there’s no “check engine” light for your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for
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both men and women in the United States. Knowing your heart disease risk factors could save your life or the life of someone you love. BayCare is offering free heart-healthy screenings throughout Tampa Bay to help you get to know your heart and the signs you shouldn’t ignore.
Wednesday, February 20
South Florida Baptist Hospital (Plant City)
Thursday, February 28
St. Joseph’s Hospital (Tampa)
Wednesday, March 6
St. Joseph’s Hospital-North (Lutz)
Wednesday, March 13
St. Joseph’s Hospital-South (Riverview)
For a complete list of all dates/locations: BayCareHeartHealth.org
Preregistration is required: (855) 546-6304 18-625776-1218
Contents Table of
focusplantcity.com / Issue 18-01 / January 2019
F E AT U R E
As we all transition into a new year, we begin to look at new beginnings. In this issue, readers are introduced the Grand Marshals of the Florida Strawberry Festival parades. We also celebrate the Plant City Dolphins 14U Cheer national champion win, the opening of the Periphery exhibit and kick off voting in the annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
This month, we feature the winners of the Florida Strawberry Festival Jr. Royalty Pageant and introduce the contestants competing for the title of 2019 Queen & Court. Congratulations to all of the beautiful young ladies competing in our local pageants!
Meet Clay Keel, the president of Keel Farms Group, which includes the farm, Keel and Curley Winery, Two Henrys Brewing Company and Railcar 91. Keel's leadership creates new beginnings for the multidimensional corporation heading into 2019 and beyond. Learn more about Keel and his plans for the agritourism business.
Sherrie Mueller served as the College and Career Counselor for Plant City High School for 15 years. As a graduate of Plant City High School, she was the 1971 Valedictorian, the same year she was crowned Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. Ms. Mueller graduated with honors from the University of Florida in 1975 with a degree in accounting and earned the distinction of Certified Public Accountant a year later. She is a recipient of the YMCA Strong Leader Award, The Tom McEwen Award and the Met Life Foundation Ambassadors in Education Award. She attends the First Baptist Church of Plant City.
Plant City's newest tattoo shop, Vicious Vanity Ink, is run by award winning ink master, Veronica Dey and her team of talented artists, Zachary Capodici and Christina Valerini. Vicious Vanity Ink also offers permanent makeup and other services. Learn more about this new business officially opening its doors Jan. 19.
Ole’ Tampa Cubans is the brainchild of Plant City-native Dwayne Williams. From carefully crafted Cuban sandwiches to hand rolled Devil crabs, Ole’ Tampa Cubans pays homage to Tampa’s rich history. Learn more about Williams and Ole’ Tampa Cubans, Plant City’s Taste of Tampa.
From The Publisher With the New Year comes our chance to reflect, resolve, and restart. It’s also a time to remember those whose generous spirits have touched our lives for the good. Publisher Mike Floyd - firstname.lastname@example.org Office Manager Candy Owens - email@example.com Account Manager Crystal Shipley - firstname.lastname@example.org Account Manager Chandler Workman - email@example.com Managing Editor Cierra Craft - firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Anthony Sassano - email@example.com
As you already know, the Plant City community is filled with them. So many are so willing to give so much to help those with too little. One such effort is a grass roots reach, led by Frontline Community Services founder Jennifer Anderson, to prepare a shelter for the homeless and displaced who would appreciate a hand up. If you’re interested in learning more or discovering ways to help, contact her at 813-323-4013.
Distribution Tony DeVane Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston | Barbara Routen | Sherrie Mueller Anthony Bolesta | Cierra Craft 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner.
In 2019, in addition to my resolution (again) to help others, I hope to live more “in the moment” and to be present with family and friends. I plan to look for ways to surprise others when their day could use a lift. It’s one way I can pay similar kindnesses shown to me when mine needed one. While continuing to focus on the reason Focus exists, I also plan to slow down, probably like you, and “seize” more days with my sons who are growing up much too quickly. We invite you this month to share some of your New Year’s resolutions on our Facebook page! And as for this magazine, in reflecting on what our readers have meant to us, we truly hope that, in telling your differencemaking stories we have become part of your family. We’re grateful for the privilege to try and we believe the best is yet to come.
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
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Candlelight Tour Through History BY ANTHONY BOLESTA
and visitors of the event, such as City Commissioner Mike Sparkman, who attended the tour along with artist John Briggs, and Mr. and Mrs. Grooms of Fancy Farms. The Grooms say the Dec. 16 event was their “first time coming to the night tour” but the couple are regulars to the daytime events. The remaining two homes were the Sparkman House Luxury Bed and Breakfast and the Home of Sandi and Jock McGlathery. Both homes showed off their wonderful interiors as well as Christmas
decorations, a plus to having the tour at this time of the year. Guests to the tour could also take part in an optional dinner, with a decadent meal held in the luxury B & B. The meal was also coupled with live entertainment from singer, Ray Chiaramonte. Whether guests found yourself lost in the halls of history at the 1914 building, in the food, décor, and music of the Sparkman house, or the intriguing homes of the Historic District, the Candlelight Tour was a wonderful way to spend the night.
Guests admired the decor of the Sparkhouse House Luxury Bed and Breakfast during the Candlelight Tour.
n Dec. 16, the East Hillsborough Historical Society held a Candlelight Tour of historic downtown. The tour began at the historic museum within the 1914 Plant City High School Community Center at 605 N. Collins Street. Guests were greeted by the great people at the EHHS, such as organization president, Shelby Bender. Rooms were themed to fit individual pieces of Plant City’s history into a grander image of the community’s legacy. Two areas really exemplified this: Exhibits dedicated to former State Representative James L. Redman, as well as Nettie Mae Berry Draughon, who both excelled in leadership in all parts of their lives, leaving their mark on local politics, education, and beyond. Some rooms were themed after the old Plant City High School itself and had records of former students. The glass cases included artifacts from their respective careers, as well as memorabilia in the form of class rings, school spirit flags, and
letterman jackets for some of the athletes that walked those same halls. The building has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1981, giving citizens and visitors a wonderful trek into the past. The city authority views the building as a “tangible expression of civic achievement” as well as a benchmark on “educational excellence”. Coupled with events like this, it highlights the best aspects of Plant City’s history. Following the tour of the 1914 building, the Candlelight Tour continued into the home of Doresa and Pat Young, who took up the mantle of refurbishing and preserving the 1905 Mays-Atkinson House. Thanks to the hard work of the Youngs, the home now boasts beautiful wood floors, paintings of nature, cities, and ships in nearly every room, as well as a working antique grandfather clock that is estimated to be from the late 18th century. The Youngs spoke with friends
The East Hillsborough Historical Society created an exhibit honoring the military service of Plant City natives, including the late James L. Redman.
Students of the past are showcased along with their class rings and other personal items.
FSF Grand Marshals: Katelyn Yarbrough & Ashley Moody BY SHERRIE MUELLER & CIERRA CRAFT
Katelyn Yarbrough was recently selected unanimously for the honor of leading the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Youth Parade as the Parade Grand Marshal. Each member of the fourteen member parade board was asked to submit their top three choices for the honor from a field of resumes submitted by area seniors. Katelyn’s resume was the number one choice of each of the members. Katelyn excels academically with a 7.24 grade point average and serves in leadership roles at her school. Her dedication and passion for helping others is evident by her 800 hours of documented community service. Katelyn is committed to service with Students with Special Needs. She has twice coached a group of students to the State Title in the Special Olympics Unified Cheer Competition. Katelyn is the President of the Raider PAGE
Buddies Club that pairs students and ESE students to build friendships and social skills. Katelyn served on the Inaugural Board of Directors to bring “Night to Shine” to Plant City. This event is a prom for guests with special needs sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. Upon learning of her selection, Katelyn shared, “It is such a blessing to be considered a role model for others. I am looking forward to being an Ambassador for the Youth of Plant City at the Parade and other community events. I thank the committee for this opportunity.” The Youth Parade is Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. For Youth Parade information call Pat Pogue, 813-754-4680 or email at email@example.com. The theme of the 2019 Strawberry Festival is “It’s a Hit.” Congratulations Katelyn Yarbrough, our 2019 Strawberry Youth Parade Grand Marshal.
Plant City’s first Florida cabinet member Ashley Moody will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Grand Parade. Moody currently serves as Florida’s 38th Attorney General. She is a fifth generation Floridian and a native of Plant City. She and her husband, Justin, a federal law enforcement agent, have two children. Upon earning her bachelor and masters degrees in accounting and juris doctor from the University of Florida, Moody attended Stetson University College of Law earning a Masters of Law in International Law. She then practiced commercial litigation with the law firm Holland & Knight, where she was named one of Tampa’s “40 under 40” for her professional and civic contribution. She subsequently joined the U.S. Attorney General’s office prosecuting drugs, firearm and fraud cases.
In 2006, at age 31, Moody was the youngest elected judge in Florida, serving the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. As judge, she founded the Attorney Ad Litem program, recruiting volunteer attorneys to stand in place of parents who did not appear in court with their children. She also founded a mentoring program within the juvenile delinquency program. On Dec. 18, the City of Plant City unveiled the first of many new signs to honor Moody at Sunrise Park. Moody was joined by city leadership, family, friends and citizens to celebrate the sign dedication. Be sure to wave to Attorney General Moody as she leads the Grand Parade march on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. The parade moves through historic downtown, passing the festival grounds around 2:00 p.m.
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Kennedy Duncan (far left) was shocked when named 2019 Duchess. “I felt nervous and then I didn’t know what was going on; I was surprised,” said Duncan.
2019 Junior Royalty winners from left to right: Princess Lylah Anne Linares, Baroness Rowen Ashford Morgan, Queen Avery Surrency and Duchess Kennedy Duncan.
As emcees Christine Miller and Sophia Hyde announced the top ten contestants, each was presented with a ribbon for their participation in the pageant. The Baroness top ten contestants: Molly Jewel Terrell, Shyla Ann Stanaland, Presley Reese Hay, Georgia Sue-Ann Hunter, Oliveah Bird, Rowen Ashford Morgan, Chloe Lynn Smith, Ava Rose Bikowski, and Addisyn Danielle Wise. PAGE
JUNIOR ROYALTY By Cierra Craft
On Saturday, Jan. 12, 106 young ladies, ages five to 15, competed in the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty Pageant. The Grimes Family Agricultural Center was filled with thousands of folks cheering and applauding for their favorite contestants vying for the titles of Queen, Princess, Duchess and Baroness. Emcees, Sophia Hyde and Christine Miller, introduced each contestant to the stage. The young ladies walked the stage, modeling their gowns with poise and grace. With ruffles and rhinestones galore, some contestants presented their spunky personalities by blowing kisses to the crowd. The panel of judges, 2018 Miss Florida Taylor Tyson, Kelly Savage, Kylie Harris and David Lange, were impressed by the contestants confidence. Catherine Wilhelm, CPA for Mayer, Hoffman, McCann, P.C. was on hand to assist in tabulating contestant scores. The crowd erupted with cheers as Hyde and Miller named the following contestants in the top ten of each age division: Baroness (5 & 6 years old): Molly Jewel Terrell, Shyla Ann Stanaland, Presley Reese Hay, Georgia Sue-Ann Hunter, Oliveah Bird, Rowen Ashford Morgan, Chloe Lynn Smith, Ava Rose Bikowski,and Addisyn Danielle Wise. Duchess (7 to 9 years old): Analyse Garcia, Rylie Jade Bodenweiser, Brylee Nicole Martinez, Aubrey Ellis Duncan, Rylee Nicole Smith, Rylie Nicole Morris, Jade Beveard, Amari Saniya Jackson, Demi Cheyenne Atkinson, and Kennedy Duncan.
