Page 1

MAR’18

Ocala

GOOD EATS TH E OC A L A CU LI N A RY FE S TI VA L RE TU RNS

Touchdowns & Traditions 5 Decades of MCYFL Football

First-Run Fun

Family Movie Night At The Ocala Drive-In

FlyingHigh

Pilots Worldwide Train Through Ocala-Based MzeroA


Considering Ocala?

Bel Lago — $899,000

3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath home with 1/1 guest studio plus office with built in bookcases 7.10 Acres in gated community – Expansive pool and entertaining area with fireplace

World Equestriain Center Adjoins Golden Ocala — $585,000

Live close to the World Equestrian Center in this 2 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath home on .26 acres. Enjoy golf, equestrian, spa and additional amenities offered at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club.


Rustic Elegance

Gated and perimeter-fenced 2.99 Acres, 4 bedroom 3.5 bath Gourmet Chef ’s Kitchen - Screen-enclosed lanai - pool - workshop/garage - Horses permitted

Countryside Estates - Attention Car Enthusiasts - $859,000 1.96 Acres, 5 bedroom, 4 full bath, Gated entrance Gazebo with pool bath, attached and detached garage for a total of 8 cars

If you’re considering buying or selling, give us a call today!

For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. 352.347.1777 | Cell: 352.266.9100 | 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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Contents

In Every Issue

MARCH ’18

013 THE BUZZ

The real people, places and events that shape our community. By The City of Ocala, Bonnie Kretchik, Melissa Peterson and Judge Steven Rogers

014 016 018

CITY OF OCALA BENCHMARKS BUSINESS BRIEFS

023 THE HIVE

Dedicated to enriching the lives of local families. By Cealia Athanason, Kevin Christian, Karin Fabry-Cushenbery and Laurel Gillum

024 026

BABY DAYS CLASS ACTS

029 THE MANE

Our best recipes, restaurant news and culinary quick bites. By Laurel Gillum and JoAnn Guidry

032 034 036

Our best recipes, restaurant news and culinary quick bites. By Robin Fannon, Laurel Gillum and Nick Steele

058

Here’s your link to March’s giveaway. http://woobox.com/datyb4 (Ends 3/15 at 12pm.)

IT’S RODEO TIME! A LIVE OAK TRADITION AUCTION ACUMEN

055 THE DISH 056

Hey Style Insiders!

C E L E B R AT I N G C U LT U R E & CUISINE QUICK BITES

On The Cover

020 Flying High. Jason Schappert is a man on a mission. MAR’18

Ocala

GOOD EATS TH E OC A L A CU LI N A RY FE S TI VA L RE TU RNS

In This Issue

038 Movies Under The Stars. History lives on at the Ocala Drive-In Theater.

Touchdowns & Traditions 5 Decades of MCYFL Football

First-Run Fun

Family Movie Night At The Ocala Drive-In

065 THE SCENE

Your guide to what’s happening in and around Ocala. By Cealia Athanason, Ralph Demilio, Bonnie Kretchik, Laurel Gillum, Nick Steele and Ronald Wetherington

066 070 072 074

A ROUNDUP OF THE MONTH’S BEST BETS THE LOCAL SCENE SPRING TRAINING THE SOCIAL SCENE

› By Cynthia McFarland

042 Champions In Training. Playing FlyingHigh

Pilots Worldwide Train Through Ocala-Based MzeroA

On the cover:

Photographer: John Jernigan Models: Jason Schappert of MzeroA and staff

youth football in Marion County is a time-honored tradition, one that is often passed down from generation to generation.

› By Carlton Reese

046 A Feast For The Palate And Soul. The Ocala Culinary Festival promises indulgence

and inspiration in equal measure. › By Cynthia McFarland MAR ’18 ›

09


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Ocala

MARCH SPECIAL: 1ST MONTH FREE • Co-ed, 24-hour club access • Reciprocity at all Anytime Fitness clubs • Secure, clean environment • State-of-the-art equipment

Magazine PUBLISHER

8585 SW HWY 200 Ocala FL 34481 352-237-8335

Ocala Publications, LLC OFFICE/PRODUCTION MANAGER

Cynthia Brown

3930 SW 42nd St Ocala FL 34474 352-237-1848

anytimefitness.com

cynthia@ocalastyle.com Editorial EXECUTIVE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR

Karin Fabry-Cushenbery Melissa Peterson

karin@ocalastyle.com melissa@ocalastyle.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR & SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Vianca Torres

The Peacock Cottage Ocala’s New Plant Shop!

Cealia Athanason vianca@ocalastyle.com

cealia@ocalastyle.com

FOOD & LIFESTYLE CONTRIBUTOR SOCIAL SCENE EDITOR

Robin Fannon Ronald W. Wetherington ronald@ocalastyle.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Kevin Christian Jim Gibson Laurel Gillum JoAnn Guidry Bonnie Kretchik

• Unique Houseplants • Fun Classes

Fairy • Garden Gifts Gardens • Supplies

Located in Chelsea Square 3243 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 352-624-0116 • thepeacockcottage@gmail.com Like us! facebook.com/thepeacockcottage

Cynthia McFarland Katie McPherson Judge Steven Rogers Nick Steele Sean Trapani

Art

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Jessi Miller Kristy Taylor

jessi@ocalastyle.com kristy@ocalastyle.com PHOTOGRAPHERS

Ralph Demilio John Jernigan Sheila Hartley jernigan@ocalastyle.com sheila@ocalastyle.com Crys Williams 123RF.com

home decor and unique gifts

Sales

Ginger Snap Jewelry Spartina 449 Simply Southern T-Shirts Tyler Candles Swan Creek Candles

SALES MANAGER

Sharon Morgan

sharon@ocalastyle.com SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Lori Tani

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Mon-Fri:12-5:30pm Sat:10am-5pm

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Evelyn Anderson Peggy Sue Munday

evelyn@ocalastyle.com peggysue@healthylivingmagazines.com

SPRING OPEN HOUSE MARCH 24

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

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ellie@ocalastyle.com DISTRIBUTION

Dave Adams

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Debra McQueen Rick Shaw

Stephen C. Yager

o: 352.732.0073 › f: 352.732.0226 › 1007 E. Fort King St., Ocala, FL 34471 ocalastyle.com

Tax Accounting Service, Inc. Est. 1991

Published monthly by Ocala Publications, LLC. All contents © 2017 by Ocala Publications LLC. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For back issues or advertising information, call (352) 732-0073. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. “Promotional” and “Promotional Feature” denote a paid advertising feature. Publisher is not responsible for claims and content of advertisements.

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OCALA STYLE MAGAZINE / MARCH 2018 / VOL. 20, NO. 3

OCALA / MARION COUNTY

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MAR ’18 ›

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Affordable Elegance B U I L D I N G

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TH E RE AL PE O PLE , PL AC E S & EVE NTS THAT S HAPE OU R CO M MU N IT Y

the

Bikes and Beyond

MAR MAR

9

11

The annual Fat Tire Festival is known for hosting the largest gathering of bicycle manufacturers and vendors in the entire Southeast. Held at the Santos Trailhead, the event features over 50 vendors representing the latest and greatest gear and gadgets for both mountain and road cycling, professionally led cycling skills clinics on both one- and three-mile loops, demos, food trucks, raffles and more. Special vendors slated for this year’s event include Adventuron, Cannondale, David’s World of Cycles, Ibis Cycle, Trek Bicycles and Zoic clothing, just to name a few. Not in the market for a new bike? No worries! There will also be a number of bicycle-inspired art and jewelry crafters on-site as well. And for riders looking for an extra challenge, the Santos Fat Tire Epic 50 will kick off bright and early on March 10. The ride celebrates 12 years of award-winning trails and includes sag stops, lunch, and an event shirt and pint glass. LEARN MORE › For a complete list of

vendors and schedule of events, visit

santosfattire.com or call (352) 804-7204.

B U Z Z page

13

CITY NEWS

014

PROPERTY PROBLEMS

016

BUSINESS BRIEFS

018


THE

Buzz

CITY OF OCALA

Wild Weather at The Discovery Center The Discovery Center’s newest exhibit, Wild Weather, is open now through Saturday, April 28. Wild Weather is an interactive exhibit that teaches families the science behind severe weather and how to be prepared. Guests can discover what meteorologists use to predict weather and make their very own forecast! The exhibit is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 10am-3pm. Admission is $6 per person or $20 for a family of four. For more information, visit mydiscoverycenter.org or call (352) 401-3900.

After Dark in the Park Movie Series: Hook FRIDAY, MARCH 9 FROM 7-9PM Tuscawilla Park, 500 NE Sanchez Ave., Ocala

Poison Prevention With Ocala Fire Rescue National Poison Prevention Week is March 18-24. Sometimes the most common household items—like medications, soaps or detergents—can become poisonous in a matter of seconds. Each year, more than 2 million poisonings are reported, with 90 percent occurring at home. Luckily, the Health Resource and Services Administration’s Poison Help Line, (888) 222-1222, provides free and confidential guidance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As we recognize National Poison Prevention Week, Ocala Fire Rescue encourages you to be a champion of poison prevention. Save and share the Poison Help Line’s number with your friends and loved ones. When in doubt, don’t guess. Make the call. For more information, visit ocalafire.org or call (352) 629-8306.

Upcoming Events With Recreation and Parks

Motown Downtown FRIDAY, MARCH 9 FROM 6-9PM Citizens’ Circle, 151 SE Osceola Ave., Ocala Enjoy a trip down Motown memory lane with a live tribute band, vendors, food and more!

Tuscawilla Sculpture Stroll Celebration

Save Money With Ocala Electric Utility This spring, Ocala Electric Utility is encouraging its customers to sign up for myenergyplanner.com. This is a great way for customers to learn more about their energy use and discover energy-saving techniques to help them save on their monthly costs. Current OEU customers who sign up now through Saturday, March 31 will be entered for a chance to win a free Wi-Fi thermostat. For more information, visit

ocalaelectric.org.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 FROM 10AM-2PM Tuscawilla Art Park, 223 NE Fifth St., Ocala Enjoy docent tours of the 10 new sculptures, free family art activities, live entertainment and food vendors. Take part in the scavenger hunt to get a closer look, and select your favorite sculpture by voting for the People’s Choice Award. Meet many of the sculpture artists, and enjoy live entertainment by Nashville recording artist Audrey Spillman.

Brick City Beer and Wine Festival SATURDAY, MARCH 31 FROM 2-8PM Citizens’ Circle, 151 SE Osceola Ave., Ocala Celebrate the fifth year of this festival in downtown Ocala with samples of local and regional craft beers and wines, food trucks and live music. For a full list of events, visit events.ocalafl.org.

014

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.com


LIVE ON STAGE!

It’s March Madness! Rated Best Jewelry Design Team.

By Larry Shue

March 15 - April 8 Laughter requires no translation in this hilarious comedy! Sponsored by: WIND FM

Mathews Entertainment and Event

April 12-15

“Splish Splash” • “Beyond the Sea” “Dream Lover” • And many more! Sponsored by: WITG • Ocala’s Good Life Magazine • Hiers-Baxley

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If you can PIN(terest) it, we can make it! The Lady Jeweler uses the latest technology, including custom design software to make one-of-a-kind pieces for their clients.

ASHLEE WATSON Designer/ Diamontologist DCA

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MAR ’18 ›

015


THE

Buzz

BENCHMARKS

Part’n Parcels › By Judge Steven G. Rogers

W

hen my children were younger, there were plenty of occasions where they were asked (required) to split a food item. Regardless of whether it was a cupcake, slice of pizza, etc., they knew how I was going to have them accomplish this task. One child divided the item into two pieces, and the other child then had the option of deciding which piece he or she wanted. What was intended to be a simple and fair process, often took an extended period of time. The child assigned with the task of dividing the item did so with surgical precision, and the other child then inspected the two options like a crime scene technician. Judges are often asked to help resolve similar disputes involving parties with competing interests in real property. This is done through a partition action. Chapter 64 of the Florida Statutes addresses the partition of real property. The court is

assigned the ultimate responsibility of determining if the property can be equitably divided or if the property should be sold and the proceeds distributed to the parties. A few years ago, I was assigned a case involving a brother and sister who each inherited a one-half undivided interest in their parents’ farm. When they disagreed on what to do with the farm, the brother filed a partition action against his sister. At a preliminary hearing, the attorneys were discussing who should be appointed as commissioners to determine how the property should be divided. Fortunately, one of the attorneys brought to the hearing a large composite aerial survey of the property. In an effort to get an The court is assigned the ultimate understanding of the brother and responsibility of determining if the sister’s respective positions on how property can be equitably divided or the property should be divided, I if the property should be sold and the asked the sister to use a marker and proceeds distributed to the parties. show me her proposed division of the property and to indicate which piece would be assigned to which party. After the sister had drawn a vertical line on the aerial survey and indicated which piece she would receive and which would be awarded to her brother, I then asked the brother to use the marker and draw his proposed division of the property. After taking the marker and looking at the aerial survey for an extended period of time, the brother turned to me and said, “Actually, her proposal looks pretty good.” Case settled. Legal disputes involving real property can present some complex legal issues. Real property is unique simply because the earth isn’t producing any new real property. Judges appreciate when the parties can reach an agreement on real property disputes. Otherwise, partition actions can get downright… dirty.

Judge Steven G. Rogers currently serves as a circuit court judge. He lives in Ocala with his wife, three children and an extremely spoiled Australian Shepherd.

016

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.com


Debbie drove the distance when her breast cancer kept her from teaching. At UF Health, she found a problem-solver who made the trip worth it.

Dr. Lisa Spiguel and her multidisciplinary team create customized treatment plans for patients with breast cancer. For Debbie, that meant surgery and a round of radiation, avoiding the side effects of chemotherapy. That option made the 228-mile drive to see Dr. Spiguel well worth it. Now Debbie’s back to teaching, while Dr. Spiguel continues her unending search for answers that move medicine forward.

Learn more at ProblemSolvingCare.org.


THE

Buzz

BUSINESS BRIEFS

Nice Shot!

In December, Ocala resident Lance Powers scored a hole-inone while playing in a charity golf tournament at the Ocala Country Club. He was presented the keys to a new Toyota and a check for $27,400 to pay for it in January. The presentation was given by long-time Rotarian Frank DeLuca, owner and president of DeLuca Toyota. The third annual tournament, sponsored by the Ocala-Silver Springs Rotary Club, supported Project Hope and the Rotary Foundation. More than $12,000 was raised through the tournament to support both charitable efforts.

A New Leader

Sound The Alarm

Ocala Fire Rescue and the American Red Cross recently joined forces to Sound the Alarm about fire safety. For a period of three days in January, Ocala Fire Rescue firefighters and Red Cross volunteers roamed the streets of The Villas at Spanish Oaks mobile home park as part of a door-to-door smoke detector installation canvass. Installing 144 smoke alarms in the three-day period, the campaign was a huge success. Ocala Fire Rescue also visited the neighborhood three days in February to install additional smoke detectors. Installations were free of charge and meant to add a layer of protection against fire to the homes. Ocala Fire Rescue reminds the public that any homeowner residing inside the city limits can request a free smoke detector and its installation by visiting ocalafire.org.

