,DC,executive vice president, F4CP. According to the study, more aggressive pain management efforts that begin in the 1990s have led to an epidemic of prescriptions for opioid pain medications in the U.S, with more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions despensed per day. The Institute of Medicine has recommended the use of non-pharmacologic therapies, including chiropractic care, prior to utilization of pharmacotherapy for patients with chronic pain. Special Note: On Sunday, May 13th is Mother’s Day-We pray that all Mother’s, Grandmother’s and all women be BLESSED at this special timeProv.31:10-31. Blessings, Dr. Dukes & Staff
Dr. Brenda Dukes • Chiropractic Physician 752-2524 • 2401 Walden Woods Dr. • Plant City, FL 33566
Dr. Dukes encourages you to write her with any questions concerning chiropractic care. PAGE
1st Annual East Hillsborough Discovery Quest BY KATIE LOUDERMILK
aking connections with one’s community creates a sense of belonging and unity for local residents. This was the goal of the 1st Annual East Hillsborough Discovery Quest gathering on April 7, 2018. Organized by the East Hillsborough Advisory Council, the event’s purpose was to educate guests about the plethora of resources, programs, and services available in the area. Guests also had the ability to apply for aid, attend brief seminars, and enjoy live entertainment by locals. The free event, held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Grimes Family Agricultural Center on the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds hosted 85 vendors, businesses, and nonprofits who displayed their wares, information, and candy or other goodies to attract interest. Truly, there was something for everyone. Debbie Fullerton, a Shiloh Baptist Church of Plant City member, shared, “Our group came to meet with other businesses to inform them of our work in helping the elderly
with their emergency needs. We were able to put ourselves out there with business owners.” Along with the networking availability, the event also featured activities for the little ones such as large puzzles, painting, and book giveaways. Entries for creative gift baskets and prizes were available to those who contributed canned food, donated blood, or donated eyeglasses for the Lions Club. The I-4 Food Truck War between the regions of Lakeland, Orlando, and Tampa for best overall trucks took place outdoors. Local musicians, dancers and artists performed for the guests. In order of appearance, the live entertainment included: United Starz, Matachines of St. Clement Catholic Church, Makaira Fisk, Astrid Victoria, Bound No More, and Martyr-X. The 2018 event sponsors included: Axiom Bank, Jarrett Scott Ford, Fusion Digital Marketing, USF Area Health Education Center Program, Florida Strawberry Festival,
New Hope at The Cornerstone, Care Plus Health Plans, Inc., Hillsborough County FL, Independence Academy, Advantage Academy, Unity in the Community and others. Free resources were available from seminar presenters and dozens of displays, ranging from food banks, housing, career services, health and more. A small sampling included Central Florida Speech & Hearing, Hillsborough Community College, Make Plant City, American Cancer Society, East Hillsborough Historical Society, Bay Area Legal Services, Inc., Florida Health, East Hillsborough Art Guild, and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. Speakers as follows offered 2030 minute presentations on various topics: Katie McGill, Dress for Success; Frank Trunzo, Auctioneer as Career Choice; Alexandria
Harrington, Classical Violinist Music Performance; Kimberly Kitchen, The Centre for Women; James Chittenden, Florida Small Business Development Center @Hillsborough County, SBDC Programs for Start-Ups & Existing Businesses; Buddy Storey, City of Plant CityProcurement Division, “How to Do Business with The City of Plant City;” Melissa Miller, United Way SuncoastPrograms & Giving; Maureen Guthke, MPH, CTTS - Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program; Gale Pinkston, Bay Area Legal; Joshua Ocampo, Axiom Bank -- Smart Money Planning. If public reaction and comments tell the story, the East Hillsborough Discovery Quest was a success. The EHDQ plans to continue as an annual tradition.
11th Annual Blueberry Festival Food, wine, music, craft vendors and kids’ play area BY BARBARA ROUTEN
Fair-food favorites will be on hand at Keel & Curley Winery's Blueberry Festival.
lant City will celebrate blueberry season again this year at the 11th Annual Blueberry Festival at Keel & Curley Winery, 5210 Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City. There will be activities for children, food booths, continuous, live, musical entertainment in two locations, the winery’s well-known wines and craft beers, and vendors selling a variety of wares such as jewelry, kitchen gadgets, cell phone services and coffee. “Event executive Michelle Powers has invited several exciting new vendors this year: additional food choices and unique craft vendors, such as a medieval times hair braider (for all ages), Everything Must Glow (a children's must-visit) and Dragonfly Studio (with create-
your-own silk scarf on-site),” said Keel & Curley Winery’s Alicia Keel. “Fat Tones, former *NSYNC band member Joey Fatone's food truck, will be here, and we’ve been told Joey will be here one of the festival days!” said Keel. “We’ll have music in two locations instead of one, and Veronica, from 99.5 QYK, will be here April 14 and 21.” “It’ll be a big blowout, a big deal, with lots of vendors, food trucks and u-pick blueberries,” said Bryce McGuire, assistant manager. “We’ll have pretty much the same stuff as last year, just better. We try to improve every year and get more people out here to have a good time.” “If you pick blueberries, go to the back of the field for the
fatter, sweeter berries,” said Nikki Manecke, general manager. Many repeat attendees look forward to the limited-edition Strawberry Shortcake Wine, which is made from strawberry shortcake stock left over from the Strawberry Festival, said McGuire. It takes about a month or so to make, so it is only available at Blueberry Festival time of year. For information about Keel & Curley Winery’s Blueberry Festival and other events, visit keelandcurleywinery.com.
Free Admission Parking $10 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 14, 15, 21 and 22 U-pick $5 cash or $5.25 credit per bucket 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14, 15, 21 and 22 Keel and Curley Winery 5210 Thonotosassa Rd. Plant City, FL
Members of the Gray family and their friends, at the Blueberry Festival for the first time in 2017, savor refreshments in a shady spot.
A child rides a bucking shark in the children's play area at Keel & Curley Winery's Blueberry Festival.
PC Photo Archives & History Center Gala 2018 Annual Gala Featured Kathy Fountain and Frank Robertson BY ANTHONY BOLESTA
back in my birth town.” Frank Robertson also expressed his happiness for the event and the city, saying, “I love history, and I really could not be more thrilled to be here.” The evening’s climax was the Parolini Award presentation by Gil Gott to Karen Podsiad . He explained, “Karen truly earned the honor this year for her dedication and volunteer service.” The 2018 Archive Gala was a night that demonstrated how hard work and a passion for history and its preservation is evident in those who work and volunteer at the center. Gott and his team are firm believers that communities and individuals should “Never lose your history.” He added, “Our doors are always open to the public. We want all ages to feel welcome to receive help in discovering a part of their history. Because we’re community-driven, we constantly work to provide a
resource of history and education by reaching beyond our doors to build new programs and partnerships.” PCPAHC offers digital image scanning and access to scanned photos, slides, and documents of times past, digitally stored on its servers. The team also researches the backstories. In addition, by working with local educational organizations, they bring a fun and interactive environment that allows children to apply learning skills. For the level of detail with which these men and women have accomplished the mission to ensure the history of Plant City and its people, we all owe a debt of gratitude. Since the non-profit organization relies on local support, please consider donating to the cause. Phone 813-757-1578, visit online at plantcityphotoarchives. org, or best yet, visit in person from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday to learn more.
Karen Podsiad, recipient of the Parolini Award for 2018
ocated at 106 South Evers Street in Plant City’s historic downtown, the award-winning Plant City Photo Archives & History Center serves as community historian and archivist in an age when photography is now primarily digital. Thankfully, the hard-working staff and volunteers who serve this leading historic resource In the Plant City community area oversee the preservation of more than 250,000 photos accessible in the 1,000 square foot exhibit gallery. Containing thousands of images of individuals, military Veterans, groups, businesses, schools, streetscapes, landscapes, aerials and numerous activities, the organization formed in the year 2000 after acquiring photographs from long time area photographer Bill Friend. Since that time, many have added their personal photos and documents to the collection. Executive Director Gil Gott welcomed guests on March 29, 2018 to the center’s Gala. This annual evening event gathers
folks for reflection on the past and acknowledgement of those who assist in archiving visual images for future generations. Before the night’s festivities commenced, the Center’s guests conversed both in an out of the building. They also enjoyed beverages from the open bar staffed by Shannon Moody, a sommelier from ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. The local history trivia competition is part of the fun each year. Guests were divided into small teams for a friendly challenge that allowed the history buffs to show their local-scene smarts, while simultaneously helping knowledge seekers to learn something new. The meal catered by Simply Southern included chicken, prime rib, apple critters and more, which when paired with the wines, made for a sophisticated dining experience. Two guests of note who livened the celebration were longtime WTVT-Channel 13 anchors Kathy Fountain and Frank Robertson. Kathy Fountain was extremely grateful to be at the gala, saying, “It is such an honor to be
Executive Committee Member Mac Smith and his wife Cookie shared a moment with celebrity guest Kathy Fountain and Frank Robertson.
Jana Butler, Executive Director of the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation, shows a photo for the quiz.
A Miracle Recovery, A Miracle Movie BY CHERYL JOHNSTON
Shown L-R are Norm Blanton, James Moore of Thrivent Financial, and Daniel Bernard of Somebody Cares Tampa Bay with his son Luke Bernard, who wrote The Favorite after he suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in a single car accident.
ometimes the miraculous happens instantaneously. Other times it’s a process. Such is the case with Luke Bernard’s single-car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury with a very negative prognosis. The miracle is still unfolding. After a near fatal car accident on March 9, 2013, Luke entered L.A. County Hospital with dilated and fixed pupils and a zero chance of survival. To remove two blood clots on the brain, a neurosurgeon removed a 4-by-5inch piece of Luke’s skull so the brain could swell. In addition to facial and rib fractures, he suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and back. Through the Somebody Cares International organization, of which Luke’s father Daniel Bernard is President of the Tampa Bay division, thousands were mobilized to pray. God intervened and Luke experienced a miraculous recovery, returning home to Florida after only six weeks of hospitalization. Two months later, a cranialplasty procedure replaced the skull portion. Like most TBI patients, he suffered insomnia, but one night in deep sleep, God gave him a dream. His parents suggested he write it down. One month and 90 pages later, Luke had written the first draft of The Favorite, when only six months earlier he was re-learning to write his name. Based on Luke’s real experience of physical and spiritual transformation,
two brothers must band together in the face of tragedy. The miraculous continues as The Favorite movie was just nominated for Best Screenplay at the International Christian Film and Music Festival. With the help of the family’s ministry friends and churches from around the country planning theater buyouts, the film should sell-out for its September release. When Daniel and Luke Bernard visited the First Baptist Church of Plant City last November to share a 16-minute trailer with area pastors, they gained local support. All were impressed by the storyline and production quality. After a showing to almost 300 University of South Florida students, the Bernards were encouraged to develop teaching materials supporting the film’s lessons about favoritism within families. Daniel also showed the entire film on April 2 to local ministry leaders who met at the Plant City Church of God to encourage the work. The film about two brothers and how a family handled tragedy has touched a chord, especially with millennials. But the true message of the film is that “You are God’s favorite.” Luis Ramirez, pastor of Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Plant City wrote: “Regardless of race, social or economic position, families undergo changes that can cause deep wounds in human beings. The Favorite movie directs the modern family to find the solution to those changes in the only
one that can heal the wounds of the soul, Jesus Christ.” Norman Walker, Director of Church Relations for Lighthouse Ministries in Lakeland, shared: “I believe everyone should see this powerful film. The Favorite is well written, has great actors, and is filled with action, drama and suspense. But rising above all is the true "miracle" of healing God brought to this family - and not just those who were physically hurt. Their faith in God and belief in the power of prayer helped them see this ‘divine miracle’ firsthand.”
Pastor Rick Phillips of Plant City’s Grace United Methodist Church offered that this “passionate and relevant movie explores all sides of the favoritism issue…We see how God loves us and is always reaching out, even when we are pushing Him away. The Favorite provides an excellent platform to open a real conversation about the restorative power of His love in the world.” To join the social media effort, visit www.facebook.com/ TheFavoriteSocialMedia or visit www. TheFavoriteMovie.com.
WE DESIGN, PRINT AND PROMOTE...YOU!
