Heartland LIVING February & March 2020
A Magical Place
Extended 7am to 7pm Drive Thru and Saturday Hours
I feel that customer service is a big part of our return customers, just like at Gilbert Ford. I just made a phone call and told them what we were looking for; we came in and signed the papers. It was a smooth and easy deal. They were up front and honest every step of the way.
- Leroy Wise
Owner of Wise Choice Plumbing
3175 US Highway 441, Okeechobee, FL 34974 (863)763-2121 www.Gilbert-Ford.com
February & March 2020
Dr. Charles W. Bartels Board Certified Optometric Physician
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l Glasses Available Same or Next Day
Our On-Site Lab allows for Most Prescriptions to be finished in One Hour!
606 North Parrott Ave Okeechobee 863-763-3937 www.biglakeeyecare.com
We Make Your Visit To The Dentist A
¡ 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 February & March 2020
Volume 9 | Issue 1 | February & March 2020
Lakeland Expanding & Evolving By Sarah Whitman
Solomon's Castle By Katy Fassler
Richard Ellis Hamrick
By Steffanie Immerfall
For the Birds By Katy Fassler
February & March 2020
CONTENTS Volume 9 | Issue 1 | February & March 2020
noteworthySTORIES 88 City Life Teen Center By Katy Fassler
Earth Calendar By Rebecca Maglischo
88 inspired by the SOUTH 114
Southern Chef By Layne Prescott
Individual Beef Wellington Hasselback Baked Potato Red Velvet Checkerboard Cake
12 Letter from the Publisher 18 Behind the Scenes 22 From Our Readers
Heartland LIVING February & March 2020
Cover Solomon"s Castle Photography by Bill Wight
A Magical Place
Cosmetic & General Dental Services Laser Treatment and Digital Imaging Orthodontics Invisalign® Same-day Crowns, Root Canals, Bridges & More Zoom!® Whitening Sedation
February & March 2020
VINTAGE w ELEGANT w UNIQUE WEDDINGS
Southern Grace Promises a once-in-a-lifetime Celebration! Located on a heritage family ranch in Central Florida, Southern Grace is one of Florida’s most beautiful wedding venues. Whether you dream of saying “I do” under our majestic swaying oaks, or dancing the night away under the twin-kling lights in our beautiful barn, we have a long-standing tradition of helping brides and grooms fulfill their most cherished wedding dreams.
All You Have to Say is “I Do” Photos by Magnolia Studio
Whether intimate or elaborate, brides and their families can be confident that their treasured day will be flawlessly executed by a dedicated team, allowing them to enjoy their day. Brides also appreciate the ultimate quality and customization of our menus and flowers, and the care and attention they receive.
17822 Bill Taylor Road w Lithia, FL w 33547 w Hello@southerngracewedding.com
February & March 2020 11
etter fromTHE PUBLISHER I’ve been thinking about change recently. Maybe it comes with the new year that brings on these thoughts, or maybe it’s the adjustment period we all go through when we want to try something new. Change can be a little scary, but at the same time it can be equally exciting as the idea of new experiences and new opportunities become limitless. I find myself getting caught up with new ideas and visions of the future of my life. Recently, it has been my vision of how I wanted to change up the look of Heartland LIVING Magazine for YOU, our advertisers and readers for 2020. Of course we don’t feel there is anything wrong with our past issues, so a lot to live up to. Of course I had to look to our creative designer Bridgette Waldau who has been creating the magazine for you from the very first issue. We didn’t feel we needed huge changes but we brain stormed and feel we changed up just enough to keep the magazine unique while still representing our upscale regional lifestyle magazine with creative innovative ideas.
You will see in our Contents Page it says Volume 9 | Issue 1. This means Heartland LIVING is entering its 9th publishing year. I hope, as a devoted reader for the past years, you have enjoyed the content, photography, editorial features, our covers and all of the changes we have made along the way. Sometimes there are subtle changes that you can’t quite pinpoint, but you realize there has been an improvement and that the magazine just seems a little better. Perhaps this time, it’s our new content page we extended you might notice. I feel Bridgette has done amazing with the unique design changes. Some you will notice and some you will think it’s just my same Heartland LIVING Magazine you’re used to reading. Either way we hope you love the look and content. As publisher, I have the privilege of learning about business owners, charities, schools, and people living in the Heartland Communities. You are all a part of Heartland LIVING, and we could not publish such a beautiful magazine without you. We love promoting your businesses in all 7 counties of the Heartland so our readers know how to find you and what you have to offer. From the words of Vince Lombardi, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work.” In this issue I feel we have covered just about every aspect of all of these mentioned with our stories. I hope you will find one if not all that interest you. I started writing to mention them all but we have so many I’m just going to let you start flipping the pages and enjoy reading. I couldn’t have done any of this the past 8 years without my team, the advertisers trusting us with their businesses and all our readers. Thank You.
Cindy Sebring Adams 12
The Twisted Teapot is dedicated to providing an unforgettable afternoon tea experience with quality food and exceptional service. Customers comes first; whether itâ€™s catering to a special need or delivering a truly unforgettable experience for a special occasion.
200 First Street South Winter Haven, FL 33880
Reservations are highly recommended.
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February & March 2020 13
Heartland LIVING February & March 2020
February & March 2020 Volume 9 | Issue 1 Solomon's Castle
A Magical Place
Published by CEO | Publisher Cindy Sebring Adams Editorial Director Jessica Pleger Creative | Art Director Bridgette Waldau Writers Katy Fassler Steffanie Immerfall Rebecca Maglischo Sarah Whitman Contributing Writer Layne Prescott Photography Director Rafael Pacheco Cover Photographer Bill Wight Feature Photographers Sharon Cannon Caroline Maxcy Fox Emily Plank Bill Wight Contributing Photographers Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Contact: 412 Rest Haven Road, Zolfo Springs, FL 33890 863-781-0344 E-mail
Cindy@Heartland-Living.com Become a fan on facebook
Florida Magazine Association
Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc.
Awards Winner of 16 FMA Charlie Awards 2014 - 2018
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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Friday & Saturday Nights Live Music on Main Stage, Karaoke & DJ In Tiki Photos courtesy of Visit Sebring
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MARCH Welcome Back Race Fans!
We will be open until 10 pm for dinner starting March 9th thru the races.
Hours: Monday - Thursday 11-9 pm Friday - Saturday 11-2 am Sunday - 11 am-8 pm
6813 US 27 South - Sebring, FLorida 16
At Highlands Regional Medical Center, we put you at the center of everything we do. Our Emergency Rooms are open around the clock, every day of the year. And with a full staff of emergency physicians, on-site imaging services and the area’s only dedicated senior ER– everyone can get the attention they need, quickly. Now that’s something to get excited about.
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behind the SCENES Behind the Scenes
Creative | Art Director
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.
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.
