Ocala Magazine July 2019

Page 1


Ocala’s City Magazine Since 1980 | $5.95

JULY 2019

The growing trend of flower farms Ocala wedding sophistication The Reilly Arts Center expansion plans

Nilam Patel Owner of

40 2019

under forty

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14 40 Under 40

40 of Ocala’s most outstanding residents as chosen by you.

32 Locally Sourced Sophistication

Creating a stunning wedding using local vendors.

42 Sowing The Seeds of Love The rise of the flower farm.

46 Back To School

Quick tips to get ahead of the back to school rush.


Publisher’s Letter From the Mayor Socially Speaking

49 LIVE 50 Everything Equine 52 State of the City 53 State of the County 50 Charity Spotlight- Brothers Keeper 58 Reilly Extention 63 EAT 56 On The Menu: Craft Cuisine 71 PLAY 72 Events Calendar 74 Local Music Scene: Summer Patterson 76 The Bacon Brothers 78 Socially Speaking

ON THE COVER Nilam Patel

Photograph by Ralph Demilio


Ocala’s City Magazine Since 1980 | $5.95

JULY 2019

The growing trend of flower farms Ocala wedding sophistication The Reilly Arts Center expansion plans

Nilam Patel Owner of

40 2019

under forty



Nirvana Medical Spa, taking aesthetics to the next level

85 ETCETERA 84 Medical Journal 88 Arts & Culture Master Plan 90 Perspectives 91 Scoop 96 Looking Back


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OM Volume 39, Issue 1

JULY 2019

OCALA’S #1 MOST AWARD-WINNING CITY MAGAZINE Linda Marks | Founder & Advisor linda@ocalamagazine.com

Philip Glassman, CCIM | Publisher philip@ocalamagazine.com

Penny Miller | VP/Corporate Development/Principal penny@ocalamagazine.com

EDITORIAL Melissa Deskovic | Managing Editor melissa@ocalamagazine.com

ART Jessi Miller | Creative Director jessi@ocalamagazine.com

Ronald W. Wetherington | Social Editor ron@ocalamagazine.com

Joshua Jacobs | Graphic Designer joshua@ocalamagazine.com

CONTRIBUTORS Jade Brown | Writer Jamesha Gilliam | Writer Mayor Kent Guinn | Columnist City of Ocala and Marion County OPERATIONS

Sharon Raye | Copy Editor Robin Fannon | Food/Lifestyle Editor

PHOTOGRAPHY Ralph Demilio | Photographer John Jernigan | Photographer Philip Marcel | Photographer The Creative Pretzel | Photographer

Randy Woodruff, CPA | CFO randy@ocalamagazine.com Doug Hummel | Director of Information Technology Ilia Laboy | Production Assistant


www.ocalamagazine.com OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER HOPS — Historic Ocala Preservation Society MEDIA PARTNER & PRESENTING SPONSOR of the Tailgating Competition at Live Oak International OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR FOR 2019 International Women's Day EXCLUSIVE MEDIA SPONSOR FOR George Albright Annual Golf Tournament THE OFFICIAL CITY MAGAZINE OF

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OFFICE 743 E Fort King St. Ocala, FL 34471 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 4649, Ocala, FL 34478 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR by mail or email; editor@ocalamagazine.com SUBSCRIPTION One year - $49, Two years - $95, Single Issue - $5.95. COPYRIGHT ALL contents copyrighted 2019 by Ocala Magazine Publications . All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertising content in any manner without written permission is strictly prohibited.





A state-of-the-art edition showcasing our great city of Ocala and Marion County.



from the publisher

The Art of Giving Back THIS MONTH AT OCALA MAGAZINE, we are celebrating the continued growth of Ocala/Marion County and the people who make it happen. Our community is filled with everyday heroes quietly giving of themselves with little to no recognition. This is why the 40 under 40 edition is so important to our community and us. These 40 individuals take strides both personally and professionally to ensure that Ocala remains one of the best places to live. We are especially proud of this months issue as it focuses on the steady growth of our area. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT ALWAYS IMPRESSES ME is the humility of those who are doing great work in our area. When meeting with Brothers Keeper, I was humbled to see just how widespread the need for their organization is. I have donated to their organization many times over, but to see first hand how many programs they have established and how much it’s needed in our community was indeed an experience I will remember. When you donate to Brothers Keeper, the items you give go right back into our community and the signs of their giving are seen in houses all over Marion County. From their emergency food pantry, their Workforce Reintegration Training, Financial Assistance Vouchers, and their thrift stores, the benefit of their work to our community is immeasurable. HAVING A MINDSET OF GIVING BACK to the community is something that I learned from a young age and something that I teach my children. Charitable giving helps to break the downward economic spiral for those in need, which is why giving back is vital to economic growth for everyone. You can see proof of this in the way that Ocala/ Marion County is growing. The people of our area make it their mission to help each other, and it’s because of that generosity that our economic development is on the rise. With the expansion of the Reilly Arts Center, the hotel development in the downtown area, and new business moving in every day, more jobs are being created and more opportunities provided. PERSONALLY, JULY IS ALWAYS A GREAT MONTH as my family is celebrating the birth of my daughter, Madison Dorthy, who turns eight this year. My kids are what inspire me to continue to give back and help create a better world for upcoming generations.





Photo by Joshua Jacobs

WHETHER IT’S OUR LONG-STANDING 40 UNDER 40 feature or our newly added Perspectives piece, Ocala Magazine is ready to shine a light on those who inspire our readers to continue their efforts to better our community.

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from the

Workshop in

Parris Island



recently had the opportunity to join a few of our local educators, Edwin and Tabatha Farmer from Vanguard, Morgan Lucky and Ms. Martinez from Dunnellon–for the 2019 Educational Workshop in Parris Island hosted by the United States Marine Corps. The event was an eye-opening look at what recruits must go through on their path to becoming defenders of this great nation. It was an experience that tested everything within its participants, and of the 20 years I’ve been in government, it was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. The purpose of this week-long workshop is to give educators and community leaders a glimpse at what it takes to serve in the United States Marine Corps. From the moment you step off of the bus and walk through those double doors, the program puts its participants through some of the same tests of physical and mental agility every recruit must face. The obstacle course held its own set of challenges testing courage from the heights of the rappelling wall, endurance from the physical training and the ability to work as a team to figure out the best methods to solve problems. The question and answer sessions were as lively as the activities with participants asking questions of our hosts who ranged in rank from officer to cadet. Their transparency was evident as they spoke of the struggles they face and what they do to help keep the recruits motivated. The most moving part of the experience, however, happened when we first arrived. We had the honor of watching 600 marines march underneath the warmth of the South Carolina sky. Dressed in their Blues they stepped in unions, celebrating the completion of their time at Parris Island. As flags waved in the wind, I couldn’t help but notice the beauty that surrounded us. The patriotism and love of country were practically tangible as the Marine Corps Hymn echoed in the air “First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean, we are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.” And all of this on Flag Day nonetheless. I walked away from the event with more of an appreciation for what our men and women go through to earn the title of Marine. It emboldens a love for our country that cannot be gained from anything other than experience. “The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.”

Mayor Kent Guinn 12




2019 October 10





Introducing Ocala Magazine's


under forty






Ashley Justiniano Age: 31 Gallery Director at Marion Cultural Alliance (Brick City Center for the Arts) What is your favorite thing about the Ocala area? My favorite thing about Ocala is our local art community. I’ve never met so many people who share my passion for the arts as I have had the pleasure to in Ocala.

Anna Babbitt Age: 39 Owner, Twice Upon A Time What aspirations do you have for yourself? I am excited to keep growing as a person. I hope to help moms realize their worth and that they matter. I want to keep bringing people together and providing a safe place for all parents to just be themselves.

Cindy Vieira Age: 38 Owner, Ocala Swim Academy, Multi-Certified Instructor What inspires you? If I can prevent just one of these little ones from drowning, if I can prevent one of my awesome clients from experiencing the near loss or loss of a child, My job is done!



Billy Gilchrist Age: 33 Hotel Development and Management What inspires you? The people of our community inspire me. Growing up in Ocala/Marion County, my father was always very involved and as I approach the birth of my first child, it is my goal to carry on those same values to my children. I love the people of our community, they continue to inspire me to give back and do more every day.

Miranda Madison Age: 38 Professional Singer/ Entertainer What is your favorite way to give back to the community? I'm very fortunate to have found a niche in an industry that can, by its very nature, bring so many people together. Music has been one of the most powerful tools for uplifting those around me and I love each moment an audience member shares how a certain song has touched their heart.



Victoria Billig

Joel Downing

Age: 37 Assistant Director, Appleton Museum of Art

Age: 37 Jenkins Hyundai / DJ

What aspirations do you have for yourself?

What is your favorite thing about the Ocala area?

I aspire to be an excellent partner to Joel, to show my daughter that women are strong and can do ANYTHING, and to continue my work in the museum field.

This one is fairly easy for me, family. Watching our daughter grow, seeing a little girl emerge from a baby has been indescribable. Victoria is an amazing mother, I’m so lucky to have them in my life.

Christina McGowan Age: 34 Art Teacher What inspires you? Without a doubt, children inspire me. One of the things that I love most about working with children is their hopeful nature.



Eric Prendergast Age: 36 Occupation: Firefighter / Paramedic Captain What is your favorite way to give back to the community? My favorite way to give back to the community is teaching fire safety to schools and young children. This will help them know what to do in an emergency and possibly keep them from getting injured in a fire.

Nikki Prendergast Age: 33 Finance Manager, Deluca Toyota What is your favorite way to give back to the community? My favorite way to give back to the community is through the contributions of the DeLuca Toyota family. There are a few events each year that we support and raise money for. DeLuca Toyota is very big on donating to the March of Dimes, Toys for Tots and helping support youth sports organizations as a sponsor to help them obtain team uniforms or the equipment they may need.

Martin Perez Age: 25 Student, Community Organizer & Political Strategist. Vice Chair, Marion County Democratic Party What inspires you? The different views and ideas from different walks of life that come to the table when we are organizing to better the community. When a tragedy occurs, I have seen this community respond swiftly and selflessly and that has motivated me over the years to participate and lead.



James Hartley Age: 31 Director of Business Operations, Reilly Arts Center What aspirations do you have for yourself? I’ve always had aspirations of working in the entertainment industry, but the pragmatist in me said I should go to law school instead. After attending the University of South Carolina School of Law, my wife and I decided to move back to Ocala, our hometown, to begin my legal career. I started off as a public defender and eventually entered private practice, but when the opportunity to join the Reilly Arts Center team presented itself, I wasn’t going to pass it up. Now that I am in this position, through the Reilly, I aspire to help to make Ocala a cultural arts destination.

Karan Gaekwad Age: 27 Real Estate Developer / Asset Manager / Lieutenant in Florida Army National Guard What inspires you? My dream is to help make Ocala an eventual powerhouse of Florida. I want the world to know about Ocala. I am excited to be a part of some major developments in Ocala, and I hope it attracts business owners all over to invest with me.

Paige Swier Age: 22 Hair Stylist / Salon Suite Owner What is your favorite way to give back to the community? I love that I get to provide a safe and cozy space for clients to relax and escape the stresses of daily life. My FAVORITE part is the increase in self-esteem that I see every day after providing them with a service. I love being able to help so many people feel confident and excited to go out and face the world!



John R. Ivory Jr Age: 34 Financial Advisor with Mathis Wealth Management of Raymond James Whether it’s a business or community involvement, what inspires you? My biggest inspiration is my family, wife Jennifer and 3 children Carter, Caroline, & Carson. Most of what I do is for them. Also, the fact that I get to truly help individuals and families achieve financial security is what inspires me to wake up every day.

Laila Fakhoury Age: 21 Program Assistant for Streetlight in Shands Children's Hospital, Education Associate at the Hippodrome Theatre, and Teacher Assistant at the University of Florida What aspirations do you have for yourself? With two other friends, I formed a record label called DION DIA. The purpose of our label is to enact good by spreading important messages and ideas through the art produced by our company. We aspire to develop our record label into a beautiful and esteemed collective of music, media, and art that serves as a platform for social good and acts as a catalyst of change. I aspire to bring my various forms of service and involvement into the same focus through the label and keep affecting each of these areas simultaneously.



Melissa Fiorentino Age: 35 Professional Artist What is your favorite thing about the Ocala area? The growth. To be a creator in Ocala at this time is such an adventure. I meet new artists, musicians and professionals in all kinds of vocations and they all seem to be coming together to bring new experiences to our town. I love it.

Jennifer Normoyle Age: 37 Cultural Arts Supervisor What aspirations do you have for yourself? I have a pretty simple plan for my future. Do what I love and be good at it. I aspire to create, learn and excel at what I do while finding new ways to serve our community.

Shelby G. Fisher Age: 27 Pediatric Registered ICU Nurse & Nursing Instructor What inspires you? I am inspired by my day to day interactions with my patients. Sometimes the smallest of patients can have the greatest impact. It amazes me to see a community come together to support and love a family during the most difficult times. I am truly humbled to be a nurse.



