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Why go to an emergency center that’s connected to a hospital? What if you need the rest of the hospital? When it comes to your health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Which is why during an emergency such as a stroke or heart attack, every second counts. We don’t want to risk our patients’ lives by transferring them to a different hospital for emergency surgery. Here, if you need to be rushed to surgery, it’s down the hall, not down the road. We also have access to cuttingedge equipment and some of the best doctors, nurses and specialists in the region are only a few feet away. If you need a pint of blood, no problem, we’re connected to a blood bank. Not to mention that our rehabilitation, orthopedic, oncology and maternity departments are only a wheelchair ride away. The best place to go during your emergency is a facility designed to handle any emergency. And that’s right here at BayCare’s South Florida Baptist Hospital. Learn where to get the right care: BayCareRightCareRightPlace.org

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Contents Table of

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ON THE FRONTLINE

BY CIERRA CRAFT Plant City resident and registered nurse Maggie Hehn traveled to New York City to work on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19. Meet Hehn and hear about this heroic nurse’s experiences at the U.S. epicenter of the virus.

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SOUTH FLORIDA BAPTIST HOSPITAL TEAM MEMBERS ADJUST TO ‘NEW NORMAL’

BY SFBH Plant City’s community hospital, South Florida Baptist Hospital, have risen to the occasion to adjust to the “new normal,” as our county is shaken by COVID-19. Meet the doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians, and essential workers protecting our city.

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MEDICAL PROFILES

BY CIERRA CRAFT Plant City’s healthcare professionals are open and ready to serve you. Plant City Dermatology, Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic, and NowCare Urgent Care & Weight Loss Center comprise some of the best medical professionals in our community. Your CBD Store provides a health and wellness product for those seeking an alternative to traditional medicine.


FOCUS PLANT CITY

focusplantcity.com / Issue 19-05 / May 2020

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BUSINESS: ONPOINT COWORK SOLUTIONS

BY CIERRA CRAFT Since September 2018, OnPoint CoWork Solutions has served as a professional office space for Plant City’s remote workforce. Learn more about owners Alice and Kim Bullard, and how their coworking space is changing the way Plant Citians work, grow and connect.

PUBLISHER

Mike Floyd

MANAGING EDITOR

Cierra Craft

ACCOUNT MANAGER

ART DIRECTOR

OFFICE MANAGER

DISTRIBUTION

mikef@floydpublications.com

cierra@floydpublications.com

Chandler Workman

chandler@floydpublications.com

Anthony Sassano

asassano@floydpublications.com

Candy Owens

cowens@floydpublications.com

Tony DeVane

STAFF WRITERS

Angela Ardrey Anthony Bolesta Cheryl Johnston Sherrie Mueller Emily Topper

CONTRIBUTORS

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

www.focusplantcity.com

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UBLISHE From The

Publisher This month, we tip our hat to some of our city’s medical professionals. On the cover, BayCare’s South Florida Baptist Hospital finds the “new normal” in patient care, in the fight against COVID-19. Meet the doctors, nurses, technicians and others who have worked so hard to provide the highest level of care in challenging times. This month, we also feature Plant City resident Maggie Hehn. Hehn traveled to New York City to battle COVID-19 in the Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn. Maggie shares a heartwrenching story of bravery and a firsthand account of her experiences with our editor Cierra Craft. Maggie was among the 4,000+ healthcare workers who stepped up to the plate and lend her time and talent. We are proud of not only Maggie, but the other nurses, doctors and medical professionals from the greater Plant City area who have and continue to protect us all against this virus.

THE DOCTOR’S ORDERS

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Each May we are proud to present Plant City’s area medical practitioners, services and resource providers. This year, we feature NowCare Urgent Care & Weight Loss Clinic, Plant City Dermatology, and Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic. We also features a health and wellness product provider, Your CBD Store. It’s our hope you will learn something new to make 2020 your healthiest year yet. It’s our mission at FOCUS to bring informative, entertaining, and positive stories of our city to you. It is with your feedback we are able to continue to bring content of interest to our readers. If you have story ideas, please email our editor Cierra Craft at cierra@floydpublications. com with details for consideration. Warmest Regards,

Mike Floyd


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8/15/2019 7:46:13 AM


n o t l i m a Kyle H

ns o i t a l u t a r g n o C

PCHS Class of 2020 Salutatorian and Senior Class President!

PINEWOOD DERBY FIRST PLACE WINNER

RYAN NECE SERVICE PROJECT IN THE PANHANDLE DANCING WITH THE LOCALS WITH CAROLINE BRUMMER

NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY INDUCTION TROOP 5 EAGLE SCOUT

you would not Early in your life, we realized that on. Whether it ecti perf than less hing settle for anyt Books, becoming was winning the area Battle of the cing with the Dan in an Eagle Scout, cutting a rug s State and Boy on Legi n rica Locals, attending Ame at South ring ntee volu or m, sroo Congressional Clas ed r back down Florida Baptist Hospital, you neve from a challenge. titude of There were plenty of times and a mul d your goals, nge cha , quit ld’ve cou reasons that you ed, ever or accepted defeat; however, you pers g our edin exce and conquering each opportunity ad will ahe road The ls. leve y expectations on so man incts; inst r you st Tru ges. llen cha y be paved with man for t buil you’ve leverage the values and character ully navigate both essf succ to s year the over f yoursel ad. ahe s the good and not-so-good time in your life at the As you embark on the next chapter that we’re so very University of Florida, please know me, and we look beco proud of the young man you’ve adventures this t grea y man forward to sharing in the . you for e stor in life undoubtedly has e on!

We love you without limits. Shin OPTIMIST OUTSTANDING YOUTH AWARD

TONY JANNUS STATE ESSAY CONTEST WINNER

Love, Mom, Dad, Casey, Katie and Luna

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Community

FOCUS

CHECK IN WITH PLANT CITY American Legion Post #26 Cancels East Hillsborough County Memorial Ceremony Because of the restrictions brought by COVID-19, the East Hillsborough County Memorial Ceremony scheduled for May 25, 2020, and hosted by the American Legion Post #26 has been canceled. However, civic clubs, organizations, and individuals may bring floral arrangements and place them at the base of the Post 26 flag pole. The gate will be open all day on May 25 at 2207 W. Baker Street.

New Senior Living Community Coming to the Strawberry Capital Kids’ Summer Camp to be held June 8-12 at Festival Grounds Camp Invention, a kids’ camp steered towards Kindergarten through Grade 6, is coming to Plant City for its seventh consecutive year June 8-12, 2020. Camp Invention is held at the Arthur Boring Building at the Florida Strawberry Festival. The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) camp engages students in using their critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills throughout the week to prototype, build and present a number of projects. Camp Invention is co-ed, giving them the opportunity to become innovators through teamwork and immersive, hands-on creative problem-solving. Camp Invention is a five-day summer camp offered nationally by the National Inventors Hall of Fame. According to Paul Coletti, Camp Director, the Plant City camp grows each year and was named #1 Camp Invention program in the state. According to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, “Camp Invention also supports stronger school performance.” A third-party evaluation found that participation in Camp Invention contributes to “increased attendance, an increase in students’ average GPA, improved test scores.” This year, campers can attend the standard camp from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $250, or for those enrolled in the new Extended Program, the camp will run 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for an additional $80. To register, visit https://www.invent. org/programs/camp-invention. The deadline to register is June 8. For more information, please contact Camp Invention Director Paul Coletti at pacman1988@ hotmail.com PAGE

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Palm Cove Living is Plant City’s newest state-of-the-art assisted living and memory care senior living community that will serve aging adults and yield dozens of employment opportunities. Palm Cove Living consists of 47 beautiful apartments designed to meet the needs of the underserved seniors in Plant City and surrounding towns offering assisted living, memory care and respite care services. The community is currently under construction and is expected to open in Fall 2020 under Solinity management. “Solinity is excited to form this partnership with the local owners of the community to meet the growing need and insufficient senior housing needs of Plant City,” Josh Crisp, CEO of Solinity said. “I was inspired by the vision that was shared with me by the late-owner, Mark Jordan. It seems like not too long ago, Mark was sharing his vision but that was nearly two years ago. Shortly after his unexpected death, his son Jimmy and business partner, Mike Tatum determined to carry forward his passion and that has inspired us to be part of the team.” The state-of-the-art senior living community will provide quality living for Plant City’s aging adults and a world class working environment that will bring over thirty new employment opportunities to Plant City. “Plant City continues to see unprecedented growth which is creating demand for new amenities for our residents,” Jake Austin, President of the Plant City Economic Development Corporation says. “We welcome Palm Cove Living as it will offer a new state-of-the-art community for our seniors and their families.” The leasing and hospitality center is open at 110 S. Collins Street, Plant City, FL 33563 in the heart of the downtown district. Palm Cove Living is expected to open in fall of 2020 and is now leasing. The campus is conveniently located at 2102 N. Shannon Ave., Plant City, FL 33563. To schedule an appointment and learn more, visit PalmCoveLiving.com or call 813.444.5299 for leasing information.


City to Transition to Automated Trash Collection by 2022 On April 13, City Commissioners unanimously voted the City of Plant City will transition to automated trash collection over the next two years. Utilizing a pay-as-youthrow system, the program will be structured based on the volume of trash created per household. Residents will have the option of a 35, 65, or 95 gallon trash can and monthly fees will be in line with (or less than) current fees. At the April 13 meeting, Solid Waste Division Director Jill Sessions said the proposed monthly cost for the automated system would be $27.50 for 95 gallon, $25.50 for 65 gallon, or $23 for the 35 gallon. The City has committed to purchasing four full automated trucks in fiscal year 2020 for $1,060,000 and three in 2021 for $795,000. 12,000 carts will be purchased in 2021 for $689,040. These costs will be paid from the Solid Waste Reserve fund, putting no out of pocket cost on customers, according to Sessions. Sessions also clarified that residents unable to bring the trash to the curb will have to fill the cart. A city worker will bring the cart to the truck, have it emptied and return the cart to the home. Additionally, the program will protect city workers from risk of injury and hopes to encourage residents to utilize the city’s recycling services.

Keel Farms releases limited edition Key Lime Coconut Cider Keel Farms Ale & Agrarian Cider announced on Tuesday, May 12, their new limited edition cider flavor: Key Lime Coconut. Made with Florida Key Limes and a touch of coconut for a tropical burst of flavors. Key Lime Coconut Cider is available beginning Friday, May 15 and limited edition to the summer. The new seasonal flavor is available on tap and canned for to-go six packs. For more information, call Keel Farms at (813) 752-9100.