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. KATY FASSLER has been telling stories since she was able to scribble her name in crayon on the wall. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, she moved to Sebring in 2006 to attend the Great Commission Bible Institute. Katy, an avid reader and book collector lives by Dr. Seuss’ advice, “Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” Katy and her husband, Sean, live in Sebring with their two daughters, Adia and Emery. 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. SARAH WHITMAN is a writer and journalist living in the Tampa Bay area. She writes a weekly religion column for the Tampa Bay Times. Sarah is also a contributor for Her View from Home. She writes poetry and essays about faith and motherhood.
February & March 2020 STEFFANIE IMMERFALL is a Chicagoland native who currently works in Marketing for Seminole Gaming. In her free time she and her kids spend time exploring Florida, visiting historical sites and traveling. Steffanie enjoys photography and writing anything from short stories to professional pieces related to business and marketing.
Photographer BILL WIGHT considers himself a passionate photographer. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and now lives in Arcadia Florida. Bill started photography seriously after a motorcycle accident. During his recovery, Bill went to Myakka park, walked around and saw many types of birds and animals. It was there he got an epiphany to get a camera. Bill is an award winning photographer and has won a 2017 Florida Magazine Charlie award for best original photography, that was published in Heartland LIVING Magazine. His studio, located in Arcadia is Wight Zebra Photography.
CAROLINE MAXCY FOX was born and raised in Central FL. She decided to be an artist at the age of five. After achieving her BSA from Florida State University, she practiced in the field of design for six years and then received a Masters in Graphic Design from NC State University. She honed her artistic craft and developed a "way of seeing" that fuels her work. Caroline is a full time photographer and lives with her husband in the heart of Sebring, FL. Together they run the day-to-day life at The Great Commission Bible Institute as the Site Coordinators and Dorm Parents. Naturally, adventure abounds. SHARON CANNON Sharon's passion has always been photography. She is an award winning photographer having transitioned from amateur to professional in 2010. She is a member of Okeechobee Main Street, on the arts and cultural committee. Sharon has lived in Okeechobee for many years, and has one son, Karl. â€œI love the history of our little town. I want to preserve all of our â€˜todaysâ€™ through the lens of my camera, for our future â€˜tomorrowsâ€™.â€?
Licensed and Insured CRC 1331545
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February & March 2020 21
Readers Nurtured by ATURE
By Rebecca Maglischo Photography by Emily Plank A leaf pushed its way through the soil. Just a single leaf, it was a beautiful shade of green. I yelled for my oldest son to come quick. He threw himself around my leg, his 4-year-old eyes wide with amazement.
“I can’t believe it!”
You can't imagine my own excitement when I found this leaf working its way to freedom just outside my back door. I am as tied to this plant as I am to every being that has nudged me gently on my Life Journey. This baby plant has a deep and rich legacy in our family that connects us to the root of everything we were getting wrong and the story of how we started to get it right.
December 2019 January 2020
December 2019 January 2020
I am so delighted with this feature article in Heartland Living Magazine!! The editor and publisher of Heartland Living Magazine have been so kind to let me share my words on their platform and to highlight the important work we are doing at Deep Roots Nature School. - Rebecca Wroten Maglischo
Providing a Legacy for Future Generations
By Kristy Harris Photography by Caroline Maxcy Fox
Heartland LIVING December 2019| January 2020
9 | Jan
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. Submissions may be edited for space.
Thank you so much for your kind words and again for such a wonderful piece about the Jac and all the happenings within! - South Florida State College Foundation
Beautiful issue! -Ann Vogel
Love this magazine! -Kim Mawhinney
December 2019 January 2020
Love this issue of Heartland Living Magazine Kristy Harris and Caroline Maxcy Fox beautiful article and pictures. And once again Ms. Cindy Sebring Adams knocked it out the park! Thank you all! - Anastasia Saunders
Heartland Living has traveled to Alabama. Cindy Sebring Adams, ladies on the jet sitting next to me loved it! - Roberta Beattie
Best magazine and always love the stories and beautiful pictures! -Jeanette Bradley
Walking through the doors, you will find that the Jacaranda Hotel is a hidden gem of perfectly preserved Florida history! Opening in 1926 and named for the 150-year-old Jacaranda tree that had to be removed to build the hotel, The Jac was built before the interstates of the 60s drew traffic away from Central Florida. But in the 20s, at the cross roads of US Highway 27 and Highway 64, Avon Park was the perfect location for a grand hotel to accommodate folks traveling between North and South Florida. Some of the first guests were members of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team who came to Avon Park for spring training from 1927-1929. Among other famous guests at the The Jac were Babe Ruth, George Burns and Gracie Allen. Additionally during World War II, the hotel housed hundred of servicemen who had come to the area to train as military pilots.
February & March 2020 23
THE SEBRING CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESENTS
Friday - Sunday
APRIL 3-5 2020
PRE-PARTY FIZZY FAMILY FUN NIGHT Friday, April 3 5-9 PM Downtown Sebring Outdoor Family Movie Under the Stars, Lawn Games, Family Fun, FREE Mini-Soda Tasting and More
MAIN EVENT Sebring Soda Fest
Saturday, April 4 11 AM - 6 PM Sunday, April 5 11 AM - 4 PM Downtown Sebring 200+ Craft Sodas to Taste from Around the World, Live Entertainment, Interactive “Make Your Own Soda” Station, Vendors, Kids Activities & Contests
AFTER-PARTY BLOCK PARTY CONCERT
Saturday, April 4 6 pm - 9 pm Intersection of Circle Park Drive & N. Ridgewood Drive Live Entertainment with “Bluffett & the Son of a Sailor Band”, a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band. Food Trucks, Adult Beverages, Free to Attend, VIP Tickets Available
FOR PURCHASE OF SODA TASTING PUNCH CARDS, AFTER-PARTY TICKETS, NON-PROFIT BOOTH SIGN-UP, VENDOR & SPONSOR INFORMATION
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT: 863-385-8448 OR SEBRINGSODAFEST@SEBRING.ORG
Family Style Restaurant Where quality meets great prices! Ask us for a catering menu for your next event!
Family Owned Business for 40 Years
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February & March 2020 25
LAKELAND Expanding By Sarah Whitman Photography by Emily Plank
February & March 2020 27
he City of Lakeland has seen significant growth and change throughout the last five years, with new developments and expanding industry triggering an unprecedented population rise. From July 2017 to July 2018, nearly 3,000 people moved to the city, which was recently listed in the Top 50 Surge Cities by Inc.com. “Lakeland is strategically located in between two major metros and we have access to 10.1 Million people within a 100-mile radius,” Ashley Cheeks, VP of Business Development for the Lakeland Economic Development Council, said. “This gives employers access to talent, customers and amenities.” “The more businesses that open in Lakeland, the more people are drawn to the area,” Cheeks said.