Josh Leverette Age: 27 Funeral Director at Roberts of Ocala Downtown Chapel What is your favorite way to give back to the community? Two of my favorite organizations in our community are Interfaith and Hospice. I truly believe they make a huge impact on Ocala. I love being able to be in a position that I can help support some of the events they hold and even just walk in their stores and buy from them.

Darling Hill, M.A. Age: 23 News Producer/Journalist at WCJB TV20 News What inspires you? News has always inspired me. And as a third-generation journalist, I take pride in having a hand in telling the stories that matter most to the North Central Florida community. Every day I ask the community to share their stories with me, so after becoming gravely ill in the summer of 2018, it only felt right to do the same.

Amy Ingram Age: 34 Occupation: Business Analyst, United Health Group – OptumRx What inspires you? Being part of the Junior League of Ocala, I am constantly inspired by our members and community partners. They are some of the most strong, compassionate, and caring people I’ve ever met!



Elizabeth Pizzonia Age: 39 Occupation: Horse Trainer/Instructor What is your favorite way to give back to the community? Ocala Equestrian Academy gives back to the community by providing a safe, inclusive environment for riders of all ages and disciplines to pursue their equestrian goals. I love watching my students bond not only with each other but with the horses. The horses also provide a therapeutic outlet for some of our riders dealing with physical and emotional challenges. Ocala Equestrian Academy is not just a riding academy...it's a family.

Dalton Hobbs Age: 27 Photographer What aspirations do you have for yourself? I always try to live my life by putting others needs and happiness before mine, then my own success and happiness.

Autumn Swanhart Age: 32 Facility Administrator, RN at DaVita What aspirations do you have for yourself? There is no better way to teach than to lead by example, and I pray that my life and my actions will someday become milestones for my children.



Leon Kally Age: 39 Regional Vice PresidentTD Bank North Central Florida What inspires you? One of the best parts of being in banking is seeing your customers take their business to the next level and watching them grow; this may include adding more employees, expanding their product offerings, expanding to new locations or even going public.

Jessica Galler Age: 27 Detective with Marion County Sheriff’s Office What inspires you? Knowing how much what I do affects people in a positive way and knowing that even just an ounce of effort can go a long way. People don’t realize that even a simple phone call to check on someone, or one single act of kindness can actually make a difference in someone’s life.

Jamaal J. Anderson Age: 33 Patient Care Tech What is your favorite way to give back to the community? For the past 5 years, I've partnered with my church, Galilee Christian Church in Summerfield to host an event called Hoops for Jesus. It's a basketball tournament to get at-risk youth off the streets and provide the community with free food, games and motivational lectures from leaders in the community.



Stephanie Manning Age: 33 Certifed Ophthalmic Technician/Co-manager of FreeDOM Clinic Eye Department What inspires you? Working with my medical charity organization inspires me. I get to travel to places all over Florida and sometimes even the world. While doing that I get to help people see better, which is one of the best feelings.

William Hoelldobler Age: 28 Warehouse Manager What is your favorite way to give back to the community? Introducing new talent and inspiring other young artists to pursue their dreams in music and arts.

Tyla Kennedy Age: 31 Owner, Baseline Nutrition and Herbalife Health Coach What inspires you? I get inspired by helping others, physically, financially and spiritually. I love seeing people step into their greatness and become the best versions of themselves. I love seeing others WIN and create a life of purpose, passion and fun.



Destiny Espinosa Age: 29 Assistant Manager at Zone Health and Fitness-East What inspires you? I love being able to work where I get to be part of our members' lives and watch them transform into the best versions of themselves.

Nilam Patel Age: 32 Owner of Nirvana Medical Spa What aspirations do you have for yourself? Personally, I like to break glass ceilings and achieve the impossible. My greatest aspiration is to become a successful female entrepreneur and to be a true friend to colleagues, clients and those whose paths I cross.

Seanree Lesesne Age: 29 Owner, JMarie Cheesecake's What inspires you?

Raul Zuniga Age: 31 Master Makeup artist/ Hairstylist What inspires you? Getting to work side by side with my team and our fearless leader Colton Pennington, the owner of CpFredrick’s Hair Designs. They inspire me to always push my limits and constantly remind me that being an artist has no limits.

My Son! I love being able to show him hard work does pay off, to trust the process, and how to be creative and think outside the box when you are given little to nothing to work with. Teaching him to overcome that feeling of being overlooked, last to be chosen and the drive to be successful. My passion stems from the happiness of making cheesecakes and the excitement on people's faces once they try JMarie Cheesecake’s.



Lorelly Mobley Age: 31 Family Nurse Practitioner at Florida Cancer Affiliates What inspires you? First and foremost, my patients inspire me. Their strength in times of extreme crisis is admirable in a way that words alone cannot describe. I am a nurse practitioner for Florida Cancer Affiliates and I am amazed and inspired with the level of commitment the providers, the staff, and myself give to our patients.

Simone Campbell Age: 39 Speech-Language Pathologist/ Realtor What inspires you? My community involvement inspires me the most. Literacy, peace and effective communication are vital to our lives. My involvement in several organizations such as Ollin Women International, Toastmasters International, and the CEP helps to add purpose to my life.

Heather DeShaw Age: 36 Owner Servicemaster What is your favorite thing about the Ocala area? I love the generous culture many of us business owners share of truly paying it forward. We are blessed in this community and I am impressed to see many taking on the responsibilities that come with those blessings!



Adonna Wilkerson Age: 36 CEO/Owner of Fantasy Hair & Beauty, LLC What is your favorite way to give back to the community? Every year my kids and I have a tradition of providing hygiene care packages to our local church and homeless shelter. This allows me to teach my children and instill in them the value of taking care of those who are less fortunate.

Matthew Lentsch Age: 28 Optometrist at Lentsch Eye Care What is your favorite way to give back to the community? I love being able to give back to athletics in the Ocala community, especially at my alma mater Forest High School. Participating in athletics growing up really shaped my work ethic and ability to work well with others.

Robert Scott Age: 25 Author What is your favorite way to give back to the community? My favorite way to give back to the community is to show people that it is important to express yourself and to be creative. Many of my peers say they don’t know how to be creative, but I say otherwise. Every human is unique in some way, shape, or form. Those who haven’t unlocked their inner creativity just haven’t found it yet.



7/05 CRAIG CAMPBELL National Recording Artist Craig Campbell is coming to Rawhyde Live and sing all his hit songs including “See you try”. 18+ show

7/19 MIKE BUSEY Reality star Mike Busey brings his live show to Rawhyde Live. You don’t want to miss the sausage castle antics, as they make their way to the Ocala area. 18+ show

7/27 JAWGA BOYZ Jawja Boyz come to blaze our stage with hits like “Ridin High” and “Chillin in the Backwoods”. 18+ show


Weddings are golden here. From the moment you arrive on our property and see the lavish clubhouse, smell the fragrant rose garden surrounding our grand stairway entrance, you can be assured your hopes, wishes and dreams are in good hands with our professional planner and staff. Let your special occasion become momentous and memorable in our breathtaking indoor and outdoor settings.


Please call 352-629-6229 to schedule a tour of our gorgeous facility | GoldenOcala.com G O L F | T E N N I S | E Q U E ST R I A N | F I T N E S S | P O O L | S PA | D I N I N G | E V E N T S


Celebrating the Event of a Lifetime With Matthew Wardell and Pamela Calero Wardell


hrough the horse farms and sweeping into Downtown Ocala, sit a plethora of hidden gems teeming with character and beauty. Ocala is the perfect blend of art and sophistication with vendors and venues to suit any taste. Summertime brings with it





“Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Robin Fannon and Pamela Calero Wardell



wedding season, and we can't resist the celebrations that await. Weddings bring friends and family together to celebrate the bride and groom before sending them off into marital bliss. Weddings are versatile affairs where any location can be transformed into a picture-perfect scene with the right team to help guide you. Matthew Wardell (CEO and Artistic Director of the Reilly Arts Center) and his stunning bride, Pamela Calero Wardell (VP, Orgizational Advancement of the Reilly Arts Center), know how to do sophisticated well. Pamela's bridal shower was hosted by Robin Fannon at a private residence complete with a luscious botanical garden and private hosting rooms. Every detail was perfectly coiffed with elegant simplicity — from fresh flowers, champagne and delectable treats to a table filled with gifts for the lovely bride, every detail was perfect. The wedding, equally as charming, was held in the Ocala Historic District. The Taylor home, currently owned by local residents Todd Rudnianyn and R.J. Jenkins, was filled with friends, family, and a magical environment created by local vendors. This sprawling 1920’s estate played host with its cobblestone patio, ivy-covered archways, and private lake. Built originally in 1907, it has an old world charm that is prominent in the south. The red brick exterior and black shutters contrast the white pillars perfectly. Elegant is in this season, and Ocala has it all and more. For those that know Matthew and Pamela, they know that this couple lives for the Ocala community so it only makes sensethat for the biggest day of their lives—they would give back yet again by using only local



“Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin... Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on.” —Leonard Cohen



wares and services. The scenic landscape made an excellent backdrop for the white and gold decor that included hints of organic textures. Partytime Rentals captured the couple's vision and brought it to life. There to document it all was Brittany of Eighteenth Hour Photography, capturing the classic beauty of the event. Working with many local vendors, she’s seasoned in Ocala weddings. Her style is refined with a touch of artsy sophistication. Every detail is important, and she captures them perfectly. As guests mixed and mingled they enjoyed a full bar including ale from local Brewery Infinite Ale Works. Each drink choice pairing nicely with the menu which was custom created by Chef Patti Moring of La Casella Catering. Unique to the couple’s eclectic taste she created a wonderful array of options suited for the ease of outdoor dining. Atop the cake was not the traditional figurines, but a quote from the couple’s favorite song. Created by Marley Mae Market (a quaint little storefront on 3rd street) the song lyric cake topper was created in the same golden tone that adorned their furniture. It simply stated “Dance Me To The End Of Love,” the title of Matthew and Pamela’s wedding song. As local musicians, Kimber and Scott Davis sang, the couple did just that...they danced for the first time together as man and wife.



CELEBRATE THE OCCASION at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center

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The White Charity Register Special OM 40th Anniversary Edition Join us in Celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2020 at our CHARITY REGISTER WHITE PARTY GRAND EVENT. Reserve Your Ad Placement Now — Space Is Limited. More Information On Our White Party Will Be Forthcoming.




The Estates at Hawthorne Village of Ocala Provide Upscale Independent Living For Three Sisters


alking into The Estates at Hawthorne Village of Ocala, one cannot help but feel welcomed. Greeted with a warm smile and a friendly “Hello!”, as you pass by tenants and staff, it’s a friendliness that sometimes gets missed in the hustle outside of its doors. The Estates at Hawthorne Village- an independent living apartment home community for those 55 and better- boasts amenities that would make anyone want to live there. “We looked at several of them, and for what they offer, it’s just very, very reasonable.” Says Lorraine, “and we just like the people here.” At 94, Lorraine Marquand is the oldest of the three sisters who call The Estates their home. Living there for two and a half years, Lorraine brings with her a mischievous spark that is a joy to be around. “They’re very congenial here, very helpful. Everybody’s helpful.” chimes in younger sister Barbara. At 91, Barbara Kelbert moved into an apartment home with her husband Horst a year and a half ago. Just three doors down from her older sister, she’s able to keep an eye on her siblings. The youngest of the three, Camille Kluck turns 89 this month



and is the most recent tenant following her sisters to Hawthorne. “They’ve been trying to get me here for years,” she laughs. Living right next door to her oldest sister, these three are closer than most, and their vibrant personalities are known throughout the building. “We’ve always been close. Our whole family is close. No matter where we go, we always come back together.” Camille says. “There was no real rivalry or anything (growing up) just cooperation, fun of doing things together.” Barbara states. “We were taught to get along.”

