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FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa January 2012

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tABLe oF CoNteNtS

Volume 2 Issue 11 • January 2012

focussouthtampa.com

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EDITORIAL

oN the CoVer hUmANe SoCietY of Tampa

As we enter the New Year you may be like everyone else setting up a “Diet” plan, let Fred Pressley help you set attainable goals in our “Get Fit” Column. In the “Better Community” column, check out a Tampa organization making it their point to help the furrier friends in life or if you’re looking to redo your wardrobe check out the “Better You” Column for the staples every woman needs.

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LOCAL

This month’s Athlete of the Month is from Blake High School and is a chmpion on the football field, in the classroom and a cross-talented athlete playing Baseball as well. Check out the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Highway 301 to see the names of all Hillsborough County Veterans who served their country in Vietnam.If you enjoy paying your respects to the military, this is the place to go.

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FEATURE

Tampa’s Animal Based Charities, Inc. performs tasks behind the scenes to ensure area animal rescue centers can afford to adopt out the animals currenlty finding shelter in their organizations. They cover the overhead of adoption events and provide supplies to area shelters so the animals can receive the best care possible. Without their help, area shelters and rescue centers wouldn’t be nearly as successful.

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SPOTLIGHT

This month we’ve focused on pets and spotlighted the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Their many efforts save animals from euthanization and attempt to adopt out as many animals as possible. They have many programs available for pet owners from spaying/neutering to aid with purchasing animal food. As they celebrate their 100th year, they can be proud of their success and efforts in the community and we are proud to share their mission and goals for the coming year!

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ENTERTAINMENT

Our Event Calendar is full of ideas to usher in your New Year in style and enthe time with the kids while they’rw out of school. We also have a little recap of the Tampa Bay Buccanneer’s “Turkey Time with the O-Line” event we attended with last month’s Spotlight, Davin Joseph.

LICENSING OPPORTUNITY

Licensed territories are available. We are looking to expand the family and are looking for motivated individuals to join our award winning team. If you are interested in owning your own Focus Magazine contact Mike Floyd at 813.707.8783 ext 26.

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com

ALL NeW FoCUSSoUthtAmPA.Com Online Features Include:

• Full digital version of the current and past magazines • Extended features, interviews, dining profiles and business profiles with extra content • Community news updates • New home of FOCUSTV


Letter From The Editor Happy New Year!!

I’m quite excited about 2012 and all of the exciting opportunities it holds. In just a few weeks, I will celebrate my 1-year wedding anniversary and can take a huge sigh of relief because I hear its smooth sailing after Year 1! This month we’ve dedicated our issue to the furrier friends in our lives. I’m not going to lie, when someone suggested this theme a few months back, I was skeptical. My family always had dogs growing up, but the only pet I ever had was a parakeet and his life was short due to a younger sibling. So, I had never been big in the animal loving department. A few weeks ago though, I had a change of heart in the form of a little yellow lab I named Willow. I got my siblings and my Dad on board and in turn, we all guilt tripped my husband into letting me purchase her. Now, my living room is littered with chew toys, I rush home at lunch to let our puppy out and enjoy a few minutes of free time out of her kennel. We spent weeks picking out the perfect Veterinarian, because after all, we trust them with her life. We wake all hours of the night to take her out and we’ve roped our siblings into puppy-sitting for the two rare occasions we aren’t spending the night at home with Willow. I never knew having a puppy of my own could be so exciting. She is loving and loyal to a fault…still a puppy with slight ADHD, we have a lot in common. She loves peanut butter, so do I. She lives for feeding and nap times…same with me. Basically, I’ve said all of this to tell the Animal Lovers we dedicated this issue to that I’ve finally become one of you! Even as she digs holes in my backyard covering her in dirt (mud if it’s damp out), purposely lies down in the sticker bushes, and pretends to “love” on me only so she can chew my buttons…it just makes me love her more. So, Happy New Year to you my Animal Loving friends and those Furry Family Members you enjoy so much! Christina & Willow

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Christina Musial Editor-in-Chief Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information.

Publisher Jim Duke Editor in chief Christina Musial

www.focussouthtampa.com Advertising Director Harrison Tropp 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.

Sales Sophia Hyde | Holly Farmer | Harrison Tropp Production Anthony Sassano | Tony Cartagena Photographers Ben Drummond

So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 7078783 or e-mail focus@dukepublications.com. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner.



      

FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local South Tampa businesses, restaurants and many local venues.

Staff Writers Christina Musial | Harrison Tropp Jodi Lokay Contributors Al Ruechel | Kim Francis | Emery Jones Teal McKenzie | Rachel Drummond

Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Duke Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Duke Publications, Inc.

 FOCUS Magazine south tampa January 2012

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better community» Focus

Linda Hamilton and the Animal Coalition South Tampa Animal Foundation Treats Disadvantaged Dogs and Cats of Tampa I Story by: Harrison Tropp \ Photos provided by: ACT

n month’s past, FOCUS Magazine has contributed editorials and columns which feature conventional topics. While each “A Better Community” piece is relevant to the charity it covers, columns usually coincide with a monthly theme or popular subject. Approaching the New Year with a fresh outlook to community charity, it was with no hesitation that we wished to highlight the affable, yet too often mistreated, animals in our community. One organization in particular, the Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT), exceeds their mission to help the animal community of Tampa Bay. Linda Hamilton found herself in the unassuming role of entrepreneur and animal activist. Prior to any formal organization, Hamilton stumbled upon a feral cat which she desperately yet unsuccessfully tried to

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com

find a home for. Realizing the overwhelming supply of stray cats in Hillsborough County, Hamilton began her involvement with various animal rescue groups. Unfortunately, the pace of animal adoptions was too stagnant and simply unsatisfactory for Hamilton. It was soon thereafter in 2001 that Hamilton and her husband founded ACT with the simple mission of offering animals non-lethal alternatives. According to Hamilton, ACT was established to provide basic medical treatment to animals in hopes of preventing an already staggering population. Services range from spay / neuter procedures, basic shots, and general animal care. In particular, ACT hosts an event called “Spay Day” where volunteers and volunteer veterinarians will spay feral and un-owned cats, provide rabies vaccinations, and treat mites and flees. Spay

