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Vol. 8, Issue 1, January 2019

®

Your community. Your magazine. ™

The Premier “Shop Local” Community Magazine Directly Mailed To Over 15,000 Homes In Citrus Park, Westchase & Surrounding Areas

This Independent Community News, Business & Dining Guide Is Directly Mailed Once Each Month To: Arlington Park • Aston Villas • Bay Arbor • Berkeley Square • Calf Path Estates • Enclave At Citrus Park • Fawn Ridge Fawn Lake • Forest Lakes • Hampton Lakes • Highland Park • Lake Chase • Mandolin • The Eagles • Tree Tops Twin Branch Acres • Waterchase • West Hampton • Westchase • Westchester • Westwood Lakes • Windsor Place

Doris Muller Making Sense of Investing

By Carla Selby

You have specific financial objectives in mind – planning for retirement, creating a college savings strategy, perhaps opening your own business. You’ve chosen your life adventure, and you may hit a financial fork in the road at some point. No matter when that happens, who do you want on your team, helping you plan your route? Doris Muller, a financial advisor with Edward Jones, will get to know what’s important to you and be your financial

navigator when those inevitable crossroads appear. Edward Jones serves nearly 7 million investors from more offices than any other investment firm in America. The firm attributes a great deal of their success to their principles and personal, long-term approach to investing. As a privately owned company, Edward Jones has a very personal feel that’s almost like family. See “Doris Muller” on page 12

Unleash your best you with jazzercise

By Marcy Sanford

If you haven’t tried Jazzercise in a while (or you’ve never tried it), make it your goal to try a class this year. This fun workout class has been around for many decades. Actually, this year they kick off their 50th anniversary, making them the longest-lasting dance fitness company in history!

Jazzercise classes and moves are constantly refreshed and revamped to keep participants healthy and motivated to return to class again and again. “Once someone tries Jazzercise, they usually love it,” Westchase Jazzercise co-owner and instructor Jill Fugit says. “We have several... See “Jazzercise” on page 10

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: From the Editor........................5 Oldsmar Could Soon Have an Olympian ..............................6-7 Bakas Equestrian Center Brings Dreams to Life for Handicapped Riders..................................16-17


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As 2019 starts, many people around the world will be optimistically setting themselves New Year’s resolutions. According to a YouGov poll, the most common aspirations for the coming year in the U.S. are; to eat healthier, get more exercise and save more money. Almost one third, perhaps being more realistic, answered that they never bothered with any resolutions. I used to set highly unattainable resolutions every year when I was in my early twenties, but that quickly changed. As I grew older, not being able to keep my highly unrealistic resolutions by February, March or even late January, increased my levels of anxiety and gave me terrible feelings of hopelessness, so I stopped. That does not mean I don’t set short-term and long-term goals for myself anymore; it just means that I stopped making unrealistic resolutions, and I stopped thinking of the New Year as a catalyst for sweeping all my die-hard habits and character traits. I started thinking that every new year we should focus more on reflecting on our past year’s behavior and promise ourselves to make small positive lifestyle changes, that will lead to a healthier and happier life. Often, what we don’t realize is that the problem isn’t that we aren’t capable of sticking to our resolutions— it’s that

we need to do a better job making resolutions that are actually achievable. Otherwise, it’s almost like setting yourself up to fall short. Change is hard, but not impossible. If you want to set yourself up for the best chance of success start by making smaller resolutions. You think: “I am going to get in the best shape of my life, I will not eat junk food ever again, I will work out five times a week, and get a promotion.” All great aspirations, but creating a resolution that is too big sets you up for failure. Are you going to be able to swear off french fries completely? Unlikely. Limiting your junk food cravings to only once every couple of weeks would be much more achievable. If you were someone who never worked out before, are you going to go to the gym five times a week? Start with two times, then after a month or two, raise it to three times a week, and so forth. Your body needs time to adjust to a new physical routine, and starting too strong will only cause you to feel overwhelmed, and you’ll be more likely to give up. We’re also more likely to achieve our resolutions when we make them public. Use social media to let all your close friends and relatives know of your goals and have them hold you accountable. That way it’s harder to back out! Celebrate small successes. I cannot stress that enough! I always had

