Ocala Magazine February 2022 Digital Issue

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Ocala’s City Magazine Since 1980 Serving the Horse Capital of the World® $5.95


FEB 2022

Ocala’s Olympians Dinner for Sweethearts

HITS 2022

Considering Ocala?

COUNTRY CLUB OF OCALA — Overlooking 15th fairway. Formal dining, formal living with fireplace, great room with built in bookcases. Chef ’s kitchen and breakfast area with French doors leading to enclosed entertaining area. Large bonus room plus 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. Porch with built in summer kitchen and seating areas overlooking beautiful views. Oversized 3-Car garage plus RV garage. $1,750,000

COUNTRY CLUB OF OCALA — Overlooks the 15th hole - 2.26 acres private retreat with 10,075+/-SF living area. 4 wings with 5 bedrooms, 5 baths & 2 powder rooms. Formal living room with fireplace. Sports court with volleyball, pickle-ball, basketball, putting green, gym with infrared sauna, infinity edge pool. Close to Santos Bike Trails, and the Florida Horse Park and Greenways. $3,995,000

GOLDEN OCALA GOLF AND EQUESTRIAN CLUB — Presiding over the 15th green. Stately residence with 5 or 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths. Formal living, formal dining, butler’s bar, Chefs kitchen, informal dining alcove open to the family room. Private elevator or stairs lead to the second floor. Covered lanai, summer kitchen, beverage bar surrounding pool and the adjoining garden. 2 - 2 car garages. Access to the World Equestrian Center. $2,150,000

SUMMIT — Brand New Construction! Gated neighborhood on 3.81 +/Acres. 5,900+ SF, 4 Bedroom, 4.5 bath home. Formal living, dining room, Chef ’s kitchen, and office/ library. . Master Suite with sitting area leads to pool and lanai area. Large den and rec room with built in beverage area, fireplace opening onto the pool and lanai. 3-car garage plus portico. Equine friendly community. $2,494,000

In 2022: $4,846,560 Sold • $8,630,000 Pending

Equestrian Estates

PRIVATE COUNTRY LIVING 14 +/- Acres with majestic Granddaddy Oaks in gated community. Chef ’s kitchen with butler’s pantry. Family room with fireplace, wet bar, and sliding glass doors to pool area. Master suite features fireplace, spacious sitting area. Screen-enclosed pool, covered lanai and summer kitchen. 4-stall barn with tack room, plus overhead storage. Direct access to the Florida Greenway and Trails. $2,175,000

14 ACRES – HWY 475 FRONTAGE — Long-paved driveway leading to two architecturally designed, spacious homes. Main home: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths w/office. Second home: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths w/office. Enjoy sunsets from the front porches. Property is zoned A-1 for horses and cattle. 3 miles to I-75, 3.5 miles to The Florida Horse Park and Greenways & Trails. Lots of possibilities. $1,199,000

LA PRADERA FARM — State-of-the-art equestrian sporting horse facility - perfect for any breed. 13+ Acres, main home with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, gourmet kitchen, granite counter tops, split floor plan, spacious covered lanai with views to pastures and attached 3 car garage. Incredible covered round pen, lush paddocks, 24 stall show stable. 2/1 apartment with office. Separate garage is perfect for farm equipment storage, or as a workshop. $1,800,000

GENTLEMAN’S FARM — 10+ Acres located minutes to premier shopping, dining, hospitals, and a short distance to the World Equestrian Center. 2-story 5 bedroom 3 bath home. Spacious owner’s suite with sitting area. Lit arena, 4 stall barn, 4 paddocks plus 3car covered open carport. $795,000

List with us today!


Oak Lane Plantation EXTRAORDINARY 165+/- ACRE FARM — Beautiful Granddaddy Oaks, gently rolling land, and alluring landscaping. Two main entrances + additional entrance off 165th. Gated entrance. Oak Hammock House offers open floor plan, expansive living area, open kitchen. 4 Bedrooms, 3 baths, (2 are en-suite bedrooms). Formal dining area, tile floors, laundry room. Clubhouse features 2 unique antler chandeliers, game room with soaring wood ceilings, built in bar area w/seating for 7, plus chef ’s kitchen. His and hers pool baths, circular staircase, wine storage, and 2 upstairs romantic en-suite bedrooms with panoramic views. Building # 1 includes 12-stall perimeter shed row with 12’ x 12’ stalls. Central open show area. 2-story employee quarters. Building # 2 includes 24-Stall center aisle concrete block barn, feed room, tack room, laundry room, wash racks plus hay storage areas. Stalls are 10’ x 10’ with matted flooring. Building #3 Carriage House two-stories includes a large equipment area with 4 bay doors. One-of-a-kind equestrian facility, conveniently located! Adjoining acreage also available. $4,650,000

MAGNIFICENT 132 +/- ACRE FARM — Majestic views of Live Oak trees and gently rolling pastures with three gated entrances. Main residence: 2 bedroom, 2 bath home featuring arched porte cochere, painted cedar wood siding and metal roof. Formal living is open to both the dining area and kitchen. Chef ’s kitchen features pass thru window plus privacy door to dining room. Sliding glass doors step onto the lanai area. Master bedroom w/desk/work area. Office (or 3rd bedroom) with beautiful view. Second entrance leads you to a 16-Stall concrete block barn and cottage. Barn includes: 12’ x 13’ Matted stalls, feed room, tack room, laundry and storage rooms. Office w/viewing area, half bath plus a drive thru carport. Round pen, electric paddocks and loading chute are located in close proximity to the barn. Cottage: 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath. Open living – kitchen and family room. Third entrance continues to the 6-stall center aisle quarantine barn. Barn includes: six 15’ x 15’ matted, concrete block stalls, covered open area for use as a breeding shed plus breakroom, bathroom, and separate storage room. For hunters, thoroughbreds, or any other breed of horses, the farm offers room to ride, train and raise hoses & cattle. Easy access – fronting Hwy 441. $3,700,000


Lots and Land

GOLDEN OCALA — Best Homesite in Lakeside at Golden Ocala! Looking to build a home near World Equestrian Center? Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club plus the WEC are just steps away. This 1.09 +/- lot overlooks the lake and golf course. Amenities include: Clubhouse, world class dining, pool, tennis, spa, fitness center + stables for your horses. The homes in Lakeside are a minimum of 6,000 SF of living area. $875 ,000

CLOSE TO WORLD EQUESTRIAN CENTER — Prime 28.42 +/- acres in great NW location steps from new WEC South and Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club. Snatch your opportunity to build your horse farm across the street from the new WEC property. Beautiful building sites overlooking pond with magnificent sunsets. Property is perimeter fenced with existing well ready for horses or livestock. No Deed restrictions. $1,500,000

PADDOCK PARK ESTATES — Bring your plans to build the perfect home for you and your family. Paved road lead to this 6.49+/- acre, deed restricted lot. Convenient to all amenities: shopping, schools, hospitals, movie theaters and restaurants. $350,000

CROSSWIND FARM AIRPORT — Registered as a private use airport in the County of Marion. Elevation - 80’ above sea level. FAA ID - FL19 Runway Runway Length: 3900’ and width 75’. Two hangers on the property measuring 34’ x 1500’ both are 5,100 SF of space. $1,050,000

g buying or n ri e d si n o c e ’r u If yo call today! selling, give us a R E A LTO R ® For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos, and more choices. 352.347.1777 | Cell: 352.266.9100 | Cell: 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates, and land available that are not advertised.

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FEBRUARY • 2022 FEATURES 16 HITS embarks on fifth decade 22 Ocala’s Olympians have golden chances in Beijing 32 Serious as a heart attack: A true life story DEPARTMENTS 10 Letter from the Publisher 12 Letter from the Editor 14 From the Mayor 40 OM Pulse 45 44 48

EAT Food for sweethearts Dining Out

49 50 54 62

PLAY Happenings: What’s going on Socially Speaking Anthology: Poetry in Motion

67 EQUINE 68 Bringing Steeplechase to Ocala Society: Leslie Wengler's exhibit at NOMA Gallery — p. 5 4 Photo by Ralph Demilio


Ocala’s City Magazine Since 1980 Serving the Horse Capital of the World® $5.95


Photo by ESI Photography

FEB 2022

Ocala’s Olympians Dinner for Sweethearts

HITS 2022 6


73 74 76 78 80 82 84 88

ETC Charity Spotlight: Kids Central Health Journal State of the City: A month of events to love State of the County: New strategic plan Kiwanis Corner Rotary Circle Looking Back: Integrating Ocala’s schools



Volume 41, Issue 8




CELEBRATING OUR 42ND YEAR! Philip Glassman, CCIM | Publisher philip@ocalamagazine.com

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

EDITORIAL Brad Rogers | Contributing Editor brad@ocalamagazine.com

ART Jessi Miller | Creative Director jessi@ocalamagazine.com

Carlton Reese | Senior Writer carlton@ocalamagazine.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Ralph Demilio | Chief Photographer ralph@ocalamagazine.com

Sharon Raye | Copy Editor Leighton Okus | Social Correspondent Christen Brown | Social Correspondent

CONTRIBUTORS Louisa Barton | Equine Columnist Mark Anderson/Marion County | Writer Robin Fannon | Food + Lifestyle Mayor Kent Guinn | Columnist OPERATIONS Randy Woodruff, CPA | CFO randy@ocalamagazine.com

Ocala Magazine Wins Five 2021 Florida Magazine Association Awards! EDITORIAL OR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES 352.622.2995

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 2022 International Women's Day Celebration EXCLUSIVE MEDIA SPONSOR FOR George Albright Annual Golf Tournament OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR FOR FINE ARTS FOR OCALA


TEDxOcala · HITS · Equiventure


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 © 2021 by Ocala Magazine Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertising content in any manner without written permission is strictly prohibited. Horse Capital of the World® is a registered trademark of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association.



Energizing Energizing Ocala’s Future

Ocala’s Future Ocala Electric Utility provides

Ocala Electric Utility to provides electrical services nearly electrical 50,000 services nearly 50,000inhomes and homestoand businesses the City of Ocala and areas.and As a businesses insurrounding the City of Ocala locally owned andAs operated surrounding areas. a locallyutility, owned we are dedicated to providing safe, and operated utility, we are dedicated to reliable, and affordable power providing safe, reliable, andWe affordable to you and your families. are power to youtoand yourhometown families. We are delighted be your delighted to be your hometown public power utility and look public power forward to serving you! utility and look forward to serving you!

