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LOCAL STORIES • DINING • REAL ESTATE • ENTERTAINMENT • BUSINESS

FREE MARCH 2011

VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1

SOUTH TAMPA EDITION

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taBle of contents

march 2011 volume 2 issue 1 PUBLISHER Jim Duke EDITOR IN CHIEF Christina Musial

FAMILY OF COMMUNITY MAGAZINES

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Harrison Tropp SALES Sophia Hyde Holly Far mer Harrison Tropp PRODUCTION Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena

ONTHECOVER 6 FOCUS

Plant City Lakeland Brandon Winter Haven Lake County South Tampa

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CONTRIBUTORS Al Ruechel Kim Francis Emery Jones Teal McKenzie

Discover the history of St. Patrick’s Day and the most popular bars in town serving up St. Patty’s Day Specials and authentic Irish grub.

SpOtLight

OWN YOUR OWN FOCUS MAGAZINE

STAFF WRITERS Christina Drummond Harrison Tropp Jodi Lokay

hiDDen hiStORY

12 15 Licensed territories are available. If you are interested in owning your own Focus Magazine call Mike Floyd at 813-707-8783 ext. 26

Tampa’s Danzamericas Project provides scholarships and training to young dancers with professional talent and ambitions while Rick Berks and daughter Christy Stross are championing a revolutionary “Green” style of fitness for the community. The South Tampa Chamber of Commerce is proud to publish the opening of several new, local businesses.

FeatURe

MYFOCUSTV.COM Local Community Stories New Episode Every Wednesday

Photo By Ben drummond

LOCaL

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FOCUSTV

Karen Pesce

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ben Drummond

The India Film Festival was in town introducing Tampa to the Indian culture through various fi lms and cultural events. Francis Vayalumkal, President of Indo US Chamber of Commerce hopes this event will revolutionize Tampa and bring them into the forefront of cultural hotspots.

Karen Pesce of More Health, Inc. shares the passion and driving vision behind and organization providing free education to every Hillsborough County child. If your child has learned about Germs, Oral Health and Osteoporosis, More Health has probably facilitated that lesson. Learn more inside.

StRaWBeRRY FeStiVaL

It’s that time of year again when our wonderful community welcomes visitors from all over the nation and the world. Have your calendar ready when you read this portion of Focus so you can plan to include the many great and many even free offerings into your schedule.

Dining pROFiLe

South Tampa’s newest bar, World of Beer makes its debut in Focus with a Business Profi le and one of our reader’s responses to their one of a kind take on beer. Mangroves South Tampa dishes up a fantastic meal catering to any food lover with their succulent food and perfect, relaxed ambience.

STANDARDS OF ACCURACY The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail focus@ dukepublications.com. The staff will fi x the error in a timely manner. Readers who wish to respond to an article – not correct facts – can do so by writing a letter to the editor. If you need any other type of assistance, then please view the directory for the appropriate department. The staff at FOCUS Magazine is committed to serving their consumers and customers to the fullest of abilities. You’re paying attention to our words. Let us pay attention to yours.

FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Letters, questions and comments can be sent to us at focus@dukepublications.com. 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 Duke 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 DukePublications, Inc.


letter from the Editor

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It’s not NEWS, It’s LIFE. It’s about you. Have a Story to tell? We are always looking for a good story on people or organizations making a positive difference in the community - email us at: focus@dukepublications.com

ell, I’m a Newlywed. That should sum it up for you! I’ve been home from my Honeymoon for two weeks now and am trying to adjust to this new lifestyle that involves a new home, new environment, and combining of personal space. With the aid of our very handy families and friends, we have new floors, countertops, paint colors, walls and even a new pantry! Adjusting to married life is a little more difficult and emotionally exhausting than anyone tells you. I may possibly be the only twenty-something year old in the country to have lived at home until marriage, so there are even more adjustments to be made. Unpacking the boxes from my parents house has been a difficult process and realizing I’m borderline “hoarder” has been even more emotional. Some of this stuff has significance and value, but for goodness sake, why did I have 50 copies of my favorite celebrity gossip magazine and all of my college notebooks and textbooks? Surely I could have sold those to a desperate college kid looking for decent grades! The idea of setting up a new home has always been an exciting one for me. I have everything exactly where I want it and everything is “Ours”. But, my Type A personality is having trouble adjusting to the newness. All of my things are where I put them, but it’s different, creating disconnect in my memory. I keep forgetting where I put stuff which is making my morning routines quite stressful and I’m always late…something I’m also not used to. With all that said, I LOVE it! Marriage (so far) is an exciting integration of all our hopes and dreams. We’re watching our favorite TV shows, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, visiting family, eating dinner…all of it together! I guess what I’ve learned in the first weeks of marriage is that when the dust settles and the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon are gone, it’s just the two of us starting something new, something to last a lifetime. Like I said, three weeks in and I think I still know how to pick ‘em. He might leave the shower curtain open so the bathroom always looks cluttered and isn’t that great about rearranging the throw pillows on the sofa when he’s done with the TV. But, he has made me toast for breakfast three times this week, had someone out to fix the water heater so I can take longer showers, and gotten rid of a whole bunch of “JUNK” so I’d like living there. Maybe this marriage thing won’t be so bad!

Christina Musial !!!! Newlywed & Editor-in-Chief

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Local » Focus

Danzamericas Project Bringing New Contemporary Dance Company to Tampa Local and International Dancers to Audition and Train at Summer Intensive Program Written By: Kim Francis

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or years, the New Tampa-based Danzamericas Project has provided scholarships and funding to help young dancers pursue their professional endeavors, enabling fresh talent to join some of the most prestigious ballet and performance companies around the world. But this year, this innovative not-for-profit is leaping to the next level, launching the first professional contemporary dance company in Tampa’s history. “Tampa has a thriving arts community, and like all great cities, it will soon have a contemporary dance company of its own,” said Paula Nunez, founder and artistic director of the Danzamericas Project. “This company will attract talent from the United States and around the world, and will help our region to retain and nurture our local dancers.” Contemporary dance uses a blend of techniques and methods found in ballet, modern dance and post modern dance, among others, to create its own style. Danzamericas Project’s company will perform contemporary dance with an international flair. The launch of the new company, scheduled for this October, will kick off in August with

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an International Intensive Program hosted by America’s Ballet School in association with the Danzamericas Project. Students from the U.S., Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Spain and other dance-focused countries will audition in July to be accepted in the three-week-long intense training program, which will be held on the University of South Florida’s campus. At the end of the International Intensive Program, the students will participate in a Gala Performance sponsored by the Danzamericas Project. Then these students and others will be invited to formally audition this fall for a professional position with the new contemporary dance company. Many local dance students have benefited from the Danzamericas Project’s scholarships. A new Tampa resident Stephanie Carpio, for example, received a scholarship from the organization as she continues to pursue her nearly decade-long training in ballet and dance. Devoting an average of 40 hours per week to practice, Stephanie has consistently placed at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Competitions and the American Dance Competition (ADC). This month, she will be competing at the YAGP finals in New York

City as a soloist for the second time. Most recently, she was cast as the Black Swan for a special appearance at Tampa Theatre’s 12th Annual OSCAR Night® Party. “We are so proud of our local students like Stephanie who are devoting themselves to their art and finding great success,” said Nunez. “As the Danzamericas Project grows, we look forward to providing more opportunities for young dancers to pursue their dreams.” DanzAmericas Project, Inc. was formed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Specifically, DanzAmericas Project brings the art of dance to the community. Most of the planned activities will be conducted in the Tampa Bay area. The city of Tampa has recognized the economic and educational impact that

cultural organizations bring to the city DanzAmericas Project is an organization that is helping to further the cause. The Danzamericas Project is currently seeking friends of the arts who would like to support the new company through donations, grants and scholarships. For more information about Danzamericas Project, visit www.danzamericasproject.org or call 813.558.0800.


Local » Focus

Building CustomerYouSatisfaction One Fit Health Clubs Bring Local Ideas to a National Workout at a Time Stage W Submitted by: Harrison Tropp

ell before the chic health club craze populated the majority of American cities, Rick Berks was busy establishing himself as a champion for the average person simply looking to exercise in a comfortable gym environment. A revolutionary establishment, You Fit Health Club offers environmentally conscious simplicity. Berks originally owned a Golds Gym before starting Planet Fitness in 1993. After selling the trademark years later, Berks discovered the need many gyms had overlooked: comfort. Along with his daughter Christy Stross, their originality led to the creation of You Fit Health Club in 2008. With over 30 locations across the eastern United States and 30 in Florida alone, You Fit Health Clubs now serve as one of the country’s premier gym franchises, even rivaling those establishments Berks used to once own. There seems to be a common gym conception vastly disregarded in today’s thriving health club market. While most franchises profess a desire for contentment and satisfaction among their customers, the need to appeal to customer comfort and gym simplicity are hardly addressed. From obnoxious grunting, to weight slamming, to plain rudeness, gym etiquette is a primary focus to Berks. “You know if you want to be in a gym with large guys screaming, this isn’t

the place. We want the average customer to feel welcomed.” Realizing the concern in his own health clubs, Berks contends You Fit is simple, it has ‘You’ in mind. Berks addresses common gym faux pas and eliminates the need for elaborate locker rooms, swimming pools, mile long tracks, and ritzy saunas. Instead with the costs savings, Berks invests in quality gym equipment and staff who care about having a clean and friendly workout facility. Berks offers state of the art equipment with machines designed for cardio training and resistance training. You Fit also offers treadmills with individual TVs, areas for floor exercises, and plenty of free weights. Berks further incorporates a 30-minute Express Circuit for those customers who are in a hurry and need a quick workout.

facility insulation and even eliminated paper contracts. According to Berks, “I don’t really mind the expense if we’re able to be environmentally conscious.”

If his arsenal of innovation and accomplishments was not impressive enough, Berks and Stross are actively involved in community charity. They both have given time and financial assistance to children, especially Toys for Tots, and most recently, aid to the two fallen St. Petersburg police officers.

Berks and Stross have expressed no interest in slowing down anytime soon. You Fit Health Clubs are continually being built nationwide. And for just $10.00 a month for their basic membership, people cannot afford not to join. With 8 more under construction in Florida, there is a friendly, top notch health club right down the street. According to Berks, their motto is simple, “Our goal is to simply be an unpretentious place where normal people feel comfortable exercising.”

Since Berks knew his pioneering attitude would lead to the creation of several workout facilities, he wanted to make sure each was designed with environmentally friendly materials, including the same layout and color scheme. The purple and green colors used from location to location offer an immediate feeling of excitement and enthusiasm. In each gym, Berks replaced the air conditioners for more energy efficient machines and used recycled Nike sneakers for flooring. Additionally, he took important, yet expensive steps to improve FOCUS Magazine south tampa march 2011

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Hidden History » Focus 3 bands and Irish dancers. Two shows at the North Tampa and one presentation at the South Tampa location. Enjoy a mixture of traditional Celtic Music and Cover bands. Location: North Tampa 12836 Henderson Road 813-300-2076 South Tampa 2307 W Azeele Street 813-258-2257

James Joyce Irish Pub

James Joyce Irish Pub is located in the heart of the historic Ybor district where you can celebrate your St. Patty’s day on the second story and peer over the street to watch the night unfold. James Joyce will open its doors at 12p.m. Live music starts at 7.p.m. and will continue throughout the night until 1a.m. There will be one solo act, which will cover all your traditional Irish music needs, as well as any Drop Kick Murphy and Flogging Molly urge you need. Stick around as there will be beer and shot specials as well as a free grab give away…including a large and small leprechaun. Location: 1704 E 7th Ave. Ybor, Tampa

“Green” Is the Word Tampa Bars Exhibit Irish Culture and History Written By: Teal McKenzie

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t. Patrick’s Day is not only about green beer, lucky charms, and “kiss me I am Irish shirts”. Obviously, I support all of the above, but you have to know what you are celebrating first. Contrary to common belief St. Patrick’s Day is intended to be a religious holiday and is named after the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, to mark the anniversary of his death in the 5th century. Originally the color blue was associated with Saint Patrick and the holiday. Over the years, green became more popular because Saint Patrick always wore a display of a 3-clover shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish pagans. Upon inception, St. Patrick’s Day was a

national holiday recognized as an Irish feast and celebration. Gradually the holiday became a more secular holiday to celebrate Ireland’s culture. Since St. Patrick’s Day can fall within the Lent Season, families traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. The “no meat” rule is waived for Irish families to enjoy Corned Beef and Cabbage, and indulge in celebration. In 1845, when the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland, America became infiltrated with over a million poor and uneducated Irish Catholics. American Protestant communities were overwhelmed by the Irish settlers and gave them great difficulty to settle. When St. Patrick’s Day came near, Americans considered Irishmen violent monkeys

Hattricks

incapable of joining a workforce. The Irish soon gained strength in numbers and organized control of political power. This new movement influenced the politics of their time, and then suddenly St. Patrick’s Day became a landmark of the Irish ancestry fight for respect in America. (http://www. history.com/topics/st-patricks-day). Now Tampa might not have forty pounds of dye to turn the Hillsborogh River Green or a parade on national TV, but we have enough Irish origin to have a good time and respect the evolution of the Irish culture. Here are some suggestions of where you can enjoy a celebratory response to the “King of Green.”

