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Features 21 On Fatherhood and Marriage With Gary Smalley

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by Pamela Settle

22 Create Summer Memories with Your Family and Burn Calories by Pete Cosentino

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By Dr. Terry L. Collier


Winter the Dolphin Brings Good to Many By Pamela Settle

Be a Woman of Action

33 This Summer, Baby’s Favorite Color is Green by Calley Pate

I am a

34 - 35 A Mother’s Day Post-Mortem: Was Something Missing From Your Special Day? by Madeline Levine, PhD

38 Connect: Resources for Parents of Special Needs Children by Paula Keyser

42 - 43 Leading Our Schools to Greatness: Part 1 by Pamela Settle


Debt-Burdened Graduates: A Wake-Up Call by Steven J. Lee

My Story About the Cover This month’s cover photo was taken during an emotional homecoming celebration at Skycrest Christian School. Dr. Wayne Anderson suprised his children and in turn, the school suprised him with a welcome home celebration. Read Dr. Anderson’s story on page 46. Photo taken by Corey Conroy. This issue is dedicated to veterans and their many sacrifices that through the years have protected our great nation. May God bless our military and may He bless the United States of America.


by Dr. Wayne Anderson

The Good Stuff 8 - 11 13 - 14 16 - 20

Good News Good Products Good People

25 - 27 28

Good Eating Good Gardening


SUMMER 2012 Publisher Light Shine Media Group, LLC

Wishes for a summer filled with happy memories. Enjoy!

Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle

Contributing Writers Wayne Anderson Dr. Terry Collier Pete Cosentino Melissa Kanaris Paula Keyser Steven J. Lee Dr. Madeline Levine Calley Pate

Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher

Account Managers Tory Perfetti Reall Whiteman

Data Manager Tom Eckert

Website WP by Design

GoodLiving™ Magazine & P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677 (727) 776-3656

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION GoodLiving™ magazine is a publication of Light Shine Media Group, LLC and and is available to readers by a paid annual subscription available at Promotional copies are distributed through establishments as a courtesy to their customers and clients. Additional copies are donated to local schools as a community service. To request copies, contact All photographs, artwork, design and editorial are the sole property of GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission. GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC are not responsible for statements made by advertisers and writers for any consequences arising from omissions or errors. Readers should verify the advertising information of the advertisers and all specials are valid to the expiration date set by the advertiser. GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC reserve the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The views expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Letter from editor For the story about local executives finding ways to cut the school budget, I had the opportunity to sit and discuss education with three board members plus the CEO of the Pinellas Education Foundation. What an informative time that was! Please take a moment to read this story and then go to “website resources” to read more. The work that is being done is really quite extraordinary and deserves the attention of local taxpayers. As a taxpayer myself, I felt a sense of hope that people outside of politics could use their expertise to find practical ways to cut expenses. As a parent, I was truly grateful that leaders, outside of the day-to-day school operations, were that sincerely committed to the betterment of education and to the proper compensation of teachers. As a community advocate, I felt a strong sense of purpose to encourage readers to pay attention to the current issues, like the fact that Pinellas County needs to hire a new superintendent. These executives feel strongly, that as a community, we need to demand the best. There is no easier way to get involved than by joining your school’s PTA. They have recently joined forces with the Pinellas Education Foundation and you’re going to see a lot of action from them. One goal is to mobilize parents by increase PTA membership and communicate regularly. Another goal is to give parents a stronger voice by doing surveys. If you have a child in a public school, I cannot urge you enough to step up your involvement and have a voice. One part of this conversation has really stuck with me. The point was made that if a person goes to a “how to be successful” seminar, they are going to learn it’s all about positive attitudes and mindset. Well, doesn’t the same hold true for a community? For the school system? For the county? Can’t we become more successful by adopting a positive mindset about our community? Can’t we achieve greatness in our schools by believing we are great and acting that way? Is it true that if we think and act like winners, that we will create a winning community? People defy the odds and overcome obstacles everyday. Communities can do the same. But is it difficult to do this when that community is constantly fed bad news? News about how poor our schools are, how inept our politicians are, how bad the economy is and so on? Good questions! I’ll admit I felt a little satisfaction at that point, because two years ago the whole idea behind GoodLiving magazine was to be a place where local good news was welcome. Where the good people could shine all over our pages to get well-deserved recognition and inspire others to follow their passions. Where companies who genuinely care about the community could be seen as good corporate citizens. Where readers could go and feel good about where they live because everyone wants to be a winner; everyone wants to feel a sense of community pride and everyone, no matter the demographic, is attracted to good. So we are glad to be here two years later as the teller of good news! We feel blessed to share the stories that appear in this magazine. My own life has been enriched by the people I meet and I am happy to say there are many, many more stories to tell. And that my dear readers is a sign of greatness! Until next time, be good!

Pamela Settle


Lorraine Yaslowitz on the Run In our January issue, Lorraine Yaslowitz shared the inspiring story of her life since the death of her husband, St. Petersburg Police Officer Jeff rey Yaslowitz in January 2011. Since then her life has definitely been on the run. The 2nd Annual Partners for Life Run took place on May 6th. More than 1,200 runners entered the races to help her raise funds for families who are victims of senseless violence and to honor the memories of our recent fallen officers. The event is also about running and fitness, because she and Jeff were avid runners. Keeping the tradition alive, her two older children ran the 5K and won medals for their finishing times.

following week, they went to Washington D.C. to participate in the National Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15. President Kennedy established this day and National Police Week in 1962. The agenda was packed with dinners, ceremonies, classes and tours. “Jeff and I had planned a vacation to DC for summer of 2012 so I let the kids take all the tours. He would have wanted that,” said Lorraine. “It’s been hard reliving everything and getting through the long ceremonies, but it’s good for the children to see their dad being honored by the state and the nation. It’s something they will never forget.”

The day of the event, Lorraine and family had another race. To drive to Tallahassee in time for the candlelight vigil and other ceremonies taking place to honor fallen police officers. The

Lorraine continues to accept speaking engagements and requests from individuals and organizations that would like to do fundraising events for her foundation. More information is at

St. Petersburg College Expo

PASTA is on the Rise

Calling all high school students and their parents. Learn all you need to know about SPC in one place. Like how to find the right program for you, early college options for high school students, how to apply for admissions and facts about student life. Speak with financial and academic advisors. Expo is Thursday, June 14 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Epicenter, 13805 58th St. N in Clearwater. More at

Parenting a Second Time Around or PASTA is on the rise as more grandparents find themselves raising their grandchildren. While it’s not how they envisioned their later years, they are committed to helping these children get the start to life they need to succeed even if it means giving up the days of quiet reading or playing golf. Local caregiving expert Linda Burhans has started a support group called PASTA that meets monthly. If you know of a grandparent who would benefit from sharing experiences and knowledge with others in the same situation, encourage him or her to join the group by calling Linda at (727)723-7532.

8 GoodLiving volume 3, issue 3

news Teens Workout Free at Lifestyle Family Fitness Attention parents! Get your teens into the workout habit this summer by taking advantage of this very special free offer by Lifestyle Family Fitness, a local good company that is concerned about the obesity epidemic. Their hope is that this program that gives teens free memberships will create a solid foundation of staying fit that will carry over into adulthood. Parents sign up your teenagers, ages 12 to 17, for a free two month membership with no other obligation. Teen members can utilize the gym until 4 p.m. during the week and all day on weekends. Group classes are included. Offer good from May 1 to August 15 only. Gather up some friends and get them all working out together this summer. It’s safe, it’s good for them and it’s FREE! More details at Registration by parent or guardian is required and rules of good conduct are enforced.

Donated School Supplies Needed

Clearwater Student Wins Miss Teen America With only one other pageant behind her, Eleana Frangedis followed her dream and became Miss Teen America this past April. A junior at Countryside High School, Eleana is proud to be the first Greek American to win this national pageant. She credits her success with the love, support and guidance of her parents and says her mother has always encouraged her to work hard at following her dreams. Eleana spent the last several months as Miss Florida Teen America speaking to young teens, educating them on making the right decisions when faced with peer pressure and bullying. As Miss Teen America she will continue to partner with the Clearwater Regional Chamber, local schools and other community agencies to make a positive difference. As Miss Teen America, Eleana will travel the country using her national title to reach teens across the United States. She will also advocate and support the Soles4Souls Program (, a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes and distributes them to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. For appearances or presentations, contact Eleana at

Share your good news. Send stories to

Even though summer vacation is fresh, the Pinellas Education Foundation is already planning to help local students have a more successful 2012-2013 school year. Sadly, in Pinellas County there are over 2,000 children living in foster care, 1 in 5 children living in poverty and over 2,100 children that are homeless. This can have a devastating effect on a child’s education as these students are often unable to afford basic school supplies. Help by donating school supplies as they partner with PTA and Franklin Templeton for a Back to School Drive. Mark your calendars and bring supplies on July 25th from 7 am to noon at Franklin Templeton, 100 Fountain Parkway in St. Petersburg.

Green After Dark Every couple of months, John Ciani turns his weekend organic produce market into an evening event that is fun for all ages. From 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, June 9th, join them for some live entertainment, green vendors, food vendors, organic produce and some small town friendliness. In Odessa at 8701 Gunn Highway. Find them on Facebook as Green After Dark.

Help for Unemployed Veterans Congressman Gus Bilrakis’ office is on top of veteran’s issues. They asked us to share information about the new VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 that is being implemented right now for unemployed veterans ages 35-60. These local heroes can apply for retraining under the Montgomery GI Bill for in-demand jobs. To learn more about the program, eligibility, and important dates, please go to this website: and be sure to spread the word to other veterans!

GoodLiving 9 volume 3, issue 3


Grand Opening of Florida Hospital: North Pinellas The former Helen Ellis Hospital in Tarpon Springs has recently been purchased and is now a member of the Florida Region of Florida Hospitals, owned and operated by Adventist Health System (AHS), bringing more than 100 years of dedication to whole person medicine. In a recent ceremony to unveil their new sign and their genuine commitment to the health and well being of our community, Mike Schultz, President/CEO of the Florida Region for Adventist Health System said, “For the past 18 months, our teams have worked diligently to ensure that the hospital will secure its place in the community by providing top quality services, state-of-the-art technology and compassionate care. With all of these changes, we believe we can extend the healing ministry of Christ to more patients and with that comes a name reflecting a more expanded focus.”

Happy 100th Birthday! Every year the Suncoast Hospice throws a birthday party to honor the centenarians in Pinellas County. This year about 30 men and women were brought to the Gathering Place for a ceremony, snacks and birthday cake. Emcees Jerome Richey and Holley Sinn, hosts of Studio 10 asked attendees to share stories about their secrets to life. Martin (100) and his wife Virginia (96) had just celebrated their 72 year wedding anniversary. Martin said his secret to having a long marriage is to “behave yourself.” Another attendee, Anita Long, said she still walks a mile a day to keep herself young. Also in attendance was Elsie Thompson, the oldest person in Florida, who is an impressive 113 years old. This was not her first party and she looks forward to spending time with her host, Chip Cosper, a regional program director for Suncoast Hospice who pays her a lot of attention.

No matter anyone’s age, it’s nice to be celebrated and as State Rep. With their commitment comes a full slate of community education Jim Frische noted, the Suncoast Hospice does a good job of letting people know they are valued. Hospice teen volunteers also got health fairs, a cancer center and a certified chest pain center. Stay involved by making each celebrant a blanket. Parents are invited to tuned to hear a lot from Florida Hospital North Pinellas. call about the numerous volunteer opportunities for teens because nothing makes teens feel more valued than being needed.