We We C.A.R.E. C.A.R.E. Communities Communities Are the Are the Responsibility Responsibility ofof Everyone Everyone

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Ocala Electric Utility provides electrical services to nearly 50,000 homes and businesses in the City of Ocala and surrounding areas. As a locally owned and operated utility, we are dedicated to providing safe, reliable, and We are reinvesting where we live, striving to make a difference affordable power to you and your families. We by connecting employees with programs, projects, and are delighted to be your hometown public power We are reinvesting where we live, striving utility and look forward to serving you! organizations serve theby needs of Ocala including: to make a that difference connecting

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from the publisher

An answer to a challenge BY TRADE, I AM A REAL ESTATE GUY – that is how I have earned my living and it is a satisfying and meaningful venture. I never thought I would enter the game of magazine publishing, but here I am, and I couldn’t be more grateful. In 2018, Linda Marks came to me with the idea of purchasing Ocala Magazine from her, and at that time I was running four night clubs. The contrast in operating a night club and a magazine could not be more stark, and this new world offered exciting challenges. In the nearly three and a half years of owning Ocala Magazine I have come to learn quite a few things along the way, but there were some things I hadn’t expected. I have grown to love the magazine business and the opportunities it affords one in helping other people. We are able to shine a light on people and organizations that make it their very business to change the world through their efforts and generosity and I am so proud to be a part of that. From small churches caring for local homeless people to large multi-national charities, there is a great diversity in the means of administering care as well as those receiving that care. It has been a privilege to chronicle it all in the pages of this magazine. Although I have been a part of Ocala Magazine for less than four years, the publication itself has been a stalwart of the area for 42 years and continues to uphold its mission of telling the story of Ocala’s charitable and magnanimous citizenry. Our monthly Charity Spotlight section and our annual Charity Register, which is now in circulation, bring me as much pride as anything else we print because they are about local people who are selfless in the pursuit of making this a better community. That brings me to this month’s spotlight: Kids Central. The mere existence of this organization is testimony to the fact that people acting with their hearts and in the interests of their own communities is the best way to administer care for the needy, as opposed to large government bureaucracies. The more distant the administration, the less effective it will be and the success of private 501(c)3 organizations in dealing with the child welfare situation in Florida is proof. Too many children are neglected or abused in their own families and Kids Central is stepping in to do something about it. For most of its history, Florida relied mainly on the Division of Children and Families to not only investigate cases of child abuse and neglect, but to also shoulder the responsibility of finding and providing foster care. The system did not work. With the system now put in the hands of local organizations like Kids Central, acting for the most part independently of the government, we have a model for how the rest of the country should treat the issue of child welfare and likely other issues as well. When I hear the sad stories of abused kids, I think about how fortunate I was to have been brought up in a loving home and how that is something none of us should take for granted. Many kids who weren’t as fortunate are forced into the foster care system through no fault of their own, and the chances for success in their lives decreases dramatically. Thanks to Kids Central, a lot more kids have chances at brighter futures than otherwise. Until next month,




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words of wisdom

Real Olympic Gold



went to Jackson the next day and relinquished her spot in the 500 so Jackson could go to Beijing. For the record, Bowe’s best finish in the 500 this year was eighth, while Jackson won four of eight World Cup 500m competitions. “It’s the right thing to do,” Bowe told NBC Sports. “There’s no doubt in my mind that she would do the same thing for me. … She has earned her spot; she deserves it. “ Jackson, of course, was elated. “Just for her to do something like this for me, it’s amazing. I’m just incredibly grateful. I’m really humbled, and she’s just an amazing person.” Bowe’s mother, Debbie, who had plenty to be proud of before her daughter’s generous gesture, wrote on her Facebook page: “This is the only ‘gold’ that our world needs! Thankful, truly thankful!” Amen. Mantia, Bowe and Jackson have been wonderful global ambassadors for Ocala from their days as world-champion inline skaters all the way through their Olympic journeys to where we are. They have conducted themselves with class and dignity every step of the way. But Bowe’s giving up a spot in an Olympic event to her friend, teammate and fellow Ocalan is far from what we’re used to seeing in big-time sports stars. It was a golden act

BY BRAD ROGERS of truly Olympian proportions. Period. It embodied the Olympic spirit like we rarely see. The story doesn’t end there. There was another happy ending. Because some nations did not use all their allotted spots in the 500 as part of an Olympic “quota” system, a spot opened up for Bowe and she will get to race in the 500 after all. Good things happen to good people. How blessed we are to be a hotbed of speed skating and especially to be represented before the world by champions like Mantia, Bowe and Jackson. The Olympic motto is “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together.” I can think of no athletic performance, no act of friendship and human kindness that embodies that more than what Brittany Bowe did for her friend Erin Jackson at the Olympic trials. Ocala, be proud, very proud.

Bowe, competing in her third Olympics and holder of the world record in the 1000m, went to Jackson the next day and relinquished her spot in the 500 so Jackson could go to Beijing.

Photo: Getty Images


hen the world began talking a few years back about the town in sun-splashed Central Florida that had become a mecca for world-class ice speed skaters, most Ocalans smiled with pride knowing it was their town, the irony of it all lost on no one. The three ice skaters who helped bring all that attention – Joey Mantia, Brittany Bowe and Erin Jackson – now are competing in the Beijing Olympics and carry on their shoulders America’s best medal hopes in speed skating. Since December, when the trio of Ocala speed skaters went into the U.S. Olympic Trials, with each holding a No. 1 world ranking in their respective event, the spotlight on Ocala has only intensified. How wonderful that Mantia, Bowe and Jackson, all born and raised in Ocala, are going to be competing on the Olympic stage. Their success on ice that has put a spotlight on our community has been uplifting and unifying here at home. That each of the Ocala 3 has a legit shot at bringing home a medal makes it all the more exciting. While any community would relish being known in an Olympic year, as one publication put it, as “a hotbed for long track speed skaters” and all the pride and possibilities that come with it, the story of Ocala’s ice skating stars got oh so much better as the Olympic trials unfolded last month. With Mantia and Bowe having secured spots in the Olympics during the trials, Jackson was counting on winning the 500m, an event in which she is currently ranked No. 1 in the world. But during her race, she slipped, she wobbled, causing her to finish third and out of the running to make the team. Bowe, who specializes in the 1000m and 1500m events but also races the 500, had won the 500 trials. Jackson was heartbroken, her Olympic dreams dashed. Then came an Olympic moment that will be hard to top. Bowe, competing in her third Olympics and holder of the world record in the 1000m,


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from the

Let’s bring back the mounties BY MAYOR KENT GUINN

W Think about it this way: Is a person more likely to approach a squad car and bang on the window to ask for help and information than to go up to an officer on horseback under the same circumstances?



e are proud to be known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” a moniker Ocala has earned over the years not just for its propensity to produce thoroughbred race horses, but for its contributions to the equine industry as a whole. For this reason, it must be curious to some that Ocala does not have a mounted police force, something that seems only natural for Marion County. The time has come to bring back horse-mounted police officers to Ocala – for many years up to about 15 years ago Ocala did enjoy a mounted force – and there are reasons for it beyond just the aesthetics. Perhaps the most famous mounted police unit is in New York City, where officers on horseback are able to patrol the largest city in the nation and at times are a bit of a tourist attraction. In Gainesville, the police department currently has 50 horses in its mounted unit. We love to look at horses – they are attractive and powerful animals – and at the same time they are very useful and efficient tools. Well-trained animals such as horses and dogs have been a valuable part of community policing for many years, and I think it is time to take advantage of this valuable resource that is so commonplace here. Sitting atop a horse, an officer seems to command a bit of respect beyond even what the badge provides. He can view an area from what is essentially a mobile perch, making the job a bit easier and even safer when one considers the alternative of taking off in an automobile after a fleeing suspect through a crowd. The downtown area gets more and more vibrant with each passing day and the number of events and gatherings is only going to keep growing, meaning that it will be necessary to utilize all tools at our disposal to ensure these events will be safe. Mounted units, I believe, are one of the best ways of achieving this goal. The wheels are in motion in exploring the feasibility and utility of a mounted unit for Ocala and I am excited about the prospects. Beyond the utility of such a unit is what I believe would make for a great public relations tool for the city. Not just a good look for the police department, a mounted unit offers a more positive means of interaction with the citizenry. Think about it this way: Is a person more likely to approach a squad car and bang on the window to ask for help and information than to go up to an officer on horseback under the same circumstances? There are certain logistics that will need to be taken care of, such as barns for the animals, tack, veterinary and farrier services, but these should be simple to accomplish here. In discussions with City Council members, the response has been positive – it is a budget issue as well as a police issue, but I believe we have the resources to accomplish this. In April, the North American Mounted Unit Commanders Association will hold its annual conference in Ocala and it will be exciting to listen to these experts and get their opinions and advice. Perhaps soon, we will not only host such a conference but send members in high standing as well.

HITS 2022

Get Ready for Horse Shows In The Sun Winter Circuit 2022 Photos by ESI Photography


he HITS Ocala Winter Series has returned to HITS Post Time Farm for another great season! Join us January 18 - March 27, 2022 to see why HITS Ocala is the place to be this Winter. Ten weeks of unparalleled competition opportunities abound, with USEF National- and Premier-Rated Hunters and 5* and 6* Jumpers. Hunter highlights will include two USHJA International Hunter Derbies, three USHJA National Hunter Derbies, two USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies, and two World Championship Hunter Rider Weeks. Jumper competition will feature seven weeks of FEI CSI2* competition, new



in 2022, as well as Grand Prix purses from $50,000 - $100,000, culminating with the Great American $500,000 Grand Prix on Sunday, March 27, 2022. Boasting 500 acres, HITS Post Time Farm features on-site stabling including permanent and temporary stalls, as well as private barns for lease. Additionally, HITS Post Time Farm has on-site housing and offers amenities including 100 permanent turn-out paddocks, an abundance of riding and lunging areas, and restaurant options. For more information on on-site stabling and housing, email us or call our Corporate Office at 845.246.8833.





ITS is excited to bring back FEI CSI competition to the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in 2022. Each of the seven FEI weeks will feature two FEI CSI2* Grand Prix, one on Thursday and one on Saturday. This will enable FEI horses to show nationally on Wednesdays and Sundays. “The ‘Thursday through Saturday’ FEI schedule worked well for us at HITS Saugerties this past summer,” said Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of HITS, LLC. “It gave the Grand Prix riders a lot of flexibility with their horses, and it gives us the chance to do something unique in Ocala. We have maintained a high level of prize money and are offering both USEF and FEI high performance competition - something that no one else outside of South Florida or Southern California is doing.” All ten weeks of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will host a USEF Grand Prix on Sunday, including the Great American $500,000 Grand Prix to close the season on Sunday, March 27. The non-FEI weeks (I, II, and X) will also host a second USEF Grand Prix on Friday. In all, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will feature over $2.5 Million in Jumper prize money throughout the Circuit and $3 Million overall.

Enjoy a day of family friendly fun at HITS Post Time Farm 18


Location: 13710 US Highway 27, Ocala, Florida 34482 Schedule: Wednesday – Sunday • 8 am to 4 pm Grand Prix events take place at approximately 2 pm every Sunday, as well as select Fridays. Parking: is always FREE Admission: No admission charge for performances Wednesday through Saturday.

HITS Ocala is now Livestreaming!