PLAN WE DE
1701 S. Alexander St. â&#x20AC;¢ Suite 105 Plant City, Florida 33566
Anno unce ments Book lets & Cata Broc logs hure s & Fl Busi yers ness Card Cale s ndar s Carb onless Form Copy s ing & Coll Enve ating lope s & Le Invita tterhe tions ad Labe ls Mem o Pads Men us
New slette rs Pres enta tion Fold
April. My other daughter, Lee-Ann Walden, is an attorney and lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, James Knox.” Focus: We would love to know some of the highlights from your outstanding military career. Mr. Walden: “The Korean War started shortly after my graduation from Stetson University in 1950. I enlisted in the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. During my 22-year Army career, I was honored to serve my country in Korea, Texas, Germany (twice), Viet Nam (twice), Georgia, Virginia and Illinois. In 1972, after retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, I returned to Plant City and formed Donco Realty, Inc., specializing in commercial property.”
Plant City’s 2018 Citizen of the Year BY SHERRIE MUELLER
ongratulations to Don Walden, who was selected recently by the service clubs of Plant City as the 2018 Citizen of the Year. Focus had the opportunity to ask this active gentleman about his formative years and about his community involvement. We know you’ll enjoy learning more about his life in the town he has served so well. Focus: Tell us a little about your early life here. Mr. Walden: “I was born, at home, right here in Plant City in 1928. Both of my parents, Lucile Gallagher and Don Walden, were born in the late 1800s in Dover, Florida, just about an hour’s buggy ride away. I grew up on Saunders Street in Plant City and attended Wilson Elementary, Tomlin Junior High and Plant City High School.”
Focus: Please share some of your high school memories. Mr. Walden: “I attended high school at what is now known as the 1914 Building. I participated in football, baseball, basketball and track. I was also a member of the band and we marched in the Strawberry Festival and Gasparilla parades. One high school highlight was being a volunteer member of the Plant City Fire Department. We responded to city fire alarms and were excused from school, anytime, to go fight a fire.” Focus: Help our readers know a little more about your family. Mr. Walden: “My wife Lois and I have two daughters. Lois regrettably, passed away in 2008. My oldest daughter, Selinda Walden, lives with her husband, Ken Keller, here in Plant City. I am “Pop-Pop” to their two grandchildren, Chase and
Focus: We know you attend almost every meeting of the Plant City Commission. Why is that? Mr. Walden: “My interest in city government originated from my father. He was elected as a City Commissioner and served as Mayor back in the 1930s and 1940s. Now, with real estate as my business,
I frequently have an interest in matters under consideration by the commission, and I have really become interested in the process of government.” Focus: You were involved also with many community organizations. Of which accomplishments are you most proud? Mr. Walden: “I am proud to be a Kiwanian, a past Chairman of the Board for the Plant City Chamber, Past Chair of the Tampa Association of Realtors, Founding Chair of the Plant City Community Redevelopment Agency and have 12 years of service with the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Tampa. I was also one of the organizers of the Plant State Bank, which is now Wells Fargo Bank.” With a family history of serving our community, Don Walden has continued the tradition with excellence. He has almost 90 years of experiences and knowledge to share. Thank you so much, Sir, for your service in making Plant City a better place to call home.
Eagle Scout David Harnage Creates Outdoor Classroom at Dover Elementary
BY KATIE LOUDERMILK
oung adults reach significant milestones in their lives as they move closer to adulthood. David Harnage, an ambitious 17-year-old, accomplished this mission for himself and the Boy Scouts of Troup 734 when he earned his rite of passage as an Eagle Scout. To graduate from the Boy Scouts organization, each scout must complete a project that benefits the community. Harnage chose to build an outdoor classroom for the children at Dover Elementary School. In the garden tended by the school’s teachers, Harnage saw a need for an outdoor space where students could write and share what they experience within their rural environment. After designing the outdoor classroom with his father, David presented the plans to
Principal Kayla Furcucci. She shared, “We have been wanting an outdoor classroom and are very excited about what David has been building. I am eager to see the completed project and ready to use it to make learning more meaningful for the students.” With the popularity of agriculture in the East Hillsborough County area, Harnage saw the spark of interest students would have in this new addition to their garden. “I want my project to benefit the school in the long run,” he explained. “We need a new generation to be interested in agriculture and I believe this outdoor classroom will make farming more fun and exciting for the kids.” Harnage was also influenced by his late grandfather who earned his Eagle Scout badge and had a career in the
education system. “School was his life and he was always outdoors when he got a chance,” Harnage offered. “I know he would be proud of what I chose.” The overall cost of the project was estimated at $750 and Harnage invested over 100 hours in construction. He received donations from family, friends, and through the free fundraising Red Basket Foundation (redbasket.org). He put together donations’ tables at local businesses and distributed bottles of water and tubes of Chapstick to inform the public about his project and the process. The outdoor classroom is still in the finishing stages. There are plans to add a chalkboard with paint later. David is grateful for the help he received with landscaping from his brother, architectural ideas from his dad, and project planning assistance from his mom. “Earning my Eagle Scout title has taught me many things,” he offered, “but most importantly it has taught that I have freedom and responsibility, but not freedom from my responsibilities.”
David Harnage built an outdoor classroom in the garden tended by teachers at Dover Elementary School so students would have space to write and learn more about agriculture.
First Baptist Church of Plant City Opens New Worship Center New Campus on James L. Redman Parkway
BY SHERRIE MUELLER
The new sanctuary of First Baptist Church offers an expanded stage with three large video screens.
he phrase “Build it and they will come!” never seemed more fitting than on February 18, 2018 when the First Baptist Church of Plant City opened the doors to its new Worship Center. Over 2,700 people attended the first service at the new location on 3309 James L. Redman Parkway. With more than a 50% increase in seating capacity over the previous Palmer Street location, the new Worship Center will seat 1,800 individuals. At this initial celebration service, additional seating and large viewing screens in the lobby accommodated the overflow of church members and guests. More than 180 preschoolers were introduced to their new church classrooms and over 140 children attended their very own “Children’s Church.” The first sermon topic in the new church, delivered by Senior Pastor-
Dr. Brian Stowe, was “And God Showed Up!” Dr. Stowe emphasized, “Buildings do not make the church... people do!” He elaborated that the church was a place of “Hope” and that “Through the sacrifices and teaching, God gave hope to His people” (Psalm 33:17-22). He concluded the first service with the prayer, “O Lord, may lives, families and our whole community be changed by the power of the Gospel.” At the original groundbreaking ceremony for the future Worship Center in April of 2016, members circled the planned building’s perimeter in prayer. Completion was celebrated in February 2018 with a much larger group of members forming a prayer circle in the exact same position as in 2016. This time, however, the circle encompassed the completed Phase I, which contains approximately 60,000 square feet.
Steve Morris, Education & Administration Pastor, oversaw the building phase of the project called “The Promise Land.” A dedicated steering committee remained committed through all thirteen years of the planning and building process. The actual building phase was accomplished in 22 months. Steve Morris was quick to share, “Many church members were deeply involved in the construction process in the areas of civil engineering, landscaping, structural steel and other trades. Dozens, if not hundreds, of volunteers worked tirelessly by unloading trucks, assembling furniture, installing electronics and countless other necessary tasks.” Some fun facts about the new center include: • The top of the building’s exterior cross is 58’6” above ground, making it over 5 stories. • Over 70,000 cubic yards of dirt have been relocated onsite. At twelve yards a truck, this calculates to 5,833 dump truck loads of dirt. • Approximately 75 miles of electrical wiring was required, and another 50 miles of low voltage wiring for audio, video, Wi-Fi and security.
• During peak times of construction, the jobsite employed 80-100 workers at once. • Landscaping features over 250 trees, 950 shrubs and 2,400 ornamental plantings. The Capital Fund Raising for the Project had pledges of over $5.5 million, with collections to date at over $4.5 million. Eventually, the church will add classroom space, offices, kitchen and other needed facilities for a total of more than 150,000 square feet. First Baptist Church Plant City offers Sunday morning services at 9:00 a.m. for a Blended Worship and at 10:30 a.m. for a Modern Worship experience. To learn of other churchsponsored activities, opportunities and special services, please call 813-752-4104, visit the church office at 503 North Palmer Street, or peruse online at www.fbcpc.com. Congratulations to the First Baptist Church congregation on the completion of the new Worship Center! The building is sure to be a source of pride for the Plant City community, and one to be enjoyed by many generations for years to come.
The first service was held on February 18 of this year with over 2700 in attendance.
National Day of Prayer 2018 Unity within the Community BY CHERYL JOHNSTON
very local resident is invited to join the multitudes of pastors and congregation members to pray at City Hall in Plant City on May 3rd at 12 noon. The event is open for all our churches and staff to mobilize their congregations in a unified public prayer for America and our local community! Your voice and presence are needed because, as Dr. Ronnie Floyd states,"There is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with the extraordinary prayer of God's people." Many events within our lives draw people together from all walks of life, culture, and socio-economic classes. These can include a national crisis, a local need, and even, in the case of Plant City, a hurricane. During these times a community’s true heart and character are shown. Although our
lives are always on display, it’s in the crucible of crisis that the fires of adversity burn away the dross and reveal the precious gold of mankind. What else brings people together? Prayer! Prayer can unite people and build bridges between opposing persons and even political parties. Prayer reminds us that we are created in God's image and He desires for us to represent Him everywhere we go. Prayer brings hope. The theme for the 2018 National Day of Prayer is “Pray for America – UNITY.” Based upon Ephesians 4:3, this theme challenges us to mobilize unified public prayer by "Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." The hope here in Plant City is that individuals, churches, and spiritual
leaders in America will humble ourselves and unify in prevailing prayer for the next great move of God in our country. We can come together in clear agreement that this is our greatest need. We can become a visible union, standing together in prayer. We can pray more than ever before, and practice extraordinary prayer that will catapult the message of the gospel nationally and internationally. With the help of other local pastors and leaders, Dr. Daniel Middlebrooks will direct the May 3rd guided prayer
effort from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. The President/CEO of Chaplaincy Care, Inc. invites, “Will you be a part of the mighty move of God through our land that can begin with the breeze of His blessings coming from Plant City? I PRAY you will.”
Arrive early for the best seats in the usually-packed auditorium at City Hall, where locals are grateful for the privilege to pray for their community, state, country, and world.
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.
Feola Insurance Agency 813-752-2556
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.
1003 S. Collins St. Plant City firstname.lastname@example.org
CS_PlantCityFocusMagazineAd-smllr.qxp_Layout 1 4/4/18 11:11 AM Page 1
LOCAL MARKET DRIVEN
WORLD CLASS SERVICE
We would like to thank the community for voting
CenterState Best Banking! Plant City Branch:
Downtown Plant City Branch:
1804 James L. Redman Pkwy. Plant City, FL 33563
102 W. Baker St. Plant City, FL 33563
Personal Banking Services • eChecking Account • Community Hero Checking • Future Leaders Checking • Free Debit Card • Free Online Banking & Bill Pay • Free Mobile Deposit* We Have Money To Lend! • Business Loans • Home Loans • Home Equity Lines of Credit • Operating Lines of Credit • Car Loans • Personal Loans • Personal & Business Credit Cards Business Banking Services • Small Business Checking • Community First Checking • Treasury Services • Merchant Services • Free Debit Card
CenterStateBank.com *Mobile carrier data rate plan fees may apply.
BRANDON LEGAL GROUP Attorneys at Law
A FULL SERVICE LAW FIRM & FAMILY MEDIATION CENTER
*Family Law *Mediation *Divorce *Business Law *Real Estate Law *Bankruptcy *Wills and Trusts *Criminal Defense INGRID M. HOOGLANDER
OFFICE IN BRANDON SUN CITY CENTER, WESLEY CHAPEL, LAKELAND & TAMPA BY APPOINTMENT
MI LK KATI E LO UD ER IN TE RV IE W BY
Logan Hamby I
t is a treasure for people to feel at home somewhere. Many do not always experience that feeling in the place where they rest their head. But other places can provide the feeling of belonging. For Logan Hamby, this special place is inside the student lounge at the Plant City campus of Hillsborough Community College. Why do you like being in the student lounge so much? Because I do not have my own car I must stay at the school Monday through Thursday from 7 A.M. until 7 P.M. Since I had to wait so long in between classes I decided to try to get a work study job in the student lounge, or as we call it, the Hawk’s Nest. Ever since then I have not regretted that decision and feel needed there most of the time. The other day after attending the SGA meeting, for instance, I walked into the Hawk’s Nest and everyone seemed to need my help – either with setting up for a coming event coming or knowing where to find the TV remote. The SGA President calls me ‘Father of the Hawk’s Nest’ because I know a lot about it and seem to always have the answers for people. I enjoy being helpful. Why do you care so much about helping others? I had a tough time making new friends in middle school. A lot of kids
were mean and bullied each other. I never liked it. I want to be that person people can feel comfortable talking to and someone they know they can vent to. This is part of the reason why I want to become a high school teacher one day. I find myself talking to people who seem weird or to be social outcasts. I try to help them come out of their shell and not be afraid of what the world thinks about them. I try to see the good in people. It will be hard when I graduate because I will miss the friends I made here and being able to see them every day. What do you enjoy about living in Plant City? This sounds cliché, but definitely the Strawberry Festival is my favorite thing about Plant City. I go every year and take my friends who live in Orlando to try the most interesting food. This year we searched forever to find Deep Fried Pepsi. I did not try it because I already had my Deep Fried Oreos, but it was funny to see them react to it. The culture of Plant City is very warm and people are friendly to one another. It is a good place to live.