unrealistic goals about my weight. I would say: “I want to lose 40lbs in 2 months!” And I would beat myself up for only losing 11. Any weight loss is progress! So if that sounds like you too, don’t feel discouraged. If your focus is just on the endgame, it’s easy to feel hopeless and to want to give up. Rather than waiting until you’ve shed all the weight, give yourself a “Yay, me!” celebration each time you drop 5! Remember that it’s only HUMAN to slip up, as long as you get back on track! Having a lapse is more common than you think. In fact, over 75 percent of resolution makers slip up within the first two months. Some get so upset that they completely give up. But that will not be you! Acknowledge your screwups but get right back on track. Figure out a way of preventing it from happening again. Just whatever you do, don’t give up and believe in yourself! Reaching that goal weight, developing better eating habits, or getting into a regular fitness routine are all healthy lifestyle changes that are worth sticking with for more than just a few months. Those good habits should not have a deadline; they should be a lifelong commitment. Good luck!

Carla Selby


As 2019 starts, many people around the world will be optimistically setting themselves New Year’s resolutions. According to a YouGov poll, the most common aspirations for the coming year in the U.S. are; to eat healthier get more exercise and save more money. Almost one third, perhaps being more realistic, answered that they never bothered with any resolutions. I used to set highly unattainable resolutions every year when I was in my early twenties, but that quickly changed. As I grew older, not being able to keep my highly unrealistic resolutions by February, March or even late January, increased my levels of anxiety and gave me terrible feelings of hopelessness, so I stopped. That does not mean I don’t set short-term and long-term goals for myself anymore; it just means that I stopped making unrealistic resolutions, and I stopped thinking of the New Year as a catalyst for sweeping all my die-hard habits and character traits. I started thinking that every new year we should focus more on reflecting on our past year’s behavior and promise ourselves to make small positive lifestyle changes, that will lead to a healthier and happier life. Often, what we don’t realize is that the problem isn’t that we aren’t capable of sticking to our resolutions— it’s that

we need to do a better job making resolutions that are actually achievable. Otherwise, it’s almost like setting yourself up to fall short. Change is hard, but not impossible. If you want to set yourself up for the best chance of success start by making smaller resolutions. You think: “I am going to get in the best shape of my life, I will not eat junk food ever again, I will work out five times a week, and get a promotion.” All great aspirations, but creating a resolution that is too big sets you up for failure. Are you going to be able to swear off french fries completely? Unlikely. Start by limiting your junk food cravings to only once every couple of weeks would be much more achievable. If you were someone who never worked out before, are you going to go to the gym five times a week? Start with two times, then after a month or two, raise it to three times a week, and so forth. Your body needs time to adjust to a new physical routine, and starting too strong will only cause you to feel overwhelmed, and you’ll be more likely to give up. Reassessing your goals throughout the weeks and months, it takes to get there is essential. We’re also more likely to achieve our resolutions when we make them public. Use social media to let all your close friends and relatives know of your goals and have them hold you accountable. That way it’s harder to back out! Celebrate small

successes. I cannot stress that enough! I always had unrealistic goals about my weight. I would say: “I want to lose 40lbs!” But I would beat myself up for only losing 5. Any weight loss is progress! So don’t feel discouraged. If your focus is just on the endgame, it’s easy to feel hopeless and to want to give up. Rather than waiting until you’ve shed all the weight, give yourself a “Yay, me!” celebration each time you drop 5! Remember that it’s only HUMAN to slip up, as long as you get back on track! Having a lapse is more common than you think. In fact, over 75 percent of resolution makers slop up within the first two months. Some get so upset that they completely give up. But that will not be you! Acknowledge your screwup but get right back on track. Figure out a way of preventing it from happening again. Just whatever you do, don’t give up and believe in yourself! Reaching that goal weight, developing better eating habits, or getting into a regular fitness routine are all healthy lifestyle changes that are worth sticking with for more than just a few months. Those good habits should not have a deadline; they should be a lifelong commitment. Good luck!

Carla Selby


The City of Oldsmar Could Soon Have An Olympian!

Written by Carla Selby

For talented 20 year-old Oldsmar resident Andre Lacroix, his love of all things BMX began when he was a young boy. He was first introduced to the sport by his father Ken, who brought him to the BMX track in Oldsmar,

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Florida when he was only three years old to watch a National competition. That day Andre got to feel the adrenaline with every jump and had the opportunity to meet a lot of the pro’s. Needless to say, Andre was hooked. “I want to be just like them,” said young Andre to his father… and that

he surely did. Andre has been riding the Oldsmar track for about 17 years now and it has definitely paid off. BMX has given Andre the opportunity to travel the entire country, mostly South America. He has now become one of the riders that he used to look up to as a young boy. Proof that dreams

do come true. In case you didn’t know, Oldsmar is home of one of the top BMX tracks in the United States. This track hosts the USA BMX Gator National each year. Points earned at the Elite Level at this event are utilized for qualifying for the 2020