2022 SHOW DATES Ocala January Classic - I - National / 5*................................January 18-23 $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix - USEF......................................Friday, January 21 $50,000 HITS Grand Prix - USEF..............................................Sunday, January 23 Ocala January Festival - II - National / 5*.............................January 25-30 $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix - USEF......................................Friday, January 28 $50,000 HITS Grand Prix - USEF..............................................Sunday, January 30 Ocala Premiere - III - National / 5* / FEI CSI2*.....................February 1-6 $25,000 SmartPak Welcome - FEI...........................................Thursday, February 3 $50,000 FEI Grand Prix - FEI ....................................................Saturday, February 5 $50,000 HITS Grand Prix - USEF..............................................Sunday, February 6 Ocala Winter Classic - IV - Premier / 6* / FEI CSI2*...........February 8-13 World Championship Hunter Rider Week $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby $25,000 Smartpak Welcome - FEI..........................................Thursday, February 10 $50,000 FEI Grand Prix - FEI ...................................................Saturday, February 12 $75,000 HITS Grand Prix - USEF.............................................Sunday, February 13 Ocala Winter Festival - V - Premier / 6* / FEI CSI2*...........February 15-20 $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby $25,000 Smartpak Welcome - FEI..........................................Thursday, February 17 $50,000 FEI Grand Prix - FEI....................................................Saturday, February 19 $100,000 Ocala Electric Utility Grand Prix - USEF..............Sunday, February 20 Ocala Masters - VI - Premier / 6* / FEI CSI2*........................February 22-27 USHJA Zone 4 Handy Hunter Challenge $25,000 Smartpak Welcome - FEI..........................................Thursday, February 24 $50,000 FEI Grand Prix - FEI....................................................Saturday, February 26 $100,000 John Deere Grand Prix - USEF..............................Sunday, February 27 Ocala Tournament - VII - Premier / 6* / FEI CSI2*..............March 1-6 $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby $25,000 Smartpak Welcome - FEI..........................................Thursday, March 3 $50,000 FEI Grand Prix - FEI....................................................Saturday, March 5 $50,000 HITS Grand Prix - USEF.............................................Sunday, March 6 Ocala Winter Finals - VIII - Premier / 6* / FEI CSI2*...........March 8-13 World Championship Hunter Rider Week $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby $25,000 Smartpak Welcome - FEI..........................................Thursday, March 10 $50,000 FEI Grand Prix - FEI....................................................Saturday, March 12 $75,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix - USEF...........Sunday, March 13 Ocala Winter Celebration - IX - Premier / 6* / FEI CSI2*...March 15-20 $25,000 Smartpak Welcome - FEI..........................................Thursday, March 17 $50,000 FEI Grand Prix - FEI....................................................Saturday, March 19 $100,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix - USEF...............................Sunday, March 20 Ocala Championship - X - Premier / 6*..................................March 22-27 HITS Equitation Championship $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby $2,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix $25,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - High $10,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic - 1.35m $15,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic - 1.45m $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix - USEF....................................Friday, March 25 Great American $500,000 Grand Prix - USEF......................Sunday, March 27 Ocala Holiday Premiere - National / 4*.................................December 1-4 Ocala Holiday Classic - National / 4*.....................................December 14-18



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Dr. Poonam Warman, M.D. Pulmonary and Internal Medicine

NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS Over the last 20 years, Dr. Poonam Warman, M.D. has served the Ocala community by providing the highest quality medical care in Pulmonary and Internal Medicine. Dr. Warman obtained her medical education and training from well-respected physicians in her field of medicine at distinguished institutions. Dr. Poonam Warman has a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and was on the Dean’s List. She received her M.D. from The Ohio State University School of Medicine with High Honors in gross anatomy, embryology, and clinical radiology. Following medical school, she completed her residency in categorical internal medicine, at the Northeast Ohio College of Medicine. Dr Warman did a Fellowship in Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Oklahoma during which time she published a chapter in a Medical Textbook. While Dr. Warman has extensive medical education and training, she still continues to refine her expertise and skills with advanced medical education courses and training for current, stateof-the- art medical care. Dr. Warman has been invited to lecture by her peers at primary care physician and hospital meetings on issues in pulmonary medicine, including diagnosis and management. Additionally, she served as a subinvestigator for studies and trials for complex matters such as special medical diagnosis of antithrombin, patients with severe sepsis, thromboembolism, and pneumonia. Furthermore, she is published in the medical publication of Journal of Radiology, with Dr. Bova R. Bennett for her expertise in the use of MRI and CT in the early diagnosis of recurring colon cancer.

Dr. Poonam Warman, M.D. For more information, please call our office at


1500 SE Magnolia Extension, Suite 202, Ocala, FL 34471

Dr. Warman is a highly rated Pulmonologist and Internal Medicine physician, not only from within the medical community and her peers, but more importantly with her patients. When Dr. Warman opened her private practice in Ocala in 2000, she invested all her education, training and heart in her community with the sole purpose of giving high quality medical care. She has always had a passion for helping others to heal and it is reflected in her reviews from patients. One such review states, “My 86 year old mother, my 66 year old sister, (with advanced stage early onset Alzheimers), and I saw Dr. Warman. She is Amazing! She went out of her way to see my mom every time she was in the hospital. She treated all of us with great dignity and respect.”

cala Olympians The

Three native Ocalans are medal favorites at the 2022 Beijing Olympics in speed skating. The notion that a trio of Floridians rising to the top of winter sports is fascinating the world … and fortunate for the U.S. Olympic Team. The Ocala Olympians — Brittany Bowe, Erin Jackson and Joey Mantia — all have roots in inline skating and all have been to the Olympics before. Now, with the world watching, they will try to win on the biggest of sport’s stages. BY BRAD ROGERS

Brittany Bowe on top and in search of gold


eing the center of attention in the sports arena is nothing new for Brittany Bowe. At the age of two she performed dribbling exhibitions during halftime of high school games coached by her father, Mike. Later, she was an All-Star pitcher on a boys Little League baseball team. She was pretty good at soccer, too, earning a spot on a statewide traveling team … for boys.



When Bowe started high school, she had to give up soccer to play basketball because the seasons overlapped. She ended up being a three-time Marion County girls high school basketball player of the year and earning a scholarship to Florida Atlantic University. In between baseball and soccer and basketball, Bowe was racking up victories on

the national and global stages as a competitive inline skater, under the watchful eye of Ocala skating coach Renee Hildebrand. She started inline skating at age 8 and would go on to win a national championship at age 10 and 32 world championship medals between 2002 and 2008. So, when Bowe finished college at FAU in 2010, she initially planned to go to Europe to play basketball – the sport she describes as her “first love” – with the hope of making it

to the WNBA. Then Bowe had “kind of a change of heart.” She saw her former inline competitors moving from wheels to blades to the Olympics and decided if they could do it, so could she. She moved to Salt Lake City to learn how to skate on ice. After only a year, she was invited to train with the national team. A year after that she was turning heads in the sport. In 2013, she arrived, breaking the world record in the 1000 meters. That would be a precursor to her first Olympic team spot at the 2014 Sochi Games. The Sochi Games, however, were a disappointment. Bowe competed in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m and did not finish anywhere near the medals. But the next two years were fruitful, with Bowe setting world records in the 1000 and the 1500 and setting herself up for a return to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Then came the greatest challenge of Bowe’s life. During a practice in 2016, Bowe

collided with a teammate, causing her to sustain a concussion. It was so severe that it kept Bowe off the ice the entire 2016-17 season. She suffered crippling pain, anxiety and panic attacks. She could not skate… at all. Through intense rehab and support from her mother, Debbie, and sister, Brooke, Bowe healed and returned to the ice and earned a spot on the 2018 Olympic team. There, she earned a bronze in the team pursuit and finished fourth in the 1000, her specialty. Now it’s on to the Beijing Olympics. Of course, Bowe already has brought global attention to both her skills, U.S. speed skating and, yes, Ocala, before the Games even started. After fellow Ocalan Erin Jackson slipped in her 500m trial and missed making the team, despite being No. 1 in the world in that event, Bowe, who won the

trials, relinquished her spot to Jackson. The magnanimous gesture was rewarded when Bowe was given a spot in the Olympic 500m event because other nations did not use all their slots in the event. Nonetheless, the Olympian act by Bowe brought glowing attention to her and her hometown. Now 33 and at the twilight of her skating career and America’s most accomplished active speed skater, Bowe knows this is likely her last Olympics and she’s got one goal – winning Olympic gold. “Gold. It’s my ultimate goal,” she told olympics.com. “Anything less than gold is going to feel like mission not accomplished.” The world record holder in the 1000 and a former record holder in the 1500, Bowe is considered a medal favorite in those events. It will be her third Olympics and once again she’ll be the center of attention in the sports arena. It’s familiar territory.



For Erin Jackson, a gift of a second chance 24



rin Jackson is an overachiever. No matter what she has pursued in life, she has time and again risen to the top. Whether it was competitive inline skating or roller derby or school, Jackson has inevitably emerged as a winner. Then came the U.S. Olympic Trials last month in Milwaukee. Jackson entered the trials as the world No.1 in 500 meters and the gold medal favorite. But she slipped during her time trial, causing her to finish third and miss a spot on the team going to the Beijing Games. It was a heartbreaking end to a re-

markable year in which Jackson had won four of the eight World Cup 500m races. Of course, as has been splashed across news sites and even the cover of Sports Illustrated since then, Jackson’s fate took an unbelievable turn when fellow Ocalan Brittany Bowe – who had won the 500m time trial but who also made the team in the 1000m and 1500m events, her two specialties – gave her spot in the 500m to Jackson. It was an act of tremendous generosity, a bona fide Olympic moment that captured the world’s attention. Jackson now enters the Games the gold medal favorite. “She has earned the spot; she deserves it,” said Bowe, who is ranked No. 1 in the world in the 1000m. “… Erin has a chance to bring home a medal, hopefully a gold medal, and it’s my honor to give her that opportunity.” Like her fellow Ocala Olympic speed skaters Bowe and Joey Mantia, Jackson got her start in skating here as an inline skater under the tutelage of legendary skating coach Renee Hildebrand. The Forest High graduate began inline skating in 2002, at age 8. Over the next decade Jackson would become one of the world’s most successful inline skaters – she’s a 12-time Inline World Championship medalist and 47-time Inline National Champion. In 2012, she took up professional roller derby and went on to become a three-time United States Olympic Committee Female Athlete of the Year for Roller Sports (2012, 2013 and 2015.) All the while, Jackson was watching the success of Bowe and Mantia, along with

other inline skaters she grew up competing against, on the ice. “Seeing their success growing up and how they were able to transfer over to the ice, and then seeing them make it to the Olympics, was something I always wanted to do as well,” Jackson said in a 2021 interview with Forbes. At age 25, she decided to move to Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Olympic speed skating team trains. The 2018 Olympics were just months away. But let’s not forget, Jackson is an overachiever. After just four months of training on the ice, Jackson improbably made the 2018 team that would go to the PyeongChang Games in South Korea in the 500m – an achievement Jackson herself called “a shock” and one that made her the first black woman to compete on the U.S. long track

speed skating team. Despite her outsized success on both inline skates and ice skates, there is much more to Jackson than athletics. A graduate of Forest’s EMIT program (Engineering and Manufacturing institute of Technology), she went on to graduate in 2015 cum laude from the University of Florida with a degree in materials science and engineering. While in Salt Lake City, she has also earned an associate’s degree in computer science and is starting on an associate degree in exercise science and kinesiology. She once told an interviewer, “I should put down ‘school’ as one of my hobbies.” But the books will have to wait. This week, Erin Jackson will be at the Olympics, with a friend’s golden gift of a shot at winning a gold medal.



Joey Mantia hoping third time is an Olympic charm


oey Mantia has some unfinished business. Mantia, who will turn 36 on Feb. 7 during the Beijing Olympic Games, has won medals and titles around the world in both his first sport, inline skating, and his current sport, speed skating on ice. As an inline phenom Mantia compiled perhaps the most impressive resume of inline skaters in history: 28 World Championship titles, three Pan American Games titles, 15 World Cup gold medals, 12 Junior World titles and more than 90 national championships. At 17, his last year as a Junior inline skater, he nearly swept the World Championships, winning gold in 10 of the 12 races and winning silver in the other two. As the leader of the current U.S. Olympic speed skating team, he is ranked No. 1 in the world in the 1500 meters, holds the world record in the mass start and just recently set the record as the oldest man to ever win a World Cup speed skating event. In addition to the 1500m, Mantia will compete in the 1000m, the mass start and team pursuit at the Beijing Olympics. He competed in those events at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but came home empty handed both times. At the 2018 Olympics, he improved markedly over his 2014 performance, finishing in the top 10 in each event, but still no medals. Now, with age 36 upon him, Mantia knows he is running out of time. He wants



and needs to win now. “I’m living and dying by a gold medal,” the Vanguard graduate told Fox Sports last month. “I’m done with the whole thing of giving the politically correct answer to take the pressure away from myself. It’s not about saying how I want to enjoy the process and we’ll see what happens anymore. … I’ve lived the journey. It’s not about the journey now. It’s about the destination.” Mantia got his start in skating like his fellow Ocalans on the U.S. Olympic team, Brittany Bowe and Erin Jackson – inline skating under Ocala coach Renee Hildebrand. He had tried gymnastics, baseball and even karate, but they didn’t work out. Looking for something to do that was in the air conditioning and out of the Florida heat, Mantia took up roller skating. He caught Hildebrand’s eye, and in his first season of inline competition he was Junior National Champion. After his wildly successful inline career, Mantia decided in 2010 to pursue speed skating on ice and headed west, eventually being invited in 2012 to train with the U.S. Olympic team in Salt Lake City, Utah. A year later he won his first gold medal at a World Cup event in Berlin. Of his first experience on ice skates, Mantia once told an interviewer it was ugly. “Think Bambi on ice, except with bigger thighs.”