Dubliner Irish Pub

Dubliner Irish Pub serving St. Patty’s Celtic celebratory drinks at two locations: North and South Tampa. Both locations will have a special Irish luncheon serving traditional corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, Sheppard’s pie, and Irish Reubens. There will be live entertainment after 5 P.M. including

Sports Fan? Come celebrate your heritage and enjoy some basketball. Whether you are gearing up for a March Madness game or just want to be among the fans, Hattricks is conveniently located in Downtown Tampa just minutes from the St Pete Times Forum where the March Madness will be hosted. Hattrick’s features a state of the art entertainment system for your viewing and listening pleasures. All of our TV’s and Big Screens are High Definition for the best picture possible. Hattricks will continue to have its happy hour from 4pm to 8pm and 10 pm till close. Besides their infamous chicken wings, Hattricks will be serving traditional Cornbeef and Cabbage, and Sheppard’s Pie dishes along with all your other Irish needs. Location: 107 South Franklin Street Tampa, FL 33602 (813) 225-4288

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feature» India International Film Festival

India International Film Festival D irectors, producers and film fanatics journeyed to experience Tampa Bay’s second annual India International Film Festival held February 18th- 20th. Within the three-day span, more than 2,000 attendees travelled to Channelside Cinemas to observe the cultural films and events. The red carpet event had a jam packed schedule ranging from full-length independent films, regional films, feature films, animated and non-animated short films, documentaries and even a music video segment. Cultural Events included entertainment, music, food and even an interactive dance workshops. Friday kicked off the Red Carpet event with VIP Reception and drinks where Focus Magazine Staff was cordially invited to meet and network with filmmakers and other guests. The night continued on to the Opening Feature screening of the film “Ashes” directed by New Yorker, Ajay Naidu (‘Office space’, ‘Bored to Death’, and ’30 Rock’). After ‘Ashes’ kicked off the night, a dinner and after-party were held in Dolce Vita Lounge in the Channelside Cinemas. Without delay, both Saturday and Sunday

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opened early at 12pm with 26 varietal films, 12 of which were making its premiere on the U.S. or International silver screen. The films were broken up with cultural discussions with Indian filmmakers, ethnic performances, and dance workshops. On Saturday or Sunday at 1 pm and 3 pm all attendees were invited to the instructor led workshop to dance like the Bollywood movie stars in the Channelside Atrium. When you were there you really let yourself go and joined in on the Bollywood dance workshop and danced to tunes from several Hindi songs including tunes from Slumdog Millionaire. It was great to see people that came to Channelside restaurants get into the groove!

Sunday night concluded with question and answer sessions and final remarks by all the contributors, filmmakers, and sponsors. Everyone’s hard work and success was celebrated with a closing dinner at Doce Vita Lounge in Channelside. Then a fabulous after party at Jacksons Bistro was sponsored by D-10 organization (Different People Common Interests).

The India International Film Festival was presented by Indo U.S. Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay and was made possible by many local sponsors. The event began with the dream of Francis Vayalumkal , President of the Indo US Chamber of Commerce, who was told there would never be an Indian Film Festival in Tampa. This of course started his drive and ambition. Vayalumkal, quickly gathered a dedicated team of 3 directors and 7-8 volunteers to bring the first film festival last year. With its success, the film festival now has 8 directors and over 15 volunteers. “With the inclined number of film submissions from this year from last year’s, we know we can mark this year as a success,” stated Vayalumkal. Vayalumkal described the Film Festival’s mission as a three-fold initiative. The foremost objective is to bring a unique,

Written by Jody Lokay Photos by Michael Blitch Photography & IIFF

cultural, and successful event to Tampa Bay. Vayalumkal stated, “If you travel outside of the country, everyone knows Miami and Orlando. We want people to be able to recognize Tampa as a center of the multi cultural audience. It is our mission is to bring something to Tampa for the Indian Community and Culture.” For those who are Tampa locals, many can say this city has given so much; we just wanted to give something back. Recognition. Second, the Film Festival’s vision is to promote and unite cultural exposure. Vayalumkal described it as a perfect opportunity to promote the Indo U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Film Festival allows the opportunity for a meeting of minds and cultures to gain insight about the local Indocommunity involvement. Additionally, “We want to give people the opportunity to gain insight and get to know other cultures films.


feature» India International Film Festival It is easy to tell people about your country or culture, but people are visual. Film gives you a better tangible idea about cultures, norms and values,” said Vayalumkal. Goal accomplished. Over the 3-day cultural course, personally, I learned an “Indian Film” does not necessarily mean all the actors are from India and you need to read tiny subtitles. Throughout the festival, I realized Indian Cinema is much more extensive. An “Indian Film” can constitute a variety of factors using a combination Indian Cinematography, Indian filmmakers, language/ dialects, music, lighting effects, setting, etc. While only flirting with being named a musical, Indian films are known for illustrative colors, elaborate dancing, and song break outs throughout the films. In addition, many people imagine Bollywood as the only market in the Indian Film Industry. As it turns out, Bollywood cinema is just one type of Indian film that derives from Bombay and is spoken in Hindi, which is the most populous language in India. Hence, it tends to be a large sector of the Indian film industry. However, this type of cinema is just one community in one language. There

are over 400 languages in India and even more dialects. That being said Bollywood is a small portion of the Indian Film Industry. Vayalumkal explained, “By assuming Bollywood is the Indian Film Industry that would be like saying the American Film Industry is only composed of one city in the state of Florida and ignoring the other lifestyle differences throughout America.”

Lastly, the Film Festival strives to support, promote, and expose the film industry. The Film Festival gives local filmmakers, actors, and activists a platform to highlight their talent. Vayalumkal shared a success story from the first annual event, about a young

actor who was picked up by internationally recognized Director/ Producer team for upcoming film project. “Our goal is for Tampa to be the place where film makers can come to find fresh talent for upcoming films or networking opportunities,” explained Vayalumkal. It is these stories that the Indian Film Festival strive to replicate and elaborate each year as this marks true film promotion success. Moreover, the film festival wants to market this event to all shapes and sizes. As many people find independent films a past time for only the “Hobbyist” or the “Indie-niche”. The India International Film Festival wants to transform this view and make independent films accessible and craving for all. To view all the film screenings and events for the entire weekend the festival pass was priced at $75, a one-day pass was $25, and individual movie tickets were only marked at $10. Marking a reasonable price encourages a wide audience to share the experience with while maintaining the red-carpet effect. The event left many in the crowd saying, “Wow, I didn’t know these films existed” with excitement and curiosity in their voice.

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more Health,

more Life local business teaches community children that a healthy life is a better life

story by christina musial Photos by Ben drummond & more health, inc.

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spotlight » Karen Pesce

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rom Bones to Oral Health, Nutrition and the Food Pyramid, the staff at More Health, Inc. in South Tampa are paving the way for child education in major issues, hoping to promote a healthier and longer lifestyle. Due to an increased emphasis on statewide testing within Public Schools, subjects such as Health have lost importance in the daily curriculum. The Florida Department of Education removed Health Education as a required course for high school graduation in recent years, but continues to require health be taught during the primary and secondary school years. The observation of these changes in the education system is where More Health Inc. came in. “Most students receive very little health education or injury prevention education. Over the years, the emphasis on testing has continued to be extremely strong causing certain subjects to be pushed to the wayside. Not that they’re not important, it’s just that the classroom teacher is overwhelmed with the many requirements they must complete in a day. He/she doesn’t have the time, expertise, or visuals to present health in a creative way like we do,” Executive Director Karen Pesce says. With all of that said, the role of More Health is to ensure children get all of the education necessary. “The reasoning behind More Health was to go into the classroom and help the classroom teacher by providing health education to the kids in a really fun interactive way. It made health come alive for the kids, but it also taught the students life skills to help them make healthier decisions,” Pesce said. More Health, Inc. began as a project with the Junior League. Pesce became involved because of a background in pediatric nursing. Her youngest child had started school and she felt the need to become more involved with the community. “I really was missing giving back to the community and I felt like I needed to do something rewarding. I heard about this unique opportunity. I started as an instructor and it was the perfect fit for me because of the tie to pediatrics and medicine. I love not only explaining how amazing our body is, but also how choices you make now can help you to be healthier for your whole life,” Pesce said. Via Partnerships with Tampa General Hospital as well as private funding, state and federal grants, and business donations, they are able to offer Health and Injury

Prevention classes to every Hillsborough County School. If your children know the “Wiggle, wiggle, brush, brush” song for their teeth or have learned the importance of calcium intake to prevent Osteoporosis, they’ve most likely interacted with one of More Health’s instructors. Tampa General Hospital covers More Health’s overhead (office expenses, rent, salaries, etc.) so that every dollar raised by the More Health staff is used solely for the

you haven’t sent in your packet, you probably won’t get us this year. Unfortunately, we can’t always meet the request for every school for their first choice of a lesson. This year we will teach over 135,000 students in Hillsborough County and 65,000 students in Pinellas County,” Pesce said. One of the major advantages to having More Health in the school is not only that it’s free of charge to the school district, but that the lessons are written in alignment

having us come in, they can say they’ve just met 15-20 of those benchmarks,” Pesce said. All of the lessons are written by the More Health office staff with the input of instructors and many of the lessons are developed at the request of the classroom teacher or School Board. “It’s important when you develop a lesson, to look at the health issues in the community. We consider the student, classroom teacher, and community to make sure that there is a

betterment of the program, the provision of more lessons taught in schools throughout the county, and therefore, more children. More Health prepares a total of 23 lessons for the Hillsborough County School District. The lessons are available on a “First Come, First Served” basis. “At the beginning of the school year, we send out a scheduling packet to all the schools. I would say within the first couple weeks of the school year, if

with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. These standards are essentially a list of benchmarks each classroom teacher is responsible for meeting with their children throughout the course of a school year. “Throughout the school year, teachers have to show that they’ve completed certain benchmarks for health, language arts…all the different subject matters. We matched all of our lessons to those standards. So, just by

real need for that particular subject prior to developing a lesson,” Pesce said. Pesce has a hand in the screening process and hiring of every instructor introduced to the More Health team. The stacks of resumes in Pesce’s office are large due to the high level of excitement with the job and the flexibility. Every instructor is Part-Time and works only during the school year, so it’s perfect for people with young families who

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sPotlight » Karen Pesce want to keep the same schedule as their kids. The screening process is designed to bring in the best and most qualified. These instructors need to be enthusiastic and comfortable presenting in front of a group of students and must pass a rigorous training schedule. “I interview the potential instructor. All of our lessons are written and developed by More Health. They’re scripted, we have training videos, and we have all the materials and visuals. The instructor has to memorize the entire lesson. It’s word for word script. Then we hold our training session and they teach the lesson back to us, and finally they will become certified in that particular topic,” Pesce said. When Pesce screens her potential instructors she looks for several factors. First of all, she prefers someone with a teaching or medical background, and someone who can be viewed as a role model by the students. “It’s important to me that we live what we teach so I want the instructor to be a role model for the topic that they are presenting,” Pesce said. Also important to Pesce is that the instructor is placed with the age group they are most comfortable with. “I do find that certain instructors like certain age groups better. I really try to be respectful and try to match their personality and teaching style to the age group,” Pesce said. This training and screening process, coupled with the matching of the instructor’s personality to their most compatible age group allows for a consistent message being portrayed to each student. If there’s a More Health instructor in a classroom, it’s guaranteed they’ve been hand selected for that job and their quality, passion and dedication should be evident. To determine success in this business is a little difficult as you can’t use broad generalizations. More Health has to use interactions with the classroom teachers or the students to gauge their success. That’s why every classroom teacher who hosts a More Health instructor completes a survey at the end of the class. “Success to me would be that the evaluation the classroom teacher completes on our instructor is very positive. We calculate the results for all of our evaluations and right now we’re at a greater than 97% for every single teacher. I have one teacher who scored a perfect 100% on every evaluation form last year,” Pesce said. For some lessons, More Health partners with the University of South Florida to evaluate. Because of the expense associated, not ever