Princess (10 to 12 years old): Milee Hasting, Taylor Myers, SaraGrace Elizabeth Sparkman, McKenna Davis, Leah Nicole Gainer, Lily Joelle Santos, Maya Leanne Howard, Fe Jacquelyn Ramirez, Lylah Anne Linares, and Kendall Fallon Spencer. Queen (13 to 15 years old): Tori Marie Wegner, Kate Daigle, Avery Surrency, Hannah Elizabeth Simmons, Madison Mae Davis, Bailey Ann Brock, Rylie Drew Woody, Kaylee Michelle Bowers, Giselle Gutierrez, and Lacie Lynn Collins. In the Final Competition, the top ten contestants were then asked why, in its 84th year, is the Florida Strawberry Festival a success. Some mentioned the youth livestock shows, others mentioned the carnival food, but many contestants mentioned the Florida strawberry harvest and Plant City’s world famous strawberry shortcake. Demi Cheyenne Atkinson said headliner entertainers such as “Donnie and Marie Osmond, Vanilla Ice, Willie Nelson, and Steven Tyler make family fun for everyone.” As scores were being calculated, the 2018 Junior Royalty winners shared a slideshows of memories with attendees. As their reign came to an end, Baroness Giselle McDowell, Duchess Bella Bikowski, Princess Paige Zarecor and Queen Morgan Pierce received a standing ovation from the community. The 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty winners are: Baroness, Rowen Ashford Morgan; First
Maid Oliveah Bird; and court members Ava Rose Bikowski, Molly Jewel Terrell, and Georgia Sue-Anne Hunter. Duchess, Kennedy Duncan; First Maid Amari Saniya Hunter; and court members Analyse Garcia, Aubrey Ellis Duncan and Rylie Nicole Morris. Princess, Lylah Anne Linares; First Maid Kendall Fallon Spencer; and court members SaraGrace Elizabeth Sparkman, Fe Jacquelyn Ramirez, and Leah Nicole Gainer. Queen, Avery Surrency; First Maid Tori Marie Wegner; and court members Kate Daigle, Madison Mae Davis, and Giselle Gutierrez. Throughout the year, the Queen, Princess, Duchess and Baroness will participate in many community events, while representing not only the Florida Strawberry Festival, but Plant City as a whole. Duchess Kennedy Duncan, 8, said she is looking forward to the year ahead. “I am looking forward to having fun with the girls and getting to know them better,” said Duncan. The lives of Morgan, Duncan, Linares and Surrency are changed forever. As Florida Strawberry Festival royalty, the four young ladies will not only build friendships and attend events as representatives of the annual fair, but the group will go down in the archives of history as the 2019 Junior Royalty Baroness, Duchess, Princess and Queen, respectively.
Operation Paying it Forward Going Bald for a Cause BY ANTHONY BOLESTA
and touched many people since its creation. The group recently showed their appreciation to Plant City’s Fire Rescue crew, presenting them with plaques, t-shirts, and gift cards to Publix. On Valdes’ birthday, Jan. 24, Operation Paying It Forward will be going live on Facebook as Michelle will be shaving her head in honor of a young man by the name of Braeden Crumley, and all those affected by cancer. Michelle first gifted Braeden with a motorized wheelchair in 2011. Since then, Operation Paying It Forward has assisted the Crumley family to alleviate stress during this difficult time. Unfortunately, Braeden’s cancer has returned, but the folks
at Operation Paying It Forward are determined to raise money to help him and his family. The organization has set a goal to raise $15,000 through the Going Bald for a Cause event. The funds collected will not only bless Braeden, but others in the Plant City. Operation Paying it Forward is “not about glitz and glamour”. They have the noble purpose of seeking “to help those who are going through a rough time or to show appreciation for people risking their lives for our safety every day”. If you find yourself inspired by this group and want to help in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out to Operation Paying It Forward to learn more about their mission and upcoming events.
Operation Paying It Forward president, Michelle Valdes, will be shaving her head to honor Braeden Crumley, a young man battling cancer, and all those affected by the disease.
peration Paying It Forward, which is headed by Michelle Valdes, originates from a fateful day when Michelle was taken by her mom on a visit to Metropolitan Ministries. It was there that she witnessed people in need where, as a child, she observed people lining up for food, shoes and other items. Unfortunate as it may be, these sights were very defining for Valdes as she was growing up. Valdes has stated that she and her family “came from nothing” allowing her to have the perspective of knowing “what it is to have nothing”. Her mother was a single parent who was employed with two separate jobs and was still at the poverty level. However, it never stopped her mom from helping in whatever ways she ever could. After her mother’s passing in
2005, Valdes was devastated, and subsequently fell into a deep depression. She is very open about the fact that she struggled in reaching closure but knew she could not let her mother’s life and benevolent spirit fade away as a mere memory. Torn between these two conflicting feelings, she was initially unsure how to heal from the loss. Thankfully, this all changed after speaking to a counselor, where she was given the advice of helping individuals as a means to help yourself. Galvanized by this advice, as well as her mother’s frequent saying, “Where one can eat, two can eat”, Valdes decided to act random gestures of kindness in 2009. Nearly a decade and a half after the passing of her mother, Valdes now finds herself president of Operation Paying it Forward. The organization has reached out
Braeden Crumley (left) and Michelle Valdes (right) met in 2011. Since then, Michelle has continued to support Braeden and this family throughout his battle with cancer. Michelle has hopes of raising $15,000 through the Jan. 24 Going Bald For a Cause event.
Not only did the Plant City Fire Rescue crew help Michelle bless Braeden, but Michelle also presented plaques, gift cards and t-shirts to the firefighters.
Florida Strawberry Festival Queen Contestants BY CIERRA CRAFT PHOTOS BY DEANNA HURLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
Thirty-one beautiful and talented young women will compete in the Florida Strawberry Festival Queenâ€™s Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m. in the Grimes Family Agricultural Center at the festival grounds. The ladies will be judged as they model casual wear, business attire and formal dress. Each contestant must present a 30-second commercial for one randomly selected local business, as well as respond with poise to an on-stage question.
Daughter of the late Mike Storter and Laura Storter Junior at Plant City High School Dual Enrolled at Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Michael and Jessica Stevens Senior at Plant City High School Dual enrolled Hillsborough Community College
The judges will be tasked with narrowing the field from 31 to the top 10 contestants, and then selecting the 2019 Queen, First Maid and three court members. The Queen, First Maid and court members will receive scholarships, presented by the Plant City Lions Club. Additionally, the judges will be tasked with selecting Miss Congeniality, who will also be awarded a scholarship from the Lions Club. Tickets to attend the pageant can be purchased at the Florida Strawberry Festival Administration Office, Walden Lake Car Wash, Regions Bank, Holiday Inn Express, and Hardeeâ€™s Fashion Center for $15 per ticket. Support these wonderful young women by attending the pageant at 2508 Oak Avenue, Plant City, FL 33563.
Daughter of Steven and Ginger Bradley Senior at Durant High School Dual Enrolled Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Brett E. Frazier Daughter of Gary Varnum and and Angela Frazier Stephanie Douglas Senior at Seffner Christian Academy Senior at Plant City High School Dual Enrolled Southeastern University PAGE
Daughter of John and Ellany Noriega Senior at Durant High School
Daughter of Henry and Melissa Gaudens Senior at Plant City High School
Daughter of Frederick Brown and Tonya Rochele Brewer Junior at Strawberry Crest High School
Daughter of Robby and Laurie Johnson Senior at Seffner Christian Academy
Daughter of Greg and Kelli Messick Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Freddie and Gwen Poole Junior at Durant High School Dual Enrolled at Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of David Cullins and Erin Jackson Senior at Plant City High School Dual Enrolled at Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Paula Chancey University of South Florida
Daughter of Guilermo and Evelyn Suazo Senior at Strawberry Crest High School
Daughter of Jeffrey and Susan Batley Senior at Plant City High School
Daughter of Roger and Trina Miller Junior at Strawberry Crest High School
Daughter of Ken Struth and Kim Struth Thompson Senior at Durant High School
Daughter of Carlos and Ana Lamoutte Junior at Academy of the Holy Names
Daughter of John and Julie Broome Senior at Plant City High School
Daughter of Les and Christine Miller Junior at Plant City High School Dual Enrolled at Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Maribel Sandoval Senior at Plant City High School Dual enrolled at Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Jason and Stephanie Conrad Senior at Plant City High School Dual Enrolled at Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Steven and Ginger Bradley Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Donald and Brigitta Long Daughter of Stacy and Barbie White Junior at Durant High School Junior at Durant High School
Daughter of Shawn and Michelle Tears Senior at Plant City High School Dual enrolled at Hillsborough Community College
Daughter of Elizabeth Ruppert Senior at Plant City High School
Daughter of David and Debbie Dixon University of South Florida
Daughter of Robert and Katrina Nagy Senior at Lakeland Christian School
Daughter of Doug and Karen Bramley Daughter of Floyd and Felicia Graham Senior at Durant High Schooll Senior at Bloomingdale High School
Winter Fest at Jackson Elementary BY CIERRA CRAFT
Jackson’s chorus team sang a variety of songs to entertain the audience at Jackson.
n, Dec. 14, hundreds of families gather at Jackson Elementary School for the 3rd Annual Winter Carnival. With live music, games, food and prizes around every corner, families celebrated the cold weather season as a community. Publix Super Market Charities was a donor of the family event. The bilingual program began with a show by the school’s chorus team. The singers performed a variety of songs from holiday jingles such as “Feliz Navidad” to tunes paying homage to the nation’s military for their service. Families were encouraged to sing along for audience participation. Following the performance, Jackson principal, Mr. Jarrod Haneline, encouraged the young performers with praises of their talent. Mr. Haneline then encouraged families to explore Jackson’s campus and play games set up in each classroom, office and center. Children cheered with glee as they played Pin the Nose on the Snowman, Ring Toss, and winterthemed Plinko, among other games. Kaylee Becmer enjoyed playing the mini golf game set up outside of the school’s library. Each game was free and students were given
the opportunity to choose from an assortment of candy or toys as a prize. In the school’s media center, students, such as Jayme Hopkins, had the opportunity to take photos with Santa if they chose to do so. A photographer was on hand to capture the holiday memories with Mr. Claus. Exception Student Education teacher, Dana Peacock, said the Winter Carnival is important because it creates a sense of community at the elementary school. “These types of events bring the entire community together to support and encourage our students,” said Peacock. “ It's a good opportunity for the students to associate with their teachers in a purely fun activity.” Hotdogs, chips and drink meals were sold for $2 and families had the opportunity to purchase tickets and enter a silent auction for gift baskets. The $250 raised at the event will contribute to the school’s Relay for Life fund. The event not only welcomed winter, but more importantly, it brought the Jackson staff, parents and students together for an evening of fun as the second nine weeks of the school year came to a close.
