Tickets On Sale Now! • FLstrawberryfestival.com
Our Perfect Vision!
Artists Appearing on the
Feb. 27 - Mar. 8, 2020 Plant City, FL
The Oak Ridge Boys
Thu. Feb. 27, 7:30 $51
Thu. Feb. 27, 3:30 $25
Tommy James & The Shondells
Fri. Feb. 28, 3:30 $25
Fri. Feb. 28, 7:30 $35
#berryfest20 Home of OUR
Roots & Boots - Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw & Collin Raye Sat. Feb. 29, 3:30 $30
An Evening with 98° Sat. Feb. 29, 7:30 $35
Chubby Checker & the Wildcats
Tue. Mar. 3, 7:30 $30
Tue. Mar. 3, 3:30 $30
Jimmy Fortune and Dailey & Vincent Fri. Mar. 6, 3:30 $20
Wed. Mar. 4, 3:30 $25
Darci Lynne & Friends LIVE
Fri. Mar. 6, 7:30 $25
Charlie Wilson Sat. Mar. 7, 7:30 $45
Bobby Bones & the Raging Idiots
Sun. Mar. 1, 3:30
Wed. Mar. 4, 7:30 $35
REBA McENTIRE Sun. Mar. 1, 7:30 $55
Mon. Mar. 2, 3:30 $25
PATTI LaBELLE Mon. Mar. 2, 7:30 $35
Dick Fox’s Golden Boys - Starring Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell Thu. Mar. 5, 3:30
Eli Young Band Sun. Mar. 8, 3:30 $35
Thu. Mar. 5, 7:30 $40
Lynyrd Skynyrd Sun. Mar. 8, 7:30 $56
Visit FLstrawberryfestival.com or call 813-754-1996 and get your tickets for the best seats available!
Concert dates and times are subject to change
• Images Everywhere! • Verizon Wireless • Global Frequency Living • AT&T • Circle K • Wyndham Vacation Resorts • Vision Auto Glass • AMSCOT • Uncommon USA • Stingray Chevrolet • Candyland Warehouse • Local Ford Dealers • Dakin Dairy Farms • Master Spas • Good Health Saunas • Grove Equipment Service • Metro by T-Mobile • Netterfield’s Concessions • Alessi Bakery • O’Reilly Auto Parts • Badcock Home Furniture &more • Astin Farms • EVOLVE Pet Food • General RV Center • Florida Blue • T-Mobile • Dennis Hernandez & Associates PAGE
Contents Table of
DECISION AMERICA SUNSHINE STATE
BY CHERYL JOHNSTON Rev. Franklin Graham is making stops in six Florida citiesand Plant City is one of them. Learn more about the Rev. Graham and the Decision America tour, as well as special guests Jeremy Camp and Dennis Agajanian. Graham will call the lost to into a life-changing relationship with Christand encourage Christians to boldly live out their faith.
BY EMILY TOPPER
BY CIERRA CRAFT
Plant Cityâ€™s downtown district welcomes a splash of color to its electric boxes. In partnership with MAKE Plant City, City of Plant City and Plant City Main Street, local artists were afforded the opportunity to submit their work to be featured on the electric boxes. Eight artists were chosenmeet the artists and discover the behind the scenes efforts in downtown beautification.
In this issue, we take a look back at the incredible achievements of our community in 2019. From new leadership to business anniversaries, our community is vibrant and flourishing. Take a look back at the biggest moments of the year.
WRAPPING THEM UP
A YEAR IN REVIEW
FOCUS PLANT CITY
focusplantcity.com / Issue 18-12 / Dec. 2019
BY CIERRA CRAFT
BY CIERRA CRAFT
Tim Bosko and his family are dedicated to educating customers on the science and benefits of CBD, a chemical compound derived from hemp. Reports suggest CBD can reduce pain, ease anxiety and bring balance to one’s life. Learn more about Your CBD Store and the brand’s effort to help customer’s experience health without the high.
911 Catering is dedicated to providing culinary excellence to hungry Plant City people. From intimate house parties to city-wide events, 911 Catering is the community’s choice for affordable, yet delectable eats. Learn more about Catering Services Manager John Belcher and the 911 Catering team in this month’s issue.
BUSINESS: YOUR CBD STORE
DINING: 911 CATERING
Angela Ardrey Anthony Bolesta Barbara Routen Cheryl Johnston Sherrie Mueller Emily Topper
Candy Owens Heather Davis Gil Gott Natalie Sweet
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 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) 7078783 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.
BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN. 4908 JAMES L. REDMAN PARKWAY, PLANT CITY, FL
Independent Christian Church Everyone is welcome, please come visit us!
Services Sunday at 11:00am | Praise & Worship | Kids Church
1/4 MILE NORTH OF HIGHWAY 60
For more information call Troy Wilson at 813-763-1880
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From The Publisher
It is hard to believe another year has come and gone. It’s hard to imagine that a decade is coming to an end. It seems that time is flying by as we prepare to enter 2020.
This year, Plant City experienced so many blessings. An abundance of new businesses opened, including Generation Fun, Jersey Mike’s and Grace Manor. Our youth achieved incredible feats in athletics including the PCHS vs SCHS State Championship Baseball game in May and three Plant City Dolphins football teams winning the Superbowl in November. And finally, our city leadership achieved many improvement plans including beginning construction on Fire Station #3
and the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center. You can reflect on these moments and more in our 2019 Year in Review feature. 2020 is sure to be an exciting year, as our business leaders are preparing for the 2020 Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Our publication is proud to recognize over 50 businesses in the community. We ask you, the readers, to cast your vote on January 19th. As 2019 comes to an end, the staff of FOCUS Magazine wants to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you all have a blessed holiday season, surrounded by family and friends. We look forward to bringing more exciting editorial content to Plant City in 2020.
Warmest Regards, Mike Floyd PAGE
CHECK IN WITH PLANT CITY
Marshall Middle School authorized for IB Program
Outbackers Give Back Plant City’s Outback Steakhouse donated toys to kids in our community. Location owner Ryan Danielik and his staff collected several boxes of brand new toys to donate to Operation Paying it Forward. The nonprofit will distribute toys between several organizations in our community, including Achieve Plant City and Boys & Girls Club, among others. The blessings of the Outbackers will reach far across Plant City. Thank you, Plant City Outback for your generous contribution!
Marshall Middle School will join the International Baccalaureate, or IB, program next school year. Marshall will become the first middle school in the city to offer the IB program. Students not already attending Marshall can apply through the school choice program by December 31 at hillsboroughschools.org/choice.
Keel Farms Announces New Beer & Cider Brand Reveal
RAOK turns five, launches website RAOK Boutique celebrated its fifth anniversary on Dec. 2. The shop celebrated with cookies for customers and officially launched its website: www.shopRAOK.com. The shop can now spread kindness around the country with its beautiful boutique clothing, accessories and gifts. Congratulations, RAOK Boutique! PAGE
On Dec. 12, Keel Farms announced Two Henrys Brewing Company will now be known as Keel Farms Agrarian Ale + Cider. Keel Farms recently refreshed its looks, logo, and brewery name to emphasize its country and agrarian roots. The rebranding focuses keenly on the agrarian quality of Keel Farms’ handcrafted creations as they are cultivated “of the land.” In rolling out the new brand, Keel Farms Agrarian Ale + Cider will feature flavors including Dutch Apple Pie Hard Cider, that tastes like you’re eating a piece of pie, or the limited edition Strawberry Hard Cider that reminds you of Plant City’s signature dessert. Be sure to visit Keel Farms—home of Keel & Curley Winery and Keel Farms Agrarian Ale + Cider— located at 5210 Thonotosassa Road.
New Lux Cine 8 Now Open
Norma’s Reveals New Meal Prep Program Starting Jan. 6, Norma’s will expand its Meal Prep Program from three options of proteins to now twelve different options. The new menu will include proteins such as a variety of chicken selections, fish, Cuban beef, turkey meatballs, and more. These new options will allow more options and customization for Meal Prep customers. If you’re looking to incorporate a healthier routine in the new year, email Norma’s newest team member, Chase Carden at email@example.com to be added to the restaurant’s email list and to receive a “first-time order” discount.
Voting for FOCUS Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards to Begin in January Voting for FOCUS Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards begins Jan. 19 and closes on Jan. 26. Help your local favorites earn the recognition they deserve by voting in over 50 categories on www.focusplantcity.com! Plant City businesses are counting on your votes to win these coveted awards. Winners will be announced at the FOCUS Magazine 19th Anniversary Party on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Keel & Curley Winery.
The Plant City movie theatre is now open with a new name: Plant City Premiere LUX Cine & Pizza Pub. The theater closed earlier this year for a complete overhaul. Jenkins Construction Company completed exterior and interior renovations. Plant City Premiere LUX Cine & Pizza Pub now features luxury power recliners, all reserved seating, self-service popcorn, ICEE and fountain drinks, a Pizza Pub with beer, wine and cocktails, as well as the option to get food delivered to your auditorium. Check out the new theater features 220 W. Alexander Street Suite 31.
PCHS Thespians Head for State Competition PCHS Theatre Troupe 1449 cast and crew of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” won Superior and Best Play at the District 9 One Act Festival in November. The group will compete in the Florida State Thespian Festival March 18-21. This is the second year consecutively PCHS has been named Best Play and chosen to represent the district at the state festival. The group is looking for sponsors to help get them to the state competition. If you’d like to make a monetary contribution, please send checks to “Raid the Stage, Inc” with “State Donation” on the memo line and mail or deliver to: Plant City High School c/o Audrey Schmidt 1 Raider Place Plant City, Fl 33563
Holiday CD Sales to Benefit United Food Bank Plant City-artist Charleene Closshey’s latest Christmas CD titled Christmas Time is Here is now available for $15 with all proceeds benefiting the United Food Bank of Plant City. To make a purchase and support the UFBPC, visit the Food Bank’s office at 702 E. Alsobrook, Suite H to pick one up today. Available also at Walden Lake Car Wash and Service Center and RAOK Boutique.
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Local Students Create FOCUS Magazine Covers at Great American Teach-In Office Manager Candy Owens visited Walden Lake Elementary School on Nov. 20 for the Great American TeachIn. Students were asked to use their imagination and create their own cover for the magazine. Check out our top two picks created by Brylee Shores and Grayson Williams.
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Each December, thousands of Bay Area organizations participate in the annual Plant City Christmas Parade. Each year, the Plant City Rotary Club grills up hot dogs and passes out a hot dog, chips and a drink to each parade participant. President- Elect John Haney said this year, the group passed out 2,000 hot dogs. “We prepare two months in advance for this event,” said Haney. “It’s not just the hot dogs, chips and drinks, but we have a tent, tables, generators for the power, a portalet, and more.” The food and drinks are donated by Rotarian Lee Williams by his store, Felton’s. The Rotarians then form an assembly line: The hot dogs are removed from ice, cooked, placed on buns and individually wrapped in foil and distributed. “Most parade participants are at the check-in point by 5 or 5:30,” said Haney. “They’re usually parents who have worked all day or kids who have had a full day of school. There isn’t much time to eat after a full day and the parade. The Rotary Club sees this as a great community service to provide them something to eat and drink. It’s also welcoming to locals and out-of-towners who are in our parade.” To learn more about the Plant City Rotary Club, speak with any Rotarian to visit the club meetings.
