Page 1

March 2019

Vol. 12 Issue 3

Family Night Out page 24

Busch Gardens Celebrates 60 Years of Adventure page 37

R e a d y, S e t, G o ! Dungy Diaries

Tech-Savvy Seniors

Parenting 101

p. 19

p. 39

p. 40

Publisher: Editor: Contributing Editor: Designer: Web Developer:

Rodney Beck Jennifer Beck Linda Crumley Michael Crumley Matthew Crumley

For advertising opportunities: © Gulf Coast Family Publications 2019

Spring is Nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!” – Robin Williams

Gulf Coast Family Publications P.O. Box 3803, Seminole, FL 33775 Phone: (727) 612-0783 Fax: (727) 865-5135 Gulf Coast Family Newspaper is printed monthly, and is distributed throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Gulf Coast Family is available in distribution racks in many local Chick-fil-a restaurants, McDonald’s, CVS Stores, R-Clubs, Walgreens, Joto’s Pizzerias, Carmelita’s, After Hours Pediatrics, Cornerstone Banks, LA Fitness, Shapes, and Regions Banks in these counties, along with many other restaurants, shopping centers, churches, libraries, government offices, and over 200 day care centers and schools. For questions or comments, call (727) 612-0783 or email

Gulf Coast Family Publications encourages your input. To comment on one of our articles or to submit photos and articles for possible publication, simply email Submission of your photos and letters constitutes permission to Gulf Coast Family Publications, publisher of the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper, to use them in all media. All submissions become the property of Gulf Coast Family Publications and will not be returned. We reserve the right to edit as necessary, and all submissions will be used at our discretion.

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No portion of the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. The opinions of contributing writers are not necessarily those of the publishers. Gulf Coast Family Publications assumes no liability for products, 2869 54th Avenue N, St. Pete services, or statements made by advertisers. Neither 727.521.6931 Gulf Coast Family Publications nor the advertisers Infants-VPK • License # C984169 can be held liable for typographical errors, misprints, or misinformation contained herein. The publishers 4500 38th Avenue N, St. Pete reserve the right to edit and refuse editorial and/or 727.526.1038 advertising which does not meet the publication’s Ages 2-5 (2 large shaded playgrounds) standards. All are reserved. License rights # CO40402 501 39th Street N, St. Pete


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VPK ELC Provider Accredited Preschool Home COOKED Meals Included!

Developing Young Minds. Our parents Our Mission: Developing Young Minds. Our parentsand Mission: staff are PARTNERS, working together to meet Our Our Mission: Developing Young Minds. and staff are PARTNERS, working together Our to parents meet the needs of the children and their families. and staff are working together to meet Our Mission: Developing Young Our parents andthe the staff needs arePARTNERS, of PARTNERS, the children children working andMinds. their together families. to meet needs and families. and the staff are of PARTNERS, working together to meet needs ofthe the children andtheir their families. the needs of the children and their families.

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CHILDREN AREN’T TINY ADULTS. AND WE’RE TRAINED NOT TO TREAT THEM THAT WAY. More than health care. Kid care. In an emergency, you want your child to be treated by the medical team who knows them best. Our pediatric emergency specialists understand the unique medical needs of children. They have years of specialty training in pediatric emergency medicine including pediatric critical care. In other words, our experts have spent a lot of extra time focusing only on kids. So even though they may try to act grown up, your kid is still just a kid. And we’ll be sure to give them the special treatment they deserve. Learn how our pediatric emergency medicine physicians can make a difference in your child’s ER experience:


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March 2019 • 3

March 2019


Summer Camp Directory

to Parent 6 Parent by Jennifer Beck

Digital Lives of Teens 15 The by

7 Movie Night March We 8 This Recommend That You…

Plugged In Movie 17 2019 Awards by

9 Heart Gallery 10 Reader Photos of the Month 11 It’s Great to Create! With the Angels 12 Running by Jodi Stoner, Ainsley’s Angels of America

Break Bucket List 13 Spring by

Ways to Get Your Kids to 18 4Turn To You, Instead of the Internet

by Susan Merrill

Diaries: 15 Keys to 19 Dungy Reach Your Full Potential by Tony Dungy,

20 Family Library

With 12 Running the Angels

24 Family Night Out Coupons Reasons to Send Your 26 Three Kids to Summer Camp 27 Summer Camp Directory Pro Dad: A Spring 30 All Cleaning Checklist for Your Marriage


Ideas 31 Staycation by Smart Bonding 32 Book by Sarah Cole

List of Birthday Freebies! 33 Let’s Celebrate Pi Day! 22 Huge by Erin Nobles, Director, by Heather Brickell,

Flawed Anti-Texting 14 Florida’s and Driving Laws by Chris Reynolds

23 Kids in the Kitchen

Mathnasium of St. Petersburg

35 Education Spotlight

Tropical Garden 36 The by Jené VanButsel Gardens Celebrates 37 Busch 60 Years of Adventure

38 Building Community 39 Tech-Savvy Seniors One of Fortune 100 39 BayCare Best Companies to Work For on the Family 40 Focus by Jim Daly It’s Not All About 43 Springtime: Flowers and Sunshine by Kathleen Rodriquez

44 March 2019 Events 47 Weekender

“Let your Joy burst forth like flowers in the Spring.”


Reader Photos of the Month

4 • March 2019

Evie Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

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March 2019 • 5

since it was announced several years ago that the show would be coming to Tampa in the 2018-2019 season.

Parent to Parent About a month before Christmas, tickets for the much-anticipated U.S. tour of the musical Hamilton finally went on sale. My kids, especially David and Daniel, have been excited about its arrival ever

So my Christmas shopping became very easy for three of my four kids. And with the lottery system and restrictions on the number of tickets per address, it was pretty easy to downplay our chances of getting tickets so that they could still be surprised on Christmas, provided I actually was successful. Well the morning arrived, and I joined the virtual queue on three different browsers. When the random numbers were assigned, I got over twenty thousand on one browser, eighteen thousand on another, and my best one was just a little over fourteen thousand. So I did the math on the number of shows and seats and figured out that, even if the seats might not be great, I would almost certainly be able to get tickets. Four hours later, I did just that for a performance during the final week of the Tampa stop, and the seats were actually a little better than I had expected. The kids were ecstatic, but it turned out that maybe the seats were actually a little too good. Because about a week after New Year’s, David came into my room staring at his phone, asking, “What row are our Hamilton tickets in?”

I told him, and he looked up the going price on the secondary market, and he’s been very conflicted ever since. He really, really wants to see the show, but he is also extremely practical, so he has a hard time passing up the potential profit. He has been suggesting that we could sell the tickets we have, buy cheaper seats in one of the balconies, and pocket the difference (side note – the Straz Center strongly discourages selling tickets at inflated prices, and even reserves the right to cancel them, so his suggestion is not without risk!). I have managed to talk him off the ledge each time he’s brought it up, and he is still excited to go next week and sit in the good seats I waited all morning to buy. Although I think he might still be wishing he could sit a little further back with a few hundred extra dollars in his pocket! Until next time,


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Captain Marvel – March 8

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

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A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.

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March 2019 • 7

This March we recommend that you… READ IT

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, New York Times bestselling author, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.


MLB Spring Training

After 14 years, Andrea Bocelli is back with an incredible new album of original songs! Contains Sensational Duets With Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Josh Groban, Aida Garifullina and Matteo Bocelli. It’s a set of powerful, emotional songs, some featuring interpolations of classical themes and an all encompassing positive message of the power for good of love, family and music.

8 • March 2019

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 8 – 10, Downtown St. Petersburg

The 15th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a race event held right here in Pinellas during Florida’s spring break season each March. As the IndyCar Series’ season-opening race for the ninth consecutive year, St. Pete is a destination city hosting this annual motorsports tradition and offering a festival atmosphere with its downtown location. The temporary circuit is a 1.8-mile, 14-turn configuration using the streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways which overlooks the waterfront of Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina.

Spring Training in Florida’s Grapefruit League, a tradition since the 1890s, offers a multitude of treats for families, sun worshipers and casual fans alike. Fifteen Major League teams train in Florida, with many just a short drive away. With so much available, families can easily take a hotdog-filled journey that suits their own schedules and preferences.


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Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Housecraft Thinking of redecorating? Housecraft is a neat showcase of the iPhone’s augmented reality capabilities and a cool software toy for anybody thinking about getting a new piece of furniture. You can select 3D models of different furniture such as couches, tables, chairs, desks and houseplants, placing them virtually in your home, using the iPhone’s screen as a viewfinder.

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Kind and polite, Dashawn says he is happiest when he is in a loving home. For fun he likes playing basketball. Dashawn’s favorite food is lasagna, but he’ll pass on broccoli. Dashawn’s favorite animals are dogs. He would love to have a dog as a pet someday. Dashawn likes most that he is smart and hopes to make a lot of money someday. In school, Dashawn’s favorite subject is math, something he’s also very good at. He’s also good at playing basketball. Dashawn’s other favorites include the color white and rap music. Dashawn only has one request of his ideal forever family – to have a mom who would love him.Kyle needs a forever family that will keep him involved in pursuing his passions while pushing him to achieve his dreams.

Isaiah Age 13

Photo courtesy of Johnathan R Photography

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Do you have room in your heart and home for a waiting child?

Isaiah is the sweet, quiet type, but once he gets to know you, he opens up. Isaiah is happiest when he’s watching television, especially his favorite show, SpongeBob SquarePants. But he also like watching The Flash, and wishes he had super speed just like him. For fun, Isaiah enjoys playing outside, especially when he gets to play football. In school, Isaiah’s favorite subject is math. There’s nothing Isaiah doesn’t like to eat, but his favorite food is pepperoni pizza. Isaiah’s other favorites include the color orange, dogs, and the rapper Drake. Being a good person is what Isaiah likes most about himself. If he could change the world, he would make everyone nice just like him. Isaiah’s ideal forever family includes a mom and dad. Having siblings is also OK.

For more information about the Heart Gallery visit or call 727-258-4806. March 2019 • 9



Send us Your Best Photos


Send your funny parenting stories to Or email photos of your kiddos having fun at home, school, or anywhere in-between to * Please send high resolution photos if possible.

{of the month}

Natalie There is always a reason to smile!

Drew and Brady Brickell

Winter and Baseball! There are only two seasons –

10 • March 2019

Remi See you later Alligator! After a while Crocodile!

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and tasty with ketchup.

Annalise Keep Calm – Spring is Coming!

t a e r It’s G ! e t a e to Cr

Get ready for spring with these cute crafts to accent your home. These crafts are easy to make and a lot of fun to do with the kids.

Peeps Bunny Table Centerpiece You need: • Six inch glass cube vase • Four inch glass cube vase • Bag of Jelly beans • One or two packages of mini Peeps • Spring flowers – if you want to eat the candy later on, use artificial flowers

Directions: 1. Take the four inch cube vase and put it inside the center of the six inch cube vase. 2. Add the colorful jelly beans between the walls of the cube vases. 3. Add the Peeps on top of the jelly beans. You want a nice tight fit to help fill in all the gaps. 4. Cut the flowers to the length you want them and add them inside the four inch vase. 5. Place on the table and enjoy!