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
On Monday, February 12th, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the new Fazoli's located at 238 W. Alexander Street. With nearly 220 restaurants in 26 states, Fazoli’s is America’s largest Italian elevated quick service chain, serving freshly prepared pastas, Submarinos®, salads, pizza and signature unlimited breadsticks. Fazoli’s stands out as a brand that offers a real Italian dining experience at an unbeatable value. On Tuesday, February 13th, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the Florida United Methodist Children's Home Foster Care Services, which recently located its Hillsborough County office to the Wesley Center at First United Methodist Church of Plant City. "The Florida United Methodist Children's Home has been serving abused, neglected, and troubled children for more than 100 years. What began as the Florida Methodist Orphanage in 1908 has grown into a diverse and complex ministry to meet the various needs of those who turn to us for help. Services include residential care, emergency shelter care, therapeutic group care, independent living, foster care, and a community child care center. Our Foster Care ministry, which started in 2002, currently serves Hillsborough, Volusia, Flagler and Broward counties. We are recruiting quality foster parents to provide stable, loving homes to children in need. We are seeking Christian families to temporarily open their hearts and homes to those who have been abused, neglected and abandoned." On Tuesday, February 20th, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Grits & Berries. This mother and daughter business was created out of the desire to spend more time with family and have time to give back to our community. The team specializes in custom designed and handcrafted unique jewelry, accessories, and more in the heart of Plant City. Currently, the business is growing through on-line shopping, local vendor events, and product displays at A Peace of Plant City. Co-Owners Beverly Rothman and Jenny Carvajal enjoy satisfying their customers with special orders and unique gifts. They also love working and interacting with our community by giving back.
On Tuesday, March 20th, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for new member, AccessPoint. “For nearly 30 years, AccessPoint has helped businesses of all sizes skillfully navigate the modern work place, introducing efficiencies and safeguards, while never forgetting the personal element fundamental to all business and employment relationships. Our model provides the potential to expose and educate business leaders on finding the right staffing partner. We look forward to further helping the Sunshine State find long-term staffing solutions.” PAGE
Did You Know?
Photo Archives to Develop More Digital Products and Emphasize Access to History BY PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES
Shown L-R are: Jamie Verner, Sally Verner, Amanda Verner, Ed Verner (Photo Archives President), Frank Robertson, Kathy Fountain, Gil Gott (Executive Director). March 29, 2018.
lant City Photo Archives & History Center held its 16th annual gala Thursday, March 29th and, after reading a long list of accomplishments, awards, and activities, about which Executive Director Gil Gott stated, “that was the past,” he enunciated a change of direction. Gott said the Photo Archives will focus on providing greater public access to its historical data and photos using digital products and services. The event, which featured celebrity hosts Kathy Fountain and Frank Robertson, was a celebration of the Photo Archives over the years. Among the organizations many accomplishments was the publication of over 150 articles in FOCUS Magazine in over 15 years of writing for the magazine. The Photo Archives has also written for In The Field, The Courier, The Tampa Tribune, Plant
other means for the public to access data and work with the Archives. Print media, Gott said, is restrictive due to lack of timeliness, space, spontaneity, and frequency. The blogosphere offers the opportunity of publishing information immediately, allows the space necessary for text and photos, and provides for the development of newsletters, historical articles by diverse authors in The Archives Quarterly, and virtually instant response to historical inquiries. Earlier in the annual gala, Gott introduced Kathy Fountain, for years a TV celebrity on WTVT 13, who was born over the White Pharmacy and lived in Plant City in her early years. Fountain even provided a photo of herself in the Florida Strawberry Festival’s Baby Parade in her early years. Fountain and Robertson received spontaneous applause after each thanked the Photo Archives for the opportunity to spend time with the folks from Plant City.
City Times & Observer, The Florida Archivist, and others. In his summary presentation, Gott talked about the beginning, in 2000, with nothing but a stack of seven boxes of local photographer Bill Friends’ collection. The Archives grew from there to collecting over 100,000 photographs and documents, digitizing them for prosperity, and accumulating dozens of family and business papers, including the papers of D. E. Bailey, Jr., Panky Snow, United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Devane papers, and many more. That was the past. With plans to resign as Executive Director and become Director of the History Center, Gott said that because of the restrictions of print media, the Photo Archives, through its History Center, will develop a versatile blog, an enhanced website, and several Kathy Fountain in the Florida Strawberry Festival Baby Parade, Plant City, Florida.
VALEDICTORIANS Plant City • Durant • Strawberry Crest By Cheryl Johnston
Every year we are encouraged to hear from the senior class valedictorians from Durant, Plant City and Strawberry Crest high schools. And each year, our hopes for the future soar as we learn of their talents and dreams. As you offer congratulations to the local graduates you know, we believe you can appreciate the commitment expressed in the responses that follow. We invited a computer science entrepreneur, a Supreme Court Justice hopeful, a future mechanical and aerospace engineering specialist, and a potential pediatrician to describe their families, their sacrifices, their inspirations, and their special experiences through high school. They shared college plans, career goals, and even a smidgen of advice for the adults who are cheering them on to success. We think you’ll agree – our area schools are doing a great job – and these four, mature beyond their years, have it together. We’re in good hands, Plant City!
Strawberry Crest International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme GPA weighted: 8.1427 / GPA unweighted: 3.9027 Dual enrollment classes: 7 / AP Exams: 15
hen not studying as an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate, Kimberly Do spends her leisure time creating digital art, coding, crocheting, cooking, and learning different languages. The daughter of Leslie and Lam Do also enjoys playing games during visits with her brother Brian, a PhD student at Stanford University. Kimberly plans to study humancomputer interaction as a computer science major in college with hopes to become a UI/UX designer at Apple in the future. Last year, she was given the rare opportunity to attend a summer camp at Apple to work with its engineers and 24 other students selected nationally. She describes that time as “by far, one of the best experiences that one may ever have in a lifetime.” Kimberly defines success as “Contentment in oneself.” She also believes “a person should not feel afraid to push beyond their boundaries to excel even further than what the status quo dictates.”
How much was education emphasized in your family? Since I was a young girl, my parents have always stressed the importance of education. Because my brother excelled at his coursework, later attending Georgia Tech as a Stamps Scholar and Stanford for graduate school, my parents held me to very high standards, which encouraged me to work hard as well. Personally, my benevolent and bright brother’s support always encouraged and motivated me to work hard and eventually pursue valedictorian. What makes SCHS so special? I believe the incredible students at my school differentiate Strawberry Crest from others. Throughout high school I have befriended many incredibly kind and talented people of diverse backgrounds. I believe attending a school of so many globally-minded individuals has greatly enhanced my high school career. Did you have favorite classes or teachers? Throughout high school, I enjoyed taking a PAGE
number of very interesting classes, ranging from the social sciences to mathematics to the sciences. I particularly enjoyed taking IB Mathematics HL with Mr. Ferrer, IB Psychology HL with Ms. Ferrario, and the Theory of Knowledge with Mr. H. What sacrifices did you make in pursuit of valedictorian status? I never really decided to pursue valedictorian status. I mostly took additional courses very passively and only to pursue additional interests such as art history or computer science. Despite this, it took ample dedication to allocate the time and interest to pursuing these additional courses throughout several school years and summers. You were employed as well, correct? Yes, I have a very strong appreciation for art. A selftaught digital artist, I always create my own wallpapers for my devices and additionally accept requests and commissions from my friends. During high school, I worked as a freelance digital artist, creating locally and nationally the branding, logo design, and illustration customers desire. Potential local clients may contact me at email@example.com or 813-716-8802. Your skills have benefited children locally. Can you explain? Since my freshman year, I have worked with the computer science advocacy nonprofit Everybody Code Now to help provide otherwise inaccessible computer science education to Hillsborough County students. Through this organization, I have worked with the Glazers Children’s Museum to help teach children how to program and intend to continue running these workshops this summer (and future summers) as well. What advice would you offer to parents, teachers and adults? Generally speaking, I think adults should be more compassionate to children. Despite the luxuries children grow up with currently, they face many difficulties including the threat of school shootings or exposure to drugs. I think adults should be more mindful to these and also encourage children to pursue their goals without being demeaning. The world may always belittle millennials, but I believe my generation has merit. Therefore, I encourage my teachers to motivate their students; likewise, I encourage my fellow students to work hard and remain hopeful.
Kasen Van Fossen Strawberry Crest High School
Weighted GPA - 7.20 / AP classes: 11 / Dual enrollment classes: 9
efore he heads to Gainesville in August, Kasen Van Fossen looks forward to “enjoying time with friends before we all leave.” The 2018 valedictorian of Strawberry Crest High School hopes also to have a few more “dinners, trips, and lazy binge-watching movie days together” with parents Pete and Lisa Van Fossen and younger brother Logan, a Plant City High School sophomore. “Always intrigued by the material in math and science classes,” Kasen plans to major in both mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Florida before pursuing a graduate degree in Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines. He credits his parents for motivation, saying, “My parents set standards and expectations for my brother and I to do our very best. Grades were important. They never discussed my future as ‘if’ I went to college, but ‘when.’ In the STEM program at Tomlin, I began taking high school credit classes. I knew if I continued to work hard and take advanced classes, I would have an opportunity to work towards top 10.” After learning from his first SCHS report card that he ranked number one, Kasen “started paying closer attention to class selection and grades.” He explained, “I never really set out to be number one; I just wanted to do my best and it paid off.” He noted the “tough competition,” describing several close friends in the top 10 who “worked just as hard and were equally as deserving.” Special teachers you’d like to thank? Yes, Mr. Humphrey, my science teacher for two years at Tomlin Middle School and Chef Bonanno, my amazing swim coach from Strawberry Crest. Mr. Humphrey gave me the courage and desire to search for answers and ask questions. Most of his daily classes started with a “What if?” He is also a local pastor, so even on tough days, you always knew he cared and prayed for your best. Chef Bonanno was also a great friend and supporter. I will always be thankful for all he did for our team and for me.