February & March 2020 29
n 2019, Publix broke ground on its 190,000-squarefoot corporate expansion, Amazon began building its cargo facility at Lakeland Linder International Airport and fresh businesses continued to host ribbon cuttings downtown. “It was a great year for Downtown Lakeland,” Nicole Travis, community and economic developer for the city, said. “At one point there were three cranes on different development sites, something we have not seen in over a decade.” Highlights from the year include the building of Lakeland's first public and private parking garage, which includes 40,000-square-feet of office space. The Yard on Mass, a food truck park with live music and craft beers, opened to rave reviews. Also, construction began on a new building for Catapult, Lakeland's coworking initiative designed to foster the growth of start-up small businesses. Catapult 3.0, a new state of the art entrepreneurial collaborative center, will include a commissary kitchen and 24,000-square-feet of work space.
February & March 2020 31
hether it’s turning a family recipe into a pop-up restaurant, prototyping a new technology, creating and selling goods, or turning that crazy idea into a sustainable business, Catapult hopes to accommodate each and every entrepreneur who walks through the doors,” says the organization.
Townhomes and apartments located in the heart of the city
Catapult members include owners of a local brewery, a travel agency and guitar shop. Many members have opened storefronts, among them Lucky Puppy Nail Specialists, a dog grooming business owned by Debi Hufstedler, and Dynamic Security, owned by Ricardo Rivera. “Corporate offices bring job seekers to the area but small businesses make it a community,” Travis said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, because they build wealth in our community,” she said. “These are the people that live here, pay taxes, invest and give back to our community. Their unique businesses are what makes Lakeland an attractive destination for visitors.” Downtown restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops provide young professionals with gathering spaces outside their homes and offices. In recent years, Lakeland has also become a popular nightspot. Townhomes and apartments are now located in the heart of the city, with 90 new residential units set to open in 2020. “Downtown is where the city comes alive,” Travis said. “In Downtown Lakeland there are theaters, beautiful parks, a 1.2-acre garden with over 10,000 flowers, charming restaurants and an increasing stock of residential units that is increasing the nightlife activity. What I love most about Downtown Lakeland is it’s easy to navigate and its attractiveness is unparalleled.” February & March 2020 33
hotographs of Lakeland a decade ago and today depict the city's commitment to revitalization, expansion and economic productivity. Residents who grew up in the city are among those most proud to call it home, investing in opportunities to give back and help foster growth. Some of the most anticipated events in 2020 include the opening of the Joinery, a modern food hall and craft brewery and Central Bark, a new downtown dog park. The Joinery, owned by husband and wife team Jonathan and Sarah Bucklew, celebrated its soft opening January 20. Located off Lake Mirror, at 640 Main St., the 12,000-squarefoot food hall includes seven vendors. Among them are Sabu, which offers Japanese cuisine, ATO Burritos and Bowls, and Ava Neopolitan Pizzeria. Mayday Handcrafted Ice Cream and Super Duper Joint, which specializes in burgers, also occupy space in the building. With its grand opening to come and an on-site working brewery scheduled to open in March. The Joinery is one of Lakeland's most talked about ventures. Construction on the property, formerly occupied by Lakeland Brewing Co., began more than a year ago. A $250, 000 grant from the Community Redevelopment Agency helped fund the Bucklew's vision, which they launched out of Catapult. Jonathan, a musician, and Sarah, who specializes in marketing, also own the downtown minimalist furniture shop Seventeen20. The store's success inspired the Bucklew’s to dream bigger. The Joinery was designed as a gathering place not just for customers but also for businesses.
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“It is so exciting to see the deliberate investment in this city that started 30+ years ago payoff,” Travis said.
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www.misscindysgardens.com February & March 2020 35
is where the City Comes - Nicole Travis
February & March 2020 37
Locally Owned and Operated
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A Magical Place By Katy Fassler Photography by Bill Wight
Florida is home to hundreds of interesting places to visit. In the outskirts of Ona, there is a magical place unlike any other. Solomonâ€™s Castle, a 12,000 square foot home, created from reclaimed products is a bucket list worthy place to experience.Â„
February & March 2020 41
oward Solomon, an eccentric and brilliant man, created the castle with the intention of making a home. Solomon purchased nearly 100 acres of natural Florida swamp in 1970 for $350 an acre. Building commenced in 1972 and took seven years to build. Even after it was finished, he continued to add on as he needed. He was gifted a stunning chandelier. Without the proper place to put it, he added onto the castle a turret in which to hang it. This room featured a three-sided door to the outside. The castle is covered in aluminum printing plates purchased from the local Wauchula newspaper, The Harold Advocate. The sheets were printed upon and stamped on newsprint. With a one-time use, there were thousands available. According to the tour guide, “How many sheets were used to cover the castle? Count them and let us know.” Solomon stood out in Ona. He wore a skipper captain hat and wore his beard long without a mustache. Locals became curious as to what he was building and eventually asked to come see. Solomon told a few to come on the “last Sunday of the month” and quickly forgot. A small group of locals came knocking, to the surprise of Solomon who graciously gave a tour. They came again the next month and the month after. Quickly, people were visiting more often, coming to see the castle and tour the pieces of art Solomon created. Unintentionally, Solomon created a destination hot spot for the locals. 42
Howard Solomon February & March 2020
s time went on, Solomon and his family chose to begin advertising, drawing a wider range of visitors. Solomon saw the castle as a way to showcase his art, share his passion with the world, and to keep his family close. Solomon, a world renown artist, created pieces of art out of what some considered trash. Tin cans, car parts, and more were transformed into incredible pieces. Touring the castle, one can see a menagerie of animals made from wire coat hangers, trains from tin cans and car parts, busts made from nuts, bolts, and chains, and so much more. Solomon creatively transformed discarded pieces into incredible, and often comical, pieces of art. Solomon was known as the â€œRembrandt of reclamation, DaVinci of debris, the wizard of odds and ends, and the savior of salvage.â€?, says his daughter Alane. Â„
February & March 2020 45
here is much more than the castle. Built in the 1990’s, the Boat in the Moat, a replica of a Portuguese galleon that sits, you guess it, in a moat. The boat serves as the locations restaurant and serves as the bridge to the lighthouse and gift shop. The Lily Lighthouse, a tribute to the Lily community is continued dining space. The grounds are available to explore nature trails, a replica of The Alamo, and with an additional ticket, a view into Solomon’s workshop and car collection.
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In 2009, Alane Solomon added to her father’s creation. She planted 1400 Live Oak saplings in a creative pattern only visible from the air. In a plane or via Google Maps, you can see the word “Peace” created by the trees guaranteeing “Peace on Earth”.
Drink Specials! Happy Hour all day 2 for 1 House Wine - Draft Beer and Specially Cocktails
“I built a castle because a palace was too expensive.” Howard Solomon once said. Howard Solomon passed away in August 2016 at the age of 81. The 40-minute castle tour, completely scripted by Solomon himself, details the creation of the pieces, each with a story and a pun. The gallery is located on the first floor of the castle. The tour concludes in Solomon’s living room and kitchen, showcasing the only “plain wall in the castle”—a wall covered from floor to ceiling in wood planers.