Take Fido Out to the Ballgame on June 20 Bring your dog to the Yappy Hour® to benefit the Humane Society of Pinellas (HSP) on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 starting at 5 p.m. at Bright House Field. Bring your dog for the event, then watch the Clearwater Threshers take on the Dunedin Blue Jays at 7 p.m. HSP is holding a Pet Food Drive at the event, so bring a bag to help needy pets. Every item you donate gives you an entry for the prize drawings. Dress up your pooch for the Biggest Pet Sports Fan Contest! Dog tickets are $5 and people tickets range from $5 to $9.50. The Yappy Hour® event is free with your admission to the game. Two more Yappy Hours® are scheduled for July 11th and August 8th. Game tickets are sold by the Threshers. People can call the ticket office at (727) 467-4457 or purchase them at the gate.

10 GoodLiving volume 3, issue 3

news Mayors Youth Showcase Honors Local Students

Hurricane Season

June 1st officially marks the start of hurricane season. Take a moment to review emergency procedures with your family, check your hurricane The Mayor’s Youth Showcase of Achievement and Awards survival kit and be sure you’re connected to receive the most up-to-date Ceremony was held in May to recognize 66 middle and high school students for achievement in 10 categories: academics, scholar information. Pinellas County Emergency Management is here to help athletes, citizenship/leadership, fine arts, literary arts, performing arts, and they have resources you need to have. Important Resources media arts, science/technology, vocational/business enterprise and Pinellas County Emergency Management: overcoming adversity. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster presented (727) 464-3800 • each winner with a crystal trophy. Winners also received a $300 Sign up for the Community Notification Service to receive text emergency information on your cell phone: (888) 689-8905 savings account from Florida Central Credit Union. The awards program is presented by the St. Petersburg TASCO Teen Program and Students Working Against Tobacco, with the generous sponsorship of the Florida Central Credit Union. Robert Valenti, director of TASCO created this program because he wanted students of varying skills to be recognized for their hard work and achievement. “Young people achieving in vocational education deserve to be recognized the same way we recognize athletics and academics.” This is the second year of the Mayors Youth Showcase of Achievement. Among this year’s many deserving winners are Jaime Botero and Matthew Williams.

Set up your Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) equipped all-hazards radio for Pinellas County. Enter code 012103 Register for the E-Lert newsletter at subscribe.htm View the county’s official hurricane guide at their website or pick up a paper copy at libraries, city halls, fire stations, court houses and tax collector offices.

Take a moment to review emergency procedures with your family, know your hurricane evacuation zone, check your hurricane survival kit and be sure you’re connected to receive the most up-to-date information.

Jaime Botero won for her entry in Fine Arts for middle school. Residents and Post Office Jaime is in 8th Grade at Johns Hopkins Middle School. She is a talented artist who enjoys comic art. She is unique among her peers Help to Stamp Out Hunger because she focuses on female heroine villains and puts her own On May 12th, people across the country put bags of food at their unique spin on the genre. Jaime hopes to one day break into the mailbox for collection as part of the 20th Annual Stamp Out male dominated world of comic book art. Hunger Food Drive. Mail carriers picked up these donations and Matthew Williams won for his entry in Scholar Athlete for high carried it all to local food banks. In Pinellas County, RCS Food school. Matthew is a senior at Gibbs High School. He was selected Bank reported that donors and volunteers played a part in bringing to be a member of the St. Petersburg Exchange Club All-City over 73,000 meals to local families who deal with hunger on a daily Academic High School Football Team. Matthew has a 3.4 GPA basis, many of whom are children and elderly. and is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Rho Kappa The need doesn’t end here. Share your blessings on a regular basis Social Studies Honor Society, Key Club and Gibbs Academic Team. and help stamp out hunger in our community. Give to local food Congratulations to all the winners! Well done! banks and support organizations that work to feed those in need.

Pictured L to R: St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, Laida Garcia, President and CEO Florida Central Credit Union, Jaime Botero and Brian Robinson, Chief Marketing Officer Florida Central Credit Union. Photo courtesy of TASCO.

Pictured L to R: St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, Laida Garcia, President and CEO Florida Central Credit Union, Matthew Williams and Brian Robinson, Chief Marketing Officer Florida Central Credit Union. Photo courtesy of TASCO.


Special Gifts for Dad

Father’s Day is June 17th!





1 Fiskars Better than socks or a tie, Fiskars, has revamped the traditional hardware snip, making it the perfect Father’s Day gift. The ShopBoss™ helps complete tasks faster by combining some of the most frequently used tools into one tool. Features, titanium coated, heavy-duty blades for tough cutting jobs including light metals, carpet and flooring. Use also as a wire cutter and wire stripper for cutting light wire; twine cutter; pry-off bottle opener; tape cutter for opening boxes; and a deburring file to take the jagged edge off cut metal. Has a belt clip for easy transport and a pencil holder. Under $30.

3 Grill Charms No more wondering which steak has the hot spice and which has the mild after it comes off the grill. Or maybe one burger is stuffed with jalapeno jack and one has mild cheddar. Dad can make his grilling duties easier with Grill Charms. These are metal markers that stick right into the meat before cooking when seasoning is done. Cook the meat with charms in place and remove before eating. Set comes with six charms and there are several to choose from. A good idea developed by mompreneur from South Carolina who hooked a shark on Shark Tank in 2009.

2 Guy Fieri Cookbook For the dad who loves to cook, buy him Cookin It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It (William Morrow Cookbooks; $29.99). Guy serves up a huge helping of his most crowd-pleasing dishes as his personality jumps off the page in this larger-than-life cookbook. Filled with more than 150 original recipes and eye-popping color photos and illustrations.

4 A Book by Frank McKinney Not just any book. A very special book, written by a father who walked his daughter to school every single day for seven years because he wanted to have special time with her. The story is a fantasy-adventure tale that is set in their hometown of Delray Beach, Florida and features plant and animal life familiar to Floridians. The story and its characters are inspired by their walks to school that sometimes had as many as 40 local kids along for the walk. This book weaves together years of made-up stories and is just plain fun to read out loud. It centers around a small talking fish that enlists three kids to help him save his underwater world from a predator that wants to destroy them. Buy it for dad and ask him to read a chapter every night to make some of your own memories of togetherness. If you’re not inspired to save your own underwater world of magical talking sea creatures, you might just be inspired to walk your kids to school sometime. Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes and the Good Luck Circle (Health Communications, Inc.; $18.95) can be found at

Maybe dad doesn’t cook, but loves to eat and is a big fan of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. Guy’s two books of the same name (also from William Morrow; $19.99) takes you back through his favorite stops with photos and recipes. Find these books and more gift ideas at ~ editor’s note ~

If dad or granddad are Triple D fans, or if they like down-home cookin’ in an old fashioned diner, take them to Munch’s in St. Pete. This diner was featured on Triple D and for good reason. You’ll be taken back in time and come out with a satisfied belly. There’s a map on the wall to track the hometowns of out-of-town visitors and some nostalgic pictures on the wall of the Munch family and their history with the diner. They are open on Father’s Day, and daily from 7 am to 3 pm.

$19.99 at Grate Grills in Oldsmar or online at

GoodLiving 13 volume 3, issue 3



2 1 foHawx for bike helmets

Inspired by a 7-year-old who refused to wear his helmet because it just wasn’t cool, the mission of the moms behind foHawx was to provide a product that would make safety helmets hip enough to wear. From long flowing strips fashioned like dreadlocks, to wacky and colorful punk shapes and high-top Mohawks, foHawx are an embellishment that kids can add to any safety helmet. With five styles to choose from, kids can wear, collect, and swap – easily switching them out and updating their collections. We asked them to make a blue one for Rays fans! $19.99 at

2 Kiss My Face Sun Products

Sun protection is a must for everyone in Florida and now is a good time to stock up on Kiss My Face’s healthier products for skin and hair. For the little ones, they have the Kiss My Face Kids Sun Stick and Kids Natural Mineral Sunblock SPF 30. Both are free of parabens, artificial colors, fragrances, phthalates and gluten. They are among the few all natural sunscreens with SPF 30 and full UVA and UVB protection. Adults can be protected by their Sun Spray Lotion SPF 30. The broad spectrum formula comes in a convenient spray bottle, is water resistant, easy to apply and formulated with aloe and antioxidant green tea to soothe the skin. Don’t forget to baby your hair during summer months. It can get a healthy dose of love from their Miss Treated Shampoo and Conditioner, which are biodegradable and paraben free. Prices vary at health food retailers and online at

14 GoodLiving volume 3, issue 3


4 3 Swimcap by Philip Kingsley




6 Crocs for Summer

No more rubbery caps to stretch on when you want to protect your hair. Use the Swimcap conditioning cream by Philip Kingsley to protect against dryness and damage caused by chlorine, salt and sun. Prevent hair color from fading and blonde hair from turning green in chlorinated water. Great protection for both adults and children and we can thank the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swim Team for this product. For best results, apply in sections to dampened hair and work through evenly before exposure to the sun. $35 at

Crocs continually comes out with new styles that are great for kids. Their summer collection features flats and sandals for girls and deck shoes and sandals for boys. (Bigger sizes for men and women, too!) Durable, washable and brightly colored to get through all the summertime adventures. Shown are Scutes for boys and Chameleons Shirley for girls. Teens will love their new Waveseeker Slip Ons, which are like beachbound board shorts for the feet. Prices vary. Shop to see all of what’s new.

4 Fitness Clothing by Gaiam

Add a new outdoor game this summer! RingStix is an easy-to-learn game played with two slightly curved 25”sword-like stix and a 5” ring. Cross the stix and then flare out your arms to propel the ring toward the other player who will catch it with one or both of his stix. The faster and harder a player flares the sticks, the farther the ring will fly. Provides exercise, improves agility and helps with hand-eye coordination. Stix and rings float and one ring even glows in the dark adding a fun twist for night time play. Starting at $19.99 at Made by a company based in Clearwater!

Do you find yourself wishing you could be somewhat modest, or cover the curves, with something more attractive than an oversized tee shirt? Treat yourself to a couple of fitness tops from Gaiam. They have several styles that are loose fitting and a few are long enough to cover hips. Practical and comfortable for yoga and other forms of exercise, but mostly a small luxury to reward you for working out. The fabrics are soft, cool and breezy made from eco-friendly blends of organic cotton and rayon made from sustainable bamboo. They feel really nice next to the skin and give good coverage. Many beautiful styles to choose from at S – XL. Prices vary.

5 The Olli by Clek.

7 Ringstix

Big kids need to stay in booster seats for life-saving safety, so make sure you’re properly outfitted for summer vacation travel. We like Olli by Clek. It’s a bit pricier for booster seats, but worth it because of the significantly added comfort. Children are much safer when they are properly aligned with their seatbelt, so boosters are needed for some kids up to age 12. They’ll be more willing to sit in safety when they can sit in comfort and not have their legs fall asleep from a hard plastic seat. This booster comes highly recommended. Award winning and tested for kids from 40 to 100 lbs. and from 40” to 57” tall. Priced at $99, but search the Internet for deals.