Most memorable high school experience? Qualifying for and going to States with the swim team has been an honor, as have those friendships. With an awesome group of guys on the relay team, we broke all kinds of school records. For the success over the last few years, both the boys and girls team should be really proud. I’ve been swimming with one relay partner, our SCHS salutatorian Zane Richardson, since we were 10, so it’s very special to share these memories with a good friend. I also thank Ms. Christine Miller and Ms. Mary Heysek for their support in a donation campaign I created for purchasing holiday turkeys and hams so the United Food Bank could help families enjoy a nice holiday meal. Throughout my four years of high school, the food totaled close to 2000 pounds. How would you define success? My dad is my definition of success. He did not have the opportunity to attend college, yet through hard work, dedication and sacrifice he built his company into one that provided an amazing life for our family. One of the most caring, giving and compassionate men I know, his work ethic is beyond reproach. Each day he sets an example for my brother and I of what a man of character should be. I am honored to be his son and would consider it a huge success to be a man like my dad. Any suggestions for adults? If I could offer advice, it would be to allow kids to be themselves. We seem like we don’t have it all together sometimes, but just give us a little time to figure it out and we will probably surprise you. With a good support system, good friends, and a little freedom, I guarantee we would make you proud. PAGE
Zachary Irovando Durant High School
GPA: Unweighted 4.0; Weighted 9.44 current; hopefully 10.32 by graduation AP Classes: 16 / Dual Enrollment Classes: 21
achary Irovando has lived all 18 years of his life in Florida. The son of Tony and Julie Irovando and brother to sister, Ashley, attended Valrico Elementary, Mulrennan Middle, and now Durant High and Hillsborough Community College. Thanks to 21 dual enrollment courses at HCC, he will begin fall classes as a sophomore at the University of South Florida, where he hopes to accomplish both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Although undecided which law school to attend yet, Zachary plans to become a lawyer, hoping one day even a judge. His big dream of becoming a Supreme Court Justice “may be my one unrealistic goal for the future,” he offered. “Although I will likely end-up being a judge in a smaller sense, so long as I am preserving justice and actively improving the lives of others, I will be happy. Nevertheless, being a Supreme Court Justice would be insanely cool.” Jama Hoffman, a Certified School Counselor, described Zachary as “one of the most focused and motivated young men I’ve known…and hopeful to have the highest GPA ever for Hillsborough County.” Hoffman added, “This quiet young man spent a lot of time caring for his mother after a brain aneurysm and his grandmother who lives with them. He also volunteers as a computer club sponsor at Mulrennan Middle School.” What kept you motivated to accomplish the position of valedictorian? My parents, who motivated and inspired me immensely, always believed I could do anything I aspired to achieve. They emphasized education because my father, a teacher, has devoted his life to it. Raising me with a strong work ethic and a sense of pride in my own work were pivotal traits in pursuing this #1 position. Being guided by an innate curiosity about the world and a general love for learning led me to take so many classes. In 7th grade, when I took my first high school credit class, I realized everything regarding schooling mattered from that point onward. Since then, it required many sleepless nights to accomplish this personal goal. The work load last year included 6 AP classes and 2 dual enrollment classes in a semester, and I had to keep myself accountable to manage it. PAGE
All the many miniature sacrifices fade in comparison to what I’ve achieved. Ultimately, we each must trust ourselves and have an element of confidence in our own abilities. Did you have favorite subjects and a few teachers you’d like to thank? Favorite subjects were English and History, especially due to my love of reading/research. Thanks especially to Chip Martin, Holley Kimble, Laura EstesSwilley, Kendall Nickerson, Matthew Stwan, and Randy Sawyer. Each has imparted various lessons and are truly invested in the bettering of students’ lives, as every good teacher should be. What makes Durant so special? Something unique about Durant would be its diversity, in all aspects. The student body is a melting pot of various races, ethnicities, religions, sexualities, and personalities – young people who have been afforded the opportunity to interact and form relationships with people radically different from themselves. Was there an especially memorable high school experience. At prom, seeing our soon-to-be graduating class celebrating our journey through Durant together, everything started becoming very real about our high school experience coming to a close. It was an amazing experience as my date—Mary McAnnally— and I danced, laughed, and enjoyed the waning days of being high school seniors. Summer plans? Our family is vacationing in Europe, in among other places, Italy and France. This first semester without classes in almost three years will be a much-needed rest. What is success? …being happy with yourself. Some people amass wealth and prestige as a result of certain choices, yet are unhappy/unfulfilled with the life they are pursuing. I believe as long as you’re happy with yourself and with what you do, you are successful.
Angela Cao Plant City High School
GPA unweighted 4.0 / GPA weighted 8.32 AP classes: 8 / Dual enrollment classes: 20
ngela Cao, the daughter of mother Lang Vo and father Dung Cao, moved with her family to Florida from California at age five. She attended Walden Lake Elementary, Tomlin Middle, and will graduate as Plant City High School’s valedictorian in May. She credits PCHS teachers for “making students want to learn and not simply pass the class.” Angela shares a close, “loving(ish)” relationship with older brother Hung, older sister Pamela and little sister Delilah and visits her father’s California family every summer. She looks forward to her University of Florida classes this fall and plans to become a pediatrician. Who do you credit for motivation? My parents came to America as Vietnamese teenagers, so high school was rough for them as they learned the language and assimilated into American culture. My mom dropped out of high school to work and help with family finances. My dad finished high school and went straight to work. Both made many sacrifices, including their own education, to help the family. Now with this opportunity to further mine, I won’t take that for granted. Although all they wanted was for me to try my best, I wanted to make them proud. They started off with nothing and were still able to achieve success. They gave me everything, so nothing less than success will do. My older sister, who graduated fourth in the Class of 2017, was also a big motivator. I wanted to beat her. I started trying for straight A’s in fifth grade because she got one B her last nine weeks in that grade. The desire never stopped. Any favorite subjects or teachers? Yes, anything science-related, and especially anatomy, physiology and AP environmental science. I want to thank Mr. Pettyjohn, one of the coolest teachers I’ll ever meet and also to apologize for naps during class. Despite not being a big history fan, I took AP Euro because of Mrs. Warner. She’ll always be like my second grandmother and I’ll never forget her “Mint Fridays” and support when I needed it most. Also, I want to thank my AP
literature teacher, Mr. Schism. I might always hate his quizzes because I decide to cram the assigned reading the night before, and I might want to cry at 7:30 a.m. because his lectures are so philosophical that I question life’s worth or if I should be asking myself “To be or not to be.” Despite that, his words drip wisdom you won’t get anywhere else and I’ll forever be thankful. These three are those rare, ‘Man, I almost wish I was related to them’ kind of good people. When did you decide to pursue valedictorian ranking? I started dual enrollment classes during freshman summer, not for the GPA boost, but because my older sister, the trial-and-error sibling, told me which to take or avoid. When I learned of my number one spot near sophomore year end, I decided to try and maintain it, and here we are today. At times I took 10 classes per semester, and I probably hated life during those times, but I’m glad it all paid off. Any advice for your peers? Life is probably going to throw bricks at you to stop you from achieving your goals, but just dodge them. Pick up the bricks and throw them back. It’s about not giving up when things get tough but figuring out a way to overcome. Surprise us with something most don’t know about you? I’m actually a pretty lazy person. After school, I take a long nap [2-hour minimum]. Then I lounge around until dinner at 9 or 10 and then start homework. It’s hard to find the motivation to do things early. Sadly, I’m an excellent procrastinator, a trait I hope to change by the time college starts. PAGE
Since 1984, Hillsborough Title has proudly served the State of Florida with: • In-House Real Estate Attorneys » Helping You & Your Clients with Legal Assistance • Over 30 Years of Experience in the Tampa Bay Market » Multiple Locations Statewide • Personalized Client Support & Dedicated Departments » Short Sale Negotiation, Builder Division, REO Division, » Lender & Investor Services, and Much More • Multiple Underwriters » Closing Tough Deals That Others Can’t • Consumer & Client Protection » Dedicated IT Staff & Compliance Management » Protecting You & Your Client’s Information • Highest Compliance Standards in the Industry » ALTA Best Practices 2.0 Certified » SAE Compliance: SOC 1(SSAE No. 16) Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 Certified
Contact the Hillsborough Title Plant City Team today!
Aaron M. Davis
813.754.4440 firstname.lastname@example.org www.htitle.com
A Proud Member of
STRATEGIC T I T LE
Minuteman Press Graphics and Designs to Make Your Projects Shine BY ANTHONY BOLESTA
Conveniently located in Suite 105 at 1701 S. Alexander Street, customers will find plenty of parking outside and smiling helpers inside.
developed. In addition to copying (print & digital), printing, and graphic design, a sampling of available products and services includes: The talented design team at Minuteman Press in Plant City includes (L-R) owner Mike Arndt, Austin Smithson, Adriana Smithson, and Mellissa Hicks.
desire to be helpful. To finish a project for a client and be proud of what we have produced.” This is the driving narrative of Mike Arndt, owner of Minuteman Press in Plant City. It’s also the force that propels his team as they develop completely customized images and personalized printing services for your business. Primarily developing paper products such as business cards, brochures, and the like, Minuteman Press crew members also work on marketing, graphic designs, logos, and promotional items to ensure your company gets the exposure it deserves. They desire to create those signature looks that will make your business truly shine and attract your future customers. Mike Arndt is pleased to explain that when your hire Minuteman Press, the team “never uses templates and every project begins with a fresh screen.” Customers have opportunity to oversee every step of their specific project with the designers, each of whom holds
degrees in graphic design. As for the owner, he holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Saint Thomas. Combined with his fourteen years of hands-on ownership experience at two locations (Plant City and Brandon), Mike Arndt does everything in his power to ensure customers are completely satisfied. He is confident that when you trust your projects with Minuteman Press, you are surrounded by men and women who “have an emphasis on customer service, professionalism, and long term business relationships.” Minuteman Press has helped a huge percentage of the local businesses in the Plant City area. This success has come because Arndt knows what it’s like to start from scratch and forge a business from the ground up. This dynamic adds a unique perspective, as he and his team can sympathize with a new business owner and will utilize all their resources and talent to see your company’s potential fully
Products • Booklets, Brochures, Business Cards & Stationary • Business Forms (also carbonless or continuous • Calendars, Catalogs, Coupons, & Tickets • Labels, Notepads, Holiday Cards • Manuals, Menus, & Reply Cards • Digital Copies & Output • Direct Mailers, Flyers, & Invitations • Newsletters & Resumes • Presentation Folders/Covers • Price Lists, Product Sheets, & Proposals • Raffle Tickets/Books • Stamps: Rubber & Self-Inking • Training Materials Services • Binding (Wire, comb, saddle stitching) • Copying, Cutting, Folding, Perforation • Design, Distribute-Then-Print & Docutech • Embossing, Foil Stamping, Numbering • Lamination, Scoring • On-Demand Printing • Pickup & Delivery
Although Minuteman Press is part of a large franchise that originated in Long Island, New York, the now international organization operates on multiple continents. One secret to that success is the ability for locations such as Plant City’s to develop a sense of community between team members and customers. A strong rapport among employees also ensures enthusiasm and passion that overflows into the products you receive when a project is completed. Call, visit online or stop in today to discuss your next project. This talented team of graphic design specialists looks forward to helping your company’s name, vision, and services move to the forefront in the public’s eye. Melissa Hicks, Austin Smithson, Adrianna Smithson, and of course, Mike Arndt himself are eager to bring to life what you envision for your company. And with that comes their desire is to earn your business for a lifetime.
1701 S. Alexander Street Suite 105 Plant City, FL 33566 813-719-2111 Online: plantcity.minutemanpress.com Hours: Weekdays 8:30 a.m – 5:00 p.m
VA Construction-To-Permanent Loan BY NATE DAVIS, FLORIDA MORTAGE FIRM
ot and land loans are available without a down payment through Florida Mortgage Firm’s VA construction loan. While many veterans are aware that VA mortgage loans are available for purchases and refinancing, most do not know they can also be used for construction. The VA construction-topermanent loan enables veterans and their spouses to purchase vacant lots and land and simultaneously build a custom home. A licensed builder will be paid in increments (also known as “draws”) based on the completed phases of construction, and mortgage payments will begin shortly after the home has been built. In markets where home values are high and inventory is low, this
presents an option that would be high in demand if more people knew about it. Just like a regular VA loan, the construction version requires no down payment and has only one closing. This minimal-out-of-pocket program further appeals to veterans since it allows the closing costs to be paid by a builder. Brand-new homes typically have monetary benefits, too — lower-than-average homeowner’s insurance rates, smaller electric bills and less initial maintenance. They even allow veterans to pick custom features for their home. Many lenders offer VA loans only for purchasing existing structures and refinancing, however, Florida Mortgage Firm also specializes in VA construction financing.
Florida Mortgage Firm (813-707-6200) is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #289323, NMLS #294701.
A lifestyle you love, a home you love more! The Lakes and the Oaks at CountryWood have stunning new homes for sale! If golfing lakeside peaks your interest, the age-qualified community of The Lakes is for you! Interested in a family-friendly community? The Oaks all age community has it!