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Walden Lake Review BY NATALIE SWEET
alden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 7:00 at the Walden Lake Community Association office building on Griffin Boulevard in Walden Lake. The next meeting is scheduled for January 20th. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake HOA members. Please keep an eye on the announcement boards at all entrances for dates and times of special meetings and events. During the month of December, there were 6 sales in Walden Lake and no sales in Walden Lake East. The average sale price was $306,250 with an average of 26 days on the market. The November sales are as follows: Address / Sales Price / Living Area / Pool / Garage 2817 Spring Meadow Drive / $245,000 / 1808 Sq’ / No / 2 Car 4212 Kipling Avenue / $262,500 / 2326 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 2892 Hammock Drive / $305,000 / 2354 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 2813 Barret Avenue / $315,000 / 2320 Sq’ / Yes / 3 Car 2897 Hammock Drive / $335,000 / 2438 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 2410 Clubhouse Drive / $375,000 / 2820 Sq’ / Yes / 3 Car There are currently 18 active listings for sale in Walden Lake and 5 active listings in Walden Lake East with an average list price of $342,697 and an average of 58 days on the market. Two of these homes are in Polo Place and listed for $850,000 and $999,999. If the 2 Polo Place listings are eliminated, the average list price is $287,239 and 50 days on the market. There are 17 properties Pending Contract in Walden Lake and 2 in Walden Lake East with an average list price of $291,279 and average of 16 days on the market. Breakfast with Santa on Saturday December 14th was a wellattended fun event hosted by the Walden Lake HOA and The Sweet Team with Keller Williams Realty sponsoring and serving up the Pancake Breakfast at the pavilion at the Sports Complex. Stay tuned for more fun events! The owners of the golf course, Walden Lake LLC, recently presented the BOD and the Advisory Committee with updated plans. Those plans can be found on www.WaldenLake.org. If you are unable to access the site, please contact the HOA office and they will help you out. Keep up to date on the website and message boards as you enter Walden Lake for any special meetings. Feel free to contact me about any real estate questions or about this article. NSweet@KW.com or 813-758-9586.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
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4 BR/3 1/2 BATHS 3080 SQ. FEET $337,500
3 BR/2.5 BATH THEATER ROOM! 2294 SQ. FEET $317,900
With Normaâ€™s Fresh Meal Prep Program
If you’re looking to start 2020 with healthier eating habits and take full advantage of convenient, fresh, chef-cooked meals, look no further than Norma’s meal prep program.
The best news is, starting January 6th 2020, Norma’s will expand its meal prep menu to 12 diﬀerent options. The new menu will include proteins such as a variety of chicken selections, ﬁsh, Cuban beef, turkey meatballs, and more. This new operation will allow for the restaurant to broaden its customer base, while providing a variation for current customers who have ordered meal prep since early January 2019.
Norma’s started its meal prep program in early January 2019 with the goal to serve a few of its clientele who were actively working out in downtown Plant City. Fortunately, the word of mouth was quickly spread amongst customers and Norma’s meal prep program became a weekly component of operations for Chef Nassar, who is also hands-on in the everyday kitchen tasks, 120 N Collins St. catering, and the 4-course Plant City, FL Night at Norma’s dinner.
In order to manage meal prep alongside a busy daily kitchen, Chef Nassar structured a meal prep menu that changes every three weeks, allowing customers to pick from three diﬀerent meats, carbs, and vegetables. With this process in place, Norma’s will ﬁnish the year having produced well over 5,500 meals.
So, want to start the new year with a healthier routine? Order your meal prep from Norma’s! Our new team member, Chase Carden, will be happy to assist. Feel free to e-mail Chase at info@ normascuban.com to be added to our meal prep newsletter and to receive your “ﬁrst-time order” discount. Pick-up and delivery to Plant City will be available!”
Follow us on social media and check our website for more details!
Decision America Sunshine State Tour in Plant City Written By Cheryl Johnston
s his humble father did, Franklin Graham shares a simple message when speaking at large venues all over the world: “God loves you and He sent His Son from heaven to this earth for your sins. You can leave this stadium forgiven tonight.”
This encouragement moves the gathered people of every age and life situation who hear the son of the world-renowned evangelist Reverend Billy Graham. And when Franklin invites them to pray and receive Christ into their life, it’s a sight those in attendance will never forget. On January 12, folks will travel from all over Central Florida to welcome Franklin Graham and his Decision America Sunshine State Tour team will visit a packed crowd at the Florida Strawberry Festival stadium. The crowd will also enjoy the worship music from Grammy Award nominee Christian singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp and from the award-winning Dennis Agajanian, who has served with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) since 1974. Plant City is the second stop on the six-city Florida tour that begins January 11 in Jacksonville Beach. From the winter strawberry capitol, the group will head northwest to Panama City Beach (January 14), and then south to Key West (January 16), Boca Raton (January 18), before finishing their mission on January 19 in Fort Myers. Franklin Graham will share the Good News of Jesus Christ at each of the one-night prayer and evangelism stops, calling the lost into a life-changing relationship with Christ—and encouraging Christians to boldly live out their faith.
Rev. Franklin Graham shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with believers across the country in his Decision America Tour.
In preparation for the large outreach, Christians were invited to volunteer for various roles such as counselor, promotions, and helpers for onsite staging, parking, and greeting. No matter the role, each volunteer submitted to background checked after attending one of the four Christian Life & Witness classes offered in December at either City Pointe, First Baptist Plant City or Church at the Mall in Lakeland. As one of the area’s spiritual leaders and a BGEA Tour Representative, the Rev. Norman Blanton will work closely with the team of area tour reps to make it a success. He shared, “The Franklin Graham Rally is an answer to many prayers by pastors and prayer groups who desire that revival and fresh wind / fresh fire saturates our town and its surrounding communities with love. This is a God appointed time and It’s up to every church to work in unity to impact our city and region for Christ.”
Like his father, the oldest son of the late Ruth and Billy Graham has devoted his life to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He serves as President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, which are both registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Since his first BGEA evangelistic event, in 1989, Franklin has been spreading the Good News at outreach festivals across the U.S. and around the world. The Decision America Tour made headlines in 2016 as the team visited all 50 U.S. capitals, challenging Christians to lead lives rooted in Biblical principles and to pray earnestly for America. Since then, more than a quarter-of-a-million people have attended the Christ-centered events in the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, Tennessee, Texas and California. In addition, as the head of the international relief and evangelism ministry Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin has spent decades working to meet the needs of the poor, sick and suffering in more than 100 countries. Many also recognize this ministry for its Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes that families fill as gifts for those in other countries. Franklin Graham believes, “The most critical thing you can do is pray, pray, pray. The intercession of God’s people is crucial if we are to see a return to the Biblical faith of our fathers, the faith that has guided and sustained our country for so long.”
The intercession of God’s people is crucial if we are to see a return to the Biblical faith of our fathers, the faith that has guided and sustained our country for so long. Rev. Franklin Graham is touring six cities, with Plant City being one of those six. The event will be held at the Florida Strawberry Festival and all are welcome. PAGE
Through both music and practical service, our desire is for people across the globe to be drawn to hear the hope we have in Jesus.
As he continues sharing his story as a child of God, Grammynominated singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp has a brand new album, “The Story's Not Over.” This Spring his Hits Deep Tour with TobyMac drew large crowds to hear testimonies of faith and music that lifts the soul. Fans are looking ahead to the March 2020 release of the biopic feature film, I Still Believe, (based on Camp’s autobiography published in 2013 by Tyndale). The movie chronicles his personal story of love, loss and faith. In association with Lionsgate, the movie is produced by the Erwin Brothers (I Can Only Imagine, Woodlawn) for their newly-formed studio, Kingdom. Throughout his 17-year career, Capitol CMG artist Jeremy Camp has established himself with landmark accolades including: • Lifetime consumption of almost 5 million and 325M lifetime streams • Holds title for most #1s among solo artists on the Christian Airplay chart • Billboard’s #2 artist of the Decade in 2010 • 40 #1 radio hits across all formats • 4 RIAA certified gold albums and 1 gold single • 1 Grammy nomination, 3 American Music Award nominations & 4 ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Awards Jeremy has also toured the world, sharing his music in more than 36 countries, and his organization, Speaking Louder Ministries, has allowed him to travel to Brazil, Guatemala, Ukraine, Japan and Kyrgyzstan. The nonprofit organization founded by Jeremy & Adie Camp in 2012 exists to bring the message of Christ to every corner of the world. He explains, “Through both music and practical service, our desire is for people across the globe to be drawn to hear the hope we have in Jesus.”
Crowds will enjoy the worship music of Christian singer/ songwriter Jeremy Camp PAGE
Dennis Agajanian is an award-winning Christian musician, who has been with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association since the 1970s.
The Decision America Tours God is using people like you to transform lives—and entire communities—with the Gospel through the Decision America Tour. With stops in six Florida cities this January, Franklin Graham joins believers like you to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here follows a recap of previous tours. October 2019 – Tar Heel State Tour Attendance - 65,000 Eight Cities - Fayetteville, Greenville, Wilmington, Raleigh, Greensboro, Hickory, Charlotte and Asheville. May 2019 - Northeast Tour Attendance - 31,000 Cities: Portland, ME; Burlington, VT; Manchester, NH; Springfield, MA; East Providence, RI; Bridgeport, CT; and Syracuse, NY. 2018 Attendance - estimated 120,000 States - California, Oregon and Washington 2017 - Tennessee and Texas 2016 – The original Decision America Tour across all 50 state capitals. PAGE
Invite Everyone Begin now Inviting everyone you know to attend the January 12 rally and hear the life-giving truth that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. This very well could be the most important invitation you’ll ever share – and it just might be the best gift ever.
Event Details: January 12, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Florida Strawberry Festival Soundstage/Stadium 303 Lemon Street, Plant City FL 33563 Free admission/free parking Grandstand seating; chairs/blankets allowed on the field Arrive early & make some new friends. All are welcome!
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CountryWood Estates, 745 Arbor Estates Way, Plant City, FL 33565 Must meet residency requirements. Specifications, options, and layout vary by model and are subject to change without notice. Additional restrictions may apply, see sales associate for details. PAGE
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Celebrate the Season 2019 Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Plant City Christmas Parade! Best Overall General Masonry & Concrete BEST MARCHING UNIT Plant City High School Marching Band
BEST SCHOOL Unit Tomlin Middle School FFA
Best Church/Religious Unit East Thonotosassa Baptist Church
BEST Business UNIT Quality Septic, Inc.
Thank you to all parade participants and the thousands of people that lined the parade route! Sponsored by
Walden Lake Car Wash Rick & Di Lott PAGE
Benito Lubrano Jr LLC
Plant City Parks & Recreation
WRAPPING THEM UP H Written by Emily Topper Photography by Vicky Saunders
istoric Downtown Plant City is growing as a central location for local shops and vendors. Now, local artists are adding a pop of color to the scene.