GoodLiving 15 volume 3, issue 3

people Maria Johannesen The first thing Maria Johannesen wants you to know is that if she can do it, so can you. The second thing she wants you to know is that kids in our community are hungry and that’s just plain wrong. When she speaks about poverty and hunger, she speaks with passion and conviction, but if you listen closely, you can hear her heart break for kids who live in our community, who attend our schools, who play in our parks and who too many times, go to bed hungry. Maria’s concern is for adults who are hungry, as well. They are the parents of some of these children. Parents who need help as they struggle through tough economic times. Parents who most likely would rather tuck their kids into a warm bed instead of the backseat of a car or on a friend’s sofa. “In Pinellas County, officials say we have 5,800 homeless people and 2,200 of them are children,” said Maria. “We keep putting money into programs, but I have to ask ‘Why is this still an issue? Why aren’t we feeding these children?’”

That leadership spirit led her to officially make Brown Bags of Pinellas a 501 (c)(3) charity in January. She quickly followed that exercise with another PB&J day on March 24th and fed 3,000 people. “Listen,” she says, “It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a difference. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck. I’m in college again. We have medical bills. We’re just regular people who are helping people less fortunate than we are.” Some would argue that Maria is not “regular people.” Currently a certified behavioral assistant, Maria works with those who have intellectual disabilities like Down Syndrome and Autism. She is also a student at USF St. Petersburg to get her degree and credentials to teach exceptional children. She is a wife and mom to three teenagers, one of whom just enlisted in the Marines. And she suffers from a form of lupus that causes her excruciating pain on a regular basis. She balks at the words “you are amazing.” Instead, she considers herself someone who follows her passions and answers when life calls. Highpoint Family Center in Largo called about a month ago. She heard about what they are doing for local kids at her GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs) meeting and asked if Brown Bags of Pinellas could help them feed children at their summer camp. She learned their budget had been cut and weren’t able to do as many programs for the children as before.

“I’m an activist when it comes to the environment and so I offered to teach a weekly class about recycling and gardening.” But in typical Maria fashion, she enlisted a carpenter friend to help her and the children build a greenhouse out of repurposed pallets, wire So last year, she used Facebook to round up her friends with a plan and repurposed plastic water and soda bottles. “Kids will collect to make 250 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to give away on the used bottles and we’ll spend the summer building the greenhouse, learning about growing food and how we can reuse things instead 4th of July. “It’s American!” she thought and began calling Salvaof throwing them away.” One of her projects will teach them to tion Army to ask to use their kitchen and asked others to donate the supplies. When it was all said and done, Maria and her friends grow herbs in washed out applesauce cups. Probably the ones that will come in their free brown bag lunch. fed over 1,000 people that day. While officials may give 1,000 answers to those questions, it wouldn’t really matter. To Maria the answer is people pitching in to do their part.

With that success under their belts, they planned another day, and now their effort was firmly called Brown Bag Lunches of Pinellas. On November 19, 2011, just before Thanksgiving, Maria organized her volunteers and this time they fed over 2,000 people at seven different shelters. While serving food at Salvation Army last year, they fed four families, two of which were laid off teachers who couldn’t find work. “Homelessness in this economy is different than what people think it is.” Maria also says that she distinctly felt people’s spirits get crushed when the economy crashed and that people’s sense of community went into decline. “I’m glad we are feeding people, but I’m hoping that we’re teaching others how to care for each other again.” (There’s always room for more volunteers.)

16 GoodLiving volume 3, issue 3

To volunteer or donate to Brown Bags of Pinellas, go to their website at They also have a Facebook page of the same name.

people Jan Horn ~ editor’s note ~ In November of last year, I promised Jan Horn we would put her in Good People for her work with a Blooming Place for Kids, a free summer camp for local foster children who have been abused or neglected. Shortly after, Jan was diagnosed with brain cancer, had brain surgery and is currently undergoing treatments and rehabilitation. At a fundraising event on April 29, I interviewed her husband Calvin, some board members and a few campers so we could keep our promise and tell Jan’s story.

Jan Horn was noticeably missing from the Third Annual Blooming Luau. Her friends more than willingly took on the workload to raise funds for this year’s summer camp. They know it’s important to Jan. And they know it is life changing for the kids. “For years, Jan knew in her heart she had something she needed to do, but couldn’t quite put her finger on it. Then one day she said she was starting a charity to help foster kids,” said Calvin Horn about his wife. He remembers with pride that for months she would stand in front of Walmart with a can to raise money for the expenses needed to start a charity. It took a year, but she raised the money and held the first camp in 2002 for eight young people. In three years she grew to their capacity of 75. It takes up to $100,000 to fund a 10-day residential camp and every year Jan works the remaining 355 days to raise every dollar of it.

With Jan focused on her healing, friends stepped in to make sure camp happens this July. They all spoke of Jan’s unwavering commitment and how she provides a loving experience for foster kids, one where for ten days they are surrounded by love and understanding and feel a sense of stability they don’t get going from foster home to foster home. Many of the campers attend several years in a row. They learn life skills, coping skills, values and citizenship – critical lessons that get missed when a teenager doesn’t have stable parents, but are necessary to succeed in life. “These kids haven’t been able to count on anyone in their lives, but they can count on this camp,” said Deb Gatley, a board member. “These are good kids who didn’t do anything wrong. They have been abused or neglected by their parents and they need someone to love them.” Juan, 17, has attended for five years and is going through leadership training to become a counselor. “I had mentors who helped me and now I want to give back. Once you’re a part of this family, you’re always a part of this family.” Family. Something children in foster care want and need, and can’t always get. But for ten days each summer Blooming Place for Kids brings them together for fun, learning and a sense of family where they can laugh, cry and connect with kids just like them. The young people who attended the luau said nice words about Jan, but the deeper truth was in their eyes and how they came together in support of the camp. They need her. And they need this camp. To support Blooming Place for Kids, go to their website at

GoodLiving 17 volume 3, issue 3

people Rebuilding Campbell Park

Two years ago, RTTB worked on some homes and became introduced to the neighborhood. Then on April 28, 2012 as part of National Rebuild Day, partners, donors, volunteers and residents of Campbell Park joined together to fix up four more homes.

“It’s like a ripple effect. When some houses get fixed up, the neighbors do the same. A sense of pride starts to grow and that neighborhood One of those homes belonged to Mrs. Annie Seay, a 72-year-old is never the same,” said Lisa Demmi with Rebuilding Together retired widow who has lived there for 40 years. Her spouse passed Tampa Bay (RTTB). away after 53 years of marriage and she has struggled to make ends RTTB knows something about a contagious positive attitude. The meet ever since. Together she and her husband were hardworking organization’s mission is to bring together corporate donors and members of the community who raised five children and never volunteers and leverage resources in a way that helps neighborhoods asked for handouts. When RTTB offered her assistance, she was improve themselves. Over the years they have coordinated both grateful and humbled. neighborhood projects that bring in contractors to make homes One of the other homeowners, an elderly woman named Jessie, had safe and healthy again. Their work has also involved clean up lived with a leak in her roof and didn’t know what to do about it. projects and playground improvements, but so far the plans for “It wasn’t safe at all and she was so grateful to get the repair that Campbell Park are the biggest and boldest. she told the volunteers she could see wings on their backs,” said The neighborhood of Campbell Park is slowly getting a makeover Mario Farias, an RTTB board member and volunteer. He added and Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay (RTTB) is at the center that Jessie doesn’t get around too well anymore, so she spends her of the activity. The neighborhood lies immediately to the south days knitting caps for the homeless. and practically in the shadow of Tropicana Stadium. Many of the houses are owned by elderly residents who have called Campbell Park home for decades. Living on fixed incomes, keeping their homes in good repair is financially out of reach. RTTB sees a bubbling of a renaissance with younger homeowners moving in and new businesses opening up. “This neighborhood felt a little cut off by the interstate and forgotten. But there is new energy and we hope to keep invigorating that area with our projects to stimulate further growth,” said Demmi.

Also in Campbell Park ... Raymond, the loveable mascot of the Tampa Bay Rays joined students from Campbell Park Elementary School for their first day of their Walking School Bus. Coordinated by Tiffany Sabiel of All Children’s Hospital, Walking School Bus programs encourage students to walk to school together for safety and exercise. Any school can have a Walking School Bus!

Homeowner Annie Seay shakes hands with Jose Garcia, CEO of RTTB and thanks him for the repairs to her home. She was a grateful and gracious host to all the volunteers!

Photo courtesy of All Children’s Hospital’s Walking School Bus Program

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St. Petersurg Mayor Bill Foster was on hand to support volunteers, tour the homes and congratulate homeowners. He later spoke at the luncheon about the city’s role and support of the projects. City Councilman Karl Nurse spent the day as a volunteer on clean-up detail. Both said they were proud of the work being done in Campbell Park.

people The improvements wouldn’t be possible unless corporate sponsors helped out with money and volunteer labor. This year, sponsors were Advanced Protection Technologies, Progress Energy, Wells Fargo, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Zoomers, Campbell Park Elementary, McDonalds, South 49, LocalShops1, Booz/Allen/ Hamilton, NARI, St. Pete Dream Center and JSR Training. Campbell Park Elementary School was the appropriate site of an appreciation luncheon that same day for volunteers. RTTB CEO, Jose Garcia, discussed exciting plans that are coming to Campbell Park this fall. The city’s Campbell Park (adjacent to the school) is the site of a brand new playground, designed by HGTV star, Carter Oosterhouse and partially funded by his foundation, Carter’s Kids. The new equipment will look like sea creatures, to accent the marine science curriculum offered at the school. Quay Chilcott, Executive Director of Carter’s Kids, flew in for the event to be a part of the announcement. He said workers will come to tear down the old playground and prepare the site in late September or early October.

Lokey Charities: Investing in our Tampa Bay Community Lokey Charities, the non-profit giving arm of Lokey Automotive Group, finished two back-to-back fundraisers in April and May of 2012. Of course we are celebrating the money raised, more importantly we are appreciating the journey we took to get there and how it has blessed us and our employees. April’s Roof Raiser was a journey that Jim Surrett, General Manager of Lokey Nissan & VW, will never forget. He spent 30 days and 30 mostly sleepless nights on the roof of the Lokey Volkswagen building on U.S. 19 N. in Clearwater to raise money for Habitat for Humanity (HFH) in Pinellas County. He endured 110 degree heat and 30 degree cold. Along the journey with him were friends, owners of local restaurants, who donated lunches and dinners to feed the management team during their rooftop meetings. He needed living arrangements, so his journey brought additional staff to install electricity, a shower, the portable potty and a cubicle for sleeping.

Volunteers work on the exterior of Annie Seay’s house.

“Bringing in a new playground will benefit the entire community. Children, their parents and grandparents will come out of their homes to enjoy the new park,” said Garcia. “You’ll see that this park will become a central focus of the neighborhood and bring people together.” Principal of Campbell Park Elementary School, Godfrey Watson, was grinning ear to ear as the speakers discussed their plans to not only put in the new playground, but to continue helping homeowners and instilling a renewed spirit of pride in the neighborhood. “We’re not just here as a school for the kids, we’re here for the entire community and this is very exciting for everyone,” said Watson. Residents of Campbell Park will get another surprise as part of their makeover: a new nature trail with educational stops. And perhaps a community garden on the park property. The scope of the project depends on the money they are able to raise for rebuilding Campbell Park. Groups and companies are encouraged to support home improvement projects and donate money. Contact them through A community celebration is being planned for early November 2012 to welcome the new playground and trail. GoodLiving is proud to be a supporter of the good works being done in Campbell Park.