BEAUTIFUL NEW HOMES
STARTING IN THE $70s
Visit us at our Open House! February 10th & March 10th from 10am-3pm Community Features Planned Activities Outdoor Recreation Pet-Friendly Clubhouses RV Storage
Call Today to Schedule a Tour! (813) 703-2666
CountryWood Estates, 745 Arbor Estates Way, Plant City, FL 33565 Must meet residency requirements. Specifications, options, and layout vary by model and are subject to change without notice. Additional restrictions may apply, see sales associate for details. PAGE
The March sales are as follows:
Walden Lake Review BY NATALIE SWEET
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, open to all Walden Lake residents, are scheduled for April 23rd and May 21st at 7:00 PM. Watch the announcement boards at all entrances for dates and times for special meetings and events. The Annual Homeowners Association Meeting is scheduled for April 19th at 7:00 at The Plant City Church of God at 2103 Mud Lake Road. Director Kevin Brown resigned from the Board in March, due to a job transfer. The BOD appointed Peter Murphy, a Forest Club
resident, to fill Kevin’s un-expired term. The Sweet Team will be hosting a Paper & Pancake event on Saturday, April 21st from 8AM to Noon. The cost for Shredding is being underwritten by The Sweet Team will be done on site and will be on a first come/first serve basis. Pancake breakfast will benefit the United Food Bank and will be $3.00 per serving. During the month of March, there were ten sales in Walden Lake and two sales in Walden Lake East with an average sale price of $238,588. The average days on the market was 39 days. The average price per square foot of these sales is $117. There are currently 14 Active listings for sale in Walden Lake and
Address 1711 Teakwood Drive 2725 Golf Lake Drive 2215 Preservation Drive 4303 Longfellow Drive 2003 Sycamore Lane 4108 Longfellow Drive 3338 Silverpond Drive 4109 Concord Way 2909 Spring Hammock Drive 2929 Forest Hammock Drive 3504 Kilmer Drive 2807 Barret Avenue
Sales Price $173,000 $182,500 $195,000 $201,000 $201,150 $208,000 $209,000 $235,000 $289,000 $295,000 $333,500 $340,000
Walden Lake East with an average list price of $317,608 and an average of 27 days on the market. There are 18 properties Pending Contract with an average list price of $244,850 and average of 39 days on the market. The market continues to remain strong for homes that are priced well and in good condition, so this could be a very good time to put your home on the market given the very low inventory.
Living Area 1736 1657 1576 1711 1892 1805 1664 2044 2147 2209 3044 2744
Pool Community No Community No Community No No No No Yes Yes Yes
Garage 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 3 Car
Our HOA office on Griffin Boulevard is a drop off center for non-perishable items to be donated to The United Food Bank. At Paper & Pancakes on April 21st, we will welcome food and monetary donations for The United Food Bank. Feel free to contact me about this article via email me at NSweet@ KW.com or 813-758-9586.
Great home deals are springing up from THE SWEET TEAM! EXECUTIVE POOL HOME
ASTON WOODS HOME
SUTTON WOODS POOL HOME
4BR/4BATH/3-CAR Private 1+ acre lot/Cul-de-sac
4BR/3BATH/3-CAR Fireplace / Separate Office
4BR/2BATH/2-CAR Cul-de-sac/Fenced yard/Many Updates!
BONUS ROOM/BUILT-IN BAR
GLENMOOR FLOOR PLAN
Natalie Sweet, REALTOR Angel Miller, REALTOR
(813) 966-4304 Search for your home at:
www.AnotherSweetSale.com 3BR/2BATH/2-CAR Split-plan plus office/Stone Fireplace
3BR/2BATH/2-CAR Bamboo laminate flooring!
Beautiful wooded lot on 3+ Acres with creek in the back; Close to I-4.
1607 S. Alexander St., Plant City, FL 33563
Call Me for all your Real Estate needs! Ashley Carlisle 1607 S. Alexander Street Ste 105 Plant City, FL 33565 (813)523-5959
Athlete of the Month Matt Simpson
Hillsborough County Basketball Player of the Year BY TARYN STORTER
Matt keeps his eye on the hoop while shooting for a 2-point shot.
Plant City High School senior Matt Simpson hopes to play college basketball and pursue a professional career in the sport.
lant City High School senior Matt Simpson was recently selected as the 2017-2018 Hillsborough County Basketball Player of the Year. Primarily, he played football, baseball, and basketball when he was younger. Currently he is involved in PCHS Basketball and Track. His claim to fame, however, is basketball. For all four years of high school he has been a starter and served as team captain. Matt truly loves basketball. “It’s a way I can express myself,” he said, adding, “I don’t really talk a lot so when something is bothering me or I’m upset, I just go and shoot to get my mind off of things.” He has been playing the sport for his entire life but
started playing organized basketball at age nine at the recreational level. Matt joined a local travel team at the end of his 8th grade year. He has received many honors throughout his basketball career with the 2018-2018 Hillsborough County Basketball Player of the Year award being the most recent. With more than 1,200 points, Matt has also earned the 4th place slot for alltime career points in PCHS history. Additionally, he led his team this year to a District Championship with a season record of 23-5. Matt finds his inspiration from other people. He explained, “When people lift me up and talk good about me, it really boosts my confidence and makes me feel good.
Matt is the Captain of the Plant City Raiders Boys’ Basketball Team.
But even when people talk bad about me or have doubt about me, it just makes me work twice as hard to prove them wrong.” He offered some great advice for younger athletes. “When people try to bring you down let it be fuel to your fire.” As Matt has learned through sports, many times people will say hurtful things. He’s also
learned that one must overcome the negativity and persevere to reach their goals. In the future, Matt hopes to attend a university and play college basketball. He also hopes to pursue professional basketball. Mainly, Matt wants “to leave a legacy everywhere I go.”
From Pumping to Major Repairs WE DO IT ALL. With QUALITY SERVICE Since 1964 • 3rd Generation Family Business
SEWERS - PORTABLES- PRECAST
Servicing SPECIAL EVENTS • FARMERS • CONSTRUCTION Portable w/Sinks • Holding Tanks
Are You Being Charged Fuel Service Charges? Is Your Company Making Sure You’re GAP & Food Safety Compliant?
NOW HIRING CDL Drivers Please Call!!
“Bingham’s Onsite Precast” Manufacturing Precast Tanks ATU Systems
Cleaning • Sludge Management Installation • Drain Field Repair Grease Trap Repair Member of the FLORIDA ON SITE WASTEWATER ASSOCIATION Licensed, Bonded & Insured We Comply With New State Laws
Invested in Plant City. For more than three decades, The Bank of Tampa has continually worked to deliver a client experience like no other in the communities we serve. Our promise is to continue that approach as we invest in the Plant City market. Nick Thurston I SVP, Market Director 813.373.9267 I email@example.com
State Certiied Numbers SA0900466 & 29-QH00007 Company Certiied Number 1442 • Master Contractor SM0890840
Plant City Dover / Brandon www.binghamonsite.com
*Wealth Management and Trust Services are not FDIC insured, not deposit or other obligations of the Bank and may lose value.
Sports Team of the Month SCHS Cheer Wins 4th State Title BY TARYN STORTER
he Strawberry Crest Varsity Cheer Team recently won their fourth consecutive State Championship. What an incredible accomplishment! As some athletes on the team are excited about their first or second state championship, three are celebrating winning the state title every year of their high school career. Tryouts began in early June and the team started practice for the competitive season in October. Requirements for consideration and tryouts include: “Female athletes must have a toe touch tuck and a running back hand spring tuck. A male athlete must have a toss to hands press extension.” The Strawberry Crest cheer team
found itself without a coach after Coach Loveny Rivas retired to plan her wedding. But when the school administration asked her to return for the competitive season, she offered, “My goal was to continue the standards that Strawberry Crest cheerleading is known for.” Rivas continued, “Our program is one that holds high integrity and work ethic standards for our young athletes. Win or lose, our goal is to always be proud of our journey and our performances.” Coach Rivas said the team’s MVP would have to be Brad Jackson. She described him as being very hard working and determined. “He never missed a practice and was always given the most difficult tasks. He
worked very hard on each skill and whenever there was downtime or a water break, he would always be working on new skills. From all the males exiting our program, he is the one who had the most difficult skills to perform.” Rivas is so proud of her team. She has been at Strawberry Crest since 2011, but has been the head coach since 2013. She shared, “There were many great moments with this team. They are an amazing group of kids. As a coach, I would have to say that my most favorite memory would be having a dynamic warm up at Western Conference and knowing that the performance was going to be flawless. It was amazing having all our cheer alumni in the stands
cheering us on. The performance gained so much momentum as each skill hit. This win was very important to the team because it was the only title we were not defending. We were working hard to get our Western Conference title back as we earned second place to Freedom High School last season. It was a very emotional and proud moment for the team.” Strawberry Crest High School’s Cheer Team is exceptional and is truly the best cheerleading squad in the state of Florida. Keep your eye on for this team next season, too, as they will be diligently working to defend their title.
Loetscher Auto Parts, LLC SELL YOUR USED or JUNK CAR TODAY
813.752.3770 3302 SYDNEY ROAD PLANT CITY, FL BRING THIS AD IN AND RECEIVE
10% OFF Expires 5/31/2018
Leaders in Faith Reverend Dr. Tom Thoeni BY CHERYL JOHNSTON
he Reverend Dr. Thomas Thoeni has served as Rector of the congregation at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Plant City since mid-2003. The Jacksonville native met and married his Michigan-born wife while they were students at the University of Florida. While there he was asked to become the Diocese of Florida's first licensed lay preacher while earning his Bachelor of Design degree. Father Thoeni considers himself “blessed throughout my life to be surrounded by strong women, but none were stronger and more godly than my wife.” The Thoenis have two sons, with the youngest graduating this year from Plant City High School. To relax, the Father Tom enjoys fishing and woodworking. In his Middler and Senior years at Seabury-Western Theological
Seminary, the elected class president was recognized as a bridge-builder and problem-solver. Under his leadership, St. Peter's Episcopal has been blessed with congregational energy, a streamlined administration, the retiring of longstanding debt, and major facility improvements. These blessings have positioned the church for a more active, focused, and vital ministry in the community. What do you enjoy most about your work? I love teaching. It allows me to learn and share the excitement of discovery with others. What is your favorite Scripture and why? John 6.68: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom
can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” I love this verse because of the story behind it. So many are abandoning Jesus and Jesus asks Peter if he, too, was going to leave. Peter’s answer is so poignant and powerful. It is honest that a life of faith is not always easy, but it is a part of my life I cannot deny.
seeking a dynamic relationship with a living God?
Is there one particular way you prefer to share your faith? I like to encourage all people to ask questions. I believe it is better to have a few good questions than to pretend to have all the answers.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 302 N. Carey Street is proud to have served the Plant City community since 1908. At the heart of congregational life together is “joy and celebration” because “Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly.” All are welcome to services on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. for Holy Eucharist and 10:30 a.m. for Choral Eucharist, as well as Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m. for Healing Eucharist. For additional information, call 813-752-5061 or visit https:// www.stpetersplantcity.com online.
What would you suggest to those considering the Christian faith? I would ask: What are you seeking? Are you seeking to assuage your fear of judgment or are you
As for life in Plant City, what do you like most? I love that Plant City is a small town in between large towns. It offers the perfect blend of a close community and all the amenities of living in a large city.
$40 t o $10 s show pecta tor
stage sponored by
performance by Square Up Friday night & Saturday Mobile Dyno Best & Worst Tattoo Contest Kids Zone 3x World Stereo Event The hottest rides from around the Southeast Food Vendors Automotive vendors & much more!!!
Truck Car Rod Bike Stereo Light Show
Lifted Trucks, Lowered Trucks, Street Rods, Hot Rods, Imports, Jeeps, Luxury Cars, Bikes, Stereo Demo Vehicles PAGE
Go Where the Wild Things Are ZooTampa at Lowry Park
BY BARBARA ROUTEN
admission, $34.95 per person and $25.95 per child ages three to 11, may be turned into a “Pay for a Day, Come Back All Year Free.” The 2018 Armed Forces Salute allows a onetime free admission to the zoo for active military personnel and up to three direct dependents. The Individual Plus admits the member and one guest (may be different each time) all year for $89, and the Family Plus year-round admission, for two adults plus all kids plus one guest, is $169. See www.lowryparkzoo.com for details.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park 1101 W. Sligh Ave. Tampa, Fla. (813) 935-8552 www.lowryparkzoo.org Hours: Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Elephant calves explore their environment while an adult elephant watches from a distance.
arents” magazine voted ZooTampa at Lowry Park the top United States family zoo. One of the best things about it is the babies, a result of its participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) Program. Be entertained by the antics of African penguin hatchlings, Bornean orangutan babies and pygmy hippopotamus, rhinoceros and elephant calves in this partly shady, natural Florida landscape only 30 minutes from Plant City. The air-conditioned Florida Manatee and Aquatic Center is a cool spot to see fish and venomous reptiles. (The manatees will return after their exhibit space is renovated.) Another highlight is the paved zoo pathways, allowing people using wheelchairs or pushing strollers to get close to all the
critters, like the koalas, kangaroos and clouded leopard. There are wheelchair rentals and autismfriendly maps, and sign-language interpretation can be arranged in advance. Restaurants and concession stands throughout the zoo sell souvenirs and refreshments. Children (and grownups) can feed giraffes, stingrays and lorikeets and enter the tortoise habitat to interact with the animals in Wallaroo Station. Children’s rides are included in the admission price, and there are several splash zones for human kids to cool off on hot days. Just outside the zoo--and sharing its free parking lots--is oak-dotted Lowry Park, with picnic tables, shelters, grills, play areas and the mile-long Lowry Park Trail along the Hillsborough River. The park is free and open daily, yearround, from sunrise to sunset. Pick from among many zooadmission price levels: Regular
Children cool off in the fountains in Manatee Circle.