018

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.com

Marion County Fire Rescue operates under new leadership with the appointment of James Banta as fire chief. Banta, who has more than 20 years of experience in fire service—all with Marion County—replaces Paul Nevels, who retired at the end of October. Banta joined Marion County Fire Rescue as a firefighter/ paramedic in 1997 and was promoted through the ranks to division chief of operations in 2012 and deputy fire chief in 2016. He has served as acting fire chief since October 2017 and was appointed fire chief in December after a competitive hiring process. In his new role, Chief Banta oversees a department of more than 500 members.

Welcome To The Team

Angel Roussel, PE, now leads the Marion County Public Works division as assistant county administrator, bringing more than 17 years of public worksrelated experience to the position. He served in an interim capacity for the past three months after the previous assistant county administrator left the county in September. Roussel joined Marion County in 2007 as the engineering manager for Marion County Utilities before taking an opportunity outside of the county in 2013. He returned to utilities as the department’s director in April 2016 and served as both utilities department director and acting assistant county administrator since September 2017. As assistant county administrator, Roussel oversees nine departments and a total staff of about 400.


30

YEARS!

Family Owned and Operated for 30 Years The Market of Marion serves as a small businesses incubator by acting as an outlet where vendors can sell their goods and promote their services to the general public, reaching thousands of potential clients each month.

Fri - 8am-3pm | Sat-Sun - 8am-4pm

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352.245.6766 themarketofmarion.com

Adam and Steve Shaddix, Owners


PRO M OTI O NAL FE ATU R E

Calling All High Flyers Jason Schappert is a man on a mission.

A

s the CEO and face of a highly successful online piloting school, known as MzeroA Ground School, Jason Schappert has gained international acclaim, accolades from the aviation community and a slew of awards. Inc. Magazine even named the Ocala-based company to its annual Inc. 5000 List, which highlights inspiring entrepreneurs by ranking the fastest-growing private companies in the country. The list focuses on the U.S. economy’s most dynamic segment—independent small and mid-sized businesses—and has helped companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp and Zillow gain early exposure. Through their video-based training, MzeroA reaches thousands of individuals who wish to explore their passion for flying and fulfill their dreams of becoming a pilot. “We are one of five online ground schools in the world,” explains Jason, who founded the company in 2006 with his wife, Ashley. “We provide the instruction, test prep and curriculum you need to succeed. We work with about 1,300 students a month. In addition to the coursework, we are mentors to our students. Every week, myself and the team are interacting with our customers, answering questions or providing encouragement. Our goal is not just to have you pass your test. Our goal is to create a safer, smarter pilot and save you time and money in the process. We

020

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.com

are your concierge and see you through to the end.” Part of that concierge service is having Larry Diamond serve as a medical consultant and answer questions about conditions and medications that can keep you from passing the FAA medical evaluation. In addition to holding a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Diamond is both an author and flight instructor. He first became involved with the company while working with a student on how to take off and land on grass. “He wasn’t getting the landing part,” Larry recalls. “I went online and searched ‘soft field landings,’ and up came the MzeroA website. I

found this four-minute video of Jason landing on Captiva Island. He had cameras on the inside and the outside of the airplane, which show exactly what is happening. I showed it to the guy and a half hour later he landed on grass perfectly. The videos are made to be not too long or too short. I call it the Goldilocks length, because they’re just right. The students see it, understand it and can refer back to it when they’re actually flying. Jason also has really great books, so I recommended them to anyone I was training, which helped me achieve a 100 percent pass rate with my students.” “We have a very high success rate,” Jason echoes. “We have a ‘pass your checkride (the

“It’s not your typical organization,” he explains. “It’s really fun, and it’s different every day.” —Russell Loving


final FAA exam) or we’ll pay for it’ guarantee. I’ve always believed that if I want to find success, I have to make others successful. That goes for my customers and my team.” That success is something the team derives a great deal of satisfaction from. “We have trained about 15,000 pilots through our Remote Pilot 101 course,” Director of Operations Matt Krysiak offers. “The last

figures for the FAA written tests was 28,000 in total, and we trained 15,000 of those, so that’s pretty cool.” Cool indeed, but perhaps what makes the company even cooler is the dynamic culture the Schapperts have created. “We try to have a fun, laid-back environment,” Ashley shares. “We’ve even implemented half-day Fridays, so we can get out early and go fly or just have some fun outside.” The company’s Director of Maintenance Russell Loving, who is featured in the Maintenance Mondays video series, is a seasoned aircraft mechanic who not

only oversees MzeroA’s planes but is also developing a new Maintenance Course. Loving praises the culture. “It’s not your typical organization,” he explains. “It’s really fun, and it’s different every day.” Ethen Chaffin, who oversees customer service, credits the in-house child care as a determining factor in why he chose to work at MzeroA. “When I had my first child, I had a job where I had to travel a lot,” he recalls. “I realized I wanted to be home, so to be able to bring my kids to work with me any day of the week and sit down to lunch with them is more important than anything to me.” Chaffin believes part of the company’s growth is a direct result of this benefit. “Jason, Ashley and myself can really accomplish so much more knowing that our kids are being well cared for and [that we are] able to see them throughout the day.” Further growth, including a new headquarters, new course offerings and expansion into new markets, means that MzeroA is searching for talent to join their team, from flight instructors and customer support staff to a dynamic graphic designer. “We know there are a lot of talented people here in Ocala, and we want to find them,” Jason offers. “There are many things we can teach. What I can’t teach is a love of aviation. We want individuals who have a zest to get up every single day and love what they do.”

LEARN MORE › For more information on MzeroA, visit MzeroA.com.

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DE DI C ATE D TO E N R I C H I N G TH E LIVE S O F LO C AL FAM I LI E S

Girls Will Recent findings, suggest the symptoms of ADHD in girls can differ from those of boys and may Be Girls drastically go overlooked. For example, a boy with ADHD may have trouble sitting still in his classroom, constantly shifting in his seat. A girl, on the other hand, may be out of her seat but has taken on the role of classroom helper, wandering around to different desks. A teacher would consider the boy’s actions to be hyperactive, whereas the girl’s actions would be considered helpful. Here are some signs that your daughter may have ADHD:

› Her performance on tests does not match

how long she spends studying.

› She struggles with friendships because

she does not read social cues.

› She misplaces her things frequently

(phone, homework, money, etc.).

› Visit your local primary care physician for

Source: cnn.com

a professional opinion.

NEW MOM MUST- DOS

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Beyond The Basic Baby Shower Your sister-in-law just announced she’s pregnant, and you’re already buying ‘best aunt ever’ gear. Before you get too far ahead of yourself, let’s talk baby showers. If you’re throwing one, or even just helping, you’ll want to make sure you’re in tune with what the mother-to-be prefers. › By Cealia Athanason and Karin Fabry-Cushenbery

B

ecause baby showers are steeped in tradition, some moms-to-be are opting for more of a girls’-night-out approach or cocktail party-style celebration. You want your guests to have a good time, but most importantly, you want the mom-to-be to enjoy herself and be completely relaxed. Let’s break the traditions just a bit and add a modern touch or two to the next baby shower you plan.

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A Modern Approach Whether it’s a girls-only affair or a couples’ party, forget the baby food tasting games and never-ending ‘awwws’ when gifts are opened. These are baby showers guests will want to attend and moms-to-be will love.

Spa Spectacular Maybe this mom just wants to hang with the girls and ditch traditional diaper games. Organize a spa day and enjoy a much-needed pampering session. Send out simple but stylish invites with a vibrant color scheme. Pink

and orange? Aqua and lime? The choice is yours. Gather a few close gal pals and plan a day of facials and mani/ pedis. Start the afternoon with goodie bags for each guest that includes a head wrap, cute flip flops, a nail polish or two and a plush towel. Arrange it with spa management ahead of time to have a table set up with fresh fruit, crunchy veggies and various cheeses. Create a signature fruit-inspired cocktail to serve alongside. Don’t forget to offer a mocktail version, as well. Low flower arrangements that correspond to the invite’s colors are a nice addition to the table and a beautiful reminder for the mom to take home.


Have the guests chip in to purchase a prenatal massage that the mom-to-be can use at a later date and present it to her at the end of the shower.

Shop ‘Til You Drop If the shower consists of just a few close friends, have everyone chip in some gift cards and head out to mom’s favorite department store or baby boutique. Everyone can bond over choosing cute baby clothes and gear and maybe a few nursery essentials as well. If mom has a registry, go to town helping her select her must-haves. Following the shopping spree, treat mom to a delicious lunch at a quiet café. Don’t skimp on the dessert!

Sources: diynetwork.com, parents.com

An Artist’s Escape Is your new mom crafty? An artist? Consider renting out a local pottery or painting studio. Most of these places allow food and drink for just such an occasion. Encourage mom to paint a special canvas or ceramic piece for the baby’s nursery. Maybe the baby’s initials or a piggy bank? Play some relaxing, quiet music in the background to encourage conversation. Another option is to host a craft shower at home. Either purchase white onesies in a variety of sizes and have guests create one-of-a-kind baby wear for the little one,

or provide each guest with a wooden letter of the alphabet or number to use as nursery décor. (A quick Google search will yield lots of suggestions and directions.) Provide paint colors and embellishments that are mom-approved to coordinate with her nursery plans. Instead of typical gifts, encourage each guest to bring a wrapped baby book or two to contribute to the baby’s library.

Couples’ Soirée Bringing the men along has been a recent trend in hopes of trading the ‘shower’ reputation for more of a party vibe. Chat with

the mom about a theme for the shower, along with her preferred type of location, and then work from a mix of casual but this-looks-amazing decorating tricks to pull together a coedappropriate gathering. Beer, champagne and a special virgin cocktail are must-haves. Have a special section for the gifts, but don’t push a gift-opening session. Instead, keep party guests mingling with plenty of appetizers and toasts to the couple in the spotlight. Aim for an outdoor patio option for guests to get comfortable, and incorporate a few different seating sections

into your setup to keep guests engaged. Want a simpler option? Backyard barbecue, anyone?

Weekend Refresh Soon enough there will be sleepless nights and piles of tiny laundry. For now, though, it’s all about the mom-to-be. If mom can swing it, a weekend away with the ladies or another close couple may be just what’s needed to clear her mind before the craziness of a newborn sets in. Don’t wait until mom is too far along in her pregnancy that she may be uncomfortable. Shoot for the sixth or seventh month. Choose a location that’s within a few hour’s drive. The beach, Disney, historic Savannah. Spend your time exploring, eating delicious food and relaxing.

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› CLASS ACTS › BY KEVIN CHRISTIAN, APR, CPRC

Class Of 2029 Starts Early

What happens when you mix first-graders with high school students? Great experiences with bright outlooks for future careers! Youngsters from Reddick-Collier Elementary spent a morning at Marion Technical Institute recently, escorted by students involved in the school’s career programs. These young students created their own cookies in culinary arts, took their own fingerprints in the law program and even tied their own neckties in the business and finance program. Who knows—these could be future MTI students in a few short years.

Fun Night “Fur” The Fair Future Farmers of America students made a lasting impression when they brought a live trio of animals, including a rooster, rabbit and goat before the school board recently. The students were promoting the Southeastern Youth Fair, the annual event involving hundreds of students from dozens of schools in tons of ag-based projects. Some schools end up winning big time dollars when their animals are auctioned to the highest bidder. Most importantly, students learn responsibility, teamwork and lots of other personal skills in the process.

Marion’s Top Teacher

Helene Hotaling is Marion County’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. The 28-year teaching veteran from Madison Street Academy received the surprise honor at the annual Golden Apple Gala sponsored by the Public Education Foundation of Marion County. Hotaling, whose husband was Marion County’s Teacher of the Year in 2002, also won a free car for three years from Jenkins Auto Group. She’s now in the running for Florida’s Teacher of the Year to be announced this summer.

Purple Hearts Abound

Marion County is quickly becoming home to reserved parking for Purple Heart recipients. Nearly 20 schools now have front-row spots for these distinguished military veterans who visit our schools and volunteer, sharing their real-life experiences as living history lessons. Belleview High and South Ocala Elementary are the latest schools to put Purple Heart parking in the spotlight up front and center. 026

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Goal: Be The Best

These Belleview-Santos Elementary soccer champs know what it takes to win. Led by Coaches Netherclift and Humphries, these eight boys and eight girls (not all pictured) are fifth-graders. They played five games to reach the championship, demonstrated great sportsmanship all along the way and live the “Big 3” rule to do their best, do what’s right and treat others the way they want to be treated. Looks like the Yearlings took the championship with class this year!


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1/25/18 12:06 PM


Horsin’ Around

There’s always something happening in Horse Country. Check out these upcoming events for the month of March. Interested in seeing your horse-related event in Ocala Style? Send us an email at comments@ocalastyle.com. › HITS Ocala Tournament VII: Through Mar. 4 › HITS Ocala Winter Finals VIII: Mar. 6-11 › Live Oak International 2nd Annual Live Oak International 5K: Mar. 12

MANE

EXPLORING MARION COUNTY’S EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITY

› HITS Ocala Winter Celebration IX: Mar. 13-18

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› Live Oak International Combined Driving/Show Jumping: Mar. 15-18 › Equiventures Horse Trials Ocala Winter at the Florida Horse Park II: Mar. 16-18 › AFJRA Rodeo at the Florida Horse ParkMar. 17-18 HITSOcala Championship X: Mar. 20-25 › Arabian Horse Show at The Grand Oaks: Mar. 31-Apr. 1

RODEO ROUNDUP

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AN EQUINE EVENT

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ALL ABOUT OBS

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THE

Mane

It’s Rodeo Time! The Ocala-based Southeastern Pro Rodeo celebrates its milestone 25th anniversary March 23-24 at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion.   › By JoAnn Guidry › Photography by Ralph Demilio

O

ver the past three decades, Ruben Lamb has seen Ocala grow from an unknown in the rodeo world to becoming a major rodeo destination. And Lamb, affectionately known in these parts as Mr. Rodeo, knows of what he speaks. Lamb, who grew up as a ranch cowboy, was instrumental in launching the Ocala Shrine Rodeo in 1983. Encouraged and supported by rodeo friends and fans, Lamb led the process to add the Southeastern Pro Rodeo to Ocala’s saddlebag in 1993. To this day, Lamb serves as the event coordinator for both Ocalabased rodeos. “There was a time when someone mentioned Ocala to serious rodeo folks and they said, ‘Where the heck is Ocala?’ But that’s changed,” says Lamb. “Now, Ocala is an important rodeo town, and we draw competitors from all over the Southeast, as well as the country. And now we can also brag that Keri Sheffield, the 2018 Miss Rodeo

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America, is a hometown girl who grew up competing in our rodeos.” In fact, Sheffield, the first Floridian to be named Miss Rodeo America, is scheduled to make an appearance at the Southeastern Pro Rodeo. She will lead the grand entry to kick off the rodeo, as well as do a meet and greet and sign autographs. Lamb estimates that more than 200 professional cowboys and cowgirls will compete in the two-day Southeastern Pro Rodeo on Friday and Saturday evening, March 23-24 at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion. The competitors mostly come from a ninestate region, which includes from Arkansas to the east and north to North Carolina. The goal is to win prize money and qualify for the Southeastern Circuit Finals. The SE Pro Rodeo is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). Rodeo events include

saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. “We do get competitors from outside the southeast region,” notes Lamb. “In fact, Curtis Garton, a well-known saddle bronc rider from New Zealand, has become a regular participant in our rodeo.” Lamb, 76, remembers going to rodeo and stock shows as a youngster growing up in Ocala and describes rodeo as “a combination


WANT TO GO?