To make his journey more fun, Jim obtained water balloons to help his co-workers below cool off in the hot sun. The dayto-day work continued and everyone was aware their boss was on the roof. However along with that knowledge, came the understanding that everything they were doing to sell cars would result in more money to build three homes in the Stevens Creek neighborhood. During the Roof Raiser month, we had teams volunteering their time to get these houses built, and when all was said and done, Paul Lokey presented a check for $158,500 to the CEO of HFH Pinellas, Barbara Inman. The third and final home dedication on June 9 makes the journey more than worth it. Our entire team is better for the experience and we appreciate the opportunity we had to work so closely with the dedicated staff and volunteers at HFH. Our second big event was the 3rd Annual Lokey Charities Golf Classic on May 11 that brought 145 golfers to the Belleair Country Club. The event itself raised $80,000 and as he does each year, Paul Lokey matched that amount to add another $160,000 in the account at Lokey Charities.The charity donates funds to community organizations that help children and youth reach their full potential by providing for basic needs such as food, shelter, access to medical care and positive mentoring. Organizations supported by this year’s fundraisers are: Homeless Emergency Project, Fresh Start for Kids, Highpoint YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Family First and GoodLiving Kids Charity Tampa Bay. volume 3, issue 3


people Jenny Hodges’ Tranformation Jenny struggled with her weight throughout her adult life. In one year, commuting and eating fast food took her from 185 to 250 on her wedding day. Then came three pregnancies in three years with no time in between to lose what was gained. Then one day in the back yard she fell. That was the moment she realized she had to change her life. Starting in October 2008 she began her two and half year transformation, one that was accomplished through diet and exercise alone. No surgery. No drugs. Just determination and help from Weight Watchers and group classes at her local Lifestyle Family Fitness Center. She lost 215 pounds, going from a size 32 to a size 6. Her drastic weight loss earned her a spot in a Weight Watchers commercial and a makeover on the Rachel Ray Show.

~ editor’s note ~ We use a site called to help us select winners to our contests. Little did we know that our winner for the Mother’s Day Pamper Package would be a local star. Jenny’s husband James told us, “My wife has lost over 200 pounds through diet and exercise, taught our family how to eat better, works full-time and takes care of three small children and me. She deserves it more than anyone I know.” Later, we discovered her website and talked with her to get the full story.

before after

“It all happened very fast and was kind of a whirlwind,” says Jenny of the media hype, which ended as abruptly as it arrived. Now this mild mannered school librarian is training to compete. First a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon and this fall, a 100-mile trek from Key Largo to Key West. She will be running, kayaking and biking in the Keys Challenge, sponsored by the Athena Foundation which honors women who overcome physical obstacles. Jenny is the first winner whose obstacle was obesity. “Forty has been amazing. Better than 20. Better than 30. I feel so good I feel like I could live to be 100,” says Jenny. She adds with more emotion, “Forty is just getting started. My family is young and there is so much ahead of us and I am in shape to do it.” Jenny’s goal is to motivate other people to lose weight by changing their eating habits and exercising, and she is living proof that it doesn’t take being on a TV show to do it. A healthy dose of determination and the decision to make one’s health a priority are the first two important steps.

Are you a Woman of Action? Find out more at 20 GoodLiving volume 3, issue 3

Jenny and GoodLiving magazine are teaming up to share her story in person. If you would like to get information about a future seminar, sign up for our e-newlsetter or like us on Facebook.

On Fatherhood and Marriage with Gary Smalley By PAMELA SETTLE

I recently had the opportunity to sit and talk privately with the renowned and accomplished marriage counselor, speaker and author, Gary Smalley, who now in his 80s has seen an awful lot of marriages, both good and bad. As an advocate for families and the value of dads, it was an honor to hear his wisdom as I questioned him about fatherhood and marriage.

Father to the Fatherless Fatherhood is not only important at home. Men need to realize their value to boys who lack a dad at their home. “Statistics tell us that 80% of kids from divorced parents will themselves get divorced, so role modeling can step in to break the cycle. Mentorship is so important to the success of our boys. Men must be mentors. They must take time to bless other boys.”

Men can help a boy learn how to deal with their anger that stems from not having a Fatherhood at Home father, he goes on to say. They can also teach First on fatherhood; he pulled no punches. “When a man goes passive, the home goes dead.” marriage basics such as the principle that a mate will not make that boy happy. He must Why are men passive? He feels the average learn to stand on his own with confidence. man is unaware of just how valuable he is; that they believe that their words and actions don’t mean anything. Just the opposite he says. On Marriage “A man’s words and actions are everything to his To be a successful husband, Smalley says family, even to his children when they’ve grown.” the number one thing a man should do is to He went on to say that men need to regularly highly value his mate. “How you treat a woman is a directly related to the value you place upon bless and praise their children; to not be her.” Holding her in high value on a daily judging and correcting all the time. basis is something a husband must do with “They don’t realize that most kids wonder intention. When a man shows more value to a why their dads can’t just love them.” job, sports or a computer, the wife will pick up on it and respond accordingly. The same with communication. The spoken word, attentive listening or remembering what she said are all Intensive Counseling indicators of perceived value. What are some signs a marriage is in distress? Secondly, he should create a safe place for Difficulty communicating well, his mate both physically and emotionally especially in disagreements because women need this. “Have an open One or both partners withdraw or heart and cherish your best friendship. This is avoid conversation as a result from a better than belittling or demeaning her.” negative conversation Talking negatively about the other person’s beliefs, feelings, thoughts or looks Believing a partner is constantly behaving or speaking more negatively than what is actually the case Discussions escalate to hostile levels A low level of commitment to one another, infidelity

With so many marriages failing today, I asked him if there is hope. He told stories of marriages at the point of no return that are saved on a regular basis through his son’s Marriage Intensive program. Michael and Amy Smalley operate this successful program from Houston. Couples in distress can choose from a one-, two- or three-day intensive counseling session on location.

Benefits of intensives are: Couples aren’t confined to the time restraints of brief weekly sessions Couples are away from daily distractions for the duration of their experience Couples work with a team of trained marriage counselors for a multi-day, focused, marriage counseling experience

His other son, Dr. Greg Smalley founded the National Institute of Marriage (NIM) as a non-profit so they could fund scholarships for counseling. NIM’s counseling services, enrichment seminars and published tools are a tremendous resource for anyone needing to boost their marriage. They also offer intensives to help couples in severe distress.

Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham at the Passionate Love Marriage Conference in Largo

Gary Smalley beams with pride as he shares the stories of how his sons are continuing the tradition of saving marriages. Gary himself has published dozens of books and DVDs on marriage, parenting and other relationships, many of which continue to be popular including: Keys to Loving Relationships (The best selling relationship video series of all time)

The Blessing The DNA of Relationships Winning Your Wife Back Before it’s too Late Guarding Your Child’s Heart Great Parents Lousy Lovers 4 Days to a Forever Marriage What’s next for Dr. Gary Smalley? He’s traveling with a new marriage seminar called “Passionate Love” with friends and collaborators Ted Cunningham and Joe White. He adds that he is watching with interest what Ryan Richardson of Branson is doing with spiritual healing as instructed in scripture. “This is something we lost centuries ago and I want to study and learn more about it.” Information about Smalley Ministries mentioned in this article can be found at

GoodLiving 21 volume 3, issue 3

Burn Calories!

Create Summer Memories with Your Family + by PETE COSENTINO The summer offers warm weather, beach days, barbeques and extra daylight for families to spend time together. Going for a walk with your kids at 8 p.m. is now possible. Working parents can use this extra time to fit in family activities and burn some calories all at the same time. Plus, it’s cooler in the evening, which makes for a more enjoyable outing and less sun exposure. Many times, it’s the simple things that get noticed and create long lasting memories. Remember going to the park, playing on the swing set, swimming after school or playing family baseball in the backyard? Most of these activities are budget-friendly or free and allow kids to get their creative juices flowing. It’s also a fun way for the whole family to exercise together.

Backyard Kickball Starting a game of kickball is easy and requires no advanced planning. Grab a ball, bases and your kids, and then have a ball! Fit Tip: Running will increase your heart rate and begin burning fat.

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Relay Races Races are an exciting and fast-paced activity for small or large groups and can be set up at the beach, park or in your backyard. Create a course, organize teams and even place some obstacles along the way (filling up a bucket with water or sand) for a more challenging race. Fit Tip: Combining cardio and interval training helps you burn calories even after your workout.

Kayaking If you live near the water, kayaking is a refreshing, adventure activity that lets you soak up the sun and explore nature. Fit Tip: Rowing is a low intensity workout that builds upper body strength and burns calories.

Walk on the beach for shells Beach days are relaxing, fun and bring so many possibilities! Create special memories with your kids by walking along the beach and finding shells. Once you’ve gathered a beautiful and unique collection, bring home the shells and save them to use for a craft. Fit Tip: Walking gets your muscles moving and blood flowing while building endurance.

Bike ride around the neighborhood With more daylight, this is an after dinner activity you can plan on the fly. It gets the family moving, out of the house and provides a full body workout. Fit Tip: Cycling builds strength and muscle tone, burns calories, improves coordination and reduces stress.

Go for a swim Around Tampa Bay, it’s convenient to find a pool to go for an evening swim. It’s an opportunity to socialize with other families, play with the kids and get fit. Fit Tip: Swimming increases muscle tone and strength, improves flexibility, burns calories and improves breathing functions.

Rock climbing walls, bounce houses and indoor trampoline jump centers Kids love to climb and jump on mostly anything! Give them a way to get out their energy and have a blast at a jump center or rock climbing wall. They’ll work up a sweat and tell their friends about it. Fit Tip: Rock climbing builds upper body strength, improves balance and increases teamwork and confidence. Jumping is a cardio workout that improves your heart health, balance and coordination.

Longer days = more time to play! Obstacle Course Party While obstacle courses bring back memories of game shows (e.g. Double Dare and reality show Survivor), they are a hit with all ages! The execution and set up will take some planning, but the results are well worth it. Your lawn or a local park (call ahead to make sure it’s okay) is an ideal place to set up your obstacle course. It can be made from items around the house: a wooden ladder, a table, pool ring toys, an inflatable pool and more. Get creative and even build a themed course (Superhero, princess, etc.). Record times and have an award ceremony to celebrate every child’s accomplishment. Obstacle ideas: Ladder Run: use pool rings, hula hoops or household items to create an area where you run through each ring as fast as you can. It’s very similar to how football players train. Balance Beam: Create a safe balance beam in the middle of the course that’s low to the ground. Balloon pit: Fill a kiddie pool full of balloons where each person uses a rope swing to swing into the pool. If no rope swing is available, kids can jump into the pool at the end before the finish line. Fit Tip: The course provides a variety of physical benefits including increasing endurance, speed and balance and improving heart health.

When your schedule is overflowing and you don’t have time to hit the gym these fun, family activities will give you the calorie burn you need to stay in shape. Spending time with family is priceless and enjoying the outdoors while shedding a few pounds is simply a bonus. For other ideas, check your local parks for family activities and events listings and make the most of the extra sunlight! About the author Pete Cosentino is the Vice President of Product Development at Lifestyle Family Fitness and a certified personal trainer.