A North American river otter swims by a human mother and child.
You see them in Movies, T.V. Commercials and in Magazines!
ABBY SINCLAIR Sexy Hair Show Featured Presentation Model Fort Lauderdale, FL. $250.00 a Day. CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!
LANDEN JOINER Tires Plus National TV Commercial.
PAT KNOWLES Disney World and Hollywood Studios Print Ad. $125.00 Per Hour.
They’re the JESS ANDERSON MODELS!
All ages & types needed • No experience necessary • Free training
SOUTH FLORIDA AVENUE, SUITE 115 • LAKELAND, FL 33813 863-688-9939 1037Established For 36 Years
ANNALAYAH CERETTO Macaroni Grill National TV Commercial.
BOB KNOWLES Circle K Promotion and Training Film, $2,750.00 a Day. Focus Magazine Print Model.
ORLIZ ESPIRITUSANTO Publix Training Film and Print Ad. $375.00 A Day.
www.jessandersontalentandmodelagency.com Jess Anderson index DEC17.indd 1
11/8/2017 9:26:21 AM PAGE
Candy’s Corner BY CANDY OWENS
was scrolling through Facebook the other day, when a funny little ditty popped up. It invited: TAKE THE “OLDER THAN DIRT” QUIZ! Do you remember these? 1. BlackJack Chewing Gum 2.Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water 3. Butch Wax 4. Candy Cigarettes 5. Wax Lips 6. Soda machines with glass bottles 7. Party line telephones 8. 45-RPM records 9. PF Flyers 10. Carrying a metal lunch box to school 11. Roller skate keys 12. The Andy Griffith Show 13. S & H Green Stamps 14. Blue flashbulbs 15. Drive-In movie gheaters If you remember: 0-5: You are a "Whipper Snapper" 6-10: You are "Getting There" 10 or more: "YOU ARE OLDER THAN DIRT!" Well, I guess at the ripe old age of 55, I am now: "OLDER THAN DIRT." Ha Ha Ha! That little quiz made me stop and think back about everything listed. Each and every item was pretty much a part of everyday modern day life when I was a kid. As I continued scrolling down, up came a photo of three kids standing on the street corner wearing hornrimmed glasses, penny loafers, and Bermuda shorts. Stacked around their feet were cartons of empty Coke and Pepsi bottles. The caption read: "HAVE YOU EVER RETURNED BOTTLES FOR CASH?" Well, the happy memories of those days just flooded into my mind. I had forgotten about turning empty soda bottles in for money $$$.
How much fun was that? I remember asking Mother to take my sister Karen and I down to the SPEEDEE Shop on Park Street for some candy or a treat. If I had not been especially good or if I had not done well on my last report card, Mother would say: "As long as you have some allowance money left." Well, chances were usually that I had NO money left. I would have already run through my $2.00 allowance and would be pretty much in the state of begging for more or offering to do more chores or asking Mother to "Just write a check," to which she would reply: "Go to the garage and check for empty bottles." That’s all it took for Karen and I to make a mad dash out to the garage and collect all the empties we could find -- even the ones covered in spider webs. It wouldn’t take more than five minutes to put our shoes on and load the back seat of Mother's 1968 Pontiac Catalina floorboard with our "lucky find" and off we went. My sister and I would exit the car with our armloads of empty glass bottles and straight to the counter we went. We would hold up our bottles and the female cashier would ring up our find and then direct us to the empty grocery buggy beside the store’s front door. There we would carefully unload our bottles and race back to the counter, holding our hands out for our shiny new coins. I remember we would get 3-cents for a small bottle, 5-cents for a bigger one, and 3 cents if you had the paper carton that originally held the bottles. We would usually end up with about 50 cents between us and we felt like we had hit the Jackpot! We probably spent 15 minutes in the store trying to choose what to buy. Well, let's see, for a dime you could get a Coca-Cola or a 7-UP, an RC Cola, Wink, or Jamaica Cola, or an Orange or Grape Soda. So many choices!
You could venture over to the Comic Book stand and choose from: The Archies, Sebrina the Teenage Witch, Richie Rich, Little Lotta, Batman, Superman, Hulk, Spiderman, Thor, Captain Marvel, The Giant Manthing, Captain America, Creatures on the Loose, Howard the Duck, The Haunt of Horror, Dark Shadows, and on and on, that is if you wanted to spend a whole 15 cents. Now if we went straight for the candy, which was known as "Penny Candy,” we would go to the cashier for a little brown paper bag. We would go up and down the candy aisle and back and forth, trying to figure out what we wanted. Back then you could pretty much fill that little brown bag with a quarter's worth of candy. I remember there would be Bazooka and Double Bubble Bubble Gum, Zots, Atomic FireBalls, Lemon Heads, Boston Baked Beans, Charms Lollipops, Jaw Busters, Jujubes, Necco Wafers, Jolly Ranchers, Now & Laters, Pixy Stix, Red Hots, SweeTarts, Sugar Daddys, Teaberry gum, Wax Lips, Bottle Caps, Brach's Royals, Life Savers, Whistle Pops, Tootsie Rolls and Pop Drops, Jaw Breakers, Milk Duds, Pom Poms, Junior Mints, Goobers, Raisinets, Kits, Candy Cigarettes, Sixlets, Chico Sticks, Smarties, Turkish Taffy, Chicklets, Mallo Cups, Bit-O-Honey, MaryJanes, Peppermint Patties, candy cigars, candy necklaces and rings and on and on. My favorites were the rolls of Smarties that would have a fake plastic finger or toy ring on the end and the orange Wow Wee Whistles that were wax wrapped in plastic with images of black witches flying on broomsticks. We would play them like a Harmonica for a few minutes then we could not resist taking a big bite of that juicy orange wax. Oh! that was so sweet and yummy! Karen and I would chew that orange wax until our jaws could not take it anymore! HaHa! What a wonderful memory that was! To be a kid turned loose in the Speedee Shop with what seemed like a pocket full of money. I thought it would be fun to post the picture of those kids in the horn-rimmed glasses
with the empty soda bottles on my Facebook page just to see what kids from my day would have to say. Here’s what I got: Mike Witchoskey: I remember the Speedee Shop. Terri Turner Griffin: I still call convenience stores the Speedee Shop. Christine Haney: Yes, I turned in my bottles at the Apex Store. Randy Jones: The Shop and Go at Hwy 60 & Turkey Creek Road. The Good old days! Neil Roberts: I turned in my bottles at the old Dover Bi-Lo for another soda and candy. Beverly McGriff Jordan: We use to ride our bikes down to the store and buy candy or an Icee with the money. Nicole Norris: I got gas money for my bottles. Debbie Johnson Torres: Those empty bottles paid for lots of candy from the Lil’ General Store. Marci Rogers Drawdy: Growing up we lived next to the Dover Bi-Lo. I have pushed many a buggy full of bottles. Cash for Candy! Jeff Capron: I rode my Schwinn Scrambler thru Walden Lake when it was first being built. I put a 5-gallon bucket on each handle bar and scored riches around the new homes being built. Mountain Dew and Mellow Yellow bottles were left everywhere by the construction workers. Tracey Harkala Adams: Me and Teri McElveen rode our bikes to the store and got penny candy. Sharon Everidge: Yes, I rode my yellow Schwinn 10-speed with my bottles. Carolyn Everidge: Yes! Reading everyone's responses made me laugh and realize how simple were our childhoods. We were all pretty much on the same page. Back in those days, our bicycles and a little brown paper sack filled with "penny candy" from the convenience store made us pretty darn happy. In fact-we thought that we had it all! On second thought, we really did!
Words of Wisdom BY WANDA “LEWIS” ANDERSON
hances are if you were out late celebrating you may be in need of an aspirin. That is all good as an aspirin does relieve a headache. But did you know aspirin is good for your cut flowers as well? Yes, just add a crushed aspirin to water before adding fresh flowers it will extend their life. I use this tip with my Christmas tree. Car battery giving you trouble? I have just the tip. Try putting two aspirin in your car's battery if it's dead. The acetylsalicylic acid and the battery's sulfuric acid may produce a charge good for one more turn of the engine. Here’s a great tip to reduce inflammation caused by a mosquito bite or bee sting. Simply wet your skin with water and rub an aspirin on the affected area. You can also apply aspirin dissolved in water to acne to dry out skin and help get rid of pimples. To restore color-treated hair affected by a chlorinated pool, dissolve six to eight aspirin tablets in a glass of warm water. Apply the solution to your hair and leave it for 15 minutes before rinsing.
Before trying anything new consult your physician. To get those stubborn perspiration stains from your shirts, try soaking the stained part in a solution made by crushing two aspirin in ½ cup of warm water. If you normally dry clean your silk clothing, this tip will save you money. Just add a tablespoon of hair conditioner in your sink filled with room temperature water. Keep garments submerged for a few minutes, rinse and then hang to dry. To soften clothes in the dryer, dampen a washcloth with hair conditioner and toss into the dryer with a load. To keep tools from rusting, simply add a thin layer of hair conditioner to various tools to keep them rust- and Tetanus-free! You can also try this with appliances and faucets. Clogged drain? Just squirt a little hair conditioner in the drain and then run hot water over it to lubricate the blockage. This should loosen the clogged drain. Until next time relax, enjoy and be thankful… PAGE
Loretta Burns Artist of the Month
BY HEATHER DAVIS
rt can be a hobby or something some do in their spare time. For some however, art may be forefront and center in their lives. The artist Loretta Burns is one such person. New, relatively speaking, to Plant City, Loretta has taken to the town like a fish to water and already plays an important part in the local art scene. An East Hillsborough Art Guild member for the past three years, Loretta now serves EHAG as President and is bringing to the table new ideas and ways of thinking. The self-taught artist lives what could be called an art-centric life, since her life is focused on creating, promoting, and teaching art. Loretta explains, "Art is as much as who I am and what I am. I've never questioned it, I just accepted it." Loretta specializes in interpretive portraits of people and pets. Her mediums of choice are acrylic and watercolor. Much of her work is commissioned by word of mouth and something she enjoys doing immensely As much as she enjoys creating art, Loretta finds her greatest satisfaction from teaching art to others. Currently, she teaches at the Art Gallery space in the 1914 PCHS Community Center along with four other instructors and also facilitates a weekly Paint and Sip at O'Briens Irish Pub in Plant City. Creating and teaching art PAGE
gives Loretta a sense of purpose and productivity. She believes that in art we benefit from the effort and not just the outcome. Some of the benefits she lists for those who create art are personal satisfaction, the ability to loosen up and have fun, the release of endorphins, and the ability to be in the moment. With each phase in life as Loretta's life has changed, so too has her art. This art phase in Loretta's "art-centric" life is one of giving back to the community and those around her, something she is doing a great job of here in Plant City. To contact Loretta about commissioned art work or classes, please e-mail her at Lowie59@yahoo.com or visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ LorettasArt.
William PeQueen Senior of the Month - PCHS BY RJ ROBINSON
Senior of the Month - PCHS BY MACKENZIE STEELE
rin Schulte has been named MVP of the Plant City High School Varsity Girls’ Swim team all four years of her high school career. With a reputation like that, it’s no wonder she was chosen as February’s Senior of the Month. Erin has been swimming since kindergarten, and her dedication to the sport has shown in high school. Representing PCHS, Erin has gone on to greatness, competing at the district, regional, and state levels for multiple years. Erin has also been able to use her talent for swimming in a philanthropic way, volunteering at Brandon Sports and Aquatics Center’s Team Trident camp, where disabled adults are taught various skills and at the end of the summer are given a chance to compete in Special Olympics.
