Ocala Style Apr'17

Page 1






Exploring Local Animal Sanctuaries


» Get Your Chocolate Fix » A Jazzy Festival

Considering Ocala? Oak Canopy – House and 20 acres for $1,795,000 The exquisite 5,000 SF, 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath main residence features an open Chef ’s kitchen, as well as spacious living and dining areas that reveal scenery of rolling pastures and alluring granddaddy Oaks. Split floor plan offers privacy as well as a second family room, perfect for viewing television and teenager hangouts. The porte-cochère joins garage and private exercise room to main residence. Breathtaking sunsets paint the skies beyond the entertainment area, which includes a luxurious pool and well-equipped summer kitchen. Along with an immense covered lounge area for dining and seating arrangements, there is an outside patio complete with a stone fire pit and tiki torches. Additional acreage also available. Show stable with 2/2 residence and additional acreage up to 100 acres are also available. Call for pricing.

Bel Lago - $899,000 Exquisite Tuscan-style 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath estate features beautiful lighting, high ceilings, and 3-car garage. The chef ’s kitchen with center island has raised bar, granite counter tops with seating. It opens to the light and bright family room with its stone fireplace. The butler’s pantry has a built-in wine cooler and plenty of storage. Formal dining room is accented with travertine flooring, crown molding adn French doors. Office with large windows also boasts built-in bookcases and wood floors. The pool and spa area are perfect for entertaining, with a large deck, summer kitchen, sitting area with fireplace and magnificent views. Guests will also enjoy the privacy of the separate apartment. Bel Lago is located just minutes to the hospitals, schools and shopping.

Golden Ocala – $2,900,000 World Equestrian Center South to be completed in 2018. This expansive waterfront estate offers unlimited opportunities for relaxation and recreation at Golden Ocala’s signature golf course, world class spa, dining and equestrian facilities. Experience quality and timeless elegance. The formal living room has a fireplace, cathedral ceilings with a soaring glass wall showcasing the estate’s incredible pool, landscaping, and panoramic lake and golf course views. The chef’s kitchen features granite counter tops, center island, custom cabinets plus a breakfast nook overlooking the pool and open to the family room with a built-in entertainment center. The primary master suite (there are two) offers views of the lake and pool, plus his-andher baths and lounging area. Highlights include two en-suite bedrooms, a second-floor lanai with wood ceiling, fireplace, and more scenery.

Woodlands at Bellechase - $799,431 Incredible custom estate with all the bells and whistles. Open Chef ’s kitchen overlooks family gathering room, expansive covered lanai, pool with waterfall and summer kitchen. Split floor plan for privacy. Living room features a double-sided fireplace plus expansive glass wall overlooking pool and lanai area. This open floor plan is great for family gatherings or entertaining. Master suite with en-suite bath plus his/her closets (what a closet!). Up stairs is a large room with full bath for media room, fifth bedroom or use of your choice. Exterior: Wrought iron fencing in the backyard, landscape light around pool and front yard completes the appeal of this unique home with a a very peaceful setting.

Other farms and land are available for sale in the Northwest as well as the Southwest.

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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Sinc e 19



In Every Issue




016 018 020 022 024


The real people, places and events that shape our community. › By Angelique Anacleto, Brett Ballantini, Laurel Gillum, JoAnn Guidry and Bonnie Kretchik



028 030 032 034


On The Cover

036 On The

Wild Side.

If you’re looking to make a wild connection, then a trio of area wildlife sanctuaries will help bring out your inner Tarzan or Jane. › By JoAnn Guidry

Dedicated to enriching the lives of local families. › By Cealia Athanason, Kevin Christian, Laurel Gillum and JoAnn Guidry

In This Issue

040 Jazz Giants. Jazz

on the Green returns this year with a two-day festival spanning the entire Gainesville-Ocala area and bringing with it international jazz superstars. › By Bonnie Kretchik



054 056 058


Our best recipes, restaurant news and culinary quick bites. › By Angelique Anacleto, Laurel Gillum and Sean Trapani


044 Opening Day.

Sparked by a brand-new stadium in Atlanta, here’s a rundown of all three of the Southeast’s ballparks. › By Brett Ballantini


Your guide to what’s happening in and around Ocala. › By Ralph Demilio, Laurel Gillum & Bonnie Kretchik

067 072






Exploring Local Animal Sanctuaries


Cover illustration by Jessi Miller

» Get Your Chocolate Fix » A Jazzy Festival

APR ’17 ›


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o: 352.732.0073 › f: 352.732.0226 1007 E. Fort King St., Ocala, FL 34471 ocalastyle.com OCALA STYLE MAGAZINE / APRIL 2017 / VOL. 19, NO. 4 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. OCALA / MARION COUNTY














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Clean Sweep 22

Spring cleaning extends further than your front door. The City of Ocala will host the annual Mayor’s Spring Cleanup event on Saturday, April 22 from 8-11am at various locations throughout the city. This clean sweep includes community groups, businesses and volunteers gathering together to collect litter and beautify the city. All participants will receive a free T-shirt. For more information, contact City of Ocala Sanitation Division Head Dwayne Drake at ddrake@ocalafl.org. Want to do more to celebrate our planet Earth? Try these suggestions: Give up bottled water. Buy local. Go paperless. Carpool. Make a recycling plan.

B U Z Z page















Art Alive!

The Appleton’s most notable artwork will come to life for a magical evening complete with golden tablets, unicorns and many more surprises. By Bonnie Kretchik

“Each character will explain who they are and offer some history of the piece they came from”. -Marie Fielding


› Ocala


We have a lot to offer, and this event is going to be such fun for everyone,” she says.

WANT TO GO? › Magical Night at the Museum › May 6 from 6-9pm › Advanced tickets recommended; family package includes two adults and up to three children for $30 for Appleton members and $45 for non-members; single tickets $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers › appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455

Photos courtesy of the Appleton Museum


he Appleton has hosted a number of unique exhibits over the years, yet perhaps no event has seen the likes of what is in store come the evening of May 6. Some of the museum’s most notable artwork will literally come to life during the Magical Night at the Museum event. The concept for this family event was based off the film A Night at the Museum, explains Marie Fielding, education assistant for the Appleton. “We thought it was such a fun concept, so we are literally going to be bringing the art in the museum to life,” she says. Although not wanting to give too much away, Marie explains that visitors will each be given a Golden Tablet, and as they approach certain pieces, the characters will come to life, thanks to the help of actors from the Ocala Civic Theatre and the College of Central Florida’s theatre department. “It’s going to be fun and educational; each character will explain who they are and offer some history of the piece they came from,” says Marie. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the education department at the Appleton, which offers scholarships and provides classes and summer camps for children and young artists. Along with the trail of artwork springing to life around every corner, the evening will consist of a number of magical happenings.

“We have unicorn-drawn carriage rides, a magician and an eye-popping optical illusion hands-on activity in the ARTSpace,” says Marie. She notes the purpose of hosting the event is twofold. As well as being an important fundraising event for the education department, Marie hopes the event will introduce the museum to a new generation of art enthusiasts as a “fun” place to be. “We aren’t downtown where there are activities going on all of the time, so not many people know we are here,” she says. “We especially want to show kids how fun the museum really can be,” says Marie, noting that the Student Art Show will be on display throughout evening as well. Although the Magical Night at the Museum is noted as being a family affair, Marie invites art-enthusiasts of all ages to attend. “We want to introduce the museum to those who haven’t been there yet.


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APR ’17 ›





Let’s Get Festive

Floridians, mark your calendars! You won’t want to any of the regional festivities slated for spring 2017. 48th Annual Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival & Exhibition, Gainesville

Jazz on the Green, Ocala

Featuring live jazz, dancing, visual art and great food, guests can kick back, relax and enjoy the immensely talented artists. May 5-6, jazzonthegreentour.com

This festival is one of the three largest annual events in Gainesville and is known for its high quality, unique artwork. April 1-2, sfspringarts.org

Florida Folk Festival, White Springs

Jax Beach Springing the Blues Festival, Jacksonville

This three-day event transforms the shoreline into an outdoor blues club. Over 50 acts are set to perform. Local eats, arts and crafts and souvenir vendors will set up shop along the beach. April 7-9, springingtheblues.com

Alabama Shakes, Sunfest headliner

Sunfest, West Palm Beach

With a stunning waterfront view along Flagler Drive, this major music festival offers three stages, 50 bands and lots of activities beyond musical performances. May 3-7, sunfest.com

Tampa Bay Blues Festival

Headlining this event will be some of the world’s finest blues musicians. Performances run through 10pm, but after-shows within walking distance will continue throughout the night. April 7-9, tampabaybluesfest.com

53rd Annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, Cedar Key

Florida Blueberry Festival

4th Annual Brick City Beer and Wine Festival, Ocala

Apopka Art and Foliage Festival

For craft enthusiasts, this event showcases products from mixed media and paintings to hand bags, hats and jewelry. April 15-16, thevillages.com 018

› Ocala


Instructors Shawn Swaithes and Donna Bonham Steinfeldwish invite you to a fun-filled weekend of dancing. June 1-4, orangeblossomdance.net

This year’s Blue Crab Festival will feature carnival rides, live music, arts and crafts, commercial display vendors and more along the newly renovated riverfront in downtown Palatka. May 26-29, bluecrabfestival.com

Walk the historic downtown streets of Brooksville and enjoy fresh Florida blueberries, blueberry pies and tasty festival fare. Not to mention plenty of other vendors and lots of family fun. April 22-23, floridablueberryfestival.org

Brownwood Paddock Square Art and Craft Festival, The Villages

Orange Blossom Dance Festival, Oviedo

Blue Crab Festival

Browse the artwork of 120 artists; their work includes traditional 2-D paintings, prints and photography, in addition to 3-D ceramic, glass, wood, metal and mixed media sculptures. April 8-9, cedarkeyartsfestival.com

Sample beer and wine from a variety of vendors and food trucks. Enjoy free admission to the Feel Downtown LIVE concert after the festival. April 15, brickcitybeerfest.com

Celebrate Florida’s heritage with music, dance, stories, crafts and food that make the Sunshine State unique. The 2017 lineup will center around the diverse living traditions of Southwest Florida. May 26-28, floridastateparks.org

Spend the day with local growers and plant doctors, and shop the booths of more than 160 artisans and crafters. Then, take a break for some tasty concession eats and continuous entertainment. April 29-30, apopkaartandfoliagefestival.org

63rd Annual Chiefland Watermelon Festival

This annual event features arts, crafts, vendors, melons and more. June 3, chieflandwomansclub.org

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival, Orlando

Epcot will undergo a fragrant makeover with over 30 million colorful blossoms, interactive gardens and workshops at this annual springtime festival. Through May 29, disneyworld.disney.go.com

St. Augustine Music Festival St. Augustine Music Festival features musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joined by internationally renowned artists presenting a variety of classical compositions in the historic Cathedral Basilica. June 15-17, 22-24, staugustinemusicfestival.org

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Floating Into History With bullet holes still in its walls from a historic shootout, the Ma Barker home arrives at its final resting place—as a museum. › By Brett Ballantini


fter a series of robberies, murders and ransoms carried out through several Midwestern states in the 1920s and 1930s, the Barker-Karpis Gang was on the run and hiding out in nearby Ocklawaha. Most of the gang split up as law enforcement tracked them southward, leaving only Arizona “Ma” Barker and her son, Fred, in their lazy, quiet hideout. Agents ringed the property on the morning of January 16, 1935, unsure of how big the band of dozing criminals was they were about to face. After being ordered to vacate the home, Fred sent a shot ringing out. The resulting gun battle—the Battle of Ocklawaha—lasted four hours and 2,000 rounds and is considered the longest in FBI history. Legend has it that locals came to watch the shootout, holding picnics as gunfire was exchanged. The shootout left both Fred and his mother dead, the home shredded by bullets. Now, the historic location that marked the end of one of the more notorious gangs in U.S. crime history is becoming the newest Marion County museum. The history of the house, with bullet holes still pocking the walls and the entire contents of the house serving as a time capsule dating back more than 80 years, is fascinating, and turning it into a Marion County museum is pretty cool. But there’s an even crazier element of this story: The Ma Barker House floated for two miles over Lake Weir to its final destination in the Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area in Ocklawaha. Family heirs put the Ma Barker House and its nine-and-a-half acres of lakefront property up for sale, and a buyer was found—for the land, not


› Ocala


the building. Fearful of losing a piece of Florida history, the Board of County Commissioners voted to preserve the house after the family offered the home and all its original furnishings as a donation. But the only way to realize the museum vision was by moving the house, on a barge, across Lake Weir and into the hands of Marion County Parks and Recreation preservationists. The move was made late last October, spirited by Paul Stentiford of Stentiford Construction Services. As unorthodox as ferrying a house seems, at $235,000 it was cheaper than moving the home over land. “We would have had to cut power lines and trim a bunch of low Oak branches,” Stentiford said at a January discussion of the move at the Kiwanis Club of Ocala. The home also would have needed to be cut into two pieces. As it was, Stentiford had to dig below the house’s foundation and insert steel support beams underneath. Hydraulic jacks lifted the 75-ton house and essentially became a heavyweight dolly that could be dragged through the backyard, over a 70-foot dock erected solely for the move and onto a 40-by-80-foot barge sitting in just two feet of water. The total weight of the floating house/barge was estimated to be 188 tons, and Stentiford said it temporarily raised the level of the lake. Most amazing was how graceful the relocation was. “We didn’t even remove the furniture,” said one of the project’s spearheads, Marion County tax collector George Albright. “A china cabinet, and a few other items. That’s it.”