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lesson is evaluated this way. “The researchers evaluate a pre-test, post-test and post-posttest to see if the kids retain the information and of every lesson we’ve studied. So far, the students not only gain understanding from the lesson content, but they also demonstrate an intent to change behavior,” Pesce said. Pesce says that in some evaluations, their USF partners have called the homes of children participating in the programs to see if the children were actually going home and teaching their parents what they learned and implementing it as family. The families and the children said yes, they’ve made changes due to the programs. “Those would be specific ways I determine whether our lessons are successful. But, for me, in my heart, it’s when I’m in the classroom, when I observe the kids and I listen to their comments, questions, and opinions. They come up and thank us, hug us; sometimes they want to come home with you. Or, they want you to stay with them and teach more about health. They write us letters and draw us pictures on how they will try to be healthy. Teaching students the skills to make healthy decisions for a lifetime of good health is what we do best. To me that’s success,” Pesce says. Pesce also rates her success based on the stories she hears after her instructors have been in a classroom. There was the child who learned about Skin Cancer and identified a suspicious mole. Because of her early discovery they were able to determine the early stages of Melanoma. Another child learned about the Heimlich maneuver and performed it on her mother as she was choking. Because of her More Health education, she was able to save her mom. More Health also provides resources to parents who want to be involved in making healthier lifestyles available to their kids. In

the evenings, More Health offers a four week program called “Healthy & Fit for Life” where families come in together to learn about nutrition and physical activity. They also offer a Fire Arm Safety Course for families. In this course, More Health educates parents on general gun safety, a school representative comes in to teach children about school rules and the No Tolerance Policy, a trauma physician from Tampa General talks about injuries they see in the ER, and the Police Department comes in to teach parents how to properly lock up their guns. “We’re not pro-gun or anti-gun in anyway. We are right down the middle in that we don’t want guns in the hands of children. We educate the parents on the importance of having your firearm secured with the ammunition locked and keys in a separate location,” Pesce said. While educating parents and students is certainly a goal and passion of More Health, they also desire to educate teachers

to be the best they possibly can be and how to impact their students. They provide Professional Development for Educators. “We enjoy teaching school nurses and physical education teachers in Hillsborough County. We take one of our topics that they request and teach them tips on how to teach health skills in a fun, interactive way to the students,” Pesce said. Right now, the most prominent project for More Health is the Oral Health Initiative they’re refining with the cooperation of Dr. Randy Feldman and Dr. Terry Buckenheimer. This initiative is for the

entire Tampa Bay area. More Health was the only organization in Florida to receive an Oral Health Grant from the Florida Department of Health Closing the Gap and the American Dental Association. The ADA grant will fund education of teen moms in high school about dental hygiene for their children. They also received funding from the Dentaquest Foundation to implement a social marketing campaign to raise awareness of the importance of good dental hygiene and healthy nutrition to prevent cavities. More Health’s intention is to focus on the whole child, whether they are in elementary, middle or high school. Because of that, they implemented a Distracted Driving lesson into their curriculum and now teach it to high school students coming of age to drive. They’re hosting a competition where students take a pledge not to text and drive. The high school with the most pledges receives a private concert sponsored by the Allstate Foundation. More Health is truly a staple in the Tampa Bay community. With their continued efforts, community children are learning to live healthier, longer lives through interactive lessons based around health, nutrition, exercise, hygiene, first aid, distracted driving and trauma prevention. Because More Health is largely funded by partners and sponsors, they are always looking for funding to help them teach more children, teens, adults. If individuals or businesses would like to partner in their success, they can contact Karen Pesce, Executive Director at (813) 287-5032 or via email at kpesce@morehealthinc.org. While Pesce and her team work diligently to change the community and offer better opportunities to every student, they are aware that major issues such as obesity, tooth decay, and distracted driving injuries and deaths won’t just go away overnight, but that won’t stop them from trying. “We’re trying to empower kids with the knowledge to make healthy decisions for themselves. We start by asking kids to make little changes. Some of these major health issues facing us are not going to change overnight, but if we all can start making little changes, that’s huge,” Pesce said. Join with More Health and teach your kids that a healthy life is a longer, happier, better life.


Save $2.00 on Adult General Admission at participating Sweetbay Supermarkets!

MAR. 3 - MAR. 13, 2011 - PLANT CITY, FLORIDA

THE JUDDS

(The Last Encore)

Artists Appearing on the Wish Farms Soundstage: Thu. Mar. 3 Thu. Mar. 3 Thu. Mar. 3

10:30 am 3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra Bobby Vinton Kenny Rogers

FREE $10 & $15 $15 & $20

Fri. Mar. 4 Fri. Mar. 4

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

John Conlee .38 Special

$10 & $15 $20 & $25

Sat. Mar. 5 Sat. Mar. 5 Sat. Mar. 5

1:00 pm 3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Suite Caroline Jeremy Camp Gaither Vocal Band

FREE $20 & $25 $20 & $25

Sun. Mar. 6 Sun. Mar. 6

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Trace Adkins $25 & $30 The Judds (The Last Encore) $45

Mon. Mar. 7 Mon. Mar. 7

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Charley Pride Clint Black

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Tues. Mar. 8 Tues. Mar. 8

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Chubby Checker Chris Young

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Wed. Mar. 9 Wed. Mar. 9

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Tanya Tucker Rick Springfield

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Thu. Mar. 10 10:30 am Thu. Mar. 10 3:30 pm Thu. Mar. 10 7:30 pm

The Guy Lombardo Band FREE George Jones $15 & $20 The Doobie Brothers $25 & $30

Fri. Mar. 11 Fri. Mar. 11

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Ray Price Josh Thompson/ Justin Moore

$15 & $20

Sat. Mar. 12

3:30 pm

Sat. Mar. 12

7:30 pm

Allstar Weekend & Jennette McCurdy Billy Ray Cyrus

$10 & $15 $20 & $25

Sun. Mar. 13 Sun. Mar. 13

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Easton Corbin Lady Antebellum

$15 & $20 $45

KENNY ROGERS

.38 SPECIAL

TRACE ADKINS

CHARLEY PRIDE

CLINT BLACK

TANYA TUCKER

RICK SPRINGFIELD

GEORGE JONES

$10 & $15

Concert dates and times are subject to change

Direct Auto Insurance Free Grandstand seating, 3:30 & 7:30 pm are on a first come, first seated basis. Order: www.flstrawberryfestival.com or 813-754-1996

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Dennis Lee • Jay Taylor Band • Runa Pacha Granpa Cratchet • Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show Rosaire’s Racing Pigs • Bluegrass Parlor Band NEW: Magic of Lance Gifford & Company Rock-It The Robot • The Gothard Sisters Pirates Of The Colombian Caribbean

AMERICAN HEROES DAY, Wed. Mar. 9 All Active, Reserve, Retired Military, Military Veterans , Law Enforcement, First Responders (EMS & Fire Fighters) admitted Free all day with a valid ID

LADY ANTEBELLUM

Red Hat Society Day

Tues, Mar, 8th $2 Off Gate Admission

SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAYS

FREE CONCERTS Thurs, Mar 3rd Jimmy Sturr Orchestra Thurs, Mar 10th Guy Lombardo Band Concerts 10:30am

BILLY RAY CYRUS

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS

Cool Whip • Stingray Chevrolet • TECO • Premium Leisure • Southern Ford Dealers • CF Industries • Patterson Companies • Mahaffey Tent Rentals • Verizon Wireless • Candyland Warehouse FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa march 2011

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0003001012-01

414 N. Alexander St. • 813-754-3561 www.floridainsurancecenter.com


what’s free in 2011? S

stingray chevrolet entertainment tent schedule of events

trawberry Festival organizers know how to pack the house and there’s no doubt about it. One of the secrets to that success is the lineup of local talent and fun-towatch performances at the Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent.

From music and dance to exercise and eating contests, the free venue offers something everyone can enjoy. What parent, grandparent, friend, co-worker, neighbor, teacher, or church member doesn’t want to come and see the people they know and love take the stage and inspire an audience? School choirs, choruses, bands, and orchestras always draw a crowd, as do young dancers, baton twirlers, and karate kickers. The 2011 lineup also includes several serious competitions, such as the Celebrity Dessert Challenge, the Youth Parade Awards, and the Youth Strawberry Stemming Contest.

marcH 3, 2011

11:00 .........Springhead Elementary School............................................ School Chorus 1:00...........“Celebrity Dessert Challenge”.................. Sponsored by: GFS Marketplace 3:30...........Klassic Kountry Kloggers ...................................................Clogging Group 4:30...........Steve Selby ........................................................................................ Soloist 6:00...........Strawberry Squares .............................................................Square Dancing 7:00...........Brandon School of Dance Arts ..............................................Dance School

marcH 4, 2011

11:00 .........J.S. Robinson Chorus ........................................................... School Chorus 12:00 .........Shining Knights ................................................................... School Chorus 1:00...........Ella Jet .............................................................................................. Soloist 3:30...........Buddy Brown .......................................................................................Band 5:00...........Double Trouble ..................................................................... Country Duet 6:00...........Double Barrel Band .............................................................................Band 7:30...........Heather Leigh & 2nd Chance Band ....................................................Band

marcH 5, 2011

11:00 .........At His feet Ministries ............................................................ Dance Group 12:30 .........Youth Parade Awards ................................ Sponsored by: The Civitan Club 2:00...........Youth Stemming Contest........................Sponsored by: SunnyRidge Farm 3:30...........Celebration Singers .................................................... Gospel Music Group 5:00...........T.A.G. Team ................ Kid’s Worship Team - Plant City Church of God 6:00...........Central Florida Academy of Etiquette................................... Dance Group 7:00...........Carol Grayson’s School of Dance ...........................................Dance School

With the incredible amount of talent sure to be displayed by local performers and musicians, it’s no wonder there might be a few scouts in the audience. Be sure and check out the 1st Ever Mega Corndog Eating Contest and the Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, too. If you plan to compete, you’ll need to practice in advance by sampling all the fine food the festival vendors have to offer. Should you eat too much, don’t worry. Be happy. Seniors can teach us all a thing or two about staying in shape or tightening the belt a notch as the YMCA Silver Sneakers group demonstrate ways to have fun and stay fit. Stingray Chevrolet has sponsored the entertainment tent for the last 3 years and finds it a great form of exposure and advertisement. Since the community minded dealership actively supports many of the great happenings in our town, it’s our hope that when locals need another vehicle, they will shop local with Stingray.

marcH 6, 2011

11:00 .........Gospel Truth Quartet ................................................ Gospel Music Group 12:00 .........Sonshine Quartet ....................................................... Gospel Music Group 1:00...........Spirit Wind Trio ........................................................ Gospel Music Group 3:00...........Peace River Quartet ................................................... Gospel Music Group 4:00...........Heavenly Hope .......................................................... Gospel Music Group 5:00...........Judy’s Dance Academy ...........................................................Dance School 6:30...........Heanon Tate ................................................................ Gospel Music Band

marcH 7, 2011

11:00 .........Durant High School Choruses ............................................ School Chorus 1:00...........Grand Parade- Viewing available inside Tent 4:00...........Lincoln Elementary School Chorus.................... School Chorus/Ensemble 5:00...........Ashley Shannon ................................................................................ Soloist 6:00...........Buckshot Cloggers .............................................................Clogging Group 7:30...........Dance Carousel ......................................................................Dance School

marcH 8, 2011

10:30 .........Bryan Bulldog Chorus ......................................................... School Chorus 11:15 .........Bryan Ethnic Performers ........................................... School Dance Group 12:00 .........Bailey Chorus and Drum Ensemble .................................... School Chorus 2:00...........Strawberry Stemming Contest.................Sponsored by: SunnyRidge Farm 3:30...........Wilton M. Stokes...................................................................Gospel Music 5:00...........The O’Brien Sisters .......................................................................... Singers 6:30...........Performer’s Edge Dance Studio .............................................Dance School 7:30...........Eden Regained ........................................................... Christian Rock Band

FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa march 2011

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marcH 9, 2011

11:00 .........Amanda Massey ................................................................................ Soloist 1:00...........1st Ever Mega Corndog Eating Contest ........... Sponsored by: Super Dog 2:30...........John Summerall ................................................................................ Soloist 4:00...........Lithia Springs Lynx Choir ................................................... School Chorus 5:00...........Shelly Stark .............................................................. Country Music Singer 6:00...........Resilience Road ....................................................................................Band 7:30...........Jackie’s Dance Theatre ............................................................Dance School

marcH 10, 2011

ENTErTaINmENT rEvuE

11:00 .........Burns Middle School Chorus .............................................. School Chorus 12:00 .........White Lightning Cloggers.................................................Clogging Group 1:00...........YMCA: Silver Sneakers ......................................... YMCA Exercise Group 3:00 Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest Sponsored by: St. Clements “Make Your Own Shortcake” 5:00...........Charlie Ries .........................................................................................Band 6:30...........Patrick Patriots Twirling Corps............................................ Baton Twirling 7:45...........Faces South ........................................................................Rockabilly Band

ELLa JET-SINgEr

KLaSSIc KouNTrY KLoggErS

amaNDa maSSEY - SoLoIST

marcH 11, 2011

11:00 .........Progress Village Middle Magnet ......................................... School Chorus 12:00 .........Trapnell Elementary Chorus................................................ School Chorus 1:00...........You and Me ........................................................................... Country Duet 3:00...........Billy T. Elvis ...................................................................................... Soloist 4:00...........Bianca Swilley ................................................................................... Soloist 5:00...........L.A.D.....................................................................................Dance School 6:30...........Entertainment Revue .............................................Song and Dance Troupe 7:30...........Rave Revue.............................................................Song and Dance Troupe

marcH 12, 2011

11:00 .........Plant City Church of God ...... Gospel Music Group - Worship Arts Team 1:00...........Strawberry Express Cloggers .............................................Clogging Group 2:30...........Orlando Cloggers...............................................................Clogging Group 4:00...........South Shore Rising Stars .......................................................Dance School 5:30...........Julestarz Academy .................................................................. Dance Group 7:00...........Chris Welbon Karate ............................................... Karate Demonstration 8:15...........The Academy of Dance Dynamics .........................................Dance School

marcH 13, 2011

BucKSHoT cLoggErS pIcTurED: TINY ToT TEam

pLaNT cITY cHurcH oF goD cHoIr 18

march 2011 myfocustv.com

11:00 .........Clogging Connection .........................................................Clogging Group 12:00 .........Glee.................................................................................................. Singers 1:00...........Gulf Coast Cloggers ..........................................................Clogging Group 2:30...........Nate Maloney .............................................................. Gospel Music Band 4:00...........Music Showcase Elite ...................................................................... Singers 5:00...........June and John .......................................................................................Duet 6:00...........Brian Bracey and One Reason ...............................................Gospel Music 7:00...........Leonard’s Leonard’s Dance Academy..................................................... Dance Group


www.FredsSouthernKitchen.com

Eat Better. Love Life. Live Longer. FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa march 2011

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Hillsborough County's Only Estate Winery Our Tasting Room & Gift Shop is open daily until 6PM

Friday Evening After Hours Wine Bar Dinner Served 5PM to 10PM Happy Hour 6PM to 7PM Live Music 6:30PM to 10:30PM $5 Cover Charge

Host Your Next Special Moment at Keel & Curley Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions Bridal & Baby Showers Anniversary & Birthday Parties Corporate Events We are located just minutes from the State Fair & Strawberry Festival. Stop by our tasting room and gift shop to relax with a glass of wine on our covered deck.