Full Liquor Bar!
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February & March 2020 47
very man’s home is a castle and for dad it was really true. Dad created a kingdom for us,” said Alane. “I like to think my dad could empower someone to follow their dreams.” Solomon’s Castle has been featured on BBC, PBS, CNN and many other publications worldwide. Solomon’s Castle is open October 1st through August 1st, Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, please visit www.SolomonsCastle.com. Tickets are sold on site and is cash or check only.
Dean Murphy and Alane Solomon
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February & March 2020 49
- Howard Solomon
February & March 2020 51
February & March 2020 53
The Hamrick Flag located in
54Flagler Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com Park - Okeechobee, FL
Richard Ellis Hamrick Preserving a Community Green Space for Okeechobee By Steffanie Immerfall Photography by Sharon Cannon Family Photos Courtesy of Regina Hamrick and Michael Hamrick
A beacon of light shines bright in the center of the City in Okeechobee. It illuminates an American Flag that at night moves like liquid and during the day is strong, bold, and vibrant in the warm Florida sun. The flag stands in a spacious green park that has become synonymous with the City of Okeechobee, this park is Flagler Park. For over 100 years, the park has been a place where the citizens of Okeechobee could gather, hold festivals, picnic or hold community ceremonies. Naturally a seventyfoot pole with a twenty by thirtyfoot flag enhances the park and adds a sense of patriotism that is a direct reflection of many of this small town’s residents. The flag’s symbolism, pride, hope, strength, endurance, vigilance, justice and perseverance are attributes which are not unlike those of the man whom the flag was dedicated to,
Richard Ellis Hamrick, Sr.
- [Col R.E Hamrick].
Richard Ellis Hamrick, Sr.
n the town of Okeechobee, Hamrick is a common name; from Hamrick Road, Hospice of Okeechobee Hamrick Home and even the newly added Hamrick Butterfly Garden. Although many residents are familiar with the name, many don’t know the story of Col R.E Hamrick and how his foresight and generosity in the early 1900s led to the preservation of the beautiful downtown spaces we have in the City of Okeechobee today.
Hamrick graduated from the University of Florida Law School in 1916. Shortly after his marriage to his wife Annie B., the new couple moved to what is now known as Okeechobee County. The Florida Legislature wouldn’t create the county of Okeechobee until one year after his arrival in 1917. Hamrick and his wife quickly made positive impacts to the community. He was appointed as the first Superintendent of Public Instruction for the new county, overseeing the first graduating class from Okeechobee High School in 1920 and was elected to the post twice. He also was county attorney for two years in the 1930s. Hamrick served as School Superintendent for several years, continued to practice law and began investing in real estate and cattle. Annie B., a teacher with a degree in education, established the first kindergarten in Okeechobee. They had three sons, R.E. Jr., David and Harvey. 56
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The Hamrick Family: (Seated) R.E. and Annie B. Hamrick, (Standing) Sons - David, R.E., Jr. and Harvey, Middle: Jacoba Hamrick (wife of R.E., Jr)
n 1919, the railway was making its debut, creating a new economy in central Florida. The Florida East Coast railway made expansion into Okeechobee shaping the layout of the City of Okeechobee with the creation of a rail line coming directly into Okeechobee County, and was the catalyst for farmland development, creating the very first local industries; catfish, cattle and timber. The developing city map, created by a civil engineer hired by the FEC railroad, show the main roadways separated by a large park. This park was named Flagler Park after Henry Flagler, the founder of the FEC Railroad. The FEC Railroad presence led to the development of corporations selling farmlands and building sights. One of those corporations was The Okeechobee Company, the company that would own the rights to the original city plat that included Flagler Park.
Annie B. Hamrick
The city grew slowly in its first few years but by July of 1926, the City Council recognized the need for a City Hall and Fire Station. The City approached The Okeechobee Company to build on parcels of land owned by the corporation for the City Hall and Fire Station. Although the The Okeechobee Company did not want to part with the title to the land, they did allow the buildings to be built, and both parties agreed to a mutual easement of the land. As time passed, Florida experienced a great land “boom” and many development companies quickly appeared in Okeechobee County, ready to develop housing and commercial space. But as the great depression began many of the new land development companies disappeared from the area, taking a toll on the county. In 1941 The Okeechobee Company went bankrupt and a judgment was placed against the company. Six years later, the land owned by The Okeechobee Company was sold at auction to the highest bidder - R.E and Annie B. Hamrick. The Hamrick’s were issued a Sheriff's Deed which gave them legal rights to the land owned by The Okeechobee Company, including Flagler Park.
Richard Ellis Hamrick, Sr.
Throughout the years there have been many claims to the land which was once held by The Okeechobee Company. There was even a court case that went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, in which the final ruling was in favor of R.E. and Annie B. Hamrick. Throughout the years the Hamrick’s granted public uses for areas within the park; as an example, the Chamber of Commerce Building and a public library building (which is now the City Police Station) was built on this land.
Panoramic view of Flagler Park in Downtown Okeechobee, February & Marchc.1926 2020 59
Michael Hamrick with his grandfather, holding his first turkey on Thanksgiving 1975
Michael Hamrick, grandson
efore Hamrick’s passing in 1990 at the age of 100, he designed in his will the “Hamrick Trust”. The Hamrick Trust requires two trustees the responsibility of making sure parks remained parks, streets remained streets and alleys remain alleys. It was Hamrick’s goal for over 51 years of his life to maintain the parcel of land originally owned by The Okeechobee Company as it was intended to be, with green space in the center of the downtown area for use by the public. Hamrick thought that the series of parks in the middle of town were a distinguishing feature of the city and one that sets it apart from many other of the small communities in Central Florida. It was Hamrick’s intention to protect the ownership of this land, therefore preserving a community green space indefinitely for the residents of Okeechobee.
The current trustees of the Hamrick Trust are Michael Hamrick, R.E. Hamrick’s grandson, and H. Gilbert “Gil” Culbreth, longtime and trusted family friend. In Michael Hamrick’s Law office in Bradenton, a photo of his grandfather’s graduating class from The University of Florida proudly hangs. Michael remembers sitting at his grandfather’s feet hearing about the many court cases his grandfather had been involved with through the years. He recalls fond memories of his grandfather out on Hamrick Ranch, a place where his grandfather loved to be the most, and where he taught Michael to enjoy the beautiful land God created. The Culbreth Family are dedicated to the legacy of R.E. Hamrick and preserving the history of Okeechobee. Pictured left (L-R): Bert Culbreth, Marie & Gil Culbreth and Christa (Culbreth) Luna
Gil Culbreth, a lifetime resident of Okeechobee and current business owner in town, has many fond memories of growing up in Okeechobee. As I met with Culbreth at the renovated historical bank [Bank of Okeechobee] building, now owned by the Culbreth Family, it was like walking back in time, into an era of Okeechobee in the early 1900’s. Culbreth makes it a point of preserving the history of Okeechobee and understands why Hamrick’s vision is so important to the community. Culbreth also recollected several conversations he had with Hamrick, what his dreams were for the City of Okeechobee and how important it was to him that Flagler Park would remain dedicated for public use as a park forever for the benefit of the citizens of Okeechobee and be free from commercial use. Michael Hamrick and Culbreth have taken on the task of ensuring R.E. Hamrick’s intentions for Flagler Park remain steadfast, even in modern times.