Day is held on the second Sunday of every month with a required appointment. While veterinary clinics provide the same or similar services, ACT gives individuals an affordable way to provide care to their animals. Hamilton notes that her organization does experience resistance from mainstream clinics and veterinary offices because of their reduced cost and not for profit approach. Also contrary to the conventional approach, ACT has not had to raise the cost of spay / neuter procedures since it was founded. According to the ACT website, over 16,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in Hillsborough County because of overpopulation. While these procedures control overpopulation, ACT also provides wellness vaccines, dental exams, and veterinary tests. Hamilton’s efforts have developed

dramatically since their organizations founding, growing each year by 30%. In 2006, ACT leased a full time spay and neuter clinic with plans to renovate their existing structure next year. Hamilton attributes their dramatic growth to “word of mouth” advertising and a content customer base. “We appreciate people who want to take care of animals”, notes Hamilton. Although, the mission of ACT ends after treatment, the organization does maintain relationships with animal adoption agencies in hope of helping to provide homes and families in addition to medical treatment. Hamilton states, “We want people to know that we are there for their needs and the needs of their animals.”


FOCUS Magazine south tampa January 2012

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Local » Focus

3… 2… 1… Happy Fit-Year! Tips and Strategies for the New Year to lose weight, get fit, feel great and look great.

Story by:Fred Pressley, M.Ed., NESTA Certified Sports Nutrition Coach

1.

Just say “NO!” to crazy diets With a new diet craze popping up every day, how do we know what is good for our body and lifestyle specifically? There is a sensory overload of diet programs that all claim to be the answer to our weight loss prayers. “Diet” is commonly misused. A diet is simply the food or drink regularly provided or consumed, whether good or bad. Weight loss is about proper nutrition and lifestyle changes. A Certified Nutrition Coach can help you understand your body’s needs and how to provide yourself with proper nutrients, and nutritional supplements. But losing weight isn’t just about… well, losing weight. I work with clients to help them undergo gradual lifestyle changes that lead to permanent lifestyle changes to make significant improvements in their health and weight loss goals. 2. You have nothing to fear but fear itself Never let your fear of failure be greater than your desire to succeed. Setting weight loss goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive) is important for your emotional sanity. “I want to lose 10 lbs before Amanda’s wedding,” is not a smart goal and can leave you feeling crushed. In order to feel success along the way, you’re SMART goals should be set up in stages. It is also important to write the goals down and put your goal reminders in several highly visible places.

3. Eat cold turkey, but there’s no need to Go Cold Turkey Giving up our favorite foods cold turkey is emotionally draining and uncomfortable for most people. Just like weaning a baby from its bottle, it is important to use stages to slowly minimize the intake of unhealthy foods. Pizza is okay from time-to-time. You might think twice, however, about that third slice. Remember, the occasional treat will ward off a binge and instill a positive mind set. 4. Think about Feeding the mass versus feeding the masses For many, cooking healthily for oneself is difficult because it is hard to find recipes and ingredients for one serving. In an effort to save time and money, find your favorite

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com

healthy recipe, cook it Sunday night and freeze the leftover portions. Many recipes taste better the second time around and this could save you time and a trip to the fast food drive through on a busy day. Ziploc bags are also a great way to portion your food right after it is purchased and creates great grab and go snacks! 5. I’m just big boned… It is difficult to look around and think that because your family members are overweight, or have heavy-set body types that you are destined to look this way. The key is consistency and commitment. Individuals who are on a weight loss plan are 65% more likely to achieve their goals if they have the direct support of their family. Sit down together and develop individual and family SMART goals and post them in the kitchen then head out to the grocery store together! A family that embraces lifestyle changes together will ALL benefit. 6. Invest as much in how you feel as you do for how you look Why is it that we are willing to spend a small fortune on nails, hair, make-up, and clothes to mask or cover the unwanted body composition, but we can’t get an apple at lunch instead of chips? Our mind set can’t be contained by the day-to-day. Our focus needs to be on the lifestyle changes that help us get fit, stay healthy, and KEEP looking good. 7. Don’t feel pressure to be a lifetime member of the clean-plate club Understanding how to eat is important in maintaining our weight loss goals. Not the mechanics of eating, but the quantity should be considered at every meal or snack. Whether you eat it all or you don’t, food is either going to waste or your waist. Eating has everything to do with portion control. Eat slower than you normally would. It takes the human brain 7 minutes to realize that we are eating so let the message get to your brain so it can tell you it’s full! Once you are full, save the rest as a left over for another meal. 8. Make time every day for YOU

The perception of lack of time is the number one barrier to exercise and weight loss. Nobody makes time for their body! Exercise must become a top priority in life because exercise is crucial to achieving your weight loss goals, and to developing, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise also produces endorphins which make you feel better. When the gym isn’t an option for many, simple physical activities you can do at home, at work or even with your family, that do not require equipment, are the answer. Try things at work like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walk/jog during lunch or break. Play outside with your kids. 9. Don’t worry…Be happy! Our eating habits are based on biology. When we are stressed or bored our body triggers our appetite and we eat to calm ourselves. When we eat our brain releases serotonin, which gives us a little jolt of happiness. Really what we crave is an outlet. Instead of grabbing those munchies, talk it out to put your body at ease. Ask for a hug, or go for a walk.

10. I can’t do without Oreos, Lays and Häagen-Dazs! A support system is a very powerful tool to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Introducing healthy meals and snacks that are family friendly is important. There are cook books and recipes that can help you take the comfort foods you and your family love and make them a little bit healthier. Promoting healthy eating, through little lifestyle changes, will go a long way. Once everyone starts to see the results while enjoying the tasty treats, a new leaf will be turned in your household.

Fred Pressley, M.Ed., NESTA Certified Sports Nutrition Coach For more information you can contact or visit Fred at Max Muscle Sports Nutrition in South Tampa, 813-253-2300.

