Heartland LIVING Dec 2020-Jan 2021

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December 2020 | January 2021


Serving all of Central Florida

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“Our Gilbert experience was refreshingly easy & rewarding. The salesman, Rick Gold, was invested in what we were looking for. Once we picked out a vehicle, they personally delivered it to me at my job. I highly recommend any working family looking to purchase a vehicle to buy from Gilbert.”

- Jeanne & Michael Hazellief School Teacher Law Enforcement Officer

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3550 US Highway 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 (863)763-3154 www.GilbertChevrolet.com

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December 2020 & January 2021 3


Phone, video or office visits. With us, it’s your call. Your health is too important to put on hold. That’s why AdventHealth Medical Group offers three simple and safe ways to connect with one of our 20 primary care providers. If you’d like to visit in person, we have taken appropriate steps to provide a safe environment with contactless registration and check-in. If you prefer a video or phone visit, you can schedule one online and see the same provider you would at the office. So don’t wait to get the care you need, because we’ve made connecting with a provider easy and convenient. Schedule your appointment today at AHMGHeartland.com or call 863-402-CARE.


‘Tis the season... to be Smiling!

Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season and the coming new year!

We know that everyone is eager to get back to normal and we are excited to announce that we are open for business. Please call our office to schedule an appointment!

¡ Preventative Care ¡ Restorative Dentistry ¡ In-Office Sedation ¡ Interceptive Orthodonic Treatment ¡ Extractions Melissa Kindell, DMD

OKEECHOBEE 863-357-7338 FAX: 863-357-7342

2029 Hwy 441 North Okeechobee, FL 34972

¡ Emergency Dental Treatment ¡ New Patient Exams ¡ Dental Care for Special Needs & Medically Compromised Patients

Your child’s health is important and finding a positive relationship between kids and their dentist is a good way to build lifelong healthy habits. Everglades Pediatric Dentistry, provides dental care for children in the Greater Lake Okeechobee area and Sebring area. Most insurances are accepted and emergencies are welcomed.

SEBRING 863-382-0340 FAX: 863-357-7342

5606 US Hwy 27 Sebring, FL 33870

December 2020 & January 2021 www.evergladespedodent.com

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CONTENTS

6

Volume 9 | Issue 6 | December 2020 & January 2021

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

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features 40

24

'Tis the Season for Holiday Traditions By Jessica Pleger

40

Pace Center for Girls, Polk By Grace Hirdes

50

50

Porch Swings By Rebecca Maglischo

60

Giving Back to the Hardee Community By Grace Hirdes

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December 2020 & January 2021 7


CONTENTS

Volume 9 | Issue 6 | December 2020 & January 2021

noteworthySTORIES 72

A Glance Back. A Nudge Forward By Rebecca Maglischo

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72

Okeechobee Main Street Festival of Trees By Bridgette Waldau

92

Rudolph Roundup Toy Drive By Grace Hirdes

inspired by the SOUTH

80

Southern Chef By Layne Prescott

86 departments

10 Letter from the Publisher 16 Behind the Scenes 20 From Our Readers Cover Finley Grace Pleger and Santa Claus

92 8

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Photography by Lisa Taylor Hall December 2020 | January 2021


Counting our

Blessings

THIS HOLIDAY SE AS N

Lakeside

Dental Arts would like to wish you a

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year

as we are blessed to be a part of your community.

have faith • spread joy • give back With soothing panoramic views of Lake Jackson, Lakeside Dental Arts is committed to providing patients state-of-the-art dentistry in a safe environment with a focus on patient comfort and excellence.

S CH E D U LE YO U R VI S IT TO DAY

863.658.4272 • LakesideDentalArts.com by DR. DAVID E. WILLEY, D.M.D.

2660 US Hwy 27 South • Sebring, FL 33870

December 2020 & January 2021 9


L

etter fromTHE PUBLISHER Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! As I sit here and write this letter, I feel blessed and filled with joy for Christmas and the New Year. I know this has been a very different 2020 for all of us. Let’s all count our Blessings and look forward to an Amazing 2021. I know here at Heartland LIVING we are moving into our tenth year and it just doesn’t seem possible. I just looked back at our first cover and feature story in 2012 with the City of Sebring Fire Department. I still remember the excitement that day being my first photo shoot with Rafael Pacheco and Bridgette Waldau as creative director. Ending our ninth year proudly, I hope we have kept our promise to continue to raise the bar for quality and excellence. I know we couldn’t do this without all our advertisers and readers support. Bring on 2021!

My Christmas tree was bought fresh from a local business, Heartland Events, and they made sure we got it in time for our photo shoot. Christmas is my favorite time of year and it is running all through the house with the fragrant fresh tree, decorations, Christmas music playing and of course the smell of cooking in the kitchen. This photo shoot was so special for the children when Santa arrived and sat with them to read a Special Christmas Story. I don’t think the kids thought anything about their photos being taken when you have Santa, baking cookies and hot cocoa. I hope you enjoy the story as much as we enjoyed the fun creating it for you. Thank you everyone that was a huge part of making this happen, especially Lisa Taylor Hall for all the beautiful photos you captured. As we all know, it’s been a tough year for our local businesses and they can use our help. Let’s all “Give Back” to our community by shopping our small businesses this Christmas. I know it is so easy to shop online but so much more satisfying when you know you have helped a give back to your local community. Another way of giving back is while you are out shopping; why not pick up an extra toy and drop it in one of the boxes around town for Heartland for Children Rudolph Roundup Toy Drive or the Marine’s Toys for Tots. Oh how that would make a child’s Christmas light up! Also inspiring in this issue, we share with you how Pastor Wendell Smith with Cutting Edge Ministries has been Giving Back to the Hardee Community for so many years. His sole mission has been to “Help Feed the Hungry” where he has been feeding around 300+ families every week from his ministry center. Thank you, Pastor Smith for sharing how it all began when God gave you a vision. Our Holiday Issue is about Giving Back if you haven’t picked up on that yet. I hope you enjoy all the stories, photos and please support our advertisers. I pray you enjoy your Christmas and New Years with Family & Friends and don’t forget to count your Blessings! “For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37

God Bless,

Cindy Sebring Adams . 10

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


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Heartland

LIVING

December 2020 & January 2021 Volume 9 | Issue 6

December 2020 | January 2021

Published by CEO | Publisher Cindy Sebring Adams

Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc.

Editorial Director Jessica Pleger Creative | Art Director Bridgette Waldau Writers Grace Hirdes Rebecca Maglischo Jessica Pleger Contributing Writer Layne Prescott Photography Director Rafael Pacheco Cover | Feature Photographer Lisa Taylor Hall Feature Photographers Lisa Taylor Hall Rebecca Maglischo Contributing Photographer Shirley Palmer Pam Peppers

Contact: 412 Rest Haven Road, Zolfo Springs, FL 33890 863-781-0344 E-mail

Cindy@Heartland-Living.com Become a fan on facebook

www.HeartlandLivingMagazine.com

Florida Magazine Association

Awards Winner of 16 FMA Charlie Awards 2014 - 2018

Charlie Awards

2017 Best Department Design 2018 Best Feature Design Silver Awards 2014 Cover Photo Illustration 2015 Best Self-Promotional Ad Best Feature Design Best Table of Content 2017 Best Feature Design Best Photography Image 2018 Best Overall Writing Best Photography Image Gold Awards 2015 Best Feature Design 2018 Best Overall Design Best Feature Design Best Traditional Illustration Best Department Design Best Photography Image

Heartland Living Magazine is published bi-monthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved. Reproduction of contents in print or electronic transmission in whole or in part in any language or format must be by expressed written permission of the publisher.

All articles, descriptions and suggestions in this magazine are merely expression of opinions from contributors and advertisers and do not constitute the opinion of the publisher, editor or staff of Heartland Living Magazine, and under no circumstances constitutes assurances or guarantees concerning the quality of any service or product. Heartland Living Magazine specifically disclaims any liability related to these expressions and opinions. Heartland Living Magazine is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. The advertiser agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the publishers from all liability.