Lucky Rainbow Jar You need: • Large mason jar • Mini • Coin candies marshmallows • Rainbow Skittles • Ribbon • Tag / card Directions:


1. Fill bottom of mason jar with golden coin candies. 2. Separate the Skittles into piles by color. 3. Pour the Skittles, color by color, on top of your golden coins. Don’t forget the order of the rainbow colors! 4. Top your Skittles with mini marshmallows. 5. Place the lid on the mason jar and tie on card using the ribbon

Candy Easter Baskets You need: • Glue Gun & Glue Sticks • 4 Boxes of Peeps • Cardboard


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• Scissors • Craft foam for handle • Ribbon and bow

Directions: 1. Using the hot glue gun, glue the corners of the candy boxes together. 2. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom and glue to Peeps boxes. 3. Cut a piece of craft foam about 16 inches long and glue to make the handle. 4. Decorate with ribbon and bow. 5. Fill with artificial grass and Easter goodies. March 2019 • 11

Running With the

Angels A by Jodi Stoner

I guess you could call me a ‘runner.’ A typical year includes more than 1500 miles and I love to race... all over the country. It started in my mid 30’s when a friend asked me to join her in a half marathon that just happened to be on her birthday. I reluctantly agreed and it changed my life forever. Like I mentioned, I like to travel and race. So, a group of friends and I were going to hit the strip and RUN.... The Las Vegas Marathon 2014! I had a little countdown going on facebook. The days were drawing near when someone commented on my post: “Hey, we’re going to Vegas too and we would like to meet you.” The message was from a man named “Rooster.” A marine with the last name Rossiter, so “Rooster” was an easy fit. He was the President of an organization called, “Ainsley’s Angels of America.” Made me think because I remember wanting to join them months prior to this but couldn’t because Florida didn’t have a chapter. The closest chapter to me was Alabama. They are a cool group of runners that raise aware-

Ainsley’s Angels of America ness for “inclusion.” They believed everyone should be included… in every aspect of life, but focus on endurance events like marathons and triathlons. I did a little research and found out the name “Ainsley” is Rooster’s daughter. An exceptional needs child who felt the wind in her hair on her first ride in a “freedom chair” and had never looked back. The Rossiter family felt Ainsley’s joy and wanted to share it with the world, so they did. The following day, I was sent a private message from Rooster asking me to run with the Angels… an invitation to earn my angel wings, to push a child. An overwhelming wave traveled over me. I still don’t know if it was excitement or fear. So many emotions… worry, nervousness, questions… I mean, I’ve never done anything like that.

Florida garage filled with Florida Freedom Chairs. Florida now has a chapter (a family). Ainsley’s Angels in Florida was born two months after I earned my Angel Wings in Vegas. We now have one year behind us. We’ve participated and shared the message of inclusion at more than 20 Florida race events. We even hosted our very own half marathon! We’ve raised funds to purchase freedom chairs and we’re saving for a trailer as we have outgrown my husband’s work van for transportation. Our Florida family is 170 strong and growing! “Together We Shall” is not just a way of life for us, it’s a movement.

Who would I push? Would I have some help? I’ve never trained for something like this! Before I could answer, Rooster asked me to pray about it and get back with him. That was just the nudge I needed. I knew where my prayers would lead me and I said, “yes.” Three days later I was in Bright Light City meeting my Angel Rider Shamus and his daddy, Angel Shaun. Shaun and I pushed Shamus 26.2 glorious miles. We crossed the finish line on a brightly lit Vegas Strip. I could barely see the finish line through the tears. I hold that day, those days, that entire memory close to me as I stand in my Join us! Runners, Riders, Cheerleaders, Guardian Angels… everyone is welcome! For more information, check out our Florida website, message me or “friend me” on facebook. My name is Jodi Stoner but my friends call me “Run Jodi.”

12 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Spring Break Bucket List

by Nancy Jergins

How many times have you come to the end of spring break and realized that although you might have had fun, you didn’t really get the chance to bond with your children… to love well. Make this spring break different with our Spring Break Bucket List. Instead of ideas for going here and there, you’ll find ten ways to renew and refresh your relationship with your children. Because what better way to fill your days than with time spent bonding with your kids? Each idea on our list takes 15 minutes or less, so try one a day for a spring break relationship renewal!


Hold your child’s face with both hands, look her in the eye and say, “You have no idea how much I love you!”

2 3

Take a photo with your children. Frame it! Write your children a letter of love.

4 5 6 7 8

Talk to them about their hopes and dreams.

Read a book together.

Teach your child to pray. (It’s never too late!)

Fill out a family tree and talk about your child’s grandparents. Look through their baby book or look through their baby pictures.

9 10

Hug, hug, hug.

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Laugh, laugh, laugh.

March 2019 • 13

Florida’s Flawed Anti-Texting and Driving Laws by Chris Reynolds

victed of a DUI can lose their license, pay thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, attend educational courses on the dangers of drinking and driving, and potentially end up in jail for repeat offenders. The purpose of these DUI laws is because we know how dangerous drunk drivers are on our Florida roadways.

It is common knowledge by now that texting and driving is extremely dangerous. However, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 2015 saw 214 deaths and 45,740 motor vehicle accidents due to distracted driving in Florida. These numbers are a significant increase from 2012, when 175 people died and there were 33,511 distracted driving crashes. That is an increase of 22% in deaths and 36% increase in the number of automobile collisions due to distracted driving. Further, it seems that the reported numbers of distracted driving accidents is likely lower than the real number. For example, it doesn’t seem likely that a driver in an accident will often freely admit to law enforcement that they were texting when the accident occurred. The accurate numbers of deaths and accidents are likely much higher. Currently, Florida’s ban on texting and driving is found in Florida Statute 316.305. That law makes texting and driving a “secondary offense,” which means that the police are not allowed to stop a driver solely for texting and driving. Only if law enforcement observes a “primary offense,” such as speeding, can the officer then issue a citation for texting and driving. Moreover, even if the police do issue a citation for texting and driving, the fine is only $30 for a first-time offender, and it increases only to $60 for a second-time offender.

We can no longer claim ignorance of the similar dangers posed by texting and driving, and so we must have stronger laws to deter texting and driving, while also educating the public about the dangers involved. Only then can we reasonably expect the number of texting and driving accidents to drop.

In 2015, only 3,417 citations were issued for texting and driving. Such a weak law cannot serve as ample deterrent for engaging in a potentially deadly activity. Unfortunately, people are more and more addicted to their phones, and therefore don’t stop this dangerous activity. It would seem that only increasing the severity of the laws would have an effect.

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727-430-3902 To advertise, call 727-612-0783

More teens than ever are making new friends online, mostly through social media. But the digital age definitely has a downside, too. A recent Pew Research Center study provides details.

Online drama. More than two-thirds of teens who use social media say it contributes to drama among friends. More than half have seen postings about events to which they weren’t invited, and nearly 40 percent say they feel pressure to post content that makes them popular or look good to others. And 21 percent of teens report feeling worse about their own lives because of what they see from others on social media. Conflict. One in four teens has had a conflict with a friend over something that occurred online or via text message. Teen girls are more prone than boys to such digital disputes. Unfriending. When friendships end or go through tough times, many teens choose to cut social-media ties. While 58 percent of all teens who use social media or cellphones have “unfriended” or “unfollowed” a former friend, the figure is again even higher (63 percent) among girls. What do teens experience on social media?

53% Posts about events they were not invited to Posts criticizing things about them that 42%they can’t change/control 68% People stirring up drama People supporting them through 68%challengers / tough times

Source: Pew Research Center

For more tips on guiding your family’s media choices check out March 2019 • 15

16 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

2019 Plugged In Movie Awards:

And The Award Goes To… by Paul Asay,

Nearly 900 movies were released in North America in 2018. (About as many as Netflix put out singlehandedly.) Seems like we here at Plugged In watched most of them. Oh, we couldn’t get to all of them, of course. But for the most part if you’ve heard of a movie, we saw it, reviewed it and told you all about it. And sometimes, we really liked what we saw.

The Plugged In Movie Awards are about honoring what we feel are among the year’s best movies— not just aesthetically, but inspirationally and ethically as well. And for the past few weeks, we’ve invited you to play along. Plugged In’s award-winning website and reviews are designed to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which they live.

So without further ramblings, let’s jump into our hostless awards ceremony and get to the winners, shall we?





The Nominees: Christopher Robin; Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch; Incredibles 2; Paddington 2; Teen Titans Go! To the Movies Plugged In’s Pick: Paddington 2 This was more than just a cutesy kid movie about a raincoat-wearing bear. This was the best-reviewed movie of the year, scoring a rare perfect 100%”freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and delighting the millions who saw it. Paddington—an unfailingly polite but rigorously ethical hero—seems radically countercultural for our shrill, angry age, which makes him all the more important.

The Nominees: Black Panther; Little Women; The Miracle Season; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Tomb Raider Plugged In’s Pick: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Never mind that Black Panther became the first superhero movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Forget that Avengers: Infinity War had some of us working through the five stages of grief. According to Plugged In, the best superhero movie of the year—and the best movie for teens—is this surprisingly rich animated charmer that practically swung out of nowhere. Welcome your friendly neighborhood winner.

The Nominees: Leave No Trace; Mary Poppins Returns; A Quiet Place; Searching; Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Plugged In’s Pick: Leave No Trace Look, I understand that very few people saw this flick (it earned just $7.6 million in theaters). That’s a crying shame. This film earned better reviews than any of this year’s Oscar Best Picture nominees (like Paddington 2, it score a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes), and I think it could’ve well received Oscar nods for its two main players, Ben Foster and Thomasin Harcourt. It’s a deeply impactful story about a struggling father and daughter that, remarkably, is almost completely free of problematic content. (It’s rated PG.) Want to watch it? It’s free with an Amazon Prime account right now.

The Nominees: God Bless the Broken Road; God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness; I Can Only Imagine; Paul, the Apostle of Christ; Unbroken: Path to Redemption Plugged In’s Pick: Paul, the Apostle of Christ This powerful, history-laden drama takes viewers back to the power and peril of ancient Rome, where Paul was living out his final days. James Faulkner makes for a compelling Paul in this rich, inspiring story. And for those who sometimes feel the biblical accounts of the early Church can be a bit dry, this film will help bring them to life.

Your Pick: Christopher Robin Bruin-fronted films swept the Plugged In Kids category this year. While I’d love to stick in a pun of some sort (“Christopher Robin just bearly won”) truth is, it wasn’t even close. Disney’s sweet take on a middle-aged Christopher Robin whose priorities are all out of whack ran away with your vote, doubling up its nearest competition (Incredibles 2). Not bad for a bear of very little brain.

Your Pick: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Spider-Man swept the teens awards, just narrowly beating out Black Panther in your vote, too. Clearly, Spidey wielded great power pretty responsibly this time ’round. Many a reader lamented the absence of Infinity War. But few voiced much love for Tomb Raider, which was practically skunked in the voting.

Your Pick: A Quiet Place Plugged In readers loved them some Emily Blunt this year, given that she starred in this category’s top two vote-getters: The gripping, touching A Quiet Place just squeaked past Mary Poppins Returns for the win. While some readers might’ve been surprised to find a “horror” movie on our list of “bests” this year, A Quiet Place won’t just cause you to shut your eyes: It’ll maybe make you shed a tear or two from them, as well.