   


local » Focus

tHe Longest yard: sometimes, the toughest trip is From the lesson tee to cours story by: don costanZo, golFtec tampa, director oF instruction

a

n old saying tells us “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In golf, not all steps are equal, and the wrong ones taken from lesson tee to course can send your progress backwards. After teaching 3 million plus lessons to over 150,000 golfers in the last 15 years, GolfTEC has learned a few keys to guarantee you travel the longest yard successfully: The three biggest steps are explained below. THE LONGEST YARD: STEP ONE Take the first steps indoors: Learning the golf swing is very similar to learning to play a musical instrument. Except for easy button-pushing on the video game GUITAR HERO, jamming on a Stratocaster takes work before stepping out in front of friends and family. Likewise, appearing on-stage at the driving range to groove a swing without any clue on mechanics isn’t the way to go public. Our bodies need time to learn and adjust to new moves, without the pressure of performing even around total strangers. Repetition is essential, but only if the swing – the chord – is worth repeating. The first small step to real improvement is learning mechanics without on-range consequences. Instead, get stage-ready by performing proper fundamental motions inside where poor or erratic ball flight doesn’t become the focus. Recognize that any worthwhile improvement starts with an appraisal of the golf swing. An experienced and credentialed personal coach can chart a course and prioritize changes based on this assessment. As a music instructor hears beyond the screeching twist of the violin bow, your coach will guide you past the fundamental faults no matter how painful. Applying improved mechanics with confirmation is like playing scales where notes now are linked together smoothly. Contrary to popular mythology, the first step does not mandate hitting range balls. Confirming correct movements is most effective with instant video feedback during practice sessions. Make certain your coach guides your selection of proven drills and training aids given the fast-multiplying number of devices available to improve

your game. The goal is transfer of visual perceptions into physical motion, feel into real. The final key inside step one is repeatable motion with minor consequences, playing the whole song in the studio. By correcting impact errors with slow motion, indoorgrooved swings, a confident repeatable swing is built. Before buying the Mega Bucket O’ Balls, you must be able to perform the new move without focusing on mechanics -- with a normally-paced swing. If you hit 10,000 balls outside without gaining the feel-to-real connection inside first, the outcome will likely be even more-grooved faulty motions. THE LONGEST YARD: STEP TWO Step forward from training to trusting: After you have developed and perfected new motions indoors, you eventually have to take it where the wind blows free and there is an audience on both sides. Resolve now to begin at the practice facility with focus and intentionality. Taking even the sweetest full swing to the tee before you trust it to create solid ball flight is like headlining the Sydney Opera House before rocking the hometown high school gym. Transition most quickly by working the short shots with wedges around the green. With more loft on the club, the margin for error is greater and more forgiving. Going right to the driver is not a wise idea, and early success with shorts shots will elevate your confidence. This self-belief is the key to moving from training mode to trusting mode. For most players, this may be the most difficult step in traveling the longest yard. If the ball begins to go sideways (a simple situation to monitor), the prescription is simply more correct swing repetitions indoors with video, mirrors, drills and training aids.

mechanics, and the goal is now to apply mechanics while observing ball flight. As ball flight becomes predictable and positive, the two-way path between indoor instruction bay and outdoor range should be a wellworn one as you progress steadily from one correction to the next. The last key to incorporating trust is to develop a routine focused on target, developing rhythm, and maintaining your focus on non-mechanical keys before you initiate each swing. Practicing your routine on every striped range ball will lead to a dependable swing despite on-course jitters. In fact, great players deal with tournament pressure by relying on the rhythm of their routine and occupying their mind with the process of their routine rather than negative thoughts. THE LONGEST YARD: STEP THREE Take the journey together: In the teaching bay, we are in a controlled indoor environment designed expressly for engraining proper, fundamental swing mechanics. However, the beautiful-butperilous golf course demands far greater competence and confidence. The final step from practice range to tee is an on-course playing lesson. To play golf well requires the ability to reproduce the correct swing motions without conscious thought. With a high level of self-trust established first inside and then on the range, attention can now shift to scoring. Variables such as club selection, mental approach, and uneven lies can be mastered.

The playing lesson is a vital part of the learning process for both student and swing coach. The information gathered and insight gained is valuable and concrete because it takes place on-stage at the golf course. The coach can observe the student’s tendencies more precisely. Time together also reinforces the importance of the pre-shot routine in full-swing, short game and putting. By centering the student’s attention on one, simple non-mechanical thought, stress concerning technique is deflated. To score effectively, the majority of the focus needs to be on routine, alignment and the target. Video captured during the playing lesson is a powerful learning tool. After the round, the video is replayed to show the student their alignment as well as demonstrate their ability execute swing keys. As a double-edged sword, video does not lie, boast, or belittle when it comes to reviewing swings taken on the course. Like an audio recording of a concert performance, the notes don’t care whether they are on pitch or not. Follow-up after the playing lesson is the final stage. Video review leads to specific observations and recommendations for improvement, as well as a record for future comparison. Feedback is certain to elicit grins and groans, but cannot be surpassed for reinforcing the visual to physical connections needed. The well-constructed playing lesson from a PGA Professional is the final and vital step students need as they travel the longest yard from the lesson tee to the first tee. 10% off all improvement plans through December 24th, 2011

Training aids at the practice range allow the brain to accelerate from training mode to trusting mode. Using the aids as reminders of the proper motion while working on better ball flight develops trust. This is where embarrassment needs to get left in the trunk along with the persimmon driver. All of the previous work has solidified swing FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa January 2012

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hidden history» Focus

Veterans Memorial Park Dedicates Wall of Honor for Vietnam Vets & Museum I Story by: Mark Goujon \ Photos by: Mark Goujon & Bob Silmser

n recent times we have seen historic venues turn into modern scenes. We have explored the historic assets of places like the Tampa Bay Hotel which has turned into the Henry B. Plant Museum and The University of Tampa. And of course, the beauty of the Tampa Theater, each being a site brought to its former glory with some reconstruction, but with much preservation. However, we have yet to see a site like that of The Ritz Ybor. The Ritz Ybor has taken on a vastly different appearance from what it was upon its opening in 1917. Housed on the streets of a historic town itself, The Ritz appears to be a vintage theater, but instead holds modern events straight through the doors.

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Upon The Ritz’s opening in 1917, a movie ticket cost close to 15 cents. Imagine the rush to the box office. As The Ritz served as a theater well into the ‘70’s, it made its way into The Register of Historic Places, taking its residence with many of the other historic aspects of the Tampa Bay area. The Ritz served as a theater for over half a century before the appearance was changed and it began to draw in a new crowd. Once the theater was purchased by the Capitano family, The Ritz became a prime night hot spot known as Masquerade Nightclub. The scene ended in 2006, where the historic theater changed its appearance once again to serve as something more valuable to the community.