{ Recipes } 15th Annual Summer Camp in the Kitchen SAUSAGE, EGGS AND CHEESE STRATA Yield: 12 servings 1 lb. hot or mild pork or chicken sausage, crumbled 1 lb. day-old bread, cut into 3/4” cubes 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup shredded Swiss, Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese 10 large eggs 3 cups half-and-half 1 cup scallions, finely chopped 1 tsp. dry mustard 1 tsp. salt Spray a 13”x9” casserole dish with vegetable oil spray. Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Place bread in the casserole and top with cheeses and sausage. Beat the eggs and add the half-and-half, scallions, mustard and salt. Beat until well blended. Pour over the bread mixture in pan. Cover with foil. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake, uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean and the top is light brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

BROCCOLI, LEEK AND CHEDDAR SOUP Yield: about 5 cups 2 tbsp. butter 2 leeks, thinly sliced white parts only 2 cups milk 2 cups cream 1 head broccoli, florets only, cut small 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste Melt the butter in a 2 qt. sauce pot over medium heat. Add the leek and sweat until tender. Gradually stir in the milk and cream. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Add the broccoli and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook until the broccoli is tender. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or food processor. Stir in the cheese and return to heat if necessary to melt the cheese. Season to taste and serve.

Recipes are courtesy of Chef Lewis and camp favorites

Local celebrity chef, John Lewis, has a long list of activities: cooking classes, catering, corporate team building, cookbook authoring, volunteering and serving as the official chef of the Daytime program seen on WFLA-TV. Add to all that a yearly summer camp where he teaches kids ages 8 to 15 how to cook. There are up to seven different camps with seven different menus, based on demand. Kids are there from 9 am to noon. The first day, they learn cutlery skills and by the end of the week, they are serving some pretty impressive meals to their guests. “Kids can handle any recipe we give them,” says Chef John. And he’s not talking little kid food here; he’s talking about adult dishes that can give a young person a very strong cooking foundation and spark an interest that can last a lifetime. For example in week #5, their lessons include: Lobster Bisque; Enchiladas; Garlic and Basil Chicken; Chocolate Shortcakes Ala Mode; Nut Crusted Whitefish with Mango Salsa; Chicken Florentine Soup; Pasta with Asparagus; Tomatillo, Cilantro and Green Chili Pilaf; General Tsao’s Chicken and Broccoli; Fried Banana Coins and more.

He teaches them to use whole, natural and organic ingredients when possible so they can learn to live without relying on processed food. During each camp he asks students their favorite restaurant and favorite restaurant food. Over the years, the answer has been mostly the same: “McDonalds and Chicken McNuggets.” He shares with them that McNuggets have 38 ingredients, and by the end of the week they come to appreciate homemade food enough that they change their minds about what is good. “The best hope we have, in general, is to teach kids how to eat healthy. We have the cheapest food in the world, which is sad because we are what we eat.” Starting again the fall, Chef John will teach adult cooking classes at St. Mark Lutheran church in Dunedin. He is available for catering private in-home parties or events up to 350 people. His corporate team building classes are held in the kitchen of the spectacular Penthouse at Beso del Sol overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. And if you need more, he has compiled 153 recipes from over the years into his cookbook, It’s All About the Food. For more information about the camp, his classes or to buy the cookbook, go to

GoodLiving 25 volume 3, issue 3

eating Cool Refreshments

Smoothies to the Rescue Enjoy the freshness of summer’s harvest by making cool and refreshing smoothies with fruits and vegetables. Yes vegetables. Smoothies can help get much-needed greens into everyone’s diet and no one has to know! Fit 4 All Kids Mango Kale Smoothie

What You’ll Need 1/2 cup mango nectar 6 oz. almond milk 1/2 cup frozen mangos 1/2 cup frozen bananas 1/4 cup fresh kale What You Do Blend all the ingredients at a high speed until smooth. Stop the blender 1 - 2 times to stir to ensure all the ingredients blend evenly. Ice can be added if the mango and banana are room temp and not frozen.

Zoku Ice pop maker A good way to get fresh produce into kids is by making it into creative frozen treats. Make them at home by scratch with the Zoku Quick Pop™ Maker in as little as seven minutes on your countertop without electricity. Simply store the compact base in your freezer, pull it out when you are ready, insert reusable sticks, pour juice mixture into molds and watch them freeze. The unit can make up to 9 pops before it needs refreezing. BPA and phthalate free. The ideas for recipes range from simple frozen lemonade to elaborate layered treats with fruit cut outs in them. Make special ones for the holidays or mix fruit juices with vegetables for a healthy addition to a summer breakfast. Zoku units come in single for $24.95, the duo for $36.95 and original which has three for $49.95. Shop for them and other accessories at Here’s a recipe for their Cherries and Cream Quick Pops, drizzled with melted chocolate. A yummy way to get the good antioxidants of fresh cherries and protein from Greek yogurt. Use your imagination to create pops using your favorite flavors and ingredients while saving money and enjoying healthy treats! Cherries and Cream Quick Pops

For the cherry base, blend these ingredients in a blender 6 ounces fresh pitted cherries ½ cup Greek vanilla yogurt ½ cup whole milk 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar To make the quick shell for drizzling Use a double boiler to melt together 2/3 cup of semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate chips with 1/3 cup of refined coconut oil.

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GoodLiving’s Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

What you’ll need ½ to 1 cup of frozen blueberries 1 banana ½ cup of Acai juice 1 heaping TBSP of Chia seeds 1 good hand full of fresh spinach Ice to taste What you do Blend all ingredients at a high speed until smooth. Stop the blender 1 - 2 times to stir to ensure all the ingredients blend evenly. Add more juice if needed.

Watermelons: the Ultimate Summer Treat This versatile and affordable fruit can make you a delicious Agua Frescas for a dinner party or get creative by carving it and filling it with melon balls. This recipe caught our eye because it’s a sweet treat without the fat calories of ice cream, and it’s very festive looking. You can avoid the whip cream and use honey instead of caramel. Have fun experimenting! Frozen Banana Watermelon Split

Ingredients: 3 bananas 1 cup melted semi sweet chocolate chips 18 ice cream scoops of seedless watermelon 1 cup pureed fresh raspberries 1 cup caramel sauce 2 cups sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping 1 cup chopped walnuts 6-12 maraschino cherries Instructions: Peel the bananas, and cut them at the midpoint then in half lengthwise to make 12 pieces. Dip them in the melted chocolate and place on a wax paper-lined tray. Freeze until chocolate is hard. Place 3 watermelon scoops in split or ice cream bowls and arrange banana slices on the sides. Spoon pureed raspberries over splits. Top with caramel sauce to taste and garnish with whipped cream, nuts and cherries. Makes 6 splits.

eating Fitlife Foods

If you could eat a homemade, chef-prepared, healthy meal for lunch every day would you? Of course you would! But personal chefs are for the rich and famous right? Not anymore. Thanks to Fitlife Foods, Chef Andrew Ruga, formerly of the Canyon Ranch Spa, is cooking meals from scratch on a daily basis for regular people like us. Good ideas, like inventions, often stem from necessity. Fitlife owner David Osterweil heads a busy family that desired to eat fresh, healthy food everyday, but found life got in the way. “We would collect healthy recipes from magazines, but we never had time to do the shopping or cooking. After a while, I thought, ‘there has to be a better way.’” As many of you know, there aren’t a lot of options out there. David knew it was possible to have big taste as well as big health, without tofu, sprouts and water with lemon for lunch and dinner. And so he set out to develop a business that would make good food convenient and affordable. The result is Fitlife Foods, a place to pick up and buy individually-packaged meals

that come in sizes small, medium and large because people have different calorie needs. There are meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with snacks and desserts, too. Food is prepared daily in their South Tampa culinary center by Chef Ruga, who has created 19 original sauces and 13 spice blends for all that added flavor. Eaters like variety, and so the menu gets new items every few weeks. Some options for meals are Feta Stuffed Chicken, Mama’s Turkey Meatloaf and Miso Marinated Salmon. Some new children’s options are on the way. All food containers are labeled so people on restricted diets can easily monitor what they are they eating. Nadine Mortensen, a wellness coach at the Clearwater location says they see a wide variety of customers: busy moms who buy for their families, health conscious and active singles and surprisingly, seniors who live alone or have health concerns. “We have a regular customer whose wife recently died and since she did all the cooking, he was lost. He comes in weekly to get fresh cooked meals that help him with his special diet.”

Go to Fitlife Foods in Clearwater at 2454 McMullen Booth Road. Stop to shop directly from their coolers and take the meals to go. There are a couple of small tables and a microwave, so feel free to eat there while you’re on the go. From the window you can watch cars go through a fast food drive-thru and feel really good about yourself for making a good choice. They are adding more pick-up locations for pre-orders, with the first one in St. Petersburg. Their website will have the rest of the details.

GoodLiving 27 volume 3, issue 3

gardening Locally Grown Fruits that

you’ve never heard of

by MELISSA KANARIS, Greendreams


Strawberry Tree

Sometimes we’re lucky to be Floridians. Other times we risk that luck with the hot and humid hurricane season. We risk it every year, just so our friends and family in the Midwest can drool over our Facebook post about our weekend dinner and drinks at the beach in November. There’s also something else that is fantastic about living in this sunshine state- it is highly acclaimed for its garden and grove potential. Florida gardeners are blessed with year-round growing opportunities and a fantastic climate when it comes to fruit diversity. Local fruit aficionados are “branching out” beyond citrus and are growing low-chill cultivars of peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots, plus a wide range of figs, pomegranates and tropical fruit trees. Some of these tropical fruits you might know from the “exotic fruit” section at your supermarket, but a few of them belong to the “Hidden Gems Fruit Club.” These fruits are so exclusive that the only way you will be able to try them is if you own your own tree or you know someone else who is growing them.


Miracle Fruit

Jaboticaba, Southeastern Brazillian Origin The Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora) is an amazingly curious tree to see in person during harvest season. Its fruitful clusters of dark purple bobbles form along the trunk and main branches of this majestic tree. • Each juicy delicacy has the texture of a standard “table grape,” with slightly tougher skin. • It is said that every day after the fruit is picked, its flavor changes to resemble a different fruit, from guava to passion fruit and all the way up to day nine, where it is said to have the sweetest flavor and smell. • The fruit can also be made into jellies and drinks and are available for harvest from February to May.

Miracle Fruit, West African Origin

The Miracle Fruit bush (Synsepalum dulcificum) produces mildly sweet, almost tasteless berries (year-round) that have one clever function- they give us “trickory of the taste buds” with a glycoprotein called miraculin. Miraculin binds to our tongue’s taste buds for Grumichama (Brazillian Cherry), South Brazillian Origin 30-90 minutes after 1 berry is consumed. These little red thrillers act The flavor the Grumichama (Eugenia braziliensis) is very similar to as a sweetness inducer, causing bitter and sour foods to taste sweet. a traditional market cherry from the northwest; which is different Miracle Fruit tasting parties have appeared all over the world, where from the tartness in most tropical cherry varieties that grow locally. party guests will snack on the berry, followed by lemons, radishes • Typically consumed fresh from hand, or for juicing, jams and and beer to experience the dramatic change in taste. It has been said baking (short shelf life) that Tabasco sauce will taste more like chocolate cake after eating • In Brazil, a tea is made from the leaves and used as an Miracle Fruit, so use caution when experimenting and don’t eat so astringent/diuretic and for rheumatism. many lemons that you jeopardize the enamel on your teeth. • Ripe clusters of fruit form from May to June, only 30 days after its blooms appear. Just to round off with some delicious diversity of other unusual Strawberry Tree (Muntingia), fruitsthat grow locally, Lychee fruit and Longan fruit are a really Central American and Caribbean Origin fun snacking experience for any age, as well as Canistel and Sapote The Strawberry Tree (Muntingia calabura) at my house is like fruit. You can learn about these creativecultivars at our website: having a year-round Skittles machine outside my door (minus The great thing about owning fruit trees is that the artificial color and flavoring). My family literally battles for they require far less care than a vegetable garden, as long as you the small berries when they ripen. The small and sweet-flavored can keep up with their fruitful gifts. Summertime is a great time to burgundy fruit of the Strawberry Tree has been compared to cotton plant them, as they will have plenty of time to establish their roots candy and has a similar texture to that of a blueberry. before they go dormant and take their winter season vacation.