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Olympics for each rider. Andre and his family credit the city of Oldsmar for building such a great BMX facility. Family is the single most important influence in a child’s life, and Andre’s parents support and encouragement have definitely made a huge difference in his life. “My parents are the biggest influence on my life. Unlike a lot of parents who force their kids into college and other things, they allowed me to take a shot at my dream and I feel so blessed for that,” said Andre. His mother’s Peruvian citizenship has also played a big factor in Andre’s professional career. “Having a dual citizenship with the country of Peru, where my mother was born, has played a huge factor in my life, and has allowed me to ride for the Peruvian National Cycling Team,” said Andre. He has recently represented Peru in the South American Games in Cochabamba, Bolivia and aspires to medal in the 2019 PAn-American Games in Lima, Peru in July of next year. In 2016, Andre won the National Championship in Peru. “I also won several state titles as an amateur and placed top 25 in the country several times.” Having a positive support system is key for anyone trying to excel and reach for their dreams and Andre has been blessed with an incredible group encouraging individuals. “I’d like to thank John and Blake Sawyer for providing me with the best BMX products in the world; Ssqueared Bicycles and Answer products. My family of course, as they all support me so well, and my amazing and caring group of friends who all push each other to be better every day,” said

Andre. Andre’s plans as of now, include finishing off a great season with the help of his coach, Domingos Lammoglia, and recuperating from a sports related injury. “I tore my PCL in my right knee about four moths ago, so I have been trying to get all my power back from the downtime I had then,” said Andre. He is also preparing for the Pan American Games that will take place in 2019. “With the Pan American Games being held in Peru, I know a lot is expected of me and I’ll be ready to show out when the time comes!” His goal is to qualify and compete in the 2020 games in Tokyo, Japan. Oldsmar could possibly have an Olympian! I am personally very excited for Andre and wish him nothing but the best in the competition. I will refrain myself from saying “Break a leg,” because we all know it could happen… so good luck Andre! When questioned about his main goals and expectations Andre had this to say, “I want what just about every BMX rider who takes it seriously wants… an Olympic Gold Medal! So that definitely is my main goal! I also have goals of becoming a world finalist and contender for USA BMX Pro Series #1 Pro Title.” With such ambitions and determined mindset, we’re pretty sure Andre will succeed in achieving all his goals. With every dream there’s obstacles though, and even though Peru pays for most of Andre’s travels and entrance fees, they cannot fund him entirely. This is where Andre has thought out of the box. He established an S corporation “LaCroix BMX LLC,” in hopes to get corporate sponsorship

from local companies. “In exchange I will advertise the company via Instagram, Facebook and on my Jersey and number plate all US and International races, including the Pan-American games,” said Andre. “For major sponsors I Will be giving back to the community in the name of the sponsor by hosting a one-day BMX clinic at a local track for free to all riders in the name of the sponsor.” The reason for the S corporation is so that a sponsor could utilize the sponsorship for marketing and tax purposes. Andre wants every young athlete out there to “Reach for the stars! As cheesy as it sounds, don’t let anyone put you down and work hard every day!” Fantastic words of encouragement for any young

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kid with hopes and dreams of making it big in a particular sport.` Andre concluded his interview with the following message to the community; “Please come out to the local track in Oldsmar, it’s taken me all over the world! I have also opened my own company ‘LaCroix BMX’ in hopes of finding cooperation’s that are willing to help me meet my goals. I will also be marketing all companies who support me.” You can contact Andre directly by emailing him at lacroixbmx@gmail.com with any marketing inquiries. You can also follow him on instagram @andrelacroix.

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Your Local Westchase Area Financial Advisor Member SIPC

Doris Muller Westchase resident of 13 years

You Talk. I Listen. In Person.