Your Pick: I Can Only Imagine This pic, which tells the story behind Bart Millard’s massive CCM hit of the same name, became the year’s biggest Christian blockbuster, clearing a staggering $85.4 million. I’ve talked with people who’ve seen the film repeatedly and cried every single time. No surprise that the vote wasn’t too terribly close here, with Imagine outdistancing runner-ups Paul and Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 17

to themselves, “Oh, mom’s on her phone, she’ll ask me to wait if I go up to her.” If we have a strong relationship with our children, they’ll feel more comfortable coming to us and want to come to us. So be available.



Spend time with your kids when both of you are off your screens. Make the golden hours times of real connection—in the morning, after school, and at bedtime.


by Susan Merrill When your children have questions about life, where do they turn for answers? Google? Alexa? Friends? Or you? Our kids have more access to information than ever before. They’ve grown up with the Internet, social media, and now Alexa and they have access all day. And they may be more comfortable or trust online advice more than they do talking to you! This realization became a reality for me when an 11-year-old girl emailed us here at iMOM. She was concerned about her parent’s marriage. She searched online and found an iMOM article, “Is This the Root Cause of Your Marriage Problems?” She thought it would help her mother and emailed us about it. She apologized that she was only 11 (but almost 12) and asked us if we would send the information to her mother.

What fascinated me was that she took the initiative to research on her mother’s behalf but didn’t go to her mother directly. Are we losing our connection with our kids? Do they feel more comfortable reaching out to strangers in the “box” than their own family? Technology can be so amazingly helpful; however, it is not relational. Your child is growing up surrounded by technology. If you want to stay more connected to your child than their devices you are going to have to work at it. Here’s how to get your kids to turn to you instead:

1. Stay connected.

It all starts here. If we have a strong relationship with our children, they’ll feel more comfortable coming to us and want to come to us. So be available. When your kids are around, try to put your screen away because it’s just one more barrier they have to get through to reach you. They might think

If we have a strong relationship with our children, they’ll feel more comfortable coming to us and want to come to us. So be available.

3. Give them alternatives.

Give your kids options for where to turn— you, a grandparent, a teacher, books. Or, the next time they zoom to their computer or Alexa to get an answer, playfully say, “Freeze!” Then, ask them how you two can find the answer without going to the Internet.

4. Show them how to question.

Tell your kids that everything they find online isn’t necessarily true. Explain to them that most of what’s written online is someone’s opinion, or an attempt to prompt them to take action like buying something or clicking on a link. Show them how to find legitimate sites. This is especially important when it comes to sex. Pornography and even non-porn articles about sex and social media posts make certain things seem normal, so kids think that that’s what’s expected. Keep talking about your views and the morals on which you base them.

Your kids might want to ask you how to make friends, what to do if you’re shy, or when should a teenager have sex. But if they feel awkward asking, they will ask Google instead.

iGen kids often feel like they’re on their own. So hug your iGen children today and tell them they can come to you at any time and with any question they have. Tell them they don’t need the Internet when they have you—the original iMOM!

Start conversations about touchy topics casually and regularly. When your kids do ask you questions, avoid saying things like, “Why do you want to know that? You should know that! You’re too young to know.” Use our conversation printables ( or our Q & U app to make questions fun.

I am a hybrid of sorts. I majored in finance but I love people more than numbers. I left behind the corporate gray of banking for the colorful world of kids. I had three children and adopted two more. I am the very imperfect Merrill family manager and the founder of iMOM. I love to analyze life, ponder possibilities, and pray for opportunities, which makes for a very busy and messy house!

2. You bring up the topic.

MORNING STAR SCHOOL Serving Students with Special Learning Needs Since 1969 At Morning Star Catholic School, we provide our 1st–12th grade students with individualized instruction from caring professionals who are skilled at understanding and meeting each child’s unique needs. Our Recipe for Success

• Talented Florida state-certified ESE teachers • Low student-to-teacher ratio • Nurturing environment • Speech and OT services during the school day • Life Skills curriculum in High School

4661 80th Avenue North Pinellas Park, FL 33781

18 • March 2019

• Comprehensive curriculum includes language arts, math, writing, science, social studies, religion, art, music therapy, guidance and PE • Gardiner, McKay and Step Up for Students scholarships accepted

(727) 544-6036

There are many paths to success.

Our goal is to help ever� st�dent realize their dreams for the f�t�re.

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper






With that in mind, here are 15 ways to reach your full potential.

are important, but make sure 9 Goals they are worthy goals – you just

“Reaching our full potential is a journey of persistence and perseverance in spite of failure.”

fear risk – life is an adventure, 10 Dnoton’ta dress rehearsal.

positive. Your mind 1 Be powerful than you think.

is more

ake the best decisions you can 11 M after deliberation and prayer, but

don’t second guess yourself. You did the best you could.

2 Build high expectations into others. Be careful is down in the well comes 12 3 What substances, up in the bucket. Fill yourself with

by Tony Dungy

positive things.

I really wish I had learned more about failure when I was young. I didn’t realize just how often it would rear its ugly head. I saw successful peopleeither in their jobs, in sports, or with their families and didn’t have much appreciation for the hard work and the setbacks that go along with that success. I’m often introduced today as one of only several people to win a Super Bowl as a player and as a head coach. What they don’t always say is that there were twenty-seven straight seasons that ended in disappointment between those two Super Bowl wins.

might reach them!

The beauty of what I’ve learned through life in sports, however, is that failure happens-regularly. And failure, as it turns out, is a constant in the human experience. I’ve also learned that if you’re afraid of failure, you won’t try to do very much. But if you’re going to chase meaningful dreams and do significant things, you have to be willing to come up short sometimes. I hope that you will fail less than I have, but even so, we all fail. Count on it. Reaching our full potential is a journey of persistence and perseverance in spite of failure.

education matters. Don’t cut 4 Your corners-you’ll only cheat yourself if you don’t learn the material.

are great…as a complement 5 Sports to academics. employment that excites you 6 Find for reasons beyond the salary. conservative decisions with 7 Make debt.

with mind-altering even legal ones. Addiction can sneak up and destroy your life.

13 Don’t be afraid to be different. ou will fail. Remember that, but 14 Ydon’t fear it. toughness is how you respond 15 Ttorue adversity. What have you done lately to help reach your full potential?

take hassles from work home 8 Don’t with you.

SUNSHINE IS HERE! Let Flowers Say It All…Happy Birthday To You, Thanks For Caring, Feel Better Soon… Sometimes All It Takes Is A Bloom. We deliver them to St. Petersburg, FL or nationwide.

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 19


Nancy Nickel Local Children’s Book Author

The children’s book, “The Runaway Egg” shares God’s true love story.

We Floridians are surrounded by the created beauty of God. His love bursts through in our gorgeous waters, beaches, landscapes and skies! And His relentless passion for us was fully displayed in His son, Jesus. Long, long ago we chose our own way leading to epic failure for all generations. But Holy God could not let us go. He reached out and made the way back to Him.

Personally, I am a local author who’s lived in Pinellas County for 27 years while raising three kids into adulthood. Over time, through various writing opportunities and working with children and adults, God has continually pressed on my heart the need to communicate Biblical truths in understandable and fun ways.

In “The Runaway Egg,” a special egg escapes from an Easter egg hunt and goes on a wild adventure. We follow the egg on its extraordinary journey and discover the hands that ultimately receive its forever treasure. It’s a message for all ages! I would love to meet you at an upcoming local book signing. The next event is:

Little and Big Kids Alike–

Saturday, March 30th, 11:00 A.M until 1:00 P.M. Barnes & Noble in Sarasota 4010 South Tamiami Trail

Do you ever feel alone? Unloved? Overwhelmed? Confused by circumstances or by information overload?

“The Runaway Egg” is available at (and in some stores),, and

I’ve been in that battle and had to dig my way back to the foundation of life – God’s incredible love for us.

Please contact me at for any community, school, or outreach opportunities.

Feather Sound Smiles Dr Amir Daoud, DDS BDS

Restorative, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry We are offering an Upscale Blend of high quality Clothing, Shoes & Accessories in an inviting “boutique” setting. You will also find Furniture, Household Goods, Toys and more. All proceeds support the ministry of Keswick Christian School. We are committed to Community Investment through participation in a FREE Clothing Voucher program. Be a part of changing lives ... visit our store and ... be pleasantly surprised!

2325 Ulmerton Rd Ste 27 Clearwater FL 33762

727-561-0800 20 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

6225 Seminole Boulevard Seminole • 202-6986 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm Saturday 9am-5pm



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Jackie Minniti

Shortly after D-Day, Jackie Minniti’s father lost his heart to a little French girl. The tale of their friendship was the only war story he was willing to share. It became the basis for Jacqueline, a heartwarming novel with the drama of fiction and the authenticity of personal history. Jackie, a former middle school reading teacher, has crafted a novel that will capture the interest of even reluctant readers and give students a window into history. “WWII veterans are rapidly disappearing, and with them, their stories,” she said. “It’s important to preserve as many as possible.” This was the inspiration for Jacqueline.

The Runaway Egg follows the adventures of a special egg that escapes from an Easter egg hunt. Through unpredictable circumstances, the egg travels on an incredible journey. How will the egg survive its wild adventures? Could God be behind a runaway egg?

Pinellas Preparatory Academy, Inc Award Winning Art Departments Music / Spanish / Athletics Challenging Curriculum Afterschool Clubs Technology Integration

2300 S. Belcher Road, Largo, FL 33771

Call 727-536-3600 to schedule a school tour.

PPA is a high performing, tuition free, public charter school for highly motivated students in grades K-8.

The story centers around 10-year-old Jacqueline Falna who lives with her mother in Rennes, France. When her father’s plane is shot down by German fighters, Jacqueline refuses to believe he’s dead. In spite of the hardships of life under Nazi occupation, she remains steadfast in her faith that God will return her father to her. When she meets an American soldier who bears an uncanny resemblance to him, she learns that prayers are sometimes answered in unexpected ways. Jackie believes there is a large audience of young people hungering for inspirational stories that offer a positive world view. She has drawn on her classroom experience to create a study guide for Jacqueline that can be used by teachers and home schoolers. All the materials are cross-referenced with Common Core curriculum, giving parents and teachers a faith-based alternative to comply with the Grade 4-8 standards in Language Arts/Literacy and Social Studies. The study guide is available as a free download at

Our highly trained, award winning teachers offer a private school education in a family atmosphere.

Accepting Applications for 2019-2020 To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Award winning Florida author Jackie Minniti March 2019 • 21

H ug e L i s t Of B i rt hd ay

F REEBIES ! Do you have a birthday in the near future? Be sure to check out this long list of birthday freebies and share them with your friends and family! Keep in mind that it can sometimes take several weeks for these to update in your account. If you have a birthday coming up, I suggest signing up now! Applebee’s– Join the eClub and you will be sent a coupon for BOGO entree on your birthday. Baskin Robbins– Join the Birthday Club to receive Free ice cream on your birthday! Benihana– Register for The Chef’s Table and receive the latest Benihana news, special offers and a complimentary $30 Benihana Birthday Certificate* during the month of your birthday. BJ’s Restaurant– Sign up for the Premiere Rewards Program and you will receive a Free Pizookie on your birthday. BurgerFi– As a BurgerFi Rewards member, you’ll receive exclusive offers and promotions such as double point days, birthday rewards and more. Chili’s– Join My Chili’s Rewards to receive special offers and a Free dessert on your birthday. Cici’s Pizza– Join the My Cici’s Loyalty Program to receive special offers via the app. On your birthday you will receive a coupon for a Free 1-topping pizza to go.