City to Host Parade Honoring Area School’s Class of 2020 The City of Plant City wants to send its seniors off with a vehicle parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 30 through Plant City’s beautiful historic downtown district. The City has teamed up with Berry Fine Productions, the organizers of the annual Strawberry Grand Parade. “Our community couldn’t stand by and do nothing,” said Plant City Mayor Rick Lott. “We had to figure out a way to safely celebrate this very special class. We wanted to make sure that COVID-19 didn’t rob them of their graduation experience. We had to make sure we found the right way to safely honor them for their hard work and to send them off in style as the class of 2020! Our City Commission and community leaders all agreed this had to be done in true Plant City style.” Students from Plant City High School, Durant High School, and Strawberry Crest High School, are encouraged to participate. Students are asked to wear their cap and gown and appropriately decorate their vehicles. The parade will be led by the PCHS valedictorian and salutatorian. There is no fee to participate in or watch the parade; however, there is an application process to determine how many cars to expect and how many volunteers will be needed. Students should check their Edsby accounts for information. The community is encouraged to line up along the parade route and cheer for these students. “We hope that not only the students’ family and friends will turn out to show their love and support, but that our residents and businesses will also come out,” said Gail Lyons, president of the board of Berry Fine Productions. “Make some homemade signs. Wave a flag. Show our graduating seniors that their town believes in them as they prepare to enter a very uncertain world!” The parade route is as follows: Line-up: 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. on Evers and Wheeler streets (near the Mad Zone Jump House) for a 10 a.m. start. The procession will head north on Evers Street and then turn right onto Reynolds Street, right onto Collins Street, right onto South Maki Road, ending up at the east parking lot of Plant City High School. “This isn’t going to be just another parade, it’s going to be the longest parade route in recent Plant City history,” said Lott. “While we celebrate our seniors, we also want to make sure everyone stays safe through social distancing along the route. We encourage spectators to wear masks. We can be safe and have fun at the same time. The Plant City Police Department will provide barricades and traffic control to provide additional safety measures along the parade route.” PAGE

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Community

FOCUS

CHECK IN WITH PLANT CITY Plant City Rotary was chartered on May 17, 1955.

Service Above Self: Rotary Club Celebrates 65 Years

F

or 65 years, the Plant City Rotary Club has served the community, whether in times of crisis or to give thanks for a job well done. Since its founding in May 1955, generations of Plant City Rotarians have put “service above self.” Back in 1955, the Plant City Rotary Club was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bartow, according to Rotarian Charlie White and the late Alvin Futch. In sponsoring the city’s rotary club, Rotarians realized the importance of comradery across Rotary International’s chapters. The Plant City Rotary Club was officially chartered on May 17, 1955, according to photos provided by the Plant City Archives and History Center. Futch, who passed in 2019, was a member of the Plant City Rotary Club for 62 years and led the “Rotary Rodeo” alongside his brother Raymond. The Rodeo began on April 4, 1957, including a parade down Collins Street and used The Corral to promote the event. Citizens would

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be “arrested,” put in the corral, and the captives would have to wait for their friends to bail them out. At the Rodeo, held at the William Schneider Memorial Stadium, the organization would also crown its Rodeo Queen. In 1974, the Rotary Club began the Wild Game Cookout. Serving up barbecue, venison, elk, fried alligator tail, among other items, the stag-only event was led by Rotarian James Surrency for 25 years. Rotary President Doug Watson says the Wild Game Cookout is the largest fundraising event for the organization each year. “We have anywhere from 800 to 1000 guys there each year,” said Watson. “It’s just a good, fun get together where the food is great, with unlimited food and drinks with each ticket purchased. It’s an event where guys can be guys.” Throughout the years, the Plant City Noon Rotary Club has supported several endeavors. Gilchrist Park now includes an ADA compliant playground provided in 2005 by the Plant City

Noon Rotary Club and the Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club through a $100,000 grant in recognition of the Rotary International 100th anniversary. Then, in 2008, Plant City Noon Rotary Club founded one of the largest events of the yearDancing with the Locals. Couples take weeks of dance lessons and showcase their routines for the crowd. The event grosses $70,000 annually, all of which goes back directly to the community through the organization’s various endeavors including providing college scholarships for local students. This year, the organization provided $35,000 in scholarships for high school and college students in our community. “We not only provide scholarships to firstyear college students graduating from Plant City and Simmons,” said Watson. “We are doing something I think is special: We give out $10,000 in scholarships for college students going into their sophomore year and $5,000 for students


In 2008, the Plant City Rotary Club formed a new fundraiser, Dancing with the Locals. At the 2019 event, Casey Stidham and Stephanie Eisenbach (center) won the annual dance contest and was joined by Immediate Past President and Event Chair Jodi Stevens (left) and Rotary President Doug Watson (back), as well as featured dancer Heather Dykstra (far right).

In May 2019, Plant City Rotary Club made hundreds of hot dogs for the Boys and Girls Club Cornhole Tournament. Throughout the year, Plant City Rotary provides hot dog lunches for several organizations including Walden Lake and Cork Elementary.

into year three. So, we aren’t just helping students get to college, but also making sure they stay there. We have a scholarship committee that oversees the application process and there are standards students must meet to qualify.” Throughout the year, Noon Rotary also provides a hot dog meal with chips and a drink to children in our community. Watson says Plant City Little League Opening Day 2020, the organization made 2,200 hot dogs for the concession stand. Plant City Noon Rotary has also partnered with Walden Lake Elementary and Cork Elementary to cook and donate hot dogs each year, where Walden Lake and Cork then sell the meals and raise money for their respective schools. Finally, Plant City Rotary Club is known throughout the community for providing each Christmas Parade participant a hot dog, chips, and a drink at the end of the parade’s route. The food is donated by Rotarian Lee Williams of Felton’s. President-Elect John Haney told FOCUS back

in December that the organization grilled 2,000 hot dogs and begin preparing for the Christmas Parade two months in advance. “The Rotary Club sees this as a great community service to provide them with something to eat and drink,” said Haney in December 2019. “It’s also welcoming to locals and out-of-towners who are in our parade.” Former Rotarian Mark Poppell described the organization as one of our city’s most generous. “No service club has done more for our city than the Noon Rotary Club,” said Poppell. “As fine of a service club as any out there, they’re very generous to make a difference in our city.” In 2018, Rotarian Jodi Stevens made history as the first female President of the Plant City Noon Rotary. Stevens served in the position until June 2019. Stevens addressed the organization with this message of thankfulness and gratitude. “I am proud to be a part of Rotary and more importantly of our Plant City Club,” said Stevens. “Our Members are extraordinary and when we

pull together, we are simply unstoppable.” As our community continues to battle COVID-19, the Plant City Noon Rotary Club is doing its part to help those in need. As many organizations host meetings via telecommunications, the 90-plus members of the Plant City Rotary Club decided to give their club dues to a local business or organization. Every four weeks, the organization has decided to help others in need. Rotary also made a $5,000 donation to the United Food Bank of Plant City, as part of its efforts to help during the COVID-19 crisis. Doug Watson agreed, adding that the organization also added manpower to serve the Food Bank’s immediate needs. “What makes our club different from other organizations is that we have members from their twenties to their eighties, so we are able to take the younger generation’s ideas and the older generation’s experiences together and make things happen,” said Watson. “I think that’s a cool testament to our club to be able to adapt and improvise in weird situations like this one with COVID-19.” On May 5, Mayor Rick Lott presented a proclamation to the Plant City Rotary Club in commemoration of the organization’s 65th anniversary via a Virtual City Commissioners Meeting. “We thank you for your service to the community for 65 years and every single year, your organization and club steps up and meets the needs of so many in our community. We hope the next 65 years are as rewarding as the previous 65 years,” said Plant City Mayor Rick Lott. PAGE

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Walden Lake Review BY NATALIE SWEET

W

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 although they are currently being held virtually. The next meetings are scheduled for June 15th. Please keep an eye on the announcement boards at all entrances for dates and times of special meetings and events. At the HOA Annual on April 16th, the membership elected Blake Meinecke, Keith Carlough, and Ray Page to the Board of Directors. At the regular HOA meeting on April 20th, the officers of the Board were elected. Alicia Powell, President, Michael Faischetti, Vice-President, Blake Meinecke, Treasurer and Larry Britt, Secretary. During the month of April, there were 15 sales in Walden Lake and 1 sale in Walden Lake East. The average sale price was $275,550 with an average of 50 days on the market.

The April sales are as follows: Address / Sales Price / Living Area / Pool / Garage 102 S Capri Court / $169,000 / 1329 Sq’ / Community / 2 Car 107 Dorado Court / $186,000 / 1542 Sq’ / Community / 2 Car 3323 Michener Place / $200,000 / 1808 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 4117 Longfellow Drive / $205,900 / 1264 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 1603 Paddock Drive / $220,000 / 1597 Sq’ / No / 2 Car 1411 Oakwood Lane / $235,000 / 2074 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 1711 Brookstone Way / $249,000 / 1871 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 3208 Thackery Way / $352,000 / 2211 sq’ / No / 2 Car 1734 Brookstone Way / $261,000 / 2167 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 3221 Kilmer Drive / $293,000 / 1858 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 3458 Silver Meadow Way / $300,000 / 2361 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 2706 Laurel Oak Drive / $305,000 / 2483 Sq’ / No / 2 Car 2709 Barret Avenue / $324,900 / 2272 Sq’ / Yes / 2 Car 3233 Kilmer Drive / $325,000 / 2367 Sq’ / Yes / 2.5 Car 2507 Clubhouse Drive / $435,000 / 3443 Sq’ / Yes / 3 Car 1703 Charleston Woods Court / $448,000 / 3249 Sq’ / Yes / 3 Car

There are currently 11 active listings for sale in Walden Lake with an average list price of $355,973 and an average of 51 days on the market. There are 26 properties Pending Contract with an average list price of $289,200 and average of 47 days on the market. The developer, Walden Lake LLC has filed their plans with the City to try to get approval for developing portions of the golf course. This information is also available on our HOA website, www.WaldenLake.org so be sure you are registered for alerts. Also, please check with the City of Plant City for upcoming information. The documents filed can be viewed through this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/o6a5df08rnx05uo/ AAC9XoMahSbWOReIK2d92XNKa?dl=0 How is COVID-19 affecting real estate? We do not see a slowdown of our listings going under contract if they are priced correctly and in good condition. We are seeing fewer homes being listed, so The Sweet Team feels this is a great time to list, as there are buyers out there. Feel free to contact me about any real estate questions or about this article. NSweet@KW.com or 813-758-9586.