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Ellel Ministries Spiritual Help and Training BY CHERYL JOHNSTON
Matt and Becky Moore direct the Ellel Ministries center at English Acres in Lithia, Florida.
ince its establishment in Lithia in 2005, Ellel Ministries’ mission and vision, as delineated in Luke 9:11, has been to welcome people, teach them about the Kingdom of God and heal those who are in need. Ellel carries out this mission through healing retreats and teaching events. The teaching events are particularly excellent equipping tools for those who want to understand more about the healing and deliverance ministry, and how to pray effectively for themselves and others. Ellel Ministries seeks to resource the local church – helping pastors and leaders bring healing and discipleship to their flocks. The beautiful rural 140 acres at 1708 English Acres Drive in Lithia provides guests time away from their regular busyness to connect with the Lord in a deeper way. Along with the local directors Matt and Becky Moore, team members are passionate about helping others walk in a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord. They do this mainly through their
EXPLORE School of Healing and Discipleship – which meets one weekend a month for 10 months. The first session of EXPLORE this year starts on January 25 with “The Big Picture.” Non-students may audit any of Ellel’s weekend courses on an individual basis. The organization’s long-term vision is to establish a residential training and ministry center. This will follow the well-established pattern of all other Ellel Ministries centers and offer the following activities: • Training Schools • Personal Prayer Ministry at Healing Retreats and Ministry Days • Pastors & Leaders Retreats • Short Courses • Church Weekends • Off-Site Teaching and Seminars Ellel hopes to offer teaching in Spanish, as well, and be a training hub for those from South America and the Caribbean. Meet the Directors Matt and Becky Moore, who
direct the Ellel Center in Lithia, are both children of missionaries, having spent most of their young lives in Indonesia and Japan, respectively. Matt became involved through a friend, and following a meeting with then director Andy Taylor, he read Peter Horribin's book "Healing Through Deliverance." He sought ministry for himself and experienced “amazing deliverance and healing during that first visit and subsequently through attending Ellel courses.” Becky was similarly renewed and grew spiritually from participation in many courses and Schools. After earning degrees in Theology and Missiology, Biblical Counseling, and Law, Matt practiced law at an international law firm where he was made partner in 2004. Following a life-changing encounter with the Lord in 2005, he surrendered fully to Jesus’ direction for His life, resigned his law partnership in 2006, and became the pastor of worship and missions at Fishhawk Fellowship Church - a position he left in 2014 to become the National Director of Ellel USA. The Moores married in 1988 after meeting at the same Bible college in Springfield, Missouri where Becky completed her Bachelor’s degree. She has served
many volunteer and paid staff positions in churches they’ve attended. Since experiencing the Lord’s healing through Ellel, Becky loves to see others set free from the burdens that prevent true freedom and destiny in the Lord. Register for Upcoming Events For details of short courses, weekend events and Modular Schools, visit ellel.org/usa or phone 813-737-4848. Below follows a few among many: • • • • • •
January 19-20 The Freedom Weekend January 25-26 The Big Picture: Exploring God's Foundations for Life February 1-2 Transformed by the Renewing of the Mind February 12 Healing Service February 15-16 Knowing God: Exploring His Character and Nature March 1-2 Understanding Abuse
The Moores believe Jesus’ offer in Isaiah 61:1-3 to “bind up the broken hearted” is as relevant today as at any other time in history. And they look forward to welcoming you at the center!
Local pastor Joe Kelley and W. Fl. Floyd recently interviewed Matt Moore of Ellel Ministries on WTBN AM Radio 570 & 910.
the message that is imparted to the viewer. All mediums are being accepted from painting, photographs and sculptures. The deadline for submission for artwork is Jan. 16. Two professional artists with extensive art resumes, will be making final art selections, with over 30 to 40 pieces to be featured. Three of which will be awarded cash for Best-In-Show and two honorable mentions. Periphery promises to be more than just a professional art show
Periphery: An Exhibition BY HEATHER DAVIS
lant City is being visited by a professional art exhibit that will be one to not miss, and no, it does not include or ask for anything created that involves a strawberryrelated theme. In fact this exhibit is quite the opposite. Known as Periphery, this art show is asking that artists who submit their work push the boundaries of what is usually seen in our town. The brain child of Clay Hollenkamp, founder of Join the Circus Productions and UnderMedicated Improv, and Shelby Baerwalde, of Miel Arts, began with a chance meeting of the two in a coffee shop. Hollenkamp had recently relocated to Plant City from the D.C. area and saw a burgeoning art scene happening in Plant City. One of the reasons for this momentum is due to the group MAKE Plant City, which meets once a month and encourages artists from every type of medium to participate.
Both Hollenkamp and Baerwalde have extensive backgrounds in both creating art and art administration. Using this experience and passion the two have combined forces to share an art experience that perhaps has not been displayed in Plant City. The location for Periphery will be at the historic Bing Rooming House. The Bing House is a very significant historical location in that it is a brick and mortar reminder of when a huge segment of society was repressed due to segregation and was open for African-American travelers to come through. This location is perfect for the type of art that will be represented by Periphery. The type of artwork that is being encouraged for submission is work that addresses societal issues, focuses on a marginalized population and/ or takes on explicit or implicit bias. However, no specific view is being pushed. Rather the criteria to be met is based on aesthetics and
and will also offer something for everyone, not only just the art aficionado crowd. Live music, food, live painting and other types of artistic exhibitions will also be part of the evening. If You Go Periphery : An Exhibition, Opening Reception, Jan. 25 from 5PM to 10PM Plant City Bing Rooming House Museum, 205 Allen Street, Plant City Facebook: PeripheryARt2018
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Fins Up! PC Dolphins Cheer Wins National Competition BY CIERRA CRAFT
oached by Lori Mull, Robin Bailey, Brandi Talbot, Beedee Martin, & Jessica Stevenson, the Plant City Dolphins 14U Cheer team won first place at the United Youth Football League National Cheerleading Championships on Dec. 8. Coach Mull says the 32 member squad comprised varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders, many newcomers to the sport. “After the regular 2018 Plant City Dolphins season ended, we decided to combine the JV team as well as the Varsity level team to compete in the national level competition at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Dec. 8 and competed in the 14U division with 32 cheerleaders, ages 11-14, with several girls never cheering prior to this season,” said Mull. The combined teams were challenged to learn a new routine three weeks prior to the competition. Mull said some girls were tasked with learning new positions on such short notice. Not only did the Plant City Dolphins cheer team win the national competition, they received the highest score of the day from the judges’ panel. The young athletes competed
Not only did the Plant City Dolphins cheer team win the national competition, they received the highest score of the day from the judges’ panel against teams from across the region, including Dover Patriots, Lakeland Storm and the Pompano Cowboys. Additionally, the Dolphins Cheer Midgets, PeeWee and Mighty Mites age divisions earned 4th, 2nd and 3rd in their age divisions, respectively. Overall, the Dolphins competition cheer teams dominated the National YFL Cheerleading Championships. As the Plant City Dolphins prepare for the 2019 season, Mull says the girls will continue to be successful and are excited for the year ahead coming off a huge win. “The Plant City Dolphins Cheer teams will continue to be successful, the girls learn so much and want to try even harder every season.” said Mull. “I am already thinking of new ideas for this upcoming 2019 season and looking forward to another great year.”
Readers’ Choice Awards Voting Begins Jan. 20 BY CIERRA CRAFT
oting for FOCUS Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards begins Jan. 20 through midnight on Jan. 27. This year, voting is only open for seven days at www.focusplantcity.com Please help Plant City businesses earn the recognition they deserve by casting your votes in over 50 categories. Each day, these hometown businesses, from banking institutions to home repair services to restaurants, serve the Plant PAGE
City community. Receiving the honor of a Readers’ Choice Award acknowledges the commitment these businesses make to the community. Additionally, the titles are trusted by citizens looking for the cream of the crop in the city’s top industries. Winners of the Readers’ Choice Awards will be announced at the FOCUS Magazine 18th Anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Keel & Curley Winery.
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Destiny Cox D estiny Cox is a Certified Veterinary Assistant at Plant City Animal Hospital. Destiny’s passion for animals began as a child. Her interest in animals led to her membership in FFA, where she showed livestock for several years. As a 2018 graduate of Strawberry Crest High School, Destiny is chasing her dream of becoming a Veterinary Technician and then has hopes of becoming an educator to influence youth with an interest in a career in the veterinary field.
Where did your love for animals come from? I was born with it, I guess. We have always had pets growing up, we had 10 pets at once. Dance and cheerleading were my thing, until the sixth grade when I discovered FFA at Marshall. I knew that’s where I was supposed to be. I was in FFA for six years between Marshall and Crest, and I showed pigs for three years. What is a day-in-the-life of a Certified Veterinary Assistant at Plant City Animal Hospital like? We get in at 8:00 a.m. and start seeing clients at 8:30, then we move into surgeries before lunch. Then we start with client visits again at 3:00 p.m. We are just a giant family, we have fun together but we take our jobs seriously. Everyone shares the same passion, so it’s exciting to get up everyday and go to work. What are the most common pet problems you see at Plant City Animal Hospital? Problems are seasonal, so right now, we see a lot of skin conditions. Animals PAGE
have allergies just like we do, which leads to red, itchy skin conditions. The most common illnesses change with the seasons. What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your job? I started working at Plant City Animal Hospital in May, so I have seen puppies grow up from then to now. It’s exciting to know who is coming in, to know them and their pet. The most challenging part is watching pets come and go. It’s so sad to see them ill, but we have a saying in the office: “Treat them well or someone else will.” We just really want to build relationships with our clients and their pets. What are your plans for the future? Go to college and become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Then, work for a clinic while also going to school to pursue a degree in Education. I would like to teach Vet Tech at a local high school. After I began working at Plant City Animal Hospital, I visited Strawberry Crest to talk to the Vet Tech students about job opportunities and remind them to take their classes seriously for success after graduation.