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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


December 2020 & January 2021 15


behind the SCENES Behind the Scenes

Creative | Art Director

Photography Director

Writer

16

BRIDGETTE WALDAU has been a graphic and fine artist for over 30 years. She received her A.A. from the Ft. Lauderdale Institute of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Stetson University. She moved to Okeechobee in 1994 where she opened her art studio. Bridgette has been creative director for several publications, working with Heartland Publications & Marketing as art director since 2011, winning eleven Florida Magazine Charlie Awards (20152018). She is Arts & Culture Alliance Director (13 years) for Okeechobee Main Street. Bridgette is married to James Waldau, a retired firefighter from the City of Hialeah. RAFAEL PACHECO I am a Pisces and was born on the island of Puerto Rico. My dog thinks I am crazy for locking the door so many times in 10 seconds and my cats think I am made of catnip. Everything I wear is black, gray or blue. If I put on something colorful I must have been in a hurry. Photography is how I have let my artistic visions come to life since the early 90’s. Patience, kindness, sharing, sacrifice, love and not to judge I saw my mother practice these and they stayed within me. We are collective energy and all from the same Source. I don’t see the world through my eyes. I see it through my soul.

GRACE HIRDES is happily married to her wonderful husband and is a fulltime teacher at Winter Haven Christian School. She received her diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature and has been pursuing her passion as a freelance writer for the past 5 years. She has also published her first children’s book and loves anything outdoors.

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Editorial Director

Writer

Writer

JESSICA PLEGER is a wife, mother, editor, writer, and caterer. She attended the University of Central Florida where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Finance. Before working full-time at Heartland LIVING, Jessica was a paralegal for over 15 years. She is also the owner and operator of Pink Pineapple Catering. Jessica enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and participating in community events throughout the Heartland. A lifelong resident of Florida, Jessica was raised in Hardee County and now resides in Avon Park with her husband, Jonathan and daughter, Finley Grace.

REBECCA MAGLISCHO is a wife and mother of two boys. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Human Movement with an emphasis on Corrective Modalities. She has completed a two year study in Full Body Systems through the Holistic Nutrition Lab and a certification in Functional Range Condition through the Functional Anatomy Systems. Rebecca opened Haka Fitness in Lakeland, FL.

LAYNE PRESCOTT Layne was born into a military family, has lived overseas but did most of her growing up in Arcadia. After meeting and marrying Mike Prescott, she moved to Wauchula in 1979 and now calls it her home. She and Mike raised their three children there and now are reaping the benefits of their labor with six sweet, beautiful and perfect grandchildren. Her cooking style is eclectic and best described as “Southern comfort cuisine”. Her greatest joy comes from three things: her faith, loving on her family, and getting in the kitchen and “whipping” up something good.


December 2020 & January 2021

Photographer

S H I R L E Y PA L M E R is originally from Chicago and moved to Okeechobee in the mid 60's, where she still resides. She married her high school sweetheart and has two beautiful daughters and three grandchildren. She is a retired Okeechobee County Deputy Sheriff, and has been all over Okeechobee County and saw many place's that she thought would be fun to photograph. So when she retired she put her guns down and picked up a camera to do her shooting. She enjoys nature photography: birds, livestock, landscapes and even people. She feels she is the keeper of history and memories, to be shared by all.

Photographer

L I S A TAY LO R H A L L picked up her camera six years ago when motherhood inspired her to see the beauty in each day. She loves how photography captures a moment in time that otherwise might be overlooked or forgotten. Lisa grew up in Sebring, Florida and currently lives in Lake Wales with her husband and their 3 sons. Lisa is a full time stay at home mom and a part time photographer specializing in lifestyle photography for families, maternity, and newborns.

"Every GREAT design begins with an even BETTER story."

- Lorinda Mamo, designer

Advertising Helps You Get to Where You Want to Go. You can advertise in the most widely distributed and read magazine in the Heartland! Your ad will not only be seen in print but also on our website.

Call or email us if you want to become a part of this fast growing publication

863-781-0344 Cindy@Heartland-Living.com

Heartland LIVING www.HeartlandLivingMagazine.com December 2020 & January 2021 17


May the Blessings of Christmas be with you & your Family in the New Year! From all of us at

Heartland LIVING

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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

December 2020 & January 2021 19


From Our

Readers O OFF TTH HEE H HEEAARRTTLLAAN ND D

By Grace Hirdes

So it is official that America loves craft beer and distilled spirits. Small-shop and large breweries alike are making an impact on local economies and businesses by creating jobs and getting involved in communities. The growing breadth of craft beer and distilled spirits producers is astounding, but in an era of discerning drinkers, it takes creative flair and a competitive edge to flourish. Florida is at the forefront of this beverage boom and the Heartland offers some of the most accessible, palate pleasing imbibing opportunities around! Our local businesses are ready to serve, greeting you with a smile. Restaurateurs and business owners have worked tirelessly to change processes and physical spaces to operate safely. As we begin to move forward responsibly, plan an hour (or day) to get out of the house and enjoy our resilient culinary scene.

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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

October & November 2020 23

My husband and I really enjoyed the Spirits of the Heartland article. We had no idea so many of these breweries are in our area. You can be sure that we will plan to visit these establishments and invite our friends. What fun it will be! Also, the photos are really great and inviting. - S. White

sts Reveal

Nutritioni

The magazine is always full of interesting and beautifully photographed articles. - Sandy Pleger

Tips for Smarter Grocery By Lisa A.

October &

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Heartland LIVING October & November2020

om

GMagazine.c

Heartland LIVIN

I want to thank you for putting out one of the finest magazines that I have seen in a long time. I look forward to each issue. Thank you. - Donna Scorse

Picked up the magazine today. Great articles and a stellar magazine. - Roberta Beattie

WITH YOUR KIDS By Cindy Sebring Adams Digital Art Graphics by Bridgette Waldau

Thanksgiving is a chance for families to gather together, to feast and to enjoy being with one another. But the day can also be a meaningful time to reflect on our blessings and remember how God has been faithful in our lives.

“Class Act” Thank You! - Alice Oldham

Family, gratitude and thankfulness are the true meaning of Thanksgiving. It is also a good time to help children understand why this holiday is important.

Nice story on Lakeland Downtown Farmer Curb Market. This is a nice treasure and we never miss it. - L. Martin Fantastic Magazine! -Lisa Brooks Burley

Heartland LIVING would like to share a few tips on how you can teach your children Thanksgiving lessons.

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Photos

Send us YOUR Thoughts

If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave a post on our Facebook page or email us at Cindy@Heartland-Living.com.

By Rebecca Courtes Maglisch y of Lake o land Dow ntown Dev elopmen t Auth

ority By 9:30 am on a Saturday Lakeland morning, are filling the stre up gather aro ets of Dow und tables with people. Gro ntown ups plans and at the loca l coffee sho of sweaty runner sipping coffee. Kentucky s ps comparing Young cou Ave training ples pus the passer nue. Friends cat h stroller ch up ove sby, and s along r a hot bre children the sidew gig akf gle as the alk. ast watch y chase eac ing the decade This scene has pla h other alo s since Abr yed out ng in ebbs the city aham Go and in 1889. dwin Mu This plot nn donate flows over of the bus of land wo d the spa ine uld becom ce to generation ss district of Lak e the cen eland, a s terpie social gat throughou of friends and hering spo ce families, t the evo and a site t for lution of for com markets merce over mo re than 100 years.

October

& Novemb

er 2020

43

Submissions may be edited for space.