Formerly plain electrical boxes throughout Historic Downtown have been transformed into works of art by eight local artists, thanks to efforts by the City of Plant City, MAKE Plant City and Plant City Main Street. “The idea was first presented to us by City Manager Bill McDaniel,” Vicky Saunders, MAKE Plant City co-founder, said. “And it was pitched to him by Fred Baxter in the traffic division.” McDaniel said that the partnership was an opportunity to bring color to downtown.
“I saw this as a great opportunity to bring a splash of color to parts of our beautiful downtown,” said McDaniel. “It was also a great opportunity to partner with Plant City Main Street and MAKE Plant City to bring this idea to reality. I also have to say particular thanks to Fred Baxter in the City’s Traffic Division for bringing this technology and its possible applications to my attention.” PAGE
“BIG CYPRESS” BY JOCLYN EMERSON “FRANIGIPANI REIMAGINED” BY ROB YOHO
“HENRY PLANT AND HIS RAILROAD” BY MICHAEL FIED
“LLAMA LOVE” BY NIYAH LOVE
In a statement, Plant City Main Street said they were honored to partner with the city and MAKE Plant City. “Plant City Main Street was honored to partner with the City of Plant City and MAKE Plant City for this unique opportunity to bring color and vibrancy to our beloved downtown district. Partnerships like this project is what Plant City Main Street hopes to continue to create for our downtown.” After a joint meeting with MAKE and Plant City Main Street in February, MAKE put out a call to artists for designs that could be wrapped around the electrical boxes. With 44 submissions, the groups had to narrow down the finalists. “We thought, ‘Who else would want to have a part in this project?’ We then reached out to local organizations like the Arts Council of Plant City and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce who got to vote on their favorite submissions,” Saunders said. Project organizers decided not to have a set theme for the boxes to allow artists to maximize their creativity, with submissions open to all mediums. The results range from sea creatures and llamas to trains, sunflowers and designs that pay homage to the culture and attractions of the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. “We wanted people who visit Plant City to see we have creative people who shine in their own way,” Saunders said. The project was funded by the City of Plant City, which also hired a wrap company to place the completed designs on the boxes. MAKE Plant City Co-Founder Arley Smude worked with artists and organizers to help determine dimensions for the pieces, as well as final locations throughout Historic Downtown. The wrapped boxes double as insulation for the City’s utility boxes. To keep the art preserved, the wraps have been graffiti-proofed.
"PLANT CITY, HOME SWEET HOME" BY JOSH “BUMP” GALLETTA
“SUNFLOWERS ON PURPLE” BY GRACE SELLERS
“FROM THE DEPTHS” BY JESSICA FRIER
“SENORITA FRESA” BY ROSELIZA NHEIK
Grace Sellers was one of the artists selected to participate in the project, covering her box with a purple background covered in bright sunflowers. On Sunday, Nov. 24, the artists participated in a walking tour throughout Historic Downtown where they spoke about their pieces. “My inspiration for my art box is from my use of botanicals in my daily art practice,” Sellers said. “I used contrasting colors to make it pop off the street. I wanted to participate because I love seeing art being incorporated into Plant City.” Josh “Bump” Galletta, said he was excited he was selected to participate as a “neighbor from Lakeland.” His piece, Plant City, Home Sweet Home, shows his love for all things local. “I love Florida, Plant City and its people,” Galletta said. “My illustrations on the box are trying to capture the agricultural history. I am very thankful to have my art on permanent display.”
Artist Rob Yoho’s inspiration for his piece, Frangipani Reimagined, was based off a photograph of his wife Laurie’s blooming fragipani. NiYah Love, 14, was thrilled when her piece Llama Love was chosen to be placed at the corner of the playground at Plant City’s First United Methodist Church. “I hope my art reminds everyone love and thoughtfulness should be passed on through the people,” she said. “I am happy to be given this opportunity to share my love and talent I have been blessed with to give to the community.” Saunders was thrilled to see the nine-month project between the artists and local organizations finally brought to life. “I was super emotional, super excited,” she said. “I started walking through downtown every day to check it out. It was a big project with a lot of logistics, but seeing it come to life made it all worth it.”
Mike would like to invite the community to attend Farewell to the Green Building on Dec. 20 from 8AM to 5PM and Dec. 21 from 8AM to 12PM. Guests can sign the guestbook and are encouraged to bring a can of spray paint and tag the building as a farewell to 603 S. Evers Street.
People of Plant City
Mike Buti By Cierra Craft
f you have lived in Plant City for an extended period of time, you are familiar with the “green building” at the corner of Alabama and Evers streets. DJ Carlo opened Carlo’s Brake & Radiator Service in 1950, serving the auto repair needs of Plant City residents. In 1975, Mike Buti, who was 15-years-old at the time, came to work under Carlo in the shop. Carlo taught Buti a lot about auto repair, but left a lasting impression on the young man when it came to business management. In 1991, Carlo retired and Buti bought the business, choosing to keep the business name. On Aug 26, 2019, Carlo’s Brake & Radiator Service closed its doors, as the property is part of the city’s Midtown vision plan. Meet Mike Buti, the last of a dying breed of old school auto mechanics.
When did you start working at Carlo’s Brake & Radiator Service? DJ Carlo started the shop in 1950, I started working there in 1975 when I was still in high school. I was in a double session of school in the morning and worked at Carlo’s in the afternoon. Carlo retired in 1990 and I bought the business. The name has been there too long, I didn’t even think of changing it. What did you learn from DJ Carlo as a young man? I learned a lot from him, but a lot about conducting a business… Carlo was laid back, but professional though. If there was a new gadget or tool, he had to have it. He was into industrial work, so we did a lot of brake and radiator work
for the mines and TECO. We also did work for Bill Sharpton Chevrolet and Jarrett-Scott Ford. Carlo didn’t need to advertise because the trust was everything. People would bring their cars and leave it with me because they have confidence in me to take care of their car. Why is the building green? Five or six years ago, the city asked that I paint the building to bring it up to code. I wasn’t told what color to paint the building, so I chose green. My wife came up to see the shop and asked “why did you paint it green?” Now that Carlo’s Brake & Radiator Service has closed, what are your plans for the future? I am not ready to retire. I will probably stay in auto repair. When the business is 100% behind me, I’ll move forward. How have the customer’s responded to the closing? A lot of customers knew about the closing. Many have rallied behind me, encouraging me to stay at the location. Some have been happy for me and others are concerned about where they can take their cars and who can they trust. I guess, one door closes and another opens.
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The Keel & Curley Winery also introduced a new logo and bottle labels this year which will be seen for the first time beside its newly renamed brewery sister company under the Keel Farms masthead. Though the brands have evolved, the winery and brewery remain committed to crafting high-quality beverages using fresh Florida fruits.
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A YEAR IN REVIEW:
LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD Itâ€™s hard to imagine another year has come and gone. 2019 was a year marked by new business, new leadership and lots of success. In this issue, we commemorate the biggest moments of 2019 with a Year in Review. This Year in Review was built for you, our readers, to give you a better sense of the achievements made in our community.
Written by Cierra Craft
As we reflect on this past year, we look forward to what is in store for our city in 2020. It is our hope that the new year holds new business, continued success and celebrates the achievements of our people, organizations and communities.
01 Clay Keel became President of Keel Farms
09 Plant City resident Ashley Moody was sworn into office as Florida’s 38th Attorney General
13 Grand Opening of R & L Metals’ Plant City headquarters
Kendall Gaudens crowned 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen In the 84th annual pageant, the Florida Strawberry Festival named Kendall Gaudens the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. Her court comprised Madilyn Conrad as First Maid and Court Members Jada Brown, Kennedy Cullins and Olivia Frazier. Reflecting on her year as royalty, Gaudens shared these thoughts: “For me, this year began with being granted the opportunity to represent and serve Plant City and the Florida Strawberry Festival alongside four of my best friends as the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and Court. It has been one of the busiest, yet most rewarding years of my life. The experiences we’ve had and the people we have met have left an indescribable impact on my life. Being able to receive and share such genuine love and support has truly made serving this community such an easy thing to be passionate about. I will forever be thankful for this past year and all the lessons and opportunities that came with it.”
24 Karen Kerr was named 2019 Chamber Chairman of the Board
25 Budweiser Clydesdale Horses visited Plant City
2019 Celebrity Chef Dinner raised $90,000 for the UFBPC
The annual fundraiser featured Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and Plant City Police Chief Ed Duncan as the celebrity chefs. This was unusual for the event, as past celebrity chefs included Food Network stars and Top Chef winners. UFBPC Executive Director Mary Heysek said she believes the local connection allowed Plant City residents to feel further engaged with the event. Chief Duncan was pleased to be partnered with Sheriff Chronister for the cooking event.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this, Sheriff Chronister,” said Duncan. The law enforcement officers were partnered with Publix Apron Chef Anthony LoGerfo to make Steak au Poivre, a French dish consisting of peppercorn crusted steak. The funds raised at the event went directly to the Food Bank’s programs, to help feed the food insecure in our community.
Grand Opening of Jessi Rae Bridal
George Banning was recognized as Plant City’s Citizen of the Year
Chamber & RISE Plant City hosted first monthly Rise Up event
FOCUS Magazine celebrated 18 year anniversary
City Cuts Barbershop opened its second location
Kickoff of the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival
The 84th Annual Florida Strawberry Festival drew a record-breaking attendance, with nearly 563,000 visitors The 11-day event drew nearly 563,000 visitors to take part in concerts, livestock shows, free entertainment, rides, food, arts and crafts vendors and more, said Florida Strawberry Festival President Paul Davis. “This year’s attendance was one for the books,” said Davis. “We are so fortunate to be able to celebrate this accomplishment with our community. We attribute our success to the hundreds of volunteers and patrons who come each year to share in the harvest of what makes Plant City so special.”
11 City Commission approved the renaming of the portion of Lemon Street to BerryFest Place.
14 Plant City YMCA welcomed new Executive Director Paul Conley
28 Unity in the Community and Stingray Chevrolet presented the keys of a brand new Chevy Corvette to Dr. Teofil Kulyk
07 First Call welcomed guests to its first Sunday morning service and ministry grand opening
City Commission unanimously approved the amendment of the cityâ€™s alcohol ordinance The amended alcohol ordinance allowed smaller businesses in downtown and Midtown to serve beer and wine on its menu. This changed welcomed other foods and drink establishments to open in downtown, without the need for a full kitchen and entree menu.
23 Aspire Plant City celebrated its one year anniversary
23 PCHS Baseball beat Hillsborough High 8-2, reaching a 19 win season, creating school history as the most wins of any Raider baseball team. The win against Hillsborough was also Coach Mike Fryrearâ€™s 100th career win. Fryrear was named 2019 Western Conference Federal Division Coach of the Year.