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we’re open! During this COVID-19 crisis, Watson Clinic remains open for you and your family. All Watson Clinic locations remain open for appointments, including for patients who wish to schedule routine check-ups, specialty care, and the ongoing management of chronic conditions. Watson Clinic’s popular walk-in care locations – including Urgent Care Main, Urgent Care South, and XpressCare Highlands – also remain open to treat minor illnesses and injuries without the need for an appointment. Patients are encouraged to attend their regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments. If they are not feeling well or do not wish to leave their house during this time, Watson Clinic also offers Telemedicine Video Visits, a service that allows patients to visit with their doctor from the comfort of their own home. More information on this option can be found at WatsonClinic.com/Telemedicine. Watson Clinic remains committed to helping patients address their health concerns just as we have for close to 80 years.

www.WatsonClinic.com

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ON THE

FRONTLINE Plant City Nurse Fighting COVID-19 in NYC Hospital BY CIERRA CRAFT PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAGGIE HEHN

She knew she had to be a part of the fight. She had a duty as a registered nurse to do what she can to heal those infected with COVID-19. Look into the eyes of Plant City resident Maggie Hehn and one sees bravery and urgency. On the same note, one sees sadness and tiredness. Hehn is one of the 4000-plus nurses stationed in New York City to relieve the local staff, doing whatever is needed to assist with the influx of patients due to COVID-19. “It’s a moment in history that I am living and doing everything that I can to help; I thrive in chaotic situations,” said Hehn. “Also, I think when you have a talent that is needed, we have a duty to report and do what we can if we are able.” She arrived in New York City on March 21, leaving behind her 14-yearold son, Wellington with his grandpa. Hehn was assigned to Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, a 371- bed hospital. Upon her arrival, the hospital had 100-plus COVID-19 positive cases or patients waiting for results.

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ON THE FRONT “I’m assigned to a medical surgical floor… a catch-all,” said Hehn. “We can be taking care of anything.”

Throughout her time in New York, she has journaled her experienced on social media. She was inspired to begin journaling by her mother, a local mental health therapist, who always shared with Hehn how therapeutic writing could be. She began photo journaling her and Wellington’s travels to look back on. Hehn knew it was important she documented what was happening around her as she embarked on this journey to New York.

She begins each post with a count of the days in the city and summarizes her happenings on the frontline, giving many an inside look at the epicenter of this virus. As of May 6, New York City had 177,000 confirmed cases.

Hehn said: “I knew NYC and this COVID battle were going to be of historical significance and I wanted something to reflect on. I think when you are going through something so physically and emotionally draining it is difficult to recall the feelings and stresses weeks or months later. I don’t want to forget. I want to remember the heartbreak and the victories. And I want my son to be able to see where I was and what I was doing when he is older. When he can better understand why I needed to leave.” This isn’t the first time Hehn has helped in relief efforts. She worked in the Florida panhandle during Hurricane Michael, where she slept on a mattress in the hospital for 60 days. Hehn is no stranger to unique situations, but she has never seen anything like COVID-19. “This is completely different,” said Hehn. “I think that’s one of the things that makes it so difficult. We are treating the best we know how but it’s evolving daily... hourly.”

As reported by dozens of media outlets across the country, hospitals faced a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Coney Island Hospital was no exception, with Hehn reporting some days only removing her mask to eat, drink, or FaceTime with her family. Unfortunately, Hehn was supplied with one mask for the entire week. She was blessed to find an abundance of care packages delivered to her hotel room from friends and local residents, which included N95 masks and other items. Hehn kept what she needed for herself and shared the remaining masks with her colleagues.

“I am a nurse and this is my armor. I was issued my weekly N95, surgical mask with face shield, and hair net. We are to store it between shifts in a brown paper sack. We are going to war and this is our ammo. And the bleak reality is it’s not enough…” The nurses and healthcare workers received a lot of support in New York. Cheers of support for healthcare workers at 7 p.m. are heard throughout the city. The fire departments and police delivered pizza on several occasions to Coney Island Hospital and drove around the hospital with sirens in support.

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"... I don’t want to forget. I want to remember the heartbreak and the victories. And I want my son to be able to see where I was and what I was doing when he is older. When he can better understand why I needed to leave.�

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“The hospitals we worked at also provided many lunches,” said Hehn. “World Central Kitchen brought breakfast and dinner to our hotel. We felt so supported. It’s a different feeling for nurses. We aren’t normally thought of as ‘frontline.’”

ON THE FRONT Understandably, fighting COVID-19 has taken an emotional toll on Hehn. The hospital morgue was overwhelmed early on and due to the contagion rate of the virus, those patients expired without seeing their family. Through her daily posts, she shared she cries behind her mask as she holds phones and iPads up to patients as their loved ones say goodbye, and as priests perform last rites. Sometimes she is challenged to do this multiple times per day. She has lost more patients in her one month in NYC than she has in her entire nursing career. She lost 3 out of 10 patients in one of her 12-hour shifts. “Can you possibly imagine not being able to say goodbye and then having to wait a month to have a proper funeral?” said Hehn. “How do you mourn as a family when you can’t even have a funeral for a month?”

She wonders how many of her colleagues across the globe will suffer from mental health disorders due to the strenuous work and the loss of life: “Running from room to room, I started thinking about how many healthcare professionals will suffer from PTSD after this battle and how few will have the resources to seek help…”

Maggie Hehn, and one of her best friends Jamie Pope of Maderia Beach, Florida, worked in disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Michael. Now the pair worked in the same NYC hospital for COVID-19.

Not only are healthcare professionals around the globe fighting this virus on the frontlines, but many, Hehn included, are distant from their families. Out of fear of infecting themselves and those they love. This disruption in social support- in the name of helping others- could go on for weeks or months. “I think the mental health of healthcare workers has long been a neglected conversation,” said Hehn. “We care for people from birth to death. On a normal day, it’s an emotionally challenging job. We hold the hands of people when they are struggling the most. We offer our support and we pour our hearts into everything that we do at work. Some days we give so much of ourselves that we have nothing left to give to our families when we get home. COVID has brought awareness and welcomed dialogue of our mental health.” What keeps Hehn going? Calling Wellington and her father, who she describes as patient and understanding, as she vents about what’s happening around her. One of her best friends, Jamie Pope of Maderia Beach, is also a nurse and stationed in the same hospital. The pair are leaning on one another now more than ever.

Maggie Hehn fought on the frontline of COVID-19, she is hailed a hero. She describes her current work conditions akin to “disaster nursing” and nursing in a war zone. She struggles with being called a hero. However, she questions the system in which does not provide her the proper frequency of tools to get the job done.

Hehn said: “This is a hard one. I’ve been struggling with this idea. How can we, as a whole, label healthcare workers heroes when we aren’t providing them with the proper frequency of N95s? We are committed to our patients so we will continue to rise up but calling us heroes while not protecting us... there is something inherently wrong with that.” Hehn returned home on Sunday, May 3, where she will quarantine herself for two weeks to ensure she doesn’t exposure her family.

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On Day 39, Maggie Hehn shared this photo of an empty Times Square, with signs of appreciation for healthcare workers.

Hehn said: “After quarantine, I will spend as much time as possible with my family. The need for nurses in our area has decreased significantly with social distancing. But I expect the needs to increase as the state opens up. I’m struggling with the idea of working while living at home and how to protect my family against exposure. The curious thing about COVID is it doesn’t present the same all the time. Sometimes it’s easy to spot with respiratory issues. Other times it presents as nausea/ vomiting and we might fail to recognize it as COVID. So I’m unsure how to work and make sure my family is protected. For now, it will just be maxing out family time.”


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South Florida Baptist Hospital

Team Members Adjust to ‘New Normal’

by South Florida Baptist Hospital Photos by Will Staples

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The “new normal” is a catch phrase being bandied about during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is understood by the general public, as they don masks to go grocery shopping, encounter empty store shelves where toilet paper should be and learn how to attend virtual church services. Even though caring for patients is their normal job, health care workers have had to make adjustments, too. Whether it’s wearing masks all the time, having their temperature taken before entering the building, working from home, or being redeployed and learning a new skill set, South Florida Baptist Hospital team members have risen to the occasion. “Health care” workers means more than just doctors and nurses. When it comes to patient care, essential services run the gamut from Admitting to X-ray. Before a patient even enters the hospital, they may call the hospital to get information. BayCare’s Customer Communications team is responsible for disseminating information externally and internally. Part of that team includes the South Florida Baptist Hospital switchboard operators and information desk clerks. During March – April, the hospital’s switchboard team fielded a total of 47,629 calls 24/7. “The Customer Communications team provides a valuable service, especially during the pandemic,” said Jonathan Daluz, Customer Communications manager. “They are knowledgeable about all aspects of the health system and serve individual needs by making proper referrals. We link our community members with valuable resources daily, such as directing callers to use one of BayCare’s drive-through testing sites or helping them to connect with a medical professional on BayCareAnywhere®, our telemedicine app.” Also nine members of the Customer Communications team who staff the information desk have assumed nontraditional roles performing temperature screenings, taking personal belongings to a patient’s room, and helping the pool team with directions and questions that come up.

Ashlea Dunn, registered respiratory therapist, and Karen Case, supervisor, Respiratory Care Services, prepare a ventilator for the next patient.

“Health care” workers means more than just doctors and nurses. When it comes to patient care, essential services run the gamut from Admitting to X-ray. PAGE

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When a patient enters the hospital through the Emergency Department (ED), one of the changes they experience is the admitting and registration process. “In the ED, we are not doing face-to-face registration,” said Tchnavia Marshall, manager, Admitting and Registration. “We are completing the registration process by phone.” During the pandemic, the community often used other resources for health care that included BayCare Urgent Care, BayCareAnyWhere, online screening at BayCare.org and drive-through testing at three BayCare sites plus Raymond James Stadium. “Normally, in the Emergency Department, the mid-shift team begins their work day between 9 -11 a.m.,” said Mindy Latstetter, BSN, RN, nurse manager, Emergency Services. In the middle of April, these team members switched to a 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. shift to accommodate the hospital’s ED surge plan. “This temporary change impacts their families but they are accepting the adjustment with grace and professionalism. I couldn’t be more proud.” In her down time, one ED charge nurse personally sewed face masks and hair coverings for team members who don’t normally wear them. On March 27, BayCare hospitals began issuing masks to all team members as they reported to work. Another exercise for the ED team was to be proactive and practice for a potential surge under temporary tents. “Regulations require, we have at least


Jamie Yager, health educator, Community Health, was redeployed to Raymond James Stadium to help with drive-through testing.

two emergency drills per year,” said Moses Jordan, manager, Safety and Security. “In addition, throughout the year, we have table top exercises, lunch and learns, and ongoing training classes to keep team member skills up to date with the latest information and changes.” Adding the additional exercise provided an extra layer of preparedness. The team practiced their processes with the goal of expediting patient flow, should they need it. After a week, the team felt confident in their processes and the tents were removed. Although clinical team members were mainly the ones using the tents, it was the Facilities team’s job to assemble them. Facilities also thought ahead and contacted the Florida Strawberry Festival to borrow large outdoor handwashing stations for use outside of the ED as well as road barriers from the City of Plant City and the Strawberry Festival. Other behind-the-scenes teams doing essential work include Clinical Engineering and Sterile Processing. In addition to being very detailed about deep cleaning each piece of equipment, Clinical Engineering devised a way to convert some ventilators so that the ventilator could stay in the room but the monitor could be in the hallway. “This adds a layer of protection for team members by reducing the frequency that a team member has to enter the room,” said George Rivera, biomedical engineering tech III. “We ordered almost $30,000 worth of parts in advance to maintain the ventilators and we are prepared to convert anesthesia machines, if necessary.” While Clinical Engineering thoroughly cleans equipment, Sterile Processing has added another function to their tasks – sterilizing N95 masks to be sure team members have adequate PPE.