Southeastern Pro Rodeo › Friday &

“Now, Ocala is an important rodeo town, and we draw competitors from all over the Southeast, as well as the country.” - Ruben Lamb of culture and sport.” And it has a special element not present in other sports. “Rodeo is unique in that it is one of the only professional sports where participants pay an entry fee to participate,” says Lamb. “I call it pay to play. But make no mistake, these cowboys and cowgirls are serious about their sport. They compete all year long to hopefully qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in December in Las Vegas.” Of all the rodeo events, Lamb notes that “bull riding and barrel racing are the most popular and draw the biggest crowds.” In bull riding, the competitor must stay on the bull for eight seconds to get a qualifying score to advance through each go-round to the finals. Lamb describes it as “the most dangerous eight seconds in any sport.” Barrel racing is all about speed and accuracy. Horse and rider teams race against the clock, running a cloverleaf pattern around

three barrels. If a barrel is knocked down, that’s a five-second penalty. Fastest times advance through the rounds to the finals. “Rodeo is an exciting sport for competitors and spectators,” says Lamb. “The crowd can really get into it and cheer on their favorites. It can get pretty rowdy, but it’s good fun for the whole family, too.” In addition to the rodeo events, specialty acts set to perform include the Crossfire Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team and Tim “Wild Thang” Lepard & Team Ghost Riders. Friday night is Wrangler National Patriot Night, which will recognize all military branches and first responders. Also on Friday night, children 6-11 will be admitted for $5; the first 300 kids will receive a Justin Boots contestant back number. Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night will be on Saturday evening with a focus on breast cancer awareness and the Michelle-OGram Foundation.

Saturday, March 23-24 › Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala › ocalarodeo.com › (888) 744-8499

ADMISSION

› 5 & Under: Free › Adults: $15 (advance from outlets listed

below), $18 (online & at gate)

› Reserved Box Seating: $30 › Gates open each day at 5:30pm, and

rodeo begins each day at 7:30pm

SE PRO RODEO ADVANCE TICKET OUTLETS › Tack Shack of Ocala › Russell’s Western Wear (Ocala) › Klover Leaf Tack (Williston) › OBS Feed & Supply (all Ocala locations) › Rick’s Performance Feed (Ocala &

Dunnellon)

› Boot Barn (Ocala, Lady Lake &

Gainesville)

› Sparr Building & Farm Supply (Sparr

& Wildwood)

MAR ’18 ›

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A Live Oak Tradition

The Live Oak International Combined Driving & Show Jumping event is slated for March 15-18. Do you have your ticket? › By JoAnn Guidry

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Photos by Haide Westring

L

iving up to its name, the 2018 Live Oak International Combined Driving & Show Jumping event will host competitors from 20 nations. The annual show, now in its 27th year, takes place at Charlotte Weber’s Ocala-based Live Oak Stud, one of the premier thoroughbred operations in the country. For the third year in a row, LOI will host the USEF Combined Driving Advanced Four-In-Hand Horse National Championships. But for the first time, national driving champions will also be named in the USEF Intermediate divisions of Single Pony, Pair Pony, Pony Team, Single Horse, Pair Horse and Four-In-Hand Horse. “We are honored to again host the Advanced Four-In-Hand National Championship, and we are excited to welcome competitors in the new USEF Intermediate championship divisions,” says Chester Weber, LOI co-president and a 14-time USEF Four-In-Hand champion. “We look forward to welcoming leading drivers, horses, trainers and coaches from all over the world.” In Combined Driving competition, horses and drivers

compete in three phases of dressage, cross-country marathon and obstacles. In dressage, the driver takes his horse(s) through a prescribed sequence of movements test in an arena. Tackling challenging obstacles at high speed through a course of open fields and woods makes the cross-country marathon a crowd pleaser. In the obstacle phase, drivers must negotiate designated patterns through cones in the fastest time possible without knocking down any cones. In 2012, Weber and his sister, Juliet W. Reid, who is also LOI co-president, collaborated to add show jumping to the event. This

integration made LOI the only equine competition to feature both combined driving and show jumping. This year’s show jumping competition will offer four events, including the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Qualifier Grand Prix. This event is the final chance for competitors to qualify for the International Indoor Show Jumping Championship in Paris, France. “We are very proud of how the event has grown to showcase sportsmanship at the highest level,” says Weber. “And we’re equally proud that it has become a major community event.”

WANT TO GO? LIVE OAK INTERNATIONAL COMBINED DRIVING & SHOW JUMPING › Thursday-Sunday, March 15-18 › Live Oak Stud, 2215 SW 110th Avenue, Ocala ›

liveoakinternational.com


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Auction Acumen

Hundreds of thoroughbred juveniles will be sold for millions at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s March 13-14 Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale.   › By JoAnn Guidry

F

ounded in 1974, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company has become the premier seller of 2-year-old thoroughbreds in training in the country. This isn’t just some PR spin but instead fact backed up by the numbers. In 2017, OBS sold 1,417 juveniles for $133 million to account for 69 percent of the market share of 2 year olds sold in North America. The sales company sold eight 2 year olds for $1,000,000 or more, which was twice the number of another United States-based sales company. OBS also sold a colt for $2.45 million at its April sale and a filly for $1.7 million at its March sale, which were the two highest-priced juveniles of 2017. “Ocala is the epicenter of the 2-year-oldsin-training market. We have the farms, the trainers, the facilities, the support services,” says OBS Sales Director Todd Wojciechowski. “And all of this comes together to create an economic engine for Ocala/Marion County. There’s the people employed by the thoroughbred industry, plus the influx of buyers and sellers during our sales. Last year, our buyers came from 42 states and 16 countries. They not only buy thoroughbreds, they stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and shop. It’s a win-win for everybody.” Last year’s OBS March Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale was a record setter. A total of 300 head sold for a record gross of $56,627,000.

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Photos by Louise E. Reinagel

“The sales are a great opportunity for the public to come out and see an important part of what makes Ocala/ Marion County the Horse Capital of the World” - Todd Wojciechowski Five juveniles sold for $1 million or more and 30 sold for $500,000 or more. The sales topper was a Congrats out of Azalea Belle, by Westerly Breeze, filly that sold for $1.7 million. “Our success is fueled by our sales graduates becoming successful racehorses. We’ve sold many horses who went on to become millionaires and champions,” says Wojciechowski. “Our business is largely based on happy repeat customers.” Like all its sales, this year’s March Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale is open to the public. “The sales are a great opportunity for the public to come out and see an important part of what makes Ocala/Marion County the Horse Capital of the World,” says Wojciechoski. “You

can come in the mornings to watch the horses work on the track and then attend one of the sale days. Even if you’re not selling or buying, it’s easy to be caught up in the excitement of horses being sold for millions of dollars.”

LEARN MORE › OBS Under Tack Show, March 8-10, 8am › OBS March 13-14 TwoYear-Olds in Training Sale, 10:30am each day › Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company › 1701 SW 60th Avenue, Ocala › obssales.com › (352) 237-2154


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History continues at the Ocala Drive In theater.

I

t’s safe to say owning a drive-in theater isn’t a dream for most people, but it’s always been on the “bucket list” for John Watzke. His long-time wish became reality when he purchased the old Ocala Drive-In in August 2010. Originally named the Dyer Drive-In after the first owners, the drive-in first opened in March 1948. “The Dyers had come down from Kentucky, but Mrs. Dyer hated Florida and wanted to go back, so they did. Friends of theirs managed it until it was sold in 1957,” relates Watzke, adding that the drive-in changed hands again at least twice before it finally closed in 2002. “At that time, a man named Birchfield was leasing it, but he was shot in the ticket box of a drive-in he owned in Jacksonville, and so this one closed.” And it might have stayed that way if not for Hurricane Katrina.

A New Orleans native, Watzke grew up in a family that spent over a century working in the movie business. His grandfather began working as a projectionist in 1913, and his father worked as a projectionist and engineer for Gulf State Theaters, which at one time owned nearly 300 drive-ins. When Watzke was just a teenager, his first job was repairing speakers at the Do Drive-In in New Orleans. After Katrina devastated his home town, Watzke moved to Florida where he had family in Cocoa Beach. He got a job as a maintenance manager at a condo, but his heart wasn’t in that line of work. Killing time one evening, he browsed the internet and searched drive-in theaters in Florida. Of the nearly 500 operating in the mid-1960s to early ‘70s, less than 10 were still in business. What he found next made him sit up and take notice. There was a closed drive-in theater for sale in Ocala.


“I Googled the address and looked at the satellite images and saw that the screen tower and concession building were still there,” says Watzke. “The basics were there, but they were in desperate need of repair.” Watzke decided he wasn’t going to wait any longer to cross this one particular thing off his bucket list. Using his savings, Watzke bought the Ocala Drive-In and set about restoring it, doing much of the work himself. With no grants or help from the city or state, it took nearly a year to get the facility ready to open. “My son asked, ‘With all the new technology today, do you really think people will come?’ I told him, ‘My generation is going to bring your generation so they can fall in love with it just like we did,” Watzke predicted. And that’s exactly what happened. “When we first opened, we had a lot of older people come with their kids and grandkids. Now those kids and grandkids are coming without the grandparents bringing them,” says Watzke. Some of those are regulars who drive from as far as Orlando, Chiefland and Tallahassee.

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“We’re down to 312 drive-in theaters in the country from almost 7,000 at the heyday,” notes Watzke. “Today the average customer drives 1 1/2 hours to a drive-in just because they are so rare.”

Comfy Setting, New Movies In the “old days,” drive-ins showed movies that were several months old, but that won’t fly today. “Back then you didn’t have the internet or cable, but in today’s world, if you don’t get a movie within the first four to six weeks, it’s either on DVD, has a tentative DVD release date or is already on the internet. If you don’t get a new movie, you’re pretty much wasting your time,” explains Watzke. The same day the new Star Wars movie was first shown at walk-in chain theaters (also known as “hard tops”), it was also seen on the big outdoor screen at the Ocala Drive-In. In addition to showing all new-release movies, the concession prices are half what you pay at walk-ins, plus there’s a lot

more variety. Sure, there’s the traditional popcorn, candy and soda, but Watzke has also added options like pizza and even fried green tomatoes. Just so you know, supporting the concession stand is crucial if you’re going to a drive-in. Film companies take the lion’s share of ticket prices, whether you attend a walk-in or drive-in theater. “At a walk-in, the theater makes 35 to 40 percent of the ticket price, so the concession is where they make their money,” says Watzke. “Drive-ins only get about 20 percent of the ticket price, and you can’t make it off that, so most of them charge an additional parking fee or ‘outside food fee’ on top of the ticket price just to survive.” Watzke doesn’t want to do that. Instead, he focuses on educating his customers about why it’s important to visit the concession stand and not bring in outside food. “Just one light bulb for my projector costs $3,000, and I have to change that every three months,” he notes, “so the concession is where I make my operating expenses.” Patrons at the Ocala Drive-In get plenty of bang for their buck, as each adult ticket is only $6 and is good for two movies. Plus, kids age 6 to 12 are just $3, and those age 5 and under get in free. “The majority of my clientele are families, so a family of four usually pays only $15


(depending on the age of the kids), and they’re getting two movies,” says Watzke. The Ocala Drive-In added a second screen in September 2016. The size of the venue makes it capable of hosting large groups; Watzke recently had a group of 230 Girl Scouts camp there.

Personal Touch One of the appeals of a drive-in is that you’re not nearly as restricted as at a walk-in theater. “Most customers don’t sit inside their vehicles to watch the movies,” says Watzke. “They either sit in lawn chairs or in the back of their truck. We also have a patio area with sound.” Watzke is a people person and loves to help his patrons celebrate special moments. He’s helped with a fair share of birthdays, prom date requests, wedding proposals, even baby announcements. For example, one man was in the military, and when he returned home, he wanted to propose at the Ocala Drive-In because that’s where he and his girlfriend had their first date. Watzke helped him pull it off and even ran a video the young man made to pop the question.

Now 61, Watzke has successfully battled stage IV colon cancer in 2012 and a broken foot from falling off a ladder while working in 2013. His employees admit it’s not easy to keep up with him, as Watzke is all about putting the customer first. A totally hands-on owner, he handles accounting, bookings, projector work and much of the grounds maintenance. He also helps cook and serve in the concession building. “You don’t get rich doing this, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Watzke happily. “We’re open 365 days a year, and I’m here all day working, but it feels like a hobby to me.”

Drive In Theaters: A Quick History Richard Hollingshead, Jr., an auto parts sales manager in New Jersey, gets credit for inventing the drive-in theater. Rumor has it that he did so to accommodate his mother whose generous proportions wouldn’t comfortably fit in a conventional movie theater seat. His first experiments included a 1928 projector on the hood of his car, a screen tacked to backyard trees and a radio for sound. Hollingshead patented his idea, and in 1933, along with three investors, he built and

opened the first public drive-in in Camden, New Jersey. Ticket price? Just 25 cents per person and per car. Initially, drive-ins had speakers you mounted on the car door, but after countless speakers were ripped loose when drivers forgot to remove them before leaving, technology changed so that sound was transmitted via FM frequency through the car’s radio. Florida joined the trend when the state’s first drive-in theater opened in Miami in February 1938. The Sunshine State’s mild weather made it a natural for the drive-in, and by the mid-’50s, there were over 150 in operation. Today there are only seven operating drive-ins left in Florida, but the state does claim the country’s largest drive-in theater: the 14-screen Swap Shop Drive-in in Fort Lauderdale. The oldest operating drive-in theater in the country is Shankweiler’s Auto Park in Orefield, Pennsylvania, which initially opened April 15, 1934.

Ocala Drive In 4850 S Pine Avenue, Ocala (352) 629-1325

ocaladrivein.info facebook.com/ocaladrivein/

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champions in training Playing youth football in Marion County is a time-honored tradition, one that is often passed down from generation to generation.