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Judge Jerry Bryant speaks at the Hamrick Flag dedication reception. Photo courtesy of Kris Angsuwan
Hamrick Flag dedication reception, located at the Historic Bank of Okeechobee, was well attended. (Right): Mary Anne Hamrick, granddaughter.
Michael Hamrick, Gil Culbreth and Mary Anne Hamrick look at the dedication plaque on the Hamrick Flag site.
ecently, as a way to honor Hamrick, Culbreth arranged the installation of “The Hamrick Flag” in the center of the Flagler Park number four, directly across the road (State Road 70) from the historical bank building. Judge Jerry Bryant said in his speech at the Hamrick Flag dedication on December 12, 2019, “The Hamrick Flag is a symbol of our nation’s values and our belief in those values. It lets the world know that the citizens of Okeechobee don’t just live in America, but that America lives in us. Long may it wave.”
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Family gathered at the 50th Wedding Anniversary (October 5, 1966) of R.E. and Annie B. Hamrick. (R-L): Regina Hamrick, Cindy Hamrick, Mary Anne Hamrick, Betty & David Hamrick, R.E. & Annie B., Harvey & Sarah Hamrick, Jacoba, David & Rick Hamrick
amrick and his wife Annie B.’s contribution to our town has led to countless years of memories etched into the hearts of Okeechobee’s citizens. The downtown area and Flagler Park have been a gathering place for families to reconnect and a place to honor those who have come before us. Flagler Park is a place that captures the heartbeat of Okeechobee, honoring veterans, Seminole Culture, the vibrancy of art displays, including the Hamrick Butterfly garden sculptures and soon the Cattle Drive Sculpture. Bridgette Waldau, Okeechobee Main Street’s Arts and Culture Alliance Director states “If it were not for the vision of Mr. Hamrick, Okeechobee’s quaint downtown would probably not exist. The parks create a sense of space and belonging, which not only attracts visitors but also attracts unique businesses along Park Street, creating economic opportunities for small businesses". Thanks R.E. and Annie B. Hamrick, Downtown Okeechobee and Flagler Park is a place where we proudly display our past and build legacies for generations to come. Okeechobee is a better place because of Hamrick’s work and dedication to the town he loved. Photo courtesy of the Okeechobee County
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Our interventional cardiologists are prepared for anything, at any time You can’t always know when you’ll need heart care. That’s why we have experienced, board-certified interventional cardiologists available every day — around the clock. AdventHealth Sebring includes three ultramodern cardiovascular laboratories. Each room has full imaging capabilities to allow our physicians to perform nonsurgical complex heart and vascular procedures, including: • Coronary intervention: angioplasty, stenting, rotablator, fractional flow reserve, intravascular ultrasound, laser and left ventricular assist device (LVAD) • Vascular therapy: angioplasty, stenting, atherectomy, laser, intravascular ultrasound and stent graft therapy for aneurysmal disease Our skilled cardiologists perform complex coronary and vascular interventional procedures. They use advanced technology like the Impella device (a percutaneous heart assist device that improves safety and outcomes) and imaging with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), which improves patient outcomes.
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We are excited to announce that we will soon complete construction on the AdventHealth Sebring Heart & Vascular Center of Excellence. Over the years, we have experienced continued growth and increased our breadth of services. With this expansion, we will be providing four state-of- the-art catheterization labs, 24 new cardiac rooms and a Chest Pain Center. We are committed to providing contemporary, comprehensive cardiovascular care each day, for every patient. We strive to provide the best practice of care and achieve the highest level of patient satisfaction. Our ability to accomplish these goals requires the constant commitment of our health care providers, administrative leadership and hospital staﬀ.
Our cardiac physicians work together for you Your heart works hard to keep you strong and active, allowing you to pursue life’s every joy and challenge. When it comes to protecting your heart, you deserve the best. That’s why you turn to the specialists at AdventHealth. Cardiology
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BIRDS By Katy Fassler Photo Courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
â€œIf you truly love , you will find beauty everywhere.â€? -Vincent Van Gogh
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may be best known for its beautiful white beaches, incredible theme parks, and more oranges than one could count, but no one can deny the magnificent beauty found in Floridaâ€™s wildlife and nature.
“Theme parks, beaches, and Miami glitz may fill Florida’s tourist brochures, but conservationists have managed to protect a significant percentage of the state as parks, refuges, and other natural areas. From any point in Florida it’s only a short drive to a birding destination offering an experience like none other in the country,” says Mel White of Audobon.org. Taking the opportunity to step off the concrete and into the soil, opens doors to a world missed by most. The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), gives residents and visitors an open invitation to explore the natural beauty of Florida. The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail isn’t just one trail, it is a collection of over 150 activities and locations across the state to view and experience the wonder of nature. The program was established in 1997 “in hopes to encourage conservation of Florida’s native habitats and species.” “Florida is along the Atlantic Flyway, more than a 3,000 mile stretch from the Arctic tundra to the Caribbean. It is home to productive ecosystems that can support a variety of birds. This means that Florida sees a diversity of species during spring and fall migration, in addition to the resident species that are in Florida year-round,” according to FloridaBirdingTrail.com. February & March 2020 71
Kenn Kaufman, an American renown conservationist, author, and artist said, “Linking the high points of the peninsula and the Florida Panhandle, the Great Florida Birding Trail lives up to its name with sheer magnitude— stretching some 2,000 miles and including almost 500 sites—and with the quality of the birding it offers.” “The whole concept behind the trail was to try to accomplish a couple of different things. One, share with the public places that they could go to have great wildlife viewing experiences and secondly, to communicate with local communities that they have an economic value, that the tourism associated with that is an important asset in their community and hopefully people… take conservation action on the behalf of wildlife,” said Jerrie Lindsey, Director of Public Access and Wildlife Viewing Services with FWC.