Cell: 813-597-9147 Office: 813-792-7976 9902 W Linebaugh Ave Tampa, FL 33626 www.edwardjones.com/doris-muller

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“Jazzercise” - Continued from page 1. different types of classes, the music is always current, and we constantly have new routines to keep the classes interesting.” “I love this studio. The instructors are awesome! Always have a great time and leave feeling like I got a great workout.” says longtime customer Karen G. “They offer great incentives that keep me motivated. Been a member for 10 years and will keep coming back! There are also locations all over the state which is great for when I go out of town. Highly recommend Jazzercize of Westchase!” There are classes for everyone! “Whether you have been working out for a long time or are just beginning a workout routine, we can help you get in your best shape ever,” says Fugit. “Every move has options to make it more difficult or easier depending on your fitness level. We have created a space where people can get a good workout, have fun, and get a mental and emotional lift. We have a really great group of women and men who come to our classes.” “Westchase Jazzercise is the best! Every class provides a great workout and I love the variety of formats - you’ll never get bored!” says Sara B. “Before Jazzercise, the longest I stuck with a fitness program was 3 years. I’ve been Jazzercising for 11 years now! Come check it out!” Start Jazzercise for Free - Unleash Your Best You in 2019: For the entire month of January, new students can join Jazzercise for free. There will be a new student incentive, so after you join, and you attend 10 classes in the first 30 days, you earn a free T-shirt that says “Believe in Yourself!” GirlForce: Jazzercise is committed to helping ladies of all ages stay fit and discover the joy of Jazzercise. This year through their GirlForce program girls 16 – 21 years old are able to join for just $25 per month. Fugit also says that Jazzercise has done workshops and classes for young girls in elementary and middle school through Girl Scouts and other programs. And, this year, as part of their ongoing GirlForce initiative, they are planning to offer free classes on a monthly basis throughout the community. Live a Better, Healthier Lifestyle: Today, Jazzercise is a pulse-pounding, beat-pumping, a body-blasting fitness program that gets you results… fast. It’s a high-intensity dance party that fuses cardio, strength, Pilates, Hip Hop, yoga and even kickboxing. You can burn up to 800 calories per hour in any of their 60-minute classes while listening to today’s hits and having fun with friends. “I started coming in 2012 to get in shape for my son’s wedding,” said Cecilia Rose. “I lost 38 pounds and have continued to come back. The classes and music are great. I’ve met many wonderful people and made some awesome friendships. I don’t ever want to quit Jazzercise.”

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Classes to Fit Your Needs: Both Westchase and Lutz Jazzercise locations have classes as early as 5:45 a.m. and as late as 7:00 p.m. With more than 40 classes being offered every week at either location, you’re sure to find plenty of classes that you’ll enjoy, ones that fit within your schedule and will help you get in shape. Dance Mixx: The high-intensity workout mixes dance-based cardio with strength training to burn fat and calories and sculpt lean muscles. Strength 45: In just 45 minutes, you’ll strengthen every muscle in your body. Interval Dance Mixx & Interval Fusion: Interval training can help you burn fat faster and burn calories long after your workout is finished. The Interval classes at Jazzercise help you get the most out of an Interval workout by alternating intense cardio work with muscle chiseling strength work. Core: If you want to whittle your middle and define your abs, this class is for you. Every move has a core- crunching focus combined with cardio and strength training to help you get your best body ever. Strike: Strike classes will help you knock out fat and stress with invigorating moves that will give your muscles a maximum workout. Flip Fusion: Flip Fusion will kick-start your metabolism with muscle building sets followed by short blasts of cardio dance that will have your body burning calories for hours after your workout is over. Lose Old Weight, Make New Friends: When you become part of the Jazzercise family you become connected to an awesome group of people who look out for each other and celebrate fitness milestones together. The instructors at Jazzercise have created

a welcoming community where members feel comfortable working out and have the opportunity to make new friends. Westchase Jazzercise has started a monthly book club that is open to anyone in the community. The Lutz center organizes a monthly luncheon for friendship and socializing. FREE CHILDCARE: Both Lutz and Westchase Jazzercise offer free childcare to members during classes. The bright, clean playroom is filled with fun toys that are sure to keep your little one entertained while you are getting your workout. “Many of the children have become good friends and want to stay and play even after class is over,” says Fugit. This is your year! Make 2019 your healthiest year ever with Jazzercise. Jazzercise Westchase is located at 12719 Race Track Road in the Lynmar Center. For more information or to see a schedule of classes, visit www.Jazzercise.com, visit their Facebook page or call 813-748-3704.

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Doris Muller - continued from page 1 For Doris, a local Westchase resident, and licensed financial advisor, her top priority is to provide sound advice based on your specific financial goals - goals she understands by listening and giving you all the time you need to talk. “As an Edward Jones Financial Advisor, it’s important that I understand what’s most important to you,” says Doris. “Whether you’re planning or living in retirement, saving for your children’s education, saving on taxes, protecting the financial future of the ones you care for the most, or working on that special dream, we will work together to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals.”