Today, the Ritz serves as a prime venue location for a variety of events. The Ritz hosts parties, fashion shows, select concerts, company events, and small get-togethers; sure to remove the title of a nightclub from its description. The Ritz has been preserved in many aspects. The main theater room holds much of its former glory, changed in its open floor. However, the stage presented in front has been re-mastered to its original beauty. The Ritz houses four open bars, private party rooms and the main hall mostly opened for concert series. While The Ritz is mainly rented out for small events it is also a popular venue for concerts. Many of the concerts from Tampa

natives, but also performers that rival those at Orlando’s House Of Blues. The concerts draw in a much younger crowd into the venue. The Ritz has kept a strong resemblance to what it was nearly a century ago, however has taken on a modern purpose. The venue allows for business events and parties to be housed in a structure deemed historic. This building is still functional even in its history, which makes for a new history all in itself. The Ritz gives kids an opportunity to watch their favorite bands perform in the same theater their grandparents watched some of the earliest films. An opportunity to relive that history is a chance the city of Tampa won’t have to miss out on. History is at our fingertips.


sports » athlete oF the month

T

he name is Joshua Vizcaino. He was born November 22, 1995 to parents Monica and Otelo Vizcaino. He is affectionately known as “Big Country” by his teammates who look to him as the quiet but strong leader of the team. He was named Captain of the team for the 2011/2012 season. A former student of Progress Village Middle School, Joshua entered the historic Howard W. Blake High School’s Magnet Program in the Fall of 2010 where he plays the trombone in the band and is also a member of the Jazz Band. Although his size and stature is evident standing 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighing in at 294 pounds, as he walks down the halls of Blake High School, his mild manner and easy-going nature is what draws students and teachers to this young man who is well liked around the school. Not only is Joshua a leader on the field, but he is also a leader in the classroom. Conducting himself in the classroom just as he does on the field, Joshua carries a weighted GPA of 4.2. This is extremely difficult to do as he is in several Honors and Advanced Placement courses as well as excelling as a force on the football field as a center and defensive tackle. He has

JosHua ViZCaino had the highest GPA on the team for two years in a row and has won the Heritage Classic Academic Award. Joshua was also nominated for the National Honor Society. He plays hard and loves the game as well as his fellow teammates. Joshua has also played High School baseball as a freshman and is getting ready to kick off the new season when they return to school in 2012. Joshua demonstrates leadership by his actions on a daily basis. He is supported by his mom, dad, and his five siblings.

FOCUS Athlete of the Month is brought to you by the Davin Joseph Events for Cause Foundation

josHua VIZCaIno school: Blake High school Gpa: 4.2 age: 16 FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa January 2012

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DECEMBER 24 & 31 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND DECEMBER 25 CHRISTMAS BUFFET

The holiday isn’t complete without a fabulous array of delicious foods. Roasted turkey, traditional dressing, seasoned prime rib, glazed ham, fresh fish, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, fresh fruits, and much more! Santa will stop by for photos. Three seating times available: 12 Noon, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Call to reserve your table soon!

DECEMBER 31 NEW YEARS EVE

WITH THE WORLD FAMOUS PLATTERS AND THE LEGACY OF THE TEMPTATIONS It’s a celebration not to miss! Ballroom and Dining room performances of The Legacy of the Temptations and the World Famous Platters. Join the party and be part of the big COUNTDOWN for 2012... Call for our tiered pricing and details.

– 2012– JANUARY 6 & 21 BRIAN ROMAN

One of Canada’s finest entertainers! Roman performs the classics – spanning the Golden Era, ranging from Sinatra to Tom Jones. Destiny also performs.

DECEMBER 17 THE MYSTICS (A CHRISTMAS SHOW)

The Mystics, including, original members of the group, George Galfo and Phil Cracolici, will celebrate the spirit of the season with classical Christmas songs. The Las Vegas Sounds also perform.

DECEMBER 23 RICHIE MERRITT

Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room. Also, The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

JANUARY 7, 13 & 27 JOHNNY ALSTON’S - MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE A dynamite crowd pleaser!

JANUARY 14 & 28 THE CONTOURS

Performing their hits, including: Do You Love Me, in the Red Rose Ballroom. Johnny Alston’s Motown Rock ‘n Roll Review also performs. Call for our tiered pricing for this fabulous dinner show!

JANUARY 14, 27 & 28 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

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

WWW.REDROSEINNANDSUITES.COM

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WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room and opening and closing for the World Famous Platters on NYE.

January 2012 focussouthtampa.com

WIND


JANUARY 20 BOBBY PALERMO

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Destiny.

Coming Soon in FEB

FEBRUARY 10 - WALT MADDOX JANUARY 28 BEAUTIFUL BOBBY BLACKMON IN A TRIBUTE TO NAT KING COLE & THE B3 BLUES BAND FEBRUARY 11 - THE FOUR PREPS Bobby Blackmon's career began in a small town not far from the Dallas, Texas area. His Texas blues influence is heard loud ‘n’ proud in his soulful guitar playing. He's worked with the likes of Barbara Lynn, Jimmy Reed, ZZ Hill, Johnny Taylor, Lavelle White and Lou Rawls. Destiny opens and closes in the Red Rose Dining Room.

JANUARY 28 THE VAN DELLS WITH THE LAS VEGAS SOUNDS

WITH THE LAS VEGAS SOUNDS

FEBRUARY 18 TROY “SATCHMO” ANDERSON A TRIBUTE TO LOUIE ARMSTRONG FEBRUARY 25- THE FABULOUS HUBCAPS

Back by popular demand. This trio is a fireball of entertainment and not to be missed! Dinner served in a supperclub atmosphere in the Red Rose Ballroom. MRS. EVELYN MADONIA OWNER


featureÂť Animal Based Charities, Inc.

Area Charity Dedicates Itself to Animal Rescue

Animal Based Charities, Inc of Tampa strengthens impact in community Story by Rachel Drummond

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com


feature» Animal Based Charities, Inc.