Although the Ma Barker house is intact with all of its original furnishings, work is necessary to fully preserve the home before it opens to the public as a museum. If you would like to donate to Marion County’s newest public attraction, visit marioncountyfl.org or call (352) 438-4300.




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APR ’17 ›





Equine Bling › By JoAnn Guidry


hat do you do if your blue-eyed palomino Missouri fox trotter is a bit of a princess and wants more bling than glitter hoof polish? Well if you’re Pat Davis, you start making some accessories and then costumes for horses. “My horse, Ginger, is truly a blond princess,” says Davis, who taught for 18 years and then was a Web developer for 10 years with the Marion County School District. “In fact, we call her Princess Ginger. When I started looking online for accessories for her, I couldn’t find any. So I started making my own.” The first things Davis made were rhythm beads, which are basically horse necklaces with a bell. Originally, they were used by cross country and fox hunt riders to alert others they were approaching. Today, they’ve become an equine fashion statement. “I made the first ones for myself and as gifts for friends,” says Davis. “As the other riders saw them, they started paying me to make them. Then I started making rhinestone bridle brow bands and horse hats of all kinds. And, of course, Princess Ginger was always happy to model what I made.” As word spread of Davis’ creations, she began to get more and more orders. In 2012, Davis decided to start a business of her handmade items and created My Buddy Bling. Looking for a catchy name for the business, Davis settled on using the name Buddy, which is her husband Bill’s Tennessee walking horse’s name. Apparently, Princess Ginger approved, and Buddy also serves as a bling model. Today, My Buddy Bling is an international business with customers in all 50 states and 20 countries and counting. The business has taken over two upstairs bedrooms in the Davis home in Micanopy. Still a one-woman operation, Davis crafts


› Ocala


every item by hand. A self-described animal rights person, she does not use real leather or fur. Any feathers used have been given to Davis by friends who gather molted feathers of their peacocks, turkeys, ducks or pigeons. “People will order accessories or costumes for horse shows, fairs, parades and barn parties,” says Davis. “Halloween is the biggest holiday for costume requests. Last year, I came up with a candy corn-themed costume that was a big hit. And last Christmas, I made 140 Santa hats for horses.” Native American-themed costumes are also very popular and one of the most labor intensive, taking Davis on average three days to make. Davis adds that she’s made “a lot of tutus, wings, unicorn horns, Viking horns, pastern bracelets, faux fur leggings and floppy sun hats for horses.” “Sometimes people request both wings and a unicorn horn. Then, they create their own Pegasus unicorn,” says Davis. “Once I made and shipped six gold unicorn horns to France that were worn in an international dressage event by a group that finished second. Other customers regularly compete in costume divisions of horse shows.” For lifelong horsewoman Davis, My Buddy Bling fits right in with her horsey lifestyle. “Our horses are part of our family, and the business is an extension of that,” says Davis. “I love the creativity of what I do and meeting horse people from around the world. It’s fun to share a little bling with them.”

FIND OUT MORE › mybuddybling.com › facebook.com/mybuddybling › pat@mybuddybling.com › (352) 658-1116

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APR ’17 ›





Family 7.

Good Vibrations

Do your part to help another in need. Here are 28 selfless ways to get involved.


uring our short time together on this planet, we fundamentally recognize that no one ever wishes to be forgotten. For Pay It Forward Day this April 28, we’ve assembled 28 ways to make the world a little shinier. Give these acts of kindness a whirl, and let nature’s feel-good oxytocin flow!

Spouse: Publicly compliment your soul mate.

8. Children: Schedule an unforgettable one-on-one outing of your child’s choosing. 9. Relatives: Attend milestone celebrations, which mean more than you realize.


10. Share your restaurant to-go box, or pack a meal or snack bag for a homeless individual. 11. Donate handy hotel toiletries to a homeless shelter. Interfaith Emergency Services, 435 NW 2nd Street, Ocala, (352) 629-8868, iesmarion.org


16. Share fun pastimes with a challenged individual like moviewatching, hobbies or dining out. 17. Join a charity walk/run/ride, and help out while getting healthy. Saturday, May 6, 2017: Derby Day 10K, 5K & Kids’ 1K, Florida Horse Park, 11008 S Highway 475, Ocala (Benefits PACE Center for Girls of Marion County, pacecenter.org) 18. Register to be an organ donor at organize.org or when you renew your driver’s license. 19. Bring flowers or contact an administrator about visiting patients at one of Marion County’s four hospice houses. Hospice of Marion County, 3231 SW 34th Avenue, Ocala, (352) 873-7400, hospiceofmarion.com


12. Leave favorite books at places like coffee shops, or donate them to your library or a school. Friends of the Ocala Public Library, 2720 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, (352) 368-4591, friendsoftheocalalibrary.org 13. Donate frequent flyer miles to charity. Several airlines work with dozens of organizations, from food banks to the American Red Cross.

Animals 1.

Foster a pet, or volunteer to walk a rescue animal at the shelter. Humane Society of Marion County, 701 NW 14th Road, Ocala, (352) 873-7387, thehsmc.org (Their Traveling Tails program can prep you for dog visits to nursing homes.)

2. Eat veggies for a whole day, and you’ll help the environment, too.

14. Donate cell phones to charity. Check cellphonesforsoldiers.com for four Ocala drop-off locations, which turn each cell phone, smartphone or tablet donation into one hour of phone minutes for soldiers. Americancellphonedrive.org also lists four Ocala drop-offs to raise money for that drop site’s organization. Verizon Wireless retailers accept donations for HopeLine domestic violence program.


6. Rather than accept repayment or a gift, encourage that person to pay it forward.


21. Speak to an administrator about settling a child’s school lunch debt. 22. Talk to or sit with a shy classmate, or volunteer to mentor. 23. Write your teacher a descriptive thank-you note for her keepsake file.


24. Call a nursing home to offer a much-appreciated ride to and from a medical appointment.

25. Providing references is the ultimate business compliment.

4. The Ocala Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center is always happy to accept new or gently used toys for children at the center. (352) 351-4009 or ocaladvshelter.org

5. Pay ahead for the toll, drive-thru order, coffee or food ticket of the next person.

20. Join a letter-writing campaign for deployed personnel at: operationwearehere.com/ IdeasforSoldiersCardsLetters.html


3. Babysit for a single parent. Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while.

Daily Routine


15. Volunteer your time and talents to a cause. For example, edit videos for a charity’s social media page.

26. Prop up helpful staff with written compliments around review time or a bonus day off. 27. Bring a meal to a co-worker staying late. 28. For independent contractors, do one job pro bono.


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Honoring Excellence

21st Century Oncology earns prestigious accreditation from the American College of Radiation Oncology.


st Century Oncology is proud to announce that its cancer treatment centers in Central Florida have earned the prestigious American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) accreditation. The Ocala and Beverly Hills centers earned the distinction after a thorough, objective and impartial peer review of both facilities. “This distinction is an honor for our practices,” said Ravi Sandrapaty, M.D., who is board certified by the American Board of Radiology in Radiation Oncology and is the medical director of 21st Century Oncology’s Central Florida locations. “Every day our team works tirelessly to provide the utmost care for our patients in both the Ocala and Beverly Hills facilities.” ACRO’s mission is to strive to ensure the highest quality of care for radiation therapy patients, and promote success in the practice of radiation oncology through education, responsible socioeconomic advocacy and integration of science and technology into clinical practice. As part of their mission, ACRO began their practice accreditation program in 1995, which consisted of practice standards within the field of radiation oncology. Today, accreditation from ACRO remains a voluntary process in which professional peers identify standards indicative of a quality practice through audits conducted to assure that these standards are followed, including on-site visits by physics and administrative surveyors. “This accreditation is proof that we have been successful in our commitment to excellence, but it does not stop here,” said Dr. Sandrapaty. “Every day we are reminded of our purpose through our interactions with patients. They are our motivation to continuously strive for high-quality care.” During the review process, 21st Century Oncology’s locations in Central Florida were judged on accuracy in patients’ charts, including medical information, quality of documentation and case management, calibration of all machines, radiation safety measures and a review of all processes and work flow within the facility. 21st Century Oncology is the largest global, physician led provider of integrated cancer care services. The company offers a

“Every day we are reminded of our purpose through our interactions with patients. They are our motivation to continuously strive for high-quality care.” › Dr. Sandrapaty

comprehensive range of cancer treatment services focused on delivering academic quality, cost-effective patient care in personal and convenient settings. As of September 30, 2016, the company operated 180 treatment centers, including 144 centers located in 17 U.S. states and 36 centers located in seven countries in Latin America. The company holds market-leading positions in most of its domestic local markets and abroad.

21st Century Oncology › 3201SW 33rd Road, Ocala › 3406 N Lecanto Highway, Suite A, Beverly Hills › 21co.com/centralfl › (352) 291-2495.

APR ’17 ›



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Safety First, Football Second

Sources: nbcnews.com, webmd.com

A debate that has lasted decades recently came back into the limelight. The safety of youth football, a sport enjoyed by over 3 million kids in America daily, is in question because of its long-term effects on the brain. A team from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center studied 25 players between the ages of 8 and 13 in one youth football program in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Each player was given a helmet outfitted with sensors that measured the frequency and severity of impacts. Researchers looked for tiny changes in white matter—the tissue that houses millions of nerve fibers that connect other parts of the brain and spinal cord and signal nerves to talk to each other. White matter helps you stay upright, walk straight and think fast. The data collected from the helmets was analyzed against pre-season and post-season MRIs of the players’ brains. Over time, the white matter diminished. This research reinforces the importance of proper drills, rules and safety gear to protect youth athletes.












Investigating Florida’s Springs

For The Love Of Science IHMC’s Science Saturdays makes science fun for community students. › By Cealia Athanason


ive years ago, a monthly science program was added to Ocala’s Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. The program, Science Saturdays, had been going on for 12 years at the IHMC location in Pensacola, and IHMC board members in Ocala were impressed by it. After receiving a charitable donation, the first year of Science Saturdays was made possible. “The main goal is to inspire kids to love science,” says Dr. Ursula Schwuttke, the director of educational outreach at IHMC in Ocala. Schwuttke’s background includes leading a research and development group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She heard about IHMC from a former NASA colleague and came to Ocala to start the Science Saturdays program. As part of her position at IHMC, she comes up with the topics and presenters for each month’s Science Saturdays event. The program begins in September and ends in April, and students in third, fourth and fifth grade can register to attend. Schwuttke views these


› Ocala


events as ways to get kids excited about science. If the program can give them an enjoyable, hands-on experience, she believes that’s the hook that can help motivate them in their school work. Last month’s Science Saturdays workshop was held at the College of Central Florida, and students were able to learn about and observe 3-D printing. The staff at CF presented on the topic, and the students used 3-D pens and laptops to design objects. Those objects were printed, and the kids were able to take them home. “At least half of the time is spent hands on,” Schwuttke says. She makes it a point to attend each event. There are two sessions for each Science Saturdays event. Students usually work in small groups of four with one high school volunteer. These volunteers play an important part. They are role models for the students, and they’re the ones who witness the impact the program has on those students. Schwuttke aims to have the names of 12 to 15 volunteers to ensure that eight volunteers can participate at each session.