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PCHS Baseball beat SCHS Chargers in the 2019 FHSAA Class 8A State Championships
PC resident Terrie Campbell was honored on ABC’s Good Morning America
Plant City resident, Terrie Campbell, was the recipient of the morning’s show annual Mother’s Day giveaway. Terrie is a school bus driver with Hillsborough County Public Schools and knows the names of every student on her route. She provides clothing and food to her students in need and helps mentor those who have been bullied. Show host Sam Champion surprised Terrie as she was dropping off students at PCHS. GMA treated Terrie to breakfast, prepared by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, and Hilton Hotels gifted Terrie with a new bed and a fishing trip to Mexico.
With PCHS and SCHS nine miles apart, the 2019 FHSAA Class 8A State Championship Baseball game was a war between friends and neighbors. The two schools faced off in Ft. Myers, Florida with Plant City beating Crest 3-1. The Raiders (30-2) made their first state baseball appearance in almost 100 years. PCHS made its first district, regional and state appearance. With Crest (19-11) making its second straight state tournament and first championship game. With the two hometown teams competing against one another, at the state level, the community was abuzz. The game was held on the same date as Plant City’s Class of 2019 graduation. Thus the six seniors on the team, and the students who chose to attend the game instead of the formal graduation, were presented with their diplomas in a special graduation ceremony in the school’s auditorium. Rep. Ross Spano recognized the schools on the Florida congressional floor for their state championship appearances, acknowledging the athletic talent within the district.
04 Plant City Juniors crowned the 2019 Little Miss Plant City
The City of Plant City broke ground on the new 30,000 sq. ft. Community Center
57th Annual East Hillsborough Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner recognized four distinguished officers
First Response won the 2019 RISE Dodgeball Tournament
10 City Commission approves tax exemption for Home Depot to set up a manufacturing hub on Wiggins Road
11 Grand Opening of Grace Manor at Hunters Creek
Photo courtesy of Plant City Photo Archives & History Center
American Legion Post #26 celebrated 100 years since its chartering In 1919
American Legion Post #26 was named after Plant City resident Norman McLeod, who was killed by an artillery shell on July 19, 1918 in the Battle of Marne in France. McLeod was Plant Cityâ€™s first casualty of WWI. The first commander of the Norman McLeod Post #26 was Dr. John W. Alsobrook, according to Plant City: Its Origin and History authored by David E. Bailey and Quintilla Geer Bruton. In the 1930s, the local post made history as the first American Legion Post in the U.S. to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop. Post #26 became the sponsor of Plant Cityâ€™s famous Boy Scout Troop #5. In 1948, the American Legion Post #26 helped get the Florida Strawberry Festival reactivated following a six-year hiatus during and immediately following World War II. In 2006, Alvin McGary made history as the first African American commander of Post #26. McGary is a retired U.S. Air Force First Sergeant and was elected commander in May 2006, serving in the role until 2008 and again from 2010 to 2013.
Courtney Paat State Farm Insurance celebrated 20 year anniversary This year, Courtney Paat and the Paat Squad celebrated 20 years of business. The office served cake and punch to customers and friends. In a statement, Paat’s office said, “It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to serve you and our Plant City community. Here’s to 20 more!”
04 Plant City celebrates the 4th of July The Plant City Fourth of July Celebration began 17 years ago, according to Parks and Rec Director Jack Holland. The 2019 event was just as successful with hundreds turning out for the patriotic event. Families enjoyed the cool weather with cotton candy and face painting, before the annual firework display.
08 Mercedes Perez confirmed as Assistant City Manager
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Grand Opening of Tennessee Jane Boutique
The response to the opening of Tennessee Jane Boutique was unexpected for owner Hanna Sampson. Plant City has welcomed the casual, trendy and affordable clothing boutique to historic downtown. “This year has been a year of incredible growth for Tennessee Jane," said Sampson. "Opening in downtown Plant City made our business explode! We have been shown so much love and support from the people of Plant City and we are looking forward to many more years in downtown.”
City Commission welcomes XFL Football League to Plant City. The community will host Tampa Bay Vipers
City Commission announces Community Recreation Center to be named in honor of Sadye Gibbs Martin
22 Rhett Rollyson was named the YMCA’s 17th Annual Strong Leader Rhett’s contributions to the Plant City community echo the Y's commitment to strengthening the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Rhett served on the Plant City Y Advisory Board from 2007-2015, serving as board chair in 2011. Rhett also serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Strawberry Festival, South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation and Plant City Little League. An alumni of Plant City High School, Rhett currently serves as Chairman for the Raider Champions Foundation and will be the high school’s Booster Club Chair starting this Fall. His family attends First Baptist Church of Plant City, where he’s been a Sunday School teacher for the past 15 years. Rhett has a passion for tennis and earlier this year he was announced as University of South Florida Men's Tennis program's volunteer assistant coach. Rollyson helped lead the Bulls to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.
16 Mystery Dinner Wrangle at Red Mountain Ranch raises $28,000 for Friends of Bruton Memorial Library
28 Grand Opening of Charley’s
30 Grand Opening of Roots Tap Room and Wine Bar
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05 Grand Opening of Pelican’s Snoballs Plant City cooled down with the grand opening of Pelican’s Snoballs. Owned and operated by Plant City Church of God Children’s Pastor Greg Davis and his family, Pelican’s Snoballs serves up delicious New Orleans shaved ice in over 100 flavors, everything ranging from Blue Raspberry to Cherry Cola and even non-traditional flavors like Dill Pickle and Toothpaste. Plant City families have given the establishment a warm welcome, as crowds continue to fill the Pelican’s patio. “Our grand opening was everything we hoped for and more with a smiling face at each window,” said Davis. “The hard work was worth it when you hand a snoball to a child and they light up.”
26 23rd Annual Diamonds & Denim raised $117,000 for SFBH Plant City residents turned out for the 2019 Diamonds and Denim fundraising event, in support of The Foundation at South Florida Baptist Hospital. The casual, yet blinged out event allowed guests to bid on gift baskets, enter a 50/50 raffle, and the “Unlock Your Dreams” fundraiser. After dinner, presented by 911 Catering, attendees entered a bidding war. In all, the event raised $117,000 for the community hospital, $5,000 more than the 2018 event. Since its inception in 1997, Diamonds and Denim has raised more than $1,000,000 for SFBH.
15 HCF crowns 2019 Harvest Queens: Amanda Clark & Kenley Connell
28 Grand Opening of Deanna Hurley Photography
Grand Opening of Jersey Mike’s
13 Johnson family celebrates 65 years in the restaurant business
14 City Commission unanimously agrees to hire Richard Lilyquist as second Assistant City Manager
15 Christine Raburn named new principal of Strawberry Crest
The School District of Hillsborough County named Christine Raburn the new principal of Strawberry Crest High School. The school’s former principal, David Brown, transferred to Jule F. Sumner High in Balm. Raburn was Crest’s assistant principal of curriculum, with a career spanning almost 20 years as a school district employee. Much of the community was excited that Raburn was promoted to the position, as she has been with Crest since 2009.
Dancing with the Locals 2019 raised over $100,000 for PC Noon Rotary The Plant City Noon Rotary Club held its annual fundraiser, showcasing talent in our community. The sold out show featured 13 dancing couples; in the end, Casey Stidham & Stephanie Eisenbachâ€™s Joker & Harley Quinn skit was the winning routine of the evening. The skit included props, costumes and pyrotechnics. Event chair Jodi Stevens said the 2019 event raised more than $100,000 for the Rotary Club. The funds raised directly benefit the Rotary Clubâ€™s program of events for the community.
PC Main Street President Jamey Moody names Jerilyn Rumbarger Executive Director of the organization
16 PC Dolphins win 2019 TCYFCC Superbowl In four age divisions- Mighty Mites, Pee Wees, Midgets and JVEach of the teams had an undefeated regular season, leading the Plant City Dolphins Football teams to the TCYFCC Superbowl. The Mighty Mights, Pee Wees and Midgets defeated their rivals, winning their respective age divisions. The Mighty Mights beat the New Tampa Wildcats 53-12. The Pee Wee Dolphins faced off against the Southwest Junior Saints, a challenging match. With a hard fought win, the Pee Wee team defeated Saints 19-14. The Midgets and Lakeland Eagles were in a defensive struggle for the first half, but in the end, the Dolphins beat the Eagles 14-0.
10 2019 Empty Bowl raised $20,000 for the United Food Bank of Plant City, hosting the 1st Annual Fork Ran Away with the Spoon 5k
22 Grand Opening of Your CBD Store
07 PCHS Teacher Fernando Guillen was named 2019 Klein Tools Electrician of the Year
26 Grand Opening of Generation Fun
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The Writers’ Loft celebrates one year of writing, creativity and fellowship The Writers’ Loft was founded to give writers of all walks of life a place to come together and share a love for words. From screenwriters to book authors and even poets, The Writers’ Loft welcomes anyone who has an interest in writing. Led by founder Angela Ardrey and assistant Emily Topper, the group has flourished. This year, The Writers’ Loft met published authors, award winning journalist and more. “What an amazing year it has been for The Writers’ Loft,” said Angela Ardrey. “I have watched many grow beautifully as writers, as storytellers, and as published authors. Moreover, I have watched many create lifelong friendships together.”
05 Hundreds gather for 21st Annual Lights of Love Tree Lighting in McCall Park
06 Despite the chill in the air, thousands lined the streets for the annual Plant City Christmas Parade. The parade was led by Grand Marshals David and Diane Brewington and included parade entries from various groups including The Crossing Church, Marshall Middle School Gentlemen’s Quest, and marching bands from across Hillsborough County. The judges named the following entries as winners of the 2019 event: General Masonry & Concrete, Overall Winner; Plant City High School, Best Marching Band; Tomlin Middle School FFA. Best School; East Thonotosassa Baptist Church, Best Church; and Quality Septic; Best Business.