Their outgoing personalities make them a perfect fit for this active independent community. With many friendly tenants, one simply has to walk down the hall

and someone is sure to strike- up a conversation. When it’s a moment to themselves they want, their spacious apartment homes are conveniently located. With the freedom of not having household chores, repairs, or cooking, life is as carefree as one could imagine. “They have very good food,” announces Lorraine.” Especially since we don’t have to cook it.” Camille laughs. With two buffet-style meals a day, The Estates boasts delicacies rivaling any restaurant. “We always eat together, lunch and supper.” The immaculate dining room is setup as one would expect at a nice hotel. Staff interacts with tenants as one would a friend. Knowing their favorite beverage, table setting, and who is particular to which foods. Staying active is an essential part of independent living and a large part of the sisters’ daily lives. “She exercises every day,” Camille says of her oldest sister. “I ride a bike an hour every day,” Lorraine confirms. “Barb exercises too.” With AJ’s Fitness Center attached to The Estates, it is open for all tenants to use. With many licensed physical therapists on site, there is always some-

Camille Kluck, Barbara Kelbert and Lorraine Marquard one to help out when needed. “My husband and I go to rehab every day and work on one of those machines,” Barb says. “That’s why we live so long.” Camille laughs. “I also walk in here a lot,” she adds. With large hallways and ample room, tenants are sure to get in their daily exercise. When accessibility is needed, there is an elevator. The building design is set to make life as straightforward as possible for

tenants who want to age in place. With a long-standing history in the education system- both Lorraine and Barbara were educators- they can capture your attention. Youngest sister Camille stayed active moving around the country with a spouse who served in the military. But life taking them in different directions did not dampen the bond these sisters have. Each one brings

a different dynamic to the group. “We’re very close,” says Barbara. “We help each other whenever anyone needs help, and we stand back and let them go when they want to go. Like when birds fly.” With such active lifestyles, there is no sign these ladies are slowing down any time soon. The Estates at Hawthorne Village boasts social and educational activities with their Life Enrichment Program, to keep tenants minds and bodies active. “We do whatever we want.” Camille laughs, and with designated spaces to mix and mingle, a movie room to enjoy a great selection of films, and monthly get-togethers, there is no lacking in socialization opportunities. “We play Bingo,” Barbara adds. “We’re not limited” Lorraine jumps in. “We exercise. They have Bingo. They have movies here, and they have programs that they take us to so we’re very well entertained.” Though living on the same hall and dining together every day, they each have separate activities they like to do. “I have to spend part of the time with my husband.” Barbara laughs. She and her husband come and go often visiting with friends throughout the city. “My husband and I like to go out and about quite a bit. It’s just fun to come back here and not have to cook or anything else. It’s very relaxing.” Walking around The Estates, you’re likely to run into visiting family members or guests walking around the facility. You can sit and relax in one of the many entertaining areas or the library. All are welcome to stop by and tour the facility to see what The Estates has to offer in excellent retirement options. But be warned, the moment you walk in you will be greeted with such kindness you will not want to leave. The Estates at Hawthorne Village is conveniently located at 3211 SW 42nd Street, just a short drive from the Paddock Mall, Heathbrooke Plaza, and numerous State Road 200 restaurants. With transportation, laundry service, two prepared meals a day, adjacent fitness center, and housekeeping services, The Estates is the ideal active, independent living community for those 55 and better. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT 352-237-7776 or visit https://hawthornevillageofocala. com/estates.html




Sowing the Seeds of The Growing Trend of Flower Farms



here are two hard facts that became glaringly obvious to me when I began doing research on growing flowers; one, it’s really hard work and two, the weather gods play a significant role. I was not only researching flower farming for this article, but also for success with my own humble flowerbeds. So why is growing



Photo this page courtesy of Ladybug Blooms

“If we could see the miracle in a single flower clearly our whole life would change” —BUDDHA

Niki Irving—Flourish Flower Farm, Asheville

Farmgal Flowers, Orlando

Emily Copus—Carolina Flowers, Asheville

Mariana Riehm—Ladybug Blooms, Gainesville

Photo by Max Cooper Photography



Loretta—Never Ending Flower Farm, Asheville

“The earth laughs in flowers.” —RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Photo by RSVP Robin

flowers not only becoming a trendy hobby, but also one of the most popular crops to farm across the country? Because the excitement and satisfaction you feel with only a minor amount of success is positively exhilarating! Flowers add beauty to our lives, and it has been scientifically proven that flowers- much like chocolate and exerciseraise dopamine levels in the brain. What’s not to love about that? Well, if you are growing them to make a living, there are many challenges not to love. Just like growing any other crop, of course, the weather and critters are a factor. Be it extreme heat or cold, drought, flooding, storms or insect invasions, it can be exasperating. Not to mention that it is a messy, dirty, labor-intensive and physically draining activity. Did I mention the insidious, diabolical weeds? Growing flowers in Florida has it’s own unique weather challenges. After all, we do live in a tropical rainforest. As I write this article Florida is entering its summer rainy



season. Florida flower farms are clearing their rows and battening down the hatches for the wet, hot summer months. In early autumn they will begin sowing seeds for the fall annuals like Zinnia, Sunflowers, Celosia, and fillers such as ornamental grasses and greenery. We have our own local flower farm that Natalie and her son Seth started, Millwood Farm, located in Reddick, Florida. During the season they sell their beauties on Saturdays at the Ocala Downtown Farmers Market. Gainesville has Swallowtail Farm and Mariana Riehm of Lady Bug Blooms. Orlando is home to Eileen of Farmgal Flowers who holds amazing floral design workshops. All of these businesses have Facebook and Instagram pages for further information and locations where you can purchase your own treasures. If you are lucky enough to travel up the Eastern Seaboard and the Northeastern United States in late spring and summer, you are heading towards flower heaven. Sur-

rounding the Asheville, North Carolina area alone there are several “mega” flower farms such as Carolina Flowers, Flourish Flower Farm and The Never Ending Flower Farm. They all feature workshops, you-pick days, stands at local farmer’s market, pop-ups at various local vendors, specialty food stores, and cafes. Most specialize in wedding and event design, and I suspect this is a vital part of their business. Flower farmers tend to be an environmentally conscious bunch. Sustainability and organic growing are popular practices, and many are members of organizations such as Slow-Flowers, The Monarch Initiative, and Floret Farmer-Florist Collective. As we all know, pollinators are a vital part of agriculture, and even our food supply depends on them. Come late fall it is time to sow seeds and bulbs for spring (some can take up to 120 days to bloom). Time for snapdragons, larkspur, ranunculus, anemones, tulips, and daffodils, amongst a host of others. Last, but

Mariana Riehm—Ladybug Blooms, Gainesville

Natalie—Milwood Farms, Reddick

A trend that’s on a roll! What do Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin and CincinLittle Gemma selecting nati have in common? They are her posies from Posies all home to an exploding trend Flower Truck in adorable mobile flower trucks. Converted vintage vehicles that are given new life. They roam the city, full of gorgeous posies, showing up at famer’s markets, festivals and retail establishments. Available for hire at private events (think showers, or wedding favors) these charming ready-made bouquets, wrapped in brown butcher’s paper tied with string or ribbon, might steal the show. Some also have a make-your-own bouquet option. We think this would be an enchanting addition to the burgeoning downtown Ocala scene!

Photo by Erica Goetz

not least, the queen of spring blooms and the darling of Instagram, the peony. Alas, I have not heard of anyone having success in growing peonies in Florida. They are, however, becoming more readily available for purchase at stores like Publix and Trader Joes. Why do I love flowers? Let me count the ways. Food and Flowers belong together as long as you are mindful of the conflicting aromas. In this case, the food should always dominate. A space and tablescape can be transformed by the addition of fresh flowers, branches, and greenery. Giving and receiving flowers is an expression of love and we all certainly need more of that. Lastly, flowers send my dopamine through the roof !

Eileen—FarmGal Flowers, Orlando







breaks and half days.Knowing these dates ahead of time takes away the headache of having to hunt down that free school calendar that you will inadvertently lose a few weeks after you get it.

1. TAKE A LOOK AT THE FULL SCHOOL CALENDAR This is a tip that most parents overlook yet its one that will help in the planning and organization for the entire year. Most school calendars for the 2019 – 2020 school year are already available on the district’s website. We suggest parents giving it a once over and marking down all of the important dates such as testing, report cards, seasonal

2. PUT THE KIDS (AND YOURSELF) ON A NEW SLEEP SCHEDULE Sleep is by far the biggest hassle when it comes to getting back into a routine. Kids show up to school overly tired so two weeks before school starts, it’s recommended that kids get back into some healthy sleeping habits. Studies have shown that middle and high school age kids need anywhere from 8-10 hours of sleep during the school year, and younger kids even more. To motivate your young ones to go to bed early, start by wearing them out. Taking advantage of your last few days of summer can be your best ally. Plan to do your errands early and make them go with you. Take a trip to a park or beach and fill the day with so much activity that

oing back to school means that most parents can breathe a long-awaited sigh of relief. While the summer is full of wonderful memories back to school means that kids are falling back into a routine to make life more efficient. July may mark the middle of summer vacation, but he Marion County 2019-2020 school year is rapidly approaching. With little time to prep, we’ve come up with some tips and tricks for getting everyone ready for back to school!



your kids will to to bed with no complaints. You and your kids will be making memories and getting back into the routine of getting up earlier without even knowing it. 3. PURGE YOUR CLOTHES AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES, THEN MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU REALLY NEED School clothes shopping is the biggest part of back to school. Go through your kids’ clothes and purge what they can’t wear or what is beyond repair. There are some clothing items that might be useable if your child isn’t in the ‘growing rapidly’ phase. Taking inventory of what they are getting rid of and dropping it off at a local donation station such as a thrift store will also go a long way for our community. The same will apply to school supplies. Often, students may have supplies that are left over from the prior year. This can include everything from mechanical pencils, pens, highlighters, calculators and other items. A


great idea is to check their backpacks at the end of each year and have a basket designated for supplies that can be reused. Putting these up in a closet until August will help save you money and the hassle of having to run from store to store. 4. CHECK ALL BACK TO SCHOOL ADS BEFORE GOING SHOPPING We’ve all had those moments where we buy a pack of highlighters for $2.44 and then see it elsewhere for $1.99. Since every penny counts check online for amazing back to school deals. Check ads for all your locally owned retailers before you start. While online shopping is more convenient it’s not always the better deal. Look carefully at your prices and start clipping coupons now. 5. GET BACK ON AN EATING SCHEDULE Just like our sleep schedules, a commonly overlooked back to school struggle is to get everyone back on a set eating schedule. Kudos to those parents who are able to stick to a summertime eating schedule but we know that there are those of you that choose the wherever and whenever method. It’s under-

standable, but it’s hard on students when they come back if they’re not prepared. Contact your students’ school, or look at the school’s website to see when your child will have lunch each day. Adjusting your child’s schedule before they get back to school will help them stay better focused when school begins. 6. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE TAX-FREE WEEKEND The tax-free weekend this year is August 2-4. Make sure you get out there and take advantage of the back to school deals you found, all tax-free! 7. ASK YOUR KIDS HOW THEY ARE FEELING ABOUT THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR A new school year can be a stressful time for students. The anxiety prior to a new year can be paralyzing especially if they are going into a new school for the first time. It’s always good to keep the lines of communication open so ask them questions that are phrased in a positive light. Ask them what they’re looking forward to and which friends they are excited to see again. This helps their mind focus on the good that is to come.

Students may have to fill out sheets of parent contact information, address, phone number, etc. on the first day of school. Go over this information with your kids so they remember what they need to fill out on that first day and don’t leave spots blank on the sheet. 9. TALK ABOUT SPORTS AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AHEAD OF TIME

Any sports or clubs your child joins impacts the whole family! If the clubs meet during school the impact is minimal. Yet the after school practices take more planning. Talk with your child to see what sports and clubs interest them. Remind them to be attentive during the first two weeks of school as this is when most extracurricular are announced. When all else fails, contact the school for more info. 10. GET YOUR KIDS EXCITED FOR SCHOOL

Going back to school after a summer filled with free time and activities is extremely hard for you and the kids. Try to hype them up by pointing out the positives of going back! Seeing old friends, making new friends, new clothes, a clean slate for the school year. These are just a few of the positive things you can use to get your student optimistic about going back to school!



Introducing new granite marker signs located alongside sidewalks offering a glimpse into Ocala’s past

HOPS Set amid the ambience of the city’s oldest historic district and through the generosity of the homeowners, H.O.P.S. is pleased to showcase some of Ocala’s distinctive architecture, history, and culture. Since 1992, these home tours have provided a rare opportunity for guests to go inside some of our community’s most beautiful private residences.

The signs will include the year the home was built and the architectural style as well as other historical information. An app for smart phone users named OnCell will allow the downloading of images, historical text, and a google map locator. “This endeavor will assist in preserving Ocala’s extensive history using 21st Century technology,” states Pamela Stafford. The granite markers and signage are being offered at a modest cost to the residents who live in the Ocala Historic District, Tuscawilla District, West Ocala, and to business owners in the Downtown business district. “We are thrilled that this project will encourage walking tours and lead to a greater awareness of local history” states Brian Stoothoff, a HOPS board member who is spearheading the project. “This is an awesome project that makes Ocala’s history come alive” adds Pamela Stafford.