A finance graduate from St. Johns University, Doris started working in the industry around 1986 by selling brokered CDs nationally with rates ranging from 13%-17%. She then joined the money market fund sales team as a marketing manager and assisting with sales training. Doris also has experience as a Relationship Manager / Consultant to other advisors in the state of Florida. Originally from New York, Tampa has been her home since 2005. “I am a proud mother to three wonderful children, Michael, Michelle and Daniel, and a German Shepherd, Luke,” says Doris. “I enjoy doing just about anything outdoors, traveling and spending quality time with family and friends.” Doris also enjoys getting to know her clients beyond their financial objectives. “I take the time to get to know each one of my clients,” says Doris. “I enjoy learning about their lives - and not just their financial life. I learn about their values, hopes, and dreams for the future. I want to understand what’s important to them.”

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From there, Doris uses an established process to build personalized strategies to help each client achieve their goals and partners together throughout their lives to help keep them on track. “Personal service to the individual investor is of utmost importance. Being in the community allows me to discuss individual investment needs on a one-on-one basis and partner with clients for the long term to help keep them on track toward their goals,” says Doris. “I focus on serving the serious, long-term investor, emphasizing quality and diversification.” At Edward Jones, putting the interest of the clients first has always been at the heart of their business. “Clients understand that the markets won’t always go up, but they want to know that their portfolio is well-grounded and that they’re working with an advisor who understands their needs as well as their comfort level,” says Doris. “I always act in my clients’ best interest.” As an experienced financial advisor, Doris likes to focus more diligently on long-term goals, and she prefers “buying quality investments, diversifying them and holding them for the long term while helping reduce risk - rather than trying to drive for short-term returns. My goal is to provide investors with time-tested financial advice that will serve their needs over the years.” For Doris, one of the most rewarding things about her profession is being able to help those people who are in need of financial advice and guidance and set up a plan for them that works towards meeting their specific goals. “There’s no greater satisfaction than helping those people who didn’t have a financial plan in place and guiding them in making the right decisions for

their future. A lot of people come to see me feeling lost and confused, but leave with a sense of relief and confidence, knowing I’ll be working towards helping them achieve their financial goals. That’s an amazing feeling,” says Doris. Doris also offers monthly educational seminars and workshops on various topics to keep her clients and her community informed. Doris believes that financial education is an important step in helping investors achieve a better future. Topics range from providing a Market Outlook, How Secure is Social Security?, Basics of Estate Planning, 401K options for individuals who have either left a job or retired, and Healthcare & Your Retirement. Even one on Outsmarting the Scammers. The list is long and topics are timely.

While every investor’s needs are different, Doris recommends meeting at least once per year for a portfolio performance review. “The initial meeting (or series of meetings) is often very memorable for clients because it plays an important role in setting the stage for the long-term relationship. This is a great opportunity to ask lots of questions and set the stage for the relationship,” says Doris. “During this meeting clients decide how often they wish to meet with me to ensure that they are comfortable with their investments. At a minimum, we will schedule an annual review. Clients can choose to communicate on a semi-annual or even quarterly basis. Communication could be done in person, via webinar, or by phone. Weekly emails highlighting the week’s events are available for individuals wishing to stay abreast of the market on an ongoing basis.”

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You can always feel comfortable contacting Doris whenever you have any questions or concerns.

Worried about retirement?

or re-evaluate, how much savings you’ll need to retire and formulate strategies to help you get there in your timeframe.

One of the most frequent questions Doris gets asked the most is, “How much do I need to retire comfortably and live the life I/we desire?”

When it comes to financial matters, the value of professional advice cannot be overestimated, Doris Muller will work with you to ensure your financial goals are met. “No matter what your situation, my goal is to make you comfortable with the process. I make a point of customizing a plan that is unique to every client’s needs, goals and risk tolerance.”

Retirement can be scary and takes a lot of preparation. Nervousness can often set in when you are nearing the retirement age, and you start to question every financial decision you ever made. Doris can assist by helping you know what to expect once you make that transition into retirement. She will help you evaluate,

To get started working on your financial goals, please contact Doris directly by calling her cell phone at 813-597-9147 or her office at 813-792-7976. Visit www. edwardjones.com/dorismuller for more information. Doris is also fluent in Spanish and will gladly answer any of your questions in Español.

According to the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey, about 24% of workers said they had less than $1,000 saved for retirement, and a whopping 55% had less than $50,000.