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Did You Know? Panky Snow - One Of Plant City’s Most Ubiquitous Writers By Plant City Photo Archives & History Center
e’re encouraging our local writers. Last month we focused on one of Plant City’s outstanding writers, John Keasler. Here is a story about one of Plant City’s most ubiquitous writers, Mary Frances Morgan, a.k.a. Panky Glamsch, and later, Panky Snow, who wrote for The Courier, The Tampa Tribune, and several other publishers. Panky’s family was a prominent one in Plant City’s history. Her father, Lennox Edgeworth Morgan, was born in 1901 in Moultrie, Georgia, educated in Atlanta and moved to Plant City about 1923. In 1925 he married Elva Sanderson, of Keysville, and they had two daughters, Gloria, born June 14, 1926, and Mary Frances, born December 9, 1927. An oddity, the family went by nicknames. L. E. Morgan, Jr., was Rat, Elva Morgan was Sukey, Gloria was Dodo, and Mary Frances was Panky. Even when Gloria and Mary Frances were at Plant City High School they were more often known by their nicknames. Dodo and Panky differed; Dodo leaned to the academic side - Honor Society, etc., while Panky went more for the literary and social side - yearbook editor-in-chief, newspaper feature writer, and in 1945 was voted Most Popular. After graduation from Plant City High School in 1944, Dodo attended and graduated from Florida Southern College. Panky, on the other hand, graduated from Plant City High School in 1945 and attended Florida State College for Women, (later renamed Florida State University), but decided against pursuing the academic program. She returned to Plant City. Panky was a writer. She had written for the school paper, the yearbook, and stories and poetry on her own, and was driven to be a writer. She began her journalism career as a stringer for The Tampa Tribune and a reporter for the Plant City Courier. She was also a spirited woman, and once, in November 1953, after attending the circus and becoming acquainted with the elephant trainer,
she was permitted to ride an elephant and entered the big top proudly sitting on an elephant – much to the surprise of her parents. Panky wrote for the The Tampa Tribune for over 20 years and served as the state woman’s editor, feature writer, and reporter. She was proud to say that she once interviewed Clark Gable and frequently told the story how she interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt. That story was unique in that many reporters wanted to interview Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the most admired women in the world, and wife of the President of the United States, but Panky had the opportunity to ride to Sarasota to pick up Mrs. Roosevelt and bring her to Tampa. She went with a friend and on the way back she interviewed Roosevelt all the way to Tampa – Roosevelt in the front passenger seat and Panky in the rear, sometimes shouting to each other to be heard. In Tampa Panky married and had two children by her first husband, Horst Glamsch, and later married Richard Snow. Some of the articles written while with the The Tampa Tribune are under the name Panky Glamsch, and later Panky Snow. After retiring from the Tribune, Panky wrote many more articles of a historical nature for the Plant City Courier. She was a disciplined researcher and her stories were detailed and rich and were written in a literary fashion far from staid academic tones. Some of her later articles written for the Courier were titled Reminiscing with Panky Snow and covered a great variety and number of local topics. Any historical researcher today may want to look to some of Panky’s writings. Here are just a few of her topics: the airport on Coronet Road used in training pilots during WWII; Bealsville and the Glover School; Burney-Simmons School; Cork
Academy; Edith Langston; Don and Berta Richey’s floats; and many more. After retiring to her home on Walker Street in Plant City, Panky continued to write and continued to adopt cats, for whom she had a strong attraction and was a loving caretaker. But Panky had always been a writer. We have her papers at the History Center; they are filled with poems, and stories, and correspondence with editors and publishers. She also wrote for the “Community Helpers” series by Bridgestone Books that told about jobs and what those people did, what they wore, the tools they used, their training, etc. For this series Panky authored two books: Chefs and Cooks; and Radio Announcers, which she researched extensively, and which can be found in the Photo Archives & History Center research library. Panky Snow sold her Plant City house and moved into an assisted-living facility in east Tampa about 2007-08. Her memory and her many stories and articles will continue to live in Plant City for many years to come. Sources: Plant City Courier; The Tampa Tribune; Panky Snow Collected Papers; Plant City Photo Archives and History Center, collections.
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 Thursday, November 7th The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new Jersey Mike's Subs located at 504 E. Alexander Street, Suite 19. Jersey Mike’s, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 2,000 locations open and under development nationwide, believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same. Voted America’s Favorite Sandwich Brand in Market Force Information’s 2019 QSR study, Jersey Mike’s offers A Sub Above®, serving authentic fresh sliced subs on freshly baked bread – the same recipe it started with in 1956 – and is passionate about giving back to its local communities.
On Tuesday, November 26, The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Generation Fun! Generation Fun is Plant City’s premier vintage and retro toy store located in the town’s beautiful historic district. Specializing in 80’s and 90’s toys Generation Fun features the largest selection of the Masters of the Universe series in the state of Florida. With Ninja Turtles and Star Wars collections from the 70’s to modern Marvel and DC sets there is something for everyone. Owner Shawn Mayo is proud to be a part of the ongoing commitment and growth to the business community of Plant City.
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Your CBD Store BY CIERRA CRAFT
ustomers who use CBD have reported pain relief, relaxation, a sense of balance, among other positive effects. Regardless of the desired benefit, the hemp-for-health movement’s popularity is soaring. In November, Lakeland-native Tim Bosko opened Plant City’s first shop solely dedicated to CBD. Located within the Panera Bread Plaza, Your CBD Store is focused on educating customers on the science and benefits of CBD products. "We are not salesmen, we’re here to educate customers on our product options and guide them to decide what’s best for their needs," said Bosko. Bosko’s background in business includes ownership of several Central Florida Beef O’Brady’s locations. Bosko has been involved in the family businesses since 1991 and today, continues to serve as a partner. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that derives naturally from the hemp plant. Many people associate CBD with marijuana and assume it has the same psychoactive effects. CBD is legal in all 50 states and at Your CBD Store, the shop’s proprietary products with SunMed contain either zero THC or only trace amounts. “There is no possibility of experiencing a high from CBD,” said Bosko. “SunMed is the highest quality, industrial grade hemp. Our products undergo a high pressure CO₂ process, which extracts the hemp ‘from soil to oil.’” These findings are backed by science, each product at Your CBD Store underwent lab analysis; Your CBD Store is transparent with these findings as the lab reports are available to the public at cbdrx4u.com. The human body naturally produces CBD, acting on receptors of the endocannabinoid system. When one uses CBD products, Bosko says it is not possible to overdose, as the body only absorbs what it needs to reduce
Tim Bosko is the owner of Your CBD StorePlant City. The Bosko family entered the CBD industry after Tim’s father used the products to help with his hip pain. Now, Tim and his family want to educate customers on the science and benefits of CBD. PAGE
Your CBD Store’s proprietary brand SunMed also offers CBD products for pets, including snacks and tinctures.
inflammation and return the body to a state of balance. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and regulating the functions including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. Customers have reported finding relief from acne, epilepsy, high blood pressure, substance abuse and more. “My dad, who is the last guy to try a hemp product, had severe hip joint pain and the doctor said he needed surgery. My dad looked for alternative options and visited Your CBD Store in Lakeland. He incorporated CBD into his life daily and two weeks later was out playing 18 holes of golf,” said Bosko. Your CBD Store’s SunMed Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum is available in a minimum of twelve application methods including creams, tinctures, edible gummies and more. In July 2019, Your CBD Store was named Best Topical Cream and Best Orange Tincture at the World’s Largest CBD Expo in Miami, Florida, winning two of the five categories. In November 2019, Your CBD Store was named Best CBD Cosmetic Skincare by MAC at the Orlando CBD Expo. Your CBD Store is a family-owned and operated establishment. As members of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Your CBD Store is an active member of the Plant City community. To learn more about Your CBD Store and its proprietary products, visit the Plant City location at 2909 James L Redman Parkway or call Your CBD Store at 813-652-8191.
2909 James L Redman Pkwy #7 | Plant City, FL 33566 | (813) 652-8191 | www.cbdrx4u.com Hours: Monday- Friday 10AM to 6PM | Saturday 11AM to 6PM PAGE
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All Ser vices are FREE and Confidential Pregnancy Tests & Verification Limited Ultrasounds Abortion Education Adoption Information Prenatal & Parenting Classes Material Assistance STI Testing W ellness Referral
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RISING STAR evan
Camargo By Taryn Storter Photography by Anthony Sassano
Evan Camargo, an eighth grader at Tomlin Middle School, is a talented soccer player making noise in the national circuit. As a Plant City native, Camargo has loved growing up in Plant City where his parents, Roberto and Veronica have lived for over thirty years. Soccer has always been Camargo’s favorite sport and has played competitively since he was nine years old. Roberto, Evan’s father, as well as his brother competed in soccer, so it seemed natural that Evan would follow in their footsteps. He is continuing the family tradition. When asked why soccer is his favorite sport, Camargo expresses, “I love the competition that soccer brings. That is truly why I love it.” Soccer is an intense sport where athletes can share their passion for this globally recognized and loved activity. Camargo is currently on the Florida State Soccer Team. This is an incredible honor, as he was selected to represent our state in the Olympic Development Program this past summer. He stayed at the University of Alabama for a week and played against several other state teams including Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. The Florida team won each game in the tournament, which is an incredible accomplishment. Camargo discovered his inspiration from his cousins that live in Mexico. When he traveled to visit them one summer, he found the desire to excel and build his skills and increase his talent. “All the kids there played really well,” said Camargo. “I couldn’t keep up with them, so they inspire me to play better.” Evan encourages other athletes, “Keep practicing, keep trying, and never, ever give up!” These words are remarkable, coming from someone so young in age, but very wise in experience. Camargo hopes to continue in his soccer career in the future. While being only thirteen, Camargo has a great deal ahead of him. He hopes to make it to the USA National Team one day. Keep your eye on Evan Camargo, Plant City! He is shining in the world of soccer. PAGE
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Sports Team of the Month Plant City Dolphins Super Bowl By Taryn Storter
he Plant City Dolphins Little League football teams have a very special place in the hearts of many in this town. Sons, nephews, and grandchildren play on a team and daughters, nieces, and granddaughters cheer them on. After practicing for months and playing in various games and tournaments, the Plant City Dolphins were ready to take on the annual Super Bowl. It was held at Mike Sansone Park on Saturday, November 16. Four divisions made it to this prestigious level: The Mighty Mights, Pee Wees, Midgets, and Junior Varsity. Each of these teams worked tirelessly to make it to this point in the competition. Rhett Rollyson, Robert Jordan and James Ross announced the games. The Plant City Dolphins have meant so much to many people throughout our city. Armand Cotnoir, coach of the Pee Wees and Assistant Director of the program, said his three sons play for the Dolphins. He expresses about this season, “This year, it was great to be a Plant City Dolphin. We had three undefeated Super Bowl Champions, which made this a very special season.” Tonya Lawson is the wife of Eric Lawson, who serves as the current 2020 President of the Dolphins. Tonya loves this organization and explains, “The Plant City Dolphins has always been a great place to learn the fundamentals of both cheerleading and football.” Her sons, Chase and Cade have both played for the Dolphins throughout their childhoods, Chase starting to play in 2006, and Cade currently playing. The Mighty Mights, ages 5-6, won their Super Bowl game with a score of 53-12 against the New Tampa Wildcats. This team was composed of: Jayce Barber, Reggie Beal, Ramelo Billington, Bryan Childs Jr, Dayton Davis, Michael Davis, Pablo Espinoza, Colton Fortner, Gabriel Handford, Cody
Harris, King Howard, Kristopher Howard, Cash Jones, Zariion Jones, Jayvan Juarez, Austin Kroslak, Noah Mathews, Kolton Mohn, Brantley Newsome, Hayden Nichols, Mack Overstreet, Paxtyn Pellens, Shane Robinson, Brodie Sanders, Jayce Sherman, Quarn Smith, George Terrell III, and Collin Wood. The Pee Wees, 7-8 year olds, won their game against the Southwest Saints 19-14. The team includes: Tyler Arias, Easton Beveard, Dylan Brewington, Luke Brown, Travarius Burnett Jr, Brayden Burney, Brylan Childs, Callen Cotnoir, Everett Devalle, Cailob Dingler, Landon Futch, Tatum Hibbard, Raylen Hirst, Kayne Howard, Ty Johnson, Brayden Marsteller, Cullen (Brooks) McDonald, Brody Morrow, Eli Muller, Van Paulk, Ray Pennington, Dabriel Polynice, Maddox Prescott, Barrett Raley, Mason Richardson, Eric Rogers, Jerry Rouse, Jamari Shepard, Santana Sheppard, Kri'zion Sutton, Daniel Thompson, Qoa Wiggins, and Liam Winslow. The Midgets, ages 9 and 10, was victorious against the Lakeland Eagles, scoring 14-0. Teammates included: Sean Arias, Kairee Barnum, Kameron Battle, Noah Beale, Ivan Briones, Christian Broome, Jacob Carey, Rodney Coleman, Cain Cook, Ty'one Cooper, Brody Davis, Wyatt Douberly, Mark Foster, Jayden Freeman, Javier Galeana, Jeremy Gonzalez, Gunnar Ham, Santana Harvey, Da'zariyan Jenkins, Levi Johnson, Julian Juarez, Reagan Korlacki, Jayden McDaris, Andrew Morrison, Carlos Julian Munoz, Hunter Nichols, Wyatt Parrish, Henry Pettys, Bryson Plunk, Hector Ramirez, Zion Ray, Brice Robinson, and Jarvis Sherman. Congratulations to these outstanding young men and their coaches on a fantastic season and their Super Bowl wins. They have proven that hard work and dedication pays off, as they have represented Plant City well.