20

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Beach

y follow er, you alread s grocery shopp shop hungry. Alway Don’t As a savvy s in uying rules. Buy what’ basic food-b grocery list. tage of stick to) a rs. Take advan bring (and rt local farme season. SuppoUse coupons. weekly sales. eat money and ting both save to compe like e You’re trying sometimes feels has becom which food aisles healthfully, ating the process that goals. Navig d, almost daunting -conscious a complicate the most health For leaves even ssing themselves. sometimes ckaged second-gue that prepa e consumers still wash should you though it says, “tripl example, ch even all packaged bag of spina d you really ditch And s? Shoul healthy option than washed”? option some of them foods or are ted produce a better when is impor buying local?

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November

2020 87


Island View Restaurant is the perfect place to host an event!

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Locally Owned and Operated

A Unique & Friendly Neighborhood Restaurant & Tavern Best Gatortail, Wings & Burgers in town! 8 TVs to watch all your favorite games! Remember Our Annual

CHRISTMAS

Ending Dec 11th We will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for our staff to enjoy time with their Families.

Outdoor Dining Area!

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Serving Highlands County for over 40 years

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2751 US 27 South - Avon Park, FL 33825 22

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

www.WildTurkeyTavern.com


Highlands News Sun 2019 Best of Highlands Award for, BEST DENTIST, DENTAL IMPLANTS, and BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

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December 2020 & January 2021 23


'Tis the Season for

By Jessica Pleger Photography by Lisa Taylor Hall As the holiday season rolls around, the nostalgia of traditions are all around us. I absolutely love traditions. They are special memories that are passed down from generation to generation and a time to share special time with family and friends. A few time-honored traditions stand out in my mind and hold a special place in my heart this time of year. „

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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


December 2020 & January 2021 25


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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


In Germany, the first Christmas Trees were decorated with edible things, such as gingerbread and gold covered apples. Then glass makers made special small ornaments similar to some of the decorations used today. At first, a figure of the Baby Jesus was put on the top of the tree. Over time it changed to an angel/fairy that told the shepherds about Jesus, or a star like the Wise Men saw. Artificial Christmas Trees really started becoming popular in the early 20th century. With years of traditions past, our forefathers have set forth a pathway in which Christmas Trees are decorated. I find it lovely that no two trees are exactly alike and contain ornaments and decorations that have been homemade by little ones or handed down from past generations. No matter how you choose to decorate your tree, make sure to include special elements of Christmas past and present. „

December 2020 & January 2021 27


Nothing says Christmastime like cookies and cocoa! I knew once I had a child, this was a tradition that I would implement into our family traditions so gather your kiddos together for a delicious day of baking, decorating and, of course, eating.

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Here are a few tips that will ensure a fun day of baking: •Choose recipes that are age appropriate for your child. Younger children will be better suited for one or two types of cookies. Once they get older, their skills will allow for more cookie options. •Once the recipes are selected, make a shopping list and purchase your items ahead of time. That way, when it’s baking day, all you have to focus on is fun in the kitchen. •Crank up the Christmas music, put on a fun apron and let the baking begin!

Start your New Year with a

Healthy Smile Our gentle touch and friendly team strives to provide the finest comprehensive root canal, gum disease and dental implant care. We are the dental experts in saving your natural teeth.

A great addition to your cooking baking day is hot cocoa. While the cookies are baking is a great time so make a cocoa bar with all the fun toppings. My favorites are marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes, and whipped cream. Yum! And just a little tip for dairy free moms, coconut milk is a great alternative for regular and adds a nice touch of sweetness.

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4660 Lakeview Drive | Sebring, FL 33870 December 2020 & January 2021 29


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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


One of the main reasons we have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas, is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. Christmas itself is really about a big present that God gave the world about 2000 years ago - Jesus! All over the world, families and friends give presents to each other. Most children around the world believe in the magic of Santa Claus and even track him on Christmas Eve. He travels through the sky on a sleigh that is pulled by reindeer, then he comes into houses at night and places presents for the children in stocking and in front of the family Christmas tree.

Â? Â Â Â? Â Â? Â? Â? Â?

It’s also important to remember the children who are less fortunate and might not have many presents under the tree. There are many wonderful organizations dedicated to making Christmas magic happen so research opportunities in your area and make sure to help a needy child during this time of giving. My daughter and I select from the Salvation Army Angel Tree every year and have a special time shopping or our angel. And remember to have fun when gifting. Secret Santa and White Elephant are two fun gift exchange ideas to play with your family, friends or workplace. There are great ways to bring the spirit of giving all around you. „

December 2020 & January 2021 31


Go all out! Make a special dinner, set an amazing table and put on your favorite holiday wear. In our family we traditionally prepare a Prime Rib accompanied by mashed potatoes, fresh local vegetables and dinner rolls. And no Christmas meal is complete without a slice of pie or cake and a cup of eggnog. I can just smell all the aromas wafting through the kitchen. I also love to read about traditional meals and celebrations of other regions. It’s such a beautiful time of family and friends, gathering around the table celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ sharing laughter and making memories. „

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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


We are a one stop shop for all your lighting and home improvement needs. y o Carr We Als ulbs LED B

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December 2020 & January 2021 33


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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


863-270-2130 Residential • Commercial • Agricultural Property Management Tania C Bobe

Licensed Real Estate Broker BL3342106

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When people Christmas Magic happens. And being surrounded by and making memories with your loved ones is truly magical. If you haven’t already, start making traditions today. They can be as small as attending your local Christmas Parade, bake cookies for Santa or host your own Holiday Party. Sharing time-honored traditions with our children will spread Christmas cheer for generations to come.

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December 2020 & January 2021 35


They are special memories that are passed down from generation to generation and a time to share love and joy with family and friends." - Jessica Pleger

Pictured (L-R): Behr Prescott, Finley Grace Pleger, Santa Claus, Lucy Prescott and Kane Prescott

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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


December 2020 & January 2021 37


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Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


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By Grace Hirdes Photos Courtesy Pace Center for Girls

Mural by Artist Gillian Fazio

p

ace Center for Girls operates with the sole mission of providing girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy. They do this by providing year-round middle school and high school academics, case management, counseling, and life skills development in a gender-responsive environment.

In their Lakeland location they’ve been able to serve over 3000 girls this past year, and since their beginning in 1985, they’ve been able to serve 40,000+ in all 21 locations across Florida. The Pace Center in Lakeland also offers a Reach Program which is a counseling, therapy, and case management program for girls who don’t need the academic component of the Pace day program, but who will benefit from high-quality therapeutic services. Ellen Katzman, Executive Director at Pace Center for Girls in Polk, tells us that for her, “Pace Center for Girls changes the trajectory of the girls’ lives, one girl at a time, every day.”

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ne of the girls who succeeded at Pace Center is Miranda. Katzman explains that, “Childhood trauma left Miranda paralyzed with fear and doubt. She was molested at the age of 2, and at 12 witnessed the physical and emotional abuse of her mom. She was suicidal and weekly sessions with a therapist did little to help. Miranda enrolled at Pace Polk and immediately felt the weight lift from her shoulders. She has matured, she’s grown, and she’s officially caught up to her peers. In August of 2019, Miranda re-enrolled at her local High School and is on schedule to graduate with her class in 2022. She plans to pursue a double degree in nursing and psychology with hopes of working with adults who are both physically and mentally ill.”