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Remember, botanical diversity of fruits and vegetables plays a role in the biological effect of antioxidant phytochemicals- the wider your range of fruit diversity, the higher your intake of anti-aging nutrients.

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” John Adams founding father and co-author of the Declaration of Independence

Are you registered to vote? It is of the utmost importance for a citizen of the United States of America to know the issues, the candidates, and his or her conscience – and then vote. If you are18 years of age, a citizen of the United States of America and a legal resident of Florida and of the county where you intend to vote, you can and should register. Deadline to Register for the Primary Election

July 16, 2012

Deadline to Register for the General Election

October 9, 2012 Reader photo submitted by Brent Johnston Taken at Citi Center in Tampa

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Serendipity by DR. TERRY L. COLLIER

Serendipity means a “happy accident” or “Pleasant surprise,” the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it. The etymology of the word dates back to 1700’s when Horace Mann coined the phrase from the Persian fairy tale, “The Three Princes of Serendip,” whose hero was always making discoveries of things they were not in quest of. If you talk with David Yates, Chief Executive Officer, Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), for any length of time, you begin to hear the same theme Horace Mann heard in the fairy tale. The difference between David and Horace is that “Dolphin Tale” is a real story. Winter the dolphin is the result of a happy accident whose story is being told around the world, inspiring countless people of every age and demographic. What looks hopeless in one moment can be a great opportunity when the right actions are taken. ADOPTION. It is the common theme that brings St. Petersburg College, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Heart Gallery of Pinellas County, Ready for Life, and Eckerd Youth Alternatives together. Three years ago St. Petersburg College (SPC) joined with other organizations to observe or assess what some say is a tragedy or an accident: children and youth tangled in the nets of our foster care system. Together, we are constantly looking for solutions. The wonderful people who work for the Department of Children and Families and the state-funded agencies have a true heart for “our children and youth.” The same is true for the numerous organizations that recruit volunteers needed to fill the gaps that government is not equipped to fill. The serendipity with Winter began with a dolphin in a life threatening situation and no ability to survive on her own. CMA dispatched a rescue mission to free Winter from the nets that left her near death. A team of highly skilled professional marine veterinarians treated her medical issues. But ultimately it was Panama who saved her life because she adopted Winter. Panama is a mature female dolphin that lives at CMA, and according to David Yates, the miracle began to crystalize when Panama adopted Winter because dolphins are social animals that need “pair bonds” to thrive. The second chapter of the adoption story is that between Winter and the employees and volunteers at CMA, as told in the movie. A third chapter is now underway, as yet another dolphin who was injured in the same way at the same location is about to be paired with Winter. The new dolphin is named Hope and she was rescued just minutes after the cameras took the last shots of “Dolphins Tale” in December 2010. Two years later, Mr. Yates is beaming as he shares the news of Hope, soon to be Winter’s adopted sister. Can we all say “Sequel?” You still might be asking what all this dolphin story has to do with DCF, SPC, and the other organizations working with children and youth in the foster care system. The answers lie in the cumulative lessons learned. As a community we are learning about the resilience of our precious children and youth and what happens when we can provide above and beyond their physical needs, such as the giving of hope.

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David Yates and Terry Collier with Winter. Photo courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Hope can come with adoption, safe homes, education, and a family that loves and cares for them. For every child that does not find a forever family, it reminds us that we are not doing enough and that is why we are working together to do more. Hope can also come when an unlikely partner, a marine aquarium, becomes a strong advocate for adoption. Yates realizes he can leverage Winter’s fame to raise awareness and funds for adoption causes. Right now, fans can adopt Winter by donating money, and a portion of the funds will go to the Heart Gallery. Agencies are doing more with youth who are aging out of the system at age 18 by getting them help and skills to transition into adulthood. Ready for Life is a local organization making a difference in this area. They joined with SPC and CMA to sponsor over 100 “aged out” youth this past Thanksgiving for a day of learning, fun, and planning for their future. CMA served as host and Winter gave everyone a lesson on how life can be a serendipity. We are learning in Pinellas County and around our state that partnering together when it comes to our children and youth is a great investment in our future. Winter the dolphin has literally given Clearwater Marine Aquarium the opportunity of a lifetime to educate and inspire others for years to come. Some will say it was just coincidence that Winter was rescued, and survived – and that it was just a matter of good timing because CMA was about to close its doors. Still others will see that serendipity happens when you do more than stare at the accidents.

Winter the Dolphin Brings Good to Many by PAMELA SETTLE Americans love a story of triumph. We respond to those who overcome adversity to achieve greatness, and use their examples to help us in our own lives. In the true story of Winter, an injured dolphin becomes the heroine, surviving a medical crisis and learning to swim with a prosthetic tail. The story comes with many other heroes, and it’s a story that has just begun. American heroes, injured veterans, are a special part of this story. Long before the movie, Dolphin Tale, was released, Winter was already inspiring injured veterans to persevere and overcome their injuries. The veteran’s hospital in Tampa, which cares for some of the most injured soldiers, regularly brings patients to see and be inspired by Winter. One such veteran, a lieutenant named Russ, had given up on life. His recovery was about living with an amputated right arm and a left side disabled from a brain injury. He approached Winter’s platform on a walker and in some mysterious human-to-dolphin way, they connected. Two weeks later, Russ’ mom called to say that his attitude had drastically changed. He was saying, “If Winter can do this, so can I.” Now two years later, Russ is living on his own and inspiring others. The weekend the movie was released, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) received 10,000 emails from fans who were inspired and since then thousands more. Families travel across the country to bring their loved ones to visit Winter. Many young heroes, children afflicted with autism, cancer and physical disabilities, want a moment to connect with Winter. Seeing her is a positive trigger that has changed many a child’s life so far. If they can’t travel, they watch her online. David Yates, CMA’s director, made it possible for young Braden, living with cancer in Wichita,

Kansas, to see Winter via Skype. And again for a child in Boston whose dying wish was to talk to Winter. They rushed him a stuffed Winter toy, they connected on Skype and five hours later, he died. It’s hard not to tear up thinking that a dolphin from Clearwater is granting dying wishes to children, inspiring people of all ages to overcome their challenges and healing injured veterans.

Winter Keeps on Giving Winter’s survival depended upon being adopted by Panama the dolphin and the CMA staff. David Yates is using Winter’s popularity to help increase human adoptions as told in Terry Collier’s story on preceding page. When Winter was brought to the CMA, staff could never have imagined that this injured dolphin would not only save the Clearwater Marine Aquarium from closing its doors, but she would boost the local economy, as well. Recent improvements to the aquarium include movie memorabilia that is worth coming back to see. Medical personnel working with her prosthesis needed to find a way to keep her sensitive skin from being damaged. The result is Winter’s Gel, a new product that is now helping thousands of human patients walk pain free on their prosthetic legs. Educators are using Winter’s story to teach lessons to school children. A principal in Orlando is using Winter the Dolphin pencils as rewards and giving students a weekend with a stuffed Winter toy as reward for good behavior. She says that Winter’s message of hope has changed the atmosphere of her school. Her story isn’t over. There are many, many more heroes who will be inspired by her triumph. And then there is a new dolphin named Hope. Together Winter and Hope will write the next chapter of this dolphin’s tale.

GoodLiving 31 volume 3, issue 3

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parenting from GoodLiving’s featured local blogger

Calley Pate

This Summer, Baby’s Favorite Color is

to find out that higher SPFs may not actually be safer for you. An SPF of 30 is generally considered to be a safe number but will still require us to reapply throughout the day.


Living green is becoming a way of life, especially for families with babies and young children. From the time your baby comes home from the hospital you start paying closer attention to the chemicals that come in contact with your baby. You start to research the ingredients in everything from baby wash, lotions, sunscreens, bug sprays and even diapers, looking for the healthiest options available. Our skin is a permeable surface and chemicals found in personal care products (soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc) can easily be absorbed into our bodies. Babies are especially vulnerable to these chemicals, including those that we put on their skin, hands and face. It may surprise you that many popular baby products are rated poorly on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database, a database that ranks products based on their actual ingredients ( Some ingredients that you should avoid in your baby’s (and your) skin care products include fragrances, phthalates, parabens, and certain preservatives. These healthy skin care products are often labeled as natural or eco-friendly and can be found at your local stores. One of my favorite brands of eco-friendly soaps and skin care products is EcoStoreUSA ( They make all of their products in the U.S. and are an approved Healthy Child Healthy World sponsor.

If you’ve been around a pool or park at night in Florida, you know the bugs can be annoying. Before you reach for that spray repellant consider once again that the chemicals inside the bug sprays will absorb into your baby’s skin. Some tips for keeping the bugs away naturally include wearing long sleeves and avoiding skin care products with fragrances which attract bugs. What you eat can also make you less attractive to our stinging and biting friends. Eating lots of garlic or drinking one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar have been known to repel bugs naturally. A simple homemade bug spray can be made by mixing 10-25 drops of essential oils like lemon balm (citronella), pennyroyal or lavender along with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Mix these ingredients in a spray bottle and lightly spray your children before they play outside at night time. Chemicals are in so many baby products that it may be easy to overlook, especially when it comes to diapering our babies. Did you know that disposable diapers contain toxic chemicals like dioxin, tributyl-tin, and sodium polyacrylate? All are known carcinogens and we are wrapping our babies in these diapers for almost 24 hours a day for the first two to three years of a baby’s life. You may think that cloth diapers are extinct, but they are making a huge comeback (in actuality they never went away) and are just as easy to use as disposable diapers. The modern advances in cloth diapering include velcro closures, organic and natural fabrics, and a rainbow of colors, prints, and patterns. To learn about the modern cloth diapering options available today visit Kelly’s Closet, the largest online retailer of cloth diapers and eco-friendly baby products ( To learn more about the chemicals found in these and other products that our children are exposed to every day be sure to visit the non-profit organization, Healthy Child Healthy World, who help educate and empower parents to know how to keep their babies safe and free of toxic chemicals (

About our guest blogger: Calley Pate is a wife and mother of two who loves to share her passion for the environment with others. Calley is the Being raised in a sunny state like Florida, we have to be very author of The Eco Chic blog where careful with our family’s sun protection. The damaging effects of she writes about green living, natural the sun’s rays are especially harmful to babies and small children. parenting and is a well-known advocate Doctors do not recommend using sunscreen for babies less than six for cloth diapers. Calley is also social months of age. Instead it is suggested that you keep babies out of media specialist and regular columnist direct sunlight during the peak hours of 10am - 4pm. If you must at Kaia Magazine ( be in the sun during those peak hours, the most effective way to for sustainable living in real life. Calley protect young skin is to cover it up. Wearing special clothing that and her family make their home in Palm protects against UV rays, sitting under an umbrella or inside a Harbor. beach tent will keep your little one’s skin healthy. Hayes Studios Find her blog at and It’s not always possible to stay out of the sun and that’s when we follow her on Facebook. resort to using sunscreen. Again, just like with other skin care products, sunscreens can also contain hidden chemicals. When you are shopping for a sunscreen, there are a few things you should look GoodLiving for. Mineral sunscreens are considered safer because they are more volume 3, issue 3 stable and they don’t penetrate the skin. You may also be surprised


A Mother’s Day Post-Mortem:

Was Something Missing From Your Special Day? By MADELINE LEVINE, PHD

Here are a few tips to get you started: All year long, seize opportunities to teach empathy. Ask your kids, “How would you feel if it was your birthday and no one noticed?” But also ask them, “How do you feel when somebody remembers something special?” For younger kids, have them consider their own feelings (that’s what they’re best at!). For older kids, ask them to put themselves in the shoes of someone else. Kids are naturally self-centered, but you can counter that tendency by frequently reminding them to consider the feelings of others. Do this and you’ll end up with nicer, more empathetic kids. And as a bonus, they’ll be more sensitive to making sure you have a happy Mother’s Day, or even birthday, in the future.