“It takes about an hour and a half to sterilize one mask,” said Monica Watkins, Sterile Processing supervisor. When the Sterile Processing workload is light, several of their team members work the Labor Pool by helping with temperature scanning at the entrance or working in Alexander’s Café, which has challenges of its own. “We had to stop offering self-serve and wrap everything, which is time consuming and expensive” John Belcher, manager, Food and Nutrition, said. They began using disposable trays for patients and having the patient food carts stay on the units during the day so food could be taken to the cart. That way they only have to remove the cart at the end of the day for sterilization. Offering toilet paper and paper towels through its Groceries-to-Go program for team members also is new. “The team members really appreciate that,” Belcher said. Dining in the café presents challenges, as well. Social distancing prevents team members from being able to sit together during meal times and Belcher taped off areas of the café in six-foot sections. In addition to practicing social distancing, everyone having to wear masks and have their temperature scanned are adjustments for everyone. “Overall, everyone is in good spirits,” said June Ramsey, director, Patient Services. For the nursing staff, COVID-19 requires new processes. “Staffing the units, creating overflow and patient placement, and changing how we respond to emergencies are some of the adjustments that nurses have had to make.” Keeping track of PPE (personal protection equipment), every day, if not every shift, and having to sign it in and out, is a new process. “The team appreciates trying new staffing models and especially liked having the chance to practice triage in the ED tents,” Ramsey added.

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South Florida Baptist Hospital greatly appreciates community support. Nurses Karen Halverson and Nancy Guzman prepare goody bags for team members with candy donations. PAGE

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Photo courtesy of South Florida Baptist Hospital


Jon-Bevan Dixon, clinical laboratory scientist, runs a COVID-19 test under the South Florida Baptist Hospital Laboratory hood.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many changes for physicians. “They spend a lot of time and energy keeping up with the latest treatment and procedural innovations from other global hot spots, like China and New York, and then trying to evaluate and implement those innovations on a real-time basis,” said Dana Kellis, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer for BayCare’s hospital division, which includes South Florida Baptist Hospital. This allows them to collaborate with other physicians to minimize duplicative work; establish protocols, procedures and policies; and combine outpatient offices to form “sick” clinics for higher risk patients and “well” clinics for patients with non-infectious complaints. Technology comes into play as physicians increase their use of telemedicine and rely on computer records to evaluate patients’ progress. One of the most significant differences was the delay of elective surgical procedures, which the hospital resumed on May 4. Nurses and physicians definitely are considered front line staff, but there are others who serve in that capacity, too. “Imaging techs come in contact with every possible COVID patient,” explained Sandra Moran, Radiology Imaging manager. “We still are required to go to ICU and x-ray their chest for the resolution or progression of the infiltrates on the lungs, or for line placements and/ or intubation tube placements.” Normally, it requires only one tech to perform a simple portable chest x-ray. “Now we have a ‘dirty tech’ and a ‘clean tech’,” Moran explained. The dirty tech dresses out in full PPE, goes into the room to take the x-ray picture and then sends the x-ray plate out to the clean tech, who is waiting in PPE, to clean the plate with the appropriate cleaning solutions. The dirty tech then pushes the contaminated x-ray machine into the doorway so the clean tech can clean it before bringing it all the way out into the hall. The dirty tech appropriately removes their soiled PPE, and hands the goggles and shields to the clean tech for cleaning.

Because the coronavirus is a respiratory disease, South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Respiratory Care team prepared for an increase in patient volume by adapting equipment for other purposes. “We had a lot of positive collaboration with other disciplines through cross training to make sure we are prepared to meet patient needs,” said Robert DeShields, manager, Respiratory Care Services. In addition to attending to patients’ clinical needs, respiratory therapists also try to help fill patients’ social needs, since visitation was suspended. In addition to these changes, the Respiratory Care team also is much more conscious of decontaminating when they go home. “For the Environmental Services team (EVS), the biggest change is wearing PPE,” according to Mike Matesich, manager, Environmental Services. “There are so many things coming out on the news that made people apprehensive.” To help the EVS team feel more comfortable Clare Roberts-Talbot, Infection Control practitioner, held in-service training with the team. “It’s so critical to get it right for our team members,” she said. In addition to the group training, she offers to dress out with them and accompany them. Roberts-Talbot’s focus is keeping everyone safe. “The more research comes out, the more we have to adapt. It affects everyone,” she said. Although she is a department of one, she continues to go around, let team members ask questions and keep them informed. “As time went on, the EVS team felt a lot more confident,” Matesich added. Once a patient is confirmed to be COVID positive, only the nursing team members take care of the patient – feeding them, tidying up the room, etc. – limiting the number of team members who need to be in the room. After the patient is discharged, the EVS team enters the room, removes the curtains, cleans the room and runs the Tru-D PAGE

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Peggy Davis, Environmental Services coordinator, programs the Tru-D to disinfect a patient room.

robot. Tru-D, short for Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfection, is a mobile, automated UV disinfection system. It works by generating UV light energy that modifies the DNA structure of an infectious cell so that it cannot reproduce, and a cell that cannot reproduce cannot colonize and thus harm patients. Another factor in the EVS teams’ comfort level is in-house testing. “Initially, it took a few days before you knew whether a patient tested positive or not. Quicker testing means that we knew the results sooner,” Matesich said. South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Laboratory acquired four different platforms to enable quick turn-around on tests. “There are different suppliers who provide the tests and they each allocate limited amounts,” said Karen Noyce, Laboratory manager. “By having different platforms, we are able to process tests 24/7.” Before they began in-house testing, the Laboratory conducted their own studies of the various platforms. “We went through extra steps to validate the studies, looking at processes and accuracy. We wanted to be sure it was a proven methodology.” Other than the new tests, the Laboratory’s work is the same. The biggest inconvenience is that they had to postpone their annual National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week which was April 19 -25. For more information about BayCare’s Laboratory testing process, visit BayCare.org/newsroom. Other than census being lower, the duties in some other departments are seeing few differences. For the Transport team, it’s almost business as usual. They are not transporting any COVID or suspected COVID patients. Leadership made this decision in order to reduce the number of team members who come in contact with possible or positive COVID patients, and also to conserve PPE. Pharmacy Manager Mercy Ninan said, “Our goal is to make sure we have enough medications constantly to support all areas of the hospital PAGE

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in case of a surge. As we listen to the experts, we have to change our strategies, treatment plans and obtain alternative medications.” BayCare Pharmacy secured a central repository of medications as a back-up in addition to what South Florida Baptist Hospital maintains locally to take care of patients. “We also are in constant communication with other BayCare Hospital pharmacy leadership to make sure that we have the up to date information and support,” Ninan said. The Cardiology team continued to perform urgent and emergent heart catheterizations and STEMIs (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarctions, i.e. heart attacks) that came in through the ED and has now resumed its regular procedures. As COVID-19 spreads, life goes on – especially new life. Between March 1 and April 20, South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Labor and Delivery team delivered 59 babies. “The patients have done well,” said Karen Halverson, nurse manager, Labor and Delivery. “Childbirth is a special time for families so it is disappointing that patient visitation has been suspended.” The hospital made an exception for the mother’s partner, who is allowed to be with them during labor and a little while afterward. They may also visit but are encouraged to limit their visits as much as possible. The team still provides special hats for the newborns. Prenatal classes have been postponed but, if someone calls, the team sends them a book or directs them to a podcast on BayCare HealthChat™. While South Florida Baptist Hospital team members go to work each day, learning to navigate an ever-changing labyrinth of pandemic policies and procedures, the community and fellow team members continue to support them. “Community members have donated masks and food, and posted encouraging signs. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department, Plant City Police Department, and Hillsborough County and Plant City Fire Rescue even made a drive through to cheer and offer support for the team,” said hospital President Karen Kerr. “It clearly shows that we are all in this together.”


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Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic Dr. William Garrison

1215 W Baker St, Plant City, FL 33563 813-754-2273 caringconceptsinc.com Monday & Wednesday: 8 AM to 6 PM Tuesday: 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM Thursday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Friday: 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM Saturday & Sunday: Closed PAGE

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Dr. Glenn (far left), Dr. Garrison (far right), and the team at Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic are ready to help relieve your pain and welcome you to their family of patients.

For thirty years, Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic has served the greater Plant City area. Whether patients are suffering from a painful injury due to a car accident or experiencing chronic neck pain, the staff at Caring Concepts is there to provide top-notch care.

EMS is accomplished by sending a very small electrical current into the affected soft tissue injury or muscle spasm. The therapy utilizes this current in an effort to help reduce swelling and release trigger points that may have the muscle locked up.

Caring Concepts is led by Dr. Todd Glenn and Dr. William Garrison; Together, the doctors have a combined 38 years of experience. Dr. Glenn attended Palmer College of Chiropractic, where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Chiropractic in 1990. He is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Association.

Cryotherapy is also ideal for muscle spasms. This therapy is well known to help numb painful areas as well as provide a cooling relief to affected soft tissues. Treatment consists of applying cold compresses on to the skin to effectively reduce the temperature of the skin as well as constrict the blood vessels for localized treatment.

Dr. William Garrison earned his Bachelor of Science from Florida Southern College and attended Palmer College of Chiropractic where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree in 2007. He is also a member of the Florida Chiropractic Association.

“I LOVE CARING CONCEPTS” For almost 27 years, Keysville resident Della Warner has visited Dr. Glenn at Caring Concepts for adjustments and sees massage therapist Ashley McMath regularly.

WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC CARE? Chiropractors use a hands-on approach to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, which may allow the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. The chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, pushing it beyond its usual range of motion. Dr. Garrison says that “cracking” sound is the release of Nitrogen bubbles that have built up in the synovial fluid around the joint. When the joint is manipulated, the bubbles escape creating the popping sound and a completely normal part of the adjustment. Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic provides the following services: Spinal Adjustments & Manipulation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Spinal Decompression Therapy, Laser Therapy, Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS), Cryotherapy, and In-House X-Rays & Ultrasound. Often, chiropractic care is thought to be primarily for the spine. However, Caring Concepts’ Electric Muscle Stimulation and Cryotherapy are helpful for the soft tissues.