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ecause of Pace, girls in the Polk County area are given a chance to overcome, heal, and have an opportunity for a better future. This past year Pace also launched their new Growth & Change System using the Pace mission, philosophy, values and guiding principles. At the core of the Growth & Change System are Pace’s Foundational Pillars, which includes the use of Gender-Responsive, Trauma-Informed, and Strength-Based approaches when interacting with girls. Katzman explains that as girls work through the Growth & Change System, they will find that each stage has increasing opportunities and privileges as well as additional obligations. At each stage there are expectations that must be met before they can advance to the next stage. These expectations provide girls with the necessary tools and opportunities to demonstrate that they are ready to move to the next stage as determined by their care team. The first stage, Opportunity, focuses on honoring the female spirit by respecting its distinct needs, creating safe and gender-responsive environments, and celebrating the female experience. „

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tage two, Responsibility, helps create an environment that fosters long-term growth and development and teaches the wisdom of time and that patience can be just as powerful as immediate action, and that each has its place. The third stage, Dignity, shows that all actions and decisions must be guided by the highest ethical principles, respecting the uniqueness of all involved and honoring each other’s differences. It also embraces growth and change. Katzman states that, “We believe that everyone is capable of remarkable growth, and only by encouraging change can individuals, organizations, and society reach their full potential.” Stage four, Serenity, identifies strengths in the girls, their families, the staff, and the supporters. “Using these strengths as our foundation, we build strong, confident, and productive community participants,” states Katzman. This stage also shows that exhibiting courage is essential to making a difference as it enables them to speak for those who cannot, take risks to do what is right, deliver just and fair consequences, and be accountable for all actions. The last stage, Grace, seeks excellence in all they do by holding true to their mission, while consistently meeting high standards of performance, reflecting critically upon their accomplishments, seeking innovative solutions, and believing all things are possible. Katzman tells us that, “In this stage, they are also able to create effective partnerships and long-term relationships by listening to our staff, our girls and their families, and our communities, incorporating each person’s input and involving them in our decision-making process.” This is just one example of how Pace creates an environment that allows girls and their families to grow and change together and ultimately do just as Katzman pointed out, “Change the trajectory of their lives.”

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f you are interested in helping out this amazing organization and making an impact on your community, there are several ways you can get involved. First, help out for the holidays. Each year, Pace center creates an Angel Tree where the girls can hang their wish list. Others can then step up and help their wish come true. Second, donate supplies. Because of COVID, Pace is in need of PPE such as hand sanitizer and masks to keep their girls healthy. They are also in need of school supplies and incentives such as gift cards to help provide the girls with the necessary equipment and supplies they need to stay motivated and on the right track. If you feel compelled to be a part of their organization and would like more information on their Angel Tree or other needed donations, please contact Julie Roggeman, Community Engagement Coordinator, at 863-688-5596.

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December 2020 & January 2021 47


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By Rebecca Maglischo

„ December 2020 & January 2021 51


is home to about 16 million individuals over the age of 75 years. Four million of those are over the age of 85 years. This population has lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the first steps on the moon, and many technological advances. The knowledge and wisdom I gleaned from those afternoons on the porch swing sent me on a mission to reclaim the conversations I was so desperately craving. These are the stories of real people. These are the lessons for a life well-lived.

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Build Your Life on a Foundation of Faith In the 1930’s, Pahokee, FL was the “Winter Vegetable Capital of the World.” Situated to the south of Lake Okeechobee, the town rose (and fell) on the economical wave of agribusiness. “The Muck,” a rich soil produced by the partial draining of The Everglades, was black gold for a farmer, and many residents relied on the income of harvests, the needs of the laborers, or the railroad that carried Florida produce to northern markets day and night. Lee and Pat speak fondly of their hometown. Married when Pat was just 16 years old, they ran a grocery store and rented rooms to laborers. It was honest work. Lee worked hard to provide for their growing family. Then, they lost everything. A tornado ripped through Pahokee in 1958 leaving life in shambles for many. Lee and Pat were amongst the unlucky. With a 6 yr. old son and a 3 yr. old daughter, they moved in with her parents and started from scratch. “You just did what you had to do,” Lee said. “We had a strong foundation in our faith. That’s carried us through a lot over the years.” Another financial hit came just a few years later. Their youngest child (of 3) was admitted to the hospital with osteomyelitis, a bone infection. With surgeries, medications, and a long stay, the financial burden seemed insurmountable. And that was to say nothing of the possibility they would lose their baby. Their faith carried them through again. As the political unrest of the 60’s created tensions in their small town, The Wroten’s felt called to move to Lakeland. They immediately found a church and got to the business of building life. “God is good,” says Pat over Facetime. I know she’d put her arm around me if I was on the front porch with her. I can’t help but wonder if all this strife was the planting of a seed in her heart. Pat went on to become a Music Evangelist at 50 yrs. old traveling the world with Southern Baptist Evangelism. She sang and taught the women about the Bible. “I can’t imagine how I would have made it through without prayer,” she adds. “When you find Christ, you find yourself.”

December 2020 & January 2021 53


Be Kind - Stay Positive - Share Joy The University of Tampa was an exciting place for 17 yr. old Alabamian, Nanette. It was 1953 and she had come to Florida to earn a degree as a Home Economics Educator. During college, Nanette worked two evenings a week at the Tampa Electric Company Leisure House teaching women, who came free of charge, how to use electrical appliances. The company was pleased with their young Home Economist and sent Nanette to a new territory in Winter Haven. That’s where she met Connel Wade Rodgers, a WWII veteran. She can’t help but to smile when she talks about him. He, too, could not resist Nanette’s infectious positivity. Eight months later, they were married. A year later, when she became pregnant with her first child, Nanette resigned from her job. “It was just what you did back then,” she shrugs. 54


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Connel and Nanette Rodgers worked for the Polk County School System as teachers and administrators. She went on to get her Master’s Degree in 1975 and Doctorate in 1980. Dr. Rodgers served on the State Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Services and as the director for Home Economics Education for the Florida Department of Education. Nanette recounts the stories of teaching with such joy. “I know the students came into the classroom unsure of me. I wanted them to know I was there for them. I wanted the best for each and every one.”

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December 2020 & January 2021 55


Choose the Adventure Bob and Diane Holmes chose adventure when they chose each other. A second marriage, they combined a total of 5 sons aged 6-14 yrs. old. It was 1979 in San Marcos, TX at Texas State University. Diane was teaching Foods and Nutrition and working on her doctorate. Bob was the Department Chair of the Business and Marketing Departments. “The kids thought they were having a giant slumber party,� Diane laughs. She knew she had signed up for a direction change, and the next years would be filled with them. Bob accepted the position as Dean of the College of Business at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. They packed up the family and fell into a life filled with all the moving parts of a family of seven. While maintaining her professional path didn’t seem the best choice for Diane with the demands of their family, she quickly saw that volunteer work allowed her to stay involved with more flexibility. Harrisburg was home and the Holmes family stayed rooted for 12 years.

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Diane wasn’t so sure about moving to Wellesley, MA in 1995 but Bob had a job as the Dean of the School of Business at Babson College giving him a schedule and purpose and social obligations. She found new places to volunteer in nearby Boston, and the two quickly fell in love with New England. “We built our dream home!” Diane exclaims. She looks over at Bob. Even today, he ducks his head with a sheepish grin. “He took a job as the Business Dean at the University of Alabama in Birmingham!” And so, they moved. As they neared retirement, the couple built their final home in the mountains of Eagle, CO. Bob retired in January 2009. He flew to be with Diane and enjoy his first ski season as a resident. But less than a month later, Florida Southern College called. They hired Bob as a consultant and accepted a one-year position as the Head of the Business Department. “You have to be ok with being out of your comfort zone.” They say it almost in tandem and I laugh. At 79 yrs. and 75 yrs., respectively, Bob and Diane chose to push the edges of what made them comfortable.

upon the tattered pages of the Book of Life are the stories of strife and the tales of triumph that define an era. Perhaps more importantly, the human experience is dotted with opportunities to overcome and grow, to connect and create, to endure and embrace. These themes weave through the words giving us the greatest gift of all- hope.

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TO THE HARDEE COMMUNITY By Grace Hirdes Photos Courtesy Cutting Edge Ministries

Cutting Edge Ministries (CEM) food center was started and is run by Pastor Wendell Smith with the sole mission to “Help Feed the Hungry.” They are a ministry center where about 300+ families come every week to receive meat, dairy, and fresh produce from around Central Florida. These are people from every walk of life, whether they are senior citizens, single moms, low income families, minorities, or upper class. Pastor Smith tells us that “everyone goes through difficult times and is in need of assistance. That’s why we exist to Feed the Hungry and help in those difficult times because even though they might get a box of groceries this week, it will not last them forever.” That’s why the ministry continues to exist, because there are still people in their community who are struggling and in need of assistance.