813.752.9100

5202 W. Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City (I-4 exit 17 - minutes East of Downtown Tampa)

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march 2011 myfocustv.com


For all your hard work - and being awarded your state and national certification as a Fire Service Professional - Firefighter II

"Whoever wishes to become great must become a servant" Mark 10:43 We are so proud of you Nicholas. You have worked so hard! God has given you some special abilities and he has shaped you for a purpose. He measures greatness in terms of service, not status. We are so proud of your accomplishment! Mom, Hector and Tony

Congratulations to the

Queen and Court!

Bombay Box $490 Leather Campaign Chair $480

HOPEWELL

Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens www.hopewellfuneral.com 6005 County Road 39 South

Ford Trimotor $500

Our Collection of Campaign Furniture is created in the classic tradition of European cabinet ateliers. This collection contains over 70 designs. Individual pieces easily match and combine with both contemporary and classic statements. Solitaire Vintage Game To learn more about this handmade furniture collection.

$95

visit us online 24/7 at AndyThornal.com, call or better yet come see us.

1/2 mile south of State Road 60

813.737.3128 FOCUS Magazine south tampa march 2011

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OPEN FOR LUNCH & DINNER MON - THU- 11-10P.M. SAT 8A.M. - 11P.M SUN 8A.M. - 8 P.M.

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march 2011 myfocustv.com

813-737-3259


B

CosmetiC & Laser Center O n

strawBerry ParaDe Berry fine Productions taKes the reigns to Produce the Parade

Written by: Brian West | Photos courtesy of: The Plant City Photo Archives

The Florida Strawberry Festival parade is one of the largest parades in Hillsborough County. This event for the people of Plant City also deserves credit for its longevity. But over the last few years, the parade just hasn’t been the same. The tragedy of the Christmas Parade a few years ago cast a sorrowful shadow, and people seemed afraid to have a little fun during the parades. This year, the Florida Strawberry Festival has arranged with Berry Fine Productions to produce this year’s parade. Jodi Smith founded the 501(c)(3) organization and created a board in her own personal attempt to establish a philanthropical group. Smith said, “I am excited to be a part of such a fun-filled event that really demonstrates what Plant City is all about. The Parade is a family fun day; a day everyone looks forward to all year!” This year will be a little different. You’ll see Brown’s Florist handing out flowers and Uncle Joe’s Roasted Corn giving out corn-on-the-cob nibblers. Smith really wants this year’s parade to be more interactive, rather than just people waving at each other during a drive by procession of cars and floats. The reigning Miss Florida, Jaclyn Raulerson, will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal. Al Berry is working with Smith to re-establish a tradition that his sister, the former City Manager, Nettie Draughton and City Commissioner Betty June Barker, started years ago. The two would meet in Draughton’s office at City Hall, just prior to the start of the parade. They’d put on makeup and clown suits and slip into the parade unnoticed. Berry is working to revive the “City Clowns” for this year’s parade. Several city officials have already secretly volunteered to participate. Berry and Smith are hoping more will get involved.

D av I S

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Serving South Tampa, Downtown Tampa & Davis Islands Neil AlAN FeNske, M.D.

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To schedule an appointment, please call:

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APARTMENTS FOR THE ELDERLY

One bedroom Apartments • Rent based on income

For questions about the parade, please feel free to contact Jodi Smith at jodismith425@gmail.com. Additionally, those interested in joining the clown fun should contact Al Berry at 813-763-2220.

Plant City Towers Plant City Living Center 103 W. Mahoney St. Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.5116

405 E. Damon St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.2669

Applications available at each location FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa march 2011

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march 2011 myfocustv.com


LAW OFFICE OF

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The Premier Showplace for Talent in Florida Make Your Reservations Today For One Of Our Fabulous Shows! 26

march 2011 myfocustv.com


FEBRUARY 18 RICHIE MERRITT

Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

FEBRUARY 19 THE VAN DELLS

50s & 60s Rock and Roll – The Van Dells are a unique blend of comedy, choreography and tight harmonies... the group is nonstop action from start to finish! Plus, PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds will also perform before and after the show in the Red Rose Ballroom.

FEBRUARY 26 THE LEGACY OF THE TEMPTATIONS

Back by popular demand. This group will thrill you with the hits that we have loved for so long... including: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone!” Plus, Richie Merrit and PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds.

MARCH 11 & 12 DOOWOP WEEKEND

- VOL. 5

The annual is event is underway for another spectacular extravaganza! The celebrity line up includes: The DelPrados, George Galfo’s Mystics, The Edsels (performing Saturday night only!), Terry Johnson’s Flamingos, P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds, Destiny andRalph Allocco & Second Wind. Many activities areincluded to enhance the weekend and totake a trip down Memory Lane, including Hula Hoop, Dance and Costume contests!

MARCH 19 & 25 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

APRIL 2 BOB RYMAN

“THE FIDDLER”

Bob Ryman “The Fiddler” was a legend in the area for many years when The Red Rose was Lanny Purcell’s Holiday Inn and was also a favorite at Florida The Strawberry Festival®. Because of his fans’ request, The Red Rose Inn is bringing “The Fiddler” back. P.J.Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds will open & close the show in the Red Rose Ballroom.

APRIL 8, 16, 23 & 30 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

APRIL 9 & 22 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

MARCH 5 LOLA & THE SAINTS

APRIL 24 EASTER SUNDAY

Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday. “Forever in Love,” “Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Plus, PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds.

BUFFET

APRIL 29 RICHIE MERRITT

Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

SHOW RESERVATIONS

MARCH 26 BUDDY HOLLY & THE BEATLES TRIBUTE SHOW

MARCH 11 & 12

A tribute to two of music’s historical cutting age acts Buddy Holly & The Beatles. BeatleBeat previously performed at Disney’s Epcot and was a big crowd pleaser. If you loved Holly and the Beatles, this is an act not to miss! Plus, Holly’s Cadillac, which also took the Beatles to Shea Stadium in the 60s, will be here to see!

Please call for ticket prices. Shows in the Red Rose Ballroom are in a supper club atmosphere with a four course meal (seats also available for the show only – for a lower price!) NO COVER CHARGE for shows in the 5-Star Red Rose Dining Room with the purchase of dinner. Show Guests - inquire about our special room rates when staying overnight after a show!

TEL: 813.752.3141

I-4 Exit 21 • 2011 N. Wheeler St.• Plant City, FL 33563

WWW.REDROSEINNANDSUITES.COM

Mrs. Evelyn Madonia - Owner FOCUS Magazine south tampa march 2011

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march 2011 myfocustv.com


Meet the

Queen & Court 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival

It’s that time of year again. On Saturday evening, February 5th, the 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and her court were named. This year, Victoria Watkins was named Queen, Victoria Garren is the First Maid and Taelor Highland, Kori Lane and Summer Norris were selected as court members. Every year, we seem to get such a great group of young ladies, and this year is no different. They are each so different and unique, and yet there are so many endearing qualities they share; they are genuine, sweet and kindhearted. I had a few minutes recently to meet the court and here’s what they had to say.

Interviews by Brian West Photography by Stephanie Humphrey Photography

FOCUS Magazine south tampa march 2011

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Meet the Queen

Victoria The Florida Strawberry Festival Queen’s pageant is always a big even in Plant City. This is the 76th anniversary of the Festival, and it was a special night. Victoria Watkins was crowned as the 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. Just three days into her reign, I had an opportunity to speak with Victoria about being crowned Queen. Focus: Tell me about your family. Watkins: My family has been here for 5 generations. I actually learned when I was getting ready for Strawberry Queen, that my great-great-grandfather helped lay the railroads right along side Henry B. Plant. That was a cool piece of history to learn. So my family wasn’t just here, they were a part of it. And that just got me more excited about the pageant. Focus: How many siblings do you have? Watkins: I have two older sisters, Ashlee and Allie, and a younger brother, Michael. Ashlee is married and lives in Colorado and Allie is in college at Florida State University, so they’re not here with me now. But I also have a cousin, Joie, that is older than me too, and she’s lived with me for most of my life, until she graduated, so she’s really like a sister to me.

be skinnier, y. I’d probably All day, every da . ch I love to cook. mu t as I cook I don’t ea because when thout? leave home wi ng you will not to help me stay What is one thi t. I need it more tex to like n’t do My phone. I prepared. organized and Favorite Food? ing spicy. Mexican or anyth

ous? s, smart or gorge r be rich, famou Would you rathe k one) (You can only pic get the others. smart, you can Smart. If you’re er taken? st risk you’ve ev a car accident Whats the bigge y. I was just in Cit rk Yo w Ne to ne until we were in pla s a wa I on d ing are Fly w sc I didn’t realize ho last week, and the air.

30

d time? make wings an Favorite Family with my dad. We . I love to cook games. the ing Football season tch wa t d just hang ou cheese sticks an y? e to meet and wh tch his show n you would lik en I do, I wa wh t Who is one perso bu , TV of e watch a lot my own diner on Guy Fieri. I don’t I’d like to have ins and Dives. t experience. tha – Diners, Drive gh ou thr to meet him day and be able

march 2011 myfocustv.com

Focus: Was this your first pageant? Watkins: No. I competed in Little Miss Plant City when I was 10 years old. Victoria Garren and I both got in the court and Ashlyn Robinson was the Queen. So it’s cool that I’ve known them for so long, I guess that‘s Plant City for you! I tried doing Junior Royalty like 5 years in a row, but I never got drawn in the lottery, so I couldn’t do it. The last year I was eligible, I just decided that I wouldn’t get drawn, so I didn’t enter. Two years ago, I did Miss Teen Plant City USA. That was really fun. It was the first time they’d ever done the Plant City Miss Teen. It was held at the Red Rose. I was supposed to go on to represent Plant City in the Miss Teen Florida USA pageant, but I just wasn’t as interested in the USA circuit. Strawberry Queen had drawn my attention more because of what the Queen represents. Focus: Did your sisters try to impart anything on you to help you prepare for the pageant? Watkins: They’re both busy, but they’d stay in touch with me asking how things are going. During Christmas time, they came down. They were there when I got my dress. They got to be a little part of it but not as much as I would’ve liked. Ashlee told me over and over again, “Just have fun. If you win or lose, it doesn’t matter because these are girls you get to make friends with.” When we were backstage waiting for the announcement of the top ten, I was so nervous. Then we started watching Jeopardy and were trying to guess the answers. It was like we totally forgot about the pageant. We were just enjoying being with each other. And that’s something I miss. I miss that girl time with my sisters. I definitely made friends, so Ashlee was right about that.