T

here is a certain hype and excitement that comes along with getting a new pet. The decision is an absolute risk on a shaky limb, but the thrill of having a furry best friend pushes us to the decision to take that risk and enjoy life with our new pal. Similar to any other business or organization there is a behind the scenes incorporation that functions hand in hand with animal rescue centers across the Tampa Bay area. Animal Based Charities is a foundation that seeks to help animal rescue centers make the largest impact they can without losing large monetary means. The foundation funds rescue centers through their thrift store off of Manhattan Ave and also covers overhead costs in events to ensure that the centers find homes for pets without losing a large sum of money. Rick Medina, one of the founders of Animal Based charities says that the incorporation has found much more success than they ever actually intended. “Animal Based Charities started to be an umbrella group for the rest of rescue groups. They do what they do, and they do it well… But, unfortunately they don’t know where their funding is going to come from; bedding, food things of that nature. So, we started in 2009 and today we have found homes for some 2000 animals, all through our events.” Medina says that the incorporation has large events that they host and have invited rescue groups and ultimately allows them to get their animals adopted. “We do two events at Wiregrass mall. They are very kind to us, they shut down the streets for us and we line the streets with 60 animal groups, it’s a great event. The public has realized that it’s a lot better to adopt an animal than to buy one.” Medina says that along with their Wiregrass events, they have rented out the Sundome several times which has been their largest events. He says it’s an opportunity to let all of those rescue groups not only make a profit but also to find homes for each and every animal. “The largest amount of rescue groups we have ever had at one location was 73,” Medina said, “I pay for venue, insurance, table, and chairs. Groups come in for free, keep adoption money. It doesn’t cost them a penny to come to any of our events. If I took ten thousand dollars and divided it among the 73 groups it wouldn’t make much of a

difference, but when I pay the overhead they are getting 500 pets adopted and each group can walk out with upwards of $75,000. Now, it’s making a difference.” The motive behind this organization is not to make a profit for themselves. This is made clear in several aspects, one being that not a single person on staff goes home with a check. The organization is completely run by volunteers.

opened the thrift store and even that wasn’t enough so we have been trying to do what we can to make a difference.”

Not only is the organization volunteer run, even their thrift store profits go towards rescue groups. Medina says that the thrift store pays for minimal overhead charges for rent and necessities, but the profit is purposed to go towards an organization. “We are real proud of it. Today we have given away 32,000 pounds of free food to rescue groups, hundreds of cages and crates, trucks and truck loads of bedding – bowls, sweaters whatever they need.”

“Our events are really the most successful animal adoption events in the state of Florida, we really didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did!”

Medina says that they were pressed to begin this organization because something big was missing in the midst of animal adoption. “A big gaping hole. These rescue groups just didn’t have anyone that helped them or looked after them. At that time there were a lot of events that were failing and falling apart and we saw that and said this isn’t going to happen. And at that point, we

Medina says that they’ve done a lot to help the community in many aspects, they aren’t limited in where they are willing to help, they truly want to make a difference and they have found a way to do that in the South Tampa community.

Medina says that even the small joys are what keeps the incorporation stable. “We just adopted out a 13 year old labra doodle, Molly. She was blind and partially deaf. One of the volunteers picked her out of a kill shelter, sent her straight to a beauty parlor and a 13 year old half deaf and blind dog got adopted, and that’s something.” Medina says that as a group their goal is to illuminate euthanizing animals. They think that something can be done about it and they are heading a way to be a large proponent in that effort.

Hillsborough County has been tremendous with spayed and neutering. But, we are actually now teaming together to head this county towards ‘no kill’ it’s a big plan that will cost a lot of money. But we haven’t set our minds to anything so far, that we haven’t accomplished already. Together as a community, I think we’ll get our way.” Medina says that he has a lot of sad days in this business, but each day an animal is adopted and he had a part in it makes all of the sad days worthwhile. “My best days are when I walk out of a building and know that these groups came in with 1000 animals and walked out with 500. This means that not only were 500 adopted, but the next business day these companies have the means to go back out and rescue 500 more animals, and those are my best days.”

Animal Based Charities, Inc. 4340 South Manhattan Avenue Tampa, Florida 813.380.5674

“The real absolute dream is that we can put ourselves out of business. This community, FOCUS Magazine south tampa January 2012

15


spotlight » Sherry Silk

Sherry Silk Executive Director of The Humane Society of Tampa Bay Story by: Caitlin Scudder

W

hat will be 100 years old this coming year, helps some of the hairiest homeless in Tampa Bay, provides free food if you have paws, and is located right here in our very own backyard? That’s right, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB). As an animal lover myself, I expected to exit this interview with tear-stained cheeks from seeing all the sad dogs and cats with no homes and no hope. Boy, was I mislead! When a visitor drives up, one can hear barking and quite possibly meowing if listening closely. Staff members are

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com

walking dogs to play areas, cat-owners of the community are arriving to the health clinic, children are meeting potential furry friends, and volunteers are hanging up ornaments and décor for pet photo sessions in celebration of the holidays. I give a sigh of relief as I walk to the administrative office where I am greeted cordially at the door, to find that there are no signs of sadness in this place. From the day it was formed in 1912, the organization has pledged its allegiance to ending homelessness among animals and

providing care to those companion animals in need. Sherri Silk, Executive Director of HSTB, proudly affirmed that the ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of euthanized animals in the area due to unnecessary reasons. Animals without homes will reproduce more animals without homes, people find that they can no longer afford to support their four-legged companions and animals are abandoned without care. Events such as these happen every day and are what contribute to the high euthanasia rates, which HSTB works to reduce. With this objective in mind behind their daily work, the organization only euthanizes animals if it is absolutely necessary due to old age or a health condition. All services and programs target keeping animals at home and, those without homes, safe and healthy. “We provide a number of services that work toward lowering this rate including

providing low-cost healthcare to animals, limited admission to our adoption clinic as well as running a number of programs that help people take care of their animals so they do not have to give them away,” Silk explained. “We only take in animals that we know we can provide for or that can be adopted. An animal will stay here until it has found a home,” Silk added. In other words, never will an animal be put down for lack of capacity or adoptability. I was certainly relieved to hear that. As we toured through the facilities of HSTB, there was a furry friend on every side accompanied by a friendly smile. Volunteers were at every corner of the facility either folding blankets to be placed with each animal, walking pets for some fresh air, cleaning out kennels, and even playing with the animals. The organization heavily promotes involvement from the community and urges people to work toward its same


spotlight » Sherry Silk goals. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our volunteers and donors,” Silk exclaimed as we wound in and out through the various animal holding stations. Each animal has its own area with food, water, a bed, and a blanket. Separated between larger dogs, smaller dogs and cats, the adoption area is full of people interacting with animals and hoping to find that special one. All animals up for adoption have been sterilized, cleaned and cared for so that they are ready to go once they are chosen. HSTB has had over 6,000 adoptions just this year, making it the most adoptions the organization has ever experienced.

spay or neuter their animals as well as the condition of the economy, leading owners to release their pets into the wild. This causes the over-reproduction of cats in both urban and rural areas of the community. Those who have a population of feral cats in their area are encouraged to utilize HSTB’s program where the cats are trapped, sterilized, spayed or neutered, and then returned to their original area where people can feed them and not worry about them reproducing.