Aside from swimming, Erin also volunteers for her community in a number of ways, most notably in serving at Plant City’s First Baptist Church. As a church member since elementary school, Erin is now able to give back to the youth program, serving every Sunday as a teacher of 4-yearolds in the Preschool Department. Of course, Erin’s accolades span far beyond her heart. With intelligence and diligence in juggling the most rigorous classes while she volunteers and plays sports, Erin has achieved a 7.37 GPA, placing her third in Plant City High School’s 2018 graduating class. Perseverance and a heart for service definitely make Erin Schulte worthy of the PCHS February Senior of the Month recognition.
great student is made up of many parts. The ideal student would be adept in academics, athletics, and extra-curricular involvement. William PeQueen’s strong work ethic in school, dedication to sports, and care for the community easily qualify him to be February’s Senior of the Month at Plant City High School. He is a varsity track athlete, an active member in many school clubs, proficient in his classwork, and involved in service to his community. William exceeds the expectations of a high school senior. Will’s dedication to his classwork, exemplified by many Advanced Placement and Honors courses, allows him to boast an impressive 6.5 GPA. His rigor is also rewarded by participation in competitions such as the 2015 and 2016 Math Bowl and the 2017 Tampa Bay Regional Envirothon, in which his team placed second. This scholar’s talent is not only shown in the classroom, but on the field as well. Making the Raider Varsity Track & Field team in 2017, he competed in the 800 m, 1-mile, and 2-mile runs. Returning for the 2018 season, he expanded his talents to the Shot Put and the Discus throws. He also shows great accomplishment in the field of business technology, where he has earned many certifications
that will prepare him for a career. So far these include coding programs, graphic design, and website development. Outside of school, Will still never ceases to work as hard as he can. He is an Acolyte at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where he assists in various ceremonies and services. He also serves with the Polk County Lakes Education/Action Drive in helping to keep the environment clean and safe for all wildlife. Lastly, and most importantly to him, is the United Food Bank of Plant City. Every week he volunteers two or three days there, loading and distributing donated food to local families in need. Lastly, Will’s involvement in clubs has made him a perfectly well-rounded student. He is proud of his involvement with the National Honor Society, the Interact Boys’ Service Club, the Teenage Republicans Club, and the academic Engineering Club. On the field, in the classroom, and in the community, William always pushes himself to achieve as much as possible and seize every opportunity available for him to better himself or the world around him. It is clear why he was chosen as Senior of the Month, and why he will find success anywhere he goes.
About the Writer:
About the Writer:
Plant City High School senior MacKenzie Steele is an outstanding community leader as well. In a very skilled balancing act, she dedicates time to various school clubs and organizations, for numerous Dual Enrollment and AP classes, and with her church youth group. After graduation, MacKenzie hopes to attend the University of Florida as a pre-med student, with dreams of becoming a pediatric oncologist in the future.
Plant City High School Senior Kyle (RJ) Robinson is a first-year writer for the Focus Magazine. In addition to serving PCHS as Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook staff, RJ is also Varsity Swim Team Captain, and President of various school clubs such as Teenage Republicans and Interact Boys Service Club. He plans to attend the University of Florida to study Business Finance and Journalism.
Roger Lozano Senior of the Month - DHS BY MEL HOFFMAN
oger Lozano is focused on his goal of becoming a firefighter. He is preparing not only physically for this goal, but also financially. Firefighting is one of the most physically taxing jobs. You must be able to lift more than your own body weight and have significant cardio endurance. With this in mind, Lozano works out daily to prepare his body for the job. Lozano always enjoyed physical education classes at Durant High School, where he was also a member of the school’s Wrestling Team. He hopes to continue to use what he has learned in these classes and on the team to develop his body to its full potential. Lozano plans to attend Hillsborough Community College and major in Fire
Science. He is currently working at Zaxby’s so he can save money for tuition. He plans to work for Publix manufacturing during college. Lozano says his parents have inspired him. They have always told him to strive high and to push himself to succeed. As to his time at Durant, Lozano said he wouldn’t change anything because he loved every minute of it. With his senior year coming to an end, Lozano looks forward to achieving his goal of becoming a firefighter. He will also “always appreciate the education” he received at Durant and the “support of friends, family and community.”
About the Writer: Durant High School senior Mel Hoffmann will be graduating on the honor court. A staff writer for the school’s newspaper, the PawPrint, and member of the varsity golf team, she also serves as Vice President of Durant’s National Art Honor Society. Whenever Mel isn’t writing for the paper, playing golf or making art, she is volunteering, with now over 400 hours to her credit. She plans on majoring in pharmaceutical studies at Wingate University this fall.
ISCOUNT CREENING Marty Johnson
Specializing in ReScReening & RepaiR Since 1983
Pool Enclosures Screen Rooms Lanais
Screen Entryways New Doors & Hardware Pet Screen & Pet Doors
Window Screens Vinyl Window Repairs Aluminum Repairs
5 Year Warranty on rescreening 10 Year Warranty on super-screening
We Will Meet or Beat Any Advertised Price! Free tes a estim
1406 W Knights Griffin Rd Plant City, FL 33565
lice & in nsed sure d PAGE
Megen Hernandez Julio Rodriguez Senior of the Month - SCHS Senior of the Month - SCHS BY TAYLOR NORRINGTON
BY TAYLOR NORRINGTON
n International Baccalaureate student, Co-President of IB Ambassadors, and Chargerthon Executive Board President are just the start of some amazing accomplishments for Strawberry Crest senior, Megen Hernandez. The International Baccalaureate program at Strawberry Crest High School entails higher level and standard level classes. "IB life is more than just writing papers, meeting deadlines, and dealing with the stress of one task right after the other, it's a family," Megen said. IB has given her the ability to enhance her public speaking skills and to overcome many different struggles in her day-to-day life. IB Ambassadors is a Crest club comprised of IB students who travel to events and speak on behalf of the program. It also act as liaisons at the SCHS open houses and conference nights. As co-president, attends all events as well as helps to organize the event agenda.
She is also a member of the Student Government Association at Strawberry Crest. SGA plans pep rallies, homecoming, and other school wide events throughout the year. Chargerthon, a dance marathon run by Crest students, works with the All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. In the last four years, Chargerthon has raised more $50,000 for the CMN, with more than 350 students participate last year alone. Megen shared, "This past year I had the privilege to be the Chargerthon’s Executive Board President. I oversaw all three committees—Communications, Finance, and Event Operations—as well as worked with nineteen other board members to ensure the event was a success.” With a 6.06 GPA, Megen plans to attend Florida State University to major in law and minor in business. She would like to become a corporate lawyer in the future.
he Strawberry Crest Senior of the Month is a dedicated athlete, student, and peer. Julio Rodriguez shown leadership in school and in his community as well. Julio has played soccer for over ten years for teams such as the Plant City Lancers and the Houston Dynamo in Riverview. "I love the sport so much," he said, "It's more than just a hobby." Since his decision in junior year to play for the SCHS team, he has made many outstanding accomplishments. Because of his numerous community service hours, he was the only junior at the senior awards ceremony for soccer. Now Julio has more than 200 community service hours from volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in Dover, FL. There he helps younger children with homework, coaches soccer games, and serves as a mentor for children in their daily lives. "I enjoy knowing that when I walk through the doors of the club, I am making
a difference in someone's life and giving back to the community." Julio is also a member of the Student Government Association at Strawberry Crest. SGA is responsible for putting on the school's annual homecoming event, attending and hosting functions that take place at Crest, and executing many pep rallies. "My favorite part about being in SGA is the pep rallies," he said, "It's amazing to see everyone's school spirit and being in the center of it all." SGA also travels to many district meetings during the school year to get to know other schools’ organizations and to learn different ways to improve their program. In his free time, Julio enjoys reading books. His favorite is The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort. After high school, Julio plans to attend Florida College in Temple Terrace to major in Business Administration.
About the Writer: Strawberry Crest High School senior Taylor Norrington is a team leader for the SCHS yearbook staff and first-year writer for Focus Magazine. In addition to club involvement in Crest Buddies and Senior Class Council, the Student Government Association secretary was also Captain of the Chargerette dance team. She also dances 5X/weekly with Dance Quest International's competition team. To further her dance career, she hopes for acceptance into the Ingredients Dance Training program in Dallas, Texas. After that, Taylor plans to study Broadcast Journalism at Florida State University.
A Hint of Garlic RECIPE BY VICTORIA WATKINS SGRO
Mini Guacamole Potato Skins + Roasted Jalapeno Crema If there was ever a recipe worth waiting for, this one is it: Crispy baked potato skins loaded with creamy guacamole dip and drizzled with a spicy crema that's been spiked with garlic and roasted jalapenos. Just look at them! Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re: Crispy, Tender, Creamy, Spicy & SO PRETTY! And they start with my favorite little potatoes from Aldi, which has the best stuff.
Servings: 10 PEOPLE Prep Time: 15 MIN Cook Time: 35 MIN Total Time: 50 MIN Ingredients 1.5 lbs baby potatoes 1 tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp sea salt For the Guac: 2 hass avocados 1.5 limes 1/4 cup diced onion 1/4 cup diced tomato 1/2 tsp salt For the Crema: 1/2 cup organic sour cream 1 roasted jalapeno 1 medium clove garlic 1/2 lime (zest + juice) 1/4 tsp sea salt pinch of black pepper + cumin
Instructions Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place the washed potatoes AND the raw jalapeno on a lined baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and lightly browned. Allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes until you can easily handle them. Set aside the jalapeno for the crema. Cut each baby potato in half and scoop out the centers, leaving a thin layer of potato on each skin. Save the creamy potato centers for a snack! Sprinkle the mini potato skins with additional sea salt and place in the oven on BROIL for 5 minutes. As potatoes cool, whip up the guacamole. Cut the avocado into cubes and mash it with a fork. Mix in the remaining ingredients and set aside. Next, make the crema. Mince the roasted jalapeno and the clove of garlic. Add all the crema ingredients to a food processor (I use a single-serve cup) and pulse a few times until incorporated. Spoon a small scoop of guac into each potato skin. Alternatively, scoop the guacamole into a plastic baggie. Close the top and snip off one of the bottom corners of the bag. Use the baggie to squeeze a dollop of guacamole into each potato skin. Drizzle each bite with jalapeno crema and enjoy!
Keel & Curley Winery Expands Menu Celebrate with Seafood and So Much More BY BARBARA ROUTEN
Keel & Curley's indoor dining features high-top tables, free Wi-Fi, climate control, four big-screen televisions, an ATM and piped-in pop music at a volume that allows talking. The outdoor patio adds more seating for diners, at picnic tables cooled by large fans.
The stuffed flounder entrée was melt-in-your-mouth tender.
resh fish and crustaceans and just-picked-on-site produce are new additions to the kitchen wizardry of Keel and Curley Winery. “We are moving away from just pub fare,” said co-owner Alicia Keel. “We want to offer Plant City an alternative for fresh seafood as well as produce from our farm and fresh eggs from our 50 free-range hens.” The Keels’ kitchen’s chef, Kenny Clevenger, used to dazzle customers at The Colonnade in Tampa with his culinary creations, beginning in the 1980s. After that landmark restaurant closed in March 2016, he moved in June 2016 to Keel and Curley Winery, where he expanded the menu with grouper sandwiches, stuffed flounder and fish and shrimp tacos. Still popular are Keel and Curley Winery’s
mouth-watering burgers and salads, as well as catering and specialevents menu items such as Florida lobster, shrimp scampi and their Biertoberfest sauerbraten, schnitzel and bratwursts. On a recent Monday night, my guest and I sampled several seafood dishes to find out if the former Colonnade chef really could create great seafood dishes in landlocked Plant City. He did. We started with a calamari appetizer. The lightly breaded, extremely tender rings and tentacles tasted delightful. We tried them plain, with fresh lemon squeezed on them and dipped in the accompanying sauce. They were tasty all three ways. I ordered the flounder stuffed with crabmeat, which was
Keel & Curley Winery's homemade Coast-to-Coast Cheesecake is served drizzled with sauce made from seasonal berries and topped with whipped cream flowerets.
recommended by Bryce McGuire, assistant manager. This entrée was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. For my two sides, I requested the vegetable of the day—seasoned cooked cabbage—and a salad of crisp romaine lettuce, diced tomato and shredded cheddar cheese, served with Caesar dressing. My guest selected a fried grouper sandwich (which also comes grilled or blackened) and French fries. The large piece of Gulf of Mexico grouper was mild, moist and flaky. Clevenger definitely hit the mark with the seafood! We tasted the Key West—Key Lime wine, which is citrusy with
a hint of coconut and also a slice of Coast-to-Coast cheesecake, drizzled with a mixed-berry sauce and topped with whipped cream flowerets. It was warm, right out of the oven, and had an amazing flavor with just the right sweetness—a marvelous way to end our dinner.