“I was getting ready to go back to work after having my twins and I got out of the van and I felt something “slip,” said Warner. “[My husband] had the firemen carry me in the house because it was bad. A coworker told me about Caring Concepts and I’ve been a patient there now for 26, almost 27 years.” Now, those twins are patients at Caring Concepts, and Warner has sent other friends and colleagues to the office. “I love Caring Concepts! I like the convenience, I call and they get me in as soon as possible and always fit to my schedule,” said Warner. “I like the doctor and patient relationship I have with Dr. Glenn, Ashley is great with the massages and Miranda at the desk is always helpful with appointments or insurance needs… they’re all very personable.” If you’re in need of pain relief due to auto accidents, workrelated or personal injury, or a sports injury, make your appointment at Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic at 813754-CARE. Dr. Glenn, Dr. Garrison, and the team at Caring Concepts Chiropractic Clinic are ready to help relieve your pain and welcome you to their family of patients.


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Now Care Urgent Care and Weight Loss Clinic Now Care Urgent Care and Weight Loss Clinic is conveniently located off Baker Street in the historic district of Plant City, between the downtown area and Alexander Street. Many residents remember this as the old Chambers-Peacock building, as it had a long history of helping people in medical need, a service which continues today. A Florida native, graduate of the University of Florida and the Kansas City, Missouri medical school, Dr. Stephen Strait is a residency-trained and boardcertified family physician. He opened Now Care Walkin Clinic in February 2005 after serving at a large urgent care clinic in Brandon. 1009 W. Baker Street Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-1232 Web: nowcareclinic.com Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. PAGE

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Since then, his facility has helped patients with anything from the common cold to emergency situations. Dr. Strait treats and helps relieve symptoms of sore throats, sinus infections, bronchitis, pediatric fevers, skin rashes and infections, lacerations, eye emergencies and much, much more. In addition, school, sport and DOT required physical screenings, flu shots, drug screenings, workers’ compensation injury evaluations, X-Rays, and lab tests are available on site.

The medical center also supervises programs that include appetite suppressants, vitamin injections, and diet plans. Combined, these help patients control unhealthy eating habits and give them the power to attain the body they’ve always wanted. Whether a patient is seeking weight loss assistance or treatment of a medical issue, Dr. Strait’s mission is always to fulfill those needs, and in doing so, exceed their expectations for service, quality care, and value -- all with minimal waiting time. Now Care strives to earn patients’ long-term loyalty by working to deliver more than promised, being honest and fair, and going the extra mile to provide exceptional personalized service that creates a pleasing medical experience. In many cases, when a regular physician is booked or an emergency arises, Now Care is there to provide quick, professional service, even after hours. Payments may be made with almost all insurance plans. Medicaid, Medicare, and workers’ compensation claims are accepted as well. Financing plans are also available.


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Plant City Dermatology is conveniently located at Baker and Mobley streets. Dr. Andres Tobon, D.O, F.A.A.D.

Dr. Ricardo Berrios, M.D., F.A.A.D.

Plant City Dermatology As we age and transition through life, our body’s largest organ- the skin- changes as well. Taking good care of the skin is important for more than just appearance. Your skin is essential to your general health. From acne to sunburns, dry scalp, and age spots, Plant City Dermatology is a full-service practice dedicated to providing the finest medical, surgical, and cosmetic care. Dr. Andres Tobon, D.O., and Dr. Ricardo Berrios, M.D. are board-certified dermatologists, drawing on more than 15 years of experience evaluating, diagnosing, and treating virtually every type of skin problem. Dr. Tobon and Dr. Berrios are members of the American Academy of Dermatology, making them among most qualified to diagnose and treat skin, hair, and nail conditions and can provide the highest standard of patient care.

502 N Mobley St, Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 662-DERM plantcitydermatology.com Monday- Thursday: 8 AM to 5 PM Friday: 8 AM to 12 PM Saturday & Sunday: Closed PAGE

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Acne, while it impacts teenagers the most, also impacts 22% of adults. Plant City Dermatology can treat acne by prescribing oral or topical antibiotics, retinoids, hormonal medication, Accutane, or will use a light, laser, or chemical therapies. As Florida, sun exposure and the risk of skin cancer poses a threat to many of us. Plant City Dermatology’s are experts in treating skin cancer, as well as benign and pre-cancerous growths, such as moles and even warts. Types of skin cancer treated include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Depending on the type of cancer, Plant City Dermatology will deploy a number of steps include performing a biopsy and treat with cream, or

by freezing the cells, or burning and scraping away the cells after the application of numbing medicine to the skin. Plant City Dermatology also treats warts, psoriasis, eczema or atopic dermatitis, and vitiligo, among others. Plant City Dermatology’s aestheticians and laser specialists offer the latest options in cosmetic dermatology, helping you achieve a more youthful, vibrant appearance so you can always look your best. Cosmetic dermatology procedures include a wide range of medications, peels, injectables, fillers, and laser treatments to restore healthy skin and treat individual problems. The goal is to help patients look more attractive, feel better, and enjoy a higher quality of life. Plant City Dermatology accepts 18 types of insurance plans including Aetna, Cigna, Humana- HMO & PPO, as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield. Plant City Dermatology also accepts Care Credit, a healthcare financing plan that makes the treatment and beauty procedures possible. Conveniently located at Baker and Mobley streets, Plant City Dermatology is ready to help you solve your biggest skin woes. Each patient’s goals are addressed with a customized plan to meet his or her individual needs. Call Plant City Dermatology at (813) 662DERM to schedule your appointment to beautiful, healthier skin.


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Your CBD Store CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the hemp plant. A safe, legal, nonaddictive substance, CBD-based products typically contain either zero tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that gets a user high, or trace amounts of THC (less than .3%). CBD alone is nonintoxicating. It won’t cause a high. “The company slogan is ‘Health Without the High’ and we mean it,” said Your CBD Store Plant City co-owner Tim Bosko. Bosko and his father, Don, opened Your CBD Store’s Plant City location in September 2019. Your CBD Store is the largest CBD retailer in the U.S. with over 600+ locations, carrying its proprietary brand, SunMed. Your CBD Store is the only Plant City store with a hemp permit, certified by the Florida Department of Agriculture. “SunMed is the highest quality, industrial-grade hemp and our products undergo a high-pressure CO₂ process, which extracts the hemp ‘from soil to oil,” said Tim Bosko. “SunMed Products carried at Your CBD Stores around the country are sourced from USDA certified farms in Colorado & Oregon.”

2909 James L Redman Pkwy #7, Plant City, FL 33566 (813) 652-8191 www.cbdrx4u.com Hours: Monday- Friday 10 AM to 6 PM Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM Closed Wednesday & Sunday PAGE

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The most common reason for using CBD products is its all-natural appeal: All humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system, which produces its own CBD and can absorb the chemical when taken as an additive. When one uses CBD products, Bosko says it is not possible to overdose, as the body only absorbs what it needs to bring the body to a state of balance. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and regulates 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. At Your CBD Store, customers can choose from twelve unique application methods. Bosko said we’re here to educate customers and guide them to decide what’s best for their specific symptoms.

“If a customer comes in and says they’re experiencing neuropathy or restless legs, I’m going to point them to our Neuro line, a water-soluble formula specifically for the nervous system,” said Bosko. “If they’re experiencing achy joints or arthritis, I will talk to them about our topical creams, for localized relief. It has anti-inflammatory and fast body absorption-relieving effects.” In July 2019, Your CBD Store was named Best Topical Cream and Best Orange Tincture at the World’s Largest CBD Expo in Miami, 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. In 2020, Your CBD Store was honored with the Broad Spectrum Tincture award at the USA CBD Expo. At the 2020 event, Your CBD Store was also presented with an award for Best CBD Pet Product. Bosko said pets with anxiety, those skittish to travel, or those scared of thunderstorms are great examples of pets who may benefit from CBD. Your CBD Store offers pet products such as CBD Bacon bits, snacks, tinctures, and cat snacks. Your CBD Store Plant City is proud to announce a collection of CBG, or cannabigerol, another chemical compound found in the hemp plant. CBG is ideal for daytime, as customers have reported experiencing increased alertness. CBG oil is best absorbed through the glands under the tongue when the CBG oil is held there for 60 seconds before its swallowed. The oil is made with lime and orange extracts. When looking for a good night’s rest, customers may be interested in CBNplus, a nighttime tincture formulated with cannabinol (CBN). Studies find that Lavender and Valerian Root may aid in for occasional use, as they boost sleep and relaxation. Your CBD Store Plant City occupies an airy, uncluttered suite at 2909 James L. Redman Pkwy #7, with natural sunlight pouring in and open shelving styled with product. As part of its efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, the shop is offering free shipping and curbside pickup.


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painting murals on motorhomes. When Lazydays RV made it attractive for me to become their resident artist, I started looking at this quaint town. I fell in love. I have been in Plant City for 22 years now. Eventually, hand-painted murals became retro. Technology and wraps started forcing my hand as an artist. I had to reinvent myself. Soon I developed a route of Harley-Davidson stores, taking my pinstriping services to different client groups each week. Normally, I would already be on the road. If all goes well, maybe we will be freed up by June from the COVID-19 quarantine. I will then travel to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and work my way to Chicago.

People of Plant City

Dave “Letterfly” Knoderer “W By Angela Ardrey

hen you need just one, you need a guy like me. When you need half a dozen, you need to go to a production shop,” declares the spirited man across from me. “I have a niche for creating just one. Having a unique, one-of-a-kind design on your motorcycle makes your motorcycle special. It is personalized, which is what I do in all my work.” Meet Plant City resident Dave “Letterfly” Knoderer. His work can be seen across America, with more than 2,000 hand-painted murals on motorhomes, as well as an array of customized pinstriping designs on motorcycles, hot rods, aircrafts, big trucks, and even guitars. Letterfly is known nationwide as one of the country’s top producers of airbrushed murals and hand-painted pinstriping.