Find more People of Plant City on Facebook. Connecting the community one story at a time. facebook.com/peopleofplantcity Find more People of Plant City on Facebook. Connecting the community one story at a time. facebook.com/peopleofplantcity
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The Fascinating Career of Dr. Robert Carver Black Plant City Doctor 1920 - 1954 BY PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES
Society, participated in the Florida Medical Association and the Southern Medical Association. In his practice over the years he delivered 2,535 babies. Conscious of the cost of medicine for income-strapped families, Dr. Black became his own pharmacist. Setting up a separate room in his office, he prepared the prescriptions he prescribed for his patients. In his latter years Dr. Black specialized in pediatrics, delivering babies throughout East Hillsborough County. But he was known to be a good doctor, and patients were brought to him in emergencies. South Florida Baptist Hospital was still in the planning stages, and local doctors rushed to injured patients who could not get to them. As a hobby, Dr. Black enjoyed woodworking, and became skilled in producing handmade gifts for
his many friends in Plant City. His beloved Ida Belle died in 1950 when Dr. Black was 70 years old. In 1954, as his days for closing his office approached, he made it clear that he was not retiring, just changing his mode of operation. When he closed his office, sold his house, and moved to Orlando in 1955, he took his woodworking shop and his tools to set up his hobby shop in his new location. His office assistant for many years, Mary L. (“Dolly”) Johnson Manning, later followed him and they married in Orlando. Dr. Black lived to be 97 years old, passing away August 2, 1977. He is buried in Myrtle Hill Memorial Park, Hillsborough County, Florida. He had a fascinating life, and the Plant City community was better off having Dr. Black in their midst for so many years.
Dr. Robert Carver Black
is non-retiring retirement party in September 1954 was attended by many leading citizens including Frank Moody, executive vice president of Hillsboro State Bank, Willard McGinnes, of McGinnes Lumber Company, and Dr. Earl Henry Diehl, and many other business and personal friends. Dr. Robert C. Black had been providing medical services to the Plant City community for 34 years, out of the same office at 101 S. Evers Street. His early years were not propitious. He was born in Coaling Station, Alabama, a small village of 190 residents. He had two brothers, William and H. L., and two sisters, Alice and Delma. And he was determined. His education was highly important to him. He pushed himself academically and in 1905 graduated from Birmingham Medical College. He then practiced medicine for two years in Alabama before heading for Florida. Of those first two years Dr. Black said he bought a horse on the installment plan and the owner threw in a saddle, so he could reach his patients on horseback. House
calls were standard in those days in rural areas. Arriving in Dunellon, Florida, in 1907 he bought a horse and buggy to ride the back roads to care for his patients. He married Miss Appie Head in 1909 and in 1910 Dr. Black bought his first automobile. Their sons, Robert C., Jr., was born in 1910, and W. Guy in 1912. They moved to Plant City then returned to Dunellon. The young Appie Black died in Dunellon in 1918. With his two sons, Dr. Black moved to Duval County where he practiced in a very rural sector, later picking up and moving to Plant City for good. Here he flourished. He met a Plant City school teacher, Mrs. Ida Belle Causey Graham; they were married in 1922. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Plant City and later a deacon. In 1924, residents submitted a petition to the School Board in favor of Dr. Black and he was appointed to serve in the vacancy after T. E. Moody resigned. He served on the School Board. He served as vicepresident of the Hillsborough County Medical Association, secretary/ treasurer of the Midland Medical
Dr. Black’s “retirement” dinner
Attendees of Dr. Black’s retirement dinner included Dr. Diehl
Want to become a member of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce? Businesses may join the Chamber online by visiting www.plantcity.org or by calling the office at (813) 754- 3707 and speaking with Membership Director, Norm Nelson.
On Tuesday, Dec. 18, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for new Chamber member, Shampooches, located at 115 West Prosser Drive, Plant City! Shampooches offers grooming services that will keep your pooch looking and smelling great. Services include shampoo, conditioner, ear hair pulling, ear cleaning, blow dry, teeth cleaning, perfume & bows or bandanas. Nail clipping is free for all. Shampooches is happy to work out a customized schedule so your dog stays clean, happy and healthy. Boarding also available. Ask about our military and law enforcement discounts.
On Jan. 15, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce had the opportunity to host a ribbon cutting for R & L Metals, Inc.! R&L Metals is a family owned and operated metal recycling company located in Plant City. "Our reputation has been built on cleanliness, honesty, prompt payment and quality customer service. We treat people the way they want to be treated and are always eager to serve our community! With over 35 years of experience, we are industry leaders in commercial and residential metal recycling. We are the company that thinks outside the box. We can do what they canâ€™t! R&L Metals is open 5 days a week. We invite you to stop by or contact us today for up to date prices and more information on how we can serve you." Address: 405 E. Alabama Street, Plant City Website: www.rlmetals.com Phone: 813.621-3966 PAGE
NINGS By Cierra Craft | Photography by Sassano Photography
Clay Keelâ€™s leadership makes way for new beginnings PAGE
Keel Farms began as a nursery in the 1980s, then transitioned into a blueberry farm in the mid-1990s. Started by Joe Keel, Keel Farms was and is located on Thonotosassa Road in Plant City. That blueberry farm became a multidimensional corporation, when in 2003, Keel used the cull blueberries from the farm to create his first batch of blueberry wine. Keel and Curley Winery was born, becoming Florida’s premier wine destination. In 2013, Keel Farms incorporated Two Henrys Brewing Company, offering craft beers and hard ciders. In 2016, Keel and Curley Winery added a restaurant, named Railcar 91. As of Jan. 1, 2019, Joe’s son, Clay Keel, will serve as owner and president of all aspects of the Keel Farms Group. Following in his father’s footsteps, Clay will lead the 35 person team to expand upon the Keel family’s agribusiness by providing excellent farm-based products and a memorable experience. Clay discusses his vision for the future of the Keel family businesses in 2019 and beyond. Share a bit about your childhood growing up on Keel Farms and the early days of the winery Keel: I grew up working on the family farm with my father and brothers as far back as I can remember. I watched a tree farm turn to a small plant nursery that sold flowers and bushes to Home Depot and Disney in the 80’s and 90’s. My father sees opportunities and makes decision ahead of the crowd and did so in 1995 when he started planting blueberries. After some family moves I ended up finishing High School at Plant in Tampa in 2001 and completed my degree at USF in 2005. During my college years, my father began taking his cull (aesthetically imperfect) fruit and fermenting it into wine. I assisted at the new winery as I could, helping build new production facilities and even making the winery’s first ever wholesale sale to Fine Wine and Spirits on Gandy Blvd. in Tampa in 2004. After college I entered the Army as a Medical Service Corps Officer and did 6 years on active duty. I returned to Florida in 2011 and completed my MBA at Saint Leo University. My brother Ryan and I helped my family grow the winery’s statewide distribution to 500,000 bottles per year and added the Two Henrys beer and cider to our offerings in 2013.
What experience do you have in the industry outside of the family business? How will that experience assist you in leading the companies under Keel Farms Group? Through my professional network I met some investors in the Buffalo, New York area looking to build a brewery. I visited their small town that reminded me of the set of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and knew I wanted to get involved in putting a brewery there. It was my first experience planning, funding, building, and operating a mediumsized business from scratch and I believe that prepared me nicely for the challenges we face at Keel and Curley. The brewery, 42 North Brewing, built distribution all around New York including New York City which taught me a lot about how the beer industry works in some of the most competitive markets in the world. I believe all of these experiences will allow me to lead the Keel Farms team and our agribusinesses into the future. My role is to lead our team of 35 people to create excellent farmbased products and deliver them to the customer in a quality, unique, memorable experience. What brought about your return to Plant City and what led to the decision to take over the companies? I grew up on this farm and the thought of the farm and companies going away or into the hands of another group saddened me deeply. I believe my father and family before me built an amazing one-of-a-kind destination, and like most people that visit, I feel the potential is tremendous. My wife and two daughters share my excitement about the company and look forward to moving onto the property and carrying the company into the future together. Share with readers a little about Keel and Curley, Railcar 91, and Two Henrys Brewery, and how do these various brands work together? Keel Farms is the overarching business that operates our 35 acres of blueberries, peaches, livestock, and produce. The farm delivers these products to the winery and brewery to create beverage products from our fruit and even vegetables to offer a unique farm product to our customers. Railcar 91 is our mobile kitchen that mostly operates on-site providing excellent meals for our tasting room guests. Look for our food offerings to shift soon to a more unique, country farm-to-table, experience.
What are your favorite Keel and Curley products? I’ve always enjoyed the Blueberry Wines and have since they were made in the farmhouse kitchen in the early 2000’s. I’ve taken French wine classes and drank $100 bottles from Europe and California and those are great. But when it comes to enjoying a glass on the patio or with dinner, I would put our Blueberry wine up against similarly priced grape wines any day. Plus, they are made with local Florida blueberries so that bottle didn’t have to get shipped across the country to get to you and pumped full of headacheproducing sulfites to survive the journey. What is your vision for the future at Keel and Curley and Two Henrys? I want to provide a unique Florida Agriculture experience that revolves around quality, sustainability, and community and to make high quality products in a sustainable manor. Keel and Curley Winery, Two Henrys Brewery, and Two Henrys Cider use Florida fruit in our beverage products. We either use our own fruit or cull fruit that cannot be sold at a grocery store due to visual imperfections. This process combined with the family farm aspect is what makes us unique. My vision is to focus on the farm aspect and look to attract more young couples and families from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. Additionally, I want to continue my father’s focus on building a better, more vibrant, community by partnering with local residents, universities, non-profits, and other businesses. Share a bit with readers about the popularity in wine over the last few years and about wine culture in general within Florida. Wine popularity is pretty steady right now. The winery boom happened in the 1990’s and now the number of wineries in the country has settled out and wine sales have leveled off. We’re still in a brewery boom but that seems to be pulling back now as well. In both wine and beer we’ve seen a shift to more approachable, fun to drink, products which I think matches pretty well to what we do. We make easy to enjoy, quality local beverages at a reasonable price and I believe the market is growing for that in Florida. All of this makes me excited especially when combined with our local population continuing to grow at an astounding rate. Keel and Curley is known for its events such as the Blueberry Festival and Pageant, as well as the Peach Festival. What are your hopes to improve upon these events and Keel and Curley's reputation? The team here at Keel Farms built all the annual events, especially the Blueberry Festival, to incredible success over the course of many years. These events are important to the future of the company because they allow us to showcase our products to a large amount of people and bring in much needed revenue to carry the company through the slow summer season. I do have some plans to spread the success of these events across a wider period of time to cut down on the traffic and complexity they create. We’re working to make sure the Blueberry Festival, April 6-7 & April 13-14 this year, will be another tremendously fun day on the farm where friends and family can have a unique experience without spending a ton of money. PAGE
Vicious Vanity Ink
Plant City's Newest Ink Shop BY CIERRA CRAFT
ocated at 1514 S. Alexander St. Suite 201, Vicious Vanity Ink not only offers custom tattoo designs, they also specialize in cover ups, permanent makeup, microblading, scalp micropigmentation, areola reconstruction, and much more. Owner Veronica Dey says clients can expect a personalized experience, tailored to each individuals needs. Dey is an veteran tattoo artist renowned for her vibrant color work. However, she has never pigeonholed herself to one style: She is an award winning black and grey artist as well. In 2016, Dey was recognized as one of Tampa Bay’s top 18 tattoo artists by Expertise Magazine. The ink master has opened her own shop, Vicious Vanity Ink. Not only is the name catchy, Dey says the name came to be because the procedure of getting a tattoo is a vicious process built on vanity.