Present volunteers love science and come from Vanguard High School, Forest High School and West Port High School; although, IHMC is open to student volunteers from any high school. There’s no one way Schwuttke determines which topics will be covered in the Science Saturdays program. Sometimes she just thinks up topics, but she also works with IHMC employees to bring in topics that connect and relate to the community. “We don’t repeat the same topic more than once every other year,” she explains. Science Saturdays is a completely free program thanks to premier sponsor Cox Communications and sponsors Ron and Phyllis Ewers, Lockheed Martin and Publix Super Markets Charities. Registration for students opens two weeks before each event.


Photo of Florida’s Springs Study by Max McCammon, photo of Lemon Batteries by Grant Harriss, all photos courtesy of Ursula Schwuttke

Lemon Batteries and Solar Cells

What will you Create Today? 2017 Summer ART Camp Open Enrollment begins April 3 June 5-9 June 12-16

June 19-23 JuLy 17-21 JuLy 10-14 JuLy 24-28

Morning and Afternoon Camps available, Ages 4 and Up Museum, ARTSpace and Appleton Store Hours Tuesday–Saturday: 10a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday: Noon–5 p.m. 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. | AppletonMuseum.org | 352-291-4455

Montessori P R E PA R ATO R Y S C H O O L O F O C A L A





A cce pti n g R e g ist rati f o r 2 017- 2 0 18 APR ’17 ›






Inspiration In A Flash

Local author writes a series of children’s books inspired by and starring his canine pal. › By JoAnn Guidry


s any creative person will tell you, inspiration comes in many shapes and forms. For Ocala author Charlie Alexander, his is four-legged and wags his tail. “When I married my wife, Becky, three years ago, her miniature poodle, Flash, was part of the deal,” says Alexander. “I’d never had a dog for a pet all my life. But Flash and I hit it off right away. He’s just a wonderful, truly loving little dog who is a lot of fun to be around.” Turns out the bond between Alexander and Flash re-awakened a penchant for drawing with the canine being the subject. “I had done some drawing as a kid, but then music became my passion, and that’s what I focused on the majority of my life,” says Alexander, an accomplished musician who plays locally as part of a jazz group called Three. “But when I got an iPad, I started doing some illustrations of Flash. As I progressed, the pictures started telling a story, and then I started putting words to them. Then I thought they would make great children’s books.” Flash forward (pun intended) and Alexander has now self-published a whole series of Flash children’s books. The first five in the series that are available include: Flash Meets the Orchestra, Flash Plays Golf, Flash Dreams of a Career, Flash’s Day on the Farm and Flash Visits Outer Space. Still to come are Flash Meets


› Ocala


the Dinosaurs, Flash Goes On A Picnic, Flash Goes Trick or Treating and Flash Finds His Fancy. “The books are for children 3 and up. They are little innocent books that kids can enjoy,” says Alexander, who has 36 nieces and nephews to test read the books. “But adults seem to like them, too, and love reading them to kids.” The bright, colorful books feature Flash’s many adventures, from learning about different instruments in an orchestra to visiting a farm to dreaming of outer space. With his boundless curiosity, Flash is always ready to explore and learn. “My favorite is Flash Dreams of a Career,” says Alexander, who taught piano lessons to children for decades. “Every kid gets asked what they want to be when they grow up. So I hope this book gets them thinking about some of the possibilities.” Alexander is also giving back and working with the United Way of Marion County’s ReadingPals program. The literacy program pairs a reading volunteer with a kindergarten student throughout the school year; children also get to keep the books they read. “My books are being incorporated into the ReadingPals program,” says Alexander. “I’m very happy about that because I think teaching kids to read is very important. I’m very honored to be part of the program.”

So how is Flash handling his fame? “Flash is enjoying his stardom,” says Alexander. “He knows he’s a big deal. But he’s still humble and just a great little dog that inspires me every day.”

FIND OUT MORE › charliealexanderandhispalflash.com › The Flash series books are available in hardcover, softcover and e-book through the website, amazon.com and booksamillion.com.

City of Ocala


EARTHFEST AT ARBOR DAY VOLUNTEER MONTH “As we approach National Volunteer Week, my thoughts turn to our volunteers and the incredible contribution they make to our community. Our volunteers come from various backgrounds and have different life experiences, but they all have at least ONE thing in common: their willingness to give their time to help others.” -Connie Carroll If you’re interested in finding a volunteer opportunity with the City of Ocala, please contact Connie at 352-368-5517 or at ccarroll@ocalafl.org

Tuscawilla Park and the Discovery Center Saturday | Apr. 22 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Join us for the 2017 Earthfest at Arbor Day in the Great Outdoors celebration. Activities include: • Youth Fishing Derby | 9 a.m.-noon • Live entertainment and food vendors • Archery, rappelling and games • Crafts and demonstrators • Wagon rides • Butterfly release Thank you to our sponsors, Ocala Electric Utility, Ocala Water Resources, Ocala Star Banner/Ocala.com, Pratt Industries, The Martial Arts Center of Ocala, SECO and Tri-AM RV. For a complete schedule of events and information, please call 352-368-5517 or visit our website at www.ocalafl.org/Visitors/EventCalendar

SENIOR FISHING DERBY ADULTS 55+ Tuscawilla Park 300 NE Sanchez Ave. Monday | Apr. 24 | 9 a.m.-noon Come and enjoy a FUN, complimentary day of fishing. Poles and bait will be provided. Lunch will be provided thanks to our sponsors. Preregistration is required. To reserve your spot, please call 352-629-8545.




100 Percent Success

These North Marion High leaders convinced 100 percent of their student colleagues to wear seatbelts when leaving campus. The annual “Battle of the Belts” measures seat belt use at public high schools, and North Marion reached the perfect score by awarding tickets for buckling up. The school received a $500 check from Ayres, Cluster Law Firm and bragging rights for the entire school. It’s the first time in the Battle’s 14-year history a school has earned a 100 percent score.

Remembering DJ

Belleview-Santos Elementary students set butterflies free and pledged to talk with their parents about ALD, a rare disease often impacting boys in elementary school. DJ Shuler was a former student there who died from the fast-progressing neuro condition. Those who knew DJ offered gifts to his family to honor his memory. The school also has a plaque in the media center so DJ will be remembered for generations to come.

Dr. Seuss Homecomings

Marion Oaks Elementary served up two surprise military homecomings during Dr. Seuss week. The first involved fifth-grader Jacob Kivitt opening a surprise box, only to find his mother, Tonya Kivitt of the US Coast Guard, standing inside. Visibly shaking from the surprise, Jacob admitted he never thought of his mom being the surprise guest. She’s been in Cuba guarding Guantanamo Bay since last year. Later the same day, kindergarten student Jayden Ammirato was listening to Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier read when her dad, Army 1SG Jason Ammirato walked into her classroom. The youngest of five siblings, Jayden jumped up immediately into her daddy’s arms. This is dad’s first visit home since active duty in South Africa.

Nothing But Net Ja’Niyah McCoy may be a young student at WardHighlands Elementary, but don’t count her out when it comes to hoops! This young lady dominates the basketball rim and heads to Georgia to represent the Southeast in the annual Hoop Shoot competition sponsored by the Elks Club. During this photo shoot, she hit nothing but net on virtually every shot she tossed, regardless of where she was on the court.


› Ocala


weatherSTEM in Town

There’s a brand-new weather station in town—at Dr. NH Jones Elementary! Marion County Emergency Management officials installed and dedicated the new weatherSTEM technology just a few weeks ago at the school just off Dr. MLK Avenue. The new station provides highly customizable alert platforms to respond to a wide variety of conditions, including nearby lightning, dangerous heat conditions, freeze forecasts and other sensor-related events. The $3,000 system was paid for with a federal grant through Emergency Management.

Drive For Life

North Marion High also recently hosted “Drive for Life” to emphasize the dangers of distracted driving. Students themselves put on the two-day event with guest speakers, powerful videos and personal testimonies of those most impacted by driving deaths. The program is so powerful it’s gaining attention throughout the state and is being duplicated in other school districts.

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APR ’17 ›






Elizabeth, 5, Victoria, 2, and their dog, Lucy, enjoying a boat ride

Abbigail, 1, posing for a quick photo

Cousins Addelynn, 2, and Nevaeh, 2, hit the playground at Liberty Park

Sevyn, 8, at the Marion County Public Library with her artwork chosen for the Florida Springsfest Compeition

Cooper, 9, showing off his medal from the Under Armour Under the Lights flag football program

Brandon, 6, and Jared, 4, at the Baseline Road Trailhead

Bryan, 6, metal detecting with his dad

Kendall, 5, Savannah, 5, and Stefon, 3, enjoying the swings at Tuscawilla Park

Everly, 11 months, at the Baseline Road Trailhead Park

Kylee, 6, on a scavenger hunt at Tuscawilla Park

Gabriel, 8, Jayden, 6, and Zackary, 8, at the Hoggtowne Medieval Faire

WANT TO SEE YOUR KIDS ON THE PAGES OF OCALA STYLE? Send your photos from around town and local events to melissa@ocalastyle.com. Yours might just get picked! 034

› Ocala


Lilyana, 8, stopping for a fun picture



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› Ocala




Lions and tigers and bears (and elephants, too), oh my.

Wild Side

Illustration by Jessi Miller

f you’re looking to make a wild connection, then a trio of area facilities will help bring out your inner Tarzan or Jane. And along the way, you’ll learn about many exotic species and how they came to make their home in the Sunshine State.


Elephant Encounter

Two Tails Ranch

North Central Florida is well known for its cattle ranches and Thoroughbred farms. But it can also claim the distinction of having Two Tails Ranch, the only privately owned elephant facility of its kind in the United States. Located just north of Williston, the late Theodore Svertesky founded Two Tails Ranch in 1984 with Patricia Zerbini joining him in 1985. The ranch was originally established as an elephant boarding facility for those who needed a temporary or permanent place to stay. Two Tails Ranch continues that function and was opened to the public in 2009. Today, the 67-acre ranch is home to seven Asian elephants, including one male and six females. Zerbini inherited four elephants and bought three others; all were born in captivity. In addition, the ranch’s menagerie includes two zebras, four lemurs, a camel, an ostrich, an emu and two tortoises. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Two Tails Ranch is licensed by the USDA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It is also accredited by the U.S. Zoological Association and the Zoological Association of America. “Our mission at Two Tails Ranch is to instill awareness and educate people about elephants in captivity and in the wild,” says Zerbini, who is the ninth generation of her family to work with exotic animals. “Asian elephants are endangered, and African elephants are considered vulnerable. Loss of habitat and poaching are the two main causes of the declines in population. There needs to be more conservation action taken before it’s too late.” Zerbini, who has worked with elephants on three different continents, is doing her part by giving people an opportunity for elephant encounters. The theory being we care about what we know about. There are guided tours at the ranch six days a week. Zerbini also established All About Elephants, an educational program for private citizens, schools, groups and professionals to gain a more comprehensive working knowledge of the pachyderms and conservation efforts. On a beautiful, sunny afternoon, two dozen guests, including area residents and out-of-state

Photo courtesy of Two Tails Ranch

Photo by John Jernigan

Photo by John Jernigan

extended periods because their enormous weight would crush their organs.” Then it’s time for Luke to show off his Photo by John Jernigan artistic side. Zerbini brings in a large blank canvas on an easel and puts it in front of Luke. She holds the palette, rolls the paint brush in a color and then gives it to Luke. Holding the brush with his trunk, Luke moves to the easel and proceeds to paint. When apparently satisfied with that part of the painting, he backs up and gives Zerbini the brush. She reapplies paint and the process continues. The guests are delighted as they watch Luke’s bright, multicolored painting, decidedly Impressionistic, come to be and give the finished artwork an appreciative round of applause. Luke bows in response. Following the initial educational portion of the basic visitors, have gathered in the bleachers just outside tour, guests can pay extra for a picture with Luke, to one of the elephant enclosures. Zerbini gives her feed one of the other elephants, take an elephant ride introduction talk to the audience, but Luke is clearly or have an extreme encounter with the elephants. the center of attention. Standing just behind Zerbini, “I’ve loved elephants all my life,” says Zerbini. “I the massive 12,000-pound Asian elephant with the want to continue to share them with others with large crossed ivory tusks is difficult to overlook. hopes that education will allow us to have elephants “I’ve had Luke since he was 2. He’s 32 now,” for generations to come.” says Zerbini. When a guest asks why his tusks are crossed, she answers, “Asian elephants are direct TWO TAILS RANCH descendants of wooly mammoths, and they’ve allaboutelephants.com retained that distinct characteristic.” (352) 528-6585 or (352) 359-6676 Zerbini then demonstrates the bond that she and Tours by appointment only, closed Thursdays Luke have by gently asking him to bow and then lie $20 adults, $10 kids (9 and under) down with subtle hand gestures and body language. Photo with Luke: $25 • Hand feed elephant: $5 Elephant ride: $40 • Extreme encounter: $200 She points out that “elephants rarely lie down for

Asian elephants are direct descendants of wooly mammoths, and they’ve retained that distinct crossed-tusk characteristic.