Watkins Focus: You and your sisters are so well grounded. Is there something that your parents did that stands out to you? Watkins: Yes. They’ve lightened up now that we’ve gotten older, but they used to be really strict. At the time, when they were strict, I wouldn’t be allowed to go somewhere or see a certain movie because of the rating. As a 13 year old girl, not being allowed to go along with your friends seems like the end of the world. But now when I look back on it, I’m so glad that they kept me protected the way that they did, and that they’ve talked to me about the things that they don’t want me to experience. I know those things are there, but I know to stay away from those things. That’s something that I hope I can do when I have kids. Not shelter them too much so that they’re completely blindsided by things in this world, but make sure that they know what not to experience. I honestly think the biggest key for me to have a chance at winning, was to be humble. I cannot tell you how surprised I was that I won. I know that if it wasn’t for the fact that I thought that I didn’t have a chance in the world, I wouldn’t have done as well. If I had gone out thinking, “I’m ready for this. My sisters got it, so I can.”, there’s just no way I would have done a good job. If I had expected it, it would have never happened. I think that’s something else my parents have taught me. You have to work your hardest for what you want, and you still may not get it. Focus: Tell me what things have been like for you in your first few days as Queen. Watkins: It’s been a whirlwind. Honestly, I keep forgetting that I have the crown on my head. So when people look at me and smile, I think, “Oh, how nice. People are smiling at me.” I wore my sash to school on Monday and it was so great. People were so nice. They were coming up to me and congratulating me. And that’s so hard to believe that even girls my age that I didn’t know were excited for me. In Plant City, people just care about each other, and we get excited for each other. This is a great experience. I know that I’m going to be so involved with the community this year even after high school. I’ll still be able to be involved. It’s just such an honor that I’m getting this experience and getting to meet all the people that run our great city.

Focus: Tell me your plans after high school. Watkins: I’m a senior at Plant City High School. In the past I’ve taken a lot of AP classes but this year I only took one. Right now I have a 5.5 GPA, so I’m kind of done with the AP classes; I need a break. I’m planning to go to HCC first after graduation. I work at Beef O’Brady’s and this month I’ll have been with them for a year. I can’t imagine leaving there. I really enjoy my job. I enjoy working with all the girls and they want me to stay, which means a lot to me. After HCC, I plan to attend a Culinary School and open my own diner some day. I need to learn more about cooking, but it will be an amazing journey. Focus: Is there something you’re looking forward to in your year as Queen? Watkins: I think for me, I’m really looking forward to the whole Festival. It’s going to be really exciting. Every year, my family has one day that we all load up and go together. We just eat and ride the rides; except for me because I’m scared. We haven’t been able to do that as much as a family since my sisters are growing up and aren’t at home as much. So I think I’m just looking forward to the whole Festival experience every day, actually being able to find my way around the Festival. It’ll be an honor to be a part of it and actually know what I’m doing. I also love food. My favorite at the Festival is chicken on a stick. It’s basically just a giant chicken tender, but because it’s on a stick, it just makes it better I think. Focus: Tell me something about yourself that not everyone knows. Watkins: I think the fact that I’m very different from my sisters. We’re all completely, almost opposites from one another. Ashlee is so, so sweet. We call her Jesus’ sister because she’s just syrupy sweet all the time. You can’t make Ashlee mad. And if you do, you feel so bad because she’s just so sweet. And Allie’s got this spunk that she doesn’t let everyone see. It’s come out a little more that she’s gone off to college. I think that I’m just a mixture of them is something that’s unique. I get along with them so well now that I’m older, and you don’t always see that in families. We can all pick on each other, use sarcasm, whatever, and we’re all loving at the same time. Even though I’m a lot like my sisters I think I see the world a little differently sometimes. It is so clear that Victoria will do a wonderful job as Queen. She has a level of maturity a few years beyond her age. She’s very focused in what she wants to do with her life. She’s thankful for the way she and her sisters and brother have been raised, which is a testament to her parents. Congratulations Victoria. We wish you all the best in your year as Queen. Take it all in and enjoy every moment.

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First Maid

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Court Member

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Taelor Highland

march 2011 myfocustv.com

Court Meet the

Focus: Are you originally from Plant City? Highland: No. I was born in Texas and my family moved here when I was 4 years old. My dad is from Plant City and my mom was always coming to Plant City to visit her friend. After my parents met, they started dating and eventually moved here. Lane: Yes. I live in Pinecrest, a little south of Plant City. I’m really close with my family. Norris: Yes. I grew up here in Plant City. I’ve been here all my life. My grandfather lived in Alabama and moved back and forth, but I’m the third generation. My grandparents live in the backyard and my sister lives an acre away. Garren: Yes. I’ve grown up around Plant City all my life. Focus: Do you have any brothers or sisters? Highland: I have a baby brother. He’s three. Lane: I have an older brother whose 25. He and his wife have an 18-month-old boy named Jackson. I also have a sister who is 22. I’m the baby of three, but we’re really close. We spend a lot of time together. Norris: I have a sister. She was in the court in 2003, Shana Norris. Shana’s married and she has a daughter Gracie. She’s two and she’s amazing. Garren: I have a brother named Kyle, and he’ll be 20 years old in March. He kind of looks over me. I love him to death. Focus: Was this your first pageant experience? Highland: No. I competed in Little Miss Plant City in 2004. Then I didn’t do any pageants for a while until this past year when I competed in Calendar Girl at my school. Lane: No. When I was eight, I competed in the Junior Royalty pageant. I was in the top 5, so I got in the court and then I did it again two more years in 7th and 8th grade and I got on the court both times in the Queen division. My sophomore year, I competed in Calendar Girl and was the first underclassmen to win cover girl. Norris: I did Little Miss Plant City and Junior Royalty and got into the court a long time ago. This is my third time competing in the Queen’s contest. The first time, my family wanted me to do it since my sister got into the court. Last year was a tough year because the Tuesday before the pageant my great-grandmother passed away. I was really close to her. She was in a nursing home and I was even closer to my great-grandfather. The Wednesday before the pageant I got laryngitis. When I wasn’t selected, it was almost a relief. It was a blessing in disguise. That night, we left to go to Alabama to my great-grandmother’s funeral. I was able to talk at her funeral, and I was surrounded by my friends and family. And it meant so much that I was there for my great-grandfather. Even though I lost an opportunity with the Queen’s contest, I gained an opportunity with my family. It was such a blessing. You just never know what God has in store for your life. This year, I went out for it. I gave it my best and knew that God had a plan. Garren: I’ve done pageants since I was really little. After my first pageant, there were girls crying because they didn’t make it, and my mom said, “If you ever do that, I will never put you in a pageant again. You don’t do pageants to win. You do pageants to have fun and for the experience. They’re a great way to interact with the community and earn scholarships. Focus: What interested you in competing for Strawberry Queen? Highland: When I competed in Little Miss Plant City, Katie Sharer was Queen. I idolized her. I remember she had a Volkswagen Beetle and I told my mom that I wanted to be just like Katie. So I was so excited when I went to the mandatory orientation for Strawberry Queen contestants and learned that Katie was going to be the emcee and she would be going on the trip to New York. That’s when I decided it must be a sign, and I had to go for it. Lane: Like most girls, just growing up in Plant City, I always wanted to do it. I’ve always been really shy and the talking portion scared me. But when I was in


middle school, I joined FFA and that really helped me come out of my shell. I did public speaking contests and that really helped me open up and help me prepare for Strawberry Queen. Garren: It’s just a great opportunity to represent Plant City. Focus: Where are you currently attending school? Highland: I’m a junior at Durant High School. I went to an International Baccalaureate School in Tampa, so when I transferred to Durant, I didn’t know anyone. It took a little getting used to, but I’ve made a lot of friends and I like Durant. Lane: I’m a senior at Durant. It’s great. I love it. I’m in Leo Club and I’m a varsity cheerleader and this is my second year cheering. And I’m a part of the senior council, which is a lot of fun. It keeps me busy doing community service stuff and getting kids involved in school spirit and getting ready for pep-rallies and all kinds of stuff. Norris: I’ll be graduating from HCC with my Associate’s degree in Elementary Education and then transferring to the University of South Florida in the fall. Garren: Yes. I’m attending Florida Southern College. I’m the co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and I just got a letter in the mail last week that I made the Dean’s list my first semester. It was a big accomplishment. I’m working on a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Advertising. Focus: Do you know what you want to do next with your lives? Highland: Yes. I want to go to the University of Florida and major in pre-medicine. I want to be a plastic surgeon. I’m always watching Discovery Health and reconstructive surgery really interests me. I just think it would be so cool to be that person that’s able to help people boost their confidence. I think it would be the best job ever, getting to do something different every day. Lane: I plan to attend Hillsboro Community College and work on my business degree. I’m really interested in cosmetology, so I want to get my license. I’ll probably do that through Plant City High School. They have a night program and I’ll probably do that while I’m getting my business degree. When I finish at HCC I’d like to transfer to the University of Central Florida. Norris: I’m volunteering at Walden Lake Elementary in Mrs. Gifford’s 3rd grade class. When I graduate, I really want to teach 3rd grade. Garren: The Miami Dolphins are my favorite team and I’d really like to be a Dolphins cheerleader. But eventually I want to end up being a sports broadcaster on the sidelines covering football or baseball. Focus: Tell me something about yourself that not everyone knows. Highland: [With a straight face] I tend to think that I’m the best singer in the world. I’m always running around my house hitting the high notes. I could even be in the shower. My parents are always like, “Taelor! It’s not good.” For me, it takes someone to videotape me before I have my own realization that I’m really not that good. I love Kenny Rogers, so I’m really excited that he’s coming to the Festival this year. I love “Lady.” Lane: Since I’m shy, it takes a little while for people to get to know me. But when they do, I think I’m really funny. My parents always joke with me. I like the Saturday Night Live skits and the Tyler Perry movies. I’m always quoting movies and being goofy, and a lot of people wouldn’t expect that from me. Norris: Most teenagers like to listen to the radio. I don’t. I love listening to people talk. Everyone hates riding with me, especially when Dr. Tony Evans comes on 90.1 at 11 o’clock. I just love hearing people preach or talk. It’s just so entertaining to me. And the news! I love the news. What 19-year-old likes to listen to the news or traffic reports? I know what’s going on. Garren: I’m fluent in American Sign Language. When I was little, I watched a Christian video where they signed the alphabet. So when I got to high school, I thought it would be cool to learn. I love it. They have deaf nights in the food court at the Brandon Mall. It’s really cool to be able to walk past them and be able to communicate with them. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with the new Queen and her court, and this time was no different. They’re all excited about their trip to New York City to shop for outfits for their year representing our great city and the Florida Strawberry Festival. They’re also looking forward to spending time watching the entertainment, meeting the headline entertainers, and even supporting their friends in the steer show. They’re a great bunch of girls, and once again, we can be proud they’ve been selected to speak on our behalf. Thank you, ladies. We wish you the best of luck this year and hope you enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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Court Member

Summer Norris I love to dance & play with my

little nephew. What is one thi ng you will not leave home wi My cell phone thout? Favorite Food? I’m definetly no t a picky eater, so its hard to pic but i love my mo k a favorite ... m & grandma’s southern-style cooking! Would you rathe r be rich, famou s, smart or gorge (You can only pic ous? k one) Smart, because knowledge can ge t you a lot furthe then being rich , famous, or go r in life rgeous. Whats the bigge st risk you’ve ev er taken? I’m not much of a risk taker, but i think living in thi world, everyda s crazy y is a risk. Favorite Family time? I love spending time with my fam ily, especially wh all over for dinne en theyre r & we spend ho urs sitting at the telling stories & dinner table laughing. Who is one perso n you would lik e to meet and wh I would love to meet my Prince y? Charming ! ( ha ha )

Court Member

Kori Lane

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2011 florida strawberry festival Schedule of Events FREE GRANDSTAND: Limited stadium seats “FREE” for all shows with general admission. Seating is on a first-come, first seated basis. Stadium shows are at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm daily. Stadium cleared after each 3:30 pm show. Reserved seat tickets available at the Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Ave., Plant City, FL 33563. An additional ticket office adjacent to east side bleachers open during Festival to sell any remaining reserved seat tickets. Reserved concert seat Tickets DO NOT include gate admission. Ages 3 & up require a ticket for shows. You can purchase reserved seat Tickets online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com. Gates open at 10:00 am & close at 10:00 pm daily. Children 5 & under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Children 6 to 12 require a youth ticket purchase of $5.00. General admission is $10.00 for patrons 13+. Dogs and/or other animals are not allowed on the festival-grounds unless they are a service or guide dog, non-human primate or animals in a show or contest. Certified trainers (with ID stating same) of companion dogs/animals will be allowed. All animals in shows or contests are to be removed immediately after the close of the event. No illegal drugs, firearms, alcoholic beverages, or pets are allowed on the Festival grounds. Because of the early printing of this events schedule, changes, errors, deletions, or omissions may occur, in which case the Florida Strawberry Festival® reserves the right to construe its own rules and regulations and to decide all matters and differences in regard thereto.