Coldstone Creamery– Sign up for the Birthday Club and you will receive a coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 Free Coldstone Creations on your birthday. Dairy Queen– Join the Fan Club for a BOGO blizzard coupon on your birthday. Denny’s– Join Denny’s Rewards and receive a coupon for a Free Grand Slam on your birthday. Dunkin’ Donuts– Sign up for the DD Perks Rewards program. You will receive a Free Beverage when you enroll in the program, and another Free Beverage on your birthday.

IHOP– Join the Pancake Revolution and receive a Free meal when you sign up and on your birthday.

Marble Slab– Sign up for Slab Happy Rewards and you will receive a $5 coupon on your birthday.

Jason’s Deli– Sign up for email updated to receive special offers throughout the entire year. On your birthday, you will be emailed a coupon for $5 off your purchase.

Menchie’s– Join the My Smileage program and receive 25 smiles just for joining. Earn $5.00 in Menchie’s Money (reward dollars) with every 50 Smiles you earn. Menchie’s Money is added to your mySmileage account. On your birthday you will receive a $5 Menchie’s coupon.

Jersey Mike’s Subs– Join the Email club for special offers and promotions during the year. On your birthday you will receive a coupon for a Free Sub and Drink.

The Melting Pot– Join Club Fondue for Free birthday vouchers and more. Moe’s– Join Moe’s eWorld to receive special offers during the year and a coupon for a Free Entree on your birthday.

Earl of Sandwich– Join the Earl of Sandwich Royalty Club for special offers. You should receive $5 in your account for your birthday.

Newk’s Eatery– Join the Roundtable Club and receive a coupon for a Free entree on your birthday.

Firehouse Subs– Sign up for the Firehouse Rewards program for a Free Medium Sub on your birthday. First Watch Daytime Cafe– Join the Sun eClub and receive a Buy 1 Get 1 Free entree coupon. On your birthday you will receive a coupon for a Free entree. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria– Join the Grimaldi’s VIP Email club and receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase. Then, on your birthday, you will receive a coupon for a Free Large Pizza! (up to $19 value)

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse– Enroll in Kobe Japanese Rewards and enjoy exclusive benefits and offers! Enjoy up to $15 off a single entrée Friday-Saturday or up to $25 off a single entrée Sunday-Thursday. Krispy Kreme– Join the Friends of Krispy Kreme and you will receive a Free doughnut on your birthday.

Be a part of The Tampa Bay Dream Walk! Create a Team and Fundraise for pediatric cancer research! 22 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper Olive Garden– Join the eClub for a Free dessert on your birthday. On the Border– Join Club Cantina to receive Free queso or sopapillas. On your birthday you will receive Free queso. Panera Bread– Join My Panera Rewards for a Free treat during your birthday. PDQ– Join the PDQ Fan Club and they will email you a coupon for a Free combo meal on your birthday.

Heather resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Keith of 19 years and their 2 boys Drew 13 and Brady 7. She loves to share savings advice for the smart and savvy lifestyle as well as product reviews and sponsored posts with her readers. Heather also has a passion for fashion, beauty and food-related projects.

in the ki in the kitchen

Red Lobster– Join My Red Lobster Rewards to receive tasty rewards and delicious offer on your birthday.

Smashburger– Join the Smashclub for a Free side or shake with any purchase on your birthday.

Red Robin– Join the Red Robin eClub to receive rewards throughout the entire year, plus a Free Burger on your birthday.

Sonny’s BBQ– Join the ‘Q Crew and you will receive a coupon for a Free Big Meal Combo on your birthday.

Rita’s– Join the Rita’s Birthday Club to receive a Free treat on your birthday.

Spaghetti Warehouse– Join the Warehouse Club and receive a Free appetizer. On your birthday, you will receive a Free meal.

Ruby Tuesday– Sign up for the So Connected Club and receive a Free appetizer. On your birthday, choose from a Free burger or Garden Bar entree.

Starbucks– Join Starbucks Rewards and register a Card to receive a Free handcrafted beverage or food item on your birthday.

Sbarro– Join the Slice Society and receive a Free XL NY Pizza slice with drink purchase and a freebie on your birthday.

Sweet Tomatoes– Join Club Veg and you will receive a Free meal on your birthday.

P.F. Chang’s– Join P.F. Chang’s Rewards for delicious offers and a tasty treat on your birthday.

TGIFriday’s– Join the Friday’s Rewards Club for delicious rewards and a yummy offer on your birthday.

Pollo Tropical– Join the Pollo Rewards program and receive special offers throughout the year and on your birthday.

Zaxby’s– Join the Zaxby’s Mail Club to receive a Free Sandwich meal just when you sign up. For your birthday, you will receive a Free nibbler.

With flowers in full bloom and bees buzzing all around town, these “bite-size bees” are the perfect snack for the beginning of summer. These tasty treats are not only easy to make but also a lot of fun to prepare. You and your kids will love getting your fingers sticky with this recipe, as you roll the soft and squishy peanut butter dough into little bees.

Peanut Butter Honeybees • ½ cup creamy peanut butter • 2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12 squares) • 1 square (1 – 2 ounces) semisweet chocolate • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted 1. Combine creamy peanut butter, soft butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs; blend until smooth. 2. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into ovals, approximately 1-1/2” long. Place ovals on a piece of wax paper or lined baking sheet. 3. Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or until the chocolate is melted. Transfer melted chocolate to a sealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.

Camp Gilead offers children, families, churches, CAMP GILEAD is CELEBRATING 78 years of and groups a life-transforming adventure and “Changing Lives…One Heart at a Time!” a fun, safe, Christ-centered environment in which to LEARN, EXPLORE, and GROW.

w w

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

4. Decorate bees: Pipe three stripes on each bee. Insert two almonds into each bee for wings. Use a toothpick dipped in chocolate to make the eyes. Refrigerate and serve. Makes approximately 3 dozen

Cool Kids Cook March 2019 • 23

We all know that eating out often can add up! So, it’s important to know where the best deals are for the family. Here are some great places in the Tampa Bay area that are family friendly and are offering some great specials.

Your Neighborhood Favorite Since 1974…




13050 Park Blvd.





Banquet Room Available

9119 Belcher Road DINE IN DELIVERY


Family Owned and Operated for over 40 Years!!! 24 • March 2019

$5.00 OFF

any purchase of $25 or more!

with any other special, Please present coupon when ordering. Not valid 4-30-19. Limited to one Discount, promotion or coupon. Enjoy through locations in Pinellas y’s Coupon per household. Good at participating Sonn GCF and Hillsborough Counties Only.

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

IHOP Pancake Day

FRESH FOOD FAST Dine-In or Drive-Thru Catering


1 US

49th St. N.

Flip it Forward for Kids

Park Blvd.

4601 Park Blvd. Pinellas Park, FL 33781 Catering: 727-362-1007

Catering Available for Tenders, Sandwiches, Salads Spend over $100 in catering

Free Pancakes at IHOP Tues, March 12, 2019 On IHOP Free Pancake Day, visit any IHOP restaurant and get a FREE short stack of our Original Buttermilk Pancakes. Then donate to help children battling critical illnesses. Each stack served on IHOP Free Pancake Day helps us flip it forward for kids in need. Doing good never tasted so good.

With this ad. Valid at Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg PDQ only. Expires 04/30/2019.



Valid at Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg PDQ only. Expires 04/30/2019.

Valid at Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg PDQ only. Expires 04/30/2019.

2909 Highway 19 Holiday, FL 34691 (727) 934-7035

33817 Highway 19 Palm Harbor, FL 34684 (727) 781-7303

7901 Ulmerton Rd Largo, FL 33771 (727) 531-4841

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 25


Summer Camps! Led by certified therapists and teachers Targeted skills embedded in fun activities Small class sizes Weekly Sessions Beginning June 3rd Tarpon Springs

(727) 234-0924 Big Accomplishments start with

Private, Member-Owned Club, Established in 1924

Three Reasons to Send Your Kids to Summer Camp While children are excited for a threemonth break from school, summer break can cause panic and anxiety in parents. What will we do to keep our children busy? Kids will want to sleep in, play with friends and visit the local swimming pools and amusement parks. However, as parents we want our children’s minds enriched, and we would love for them to learn a new sport, skill or just keep their minds busy. For this reason, summer camp is great option for both parents and children.


Learning to have fun without technology.

Your kids will have to put down the iPads and smart phones, and have fun without technology. Whether it is a park or a campground, pool or lake, children will see how much fun taking a break from the screen can really be. (More like the summer’s you remember, hm?)

Summer camps can keep your child busy, keep them out of your hair and your children learn new skills and meet new friends. Here are three great reasons to send your kids to summer camp.

1 Your children will stay both 3 Learn independence. physically and socially active during summer camp.

There are so many activities to participate in and things for them to do. Camp ensures that your children will be a part of a group and make new friends instead of whining about being bored or getting into trouble at home.

Competitive Swim Team All Day Fun Camp 7am-6pm w/Lunch & Snacks Included! Tennis & Golf Camps

Join Today and Begin Making Your Family’s Summer Memories

26 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Kids in summer camp will learn to listen to new adults, their counselors, make new friends and enter into an unfamiliar environment. This is a skill every child should learn, making them more socially and emotionally confident. Whether you’re looking for an overnight camp, or a day camp, we’ve got a comprehensive directory to choose from and your kids will be set for next summer!

Summer Camp Directory Here is a listing of some fantastic summer camps for children here in the Tampa Bay area. Included in our summer camp directory are arts and drama camps, theme camps, sports camps, preschool camps and many more. All of these camps are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. So reserve your spot soon.

See our interactive map online at

Adventure Club at Countryside CC 1850 North McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 727-799-1618 ext. 1012

City of Largo Summer Camps 727-518-3016 – Highland Recreation

Anona Christian Center Summer Camp 13233 Indian Rocks Rd, Largo 727-595-2581 ext. 292

City of Tampa Summer Camps 813-274-3345

Busch Gardens Summer Camp for Wild Things 877-BGT-CAMP Calvary Chapel Kids Camp 8900 US-19, Pinellas Park 727-577-7705 Camp Gilead 1444 Camp Gilead Drive, Polk City 863-984-1353

Clearwater Marine Aquarium Clearwater 727-441-1790 x252 Dance Central Summer Camps 12527 Ulmerton Rd, Largo 727-386-0586 Dunedin Parks and Recreation Day Camps Dunedin Community Center & MLK Jr. Rec. Center 727-738-2920

Camp Invention 800-968-4332 x6920

Eckerd College Summer Watersports Camp 4200 54th Ave S, St. Petersburg 727-864-8288

Camp Seal 19501 Holly Lane, Lutz 813-229-7946

First Lutheran Summer Camp 1644 Nursery Rd, Clearwater 727-462-8000

Champion Tae Kwon Do Summer Camp 7590 Starkey Road, Seminole For our complete listing of over 100 summer camps here in the Tampa Bay (727) 399-2999 Area, visit our interactive online directory at Circle F Dude Ranch Our summer camp directory contains detailed camp information, links to Lake Wales camp web sites and printable directions. 863-676-4113

Florida Aquarium AquaCamps 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa (813) 273-4015 Glazer Children’s Museum Camp Connect Tampa 813-443-FUN1 (3861)




FOR BEGINNER THROUGH ADVANCED SKATERS! Learn to Skate Camps • Hockey Camps • Advanced Figure Skating Camps On Ice and Off Ice Activities • Includes Skating Instruction


CLEARWATER 13940 ICOT Blvd 727-536-5843


Keep your campers cool this summer... Daily Open Sessions with Special Group Rates!