Improvement League of Plant City presents
K L M E D A R A P STIVAL
0 20 02 20 2
& FE 0 2 0 2 , 5 2 1 1 Y R A U JAN
IMPACT Conference 1:30PM - 3:00PM @ Greater New Hope Anointed Ministries
MLK Day of Community Service 7:30am - 1PM @ Bing House Museum
Opening Ceremony @@ Marshall MiddleMiddle SchoolSchool Opening Ceremony11:30AM-1PM 11:30AM-1PM Marshall
Room Dedication 4:30pm - 5:30pm @ Bing House Museum
January 18 MLK Parade 1PM Historic Downtown heading east on MLK Jr. Blvd Vendors, Drumline Battle and Concerts 11AM to 8PM @ MLK Sports Complex
January 25 MLK Boardwalk To A Better Health Fair 10AM @ Mt. Olive Baptist Church
January 19 MLK MLKLeadership LeadershipBreakfast Breakfast7:30AM - 9:30AM 730am @ Trinkle - 930am Center;Center; @ Trinkle TicketsTickets $35.00$35.00 MLKGospel GospelFest Fest4PM 4pm- 6PM - 6pm @ TBA MLK @ TBA FOR MORE INFORMATIon: www.plantcitymlkfestival.com PAGE
Maker: Kelsie Kohl By Heather Davis
ocally, if something is good and strikes the fancy of the public, word will spread fast. Word is spreading quickly about local baker Kelsie Kohl and The Mad Batter Bakeshop. Two words describe Kelsie’s creations unique and scrumptious. Kelsie is mostly a self taught baker. She spent some time working for the Publix bakery as a cake decorator and she credits that experience for kick-starting her passion for baking. For about eight years Kelsie baked and made product only for friends, work peers and family. Over time she was not able to keep up with the orders coming in so she decided to go into baking full time. The past two years has been spent working solely on building up her business, The Mad Batter Bakeshop. The Mad Batter Bakeshop caters to the individual and to creating an experience that is unique and “one of a kind.” The trend now is for small, custom made delicious sweets that engage the eye and the imagination. Kelsie delivers this experience for her customers with a personal touch that satiates the senses and taste buds. The Mad Batter Bakeshop does it all from parties big and small, baby showers, corporate office parties, bridal showers, birthday parties and weddings. Kelsie’s specialty is her focus on quality and detail. She wants to make sure everything is perfect and just how the customer envisioned it to be. “I really enjoy working with people and adding to their special days.” Kelsie said, “It is rewarding seeing the end product and the happiness it brings.” With Kelsie’s biggest challenge being lack of space to keep up with her growing demand, she along with her fiancé are looking into opening a store front at a later date. Located in Valrico, Kelsie delivers and offers pick up services to the Plant City, Valrico and Brandon area. You may also be lucky enough to catch her and her baked goods at local markets and pop-ups. If you do happen to bump into her be sure to sample her famous cakesicles and cake pops. Word on the street is her cake pops are much better than Starbucks and I can attest to that fact!!
The Mad Batter Bakeshop Online: madbatter.biz Email: email@example.com Instagram.com/themadbatterbakeshop 813-375-1975 PAGE
URGENT CARE IS COMING TO
SOUTH LAKELAND! Many times, your illness or injury isn’t severe enough to require emergency care, or to endure the inconvenience and high fees associated with an emergency room visit. Staffed by board-certified physicians, the new Watson Clinic Urgent Care South will specialize in the treatment of colds & flu, earaches, upper respiratory infections, small cuts and fractures, and much more. With the added convenience of after-hours availability and onsite access to x-ray, CT, ultrasound and laboratory capabilities, Watson Clinic Urgent Care South will have the technologies and expertise you need to get well fast.
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Watson Clinic –Your Urgent Care Experts. *Please note there are a limited number of appointments available per day and appointment times are an approximation of when you will be seen. Delays may occur based on the severity of patient illnesses during any given time frame. Appointments cannot be made for a specific Urgent Care physician.
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THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENTS FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT WHICH IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED FEE OR REDUCED FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT. DUE TO FEDERAL LAW SOME MEDICARE RECIPIENTS MAY NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS FREE OFFER.”
Faith Paul Pickern , All Pro Pastors (APP) By Cheryl Johnston
lant City resident Paul Pickern felt led of the Lord in 2003 to begin a ministry called All Pro Pastors (APP). God impressed him with a clear message that pastors needed to learn to trust and love one another by embracing accountability. God also emphasized the need for “Holy” living at home and making their families a priority. Since its humble beginnings in the winter strawberry capitol, the non-profit ministry has grown nationally and internationally. Today, Paul and his wife Linda invite you to become a part of connecting 1,000,000 Pastors by 2020 through Champion’s Tables. These consist of four pastors, typically of different church denominations, meeting weekly for friendship, wise counsel and accountability. Can you explain Champion’s Tables to us? The Champion’s Table is the foundation of APP which has helped Pastors throughout the world to experience miracles, start lifelong friendships, save marriages and ministries, and unify the body of Christ for Kingdom-building. Pastors Kevin Wynne, Randy Humphrey and Fred Harrold started the first Table in April 2007 and six months later added KJ Caldwell. This inaugural group still meets every week. No costs are involved for Pastors to join or start a Table because APP is completely funded by donations of Individuals, Christian companies, and churches who want to encourage and strengthen Pastors. Participation in any
All-Pro Pastors founders Paul and Linda Pickern are involved at the national level with the current administration’s efforts to engage with churches, ministries and faith-based non-profits who desire to turn America’s focus back to God.
way helps APP reach more Pastors and provides for ongoing daily/weekly encouragement, national/international travel, radio/television, breakfast/luncheon/dinner meetings, pastor conferences, pastor retreats, website support and encouragement, e-mail messaging, other events and critical personal pastoral care. What is the vision of APP? We desire to see the Body of Christ joined together through a Covenant of Prayer that brings all denominations, cultures, races and pastors together in action, and that pastors have relationships among themselves of trust, love and determination to impact their community and make disciples for Jesus Christ. How is APP involved at the national level? President Trump desires to engage with faith-based ministries and has appointed specific people in each government department with whom ministries, churches, and non-profits can communicate. Relying on the power of prayer and of Christian communities’ desires to help strengthen America, the Western Hemisphere Director of the State Department invited APP to become a constituent member of the U.S. State Department’s “Overseas Security Advisory Council.” Additionally, APP was asked to join the Executive Committee as the National Pastors Outreach Director for the National Day of Repentance and Solemn Assembly scheduled for 10 days in September 2020 with a great gathering
of Christians for prayer at the Washington Monument. We have made two trips this year to Washington, D.C. and two trips to learn more about situations at the borders in Texas and Arizona. Vice-President Pence plays a key role as well. Our major focus now is on prayer and establishing a Pastor Prayer Center. This unique part of the ministry will be calling Pastors throughout the Nation every day to pray with them about the critical needs of our country and their personal needs as God's Shepherds. How many countries have APP chapters now? APP International is now in many countries because Pastors like Jefferson Haynes of Liberia learned about it and felt compelled to get Pastors into Champions Tables. Some countries with active Chapters and Directors now include Sierra Leone, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Liberia, Malawi, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Germany, and Cyprus to name a few. What are you looking forward to in 2020? In addition to our ongoing work of encouragement and prayer, we will be traveling to India, Dominican Republic and Honduras for Pastor Conferences. To learn more, to communicate or to donate, please visit allpropastors.org
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 303 N Evers St Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-3519
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By Candy Owens
he other night on my way home from the office, I drove down Collins Street and noticed all the empty chairs that were set up on the sidewalks. I saw ropes, and blankets, and coolers, and hand written “RESERVED” signs marking the “already taken” spots for our town’s annual Christmas Parade. Traffic was congested and moved at a snail’s pace, but I didn’t mind. I quickly thought back to my childhood and remembered just how exciting it was for me and the rest of the town when the Christmas season began. Our little town buzzed with excitement as we watched the city workers ride way up high in a “Cherry Picker” to hang candy canes, wreaths, and silver bells made of tinsel on telephone poles and street lights, followed by strings and strands of garland inter-twined with beautiful Christmas lights. The town merchants also went out of their way to decorate their store fronts for holidays. Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, each of the businesses took such pride in their appearance. Everything was neat and orderly. I can remember strolling down Reynolds Street with my family and jumping up and down with excitement because the Christmas decorations were so beautiful. Each store was decorated with red bows, wreaths, candles, dolls, lights, Christmas trees, and the most beautiful decorations. It seemed as if each store window was covered with artificial spray snow. To a little kid, it felt and looked like a Winter Wonderland. Speaking of red bows, candles, Christmas trees, unbelievable window displays, and a Winter Wonderland, then you were at the door of: Mary Herold’s Dress Shop! Mary Herold’s was an upscale dress shop and boutique for women and was located on Reynolds Street to the left of the Hi-Fi House Record Shop and to the right of Barwick’s Drug Store. Mary Herold was a lady that had exquisite taste in fashion and decorating. Her shop had the most beautiful clothes and gifts for women. At Christmas time you would enter her store and be welcomed immediately with the most beautiful decorations that you had ever seen. There were sterling silver trays filled with beautiful Christmas cookies. There were crystal punch bowls filled with punch and eggnog. There were “Anna Lee” Christmas dolls and “Anna Lee” Reindeer positioned all over the store. (Anna Lee Dolls are pricey hand-made collectable
dolls from New Hampshire with bendable felt bodies and hand painted faces that range in height from a few inches up to 6 feet and vary in theme from elves to animals.) There were little round tables filled with silk scarves, gloves, hats, jewelry boxes, crystal letter openers, candles, stationary, and fine crystal perfume bottles. Mary Herold’s had beautiful clothes and lovely gifts for the most discriminating taste. When you left Mary Herold’s Dress Shop and Boutique with a Christmas present for someone, then you left Mary Herold’s Dress Shop and Boutique with an exquisitely wrapped gift. Kirby’s Bakery was probably the most exciting and sought after place to visit at Christmas time or any other time or any other day or any other minute in Plant City. HAHA!!! Kirby’s had the most delicious baked goods of any bakery in the world as-far-as I was concerned. They had the best cakes, the best glazed doughnuts, the best cookies, the best éclairs, the best brownies with fudge frosting, the best cup cakes, the best thumbprint cookies, and the best Chinese chews that anybody ever tasted! And the aroma….anybody walking down Reynolds or Collins Street, could and would take a giant whiff at anytime and say: “AH!!!! KIRBY’S!!!” Kirby’s Bakery had the best Christmas window display in town. Their windows always looked frozen with fake snow. They had red and green streamers twirling and whirling round and around along-side snowflakes and frosted tree branches emerging from mounds of artificial snow. They displayed their finest Winter Wedding cakes, cookies, cupcakes, birthday cakes, pies, and the most famous of them all: The Christmas Choo Choo Train. Kirby’s made a cake with a Steam Engine, separate cars, (as-many-as you wanted), and a caboose. They used their famous butter cream frosting rather than the rolled Fondant frosting of today. I remember back in the 1960’s, Bill and Mary Jane Jackson Parolini’s children were gifted with one of Kirby’s famous Christmas Choo Choo Train cakes by their Grandmother Mildred Jackson who worked next door to Kirby’s Bakery at Carol’s Dress Shop. The Train had a separate car for each child: Mike, Steve, Susan, Jennifer, and Amy. Wow! How lucky could a kid be??? Christmas time in Plant City was always fun especially when you went to someone’s home that loved to bake for the holidays. My parents always made a point to visit our friends and family around
Mrs. Mary Mike Herold in later years. Still a fashion ICON in Plant City.