APR ’17 ›


Big Cat Country


Named after a Norse Viking god, Odin is no ordinary big cat. A giant tawny beast with chocolate freckles on his head and faint stripes on his legs, Odin is a liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger. And at 1,000 pounds and still growing, he is literally the biggest cat among the big cats at the Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary. Odin shares his enclosure with Tamari, a Bengal tiger, and they have been pals since they were cubs. The two, estimated to be about 5 years old, were born in captivity at a breeding facility in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They came to E.A.R.S. when that facility closed. Like Odin and Tamari, the other big cats and assorted wildlife have all found their way to E.A.R.S. via various routes. Many came from closed zoos and roadside tourist attractions, including one in an 18-wheeler that would literally pull over, open the doors and sell tickets for passing motorists to stop and see the animals. Then there’s those individuals who bought a tiger or a bear cub or a monkey as a pet, only to discover these animals were never meant to be pets. “What we offer these animals who come to us is a final permanent home,” says Gail Bowen, who founded E.A.R.S. and has studied tigers in Nepal, India and China. “Our purpose is preserving endangered animals with dignity and educating people about the true plight of these animals.” Located on 30-plus wooded acres some 20 miles north of Ocala in Citra, E.A.R.S. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture. E.A.R.S. offers $18 one-day membership tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The 80-minute guided walking tour on the paths that meander around the animal enclosures provide an up-close-and-personal visit. All of the big cats have daily access to large turnout areas for pawson-the-ground time. And while there are black bears, deer and various small primates, such as macaques, marmosets, bush babies and capuchins, make no mistake about it, the big cats are the stars. “People want to see big cats like lions, leopards and tigers,” says Bowen. “There is something special about tigers in particular that draw people to them. Unfortunately, that’s also why these animals have come to us from the situations that they have with people exploiting them. But at least now they have a good home with us.” There are currently 25 tigers in residence at the sanctuary, all Bengals except for one Sumatran tiger. The latter is a rare tiger species that inhabits the Indonesian island of Sumatra and is considered critically endangered. There are also four blue-eyed white tigers, one of which was bred for the famed Siegfried and Roy’s Las Vegas show. One of the Bengal tigers was voluntarily donated by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus with a donation given for her care. Others came from picture-babies breeding operations; a production company that used tigers for commercials; a woman who didn’t have a wildlife license and kept a tiger in her Daytona Beach


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E.A.R.S. photos by Sue Nassivera

“There is something special about tigers in particular that draw people to them. Unfortunately, that’s also why these animals have come to us from the situations that they have with people exploiting them.” came to E.A.R.S. when a Reno, Nevada, zoo closed down. There is no breeding at the sanctuary, and all the animals are neutered once they arrive. “All the animals who come here have a story,” says Bowen. “What we do is give them a forever home and a happy ending to their story.”

ENDANGERED ANIMAL RESCUE SANCTUARY earsinc.net or (352) 454-6454 facebook.com/earssanctuary condo and often walked it on a leash on the beach; and even a Jewish rabbi who had a wildlife license, but when he died, his widow could no longer care for the tiger. “I’ve loved tigers and have been involved with them for 50 years,” says Bowen. “I understand why people want to see them. They are magnificent creatures. And while all our tigers were born in captivity, they are still wild animals, and we treat them as such.” Also in residence are two leopards, who are brothers, and two lions, a male and a female. All four

One-day membership tours on Wednesdays & Saturdays, 1:45-3:15pm $18 adults 13 & up, $10 kids 3-12, kids 2 and under free Cash & checks only, all tours scheduled in advance For volunteer opportunities, call Andy at (203) 232-4397.

E.A.R.S. ANNUAL SPRING FUNDRAISER Hot Cars & Cool Cats Spring Car Show Saturday, April 22, 10am-3pm 2250 NE 70th Street (Hwy 326) Meet Siberian tiger Maximus, facebook.com/thetigermaximus

Maximus, the E.A.R.S. official mascot, will be celebrating his first birthday. Free to the public, $10 to enter car or motorcycle into the show For more information, contact Sue Nassivera at (352) 266-2859.

Tucked away on 80 very secluded acres in the Ocala National Forest, FAR provides a sanctuary home to more than 100 wild animals who, like Tony and Roy, have been exploited in some way by people.

Photos courtesy of Forest Animal Rescue

A Safe Haven

Forest Animal Rescue When their reclusive owner died, tigers Tony and Roy were found living in 10x10 dog kennels in a Texas backyard. No one knew where they had originally come from or how long they had lived in that backyard. But both were emaciated, weighing slightly more than half of what should have been their normal adult male tiger weight of 550 to 600 pounds. But luckily and happily for Tony and Roy, suspected to be Bengal tiger hybrids, today they are thriving at Forest Animal Rescue (FAR). The brothers share two 1-acre habitats with four female adult tigers, who were rescued from a Colorado facility that bred cubs for photo shoots. Tucked away on 80 very secluded acres in the Ocala National Forest, FAR provides a sanctuary home to more than 100 wild animals who, like Tony and Roy, have been exploited in some way by people. Resident animals include lemurs, African servals, spider and capuchin monkeys, gray wolves, black bears, bats and tortoises. Many were part of roadside touristattraction zoos; others were bought to be pets. “Many of the animals that come to us were bought illegally as babies or adults,” says Lisa Stoner, who cofounded the sanctuary with her husband, Kurt Stoner. “People put them on display and charged people to look at them or have some interaction with them. Other people put them in their bathrooms, in dog kennels, in their garages. They had no idea how to care for them. And soon they find out that an African serval or a capuchin monkey or a black bear isn’t going to be a good pet. When they come here, it is the best quality of life that these animals have ever had in their lives.”

The Stoners are not newcomers to operating a sanctuary. In 1998, they established Peace River Refuge & Ranch in South Florida. As development increasingly encroached, they began looking for new land to move the sanctuary to. In 2010, they bought raw woodlands property in the Ocala National Forest and relocated in 2013. Appropriately enough, the new sanctuary was named Forest Animal Rescue. In addition to providing a forever home, FAR also rehabs and releases American black bears. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, FAR is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FAR is also accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and Tigers In America. FAR is supported entirely by

private donations from individuals, groups and foundations. “We take being a sanctuary very seriously. The animal’s welfare is our top priority,” says Lisa. “We are not a zoo or a breeding operation. All our animals are given appropriate as possible natural habitats, healthy diets and excellent veterinary care when needed. All our animals are spayed/neutered and micro-chipped. They are given the opportunity to live out their natural lives with dignity and not as victims.” True to that mission, FAR only offers public tours twice a month for $50 per person. Guests are driven around the sanctuary in a Land Rover for a close-up look at the animals in the natural habitats. “Limiting the frequency and using a vehicle the animals are familiar with is the most stress-free option we can provide,” says Lisa. On a drive through the sanctuary, the animals do indeed come out to greet the familiar Land Rover. Guests are afforded a unique, non-intrusive look at the animals’ lives, close enough to hear Tony’s signature tiger chuffing. Proof indeed that he is a happy tiger at Forest Animal Rescue.

FOREST ANIMAL RESCUE forestanimalrescue.org facebook.com/forestanimalrescue (352) 625-7377

Volunteer/internship opportunities available Tours two times a month by appointment $50 per person APR ’17 ›



Jazz on the Green returns this year with a two-day festival spanning the entire Gainesville-Ocala area and bringing with it international jazz superstars.


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arion County is known for its vast equestrian community, picturesque nature parks and sprawling golf courses. In fact, thousands journey from near and far each year to see some of the sights Ocala and Marion County have to offer. Yet, ask anyone and very few will say they come here for jazz. Until now that is. Nicole Steward and Mike Powell, founders of the Jazz on the Green Tour, have patiently watched as their once humble event evolved from a gathering of a few hundred jazz enthusiasts to the world-class event it is expected to be this year. “Our first event was in 2014. We had about 300 people at Jumbolair. This year we are expecting over 2,400 [people],” says Nicole. She explains that the first year Jazz on the Green hosted a few local artists and took place on the outside patio of Jumbolair. Although a nice inaugural event, both Nicole and Mike knew there was immense potential for growth.

“Jazz is magic,” says Nicole, noting that enthusiasts will often travel in search of a legitimate jazz event. The 2015 Jazz on the Green was a transition year for Mike and Nicole. The event was moved to the larger venue of Silver Springs and a spattering of national recording artists were invited. Attendance doubled as well. Thanks to rainy weather, the 2016 event was moved to the Reilly Arts Center and saw the likes of Eric Darius, the “King of Jazz,” as Nicole describes him, and acclaimed jazz artist Cindy Bradley. But this year’s event promises to take Jazz on the Green to a whole new level of entertainment. “We always envisioned this to be a destination event,” says Mike. He and Nicole originally pictured Jazz on the Green as an international-quality event, with world-renowned performers and activities that would incorporate the entire city. But, as Mike explains, they had to wait until the event was established enough to host something on such a grand scale.

“We couldn’t start there; we had to get there,” he says when describing the 2017 venue, the Ocala Golf Club. “We always wanted to hold the concert on a golf course, hence the name ‘Jazz on the Green.’” But this year’s event will be more than a mere jazz concert on a golf course. The two-day event will offer activities in both Gainesville and Ocala. “We wanted to bridge the gap between Gainesville and Ocala,” says Mike. “Years ago, the area was called ‘Gainesville-Ocala,’ but somewhere along the line the two cities separated and one became a college town and the other horse country. We want to showcase what each town has to offer in an effort to introduce the entire area to out-of-towners.”. This year, day one of the event will take place in Gainesville and feature a wine tasting followed by a New Orleans-style Jazz Crawl to area pubs and eateries before finally settling at the Bo Diddley Plaza for what Nicole refers to as the “little concert.” “I call it the ‘little concert,’ but it’s actually four hours long,” she says, noting the line-up of top jazz artists J White, Nathan Mitchell, The Chris Thomas Band and JJ Sansaverino. Following the “little concert,” the party will continue into the wee hours

APR ’17 ›


“People who don’t know anything about jazz can Google some of the artists we will have performing and they’ll be shocked.”

of the morning for a Jazz Bash in the downtown Gainesville area. “It’s really going to be a great party with outstanding jazz music,” says Nicole. Day two’s activities are based in Ocala at the Ocala Golf Club and feature the second aspect of Mike’s original Jazz on the Green vision, a celebrity golf tournament. “It’s always been on our radar to host a golf tournament, but ours is going to be a little different from the traditional setup,” says Mike. He explains that, although the tournament bears the word “celebrity,” anyone and everyone can both attend and play. Mike says to think of the tournament as a vehicle to meet and greet other jazz enthusiasts, professional athletes, UF alumni and more while getting in a round of golf on one of Ocala’s top courses. Following the tournament, the “big” concert will get underway featuring a number of international jazz superstars. “People who don’t know anything about jazz can Google some of the artists we will have performing and they’ll be shocked,” says Nicole. Of course, our local talent will be performing as well. “We are in our infancy as a jazz event, so it’s a bit overwhelming to have the likes of Kenny Lattimore and Nick Colionne performing on our stage. We have the Justin Timberlakes of jazz” she says. And although Jazz on the Green’s lineup, venue and itinerary are a large part of the draw for these world-class stars


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Mike and Nicole are first and foremost educators. In an effort to inspire younger generations, they have arranged a special firsthand introduction to the art of jazz for area kids. Artist in the Classroom Day will entail a tour of select schools in both Gainesville and Ocala where artists will meet with the students and discuss life as performers as well as a history of the genre. “We wanted to help expose more kids to the art of jazz to see firsthand what it’s like to be a performer,” says Nicole. They hope to make Artist in the Classroom Day a regular component to the festival.