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Nationally, there are 86 million people taking place in wildlife watching activities – 34% of the population age 16 or older (2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and WildlifeAssociated Recreation). According to the 2011 Florida Outdoor Recreation Participation Survey, nearly 50% of the population of Florida goes on wildlife-viewing trips. Liz Schold, Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail coordinator, said, “Sites include National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, State Parks, State Forests, County Parks, State Wildlife Management Areas, and privatelyowned lands. They range from sites that have lots of facilities (visitor centers, restrooms, tours, cafes, gift shops, etc.) to sites that are rugged wilderness areas. We have a number of resources available on our website, including pages for each trail site, an interactive map, checklists of birds and butterflies (available for download or order – hardcopies are delivered free!), a newsletter, and a continuously updated events page that includes birding and wildlife viewing activities across the state.”
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Listed on the following pages are some of the Heartland area locations and descriptions within the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail:
Saddle Creek Park: Lakeland At first glance, Saddle Creek Park appears best for wading birds. However, this site is one of Floridaâ€™s premier warbler hotspots during migration. The restoration efforts at this important stopover site are impressive, considering the park was a phosphate mine up until the 1960s. Bald Eagle, Limpkin, Purple Gallinule, Roseate Spoonbill, Sandhill Crane, Short-tailed Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kite, Wood Stork
Highlands Hammock State Park: Sebring This site is one of Floridaâ€™s oldest and most scenic state parks. At the entrance, pick up maps and a bird checklist. For Florida Scrub-Jays, veer right just after the ranger station, pass through the family campground, and explore the biking trails (3 miles are paved). Eight additional short hiking trails, including the Ancient Hammock Trail and Alexander Blair Big Oak Trail, and an 11-mile equestrian trail provide plenty of birding action. One-hour guided tram tours run daily; other educational programs and tours are available (call ahead for details). Multiple camping options and a full-service restaurant are available; bikes may be rented on-site. Bachman's Sparrow, Bald Eagle, Crested Caracara, Florida Scrub-Jay, Sandhill Crane, Short-tailed Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kite, Wood Stork
Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area: Venus You will be rewarded by the scenery and solitude at this beautiful property. Walk the 3.5-mile loop trail which passes through oak scrub, pine flatwoods, seasonal wetlands and cutthroat grass seeps in the central portion of the area. You may also hike on the unpaved service roads to reach the floodplain of Fisheating Creek. There are few amenities here, so bring your lunch, water and sun protection. Florida Scrub-Jay, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Sandhill Crane, Wood Stork
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Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park: Okeechobee A spectacular birding and wildlife watching experience awaits you at this immense state park (one of Floridaâ€™s largest), which protects one of the last remaining examples of dry prairie in the state. In addition, wet prairie, freshwater marshes, oak and sabal palm hammocks, pine flatwoods, swamps and riparian habitats make this an incredibly diverse site. The park is home to such specialties as Crested Caracara, White-tailed Kite, Florida Scrub-Jay and Florida Burrowing Owl. Bachman's Sparrow, Bald Eagle, Crested Caracara, Florida Burrowing Owl, Limpkin, Sandhill Crane, Swallow-tailed Kite, White-tailed Kite, Wood Stork
Bok Tower Gardens: Lake Wales Located atop Iron Mountain, the highest point on the Lake Wales Ridge, is an impressive destination for birders, botanists and butterfly enthusiasts alike. Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark and is famous for its cultivated gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. However, the site also includes the Pine Ridge Nature Preserve, a 100acre sandhill ecosystem comprised of longleaf pines and turkey oaks. Bald Eagle, Painted Bunting, Sandhill CraneÂ„
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is an incredible place to see a diverse array of birds, butterflies, and other flora and fauna. To explore, visit www.FloridaBirdingTrail.com or contact your local Audubon group.
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Introducing Lakeside Dental Arts by David E. Willey, D.M.D. The apprehension associated with going to the dentist can be left at the door of Lakeside Dental Arts, Highlands County’s newest dental office. For over thirty years Dr. David Willey’s mission has been to provide patients with exceptional dental care while relieving the stress and anxiety associated dental visits. His new facility is a culmination of years of planning providing patients a personalized and comfortable experience while utilizing the latest in dental technology. Every aspect of Lakeside Dental Arts has been intentionally designed with each detail serving a purpose. A spa-like atmosphere is yours complete with reserved patient parking spots, patient “comfort boxes”, private treatment rooms featuring television sets, and dental chairs with heating and massage options. All treatment rooms offer Dr. Willey’s signature panoramic views of Lake Jackson. Dr. Willey’s newest office exhibits a deeply personal approach to dentistry and his passion for his patients and the love of his “craft”.
Dr. Willey worked closely with the architects while designing his new building. Minimizing the typical noises associated with dental practices was one of his top priorities. The lobby houses a spectacular water feature to help patients relax while reducing noise from the treatment rooms. You will notice artwork throughout the office. Each piece was selected for its holistic, spiritual, and healing aspects. Most of the framed artwork has been commissioned using local artists. The purple accents throughout the building represent the dental profession. A dental student will don a purple sash upon graduation from a college of dentistry. The office’s purple amethyst geode was purposefully selected as it is widely known to help purify the mind, relieve stress and anxiety, and promote healing. The crystal quartz piece was chosen as it is known to hold properties of clarification and promotes positive energy. Advertorial
Upon arrival, patients are escorted through a floor-to-ceiling glass door to their private treatment room with a panoramic view of Lake Jackson. Prior to their treatment patients are instructed on how to utilize the heating or massage options on the dental chairs and how to select television shows for their viewing pleasure. Lakeside Dental Arts utilizes the most innovative and up to date technology providing the option for same day dentistry for crowns. The world-class laser aids in the treatment of sensitive areas and promotes faster healing. Oral sedation and nitrous oxide sedation help ensure patient’s comfort while treatment needs are met. As a third-generation dentist, Dr. Willey’s father and grandfather instilled the practice ideology of treating patients like family. Dr. Willey followed in his father and grandfather’s footsteps by attending Wooster College in Wooster, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry. He continued his education attending the University of Florida’s prestigious College of Dentistry. Upon graduating from the University of Florida, Dr. Willey moved to Highlands County in 1987 where he began practicing dentistry alongside Dr. David Owen for two years. Dr. Willey opened his first practice on Little Lake Jackson in 1989. Quickly outgrowing his three-treatment room facility, he opened his second office on Lake Jackson in 1999 where he practiced for the last twenty years. Throughout his twenty-year tenure at his Lake Jackson office, Dr. Willey studied extensively aesthetic and full mouth reconstructive dentistry with some of the top educators in the world. He traveled the country observing and learning the latest technology associated with general and cosmetic dentistry. With patient care and comfort his top priority,
Lakeside Dental Arts opened its doors in January 2020 reflecting Dr. Willey’s commitment to furthering the practice of dentistry in our community for years to come. Dr. Willey and his staff at Lakeside Dental Arts are happy to serve their current patient base and accept new patients. Dr. Willey’s passion for his community is evident as he hosts an annual “Day of Giving”. For the last 8 years Dr. Willey and a team of local dental professionals provide dental care at no costs to underserved members of our community. In conjunction with his “Day of Giving”, Dr. Willey selects a patient as a recipient of a “Give Back a Smile” award, providing the patient a complete smile makeover. His new technology and larger office enable these events to reach new heights in caring for our community. Lakeside Dental Arts has a staff with more than 60 years combined experience in the dental field. Taryn Todd Keefe has been a part of Dr. Willey’s team for over 15 years. Taryn is a certified dental hygienist and holds certification to administer anesthetic for dental procedures. Janet Caraway has worked alongside Dr. Willey as his dental assistant for over twenty years assisting in extensive smile makeovers, crown and bridge treatments and more. For 18 years Krissy McGee has led the administrative team and serves patients with a smile. Their experience along with all staff members makes Lakeside Dental Arts a premiere dental care provider in Highlands County and surrounding areas. Whether you’re a lifelong patient of Dr. Willey’s or looking to find a new dental home, Dr. Willey and his team invite you to visit Lakeside Dental Arts and experience the difference in dentistry. Call today to set up a consultation with Dr. Willey and his team of experts at 863-658-3897! Dr. Willey is also available via email at Info@LakesideDentalArts.com to answer any dental questions you may have.