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Pastor Smith tells us that it all began when God gave him the vision to “Establish food pantries for churches and ministries and to network with organizations around the world.” This vision began coming to fruition in 2004, when the hurricanes hit and they started feeding 2000+ members of the community in the church parking lot. During this time, they started partnering with Operation Blessing International (OBI), Somebody Cares Tampa Bay, Seed Sowers, Feed the Children, and Operation Compassion. Because of the help from these organizations around the world, they were able to get their food ministry started, and organizations such as OBI have continually supported them over the years with grants for food, equipment, and disaster relief. In 2005, they purchased their original property with no money in their budget, but because of God’s grace and through several miracles, they were able to obtain the property. Then in 2017, they broke ground on their current property, Joseph’s Storehouse, which is their secured, air-conditioned facility where they are able to store their fresh produce until time to deliver it to those in need. This building was obtained through grants from Mosaic, Publix, and many private donors as well. Then in 2014, they found themselves in need of a refrigerated box truck to help them transport food for hungry families from all over Central Florida. This need was met through a generous grant from Mosaic and their new truck is still transporting food to this day. Their vision is to one day have a facility with coolers and docks to help them house large supplies of produce to help feed hungry families as they are currently using a local dock to unload the truck and then transport the supplies to their own facility. Even though there are difficult days, Pastor Smith tells us “I love seeing the faces of the families in need and hearing the stories of their lives.” His favorite part of serving his community is that he serves where he was raised. Hardee County is listed as one of the poorest counties in the state of Florida. Pastor Smith shares, “I love to sit and talk with families, especially the seniors, they get about 600-800 a month, and they either have to buy medicine or food, so to be able to help them with the food part is always a blessing.” 63


Pat and Ray, volunteers with CEM also stated that, “We’ve had people come in with tears in their eyes, really needing food, in desperate situations.” CEM is the hands of God, feeding the hungry and giving to those in need. Pastor Smith shares that “Proverbs says, when you give to the needy, you’re giving to God and He will repay. Cutting Edge Ministries has seen God repay over and over again over the years as they’ve had struggles but God has always provided.” Bette Sneider, Smith’s assistant has been key in finding grants and assistance in food donors to help them achieve their vision to Help Feed Hungry Families. Because of this, they were able to give out 1.5 million lbs. of food and other basic needs to 14,498 families in 2017 and in 2018, they gave out 1.75 million lbs. of food to 16,156 families.

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Their current focus is to address the needs of the families that have been impacted by COVID-19. They’ve shifted their food bank to a drive through setting, and even went door-to-door in their communities to deliver and distribute 21 lb. boxes of nutritious foods such as milk, meat, dairy, breads, and produce to every home thanks to the Farmers to Families USDA program, provided through Convoy of Hope, Feeding Tampa Bay, and Florida Baptist Children’s Home. They were able to deliver 1352 food boxes to families in Bowling Green, 1152 boxes in Zolfo Springs, and 1368 boxes in Wauchula. During COVID, they were also able to visit Elementary schools and pass out 7960 5lb. boxes to the families of that school. As of October, in 2020 they’ve been able to serve 17,000 families, provide 69,400 meals, and give out 1.487 million pounds of food.

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Cutting Edge Ministries is networking with many agencies across Central Florida to bring products and food to help families in need in Hardee County. They operate through donors, grants, volunteers, and local support. They are 1 of 14 agencies supported by Mosaic, the Lightning Hockey Team and Feeding America. They also operate with assistance from a Local Foundation, and the County budget. They are also an agency under Feeding Tampa Bay, Feeding America. They are currently partnered with organizations such as Farmer’s Choice USA and Hardee Fresh. Farmers Choice Inc was founded in 2016 to provide farmers and nonprofits with new and innovative markets for fresh and wholesome produce. With a lifetime of experience in growing, packing and shipping, their team knows where the greatest opportunities are for enabling producers to reduce waste, protect their investment and help feed their neighbors in need. They are a for profit with the heart of a nonprofit. Farmers Choice connects growers and non-profits to provide over 1500 semi loads of fresh produce annually to not for profits nationwide. „

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Sara Skitka from Farmers Choice tells us “Our relationship with Cutting Edge Ministries started nearly 30 years ago in the late 1980’s when we were farming. The relationship continued when we began working with non-profits about a decade ago. When we founded Farmers Choice, we felt a moral responsibility to give back to our community. We not only provide fresh produce to Cutting Edge at no cost, we also have had the privilege of providing turkeys for their Thanksgiving drive, repairing and providing new refrigeration units to help maintain optimal temperatures for the proper storage of fresh produce. We have also volunteered at Cutting Edge distributions throughout the years.” Farmers Choice truly does value the opportunity to help their neighbors in need. Another partner of Cutting Edge Ministries is Hardee Fresh. Hardee Fresh supports the educational and economic goals of their employees and the broader community. “Ending food insecurity in America is critically important and it begins at the local level. While we have been working to ensure that premium organic produce is made accessible to all consumers since 2018, this year, we have proudly donated our products to over 20,000 families in need throughout Florida. We plan to continue our commitment to programs with the USDA, The United Way of Central Florida and other charitable organizations for years to come.” Halton A. Peters, Ph.D., Hardee Fresh Co-Founder and President. While CEM receives grants and donors help purchase food and equipment, they do not cover salaries. If you are looking for a way to support their ministry, they are asking for 30 businesses or individuals to give $100 a month to help hire an Operations Manager as they have grown in size and are in need of someone to help facilitate the continuing changes and expansion of their food distribution of thousands of meals to feed the hungry.

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20 Years of Good Business!

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2250 Little Lake Bonnet Road Avon Park, Florida 33825 December 2020 & January 2021 71


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A

Back A

Forward By Rebecca Maglischo

A New Year is just around the corner and with 2021 arrives a “clean slate” of sorts. January is the perfect opportunity to make changes! Become a big fan of the New Year’s Resolution. Deep down, even if you aren’t into resolutions, you might be eyeing some things you’d like to change in your life. You might be replaying the last months or year and seeing some things that didn’t go the way you wanted. That’s a wonderful practice! If you aren’t taking a minute to look over the last year and assessing what you want to go differently, you might be missing the chance to fulfill some big dreams. Every successful entity takes some time to crunch the numbers, assess the trajectory, and question the culture. We should, too. The trajectory of a life is set by millions of tiny little decisions that either pushed the line forward and up or sent things spinning in a new direction. The goal is to have more that are working for you, heading the right way. That’s how you improve! And while every decision doesn’t have to be perfect, every decision does matter. A new year is a perfect opportunity to set aside some time, consider the bullseye and set the course for success.

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We all want to “get healthier” or “save money” or “eat better.” You deserve a better goal, one that has actual benchmarks and a real action plan. You have to know where to aim to hit the bullseye. Break these big goals down into something achievable that can actually be reached. •I will incorporate some sort of exercise into 5 days of every week. •I will try one new healthy recipe each week to build my kitchen skills. •I will set aside $10 every single week. Set a goal that relies on you, and you alone, to accomplish. Nothing big, nothing outlandish. Keep it doable and enjoy the fruits of your labor as they build into real change.