Thursday, March 3rd Senior Citizen’s Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Patrons 60 years of age or older get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 all day. Senior Day is Sponsored By: The Simplicity Plan. Ride-A-Thon from 3:00pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. Celebrity Dessert Challenge Sponsored By: GFS Marketplace. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am – Noon....... Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra•.................. Wish Farms Soundstage Noon............................ Senior Citizens’ Drawing• ................... Wish Farms Soundstage (One drawing only-MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN) 1:00 pm...................... Celebrity Dessert Challenge...................... Stingray Chevrolet ......................................................................................................Entertainment Tent 3:30 pm...................... Bobby Vinton.................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm...................... Youth Swine Show................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:30 pm...................... Kenny Rogers................................. Wish Farms Soundstage

FRIDAY, March 4TH Moonlight Magic Night

Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband, 11:00 pm until 3:00 am. All patrons entering the grounds are subject to search. Dairy Shows Sponsored By: Tractor Supply Company. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open.............................. Midway opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows ....................... CF Industries Ag Tent 1:00 pm...................... Dairy Contestant Judging....... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm...................... John Conlee................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm...................... Youth Swine Sale................... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.. Hola Plant City........Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm...................... .38 Special...................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 11:00 pm – 3:00 am... Moonlight Magic........................................................... Midway


2011 florida strawberry festival Schedule of Events Saturday, March 5TH Kids’ Day

Kids through high school age admitted free all day. Youth Stemming Free Contest Sponsored By: SunnyRidge Farm. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open................................. Midway Opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 11:30 am.................... Youth Parade............................................ Downtown Plant City Noon.......................... Dairy Show Showmanship..... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 1:00 pm...................... Suite Caroline................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 2:00 pm...................... Youth Strawberry Stemming...................... Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 2:00 pm...................... Dairy Show............................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm...................... Jeremy Camp................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.. Hola Plant City........Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm...................... Gaither Vocal Band........................ Wish Farms Soundstage

SUNDAY, March 6TH Mountain Dew Family Day

Bring a Mountain Dew can to the Festival and receive a voucher for $5.00 off the $25.00 wristband and ride all day for only $20.00. Mountain Dew can is not valid for gate admission. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open................................. Midway Opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 11:00 am.................... Adult Showmanship (Dairy)... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 11:30 am.................... Pee Wee Showmanship (Dairy)........ Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 12:30 pm.................... Dairy Costume Ball................ Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 2:00 pm...................... Youth Plant Sale................................... CF Industries Ag Tent 3:30 pm...................... Trace Adkins................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm.... Registration for Baby Contest.............Sweetbay Supermarket ................................... (Hillsborough County Babies Only).................. Showcase Tent 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.... Baby Contest: Decorated Diaper Contest; Baby Features Contest; Diaper Derby (Hillsborough County Babies Only) 7:30 pm...................... The Judds....................................... Wish Farms Soundstage

Monday, March 7TH Grand Parade Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Ride-A-Thon from 10:00 am until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. Grand Parade Day Sponsored By: United States Marine Corps. Lamb Contests Sponsored By: ASAP Rental Equipment & Sales 7:30 am...................... Farm Credit Strawberry Salute Breakfast............... Invitational 10:00 am.................... Gates Open.................................. Midway opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am.................... Invitational Parade Luncheon.... Sponsored by: Regions Bank 1:00 pm...................... Grand Parade Begins............................... Downtown Plant City 2:00 pm...................... Grand Parade Passes by the Festival 3:30 pm...................... Charley Pride.................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 5:00 pm...................... Lamb Jumping Contest......................... CF Industries Ag Tent 6:00 pm...................... Lamb Show........................................... CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm...................... Clint Black...................................... Wish Farms Soundstage


2011 florida strawberry festival Schedule of Events Tuesday, March 8TH Red Hat Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Ride-A-Thon From 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. Red Hatters get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 all day. Red Hat Day Sponsored By: Red Rose Inn & Suites. Adult Stemming Contest Sponsored By: SunnyRidge Farm. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am.................... Red Hatters Welcome............................................ Grandstand 2:00 pm...................... Adult Strawberry Stemming Contest............................Stingray .................................................................................... Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 3:30 pm...................... Chubby Checker............................ Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm...................... Lamb Costume Contest........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm...................... Chris Young.................................... Wish Farms Soundstage

WEDNESDAY, March 9th American Heroes Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Ride-A-Thon from 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. All active, reserve, retired military, veterans, law enforcement & first responders admitted free with valid ID. American Heroes Day Sponsored By: FOX 13 CARE*FORCE 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 1:00 pm...................... Superdog Corndog Eating Contest............ Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 3:15 pm...................... Honor American Heroes................ Wish Farms Soundstage 3:30 pm...................... Tanya Tucker.................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 6:00 pm...................... Youth Steer Show.................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:30 pm...................... Rick Springfield.............................. Wish Farms Soundstage

thursday, March 10th Senior Citizen’s Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Patrons 60 years and older get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 all day. Senior Day is Sponsored By: The Simplicity Plan. Ride-A-Thon from 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:30 am – Noon....... The Guy Lombardo Band.............. Wish Farms Soundstage Noon.......................... Senior Citizens’ Drawing . ............... Wish Farms Soundstage (One drawing only – MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN) 3:00 pm...................... Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest........ Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 3:30 pm...................... George Jones................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 7:30 pm...................... The Doobie Brothers..................... Wish Farms Soundstage


2011 FlorIda sTrawberry FesTIval schedule oF evenTs FrIday, March 11Th

The Tampa Tribune Day on the Midway Moonlight Magic Night The Tampa Tribune Day on the Midway Noon to 10:00 pm - $2.00 off the regular price of $20.00 Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book. Patrons can receive the coupon from TBO.COM or The Tampa Tribune, which must be presented at time of purchasing the Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book. Sponsored by: The Tampa Tribune. Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband, 11:00 pm until 3:00 am. All patrons entering grounds are subject to search. 10:00 am ................... Gates Open .............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm ... Livestock Contestant JudgingPatterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm ..................... Ray Price........................................ Wish Farms Soundstage 6:00 pm ..................... Showmanship Judging-Beef Breed . CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm ..................... Spirit Song .............Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm ..................... Josh Thompson/Justin Moore ..... Wish Farms Soundstage 11:00 pm – 3:00 am .. Moonlight Magic.......................................................... Midway

saTurday, March 12Th Farm Worker Appreciation Day

Farm Worker Appreciation Day Sponsored By: Wish Farms. 10:00 am ................... Gates Open ................................ Midway Opens at 10:00 am 10:15 am ................... Baby Parade ............................................................... Stadium 3:30 pm ..................... Allstar Weekend & Jennette McCurdy ..............Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm .................... Youth Steer Sale ................... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm. ............ Rev. Art Jones and the Bible Based Fellowship Church Cathedral Choir ..........................................Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm ..................... Billy Ray Cyrus.............................. Wish Farms Soundstage

sunday, March 13Th Mountain Dew Family Day

Bring a Mountain Dew can to the Festival and receive a voucher for $5.00 off the $25.00 wristband & ride all day for only $20.00. Mountain Dew can is not valid for gate admission. Beef Breed contest Sponsored By: Purina Mills® 10:00 am ................... Gates Open ................................ Midway Opens at 10:00 am 11:00 am ................... Youth Beef Breed Show ....................... CF Industries Ag Tent 3:30 pm ..................... Easton Corbin ............................... Wish Farms Soundstage 7:30 pm ..................... Lady Antebellum ........................... Wish Farms Soundstage

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WATCH

Check out our daily coverage of the Florida Strawberry Festival Events

www.myfocustv.com


This is your hometown and we are your hometown bank

family royalty What did you eat When you Were Pregnant? is there something in the Water? Written by: Brian West | Photo by: Sophia Hyde

The home of Michael and Heather Watkins is a special place. They’ve parented four girls and a boy, and they’ve worked very hard to raise caring and respectful children. But every parent knows that parenting just isn’t easy. In 2005, their oldest daughter, Ashlee, was named the 2005 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. In 2007, daughter, Allie, was selected as the First Maid. Now, youngest daughter, Victoria, has been crowned 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. So did Heather eat something when she was pregnant with the girls? Heather said, “When I was pregnant, I went to bed every night with each of my pregnancies, listening to classical music. To this day, they all like it. It’s relaxing.”

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march 2011 myfocustv.com

Each of the girls are well grounded, approachable, and have excellent social skills. Heather said, “We wanted them to be kids, but we wanted them to be safe. When they were little, I’d let them finger-paint on the kitchen floor, roller skate in the house, even stand on the end tables and dance. Other parents would come over, and they’d say, ‘Oh my gosh! You’re letting them jump on the couches? ’ We just never cared about them doing things kids do to have fun. We just wanted them to be safe.” On the other hand, the Watkins were careful to instill discipline in their children. Watkins said, “What I didn’t approve of was them being sassy to each other or to me. I wanted them to have good manners and a responsibility to themselves to behave in a way that wasn’t hurtful to someone else. Those were the things that were important, not whether or not I’d have to clean up something.”

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Michael and Heather talked a lot about how they’d raise their children. Heather said, “We’ve always been family focused. We wanted our family focused here [at home] as a unit.” It may have had an impact.

Congratulations on a wonderful job of parenting, Michael and Heather. You’ve raised a beautiful family.


FOCUS Magazine south tampa march 2011

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march 2011 myfocustv.com


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WorkComp Partners has developed a system that can substantially limit this increase, while reducing your frustration with the Work Comp system at the same time. Don’t wait until your workers compensation expense eats into your profits to take action. Call us today so we can help you implement your plan to contain this rising expense. We are compensated by the insurance carrier. There is no fee for our services.

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 Chamber of Commerce » Focus

South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Community Update         ill Ramos and his wife Daryn Ramos celebrated with the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce on January 25th at  the Grand Opening of their new business, Will Ramos Home Design Center at 5303 S. MacDill Ave., Suite 200, Tampa.  Back Row L to R: Lisette Proenza, Matt Dowell, Bill Van Oyen, Paul Schmidt, Graham Ramos.  Front Row L to R: Richard Martinez, Shea Abbott, Will Ramos Jr., Daryn Ramos  

W

C

ore Décor owners and staff joyfully opened their new office with the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Their new office is located at 1200 West Platt Street, Suite 202, Tampa, FL.

  he South Tampa Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the Grand Opening of Traditional Tae Kwon Do Center of South  Tampa, 3617 Henderson Blvd., Suite C, with Grand Master Gerhard Brunner, Traci Welch and Chris D. Jalil, owners.   

T

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entertainment » event calendar

south tamPa

calendar of events

if you have an upcoming event and would like us to add it to our calendar of events please email the information to: focus@dukepublications.com

mar 2nD - mar 3rD, weDnesDay-thursDay » The Florida OrchestraA Musical Tour: Paris, France

This matinee concert features Debussy’s

Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun, Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess and Faure’s Masques et

Heritage & Improve Business Communication

at Castellano & Pizzo. 4200 S. Henderson Blvd. Tampa, FL. Spanish Classes every Thursday

night. February 24th- March 24th. $195/per

person. $350 per couple. Classes from are from

6-7pm. RSVP with Roberto at 727-866-6892 or

march 3rD, thursDay

before the concert. Complimentary coffee and

donuts will be served. Alastair Willis conducts.

» Do I need Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?

Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. Thursday performance

Professor of Ophthalmology, USF College

Wednesday performance will be held at Ruth

march 5th, saturDay

begin, sufferers usually experience periods of

» 22nd Annual Abilities Wine Tasting & Auction

those diagnosed. Once the onset of symptoms

inactivity (remission) and activity (relapse) that last a lifetime. Currently there is no surgical or medical treatment to cure this disease. Join us to learn about various treatments available to

treat symptoms and bring prolonged relief from a Crohn’s relapse. 10:00 AM Check-in / 10:30 AM Program.Register for this program via

phone at 1-800-822-3627 or on-line at www. tgh.org.

William P. Mack, MD, Affiliate Assistant

Enjoy wine and food samplings with over 400

wines, 40 restaurants and fantastic auction items to benefit Abilities Foundation. Time: VIP: 6 7:00 p.m.; Grand Tasting: 7 - 9:00 p.m. at the

Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg Ticket Price: VIP - $150, Grand Tasting - $75 Contact: 727-5387370, ext. 345 or abilitiesfoundation.com

» Tampa Bay Humane Society presents “Bark in the Park”

www.learnalanguare.us

Bergamasques. Concertgoers are invited to

attend a pre-concert conversation one hour

Crohn’s disease can have a debilitating effect on

The Humane Society’s 24th Annual Walk for

» All Star Charity Gala

The DeBartolo Family Foundation hosts the

the Animals takes place at Al Lopez Park from

athletes, celebrities and fantastic food, music

visit, http://humanesocietytampa.org/.

Event starts at 6:30pmm/ at A La Carte Event

» Animal Affaire Gala

star-studded 8th Annual All Star Gala with

and entertainment to benefit the foundation.

Pavilion. Tickets are $300 per person. Contact

8:30 A.M. -12:00 P.M. For more information

Join the SPCA Tampa Bay’s Animal Affaire

will be held at Progress Energy Center for

of Medicine, Cosmetic & Reconstructive

For more info, call 727.892.3337, visit www.

Hospital at Hyde Park Village. Description:

floridaorchestra.org.

eye can occur as a result of a number of different

The fifth annual wine and tapas tasting to benefit

Ron & Judy Petrini and Phillip & Michele

The eyelids protect the eye, distribute tears and

research.

p.m. at Albert Whitted Airport Hanger #1.

breakdown with any of those functions can

the Tampa Bay History Center $100 Contact:

sponsorships available.Contact: 772-586-3591,

813-964-8302.

Gala themed “Come Fly with Us” benefiting

the Arts-Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg.