To order a sign or obtain more information, please contact HOPS by calling (352)351-1861, or by email: Hops_admin@HistoricOcala.org

2019 Historic Ocala Preservation Society Board Members Pamela Stafford — President Richard Perry — Vice President Dennis Phillips — Treasurer Brian Stoothoff — Secretary Linda Anker Leon Geller Jarl Hagood Peg Harding R.J. Jenkins Lela Kerley Caryl Lucas Penny Miller Suzanne Thomas Diana Williams Link Wilson

712 S.E. Fort King St. Ocala, FL 34471 | (352)351-1861 | www.HistoricOcala.org


Spelunking into Summer Ocala is known as the horse capital of the world but we may be claiming another title for our quaint little town. Considering we have the national forest in our backyard, it’s no surprise Ocala is becoming a hub for nature enthusiasts. Find out more about one of our many hidden wonders, White Cliff Cave, on page 53. Everything Equine p50 | State of the City & County p52 Charity Spotlight: Brother’s Keeper p54 | Reilly Extension p60




everything equine

Surprise Endings BY LOUISA BARTON

Ocala’s Mark Casse wins the Belmont and comes out on top of a controversial season.


n all the madness of the very first disqualification of a first-place finisher in the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, the world stood stunned. There were lots of controversial social media posts, unhappy bettors, and frustrated fans. I am fortunate to have been behind the scenes and to have met the wonderful people who work tirelessly to take the best care of these animals. I have seen the exceptional care first hand in the barns where most cameras never go. There are no sleep-ins or holidays off. Just labors of love, attention to detail, and lots of hard workers. With all eyes on the thoroughbred world, I wanted to bring Mark Casse’s story to the people of Ocala. Mark Casse spends much of his time right here in ‘the Horse Capital of the World’ training racehorses and conditioning them for the racetrack. Although War



of Will was of utmost importance to Mark, especially as the impending Belmont was just around the corner, but Mark has many other horses in his care and he pays attention to every detail of every horse equally well. Mark carries on with life and training as normal, checking in regularly on ‘Will’ or WOW’, as he is now known, with his assistant trainer David Carroll. However, Will was not the only horse that Mark ran in the Belmont Stakes this year. Sir Winston, also trained by Mark Casse and assistant trainer Jamie Begg, was also in the starting gate for the longest distance of all, the Belmont Stakes in New York. However, Will is not Marks only Belmont runner this year. Sir Winston, will also run in the third leg of the Triple Crown races. Mark is the real deal in horse racing. He’s had great success with Florida-bred horse of

him, looked over at his dad and said, “Dad, you’re going to win the Kentucky Derby.” Then the madness started. Maximum Security veered out. His jockey, Luis Saez, tried his best to correct him but it was too late. It was a miracle no one fell on the wet track that day, and Mark was just relieved his horse was still in one piece. The jockey who ran second, Flavien Prat, called the foul, as did Jon Court, the jockey on Long-Range Toddy. Shortly after that, the disqualification was confirmed. Again, a Derby win eluded Mark, and this time, it was the most controversial one of all. Mark stood resolute while the crowd booed from the stands. The horse who ran a heck of a race and crossed the finish line first, Maximum Security, was no longer the winner of the two most exciting minutes in sports.

“Dad, you’re going to win the Kentucky Derby.” Then the madness started. the year, World Approval. He traveled to Ascot, Berkshire, England to win the Queen Anne Stakes with Tepin while the Queen of England herself looked on. With accolades in top Stakes races and Breeders’ Cup wins, it’s winning in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes that eluded him. It became his biggest challenge. This year as War of Will ran out of post number one in the Derby; Mark Casse held his breath. His son Norm, standing beside

In his usual classy manner, Mark did not make a fuss but quietly made sure his horse was okay. He didn’t see a need to call a foul and take away the win from Maximum Security. It wouldn’t put his client in the money, so why be part of taking away the victory from the Wests, such a deserving couple in the industry. Once he was sure War of Will was ready to train again, Mark set about trying to win the second leg, the Preakness Stakes.

Drawing again post position number one, Mark had to wonder what the day would bring. Hoping this time, his horse, given an opening to run, could win the race. As War of Will crossed the finish line first, the cameras jumped to Mark and his wife Tina as they hugged with tears in their eyes. The Chamber and Economic Partnership Equine Engagement meeting, presented by New Millennium Realty, was a 10-person tour at Mark Casse’s Ocala training center. Among those in attendance were Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn and County Commissioner Michelle Stone and the opportunity to watch Mark Casse in action just a week after his big win was a rare treat. Seeing him in action and the care he takes with each horse and rider combination, while also answering our questions, was a fantastic experience. The group was in awe. They saw him on national television just over a week ago, and he’s right here in our backyard, making time for us. He shared a wealth of knowledge with our small group of people, who could not have been happier to have such an opportunity as this. In thinking about all this, it crosses my mind how proud Mark’s dad must be. You see it didn’t all start with Mark, but further back. Longtime horseman Norman Casse, who sadly passed away at the age of 79 after a long illness, was the co-founder of Ocala Breeders Sales and served as chairman of OBS for 28 years. He was instrumental in the development of the OBS sales program and owned Cardinal Hill Farm. Also serving as the chairman of the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers, Norman Casse blazed a path in the Thoroughbred industry. Despite all his involvement in the successful growth of these other entities, Norman had success in both the racing and breeding operation at Cardinal Hill Farm. He bred 1980 G1 Melbourne Cup winner Beldale Ball and MGISW Lost Code. Norman Casse had three sons, including Mark, who have all attributed their love of horse racing to their father’s commitment to the industry. Mark’s brother Justin said. “To most boys, a father can be the most influential person in their life, but to me, mine was a God. He immersed himself into an industry which he was not born into and earned his way to the top, gaining respect and admira-

tion of influential men along the way. In his final years, he would gladly remind you that, if it wasn’t for his passion for this industry, we all might be working in other professions.” Norman Casse’s legacy is now living on through his sons. Justin Casse, playing a pivotal role in recognizing the potential of War of Will, acquired him and ensured his safe passage from France to the USA. Once here, he then trusted him into his brother Mark’s training and care. I know Norman Casse, would indeed have been as relieved to see War of Will exit the Derby unscathed and as ecstatic to see him cross the finish line winning the Preakness. It’s an honor to have so many great horsemen here in Ocala, but Mark Casse is one of a kind. That’s not all. As if the first disqualification of a Derby winner in 145 years was not enough, we saw a riderless horse, Bodexpress, run the Preakness Stakes without his jockey. When we thought that we had seen it all this year, the Belmont capped it off brilliantly. Mark Casse could not have known that Sir Winston would outrun War of Will in the Belmont, but considering that Will was the

ONLY horse this year to run in all three of the Triple Crown races, he should have been the most tired horse in the race. Every year fresh horses fill the Belmont Stakes starting gate, making it more challenging than ever for horses who ran in one or both of the other legs. Three races in 3 states in 5 weeks is a tall order for any horse, even a champion like War of Will. Ending a bizarre and controversial series this year on a bittersweet note, Will’s stablemate Sir Winston, who had been flying under the radar, made it on to the fan’s and bettors watch list by outrunning the Preakness winner. After the Belmont, as I stood by Mark’s barn in New York, watching the return from the testing barn of both the 2019 Preakness and Belmont champions, one after the other, I almost had to pinch myself. Both champions spent time training right here in Ocala with ‘Ocala’s Mark Casse’ and as I stood and watched Sir Winston followed by War of Will, I considered Mark’s place in the Canadian Hall of Fame. In my opinion, Mark Casse belongs in the US Hall of Fame too and I believe that is now on the horizon, but in my book, he always was!




state of the city




he Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA), in partnership with the City of Ocala, is excited to present the Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series for the third year in a row! The series is sponsored in part by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national funder of creative placemaking that empowers communities to inject new life into underused public spaces. In December 2018, Ocala was named one of 18 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Award of $25,000 in matching funds to present a free concert series at Webb Field in 2019. MCA, in partnership with the City of Ocala, submitted the Levitt AMP proposal and is presenting the concert series. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation invited the public to choose the top 25 finalists through online voting. The Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series, which kicked off Friday, May 31, provides free, family-friendly, outdoor concerts to the public each Friday through Aug. 2. Concerts take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Webb Field at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Complex located at 1510 NW Fourth St. These concerts have an open lawn setting, so those planning to attend are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the event. The 2019 Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series features a diverse lineup of high-caliber talent spanning musical genres such as blues,



Upcoming Events: July 5 Headliner: The Foxies Opening Act: GUTS July 12 Headliner: Mr. Sipp Opening Act: Sheba, the Mississippi Queen July 19 Headliner: PJ Morton Opening Act: Mwiza jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, classical, Latin and R&B. Each week, the events will feature craft and nonprofit booths, food trucks, novelty food vendors and more. “Marion Cultural Alliance is proud to partner with the City of Ocala for the third Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series,” said Jaye Baillie, Executive Director, Marion Cultural Alliance. “This series has reimagined and injected new life into the historic Webb Field with 10 weeks of free concerts. The diverse lineup features acclaimed, emerging talent to seasoned, award winning artists on the local, regional and nation circuits ensuring access to high-caliber performances. Bring

July 26 Headliner: Empire Strikes Brass Opening Act: The Greg Snider Quartet Aug. 2 Headliner: Kaleta & the Super Yamba Band Opening Act: Shine & the Shakers

your lawn chairs and blankets and join people of all ages and backgrounds to listen, dance and sing this summer.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, please visit concerts.levittamp.org/ocala or connect on social media @levittampocala.

state of the county

Cave of

Wonders White Cliff Cave Becomes Epicenter of Adventure PROVIDED BY MARION COUNTY


arion County is well known for its calming springs, country living, and robust equine industry. But soon, the Horse Capital of the World ® might be known for something totally different: caving. Over the last several years, White Cliff Cave, an approximately 1,500-foot passage located in the heart of Marion County, has seen an uptick in visitors. In fact, between 2017 and 2018, the number of White Cliff Cave explorers grew by an impressive 64 percent. “We get calls all the time from people eager to explore the cave system at Brick City Adventure Park,” said Jim Couillard, Parks and Recreation director. “It’s a really fun program, and we are happy residents and visitors have an interest in it. Our department is training additional tour guides to meet this growing demand.” The cave itself is largely comprised of lime rock and stretches 40 to 55 feet below the surface. However, its depth does not translate to space for standing or walking. Most of the paths are very narrow and must be navigated with great care. “If you’re not comfortable crawling under your dining room chair, you’re probably not going to be comfortable crawling in the cave,” said Bill Birdsall, an avid caver and White Cliff tour guide. “You have to crawl on hands, knees, and belly (to get through the cave).” You might assume there’s not much life in the dark, damp Floridian caves. However, explorers commonly find crickets, frogs and spiders. In the winter, the cave is also home

to a few bats. Fish bones and fossilized echinoids that date back 35 to 56 million years have also been found. According to Birdsall, the earliest map of the cave was made in 1979 by the Florida Speleological Society, of which he is a longtime member. He said the cave and surrounding area has been under the county’s care since the 1990s. Cave tours at Brick City are usually about two hours long from start to finish and cost $35 per person. Although helmets with lights are provided, there are no ladders, ropes or stairs in the cave, which means participants must be able to crawl, climb and stoop for extended periods of time. “It is quite challenging,” said Tina Adams, Parks and Recreation leader II and tour

guide. “My favorite part is seeing apprehensive participants overcome their fears and come out of the cave excited and confident.” Parks and Recreation’s tours accommodate small groups, must be prescheduled and are open to most skill levels. However, Parks and Recreation staff suggest consulting a physician before scheduling adventures of this kind. “Caving is not a common experience for the general public,” said Birdsall. “You have to be willing to get dirty. You have to be in relatively good condition. White Cliff Cave was preserved primarily as a training cave. It allows people new to caving to develop their skills.” ARE YOU UP FOR THE White Cliff Cave challenge? Contact Parks and Recreation at 352-671-8560 for more information.





Brotherly Love

BY ILIA LABOY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSHUA JACOBS We all shop there, but how many of us know what Brother’s Keeper actually does for our community? We talked to Executive Director Jason Halstead and Operations Coordinator Karen Cyr about all of the services provided and all the exciting changes in this new chapter for the organization.


ince the early 1970s, the outreach ministry of the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Brother’s Keeper, has been providing our local underprivileged community with emergency assistance services. With such a wide selection of programs to the disadvantaged, they assist with everything from access to emergency groceries, free food, clothes and furniture to prescription vouchers for those who are low income and



underinsured and everything in between. “We want to help out as much as we can,” says Karen Cyr, the Operations Coordinator of Brother’s Keeper, “we want to show our clients all the different avenues available.” She added that they are adamant about showing the clients all the tools available to them to help get back on their feet. I find this program has achieved a level of productivity that does not allow for dependency, which is a great way to give a helping hand and promote their clients to become or resume self-sufficiency. Also, when help is offered, no direct cash assistance is provided to the applicant, which helps ensure the funds are used for their intended purpose and allows for them to provide more services to the public.