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When you take care of the process, the end results will take care of themselves. Turning your attention away from the actual goal and instead focusing on the tiny details creates a step by step appreciation for the outcome. It also drives momentum. You get to experience a million little successes and a million little learning opportunities. Regardless of the goal, the “getting there� is the real magic. The process is full of pitfalls and ugly moments. Whether it is bad workouts, failed outings with your family, party food all around you, or disastrous first attempts at new healthy recipes, become passionate about those million little details. Stack up the tiny successes and step over the little pitfalls. Rest in those moments and let the big picture come together beautifully on its own. „

December 2020 & January 2021 75


Do it this week. Schedule some time with yourself or your significant other to talk through your current life. Where are you missing the mark? Where can you make a little shift towards a big vision? Write them down. Then, go enjoy the rest of your Holidays and don’t give it another thought until the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Your plan will be in place and waiting for you!

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December 2020 & January 2021 77


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Facebook/ Eighteen East … a restaurant and bar December 2020 & January 2021 79


By Layne Prescott

Whether you're hoping to gather with a small group of friends for a traditional New Year’s Eve party or are planning a more intimate evening with family, ringing in 2021, you'll want to mark the final day of this tumultuous year with a good meal. When counting down to 2021 by watching the New Year's Eve ball drop—maybe have a second piece of pie. Happy New Year and Best Wishes To All!

CUBAN ROAST PORK 1 large onion 3/4 cup chicken stock 8 garlic cloves minced 2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp. lemon juice 2 tsp. ground Cumin 1 tsp. ground mustard 2 tsp. dried oregano ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper 1-3to4-pound pork butt Place all ingredients in Slow Cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Use in Cuban Sandwiches.

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CUBAN SANDWICHES FOR A CROWD 2 loaves Cuban bread (sliced horizontally) or 2 large loaves soft French bread 2 T. Olive Oil (or more) 1/2 cup yellow mustard 24 slices Swiss Cheese

1 recipe fully cooked Cuban Roast Pork 1 large package sliced smoked ham 2 1/2 large dill pickles, sliced and 6 tsp. pickle juice 1/4 mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush bottom of bread and place on large baking pan (jellyroll/or rimmed). Spread mustard on bread. Start layering ingredients; Swiss cheese, pork, ham and pickles. Top with more Swiss cheese. Spread top of bread with dill pickle juice, mustard and very thin layer of mayonnaise. Top sandwich. Brush bread top with olive oil. Place second baking pan with rim on top of bread and use cast iron skillet(s) to weight down pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. Carefully remove from oven and slice. „ 81


SPANISH BEAN SOUP 1 pkg. Conecuh sausage (small link smoked sausage) 1 pkg. Smoked sausage (larger link-Uncle John’s pride) 1 Ham steak or small sliced ham 1 pkg. pepperoni (sliced or whole) 1 large onion, diced 8-10 cans Garbanzo beans (4-5 cans, put in food processor and process until smooth) Salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste (be careful with the salt because meats are salty) 4 pkgs. Sazon Seasoning 4 lg. potatoes or 4-6 medium (pealed and large cubes) Slice/cube Conecuh sausage, smoked sausage and ham steak, sautÊ in small amount of olive oil in large soup pot with onion. After meats and onion are browned, add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes. (until potatoes are tender). Note: This makes a LARGE pot of soup serving 15-20 people. Can be halved to make smaller soup. 82


LAYERED PEACH PINEAPPLE CRISP 1 can Peach Pie Filling (divided) 1 large can crushed pineapple (drained & divided) 1 large can sliced peaches (drained & divided) 1 cup brown sugar (divided) 1 cup chopped pecans (divided) 1/2 cup golden raisins 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (1/2 per layer) 2 sticks butter (melted) (1/2 per layer) 1/2 tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. cinnamon 1/2 cup dark raisins Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Layer: ½ can peach pie filling, ½ can pineapple, ½ can sliced peaches, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup pecans, and ½ cup golden raisins. Sprinkle ¼ t. salt and 1 T. cinnamon. Sprinkle ½ box cake mix over all and 1 stick butter. Repeat layers putting ½ cup raisins and pecans on top of cake mix and pour remaining melted butter over pecans, raisins and cake mix. Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

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George A. Hall Devon P. Donaldson GeoDev Pizza, Inc.

863-386-1177

Family Owned for 48 Years!

863-385-4909 Monday-Friday 10am-5pm Saturday (Showroom only) 10am-2pm - Closed Sunday

Fairmount Cinema Square, Sebring www.highlandsjewelers.com

–MEMBER AMERICAN GEM SOCIETY–

935 Sebring Square - Sebring, FL Florida Fence Post Co., Inc. Serving Central Florida since 1946.

1-863-735-1361

1-800-580-1019

“The Post Preferred by Florida Cattlemen” Fence Post |Barn Poles | Brace Posts | Cow Pen Post Rough Cut Lumber | Cattle Panels Portable Corrals | Fence Stays Barbed Wire | Field Fence | Farm Gates Game Fencing | Hay Rings | Assorted Mulch and Soil The Best Prices & Longest Lasting Posts.

“Our Posts Meet The Federal Standards!” CCA .40 Ret.

Sales Service Installation Dryer Vent Cleaning Passionate About Customer Satisfaction

863-699-5455 www.MillersCentralAir.com

LIC. NO. CAC058675

24 Hour Emergency Service

*The Wells Fargo Home Projects® credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Bank N.A., an Equal Housing Lender. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 8/1/2019 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. Offer expires 12/31/2020

Cash Discounts F.O.B. Ona, Florida

www.flfencepost.com 25 Year Limited Guarantee “Branded for Your Protection”

5251 State Road 64 West/ P.O. Box 645 Ona, Florida 33865 December 2020 & January 2021 85


Okeechobee Main Street’s Second Annual By Bridgette Waldau Photography by Shirley Palmer and Pam Peppers

In their new home, Okeechobee Main Street held their annual Festival of Trees event on Nov. 21 at 111 NE Second Street. This well-attended event featured a silent auction of donated Christmas trees and holiday décor. A portion of the proceeds was donated to Hospice of Okeechobee, Inc. The silent auction began in the afternoon from 2 pm-5 pm with a free preview of the trees and decorations. The Festival of Trees party began at 6 pm with attendees enjoying the holiday decorations in the beautifully renovated building. Everyone had fun bidding on their favorite items, while enjoying time with friends and business associates. An abundance of donations filled the rooms. which included twelve full size trees, numerous tabletop trees, wreaths, gift baskets, centerpieces and a handcrafted quilt. All the items donated showed all the hard work and dedication by businesses and individuals, and because of their efforts the attendees were generous with their bids, making this event very successful.

Tree donated & decorated by Faith Nielson & Jennifer Busbin

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OKMS Festival of Trees Committee: Kathy Scott, Angie Griffin, Bridgette Waldau, Sharie Turgeon and Marion Heddsheimer. (Not pictured: Shirley Palmer and Pam Peppers)


Christmas mask winners: Three-way tie for first - Jennifer Busbin, Faith Nielson and Connie Williams; 2nd place award went to Melisa Jahner (pictured second from left)

Okeechobee City Mayor, Dowling Watford

Christmas Mask contest trophy

Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners Brad Goodbread and David Hazellief

Tree donated & decorated by The Lounge at Sacred Sanctuary Spa Team

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Tree donated & decorated by Okeechobee Family Practice, P.A. Greeting arrivals in style - Sharie Turgeon and Angie Griffin

(Above): Attendees were able to gather in the new Arts & Culture Alliance art class/workshop room. (Right): Marion Heddsheimer and James Waldau served up a little Holiday Cheer.

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Wreath donated and decorated by Gail McQuade.

Village Tree donated & designed by Pam Peppers of DC Ranchtice, P.A.

The event promoted CDC health protocol. A quaint outdoor social distancing area was provided, and a Christmas Mask Contest took place to encourage mask wearing by attendees. Masks winners received the coveted masked gnome trophy and each won a free one-year Arts & Culture Alliance membership. Kicking off the holiday season, the event was also the introduction of Okeechobee Main Street’s new home and the Arts & Culture Alliance Art Center, featuring two art galleries, art class & workshop area and a gift store. The Arts & Culture Alliance Art Center will be a place to promote the arts and create an environment for artists to develop, collaborate and showcase their work. Membership is open to artists and those who have an appreciation for the arts.