By Carlton Reese

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he staccato cracking of shoulder pads and butting helmets is periodically interrupted by the high-pitched whistles of the referee and rhythmic chanting of cheerleaders. A small roar grows like a tidal wave into thunderous reverberation as one of the crowd’s heroes crosses the goal line, pigskin in hand. One need not see but only hear in order to recognize the immutable scene wedded with the brisk autumnal air—the American gridiron in all its glory, passion and innocence. That innocence is no more clearly on display than on the youth fields across the country and particularly right here in Marion County. But across these vast United States, participation in youth sports and youth football in particular has declined steadily over the past decade due mainly to soaring costs, distracting mobile technology, the advent of club teams and, perhaps most significantly, parents’ rising fears of long-term head injury. However, one visit to the Jervey Gantt Recreation Complex on any given Saturday during the fall certainly belies the notion of youth football’s waning popularity.

Photography by John Jernigan

In 2017, the Marion County Youth Football League boasted of 32 teams and 24 cheerleading squads for a total of nearly 1,200 participants, a number that has held steady the last decade. While in the country as a whole participation in youth football has steadily declined—27.7 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to a USA Football study—the MCYFL has maintained its high participation rates. “(MCYFL) is not about who has the best team or who is winning Super Bowls,” incoming MCYFL President Vince Arnold says. “It’s about love for the game and teaching the game.” With two fields at maximum occupancy every Saturday, it’s hard to imagine there was actually a time when the fields were not teeming with such excitement. But in the summer of 1970 when John Brantley, Jr. walked up to the Forest High School field house hoping to find information on where to sign his boys up for youth football, he discovered from thenhead coach Brent Hall that none existed. Not a situation to be taken lightly in the football-centric Brantley family, this meeting

with Hall proved to be the spark that ignited a Marion County tradition, which has been going strong for 48 years. “My dad likes a challenge, and he told coach Hall ‘we need to start a league,’” recalls John Brantley III, the son who would go on to play in the league’s inaugural season and later play quarterback at Forest and the University of Florida before becoming a head coach himself and guiding Trinity Catholic High School to a state title in 2010. “I was in the eighth grade, which was the oldest class you could be, and that eighth-grade class was part of the first state championship at Forest in 1974. A lot of Ocala rallied behind this thing. The evolution of the league has been fun to watch over the years.” The first season, in 1970, the Wildcat Booster Independent Football League consisted of six teams competing at various sites, including Belleview, Dunnellon, Booster Stadium, the old Marion Academy Field and Webb Stadium where MLK Park is today. During the 1980s and into the new millennium, the league played all its games on one field at Jervey Gantt Recreational Complex MAR ’18 ›

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where it does to this day but now with two fields, creating a football festival atmosphere that brings all parts of the county together. League Vice President Greg Paquin was a player during that inaugural 1970 season, and he has seen perhaps more than anyone else the vast changes that have taken place in the sport and league in particular. “I recall my first year of coaching, we went to a storage facility to get the equipment, and it was all stored in refrigerator boxes,” Paquin recalls of the league’s early days. “You had your list, they pulled the boxes down and they rolled onto the parking lot. The stuff we used back then was paramount to what you’d find at Walmart. Today, (equipment) is very sophisticated with fitting helmets—the same equipment used in college and pros. A lot more is put into the safety of the game, mainly because we know a lot more now than we did back then.” In a Friday night game, the Belleview Bulldogs beat the Panthers 12-0 in the league’s first game. The next night, the Tigers would trounce Paquin’s Cougars 40-12 as Cornell Johnson scored five touchdowns.

The league was off and running, rife with excitement, heartache, victory and injury—all part of life’s lessons learned through sport. “We had good times,” Paquin recalls. “We went to Belleview on Halloween night and lost 63-0. I broke my nose, and I sat on the bench, thinking, ‘I gave up trick-or-treating for this?’” Before the 1970 season, the only football for elementary- and middle-school students was the sandlot or recess, and that year local youth enjoyed the opportunity for organized football and cheerleading for the first time. What ensued started as Wildcat Booster Independent Football League, later to be re-named the Marion County Independent Football League and now MCYFL. A training ground and feeder league of sorts for the local high school football teams, the league has since evolved into one that encompasses not just middle-school age players (Senior) but also divisions for second- and third-graders (Pee Wee) and fourth- and fifth-graders (Junior). Cheerleading squads fall under the same age requirements with team placement based mainly on home addresses.

“The biggest thing we teach to (league coaches) is that as many kids as we have in youth football, this might be the last football they ever play,” Arnold says. “They might not make that high school football team for whatever reason, so we emphasize teamwork, discipline and teaching the game of football. We want to play to win, but we strive to get these kids to play ball and let them have fun doing it.” The same holds true on the cheerleader side, where the fun and excitement of game day is also mixed in with some fiery competition as well. An integral part of MCYFL from the beginning, cheerleaders learn basic fundamentals of what local and state governments officially consider a sport in its own right. At the end of the season, Pee Wee and Junior division squads hold an exhibition competition while the Senior division crowns a competition winner each year. In 2017, the Senior Wildcats won their second straight title. “It’s the highlight of the year for the girls—a championship of their own,” says Lois Schwing, MCYFL treasurer and cheer division director. “It’s great to see the kids grow up and then be parents of their own out here. We see generation after generation.” With cheer and stunt teams gaining force, cheerleading participation in MCYFL has dropped in recent years, but it still remains a viable aspect of the league. To Schwing, there’s no replacement for cheering under the lights during an actual game. “The last five or six years, the numbers have dropped off some as girls want to play other things,” Schwing said. “We’re into basic cheering fundamentals and not stunts. But we have girls that have participated in other organizations, and they come back because they love cheering the games.” MCYFL registration for cheerleaders took place in February, but girls can still attend football registration March 3 and 10 to be placed on a squad that could still use more girls. Not affiliated with any national youth football organizations, such as Pop Warner Little Scholars, the MCYFL is strictly a local and independent league. Although

Photo by John Webb 67 Sports


2017 FL MCY ships n cats 16 o i p m Wild Cha hts 40, Knig iefs 14 Senior: s 18, Ch r le e e t S s 12 Junior: Dolphin , 6 1 s n e: Tita dcats Pee We nior Wil e S : g in ad Cheerle

many of the same rules of eligibility and safety protocols are the same, MCYFL sets its own standards using many of the guidelines prescribed by USA Football. Paquin claims the main difference between MCYFL and other organizations, such as Pop Warner, is that “there is no traveling in MCYFL. “We all play among ourselves—the whole county—all in one location,” he says. In an era racked with fears of concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) believed to be found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, the MCYFL has taken a very aggressive role in assuring parents that all measures are being taken to make the game safe. The league mandates that all coaches take a USA Football certification course that instructs the safe methods of tackling and is familiar with new rules, such as “targeting” of “defenseless” players. “We’ve actively let everyone know that our coaches are certified and that we have a Player Safety Coach who roams to practices and makes sure drills and practices are up to standards,”

Arnold said. “If a coach doesn’t have a (certification) badge, then he’s not a coach here.” Arnold notes that players at the highest levels today did not necessarily receive the type of instruction today’s youth enjoy. The culture of safe play will change at the youngest level and work its way to the top through time. He says that the emphasis on player safety even works its way into the officiating of games, where referees are known to make calls with an err to caution. This means if it looks like an unsafe and unfair hit, a penalty will be called even if the play may not fit the strict definition of “targeting.” Rules change, techniques change and certainly coaching methods change as well. For Paquin, all the change has been for the good. “About three years ago, the MCYFL adopted the NFL Heads Up Program, which teaches proper (and safer) tackling and blocking technique,” Paquin said. “You have to get the kids used to playing with the new rules and techniques in order to make the game safer in the future. It’s working. If I coached the way I was coached, I’d be in jail. The game is changing, for the good.” Honoring its past is something the MCYFL dedicates itself to. One way is through its Hall of Fame located at Jervey Gantt. For each of the past three seasons, one player, coach and administrator has been inducted into the Hall.

Included in the Hall of Fame as players are three who went on to NFL careers: Scot Brantley (Forest, UF, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Tyrone Young (Forest, UF, New Orleans Saints) and Daunte Culpepper (Vanguard, UCF, Minnesota Vikings). Charlie Johnson, Ken Lake and Ernie Pendleton are Hall of Famers as coaches. The other two members should come as no surprise, the two men who started it all nearly 50 years ago: Brent Hall and John Brantley, Jr. Thanks to them and a community willing to dedicate its time, energy and money to youth sports, the MCYFL has become an iconic fixture of the local sports landscape and continues to be among the top youth football leagues in the state. “This is a special league, not just to my family but for the whole community,” Brantley says. “I’ll bet two of every three families here have been involved in one way or another. There’s a lot of pride in looking at what this league has become.”

Learn More MCYFL Registration

Where: Jervey Gantt Athletic Complex, SE 36th Ave., Ocala March 3 (returning players only): 9-11am (Senior), 11am- 1pm (Junior), 1-3pm (Pee Wee) March 10 (new players): 9am-2pm, open for all (Birth certificate and proof of address required) MAR ’18 ›

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A Feastr

for the

The Ocala Culinary Festival promises indulgence and inspiration in equal measure.

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Palate

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BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND | PHOTOGRAPHY BY RALPH DEMILIO Chef Photos Courtesy of Ocala Culinary Festival

hen the Ocala Culinary Festival debuted last spring, its creators hoped to inspire and delight their hometown with a few days of culinary magic. The overwhelming response to the event told them their instincts were right on target. “We were overwhelmed with how positive the response was, and hearing all the feedback and appreciation was very energizing,” says Jennifer Murty, co-founder of the festival with Elodie Perron, co-owner of La Cuisine French Restaurant with her husband, Chef Patrice Perron. The energy that they’ve channeled into the 2018 event—along with a stellar lineup of talent—promises to make this year’s festival truly amazing. “Even though last year was over the top, this year will be far better,” says participating local chef Randal White of the Ocala Hilton, who is also on the advisory board for the festival. “It’s a fabulous opportunity for Ocala to showcase these culinary talents; we all learn to do better through each other.” Indeed, festival coordinators have outdone themselves with the international roundup of participating chefs. “We have chefs coming from Haiti,” Jennifer adds, referring to the much-anticipated evening that benefits the James Beard Foundation. “Haitian cuisine is inspired by French cooking, and because of all their island has endured, the chefs have had to be resourceful. We’re looking forward to seeing them give us the best examples of what Haitian cuisine looks—and tastes—like. And a representative from the James Beard Foundation will be attending.” “The James Beard Foundation is like the Academy Awards for the culinary world. What they represent is excellence, so it’s a great honor to host this dinner,” says Robin Fannon, local cooking expert and regular Ocala Style contributor. Fannon is also a member of the festival’s advisory board. “The fact that we’re having a Haitian theme makes it stand out,” notes Fannon, who has been immersed in planning the decorating details for the dinner, which will be held at her home. “I know this is going to be a sell-out success; we’re expecting about 80 people to attend. A lot of people don’t realize that Haitian island cuisine is really more French

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Schedule Of Events Creole, so this will be a unique evening— definitely not cookie-cutter!” To keep things fresh and exciting, all of the venues are different from last year’s festival, and events will be held at various locations throughout Marion County. Timing is everything, and the festival was planned to coincide with one of the loveliest times of year in North Central Florida. Ocala Style is proud to be the exclusive local magazine sponsor of the Ocala Culinary Festival. And thanks to the success of last year’s festival, the 2018 festival has increased media coverage. “When we were planning the festival, we realized one of the most important things we could bring was media coverage, so we’ve spent a lot of time reaching out to food magazines about covering it,” explains Jennifer. “The Local Palate, a national magazine with regional emphasis, will be attending the festival and reporting on the events via social media.” Proceeds from the inaugural festival in 2017 helped support a number of local charitable organizations. In 2018, the Ocala Culinary festival continues this trend. One local group the festival will contribute to is the Forest High School Culinary Program. “Students in the culinary program volunteered last year, and we wanted to honor their exemplary, can-do spirit by contributing financially to their program,” says Jennifer. “We thoroughly enjoyed working with such enthusiastic volunteers.” Mark your calendar for the Ocala Culinary Festival, April 11-15, 2018. Your taste buds will be forever grateful.

What To Know

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Ticketed events are all inclusive of food, drinks and gratuity. Attendance for each event is limited, and tickets sell out quickly, especially for some of the smaller, more intimate experiences, so don’t delay. Tickets may be purchased online at ocalaculinaryfestival.com.

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A GOURMET TASTE OF HAITI

THE ART OF COCKTAILS

Two celebrated Haitian chefs will showcase their island’s unique flavors during a multicourse dinner, including cocktails by the festival’s official mixologist. The evening benefits the James Beard Foundation.

An inspiring afternoon workshop shares the art and science behind mixing the perfect cocktail.

COOKING LOCAL WITH CHEF DIMITRI POMAKIS

Friday, April 13, 6pm at Bridlewood Farm

Wednesday, April 11, 6pm at a private home in the Ocala Historic District

Wednesday, April 11, 6:30pm at Feta Mediterranean Cuisine

Enjoy the best of Greek-inspired cuisine and locally sourced ingredients, along with some of the chef’s favorite, not-so-local Greek wines.

SARAH’S CHEESE-MAKING CLASS Thursday, April 12, 10am at Rose Farm Kitchen

Attendees will learn how to handcraft their own fresh, hand-stretched mozzarella. The class also includes an at-home cheese-making kit to keep.

GRILL CLINIC WITH ROBYN LINDARS a.k.a. GRILL GIRL Thursday, April 12, 11:30am at Trilogy’s Salted Brick Saturday, April 14, 3:30pm at Trilogy’s Salted Brick

Participants in this educational and entertaining class learn about grilling healthy, flavorful dishes on both charcoal and gas grills.

LANDMARK DINNER Thursday, April 12, 6:30pm at Silver Springs State Park

Experience the magic of Silver Springs State Park as it changes from day to night, with a cocktail in hand by mixologist Brenda Terry. Then, after dark, enjoy a sumptuous but casual feast reflecting the best examples of Southern cuisine by award-winning Chef Brian Whittington.

COOKING WITH THE KING OF SPICE Friday, April 13, 11am at Rose Farm Kitchen

Cook alongside the chef to create—and then enjoy—a dinner of exciting flavors inspired by the Caribbean.

Friday, April 13, 3-4:30pm at Trilogy’s Salted Brick Saturday, April 14, 3-4:30pm at Trilogy’s Salted Brick

FEAST AT THE FARM WITH CHEF KATIE BUTTON Experience a cocktail reception and multicourse, seated dinner by esteemed Chef Katie Button in the scenic setting of a classy thoroughbred farm.