One of the many services they provide is by way of the soup kitchen, which serves over 86,000 meals annually. Here they provide healthy meals every single day, as well as special holiday dinners and donations during Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter time. In 2018, 190 families and seniors received a full thanksgiving food bag and a gift card for turkey. They also provided 207 families with a full Christmas dinner bag and toys for the season. Most, if not all of the supplies for these donations, were made possible through their Emergency Food Pantry. They work closely with Publix as well as the community accepting donations to stock their shelves. Ocala donations helped provide almost 3000 bags of emergency food to those in need last year alone! Most of their funding, however, comes through their Brother’s Keeper Thrift, Used Clothing and Furniture Store, which is cur-

rently in the final stages of moving to a new building. “The thrift store helps support the real mission, which is to help the poor,” shared Executive Director Jason Halstead as he showed us around the brand new location. The new building is next door to The Salvation Army Thrift Store as well as the Humane Society Thrift Store, which is great news for avid thrift shoppers. Their competitive pricing ensures customers get a great deal and helps them raise enough funds to finance their programs. “My predecessor would say ‘It’s not a museum,’” joked Jason, so they make sure to be reasonable in their appraisal of the donations received before they go on the sales floor. This new building is huge and allows for all of their services to be in the same location. Whether you are shopping, donating or taking advantage of the assistance programs, Brother’s Keeper has conveniently consolidated the

whole process to a single venue. As a one story building, the store and services are more accessible than at their previous location. There is more free parking available, and the increase in space translates to a wider variety in terms of shopping. It also means they will be expanding and improving on their job training, youth and vocational rehab programs as they continue to settle into the building. The new place is set to feature the Thrift and Furniture Store, Food Pantry, Emergency Services and commodities like a drive-thru Donation Drop-off and a Bicycle Repair Shop to help provide their clients with more permanent forms of transportation. They will also be extending their deals to a new boutique section with higher-end curated items. Most of the services are provided by Brother’s Keeper directly, but the community support from partnering organizations is truly what makes them such a powerhouse. Every year they

help over 1000 families keep their power on for another month through their partnership with Ocala Electric Utility and the “Neighbors Who Care” Program. They have also partnered with United Way, and Career Source to help with financial literacy, job search, interview coaching and training. When asked what other services they could possibly provide and how they are looking to grow, Jason revealed that they are working on addressing the homelessness issue in our community. He disclosed that the program Saving Mercy is currently in the works. Brother’s Keeper has recently acquired an RV park and hotel with the idea of providing affordable transitional housing and case management to the homeless. Following the Housing First model, individuals and families experiencing homelessness can have access to low income housing, as well as supporting services and case management in order to overcome such a difficult time. This format also allows for those taking advantage of Saving Mercy to be part of a supportive community, hopefully discouraging the return to homelessness. In the spirit of growth, they are encouraging the community to donate their gently used items to help fund the services, but most importantly their time. Karen Cyr could not emphasize enough how crucial and needed volunteers are. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in becoming a volunteer, you can contact Brother’s Keeper office at (352)622-3846 or come in and fill out a volunteer application.



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NEXT ACT "All the world's a stage, some of us just have better seats."



Projected renderings provided by The Reilly Arts Center



ince opening The Reilly Arts Center in 2015 the cultural arts community of Marion County has been reinvigorated. Initially, some may have doubted the need for such a venue, but The Reilly attendance and an outpouring of love from the community have silenced any naysayers. The building, which was first constructed in 1936, has hosted musical legends of past and present such as Buddy Holly and Wynonna Judd. The venue, which is home to the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, provides a mix of both educational and entertainment

events that bring out the crowd in droves. Whether its seasonal entertainment shows such as The Nutcracker or an evening of Ted Talks, the building has entertained Ocala citizens throughout the decades—and now they are ready to take it a step further. On June 20th, 2019 The Reilly held their Annual Donors Meeting and invited members of the press to join in on the presentation. It was here where they reviewed the prior year’s numbers showing in great detail the great success the organization has seen. With one hundred and ninety-one events

and over seventy-eight thousand guests, they have proven that the arts are alive and well in Ocala. As the meeting came to what was expected to be a close, Reilly CEO and Artistic Director Matthew Wardell paused momentarily in a manner reminiscent of Steve Jobs-style theatrics. The audience waited expectantly. It was then he and Reilly Vice President Pamela Calero Wardell let us in on their secret, a grand expansion project set to take the already impressive Reilly Arts Center to the next level.



If you are one of the lucky seventy-eight thousand to have visited the Reilly this year, then you are aware that while it is truly a premiere venue in Marion County, with it’s rising success, there are adjustments that need to be made to accommodate the growing audience. To ensure that Reilly patrons have the best possible experience, the team has rolled out their expansion plans, and it has everyone buzzing with excitement. This new plan boasts a newly added box office and will call window that will greet customers both inside and outside the venue. Inside there will be four times the lobby space for you to mix and mingle with other



guests as you await your evening’s entertainment. And for those that hate standing in line for the bathroom, you will rejoice as they have plans to double their restroom capacity. During intermission, you will be able to visit the new full-service bar and gift shop that will be available as well as a catering kitchen that will be offering cafe-style treats for you to enjoy before during and after the shows. The team at the Reilly has not only thought of the comfort of their patron but of their artist with new plans to add on a new dressing room and a green room that are up to industry standards, a space that is dedicated for rehearsals and a larger more efficient load-

in area for nationally known artists. This small change makes a significant improvement and allows for a smoother transition for the entire team and everyone involved. As amazing as these changes are, the one that has the community super excited about is the addition of the Black Box Theatre. The Black Box Theatre will be a stateof-the-art performance space used for a wide array of events. Everything from a presentation theater to a rentable banquet hall, the Black Box Theatre will be customizable to fit a variety of expected needs. The design of this theatre will have a 60x60 flat floor space, a flexible grid that sits 28’ off the ground for

endless lighting and sound options. With moveable seating, event planners can make the most of this area, which can host up to 500 guests. The intimate setup will provide ample space and attract a more diverse cultural entertainment selection to our area. In the past, varying locations have tried their hand at hosting fulltime stand up comedy clubs, jazz clubs, and improv troops but the demand at the time was less than stellar. Now, they will all have a home at the Reilly. The versatility of The Black Box Theatre and it’s adaptability will allow The Reilly to host even more events providing a more robust cultural arts entertainment scene. While The Reilly does entertainment exceptionally well, there is another aspect of their service to our area that needs some praise, and that is their educational efforts. The Reilly’s educational initiative is poised to help bridge the gap between generations and help foster a sense of community in upcoming artists. At the helm of this initiative is the Ocala Symphony Orchestra. The community music school has a distinct approach to teaching as classrooms will not be paired based off of age, but will be a mix of young and old alike learning together. This structure will house two individual teaching and media studios, a small ensemble teaching and media studio. An extensive 20x30 rehearsal and teaching studio bringing in multiple instructors from varying arenas. The expansion is set to provide our area with an influx of economic stimulus and increase the interest in the cultural arts.



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Taste of Experience A great meal is about more than food, it’s about the experience. From sight, smell, and taste each step harmonizes with the next to create a symphony of the senses. Ocala is filled with many hidden gems that take the flavors of the season, translating it into an enjoyable experience for every palette. Craft Cuisine p64




on the menu



Whether you are a globe-trotting foodie or just have a taste for adventure, Craft Cuisine will satisfy your hunger for international flavors. Thanks to Webster and Fatima Luzuriaga and their vision for world-inspired dining, we can take an exotic culinary jaunt right in our backyard.


he expedition begins as you walk through the sizable brass doors, and are met by smiling servers and a gorgeous reflective fountain that immediately communicates rustic luxury. A room filled with wine from floor to ceiling displays the wide array of variety you can expect from this establishment. The drawn curtains, dim lighting and multitude of greenery give it an intimate homey ambiance which makes it feel as if you were walking into a family friend’s for dinner. The vision was clear and skillfully brought to life by our very own girl boss Fatima Luzuriaga. Fatima was born into the restaurant business. Growing up, her parents had a restaurant in New Jersey and in 1991, after moving to Ocala, they opened the local gem we now know as Latinos Y Mas, and thus began their journey to becoming restaurateurs. “I am a huge foodie!” she says, “I love to travel and try new foods! After acquiring Latinos Y Mas, Webster was part of the team that opened Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse. In 2011, Webster and Fatima had the opportunity to purchase



Ipanema and most recently in 2016, Craft Cuisine. Here, they bring together and share the different flavors of the world, which they have previously enjoyed. “Ocala needed a place where people can experience worldwide flavors. A great place with great food and a great atmosphere,” she recounts. With the help of Chef Victor Luzarraga and Manager Jean M. Garden who has 35 years experience in catering, events and the restaurant business, they have created just that. Chef Victor Luzarraga is of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Italian descent and is bringing his culture as well as over 16 years of experience as an executive chef to this beautiful venue. Victor emphasized, “We make everything from scratch in-house. Down to the chocolate sauces and coulis for our desserts.” With huge attention to detail, they fuse Asian, Latin, American and classic Italian cuisines to bring a sophisticated and worldly elevation to even the simplest of dishes, like the humble burger. Every Thursday during Bourbon and Burgers you can enjoy a diverse and ever-changing array

of gourmet burgers. “We want people to try new burgers and flavors,” shares Victor, “to show that burgers can be more that meat and cheese between two buns.” Constantly evolving and innovating, the team is currently putting together a menu featuring some frequently requested old favorites as well as some highly-liked recent specials to be released in August. When asked what advice she would give others wanting to be an entrepreneur she raved “Go for it! As long as you have a good idea, remember to have patience, commitment and hard work ethic. There’s a lot of competition out here now. It takes 1-3 years of putting money in to actually get to see something come back. I always encourage everyone to follow their dreams.” Most entrepreneurs expand on already established concepts. It takes a true restau-

I always encourage everyone to follow their dreams.” rateur and visionary to create 3 different concepts and make them all work and be successful. Fatima credits their success to the continued support of the community. “We receive a lot of support from the community so it’s very important to also give back and be involved.” Most recently, they have participated with Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, Feed the Need of Marion County that benefit the Rock Program in local High schools and also the Ocala Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center. Breaking out of the stigma of what preceded them in their location, almost 3 year old Craft Cuisine is surprisingly affordable. They also offer event catering, for up to 500 people, and have private rooms available for special events. For more information on events and catering you can contact Manager Jean M. Garden. Take a trip down the road and be introduced to all new, world class flavor profiles you may not have ever thought of at Craft Cuisine.



Unforgettable Nights...


Latin Night 8p-2a Live DJ Joe Ortiz Salsa • Merengue • Bachata SATURDAYS:

Saturday Night Dance 8p-2a Open Format • Hip Hop • Top 40



BAR • ENTERTAINMENT Fri-Sat • 8pm - 2am • 21 & up 11 E. Silver Springs Blvd. • 352.390.8969




OUT West 82° Bar and Grill Enjoy an evening under the stars at the Plantation on Crystal River. A short drive to enjoy dinner overlooking Kings Bay and Crystal River featuring the finest natural local ingredients. Start your evening with a cocktail at our Tiki Bar and you might just see some specials guest swim by, manatees or just relax and watch the sunset. Come inside to West 82 and enjoy your dining with your friends and family.

Join us for Sunday Brunch with the traditional breakfast favorites and an impressive assortment of fresh salads, peel and eat shrimp and Chef’s specialty dinner selections. Every Sunday from 11:30am to 2:00pm

Breakfast Daily 6am-10:30am | Lunch Mon –Sat: 11:30am-2:00pm Dinner Daily 5pm-9pm | Sunday Brunch 11:30am-2pm 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429 352-795-4211 www.plantationoncrystalriver.com

Ivy On The Square Hot summer days call for “The Bees’ Knees” at Ivy on the Square. Rum Haven coconut rum, Stoli blueberry vodka, lime juice, a splash of ginger ale, fresh blueberries and lime poured over muddled fresh mint leaves. Who’s in? Gather with friends and families for lunch or a night out. Enjoy fresh salads, mouthwatering comfort food, late night tapas and drinks. Specials include Southern Fried Lobster, handcut steaks and our famous Baked Krispy Chicken. Save room for our delicious homemade desserts. Stroll through our beautiful boutique offering gifts and home decor.

Stop by and enjoy cocktails on our beautiful patio or at the bar. Cheers to spring sips! Gift cards available.

Named by Florida Trend as one of the “Top 500 Best Places to Eat in the State” for several years. Call for catering info. 53 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala | 352-622-5550 Tues - Sat 11am-9pm | Dining | Thurs - Sat 9pm -Til... | Tapas & Cocktails 106 NW Main St., Williston | 352-528-5410 Sun-Wed 11am-2pm, Thurs-Sat 11am-8pm | ivyhousefl.com JUL 2019 | OCALAMAGAZINE.COM |



dining out

Sky Fine Dining Sky Fine Dining is located on the 6th floor of the Holiday Inn Suites. The eclectic gourmet cuisine & steak house concept is inspired from current trends & classic dishes like fresh cut steaks, live Maine lobster, rack of lamb & fresh seafood such as sea bass, salmon & shrimp. Golden Spoon Award Winner 9 consecutive years - 2010 to 2018. Sky is the place to be for a unique fine dining experience.

Golden Spoon Award Winner 9 consecutive years! 2010 to 2018

Special menu Wednesday through Saturday.