Joined by fellow artist Zachary “Zac Cap” Capodici and microblading specialist and tattoo apprentice Christina Valeriani, the crew at Vicious Vanity Ink specializes in custom pieces of art ranging from portraits to large color designs to black and gray tattoos. Capodici says the shops commitment to only custom design work set it apart from other studios. Dey previously worked in a private studio, but says the client demand was more than she could handle. She says she was faced with the decision to either turn clients away or hire artists. She chose the latter and said she kept her artistry in Plant City because she enjoyed the hometown feeling. “This town just feels good,” said Dey. “I wanted to start a family and Ybor wasn't ideal. I grew up on a farm so I wanted a homegrown feeling. Plant City isn't overly saturated with tattoo studios either, so it was a nice place to set up shop.”
While appointments are not required, Vicious Vanity Ink recommends clients call for availability. The team encourages all clients to come in for a complimentary consultation prior to any appointments to ensure all specific expectations are met. Clients are encouraged to bring any artwork, photographs, etc. that can assist the artist in the design process. Past clients rave about the artistry at Vicious Vanity Ink and consider it a privilege to wear the masterpieces created by these artist: “Veronica is a great artist and anyone would be lucky to have her art on their body! She’s super nice too, you know how some people can have a bit of attitude… Not her! I can’t wait to have her do more work on me!!” - Shannon Forster “Took our daughter here to get her first tattoo. Christina Valeriani was amazing with her, took her time and made her feel at ease. We highly recommend Vicious Vanity Ink and will be back!” - Susan Delp
“Vicious Vanity Ink is the best place to get a tattoo! The shop is very clean and professional. Everyone is super nice and talented. I got a tattoo from Zac and I love it!!! His work is beautiful!! He puts a lot of time and effort into his pieces and it shows! He is very courteous and professional. I would highly recommend him!!!” - Laura Wilkins Vicious Vanity is hosting their Grand Opening event on Jan. 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. The event is kid-friendly, offering exclusive giveaways, raffles, food and games for kids. Dey and the Vicious Vanity staff welcome the community to the event to meet the artists and tour the shop.
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HED: Early Bird Gets The House BY NATE DAVIS, FLORIDA MORTAGE FIRM
ne of the common reasons home buyers miss out on buying the house they truly wanted is because they were unprepared. Envision this: • You decide to hold off on getting prequalified. • You later find the perfect home, so you decide to offer full price. • Then you start gathering information to get prequalified. • Your Realtor writes an offer for you, but the seller’s real estate agent has received another offer.
• The other offer was presented along with a prequalification or preapproval letter, showing how serious and committed the other buyer was to the transaction. • You frantically try to get approved and organize your finances because you approached the process out of order. • You lose out on the deal because the seller wants a sure thing and doesn’t want the other buyer to walk. It happens. Every single day. And when it does, it’s heartbreaking
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The December 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 are scheduled for January 21st and February 18th at 7:00 PM. There is a President’s meeting on January 21st that starts at 6:00 p.m.. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents. Watch the announcement boards at all entrances for dates and times for special meetings and events. By this time, your 1st half of your 2019 dues should have been paid. Paying your fees in a timely manner is appreciated by the Board, keeps you from being assessed any additional fees or
interest, and helps save money for the community. During the month of December, there were 13 sales in Walden Lake and no sales in Walden Lake East. The average sale price was $262,469 with an average of 39 days on the market. There are currently 26 active listings for sale in Walden Lake with an average list price of $314,961 and an average of 100 days on the market. If you eliminate the one listing in Polo Place, the average list price is $252,420. There are 11 properties Pending Contract with an average list price of $273,952 and average of 39 days on the market. In 2018, there were 143 sales in Walden Lake and Walden Lake East. The average sale price was
Address 4309 Kipling Avenue 104 Granada Court South 1801 Walden Place North 4315 Barret Avenue 3419 Silver Meadow Way 3329 Silvermoon Drive 3218 Kilmer Drive 2909 Sutton Oaks Court 3220 Concord Way 3207 Alcott Avenue 2904 Spring Hammock Drive 2917 Forest Club Drive 2711 Clubhouse Drive
Sales Price $159,000 $178,900 $200,000 $227,500 $235,000 $245,000 $279,900 $290,000 $299,900 $299,900 $322,000 $325,000 $350,000
$250,489and an average of 35 days on the market. In 2017, there were 147 sales with an average price of $238,646 and an average of 39 days on the market. That is a 5% increase in sales price year over year, which is approximately the same year over year increase from 2016 to 2017. A letter of intent package will be going out in the mail to every home in Walden Lake in February. If you are considering running for the Board, you will need to fill this out
Living Area 1402 Sq’ 1542 Sq’ 1653 Sq’ 1618 Sq’ 1851 Sq’ 1809 Sq’ 1856 Sq’ 2830 Sq’ 2432 Sq’ 2209 Sq’ 2649 Sq’ 2430 Sq’ 2870 Sq’
Pool No Community Private Private Private Private Private No Private Private Private Private Private
Garage 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 2 Car 3 Car 2 Car 3 Car
and get it back by the deadline. Although the Holidays are over, The United Food Bank is always in need of non-perishable items and our HOA office is a drop off location. Please consider stopping by the office and drop off a few items and they will get them to the food bank for you. Feel free to contact me about any real estate questions or about this article. NSweet@KW.com or 813-758-9586.
RISING STAR DURANT HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS TEAM CAPTAIN maggie
pate By Taryn Storter Maggie Pate, tennis team captain at Durant High School, is a threetime district champion, a state semifinalist, and a nationally ranked top 100 tennis player. She is a senior and has finished each season undefeated throughout her high school tennis career. Pate not only leads her varsity tennis team at Durant, but she also plays competitive tennis outside of school as well. Tennis is Maggie Pate’s main hobby and takes up most of her time. She practices six days a week and has tournaments every other weekend. She explained, “I don't know where I would be without the sport.” Pate has been playing tennis since she was six years old. Pate sets her goals high and strives to be the absolute best player she can be. She aims to have a successful college career and continuously improve her game. When asked what advice she had for younger athletes, she said, “to stick with what you do and hard work does pay off. Also, you do not have to love the sport necessarily, but love something about the competition that makes all the failures and successes that you experience worth it.” Pate has received a full ride athletic scholarship to play division one tennis for Furman University. Her goal is to become a successful college tennis competitor and to become an essential part of her college team. Pate said, “Being part of the team at Furman will also allow me to grow as a person and build a foundation for my future in all aspects.” Keep watching out for Maggie Pate! She is an amazing student athlete with high aspirations finishing her high school career at Durant High School!
Sports Team of the Month PCHS Boys Basketball BY TARYN STORTER
he Plant City High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team is dribbling into the hearts of Plant City. With an impressive current record of 5-1 in their district, the team is confident going into the rest of the season, just coming off a win against Durant High School on Jan. 8. The Raiders face off against the SCHS Chargers on Jan. 18 at 8:00 p.m. The team is coached by Billy Teeden, and owes much of its great success to Coach Teeden’s expertise
and encouragement. Coach Teeden is the former basketball coach of Armwood and Easy Bay high schools. He also leads Plant City Hoops, LLC, a co-ed summer basketball camp for kids ages six to 14. Teeden is confident the varsity team will make it to playoffs. “We had a tough stretch during Christmas, but we have a great group of kids and a good chance of making it to the playoffs,” said Teeden. The captains of the PCHS team
are Andrew Johnson, Mykel Oyola, and Justyn King. They have led their team to victory throughout the current basketball season. The team is excited to continue its success in the coming weeks before the playoffs later this year. Captain Andrew Johnson explained that his absolute favorite memory on the basketball team was “dunking against Armwood High School. I saw everyone in the stands, my family, friends, and teammates all cheering for me.” The
captains of the Raider’s basketball team are seniors and are enjoying their last season as PCHS Raiders. The team is comprised of Andres Flores, Joshua Dunbar, Andrew Johnson, Wyatt Rogers, Jordyn Manning, Ezereke Dawson, Emmanual Baez, Andrew Walden, Justyn King, Jadyn Strawder, Mykel Oyola, De’Qwan Myers, and Larry Ragan. As the season continues, look for these boys to succeed and make Plant City proud!
902 E. Reynolds St. Plant City 813.756.6999
Award winning Artists casper geist cliff shepard brent springer ron bell mina geist
901 E. Baker St. Plant City 813.752.6173
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Utah Farris BY HEATHER DAVIS
tah Farris is the kind of person you meet once and leaves a lasting impression. Full of stories, life, vim and vigor, this 83-year-old flute maker and flute player will capture your attention. Utah spent his formative years traveling back and forth between Oklahoma and California. At a young age, he was always creating art, so much so that his Christmas gifts would be pencils and paper. Life led Utah down many paths and endeavors, but one thing he is particularly good at is working with wood. Utah found his niche carving birds and ducks of which he captured attention in competitions and garnered a market for selling his carved birds. His attention turned to flutes after he casually picked one up at a flea market and tried to play it. Not liking the sound it made and thinking at the time it was the flute, Utah decided then and there to carve his own flute. For the past twenty years, Utah has been honing his craft of flute making to the point of becoming one of the finest flute makers around. Through this process he has also learned to play the flute and is an active participant in several flute circles. One of which has been going on for the past 16 years in Plant City. The Central Florida Flute Circle starred by Dock Green, meets every first Tuesday of the month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the 1914 Plant City High School Community Center. Utahâ€™s flutes are one-of-a-kind; he continues to incorporate his love of birds by carving them as embellishments on his flutes. It is these types of carvings along with the quality of flutes that Utah makes that puts him in high demand as a flute maker. Many of his flutes are commissioned and sold by word of mouth, as well as at flute gatherings and powwows. To find out more about Utahâ€™s flutes you can visit his facebook page at Flight Feather Flutes or at his website at www.flightfeatherflutes.com.