LUNCH WITH THE WAGNER FAMILY WINES Saturday, Saturday, April 14, 12pm at Oak House

This guided tasting, paired with a light lunch, features the cherished Caymus Cabernet Sauvignons of the Wagner Family’s vineyards from Napa Valley, as well as an introduction to the expanded portfolio of the next generation of Wagner Family wines.

GRAND TASTING

Sunday, April 15 at Ocala’s Art Park (adjacent to the Train Station and Tuscawilla Park) Early access, 11am–4pm General admission, 12pm–4pm Festivalgoers mingle and celebrate with chefs, winemakers, mixologists and culinary vendors in a casual outdoor setting where they’ll eat and drink the best the festival has to offer.


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Meet The Chefs And Talents Some of the best chefs and culinary talents in the Sunshine State—and far beyond— will be showcased at this year’s festival. From Ocala’s own to the world’s finest, festival attendees will enjoy an extraordinary array of gastronomic genius!

Chef Anthony Lamas

His Louisville, Kentucky, restaurant, Seviche, has emerged as one of America’s best and most innovative Nuevo Latino restaurants. The 2011 Food Network Extreme Chef winner, Chef Lamas has been a featured chef at numerous culinary events and festivals. He was honored as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Southeast award” in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Chef Katie Button

Executive chef and co-owner of of Cúrate Bar de Tapas and Nightbell in Asheville, North Carolina, Chef Button is known for her unique blend of food cultures (Spanish and Southern). One of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2015, Chef Button hosted an international television series, The Best Chefs in the World.

“Grill Girl” Robyn Lindars

This fire-obsessed foodie is the presence behind grillgirl.com, a site dedicated to all things cooked over fire. Robyn has been featured on numerous cooking shows. A trained Florida BBQ Association judge, she also competes in barbecue-cooking competitions.

Chef Stephan B. Durand

Born and raised in Haiti, Durand is an awardwinning chef who’s received much recognition for his work not only as a chef but also for the creation and organization of Gout et Saveurs Lakay—Haiti Food & Spirits Festival and Taste of Haiti in Miami.

Chef Lucmann Pierre

Haitian-born Chef Pierre is founder of Le Pierre Caterers, a full-service, off-premises catering company based in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The award-winning chef has worked with dignitaries around the world and has been a guest on several television and radio programs, including NBC’s Today Show.

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Chef Dimitri Pomakis

Locals know Chef Pomakis for his talents at Feta Mediterranean Cuisine, which he owns in Ocala, where his Greek heritage and talent for using locally sourced ingredients are both on display.

Chef Keith Lorren

Classically trained, Chef Lorren has worked behind the scenes at the Food Network Studios developing recipes for top shows and has been a guest on several television and radio programs including NBC’s Today Show, Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and Travel Channel’s Park Secrets.

Chef Randal White

Author and television personality Chef White hones his craft as executive chef at the Ocala Hilton where he is known and loved for his talented take on Southern fusion.

Danielle Christensen

As a Certified Specialist in Wine and Certified Sommelier from Court of Masters, Caymus Vineyards in California, Danielle Christensen shares her knowledge of all things wine related to enhance any meal.

Adam Fehrenbacher Brenda Terry

An artist when it comes to cocktails, Brenda Terry, the festival’s official mixologist, practices her craft at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club. From fashioning classic tipples to creating original recipes, Brenda has created one-of-a-kind libations for various bars, restaurants and brands all over the world.

A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Adam Fehrenbacher makes his home in Gainesville, Florida. After more than 20 years of working as a chef for various successful restaurants, he has branched out on his own to open Fehrenbacher’s Artisan Sausages with his wife, Tatania.  

Chef Jerzy Gonzalez

A private chef in the greater Philadelphia area, Chef Gonzalez trained at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. She’s been whipping up delectable culinary creations for nearly 15 years and has become one of the region’s most sought-after personal chefs.

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Chef Patrice Perron Chef Brian Whittington

Nominated by the James Beard Foundation as one of the best chefs in the South, Chef Whittington’s restaurant, Preserved, in St. Augustine, is hailed as one of the South’s best new restaurants. Chef Whittington has been invited to participate in such television shows as Bravo’s Top Chef, Alton Brown’s Cut Throat Kitchen and, most recently, the Grill Iron.

Born and raised in Lyon, France, Patrice Perron, executive chef and proprietor at La Cuisine, moved to Ocala to open a French restaurant in 2009.


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Chef Rick Alabaugh

With more than 35 years pursuing a successful career in the culinary arts, Rick Alabaugh enjoys experimenting with food combinations and flavors to create dishes that are “innovative, fresh, full of flavor and visually appealing.” He’s been executive chef at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club since 2002.

Chef Wallace Phaire

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Chef Phaire returned to the Caribbean, where he was born and raised, to expand his craft and influence the island cuisine. He now serves as the executive chef of Salted Brick at Trilogy in Ocala, where he shares the fruits of his travels, diverse flavors and culinary passion.

Chef Loring Felix

After a restaurant career spanning 40 years at the helm of many of Ocala’s most successful restaurants, Chef Loring Felix has struck out on his own to open a catering company, The Fiery Chef. He’s also started writing a blog of the same name.

Martha Jane Davis

Martha is the longtime local caterer behind as many special moments as there are live oaks standing in Ocala. Martha’s catering company, Woodlea Gardens, is the epitome of Ocala’s warm Southern hospitality.

Roshini Gurnani

Roshini (Chef Rosh for short) will be traveling to the festival from Houston, Texas, to share her unique style of fusion cooking. In 2009, Chef Rosh was awarded “Chopped Champion” on the Food Network‘s show Chopped. Recognized as one of the top Indian chefs in the United States, she frequently supports world-class food and wine festivals.

Damon Vitale & Jamie Green

Damon and Jamie are instructors with the Marion Technical College Culinary Arts program. Their extensive experience in the United States Air Force serving chiefs of staff, officers, distinguished guests and foreign heads of state has become a valuable resource to their students. Damon and Jamie will showcase their culinary skills at the Grand Tasting and join a group of local chefs who will provide hospitality and logistical support to out-of-town talent.

Rashad Jones Jose Juarez

In August 2015, local Jose Juarez, aka The BarbaCuban, was announced the winner of the national contest, America’s New Grill Star, put on by the Live with Kelly and Michael show. His winning dish (the Cuban Missile burger) had a key ingredient: his special 455 sauce. Recently, Jose has developed other new sauces inspired by his Cuban heritage.

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Rashad Jones is an Ocala resident who launched Big Lee’s Serious About BBQ in 2014 from a food truck to rave reviews, quickly earning a large following of barbecue enthusiasts. Recently, he won his own Food Network pilot called Eat, Sleep BBQ after competing on Food Network’s Guy’s Big Project for the opportunity.

Rondo Fernandez

Rondo Fernandez is by far Ocala’s most recognized restaurateur and philanthropist. His Mojo Grill & Catering services some of the largest events in our community, and his experience has been invaluable as a board member of the Ocala Culinary Festival.


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Scott Nadenik, DO, PA

2120 SW 22nd Pl, Ocala (352) 353-8899 • ocalasinussolutions.com MAR ’18 ›

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Women’s Expo A Girl’s Day Out

Coming May 2018

Enjoy a day of FUN, SHOPPING, TASTINGS, PAMPERING AND INSPIRATION For sponsorship and vendor information, Contact Ellie Rabon at (352) 732-0073 ext. 117 or ellie@ocalastyle.com


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An Onion A Day An onion is an onion is not an onion! Next time a recipe calls for an onion, refer to this guide before you start chopping.

Source: buzzfeed.com

Yellow onion. Best all-around cooking onion. Use for: roasted and braised meat dishes, sauces, soups, stews Sweet onion. Also known as a Vidalia onion, sweet onions have a low sulfur content and are not as pungent or spicy as other types of onions. Use for: onion rings, baked gratins, roasted vegetables White onion. White onions are sharp, super crisp and not very sweet. Use for: salsa, vegetable chutney, sautéed or stirfried vegetables Red onion. This variety of onion is best for eating raw. Use for: guacamole, pickled onions, salads, burgers, sandwiches Green onion. Green onions, aka chives, have a milder taste than typical onions. Use for: Raw green onions are a great finishing touch to food, including stews and soups, dips and deviled eggs, omelets and potato salad.

A TAST E O F H A I T I FOODIE NEWS

OU R B E ST RE C I PE S , RE STAU R ANT N E WS AN D CU LI NARY QU IC K B ITE S

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Mixologist Brenda Terry

Celebrating T Culture & Cuisine

The 2018 Ocala Culinary Festival is pleased to welcome back The James Beard Foundation as a partner for one of the opening night dinners, kicking off five days of Ocala’s annual gastronomic extravaganza. › By Robin Fannon 056

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he event, “A Taste of Haiti,” will be held in the Ghumman residence on the beautiful oak-canopied SE 5th Street in Ocala’s historic district and will feature a menu and setting sure to excite the palate and please the eye. Chef Stephan B. Durrand and Chef Lucmann Pierre will travel to Ocala to create a menu featuring classic French Creole cuisine that has been described as “bold African influences with a side of French sophistication.” On a personal note, I had the pleasure of spending a

summer in Haiti back in the early 1980s, and even then, with an inexperienced palate, the food was incredible. Sitting at a long, wooden table on a black sand beach while dining on freshly prepared goat curry is a memory I have long cherished. Another exciting component to the event is the addition of Brenda Terry, official mixologist for the Tampa Yacht and Country Club, who will create delicious libations to complement the menu. Haiti is famous for its Rhum Barbancourt, which has recently become the darling of


Chef Stephen B. Durrand

“Last year’s Ocala Culinary Festival was a delicious culinary experience with some of the best chef talent the Central Florida area has to offer.” - Kris Moon the hip-hop hipsters. It is smooth and crisp and packs a potent wallop! The local brew of choice is Prestige Beer, and although Heineken now owns it, it is still brewed and bottled on the island. “At the heart of the cocktails will be Rhum and additional local spirits such as Klairin (can be spelled Clairin), as it’s at the heart of Haitian culture,” explains Terry. Rhum Barbancourt is a 150-year-old distillation method still in use today and celebrates Dupre Barbancourt’s—the original 1862 master distiller— vision to create a Rhum that could

rival Cognac. Double distilled and aged in limousine oak barrels, Rhum Barbancourt does just that and will be the main spirit in the entrée cocktail. Klairin is made from 100 percent sugarcane juice. This spirit is similar to an Agricole Rhum in flavor and is rarely seen outside of Haiti. Pungent, funky, grassy and vegetal, it has lingering notes of anise, dark chocolate, green herbs and cinnamon. The James Beard Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based in New York City that administers educational programs, scholarships and, of course, their famous James

Beard Award dinners, which are considered to be the academy awards of the culinary field. Kris Moon, vice president of the foundation, returns to Ocala this year to represent the foundation. “Last year’s Ocala Culinary Festival was a delicious culinary experience with some of the best chef talent the Central Florida area has to offer,” he says. “The James Beard Foundation is honored to partner with the festival to help raise funds for our

James Beard Foundation national scholarship program.” Ocala wealth management group Bass & Shepard is the host sponsor of this unique and exciting event.

LEARN MORE > TICKETS FOR THE EVENT ARE LIMITED AND GOING FAST. FOR INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS, VISIT ocalaculinaryfestival.com.

Robin Fannon is a New York culinary schooltrained chef and a successful party planner with decades of experience. You can visit her popular blog at rsvprobin.com for healthy recipes, party tips and lifestyle articles. Or check her out on Facebook or Instagram. MAR ’18 ›

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Quick Bites

Local and regional restaurant picks you have to try. › By Nick Steele

Sips by JJ 2601 SW 19th Ave Rd, Ocala › (352) 512-0224 At the end of last year, Hello Cupcake said goodbye via Facebook and announced that the popular cupcakery would reopen under new ownership. Earlier this spring, Sips by JJ took up residency. The name change is a nod to the new owners, Jose and Jackie Lopez, and their desire to create an inviting place to sip coffee, satisfy your sweet tooth and chill. Any given day, kids munch on cake pops and cupcakes, college students down espresso while working on laptops and customers stream in for to-go orders. Aside from coffee and cupcakes, they offer homemade smoothies, mini empanadillas and free Wi-Fi. Everything is baked on the premises, and cupcake and custom-cake catering is available.

Turnpike Mike’s

WANT TO GO? The distinctive hexagonal building is located in front of the Regal 16 movie complex at the entrance to the Agora at Paddock Center. Open Monday through Saturday from 7am-7pm, and available for private event rentals on Sundays.

9590 SW State Rd 200, Ocala › (352) 237-8460 Mike and Christina Batte’s food truck became the stuff of local legend, an obsession for foodies who couldn’t get enough of their seriously overstuffed sandwiches and familial hospitality. “We couldn’t find this kind of food when we moved here,” Christina explains, referring to their native Jersey-style eats, including Reubens, famously stacked subs, meatball parm, and sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches. “We thought they need this experience down here.” “The first year was a little rough, but we stayed in one spot and developed a huge customer base,” Mike shares. “Our customers are like family, and they’re the reason we could open the restaurant.” Those devoted customers have been packing into the new eatery

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where their daughter, Kelsey, works the front counter and everything is made from scratch using treasured family recipes. Mike’s meatballs, for instance, draw rave reviews. “That’s very sentimental to me. That’s grandma’s recipe.” he offers. “Food distributors come in and try to sell us pre-made meatballs. ‘These are the ones we sell to everybody.’ Yeah, that’s a taste that everybody has, and I don’t want that. Sure, it takes us more time—we’re here until two in the morning most days, but we do what we gotta do.” WANT TO GO? Located in front of the Super Walmart, across from TimberRidge. Open Tuesday through Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm.

Bojangles Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits 4828 SW College Road, Ocala › (352) 789-6000 If you are familiar with Bojangles’ famous fare, then you are likely a fan. The popular chain has been serving up all-day breakfast, Southerninspired hand breaded, Cajun-style chicken, hot buttermilk biscuits and tasty homestyle fixin’s since the 1970s. Since opening in mid-January, customers have been literally lining up at both the counter and drivethru. Though visitors report long wait times due to demand, they also say the food is worth the wait. WANT TO GO? Bojangles is open seven days a week from 6am-10pm.


PROMOTIONAL

Carmichael’s: The Next Chapter

› DINING GUIDE

There’s a special feeling one experiences when you’ve been gone for a long time but then smell familiar cooking or taste your favorite dish, and you realize you are back home. That’s the kind of warm-and-fuzzy feeling you’ll get when you visit Carmichael’s.