Mon-Thurs 5pm-10pm, Fri & Sat 5p-11p

Fine Dining

3600 SW 38th Ave., Ocala, fl 34474 | 352-291-0000 www.skyfinedining.com

Murphy’s Oyster & Seafood Murphy’s is so much more than an oyster bar! Stop in for daily lunch and dinner specials. Grab a happy hour drink and stay to watch the game. Sit back and enjoy live music or join in the fun with karaoke. Relax with friends on the outdoor Hookah Patio. At Murphy’s we pride ourselves on serving great food along with a great experience. Our fresh seafood is the best in town, and we also o er a full menu with your favorite appetizers, burgers, salads and steaks.

Mon - Sun 11a - 12a Happy Hour 11a - 7p 3821 Old Blitchton Rd, Ocala, FL 34482 | (352) 236-5656 www.murphysocala.com


PROOF Date: 15 Sep 2016 Customer PO: TBD Customer No.: 344 Order No: MM 344-01

Oyster • Seafood Bar and Grille


352.304.5414 | 609.408.8959 | email SamGrafx@comcast.net

miniMENUMAGIC | ©2016 SamGrafx Design | 5724 SW 40th Place | Ocala, FL 34474 | All Rights Reserved

Cafe Crisp Faith. Fitness. Food. Conveniently located in the Frank DeLuca YMCA, Cafe Crisp makes clean eating easy with fresh, healthy meals – to enjoy at the cafe or to take home - and they offer weekly meal prep packages that make it easy to stay on track with meals and snacks. Cafe Crisp also caters events large or small! Stop in for a smoothie before your workout and come back for delicious sandwiches, soups and salad bar.

Mon-Fri 7a–6p 3200 SE 17th st (in the YMCA), Ocala, FL 34471 | 352-694-3100 www.facebook.com/cafecrispocala



Ask about our weekly meal prep specials

dining out


Tony’s Sushi Sushi Me! At Tony’s Sushi you can select your favorite sushi to include made-to-order specialty rolls by creating your own! Enjoy being entertained at the grill, watching your food being prepared while having some fun. For a more intimate setting, Tony’s offers private tables – perfect for special moments. Tony’s full bar includes sakes, imported draft beer & more. Like Tony’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TonySushiOcala

Ask about our daily, not on the menu items! We offer gift cards, catering and entertaining.

Mon-Thur 11a-10p, Fri & Sat 11a - 11p, Sun 12p - 10p 3405 SW College Rd. #103 Ocala, FL 34474 | 352-237-3151 www.tonyssushi.com

The Lodge Craft Pub & Eatery The Lodge Craft Pub and Eatery is Downtown’s new gastropub for cocktails, food and fun! Follow The Lodge Ocala on Facebook for announcements about menu items and specials. We have more than 200 craft brews, a large wine selection and specialty food menus. This casual pub and eatery is located just off the downtown square, so you can take advantage of free valet service. We’ll see you soon at The Lodge! Sun-Thurs 11:30a–11p, Fri-Sat 11:30a–2a 36 SE Magnolia, Ocala, FL 34471 www.facebook.com/thelodgeocala

Pi on Broadway Featuring Ocala’s only open air, rooftop bar and dining space, Pi is THE place for lunch, dinner and nightlife. A local favorite for after-work happy hour gatherings and guests visiting historic downtown, Pi offers craft beer, wine and cocktails from two full bars. Enjoy delicious and unique pizza from an open-flame oven or explore the “shareables” menu with a group of friends. Pi also offers sandwiches, salads and desserts all made fresh in-house daily.

Live music Wednesday through Saturday

Tues 4p–12a, Wed-Sat 11a–12a, Sun 4p–10p, Mon Closed 110 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL 34471 | 352-369-5100 www.pionbroadway.com JUL 2019 | OCALAMAGAZINE.COM |



dining out

Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse Experience an authentic taste of Brazil featuring roaming gauchos slice and serve fire-roasted meats from skewers in continual fashion. Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse boasts 12 of the finest cuts of meat complemented by an opulent 50 item salad-vegetable bar, decadent desserts, wines, beer and cocktails. Book your private party and catering today! Our Sunday Brunch from 11a to 3p includes the 50 item salad bar plus crepe, waffle and omelet station. For $32.95 you’ll receive all of the above plus a free mimosa or bloody Mary and five different cuts of meat and our grilled pineapple.

Follow us on Facebook for exclusive on-line incentives! We invite you to consider Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse to host or cater your next event.

2023 S Pine Avenue, Ocala | (352) 622-1741 | ipanemaocala.com Lunch Friday 11a-2:30p › Brunch Sunday 11a-3p Dinner Tue-Thu 5p-9p › Fri-Sat 5p-10p › Sun 4p-8p

Latinos Y Mas Latinos Y Mas invites you to join them for their Summer Tastebud Travel Tour of Central & South America! Mondays- Kids Eat Free with purchase of an adult entree. Taco Tuesdays- margarita, tacos al pastor, beans & rice with chips & salsa for $9.95 or order any two tacos of the regular menu and receive a complimentary margarita. Wednesday- 2 X 1 sangria and 1/2 price appetizer. Thursday- Peruvian ceviche and Pisco Sour for $10.95 Friday- Ropa Vieja Lunch Special! For $10.95. This classic Cuban dish is a slow-cooked shredded flank steak with sautéed onions, peppers, and tomatoes in a rich tomato sauce. Ask us about our in house, off site, plated, buffet, and on the go catering of our authentic Latin fusion cuisine. Perfect for your next corporate, community or private event.

Ask us about our in house, off-site, plated, buffet and on-the-go catering of our authentic Latin fusion cuisine. Perfect for your next corporate, community or private event. NEW Curbside Carry Out!

Happy hour 3 to 7pm Monday-Thursday 2 for 1 house margarita 2 for 1 house wine

2030 South Pine Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471 | (352) 622-4777 www.latinosymas.com Mon-Thurs 11am - 9pm | Fri & Sat 11am-10pm | Sun closed

Craft Cuisine Craft Cuisine offers World-Inspired Culinary Creations. We invite you to join us for our weekly specials or book your in-house gatherings, private parties, weddings or off-premise catering today! Mouthwatering Monday: Build your own four-course menu, selections from $13.99-$19.99. Tuesday Ladies Night: 1st well drink FREE, $3 margaritas & 2-4-1 martinis. Wine Down Wednesday: From 4-7p order, a charcuterie board paired with house wine for $10. Burgers and Bourbon Thursdays. Prime Rib Fridays. Sangria Saturdays: $5 all-day brunch specials from 11a-3p endless mimosas $10, Bloody Marys $4. 2237 SW 19th Avenue Rd., # 102, Ocala | (352) 237-7300 craftcuisineocala.com Lunch Mon-Sat 11a-4p | Dinner: Mon-Thur 4-9p | Fri & Sat 4-10p



Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-7p $5 select tapas & drink specials. Golden Spoon Award Winner!


Bringing Home the Bacon Ocala’s growing arts scene continues to bring amazing talent our way. We’ve had the honor of hosting international and award-winning artists already and they just keep on coming! This summer is getting hotter as the Bacon Brother’s shake up Ocala with their only Florida stop on their nationwide tour. To see our in-depth interview, check out page 76. Experience Ocala p72 | Local Music Scene p74 | Bacon Bros p76 | Socially Speaking p78



experience Ocala




July 1st - 3rd | 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

$20.00 per day. | 6555 SW 62nd CT, Ocala, FL 34474


July 3rd | 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM The Mojo Grill & Catering | 2015 SW 17th Street Ocala, FL 34471

10 AM – 12 PM Fort King National Historic Park | 3925 E Fort King St, Ocala, Florida 34470 | $10 per day camp


July 18th | 5:00 PM

Business. Tickets: $30.00. Ocala/ Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership | 310 SE 3rd St, Ocala, Florida 34471

July 11th “Pond Life” July 18th “Art In Nature” July 25th “Discover hiking with Journey Sticks” July 31st “Life Cycles”

RED, WHITE, & OSO BLUE: A SALUTE TO INDEPENDENCE July 4th | 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM The Ocala Symphony Orchestra is joined by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra Chorus for a tribute to our independence and a celebration of all things patriotic! This concert is generously sponsored by Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services. Reilly Arts Center | 500 NE 9th St, Ocala, FL 34470

July 4: Iggy’s “Four on the Fourth” Four Mile Freedom Run July 4: 4th of July Flag March

July 5th | 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Infinite Ale Works Come out and learn more about the Marion County Humane Society while you enjoy some refreshing brews and delicious pie with your pup! This event is open to the public. 304 S Magnolia Ave, Ocala, FL 34471


July 5th | 7 PM – 11 PM



July 12th, 8:45pm

Jervey Gantt Recreation Complex | 2390 SE 36 Avenue.


July 28th, 7:30pm: Rock Music.

Tickets: Starting at $55.00 (depending on seat location). The Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE 9th Street, Ocala. FL, 352-351-1606 ReillyArtsCenter.com


July 12th | 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM


Ave, Ocala, FL 34471


Music & Art. Rawhyde Live, 718 S Pine

The Lodge Brick City Craft Pub & Eatery | 36 South Magnolia Avenue Ocala, FL 34471 BUY ONLINE AND SAVE PER TICKET! ($20 entry at the door as supplies last) - $15 GATicket includes: 1 complimentary draft domestic beer. - $30 GATicket includes: all you can drink domestic drafts (8-11pm) Seating starts at 7:30pm



July 20th | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Marion County Public Library, Headquarters - Ocala 2720 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 34470 What better place to have real horses in the library than the Horse Capital Of The World! Join Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses at the Marion County Public Library Headquarters in Ocala as miniature horses from popular children’s books come to life. The Gentle Carousel’s “Reading Is Magic” is an award winning literacy program mainly aimed at inspiring at-risk readers to improve their literacy skills, but focused on building enthusiasm for books and reading in all children. Bring the kids out to meet the ponies!

U.S. Stones

Rolling Stones Tribute Band,

July 20th, 7:30pm

The U.S. Stones are the only Rolling Stones Tribute Band to have a young, in-his-prime Mick Jagger clone with all the right moves and a signature voice. This 8-piece band with keys, horns and more, is just like the real thing. No tracks. As authentic as it gets! A fully rounded Rolling Stones event that will blow you away with hit after hit!

Tickets: $15.00 - $30.00. The Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE 9th Street, Ocala. FL, 352-351-1606 ReillyArtsCenter.com

WinePO - YPO Social July 23rd 7:30pm 2019 1ST ANNUAL OCALA BOUNCE – A – PALOOZA


$20 per child (17&under) $15 per adult (without children)

July 18th | 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM E.D. Croskey Recreation Center 1510 NW Fourth St. Ocala, Florida 34471

This event provides the perfect opportunity for the local youth to interact with local law enforcement and public service officers in fun and play! For details, please call Bridgett Griffin of the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at (352) 401-3916



July 27th 10:00 AM

July 20th | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Marion County Public Library, Headquarters - Ocala 2720 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 34470

What better place to have real horses in the library than the Horse Capital Of The World! Join Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses at the Marion County Public Library Headquarters in Ocala as miniature horses from popular children’s books come to life. The Gentle Carousel’s “Reading Is Magic” is an award winning literacy program mainly aimed at inspiring at-risk readers to improve their literacy skills, but focused on building enthusiasm for books and reading in all children. Bring the kids out to meet the ponies!



019 PLAY

local music scene

Songs of Summer


The Ocala music scene is filled with talented individuals using their artistic abilities to create amazing entertainment. This month I had the pleasure of speaking to Summer Patterson a local singer/songwriter whose honesty and depth captures

WHERE DID YOUR LOVE OF MUSIC BEGIN? I have always felt a connection to music. I would spend countless hours of my childhood singing songs. I would play air guitar and air drums when I went to the store with my mom while I listened to my MP3 player. I also got into trouble a lot in school for beating on my desk. There was always a way to make life more musical, and I was always seeking out how.



WHO OR WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT MUSICAL INFLUENCES? Sabrina Claudio, Alina Baraz, and Gabi Wilson or “H.E.R.” are some amazing female artists I’ve been drawing influence from recently. Justin Nozuka, Daughter, and Alicia Keys to name a few others that I always listen to for some added inspiration. HOW HAS YOUR MUSIC EVOLVED SINCE YOU’VE STARTED? When I first started writing music I was such a young mind. I had a lot of great ideas and

Photos by Michelle Klopfestein and Arianne Ramirez

her audiences and them on a lyrical journey through the human experience.

“There was always a way to make life more musical, and I was always seeking out how.”

wrote a lot of awesome lyrics that I couldn’t seem to put together in a way that made musical sense. It was honestly really discouraging for a while, and I hated everything I wrote so I took to learning a lot of covers and I think that honestly really helped me understand music more. Fast forward ten plus years, and I am still not quite where I want to be but I can confidently say that I have grown significantly as an artist. AS A SINGER/SONGWRITER, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHAT IS NEEDED TO HELP THE OCALA MUSIC SCENE FLOURISH? I think Ocala really needs an all age venue. Somewhere that people of all ages could go and enjoy the local talent. It’s hard having shows in bars that only allow those over twenty one, and I think that more people would come out if those restrictions weren’t there. BEING A SINGER/SONGWRITER TAKE US THROUGH YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS. Usually how it works is I’ll come up with something catchy on the guitar, and I’ll work to build upon that little that I have and start composing other pieces to add into a song. Then I’ll listen to what I have and I’ll just

start writing lyric fragments and words that come to mind. It’s a process sometimes, but all good things take time. WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL ASPIRATIONS? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS? In five years I really hope that I’m playing shows more regularly and making music a priority in my life. I’d really like to dabble more in other genres and practice other styles. I put music on the back burner for a while, but I’m planning a major comeback.