Use teachable moments to make your expectations known. We have this magical idea that if our spouse and kids love us they should “know” what we want for special days like Mother’s Day. They don’t. We have to teach them. It’s not necessary to boldly state, “This is the kind of gift I want.” But you can teach the lessons inside casual conversations about how to buy gifts for people for occasions that happen all year—birthdays, graduations, Christmas, and so forth. Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. Be honest, Mom: how special was your special day…really? While you adore your kids and know they love you, you may have come away with the unsettling sense that May 13th could have been any other day. Once our kids get past the preschool-mandated artwork—which back then moved us to tears—the gifts tend to become less and less thoughtful. A generic card. A generic bouquet. Maybe just an obligatory phone call. The problem isn’t the gift itself, of course, and it certainly isn’t the price tag attached to it. At the risk of sounding trite, it is the thought that counts. If you could recapture the sweet glow that once lit up your child’s face as she proudly presented you with the smeared handprint on construction paper that she toiled over at preschool… well, you’d trade any material possession for that earnest expression of love. As I explain in my newest book Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success, too many mothers who’ve given their all to their kids end up feeling hurt and unappreciated at Mother’s Day, their birthday, Christmas and other special days. When we devote everything to our kids—all our free time, all our energy, all our disposable income—we shouldn’t be surprised when they come to believe the moon and stars revolve around them. Entitled children are the inevitable outcome of time and resources that are wildly and disproportionately assigned to the children and not the adults in the family. But here’s the good news: no matter how disappointing May 13th may have been, it’s not too late for change. While it won’t happen overnight, you can start to slowly turn this ship around and have more thoughtful and considerate children.

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Teach kids to think a little more deeply about their friends and family. When you buy a gift for someone, narrate your thought process: “I’m getting these purple gardening gloves for Grandma because she loves working in her flower bed and also because purple is her favorite color.” Also, urge them to notice what works and what doesn’t—Aunt May has never been seen wearing the blouse they bought, but she never comes over without the earrings that were a gift. When you teach kids how to get specific about people’s likes and dislikes, they’ll naturally apply these lessons to the gifts they buy for you. This will help ensure that you don’t get a Dustbuster…again.

Ask a spouse or someone else to remind kids when big days for you are coming. You want kids to see and feel gratified by your delight when they present the big gift. It’s the good feelings they get that will reinforce their new found consideration for others. They won’t get to have that experience if they forget the day altogether or don’t have time to prepare. It also helps model an important aspect of being a spouse— consideration for their mate. One day your children’s own spouses will thank you.

Own your part of the problem. By giving up your life and your interests to be fully childcentric at all times, you’ve taught kids that nothing matters as much as their needs. Girlfriends and even spouses fall by the wayside as you spend weekend after weekend sitting in the bleachers watching your kids play endless soccer games. If you teach them that their needs always trump yours, then don’t be shocked when they learn the lesson well.

When asked about the absence of thought or presents on Mother’s Day, many kids will respond with “I was busy” or “I’m saving up for World of Warcraft.” If you hear those kinds of self-centered comments, it’s time to reorder your family priorities. Make sure everyone knows that you count! Family life is a collaborative effort. Everyone gets to play.

Start making adulthood attractive. One of the most important things we do in encouraging our children’s growth is to make adulthood look like something to be excited about. If your child gets an Xbox for his birthday and you’re content with grocery store carnations, well, who in their right mind would want to grow up? It’s time to change this perception! Next year, bring your spouse or significant other in on Mother’s Day plans (and be sure you do the same for Father’s Day). Make the day exciting and about you. It’s time to stand up for yourself. Let your husband know that the 10K race he wants to run—while you monitor the kids—is not your idea of a Mother’s Day present. Your delight at being really “tuned into” helps your kids learn the pleasure of really “getting” another person and assures them that all fun doesn’t end at age 12.

Don’t expect the change to be easy. Our whole culture is centered on advancing and promoting our kids. Opting out is literally a countercultural move. It will feel uncomfortable at first—even wrong. Parenting habits are hard to break, especially when they’re supported by advertising and neighborhood values that make it seem like it’s the most natural thing in the world to be overly involved in our children’s every move. But you’re not doing kids any favors when you buy into this mindset.

Remember that the science says we’ve got it all backwards—that kids thrive when they’re challenged and not micro-managed. Have a family discussion about the changes you’d like to make and institute them slowly. It’s much better to have a slow rearranging of priorities that is successful than a radical change that falls on its face. So starting today, why not give yourself the best (slightly belated) Mother’s Day gift of all: Vow to make this the year you get a more well-rounded life. You’ll also be giving your kids a gift: a mother who is happy, engaged with life and willing to carve out pockets of interest, contribution and development for herself. There is no greater predictor of a child’s happiness. About the Author: Madeline Levine, PhD, is a bestselling author. Her latest book, Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success, will be available in July at bookstores nationwide and from all major online booksellers. A clinician, consultant, and educator, she is a cofounder of Challenge Success, a program at the Stanford School of Education. For more information, please visit

parenting CONNECT: Resources for Parents of Special Needs Children By PAULA KEYSER As a parent advocate, peer counselor and parent of a special needs child, I’ve learned that summer can be a good time to research, regroup and recharge my batteries. Here are some suggestions that will help you connect and find the best resources for your child.

Stay connected with other families through the summer. If your child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), it is possible to get Extended School Year Services (ESY) which happens during the summer. But more often than not, families find themselves home trying to find things to do to keep busy. Our Pinellas County School Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Department has a listing of summer camps and other workshops and items of interest. You can find them online at by clicking Important News. While you are there, you may also want to sign up to receive information via email. You can also explore more under the Parent Information tab. Here you will find out about accommodations, definitions and other useful resources. Summer is a great time to review your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and make sure the goals set forth are appropriate and attainable. You may also want to make sure that your child’s present levels represent your child correctly. If not, make sure you request a meeting at the start of the school year to update this plan of action for your child.

Bright Feats is a resource magazine for families, caregivers and adults with medical, educational or special needs. It is loaded with resources to help families/caregivers find what they need to help their loved ones. Find them at Check out their calendar of events. They also have a comprehensive listing of schools that participate in the McKay Scholarship program for students with disabilities. The program was originally created in 1999 and provides scholarships for eligible students with disabilities to attend an eligible public or private school of their choice. For more information about the McKay program you can go online at

Recommended Websites Able Village is a free social support and resource platform for health conditions and disabilities. Autism Link provides opportunities for support, diagnosis, therapeutic services, inclusion and information, free of charge. Brave Kids serves children with disabilities and chronic/lifethreatening illnesses by providing a support community and information and resources on numerous medical conditions. Central Directory provides services to thousands of families and providers seeking advocacy, education, training, resources and referral, and information on disability and special health care services available in their communities.

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Another resource you may want to check out is the Central Florida Parent Center website at They have an interactive calendar of events that are happening locally in addition to lots of online training modules about Exceptional Student Education and learning how to advocate for your child. They will also provide oneon-one support via phone or in person with their network of parent support liaisons to help you advocate for your child.

Coming up June 15-17 in Orlando is the 14th Annual Family Café Conference. This is one conference you will want to attend. It is a three-day statewide event designed to meet the informational and networking needs of individuals with disabilities or special health care needs and their families. The conference itself is FREE to families with children with special needs. In July, Miami will host the International Fragile X Conference. The National Fragile X Foundation’s bi-annual international event presents a unique opportunity where researchers and parents can interact throughout the conference. For more information and details go to

You may also want to connect with the Family Network on Disabilities. They have their Heart and Hope conference coming up on August 25th at Dunedin Middle School. Heart and Hope is a FREE, full day event that is designed to help bring individuals who are at risk, families who have children with disabilities, and the professionals that serve them awareness in regard to their options and rights that are available to them within the school system and beyond. For more information and details go to

Complex Child is a monthly online magazine written by parents of children with special healthcare needs and disabilities. It is intended to provide medical information, along with personal experiences in simple language that all parents can understand. Disability Rights Florida is a nonprofit organization providing protection and advocacy services in Florida to those with disabilities. Florida Developmental Disabilities Resources is a resource to help families to locate providers who can best serve them. My Child Without Limits is an authoritative early intervention resource for families of young children ages 0-5 with developmental delays or disabilities. One Place for Special Needs is an information network and social community that allows the disabled community to share resources and make connections in their own neighborhoods.

Paula Keyser is a Family Resource Specialist with Early Steps and the parent of a child with special needs. She is also a volunteer Certified IEP Support Parent with the Central Florida Parent Center.

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Julianna says “Say it Now” by PAMELA SETTLE Shortly after baby daughter Cruze was born in September 2011, Julianna Zobrist went back to work, carefully putting the finishing touches to her second CD called Say it Now, available for sale at, on iTunes and at Family Christian Stores. “These songs are from a journal first. At my shows, I hear stories from my audience; their struggles and joys; their stories of love and lost love. So I write my music for them, to be real, to use my gift,” says Julianna about the creative writing process for her original work. “Working with producers is fun; it’s food for my soul.” The lyrics have meaning to go along with the fun, upbeat music. A few of the songs, like Say it Now are so lively they would be great accompaniment for running or exercising. I can actually see youth groups doing aerobics to her music and their moms running with her songs on the MP3 player. The songs feel good and the lyrics are thoughtful and age appropriate for tween girls and boys who are looking to be pumped up by their music. The slower paced songs like Safe will speak to their developing emotions and faith. In Crazy Fearless she asks, “Tell me who you are living for.” And then the chorus is an ageless call to action, “Be brave until the world can hear us. I dare us to be contagious. Let’s get crazy, crazy fearless.” But it’s the girl power anthem Say it Now that is the star of the CD. The lyrics that encourage females to speak from their hearts; to value themselves for more than their physical beauty; to follow their passions; and to be heard all go along with the mission and purpose of GoodLiving magazine, and so I have adopted it as my unofficial song. Not to mention the danceable music behind the words easily motivate a 4-minute dance break. Julianna gets dance videos sent to her. “I’m literally blown away. It makes my heart explode to see the videos of kids jamming to my songs in the van on the way to school or dancing in the kitchen. I want these boys and girls to be bold, to be unashamed of their faith. That’s what it’s all about.” Julianna Zobrist has remarkable talent and beauty. And fortunately for us she uses them both to share positive, meaningful messages with young people. At the same time, she is a role model to others by being who she is as a Godly wife and devoted mother. Oh yeah, and biggest fan of husband Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays. Together they make appearances to speak and sing to groups. Information is on their website

business Leading our Schools to Greatness By PAMELA SETTLE

part one

There was a clear sense of urgency and determination around the table at the Pinellas Education Foundation (PEF) as I sat with their CEO Terry Boehm, board president Craig Sher, CEO of The Sembler Company and incoming board president James Myers, President and CEO of Crown Automotive Group. A separate interview was conducted with board member Gary Regoli,President and CEO of Achieva Credit Union. This is Part I of a very candid and honest discussion about education in Pinellas County.