Words of Wisdom BY WANDA “LEWIS” ANDERSON
appy New Year to all… For me, the New Year is a time to clean out closets and share my no longer needed items with someone who may have a need. So in the spirit of giving: do that, give! Let’s kick off the New Year with some helpful tips: Cleaning ceiling fans is often overlooked, it’s a job we sometimes put off. Here’s two great tips to clean your ceiling fans. First, make sure ceiling fans are off at the fan not just the switch. Use an ole pillowcase and spray the inside with your favorite furniture polish. Then place the pillowcase over the fan blade of the ceiling fan. Underneath fan blade gather up excess pillowcase and pull backwards toward end of fan blade. All the dust and dirt will fall into the pillow case, repeat with each fan blade. Another helpful tip is using a paint roller and a mop or broom extension. Simply take the mop or broom extension and screw into the end of the paint roller. You may not even be aware that the end of the roller handle has threads to screw in an extension. Some mops or plastic handle brooms have the threaded ends you can twist off the broom and use the extension. Then, spray
the roller with furniture polish and roll the top of the ceiling fan blades. The fluffier the paint roller the more dust and dirt will stick. Speaking of pillowcases, a great way to save space in storing your bed sheet sets is to fold and place matching fitted sheet, top sheet and pillowcase inside the matching pillow case. You will have an entire set together when it’s time to change your sheets. If your toilet flushes slowly, the rinse holes under the rim may be clogged with mineral deposits. Use a hand mirror to see the holes under the rim of the toilet. Bend a metal coat hanger flat and probe the tip into the holes to poke out any deposits. You can clean out those clogged holes without ever getting your hands dirty. This month, I wanted to give a shout out to Patterson Companies in Plant City. I just started working there and absolutely love it. I am responsible for locating new business development opportunities. Patterson is an asset backed brokerage company that has been serving the U.S. for over 30 years. So if you need a full load shipped, please contact me! Until next time relax, enjoy and be thankful… PAGE
Improvement League of Plant City presents
ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. FESTIVAL January 11 – 26, 2019 UNITY STARTS HERE; THE WORK CONTINUES! Culture, Heritage, Education, Legacy Discover Plant City’s African American Historic Trail
Opening Ceremony Marshall Middle School FREE 1130am – 100pm
Parade Historic Downtown Featuring 6 marching bands 100pm to 230pm
Rhythm & Rhyme “The Power of the Pen” A Night of Expression Poetry, Comedy and Music Pant City Cornerstore 7pm – 10pm
Drumline Battle, Food Vendor & Concerts MLK Community Center Baseball Field #1 1601 E. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd 11am – 8pm
MLK Leadership Breakfast Trinkle Center HCC Plant City Tickets are $35.00 per person Keynote Speaker Ms. Liesta Sykes
MLK Day of Community Service Bing House Museum 730am – 1230pm
MLK Gospel Fest Hosted by Gospel METS St. Mary Community Church 4pm – 6pm FREE
January 26 Boardwalk to Health Fair Mt. Olive Baptist Church 10am – 1pm
For more information www.plantcitymlkfestival.com or call 813-704-5800
ALWAYS GROWING WITH YOU Rural America has trusted Farm Credit for over a century. No other lender has the clear understanding of agriculture or the passion and commitment to serve like Farm Credit. You owe it to yourself to work with a lender who understands your business. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help you keep growing.
Dinosaur World BY BARBARA ROUTEN
million years ago. “Many grown-up guests get their dinosaur info from movies,” Doccerson said. “They’re fantastic, but they’re movies! We’re a theme park with dinosaurs; we understand, but here you get to dive a little deeper. Certain dinosaurs aren’t flashy enough for movies. Others would never have met. You’ll learn here they’re from different eras; dinosaurs tell the incredible history of the earth itself.” Included in the admission price are shows, exhibits, an interactive boneyard, giant puzzle and shaded playgrounds. Benches and picnic tables are scattered about; since there is no restaurant, visitors may bring food in with them. For a fee, children may dig for fossils, excavate gems, or celebrate a birthday.
Admission (tax not included) is $16.95, $11.95 for children three to 12, free for under three and $14.95 per senior 60+. Active military: free with ID and $1 discount per dependent with ID. Annual passes are available. The park is ADA accessible, with a limited number of wheelchairs for $5 rental with photo ID. See www.dinosaurworld.com or Dinosaur World’s Facebook page for more information.
Dinosaur World 5145 Harvey Tew Rd Plant City, FL 33565 Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (813) 717-9865 https://dinosaurworld.com/florida
Paleontologist Stevo Doccerson contrasts the small size of an actual dinosaur claw from the Jurassic Period with another, larger claw from a more intimidating dinosaur depicted in a movie.
inosaurs have been on earth at least 66 million years but in Plant City, dinosaurs have stood tall for 20 years. In 1998, Dinosaur World opened where Gator Jungle used to be, off I-4 at Branch Forbes Road. It’s a magical place, especially for young children and their families, who can see more than 200 life-sized, realistic-looking dinosaur replicas throughout the eerily prehistoric-seeming rainforest setting. A few statues, in the museum, are animatronic. The Svensson family opened the park (and two later ones, in Kentucky and Texas) to entertain and educate. Signs identify all creatures by name, diet, era, and location. Meat-eating dinosaurs are sequestered in a section with a warning sign for the squeamish, since they are represented in the act
of feasting on prey. Stevo Doccerson, age 41, has worked at Dinosaur World nearly five years. This paleontologist from St. Petersburg first became interested in dinosaurs at age eight, while helping at a dig in Michigan. At Dinosaur World, he said, “you have to know how to talk to people who are three and want to tell you everything they know about dinosaurs AND keep the adults who drove them here engaged as well, which is no easy feat!” Dinosaurs level the playing field. “Here,” he said, “kids get to show off to their adults. We talk to the kids as equals, and they talk to us as if they were adults.” An adult’s favorite dinosaur may be a T-Rex, but a kid might say a pachycephalosaurus, another dinosaur species that dwelled in North America approximately 65
With a nod to the movies, Dinosaur World uses some bright hues on this dilophosaurus, created as the "Jurassic Park" version.
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Candy’s Corner BY CANDY OWENS
was looking at an old set of World Book Encyclopedias from 1968 the other day and it made me think back to a time when my parents gifted my sister and I with a complete set along with a snappy wooden bookshelf to keep them in. Back in those days it was really something to have a set of “World Books”, you see… that was our version of today’s internet. Our family referred to the world books for information on just about anything. When my sister and I had to do a book report on a specific state, country, animal, person, place, or thing, we went to the “World Books”. If we had to build an Indian Village based on a specific Indian Tribe for school then we went to the “World Books”. If we had to dress in the native costume from a specific country for a school play, then we went to the “World Books”. Other than the Bible, the World Book Encyclopedias were considered the “Holy Grail” for knowledge at our house. I thought it might be fun to look through an old “World Book” so I ran my finger over an old set and stopped on the book marked with the letter T. I opened the old book and I immediately smelled that old familiar smell, the smell of school work and knowledge. HAHA! I stopped on the page with the word Television. It gave the definition as: Television or TV, is a modern wonder of electronics. It brings the world into your home in sight and sound. Turn on your TV set and you can see a baseball player hit a home run. You can watch a Broadway play, or be taken on the scene of a fire. You can see and hear the President of the United States deliver a speech. Or a teacher on TV can bring a classroom into your home.
www.HopewellFuneral.com Television works in much the same way as radio. In radio, sound is changed into electromagnetic waves which are sent through the air. In TV, both sound and light are changed into electromagnetic waves. The name television comes from the Greek word tele, meaning far, and the Latin word videre, meaning to see. Thus, television means to see far. In 1884, the first electromechanical television was developed by a German student by the name of Paul Gottlieb Nipkow. However, the mere invention of the television did not mark the beginning of the broadcast television era. Electronic Television and the Color Television would soon follow. WOW! Now how is that for specific information on a Television? Weren’t World Book Encyclopedias really something? (To this day, I still have the original set that my parents gifted my sister and I with tucked away in a cabinet. I can still go to them for information and I would never throw them away!) Let’s move ahead to today, some 51 years after I received my fabulous set of “World Books”, where we find that Television has played an extremely large part of the way that the modern world communicates. In reality, the television may have revolutionized the way that our world works more than any other thing except possibly the internet. However there is no good way to make a comparison between the internet and the television, as the internet is far too young. The internet has only been around for a few decades and the television is fast approaching the century mark. Today one of the biggest parts of the television broadcasting
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networks are the commercials. Commercials are merely paid advertising that is shown in between clips of sporting events, movies, or television shows. For example, let’s take a look at the Super Bowl from this past year. Millions of people tuned into this past year’s NFL Super Bowl and many of these people did not even tune into watch the game, but to watch the commercials. According to CNN.com, CBS reportedly sold 30 second ads to eager companies for 2.6 million dollars. This is an insane amount of money for 30 seconds of airtime. However the amount of people that were communicated through this 30 second ad must be a good economic investment as the amount of money for one of these 30 second Super Bowl ads has increased nearly every year. My how times have changed! I can remember going to my Grandparents house on Saturday nights to watch The Lawrence Welk Show with them. My sister and I would sit on the floor in front of the television set and listen to the singers sing, watch the dancers dance, and not say a word until the commercials came on. That was the time when we talked, got up and got a snack, or made a run for the powder room. As a kid, it seemed like The Lawrence Welk show had commercials that appealed to the “Old Folks” like: Geritol, the “feel better and stronger faster with just two tablespoons for people with tired blood medicine”. (Hey, I think that I might could use some of that “Old Folks” stuff now. HAHA!!!) We as kids loved most of the commercials on television, not
for the amount of money that the sponsors paid, but for the groovy jingles that stuck in our heads like: “Lemon Pledge that ides your dusting bringing luster to the wood”, “RC Cola with the mad, mad taste”, or “What’s the best tuna? Chicken of the Sea”, and Mrs. Olsen drinking her Folgers Mountain grown coffee that was “good to the last drop”, or “Shake”, “Shake”, “Shake a Puddin”, and how about: “McDonald’s is your kinda place, it’s such a happy place”, and “Slinky, Slinky, everybody knows it’ Slinky”, and “Oh I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner”, and “In the valley of the jolly-ho-ho-ho!Green Giant” and “Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat”, and how bout…”Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh! What a relief it is”, and “Hot dogs, Armour hot dogs” just to name a few. We had some catchy jingles didn’t we? In 2010 the IPlayer incorporated a social media aspect to its internet television service, including Facebook and Twitter. Other devices that allow interactivity- such as the Apple TV, Google TV and Chromecasthave made it possible for users to access content through the internet on their TVs and social media websites like You Tube. Also the use of the television for video games, especially on consoles such as Wii, has contributed to a growing kinaesthetic connection between television and viewers. What would Paul Gottlieb Nipkow think of his Television and the whole broadcast television era? I think he would take words from a famous TV jingle: “You’ve come a long way baby!”
Candy’s Gettin’ Serious! BY CANDY OWENS
t’s 2019. Happy New Year! Well, I am very certain that the good Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He put me here in Plant City, Florida a little over 56 years ago. My life and my new found relationship with my health is pretty much like the fruit that our little town is famous for. I am learning what our hard working, strawberry farmers lives must be like. I am up early every morning like it or not. I have to rid myself of the old stuff (old strawberry plants) to make room for the new and beautiful crop. I have to give myself plenty of water, vitamins, and proper nutrition (fertilizer) to grow. I have to
walk many miles (through the rows of plants) in order to embrace what is changing on a day-to-day basis, and I must never stop the process or all my efforts will fold up and wither away. It is a 24/7 job. But, I must see it through. I cannot ever give up if I am to make it to the my goal (the farmer’s market). I am happy and excited for the future of my health and well being. I will never be able to express to you all the wonderful changes that my trainor, Mike Gartz, has brought to my life. He is right there beside me during all the blood, sweat, and tears. He is there to encourage me when I am under the weather or something
gets in the way. He will call me, text me, speak LOUDLY to me if need be. WHATEVER it takes he is there and he is dedicated to me. He once told me that I can never give up because he won’t let me! Now, that is a true friend and trainor. He shows me everyday that I am allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously. He wants me to close my eyes and imagine the best version of me possible. He wants me to see that is truly who I am, and to let go of any part of me that does not believe it. Keep me in your prayers,
I am happy and excited for the future of my health and well being.