255 Forest Lakes Blvd 813-854-4010 x0


Westfield Countryside Mall



on summer camp registration when you mention this ad (not valid with any other offer)

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 27


Great Explorations Children’s Museum Summer Camp 1925 4th St N, St. Petersburg 727-821-8992 Independent Day School Camp IDS 12015 Orange Grove Dr, Tampa 813-961-3087


IRCS Summer Sports Camp 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo (727) 596-7192 JMAC Kids Summer Camp 2177 NE Coachman Rd, Clearwater 727-430-3902 Keswick Summer Sports Camp 10101 54th Ave N, St. Petersburg (727) 393-9100 Largo Cultural Center Summer Theatre Camps Largo Cultural Center 727-587-6751


LCC Day School Summer Camp 4400 Chancellor St NE, St. Petersburg 727-522-8331 Liberty Bowling Summer Camp 11401 Starkey Rd, Largo 727-397-3947

Learn how to live before you 727.864.8288 learn how to make a living 26 MARCH 2019

Lowry Park Zoo Summer Camps Tampa 813-935-8552 Mathnasium Summer Camp 3451 4th Street North, St. Petersburg Mary Jo’s Performing Arts Academy 15906 Mapledale Blvd, Tampa 813-969-0210 Minor Achievements 113 S. Disston Ave, Tarpon Springs 727-234-0924

Those two years are still the best years of my life, and I would never trade them for the world. – Benjamin Ward Jack Wyrtzen Center New York Campus

TRACS accredited

New York | Florida | Ontario, Canada | South Korea

28 • March 2019

Pinellas Preparatory Academy Summer Camp 2300 S. Belcher Road, Largo 727-536-3600 Plato Academy Summer Camp 2045 Palmetto Street, Clearwater 727-301-1590 PLAY Performing Arts 1920 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg 727-393-7625 R’Club Summer Camps 727-578-5437 Robotics Summer Camp Tampa • Brandon • Trinity 813-249-5522 Saddle Up Riding Club 9301 62nd Street, Pinellas Park 727-520-3132 Saint Paul’s School Summer Camps 1600 St. Paul’s Dr, Clearwater 727-536-2756 Seminole Assembly Adventure Kids 10600 113th St N, Seminole 727-391-9788 Shorecrest Summer Camps 5101 1st St N, St. Petersburg 727-522-2111 x173 Soul Adventures Camps at Skycrest 129 North Belcher Rd, Clearwater 727-797-1186 SPCA Tampa Bay Summer Camp 9099 130th Ave. N., Largo 727-586-3591 St. Jerome ECC Summer Camp 10895 Hamlin Blvd, Largo

MOSI Summer Science Camps 4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa 813-987-6000

St. Petersburg Christian School Sonny Days Camp 2021 62nd Ave N, St. Petersburg 727-522-3000

Northside Christian School Paradise Summer Camp 7777 62nd Ave N, St. Petersburg 727-647-0349

St. Petersburg Country Club Summer Camp 2000 Country Club Way, St. Petersburg 727-867-2111

Patel Conservatory Dance, Theater, and Music Summer Camps 813-222-1002

St. Petersburg Sailing Center Summer Sailing Camp 11 Central Ave, St. Petersburg 727-822-3873

Pinellas County Summer Camps 333 Chestnut Street, Clearwater 727-464-4600 summercamps

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Starkey Road Baptist Church Sports Camp 8800 Starkey Rd, Seminole 727-397-1654

Sylvan Robotics and Coding Camps 3951 Tyrone Blvd. St. Petersburg 727-347-6284 Tampa Bay History Center Adventure Camp 801 Old Water Street, Tampa 813-228-0097 Tampa Bay Ice Summer Camp 255 Forest Lakes Blvd, Oldsmar 13940 ICOT Blvd, Clearwater Westfield Countryside Mall

813-854-4010 727-536-5843 727-723-7785

The Florida Aquarium AquaCamps 813-273-4015 Tutterow Dancers 452 5th Ave SE, Largo 727-585-1232

Paradise Summer Camp 2019 Rising K - 6th Grade

Word of Life Florida Youth 877-412-8687 Xtreme Fun Center Summer Sports Camp 13211 93rd St N, Largo 727-584-9876 YMCA Summer Camps To have your camp listed in Gulf Coast Family’s printed summer camp guide, call 727-612-0783 or visit

Saddle Up Riding Club Horseback lessons Barn Times – kids learn to care for and ride horses Equine Therapy Summer Horse Camps

7 Amazing Weeks of Camp! June: 3, 10, 17, and 24 July: 8, 15, and 22

Northside Christian School 727-520-3132

Saddle Up Riding Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 29

A Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Marriage You are probably beginning the process of spring cleaning your home. As I think about the tasks of spring cleaning our house and specifically our garage, and the clutter, dirt, and grime that awaits me, I can’t help but think about my relationship with my wife.

by her, but it is noticed by you and will eventually come out in words or actions. Be patient, be kind, and be gentle even in challenging situations with your wife.

There are some dirty issues in our relationship that could use a good cleaning in order for us to function in the best way possible, while remaining attracted to one another.

There are times when the way I serve my wife is like when we were dating. Then there are times when I’m nowhere close to that type of service. These are the times when you need to go back to the dating days. Put your love in the form of action, and serve your wives.

I’m sure you are in the same boat. Here are 5 areas in your relationship to add to your spring cleaning checklist.

Your conversation.

Have you allowed non-loving words, or words that aren’t building up your spouse, into your relationship? Clean that up quickly. Make sure the words you speak to your spouse are in love and will build her up, not tear her down.

Your acts of service.

Your time together.

Kids, work, and everything else seem to compete with our quality time. It can be easy to allow your quality and alone time in your relationship to fall off the radar. Don’t let this happen; clean up your calendar and your schedule, making time for your relationship a priority.

Your attitude.

After cleaning up your words, how about your attitude? Your attitude may not always be noticed

30 • March 2019

Your Intimacy.

Has your focus when it comes to intimacy been on you and your needs? Clean it up immediately! Focus on loving your wife and meeting her physical, emotional, and intellectual needs first. The rest will take care of itself. How would a good spring cleaning impact your relationship?

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

My family needs staycation ideas, because like most of us, my husband and I only get so much vacation time a year. So this Spring Break, we’ll be spending most of our children’s break from school right here in town. Thankfully, with a little creativity – and help from iMOM! – you can come up with fun things we can do without leaving home. And the best part is that they’re not expensive or complicated. See what you think of these 10 super staycation ideas.

1 Visit a nature center, or wildlife rescue or refuge center. 2 Camp out: You can do this at a campsite in your own area. Or, you can even

have a camp out in your backyard. Don’t want to head outside, check out our website for some fun indoor campouts!

3 Sign up for a workshop or activity you can do as a family. Look into cooking lessons, tennis lessons or walking tours.

4 Let your kids choose their dream destination and then go there – without

leaving home. Decorate a room in the style of that country or city. Watch a movie shot on location. Eat the food of that locale. Try to learn a bit of the language.

5 If you have friends who are also taking staycations, see about trading houses with them for the weekend.

Drama Kids offers exciting programs for ages 4 to 18. Kids who take our classes have tons of fun and develop important confidence-building skills that will help them personally and academically. Activities include: • Improvisations • Mini-scripts • Speaking skills • Character analysis



School Programs Children’s Classes Family Classes

membership for as little as $50 a month. Consider it an investment in keeping your kids active this summer. Call around to see if you can find “summer only” specials.

Adult Classes

8 Take the train. Many railway carriers offer short trips of an hour or two. Pack

Evening Classes

a lunch and enjoy the scenery with your kids.

9 If you have a beach, lake or river nearby, check the paper or Internet for

Offering 8 classes daily

Tae Kwon Do Teaches • Physical Conditioning • Mental Strenghtening • Self Defence

And, even though you won’t be getting far away, sometimes just a change of scenery is all the boost you need.

If you want your child to get a jump on achievement, enroll them today. Space is limited.


7 Join a country club or community pool. Some clubs in smaller cities offer

sculpture, photography, and other creative works, give them some drawing paper, some modeling clay or a camera, and let them recreate their own favorites at home. Then create a gallery in your family room featuring their finished works of art.

Call 727-877-6835 Visit our website at

Register for a

few days away from home, and see if you can join them on the weekend.

10 Visit a local art museum with your kids. Once they’ve seen the paintings,

ENROLLING NOW! Classes across Pinellas County

6 Enlist the help of grandparents and other relatives. Let your children spend a

bargains on rentals. Since fewer people are traveling this summer, you might be able to get a great deal.

• Theater games • Creative movement • Performances

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Champion Tae Kwon Do 7590 Starkey Road, Seminole

(727) 399-2999 March 2019 • 31

Pinellas Academy is a SACS Accredited Charter School offering:     

A rigorous and challenging curriculum. Character-based education program. A safe, secure campus. Tuition-free, private school environment. High quality teachers that provide individualized student attention.


by Sarah Cole, Glazer Ch

ildren’s Museum

“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” When I think these words, I hear them in my father’s voice. During my childhood, we spent nearly every night working our way through our library of Dr. Seuss stories. Those nights provided me with great memories, and set me on the road to a love of reading and learning.

Here are some tips to make the most of reading with your kids!

March is the birth month of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. To celebrate his birth, the National Education Association is promoting the Read Across America program. The goal of Read Across America is to have every child in the country spend time reading with an adult.

2 Learn about each other. Take a trip to the library or a bookstore. Introduce your child to your favorite books, and look for new titles that appeal to your little one.

So, what is it about reading with an adult that is so important?

Now accepting applications for kindergarten through 8th grade!

Enrichment in


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. SACS ACCREDITED

Children who see their parents reading are much more likely to read for pleasure as they get older. Students who read for pleasure tend to be better readers and writers and to score better on tests. A recent study has shown that children who grow up in homes with many books obtain on average 3 years more schooling than children in homes with few or no books, regardless of parental education level, occupation, or socio-economic status. The importance of reading goes far beyond school success. Reading with children is an important bonding moment. It says to your child that despite your busy day, you want to take time to focus on him or her for a while. Reading with a child provides a great opportunity for a close snuggle on the couch.

1 Be interactive. Point out pictures, ask questions and encourage your child to ask questions. Questioning during reading helps build reading comprehension and also nurtures curiosity.

3 Make it fun! Silly voices, props, puppets and costumes can all make reading extra fun. If your child has a flair for the dramatic, consider putting on a play of favorite books, or allowing him or her to make sound effects. 4 Reading isn’t just for bedtime. For parents who work odd hours, bedtime books aren’t always an option. Try reading over breakfast, or have an older child read aloud to the family during the commute! 5 Keep a spare book handy. Stuff a few books in the car, your bag or even in the trunk. These books may come in handy during summer traffic jams or while waiting for a table at a restaurant. Until next time, enjoy your family. Enjoy your time together. And remember, in all things, Family First!