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Tell me about Letterfly the artist. What pulled you into a life of art? As a child, I withdrew from making normal connections and dove into creativity. My older brother had Asperger syndrome, which was not understood back then. As a result, art became a coping mechanism. One day, I came home from kindergarten with a painting that I made. It was a bowl of fruit that really looked like a bowl of fruit. That was when my mother realized I had a gift. I still have that painting. Tell me about Letterfly the traveler. Why do you still travel half the year? Before moving to Plant City, I was on the road nine years chasing the work. I lived in an RV, traveling 32 states, attending weekly rallies,

Tell me about Letterfly the teacher. What lessons do you desire to teach others? I teach a Custom Paint Workshop annually in my outdoor studio called ArtPark. I teach painting skills I have accumulated over the years – hand lettering, old-school pinstriping, sign making, airbrushing and gold leaf, pictorial painting, and such. The workshop is a five-day experience, with a different discipline each day. I have passion for the painted work. It is becoming a lost art. I need to pass on my skills. Tell me about Letterfly the writer. I hear you have books ready for publication. I am taking writing classes. I learned we must think in terms of creating a space for the writing to occur, through the emptying of our minds – by journaling, meditation, and such. Once we have an empty mind, the writing can come to the surface. All we must do is to believe we already have the story inside. Then we just create a place for it to occur. It is the same way with my relationship with music, animals, and art. I now understand the connection. I have been creating a space for each to occur. Tell me about Letterfly the man. How do you stay focused? Being blessed with a vivid imagination is both a blessing and a curse. I immerse myself in a healthy environment where ideas flow all day long. I limit my exposure to anything acrid. I reflect the love we are all immersed in. I seek ways to be of service to others. With my significant other, we have co-created living in love. Each day is a miracle, and having a heart filled with gratitude is how I demonstrate my thanks for the many gifts I have received.


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Did You Know? A Tribute to One of Plant City’s Outstanding Artists and Citizens: Harrison Wall Covington By Plant City Photo Archives & History Center

Passing through the Tampa International Airport, Airside C, you may have noticed a looming sculpture of an aviator in full gear. “The Barnstormer” is an 8’ sculpture of silicon bronze alloy – the work of Plant City native Harrison Wall Covington. He is quoted as having said “Aviators belong to a fraternity that is to be respected and honored.” The airport’s caption states, “Covington’s anonymous barnstormer evokes the heroic spirit of those aviators who symbolize the age of flight.” Harrison Wall Covington was born in Plant City and raised near the corner of Reynolds Street and Alexander and later North Evers Street. After graduating Plant City High School in 1942, Covington attended the University of Florida but was called to duty in 1943. He went through an intense but curtailed US Army Air Corps flight training course and joined the corps of fighter pilots who were assigned to fly the P-47 Thunderbolt, a large heavyduty fighter-bomber ground-attack plane active in both the European and the Pacific theaters of WWII. Covington flew the P-47s in the Pacific – in the Philippines, Guam, and out of other bases, sometimes bringing back a limping plane with a hole blown through its fuselage. After the war, Covington returned to two of the things he loved. He studied art at the University of Florida and married his high school classmate, Jane Langford, who had attended Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, and was now a teacher. Harrison graduated the University of Florida in 1949 and continued into graduate school as he began teaching art at the university. After earning his M.A., he became an Assistant Professor of Art at UF. Harrison’s father, Edmund DeBerry “Ted” Covington had been in the turpentine business and later owned and operated Plant City Lumber Company on East Alsobrook Street. His mother, Maria, was a schoolteacher. His brother, Edmund D. Covington, “Ted” Jr., also a WWII veteran, went into business with start-up WONN Radio in Lakeland and later into the insurance business. Harrison was PAGE

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1LT. Harrison Wall Covington in the cockpit of a US Army Air Corps P-47 fighter-bomber somewhere in the Pacific during WWII.

passionate about art and teaching and followed that path. In 1961 Harrison Wall Covington, Jane, and their two sons moved to Tampa, where Harrison led the development of the arts program at the fledgling University of South Florida. He promoted the arts, while applying them enthusiastically, and led the new school to elevate the program to become the USF College of Fine Arts, becoming its Dean. The USF website carries this citation: “Harrison Covington has had over thirty solo exhibitions and his work is included in over forty public collections and numerous private ones. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship awarded in 1964, a Sloan Foundation Grant, and a Presidential Award from USF for Outstanding Teaching. He has also been

awarded many research grants and awards for his paintings including selection for exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art.” Covington formally retired in 1981, teaching part-time and continuing as Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus at USF, and working in his studio on Lake Carroll, painting and sculpting. In 2007, the Photo Archives partnered with WUSFTV in producing the award-winning video, “Plant City Goes to War,” featuring Harrison Covington, his brother Ted Covington, David E. Bailey, Philip Patrinostro, Lonnie Davidson, and John Germany. In 2008 the committee on the erection of a Veterans Monument in Plant City contacted Covington about doing the sculpture. His work was halted by a health problem, but the 5’ model of that sculpture proudly sits in a private yard in Plant City. And in May 2012 Covington led the unveiling of the first of the J. Seward Johnson sculpture exhibitions in Plant City. Regretfully, his beloved Jane passed away February 12, 2020. Harrison celebrated his 96th birthday April 12th, 2020. Harrison and Jane Langford Covington have been much appreciated supporters of the Photo Archives & History Center and have donated many photos and wonderful stories. Sources: Plant City Oral History Project: Harrison Wall Covington, Jane Langford Covington; newspapers.com (Tampa Times, Tampa Tribune); ancestry.com; USF website; Plant City High School Kanyuksaw 1942; Plant City Photo Archives & History Center Collections.

Left: Ted Covington, Jane and Harrison Covington, Barbara Ann Covington Sutton, Cliff Sutton at Tampa International Airport, Airside C, and “The Barnstormer” sculpture by Harrison Covington.


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OnPoint CoWork Solutions BY CIERRA CRAFT PHOTOS BY CIERRA CRAFT & ONPOINT COWORK SOLUTIONS

C OnPoint CoWork Solutions and OnPoint IT Solutions are owned and operated by Kim and Alice Bullard.

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oworking is a business concept that has taken off in recent years. Coworking spaces are popping up across Florida, including along the I-4 corridor in Tampa, Lakeland, and Orlando. But, what is coworking, and is it a good option for Plant City’s small businesses? Coworking allows several individuals and businesses to share the same workspace, building their various businesses under one roof. These individuals work on their independent projects, but the environment provides opportunities for collaborations, networking, and friendships to blossom. As the state continues to battle COVID-19, OnPoint CoWork Solutions is doing its part to provide a safe environment for those in need of a place to work. Current members were all upgraded to private offices. If anyone else comes to OnPoint to work, those individuals are provided a space with more than 6 feet between coworkers. The large meeting room was opened and configured for individual working spaces, rather than it’s typical set up for crowds. “Even before COVID-19, we were constantly sanitizing and cleaning everything from doorknobs, desks, chairs, buttons on coffee makers, etc,” said co-owner Alice Bullard. As many have transitioned to working remotely or found new jobs that now require a professional office space, OnPoint CoWork Solutions is a viable option. Bullard says the number one benefit is cost efficiency. “It’s cost-effective for those looking for a professional work environment,” said Bullard. “You pay a membership fee, much like a gym membership. So, in the long term, you’re not locked into a 3- to 5-year brick-and-mortar contract or lease. All of the amenities are included in your membership, including copy/scan/print, coffee, snacks, janitorial, etc. The overall benefit is cutting costs on overhead expenses. Alice and Kim Bullard opened OnPoint CoWork Solutions at 1805 James L. Redman Parkway in October 2018. Alice says they were inspired to bring the concept to Plant City after years of working from their own home through the couple’s other brand, OnPoint IT Solutions. For six years, the Bullards offered mobile computer


repair services, where they repaired computers onsite at their client’s homes or businesses. However, on occasion when they had to bring computers back with them, or while they were waiting for parts, the fully licensed and insured repair team brought the computers back to their home office. However, the business partners found themselves in need of a professional space to host client meetings. Alice serves as a Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and serves on the Chamber’s executive board as the Vice Chair of Membership, so she had access to the Chamber’s meeting space. However, it wasn’t always ideal if the conference room was booked. The Bullards decided to open the coworking space to help other business owners thrive when in need of a professional working environment. One side of the second-story space houses OnPoint IT Solutions, where the partners provide computer repair to most of the city’s local businesses, such as Cameron Financial Management and The Rhodes Group. Across the hall, OnPoint CoWork Solutions features multiple private offices, private phone rooms, two private meeting rooms, and a break room stocked with snacks and drinks for working professionals. “We want to have a positive impact to help grow businesses, which in turn will help grow our community,” said Alice Bullard. The Bullards are members of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, members of the Lions Club, where Kim also serves at the district level as a Zone 2 Chair. They both serve on the board of directors for Operation Paying It Forward, among others. Finally, they’re proud supporters of the United Food Bank of Plant City, offering IT support, and website design and management for the local nonprofit. “We weren’t able to volunteer at the Food Bank on a regular basis like we once were, but we still wanted to do something to help,” said Bullard. As part of its mission, OnPoint CoWork Solutions hosts a number of monthly networking events. Currently, the events are held virtually, but Bullard encourages those interested in joining the groups to call her at 813-501-1555 for more information. The three networking events include: • Professional Community Network- every other Monday • Master Networkers- every Wednesday • Morning Mimosas Networking- once per month Those interested in purchasing a membership to OnPoint CoWork Solutions are encouraged to call in and ask about membership specials. Bullard says she offers various membership specials and with the financial strain due to COVID-19, OnPoint is willing to work with clients.

As an entrepreneur who has worked out of my home for 12 years, I can say it is such a blessing to finally have shared office space at OnPoint CoWork Solutions! I finally have a place to meet clients in a professional office setting and not in coffee shops! And I love the support of my fellow coworkers! There's something for every entrepreneur at all budget levels. - Carol Weathersbee, TC Bee Inc. Absolutely love this facility and its people! The variety of office space/meeting options is unmatched in Plant City! The staff members extend the truest hometown hospitality and are even available for guidance with all my social media questions...an added benefit of their OnPoint IT Solutions housed in the same building! Highly recommend both services! - Tammy Folsom See, OEL Heating & Cooling "OnPoint IT Solutions has been our exclusive “go-to-computerspecialists” since we opened our doors in August of 2001. They helped us with our initial network setup, with our computers and even our printers, scanners, etc. They continue to help us, whenever we need them! Our first and last call for all our IT situations is to Alice and Kim!" - Michael Cameron, Cameron Financial Management

1805 James L. Redman Parkway | Suite 201 | Plant City, FL 33563 | 813-501-1555 www.onpointcoworksolutions.com PAGE

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RISING STAR Kamille

Long By Taryn Storter

Kamille Long, a Plant City native, is a senior at Durant. She played lacrosse all four years of high school while also competing with Tampa Palms Club and Soul Lacrosse. In addition to lacrosse, she swam on the Varsity Swim team and was a cheerleader. While playing club lacrosse, Long was named Defensive Player of the Year. She was also selected as Captain for Durant her junior and senior years where she led her team to a 2-1 record this season. Although she has only played lacrosse for four years, it has quickly become her favorite. Long explains, “I started to play it because my brother Kooper enjoyed it a lot, it gave us something to bond over. Just the speed and technical aspect of the game excites me. The rules are strict for defense but once you learn your way around them, it gets fun.” Every game, Long explains that she sets the goal to beat her own personal record of defensive turn overs, or as she likes to call them, “Turn-Ups”. Outside of sports, Long was involved with Student Council for three years and was on the Honor Court. She was also a part of the Positive Coaching Alliance. She was on the Yearbook Staff for three years, two of which she served as an editor. Long has competed in pageants her entire life and was named Miss Florida Teen International 2019. When asked where she finds her inspiration, Long says, “I find my inspiration in self growth and really good music. I am also a perfectionist. I do not like to do something without putting my best foot forward. I have always and will continue to push myself past my limits so I can be a better player.” This fall, Long will continue her lacrosse career at Webber University, where she has already committed. She will major in Business Health Administration. Kamille is one of many seniors in Plant City whose last year of high school was cut short due to COVID-19. She says what she misses most about high school is, “socializing with my friends every day. I never would have thought that Friday before spring break would be the last Friday or day I walked on Durant’s campus. I miss going to class, interacting with my classmates and going to practice every day.” She hopes that her teammates will recall her determination and passion for lacrosse. Long always works hard on and off the field, and she hopes to be remembered by her drive, but also the fun she brings to practices and games. PAGE

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...I have always and will continue to push myself past my limits so I can be a better player.”