One of many gift baskets donated by the Chapter Health Foundation

To see all the Holiday items from the Festival of Trees and also learn more about Okeechobee Main Street and the Art Center, go online to www.OkeechobeeMainStreet.org, or call 863-357-6246. Next year’s Festival of the Trees will be held Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

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Cattle Drive Sculpture Project

CATTLE RANCHING Presented by Okeechobee Main Street’s Arts & Culture Alliance

Please donate today! We invite you to be part of this project. A variety of sponsorship and donation levels available.

No amount is too small!

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

To commemorate the historical and economical importance of Cattle Ranching, Okeechobee Main Street’s Art & Culture Alliance is raising funds to produce a life size bronze cattle drive sculpture to be installed to enhance the Okeechobee’s downtown Flagler Park. Artist J. Michael Wilson has begun the project with the clay sculpting stage in preparation for bronzing. Shown is a sneak peek of the Brahma Bull that will be a part of the project. You may also notice a horse in the background. Installation 2021

863-357-6246

111 NE 2nd St. - Okeechobee, FL 34972 art@okeechobeemainstreet.org Okeechobee Main Street, Inc. is a 501(C) 3 not for profit organization

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Thanks to Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc. for your Media Support

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Visit our website for more info and to donate online:

www.okeechobeemainstreet.org

Arts Alliance Tab / Cattle Drive Sculpture


BridgetteWaldau

studio of

rt

FINE ART & GRAPHIC DESIGN Designing and Supporting the Arts in Okeechobee since 1994 Creative Director of Hear tland LIVING Magazine Also Offering

ArtéVino Art Classes Okeechobee’s Original Paint & Sip Classes

Step-by-Step Painting Classes Get together & enjoy time painting with friends while sipping your favorite beverage. Call to set up your class.

863-467-7300

Over 30 years experience locally & nationally facebook.com/BridgetteStudio

www.bridgette-art.com

Highlands County Oldest & Largest Health Food Store NATURAL PAIN RELIEF

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KEEP YOUR IMMUNITY STRONG

They say Masks... They say Social Distance... Why aren't they saying A good Immune system is your best defense? Come in to Food For Thought to see how to best take care of your immune system.

315 US 27 N. Sebring, FL 33870

863-385-8995

Now Accepting EBT Open: Mon - Fri 9-6 & Saturday 9-5

December 2020 & January 2021 91


By Grace Hirdes Photos Courtesy of Heartland for Children For a lot of children, the Holidays are very difficult. Holidays typically mean family time over a nice family dinner or gathering at a grandparent’s home, but for reasons beyond their control some children cannot be with family on the holidays. That’s why 16 years ago the Rudolph Round-up started with the purpose of making children’s holidays merry and bright and reminding foster parents that they are a part of a community that cares and supports them as foster parents are busy all year helping the children in their care and making life as normal as possible. By donating to Rudolph’s Round-up, the community can acknowledge their sacrifice and step up to help the parents give the children in their care a holly-jolly Christmas. When they first started, the Rudolph Round-up reached about 400 children, they have grown and are now about to reach about 1700 children. The program prioritizes children who are out of the care of their parents. Once they’ve met that need, they look into children who have recently gone home but still need care, and try to help meet their holiday needs as well.

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There are several ways to get involved! You can: Sponsor a child for the holidays Ask for a specific child’s wish list and go on a shopping trip to find the things they need for a merry and bright holiday. Sponsor a toy drive for new toys Instead of doing gift exchanges, you can have everyone in the office bring gifts for the toy drive. You can also try having everyone bring a toy as an entry fee to your holiday party, or be creative and find a new way to host your own toy drive. Make a monetary donation which will be used to purchase gifts There are always gifts that are needed but not donated. In this case, financial donations allow Heartland for Children to shop for the specific gifts requested by the children. Help spread the “news” You can share with friends and family about the need for holiday gifts for children in foster care. You can also stay up-to-date on how the drive is going by following them on social media & sharing their posts with your social media followers.

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Rudolph Round-up started with the purpose of making children’s holidays merry and bright.

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Rudolph needs your help with holiday gifts for children in the foster care system. Won’t you consider partnering with Heartland for Children to be “Rudolph Champions” and help provide holiday memories for over 1500 local children who are living in foster homes, placed with relatives or non-relatives, and/or living in group homes away from their family & friends? When you support the Rudolph Roundup, you’re giving to children who have experienced trauma. The fact that they are in care, says enough. Versuch Simmons, Community Engagement Specialist, tells us that “When kids wake up Christmas morning, they are reminded that they are loved and cared for. It gives them a sense of hope, love and pride.”

December 2020 & January 2021 95


HP Trailers HP Trailer is a company with 30 years of trailer manufacturing experience. Wauchula is our newest addition and will be our Southeast US distribution center. We are the manufacturer and sell at true dealer cost to the customer, direct. Thereby saving people some serious money. Hull Porter 2021 Model Dump Box Trailers 2021 Model Hull Porter 18 foot bed length M/T Tilt Trailer.

18’ M/T Tilt as shown is only $2,895. $2,595.

 Full 18’ of bed length  Full 7’ bed width between fenders  2 5/16” coupler  Dual extra long self locking safety chains  7,000 lb dropleg jack.  Heavy thickness 5” channel steel frame, tongue and full length tongue wrap to front of suspension.  3” channel steel crossmembers on 24” spacing  Heavy wall steel tubing in tubing swivel system is grease able, strong and easy to maintain. 3 ton hydraulic tilt jack. Just pump it up in about  30 seconds to load, then release it to let the bed back down when you want and as fast or slow as you want.  Multiple stake pocket tie downs, chain keyholes D ring tie downs for easy securing of nearly any load.  Low profile 9” high fenders for easy car door clearance.  Fenders are steel braced front back and center... strong enough to walk on.  Bed front headache rack.  Tapered tail for easy loading and unloading  Full LED lighting system with thinline LED tail lights protected inside trailer structure

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 11 total LED Lights FULL commercial DOT legal trailer throughout  FOUR wheel electric brakes STANDARD  On board battery brake breakaway system with on board battery and charger  7 prong RV plug with extra long light plug cord wiring enclosed in PVC conduit for longer life. #1 grade ACQ treated wood floor is fitted and bolted in place with nearly 70 separate fasteners!  10 year frame warranty and 10 year floo warranty std.  Standard black color-optional Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green or Charcoal  Gray colors available.  Available in lengths from 18’ shown as well as 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 or 30 feet!  Std 7,000lb GVWR suspension with Dexter axles and EZ lube spindles!  Optional GVWR packages of 9,990, 14,000, 16,000 and even 21,000 triple axle available.  Three different fender options available  Built by us in our Iowa plant (New plant coming to Wauchula in 2021!)