Speaking of thighs, Mantia is known in the speed skating world for his brutal workouts. “Every day is leg day” is his motto, and his tree-trunk thighs are proof of its intensity and effectiveness. He also is an entrepreneur, owning an events production company and the Coffee Lab, a coffee shop at the University of Utah.

In his free time, Mantia likes to ride, both his bicycle and his motorcycle. He is also very active on social media, and his skating instructional videos are followed globally. Oh, he also plays the piano – and he’s self-taught. Mantia goes to Beijing as a world record holder and three-time world champion in

the mass start and No. 1 in the world in the 1500m. He is considered a medal contender in the 1000m and team pursuit as well. The last individual speed skating medal won by the U.S. was in 2010, a silver by Shani Davis

in Mantia’s best race, the 1500m. Mantia’s hope now is that his journey to this point will deliver him to the destination he so desperately wants – a place on the Olympic medal podium.



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Serious as a Heart Attack My tale and lessons learned from surviving a "widowmaker" heart attack BY CARLTON REESE




I’m a male and there’s something about that Y chromosome that chokes off rational thought during moments of vulnerability.

orgive me for my ignorance – how was I to know what a heart attack felt like, since I’d never experienced one? Until recently, all my knowledge of heart attacks came from watching Fred Sanford clutch his chest and yell, “I’m comin’ Elizabeth; this is the big one!” I’d heard it felt like a sledgehammer hitting you in the chest and knocking you to the ground – profuse sweating and shortness of breath to follow, pain in the arms and neck closely in tow. When I felt a pain in my chest a week before Thanksgiving, it never occurred to me this could be a heart attack. It felt muscular and relegated to a small area of the sternum – my expert diagnosis was that this was not how heart attacks happened; not enough drama here to claim a heart attack was taking place. The initial pain was a slight pressure, as though I had torn a muscle – nothing that would cause too much concern or keep me from my appointed rounds. Within 20 minutes, though, the pressure had grown to where I felt the need to “walk it off,” then eventually crawl into bed. I had felt something similar a month earlier and within an hour the pain subsided. I figured time would settle this pain as well. Two hours later, the pain remained, but the neck and arms felt unscathed and no shortness of breath. I’m breathing normally, the arms and neck feel fine and only a pinpoint section of my chest was undergoing any pressure – certainly this is no heart attack. Then the sweating began, profuse as the menu of symptoms goes for heart attacks. Perhaps now was the time to take this seriously as something beyond a muscle tear. The pain had taken a strange turn toward a place I had never been. I was now bathing in my own sweat and writhing on the bed, wondering if the only way out of this pain was through collapsing unconscious or even dying. Thoughts such as this had never before entered my mind, but here I was thinking if I had to choose between suffering this pain or ending it all, the latter wasn’t such a bad option. I remembered how a certain comfort level is achieved after vomiting, so I induced this methodology on several occasions. Don’t be shocked, but this actually works … for about five minutes, then it’s



I was still under the guidance of the meds and determined I could remove these wires on my own in order to take a few steps to the bathroom. back to curling up in a ball and praying to be knocked unconscious. Then the sweating stopped and the pain dialed back a little, but still lingered. I wondered if the sweating was just my mind playing tricks on me. In the fifth grade, I fainted during science class while watching the movie “I’m Joe’s Heart” – images of cholesterol build-up in arteries sent me to the floor and ever since I have suffered from the proverbial “weak stomach.” When Joe Theismann’s leg split in two during a Monday Night Football game in 1985, I had to splash cold water on my face and sit with my head between my knees as I could sense the room getting dark. In my mind, the pain in my chest was only slight but the thought of it was causing me to react in the most adverse of cardiovascular ways; ergo, still not a heart attack – just a weak dude unable to handle a little chest pain. At some point the pain would have to go away, just as it had a month before. I found myself turning to the clock: four hours had passed. The kids were now home from school and I attempted to carry on as normal, mak-



ing snacks and helping with homework, all the while rubbing my chest and thinking the worst was behind me. Dinner time came and went without me. “I’m taking you to the hospital,” my wife insisted, impatient with my stubbornness. But I’m a male and there’s something about that Y chromosome that chokes off rational thought during moments of vulnerability. “No, I’ll be fine; this pain goes away. I’ve had it before,” I responded in almost cliché fashion. During the night, I spared my wife all the tossing and turning by sleeping on the couch – but there would be no sleeping. Hour after hour passed and the nagging pressure remained until the alarm sounded and it was time to make lunches and wake up the kids. I performed my fatherly duties, still in pain and knowing this was not going away. Normally, I drop one of my daughters off at school, but this time my wife would have to take both – I was completely useless. My wife returned home and I looked at the clock – it was now 8 a.m., 19 hours after I started experiencing chest pain. I called my

physician, Dr. Emmons, who was incredulous that I was still at home. She told me to get to the hospital immediately and that she would call an ambulance if need be. Hearing this from a doctor means something, certainly more than my ego or self-diagnosis. My wife put me in the car and drove me to the emergency room at AdventHealth Ocala. Pulling up to the emergency room, I realized that if there was ever a place to take advantage of valet parking, this was it. Getting a steak at Mark’s Prime, they’ll park your car for you so you don’t have to walk a block to get there. Having a heart attack, you should just toss your keys to the valet and get on with the emergency. We’re parkers, though, so my wife dropped me off to hunt for a space. The good thing about a heart attack is you get moved to the front of the line. Across the room, there’s a poor fellow with a railroad spike sticking out of his shoulder and he’s been there for an hour watching procrastinators like me being wheeled back upon setting foot in the building. It occurred to me, that guy should have claimed to have chest pains and upon seeing the doctor suggest, “Hey Doc, while we’re here, why don’t you take a look at this railroad spike in my shoulder?” I answered all the logistical questions as well as possible, but for all I remember I could have been wasting everyone’s time rating the super hunks or babbling on about the cancellation of Manimal. At one point later in the ICU, my wife says I was yammering about Auburn-Texas A&M – now those are pretty good drugs. Several doctors checked on me and gave me the good news: I was having a heart attack and needed immediate attention. My recollection of the conversations at that moment are cloudy at best, but later I was informed my affliction involved 100 percent blockage of the left anterior descending artery of the heart, a situation commonly referred to as a “widowmaker.” With the propofol putting me under its spell, I was still aware of the surgery prep taking place. My right wrist and arm would earn a good shaving as that would be the entry point of a stent. Soon after, I detected something akin to a Brazilian wax taking place. In my groggy state of LaLa Land I wondered if a Larry Flint film crew was about to barge in. Seems the shaving down south was part of a

backup plan in case the original entry point of the stent didn’t work out. The task of inserting the stent fell on Dr. Ali Alsamarah, who I can’t thank enough for what on my end seemed a flawless procedure. Upon waking later in the ICU, I felt only slight pain: minimally in my chest and in my arm where the stent had traveled to get to the blockage in my heart. I saw before me shadowy figures that slowly came into focus: My two oldest daughters, my wife and two brothers, my mother and Dr. Emmons all appeared at some point. Our conversations at that time are a mystery to me and I’m pretty sure all would be better off if those transcripts were burned – the propofol was still doing more of the talking than myself. Wires everywhere administering fluids and monitoring my well-being made me feel like some sort of cyborg and when it came time to relieve myself with no one else in the room, these wires had to go. I was still under the guidance of the meds and determined I could remove these wires on my own in order to take a few steps to the bathroom. I felt like Peter Sellers in a sappy comic bit, tying myself in knots with these wires and at some point setting off an alarm among the nurses’ quarters. “Another idiot trying to set out on his own for the bathroom,” I’m sure they were thinking, but they rushed in as understanding caretakers, setting me free

I thought to myself how amazing it is that a moron like me staring into the gaping maw of death can enter a building like this and leave two days later not feeling a dent in the fender. from the entanglement and allowing me to do my business. I went to the hospital on a Thursday morning and spent two nights there before being released to go home. I thought to myself how amazing it is that a moron like me staring into the gaping maw of death can enter a building like this and leave two days later not feeling a dent in the fender. These doctors and nurses – I remember Karen and Pam among them – truly are miracle workers. Of course, I felt fine, but my work had just begun. Merely walking across the room felt like “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” and I knew rehabilitation would not come overnight. I had my orders: no lifting of objects over five pounds, lots of rest and lots of pills. Pills … lots of them. I’ve never been much for taking pills – I generally grind through a mi-

I am now an old pill-popper with the plastic day-coded organizer to betray any youthful semblances situated as a disguise for my middle age.

nor headache without popping handfuls of Motrin – so this meant a lifestyle change of sorts. I was already on the Allopurinol train for gout and with the addition of at least four new team members to the lineup, it would be impossible to hide my age: I am now an old pill-popper with the plastic day-coded organizer to betray any youthful semblances situated as a disguise for my middle age. The batting order now consists of Allopurinol, Prasugrel, Atovorstatin, Metroprolol and aspirin. Warming up in the bullpen I can see Dentu-Creme, Voltaren and hydroquinone. The veil has been lifted. I am an old man. This old man now must follow the directions of his cardiologist, Dr. Tong Liu, who must be great and blessed with the temperament of Job to take on a patient like me. So far, I’ve passed the tests – my cholesterol levels look good and the exercise regimens fall within my physical purview. The diet I am to follow seems workable, even for someone who can inhale red meat into his lungs and deem it healthy. The biggest change is the paranoia. Before my heart attack, those slight pains and jabs caused little concern and were noted less as signs of bigger problems than they were as emblematic annoyances of the aging process. Now, every twitch or spasm emanating from my upper core sends my mind racing to a dire diagnosis. I ignored these tremors before and I came close to dying – will I have not learned my lesson if I brush off any blip I feel near my heart from now on? The doctors told me these spasms and twitches are normal … unless they linger. Now I must set my watch to “linger” any time I feel a slight pain – if it persists, then I’m putting in the phone call. Only this time, I won’t wait 19 hours before doing so.



Saturday, March 5, 2022 | 6-8:30 p.m. College of Central Florida Vintage Farm Campus

For more information, visit NightAtTheFarm.org.

Thank you to our event sponsors.

Patricia Conrad, CFP® & Jared Kirby, CFP®

Ausley Construction | SouthState Bank SECO | Conrad Tree Service Florida Express Environmental Senior Learners HuntonBrady Architects | Bill and Debbie Browder


Advanced treatment options offer faster, more precise radiation therapy If you are diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to learn about all of your treatment options. Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) is at the forefront of science and research, providing the most up-to-date treatments personalized for your unique needs. Shorter courses of radiation treatment are quickly becoming the standard of care for prostate, lung, breast, bone and brain cancers. These advanced options are available from FCS, many offered exclusively in Marion County. Targeting tumors with greater precision Successful radiation therapy depends on delivering the proper amount of radiation to the cancer in the best and most effective way, destroying cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. A treatment technique known as hypofractionation delivers the total dose of radiation more precisely and in fewer sessions, compared to standard radiation therapy. Patients can complete their course of radiation therapy much faster with optimal outcomes and a better overall experience. Shorter treatments for prostate and lung cancer One in six American men can expect to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime; the average age at diagnosis is 66. The good news is that the survival rate is extremely high, thanks to a range of advanced treatment options.