1775 S. Highland Ave. Clearwater, FL 33756

(727) 330-9449 32 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Let’s Celebrate Pi Day! by Erin Nobles, Director, Mathnasium of St Petersburg

March 14 is celebrated in math classes around the world as Pi day, but there’s no reason parents can’t get in on the fun! Plan some fun math-centered activities and show your favorite student how math can be silly.

What is Pi?

First things first…in case you haven’t thought about Pi since 10th grade geometry class, Pi is the number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle (the distance around the circle) by its diameter (the distance across). Because Pi is the same for every circle, we can use it to solve for the diameter of a circle, if we know the circle’s circumference, or to solve for the circumference of a circle if we know its diameter. And even though Pi is often written at 3.14, Pi contains an infinite number of digits without a pattern of repetition. As

far as we can tell, it doesn’t matter how long we calculate Pi (even with NASA’s most sophisticated supercomputers), we will never find its end.

Playing with numbers

The curious properties of Pi have fascinated mathematicians for many years, and provide teachers and parents with lots of opportunities for fun. Of course, you can never go wrong with a Pi day pie. Encourage your children to compete to memorize the most digits of Pi and the winner gets the largest slice! Another idea is to show children how to calculate Pi in the real world by having your child measure cylindrical objects with string. Have them cut up the string into three even pieces, and then measure the leftover piece to see how it’s always Pi. Also, there are

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445 923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095 5058223172535940812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196442 881097566593344612847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432664 82133936072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917153643678925 9036001133053054882046652138414695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738193 26117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491298336733624406 566430860213949463952247371907021798609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694 0513200 056812714 526356082778577 1342 757789609 173637178721468 440 901224953 430146549585371 0507922796 8925892354201995 6112129021 9608640344181598 1362977477 1309960518707211 34999999837 2978049951059731 73281609631 8595024459455346 908302642522 3082533446850352 619311881710 10003137838752886 5875332083814 20617177669147303 5982534904287 55468731159562863 88235378759375 19577818577805321 712268066130019 278766111959092164 2019893809525720 106548586327886593 615338182796823030 195203530185296899 577 3622599413891249721 775283479131515574 857 242454150695950829533 1168617278558890750 983 8175463746493931925506 0400927701671139009 848 82401285836160356370766 01047101819429555961 989 46767837449448255379774 726847104047534646208046684259 0694912933136770289891 521047521620569660240580381 5019351125338243003 558764024749647326391419 92726042699227 967823547816360093

many websites devoted to Pi day fun, games, and accessories. For ideas, visit But even without a computer, parents can encourage children to memorize the first few digits of Pi.

Artists can write poetry about Pi (a Pi-ku, perhaps?) or paint a picture of Pi. If you’re feeling sporty, try a Pi-athlon (run or bike 3.14 miles – roughly a 5K).

No longer reserved only for the geek culture, pi is fun, approachable, and entertaining. At Mathnasium we are seeking to promote National Pi Day and the importance of a strong STEAM education. All technology, from the wheel to the Smart Phone, utilizes physical laws that are described in terms of mathematics, and we want to encourage you to enjoy this fun day, which also happens to be the birthday of Albert Einstein!

Sign Language and My Signing Toys Go Hand in Hand

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MY Signing toys, LLC creates toys that aid parents, family members, educators, and therapist in learning and teach sign language through play.” Great tool for Baby Sign Language & ASL with Down Syndrome, Autistic, pre-verbal, & deaf babies.

For over 20 years Classical Conversations has been equipping parents to be great educators at home. Get access now to the tools that over 40,000 families use to home educate.

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Preferred Child Care Provider of the Tampa Bay Rays 34 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Palm Harbor University High girls soccer team takes the state championship Partnership with school and local police department spotlights bike safety

The Hurricanes won the State 5A Girls Soccer Championship at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium in Deland. They beat the number one team in the state, Cypress Bay Lightning with a hardfought final score of 1-0. This is Palm Harbor University High School’s first state championship since 2010. Congratulations to the team, Principal Dr. Christen Gonzalez and Head Coach Randy Irick!

Gulfport Montessori Elementary School held a bicycle rodeo in partnership with the City of Gulfport Police Department this past February. Gulfport Montessori Elementary School held a bicycle rodeo in partnership with the City of Gulfport Police Department recently where 12 gently used bikes and helmets were given to students who needed them. The bicycle rodeo was held to educate Gulfport Elementary students and families on bicycle safety and to build relationships. Students, parents and staff maneuvered an obstacle course while following all the bicycle rules of the road.

Superintendent receives the Silver Medal of Good Citizenship from the St. Petersburg Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution This February, the St. Petersburg Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution awarded the distinguished SAR Silver Medal of Good Citizenship to Michael A. Grego, superintendent of the Pinellas County School System. The award recognizes Superintendent Michael Grego’s innova-

The rodeo also included a resources area where nonprofits community organizations provided free services and materials to families.

tive leadership, effective program development and his record of outstanding achievement as superintendent since his appointment in 2012. The Silver Medal of Good Citizenship was presented to Dr. Grego by Charles R. Butler, chairman of the chapter’s Board of Governors. The Silver Medal of Good Citizenship was created by the National Society in 1939. It is the highest society award that can be presented through a State Society or Chapter and requires the ap-

proval of a special committee of Florida State Society. The SAR Silver Medal of Good Citizenship has only been awarded one other time by the St. Petersburg Chapter. That was in January 2019 to Army Brig. Gen. David MacEwen.

Battle of the Books champions named The district’s 2018-19 Battle of the Books champions were named last week. The winners are:

North County Elementary: Ridgecrest Elementary School South County Elementary: Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School Middle School: Thurgood Marshall Middle School High School: Boca Ciega High School

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Battle of the Books is a national program designed to engage students in grades 3 thru 12 in reading award-winning titles with a spirit of competition. The purpose is simply to encourage students to read good books and have fun while competing with peers. The Battle of the Books is a “quiz bowl” type of game in which teams try to identify titles and authors of the 15 Sunshine State Young Readers Award titles and the Florida Teens Read Titles. Questions are based on plots, settings and characters. March 2019 • 35

36 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Busch Gardens Celebrates

60 Years of


Celebrating six decades of unforgettable experiences, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay shared even more exciting news with park guests during the 60th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff. In addition to debuting a new menu for the 2019 Food & Wine Festival and the launch of the all-new Pin Trading program, the park revealed more details for upcoming attractions including Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, and a new attraction coming in 2020.

Opening on March 16, the Food & Wine Festival returns with an exciting new menu, featuring more than 35 dishes inspired by regional cuisine around the country. Guests can sample over 100 wines and other drinks while enjoying world-class concerts of all tastes, including Daughtry, Justin Moore, El Gran Combo, Boyz II Men, Foreigner and more! The full menu and line-up, including VIP packages, can be found online at


Pin Trading

Also as part of the park’s 60th Anniversary, Busch Gardens launched a NEW Pin Trading program. With more than 150 pins now available in the park, guests can begin collecting and trading the pocket-sized souvenirs. From fan-favorite animals, attractions, and events to exclusive collections not sold in stores, guests can trade pins with employees as they explore the park.


NEW FOR 2019!

Regional tastes from every corner of America

beers 100+ Wines, and cocktails WEEKENDS



New food samples to feast on

SEE THE FULL LINEUP AT BUSCHGARDENSTAMPA.COM Event included with park admission, Silver, Gold or Platinum Annual Pass. Select blockout dates apply to Fun Card and Bronze Annual Pass. Event details, experiences and offers subject to change and/or cancellation without prior notice. Food and beverage not included and available for an extra fee. Must be 21 or older to purchase and/or consume alcoholic beverages. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reserves the right to refuse service of any alcoholic beverage to any guest. Prices subject to change and do not include MARCH taxes or services 2019 fees. Menu items subject to change. © 2019 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.


Excitement is building with the eagerly anticipated spring opening of Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster. With the recent arrival of the ride vehicles, testing for the new attraction will begin soon to prepare for opening day this spring. “We’re moving quickly to open our ninth roller coaster, Tigris, with a tenth coaster already underway for next year,” said Stewart Clark, President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. “This cadence of back-toback new attractions is unprecedented for our park, and continues our legacy as Florida’s thrill ride leader.”

To advertise, call 727-612-0783


The buzz continues with more history in the making at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, as construction begins on a NEW hybrid coaster arriving in 2020. When it opens next year, the ride will become North America’s tallest hybrid, and the fastest, steepest hybrid coaster in the world.

Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the newest addition at Busch Gardens will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall. The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi. Coaster enthusiasts can follow the progress of Tigris and the new 2020 attraction through the park’s social media channels and using #TakeOnTigris and #2020Rising.

FREE Preschool Card

Kids 5 and younger can enjoy FREE admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island throughout all of 2019 with the Preschool Card. There’s never been a cooler time to be a kid! Florida residents only, other conditions apply, visit to register. March 2019 • 37

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Get Noticed (727) 612-0783 38 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Tech-Savvy Seniors Kids these days might think they can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but research says that the 55+ generation is using technology as seamlessly as the rest of us. According to AARP, 76 percent of adults over the age of 50 own a desktop, laptop or tablet. Nine in 10 adults in the same age group own a mobile device and 75 percent own a smartphone. While new technology, like fitness watches and pedometers, have a lower adoption rate, the numbers are growing each year. Technology allows older adults to maintain their independence, communicate with family, access movies, books and news, and can help track bank accounts, appointments and important dates. According to AARP, 55 percent of those age 50 or older, who own a computer or tablet, are accessing information about health and fitness information.

Digital technology like the Internet, tracking pedometers, mobile apps and various personal devices, have expanded the health and fitness world to promote a longer and healthier lifestyle. Here are a few ways technology and health care can help these tech-savvy seniors:

• Virtual doctor visits and online scheduling:

Mobile applications like BayCareAnywhere and HealthNav are helping people take charge of their medical care. If you’re feeling under the weather or cut yourself, you can utilize these apps to have a telemedicine visit, schedule an urgent care appointment, find your closest emergency room or call to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

• Patient portal:

A website that houses your recent laboratory numbers and X-rays is easily accessible for BayCare patients. Talk to your doctor’s office about starting an account on the BayCare Patient Portal.

• Health care mobile apps:

There are several mobile apps available that can help track your daily walks, refill prescriptions, and keep a record of doctor’s names and phone numbers. Search the mobile app store to find one that works best for you.

• Personal Emergency Response Systems:

A medical alert system like CareLink Numera Innovation Medical Alert System utilizes GPS technology, hands-free, two-way communication, can be used in the shower or tub or even on when you’re on an afternoon walk. This easy-to-use technology works with an independent lifestyle.

Great Place to Work and Fortune Name BayCare One of Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For BayCare, a leading organization dedicated to providing high quality, compassionate care to patients in the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions, has been named one of the best companies to work for in the country by Great Place to Work and Fortune. BayCare ranked No. 37 on the list, which was based on survey feedback from more than 4.3 million employees – rating their workplace culture on more than 60 different categories. “We’re proud to be named a top workplace in the country for a second year in a row,” said Tommy Inzina, president and CEO of BayCare. “We have an extraordinary group of team members and physicians working together as one team to provide extraordinary care to our patients – and that makes BayCare such a great place to work.” From FORTUNE. ©2019 Fortune Media IP Limited.