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JANUARY 2019 15


Bakas Equestrian Center Brings Dreams to Life for Handicapped Riders

By Lisa Stephens

Since 1987, Bakas Equestrian Center has been providing an opportunity for handicapped students to learn to ride, compete or fulfill their dreams of recreational horse riding. “We meet their needs,” said Danni Johnson, Senior Recreation Therapist, of the handicapped riders at the facility. Danni has been with the facility since she was 16 years old. “I was a barn brat,” he revealed. But this “barn brat,” who started as a volunteer herself, has since become one of the experienced staff members among students at the facility. Back in 1987, John Bakas approached Hillsborough County about opening a facility that would provide handicapped students an opportunity to ride horses. Today, this county owned facility, along with a non- profit group, which provides funding for equipment, scholarships for students and maintenance for the hooves of the horses enables handicapped students to come and experience an opportunity for therapy or recreational riding they can’t get anywhere else. According to Danni, the students who come to ride regularly range in ages from 4 to 78 years old. “We even have veterans and MS patients who come for therapy rides,” she said. She also explained their biggest population of riders is diagnosed with autism. “We provide a program for each rider,” she explained. “Some are geared for Special Olympics

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and some are here for general recreational riding,” she said. She went on to explain that the Special Olympics are for those who suffer with mental impairments. To accommodate the students who did fall within that category, but still wanted to compete, their original Program Director, Beth Harre and, another staff member Pat Vannetta, created the Challenge Show. This was created 15 years ago. The Challenge Show enables students with physical challenges, such as a loss of limb, blindness or paralysis to compete as well. If students do not fall under the “mental impairment” requirement of the Special Olympics, this event would allow them to compete. Looking for a volunteer opportunity? Look no further than Bakas Horses for Handicapped. If you’re a high school student, hours served at this facility qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship. They do welcome students as well as adult volunteers. If you have a passion for horses and a love to help the handicapped, this is certainly the place for you! Volunteers range in age from 12 to older. No horse experience is necessary and the staff will train you on the skills you’ll need to help the organization. To get started as a volunteer, visit the website to download the volunteer application. Volunteer activities include cleaning out the barn area, prepare the horses for classes, grooming and assisting with arts and craft activities with students. If you’re still looking for an opportunity to help, but

can’t put in the hours to show up physically, there are many sponsorship opportunities. Consider sponsoring one of their 15 horses that help handicapped students! According to Danni, it costs the facility $120 per horse every six weeks to keep them in shoes! There are many levels of sponsorship you can provide. Overall costs for each horse is $3000 per year. They welcome monthly and yearly sponsorship for each of their horses. Sponsorship covers Ferrier costs and equipment for each horse. The horses on site are all donated. Kermit, 27 was donated when his owner went away to college. According to Danni, “She still visits on a regular basis when she’s home from college.” They welcome donated horses, but advise these horses are used for handicapped students. “We can’t take injured or broken animals

because we can’t afford the vet bills for that and we are not a ‘rescue’ facility,” she said. According to Danni, working with students is the best part of her job. “I love to put the rider with the horse that best suits them,” she said. To see the excitement on the faces of their students is her reward. “For our Special Olympics students, their accomplishment is our accomplishment. We feel what they feel,” she expressed. And for the parents of these students, Danni said they’re all so appreciative. “We have parents who come to us and explain that their child isn’t verbal, but after several lessons, we see them giving commands to their horses.” Regular sessions can range from weekly to monthly sessions. Sessions include trail rides, games, arts and crafts and riding lessons. The lessons are geared specifically to each student. If students express

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an interest in Special Olympics or other competitive opportunities, they’re paired with a horse and a plan to meet those goals. “We push them to meet the max of their potential,” said Danni. “This is a sport the handicapped can compete in and it gives them an obtainable goal to work for,” she said. She went on to explain that many even excel at the goals each student sets for themselves. Bakas Equestrian Center is currently searching for sponsors for their upcoming fundraiser horse show. Bakas Charity Open Pleasure Circuit Series will be held at Lake

Park. Please visit their website for more information on how you can help with that endeavor and other volunteer and sponsorship opportunities. Bakas Equestrian Center for Handicapped is located at 11510 Whisper Lake Trail, Tampa 33626. Visit their website at bakasridingcenter.com to learn more about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities or call 813-2643890.

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Westchase January. Vol. 8, Issue 1, Tampa Bay News and Lifestyles  
Westchase January. Vol. 8, Issue 1, Tampa Bay News and Lifestyles  
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