Adoption services for both dogs and cats are not the only thing HSTB has to put forward. The society also offers affordable healthcare and sterilization for pets in the community so that people can protect their animals from common deadly diseases. Micro-chipping is also available onsite so that when pets stray, they can be located and returned to their proper homes. Its health center has sterilized around eleven thousand animals just this year; five thousand of those are feral cats.

HSTB offers a wide range of programs that center on getting people of the community involved by interacting with the animals. Volunteers deliver pet food monthly to homebound and elderly in the area to help them keep their pets. Summer camps for kids allow for one week of education and interaction with animals. Frequent pet food drives amounting to just under 500,000 pounds of food over time, is intended to help support those who are unable to handle the costs of feeding their animals. HSTB volunteers take their own animals to nursing homes, schools and hospitals as therapy pets. Shot clinics provide a chance for people to keep their pets and neighborhoods safe.

The trap-neuter return of free roaming cats program is focused on reducing the soaring amount of feral cats in the Tampa Bay area. HSTB stresses the fact that the population of feral cats is growing and will continue to grow because of pet-owners failing to

There is much to be said for this organization that has been providing love and care to homeless animals for almost 100 years! The society will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2012, making it one of the oldest charities in Florida. It relies solely on funds from

program revenue, grants, special events, and donations from individuals.

organization.

The New Year sounds to be promising for this Tampa Bay society, its staff and pets in the community. In early December it announced the receiving of a one million dollar pledge from a Brandon-based video communication company by the name of Talk Fusion. Contributed in memory of two of the Talk Fusion founder & CEO’s late pets, the money is to be allocated toward the construction of the new HSTB Animal Health Center.

HSTB has been leading up to its big year coming around the corner by earning Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “2011 Non-Profit of the Year” award in the environment and animal category. In 2010, the organization spent eighty-six cents of every dollar that was raised on the programs and services offered, 9 cents on fundraising and only 5 cents on administration. This means that you can be sure your contribution is going toward what it was intended for – helping those homeless and needy pets in Tampa Bay.

Development of the new 10,400 square foot Animal Health Center will begin almost immediately and has plans to open its doors to the public in the fall of 2012. Quite an increase in size compared to the currently small area allotted to veterinary care, the new facility will provide affordable fullservice veterinary care and low-cost spaying or neutering for animals in the community. The one million dollar donation is the largest in the 100-year history of the Tampa Bay

Are you an animal lover and want to donate to an organization or volunteer to help out? Need a companion? Visit the Humane Society of Tampa Bay or volunteer to provide your donation, time or talent. Start off your New Year with getting involved in the community and potentially saving the life of an animal. As the organization blows out the 100 candles on its cake next year, it wishes for all the help and involvement you can provide!

2012 Wish List • • • • • • • •

Kitten food & puppy food Cat food & dog food – Can be dry or canned Dog treats – We like soft or chewy! Cat litter Washable dog & cat beds Advantage, Frontline and Revolution Dog & cat shampoo Space saver bags

Please bring all donations to the shelter during the following hours of operations: Tuesday & Wednesday from 12 PM – 7:30 PM Thursday & Sunday from 12 PM – 5 PM Monday from 9 AM to 5 PM to the Administration Building

FOCUS Magazine south tampa January 2012

17


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

aLL of January Remember your New Year’s Resolutions and be consistent with them! Look for Local gyms New Year Membership specials!

January 1 » Holiday with the Horses

From December 15 to January 1 visit Equestrian Inc., a nonprofit horse rescue farm located in Carrollwood, for a horse or pony ride around the farm. Holiday visits will be by appointment only to ensure we can fully accommodate you. Activities will include: $5 and $10 pony and horse rides around the farm with holiday lights to guide the way, Christmas carols, hot apple cider, a tour of our decorated barn and a meet and greet with our horses. All proceeds and donations go to support the horses at Equestrian Inc. Call Glenda at 813-407-6805. 4902 Timberlan St., Tampa FL 33624 Hyde Park Village Fresh Market 11:00 am Shops at Hyde Park Village, 1621 W Snow Cir, Tampa, FL, FREE Enjoy local foods, hand crafts, and live music on the first Sunday of every month at the Hyde Park Village Fresh Market.

» Ancient Egypt – Art and Magic

Continuous through April 29th.Treausres from the Fondation Gandur pour l’ Art/Geneva, Museum of Fine Arts. Swiss art collector, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Jean Claude Gandur has developed one of the world’s most important private collections of Egyptian antiques.

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com

Henry B Plant Museum at 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL for $10.

January 14 » Winter Jam 2012 Tour

Come out and enjoy a large variety of Christian

» Bud Lee’s America

bands in their annual tour, including Skillet.

touring this one-of-a-kind exhibit. View his

stpetetimesforum.com, a $10 suggested ticket

Celebrate Bud Lee’s photojournalist talents by prestigious photographs seen in Life magazine, Rolling Stone and more. For more information

For more information please visit www. donation is accepted at the door.

visit www.fmopa.org.

January 14-15

January 4

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival

» The Mayors Food Truck Fiesta

Inspired by the Food Truck Rally in Hyde Park, Mayor Bob Buckhorn established this monthly gathering to bring together this unique community of small-business owners and great food. Come out and see what they have to offer for free at 400 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL.