Traditional prostate treatments are time intensive (typically requiring daily treatment for nine weeks). Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that the use of shorter treatment schedules (daily treatment for five weeks) results in similar positive outcomes, no increase in side effects, fewer trips and less expense. In select cases, another emerging treatment — stereotactic body radiotherapy — can be delivered in as few as five treatments as an alternative to surgery for patients with prostate cancer and early-stage lung cancer. Advanced technology [to better target tumors] offered exclusively in Ocala Advanced techniques use SpaceOAR gel to reduce the risk of rectal damage during prostate radiotherapy. FCS is the only provider in Ocala offering SpaceOAR to protect healthy rectal tissue. Breast Cancer FCS is the only cancer center in the area to provide two modern treatment techniques that protect the heart during radiation treatment for breast cancer. Traditional methods of blocking the heart may place patients at higher risk for a heart attack. Deep inspiration Breath Hold creates more separation between cancer and the heart, making treatment more precise. This video demonstrates the specialized deep inspiration breath hold technique.

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James Moore & Company:

Putting People First


efore you even open the door to James Moore & Company’s Ocala office, you’ll feel at home. The neatly kept building sits on a quaint, bricklined street in the vibrant historic downtown area. That feeling is reinforced when you step into the comfortable lobby, where a smiling face greets you and offers a cup of coffee or bottle of water. It’s an atmosphere of hospitality echoed at every James Moore location throughout Florida. And it’s one of the many ways they reinforce what matters most to the firm—people. “It makes me think of the Theodore Roosevelt quote, ‘People don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care,’” said Russell Lindsay, a partner at the Ocala location. “We get to know our clients and what makes them tick and what their goals are. From there we have a solid understanding of where they are trying to go. And that gives us the foundation to develop an advisory plan to help guide them to reach and accomplish their goals.” The James Moore team is well known



for attentive, timely and professional service. Working with them means working with a firm whose mission is to provide the highest quality accounting and consulting services—some of which might surprise you. In addition to the tax, accounting and audit offerings you generally find at CPA firms, James Moore also provides consulting and outsourced services in human resources, information technology, data analytics, process improvement, transition planning, CFO services… the list goes on. The firm works to achieve the best results for its clients by sticking to its core values of respect, integrity and technical excellence. But these values alone don’t ensure success. Every team member is committed to establishing solid, lasting relationships with their clients. It’s the best way to build trust and truly educate them on their financial picture and the options available to them. And an educated client is a confident and empowered client. This relationship-centric philosophy is part of what intrigued Lindsay when he be-

gan talking to James Moore last year about possibly joining forces. The owner of Canopy 360 Tax & Accounting for many years, he wanted to expand its services with a firm that shared their beliefs in caring about people. He quickly realized that James Moore believed in the same team approach that puts people first. James Moore managing partner Suzanne Forbes also saw the similarities and was intrigued at how Russell’s team approached client service and communication. “It was really when we were looking at ways to communicate with clients more often and serve them even better,” said Suzanne. “When Russell talked to me about Canopy 360’s relationship managers, I realized we both wanted to serve our clients in the same way. I saw that he approached client service with a team, and that’s how we do it as well.” Today, Ocala is the newest of James Moore’s five Florida locations (the other four offices are in Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Tallahassee and DeLand). In addition to Russell, two other James Moore partners

Russell Lindsay work at the Ocala office: Kevin Golden, and John VanDuzer (who also serves as partnerin-charge there). “Seeing all of the amazing things going on in the Ocala Community, from a bustling economy and vibrant culture, I was really excited to lead the effort to integrate our Ocala office with the rest of the firm,” said John. “I also have a number of clients in and around the Ocala area. Being nearby gives me better opportunities to understand and connect with them.” The firm’s current reach and abilities are a far cry from its humble beginnings in 1964, when it was founded by James F. “Jim” Moore. An accounting professor at the University of Florida at the time, he began his new venture with a fellow instructor and one secretary. Over the ensuing decades, the sole proprietorship has grown to a full-service regional firm employing nearly 300 people and serving its clients in a more holistic and far-reaching way. Despite so much change over the years, however, the firm has never forgotten its founder’s emphasis on serving people. One of Jim Moore’s favorite sayings was, “Service is the sole purpose of our existence.” It’s a phrase included on their website, brochures, internal communications and more, and a few employees today still remember him uttering those words. “At James Moore, we live out service every day when our clients bring us their goals, challenges and questions,” John explained. “We’re able to provide solutions either by helping them directly or connecting them with someone in our vast network who can.”

John VanDuzer

Kevin Golden

That said, the firm’s commitment to people doesn’t stop at clients. James Moore is known as a top-notch employer with a solid belief in work-life balance—and the initiatives to back it up. The firm offers multiple career path options and flexible work schedules that blend with team members’ lives outside the office. It also boasts an accommodating remote-work policy, allowing employees to be based where it suits them best. What’s most apparent, however, is the sense of fun encouraged. It’s not unheard of for teammates to hold spontaneous chair races or even hear a motorized scooter zooming down the hall. Their annual JMCOlympics field day-style competition and their Festivus celebration (complete with comical grievances and “feats of strength”) give coworkers a chance to blow off steam and enjoy some silliness. Even on a normal day without such events, the camaraderie is palpable; these peo-

ple simply enjoy being at James Moore. So it’s no surprise Accounting Today has named the firm one of the nation’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For five times in the last seven years (an achievement capped by the firm’s selection in 2020 as the best accounting firm in the entire nation for women). All of this enhances a key James Moore tenet: their commitment to the uncommon. Whether you’re talking level of expertise and experience, breadth of services offered or the uniqueness of the employees and their interests, it’s pointedly clear that this isn’t just any CPA firm. Now James Moore is embarking on a new era. In January, the firm unveiled its rebrand—an entirely updated look that includes a new logo, brighter colors and an emphasis on the many aspects that make them so unique. It’s all designed to better showcase the firm’s personality as mold breakers and problem solvers. Yet as the saying goes… the more things change, the more they stay the same. And what has remained the same at James Moore is their core value of holding people at the heart of what they do. Nurturing their client relationships is of paramount importance to the firm, because it’s through those relationships that trust is built—and good things happen. “Our clients desire guidance and advice. And they want it from a trusted resource for all things financial,” said Russell. “That’s why our approach puts people first, to get to know our clients and earn their trust. “Our goal is to become that trusted resource for them. That’s how we get results.”




Each month, Ocala Magazine showcases the tastes, opinions and desires of its readers through its online survey. For February we discovered these insights:


while 21.7% say they give Flowers. Candy is given by 17.4% of respondents while 5 percent give service coupons.



while 17.4% make a contract with a breeder. 8.7% of respondents say they take a stray off the street.


while 29% say they do nothing special on that day. 12.5% say the day includes dinner at home or an intimate evening at home while 8% say it includes a romantic card.



Impressionism IS THE FAVORITE GENRE OF ART ACCORDING TO 18.2 PERCENT OF OM RESPONDENTS. Romanticism, Expressionism, Abstract and Realism were noted as the favorite genre among 14% each.




OF OM RESPONDENTS SAY THEY GET THEIR EXERCISE MAINLY FROM PERIODIC WALKS while 25% run or workout on their own. 20% say they get their exercise through everyday living while another 20% say their workout is non-existent.





His Compassion Food Bank provides FREE food and product valued at more than $47,500,000. As of November 18, 2021, we have given over 19 million pounds of food and goods to the residents of Marion County, 129 agencies, Marion County Public Schools, area restaurants, dentists, veterinarians, and doctors’ offices. All product has been given free and mostly hauled by our trucks.

We need YOUR help.

During January through April, we challenge the community to match us pound for pound, pennies for food.

To obtain collection jars, contact Joy Guydan at 352-351-0732 or email hiscompassionflorida@gmail.com with questions H H H Donations by check or cash convert to pounds, too! H H H


HIS Compassion Food Bank 352-351-0732


Play with love and creativity this month when making food for your loved ones.

Made With Love p44 | Dining Out p48



Love Made with



ebruary is sweetheart season so why not express your love this Valentine’s Day with a scrumptious home cooked meal? Valentine’s Day is the second busiest holiday of the year for restaurants (Mother’s Day is number 1). Not exactly a very intimate scenario. Why not try cooking this meal at home together, and go out later on in the week? Buy some beautiful flowers, set a pretty table, light some candles and pour some good wine. While I almost always recommend a white wine with chicken, this rich and hearty meal pairs well with a savory Syrah or fruity Pinot Noir. We are still in the dead of winter, so a roaring fire is always so very romantic. Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovebirds out there!

Instagram @RSVP_ROBIN





Braised Bistro Roasted Chicken Elevate your chicken dish with a combination of heavenly flavors. A bit of sweetness from the dates, savory aromatics, salty brine from the capers and fresh herbs give the sauce decadence. Using a bone in, skin on breast helps to retain moisture and adds flavor. This looks complicated, but it’s a simple braising technique and the majority of the ingredients are for the braising sauce, which all goes in the pot and melds together while in the oven. Serve with a simple potato or rice dish and a green salad. INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4) » » » » » » » » » » » » » »


4 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts Kosher salt and cracked pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided 8 to 10 pearl or cipollini onions peeled (large ones halved lengthwise) 3 shallots peeled (large ones halved lengthwise) 4 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and roughly chopped ¼ cup drained capers 8 to 10 sprigs of thyme ½ cup dry white wine 1½ cups low-sodium chicken stock 8 Medjool dates, pitted and halved lengthwise 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 lemon, zested and juiced



• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. • Wash and dry the chicken thoroughly and bring to room temperature. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Brown the chicken breast until golden on both sides. Remove and set aside. • Deglaze the pot with the wine and add onions and shallots. Cook until caramelized and golden. Add the garlic and a few sprigs of thyme and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the broth, capers, dates, apple cider vinegar and lemon. Reduce temperature down by one-third. Add the chicken back to the pot, spooning the sauce all around it. Place in the oven, covered and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 F. • If the sauce needs further reduction, remove the chicken and keep warm. Reduce the sauce on the stovetop until the desired consistency and pour it over the chicken. Serve garnished with fresh thyme springs.

Lemon Lavender Cake This recipe comes from the British food writer Diana Henry. You might expect these fresh, light flavors in the spring, but it’s really delicious during the winter months, too. The yogurt and olive oil keep it moist and healthy. It is especially decadent when still warm from the oven with a bit of cream or vanilla ice cream. I purchased edible organic lavender from Amazon. INGREDIENTS (SERVES 8) » » » » » » » » » » » » »

Unsalted butter for the cake pan 1½ cups granulated sugar ¾ tablespoon edible dried lavender 1½ cups of all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup Greek yogurt ½ cup mild olive oil Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice Confectioners sugar for dusting Springs of fresh lavender for garnish


• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. • Butter an 8-inch diameter cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. • Put the granulated sugar and lavender into a food processor and whizz until the lavender has broken down. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking sodas and salt together into a bowl. Stir in the lavender sugar. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, yogurt and olive oil together and gradually stir into dry ingredients but don’t over-mix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. • • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the cake comes away from the pan and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn it out, peel off the parchment paper and set on a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners sugar just before serving and decorate with lavender.



dining out


Ocala is going out!