On Friday evening in Gainesville, experience a parade rarely seen outside the French Quarter in New Orleans. The Second Line Band is deeply rooted in New Orleans’ tradition. Evolved from the city’s early “jazz funerals,” these colorful parades involve a brass band followed by a boisterous crowd complete with twirling parasols and brightly hued suits and sashes. The Jazz Crawl will take place beginning at 4pm and lead spectators to a number of area eateries and establishments throughout downtown. The final stop will be the Bo Diddley Plaza for the start of the jazz concert at 6pm.



This year’s event is headlined by a number of jazz giants.

Jessy J In addition to scoring back-to-back hits, including a No. 1 Song of the Year and No. 1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album, Jessy J has toured with smooth jazz greats like Jeff Lorber, Gerald Albright, Euge Groove and Peter White on several all-star Guitars & Saxes tours as well as her own solo concert tours. Jessy has also performed on American Idol, The Voice and Dancing With the Stars and was invited to work with Aerosmith on their 2012 album, Music From Another Dimension. She has worked in recording sessions with Michael Bublé and toured with Jessica Simpson, The Temptations and Michael Bolton.

Kenny Lattimore Kenny Lattimore’s debut album boasted a pair of Top 20 hits, including “Never Too Busy” and the Grammy-nominated wedding favorite “For You (Kenny Lattimore song).” The huge success of the album earned him a win for Best New Artist at the NAACP Image Awards in 1996, and eventually, the album achieved Gold sales status. He followed up his debut with From the Soul of Man, another critically acclaimed set of soul music hits in 1998, yielding favorites like “Days Like This” and “If I Lose My Woman.” After a short hiatus, the singer re-emerged and released a more contemporary R&B album, Weekend. He is known for his dramatic stage shows, vocal agility and romantic ambiance. The New York Times hailed him as a “modern soul man” on stage.

Nick Colionne Since breaking through to contemporary urban jazz stardom in the early 2000s, Nick Colionne has been one of the genre´s most dynamic and tireless live performers, headlining hundreds of shows across the United States and Europe with his sizzling blend of jazz, R&B, funk, blues and soulful vocals. He was named Billboard´s No. 5 Artist of the Year for 2015. The title track and lead single from his most-recent album, The Journey, has earned a “No. 1 Most-Added” designation on iTunes and Billboard, and he quickly reached No. 1 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz and Groove Jazz Music charts. Nick has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the 2007 International Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the Wave Jazz Awards, Artist of the Year at the 2011 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival and Performer of the Year for Jazz Trax Jazz Festivals in 2010 and 2011.

to venture to Central Florida, the event’s underlying purpose is what drives everyone involved to produce a bigger and better event each year. “We consider ourselves a world-class musical experience with a purpose,” says Nicole. ”We all love jazz, but it’s always better when there’s a purpose behind what you do.” Jazz on the Green raises funds for various non-profit agencies benefitting children in the area. “We allow other organizations to raise money by selling tickets to our event,” says Nicole, explaining that half the proceeds of the ticket sales will go to the non-profit organizations that sold them. In the past, organizations such as the PACE Center for Girls, West Port High School, Florida A&M University and various fraternities and sororities have benefitted from Jazz on the Green, as well as Nicole and Mike’s own organization, E=MC2, a mentoring program for kids. “Our great love is education,” says Nicole, a former teacher of 15 years. Mike acted as the former director of admissions for the University of Florida. “Mike does so much for kids; he has for years,” says Nicole. “I can’t afford to just write a check, but Jazz on the Green is something I can do to help raise money for these kids.” Through E=MC2, Mike and Nicole engage kids culturally by taking them to see shows, visit colleges and take part in sports like tennis or golf. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see these kids grow as individuals. It makes all the work worth it,” says Nicole. And the evolution of Jazz on the Green has definitely been hard work. “It’s been a struggle, but a good one, and this year will be big,” Nicole says. Aside from the international superstars, celebrity golf tournament and eclectic artist village, both venues will host after parties. “It’s going to be like nothing else the GainesevilleOcala area has ever seen,” says Mike. He and Nicole hope this year’s event both introduces music lovers to the art of jazz, as well as bridges the gap between the “college town” and “horse country.”

THE LOWDOWN Jazz on the Green

• May 5-6 • Bo Diddley Plaza, Gainesville on May 5 and the Ocala Golf Club on May 6 • Tickets: $30 general admission, reserved seating and all-access passes available • $75 entry fee into the Celebrity Golf Tournament • For a complete itinerary and lineup of performers, or to purchase tickets, visit the Jazz on the Green Facebook Page or jazzonthegreentour.com.

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g n i n e p O ay7 D Sparked by a brand-new stadium in Atlanta, here’s a rundown of all three of the Southeast’s ballparks.



an you imagine Florida without major league baseball? Not the spring training kind, which has been played in Florida for a century or longer, but regular season baseball. Well, until 1993, there wasn’t any. That’s when the Florida (now Miami) Marlins were founded. Five years later, the Tampa Bay Rays, originally known as the Devil Rays, joined the Marlins. And before the Milwaukee Braves moved down to the cookiecutter Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta in 1966, there was no major league baseball anywhere in the Southeast. That’s all changed now, with three teams playing in dynamically different ballparks, including the newest major league stadium, Atlanta’s SunTrust Park. Here’s our guide to games at all three ballparks.

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0 d l e i F opicana OF


Photos of Tropicana Field courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays


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There may be no ballpark in baseball with a worse reputation than Tropicana Field. And that reputation is, for the most part, wholeheartedly undeserved. To say that the Trop is the best permanent domed stadium in baseball history is damning with faint praise, but it is. The park is intimate and quirky—and built for baseball, without a bad seat in the house.

The Look

History Tropicana Field certainly has a strange backstory. It was built in the hopes of luring an existing team to relocate. In 1988, the White Sox were inches from relocating to the Florida Suncoast Dome (the Trop’s original name), and it took Illinois state legislators literally stopping the clock before midnight to negotiate terms to keep the team in Chicago. In 1991, when baseball owners voted on granting an expansion team to Florida (Miami, Orlando and Tampa all were under consideration), it was Miami that was chosen, spurring the Tampa group to sue baseball for reneging on its promise of a team. In


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1992, a Tampa group purchased the San Francisco Giants to move them to the Suncoast Dome, but National League owners rejected the move by a 9-4 vote. And a year later, the Seattle Mariners appeared destined to move to St. Pete—and they had a nickname already suited for Florida! Four times a bridesmaid, the Rays were finally born in 1995, when baseball voted to grant Tampa a franchise, to begin play in the 1998 season.

Tropicana Field was supposed to be the first ballpark covered by a soft sail/circus tent ceiling rather than a hard roof but settled for a distinctive, slanted, hard roof installed to prevent hurricane damage and reduce air-conditioning costs. When Tropicana bought naming rights to the park in 1996, it underwent a $70 million renovation, modeled on the long-demolished Ebbets Field in New York. Most distinctive of the changes is the rotunda, made up of 1,849,091 oneinch-square tiles, greeting fans entering the park at Gate 1.

Inside the Stadium Just inside of Gate 1, the park’s main and most vividly decorated entrance, is the Ted Williams Museum

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& Hitter’s Hall of Fame, relocated from Inverness. Admission is free, making it impossible to skip on a trip to the Trop. The museum is stocked with tons of memorabilia, most of which connects directly to Williams, “the greatest hitter who ever lived.” This season begins the second decade of one of the more unique features in any ballpark, the Rays Tank in right field, which is visible from anywhere in the park. Before and during the game, fans can visit the 35-foot, 10,000-gallon tank and pet the Cownose rays—and a $5 donation to the Florida Aquarium lets you feed them.

Top Seats

Chow Down

Despite opening just 27 years ago, Tropicana Field is now the eighth-oldest ballpark in the majors. It has hosted hockey (Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL from 1993-96), basketball (1999 NCAA Final Four), football (Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League and the NCAA St. Petersburg Bowl), tennis (1990 Davis Cup), auto racing (sprint cars and monster trucks), equestrian events and rock concerts. The stadium’s attendance record is 47,150, for a New Kids on the Block concert.

Did You Know?






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Not to pile on Florida’s ballparks, but Marlins Park came to fruition under a cloud of controversy, both for its funding and eclectic style. But as in the case of Tropicana Field, for a baseball fan, Marlins Park is a delight. There is no ballpark in the country more devoted to honoring the local flavor (Little Havana) while aspiring to artistry like this one.

History Until this year, Marlins Park was the newest in baseball, opening in 2012. It was built on the site of the Orange Bowl, long a mainstay facility for the Miami Dolphins, NCAA football and even the minorleague baseball Marlins of the 1950s. Permanent baseball in Miami was far from a done deal. After temporary owner John Henry sold the team to Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins set out to build a new ballpark. When financing stalled, Loria was allowed to entertain offers from other cities; he visited San Antonio, Las Vegas and Portland in the mid-2000s before serious debate over a new Miami ballpark kicked in.

Photos of Marlins Park courtesy of the Miami Marlins

If you’re looking for chow on the cheap, fans are allowed to bring their own food into the park. But there are superb choices inside. Pipo’s Café in Section 120 and at Centerfield Street is a newcomer to the Trop, offering Cuban sandwiches, pork sandwiches, chicken paella, empanadas and fried plantains. Right Field Street offers Ricky P’s Orleans Bistro (shrimp and catfish Po Boys) and Pili’s Potatoes (gourmet baked potatoes). Hop on the Taco Bus at Centerfield Street for Mexican fare. Burger Up! in the First Base Food Court offers a Cuban Burger (ham, hamburger, salami, Swiss, mustard and pickles on toasted Cuban bread) and the Triple B sandwich with hot roast beef and fried bologna. And at the Everglades Brewhouse at Centerfield Street, sample buffalo chicken sliders, the Ripper Dog, a Smokehouse Burger or the Fan vs. Food Challenge (one pound each of brisket, pulled pork, BBQ chicken wings and fries, topped off with four slices of Texas toast), which if finished in a halfhour earns a trip to the gastrointestinologist and two free tickets to a future Rays game.

Attendance tends to lag at the Trop, which means you should almost always have a full selection of seats available—and yes, that means seats near home plate, along the dugouts (Lower Box Preferred). Another section with great sightlines is Press Level, with replay televisions hanging overhead. Although ticket prices aren’t yet set for 2017, in 2016, Rays tickets averaged $21. And remember, with a permanent roof and AC, every seat in the park remains dry and 72 degrees.

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like a hot mess, when Miami hits a dinger and the sculpture springs to action, it’s awe-inspiring. Be sure to circle the 360-degree concourse once inside the park and make special note of the dual bulletproof aquarium tanks inside the walls behind home plate, containing live tropical fish. The tanks stretch a combined 60 feet and hold more than 1,000 gallons of water.