January 4-8 » Ringling Brothers Circus

Come out and watch the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus at the St. Pete Times Forum. For more detains and ticket information please visit www.stpetetimesforum.com

January 6 » Free admission at Tampa Museum of Art

The Tampa Museum of Art presents free admission on Fridays from 4pm to 8pm at 120 W

A two day family festival with art, music,

health screening and more at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. For more information please visit tampablackheritage.org.

January 16 » Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

Located at MLK Blvd. and 15th street, for more information visit mlkjrparade.com.

January 19

by the museum, the characters (real or composites) in these 30-minute, one-person shows recreate the

of Gasparilla festivities. The day will be comprised of several parades and aircraft shows. Be sure to check our website for more information at www. gaparillaextravaganza.com.

January 28 » All Children’s Hospital Guild Charity Ball

The Evening Branch of the All Children’s Hospital Guild is proud to present the 81st Charity Ball, with the theme “An Enchanted Evening.” This year, the Charity Ball will be held on January 28, 2012 from 6:00 PM until 11:30 PM at the Vinoy® Renaissance Resort & Golf Club, 501 5th Avenue NE. Tickets are $250.00 per person. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available.

february 3rd, 2012 » Dinner on the Field with David Price

David Price and Project 14 have teamed with The

at Tropicana Field. The class of 2012 will be

area, and the Tampa Downtown Partnership present this event showcasing local independent short films, 10 to 15 food trucks, beer and live music for free at 1208 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL.

January 8

and guests of the turn-of-the-century Tampa Bay

Come out for a day filled with fun and excitement

operates the open-air fresh markets in the Bay

Tampa Bay Markets, Inc. a local company that

“Latin Nights,” featuring a 30-minute dance

Enjoy a living-history vignette that brings the staff

» Children’s Gasparilla Parade

Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame to bring the

» Latin Nights at Maestro’s

» Upstairs/Downstairs at the Tampa Bay Hotel

January 21

» Flicks and Food Trucks

Gasparilla Plz, Tampa, FL.

Hotel to life. Based on original research conducted

January 1 – 8

attitudes and mores of a bygone age. Visit at the

Maestro’s Restaurant and Simone Salsa present lesson, a live band, a cash bar, and a tapas menu at 1010 N W C Macinnes Pl, Tampa, FL.

» A Town With A Past

Continuous through March 12, take a historic tour of Tampa through vintage photographs highlighting various people and buildings. Visit www.fmopa.org for more information.

16th Annual Induction Dinner and Ceremony inducted into the Ted Williams Museum. This year will feature three-time All Star and Homerun Champion Cecil Fielder of the Detroit Tigers, and four-time World Series Champion Tino Martinez of the New York Yankees. Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson and Manager of the Year Joe Maddon will be honored as well. For a Donation of $99 each person will receive a commemorative autographed ticket signed by David Price and a reception/autograph signing with past and present Major League Players, silent auction and dinner on the field. For more information contact Tony Penna at 352727-5343.


Tickets go on sale Dec. 5th, 2011 at 8:00 am • www.flstrawberryfestival.com

FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

®

s e i r o m e M t e e w Growing S

REBA

HANK WILLIAMS, JR. “TAKING BACK THE COUNTRY TOUR”

VINCE GILL

MAR. 1 - MAR. 11, 2012 - PLANT CITY, FLORIDA

THE BAND PERRY

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND

LUKE BRYAN

JOSH TURNER

THE OAK RIDGE BOYS

GRETCHEN WILSON

THE GATLIN BROTHERS

CRYSTAL GAYLE

DEMI LOVATO

LEE GREENWOOD

LOUISE MANDRELL

THE JANEDEAR GIRLS

FOCUS Magazine SOUth taMpa January 2012

19


Local» Focus

World’s largest student ballet competition announces “Stars of Today Meets the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala in Tampa

T

he world’s largest student ballet and contemporary dance competition – YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX (YAGP) – will begin its 2012 season by co-producing “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala with the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in Ferguson Hall. This unique Gala features performances by international ballet stars and introduces the world’s brightest young dance talent as they perform on the same stage and is an example of the expanded dance offerings now offered at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The world’s largest student ballet competition, YAGP brings this “Gala of Galas” (Dance Europe Magazine) to Tampa, featuring star dancers from New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Sarasota Ballet, alongside award-winning wunderkinds from around the nation. The unique format of the Gala has been hailed as “the highlight of the New York ballet season” by the late Clive Barnes of The New York Post. The YAGP 2012 Gala in Tampa will be led by St. Petersburg, Fl. native Danel Ulbricht (principal dancer, New York City Ballet) and will feature Joseph Philips (YAGP Alumnus, American Ballet Theatre); Jeffrey and Lia Cirio, and Sabi Varga (Boston Ballet);

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com

Jeanette Delgado (principal dancer, Miami City Ballet); Logan Learned (recently promoted to principal dancer, Sarasota Ballet) and Legacy Perez (So You Think You Can Dance), alongside winners from the 2012 Tampa Regional Semi Finals. Jeffrey Cirio was named by Pointe Magazine as having had one of this year’s top 10 performances nationwide. He and Learned are former students of Peter Stark, the Patel Conservatory’s dance chair and artistic director of Next Generation Ballet (NGB). The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center was named “Outstanding School” at the 2011 YAGP Finals, allowing the school to include a dance piece in this year’s Gala without competing for the honor. YAGP 2012 Season is sponsored by Bloch, Capezio, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, DDS, Grishko, Russian Pointe, Russian Standard, Pointe, So’Danca, and Sylvia. Additional events include: YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX (YAGP) - America’s first and the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition, YAGP is conducted annually throughout the U.S. and abroad. YAGP is the “internet of the dance world,” a global network of opportunity connecting dancers, teachers, schools and companies all over the globe. YAGP will culminate with a

Final Round in New York City and a Gala performance at New York City Center. Over 250 YAGP alumni are now dancing with some 50 companies around the globe, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, and many others. For more information, visit WWW.YAGP.ORG. Regularly priced tickets for the “Stars

of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala now through Jan. 8, start at $16.50. Beginning Jan. 9, regularly priced tickets start at $18.50. Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org. For more information about the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, NGB and the Patel Conservatory, please visit www.strazcenter.org.