BayCare received the award for high survey results in many areas including trust in managers, compensation, fairness, camaraderie and innovation. According to Great Place to Work, winners also outperformed in talent retention and productivity. “The 2019 100 Best are the leaders in creating the most innovative workplaces built on trust,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “Employees at these organizations feel valued, respected and heard and are inspired to be their best selves because of the commitment these winning companies have made to creating a great workplace for all employees, no matter who they are or what they do for the company.” In 2018, Fortune and Great Place to Work ranked BayCare No. 65 as one of the best companies to work for in many areas including trust in managers, compensation, fairness and camaraderie. The 100 Best Companies is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and Fortunebased on employee feedback from Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations. For all Great Place to Work Best Workplace lists and more information on how to apply, visit Great Place to Work’s website at To advertise, call 727-612-0783

About BayCare Health System BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit March 2019 • 39

with Jim Daly Q: Some friends of ours are talking about possibly adopting a child. Honestly, my wife and I have never thought about doing that. But I’ve heard you’re a big proponent of adoption, and I’m curious as to why. Jim: Let’s do some name-dropping: Babe Ruth. President Gerald Ford. Steve Jobs. Dave Thomas (the founder of Wendy’s). These were all successful people, but they also share the distinct privilege of having been adopted. I spent a year in the foster care system myself, so I know what it means to be an orphan. I also know the stability and nurture a loving adoptive family can provide a child. That’s why I never forget that there are thousands of children across the country and around the world who have the same need for a family to bring them into their home, to love them and to show them their worth. Adopting a child is a serious responsibility, but the rewards are priceless. And

ADOPTION CAN POSITIVELY CHANGE THE FUTURE OF A CHILD IN NEED And if you’d like to read some inspiring stories, I highly recommend a book by my friend Paul Batura titled “Chosen for Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World.”

it can make all the difference in the life of a young person in need—literally changing their entire future. Not every adopted child will grow up to be a head-of-state like Nelson Mandela or the founder of a Fortune 500 company like Steve Jobs. But it’s hard to overestimate the lifelong impact that growing up in a loving, adoptive family can have on a child. We all need love, a sense of worth and the security of knowing that we belong. Without the gift of adoption, many children will grow up without those things. For more information about helping an adopted child to thrive—or coming alongside a family that has adopted—visit

PARENTS CONCERNED THAT DAUGHTER HASN’T ACCEPTED THEIR VALUES Q: Our daughter is finishing high school and will soon “leave the nest.” We’re concerned that she doesn’t seem to be enthusiastic about the values we’ve tried to teach her. It’s discouraging to us as parents—but is it too late? Jim: I think all of us, as parents, struggle at some point with this kind of concern. Here’s my advice: Be patient. You’ve planted the seed and watered it. Now comes the tough

part—waiting for it to take root and grow. Let me share a story. A few years back, my family and I were driving through open farmland. My son, Trent, asked, “Hey, Dad, why aren’t the farmers out working?” He was expecting to see tractors and combines rumbling through the dirt, and rows of crops sprouting up along the endless miles of fields. But since the planting season had just ended, the landscape of empty fields didn’t tell the whole story. I explained to my son that before the farmers could harvest a crop, they had to be patient and wait for the seeds they had planted to take root and grow. Parents face much the same challenge, and it’s easy for discouragement to settle in when we don’t immediately see the results we’re hoping for. But, like a farmer, you can’t force a seed to grow. It must be nurtured and given the right nutrients for it to have its best chance of taking root on its own. For a child, that includes patience, firm and healthy boundaries,

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solid examples from Mom and Dad, and buckets of praise and love.


As a parent, you do what you can while your child is under your roof. I’ll presume that you’ve communicated and hopefully modeled the values you want your daughter to emulate. Now it’s up to her. Her decisions as a budding adult might not always be the ones you’d prefer. But even if that seed seems dormant for now, under the right conditions it can still sprout and grow.

THE POWER OF THE WORDS WE SPEAK Q: I’m getting married soon. My fiancee and I thought it would be good to ask various people—family, friends and experts—for their best marriage tips. What’s your advice?

you down trails you never intended to go. That’s why it’s important to put up strong fences early on in your relationship to guide you in what you should and shouldn’t say to one another.

Greg Smalley, Vice President, Family Ministries: There are many things I could say, but let me go with this: Your chances for a successful marriage increase substantially when you both agree to temper the ways you speak to each other.

One of the most effective boundaries for protecting a relationship is removing talk of divorce from your conversations at all costs. It’s not wise for couples to threaten an end to their marriage as a tactic for getting their way. Every marriage encounters disagreement at times. But if you allow yourself in the heat of an argument to raise the possibility of divorce, it suddenly becomes a “real option.” Instead, make up your minds in advance that, come what may, divorce is absolutely off-limits. It’ll motivate you to find other ways to settle your differences.

Have you ever noticed the power of the words we speak? They can build up and heal our relationships, or they can tear them down and destroy them. Careless words are like runaway horses. Once they’re out in the open, they’ll lead

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Trouble will come to your relationship— that’s just part of being human. But take “divorce” out of your vocabulary and work on finding other opportunities for resolving the issues you face. We have resources to help lifelong marriages launch successfully at

HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THE MISTAKES IN PARENTING Q: How can I deal with my shortcomings as a parent? I love my family dearly and do my best, but I feel like I make a lot of mistakes with my kids.

When imperfection happens, I have learned to ask myself four key questions:

Danny Huerta, Vice President, Parenting and Youth: Parenting has a way of sometimes highlighting our imperfections. Thankfully, being a good parent doesn’t mean having to be a perfect parent. In fact, true success in parenting is about how you learn from and respond to the mistakes you inevitably will make.

2. What can I learn from what happened?

1. What happened (from both perspective and my child’s)?


3. What will I do differently next time? 4. What’s my next move to reconnect with my child and move forward? As I’ve worked through these questions in specific parenting situations, I’ve also developed more and more empathy To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 41

with Jim Daly and understanding for other parents— including my own. Along the way, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to continue learning grace, forgiveness, humility, love and patience through my role as an imperfect dad. Even though we can drive each other nuts sometimes, as a family we’ve also come to understand one another at a very deep level, and that fosters genuine empathy and connection within our home. You can become a better parent by taking advantage of specific parenting tools (like our organization’s 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment, which you can find at parenting). Find out where your strengths

lie and maximize those. Learn what your weaknesses are and work to shore those up. And, as should be the case in every area of life, be ready to apologize and repair when needed.

INVESTORS, INFLUENCERS AND ENCOURAGERS Q: My daughter is a great kid, but she doesn’t always see her own value. I believe in her; still, I sometimes have trouble communicating that to her. How can I build my child up? Danny Huerta, Vice President, Parenting and Youth: Who and what we become is generally impacted by many people. Let’s talk about three types of “builders” your child needs: investors, influencers and encouragers. Who are the investors in your daughter’s life? These are people who contribute their time, money, talents and advice. I

had several coaches during my teen years who invested time in me. For example, I was awful at tennis in high school, but one coach believed in me and took time to help me become a better player. I eventually won a tennis scholarship my second year of college, because someone invested in me. How about the positive influencers in your daughter’s life? These are wise life decision-makers your daughter admires and trusts. They teach and model good examples. These may include friends, siblings, teachers, coaches, mentors and, of course, parents. Who are encouragers in your daughter’s life? These individuals’ words propel us forward, reminding us of our value, purpose and direction. (Unfortunately, many of tend to pay more attention to the critics.) When I was in high school, my principal stopped me one day and said, “You’re going to be a great leader someday.” Those were profound fueling words. He may not remember that moment of encouragement, but I’ll never forget it.

I urge you to commit to consistently investing in your daughter, positively influencing and persistently encouraging her along the way. And remind her to not give critics too much “microphone time” in her mind. On a related note, Focus on the Family has developed a suicide prevention resource called Alive to Thrive (alivetothrive. It’s a free and excellent resource to equip those who invest in, influence and encourage young people. I urge you to use this to help your community move in a healthier direction. Every life is important and precious! Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, host of the Focus on the Family radio program, and a husband and father of two.

MARCH 29 2019 WWW.TRINITYCOLLEGE.EDU 42 • March 2019

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Springtime: It’s Not All About Flowers and Sunshine by Kathleen Rodriquez Thoughts of spring usually bring visions of longer days, warmer weather, and a plethora of blooming flowers. True, all of these are welcomed changes that take place in the Florida springtime, usually in the month of March. However, something else of significance changes in March – something very important – yet we seldom give it much thought: suicide.

Kathleen Rodriquez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker here in Pinellas County. She specializes in therapy with children and families.

Historically March is the month with the highest rate of suicide. It is a subject that may be taboo for some; but with over 34,000 suicides in the United States annually, it’s a topic that cannot be ignored. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24. This age group accounts for over 4,000 suicides a year in the U.S. The belief that suicide is a spiritual issue is a myth. The truth is, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 90% of those who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females; however, females are more likely to attempt suicide. The strongest risk factors for attempted suicide in youth are depression, substance abuse, and aggressive/disruptive behaviors. Other risk factors include self-injury behavior, low self-esteem, feelings of wanting to die, family history of suicide, and fire arms in the home.

The following are warning signs for teen depression: • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness • Decline in School Performance • Loss of pleasure/interest in social and sports activities • Increase in sleep • Decrease in weight or appetite • Nervousness, irritability, anger outbursts • Neglect of personal appearance • Increase in physical complaints such as headache, stomach ache and fatigue • Alcohol or drug use • Withdrawal from family and friends

to be embraced and loved by his parents. Teenage years can be a very tumultuous time. This can equate to a daunting, but worthwhile, task for parents.

When depression manifests itself as behavioral changes such as withdrawal, anger outbursts, or defiance in teenagers, an impulse reaction for parents may be to throw up their hands and think, “Enough is enough. If my child wants to act this way, then so be it.” However, this is a crucial time when a child needs

God is with you at your best and at your worst. As Hebrews 13:5 states, “…He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Even in the bleakest situations, there is ALWAYS hope. Get help today.

What may be viewed as a “teen phase” could actually be a serious issue that requires professional help. Asking for help is an act of strength and courage. Parents must stay involved with their teen and refuse to be shut out. Suicide is an act of desperation and hopelessness. It is illogical – although it may seem totally logical in the eyes of the person considering it.

24 Hour Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

TO KNOW HIM AND LIVE THAT OTHERS MAY KNOW HIM You will be encouraged, challenged and have opportunity to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ!


6:00 pm

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727-391-9788 March 2019 • 43

March 2019


March 1 - 16 BUSCH GARDENS’ REAL MUSIC REAL MASTERS Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s longest running concert series returns. Watch and listen to incredible music spanning from the 1950s to today, plus all-new entertainment like “Ballroom with a Twist”! Grab a seat in the climate-controlled Stanleyville and see these memorable acts live at Busch Gardens.