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Chow Down

The Look Marlins Park is truly unique, the first to be built with a modern and abstract look, wholly devoted to art. Loria himself had a strong say in the overall look and individual quirks of the park, once saying that after baseball had built almost two dozen new ballparks built in the “retro” style, he wanted “something different and experimental… it was time for baseball to be innovative.” “Loria told us to make a piece of art,” says Executive Architect Earl Santee. Santee and his firm, Populous, did just that. Populous set out to create a park that was “quintessentially Miami” and treated the structure as a gallery space. The final design, with a white curves and glass façade, is meant to evoke water merging with land. “The building itself is a piece of art,” says Santee. In addition to a cutting-edge look that screams “Miami,” the ballpark received LEED Gold certification as the greenest, most sustainable ballpark in baseball upon opening (in part due to the clubhouse floors consisting of recycled athletic shoes!). Only three other parks in the majors have achieved any level of LEED certification. With a nod to the frequent storms in South Florida, there is a retractable roof, the sixth of its kind in baseball.

Inside the Stadium Marlins Park takes the trend of intimate stadiums to an extreme, with a capacity of 37,442 making it the third smallest in the majors. The Rays may have a Hitter’s Museum, but the Marlins boast one honoring bobbleheads. Yeah, you read that right. Marlins Park boasts a glass enclosure in Section 15, where hundreds of bobbles (jiggled by moving shelves every minute) are on display. And art is abundant at Marlins Park. Miami native Daniel Arsham designed one of the cleverest installations; in a nod to the Orange Bowl once standing on the site, the 10-foot high letters from the old Miami Orange Bowl sign are sunk into the concrete promenade. Beyond the center field fence is where the lion’s share of controversy lies, the animatronic home run sculpture, designed by pop artist Red Grooms. Grooms designed the sculpture in homage to the art deco style that is cherished in Miami. The pink, blue, aqua and orange sculpture stands as tall as 75 feet, with appearances by clouds, flamingos, seagulls and palm trees. Although that description might sound


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Debuting in 2016 was the BGR Deck in Section 19, which offers the Bash Burger, with garlic Parmesan fries. MIA BBQ in Section 24 is all about barbecue, including pulled pork, barbecued chicken, bourbon baked beans, mac and cheese, and peach cobbler. In Section 13, there’s a food truck dubbed The High Cheese offering four gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches: Brioche Triple Cheese, Pot Roast and Macaroni & Cheese, Fried Chicken and Grilled Pimento, and Fluffernutter Marshmallow Melt. Section 4’s Miami Mex offers mahi-mahi tacos and a Taco Dog (a footlong wrapped in charred tortilla, with jalapeno lime crema). For multiple choices, choose the Taste of Miami food court in Section 27, featuring eateries like Don Camaron, Latin American Café, Mama Choa and Panna Café Express, offering pork nachos, frita burgers, ceviche, minuta sandwiches, empanadas and Cuban coffee. And when it’s time for dessert, hit up Azucar Ice Cream in Section 1 for homemade Cuban ice cream from Calle Ocho in Little Havana (you also can find Calle Ocho’s Velvet Crème doughnuts throughout the park’s concession stands).

MLB’s newest ballpark is located 10 miles northwest of Atlanta, a continuance of the retro stadium trend that’s marked the past 25 years of baseball architecture (excepting Marlins Park).

Top Seats


As at the Trop, tickets are customarily available for all Marlins games, giving fans a full selection of seats available, including Home Plate Boxes and Base Reserved seats. If you’re looking to snag a home run ball, the Clevelander beyond the left-field wall is an ideal locale—but with a nod to the South Beach vibe it invokes, you’ll have to pay an additional cover charge to get in and enjoy its great bar scene (with pool). Down the opposite line, in right field, is Section 40, G’s Corner, in honor of Marlins great Giancarlo Stanton. The section overlooks the Marlins bullpen and also features a slightly shorter outfield wall. Although ticket prices aren’t yet set for 2017, in 2016, Marlins tickets averaged $28. And remember, with a retractable roof that is often closed (bring on the AC!), you’ll have to work to find a bad spot to watch the game.

Construction of SunTrust Field did not come without some controversy. Namely, Atlanta’s former park, Turner Field, was only 16 years old in 2013 when the Braves made the decision to build anew. Turner remains younger than nearly half of the ballparks active in the majors. A key element of the Braves’s decision to build was the fact that SunTrust Field has a much larger footprint than Turner Field, allowing the team to completely develop the businesses surrounding the park. The prefab entertainment complex arising around the ballpark has already been dubbed the “Battery Atlanta.” In addition to office space, residences and hotels, Battery Atlanta will feature a rebuilt Roxy Theatre music venue as an entertainment centerpiece.

Did You Know? Expect a lot of vibrant colors in this year’s baseball All-Star Game uniforms, as Miami and Marlins Park hosts the Summer Classic for the first time in the city’s history. And with their World Series title in 1997 (the team added a second in 2003), the Marlins became the fastest expansion team to win a title in baseball history.

The Look In addition to the retro feel of the park and the Battery Atlanta pop-up village surrounding it, two glass towers (a hotel and an office complex) will overlook and have views of the playing field.

Inside the Stadium The Braves are characterizing the SunTrust experience as “the perfect marriage of classic ballpark feel, modern amenities and southern hospitality, creating a fan experience unlike any other.” That lofty goal will be aided by SunTrust’s

Photos of SunTrust Park courtesy of the Miami Marlins

41,000 seats, which are 20 percent fewer than sat in Turner Field. The park has an open concept, with very little outfield seating; four cantilevered decks of seating rise up behind home plate. Right field at SunTrust Park will employ the Chop House, a restaurant brought north from Turner Field, as its cornerstone. The Chop House will consist of three levels, with two party decks.

Chow Down At the Chop House in right field, fans can enjoy unique perspectives of the game while munching on concept burgers. Outside the park in the Battery Atlanta, several restaurants are open for pre- or postgame eats: Antico Pizza, Cru Food and Wine Bar, Tomahawk Taproom, Wahlburgers, Goldbergs Bagel Co. & Deli,

Professional Bull Riders Association Bar & Grill and Superica.

Top Seats The key objective in designing SunTrust Field was getting fans as close to the action as possible. The shortcut to that is by reducing foul territory, but SunTrust Field achieves its intimacy with some unique cantilevering of the middle and upper seating bowls—in short, even the “cheap seats” should bring fans close to the action. Fans in the upper deck will be pampered further by a large canopy shielding the sun, as well as air conditioning, an interesting choice for an open-air stadium. Ticket prices range from $6 to $475. More than 19,000 seats will cost less than $20, and some 7,000 of those will cost less than $10. SunTrust Park will also offer roughly 6,000 seats starting at $40 that will

include some form of added value (food and beverage credits, special access). In 2016, Braves tickets averaged just more than $28, and 2017 SunTrust Park seats will average $27.73, less than the major league average of $28.94. There promises to be a stampede for seats in any inaugural season for a ballpark, so snagging sweet SunTrust seats will prove more challenging than trips to either of Florida’s parks.

Did You Know? Although the Braves have only played in Atlanta since 1966, the franchise is one of two remaining teams that founded the National League in 1871. The Braves began their existence as the Boston Red Stockings, eventually changing their name to the Braves. In 1953, the Braves moved to Milwaukee, before moving south 13 years later.

APR ’17 ›


OCALA FAMILY MEDICAL CENTER 2230 SW 19th Ave Rd Ocala, FL 34471

Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Carlos Rodriguez, MD

Robert Panzer, DO

Mark Monical, DO

James London, MD

Robert Williams, MD

Douglas Rogers, DO

Brian Pecoraro, DO

Mimi Balch, MD

Todd Panzer, ARNP-C

Anne Moyer, PA-C

Laurel Bryant, ARNP-C Karen Larsen, ARNP-C Brittani Losapio, ARNP-C Tyler Lindsey, PA-C

Salesia Alvarado, MD

Adam Alpers, DO

Stacey Graham, ARNP-C Linda Bellows, ARNP-C

Corey West, ARNP-C

Amber Starling, ARNP-C

Family Practice Internal Medicine Cardiology Preventive Medicine Geriatrics Full Service Lab Digital X-Ray Ultrasound 64 Slice CT 1.5 Open Bore MRI

Auto Accidents Stress Testing

352-237-4133 OFMC Wellness Center 2131 SW 20th Place Ocala, FL 34471

• Physiatry/Physical Medicine • Interventional Spine • Sports Medicine Eduardo Cruz, MD

(outside referrals accepted)

• Physical Therapy • Balance & Gait Training • Vertigo & Incontinence

Nick Machupa, PT, OCS Deborah Main, DPT

Joseph Javier, DPT

(outside referrals accepted)

OFMC Dermatology, Aesthetics & Women’s Health Center 2121 SW 22nd Place Ocala, FL 34471

• Dermatology

(outside referrals accepted)

• Mohs’ Skin Cancer Surgery Kenneth A. Wallace, MD

• Aesthetics & Laser • Facials, IPL Laser, Botox & Fillers • Pharmaceutical Grade Products Deb Scott, LPN, LE

FREE CONSULTATIONS! Call 352-368-1333 for our April Special!

• Women’s Health • Well Woman Exams & Pap Smears • IUD Insertion & Removal Barbara Ellis, ARNP

“Where Our Family Looks After the Well-Being of Your Family.”

www.ocalafmc.com *Ocala Family Medical Center, Inc. complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.*


Ice Cream Lovers, Rejoice!

Source: cwphilly.cbslocal.com

The most important meal of the day just got a whole lot more fun. What’s for breakfast? One ice cream sundae coming up. A new study published in The Telegraph provided strong evidence that eating a small amount of ice cream immediately after waking up in the morning can make you smarter. Yes, you read that correctly. Ice cream can make you smarter. The subjects who participated in this study were given ice cream soon after waking and then sat down to complete a series of computer activities. Those who were treated to ice cream had increased reaction rates and were better able to process information. To test if ice cream’s coldness was a factor, the study was repeated with ice water. Nope! Ice cream eaters still performed better. So grab your spoons and bowls and enjoy. Just leave off the sprinkles!






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Finding Your Sweet Spot

Sassy and savvy chocolatiers vie for every possible way to make your savory candy fantasies come true.


weet dreams are made of this. In fact, dating back to ancient Mayan times, chocolate has historically been popular at every party or occasion. Rich and tempting, this highly versatile confection can assume the form of a straightforward rectangular bar, fancy gourmet truffle, decadent hot beverage or shape-shift into an amusing 3-foot bunny. Indulge any way you like. Fab Fact Chocolate sales account for more than 60 percent of the candy industry. - National Confectioners Association Terrific Tours, Tantalizing Tastings and Take-Home Treats For families, out-of-towners or flat-out chocoholics looking to stretch their legs, Central Florida chocolateries promise an awesome day trip filled with a fun serving of knowledge, scrumptious samples and, hopefully, hefty shopping bags brimming with goodies as proof of a triumphant fact-finding mission.


› Ocala


CHOCOLATE KINGDOM FACTORY ADVENTURE TOUR (TWO TOUR LOCATIONS) 9901 Hawaiian Court, Orlando 2858 Florida Plaza Boulevard, Kissimmee Monday-Sunday: 10:30am-6pm, first tour at 11am and every hour $16.95; $12.95, ages 4-12 Purchase tickets at chocolatekingdom.com/tickets.asp › (407) 705-3475. Chocolate Kingdom’s story begins with a simple cacao bean and ends with a fully realized chocolate bar. During the 45-minute tour, a prince and whimsical dragon lead you through a greenhouse, museum, mystical chocolate river and factory featuring antique machinery. An additional $6 allows for customizing your own fresh half-pound chocolate bar with your flavor choice and 17 different topping options. According to owner Edgar Schaked, “Our experience features a multi-media interactive chocolate adventure and a professional tour

Photo courtesy of Chocolate Kingdom Factory

› By Angelique Anacleto

guide to make it personal, purposeful and, most of all, fun.” At buying time, consider unusual finds like “Cocoa Cola” chocolate soda, chocolate wine and oversized syringes of chocolate filling that squeeze right into your mouth. For yet more adventure, specially designed packages feature hands-on chocolate making, alcohol pairings, tastings and fondue fountains.