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ne of Ocala’s most beloved restaurants, Carmichael’s Family Restaurant, is returning to its former glory, complete with the same scenic golf course views it was known for. The highly esteemed restaurant originally captured the attention of locals in 1986 when the first homemade meal was plated and served. From then until 2005, families of all backgrounds lined up to sample flavorful, farm-to-table fixings. Returning to its rightful home, Carmichael’s plans to open its doors in March to Ocala’s newest generation of families. Upon entrance, you will be greeted by the inviting aroma of Carmichael’s famed homemade orange rolls with orange zest, sugar and a buttery glaze. At the bake shop, watch on cushioned barstools as a pastry chef prepares fresh batches of these sweet, complimentary treats. In addition, classic breakfast, lunch and dinner favorites will be enjoyed once more,

including Carmichael’s Stuffed French Toast, Open-Faced Rueben or the Prime Rib Dinner— ‘Certified Black Angus’ prime rib of beef, fully aged, served ‘au jus’ with an old-world hot popover and creamy horseradish sauce. Carmichael’s also plans to introduce vegetarian and lighter fare menu options. Roasted Vegetables Paella will be your newest craving, a mixture of herb-roasted broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, green beans, eggplant, peppers and onions, served over rice pilaf with a saffron paella broth. Signature recipes are guaranteed farm fresh, the fruits and vegetables gathered here in Ocala’s very own fresh markets. Happy hour is sure to be popular, with drink specials and free hors d’oeuvres. Treat yourself to one of Carmichael’s signature drinks, such as the “Strawberry Springs Blvd”

Ken DePasquale

or special draft beer “Destination Orange.” Dessert will be your choice of warm, deepdish pies, from apple to strawberry rhubarb and more. Whether it be a spontaneous outing or a special occasion, Carmichael’s understands the importance of a pleasurable dining experience and promises nothing short of excellence. The news has broken— Carmichael’s is back and better than ever. Welcome home!

Carmichael’s Family Restaurant › 3105 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala › (352) 629-3636

Gluten-Free & Organic Food Options Available. Get Happy at the Highway, Mon-Thu 50% off draughts & house wines, $5 select appetizers Take-Out Tuesday 25% off Carry Out (Pizza & Calzones) Family Wednesday 50% off Bambino Menu (Kids 12 & under) Wine Down Thursday $10 off all bottles of wine

Blue Highway Pizza 2130 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala › (352) 629-5555 bluehighwaypizza.com › Sun-Sat 11:30a-9p Spring has sprung, and we’re celebrating the season with all the fresh, local ingredients we can get our hands on. Taste the difference in our small plates, salads or specialty pizzas. Blue Highway is a special place to get great food and attentive service in a fun, funky and relaxed atmosphere. We take pride in our culinary culture, serving the highest quality, fresh, local and expertly prepared food—pizza, pasta, paninis and everything in between. Visit us at bluehighwaypizza.com for fabulous daily specials. Celebrate March Madness with our pizza-of-the-month, “The Margherita.”

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Bruster’s Real Ice Cream 2707 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala › (352) 622-2110 › brusters.com Sun-Thur 12p-10p, Fri-Sat 12p-11p You scream ice cream, we scream Bruster’s. More than just any ol’ ice cream parlor, Bruster’s knows how to cater to the needs of any ice cream lover. Their large variety of premium flavors and desserts is made right in the store where they are served, including crunchy handmade waffle cones, customized sundaes, candy-filled blasts, thick milkshakes, frozen yogurts and no-sugar added flavors. If you really want to crank up a party—Bruster’s will bring their scrumptious sweets to you. Cater your next big day with Bruster’s, and choose from endless flavors such as Blueberry Cheesecake, Caramel Apple and Irish Cream.

Ivy on the Square 53 S Magnolia Ave, Ocala › (352) 622-5550 Sun & Tue 11a-2p › Wed & Thu 11a-8p › Fri & Sat 11a-8:30p › Closed Mon 106 NW Main St, Williston › (352) 528-5410 Sun-Wed 11a-2p › Thu-Sat 11a-8p › ivyhousefl.com

Don’t forget their free doggie sundaes and baby cones for children under 40 inches. Banana Thursdays: Bring your own banana and get 1/2 price on a banana split!

Come share your Easter Sunday lunch with us on April 1st! Reservations only. We look forward to serving you in our new location!

New Location. Fresh Ambiance. More Great Food. Ivy on the Square is excited to announce its new location on the downtown square! The Ivy House Restaurant will now be called “Ivy on the Square.” They have renovated a beautiful downtown location and offer the same great food with many new dishes that are sure to become favorites. Enjoy their new dessert bar, cocktail bar and their new posh boutique across from the restaurant. Ivy on the Square still offers catering and invitesparties to host events at their new location.

El Toreo 3790 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala › (352) 694-1401 › 7 Days 11a-10p SR 200, Ocala › (352) 291-2121 › 7 Days 11a-11p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Mondays, $5.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $5.45; Quesadillas on Wednesdays, $7.95; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $6.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $5.25. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $10.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $8.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $9.95; and Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $9.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Mondays. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy $1.95 children’s meals (takeout not included). Wednesday is Special Margarita Day, 99¢ all day. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day. Happy Hour daily, 3-7pm. Everything is 2-4-1 (exceptions may apply).

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99¢ House Margaritas All Day Trivia Night every Thursday, 7-9pm (Silver Springs Blvd. location) Mariachi band every Thursday at the 200 location, 6-9pm

THE BEST MEXICAN FOOD


› DINING GUIDE

Book your party at Tony’s today. Gift cards available.

Tony’s Sushi & Steakhouse 3405 SW College Road, Ocala › (352) 237-3151 › tonysushi.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p › Fri & Sat 11a-11p › Sun Noon-10p With abundant menu choices and over 100 off-menu rolls, you certainly won’t run out of options at Tony’s Sushi. If you can’t decide, the waitstaff is excellent at suggesting items you’re sure to enjoy. Every roll and sushi dish is made to order from the freshest ingredients. In the steakhouse area, highly trained chefs prepare a memorable meal as they cook on the tableside grills, preparing chicken, steak or seafood just the way you like it. Entrées include soup or salad and rice. Tony’s Sushi has a family-friendly, casual atmosphere, along with a full bar, including imported Japanese sake and beer selections.

FULL CATERING SERVICE Italian Toscani Style! Happy Hour 3-5pm Everyday! Monday & TuesdayKIDS EAT FREE!

Happy Hour Specials: 2-7p every day, $3 Draft Beer $4 House Wine & Premium Cocktails $5 Super Premium & $6 Harry’s Signature Cocktails $7 off bottles of wine Every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday at Harry’s. Happy Hour all day long! Mardi Gras Parade of FlavorsFebruary 1st- March 31st

Chefs of Napoli Ristorante Italiano 5400 SW College Rd. Hwy 200 (Heathbrook Commons Plaza), Ocala › (352) 857-8111 › Mon-Thu 11a-9p › Fri 11a-10p › Sat 12-10p › Sun 12-9p thechefsofnapoli.com

Chefs of Napoli is proud to bring an authentic Italian dining experience to Ocala, featuring the restaurant’s fresh, delicious, made-to-order cuisine. From the walls to the ceilings, the atmosphere is designed to transport you to the sunny hills of Tuscany, where you can satisfy your taste buds with a Neapolitanstyle pizza pie or a chicken or veal entrée, such as the Pollo all Parmigiana or the Vitello all a Picatta. A vast selection of imported wines will complement your entrées perfectly. In the mood for seafood? Try the fresh seafood options at Chefs of Napoli, such as the Pescatore and Gamberi in Bianco. Come out and enjoy the ultimate Italian dining experience at Chefs of Napoli!

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille 24 SE 1st Avenue, Ocala › (352) 840-0900 › hookedonharrys.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p › Fri & Sat 11a-11p › Sun 11a-9p Located in the heart of downtown Ocala, Harry’s offers traditional Louisiana favorites like Shrimp and Scallop Orleans, Crawfish Etouffée, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole, Blackened Red Fish and Louisiana Shrimp and Crawfish Pot Pie. Other favorites, like Harry’s Signature Crab Cakes and Bourbon Street Salmon, are complemented with grilled steaks, chicken, burgers, po’ boy sandwiches and salads. Their full bar features Harry’s Signature Cocktails, such as the Harry’s Hurricane, Bayou Bloody Mary or the new Southern Mule. They also feature wines by the glass and a wide selection of imported, domestic and craft beer. Harry’s menu is sure to have something for everyone!

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Sky Fine Dining 3600 SW 38th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474 › (352) 291-0000 ocalasky.com Mon- Thu 5-10p › Fri & Sat 5-11p Sky Fine Dining restaurant located on the 6th floor of the Holiday Inn & Suites in Ocala. Join us for an Easter Brunch Buffet featuring a carving station serving prime rib and ham. Also included on the buffet is a selection of seafood, cocktail shrimp, a variety of salads to choose from, as well as a dessert table. Make your reservation today! The exquisite Panda Room (private dining room) is able to accommodate up to 20 people for any personal or business event.

Latinos Y Mas 2030 S Pine Avenue, Ocala › (352) 622-4777 › latinosymas.com Mon-Thu 11a-9p › Fri-Sat 11a-10p › Closed Sun Latnios Y Mas is the perfect gathering place for family and friends to enjoy the food they love the most. Come feel at home, and try the exquisite fusion of Latin food, such as one of their delicious new entrees, including Latinos Passion Chicken, Latinos Pargo Rojo, Roasted Beet Salad, Spinach Salad or Mexican Shrimp Ceviche, which you can enjoy there or order from the take-away menu. Our friendly staff is more than happy to help plan an extraordinary dining experience. Don’t forget to ask for the dessert menu and order the new Tropical Ice Cream, to add a touch of sweetness to your meal.

Crossroads Country Kitchen 7947 W Highway 40, Ocala › (352) 237-1250 Mon-Thur 6a-8:30p › Fri-Sat 6a-9p › Sun 7a-3p Located west on Highway 40 in Ocala, the Crossroads Country Kitchen is a must for anyone craving down-home, country cooking. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, menu items range from a wide variety of homemade soups and chili to prime rib, fresh salads, seafood, prime steaks and burgers. If you’re in the mood for a real treat, try the Prime Rib Dinner For Two for $26.95. Make sure to leave room for one of the tasty home-baked desserts! In the mood for a fresh fish fry? Tuesdays and Fridays are all-you-careto-eat catfish or whitefish. Enjoy an Italian special on Wednesdays. Big-screen televisions will allow you to enjoy your meal without missing one second of the big game or race.

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8-time Golden Spoon award winner Easter Brunch Buffet 11am-2:30pm Easter Brunch: Prime rib & ham on carving station, seafood selection, enjoy one round of mimosa’s on us!

VIP ROOM & PATIO AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE EVENTS. Happy Hour Mon-Thur 3-7pm. Kids Eat Free Monday. @latinosymasrestaurant @latinosymasrestaurant

Located at the Crossroads of NW 80th Ave. and Hwy 40 West. Former owners of The Spiced Apple restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. The owners of Crossroads Country Kitchen welcome HITS to our area, please stop by and visit us. We accept all major credit cards.


› DINING GUIDE

Wicked wine selections Check the website for a full menu and daily specials. Outside dining available.

Early bird daily 4:30-7pm Check out our sushi bar. Serving Ocala since 1986. Ask about our lunch specials. Happy hour daily.

Lighthouse Point Bar & Grille 925 Lake Shore Dr., The Villages, FL (352) 753-7800 › lighthousepointbarandgrille.com Sun-Thu 11a-9p › Fri-Sat 11a-Midnight Try the wicked wine selection at Lighthouse Point Bar & Grill. They offer daily specials and menu selections for all ages, plus glutenfree selections as well. The Lighthouse Point Bar & Grille is a fun, relaxing place to be every day.

Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant 2463 SW 27th Avenue, Ocala › (352) 237-3900 › kotobukiocala.com Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30a-2p Dinner: Tue-Thu 4:30-9:30p › Fri & Sat 4:30-10:30p › Mon & Sun 4:30-9:30p For an authentic Japanese meal in an award-winning restaurant that has been serving Ocala since 1986, try Kotobuki. Enjoy traditional Japanese favorites like tempura, teriyaki and broiled seafood and vegetables. For a memorable experience, gather around the hot grill and watch as your chef prepares steak, chicken and seafood favorites right before your eyes. Get the VIP treatment. Check out our specials!

Live jazz, Friday 6-9p

Braised Onion 754 NE 25th Ave, Ocala › (352) 620-9255 Tue-Thu 11:30a-9p › Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p › Sun 11:30a-8p braisedonion.com

@braisedonionrestaurant

Braised Onion Restaurant, where you’ll experience “Comfort Food with Attitude” in a fun, warm and colorful but casual atmosphere, is open for lunch and dinner. Our team of experts will be dishing out perfectly seasoned prime rib with creamy horseradish sauce on Friday and Saturday evenings. Winner of Culinary Combat and Taste of Ocala for four years, and most recently voted Ocala’s Best of the Best. Dessert? They have plenty of options on the menu, including the prize-winning bread pudding and coconut cream pie, all made in house.

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Carolyn ROBERTS BROKER/REALTOR ®

ckr@robertsflorida.com www.robertsflorida.com | mail@robertsflorida.com

BROKER ASSOCIATE/REALTOR ®

2 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU

marybethelliott1@gmail.com

115 NE 8th Ave 16910 S. Hwy 441, Ste. 204 Ocala, FL 352-351-0011 Summerfield, FL 352-245-3388 Ready to Show! 4+/- acres in Turning Hawk Ranch with 6 bdrms, 5 baths & 3 half baths. Generous formal/ informal living areas. Cinema room & guest/ in-law apartment. Pool area is beyond beautiful. Full outdoor kitchen plus outdoor bonus/guest room. $899,000. ML#435939

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Turning Hawk Ranch

Country Club of Ocala

4/3/3 with study w/direct access to FL Greenway. Triple split bdrm plan. Private patio w/hot tub. Formal living/dining & great rm w/fpl. Spacious kitchen has breakfast nook. Covered lanai overlooks screen enclosed pool & property. $517,000. ML#531065

4/3 pool home along 3rd fairway. Formal living & dining, kitchen & breakfast rm. Family rm leads to covered lanai and screen enclosed pool. Features include split bdrm plan, cathedral ceilings, skylights & pretty golf course views. $539,000. ML#528231

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“Heart” of SE Ocala

Country Club of Ocala

Bellechase

Country Club of Ocala

Gorgeous 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath w/office. Soaring vaulted ceilings, exquisite formal/ informal living areas, finished full basement, 3 car garage, 1 bed/1 bath apt. Breathtaking pool/outdoor living areas. $625,000. ML#517439

Warm and inviting, this open floor plan is made for comfortable living. 4 bed/3 bath offers spacious rooms, a triple split design & beautiful golf course views of the fairway on the 2nd hole in the Country Club of Ocala. $449,000. ML#526517

Beautiful 4 bed/3 bath plus den features formal dining, custom kitchen, great room, covered patio & private lot. Guest rm has private bath. Tray ceilings & his/her closets in master. Situated on nearly half an acre in gated community. $319,000. ML#530882

Beautiful 4/3 with 10’ & 14’ ceilings, wood & tile flooring throughout. Formal living & dining leads to kitchen/breakfast area. Family rm has fpl & built ins. Oversized master w/sitting area. Tiled FL rm opens to screened patio. $499,900. ML#517396

Tax and Business Consulting Services Accounting Auditing

Did you incur loss from Hurricane Irma? Be sure to consult your tax advisor. “We value the relationships established with our clients and believe that our success results from their success. Our top priority is to provide each client with professional, confidential and timely service, aimed at providing unparalleled personal attention.” 064

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334 NW Third Avenue Ocala t: 352-732-0171 f: 352-867-1370 www.djcocpa.com


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Flashback Meklit singing at BOBA (Beginning of Bolted Art) February 15 at Tuscawilla Park. meklitmusic.com

Photo by Ralph Demilio

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Scene A Roundup Of The Month’s Best Bets › By Nick Steele Photo courtesy of the Appleton Museum Vittorio Matteo Corcos When Love is Young, 1833

Costumes, Clothing & Couture: The Importance of Fashion in the Appleton Collection Appleton Museum of Art › Wednesday, March 7, 6-7:30pm › appletonmuseum.org Join Curator Patricia Tomlinson as she examines the fashions depicted in several key works from the museum’s permanent collection to reveal the relationship between fine art and fashion. Free to the public.