March 1 - 10 HAMILTON

March 1 - 10 FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, over 500,000 visitors enjoy the festival’s headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, exhibits of commerce and, of course, its strawberry shortcake. March 1 - 31 THE PIGEON COMES TO TAMPA! A MO WILLEMS EXHIBIT Visit the whimsical world of Mo Willems and his cast of lovable characters at the Glazer Children’s Museum. Here, simple stories inspire hours of play and reveal the rich emotional lives of Mo’s characters. The challenges of growing up, like learning to make yourself understood, or figuring out what it means to be a good friend, are gentle themes throughout. Along the way, children get to make their own art, surprises abound, and every exploration ends in fits of laughter!

Relax, Leave The Driving To Us! For over a century, Martz has been providing safe, reliable and courteous transportation. Martz Group offers private group transportation throughout Florida and the continental U.S. We will take your group to any place you desire; the airport, sporting events, on field trips and much more! Call or email one of our representatives at to inquire.

The most expensive show in Broadway history is still in town and if you’re lucky you may get to see it for only $10. The Straz Center and the producers of Hamilton announced their #HAM4HAM digital lottery drawing for discounted seats for the Tony Award-winning musical. Forty seats will be distributed through the lottery for each performance. Those seats will cost just $10 each. To enter, download the official “Hamilton” app or visit March 2, 5, 7, 9, 16, 18, 25 & 30 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING HOME GAMES The Tampa Bay Lightning have become one of the NHL’s must-see franchises. Without a doubt, the Lightning are one of the best experiences in sports, and a visit to Amalie Arena makes it easy to see why. This March make plans to come out and “Be the Thunder” as the Bolts take on the Ottawa Senators, the Winnipeg Jets, the Minnesota Wild, the Detroit Red Wings, the Arizona Coyotes, the Boston Bruins, and the Washington Capitals. March 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 & 31 2019 BAY AREA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL @ MOSI Take a time-travel adventure into the 18th century at the annual Bay Area Renaissance

Festival! Join our Queen in a jubilee! Journey back in time as more than 100 merchants contribute to the atmosphere of this charming 16th century village. Experience live armored jousting, 12 stages of entertainment, 7 theme weekends, and fun and food for the whole family!

March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 DILLYDALLY WITH DALI Children can discover the creative world of Dali through games, puzzles and arts + crafts activities which educate and encourage family interaction. DillyDally with Dali takes place under the direction of the museum’s Family Programs Coordinator in the 1st floor Education Classroom. March 5 CHILDREN’S BOARD OF HILLSBOROUGH FREE TUESDAY AT THE GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Join us for free, family fun at the GCM as the Children’s Board of Hillsborough proudly presents a Free Admission Tuesday. This event aligns with the Children’s Board’s mission to promote the well-being of children and families by uniting community partners, investing in innovative opportunities, and leading the county in the best practices so that the whole community can realize its full potential.

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Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

March 9, 10, 15, 16 & 17 DAY OUT WITH THOMAS 2019 The Florida Railroad Museum presents “Day Out With Thomas”, it’s annual event that offers children and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with Thomas, the No. 1 blue engine, and enjoy a day of fun filled Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. Meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway, and enjoy crafts, storytelling, videos, train play tables, coloring, temporary tattoos, and much more!

March 6 - 31 2019 EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FLOWER & GARDEN FESTIVAL Delight in the magnificence of spring with a multisensory selection of vibrant displays and captivating experiences. Nurture your sense of curiosity at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival—a fun-filled destination for Guests of all ages. With so much to see and do, your whole family will uncover something new with every single visit! March 6 HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE EXPERIENCE ENRICHMENT DAYS AT MOSI Have you ever heard the expression, “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse”? This class will teach you the science behind sustainable living. Experiment with MOSI’s biodigesters and learn how they turn food waste into methane gas for cooking and liquid fertilizer for plants. Research and use solar panels to power up simple devices and learn why they are most useful after a natural disaster. Learn why microbes are an important tool for sustainable living. March 8 & 9 BUSCH GARDENS’ PJ MASKS CHARACTER APPEARANCE Don’t miss out on all the action packed

events of the weekend with the PJ Masks! Join Busch Gardens in March for special guest appearances from some of your favorite characters! When you dine with The PJ Masks you will have the opportunity for a meet and greet and to take photos!

experiences to Tampa Bay to share their stories with our community on our historic stage. Lou Holtz, legendary football coach and analyst (ESPN, 2004-2015), will be joining Tampa Theatre as the first guest in its 2019 LIMELIGHT series.

March 12 LOU HOLTZ LIVE EVENT: LIMELIGHT LIMELIGHT is an event series unlike any other Tampa Theatre has ever produced, bringing speakers from a wide range of cultural pursuits and a broad palette of

March 9 - 10 REPTILEPALOOZA! Join the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for Reptilepalooza! Learn all about these cold-blooded creatures with fun activities. Get up close and see a variety of snakes, alligators, tortoises and other rescued reptiles on select dates.

Wednesday March 20

DQ Grill & Chill

10820 Park Blvd @ Seminole Blvd Seminole, Florida To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 45

March 13 CELTIC WOMAN Since its debut, global musical sensation Celtic Woman’s concerts continue to capture the hearts of an audience that spans the globe. Both an accomplished recording ensemble and a world-class performing collective, Celtic Woman celebrates Ireland’s rich musical and cultural heritage, while continuing its remarkable legacy of introducing some of Ireland’s most talented singers and musicians onto the world stage.

March 16. 17, 23, 24, 30 & 31 BUSCH GARDENS’ FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL A world of taste awaits at the fifth annual Busch Gardens’ Food & Wine Festival. The festival features more new and exciting dishes than ever, plus a large selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails. Some of the biggest acts in musical entertainment will take the stage every weekend on Gwazi Field. All concerts are included with daily ticketed admission to the park.

March 16 MFA MAKE & TAKE SATURDAYS Create your own masterpiece inspired by works in the collection and special exhibitions. Supplies are included. FREE with Museum admission. No registration necessary. Recommended for ages five and older, but entire families are encouraged to participate.

March 16 - 17 11TH ANNUAL BLOOM N CHALK FEST Escape to beautiful Safety Harbor for a magical experience in art. Stroll quaint Main Street, view historical landmarks, shop eclectic boutiques and enjoy the area’s finest restaurants as you watch local, national and international artists create sidewalk art that is as real as Picasso & Rembrandt. Proceeds from Bloom N Art N Chalk Fest benefit Safety Harbor Regional Museum fund local art projects and scholarships.

March 21 - 24 DISNEY ON ICE DARE TO DREAM Believe in what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all in Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! Journey with Mickey and Minnie to uncover why no goal is too big when we find the strength to shape our own destiny at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! Fans are encouraged to arrive early to celebrate family and tradition with Miguel from Disney Pixar’s Coco in a special singa-long guest appearance.

March 17 TFO: BROADWAY TONIGHT Enjoy an evening with The Florida Orchestra and performers straight from Broadway as they revisit your favorite classics along with new hits from today’s hottest shows, featuring songs from Hamilton, South Pacific, Evita and many more.

March 22 CHICAGO LIVE IN CONCERT GRAMMY Award winning iconic rock band Chicago returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall with their signature horns for the first time since their sold-out show in 2014. With worldwide sales of more than 120 million records, five consecutive #1 albums, and an astonishing 50 hits in the U.S. alone, including 21 Top 10 smashes, Chicago is one of the most successful bands in rock music history.




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March 17 THE PATEL CONSERVATORY MUSIC PRESENTS VIVALDI’S GLORIA In this combined instrumental and vocal performance, Patel Conservatory music students join forces with Patel Conservatory music faculty on a variety of small chamber works culminating with Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria. Featured faculty soloists include Kristi Beinhauer, Jordan Campbell, Robert Murray, Lauren Murray and Timothy Wilt. March 18 - 22 KID-TOGRAPHY Prove you’re sea-worthy this spring break at the History Center! Brush up on your navigation and map-reading skills while you explore the all-new Treasure Seekers gallery and take part in fun, hands-on activities. These 30-minute activities take place at noon each day, March 18-22, and are included with admission to the History Center. Recommended for adults and children ages 6 and up.

SAVOR SPRING AT THE ZOO Barbecue is blooming at ZooTampa! Experience everything you love about the Zoo—adorable baby animals, exciting wildlife encounters, and family fun—all with a slow-smoked, mouth-watering twist. Enjoy classics like smoked ribs, buttery corn, and pulled pork sliders; and discover new favorites like smoked salmon, jerk-grilled eggplant, and bourbon cupcakes. Pair with a cold beer and dig in as live music fills the air. Visit for tickets.

4 MARCH 9-24 | ‘TIL 7PM DAILY MARCH 2019

46 • March 2019

BBQ | BEER | LIVE MUSIC | WILDLIFE Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

The Rays will open the 2019 season at home against the Houston Astros on Thursday, March 28, the earliest Opening Day in franchise history. This is the tenth consecutive season the team will play at home on Opening Day, but it’s the first time the Rays will face an AL West opponent to start the season. Tampa Bay will play 20 interleague games during the season and will go up against all five teams from the NL West. They will play 19 games against each AL East rival team.

Have an Event? Email submissions to for consideration or visit our online calendar at

The Gulf Coast Family Weekender



Florida Strawberry Festival

Feb. 28 – March 10


Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival



Tampa Bay Boat Show Tropicana Field


Hamilton Straz Center

Feb 12–Mar 10

22 29


Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 8–10

The IndyCar Series is the premier open-wheel racing series in the United States and Canada, competing on a challenging combination of super-speedways, short ovals, scenic road courses and temporary street circuits.

Mayor’s River O’Green Fest Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park



Day Out With Thomas Florida Railroad Museum

Aspiring engineers can take a ride with the classic storybook engine, Thomas the Tank Engine!

Bay Area Renaissance Festival MOSI

Disney On Ice


Skyway 10K Tropicana Field / Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The 2019 Skyway 10K benefits the Armed Forces Families Foundation. One hundred percent of all proceeds from this race go to projects supporting our military and their families.




Valspar Championship Tournament Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club


Amalie Arena March 21 – 24

Ruth Eckerd Hall

Believe in what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all.

Join five spunky campers and their fearless counselor at Camp American Girl in this original 90-minute musical that celebrates the power of girls and strength of friendship.

The Lion King Van Wezel Preforming Arts Hall March 14 – 31


Lightning Hockey Amalie Arena

The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Washington Capitals at Amalie Arena.



Rays Baseball Tropicana Field

The Tampa Bay Rays host the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field.

GO RAYS! Fans 14 and under get a Kevin Kiermaier Replica Jersey! (while supplies last)

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

March 2019 • 47

n a i t s i r h C o d Why ? k c i w s e K dads Love Dads love it when they see their kids growing. Learning. Flourishing in every aspect of their lives. And that’s what they love about Keswick Christian School. It’s a safe and welcoming environment where faith is the sure foundation for a high quality education. On this naturally beautiful campus, Christian teachers see helping children excel as more than just a job. It’s a calling. Keswick has a proven heritage of bringing the highest ideals of Christian education to life since 1953. Christian dads love that too.

OPEN HOUSE February 6, 9am March 6, 9am April 3, 9am

Financial Aid Available Learn more: 10101 54th Avenue North | St. Petersburg, Florida 33708 Infants – 12th grade | Call for a personal tour: 727.393.9100

A Home for Christian families

Profile for Gulf Coast Family

Gulf Coast Family - March 2019  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...

Gulf Coast Family - March 2019  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...