the holiday season. I loved to go to my best girlfriend Jean Ann Weaver’s house at Christmas time or any other time. JeanAnn’s mother, Mrs. Jean Barker Weaver loved to bake. At Christmas time she made batches and batches of the best Chocolate Fudge, Crescent Cookies, Chinese Noodle Candy, and my favorite of them all Scotties. As a teenager I always made it a point to be at JeanAnn’s house while her mother was baking so that we could eat any of the leftovers! HAHA! JeanAnn’s Aunt Betty Barker Watkins was not a cook, but at holiday time, she made the best Peanut Butter Fudge that you have ever put in your mouth! I thought that it might be fun to include Mrs. Weaver’s “Scottie” recipe. Mrs. Weaver’s Scotties Melt two sticks of butter in saucepan on medium heat. Add 1 cup of dark brown sugar and 1 cup of granulated sugar to the melted butter. Mix well. Add 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons of self risingflour to the mixture along with 2 well beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon of Vanilla, and ½ cup of chopped Pecans. Mix all together in the same saucepan and turn into a 9x13 greased baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Test the center for dry toothpick. Cool and cut in squares…big yummy squares and enjoy! Christmas has and always will be such an exciting time in my life! The parades, the shopping, the music, the trees, the lights, the cool weather, the decorations, the electricity in the air, and the beautiful gifts. The beautiful gifts are the people in our lives that have come and gone, but have left us with the most wonderful memories of the times that have been shared and the love that they left in our hearts!!!
New Years Party TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31st
Free Champagne at midnight Free domestic draft beer | well drinks and house wine 10-11pm Music by Galaxy Radio 2309 THONOTOSASSA RD. PLANT CITY, FL 33565 813-756-6504
911 Catering A culinary and customer service team of South Florida Baptist Hospital. BY CIERRA CRAFT
301 N. Alexander Street Plant City, Fl 33563 (813) 757-1201
hen faced with a medical emergency, Plant City residents dial 911. When faced with an event planning emergency, Plant City residents call 911 Catering, a culinary and customer service team of South Florida Baptist Hospital. The 911 Catering Team is led by Food and Nutrition Manager/Catering Services Manager John Belcher. Belcher joined the Food and Nutrition department at SFBH in 1998, after 22 years as an executive chef for several hotels and restaurants throughout Florida and New England. “We started catering for clients who were in dire need of food for funerals within a day’s notice, hence the name ‘911 Catering,’” said Belcher. “Since we are so closely knit with our community, we thought we could serve our community with a superior product because of our expertise.” With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and restaurant industry, Belcher and his team create a culinary experience, fit to the customer’s needs and budget. 911 offers a menu of their most popular items, as a list of suggestions. From hors d'oeuvres to plated meals, 911 Catering offers a number of dining options. If choosing from 911’s menu of popular items, event planners have their choice of one entree, a choice of salad, choice of two sides and a dessert in a buffet style. Entrees range from $17.95 to $24.95. Pricing including upscale disposable plates, chrome utensils and napkins. Some of the popular entrees include Chef’s Famous Grouper Oscar, Honey Bourbon Blackened Roast Pork Loin, prime rib, filet mignon and salmon. The team can work with any budget.
However, if guests already have a menu or cuisine style in mind, Executive Chef Michael Ambrosino will work with the hostess to create a custom menu. “I talk to the clients and build a relationship,” said Laura Ciccone, banquet manager, about her role. “My main objective for the client to feel comfortable and to not feel stressed. We aren’t just catering to that person and we aren’t just there to serve food. It’s about the people, not just the food on the plate.” Ciccone shared that the 911 Catering team is always ready to go above and beyond the call of duty. “We were catering a wedding and the bride’s zipper broke,” said Ciccone. “So, the girls and I went in, help keep her calm and remedied the situation. The next day, she came in to talk to John and shared how much she appreciated us being there for her. I thanked her for her kind words and then told her to go on her honeymoon.” Once the menu has been determined, Ambrosino gets to work, coordinating with the kitchen staff for prep work and implementation. If the cuisine or dish requested is something Chef Ambrosino is unfamiliar with, he will do extensive research and use his culinary training and decades of experience to recreate the dishes to fit the client’s request. “I am passionate about food, flavors, and ingredients,” said Ambrosino. “About 90% of what we serve is customized.” Ambrosino began his career in kitchens in New York’s Staten Island. He then moved to Pennsylvania, where he worked in diners, restaurants and pizzerias and where he also owned a Greek restaurant. He moved to Florida in 1999
and met John Belcher when the pair worked at Four Points by Sheraton in Tampa. In June 2001, John invited Ambrosino to bring his talents to South Florida Baptist Hospital. “John’s always challenging me and encouraging me,” said Ambrosino. “If I come to him and ask ‘what do you think,’ he will give me his honest feedback. We feed off of each other.” From private house parties to weddings and fundraisers, no function is too small or too large for the 911 Catering team. “We have served as few as eight people to thousands of people at events,” said John Belcher. “We have a servers as well, and if more are needed, I contract out more through a temp service.” The catering group is the go-to for Plant City events. From Diamonds and Denim to the Chamber’s Annual Gala, 911 Catering is there to provide exceptional dining and service. On Dec. 5, Belcher, Ambrosino and Ciccone served chili, hotdogs, and more at the 2019 Lights of Love Tree Lighting in McCall Park. When asked what makes the catering program successful, the team agrees: community. Ambrosino noted that some of the civic leaders the catering service works with are among those whose families founded SFBH. “We are blessed to work for a hospital that is loved by the community,” said Ambrosino. “It is this community and their support of South Florida Baptist Hospital that allows us to do what we do.” To book 911 Catering for your next house party or event, contact John Belcher at John.Belcher@BayCare.org or call (813) 757-1201. PAGE
a Gallery of Plant City
Christmas Parade On Friday, Dec 6, thousands turned out for the annual Christmas Parade. The parade featured over 100 units, including marching bands, local businesses and schools. The parade traveled north on Collins and east on Reynolds, ending at the Plant City Courthouse.
a. The Forestry departmentâ€™s float featured a wood cabin covered in Christmas lights and the iconic Smokey the Bear. b. Heroes Paradise, a family activity center coming soon to Brandon, was one of the most memorable floats in the event, topped with an animatronic dinosaur. c. Evergreen Packaging of Plant City passed out candy and other treats to parade spectators. The group was one of many to spread Christmas cheer with goodies for the crowd. d. St. Clements Catholic Church used the parade as an opportunity to promote the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration. The colorful procession included lively music and traditional dress to honor Latino identity and the cultural talisman. e. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce participated in the annual parade. President Christine Miller passed out beads to eager parade participants. PAGE
Franklin Graham’s Decision America Sunshine Tour
4:00PM Prayer | Worship | Music by Jeremy Camp Florida Strawberry Festival 303 BerryFest Place Cost: Free Info: fl.billygraham.com/events/ plantcity
20 The Lights of Christmas 6:00PM Christmas Lights | Candles of the Advent | Guided Tours City Pointe Church 503 N. Palmer Street Cost: Free Info: Ellen Lynch, 813.441.6693
Cruising into Christmas 3:00PM Photos with Santa | Movies in the Park | Classic Cars McCall Park 100 N. Collins Street Cost: Free Info: Michelle McGuire, 813.754.3707
27 Java & Jeans 8:00AM Morning Networking | Ugly Christmas Sweaters Encouraged | Fresh Coffee Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce 106 N. Evers St Cost: Free Info: 813.754.3707
Trivia Night: Christmas Movies
New Year’s Eve Party at 1916 Irish Pub
8:33PM Desserts | Holiday Drinks | Christmas Trivia Krazy Kup 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd Cost: Free Info: 813.752.1220
8:00PM Free Domestic Draft Beer | Free Champagne at Midnight | Music by Galaxy Radio 1916 Irish Pub 2309 W. Thonotosassa Road Cost: Free admission Info: 813.756.6504
01 Happy New Year!
The Conspiracy at O’Brien’s Irish Pub Live Music | Food & Drinks O’Brien’s Irish Pub 1701 S. Alexander St Cost: Free Admission Info: (813) 764-8818
15 The Walker Brothers at Krazy Kup 7:00PM Live Bluegrass Music | Familyfriendly show Krazy Kup 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd Cost: $15, Tickets available on Eventbrite Info: 813.752.1220
Gallery of Plant City
Plant City Pig Jam The 2019 Suncoast Credit Union Plant City Pig Jam was held Nov. 22 and 23 at the Randy Larson Fourplex. BBQ teams from across the country converged to Plant City for the two-day event, taking home cash prizes and bragging rights.
a. In addition to barbecue, Pig Jam vendors sell a number of sides, including roasted corn. The Lofley family enjoyed chowing down on the savory snack. b. Hardwood BBQ was named 2019 Best of Plant City team. The award goes to the highest ranking local team in the professional category. Hardwood was named 3rd place overall, 3rd place chicken, 5th place brisket, 10th place pork. Photo credit: Hardwood BBQ c. Among crowd favorites at this years event was Brisket Mac and Cheese. Creamy Mac and Cheese, topped with delicious brisket and garnished with shredded cheese. d. BackMan BBQ is a local team led by Jack Peacock (far left) and his family. BackMan was ranked 28th overall in the Master Series.
e. Wombat Down BBQ competed in the Backyard Series and was ranked 9th overall in the competition. f. Over the two day event, hundreds of guests turn out for a taste of championship barbecue. The event also included a main stage with live entertainment, as well as a kids zone.
g. In addition to barbecue, teams have the opportunity to submit sides and dessert items. These Banana Pudding cups were submitted by Plant City team Hardwood BBQ, led by Dustin and Layla Drawdy.