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Local» Focus

Are You Worn Out Keeping a pet exercised can result in Yet? healthier, better behaved animals M Written By: Christina Musial

any working dog owners struggle to find enough time in the day to help their puppies expend the seemingly unending supply of energy they store up during the day and the work week. Just like humans, dogs require exercise to keep them calm, keep them out of trouble and maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to the ASPCA most dogs were bred for work and spent the majority of their time constantly going and running. Unfortunately, today’s dogs serve more of a companionship purpose and spend most of their time waiting for us to come home before we cram in a short walk then plop on the couch with them. I recently got a new puppy and was so excited to take walks with her. Imagine my disappointment when we could only walk down the street before she was exhausted and finished with the whole process. However, just like humans, practice makes perfect. Eventually the puppy will get into a routine start living for those walks and exercises.

Many dogs are natural born swimmers and would love the opportunity to dive into the ocean or pool and take their time splashing around. Many beaches are dog friendly. Just make sure you watch your dog’s intake of salt water!! The ASPCA recommends leash walking for new dogs and running, jogging as the dog gets a little older. Of course, easy exercises like Fetch, Hide-and-Seek or even catching bubbles, keep your dog occupied and physically moving. They also recommend exercising your puppy’s mind and brain with obedience classes, KONG toys where they are challenged to get to the treat, or even social interactions to keep them sharp and focused.

animals and enjoy not only their owners company, but the company of other animals. Many puppies suffer from separation anxiety when first leaving their families, so simple activities like visiting a local pet store or a local dog park can be enriching. If you have a puppy and need ideas of where to take your dog for a friendly park or beach, we’ve listed our favorites below. Hope to see you there! Curtis Hixson Waterfront Dog Park 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL $5 parking fee – Open Sunrise to 10pm This park is fenced in with drinking water, lights and artificial turf. No separate area for small dogs. People restrooms are available as well! Davis Islands Dog Beach 1002 Severn Street, Tampa, FL 33606 Open Sunrise to Sunset Fully fenced 2.5 acre dog park with a dry area and a beach area with drinking water. No fees associated. Palma Ceia Dog Park 2200 Marti Street, Tampa, FL 33629 Open 8am to Sunset (Mon-Fri) & 9amSunset (Sat-Sun) Fenced .75 acre park has drinking water, shaded areas and a separate small dog area. Logan Gate Dog Park 7374 Monterey Blvd., Tampa, FL 33625 Closes at 7pm This five acre dog park has a separate small dog area, picnic tables, drinking water and a doggy rinse station. Picnic Island Beach Dog Park 7404 Picnic Island Blvd., Tampa, FL 33616 Sunrise to Sunset Partially fenced with drinking water, shaded areas, picnic tables, rinse station and dog swimming!

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Just like their human owners, dogs are social FOCUS Magazine south tampa January 2012

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January 2012 focussouthtampa.com


entertainment » Wine!

Warm up with aVineyard Chilled Wine Girls Story By: Jodi Lokay

T

oday, my wine-loving roommate and I in the midst of NFL Football decided to amuse ourselves when we came across a 2009 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, appropriately titled “The girls in the vineyard.” This particular bottle of wine is produced in Ukiah, California, one hour north of Napa Valley, and unlike most Sauvignon Blanc’s that contain 12% alcohol per volume, beware of this particular one at 14.1% alcohol per volume. Since we both enjoy our many conversations and secrets over wine most nights, we almost thought the title of the wine was named after us. So, in amusement, the bottle was purchased. Most Sauvignon Blanc drinkers prefer this wine with pork, spicy Asian dishes, and even some desserts. During a nice dinner at Bern’s Steakhouse I was lucky enough to have a fun-loving wine- fanatic who enjoyed teaching me almost everything he knew about wine, and he served me a Sauvignon Blanc to try with my dinner salad. I really enjoyed the pairing, so with that in mind, we have decided to pair this wine with a homemade fresh strawberry salad, made easy thanks to Fresh Market. There are also a lot of recipes that involve strawberries and Sauvignon Blanc. For example, some chefs use Sauvignon Blanc in strawberry tart, strawberry pies, berry salads, and strawberry swirled pound cakes. I know it may be unusual for most to enjoy a white wine when it’s cold outside, but I have found it to be quite enjoyable when the sun is out and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Even at most brunch dates with my friends, I tend to order a crisp Sauvignon Blanc over champagne any day. There’s something to be said about a bright citrusy wine on a sunny afternoon. It tastes great with my crepes, and it always leads into fun conversations with my friends. I opened the bottle and the first thing I noticed was its sweet citrusy smell. I had a feeling I would probably enjoy the first

sip, which I did. It had a very unique taste of many different fruits. My roommate and I discussed our opinions, and we decided that it tasted like a bite of a cold green apple, a slice of pineapple, and a little hint of a citrusy lemon. The Vineyard Girls have even described this wine as “A bowl of July’s freshest fruit with a touch of minerality”. The sweet fruity smell as the wine came closer to your lips was even more satisfying. The wine is smooth and extremely easy to drink. Almost too easy… The strawberry salad we prepared is full of fresh spinach, sliced strawberries, candied walnuts, and a delicious sweet poppy seed dressing. Num, num, num…this is one of my favorite salads and without a doubt a perfect combination. However, I must admit that I am contemplating the citrusy wine with the sweet fresh taste of strawberries is a must. I take a bite of the salad, and it’s delicious. Cold, fresh, and sweet. I then take a sip of the Sauvignon Blanc, and absolutely delicious. It’s a divine pair despite the winter, but we live in Florida, right? The sweet citrusy taste of the wine combined with the tartness of the strawberries, brightened this Sauvignon Blanc up just enough to almost make you think that you are enjoying the perfect dessert. I can almost imagine myself, even during these cold, winter months in Napa Valley. The sun is shining and the skies are blue, and better yet, I have this wonderful glass of fruity, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc with a nice salad for lunch. It’s the perfect wine for a girl’s day out, even a nice holiday dinner. A rich red isn’t always needed for those intimate holiday parties. Try delighting your guests with this Sauvignon Blanc during their appetizers, dinner salads, or dessert. You can purchase this wine at local wine shops, or if you are feeling philanthropic and do not need the instant gratification - Purchase this brand online at www. artfarmwine.com for $16, a $2.50 donation will be sent to your favorite charity. FOCUS Magazine south tampa January 2012

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FOCUS South Tampa 02-11