SUPPORT DOWNTOWN PLANT CITY!

You pay $5.00 for a voucher on our website that can be redeemed for $10.00 at a participating downtown business.

Plant City Main Street will cover the difference so businesses are paid in full!

Learn more at www.plantcitymainstreet.com/downtowndollars PAGE

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On May 6, Plant City High School’s Senior Baseball players were honored with a drive-by parade at Walden Lake Polo Field. The players were met with cheers and congratulations from school administration, parents and friends.

Plant City High School

Baseball Seniors By Taryn Storter

T

he Plant City High School Baseball Seniors have had a tough run. The team worked tirelessly the past four years to make its program the best it could be. Last year, the boys went on to win a District and State Championship and the team was excited to try to do the same again this season. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, they were unable to complete their season after a 7-1 start. The seniors of the baseball team are Cole Cothren, Brayden Crews, Tyler Dowdy, Chase English, Jose Machado, Tre Ragan, Alexander Rodriguez, Christopher Rodriguez, Wyatt Rogers, and Jarod Wingo.

Tyler Dowdy

Tyler Dowdy, one of the captains of the baseball team, has played the sport since he was four years old. He explains that he loves baseball because “it’s all about the grind and it’s a lot of mental stuff.” Baseball takes a lot of skill and hard work, and all the seniors have practiced and crafted their skills since they were very young. Because the team has been unable to finish their senior season, Dowdy says “I’ve missed being on the field with my brothers more than anything.” He hopes his teammates remember him as being the guy they could go to for anything because they’re not just on a team together, they are family.

Chase English

Chase English plays the position of catcher and served as a team captain this year. He explains that he finds his inspiration in his PAGE

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teammates. English says, “I love baseball because it brings me closer to all my buddies.” He has played baseball since he was four, so he has given his all to the sport for the last fourteen years. He believes that being passionate about the game and giving it your all is the key to being successful. After high school, English plans to become a lineman with Tampa Electric Company (TECO).

Jose Machado

Jose Machado has worked hard his entire school career to be successful on and off the field. He is graduating with a 4.6 GPA, which he says, “means a great deal to my family and friends.” Machado explains that when you play baseball during your childhood, as he has played since he was six years old, you grow up with your teammates, you become like brothers. After he graduates, Machado plans to attend college and then, attend the police academy or become a firefighter. He says that what he misses most about Plant City High School is “walking in the halls and seeing Coach Mike and my teammates, walking past them and doing our little handshake and just the atmosphere.” Machado hopes that his teammates will always remember his character and that he is always there for them.

Tre Ragan

Tre Ragan has played baseball since he was eight years old. As a sophomore, he was on the Junior Varsity team and won the State Championship as a captain. Ragan says he finds his inspiration “from


year, he had the best Earned Run Average in Plant City baseball history. He says that his inspiration comes from his love for the game. “You’re going to have ups and downs through playing ball, but you have to love it to stick through it.” Baseball has been a part of Wingo’s family, as he has been playing since he was six years old. He says he instantly fell in love with the sport. Wingo’s goal is to go play on the college level and “be different, stick out to other college and pro scouts.”

Alexander Rodriguez

The season was cut short for these senior players, but the work and athleticism they have put in throughout their high school career is incredible.

Alexander Rodriguez is one of the captains for the team this year and says that “I love baseball because it’s all I’ve ever known. Since I was 4, I’ve found myself the happiest between those two white lines.” He explains that his inspiration comes from his grandfather. Rodriguez explains, “He basically came from nothing and built himself to be the best man I’ve ever known. I aspire to be like him someday.” After high school, he will enlist in the United States Air Force and serve his country. Rodriguez is thankful for all that baseball has given him. He expresses, “In all honesty, baseball is the only thing that kept me going to school. I knew that if I didn’t, I’d have to be forced off the team and told to get my grades up.” Rodriguez misses his teammates and says that they will always be his family.

Christopher Rodriguez

people who doubted me, which always drove me to prove them wrong.” After high school, he will attend the University of Florida to earn a degree in Finance. He expresses that once he graduates from college, he hopes to move back to our community and “give back to the town that raised me.” Ragan says that he has missed being around his brothers since schools have transitioned to e-Learning for the rest of the academic year. He hopes his teammates will “always remember that I love them. No matter how far we are from each other, they can always shoot me a call or text and I will be there for them.”

Cole Cothren

Cole Cothren, the Most Valuable Player of last year’s Plant City High School State Champion Baseball team, has been playing baseball for 14 years. He explains that he loves playing baseball because, “it’s the only place where I feel comfortable being myself, and I don’t have to worry what people think of me as much.” He hopes his teammates will always remember that he would do anything for his teammates on and off the field. Following high school, Cothren will be attending Montreat College in North Carolina. He looks forward to continuing both his education and baseball career. After college, Cothren hopes to play professional baseball or go into marketing.

Brayden Crews

As a student-athlete, Brayden Crews has accomplished much in his high school career. He is number 23 in his graduating class with a 6.17 GPA. He has been apart of National Honor Society and Boys Interact. Crews explains that he finds his inspiration from his mom and dad. He says they “have always been there pushing me academically and physically.” He has played baseball for 12 years and he expresses that he loves the sport, “because it is where I came out of my shell and met all of my friends and changed me into the person I am today.”

Jarod Wingo

Jarod Wingo was the pitcher for the State Championship game last year, is also one of the captains for the team. During his junior

Christopher Rodriguez has always been involved in his sport, school, and community. As a baseball, basketball, and football player, he has achieved much, such as earning the title as an All-State Punter/ Kicker, the first in Plant City High School history. As President of the National Honor Society and Captain of the Relay for Life Team ToMarrow, he has led his fellow students to serve the community. In the fall, Rodriguez will attend the University of Florida to study Mechanical Engineering and eventually obtain a master’s degree in business administration. He is thankful for the family he has gained through baseball, as he has played since he was six years old. Rodriguez says what he has missed most in the past couple of months is “being able to see everyone that I have grown up with every day, as well as everything that comes with the last nine weeks of senior year. I have missed playing baseball with my best friends the most.”

Wyatt Rogers

Wyatt Rogers has been playing baseball since he was four years old. Through high school, he has earned his varsity letter in baseball and basketball. Rogers explains that he finds his inspiration from his family. “They have always been my #1 supporters and they inspire me to be great on and off the field,” said Rogers. After high school, Rogers plans to attend Hillsborough Community College for two years and then decide what else the future will hold. He says he loves baseball, “for many reasons, but the number one reason is because of my teammates. These guys are my brothers and I would do anything for my boys. Growing up, all of us seniors played little league together at Plant City Little League and have created bonds that will last a lifetime.” Plant City, encourage your senior baseball players. They deserve all the recognition they are unable to receive on the field because of the pandemic. On May 6, many fans attended a drive-by celebration for the seniors. The future is uncertain, but it is certain that these seniors have a very bright future ahead of them.

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Meet the

Maker: Students of Bryan Elementary By Heather Davis

D

ickens said it best when he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.� Without a doubt the past couple months have been some of the most life-altering times we may have ever experienced. Not unaffected by all the uncertainty was our children. Art teacher, Heather Patrick, who has taught at Bryan Elementary for the past twenty years, found herself amazed and delighted by her students as they faced the challenges ahead. Many of her students were missing the classroom, their friends, and their school. To take their minds off of their worries, Mrs. Patrick gave them an art project to work on over the course of the next several weeks. Her students were assigned to create a sculpture using found objects around their homes and yards. 1st and 2nd graders were assigned to use a toilet paper roll to build from, while 3rd-5th graders could use any found items. From this assignment, so many positive experiences resulted. Children and parents co-created together giving them a chance to learn and bond over a fun art project. The students were delighted to share their sculptures with Mrs. Patrick, exclaiming excitedly how they worked on them with their mom or dad. This project also coincided with Earth Day so it taught families a new appreciation for recycling and repurposing. Many of her students now have their own recycling bins at home that they take an interest in. Parents alongside their children were also learning more about art as they realized their children were doing much more than just coloring a picture but actually assembling a 3-D sculpture. Some of the sculptures the children created were made into useful objects such as pen holders and even birdhouses. Along with each sculpture the students also provided a small write-up along with a picture of their project to Mrs. Patrick. These pictures truly translate the joy and pride the children feel over their artistic creations. When things return to normal, and they will, Mrs. Patrick plans to display the sculptures in the school library at Bryan Elementary. This is only one example of many that show how art can serve to make even bad times good. Thank you, Mrs. Patrick, for showing such care for your students in these challenging times. This will be something these children will remember for the rest of their lives.

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Students were tasked with creating sculptures with repurposed materials found around their homes. This student created a castle with paper products.


3rd to 5th graders were asked to create a sculpture with any materials found. This student constructed an airplane out of weekly ads for local stores. Students were then instructed to take photos and write a brief paragraph about their creations.