Christmas Comes Again! Created by Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews
WELLS MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME 813-752-1111
CHRISTMAS COMES AGAIN!
ACROSS 1. Pole or Croat 5. Bazaars 10. Likelihood 14. Your 15. Congenital 17. Law expert 20. Christmas 23. Feller 24. Pen point 25. Mariner 26. Inexplicable 28. Hitchcock or Scorsese: abbr. 29. Kernels’ place 31. Bovine feature 34. Holiday __ 35. Urgent request 36. Calendar abbr. 39. On the town 40. Mighty trees 41. Christmas 48. Over 49. Like icicles 50. City in Florida 54. Servant 55. Buried box 58. DE followers 60. Stunned 61. Connector 62. Hoopla 63. Highland Scot 65. __ to; made aware of 67. Pudding choice 70. Good, long looks 72. Mexican dishes 75. Be __; carp at one’s hubby 77. Ones with feast days: abbr. 78. Young animal 81. Video game maker 82. Kirkcaldy accessory 84. Least restricted 86. Top rating 87. Mediterranean tree 88. Adapt one’s machinery 90. Nostalgic song 91. Christmas 97. Decorates pastries 100. Mean Amin 101. City on the Danube 102. __ up; confined 103. Lay lawn 104. Soul seller 106. Nev.’s neighbor 107. Espresso holder 110. “M*A*S*H” role 112. Leaves the earth 117. Chicken __ king 119. Feel remorse 120. Christmas 125. Puzzling problem 126. Pounder
127. 128. 129. 130.
DOWN 1. More bashful 2. Enkindled 3. Unknown writer, for short 4. Sonata, for one 5. Eur. nation 6. Yucatán years 7. Concerning 8. Royal one 9. Curb 10. Monogram for Cochran’s client 11. Give a nickname to 12. More dehydrated 13. Father 14. 1979 Best Comedy Emmy winner 16. Son of Isaac 18. Narrow groove 19. Ponder 20. Family member 21. Musical instruments 22. Nemesis 27. Nus’ English counterparts 30. Cave dweller 32. Failure 33. Letter from Greece 35. Fastener 1
85. Forest animal 86. Alcoholic beverage 89. Fort Worth school, for short 90. Poet’s word 92. Sinatra’s third 93. Univ.’s Internet domain suffix 94. AP rival 95. Bike part 96. Shrink 97. UN member 98. Shore 99. Albert, for one 104. Impudent 105. Chicago paper, familiarly 107. Yens 108. German river valley 109. Holey item 111. Word of lament 113. “__ Around”; Beach Boys hit 114. Former Iranian leader 115. Words to Brutus 116. Get rid of 118. For a 2nd time 121. Modern: pref. 122. Credit record agcy. 123. Conjunctions 124. Solemn promise
by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews
36. Transvaal resident 37. T-Mobile store purchase 38. Russell, to friends 40. Annual awards 41. First word, perhaps 42. Actor Richard 43. Bugs’ downfall 44. Get __ of; destroy 45. Mistaken 46. One for whom special scissors are made 47. Alpinist’s refrain 51. HIV-fighting drug 52. Gypsy Rose __ 53. Recipe verb 55. Outer garment 56. Keats or Wordsworth 57. Egg __ yong 59. Tool handles 64. 1st-class flier’s benefit 66. Intense desire 67. 22-card decks 68. Excuse 69. Jewelry box item 71. Journal or Japan ending 72. X-O game syllable 73. One __ time; in single file 74. Ruin 76. “__ and his money...” 78. Ending musical passage 79. Les États-__ 80. Underground edible 83. Craftsman
Commemorative meal Public performance Dull sounds Rare bills
© Puzzle Features Syndicate
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ChristmasComes Comes Again! Again! Christmas F A I R S O D I N N A T E J U O N O R J E S U S B B S E A M A N O B U D D E E A A P R O U T S T O F H O L I D A F R O Z E N F I N F G H C E L T A L C A E Y E F U A N A G S T S M F R E E S T E T O O L O C O O K U P A U L M P E N T I D A R I S E S A L I G H T H O L Y B E A T E R S T H U D S T
D S R I S T I R T H E E R I E R I N N O A K S Y S O C A L A D A Z E D E R T E D L S C U B A O N E O L D I E F E A S T T U R N A R U E N I G H T E D E R WO S
a Gallery of Plant City
Lights of Love Held on Dec 5, Lights of Love is presented by South Florida Baptist Hospital, in collaboration with First Baptist Church of Plant City. Lights of Love is an annual fundraiser for the hospital, while also serving as the community’s annual tree lighting event in McCall Park. Attendees could take photos with Santa, visit Rudolph and enjoy live performanced by FBCPC Kids’ Choirs.
d f a. Vice Mayor Nate Kilton stepped in for Plant City Mayor Rick Lott, who was unable to attend Lights of Love. Kilton thanked the community for attending the event in the holiday spirit. He thanked the community for not only supporting South Florida Baptist Hospital, but for the support Plant City residents have expressed to city leadership this past year. b. The Plant City Dolphins Cheer team sold Christmas head bands and necklaces for $5. The money went back to South Florida Baptist Hospital, while spreading a bit of Christmas cheer. c. The East Hillsborough Art Guild hosted an Arts & Crafts show in the Big Dog’s patio. Items included paintings on various mediums, as well as handmade ornaments and stained glass pieces. d. Volunteers from various civic groups worked the invite, including assisting 911 Catering in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. Event attendees could purchase chili, pretzel bites, and hot dogs, among other items. e. Live entertainment was in full force as the kids’ choir of Plant City’s First Baptist Church performed Holiday songs. The group was made up of nearly 50 Plant City youth, who performed as a group, as well as some solo performances. f. Santa and Mrs. Claus joined Vice Mayor Nate Kilton on stage to countdown the tree lighting. The pair, along with the Vice Mayor, then joined the community in singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas to bring the event to a close. PAGE
SUNDAY DEC 22 10:30AM
@crossing.pc For more info text the word: UPDATE to: (844) 584-7155 wearecrossing.com/plantcity
507 S. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL 33563 (In the MadZone building)
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Tuesday, December 24 at 4:15pm PAGE
Rated highly for: Responsiveness, Quality, Punctuality, Value “Great group from the ofﬁce staff to the guys who put in my unit....When they were done they cleaned up the area and I could not ask for better service...I highly recommended this group for all of you air conditioner needs.”
“Tony is the best and most honest repairman I’ve had. He has saved me a lot of money over a few years by ﬁnding and ﬁxing problems other AC companies couldn’t (or wouldn’t). I have had 3 properties in Tampa for over 10 years and gone through a lot of companies for ac systems. Gould’s AC is the best. Most companies in Tampa just send a minimally trained salesman, that in my experience just try sell you a new system. Tony will ﬁx your problem or give fair honest advice about replacement. Advised me to check warranty on an $800 coil when another company didn’t even think of it...it was under warranty and I got it free! Great thinking and caring make Gould’s a great company. Thanks”
“I have been using Gould’ for many years and I have always had a great experience! I used them today to install a new unit in my mom’s home and they acted very quickly so she wouldn’t be without AC too long. They were very efﬁcient and provided a fair price. When you can trust them with your parents that is always a great thing!!!”
“Arrived home from store to ﬁnd water gushing from ceiling in the kitchen. After ﬁve on Friday night, perfect. Called and left message with answer service at Gould’s and started to mop the ﬂoor! Phone rings, almost didn’t answer it! Boy am I glad I did! James from Gould’s said he would be here within the hour! Less than an hour, James pulls in the driveway and goes to work diagnosing the problem, completing his work with a professional, friendly repair. It does not get any better than that! Thanks Gould’s”
“I cannot begin to describe how refreshing it is to work with an honest and affordable AC contractor. I own a number of rental homes and often times we have urgent needs arise when a unit does or needs repair. I can always depend on Tony and his team to arrive on time and handle the issue at hand. Not only that, but many times I have requested a certain unit or upgrade and Tony would explain how or why I can save myself money and not go the route I was considering. In this day and age or sales quotas replacing honest and dependable service, it was refreshing to hear. If you are looking for an honest ac contractor who focuses on the long term relationship over short term proﬁtability, this is your man”
“Great company. I’m a Realtor and I use this company often. Very good service.”
WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE... ...we have moved to a larger location to better serve our customers. Gould’s Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC 901 E Baker Street Plant City, Florida 33563 813-752-1970
Crab & Happy Hour?
Happy Hour Mon-Thurs 3p-6p e We now havakes! Cr ab C
Enjoy our house signature craft wine $1 oﬀ glass 10% oﬀ bottle
Wednesday Senior Night
Veterans 10% oﬀ with ID
dine in only
Happy Hour 16oz glass or pitcher Mon-Thurs 3p-6p Buy one get one drafts and house wine
Lunch Menu Available Mon-Fri 12-3p and weekday special open to close Mon-Thurs
FREE DRAFT - WELL - WINE WITH PURCHASE OF AN ENTREE WITH THIS COUPON. NOT VALID WITH OTHER OFFERS OR PRIOR PURCHASES. OFFER EXPIRES 1/15/20
704 E. Brandon Blvd - Brandon
Sun-Thurs 12p-10p | Fri & Sat 12p-11p
BLOODY MARY OR MIMOSA
$20 OFF YOUR BILL
MIMOSA SERVED 12-3P 7 DAYS A WEEK $15.00
SPEND $100.00 OR MORE ON ONE CHECK AND RECEIVE $20.00 OFF YOUR BILL
WITH THIS COUPON. NOT VALID WITH OTHER OFFERS OR PRIOR PURCHASES. OFFER EXPIRES 1/15/20
OFFER VALID MON-THURS ONLY WITH THIS COUPON. NOT VALID WITH OTHER OFFERS OR PRIOR PURCHASES. OFFER EXPIRES 1/15/20
SPECIAL LUNCH MENU NOW AVAILABLE 11A-3P
TUESDAY KIDS EAT FREE WITH PURCHASE OF ADULT ENTREE (2 KIDS PER ADULT) WITH THIS COUPON. NOT VALID WITH OTHER OFFERS OR PRIOR PURCHASES. OFFER EXPIRES 1/15/20
BUY $50 IN GIFT CARDS
RECEIVE $10 BONUS OR SPEND $100 AND RECEIVE $20 BONUS
FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 18-12 December 2019