ASPECT OF BEING A LOCAL MUSICIAN? Being a local musician means a lot. I think more than anything it means supporting others in the scene. Going to local shows, engaging and encouraging through social media platforms, listening to music that others in the scene create, there are countless ways to support each other. That also means supporting your promoters and the people that really help you get your name out. Respect and appreciate those that are around you.


LISTEN: soundcloud.com/1940196971



’ n i k a h S ThingsUp Ocala Magazine Talks With The Bacon Brothers as They Bring Shaky Ground Tour to the Rielly


olidified among the Hollywood elite, The Bacon brothers are synonymous with creativity. Kevin is a Golden Globe award winner whose name is currently etched on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With a career that spans decades, he's regarded as one of Hollywood's busiest actors. Older brother Michael, an Emmy award-winning composer, is a powerhouse behind the scenes. With over 98 credits to his name, he is a driving force behind some of Hollywoods best scores. Individually they are amazing but together they are dynamic. In the mid-'90s the brother's combined their talent to form The Bacon Brothers band.



Captivating audiences with a style of rock, blues, and country; they've created a sound uniquely their own. Their chemistry carries a comfortability that comes from a brotherly bond, and audiences are eating it up. YOU BOTH HAVE EXPANSIVE CAREERS IN INDUSTRIES OTHER THAN MUSIC. DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE TO REACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH AUDIENCES WHEN YOU PERFORM? IF SO, DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE ABLE TO CONNECT WITH AUDIENCES ON A DEEPER LEVEL? K: It’s all about connecting with the

audience. In the case of the band, we are hoping that they will connect to a song. Or even a piece of a song. An idea. A line they can relate to or a tune they can hum. M: Nobody’s going to beg you to go out and play in front of people. Both Kevin and I have a compulsion to test our songwriting on a live audience. The level of depth is a function of how the audience is affected by the songs we’re singing. WITH NINE ALBUMS IN YOUR DISCOGRAPHY, HOW HAS YOUR MUSIC EVOLVED OVER THE DECADES? K: We play better, sing better and write better.

Photos courtesy of Paradigm Talent Agency



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The Bacon Brothers

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It’s more complex and varied than when we started. And the ideas deepen with time. M: Our style is pretty much the same but we’ve gotten a lot better at it. Still, personal songs, wide variety of orchestration and feels, lots of harmonies. CLEARLY, YOUR SONGWRITING STYLE IS ALL ABOUT STORYTELLING. HOW MUCH OF THAT IS REFLECTIVE OF YOUR ACTUAL LIFE? K: The songs are way more telling than any interview we’ve ever given. We share almost everything in the songs. M: It starts with that but songs go where they will and there has to be some kind of universality or no-one will get it. I really don’t understand how novelists do it. I just saw Non Fiction and that’s what the movie was about.

"We are hoping that [the audience] will connect to a song. Or even a piece of a song. An idea. A line they can relate to or a tune they can hum.

—Kevin Bacon TAKE US THROUGH YOUR SONGWRITING PROCESS. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT SONGS ARE GOING TO BE ON YOUR ALBUMS? K: I have a guitar with me almost all the time. An idea comes. A title. A lick. A chord progression or drum groove. And it starts to come together. Sometimes it happens fast. Sometimes it takes months. Then I play it for Kyra. Then make a demo and share it with Mike to get his take. Then the band and hopefully a live crowd. M: It’s intuitive. You have to imagine singing it in public in front of strangers. Then the recording process is improvisational. Ultimately, you really don’t know how it will be received. But mostly, it’s our wives. YOU HAVE PLAYED AT VENUES AROUND THE WORLD, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON PERFORMING IN SMALL-

TOWN AMERICA? (PLACES LIKE OCALA) K: We are big city boys in a small town band. M: That’s my favorite part of touringfinding yourself in a place that one might not normally see. I always photograph the marquees so I’ll remember. KEVIN, YOU HAVE A VAST CAREER IN FILM AND TELEVISION HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO YOUR LIFE AS A MUSICIAN? When I play music I wear my own clothes! MICHAEL, HOW DOES THE CREATIVE PROCESS FOR THE BACON BROTHERS DIFFER FROM SCORING A DOCUMENTARY OR FILM? Writing instrumental music is a source that our parents gave me from a very early age. They weren’t musicians but they had a wonderful, eclectic taste and a killer hi-fi system.




socially speaking

TasteFarm at the



he College of Central Florida’s Vintage Farm campus was the place to be one picture perfect evening. This sold out event was the 31st Taste event and was the first college fundraiser held at Vintage Farm. “Thank you to our restaurants, sponsors and attendees who joined us this year and in past years,” said Dr. Jim Henningsen, CF president. “The farm provided the perfect backdrop for a party with a purpose and we look forward to seeing everyone back at the farm again next year.” This year’s event theme was An Evening of Celebration presented by Campus USA Credit Union, it featured past Taste participants and celebrated the long history and transformational impact it has had on students who benefit from the scholarship opportunities created by this event. The list of sponsors is too lengthy to print here but represents our community’s sup-

port of the CF Foundation. New this year, guests discarded the usual cocktail attire and dressed in country chic. Guests were entertained by live country music featuring Melissa Lee, while they enjoyed small bites from nine Ocala area restaurants. Craft beers were served by Tri-Eagle Sales on the outside patio. The weather was perfect for this indoor/outdoor event and the new location provided the 275 guests in attendance not only fabulous food, music and networking but a beautiful evening under the stars.

Rita and Steve Hollosi

Dr. Jullian and Trevor Ramsammy

Jim and Jeanne Henningsen

Debbie and Brad Dowen

Janice Ball, Pad Barberie and Judy Stafford

Charlotte and Phil Rosenberg, Beth and Chris Knife

Dorothy Pernu, James Henningsen and Laurie Zink

Clay and Rhoda Walkup, Marianne and Drew Anderson

Karen and Randy Buss Stephen and Renaye Quintyne

Ocala’s favorite food and philanthropy event featured delicious small bites from: Braised Onion, Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar, Cakes Come True, Eaton’s Beach Sandbar & Steam Shack, Edible Arrangements, Fox Den Tavern, Bar & Grill, Sonny’s BBQ, The Mojo Grill & Catering Co. and Tony’s Sushi & Japanese Steakhouse. Guests were treated with warm hospitality from the moment they arrived with a hearty country welcome by foundation staff and student ambassadors. CF ambassadors and student activities board members volunteered that evening along with CF alumni board members and Friends of the Foundation. “What a great time everyone had this year at Taste at the Farm and the change of venue was delightful and well received,” Patti Conrad, CF Foundation Board President said. “Everyone enjoyed being more casual and we saw many new faces this year. My husband and I are both alumni and are very thankful we can continue to support the college by sponsoring and attending the annual fundraiser.” Since its inception in 1989, “Taste” has raised more than $1.46 million for College

of Central Florida student scholarships. This year more than $64,000 was raised to support scholarships, specifically for students pursuing a degree in one of CF’s bachelor’s degree programs. Since adding bachelor’s degrees in 2012, the college has had double digit growth in the number of students enrolling in the Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs and nine out of 10 graduates live and work in the college’s service area. CF’s B.A.S. programs are designed to meet the workforce needs of our region and beyond. “Taste has been such a success because of the outpouring of restaurant, sponsor and community support we have had for thirty-one years” said Chris Knife, executive director of the CF Foundation. “Hundreds of students have benefited from scholarship opportunities through the years created through this event,” said Knife. The 103-acre Vintage Farm is the largest donation ever received by the College of Central Florida at a value of more than $2.9 million dollars. Students started this year taking classes in agribusiness and equine studies programs there in addition to horticulture and cattle management. This is the kind of vocational training that will keep our students in Marion County. To make a donation to the CF Foundation please go to www.cf.edu/foundation. Plans are already underway for the CF Foundation’s next Big Event at the Farm and you should save the date of March 7, 2020 as tickets sell out fast.



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Jessi Miller, Cindy Grimes, Paul K. Chappell and Karin Dean

n June 13th, Ollin Women International brought Ocala Peaceful Revolution: Restoring Hope in a Traumatized World — an evening with author and educator Paul K. Chappell. Mr. Chappell is a Graduate of West Point, Veteran of the Iraq War, and Peace Literacy Director at Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Realizing that humanity is facing new challenges that require us to become as welltrained in waging peace as soldiers are in waging war, Chappell created Peace Literacy to help students and adults from all backgrounds work toward their full potential and a more peaceful world. He spoke on how Peace Literacy frames peace not merely as a goal, but as a practical skill-set that allows us to increase realistic peace in our lives, communities, nations, and the world. Peace Literacy also helps us fully develop our human capacity for empathy, conscience, reason, and realistic hope.

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Mastering the Master Plan Self-expression through the arts is such an important part of discovering who you are and your place in the world. Being able to connect with others is essential to how we communicate with our peers. Lucky for us, Ocala has just taken drastic steps to expand our cultural arts programs. Read more about how we’re making it happen on page 88. Medical Journal p84 | Arts & Culture p88 | Perspectives p90 | Looking Back p96




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Could You Have a Heart Attack? Reduce Your Odds Through These Tips PROVIDED BY BRANDPOINT


any Americans consider themselves well-informed and attentive when it comes to their health. That’s why it’s so puzzling that many remain unfazed by the threat of heart disease. That was among the findings of the MDVIP Heart Attack IQ Survey, a national study showing Americans are more concerned about cancer than a heart at-



tack - even though cardiovascular disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined. In fact, heart disease is the underlying cause of one in three U.S. deaths. Many Americans don’t take it seriously because they believe most heart problems can be treated with medication or surgery, while others simply procrastinate when it comes to adopting healthier behaviors that help prevent heart disease.

As a result, many are surprised when faced with a life-threatening heart attack, which can happen to anyone at any age. While the average age for a first attack is 66 for men and 70 for women, the risk increases significantly as soon as men reach 45 and women reach 55. “Despite the statistics, people assume a heart attack is going to happen to somebody else, but not to them,” said MDVIP Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andrea Klemes. “Heart disease can be dangerously silent, which is why it’s important to know your risk factors and the steps you can take to minimize them.” Gloom and doom aside, awareness of the issue is the first step, and there is much you can do to prevent heart disease. Some 80 percent of heart attacks and strokes are preventable.

While the average age for a first attack is 66 for men and 70 for women,

Consider these suggestions for reducing your risk of heart attack: •

PARTNER WITH YOUR PRIMARY. Your primary care doctor is your first line of defense in helping prevent heart disease. Make sure you partner with a physician who has the time to identify and discuss your risk in detail, who will work on a plan to control your risk factors and who can provide ongoing support to keep you motivated and accountable. Physicians like those in the MDVIP network maintain smaller practices so that they can devote more time to each patient and provide the coaching needed to keep them on track. STAY UP TO DATE ON SCREENINGS. When’s the last time you had your blood pressure and cholesterol checked? But don’t stop at the basics. Most heart

attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels. You also want to get a read on whether you have inflammation in your arteries or insulin resistance, both of which raise your heart disease risk. You can only act on what you know, and knowing your numbers is key to early detection. •

MAKE HEART-HEALTHY CHANGES. Creating and sustaining healthy lifestyle habits can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar in check and lower your risk for heart disease. So don’t skip your exercise, weight management or smoking cessation programs. Just make sure you consult with your doctor before changing your diet or beginning a new exercise program. SLEEP MORE, STRESS LESS. While often overlooked, insufficient sleep and

the risk increases significantly as soon as men reach 45 and women reach 55. excessive stress can put strain on your heart over time. Both can also influence your eating habits, mood and overall health. Most adults need seven to nine hours per night; if you’re getting that and still feel tired, consider asking your doctor for a sleep apnea test. Also, try starting a regular practice - whether it’s a yoga class, deep breathing or a daily walk outside - to better manage stress. TAKE THE HEART ATTACK IQ QUIZ and learn more about finding a preventive physician by visiting www.mdvip.com/HeartAttackIQ



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Cultural Arts Master Plan BY MELISSA DESKOVIC

The City of Ocala Passes a 10-year Plan Focusing on the Arts.


ver the past 24 months, the Ocala art community has long awaited the formation and resolution of a master plan. This plan will help to strategically solidify funding to further develop the artistic culture in Marion County. After much research involving many varying departments of the City, community members, the Marion Cultural Alliance, and the Municipal Arts Commission; The Cultural Arts Master Plan was presented to the City Council. It was on May 23 in a unanimous vote by council members, that the plan was approved. It’s an ambitious, forward-thinking strategy to create a focal point for creatives,



artists, musicians, and writers, where they can find support, resources, and opportunities. The plan outlines a 10-year goal of positioning Ocala as a hub for central Florida’s artistic, creative, and entertainment industries. “The whole idea is to provide a healthier, more robust arts community and help redefine the City’s role going forward,” says City Councilman and CEO/Artistic Director at the Reilly Arts Center, Matthew Wardell. “I think this is going to put us more on the map.” The non-profit arts industry is a $56 million economic boon in Ocala, supporting over 1400 jobs and making $6 million in revenue locally and for the state. To fur-

ther solidify the importance of local arts on the economy the recent Arts and Economic Prosperity Study found that for every $1 spent on cultural arts in our community, there is a $3 return. A 2018 report by the National Endowment for the Arts noted a marked increase in public participation and attendance of cultural events. Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn stated “The arts and culture are the heartbeat of a community without which we cannot thrive culturally or economically. The Community Cultural Arts Plan will provide a valuable roadmap for the next decade - this is where our past, present and future collide and define what we will look like and how we will

By The Numbers In pursuit of the vision, the Steering Committee and consulting team identified four goals:


“The whole idea is to provide a healthier, more robust arts community and help redefine the City’s role going forward.” —Matthew Wardell

perform as a community.” He continued “I can envision where we are going and I believe the journey to get us there will be colorful and exciting! “ Currently the Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA) is researching similar city models for best practices and strategies in partnership with Ocala Municipal Arts Commission (OMAC), after which the next step will be to sit down with various organizations and groups to workshop structuring and implementation. “The Master Plan is a way to get everybody on the same page,” Wardell explains. “We have so many great resources who work so well together, as well as smaller groups who need support. This is going to be a big help to all of us.” For more information and an in depth analysis of the Cultural Arts Master Plan please visit the city website at www.ocalafl.org

Support the economic development of the City by fostering a community spirit that engenders greater attachment to place.