Leaders in Faith JD and Angie Woodside BY CHERYL JOHNSTON
hen JD and Angie Woodside joined Plant City Church of God as Worship Arts pastors in 2006, they moved far from their families. But “through the many loving souls here,” they credit, “we’ve gained countless brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.” Married in 1998, the Lee University Campus Choir members earned their degrees (Angie - BA in Vocal Performance and MA in Church Music; and JD - a BA in History Education and working toward his MDiv at the Pentecostal School Of Theology). And after 20 years of ministry through services, concerts, revivals and “living the dream,” JD adds, “The most amazing woman on planet Earth still makes my heart flutter.” Today, the Ordained Bishop in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and his wonderful wife Angie are also gifted Bible teachers who cherish the freedom to homeschool their four musically-talented, children: Jayden (13), Julian (9), Ava (8), and Jensen (7). Share a little of your journey to Christ. JD: At age four, I asked Jesus into my heart at the altar one Sunday during the kids devotional time. After my 35-year-old father died (I was just six), Mom often shared how she prayed God, my heavenly Father, would fill the void left by my earthly father’s early death. He did, because I recall many younger moments of relying on God, as my best friend, confidant, father, and the guide to my footsteps. During my junior year at Lee, one supernatural experience with my heavenly Father eternally changed me. While ministering with the Power Unlimited group at youth camps, I
was the ‘fun time’ leader. Right in the middle of acting CRAZY, I heard God whisper in my heart, “You have been a fool to make people laugh all your life. Will you be a fool for me?” I stopped doing the worm and began telling the kids what God was speaking to me. Deciding on that stage to be a fool for Christ, I was instantaneously delivered from my ‘potty-mouth’ and interest in pornography! The thought of God’s grace still puts a lump in my throat.” Angie: When I was 10 at a North Georgia youth camp, a lady’s dramatic monologue of The Pilgrim’s Progress so touched my heart, I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and be Lord of my life! I’ve been actively involved in church ever since, starting with choir at age 12. Over time I’ve served in nursery, children/ youth, music/drama, sound team, and as a teacher! What do you enjoy most about serving God, the church, and people. JD: Every day in ministry offers new challenges, opportunities, and adventures. I am always open to WHATEVER our creative Father asks me to do. Angie: Serving the church and people is most fulfilling for me when I am close to the Lord. It’s overwhelming to consider that His love and desire for relationship with me motivated Him to give His Son to cover my sin, so I can have a relationship with the Holy Father! As I pursue that relationship through prayer and reading God’s Word, I am filled with His love. This moves me to serve others and share what I’ve been given. When we make Him the delight of our life, ‘all these things will be added.’ He will provide more than enough for our needs when we center our lives on Him!
JD and Angie Woodside enjoy leading the Worship Arts Ministry at Plant City Church of God and homeschooling their four children, shown L-R: Julian, Ava, Jayden, and Jensen.
Can you offer advice to those not yet established in a faith? JD: We can count on only one absolute, one being who will never let us down, one foundation upon which we can build everything else — and that is Jesus Christ. A life rooted in Him will not be devoid of heartache or trouble, but it can be like a strongly-rooted, wellwatered garden that will withstand
life’s storms. Jesus is the only way, truth, and life – and the only way to our Creator, our Father, is through Him. His arms are always open to EVERYONE who will come to this saving knowledge and experience His unimaginable, inexplicable, and overwhelming love.
CJ Callins Senior of the Month BY KYLE HAMILTON
Raelyn F Hudson Senior of the Month BY HALEY GARRETT
FA officer, volunteer, and baton twirler Raelyn Hudson is a true leader at Strawberry Crest High School. Raelyn has been involved with agriculture for 11 years. She first served in 4-H throughout middle school. Her agriculture career took off when she started showing chickens and rabbits which then led to showing beef cattle. She has a cattle operation that has Brangus, Brahman, Angus, and commercial calves. Raelyn has shown steers at the Florida Strawberry Festival, the Florida State Fair, and the Hillsborough County Fair. Besides showing Raelyn is very active in FFA from holding an officer position at Strawberry Crest for four years to running community service opportunities, to competing in the Florida FFA Food Science CDE and placing third high individual. When Raelyn’s not doing things with agriculture, she is a competitive baton twirler. Both her mother and grandmother were baton twirlers in the past, so you can imagine it is in her blood. She has twirled for 15 years with the Patrick Patriots Twirling Group. Every summer, Raelyn travels to Notre Dame University to compete in the NBTA American Youth Parade, where she has become a national champion twice and placed top ten in many events. Raelyn hopes to attend the University of Central Florida to study Forensic Science with a minor in business so that she can continue to run her grandfather’s and father’s cattle ranch after college. PAGE
rom PCHS swim meets to Raider football games, you have most likely seen CJ Callins on the sidelines filming a video for the Raider Television Network. Whatever the event may be, CJ is there with video equipment in hand, ready to cover the story. His love for film is expressed through his creative Raider Television Network videos and the effort he puts into them. Additionally, CJ runs his own entertainment company where he offers video production and DJ services. Recently, CJ had the opportunity to illuminate his skills as a DJ at the Plant City High School Homecoming dance, where he had the whole school on their feet dancing. CJ is also famous—or infamous, depending on what school you attend--for directing and filming the “The Critter Side” Durant parody video, which has accumulated over 3,000 views on YouTube. Aside from CJ’s dedication to his family and videography, he also devotes his time and energy into the community while honing his passion for film. In spite of the hours he spends in the studio editing and formatting his videos, he has also managed to find time to excel academically as an honors student at Plant City High School. When it comes to extracurricular activities, CJ was elected Senior Class Historian and Student Government Vice President, while he also serves as a member of the AVID Public Relations Team. CJ embodies the Raider spirit and has made this evident through his fervent school spirit and his compassion for the student body of Plant City High School. He is a hardworking student who strives for nothing but success when it comes to representing his community. After graduating from Plant City High School, CJ hopes to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design where he will major in film production to pursue his dream of becoming a professional filmmaker. Be sure to watch the movie credits in future feature films because you are sure to see CJ Callins name on the big screen.
Creamy Lemon Poppyseed Dressing + Strawberry Avocado Salad RECIPE BY VICTORIA WATKINS SGRO
Notes Servings: 4 people | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes Ingredients Lemon Poppyseed Dressing: 1/2 cup organic greek yogurt (full fat) 1/4 cup grapeseed or other mild oil 2 tbsp raw local honey 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tbsp poppyseeds
Strawberry Avocado Salad: 8 oz spinach or mixed greens 1 lb strawberries 1 ripe avocado 1 cup almonds or walnuts* 4 oz crumbled goat cheese or feta
Prepare the dressing. Add all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until everything is well combined. Pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Plain or roasted nuts are great in this salad, but you can step it up a notch with some candied nuts! See my Berry Balsamic Salad recipe for an easy way to make lightly candied nuts.
Wash, dry, and hull the strawberries. Cut into slices. Dice the avocado in chunks. Roughly chop the nuts. Layer the greens with the strawberries, avocado, crumbled cheese, and nuts. Serve the salad with a hearty drizzle of creamy dressing and enjoy!
If you try this recipe, be a gem and tag @ahintofgarlic on Instagram and Facebook. Victoria loves hearing from readers and seeing your beautiful photos.
Ole' Tampa Cubans Plant City's Taste of Tampa BY CIERRA CRAFT
404 N. Alexander Street Plant City, Florida 33566 813-652-8017 Hours: Monday- Saturday: 7:00AM to 8:00PM Sunday: Closed Breakfast served until 10:30 a.m. Cash and Credit Cards Accepted
s a child, Dwayne Williams vividly remembers the largerthan-life shrimp boats pulling in to Tampa Bay. Many Saturdays, Williams and his family visited the Port of Tampa, where his father worked. The children were treated to authentic Devil crabs and a trip to the drive-in movie theater near the Causeway. These fond memories left an impression on the young Dwayne. As a tribute to days of yesteryear and time spent with his father, Williams opened Ole’ Tampa Cubans in Mulberry in Oct. 2016. Williams’ father assisted in the construction of the restaurant. Unfortunately, his father passed away in March 2018, just nine months prior to the opening of the Ole’ Tampa Cubans’ Plant City PAGE
location. The restaurant pays homage to the history of the good ole’ days of Tampa Bay and the influence Spanish, Cuban, and Italian immigrants had on local cuisine. Complete with an Ybor City-style trolley car popping out of the wall and models of shrimp boats on display, guests step back in time at Ole’ Tampa Cubans. With fresh Cuban bread from Tampa’s historic La Segunda Central Bakery, Ole’ Tampa Cubans crafts each El Cubano with care. Sticking with tradition, the El Cubano is stacked with yellow mustard, Swiss cheese, pickles, and the bountiful trio of meats: ham, Genoa salami and pulled pork, slow roasted each
day. Ole’ Tampa Cubans also offers an American Cuban, which is the traditional cuban topped with house sauce, crisp lettuce and sliced tomato. Each sandwich is available at $6.25 for a half portion or $7.50 for a full portion. Williams says each element of the sandwich is a calculated effort. With just the right amount of mustard and the precise placement of the meat and cheese, Ole’ Tampa Cubans’ sandwiches are reminiscent of the historic Tampa style. The restaurant’s meticulous care adds to the dining experience. “A lot of thought goes into each Cuban everyday,” said Williams. “We are true to representing the authentic flavors of Old Tampa.” Ole’ Tampa Cubans offers other authentic favorites, including Devil crabs, hand rolled daily and available in two portion sizes at $3.50 and $5.50, respectively. With a crunchy deep fried crust, each footballshaped delicacy is stuffed with real crab meat, containing no fillers. Additionally, diners can enjoy an extra large serving of Garlic Lime Cilantro rice, topped with black beans, onions, homemade pico de gallo, cilantro and a lime wedge for $7.95. Looking for a midday pick-
me-up? No worries. Stop by for Buttered Cuban toast and a medium Cafe con Leche, available all day, for $5.00 or Spanish Bean Soup for $4.95 for a cup portion. The $2.49 guava pastries are made daily by Williams' wife, Liesel. While guests are always welcome to enjoy their meal in the dining room, miss the crowd and call ahead to pick up at Ole’ Tampa Cubans’ pickup window. Additionally, families of four or more can call ahead to pre-order Family Platters. Ole’ Tampa Cubans also offers catering services for parties, events and meetings. In the near future, patrons can expect announcements about weekly lunch specials, as well as the installation of a patio for outdoor dining. Additionally, Williams says the restaurant will be available for delivery via Bite Squad in the coming weeks. Williams and his wife, along with his sister and manager, Marisa welcomes feedback from the community to continue to sell quality food while building a relationship with customers. The staff at Ole’ Tampa Cubans invites the community to come in, sit for a spell and try Plant City’s Taste of Tampa.