Advertise with us to connect with our hungry readers. Call 352.622.2995 and reserve your space.

Ivy On The Square Whether gathering with friends or family for lunch or a night out, you’ll enjoy fresh salads, mouthwatering comfort food, late-night tapas and drinks. Specials include our Pecan Salmon, Southern Fried Lobster and famous baked Krispy Chicken. After dining enjoy a stroll in our boutique where we offer a variety of gifts, jewelry, home decor and clothing. Looking to host a special event or dinner? Call and talk to one of our staff members on the options we have available.

Stop by our new speakeasy bar and enjoy our specialty drinks! Gift certificates available.

53 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala | (352) 622-5550 Closed Mon, Tues 11am-2pm, Wed 11am-9pm, Thurs 11am-9pm 106 NW Main St., Williston | (352) 528-5410 Sun-Wed 11am-2pm, Thurs-Sat 11am-8pm | ivyhousefl.com

West 82° Bar and Grill IT’S BACK! The best brunch in Citrus County. Features include a hot/cold station, carving station, omelet station, and an assorted dessert display. Join us every Sunday unless it’s a holiday. Ages 1-3 free, 4-12 $17.95, 13 and up $24.95. Call for more information or to reserve your seat 1.800.632.6262 The West 82 Bar and Grill offers fun innovative dining options with niche regional and eclectic southern charm. We use the freshest ingredients to include locally caught fresh seafood, Florida beef, as well as locally harvested fruits and vegetables. Overlooking the beautiful Kings Bay and Crystal River, the West 82 satisfies all of your senses in one place.

Call for reservations and weekly specials. Breakfast: Monday-Sunday 6-10:30am | Sunday Brunch: 11:30am–2pm Lunch: 11:30am-2pm, Dinner: Daily: 5-9pm 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429 | (352) 795-4211 www.plantationoncrystalriver.com



9301 West Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429 (352) 795-4211 plantationoncrystalriver.com


“My Childhood Wallpaper” by Brendon Wade, resident artist at Magnolia Art Xchange Acrylic on canvas | 36 x 36 Brendonwadeart.com | instagram: @brendonwade Happenings p50 | Society p54 | Anthology—Poetry in Motion p62



Happenings OM Bearded Browncoat Comics & Games

Casual Paint Day

SUN, FEB 27 • 12–4 PM

Ocala Art Group Social Mixer

Bearded Browncoat Comics & Games is hosting a casual miniature paint day for a few hours. Some select paints and brushes will be available for use. They will also have some models available to be painted if you don't have any of your own. Just show up, paint some minis, hang out, and maybe learn some techniques from other painters.

All artists, young and old, working in all genres are invited to attend and meet like-minded people, soak up fresh ideas and share in our energy and passion for art. Refreshments served at "The Brick" during the monthlong "Stroke of Genius" show.

500 SW 10th Street, Suite #200, Ocala www.beardedbrowncoat.com

Held at Brick City Center for the Arts 23 SW Broadway St, Ocala, FL 34471

FEB. 19 • 3-5 PM • FREE EVENT

Silver River Knap-In and Prehistoric Arts Festival FEB. 19–20 • 9 AM–4 PM Flint knapping is the art of recreating ancient stone tools like spear points and arrowheads. Artisans from across the country attend this unique event to demonstrate making stone tools, pottery, traditional bows and arrows, hide tanning, shell carving, fire making and more. Hands-on activities include archery, tomahawk and spear throwing ranges.

(352) 236-5401 • www.silverrivermuseum.com



Photo by: Piero F Giunt

2022 February 90 Years of John Williams FEB. 19 • 7:30 PM AND FEB. 20 • 3 PM Join the OSO in celebrating John Williams’ 90th birthday with a review of his extensive film cataloge including scores from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, E.T., JAWS, Superman and more! Matthew Wardell, Music Director and Conductor

500 NE 9th Street Ocala • (352) 351-1606 www.reillyartscenter.com

Los Lobos FEB. 1 • 7:30 PM Los Lobos has sold millions of records, won prestigious awards and made fans around the world. But perhaps its most lasting impact will be how well its music embodies the idea of America as a cultural melting pot. In it, styles like son jarocho, norteño, Tejano, folk, country, doo-wop, soul, R&B, rock ’n’ roll and punk all come together to create a new sound that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

500 NE 9th Street Ocala • (352) 351-1606 www.reillyartscenter.com

Valentine's Day Card Making with Grace Netanya and Copic SAT., FEB. 5 • 11 AM–1 PM Learn the fundamentals of drawing with Copic markers, while coloring an original card design to share with those you love. In this two hour class, you will be learning how to create depth and 3-dimensionality in your marker drawing, through blending and color gradients. Your hand drawn creation will be perfect for Valentine's Day or any special occasion. All materials provided along with refreshments of course! $35 per person or $65 for two people. Please note: this class is not intended for children. Serious art students age 16+ may attend.

NOMA Gallery • 939 N Magnolia Ave, Ocala • www.eventbrite.com/e/245780936397




Ocala's home for live entertainment! National Artists, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and more!

90 Years of John Williams

Los Lobos

Feb. 12 | 7:30 PM

Feb. 19 | 7:30 PM & Feb. 20 | 3 PM

An Evening with Jefferson Starship March 26 | 7:30 PM

An Evening with Kenny G

Chris Botti

Kevin Nealon

March 10 | 7:30 PM

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

April 4 | 7:30 PM April 22 | 7:30 PM Support provided by:

March 11 | 7:30 PM

Artrageous: The Interactive Art and Music Experience May 14 | 3 PM


Concerts, classic films, special events and more! The Marion Theatre has something for everyone with a great lineup of movies and live concerts. Additionally, this unique space is perfect for private film events! Host your next birthday party, company outing, or gather friends to watch your favorite film by renting the theatre.

Scan the QR code with your phone to visit our website with our complete listing of Reilly, Ocala Symphony and Marion Theatre events! ReillyArtsCenter.com | 352-351-1606 | 500 NE 9th Street

Media Support provided by:

MarionTheatre.org | 352-820-3049 | 50 S Magnolia Ave



Gainesville Building Center

9200 NW 39th Ave Ste 190 Gainesville, FL 32606

(352) 244-8442

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Flora: A State of Whim by Leslie Jean Wengler


he exhibit's opening reception at NOMA Gallery was a beautiful success. “Flora, or fauna as we see it with the human eye, can often be left unnoticed for its unique beauty. This show is to embark the journeyman on a deeper path within the ordinary. I have always had an affinity similar to Alice in Wonderland; in a state of whimsical wonder surrounding these ornate objects. It is my hope that you will see the transcendence nature has to offer if we pause & take a closer inspection. Come take a journey with me down the “Rabbit hole.” If you must, to see what nature has always intended us too, if only we have the patience to pause - observe and appreciate. It truly is a world within its own of wonder & whim.” —Leslie Jean Wengler







Celebration OF NURSES


at World Equestrian Center





Kiwanis Club of Ocala: Honoring the Heroes of COVID PHOTOS BY RALPH DEMILIO


n November 20, 2021, Kiwanis Club of Ocala, held a special ceremony at Camp Kiwanis, in honor of the Heroes of COVID. Those honored were a mixture of caretakers, nurses, Dr's, Military, volunteers and other persons making and being the difference during this pandemic season we are all in together. The names of honorees were purchased and placed via the Annual Brick Program of Kiwanis with their names placed upon the brick and then around the Flag Pole located at Camp Kiwanis to always be remembered. Some of those honored, have unfortunately passed due to the COVID virus. Kiwanis of Ocala gave a special tribute to Nick Nikkenen, a long time Kiwanis member, who recently passed of complications of COVID. He served as Chair of Camp Kiwanis Trustee Board and was the Marion County Assistant Property Appraiser.

Honored Recipients and Volunteers

NC and Shelley Sizemore,Chair

Karen Dailey,Chair and Joe Voge Bob Murphy

Nick Nikkenen



Jim Phillips, Honorees, Joe Voge

Louise Werner with Honorees and Volunteers

Retirement Retirement Retirement Community Community Community

BrandHope New to 30,000 sq in ft Clubhouse see you 2022. To celebrate the opening of our New Clubhouse, we are offering, for a limited To celebrate celebrate the the opening opening of of our our New New Clubhouse, Clubhouse, we we are are offering, offering, for for aa limited limited To time, Great Sale Pricing on many of our homes. Lakeview is a wonderful place to time, Great Great Sale Sale Pricing Pricing on on many many of of our our homes. homes. Lakeview Lakeview is is aa wonderful wonderful place place to to time, live and the Clubhouse, with its gorgeous performance stage and many dining live and and the the Clubhouse, Clubhouse, with with its its gorgeous gorgeous performance performance stage stage and and many many dining dining live areas, will give our residents even better accommodations, activities and service. areas, will will give give our our residents residents even even better better accommodations, accommodations, activities activities and and service. service. areas,

Now’s the time to sell your house and enjoy the peace of mind of Life Care at

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he Marion County Children’s Alliance hosted Ties & Tiaras, a special Daddy/Daughter Date night at the Marion Theatre on January 21st. This second annual event was an effort to raise community awareness and provide a memorable experience for fathers (or father figures) and their little princesses. Guests were treated to a night at the movies, complete with sweet treats, tiaras, flowers and keepsake photos. Both dads and daughters were dressed to the nines for this special night downtown! To learn more about the SKIP Program and the Marion County Children’s Alliance, visit mcchildrensalliance.org. Ivan White and his princesses

Michael McCloud, SKIP Volunteer and Kelley Windham, SKIP Project Coordinator

Nick and Makayla Gilardi

Violet and Tim Hunt



Shelly Pena, Emma Watson and Allie Lopez

Cheri and Adalyn Potter

Mabry and Dave Ewart

2022 International Women’s Day Celebration Tuesday, March 8, 11:30am-1pm at CF Webber Center


International Women’s Da Join us in celebrating the strengths and accomplishments of Marion County’s CELEBRATION

Women in Education Women in the arts

Sunday, March 8 | 2-5pm | at the Appleton Museum of

Join us in celebrating the strengths and accomplishments of Marion C

$20 luncheon tickets available on EVENTBRITE. Sponsorships available, email ollinwomen@gmail.com for more information


Visit ollinwomen.org/events or register on Eventbrite OLLIN WOMEN INTERNATIONAL

Event Sponsors





Naila Khan MD

OM Media Sponsor


Presenting Sponsor


anthology — poetry in motion


Into the wind I ride Casting my thoughts aside Letting go of what I know, my ego and my pride Sometimes it's nice to taste humble pie Now it's time to give Mother Nature a ride the sunset's on fire casting rays reflecting various red and pink colors off the clouds and water Accompanied by a chorus of birds What a show! You can't beat Mother Nature After all there is no real competition No admission fee All people are invited with or without a COVID test or mask Give it a try Take a ride!



rs a e Y 0 4 g n i t ra b e l e o i n t a C c u d E n i e c n e l el c x E f o



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Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

We are America’s Favorite Equestrian Lifestyle Magazine, Published Since 2008.




Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

CURO- Diagnostics “Revealing the Unseen”

NIC ROLDAN Peek Inside His Life SPRING Fashion

AIKEN, SC Highlight

Volume 21 Issue 2 Complimentary

TRAILER SAVING A TREASURE Maintenance Persano Breed www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com

is not a gentle hobby, Ridingto bea horse picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. I t is a grand passion. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

ELITE EQUESTRIAN Magazine RANKED 7TH WORLD WIDE Equine Magazines to watch -according to Feedspot Blog

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Gracious Living in the Horse Capital of the World®

Everything Equine p68




everything equine

Overcoming Obstacles at Great Speed at the Florida Horse Park After more than 10 years of no steeplechase races in Florida, there are now plans in place for a six-race card, three of them over hurdles, to be held at the Florida Horse Park on March 5. A steeplechase, by definition, is a horse race run on a racecourse



having ditches and hedges as jumps, with horses and their riders clearing hurdles and water jumps. The plan to bring jump racing back to Florida was in part due to the friendship between top eventer Buck Davidson and

the event organizers, Archie Macauley and Jessica Berry. Davidson was able to connect Berry and Macauley with Jason Reynolds, the executive director of the Florida Horse Park (FHP) to discuss the possibility of holding the event there. Reynolds and his

Photos courtesy of Louisa Barton


perfect not to give this an ambitious try. Reynolds and his team at the FHP have gone beyond expectations to help to design and create a course that they can also maintain. Every person who has reached out to Berry and Macauley has offered support in some way to make this event an exciting success and part of the annual community calendar here in the Horse Capital. The Florida Horse Park has an existing approximately 1 1/16 mile cross-country course. It isn’t an oval, but has a great straightaway to make the run for the finish line over the final jump quite exciting. Do not miss this event! Whether you have never seen a steeplechase or you are already a huge fan, this will be a most thrilling event to watch or to participate in. We certainly jumped in, as a community, to make sure we overcame all obstacles team, as always, jumped right in to encourage the creation of this jump race at the Park. With the guidance and support of the National Steeplechase Association and the Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation and other well-known names from the world of steeplechasing, Berry and Macauley moved forward with their plans. In my role as Equine Initiative director at the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP), I was fortunate enough to have a chance to chat with Macauley and thought his idea was tremendous and just what we needed here in the Horse Capital. I invited them to be guests on the Horse Talk Show in the CEP Equine studios, airing on the television and on the radio and the response was fantastic. The next day the phone started ringing. With a strong and supportive circle of equine friends and connections in our community, I began to connect them to some of the right people. Reynolds at the Horse Park was a key part of this, as he and his team worked hard and enthusiastically to bring the event seeds to fruition. The reception was warm on all sides, literally “overcoming obstacles at great speed.” The goal now is to make this event a part of the calendar in 2023 as a properly sanctioned meet. For 2022, it will provide a great opportunity to school young horses and for competitors to get familiar with the Florida Horse Park.

For Berry and Macauley, the plans began back in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to that. With the first weekend in March 2022 being available at the FHP and still within the jump-racing season and also within the height of the winter season of the other equestrian disciplines in Ocala, it made sense to move forward. With that date also falling right before the 2-year-olds Ocala Breeders’ Sale, it just seemed all too

as quickly as possible, so that this could be a huge success in 2022 and for many years to come. Louisa Barton is the Equine Initiative Director at the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership, Showcase Properties of Central Florida Farm Realtor and host of the Horse Talk Show on the Sky 97.3, Audacy.com and Equus Television



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Artist Cosby Hayes working on the new mural at The E.D. Croskey Recreation Center

Charity: Kids Central p74 | Health Journal p76 | State of the City p78 State of the County p80 | Kiwanis Korner p82 | Rotary Circle p84 | OM Marketplace p86 | Looking Back p88





Caring for our kids Kids Central has helped take child welfare out of the hands of bureaucrats and into those of local, caring citizens BY CARLTON REESE


n 1996, the Florida legislature embarked on a plan that would radically transform the way child welfare takes place in this state, and today the system in place stands as a model for others. Twenty years ago, Florida’s reputation for its foster care system could not have been worse: low adoption rates, high case backlogs, needless child deaths and a lack of foster care beds



that left some children sleeping in government offices. With the system broken, the legislature moved to privatize the child welfare system with locally managed community-based care across the state. This marked the advent of Kids Central, a 501(c)3 that covers five central Florida counties, including Marion, and has worked to advocate for children in and headed

for the foster care system. Run by citizens who take stock in their local communities, Kids Central has since 2003 been at the forefront of child abuse treatment and prevention. “It was sort of in shambles before,” Kids Central board member Dr. Mike Jordan said of the state’s foster program. “I think most people have never even heard of us and have no idea what we do. Now that it is in private

$30 billion

is spent Around annually on child welfare services in the U.S.

Over 400,000 children

are in foster care in the United States. Only about half of all foster children eventually return to their families.

hands, it really has become somewhat of a success story.” As opposed to the state’s large bureaucracy controlling the fate of Florida’s foster children, the duty is spread among 20 different private charitable organizations, or CBCs (Community Based Care) that operate independent of government interference. The result is local people taking care of their own and doing a much better job of it. Since state legislators in 1998 ceded foster placement into CBC hands, Florida’s reputation for taking care of these kids and creating better futures has soared. According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which analyzed major outcomes for foster children, focusing on safety, stability and older children, Florida is a model state for foster care. The Foundation ranked Florida No.2 in the nation for moving foster children into permanent homes and No.1 among large population states. In the 1990s, Florida was ranked near the bottom. “Although we have seen a lot of improvement, there are still plenty of challenges,” Jordan said. “The hardest part is attract-

ing caseworkers who will stay on for a long period of time. We can’t compete with the salaries of, say, entry-level teachers in the school system, so we are lacking in that area. We receive government funds, but it takes more than that to keep up with the case load we have and the salaries that can be commanded by quality caseworkers.”

For the year of Oct. 2018 to Sept. 2019, there were 9,385 children subject of maltreatment reports in Marion County, a rate of 115.2 per 10,000. From Oct. 2019 to Sept. 2020, there were 503 total removals to foster care in Marion County.

Foster children often come from low-income homes and crime-ridden neighborhoods. With nearly one in five Florida children living in poverty, according to a report by Florida Trend, the issue of foster children is especially dire, and organizations like Kids Central are helping to turn the tide in these kids’ favor so they at least have a chance to succeed. Statistically speaking, children who grow up in foster care are less likely to graduate from college, more likely to be poor, in jail or suffer from mental health issues. “The government is still involved, mainly in identifying the kids in need of foster care,” Jordan said of the Department of Children and Families’ role in child protective investigations. “But after that, the CBCs take over and are able to do a much better job. There is still some resentment from those who don’t like the idea of non-government entities taking it over, but the results speak for themselves. “It used to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality, but it’s much better this way, more efficient.” Kids Central represents the strongest means to combatting child neglect and abuse in our area and needs the help of the community to accomplish its mission of providing positive outcomes for children and families in dire situations. Anyone wanting to donate to the organization should visit its website at kidscentralinc.org and click on the ‘donate’ tab located on the top menu.

Find Kids Central online at kidscentralinc.org

*Source: Florida Department of Children and Families.




health journal

The silent health risk of COVID-19: Five facts to know about blood clots BRANDPOINT


OVID-19 is associated with many complications, but one that many people are not as aware of are blood clots. According to a recent study, between 25% to 49% of patients with severe COVID-19 also experience blood clots, with blood clots in the lungs being the most common condition. These blood clots can be limb- and life-threatening. Jeremy Sipe, a 52-year-old avid runner, knew something was wrong when he was experiencing shortness of breath after a few steps on the treadmill. He tried again later in the day and the same thing happened - he was out of breath after just a couple of seconds. He called his doctor immediately and ended up in the hospital diagnosed with a



blood clot in his lung, also known as a pulmonary embolism. “Jeremy’s clot could have been life threatening,” said Dr. George Chrysant, interventional cardiologist at INTEGRIS Baptist in Oklahoma City, OK. “It is important to recognize the signs of blood clots, especially pulmonary embolisms, because when they are diagnosed and treated quickly, complications decrease dramatically.” Blood clots are often overlooked and misunderstood. The following are a few things to know about blood clots. RISK FACTORS FOR BLOOD CLOTS Blood clots can affect anyone at any age, but there are factors that can increase risk, like

surgery, hospitalization, pregnancy, cancer, and family history. Studies have shown an increased chance of suffering a blood clot during the COVID-19 pandemic, both among those who have the virus and those with more sedentary lifestyles due to shutdowns and working from home. SYMPTOMS OF BLOOD CLOTS A blood clot in your arm or leg can cause swelling and pain. It may be tender, red, or warm to the touch. A blood clot in the lung can cause difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, chest pain and coughing up blood, according to the American Lung Association.

Between 25% to 49% of patients with severe COVID-19 also experience blood clots, with blood clots in the lungs being the most common condition. These blood clots can be limb- and lifethreatening.

TECHNOLOGY FOR BLOOD CLOTS Dr. Chrysant removed Jeremy’s blood clot with a medical technology from Penumbra, Inc. called the Indigo System Lightning 12. It works like a minimally invasive “vacuum” inside a blocked artery or vein to remove a blood clot. “In the past, we would have been limited to clot-dissolving medications, which can be problematic because they sometimes require long stays in the intensive care unit and have a high risk of causing bleeding elsewhere in the body,” Dr. Chrysant said. FIVE FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT BLOOD CLOTS Doctors say it’s important to know the facts and seek treatment right away if you suspect a blood clot. Here are a few things to remember: •

Blood clots can affect anyone. Still, there are risk factors that include smoking, obesity, pregnancy, being sedentary, and birth control and hormone therapy. Certain diseases and conditions, such as cancer, also increase risk.

Genetics play a role. If you have family members who have a history of blood clots, or you have a personal history of repeated blood clots, you could be more at risk.

Doctors have tools to diagnose a blood clot, but there is no routine screening. Your doctor will gather information about your medical history, age, medications, and lifestyle factors. Diagnostic tests are usually only performed if a clot is suspected.

There have been recent advancements in the treatment of blood clots. With new technology, doctors have more treatment options to help patients.

You can help prevent blood clots. Be aware of risk factors, recognize the signs and symptoms and see your doctor right away if you suspect a blood clot. And remember, when you’ve been sitting for a long time, stand up and walk around or stretch your legs every couple of hours.

“I’m fortunate that I saw my doctor right away and had this blood clot taken care of that same day,” said Sipe. “I felt a difference immediately after the procedure and I even went to the gym that evening. It’s important to know when to see a doctor, especially when things don’t seem right.” For more information about Penumbra, visit www.penumbrainc.com/patients-caregivers/.




state of the city

February events to fall in love with BY ASHLEY DOBBS


he month of February seems to be bubbling over with things to love. It is that magical month when the Florida weather is pure perfection, and it feels like we are finally catching our breath after a whirlwind holiday season. And it’s a great time of year to enjoy the return of activities in our beloved city. Here are just a few events to fall in love with during the month of February. The First Friday Art Walks have become a monthly staple within the community and have grown in popularity over the years. The downtown comes alive with artists showcasing their pieces or creating an original painting on the spot. Designed to expose the public to different forms of artistic expression, the First Friday Art Walk allows artists and visitors to come together in one place and admire the labor of love known as art. Happening the first Friday of each month, it’s a great opportunity to explore our downtown and support the art community. Round up your friends and family and get ready for the annual cattle drive. The Cattle Drive and Cowboy RoundUp is happening from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 12. Considered one of the City’s signature events, guests are delighted each year to see dozens of cattle roam the historic streets of downtown Ocala. The kick off will begin in the downtown area and the cattle will make their way to Tuscawilla Park where a host of family friendly activities will await every kid and kid at heart. The event will feature live entertainment, cowboy demonstrations, mechanical bull rides, farm animal petting zoo, and a special children’s area with family friendly games, food trucks and more. While you aren’t required to love the cowboy life, spending the day with family might just tug on your heart strings. We think that visitors will love adding a little brunch to their art. The Beginning of Bolted Art (BOBA) Brunch will take place from 9-11 a.m. Feb. 19. Guests will enjoy music, brunch and mimosas on the platform of Ocala Union Station, providing the per-



Art Walk

Cattle Drive

Tuscawilla Art Park

fect view of the Tuscawilla Art Park. The morning will feature an artist panel discussing the creativity found in community art. Brunch admission is $25 online and $30 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Magnolia Art Xchange Artist Residency program housed within the historic Ocala Union Station. Continue to celebrate your love of art when the Cultural Arts and Sciences Division unveils the newest sculptures to be implemented in Tuscawilla Art Park during the Sculpture Stroll Celebration. This spe-

cial event will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 19, and will introduce ten new sculptures within the art park. Art lovers and residents are invited to this free event to see the sculptures that will be on display for the next two years. Enjoy sculpture tours, live music, food trucks and art activity booths. Although it is sad to bid farewell to the previously housed art pieces, the newest additions to the park will bring a renewed energy to the city’s bustling art scene. After the past few years, we could all use a little bit of love. Spending time with friends and family in a city that you love might be everything needed to enjoy a little bit of that lovely February magic. Ashley Dobbs is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the City Of Ocala.