Keep It Local Brick City Beer and Wine Festival Citizens’ Circle › March 31, 2-8pm › brickcitybeerfest.com Enjoy a day of unlimited beer and wine samples from local breweries, wineries and distributors. There will also be some great local vendors and food trucks on hand, as well as entertainment from R-Style and a Feel Downtown LIVE concert at 6pm (free for those who purchase a full festival ticket). Those interested in attending the concert only can purchase a general admission ticket for $15. Concert-only tickets do not include beer sampling, but a cash bar will be available from 6-8pm. The fifth annual festival is made possible by the combined efforts of the Ocala Silver

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Maks, Val & Peta Live on Tour: Confidential Various Locations: March 27, Clearwater › March 30, Orlando › March 31, Jacksonville › maksandvaltour.com

Springs and Sunset-Ocala Rotary clubs and benefits Interfaith Emergency Services, an organization that provides basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, medication and hygiene items to enhance the quality of life for those in financial distress.

This is your chance, Dancing With the Stars fans! Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd and Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy will be dancing their way through our area and promising a lot of “wow” moments. In Confidential, the cast draws upon their own family bonds, lives and love stories. “You’re going to get to see us in a way that you haven’t seen us before,” Val explains. “We have set the bar higher and given ourselves more time to rehearse and produce a show that we can honestly say is our very best.” Val is also releasing a memoir this month titled I’ll Never Change My Name.


ARE YOU READY TO LOOK & FEEL your best? t h g i e REAL wloss RESULTS

Dr. Jay Panchal, MD Sherri Morrison, RN BSN

MEDICALLY SUPERVISED BEYOND WEIGHT LOSS WE ALSO OFFER:

Before

After

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 Appetite Suppressants (Prescription & Natural)  Fat-Burning Amino Acids Vitamin B Injections  Botox/Restylane  Juvederm/Radiesse (Dermal Filler)

 B12/LIPO Injections  Sclerotherapy (for Spider veins/ Varicose Veins)  Latisse  High Quality Isotonix Health Supplements

2654 SW 32nd Place, Suite 100, Ocala • 352.387.0090

Hablamos Español • Visit us on Facebook

THE SAVANNAH CENTER

Coming Soon...

Late Night Catechism | April 5th, 7pm

The Lovin’ Spoonful | April 6th, 5 & 8pm

www.TheVillagesEntertainment.com |

TheVillagesEntertainment 1545 Buena Vista Blvd, The Villages, FL | 352-753-3229

Gift Card

Gift Card

Available Now!

© 2018 Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

The Savannah Center is located in The Villages® and is well known for the first class entertainment featured throughout the year. Acts such as Willie Nelson, Foghat, Merle Haggard, The 5th Dimension, The Drifters, Kenny Rogers, BJ Thomas and The Kingston Trio have played here.

at any of The Villages Box Office locations. MAR ’18 ›

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t nager a ject ma o r y p t r n u io o sen arion C ity of M Human

Kiwanis Club of Ocala was established in 1924 with the goal of providing assistance to those in need, especially underprivileged children. In 1948, the club converted a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp (a work relief program that gave young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression) into Camp Kiwanis. Every summer since, the camp has hosted thousands of children, many on scholarships from the Kiwanis. George Albright, Jr. and his wife, Aggie, served as devoted Kiwanians for over 40 years, and George held several leadership roles, eventually assuming the position of president of the International Foundation. Together, they founded the George Albright Charity Golf Tournament and hosted it for over 20 years. After word leaked about a possible shutdown of the camp in 2016, following George’s passing and a five-year hiatus of the tournament, locals launched the “Save Camp Kiwanis” campaign. In 2017, Aggie and members of local Kiwanis clubs raised funds to keep Camp Kiwanis from closing and renamed the tournament the George Albright, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament. Kiwanis of Ocala has welcomed Habitat for Humanity of Marion County as co-presenters this year. Kiwanis and Habitat have allocated 100 percent of the proceeds to their programs. No funds will be used for administrative costs. We caught up with Jeff Ruttenber, a senior project manager at Habitat, to learn more.

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What’s the goal for this year’s tournament? Our goal is to have 200

players, which equates to 50 foursomes. With sponsorships, entry fees, raffle, silent auction, live auction and mulligans, we are setting our sites on $35,000.

What are the elements of the fundraiser? We’ll start with registration

at 11am and open the driving range for warmups. There will be raffle and silent auction items on display. At 11:30am, Sonny’s will cater lunch and the traditional corn boil. Before tee-off, there will be a live auction. When the golfers complete their round, the winners of the tournament, raffle and silent auction will be announced.

What would you like the community to know about Kiwanis and Habitat? Kiwanis participates in a variety of projects

throughout the year that involve fundraising, community service and assisting children locally. Pancake Day, which takes place in December, is the primary fundraiser to support Camp Kiwanis since 1958 and takes in about $30,000. Last year, the golf tournament raised $30,000 to further support the camp. The club is also active in seven schools with its Reading is Fun, Bring Up Grades, Learning Trails and Terrific Kids programs. Habitat for Humanity of Marion County has provided over 220 safe and affordable homes over its 27-year history. To keep the homes affordable, Habitat utilizes community volunteers and the future homeowners to construct a basic home to accommodate each family. Every family has a 0 percent interest mortgage, and their monthly payment is based upon their income.

LEARN MORE › Email

Jeff Ruttenber at

jruttenber@habitatocala.org to

register (space is limited) or for sponsorship opportunities. WANT TO GO? › George Albright,

Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament

› Del Webb’s Spruce Creek Eagle Ridge Golf Club, Summerfield › March 30, 11am ›

ocalakiwanis.org or habitatocala.org


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The Local

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members and $15 at the door for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.

Upcoming Events In The Villages March 1 › Bill Anderson, Savannah Center March 2 › Mnozil Brass, Savannah Center March 3 › BBQ Bash, Spanish Springs March 11 › Gary US Bonds, Savannah Center March 14 › St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Lake Sumter Landing March 16 › St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Spanish Springs March 17 › Cruise In Classic Car Show, Spanish Springs March 26 › Girls Night: The Musical, Savannah Center April 2 › Dyngus Day Celebration, Brownwood Paddock Square April 4 › The Platters, Savannah Center April 5 › Late Nite Catechism, Savannah Center April 6 › Tartan Day Celebration, Lake Sumter Landing April 6 › The Lovin’ Spoonful, Savannah Center April 9 › The Coasters, Savannah Center

Arts, Crafts and Culture

Upcoming Exhibits At The Appleton › On the Edge of The

Florida Frontier: Perspectives on Life at Fort King includes artwork, archaeological objects, photographs and historic reconstructions of the fort. Runs through April 8. Rembrandt and the Jews: The Berger Print Collection features a collection of 22 etchings by the Dutch master. Runs through March 18. Rembrandt Revealed: Etchings from the Collection of Dr. Robert and Mrs. Mariann McClary features the meticulous prints from the McClary’s collection depicting Rembrandt’s world. Runs through March 18. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.

Master Class Series (March 10) › In this workshop, Meagan Chaney Gumpert will teach students how to use paper patterns to create 3-D, hollow, ceramic wall tiles. The class will run 1-5pm at the Appleton. Advanced registration required. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. Call to Artists (Through March 26) › A select group of artists will be chosen to participate at Sholom Park’s Fun at the Park: Music and Art Event on May 6. A variety of creative approaches, styles and mediums are encouraged. Interested artists should submit an artist submission form no later than noon on March 26. sholompark.org or (352) 873-0848, ext. 7371. Inspired Speakers Series (March 25) › The Appleton Museum will host Nilda Comas, master sculptor and painter as part of the Inspired Speakers Series. The event will begin at 2pm and is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.

Appleton After Hours (April 5) › The After Hours concert series offers live music, special displays of artwork by the Ocala Art Group and tasty samplings from local restaurants. Cash bar available. Doors open at 5pm, and music begins at 5:30pm. The event is free for Appleton

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Outdoor & Athletic Endeavors Group Bike Rides (Ongoing) › Brick City Bicycles offers group bike

rides throughout the week and weekend. brickcitybicycles.com or (352) 369-9400.

HITS Horse Show (Through March 25) › The annual HITS Horse

Show Series features 10 consecutive weeks of competition with over $4 million in prize money. The premier event, the The Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, takes place March 25. Competition runs Wednesday through Sunday each week. hitsshows.com.

Audubon Bird Hike (March 3) › The Marion Audubon Society will host a nature hike beginning at the Fort King Historic Landmark in Ocala. The hike begins at 8am. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5535.

Chuck Savage Family 4th Annual 5K Run/Walk

(March 10) › The Lions Club will host this annual event to benefit KIDSIGHT. The run will be held at the Baseline Trailhead in Greenway Park. Registration runs 6:30-7:30am, and the run begins at 8am. (904) 514-4665.

Live Oak International (March 15-18) › This annual event is held

at Live Oak Plantation and features international-level combined driving and show jumping competition. The event runs daily beginning at 8am and will also include numerous vendors, tailgating, entertainment and more. liveoakinternational.com

St. Paddy’s Day 5k (March 17) › The United Way of Marion County

will host this annual 5K run through downtown Ocala. The route begins and ends at Citizens’ Circle. Registration is $30 through March 12 with race day registration available through 7:45am for $35. uwmc.org or (352) 32-9696, ext. 211.Ocala

Open Golf Tournament (March 20-23) › Candler Hills Golf Club will

host this 12th annual event featuring an open tournament and charity pro/am event on March 20. The tournament raises funds for Interfaith Emergency Services and Hospice of Marion County. ocalaopen.com or (352) 861-9712.

Community Walk (March 22) › The Marion County Children’s

Alliance will host a community walk to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. The walk begins at the Marion Oaks Community and runs from 10am-12pm. Participants are asked to arrive by 9:30am. mcchildrensalliance.org or (352) 438-5990.

Southeastern Pro Rodeo (March 23-24) › Friday evening,

the event will recognize men and women who have served and are currently serving our country and first responders serving our communities. Saturday night proceeds will benefit the Michelle-O-Gram Foundation to benefit breast cancer awareness. ocalarodeo.com or (888) 744-8499.

Golf Charity Fundraiser (March 25) › The Don Harrison Foundation will host a golf fundraising event. The first tournament will begin at 8am, while the second will take place at 2pm. Both are a four-person scramble and held at the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club. The day will also consist of a buffet lunch, silent auction, entertainment and more. donharrisonfoundation.org or (352) 629-5591.


Pack Walk (March 25) › In partnership with Marion County Animal Services, Silver Springs State Park will give volunteers the opportunity to walk dogs available for adoption through the park. Dog walkers must be 16 years of age, but all are welcome to join the walk. Pack walks will be held the fourth Sunday of every month at 10am. silversprings.com or (352) 261-5840. Special Kids Classic (March 3) › The Transitions Life Center of Ocala will host a golf tournament at the Country Club of Ocala. Registration is $100 per individual or $350 per foursome and includes green fees, golf cart, lunch and goodies. Breakfast will be served at 7am with an 8am start. tlcocala.org or (352) 476-2704.

Other Fun Stuff! Ocala Health Events › A diabetes support group will be held March 7, and a fall prevention series will begin on March 9. Cooking demos focused around National Kidney Month will take place on March 14 and 21, and a seminar on sleep apnea will be held March 23. All programs will be held at the Senior Wellness Community Center in Ocala. Advanced registration is required. ocalahealthsystem.com or (800) 530-1188.

Job Fair (March 1) › 93.7 K COUNTRY and WIND-FM 95.5 have teamed

up with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion for the Ocala Job Fair from 9am-noon at the College of Central Florida Klein Conference Center. For a list of participating companies, visit 937kcountry.com or windfm.com. lisa@windwogksales.com or (352) 566-0970.

HOPS Spring Tour of Homes (March 3) › The Historic Ocala

Preservation Society will present their Spring Tour from 10am-4pm. Tickets are $20 pre-sale and $22 on the day of the tour. historicocala.org or (352) 351-1861.

Florida Springs Fest (March 3-4) › Silver Springs State Park will host

this family-friendly event featuring music, art, environmental experts, food and more. Admission is $2. silversprings.com or (352) 261-5840.

Sholom Park’s LEAF Series (March 16) › Take a walk through Sholom Park with professional birder Norm Lanz, who will share details about the many species and habits of birds that call the park home. Free. Bring a chair. sholompark.org or (352) 873-0848, ext. 7650.

Tuscawilla Sculpture Stroll Celebration (March 17) › The opening of the new sculpture exhibit will include docent tours, family activities, live entertainment and vendors. Admission is free. ocalafl.org or (352) 629-8447. Spring Market (March 17) › Marley Mae Market & Paperie is celebrating

its second anniversary with a fun outdoor market filled with local vendors. selling a variety of unique goods. Email marleymaedesigns@gmail.com for vendor information. marleymaedesigns.com or (352) 438-0088.

Reddick BBQ Festival (March 17-18) › The Friendship Baptist

Church in Reddick will host a BBQ festival featuring a BBQ competition, community yard sale, vendors and live music. The event runs 7am-4pm. reddickbbqfestival.com or (352) 258-4604.

Emergency Preparedness Conference (March 22) › The Center

for Independent Living of North Central Florida is hosting a free emergency preparedness conference for people with disabilities. The event will be held from 8:30am-1:00pm at the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in the multi-purpose room. (352) 368-3788.


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Batter Up!