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Life Teen Center By Katy Fassler Photography by Caroline Maxcy Fox
Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.”
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Pastor Ryan Myhre, Director of City Life Teen Center; Tayna Taylor, Executive Director of Youth for Christ Highlands County and Vanessa Richardson, Assistant Director of City Life Teen Center
“A few years ago,” says Executive Director of Youth for Christ Highlands County Tayna Taylor, “there were some shootings that happened in Highlands County that included deaths of some graduates from Sebring High School and Avon Park students that were involved. It really rocked our community. A group of leaders, church and community leaders, came together and said, ‘What are we going to do about this?’ We didn’t want to talk about it anymore—we wanted to do something.” After much discussion, it was discovered that Bountiful Blessing Church had an unfinished gymnasium and was willing to allow the space to be utilized for a teen center. The space needed flooring, drywall, air conditioning and more. Business owners and other leaders in the community with shared vision donated supplies and time to complete the center. The team of leaders, called United Together worked for years to establish the center and fully fund the program for an entire school year. The City Life Teen Center opened in August of 2018 and is located at 820 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Sebring. It is in the back of the Bountiful Blessings Church. Only currently open on Thursdays (middle school) and Friday evenings (high school), the center has on average 30-40 students per night. “We have been in front of over 100 kids.”
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Pastor Ryan Myhre
10th Avon Annual Blueg Park Rota rass & ry Blueb erry Festiv al
Pastor Ryan Myhre, Director of City Life Teen Center, is an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in Sebring. “City Life is under the banner of Youth for Christ and its aim is for teens in a specific area,” says Myhre. “We come alongside them, build relationships with them, and live life with them. We want to speak into their lives: Christ.” “The teen center is primarily an inner city, urban program, different from our other ministries with Youth for Christ such as Campus Life where we are on campus in every middle and high school in Highlands County,” says Taylor.
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For more information visit our website at www.AvonParkRotaryBlueberryFestival.com February & March 2020 93
“We are taking a holistic approach. We want them to learn economic skills as well as other real-life skills. We have a lot of activity in the kitchen. They love to cook! Vanessa Richardson, our assistant director, handles a lot of things but is very involved in the kitchen making dinners and being creative in what they make together.” “Within those four walls of the kitchen,” adds Myhre, “the relationship building, if you can call it culinary arts, is one of the central parts of the ministry. And it makes sense, it is all centered around food!” Donations of potatoes have turned into making homemade French fries. A Student Resource Officer came and made gator tail, and cookie decorating is a favorite. “They love to eat, and they love to be a part of it!” Other activities are games, coloring, crafts, ping pong, X-Box games, air hockey, pool table, and 9 square, and a beautiful basketball court.
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Hearing Services Designed f� Your Individual Care “As we’re going through this and interacting with the teens in these neighborhoods, we want to raise up leaders from within this group so that they become the next leaders in their community, workplace, and school in order to impact the area around them,” adds Myhre. City Life Teen Center is working on starting an economic education program in which students will have access to a system in which they can learn to manage money they earn through service hours at the Teen Center, time spent at the center, and more. Fake taxes will be removed and an option to spend in the Center store. They can use it to buy candy and other snacks or save up for better options such as school supplies, shoes, and more. The goal is to teach financial responsibility, money managing skills, as well as behavior management as they can lose money for misbehaving.
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February & March 2020 97
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In its year long existence, City Life Teen Center has already seen success. Teens are becoming regulars, needs are being met, relationships are being made, and lives are being changed. One student, while playing in the gym, was noticed to be very fast. “He would race other kids,” says Myhre, “and the other kids wouldn’t even come close.” The student was connected with the Sebring High School Cross Country team. He didn’t have the right equipment, but leaders came together to provide shoes and other things that were needed. He is now preparing to be a member of the school track team, an opportunity he did not even think was possible.
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“We told our leaders,” says Taylor, “that every teen that walks into the center is a potential leader. No matter their behavior, their circumstances, their home situation, we are going to see them as future leaders. We want to show them that they have the potential to be that—no matter what.” “This isn’t just a Youth for Christ thing. This is a community collaboration,” says Taylor.
As students enter that door,” says Myhre, “no matter what mess they are coming from, they are coming into the teen center and get to be kids. They get to have fun, laugh. The cares of the world don’t go away, but they aren’t focusing on them here.” For more information on the City Life Teen Center and how to get involved or to donate, please visit www.HighlandsYFC.org.
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By Rebecca Maglischo
As the fireworks explode into the air and the champagne flows, the conversation makes a natural transition to Resolutions. Whether fueled by the previous month of indulgence or by the glasses of bubbly, the general consensus is hopeful for change this year. A page of the calendar turns marking a new year and a new beginning. Clothed in the dark shawl of winter, the Earth doesn’t even raise an eyelid to this notion. An ancient rhythm and cycle of life as old as the first particle of dust takes no notice of this arbitrary date. While the majority of civilization enters a new year on January 1st, the natural world sits in darkness… waiting… patient…
Prior to the widespread adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, the cycle of a year was guided by astronomical phenomena, linked to the natural world and marked by spiritual celebrations. In the time before mechanical clocks, the supreme measure of time was our Sun. The light of the sun marked four distinct periods of time that guided every aspect of life- the Vernal Equinox, the Summer Solstice, the Autumnal Equinox, and the Winter Solstice. The Sunâ€™s daily trek across the sky and annual cycle of light and darkness inspired religion and served as the foundation for stories of death and rebirth.