Complete 14,000lb GVWR models $6,895 and up! $7,150.  Professional grade trailer. down both sides and across front for  Full 6” channel steel frame and tongue easy side board installation.  Adjustable height coupler std. Pick  New greasable billet steel rear hinges! from three different 2 5/16” coupler  2-way gate! Split or bottom designs, pintle ring or even clevis swing out. hitch! FREE.  Easy one handed rear gate lock bar!  Dual self-latching safety chains  Spare tire mount already installed free.  12,000lb spring loaded dropleg jack  Heavy 3” channel 5’ long ramps set back in tongue.  Hidden under bed ramp storage  Locking control box/toolbox in tongue included  3,000 PSI power up and down  10-gauge hard steel fenders std hydraulic pump system with 15’ long  4 corner D rings on floor std magnetic corded remote included.  Twin 7,000 lb easy lube axles  Full 750amp Interstate brand deep  4 wheel electric brakes cycle battery hooked up charge from  Easy lube spindles tow vehicle std.  Heavy service 9/16” stud 8 bolt  Larger cylinder scissor hoist std!! hubs std  84” wide inside box dimensions std.  Heavy service 16” wheels and  20” tall box sides are tough, low profile ST235/80R-16 E rated 10 ply and more than tall enough to haul all radials std of the dirt your rock you need without  This is a complete, ready to use any side boards. trailer that is capable of hauling,  Full 7 gauge (3/16” thick) steel floor lifting and dumping up to 6 tons  Super tight cross member spacings of dirt, rock or debris day in and  Tube box support cage with 12 gauge day out! sides std.  Full CarboncoatDM enamel paint  Full tube steel double door frame system. Tough, yet REPAIRABLE! system  Full 2-year hydraulics warranty  Corner brackets and stake pockets  10-year frame and floor warranty


Hull Porter Trailers Toll Free: 844-913-3100 | Office: 863-445-9001 We manufacture all series of open bed design trailers, from golf cars up to skidloaders, backhoes and various equipment and cargo. 2021 Model Hull Porter 16’ plus 2’ dovetail car hauler.

Single Axle SS Utility Trailers Model shown is a 76 in by wide bed by 12 foot bed length. $1,450 $1,600.

Model shown is only $2,995. $2,795

A proven design for 22 years.  Full 2,990lb GVWR rating.  2,000lb in bed load capacity.  1,500lb max ramp capacity.  Dexter brand easy lube axle. 3,500lb capacity.  Strong 6 bolt pattern hubs.  New factory warranted ST205 75R-15 6 ply radial trailer tires.  Strong Dextar steel mod wheels in white or black  Super strong 52” tall ramp gate with heavy wall steel tube uprights and heavy steel mesh surface for low wind drag and great traction for loading and unloading.  3 way gate design. Stands up, lays down on the ground for loading and even folds forward to lay flat in the bed for an incredible decrease in wind drag while running empty.  5,000lb rated 2” posi lok coupler with security padlock tab built in.  Dual bright plated extra long safety chains with self latching hooks.  4 prong flat wiring plug tied into shielded and enclosed wiring harness to give you longer service life.  100% LED lighting throughout!  2,000lb rated, easy pull pin swivel up jack with 15” of travel and large sand pad on bottom of jack.

Our original design developed over 24 years ago. Proven, tested and reliable hauler for decades to come. Check out the list of std features below… Always 84” between fenders.

 Full 12 gauge Hi tensile body creates the strongest trailer for the least amount of weight.  12” high steel sides on front and rear keep small items much more secure while towing.  Multiple d ring tie downs inside, plus super strong tie loops are four corners give you multiple attachments points for a variety of loads.  #1 grade ACQ treated Southern Yellow Pine decking is 2x structural dimension for strength and is guaranteed for 10 years against rot.  Floor is set, fitted and bolted down with dozens of high grade type F flooring bolts to keep floor in place for years.  Complete chassis is hand prepped, acid washed and phosphate before final 3 coats of PMI CarboncoatDM Polyester Hybrid op coat.  Heavier thickness rock guard on both fender fronts to help keep rock chips to a minimum.  90 day nose to tail warranty, 2 year components, wheel and tire warranty and ten year frame and floor rot warranty standard.

1115 Hwy 17 | Wauchula, FL 33873 Just south of the Wal Mart on the West side of the highway.

www.facebook.com/HPTrailersWauchula

www.pullhp.com

 Low 9” fender height for easy car door clearance.  Full 5” Schedule A36 channel steel frame, tongue and full tongue wraps for an incredibly rugged design.  3” channel steel crossmembers on 24” centers  Super strong 14,000lb rated 2 5/16” coupler with padlock port for easy security.  Dual heavy duty, extra long, bright plated safety chains with self latching hooks.  7 prong RV style lighting plug flows into a shielded and conduit enclosed lighting system for trouble free lighting.  8,000lb dropleg tongue storage jack is set back in the tongue nearly 2 feet to eliminate any clearance issues with your truck’s tailgate.  Jack has super large sand pad foot, pull pin drop leg and a total of 30” of available travel for easy hooking and unhooking.  9” high bed front headache rack keeps things on the bed, even under extreme braking.  Multiple stake pocket tie downs along both sides (the longer the trailer, the more pockets you get!) for easy tie down of cars or equipment to a solid point. Also perfect for building side boards on if need.  Steel fenders come braced on both ends, as well as inside for impressive\ strength. Our fenders are strong enough to sit or walk on without worry.

 Extra thick fender front rock guard to keep rock chips at a minimum on both fender fronts.  Tandem 3,500lb DEXTER brand axles.  Easy lube hubs  Stronger 6 bolt pattern hubs std.  4 wheel electric brakes std.  Rugged perma lube bushed tandem leaf spring suspension. Smooth riding, sturdy and easily serviced.  On board brake safety breakaway system with battery and charger included and already wired.  New ST205/75R-15 6 ply radial trailer tires on extra strong 6” wide Dextar brand wheels come with a direct to the manufacturer 2 year warranty!  100% LED lighting system with Thinline LED tail and rear clearance marker lights for a super clean look and hard to damage location.  Front corner, front fender, rear fender and rear corner LED marker lights std.  All HD flatbed trailers come std with dual 5’ long pull out ramps in their own under floor, lockable carrier.  Full width rear ramp hook allows you to place your ramps anywhere across the tail of the trailer for easier loading of small cars and equipment.  Every trailer is hand built, then hand prepped before being acid washed, phosphate coated and then treated to our exclusive PMI CarboncoatDM Polyester Hybrid finish in three final coats.  Frankly, feature for feature, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, this trailer cannot be beaten by any other company.

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There are SEVEN

Good reasons to Advertise in Heartland LIVING DeSoto County Glades County Hardee County Hendry County Highlands County Let us help you get more Okeechobee County for your advertising cost. Polk County Advertise in the most widely distributed and read magazine in the Heartland! Your new clients are only a short drive away.

Heartland LIVING Call or email us if you want to join us & share your business with all 7 Counties in the Heartland for one low price! Cindy@Heartland-Living.com

863-781-0344

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Lightsey Family Ranch Established Hunting Ranch in Lake Placid Specializing in white tail deer, wild boar, and alligator hunting year around. We also offer Florida quail hunts!

2,000 acres of native Florida Bays, Pines Palmettos, and Oaks! South Florida at it’s finest! Eco-Tours Available

Weddings - Corporate Retreat - Events

We offer packages which include the use of our newly built Lodge, the tranquility of our Ranch. We have a newly built 70 x 70 wedding barn!

863-634-3262

545 New Boot Heel Road - Venus, FL 33960 www. Floridahuntingoutfitter.com Lightsey Family Ranch


Two Convenient Locations

Prompt Care Open 7 Days a Week | 365 Days a Year Monday - Thursday: 7 am to 7 pm Friday: 7 am to 5 pm

Saturday - Sunday: 9 am to 3 pm | Open Holidays Health care services for ages 5+ including • Bronchitis • Sinus infections • Cold and flu symptoms • Skin conditions • Diabetes management • Sore throat • Disease prevention screening • Sports injuries • Health maintenance • Sprains and strains • High cholesterol • Thyroid • Minor lacerations • Urinary tract infections • Simple wound infections • COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients

By appointment only • Annual physical • Bus driver physical • DOT physical • School physical • Sports physical • Workers comp • Breath alcohol testing • Urine drug screening

Walk In or Schedule Your Appointment 863-382-9600 AdventHealth Medical Group Prompt Care at Sun ’N Lake A hospital department of AdventHealth Sebring

4421 Sun ’N Lake Blvd., Suite B, Sebring Curbside Care Available 863-402-3429 AdventHealth Medical Group Prompt Care at South Sebring 2950 Alt. US Highway 27 S., Suite B, Sebring AHMGHeartland.com Most insurances accepted. Authorization may be required.