events can't miss
Saturday, Jan. 19
Sat. Jan. 19
Plant City’s 33rd Annual MLK Freedom Parade
Sat. Jan. 26
East Hillsborough Art Guild DeStach Bash & Craft Supplies Sale
Tues. Jan. 29
Open Mic Comedy Night
Saturday, Feb. 09
Sun. Feb. 03
Superbowl Sunday Celebration at GNHAM
7-10AM Partake in this PC tradition with a 1 mile, 5k or 10k run while raising funding for charities at the 11th annual Strawberry Distance Challenge. Medal, t-shirts, tons of strawberries for all finishers! Walden Lake Polo Fields @ 3035 Griffin Blvd. Register at strawberrydistancechallenge.com Cost: $25-$40 Info: Mike Nelson, (813)-719-0244, email@example.com
Mon. Feb. 11
PC Garden Club Meeting
Florida Strawberry Festival Queen’s Scholarship Pageant 6PM Young women, ages 16-20, will compete for the title of 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. For over 80 years, Plant City has been represented by royalty, with the first queen Charlotte Rosenburg. With the rising cost of college tuition, the Plant City Lion’s Club provides the queen, first maid, court and Miss Congeniality with scholarships for their college education. Tickets to the pageant can be purchased at the Florida Strawberry Festival Administrative Office, Regions Bank, Walden Lake Car Wash, & Hardee’s Fashion Center. FSF Grimes Agricultural Center @2508 W. Oak Ave. Cost: $15 Info: Gail Lyons, 813-967-6366
Saturday, Feb. 02 11th Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner
6:30PM Benefitting the United Food Bank of PC, the Celebrity Chef Dinner will feature chefs Hills. County Sheriff Chad Chronister and PC Police Chief Ed Duncan. Each will showcase their skills in the kitchen at the event and raise money to end hunger in our community. Trinkle Center at HCC @ 1206 N. Park Rd. Cost: $100 per person Info: Leigh Scott, (813)-764-0625
Strawberry Distance Challenge 2019
1PM Celebrate Plant City’s diversity at this community event, presented by Improvement League of PC, CDC.The parade begins at MLK Blvd & Wheeler Street, heading east on MLK Blvd. Featuring six marching bands and community groups, the parade is sure to be a good time for everyone. Cost: Free Info: William Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org; (813) 757-6760
10AM Join EHAG for a rummage sale of gently used art supplies, tools, books, materials and other miscellaneous studio treasures. This event takes place outdoors and is open to the public. First United Methodist Church’s Wesley Center @ 303 N. Evers St. Cost: Free Info: Ruth Bolles, email@example.com
8PM 1916 Irish Pub presents Open Mic Comedy Night! Hosted by LANNY Z, enjoy an evening of laughter with good drinks, great food and a great vibe. 1916 Irish Pub @ 2309 W. Thonotosassa Rd. Cost: Free Info: (813)- 756- 6504
3-9PM Join Pastor Calvin “Pee Wee” Callins, Dr. Tandria Callins and the Greater New Hope Anointed Ministries Family for a NFL Super Bowl LIII Celebration. Everyone is asked to wear their favorite team jersey or colors to Church. The event includes a Potluck dinner; please bring a dish to share! Greater New Hope Anointed Ministries @ 2104 Mud Lake Road. Cost: Free Info: Deacon Ken Gray, (813)-403-4264
9:30AM Susan Dumke of Blues Berry Farm will join the PC Garden Club as guest speaker. Join the club for coffee at 9:30 AM, meeting starts at 10 AM. 1914 PC High School Community Center @ 605 N. Collins St. Cost: Free Info: Lisa Firm, (813)-404-4922
Ongoing Mondays Weekly
Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club
7 AM @ South Florida Baptist Hospital Community Rm. Info: George Banning, 813-759-1638
1st & 3rd Mondays Monthly
Improvement League of Plant City 7 PM @ Historic Glover School Conference Room 5104 Horton Rd. Info: William Thomas, 813-757-6760
2nd & 4th Mondays Monthly
Plant City Commission Meeting 7:30 PM @ City Hall 302 W. Reynolds St. City Clerk: 813-659-4237 (December: 2nd Monday only)
3rd Monday Monthly
Family Community Advisory Council
5 - 6:30 PM @ 639 E. Alexander St., Plant City Info: Ladislao Sanchez 813.752.8700 Info: 813-752-1220
1st Tuesdays Monthly
Economic Development Corp. Meeting
2 PM @ PC Chamber of Commerce unless announced 106 N. Evers St. Info: Jake Austin, 863-712-0655
1st Tuesdays Monthly (Sept-May) Arts Council of Plant City
7 PM @ PC Chamber of Commerce 106 N. Evers St. Info: Dodie White, 813-752-5156
2nd Tuesdays Monthly
GFWC Woman’s Club of Plant City 10:30 AM @1110 N. Wheeler St. Info: Nancy Miller, 813-754-2544
MAKE Plant City
7PM Location varies each month. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd & 4th Tuesdays Monthly American Legion– Norman McLeod Post #26 6 PM @2207 W. Baker St. Info: 813-752-8608
4th Tuesdays Monthly
American Legion Auxiliary Post #26 6 PM @2207 W. Baker St. Info: 813-752-8608
Hot Coffee Topics
7:45 – 9 AM @ 101 E J Arden Mays Blvd Info: http://www.plantcitymainstreet.org; 813-210-9926 Fees: $5 Non-member suggested contribution
Plant City Lions Club
12 Noon @ 1101 Goldfinch Drive Info: Tony Lee, 813-752-7202
Plant City Kiwanis Club
12 Noon @ BuddyFreddy’s Restaurant 1101 Goldfinch Drive Info: David Wolf 813-717-9300
2nd Thursdays Monthly
GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Plant City 7PM @1110 N. Wheeler St. Info: Lisa Rhodes, 813-376-8294 Fridays & Saturdays Weekly
Live Music @ O’Brien’s Irish Pub 8 PM @ 1701 S. Alexander Street Info: 813-764-8818 www.obrienspubsplantcity.com
4th Thursdays Monthly
Retro Movie Night
6:33-8:33 PM @ 101 East J. Arden Mays Blvd Info: 813-752-1220
Last Fridays Monthly
Java & Jeans
8 – 9:30 AM Informal networking w-donuts/coffee provided. Location varies each month. Info: Norm Nelson 813-754-3707
Created by Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews
GIVING THANKS www.HopewellFuneral.com FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1971
ACROSS 1. Cake decorator 5. Flower stalks 10. Ms. McEntire 14. Long-running Broadway play 15. Depended 17. Get even for 20. Beginning of Psalm 107 23. Distress 24. Self-addressed envelope: abbr. 25. Rope that restrains 26. Ridiculous 28. Curvy letter 29. Hunter, for one 31. Dark color 34. Start of many California cities 35. Mum to George and Charlotte 36. Certain NCO 39. Big bill 40. Helper: abbr. 41. Did a postwedding task 48. Mr. Burr 49. Plunder; pillage 50. With 120 Across, song from “Gigi” 54. On the house 55. Short-tailed weasels 58. Nav. bigwig 60. Wild destruction 61. Type of cap 62. Barbarian 63. Observer 65. Analyses of the conscience to think of sins 67. Metal refinery 70. “Once __, always a Marine!” 72. “Thanks, Juan!” 75. Old Russian leader’s title 77. Here in France 78. And not 81. One with a bug 82. From __ Z 84. 962 86. Nincompoop 87. Used up 88. Loos and others 90. Esbjerg residents 91. Bob Hope’s signature song 97. European range 100. Pass away 101. Nettle 102. “__ old cowhand from the Rio...” 103. Spoil 104. Mechanical man 106. Casual farewells 107. Make fun of 110. Martin, for one
by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews
112. Palms off 117. Suffix for favor or meteor 119. “My __ Sal” 120. See 50 Across 125. Make certain 126. Jeweled accessories 127. Does a lawn chore 128. Take care of 129. Krona spender 130. Dagger
30. 32. 33. 35. 36. 37. 38. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 51. 52. 53. 55. 56. 57. 59. 64.
DOWN 1. Climbing plants 2. Cards in two decks 3. Summers abroad 4. Knocking sound 5. Madre’s title: abbr. 6. Circus shelter 7. Actress Sommer 8. Cloudiness 9. Clockmaker __ Thomas 10. “Hooray!” 11. First lady 12. Misrepresent 13. Shortly 14. Parts of psyches 16. Female animals 18. Ground covering 19. Millay and Ferber 20. Run up a tab 21. Actor __ Ledger 22. Taught 27. Suffix for persist or absorb 1
66. 67. 68. 69. 71. 72. 73. 74. 76. 78. 79. 5
107 108 109 117
50 58 63
80. Optimistic 83. Depart 85. WWII naval transport 86. Water barrier 89. “__ had a hammer...” 90. TV room, often 92. Fuss and bother 93. Pen point 94. Smack 95. Means of communication 96. Learns very well 97. Dawns, for short 98. Shaping machine 99. Pretty oneself 104. Musical show 105. Honk the horn 107. Concur 108. Buddies 109. Golfer Ernie 111. Extensive 113. 3-petaled flower 114. Cool dish 115. Goodyear product 116. Part of the name of many South African towns 118. Actor Richard 121. Sea eagle 122. Beatty or Sparks 123. Poet Eliot’s initials 124. Mamie’s man
Arthur, for one Halloween greeting Building site Barbie’s beau Witt and Lipinski Wanderer You: Fr. “What __!”; “Alas” Float on the breeze __ avis City in Utah Sock part Gun owners’ org Take the gun away from Mr. Allen Address abbr. Negative prefix Catholic men’s org. Old New York stadium __, Oklahoma Canadian prov. “Thanks, Pierre!” Set aside for a special purpose VI and VII Perfumes Glee Waist-length jackets __-en-Provence Krypton or xenon Tear Stein beverage Script learner Prohibited thing River in Poland
© Puzzle Features Syndicate
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W R O T A A R O F R E E T A M S G R A C A I L E S P E N T S E O G WO E S
R E V U E M I R T H
S T O H U N E L T A S A T A A N K D I E O B O F E N F R E N D
I C E R V I T A I V E T E S A S T K A E T N
S T E M S R E L I E H A N K S T E T E T H A B T E S G T H A N K Y O R A P I A T S E Y E E R A T S A R O C M N I T A S F O R I R K T O I S T O R L I T I A R S W E
R E D A V O T H E E R S A B L I O O U N O T N E A D M R E X M A R I I C I L X I I S T H E M I M A T A S S I T T T L E A S R D E S
B A E N G E L O R D I N A N E E S A N A S S T E S T H A N K H A V O C A M E N S N E N O R D O D O D A N E S E M O R Y N A P E E G A L G I R L S A K E S N E E
Saturday , February 23, 2019 10 am FREE ADMISSION $5 PARKING THINGS TO DO: Free Flights for Kids (limited) provided by EAA Young Eagles ages 8-17 registration closes at 1pm Scouts BSA Merit Badge Opportunities Aviation & Automotive Maintenance Cub Scout Activities
DISPLAYS & DEMONSTRATIONS: Planes Helicopters Remote Control Planes Model Trains Automobiles K9 Demos (11, 12:30, & 2) PC Police & Fire Departments CSX Safety Computer Flight Simulators
Vendors Kids' Play Area
813 -754-3707 /PlanesTrainsAutos
OPENING CEREMONIES 10:30AM TROPHY PRESENTATION 2:30PM
FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 18-01 January 2019