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state of the county

County drafts “Empowering Marion For Success II” strategic plan 133-page “living document” outlines the county’s plan for upcoming years BY MARK ANDERSON

ORGANIZATIONAL EXPERIENCE Outlining how Marion County will enhance internal and external customer experiences, the Organizational Experience element bolsters employee culture and considers how Marion County can build better relationships with residents, visitors and employees. This element covers social media, cybersecurity, employee workload and much more in considering how Marion County can recruit and retain quality employees. RESOURCES AND PUBLIC FACILITIES Covering topics relating to building safety,



maintenance and renovations, the Resources and Public Facilities element takes a look at how Marion County can consider either renovating older buildings or constructing new public facilities to better serve its customers. Building proposals and budgets are taken into consideration when deciding what is best for the county currently and in the future. PLANNING AND FUTURE GROWTH The Planning and Future Growth element discusses methods for Marion County to continue its growth and attract businesses and families to the community. This element also takes into consideration such aspects of the county as the Farmland Preservation Area and the Urban Growth Boundary and how those designated areas factor into the county’s growth as more and more people continue to move to Marion County. PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE Roadways, water and sewer utilities and solid waste disposal are the main focus of the Public Infrastructure element. Again, with more and more people continuing to move to Marion County, it is imperative the county makes sure roads and utilities are able to meet and exceed demand while also preserving natural resources.

PUBLIC SAFETY Finally, the Public Safety element covers how Marion County can improve safety and emergency response around the county. This element discusses improvements to radio towers, communication devices for first responders, educational opportunities and safety equipment and facilities throughout Marion. Through it all, “Empowering Marion for Success II” is emphasized as a living document, meaning it will be revised and updated in the coming years as Marion County continues to grow and evolve on the continuing journey toward success. Mark Anderson is a public relations specialist for the Marion County Government.

Photos courtesy of Marion County


hrough the latter half of 2021, Marion County staff contributed to the “Empowering Marion of Success II” strategic plan that outlines various projects, initiatives, renovations and operations the county plans to implement over the next five years. Spanning more than 130 pages, the strategic plan covers proposals for action throughout the county, including elements highlighting resources and facilities, public infrastructure, public safety and more. With county departments providing input beginning more than a year ago, the plan was proposed and published at the Marion County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Dec. 21, 2021. This new plan follows the previous strategic plan, which covered the years 2017 through 2021. Each element of the plan dives into new initiatives for Marion County and outlines how the county proposes to put each initiative into action. Here are the individual elements of the new strategic plan:



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Kiwanis of Ocala January 2022 Kick Off


iwanis began their New Year with a special presentation given by Scott Hackmyer and Roseann Fricks. Special donations were given per the proceeds made from the Kiwanis last Annual Sportsman’s Dinner. The honored recipients were Beth McCall, Board Member of SADD Advisory Board, Heather James and Dr. Tabatha Downy of Heart of Florida, and John Spencer of the City of Ocala Parks and Recreation Department. The guest speaker was Tom Cooper of Kid’s Central, Inc.

Scott Hackmyer, Roseann Fricks, Dr. Tabatha Downy, and Heather James

Beth McCall, Scott Hackmyer, and Roseann Fricks

Scott Hackmyer

Tom Cooper, Kids Central, Inc.

John Spencer, City, Scott Hackmyer, and Roseann Fricks


Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members, and partners, dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time. Today, with more than 550,000 members in 80 Countries, Kiwanis empowers members to pursue creative ways to serve the needs of our children, such as fighting hunger, improving literacy and being a mentor. Kiwanis Clubs host over 150,000 service projects per year.







Saturday, February 12th 2022 at Tuscawilla Park Following the Cattle Drive & Cowboy Roundup through Downtown Ocala


Saturday, Febr uar y 13th 2021

ducks race to win on Tuscawilla Pond!

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You will be recognized as an Elite Duck Sponsor at the event with your logo prom displayed on all marketing materials, T-shirts, event banners as well as MarionDuckDe which will include a link to your company’s website. Your company name and logo will CASH PRIZES for adopting thedisplayed winningon duck: all “You Got Ducked” yard signs.

1ST Place $2,000 • 2nd Place $1,000 • 3rd Place $500


Sponsorships available: Drake $2,500 • Duckling $1,500 • You Quacker $1,000 will be recognized as a Duckling Sponsor at the event and listed on all marketing m Paddler $500 • Good Egg $250 event banners as well as MarionDuckDerby.com which will include a link T-shirts, company’s website. You will also have the ability to put marketing literature at the Proceeds benefit table the day of the event. DISCOVERY CENTER and other local Rotary Club Projects

QUACKER—$1,000 You will be recognized as a Quacker Duck Sponsor at the event and listed on T-sh For more information visit MarionDuckDerby.org sponsor board, adoption papers, and social media. 84



Logo displayed on social media and adoption papers. Name recognized on sponsor boar

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.

2022 Historic Ocala Preservation Society Board Members


Historic Ocala Preservation Society


April 23rd @ 10:00 am

HOPS House. (Bryant House) | 712 East Fort King Street, Ocala FL

Dr. Lela Kerley — President Rhoda Walkup — Vice-President Rick Perry — Secretary Dennis Phillips — Treasuer Brian Stoothoff — Past President, 2021 Pamela Stafford Linda Anker Daniel Banks Giorgio Berry Bryan Caracciolo Robin Fannon Sean Gallaway Leon Geller Andrew Grunther Stephanie Howard R.J. Jenkins Lela Kerley Trish Kilgore Sarah Kirk Caryl Lucas Leslie McCullough Penny Miller Suzanne Thomas Diana Williams Link Wilson Holly Yocum

ERING COMMITTEE For more information contact Andrew Grunther, Committee Chair, 352-286-8819. Andrew Grunther (Chair) “Spring is the time of play and projects” Leslie McCullough —Leo Tolstoy Lela Kerley 712 S.E. Fort King St. Ocala, FL 34471 | (352) 351-1861 | www.HistoricOcala.org Pamela Stafford


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“Spring is the time of plans and projects”



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looking back

Controversy of the Names In 1969, naming the new school and renaming Ocala High was the hot topic in town



or most Ocalans today, the names Forest and Vanguard represent simple nomenclature to two of the main high schools in the city and not much more. Over 50 years ago, however, the naming of these two institutions was not so benign and sparked division and controversy that was a microcosm of the tumultuous times. In 1968, during the last days of segregated schools, Ocala High School and Howard High School stood as the city’s main prep institutions, the former for white students and the latter for black students. In 1969, plans for a new high school on the north side of town were coming to fruition and the plan was to phase out Howard High and build an integrated school with a new name. In the middle of it all was Mack Dunwoody, recently appointed by Florida Gov. Claude Kirk as Marion County Superintendent of Schools and charged with shepherding the county through the next phases of integration. In November 1969, Dunwoody received 10 school names voted on by the student bodies at OHS (the morning session at that time were students of the traditional OHS and the afternoon session were to be those of the new school). Dunwoody’s instructions were that neither the names Ocala High nor Howard High could be included. The school colors (green and white for OHS



and blue and gold for Howard) were also to be scrapped as well as the school mascots (Wildcats and Wild Bulls, respectively). As public opinion was overwhelmingly in favor of not renaming Ocala High School, the School Board delayed its decision until a public opinion poll had been taken by the Ocala Star-Banner. The top three names for each school, as selected by the student bodies, would be submitted for a vote: Francis Marion, Forest and Seminole for the current school; Vanguard, Forest and Apollo for the new school. The students voted overwhelmingly in favor of either Forest or retaining Ocala High for the current school and Vanguard for the new school. As a lot of pride existed among alumni for both Ocala High and Howard High names, there was much resentment over the possibility the Ocala High name would be retained but not Howard. The tensions even spilled over onto campus, where some fights resulted in student suspensions, all over a decision by the School Board to allow the public to determine the school names by means of a straw vote and not by the students as promised by Dunwoody. A story in the Nov. 23 edition of the Star-Banner revealed tensions at the school heated up during a pep rally when some black students tried to “drown out the singing of the school’s alma

mater.” The story credited a group of black athletes with “quieting down the disturbance and keeping matters from getting serious.” The school student council, which consisted of black and white students, laid out their position to Dunwoody who described it thus: “If there is to be a climate where students of both races can attend school without trouble or violence, then the names Ocala High and Howard High must be eliminated in the names of both the present schools.” Said one black student leader: “We lost our school, our colors, our mascot, our identity as a school. It does not seem too much to ask that the white community should give up the name of their school or else let us keep ours.” According to a Nov. 28 edition of the Star-Banner, in a session with the board, Dunwoody and the OHS Student Human Relations Council, “The majority of white students side with black students in that if the OHS name is retained, then the new school should be named Howard High.” On Dec. 9, results of the public poll were released and it was a lopsided victory for retaining the name Ocala High School, with a slim margin in favor of North Ocala High for the new school (write-ins were permitted). Meanwhile, another vote from the student body called for the new school to be named Vanguard and OHS to be renamed Francis Marion High School. That same day, the School Board met to announce the schools’ names. In a 3-2 vote, the new school would be called Vanguard and OHS would be renamed Forest. Without board approval and upon recommendations from school principals, Dunwoody decided to keep the green and white color schemes for Forest while adding the gold trim that was used at Howard – the Wildcats mascot would remain. Vanguard would take on the blue color that was also in the Howard scheme and add red and white with Knights as the mascot. Through it all, the adults argued their cases mainly through their own emotions and biases while the kids of the day seemed the most balanced. A newspaper report summing it all up stated, “A number of people speaking at the (School Board) session praised the students for taking a ‘more mature and far-reaching attitude than their parents.’”

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Articles inside

Looking Back: Integrating Ocala’s schools

pages 90-92

Kiwanis Corner

pages 84-85

State of the County: New strategic plan

pages 82-83

State of the City: A month of events to love

pages 80-81

Anthology: Poetry in Motion

pages 64-68

Health Journal

pages 78-79

Happenings: What’s going on

pages 52-55


page 75

Socially Speaking

pages 56-63

Dining Out

page 50


pages 47-49

Food for sweethearts

page 46

Letter from the Editor

pages 14-15

From the Mayor

pages 16-17

HITS embarks on fifth decade

pages 18-23

Serious as a heart attack: A true life story

pages 34-39

Letter from the Publisher

pages 12-13

OM Pulse

pages 42-45

James Moore, CPA

pages 40-41

Ocala’s Olympians have golden chances in Beijing

pages 24-33
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