Spring is in the air, and that means baseball season is just around the corner. Check out the MLB pre-season action going on around the state. Atlanta Braves Champion Stadium, Orlando (407) 939-4263 or espnwwos.com/atlantabraves March 3 St. Louis 1:05p March 4 Miami 1:05p March 5 Pittsburg 1:05p March 8 Houston 1:05p March 9 Yankees 6:05p March 12 Philadelphia 6:05p March 13 Toronto 1:05p March 14 Philadelphia 1:05p March 15 Detroit 1:05p March 19 Toronto 1:05p March 21 Detroit 6:05p March 23 Yankees 1:05p March 26 Yankees 7:35p March 27 Atlanta 7:35p March 29 Philadelphia 4:10p March 30 Philadelphia 7:35p March 31 Philadelphia 7:10p Baltimore Orioles Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota (941) 893-6300 March 2 Pittsburgh March 4 Boston March 8 Toronto March 10 Pittsburgh March 10 Philadelphia March 14 Yankees March 17 Toronto March 18 New York Mets March 20 Tampa Bay March 24 Minnesota March 29 Minnesota March 31 Minnesota

1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 6:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 6:05p 6:05p 3:05p 7:05p

Boston Red Sox Jetblue Park, Fort Myers (888) 733-7696 March 3 Yankees March 3 Minnesota March 8 Tampa Bay March 11 Baltimore March 15 Toronto March 16 Minnesota

1:05p 1:05 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 6:05p

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March 17 March 19 March 20 March 24 March 26 March 27

Tampa Bay Philadelphia Pittsburgh Houston Chicago Chicago

1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 6:05p 1:05p

Detroit Tigers Joker Merchant Stadium, Lakeland (863) 686-8075 or detroittigers.com March 1 Atlanta 1:05p March 2 Miami 1:05p March 3 Tampa Bay 1:05p March 6 Yankees 1:05p March 7 Toronto 1:05p March 9 New York Mets 1:05p March 11 Atlanta 1:05p March 12 Washington 1:05p March 16 Philadelphia 1:05p March 17 Yankees 1:05p March 19 Baltimore 1:05p March 20 Yankees 1:05p March 24 Philadelphia 1:05p March 25 Atlanta 1:05p March 26 Tampa Bay 1:05p March 29 Pittsburgh 1:10p March 31 Pittsburgh 1:10p Miami Marlins Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter (561) 630-1828 March 3 New York Mets 1:05p March 6 St. Louis 1:05p March 9 Boston 1:05p March 11 Yankees 1:05p March 13 St. Louis 1:05p March 14 New York Mets 1:05p March 17 Houston 1:05p March 19 Washington 1:05p March 21 St. Louis 1:05p March 23 Washington 7:05p March 23 Houston 1:05p March 27 U of Miami 3:10p March 29 Chicago 12:40p March 30 Chicago 7:10p March 31 Chicago 7:10p

Minnesota Twins Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex, Ft. Myers (800) 338-9467 or twinsbaseball.com March 2 Toronto 1:05p March 4 Pittsburgh 1:05p March 6 Baltimore 1:05p March 9 Philadelphia 1:05p March 10 Boston 1:05p March 13 Baltimore 1:05p March 14 Boston 1:05p March 16 Tampa Bay 1:05p March 18 Philadelphia 1:05p March 21 Pittsburgh 7:05p March 22 Yankees 1:05p March 23 Houston 1:05p March 25 Boston 1:05p New York Mets Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie (772) 871-2115 March 1 Miami March 2 Washington March 4 Washington March 5 Detroit March 6 Houston March 7 Yankees March 11 Houston March 13 Houston March 15 Miami March 16 Baltimore March 22 Washington March 23 St. Louis March 25 Miami March 29 St. Louis March 31 St. Louis New York Yankees George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa (813) 879-2244 March 2 Atlanta March 4 Tampa March 8 Philadelphia March 10 Toronto March 11 New York Mets March 12 Minnesota March 13 Detroit March 15 Pittsburgh March 16 Houston March 18 Miami March 19 Tampa Bay March 21 Baltimore March 23 Boston

1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 1:10p 6:10p 1:10p 12:10p 1:10p 1:10p

1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 6:35p 6:35p 1:05p 6:35p 1:05p 6:35p 6:35p 1:05p

Philadelphia Phillies Bright House Field, Clearwater (727) 467-4457 or phillies.com March 1 Yankees 1:05p March 3 Baltimore 1:05p March 4 Toronto 1:05p March 5 Minnesota 1:05p March 7 Boston 1:05p March 9 Pittsburgh 1:05p March 10 Tampa Bay 1:05p March 13 Tampa Bay 1:05p March 17 Atlanta 1:05p March 20 Toronto 1:05p March 22 Detroit 1:05p March 25 Baltimore 1:05p March 27 Pittsburgh 1:05p Pittsburgh Pirates McKechnie Field, Bradenton (941) 747-3031 March 1 Toronto March 3 Philadelphia March 8 Detroit March 10 Atlanta March 12 Baltimore March 14 Tampa Bay March 16 Atlanta March 17 Minnesota March 18 Boston March 19 Minnesota March 22 Toronto March 23 Philadelphia March 24 Tampa Bay March 26 Philadelphia

1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 6:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p

St. Louis Cardinals Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter (561) 630-1828 March 1 Minnesota 1:05p March 2 Boston 1:05p March 4 Houston 1:05p March 5 Washington 1:05p March 7 Washington 1:05p March 8 Miami 1:05p March 10 Miami 1:05p March 15 Baltimore 1:05p March 16 Miami 1:05p March 18 Washington 1:05p March 20 New York Mets 1:05p March 22 Atlanta 1:05p March 24 New York Mets 1:05p


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THE

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› SOCIAL SCENE

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Let’s Dance! › Written And Photographed By Ronald W. Wetherington

B

all gowns swirl. Arms embrace. Feet lift high off the floor. Audience members were entranced by the dancers’ graceful movements. On an idyllic Sunday afternoon, amateur, professional and youth ballroom dancers performed and competed to win scholarships, awards and cash prizes at the 2018 Florida Fun Mini Match. This informal amateur and Pro-Am ballroom dance competition benefits the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association, and over $7,500 was raised in just a few hours. Florida Fun Mini Match is produced by Dance, Dance, Dance Studios of Wildwood, Florida, in partnership with its owner and presenting sponsor Mary K. Thomas, owner of equistaff.com, Fast Track Staffing, Inc. and MKT Talent. Ken Ward of USA Dance Chapter 6027 returned as master of ceremonies. DJ Josh Angel set the mood for entertainment. Held at the Circle Square Cultural Center, the celebratory judges were dance partners Yulia Rudenco and Daniil Rostvinschii. Yulia is a fivetime U.S. national champion along with many other honors. Daniil is from Moldova and enjoys partnering with Yulia. Their foxtrot, tango

and Viennese waltz served as the grand finale at the end of the competition. The crowd was wowed by all the dancers doing the cha-cha, rumba, east coast swing, bolero and more. As a highly successful business professional, Mary K. Thomas is deeply committed to giving back to the Ocala/Marion County community. “The Marion Therapeutic Riding Association is special to me, as I personally experienced the benefits of the program,” she says. “My niece was a student at Hillcrest School, and her life improved as she encountered horses at the MTRA riding program. Several times a week she would leave the classroom for riding class. Tiffany was shy, preferred isolation and was very unstable when walking. She avoided physical activity whenever possible. However, contact with horses motivated her to get out to the barn and participate. The MTRA program increased her communication skills, coordination and balance as well as provided the opportunity to participate in group activities.” MTRA Executive Director Leslie Gettys says, “MTRA is thrilled to be the beneficiary of the funds raised at the Florida Fun Mini Match. MTRA provides a special service for disabled youth and adults, veterans and at-risk youth in our community. While horseback riding, these individuals are able to do things that they never dreamed possible. Our programs help them to walk, have better balance, develop self-confidence, overcome feelings of anger and hopelessness and form bonds with the horses that they ride. We see miracles these horses bring to our riders, and it never gets old.” Please take a minute and make a contribution to this worthy cause at mtraocala.org.

Honey, Jessica Wellman and Mikayla and Hannah Fouche

Shelia Wishard, Cheryl Schoonmaker and Tracy Taylor

Kaelin Baines, Benjamin Clark and Sarah Bohr

Ronald W. Wetherington SOCIAL SCENE EDITOR

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Greg Nelson, Atti Ennis, Rachael Palmieri and Barbara Hladil

Jan Hathaway, Kathy Edgell, Vicki Fouche, Karen Cunningham and Hannah Fouche

Kaitlin Curington, Bob Thomas, Mary K. Thomas and Sally Campbell

Elna Rudenco, Al Bleggi and Leana Neville

Nancy Inselman, Justin Brochette, Laura Thomley, Vanessa Bircher and Mishiddin Divovic

Wayne and Gigi Argo, Linda Byrd and Dennis Rose

Marilyn Pearson and Aleksei Alekseev

Erica Olstein, Joe Borge and Lilly Yocum MAR ’18 ›

075


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› SOCIAL SCENE

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Roast Mary Britt

Photos by Crys Williams @ Circle Square Cultural Center

In honor of her 30 years at the Ocala Civic Theatre, Mary Britt was in the spotlight for an evening of celebration. Guests enjoyed heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and the thoroughly humorous roasting of Mary Britt. Event proceeds benefited the Ocala Civic Theatre.

Sarah and Philip Leppert, Wally Wagoner

Ralph and Sue Church, Hilde and Ron Juzdowski

Paulette Millhorn, Mary Britt

Almeba Anselmi, Irene McCracken

Fred Mullen, David Schlenker Laura Bradford

Lisa Seiffer, Trish Kilgore

Keith Knorr, Carla Denson, Jan Knorr, Cathy and Dave Taylor Gail and Chris Johnson

Rusty Belote, Laura and Tim Roberson

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Shelby Randle

Angie Brahim, Gregg Bleam

Jaye Baillie, Rus Adams


THE

Scene

› SOCIAL SCENE

VIEW MORE SOCIAL SCENE PHOTOS AND PURCHASE PRINTS OF YOUR FAVORITES AT OCALASTYLE.COM

Light Up Ocala VIP Reception

Photos by Crys Williams @ Brick City Center for the Arts

Members of the community welcomed the seasonal downtown lights while enjoying VIP treatment at Brick City Center for the Arts. The reception provided guests with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, along with space for mingling in the festive courtyard.

Yahir and Yada Israel

Renata Pojani, Mayor Kent Guinn and Sandra Guinn and Donna Zobler

Brian Cole, Lyn Viselli, Morgan and Rob Cole

Jessi and Annie Miller

Denelle Pickering and Tanya Walker

Savannah Jenkins and Mary Baggs

Xochi Smith and Krystal, Reagan, Rashad and Ethan Pleasant

Michael Holland, Melissa Martone, Steve Tweedle, James Ross and Barbara Carbaugh

Otto Scharfschwerdt and Loida, Joshua and David Moore

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Frances and Brent Malever

Allan and Judy Grow, Hilda Kelley, Cindy and Matthew Grow

Eduardo Escalante and Suzie O’Brien

Brian and Angelica Dempsey


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1 $150 Aesthetics & Laser Gift Certif our offi 1 HydraFacial treatment types)

• European Facials/Microdermabrasion You Oxygen Infusion Facial Please RSVP by Monday, April 6 ® OFMC Dermatology & Aesthetic • Botox (Allergan Cosmetic Grade)Center European To RSVP or for questions regarding skin • Facial Fillers:SW Facials/Microdermabrasion 2121 22nd Place ® ® Restylane and Perlane event please call Ocala, FL 34471Cosmetic Grade) Botox® (Allergan pur •Dermatology IPL Photorejuvenation Packages Direct: (352) 368-1350 Facial Fillers: Restylane® and Perlane® • Aesthetics Hand Rejuvenation Direct: (352) 368-1333 • Laser Skin & Wrinkle Reduction Treatments IPL Photorejuvenation OFMC Main: (352) 237-4133 Packages • • Skin Enter t Tag Removal Hand Rejuvenation Grade Skin Care Line • • Pharmaceutical

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LIMITED ENGAGEMENT • ALL-NEW 2018 PROGRAM • ACCOMPANIED BY LIVE ORCHESTRA

MAR 14-16

Time: 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m

BEFORE

In ancient China, as part of mastering their craft, artists also cultivated goodness and inner purity. Today, Shen Yun’s artists carry on this noble tradition, incorporating study of traditional culture and meditation into their rigorous daily training. This spiritual connection is the heart behind each dance movement and each musical note. It is why audiences feel there is something different about Shen Yun, something deeply heartening

“[Shen Yun] was absolutely marvelous. It was stunning… It was really powerful. It’s beautiful. The choreography was spectacular... I was just boggled by the choreography and the beauty and the power. [We’ll] tell our friends they all must come and see the show!”

Deb Scott, LPN, LE Fre MENU OF SERVICES: Come meet our Deb Scott, LPN, LEskin care experts and Dermatological Clinical Acne Treatments

AFTER

Artists in almost every culture throughout history looked to the divine for inspiration. Art was meant to uplift, bringing joy and renewal to those who created and experienced it.

Dermatological Nurse - Esthetician Over 25 years of experience

Laser Skin & Wrinkle Reduction Treatments OFMC Dermatology & Aesthetic Center Kenneth Skin Tag RemovalA. Wallace III, M.D. BoardPlace, Certified Dermatologist 2121 SW 22nd Ocala Pharmaceutical Grade SkinMedicin CareeLine Board Certified Emergency Aesthetics Direct: (352) 368-1333

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Fellowship Trained Mohs’ Surgeon

Pleas OFMC Dermatology & Aesthetic Center MAR ’18 › 079 ToSurgeon RS Dr. Wallace is board certified Dermatology and is a fellowship trained Mohs’ 2121inSW 22nd Place

who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of skin conditions, diseases


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LIFE. SAVED. “I was visiting the springs in Ocala when I was involved in a four car accident on HWY 27 near downtown. I was ejected from the car and landed on the pavement. A nurse from Ocala Regional Medical Center saw the accident, had her daughter call 911 and the nurse performed CPR on me. I came to Ocala Regional Medical Center as a trauma alert and went into surgery for hours. I was in the hospital for almost a month and the list of my injuries is so long but every single day is getting better. So many people at Ocala Regional supported me and worked diligently to maintain my vitals so I would survive. I feel very blessed and feel like I have a second chance at life.” -Tommy, age 23

TAKING CARE TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Ocala Regional Medical Center’s Level II Trauma Center has transformed care for critically injured patients in Marion County and beyond. Our experts are here 24/7, saving time and saving lives, giving patients like Tommy a second chance at life.

See Tommy’s full story and learn more about our Level II Trauma Center at OcalaHealthSystem.com/trauma

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Ocala Style Mar'18  

Ocala Style Magazine. Real people. Real stories. Real Ocala

Ocala Style Mar'18  

Ocala Style Magazine. Real people. Real stories. Real Ocala