Art teacher Heather Patrick

1st and 2nd grade students were asked to use toilet paper rolls and create sculptures. This student create a minion from the movie Despicable Me and a lion with his materials. PAGE

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Leaders in

Faith Dub and Pec McGinnes By Cheryl Johnston

D

ub and Pec McGinnes both grew up in Plant City. Dub was born over the Herring Drug Store, which is now the Whistle Stop Café, and Pec was born in Buffalo, New York, while her dad was in medical school. They dated through high school, married after graduation from the University of Florida, and raised two daughters. Lori and Mark have two daughters, Ashlyn and Katelyn, while Tara and Rhett Rollyson are parents to Brendan and Tanner. Dub and Pec feel fortunate to have all their family here in Plant City and enjoy being a part of their lives. How did you meet Christ? We were blessed to grow up in Christian homes with mentoring parents and other adults at church who helped us know Jesus Christ at an early age. Pec: I was saved in fifth grade but didn’t grow in my faith until I was at UF. Not being in Plant City’s protective environment, I had to depend on the Lord for help. A small group of believers in my ADPi sorority encouraged members to meet for prayer and Bible study. There I learned the importance of prayer in real life situations, not just before bedtime or meals. College life was not the utopia I had known in Plant City, where everyone was involved in a church. Pam Tebow and I developed a wonderful friendship and she grew as a Christian, too, leading the Bible study

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for ADPi the next several years. She was dating Bob Tebow and I was dating Dub, both strong believers. Now they are our wonderful husbands. What have you enjoyed most about ministry? Dub: I love that you can minister in any venue. I’m fortunate to serve as Chairman of the Florida Strawberry Festival. We always open every meeting with prayer. We put God first, and because of that we believe the Lord blessed us and spared our festival this year from the virus. We’ve had many church leadership and service responsibilities, but today our main role at First Baptist Church of Plant City is leading a Bible study for adults, ages 40-50. We’ve been leading classes since 1971, but we’ve never seen God work in a class like He is in this one. Members feel comfortable sharing from their heart and ministering to each other. Life can be hard, and they’ve realized everyone has difficulties. They’re learning their experiences can help others. God’s plan is that we associate ourselves with believers for this purpose. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? Dub: Yes, it’s 2 Timothy 2:15. My mom taught Sunday school many years. As a little boy I remember watching her prepare the Bible lesson. All week she worked on it with notes spread

across the kitchen table. That impacted me and now I have a passion for teaching the Bible, too. This verse serves as my marching orders! Pec: From Psalm 118:24, I remind myself every morning– “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!” This starts my day off right and reminds me to put the Lord first throughout the day. What advice would you offer those considering the Christian faith? Life can be challenging. Perhaps you are facing financial, relational or health issues; perhaps you’re seeking direction. The Good News is that God loves you as you are and wants to help you. We have all sinned and made mistakes. Yet, God loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for our sins. Jesus suffered the punishment we deserve. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, defeating sin and death! If you pray to God, acknowledge your sin, ask forgiveness, and trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God will save you and you’ll experience new life in Him! Contact a pastor or a Christian friend for help in growing your faith. Your life will be changed forever!


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Candy’s Corner By Candy Owens

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ou deserve a MEGA MACK! There’s nothing like a commercial showing a picture of a steaming, juicy burger to send hungry folks to a fast food drive thru, right? Or how about a Taco Party Pack, a Chicken Plank Family Box, or even a Pizza Crowd Pleaser? Today’s families seem busier than ever. Rushing between work, school, and soccer practice leaves parents scrambling for time. The thought of preparing hot, nutritious meals from scratch has become pretty much a once in a while thing for families on the go. Sadly, the majority of meals today come from a drive-thru or quick service counter. Back in my day…….(which was a long time ago!!!!!) families ate what was prepared at home, around the table with family members, or off of TV trays as a special treat. If there was mention of eating out in a restaurant, then a date and time was decided upon and was attended by the whole family. You see……eating in a restaurant was not an everyday thing, it was special! People made plans, people took time, and people spent time enjoying their food and each other. Without question, everyone was neatly dressed and on their best behavior. People looked forward to eating in a restaurant and savored every moment of this special time. When my Father took our family out to eat, it was almost always on the weekends and would usually be to a restaurant in Lakeland. If my Father said that we were going to Tampa, then that was extra special and would be a trip to Spanish Park, Valencia Gardens, Las Novedades, or The Columbia Restaurant. Now that was Florida fine dining! If my Father said that we were going to Lakeland, than that would usually be one of several restaurants that would include: Morrison’s Cafeteria, The Smoke House, Jimbo’s Bar-B-Que, Reececliff ’s, Steak-n-Shake, Vito’s, Talk-of-the Town, The Fox Fire, Red Lobster, Sambo’s, or McDonald’s. You see….Plant City did not have a McDonald’s, so we had to drive all the way to Lakeland for what is considered today to be “fastfood”. Out of the list of restaurants, we would usually end up at The Smoke House or Morrison’s Cafeteria. The Smoke House Restaurant was a small place on Hwy 92 next to the old Publix warehouse in the Wabash area. The restaurant itself looked like an old house that had been converted and had dark wood panel on the walls. The Smoke House had what I considered to be the best Bar-B-Que that I have ever eaten. They had:

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Chicken, Ribs, Beef, and Pork. I remember that from a small child to a teenager, I never changed my order, not even once. It was always a Bar-B-Que Beef sandwich, french fries, baked beans, and an ice cold Coca Cola to drink. When it was time for dessert, you would quickly wash your hands in the little silver fingerbowls with water and lemon that were at each person’s plate, then ”LOOK OUT!” here comes their famous “Upside Down Chocolate Fudge Cake!” It was Chocolate cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, bubbling hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry. It was so rich and so thick and it was Marvelous!!!! The majority of the times that we ate in Lakeland were spent at Morrison’s Cafeteria across the street from Munn Park. Upon entering the doors of this wonderful apex of great dining, you walked to your left down a narrow hallway towards the clang of heavy dishware hitting plastic trays and the smell of a Sumptuous Smorgasbord filled with the tastiest of dishes. Morrison’s offered a long list of daily entrees on a framed white-on-black-felt-letter board that was mounted on the wall alongside the waiting line. There would be: Pepper Steak, Chicken and Dumplings, Meatloaf, Spaghetti, Liver and Onions, Fried Chicken, Shrimp Creole, Chopped Steak, Roast Beef with New Potatos, Trout or Spanish Mackerel Amandine, Stuffed Peppers, fried Shrimp, and my favorite: Turkey and Dressing. When you made it to the front of the line, you would get your very own tray (which was sometimes hot and still dripping from a recent washing) and your silverware which was bundled in a starched linen napkin. You would slide your tray along the stainless steel railing in front of a long line of food offerings and that took concentration. If you moved your tray too fast, then you would slam into the person’s fingers that were curled around the tray ahead of you. If you were too slow, then you would hold up the line of hungry people behind you. Morrison’s showed you their food before you ordered it. Their food was displayed and arranged in perfect rows. As you slid your tray along the rails very carefully, the servers behind the counter would smile and greet you with: “Serve you Ma’am?” or “Serve you Sir?” You would slide your tray past beautiful salads of every kind. There would be tossed salads, carrot-raisins salads, apple salads, jello salads, jello squares with fruit inside, cottage cheese, pasta salads, tomato aspic salads, and my favorite salad: the Tony Salad, which was a mixture of ice berg lettuce, ham, Swiss cheese, black and green olives, onions, and a mayonnaise

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based dressing with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Yum! Yum! You would next slide past the hot entrees and I would always get Turkey and Dressing, Chicken and Dumplings, Spaghetti, or Roast Beef with New Potatos. Then on to the side items: They had Mashed potatos, sweet potatos, green beans, corn, greens, squash, black eyed peas, okra, and my all time favorite vegetable of the all: Macaroni and cheese! HA!HA! They had the best Mac and Cheese that was covered with a cheesy crust. That was sooo good. Then you went by the bread, they had corn sticks and corn muffins, and garlic bread, and the world’s best clover leaf yeast rolls. Then there were the dessert items like: egg custard, strawberry shortcake, fruit pies, and slices of cake that looked Monstrous in size. There was so much to choose from. You had to be careful or you would look down and your tray would be covered with food. I can even remember the pats of butter that were placed on individual little cards with wax paper on top. The cold drinks were lined up in cascading tall drink glasses with slushy ice and were arranged in straight lines. When you and your party had reached the end of the railing, a somber operator eyeballed your tray while touchtyping on her broad keyboard at lightning speed, and in one swift and smooth swing of her arm, tore off the printed tally slip and would adhere it to the side of your wet drink glass. An African-American server in a Jacket and Bow tie would whisk your food tray into the dining area and would arrange the items on your chosen table with speed and accuracy. My Father would collect the paper tally slips and would tip the servers with a quarter on each tray. Back then, your meal would be right at $1.00 for salad, entrée, vegetable, bread, dessert, and drink,…..if you can believe that? My sister and I felt very grown up after selecting the food items that we wanted for our very own tray. Morrison’s Cafeteria served delicious food, provided a stimulating atmosphere with entertaining servers, and allowed children and adults to dine as equals. Decades have come and gone since Morrison’s Cafeteria and The Smoke House Restaurant closed their doors and the sad thing, is that I know that I will never again taste that delicious and crusty Mac and Cheese or the juicy Turkey and Dressing nor will I bite into one of those Bar-B-Que Beef sandwiches or will I ever get a chill down my spine like I did when I swallowed a mouthful of that “world famous” “UPSIDE DOWN CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE!” But……..I am sure glad that I did!


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A DAY FOR MOM

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ACROSS 1. Ailing 4. Not quite closed 8. Denver’s bus system: abbr. 11. “__ Rock”; Simon & Garfunkel hit 15. Part of the leg 16. List of dishes 17. Practice 19. “It’s a secret!” to Mother? 22. Mother’s financial matters? 23. Letters in a “for sale” ad 24. Lucie’s brother 25. “Thinking __”; line in a greeting card 27. Useful rope 28. Grant 30. Asian capital 33. Turkish title 35. Crockpot dinner 36. Mother’s favorite flowers? 42. Francis or Murray 44. Coeur d’ __, ID 45. With 124 Across, Mother’s favorite playwright? 47. Swat 50. Wager 52. Fem. title 54. Opinions 55. Place of worship 57. Kennel noise 60. Deadly reptile 61. Garden flower 62. Shed crocodile tears 63. Night silence disturber 65. One fleeced 67. Joker 68. Mother’s favorite “Sesame Street” character? 72. Big game 75. Skippy rival 76. Soccer and polo 77. Spine-tingling 79. Periods spent working 84. Word of disgust 86. Russian space station 87. String of prayers 88. Mr. Shaw 89. Plank layer 90. Like 7 and 11 92. School gps. 93. Early settler 95. Emerson or Nader 100. Old map abbr. 102. Mother’s favorite bread spread? 105. Tip 108. Columbus sch. 109. __ Gay; 1945 bomber 110. Aneurysm site 112. Hawaiian veggies

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FOCUS Plant City 19-05  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 19-05 May 2020

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FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 19-05 May 2020

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