WORLD OF CHOCOLATE MUSEUM & CAFE 11701 International Drive, Orlando Monday-Friday: 11am-7pm, first tour at noon and every hour Saturday-Sunday: 10:30am-7pm, first tour at 11am $16.95; $12.95, children, seniors and military; under age 4, free Other packages: $17.90 Wine & Chocolate, $27.95 Tour & Tasting Special package prices at wocorlando.com › (407) 778-4871

whereas in other places, it’s kind of behind the scenes,” notes owner Charles Smith. “This is a factory, but it’s also a lot of old-fashioned handiwork. The recipes used at Angell & Phelps are time-tested since the 1920s.” WHETSTONE CHOCOLATES OF ST. AUGUSTINE 139 King Street, St. Augustine Tours take place Monday-Friday: 11am, 1:00pm, 2:15pm and 3:30pm Saturday: 10am, 10:30am, 11:15am, 11:45am, 1pm, 1:30pm, 2:15pm, 2:45pm and 3:30pm Sunday: 11am, 1pm, 2:15pm and 3:30pm $8; $5.50, ages 5-17; under 5, free whetstonechocolates.com › (904) 217-0275 Billed as St. Augustine’s “Original Chocolate Tour,” Whetstone chocolatiers guide you through a half-hour historical look at everyone’s favorite indulgence, its production and Henry and Esther

Local Pleasures Learning is on the menu at World of Chocolate’s 45-minute session, which features a brief presentation, a tropical rainforest exhibit outlining cacao’s historical roots, a fascinating sculpture display of 25 famous world landmarks and figures, chocolate-making lesson and a chance to examine retired candy machinery. The tour’s sweet reward ends with a trip to the tasting room to sample leading international fine chocolate brands. Still hungry? Lounge around the café, and mull over a beverage, bakery, gelato, panini or antipasto. Experiment with alcohol tastings, date or fondue packages, too. ANGELL & PHELPS CHOCOLATE FACTORY 154 S. Beach Street, Daytona Beach Monday-Saturday: 9:30am-6p, first tour at 10am and every hour until 4pm angellandphelps.com › (800) 969-2634 At Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, the operative word is free for both its 20-minute factory tour and delicious samples. Named in 2010 by TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Sweetest Destinations in America,

Satisfaction is closer than you think. Nearby neighborhood shops deliver irresistible chocolate thrills to feed your weekly habit. Wait, make that daily habit. shop also caters chocolate fountains for dipping fruits, pretzels and marshmallows. Fall plans include establishing a food truck to serve festivals and private events. “We offer samples of our chocolate, fudge, peanut brittle and ice cream every day, especially during the First Friday Art Walk from September through May,” says Kerryann. “We’re a family-friendly Photo courtesy of Ocala’s Chocolate & Confections shop, and people love watching Keith OCALA’S CHOCOLATE & CONFECTIONS make the chocolates and confections. 104 E Fort King Street, Ocala People love stopping in and getting ocalaschocolate.com › a treat while they’re walking (352) 789-6882 around downtown.” Since opening Ocala’s Chocolate & Confections in the downtown SWEET JANE’S CANDY STORE area in 2009, Kerryann and Keith 2774 NE 102nd Avenue Road, Silver Springs Terrelonge have tended to sweets sweetjaneswhoopiepies.com › fans by offering quality chocolates (352) 625-1048 and a whopping 30 ice cream flavors. After a peaceful nature stroll, a peek This busy couple stock their springinside Sweet Jane’s Candy Store makes summer inventory with chocolate good sense. Located at the Wilderness bunnies and crème-filled eggs; RV Resort just inside the scenic Ocala gift baskets for Mom, Dad or your National Forest, Sweet Jane’s Candy favorite teacher and teacher gifts; Store specializes in Maine-style and chocolate graduation platters whoopie pies and needhams made customized with school colors. The with chocolate, coconut and potatoes.

Whetstones’ humble business origins back in 1967. What started with ice cream, later developed into chocolate dipping and fudge. Today, Nestle, Hershey’s and M&M Mars have become the company’s largest wholesalers. Customers can enjoy a fourtiered tasting explaining the subtle characteristics of dark, milk and white chocolate, cocoa nibs and more. Try snapping up some Gator Bait made of lightly coated chocolate pretzel pieces, Rice Krispies, corn flakes and peanuts. Or to fancify your chocolate enjoyment, Whetstone offers specially blended chocolate wine or liqueur sauces to enrich desserts or hot drinks. Lastly, conclude your visit sweetly languishing over coffee, smoothies or gelato.

This is no simple stopover, however. As a self-taught entrepreneur, owner Jane Waugh has sold 150,000 whoopie pies since 2008. Here, State Road 40 traffic delivers a lively intersection of customers, from college students and parents to veterans. “I have always been fascinated with campgrounds and candy stores. I found the perfect location to make my dreams come true,” Waugh says. Tourists can also choose timehonored staples such as taffy, turtles and cordials, along with more distinctive fare like jalapeno-sea salt chocolates, bacon chocolate cups, curry-sea salt chocolates and the bestselling chocolate-covered pecan pie pieces. Even marshmallows are handmade to ensure softness.

Photo by John Jernigan

Photos courtesy of Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory

customers can take in the sights, sounds and smells of old-timey chocolate-making techniques through large cottage windows. Next, purchase your own assorted candy box flavors, or salivate over chocolate mustache lollipops; a souvenir Daytona Beach Sandbag with chocolate bar, a chocolate seashell and chocolate sand dollar sitting atop brown sugar “sand;” or a cheeky white chocolate “fried egg” and chocolate covered bacon. Even pooches can partake of canine-friendly white chocolate dipped Milk Bones. “People like (the tour) because they can see everything being done,

APR ’17 ›




Contaminated Colors


This blue hue is derived from coal tar and is not digestible by the body. Blue dye no. 1 has been linked to ADHD, allergies and asthma. Where to find it: Bakery goods, candy, cereals, drink powders, feta cheese, gelatin desserts, ice cream, etc. Also found in deodorant, mouthwash and toothpaste.


The dye that gives color to the blue jeans you wear is the same dye you put into your mouth. This dye’s chemical composition is based off a natural, plant-based


› Ocala


dye, indigo, with a few chemicals thrown in for good measure. ADHD and food allergies are believed to be side effects. Where to find it: Bakery goods, candy, cereals, drink powders, frozen desserts, mintflavored jelly, etc. Also found in pet food.


Banned completely in European countries, green dye no. 3 has been linked to testicular and bladder cancers and tumors. It’s also responsible for irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. Where to find it: Candy, soft drinks, sorbet, etc. Also found in lipstick and medications.


This is the most widely used and consumed dye. It originates from coal tar or petroleum. From ADHD and allergies to asthma and migraines, this bold coloring has been banned in several European countries. It also causes hypersensitivity reactions in some consumers and may trigger hyperactivity in children. Where to find it: Baked goods, candy, cereals, chips, drink powders, frosting, gelatin desserts, ice cream, etc. Also found in children’s medications, cosmetics and pet food.


This dye was recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen. Red dye no. 3 has mostly been replaced by Red dye no. 40 and is under review for a full ban in the United

States. Where to find it: Candies, chewing gum, maraschino cherries, etc.


Allergies to yellow dye no. 5 can range from mild indigestion to severe depression. It is estimated that 360,000 Americans have bad reactions to ingesting yellow dye no. 5. Yellow dye no. 5 is banned in Norway and Austria because it contains the compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl. It has been shown to cause allergies, hyperactivity and potentially raises the risk of certain cancers developing. Where to find it: Cake mixes, chips, horseradish, marmalade, mustard, noodles, yellow popcorn, etc.


This added coloring could potentially cause adrenal tumors to form. Occasionally, the dye will cause severe hypersensitivity reactions. Where to find it: Apricot jam, citrus marmalade, hot chocolate, lemon curd, orange soda, packet soups, etc.

Sources: whatisthatingredient.com, pioneerthinking.com, csglobe.com, articles.mercola.com

It’s an unfortunate fact that synthetic food dye is found in the tastiest of snacks. Products like KoolAid, Cheetos and Jell-O are among the most obvious; however, they are not alone. For decades, the food industry has used food coloring as a tactic to make food that may look dull more appealing. Red dye no. 40, Blue dye no. 1 and Yellow dye no. 5 are three of the most popular FDA-permitted food dyes. But there are still four additional artificial colors that are linked to serious health risks and are prevalent in the food we consume today.


Flavorful Food, Fantastic Service At Cody’s Original Roadhouse you can expect a delicious meal and an inviting environment—every time.


he 1920s-inspired décor, roasted peanuts and friendly wait staff take you back to an era known for flavorful homestyle food and hefty portions, both of which are values that Cody’s Original Roadhouse carries on today. Dean Turner, Cody’s regional manager, says it’s not unusual to see people flocking back to Cody’s on a regular basis. “I have so many regulars that come in every day, and it’s because of the

family-friendly atmosphere,” he says. “When you come to Cody’s you’re treated as family.” If hand-cut, grain-fed, aged Western, USDA choice steaks aren’t on the menu tonight, they should be. At Cody’s Original Roadhouse, they offer a great selection of fresh steak, chicken, BBQ and seafood at an affordable price. From Cody’s tender steaks, warm yeast rolls and crisp salads to seafood

selections and soups that are made fresh daily, they serve a variety of food the whole family can enjoy. Try Cody’s baby back ribs, which are seasoned and served with their special BBQ sauce, or their popular grilled salmon. With specials offered every day of the week, it’s easy to leave the cooking to Cody’s. Bringing the whole family is easier than ever with kids’ night offered on both Monday and Tuesday. Patrons receive a free kids’ meal for children 10 and under with the purchase of an adult entrée. On Wednesdays, enjoy buy-one-get-onefree fajita dinners. Enjoy our twofor-$22 four-course dinner specials

Cody’s Original Roadhouse › 2505 SW College Rd., Ocala › (352) 237-8182

1041 Lakeshore Dr., The Villages › (352) 259-8500 3731 Meggison Rd., The Villages › (352) 430-2996

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


on Thursdays or $9.98 after-church specials from 11am-4pm on Sundays. On Easter Sunday, stop in after 11am for the Easter special, which includes your choice of sugar-cured baked ham, roasted turkey with stuffing, roasted leg of lamb or roasted pork loin with stuffing, plus your choice of side, Cody’s famous bottomless salad, hot yeast rolls and a free dessert for only $14.98. Kids 10 and under eat for only $6.98. Limited reservations are available. If you’d rather take your party to go, the Easter Feast special serves four for only $49.95 and includes roast turkey, baked ham and several sides. Or you can double your order for only $99. Orders must be placed by 4pm on April 15. With their exclusive hand-crafted cocktails, Cody’s is raising the bar. However, if you’re just looking for a cold brew, you can enjoy one of their many beers on draft or their variety of bottled beer. The choice is yours. With a two-for-one happy hour available everyday from 11am-7pm that includes top-shelf liquor, Cody’s is the spot to wet your whistle. “Cody’s is where quality and value come together.” Cody’s Original Roadhouse is proud to announce that a new location is in the works for late 2017 at Mulberry Grove in The Villages. Visit their website at CodysAmerican.com for locations and operating hours.

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. Family-friendly, casual atmosphere, along with a full bar, including imported Japanese sake and beer selections.