Oculoplastic Surgery from Tampa General

floridaorchestra.org or email ticketcenter@

Changes to the eye, eyelid or area around the

» Andrea’s Sip for Life

Bay. Honorary founding chairs are Fazal Fazlin,

diseases or conditions as well as from aging.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s pediatric sarcoma

Farley. Event will be from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00

limit the amount of light entering the eye. A

The event will be held 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at

Ticket Price: $150 per person, $275 per couple,

cause swelling, drooping, sensitivity and/or many

813-248-3000, ext. 24

ext. 136 or spcatampabay.org

the benefits of eyelid surgery and to have your questions answered. Register for this program

» The Florida Orchestra: Opera Goes Pops

» Tampa Preparatory School Makin’ Waves Gala Auction and Dinner

tgh.org.

It’s a pops parade of some of the best-loved

Auction takes place March 5, 2011 at A La

night. February 23th- March 16th. $160/per

march 4th, friDay

commercials, cartoons and favorite films...

families and friends to celebrate and promote

6-7pm. RSVP with Roberto at 727-866-6892

» Daily Solutions for Living with Crohn’s Disease

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Puccini’s La

think, create, be themselves, aspire to excellence

Patrick Brady, MD, Professor of Medicine and

others. Stuart Chafetz conducts. For more info,

auction for details.

and Nutrition, USF College of Medicine present

or email ticketcenter@floridaorchestra.org.

disease often affecting the small intestines

Performing Arts, Tampa

» Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadians

Crohn’s disease is closely related to ulcerative

for the Arts-Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg

known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Clearwater

mar 2nD, 9th, 16th, 23rD, 30th every weDnesDay » Italian Classes at Castellano & Pizzo

Prepare for your vacation, Reconnect with your

Heritage & Improve Business Communication at Castellano & Pizzo. 4200 S. Henderson

Blvd. Tampa, FL. Italian Classes every Thursday person. $300 per couple. Classes from are from or www.learnalanguare.us

Free Dinner at every class

march 3rD , 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st every thursDay » Spanish Classes at Castellano & Pizzo

Prepare for your vacation, Reconnect with your

“Save the Tails” a medical fund at SPCA Tampa

other changes to this area. Join us to learn about

via phone at 1-800-822-3627 or on-line at www.

Tampa Preparatory School’s annual Gala

March 4th -6th Friday- Sunday

opera hits that everybody knows from

Carte Event Pavilion starting at 6pm. Join

Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Bizet’s Carmen,

Tampa Prep’s mission to encourage students to

Boheme and Verdi’s Force of Destiny, among

and go beyond. Visit www.tampaprep.org/

Director of the Division of Digestive Diseases

call 727.892.3337, visit www.floridaorchestra.org

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory

Fri, Mar 4, 2011, 8pm, Straz Center for the

causing inflammation, deep ulcers and scarring.

Sat, Mar 5, 2011, 8pm, Progress Energy Center

colitis, and the two conditions together, are

Sun, Mar 6, 2011, 7:30pm, Ruth Eckerd Hall,

The severity of the symptoms associated with

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay

Lightning take on the Montreal Canadians on Saturday, March 5 at 7:30PM!!! Event will be held at the St. Pete Times Forum. For tickets contact: www.tampabaylightning.com

FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa march 2011

45


entertainment » event calendar

March 5th- 6th Saturday-Sunday » Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is celebrating its 41st anniversary in downtown

Tampa on March 5th and 6th, 2011. Returning to

its roots alongside the Hillsborough River, the free festival will take place in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, just outside of the newly constructed Tampa Museum of Art. Considered one of Florida’s pre-

» Disney Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show 2 shows on Sunday, March 6, 2011

Doors open 1 hour prior to start. Start: 2:30 p.m.

and 5:30 p.m.Approx. End Time: 90 minutes after start

Promoter: Feld Entertainment.Address: 3012 Hwy 301 N Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33619

*Tickets can only be purchased at Ticketmaster Outlets or at

Ticketmaster.com on Christmas Eve.Ticket

mier cultural events, the Gasparilla Festival of the

Prices: $15.00, $25.00 and $30.00. Select VIP seats

nationwide that feature both fine arts and crafts.

available for $50.00 *prices do not include service

Arts ranks among the leading juried arts festivals

are available for $40.00 and Front Row seats are

Nearly 300 accomplished artists representing 13

or facility fees.

different media disciplines are selected from more than 1,000 applicants to exhibit their original

works in this celebrated two-day show. Attendees enjoy the free festival, filled with outstanding art

from renowned and emerging artists, exceptional

March 7th, Monday » Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals

live music and creative children’s activities. Loca-

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay

Ashley Drive and West Twiggs Street), downtown

on Monday, March 7 at 7:00PM at the St.

gasparilla-arts.com or call (813) 876-1747.

tampabaylightning.com

tion: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (bordered by Tampa For more information, visit http://www.

Lightning take on the Washington Capitals Pete Times Forum!! For tickets contact: www.

Saturday, March 5th – Festival hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Awards – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 6th – Collector’s Showcase: 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Festival hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th Every Saturday » Ybor City Saturday Market OPEN YEAR-ROUND AT THE

CENTENNIAL PARK, YBOR. RAIN OR SHINE, 9AM-3PM

FREE ADMISSION, FREE PARKING, PETS WELCOME. Check out our website: www. ybormarket.com

March 6th, Sunday » Fresh Market

Local Food. Hand Crafts, and Live music opening Sunday March 6th from 11AM to 3PM. First

Sundays at the Fountain. More information from Hydeparkvillage.net

46

march 2011 myfocustv.com

March 9th, Wednesday » Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay

Lightning take on the Chicago Blackhawks

on Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30PM at St. Pete Times Forum!!! For tickets contact: www. tampabaylightning.com

» Early Release Day Special at Color Me Mine Wednesday, March 9, 12 to 5 PM

Reduced Studio Fee. Adults: $5.00. All Students: $3.00. Call for more details, 813-258-8368.

» Ayurveda: The Science of Life Sheela Chokshi, MD, Internal Medicine,

Physician Leader, TGH Integrative Healthcare

Program, Pradyna Muley, BAMS, MD, Ayurvedic Physician and Consultant brings Ayurveda is an

ancient Indian form of medicine that combines a

number of approaches, such as changes in lifestyle,

March 12th, Saturday

herbal remedies, exercise and meditation to prevent and treat illnesses. It has been practiced by many

» St. Patricks Parade

The parade begins at Nuccio & 7th Ave., proceeds

cultures for over 5,000 years. With simple changes in daily living practices, this ancient art of healing

restores the balance and harmony of the individual by integrating the mind, body and spirit, resulting in self-healing, good health and longevity. Join us

to learn more about Ayurvedic practices and some of the proven methods currently used. 6:00 PM Check-in / 6:30 PM Program. Register for this

program via phone at 1-800-822-3627 or on-line at www.tgh.org.

March 10th, Thursday » Fashion Funds the Cure

The annual fashion show with children battling

cancer is heartwarming and fun with celebrity host Carson Kressley. Proceeds benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. In addition to enjoying

fine wines, delicious delicacies from top area

restaurants, and private shopping, supporters get to witness and pay tribute to the incomparable

strength and courage of our young models, all of

whom are currently battling or have battled cancer. These girls redefine beauty. Event starts at 6:00

p.m. at the new location - Neiman Marcus. Ticket Price: $100. Contact: 813-269-0955 or pcfusa.org

March 11th, Friday » Chislers 15th Annual Market Preview Party & Auction

A gala event with cocktails, dinner and auction. Event held from 7pm to 9pm at University of

Tampa, Plant Hall by Chairman: Joann Dawkins

and Co-chair: Pat Keel. Honorees: John and Susan Sykes.Tickets: General Admission $50. For more information call 813-253-0037

» Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Ottawa Senators

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay

Lightning take on the Ottawa Senators on Friday, March 11 at 7:30PM at St. Pete Times Forum!!!

For tickets contact: www.tampabaylightning.com

east on 7th Ave. to 20th St. where it ends in Ybor City.

Disabled/Wheelchair Viewing is located at 7th

Ave.,just west of 15th St. Brought to you by 1st

U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Rough Riders.

EVENT TIMES: Event Staging: 3:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m

Parade: 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Disbanding: 8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. ANTICIPATED

ATTENDANCE: 20,000 Contact: (813) 7480642 or http://www.tampa-roughriders.org

» St. Puppy’s Day

Even the dogs get to celebrate! Dubliner Irish

Pub (Citrus Park Location) is putting together

a St. Puppy’s celebration. Dog owners can bring their dogs and even dress them up for the best dressed contest including prizes and more. A

portion of the proceeds goes towards the Humane Society. Bring in 10 lbs of dog food and receive a free beer! Festivities start at 3:00 P.M. Poet’s Circle at Artistry with Sparkes

Artistry with Sparkes Art Gallery hosts a monthly Poetry Session the second Saturday of every

month. Open to all poets and literary artists and featuring Speak Easy, Live Jazz, Improvisation,

Spoken Word... Come join the circle! Starts at 7 PM

» Chislers 48th Annual All Day Market

Tampa’s favorite one-day flea more with shopping

opportunities for the entire family at bargain prices all to benefit Plant Hall on the campus of the

University of Tampa. Chairmain: Evelyn Bowles;

Co-chairs: Cindy Ramm & Patsy White. For more information call 813-431-8823

» 14th Annual Cattle Baron’s Ball

Annual western-themed gala to benefit American Cancer Society at the Florida State Fairgrounds starting at 7:00 p.m. Ticket Price: $350 and up. Contact: 813-319-5904


entertainment » event calendar » Wonder Walk

adults. Festival begins Friday, March 18th and

and Cuscaden Early Intervention Centers Event

please visit http://www.hydeparkvillage.net/

noon.For additional information please contact

March 19th , Saturday

Annual Wonder Walk to benefit The Rosa Valdez Location: Bayshore. Event Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 www.cornerstonefamilyminstries.org

ends Saturday, March 19th. For more information,

the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, for show dates, times and prices visit http://www.tbpac.org/

» Festival of eXcellence

» Gasparilla International Film Festival

» Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

to enjoy an outdoor festival promoting unity

information, including a list of films and events

Begins March 24 and ends March 27th. For more

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay

please visit http://www.gasparillafilmfestival.com/

7:30PM at St. Pete Times Forum!!! For tickets

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 on this

and goes all day until 10:00 P.M. For More

March 25th, Friday

org

» Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Contrapunctus XIX from Bach’s The Art of Fugue. The evening concludes with Shostakovich’s final

in Tampa Bay and living in eXcellence in our community. Festival begins at 10:00 A.M.

Information please visit http://festivalofexcellence.

March 22nd, Tuesday

7:30PM at St. Pete Times Forum!!! For tickets

Sat, Mar 12, 2011, 8pm, Progress Energy Center

» Tampa Bay Lightning vs. NY Islanders

March 26th, Saturday

for the Arts-Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg

Sun, Mar 13, 2011, 7:30pm, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater

March 14th, Monday » Top Chef of The Year

Local chefs will compete for the title and prepare tableside a meal for twelve with proceeds to

benefit the Child Abuse Council. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Downtown

Tampa. ticket Price: $125 per person. Contact: 813-673-4646 or topcheftampabay.cfsites.org

March 17th , Thursday » Tampa Bay Technology Forum

contact: www.tampabaylightning.com

Lightning take on the New York Islanders at

» Steve Harvey w/Special Guest Kirk Franklin

contact: www.tampabaylightning.com

comedic icon Steve Harvey is teaming up with

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay

7:30PM at St. Pete Times Forum!!! For tickets

March 23rd, Wednesday

Accomplished actor, best-selling author and

multiple Grammy award winner Kirk Franklin

to bring their first ever Comedy Gospel Tour to

the St. Pete Times Forum. The show will start at

8:00 P.M. For more information and Tickets visit,

» Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks The Heart & Soul Tour 2011

Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks join forces for one of the most anticipated musical events of the

year. The tour will feature both artists performing all rock & roll sets from their catalog of hits

and backed by an incredible band of musicians

and stage production. Ticket Prices range from

http://www.sptimesforum.com/.

» Tampa Twilight Criterium & Festival

The Tampa Downtown Partnership announces the first annual Twilight Criterium and Festival to be

held Saturday, March 27, 10:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M., in downtown Tampa . The event is free and open

For More Information visit,

$49.50-149.50. Concert starts at 7:30 P.M. For

March 18th, Friday

sptimesforum.com/

» Chalk Walk

» Jersey Boys

rodeo, street skills instruction, bike gear vendors,

community event with plenty of family-friendly

York Post for JERSEY BOYS. The new musical

please visit, http://www.tampacrit.com/index.html.

Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy

March 29th, Tuesday

JERSEY BOYS features their hit songs “Sherry,”

» Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Ottawa Senators

Hyde Park Village is putting on a free

entertainment. This three-day festival will include live music, children’s activities (including chalk

art, face painting and a bounce house), open-air market and an “Accessible Art” chalk drawing

experience. Join in on Friday and Saturday night

for a Chalk Talk Party with drink specials for the

contact: www.tampabaylightning.com

Lightning take on the Carolina Hurricanes at

floridaorchestra.org or email ticketcenter@ floridaorchestra.org.