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A New Perspective A lifetime of Military Service from one of Ocala’s Own


uly is synonymous with the celebration of freedom. When thinking of this month, most will think of cookouts and fireworks and days spent with friends and family celebrating the birth of our nation. For two hundred and forty-three years, our country has been growing and moving forward. Ocala is also evolving. We are experiencing a great season of growth as new businesses move into our area and the ones that are here, continuously expand. New residents are moving in every day, and the one thing that draws them to the city is the friendliness of the people. On any given day in OcaA presentation of the Legion of Merit Medal by Major General Steven Hashem of Special Operations Command (SOCOM)



la, whether it’s a locally owned coffee shop or one of the many Wawa’s, a friendly conversation is never out of reach. A kind hello, or a simple thank you can quickly transform into dialogue from other people’s perspective. From entrepreneurs to veterans, Ocala is a melting pot of diversity, and as we all gather this month to celebrate our nation’s freedom, it’s especially important not just to hear but to listen to their stories. Living in a city such as Ocala, with so many wonderful veterans around us, one cannot help but feel a sense of patriotism. We are all aware that the freedoms we enjoy today have come at a price. The men and women who serve in our armed forces defend us from threats near and far, and there is no way we could ever repay them for their service. One such person is Ocala’s own Nick Navetta. With more than 30 years of military service, Nick is a shining example of the all-American patriot. “Freedom as an American means the ability to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as prescribed by our country’s Founding Fathers in our Declaration of Independence.” He explains. “A strong military helps to ensure that those privileges are maintained.” A veteran of Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia; and completed 30 months of service in Operation Iraqi Freedom Nick knows the kind of sacrifice it takes to protect our country. Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant, he rose through the ranks retiring as a Colonel. Commanding troops is no easy feat. “You learn a lot about human nature while in Command of troops. When conditions are stressful, people either rise to meet the challenges posed or fall short of expectations. Some will surprise you with their efforts.” As a leader, in the military or civilian life, the day to day decisions you make affects those around you. “To be a good leader, you also need to be a good follower and listener.” He states. “Aspire to be the kind of leader that

“To be a good leader, you also need to be a good follower and listener.”

others would want to emulate. Mission first, people always!” The goal of any good leader is to inspire others to greatness, and for future generations, he had this to say “...choose to lead. Dare to lead! America desperately needs leaders, and that decision to take charge begins NOW with academic, physical, and emotional development to prepare oneself for the challenges of leadership.” We have faced many challenges as a nation, and in many ways we still do, but no matter our political viewpoints I think we can all agree that the freedoms our country enjoys always has been, and always will be, something worth fighting for.

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Kiwanis Korner T he Kiwanis Club is one organization whose name is synonymous with giving. You see the benefits of their work wherever you look as they are always doing what they can for those around them. For more than 90 years the Kiwanis Club of Marion County has been helping its residents by providing quality programs for children, educational classes and assistance to low-income families.

To provide these important programs Kiwanis of Ocala relies on the money donated at their various fundraisers held throughout our area. One of the biggest events each year is their Sportsmans Dinner. Open to the public this buffet-style dinner provided by local area restaurants is the opportunity to bid on items in their silent auction. Generous donors from around the area provide these auction items ranging from televisions, jewelry, to hunting equip-

ment, there is something for everyone in the family. As one of their most popular events tickets for this dinner, which takes place this year on August 23rd and sells out quickly.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on how you can attend this event or for donor or sponsorship opportunities contact the Kiwanis Club by visiting their website at http://ocalakiwanis.org

What Is Key Club?


ounded in 1925, Key Club International, or more commonly known as Key Club, is the largest and oldest student-led service organization in the world. The purpose of Key Clubs is to develop strong future leaders at their schools and in the community. The students acquire volunteer hours for Bright Futures Scholarship and hopefully later in life they become members of their local Kiwanis club here or in whatever community they reside in. Marion County currently has students in Key Clubs at area schools. Belleview High School has 45 students, Lake Weir High School has 35 students, Vanguard High



School has 95 Students and West Port High School has 135 students. Dunnellon High School with 20 students in their Key Club but is not under the greater Marion County Kiwanis Club. The high school Key Clubs host and work the annual Pancake Breakfast, one of Kiwanis largest fundraisers; they work in the summers at the Camp Kiwanis for Kids, along with volunteering their time at numerous other Kiwanis and civic or school events. They host their own monthly meetings and work within their schools to make a difference daily. As the Key Club expands we are hoping to add clubs at both Forest High School

Addison Ryan Lusher Key Club Member Four Years

and Trinity Catholic High School this next school year with North Marion High School on our radar in the near future.

FOR MORE INFORMATION call Bob Murphy, 352-789-8239, Key Club Advisor, Marion County Kiwanis Club



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ilver Springs State Park has gone through many changes over the years but if there is one constant it’s that people love this attraction. Visitors come from all over to enjoy the 104.7 beautiful gardens, the World-Famous Glass Bottom Boats and so much more! Time nor transition has dampened its allure as a total of 4,692 people walked through the main entrance of the park during the first week of June. With an additional 1,705 day use and overnight visitors to the trails, museum, cabins, and campground at the southern entrance on Baseline Road it’s obvious that there is

still much to see. Navigating the crystal-clear waters of the Silver River, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards launched at the headspring. Guests from around the US and international visitors, from Canada, China, France, Germany, and Great Britain, enjoy the park for as an affordable alternative and to experience a natural side of Florida. Volunteers from various organizations including the Pioneer Garden Club of Ocala, the Ocala Camellia Society, the Marion County Rose Society, the Florida Wildflower Society, the Friends of Silver Springs, and Florida State Park volunteers have helped update the grounds keeping it pristine and overflowing with natural flora and fauna. Hundreds of new, native plants were recently purchased by the park to add to the ‘Real Florida’ atmosphere of the headsprings area encouraging native wildlife to flourish. Park Rangers and volunteers have been hard at work making sure everything gets accomplished! For more information about special events and ongoing programs at Silver Springs State Park visitGround the www.floridasBreaking New tateparks.org website. If you would like to volunteer or help the park, check out the “Get Involved” section of the website. Zombieland




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History & Heart The Ocala Ritz Throughout the Years


raveling East on Silver Springs Boulevard is a piece of Ocala’s history. The Ritz stands as a landmark of the past, the exterior remaining the same since its first architectural design was conceived in 1919. Its usage is as varied as its owners, ranging from an apartment complex to a hotel, and then a quaint bed and breakfast it’s housed many guests over the years including -for brief stint soldiers during World War II.The structure has stood the test of time, and now The Ritz stands as a beacon of hope for many of Ocala’s homeless veterans. Originally the dream of Ocala resident Simeon Sistrunk, and his son-in-law Bert Acker, the 30,000-square-foot, Spanish Colonial design took 7-year years from concept to completion. Opening in 1925 as the Acker-Ritz Apartments the two-story buildings boasted balconies, awnings, and oak wood floorings bringing a sense of luxurious charm as one of Ocala’s first apartment complexes.



Undergoing its first round of renovations in 1940 the exterior remained untouched. It wasn’t until 1986 that any major renovations took place. Purchased in 1986 by local residents Chip Yonge and Randolph Tucker, they listed it on the National Registry of Historic Places. Investing $2.5 million into the historic landmark the renovation helped breath new life into the building. With fountains, swimming pools, and updated tile work, the beauty of the grounds was- and in many ways still is- undeniable. Through decades of ownership, it has changed hands many times over as the ebb and flow of a volatile economy forced the sale of the structure. After the renovation was complete Younge and Tucker sold the property to businessman Kulbir Ghumman. Now, Thanks to the Volunteers of America program- and a matching grant from Veterans Affairs- the Ritz is providing transitional housing to our areas homeless veterans. Renamed

The Ritz Veterans Village, having a place to stay is only one of the benefits of this program. Classes ranging from trade skills to life skills help residents prepare for a life outside of its walls. The program assists over 250 veterans and their families annually. Working with Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF), residents create a housing stability plan to transition back into life. Of all its uses, its current incarnation best represents the heart of Ocala. Residents helping each other when needed. Providing such a historic piece of our town as a safe haven for veterans speaks volumes about our community. The Ritz is more than an old building, its a glimpse of the past that holds hope for the future. To see if you or a family member qualify for the program or if you would like to help please contact Casey Boone Community Specialist OcalaSSVFinfo@voa-fla.org (352) 260-1374 Office Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM

Photos courtesy of HOPS



L AU R I DAU NOY Perfect Plan Identifier since 2010

At Cox Business, we know a lot is riding on your success. That’s why we don’t just have Sales Reps, we have Perfect Plan Identifiers. Choose from a variety of fast, reliable Internet speeds, including gig-speed options. Plus, get voice solutions you can manage from any device, in or out of the office. It’s all backed by 24/7 business-class support from dedicated specialists who know business. Switch today.

You deserve more. And you can expect more from us.









with a 3-year agreement

50 Mbps Internet One Voice Line

Call (877) 404-2503 or visit coxbusiness.com

*Offer ends 8/31/19. Available to new commercial data and voice subscribers (excluding govt agencies and schools) in Cox service areas. $79.99/mo includes VoiceManagerSM Essential and Cox Business InternetSM 50. Price based on 3 yr. contract. Early term. fees may apply. Std. rates apply thereafter. Price exclude equipment, installation, construction, inside wiring, taxes, surcharges and other fees, unless indicated. Offer is nontransferable to a new service address. Uninterrupted or error-free Internet service, or the speed of your service, is not guaranteed. Actual speeds vary. Rates and bandwidth options vary and are subject to change. DOCSIS 3.0 modem may be req’d, unless indicated. See www.cox.com/internetdisclosures for complete Cox Internet Disclosures. Unlimited plan is limited to direct-dialed domestic calls and is not available for use with non-switched-circuit calling, auto-dialers, call center applications and certain switching applications. Phone modem provided by Cox, requires electricity, and has battery backup. Access to E911 may not be available during extended power outage or if modem is moved or inoperable. Telephone services are provided by an affiliated Cox entity. Services are not available in all areas. Discounts can’t be combined or added with other promotions nor applied to any other Cox account. †Visa prepaid card available with qualifying new services ordered and activated between 5/1/19 and 8/31/19 with min. 3 yr. contract. Must mention “reward promo” when placing order. Account must remain active, be in good standing, and retain all services for a min. of 30 days after install. Online redemption req’d by 9/30/19 and must follow instructions rec’d after service activation. Limit one card per customer, total not to exceed $200. Allow 15 days after redemption for delivery. Card is issued by MetaBank,® Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. No cash access or recurring payments. Can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Card valid for up to 6 months; unused funds will forfeit after the valid thru date. Card terms and conditions apply. Other restrictions apply. © 2019 Cox Communications Inc. All rights reserved.




Is SNORING a problem for you?

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A non-surgical path to a good night’s sleep

• No pain, no scalpels, no sutures • No anesthetic necessary • Laser light therapy tightens tissue and opens airways • High success rate • No appliances to wear

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TINA CHANDRA, D.D.S., LVIF Cosmetic, Neuromuscular and Sleep Dentist ... a Physiologic Approach

Call today to see if you are a candidate (352) 861-1500 chandrasmiles.com