The Superintendent Gap Although every issue discussed was pressing and timely, the need to select the best candidate for the open superintendent position ranked high on the list of priorities for the PEF. Sher has been outspoken in front of the school board about the need to make this choice the best one possible. The point was made that over the past years, the average span of a superintendent has been three years and that the turnover rate has cost the district continuity and the benefit of strong leadership. “Universities that get presidents to stay a long time see advancement. If a company changed their CEO every three years, that company would be in a lot of trouble,” said Sher. Another key point is that the Pinellas County School District is the largest “company” in Pinellas County, with the largest budget at $1.3 billion and four times the employees of any other business. “We need to search nationally for the best candidates to run this district and not limit ourselves with phrases that start with ‘We can’t,’” said Myers. Added Sher, “We need a change of mindset. We need to dare to be great. We need to think big and not settle for mediocrity.” He continued, “Shareholders of a company this size would demand the best leadership to take it to the future. Taxpayers are the shareholders of the school system and they need to demand the best, even if it means finding more money to get the best.”

Pictured L to R: James Myers, Terry Boehm and Craig Sher.

“A school superintendent is the hardest job in the country. We need the best and we need to cast a wide net,” said Regoli. They all agreed that finding the right leadership for the long-term future is fundamental to the district’s success. And they were very clear that every citizen, every business owner and every parent is a stakeholder that should be watching the decision-making process for the next superintendent and that it’s far too important to be taken lightly.

Savings for Classrooms

In 2010, members of the PEF board of directors were in discussions with then Superintendent Julie Janssen and school board members about how they might collectively be able to identify cost savings during an extremely challenging budget climate. The result is a report released this past April that can save the district about The group was in agreement that money shouldn’t be issue. “The biggest impact on the greatest number of people is public education,” $30 – 40 million a year, or about $150,000 a day. said Myers. “It impacts the entire area.” It’s titled Savings for Classrooms and is the result of bringing together some of the best business minds in the area to study six different As business leaders, they count on a qualified workforce coming out operational aspects of district’s budget: Construction, Energy, of the schools, and as a county, they say we will have a hard time Human Resources, Maintenance, Purchasing and Transportation. attracting new businesses without a stellar school system. They shared a real life example of a software company that was considering St. Petersburg, Raleigh and Austin. The company did not choose St. Petersburg and according to Sher, the school system was the deciding factor.

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The PEF brought in a consultant to organize the 32 business volunteers into six committees. They spent months working with district staff to study operations and identify areas to save money. “Staff already had good ideas, but they needed someone to come in and block and tackle for them. They had a thirst for what we were doing,” said Sher.

An important point to make is that they aren’t trying to tell administrators how to teach. This particular report is not about academics. The consensus is that they are business people who know how to run large businesses. They are extending expertise in operations and business practices, and they are doing it for free! Organizations pay big money for expert consultation, and again, the word urgency comes to play as they talk about the budget “It comes down to a sense of urgency,” added Myers. “And also the realities facing classrooms. Programs are being cut and teachers priority that this is about the kids.” Sher and Myers both commented are teaching more students. Because they want the best for that their expectations for any savings achieved from Savings for students and teachers, they felt it was necessary to lend a hand. Classrooms would go to the classrooms and more specifically, to the teachers. “As a rule teachers are underpaid and we fully acknowledge More importantly as the business community, they felt it was their responsibility. that teachers aren’t getting paid for what they do,” said Myers. The board members of the PEF are doing everything they’d like Regoli added to this sentiment by saying that teachers are a to see other business leaders do: give time and talents to invest passionate work force; teaching children because it’s a calling. in the education of our young people for the good of the entire “They are woefully unrecognized for what they do day in and day county and to ensure good times and good economic growth in out for students. We can’t lose that focus. We need to help them the future. maintain that passion.” Now that the report is finished, the PEF has the task of turning their cost-saving measures into reality. “We know they aren’t going to love 100 percent of the recommendations because they aren’t all simple. But it’s roughly a savings of $150,000 a day. As a CEO in the private sector, I would be fired for not saving my company that kind of money,” said Sher.

The gentlemen speaking on behalf of the PEF believe that implementing cost-cutting measures will show taxpayers that the district is serious about demonstrating efficiency and being good stewards of tax dollars. Throughout the entire conversation, their points underscored the necessity for the school district to adopt a more corporate mindset, especially when it comes to choosing leadership and modernizing their operations to be more cost effective. They also believe that attitude plays an important role from the superintendent to the student. If there’s a feeling of greatness, there will be greatness.

The report Savings for Classrooms is available on the PEF’s website at See Part II of this conversation in the next issue of GoodLiving magazine.

Debt-burdened Graduates: A Wake-up Call by STEVEN J. LEE The student loan crisis in America has reached staggering proportions. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt is now nearly one trillion dollars—an amount that exceeds what the country owes in credit card debt or the total amount of all auto loans. Of the 37 million burdened by student loan debt, more than 4 million owe in excess of $50,000. The average borrower owes $25,000. The implications are social as well as economic. Nearly 44 percent of 2010 graduates reported they would delay buying a house because of the burden of student loans; 22 percent reported they would delay forming a family and having children. Meanwhile, a virtual Twilight Zone is developing for the roughly 36 million Americans who have attended college without earning a bachelor’s degree. Changing career plans, leaving university early or failing for any reason to graduate drops borrowers into the worst of all worlds—potentially limited career options combined with a mountain of debt. So it’s no surprise that many students are asking, “Is it still worth it to invest in a four-year college education?” Here are some facts:

Lifetime Earning Power -Bachelor’s degree: $2.8 million -Some college, without a degree: $1.5 million -High school diploma: $1.3 million Of course, college is more than just a way to prepare for the work world. It can be a time to slowly transition into the adult world, a place to discover interests, test skills, build contacts and sometimes find a life partner. All nice, but these experiences come at a definite price. The average four-year college graduate who borrows the full amount of tuition and fees will not earn enough until age 33 to compensate for being out of the workforce for those years. There is also no guarantee of employment after graduation. Today, one out of two college graduates is unemployed or underemployed, without benefits such as health insurance. At this moment, delinquencies on student loans top 21 percent of the loans currently outstanding. Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and deadbeat status can interfere with access to credit cards, a home mortgage and other perks of a middle class life. The government will use its overwhelming power to force debtors to meet their obligations, and private student loan companies have almost the same pressure points. The government collects 85 cents on the dollar from defaulters, as compared to a credit card collector who can expect to recoup about 10 cents on the dollar. The bottom line is eventually borrowers will have to pay the bill on the full student loan.

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What can parents and students do to minimize risks and maximize benefits from investment in a bachelor’s degree?

Tips for Parents Help your child select a college or university with a reputation in the academic fields s/he finds of interest. Avoid variable rate loans in which payment costs could rise rapidly. Pay as much of the costs as you can afford and don’t over-borrow because of easy student credit standards. Calculators found at will help you plan basic tuition, room and meal plan costs.

Tips for Students Think carefully about a future career and what you enjoy doing. Never borrow for a vacation or consumer products. Get a part time job for spending money. Be sure your college loan has a grace period after graduation before payments start so you can land on your feet. We are at the point of time in the U.S. where college may not be the correct choice for everyone. College graduates don’t want to be lugging around a huge debt load in a difficult job market. The race to a satisfying career may be won without a sheepskin on the wall. There are many important trade careers that can offer a rewarding alternative and provide a standard of living equal to or greater than college specialties. After all, the richest man in America doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree and I bet he doesn’t miss it.

Steven J. Lee is the author of The Money Plan: Creating Wealth Independence for a Secure Future. He is a former CEO and entrepreneur, and currently runs a $40 million private investment fund. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University, a law degree from Fordham University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is married, has two adult children, and makes his home in Florida.

My Story by DR. WAYNE ANDERSON One year after I raised my right hand to serve my nation, I found myself deploying to Afghanistan. As the date approached, tension and fear of the unknown grew stronger. There is nothing harder than trying to explain deployment to young kids. I made it a point to ensure my boys understood why daddy was leaving and where I was going. Together we found Afghanistan on a map; I told them why my job was important and did my best to assure them I would be safe. The only problem is… kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit. Christopher, my 7-year old, while not fully comprehending the reason for me leaving knew that war was bad, and Jacob knew that I would miss his sixth birthday. The first lesson we learned about Afghanistan is selfless service on my part and selfless While the world was ringing in the New Year support from my family, but it pales in in 2012, I was preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan, and in early January, around 3 a.m., comparison to those children who have experienced the greatest sacrifice, the loss I arrived safely to Kandahar Air Field with a of a mother or father. ruck sack and three heavy duffle bags in tow. I know God led me to my wife; she is my Once I found my room, I unpacked my gear, and best friend, my soul mate. We realized that stopped when I found a very special book, my Bible. when I deployed, Julie would be taking care of Thumbing through the pages, I found the picture of everything until my return. We both struggled my beautiful wife, Julie, and our two boys, smiling with the unknown, and the night before my back at me. Seeing the picture took me back to departure I prayed, “God, protect my family.” Florida. Their smiles gave me strength… now I My time passed by quickly, there were good was ready to meet my commander. times and not so good. During the not so As family, friends, and colleagues found good times, my Bible offered guidance, out I was deploying, the most common comfort, and truth. Turning to God through question asked was, “Why would a 40-year prayer provided me peace, and on occasion old husband, father, and physician join the calmed nerves and soothed heartache. Army Reserve?” Sure, there was a sense of patriotism of serving my Country and being an officer in the finest Army in the world, but I wanted to do my part to ensure our troops came home. Taking care of our wounded and injured service members is the greatest honor one can have. I knew that I needed to do my part and be there. As a medical physician, I have to be on the battlefield to have an impact; I cannot provide medical care from the comfort of my living room.

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In the midst of war, I formed everlasting friendships and strong bonds with the finest men and women the military has to offer. I am humbled and truly blessed to serve with them and share the experience of a lifetime that I will never forget. I am amazed by America’s support toward the military. Words cannot explain the feeling when someone approaches me to say “Thank you.” I want to personally express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has performed a random act of kindness to any service member. When I redeployed home, my wonderful wife greeted me at the airport, and all I could do was hold her. Arrangements were made for me to surprise my boys at school, but to my astonishment, I was the one shocked when the student body of Skycrest Christian School welcomed me home. The word “Daddy” never sounded so sweet. That night I prayed “Thank you.” As the Fourth of July approaches, my thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones. No words can ease the pain, but know that my family and I will never forget. “To the world they were someone; to someone they were the world.” Written by Army Reserve Capt. Wayne Anderson, a physician in the 7222d Medical Support Unit, Southeast Medical Area Readiness Support Group, Army Reserve Medical Command, Tampa, Florida. Photos provided by Corey Conroy Photography

2012 Summer Issue  
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