Lightning take on the Pittsburg Penguins at

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay

symphony, No. 15. Stefan Sanderling conducts. For more info, call 727.892.3337, visit www.

www.tampabaylightning.com March 31th, Thursday

Come out to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

program with Luciano Berio’s orchestration of

at St. Pete Times Forum!!! For tickets contact:

March 24th, Thursday

» The Florida Orchestra: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4: March 12th –March 13th Acclaimed German pianist Peter Rösel performs

Lightning take on the Ottawa Senators at 7:30PM

tickets and more information visit http://www.

“TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!” raves the New about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four DeVito and Nick Massi, returns to Tampa.

“Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What a Night,” and

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Taking place at

to the public and part of the Tampa Bay Cycle

campaign. The Criterium and festival is a familyfriendly event that will include activities such as bike safety checks, helmet giveaways, a bicycle bike movies and more. For more information

Come join the charge as your Tampa Bay FOCUS Magazine south tampa march 2011

47


entertainment » dining Profile

World of Beer and Jeff Single: The Purveyors of Pilsner New World of Beer Location Brings Talented Staff and Famed Beer

F

written By: Harrison Tropp

or those readers who find Tampa’s nightlife slightly unimpressive, I implore you to visit World of Beer’s newest location on South Howard Avenue. In the heart of the city’s booming bar scene, World of Beer has positioned itself as a thriving establishment, incorporating quality beer and friendly staff to echo a single theme: market competition. Jeff Single, along with Jason Rappaport, (World of Beer Franchise Group Beer Partners LLC) are the dynamic force bringing World of Beer to South Tampa. As a beer drinker myself, and South Tampa native, I applaud their success for my personal benefit as driving to their

48

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next closest location in Westchase was cumbersome to say the least. Recognizing a similar distress to mine, and having lived in Hyde Park for the past twelve years, Single envisioned the need to bring World of Beer to South Tampa’s thirsty beer patrons and lobbied for Rappaport’s group to follow. Hauling custom taps and Belgium kegs, the group saw their current location and immediately knew where to set up shop. Having an immense love for the neighborhood and community, the franchise group acquired the site this past August. “As soon as I saw the site, my blood began pumping. I knew this is where we wanted to be” notes Single.

Although Hyde Park is speckled with trendy, lively and authentic bars, World of Beer does present an interesting repertoire of difference. Disregard the overwhelming selection of 540 brews, their prime location on South Howard Avenue, and ignore the fact they have thirteen thriving locations in the Tampa Bay area. According to Single, “our staff sets us apart.” Even though this may seem like a common response from most employers, Single’s workforce actually attends “beer school.” Yes, Single’s staff is required to attend the two week seminar where “students” spend time in the classroom learning about beer color, taste, and body. Further, participants taste beer in order to garner a methodical knowledge and appreciation for the barley soda. While my initial request for an application was denied, I tip my hat to Single’s approach and hopefully they will reconsider my entry. For those locals who are interested in capitalizing on their love and appreciation for beer, Single has established what he calls his “SoHo Selection Committee.” Single has an interest to bring in people from the community who simply like to drink beer. Upon joining the committee, members are required to meet once a month and taste various brews World of Beer does not carry. Members then grade the selection and pick two beers Single will add to their product line. If there is one thing I enjoy more than a cold pint, it is community involvement, and Single makes sure to incorporate the latter with the former. As Single notes, “a business in the community needs to be involved in

the community.” This past Saturday World of Beer hosted an event for the two fallen St. Petersburg police officers in which Single picked up the tab for customer’s first beer and raffled off prizes. Further, World of Beer is hosting an event this March for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and details of that event will be provided through FOCUS Magazine. What many businesses fail to realize, Single understands. “If we have the capabilities to do it, we’re going to do it.” Single notes humbly. With the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day rapidly approaching, World of Beer plans to celebrate the holiday everyday of the month of March with different specials. Further, World of Beer offers beer specials every day of the week and live music four days a week. So readers, ditch your conventional weekly or weekend plans and venture outside your realm of comfort. World of Beer creates a festive, inviting and prime social environment for those looking to gulp the typical lager or sip the fine stout.

World of Beer South Tampa 402 South Howard Ave Tampa, FL 33606 813-251-6800


entertainment » dining Profile

IA Readers LoveResponse This Bar to World of Beer and Their Irresistible Beer Selection written By: Angela Hall

W

hat can I get for you? Pretty standard question from a bartender right? Not at The World of Beer (WOB), where you can choose from a variety of beers from all over the world. It’s Saturday at 2:00pm. The weather is gorgeous and I want to enjoy some ice cold beers outside with some friends. I decide to head to WOB on South Howard. The ambiance, crowd, and location of this bar are ideal for kicking back and enjoying a Saturday afternoon. I must admit, I’m a Miller Lite girl, always have been, but today I decide to branch out and really experience what WOB has to offer. I decide I’m going to drink a spectrum of beers, from the hoppiest to the maltiest. I pony up to the bar and am immediately approached by a bartender, Tom Beatrus. He can tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about beer and it’s not just him. At World

of Beer the bartenders are required to attend and pass a class on beer (Beerducation… seriously, where was this class when I was in college). These bartenders are top notch. Tom proceeds to give me a quick rundown on the chemistry in sudsy libation, he even draws a perfect, symmetrical table that shows me where each beer I drink will fall and that he is clearly a Type A personality. I let Tom know I want to go through a spectrum of beers. I’ve always envied people that get to make a living off of tasting food and drinks. Today is my turn. Now remember, I’m no aficionado of beer, so I’m going to describe my experience and thoughts about each selection. For you’re reading enjoyment, I’ve included my top favorites. Kona Long Board Lager- Hawaii- I love this beer. 100% my style. I can take this

beer to a ball field on a hot day and enjoy some baseball. It’s laid back, refreshing and consistent. Very tranquil. Fire Rock- This beer is satisfying, interesting and familiar with a touch of mystery. Bell’s Amber- Michigan- Taste a little thicker then the Longboard. It’s smooth, thick, but tiptoeing on the edge. This beer can’t decide if it wants to be light and refreshing or thick and hard. But none the less, you can still take it tailgating and enjoy several while watching a game. Kona Pipeline Porter- Hawaii- This beer is dark and thick. I know I’m drinking a beer. It has a taste similar to the bite of coffee, but much lighter than it looks. This beer would be perfect after a day of snow skiing. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout- EnglandDefinitely the maltiest of the bunch. This beer is thick, full bodied, and dark, with a hint of chocolate. I would prefer this beer after dinner. You don’t need dessert, this beer is the dessert. Cigar City Jai Alai IPA- Florida- Smooth but rough on the back end. It’s the color of a cigar and I like the surprise of the roughness at the end. Dead Lift- This beer is strong the whole way through. It’s rough and thick. If you want a beer, this is it. This is a man’s beer, but sexy. Delirium Tremens- Belgium- I really like what the Belgians did here, this beer is my

favorite. It’s light with a thick head. It’s delicious and I hate to say it but would even order this over a Miller Lite as my go to beer. Sea Dog Blue Paw Wheat Ale- MainePresentation is great. This beer comes with blueberries on the bottom and has an appearance of Champaign. It doesn’t stop there, this beer taste as good as it looks. I love it! Raspberry -Yummy! This beer is pink in color and delicious. This is definitely a beer for the ladies. Sweet, Fruity and would be great for a day at the spa. I know what you are thinking…..Yes, this was a tough assignment, but I’m working and how else can I give an accurate description without really doing my research. I ask Tom to give me a beer that says “Angela”. By this time Tom and I have spent a couple hours together and he has a good idea of who I am. Tom brings out an hourglass beer mug and a beer in a bottle. He slowly rolls the beer, so it doesn’t settle. “You have to keep this beer moving” he says. He tilts the mug, pours about 3 quarters of the beer in, waits a minute for some head to form, then pours till there’s about 2 ounces left, shakes the bottle “you got to surprise and wake the beer up” then pours the remaining beer on top, creating about 3 inches of head, which has the appearance of whipped cream. This beer is delicious and tastes as good as it looks. Great presentation and great taste! After being educated by my beer tutor, I decided to head outside and give it a whirl amongst the masses who obviously already knew this was my new favorite bar. To my surprise, there are lots of folks who either already discovered the gems of microbrewed beer and had their favorites or were on their way to “circling the globe”. This bar has exactly the right mix of people. These are people you’d like to get to know and people you wish you already knew. It’s a neighborhood bar and I want know my neighbors. With all the watering holes to choose from in Tampa, this one really is top notch. Whether you are interested in enjoying a beer after work, watching the big game, going out on the town, or just want to add some culture to your “having a couple beers” days, leave your passport at home, stop by the WOB and find which beer gives you a destination libation. Toby Keith says it best… “Hmmm… Hmmm… Hmmm… I love this bar.”

FOCUS Magazine south tampa march 2011

49


entertainment » dining Profile

tell me a culinary secret tamPa’s Best KePt secret is unearthed at mangrove south tamPa Written By: NaTaLIE LaNz

m

angroves Seafood Bar and Grille, known as South Tampa’s best kept secret, is one the Supper Club is thrilled for the opportunity to discover. The restaurant, located on Howard Avenue, lies behind banana trees and other lush green landscaping like a sultry hideaway. The clandestine hot spot has been around since 1996 and keeps going strong; after what we tasted, we can definitely see why! When Jodi Lokay and I entered, we were pleasantly surprised to find two levels of indoor and outdoor dining, as well as a lounge with a sixty foot illuminated stained glass bar. It is adorned with stylish fixtures, hanging glass cable cocktail tables and accents of fresh flowers and floating candles. The outdoor areas offer private cabanas perfect for parties or any occasion. One foot in the door and it’s as if you’ve left the city limits of Tampa for a tropical destination. The eclectic ambiance is truly one of a kind,

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march 2011 myfocustv.com

blending South Beach Miami and Key West, intertwining elegance and comfort. The cuisine is just as stunning and creative as the decor. The New American style restaurant uses top quality seafood, flawless cuts of beef and delightful ingredients to infuse the menu with flavors from around the world. The wine list that patrons have to choose from is also sure to impress. Although the specialty is seafood, there is something for every member of your party on this menu and it is all exquisitely prepared whether from the sea or the shore. It was difficult for me and Jodi to find something we didn’t want to try, but we decided to go with the suggestions of the General Manager who recommended we begin with one of their most popular appetizers the Coconut, Macadamia and Almond Crusted Crab Cakes. This item is a menu staple and although other items may come and go this one has claimed its spot for over 8 years. The

pair of crab cakes were a textural dream, a perfect combination of succulent soft crab meat and a nutty, crispy crust. The pineapple buerre blanc and mango sweet pepper slaw added notes of sweetness to this savory dish. Next came another favorite, the trufled beef tartar. The thought of raw beef might make some steer clear of this selection, but the mixture of beef tenderloin tossed with parmesan cheese, scallions and sea salt over truffled cream cheese toast points makes this one item you cannot afford to pass up. The micro green salad and pinot noir reduction that top these bites make the dish refreshing and decadent all at once. For the entrée selections, we stuck with our surf and turf approach starting off with the Pacific Rim Spiced Chilean Seabass. This warm, flakey piece of fish over a bed of confetti rice packed a flavorful punch and a little bite, rubbed with asian and carribean spices. It was served with a calypso beurre blanc sauce infused with chili oil. The hearts of palm and arugula salad gave just the right touch of acidity and brightness to this creation. Next up was the Filet Mignon topped with gorgonzola wild mushroom cream sauce. What really made this dish a star was not only its topping, but also the preparation. The Au Poivre method of cooking means that a peppery crust is seared onto the steak locking in wonderful flavors. It is then finished in the oven, keeping the cut of beef melt-inyour-mouth tender. The fresh asparagus and lyonnaise garlic potatoes balanced the richness of the meat well and brought the dish full circle. The evening ended with a creamy serving of crème brulee and blackberries, one of the assortment of desserts prepared fresh daily at the restaurant. The full dinner menu is served until midnight when Mangroves transforms from

fine dining to a lively night club, complete with cocktails and dancing. Friday and Saturday nights feature a DJ starting at 11pm. What better way to end your work week than with Mangroves “unwind at rewind” with music from the 80s every Friday accompanied by great drink specials. The bar offers sangria,mojito and margarita pitchers, perfect for sharing with friends. Don’t be afraid to work up an appetite while getting down on the dance floor because they also offer an extensive late night menu including sushi, short rib sliders , mahi mahi tacos and a variety of flatbread pizzas just to name a few. Mangroves is definitely a place you will want to visit whether its for a refined evening of dining, a night out on the town or both!

maNgrovES SouTH Tampa – 208 S. HoWarD avE., Tampa, FL 33606 813-258-3302 WWW.maNgrovES-rESTauraNTS.com


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FOCUS South Tampa 02-01  

FOCUS Magazine South Tampa Edition Issue 02-01

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