Keel & Curley Winery 5210 Thonotosassa Rd. Plant City, FL 33565 813-752-9100 keelandcurleywinery.com
Hours: Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
events can’t miss CAN'T MISS EVENTS
Black & White Movie Night 6:33 PM Watch various shorts/episodes of B&W favorites like Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, I Love Lucy, etc. End-of-show trivia winner earns beverage choice. Krazy Kup 101 E J Arden Mays Blvd, Plant City
Apr. 21 SPCA Florida’s Walk for Animals 5 – 9 PM Join hundreds of two- & four-legged friends & their owners for dog costume contest and fundraising walk with prizes. Kid’s zone w-bounce house, rock climbing wall, face painting. Live music by Buxton; specialty vendors. Lake Mirror Promenade Info: Sandra Dawson 863-577-4600 Free to attend, $35 Walk participation registration
Apr. 24 Aspire 6 PM We are so excited to announce a new women’s group is launching in Plant City! Aspire’s mission is to help women empower each other personally and professionally. Wishing Well Barn 4302 Pippin Rd Free ticket @ AspirePlantCity.eventbrite.com
Apr. 27-28 Relay for Life of Plant City This signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society includes Plant City’s 14-hour event that brings local teams together to “Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back.” Join your friends/neighbors in support by remembering loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, & raise $$ for the cause of cure/ awareness. 6pm - Opening Ceremony 9pm - Luminaria Ceremony 9:30am - Closing Ceremony Plant City High School 1 Raider Place Website: relay.org/plantcityfl
Healthy Kids Day 10 AM - 1 PM Free event w-activities/vendors promoting healthy activities/services. Plant City YMCA 1507 YMCA Place
The Fancy Flea Plant City Show 9 AM – 4 PM Shop at 200+ vendors for shabby chic, farmhouse finds. 2866 Reynolds St W. Admission $5, Free Parking Vendor Info: fancyflea.net
Lip Sync Battle 7 – 10 PM Show off your lip-sync talent to the community! Krazy Kup 101 E J Arden Blvd Register on Facebook: Solo $5; Group $10, Coming to watch $3
National Day of Prayer 2018 12 – 1 PM Join the community in a powerful prayer session City Hall Auditorium – Plant City Info: Norm Blanton 813-326-0749 National Day of Prayer - Evening 6:30 PM First Presbyterian Church 404 W. Reynolds St., Plant City Thursday Oil Chat with Lynn 7 PM Join Lynn for coffee/tea and learn about 2 of dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and their safe/effective use Panera Bread, 2909 JL Redman Pkwy.
Bike Night with Vegan Zombies 6 – 11 PM Vegan Zombies debut at the Plant City Bike Night Big Dog’s Patio 103 N Palmer St. Sing Out Loud Regional Vocal Talent Show 7:30 – 10 PM Regional vocal talent show for all school-age singers Hosted by NRG members who will also perform Portion of proceeds to benefit Plant City Entertainment Community Theater Plant City Entertainment Inc. 101 N Thomas St Admission: General Seating $12; Front Row $20 Tickets available at nrg.ticketleap.com
06-07 Sun. - Mon. From Concept to Quilt 1 PM (both days) Join Toni Steere, National Educator for Timeless Treasures & co-owner of Wing and a Prayer Design for an afternoon of fun & info. Inspire! Quilting & Sewing 101 N Collins St Info: 813-704-4967
Open Mic Night 8:33 – 10:33 PM Sing your heart out or play an instrument while enjoying coffee with friends. Krazy Kup 101 E J Arden Mays Blvd Free Admission
ONGOING Mondays Weekly Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club 7 AM South Florida Baptist Hospital Community Rm. Info: George Banning, 813-759-1638 PC Community Chorale 7 - 9:30 PM Meets every Monday evening Cost: $35 per season Info: Mary Ella Enciso, 813-417-2808; firstname.lastname@example.org Online: www.pccchorale.org
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: 2nd Monday only)
2nd Monday Monthly Plant City Garden Club 10 AM (Sept. thru May) Walden Lake East Community Center 1304 Teakwood Dr. All are welcome Info: Lisa Firm 813-404-4922 plantcitygardenclub.org
3rd Monday Monthly Family Community Advisory Council (FCAC) 5 - 6:30 PM The Children's Board Family Resource Center at East County invites residents to its Family Community Advisory Council (FCAC) meets monthly to discuss services or programs needed or wanted. Children will enjoy the FCAC Playgroup care, crafts, & activities while the adults meet. 639 E. Alexander St., Plant City Info: Ladislao Sanchez, 813-752-8700
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: Marsha Passmore, 813-245-2244
2nd Tuesdays Monthly
Fridays & Saturdays Weekly
Last Fridays Monthly
GFWC Woman’s Club of Plant City 10:30 AM @1110 N. Wheeler St. Info: Karen Griggsby, 813-481-0419
Music in The Loft @Krazy Kup Fridays 6:33-8:33 PM; Saturdays 8:3310:33PM 101 East J. Arden Mays Blvd. 813-752-1220; Facebook
Java & Jeans 8 – 9:30 AM Join us for an informal networking opportunity, donuts and coffee will be provided. Minuteman Press 1701 S. Alexander St Suite 105 Info: Norm Nelson 813-754-3707
2nd & 4th Tuesdays Monthly Integrity Business Referrals 7:30 – 9 AM Christian networking breakfast BuddyFreddy’s Restaurant 1101 Goldfinch Dr., Plant City Info: Lew Frye 863-521-3360 Norm Blanton, 813-326-0749 American Legion– Norman McLeod Post#26 6 PM @2207 W. Baker St. 813-752-8608 Info: Nancy Miller, 813-754-2544
Live Music @O’Brien’s Irish Pub Fridays 530-8:30 Acoustic; Saturdays 9PM ‘til close 1701 S. Alexander St. 813-764-8818
3rd Saturdays Monthly Strawberry Classic Car Show 4-8 PM 102 N. Palmer St., Historic Downtown Plant City Info: 814-754-3707 www.plantcity.org
Tuesdays Weekly Plant City Lions Club 12 Noon @BuddyFreddy’s Restaurant 1101 Goldfinch Drive 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
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 Meetings at BuddyFreddy’s Restaurant Info: David Wolf 813-717-9300
Thursdays Weekly Toastmasters (Chapter 4051) 7:30 - 9 AM PC Chamber Community Room 106 N. Evers St. Info: April Lubrano 813-545-1607 Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Services 9AM - 4PM @PC Chamber, 106 N. Evers St. Dottie 813-204-9267 Line Dancing Lessons Starts at 7:30 p.m. Crossroads Seafood and Steakhouse 106 State Rd 60 E
2nd Thursdays Monthly GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Plant City 7 PM @1110 N. Wheeler St. Info: Lisa Rhodes, 813-376-8294
A GOOD EGG Created by Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews
A GOOD EGG COME JOIN THE FOCUS COMMUNITY
“LIKE” US ON FACEBOOK FACEBOOK.COM/ THEFOCUSMAGAZINE
ACROSS 1. Musical instrument 5. Opening quintet 10. “Dr. Zhivago” heroine 14. Noisy fight 15. Piece of luggage 17. Ascended 20. Start of verse 23. Marlon Wayans, to Shawn 24. Fem. title given posthumously 25. Takes care of 26. Hit hard 28. Thesaurus entry: abbr. 29. German’s “and” 31. Yens 34. “__ Spiegel”; Europe’s leading newsmagazine 35. Pennsylvania port 36. Parents’ org. 39. Beer container 40. __ up; botch 41. More of verse 48. Heart chambers 49. Georgia’s neighbor 50. Called 54. Word to a pest 55. Asia 58. Memb. of a wandering tribe 60. Old saying 61. Advanced deg. 62. Declare taboo 63. O.T. book 65. Eye for an eye 67. Smug laugh 70. Fuel ingredients 72. Reckon 75. “__ silly question and get a...” 77. From __ Z 78. Unprocessed 81. Actress Samantha 82. Hwys. 84. Engraves 86. Verdi opera 87. Fascinate 88. Virgil epic 90. Thespian 91. More of verse 97. Hoopster Bryant 100. Blockhead 101. Poet Eliot’s monogram 102. Zilch 103. Mr. Gershwin 104. Actress Potts 106. Afr. nation 107. 007, for one 110. Doles out 112. Firstborn of many 117. Facial twitch 119. Sinatra’s third
by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews
120. End of verse 125. __ the Younger; firstcentury Roman statesman 126. Blanket-like shawl 127. Exhilarate 128. Suffix for differ or insist 129. Sutured 130. Indefinite amount
35. 36. 37. 38. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 51. 52. 53. 55. 56. 57. 59. 64. 66. 67. 68. 69. 71. 72. 73. 74. 76. 78. 79. 80. 83. 85.
DOWN 1. Wading bird 2. Beverage 3. NFL employees 4. Upset; rattle 5. “__ Maria” 6. Words from Scrooge 7. Classic board game 8. Coin 9. 6th senses, familiarly 10. Hallucinogen, for short 11. Prefix meaning “needle” 12. Sloping walkways 13. Dog food brand 14. Nativity set figure 16. “__, Brute?” 18. Piano piece 19. Units of force 20. Network letters 21. “__, meenie...” 22. New __; Atlantic inlet 27. Many AMA members 30. Dictionary entry: abbr. 32. European lang. 33. Sense of self-esteem 1
96. 97. 98. 99. 104. 105. 107. 108. 109. 111. 113. 114. 115. 116. 118. 121. 122. 123. 124. 11
48 55 62 67 73
87 91 98
78 86 90
Bandage type Tiny insect Common verb Charged atom Mr. Rather __ shoestring; with little cash Electromotive units Locomotives Ms. Basinger Sweet snacks Wash oneself Unhealthy looking Annexes, often Struck Stack Long-haired ox Slave of old Henna & indigo To be in Paris “Pygmalion” playwright Sticky strip Aspen’s state: abbr. Illinois Central College, for short “Norma __”; hit 1979 movie Cruz or Kennedy Food sometimes candied
86. 89. 90. 92. 93. 94.
Letter from Greece Tree branch trimmers SAT and others Words of relief Civil War General George and his kin Scrape Poison ivy symptom Alum Big success Raw mineral Early bedtime Scoundrel Homo sapiens Custard ingredient Sandra or Ruby Kimono sashes Car for Jeff Gordon Fluid that stains Talk much about little 5 p.m. or so, in London Baseball’s Slaughter Few and far between Late actress Talmadge Tripod “Caughtcha!” Tiny bit of time, for short Exclamation of disgust Open sponsor: abbr. Retains Coolidge, for one Bustles Cautious More bananas Encyc. volume, perhaps
© Puzzle Features Syndicate PAGE
K O I R M E O S
B A T H E
E S N E
R I G H A T R I S C A T P H D S S U P P E G G A C H A R S E M C A B R S Y
A S H E N N O R M A
O R I B A N I C K S E R D A I D F O A F N N I E I R R C A C E
H A R P E L E E R E F R O S T N U E R T B A
A B C D E V A L I S E E H U M P E S E E S N D I E P T A E F O R E H R U S S E N T E S T E R E A S K A S E T E N E I L I P M T S E E L D E S L Y T H S E R A S E W
L A E S C T Y D U T O U R G E K E G E B R O I A G Y P H R E T H A N A T O C H E S D E O V E N O N A L G T T I A T S N P E E E D S
A Good Egg!
R A A L E D M P T Y P O U N D S D E R M E S S K E N A M E D A D A G E V E N G E E S R A W A I D A A C T O R R E A S Y E S P Y C M I A O Y O L K L A T E OM E
Blueberry Festival 5210 Thonotosassa Rd. Plant City, FL
! s d n e o Week
April 14 & 15 April 21 & 22 8 am - 6 pm
U-Pick Blueberries 8 am - 4 pm Free Admission Live Entertainment Craft & Food Vendors Kids’ Zone
Keel & Curley
Limited Edition Strawberry Shortcake Wine $10 Blueberry Wines