As December draws to a close and the world gets lost in the chaos of Holidays, the Snobbiness to wake from his slumber. He must face the arduous task of peeling back the darkness. Each day he marches across the sky pulling the curtain of winter a little further. Imperceptible at first, unnoticed, a father who shows up each day without complaint to climb the ladder and give his family a better life. Ever so slowly the efforts add up. The crust of the Earth begins to soften in the bath of light. The tiniest leaves quiver and the buds of the flowers swell with anticipation. The animals peak from their burrows and the whole world takes a great inhale. In this one breath is the collective hope of every moment that ever mattered. It’s the toddler waiting for his parents to walk through the door. It’s the young girl scanning the list for the school play. It’s the young man riding the eternity of the second before the woman he loves says “yes!” It’s the mom lying in bed watching for headlights and listening for the key in the front door. It’s the grandmother sitting by the phone on Christmas day. And the sun marches on.
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Twice a year, in late March and late September, light and dark are equals. A cosmic battle that plays out across the canvas of the sky, light and dark, good and evil, death and birth. The world is suspended for just a moment, dangling in a natural balance. Translated literally, equinox means “equal night.” At the time of the Equinox, the sun is positioned over the equator making the hours of day and night equal. For peoples who depended on the Sun’s light for agriculture, warmth and safety, this was important. The Vernal Equinox indicated that the sun was returning from its slumber to rule the skies once again, bringing warmth and light. This was a season of rebirth and hope. It was also the New Year. In opposition, the Autumnal Equinox marked the period in which the world descended into darkness once more. As the days grew shorter and the sun returned to its slumber, the world became cold and menacing. The Sun teaches us to honor and appreciate the natural cycle of all life- Birth, Growth, Death, and Renewal. We see the discipline of showing up daily. We recognize the importance of balance. Work must be followed by rest. Light always gives way to darkness and darkness always returns to light. Every creature in the natural world watches as the Sun fights through the darkness to reclaim his rightful throne in the sky. The Vernal Equinox. A single bird lifts his voice. “Sun Up! Sun Up! Sun Up!” He chirps. And the world exhales.
From his throne in the sky, the sun ushers in spring with all the beauty and hope of a new year. The leaves spring forth. The flowers open and the bees settle in for a pollen bath. The birds rest upon their nests knowing new life will arrive any day now. The natural world celebrates its own era of renewal at the turn of spring. The darkness and cold that brought death and decay is wiped clean in the rebirth of this season. Hope and light prevail.
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX September 23
WINTER SOLSTICE December 21
VERNAL EQUINOX March 21
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INDIVIDUAL BEEF WELLINGTON Ingredients: 1 lg. pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup chopped Shallots 1/4 cup sherry 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 tsp. Garlic powder 4 (4-6 oz) beef tenderloin filets, seasoned with salt & pepper 1 pkg. Puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed Salt and pepper to taste
By Layne Prescott
In large skillet, sautĂŠ first seven ingredients over medium heat, uncovered, until liquids are absorbed and mixture becomes thick. Allow to cool. Using one sheet of puff pastry, roll out until big enough to produce 4 rectangles to cover filet. Place 1/4 of cooled mushroom/onion mixture in middle of each puff pastry. Place seasoned filet on top of mushroom and wrap up like a package; sealing all seams. Place seam side down on baking sheet so that the mushroom mixture is on top. The filets can be refrigerated at this point until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Allow to reach temperature. Cook 25 minutes (for 8 oz filet). Remove once puff pastry is golden brown and cooked. Note: Meat should be rare but will continue to cook once removed from oven. Â„
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HASSELBACK BAKED POTATO Ingredients: 4 uniform, medium-sized, baking potatoes 2 Tbsp. Butter, melted 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil 1 tsp. Thyme leaves Salt and pepper, to taste 2 Tbsp. parmesan, shredded 1 Tbsp. Panko bread crumbs 1 Tbsp. Flatleaf parsley, chopped
In bowl, combine butter, olive oil, seasonings. In separate bowl combine parmesan, breadcrumbs, and parsley. Prepare potatoes: Scrub potatoes. Place in large spoon and slice 1/8-1/4 inch slices and make sure that potato is NOT sliced all the way. (The spoon acts as a guide) Note: another way to slice potatoes is to place magazine on either side of potato and slice to magazine. While preparing potatoes place in bowl of water to prevent browning. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove from water and dry. Place potatoes on foil lined baking sheet. Spoon half of butter mixture over potatoes (be sure to get down in each slice). Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven drizzle with remaining butter mixture and sprinkle with parmesan and bread crumbs. Return to oven and bake for additional 20 minutes.
RED VELVET CHECKERBOARD CAKE Ingredients: 1 Box White Cake Mix 1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix 1 Recipe Cream Cheese Fluff Frosting Prepare Cake mixes as directed in two 9” cake pans each. Bake as instructed. Cool completely. Use all 4 cakes, but only use 2-3 layers to assemble cake. Trim cakes so that all are uniform and flat. Note: If layers are small enough you can try all four. Use 6” plate and 3” biscuit cutter. On the red velvet cakes, place 6” plate in center of cake and slice cake using plate as a guide. Place 3” biscuit cutter in center of red velvet cake and remove middle ring of cake. Repeat above steps for the white cakes and replace white cakes in red velvet cake and vice versa. Frost layers as a normal cake. First layer is Red Velvet with white inserted. Second layer is white with red velvet inserted. If
Cream Cheese Fluff Frosting
Ingredients: 32 oz. bag confectioner’s sugar 1-8 oz. Cream cheese 1 cup Marshmallow fluff 1/4 cup butter softened Vanilla and/or Almond Extract (to taste) Combine all ingredients in stand mixer and mix until light and fluffy. May add milk 1 teaspoon at a time.
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In Highlands County since 1982 1500 US Highway 27 South - Avon Park February & March 2020 119
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. 2020 Model Hull Porter 18 foot bed length M/T Tilt Trailer.
18’ M/T Tilt in Red as shown is only $2,995. Get one in black and SAVE $100!
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
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!)
Hull Porter 2020 Model Dump Box Trailers Complete 14,000lb GVWR models $7,195 and up! 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. 2020 Model Hull Porter 16’ plus 2’ dovetail car hauler.
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Model shown in optional orange color is STILL only $3,095 out the door!
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.
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.
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. 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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2,000 acres of native Florida Bays, Pines Palmettos, and Oaks! South Florida at itâ€™s finest!
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!
545 New Boot Heel Road - Venus, FL 33960 www. Floridahuntingoutfitter.com Lightsey Family Ranch
You were made to move.
Trust the Orthopedic Experts We’re meant to be active. So when I hurt my shoulder, I didn’t let pain change my plans. The orthopedic specialists at AdventHealth got me back where I belong: on my game, on the run, on top of the world again. They were there every step of the way — from helping me understand the source of my pain to guiding me through my surgery and recovery.
Joaquin Oronoz, MD Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
Heartland Living is published bimonthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing. Serving the Heartland of Florida - Sebring, FL - we highlight...
Published on Feb 4, 2020
Heartland Living is published bimonthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing. Serving the Heartland of Florida - Sebring, FL - we highlight...