APR ’17 ›




A New, Yet Familiar, Wine Experience › By Sean Trapani


hange is a tricky proposition— especially when it involves a beloved downtown institution such as the Ocala Wine Experience. But new owners Megan Whittaker and Mark Sykuta seem to have taken this challenge in stride by carefully crafting a new experience for patrons old and new. A quick scan of the vertically shelved bottles in the downstairs retail area begins to tell the story. Yes, one can still find some big-name producers like Rombauer and Silverado. But there are many new wines that reflect the shop’s down-to-earth approach to attracting new wine enthusiasts. “Our goal is to remove the pretension-wall between people and wine,” says Mark, who spent 10 years as a bartender before taking over the establishment. “We think about that with everything we do.” True to their mission, there are many new, sweeter wines designed to appeal to budding oenophiles, including Dog Gone Good Red, a sweet Merlot/raspberry blend from Clearwater, Florida, and Obikwa, a bright, fruity South African Moscato. Upstairs, one can still enjoy happy-hour-favorite Cabs, Pinots and Sav Blancs. But gone from the


› Ocala


Enjoy fun, whimsical experiences through a variety of themed events, such as Mermaid Nights, Witches Night and, yes, to appeal to our inner pathos, a monthly Goth Night.

menu chalkboard are “supermarket/liquor store” brands, which have been replaced with wines from boutique wineries in the United States and beyond. Grapes don’t get all the attention, though. Mead, or honey wine, is a hot trend, and patrons can now enjoy eight different meads from various producers. If guests would rather pair their freshly prepared pizza with a Two Brothers IPA, a retro-sipper pint of Carlsberg or even a crisp, refreshing hard cider, they can find several new craft beer and beverage options, too. Beyond the crowd-pleasing pizza option, changes to the food menu have moved a little more deliberately, the owners note. But over the next few months, expect to see a move toward smaller plate sizes, new cheeses, charcuterie and some new sandwiches. (We were assured that the Muffaletta was going to be life changing.) One can soak in the new food and drink options in a mostly familiar setting, but even that is evolving. On the second floor, new black tablecloths adorn the lounge-vibe tables. Deeply colored, red drapery is on the

Mark Sykuta and Megan Whittaker

appeal to our inner pathos, a monthly Goth Night. Instead of Sinatra and Dino, you’re more likely to hear the Cure or another ‘80s-standard playing in the background. There are more live entertainment options being offered as well, such as soul singers, ukulele performers and folk guitar duos. “This was my baby,” reflects Julie, the previous owner. “But I think Megan and Mark were a great fit for the adoption.” way for all you David Lynch fans. And yet, despite the dark hues, the mood has become anything but somber. Now one can enjoy fun, whimsical experiences through a variety of themed events, such as Mermaid Nights, Witches Night and, yes, to

FIND OUT MORE › To learn more about the new Ocala Wine Experience or set up a private event, visit their Facebook page or give them a call at (352) 369-9858.



An Ocala Favorite

Throughout the years, the owners of Braised Onion have enjoyed serving and connecting with the community.


Photo by JMG Photography

orty years ago, Raoul and Betty Lemieux bought The Rustic Grill, remodeled the restaurant and shortened its name to The Rustic. They had just moved to Ocala from Miami Beach, and Raoul would often assist their chef in the kitchen. “From the opening night, we made friends,” Betty remembers. “We had good food and loyal clients that made us a success.” To this day, they still do—even after leasing the restaurant to different people over the years. In 2011, they reopened it under the name Braised Onion and have been running the place ever since. Since Raoul’s passing in 2013, Betty and her daughter, Nicole, have worked hard to keep the restaurant going strong. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun,” Betty says. Though there are too many people for her to mention, Betty credits Jim and Virginia Smith, the Peeks, the Albrights, the Malevers, Dick Dewey and his nephew John Gallager, John Hiers, Dennis and Ginette Baxley, Henry and Marge Moxon and Paul and Peggy Wilson

Join us for live jazz each week, Friday evenings from 6-9p.

for supporting Braised Onion and helping her family along the way. Braised Onion enjoys consistent patronage and a full reservation list, along with a busy schedule of hosted events and celebrations. Their menu centers on its ‘Comfort Food With Attitude’ slogan, and their chef of five years, Abner Bueso, builds on and customizes the menu three times a year. This self-taught chef has excelled at Braised Onion, and the many Taste of Ocala awards hanging on the restaurant’s walls attest to his culinary talent. Braised Onion also offers catering, and Susan and Cheri work with brides to coordinate and decorate for their special day, often turning the restaurant’s banquet room into an elaborate space. The main restaurant area provides both casual seating with tables in the lounge area and more intimate seating with cozy booths in the back. Enjoy live jazz music by Rudy Turner on Fridays and a wine list brimming with wines for every taste.

Braised Onion › 754 NE 25th Ave, Ocala › (352) 620-9255 › braisedonion.com

Braised Onion Restaurant

754 NE 25th Ave, Ocala › (352) 620-9255 Tue-Thu 11a-9p › Fri & Sat 11a-10p › Sun 11a-8p › Closed Mon 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. Winner of Culinary Combat and Taste of Ocala for three years. Come enjoy our Easter Sunday brunch buffet with us, April 16th from 11:30am-5:30pm. Don’t forget to make your reservations in advance for our Mother’s Day brunch, Sunday, May 14th from 11:30am-5:30pm. Visit our website at braisedonion.com.

APR ’17 ›





Fish Hawk Spirits

21 SW 2nd St., Gainesville › (352) 792-6699 › fishhawkspirits.com › Mon & Tues Private Tastings › Wed-Fri 4p-10p › Sat 1p-10p › Sun 4p-10p Craft spirits—what does that mean? At Fish Hawk Spirits, the philosophy is about doing business with their neighbors while pursuing quality in their finished spirits. Their spirits are made from locally sourced, all-natural raw materials. They consider themselves makers of fine, handcrafted spirits. They distill every drop, capturing the essence of Florida from the ingredients grown here. They source materials first from Marion County and then from Florida and, if necessary, from other U.S. producers. Every drop of their tangerine brandy, Marion Black 106, began as a blossom on a tangerine tree in a Florida grove—just like their blueberry products are made from the blueberries grown at Island Grove Winery and their whiskey from corn and oats grown in Florida.

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, $4.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $4.95; Quesadillas on Wednesdays, $6.45; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $5.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $4.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $8.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $7.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $7.95; and Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $7.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Mondays. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy 99¢ 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).

We make the Spirits of Florida! Fish Hawk Spirits @Fishhawkspirits @Fishhawkdistill

Trivia Night every Thursday, 7-9pm (Silver Springs Blvd. location) Mariachi band every Thursday at the 200 location, 6-9pm


Jersey Mike’s Subs

2602 SE 19th Ave Rd, Ocala › (352) 236-6809 8075 SW SR 200 Suite 121 (Publix Plaza), Ocala › (352) 304-8781 Sun-Sat 10a-9p › jerseymikes.com At Jersey Mike’s Subs, our goal is to give back to the community, make the freshest sub—hot or cold—cut each time in front of you and provide a clean and friendly atmosphere in which to relax. Jersey Mike’s Subs in Ocala has partnered with several organizations and charities in Marion County, including Michelle-O-Gram, the College of Central Florida’s men’s basketball team, the CF swim club and Combat Veterans to Careers. Join us as we welcome our new location at On Top of the World, 8075 SW State Road 200, #121, in the Publix plaza. Be a sub above.


› Ocala


Thank you for your support of Combat Veterans to Careers!


Come share your Easter Sunday Lunch with us on April 16th from 11am-2pm. Our special mother, “Mimi,” would like to invite you to treat your special mother to a lovely dining experience on May 14th at the Ivy House. Reservations only. For information on catering, contact Waica or Evelyn at wmhivyhouse@yahoo.com.

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

The Ivy House Restaurant

917 E. Silver Springs Blvd, 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 “Come on home, it’s suppertime!” is our motto. We want you to feel you have come to our home to eat. The family-owned Ivy House Restaurant now has two locations, Williston and Ocala. The downtown Ocala location has added several specialty items, and the restaurant has been named by Florida Trend as one of the “Top 500 Best Places to Eat in the State” for several years. Specials include Southern Fried Lobster, delicious hand-cut steaks and our famous Baked Krispy Chicken. Trying our delicious homemade desserts like the Key Lime Pie or Chocolate Midnight Cake is a must when dining here.

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!

At our Sunday brunch, enjoy our chef’s specialty dinner selections, including an impressive assortment of fresh salads, peel and eat shrimp, and the chefattended carving station... not to mention the best part... dessert! Find us on Facebook for up-to-date info on special events.

West 82º Bar & Grill

9301 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River › (352) 795-4211 ext. 311 › plantationoncrystalriver.com/restaurant-and-bars.htm Breakfast: daily 6-10:30a › Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30a-2p Dinner: daily 5-9p › Sunday Brunch: 11:30a-2pm Experience authentic Florida cuisine at the Plantation on Crystal River. Just off our lobby is the West 82º Bar & Grill, where you’ll find top-notch recipes in a relaxing setting along Kings Bay. Holding true to our reputation of genuine Southern hospitality and attention to detail, all our entrées are prepared with the finest natural—and, whenever possible, local—ingredients. Join us Sundays for our delicious brunch, featuring traditional breakfast favorites. Overlooking Kings Bay and Crystal River, the West 82º Bar & Grill provides a special place to enjoy dining with your friends and family.

APR ’17 ›





Lighthouse Point Bar & Grille 925 Lake Shore Dr., The Villages, FL (352) 753-7800 › lighthousepointbarandgrille.com Sun-Thu 11a-9p › Fri-Sat 11a-Midnight

On Monday, April 17, Lighthouse Point Bar & Grille will donate 10 percent of all its proceeds to Massachusetts General Hospital in support of “BOSTON STRONG” to help all the victims from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Be sure to join us to show your support. We will have four out-of-this-world delicious special menu items on this day, including cherry stone clams; real lobster rolls served with french fries and coleslaw; baked stuffed lobster served with mashed potatoes and vegetables; and lobster bake with cherry stone clams, lobster and grilled haddock served with french fries and coleslaw. We are also having a fabulous Boston Boil, which includes andouille sausage, potatoes, corn and crab legs. You can’t go wrong no matter which you choose. So, come on out and have great food, lots of fun and show your support for BOSTON STRONG!!

Brooklyn’s Backyard

2019 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Suite #102, Ocala › (352) 304-6292 brooklynsbackyard.com Sun 11a-8p › Mon-Wed 11a-9p › Thu-Sat 11a-whenever Head down to the “Yard” for fresh food and fun in a relaxed, backyard atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for finger foods or something exotic, they’ve got it, and it’s delicious! Try one of their unique burger creations or their award-winning wings. Want pizza? They’ve got it, NY style, plus a full range of fresh salads, sandwiches and entrées sure to suit everyone! There’s beer, wine and a full liquor bar in the “Yard,” too—over 40 craft beers, craft cocktails and a great selection of wines, all sure to perfectly complement your meal! Come join us for Sunday brunch from 11a-2p with $10 bottomless Mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys.

Eaton’s Beach Sandbar & Steam Shack 15790 SE 134th Avenue, Weirsdale (352) 259-2444 › eatonsbeach.com Mon-Sat 12-8pm, Sunday 12-7pm

The Steam Shack at Eaton’s Beach is all about casual dining, a beachside atmosphere and fresh, delicious food. Sure, they have tasty sandwiches and appetizers, but the main focus is on the steamed shrimp, crab legs, crawfish and other seafood offerings. After spending a hot day on the beach or in the water at Lake Weir, guests can feel comfortable ordering in flip flops and a bathing suit. Or are you headed to Eaton’s Beach for an evening out with friends after work? Stop at the Steam Shack first for a drink and appetizer while waiting for your table.


› Ocala


Happy Hour 3-6pm every day. We also offer outside dining. Call ahead seating available. Reservations accepted for parties of nine or more. Check our website for a full menu and daily specials.

Looking to make your next event extra special? Brooklyn’s caters—holidays, weddings, parties, office lunches—we got you covered! Live music on Fridays! Family owned & operated. Brooklyn’s Backyard—Good beer, better food!

Beer and wine are available, and the Sandbar is just steps away for specialty drink orders. Buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $25 bonus card for yourself, while supplies last.


Check out Wings & Trivia on Monday nights and Kids’ Night on Wednesdays. Check mojogrillandcatering.com for other deals and special events.

The Mojo Grill & Catering Co. 2015 SW 17th Street, Ocala › (352) 369-6656 4620 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala › (352) 291-6656 4496 SE 100th Place, Belleview › (352) 307-6656 Sun - Thu 11a-10p › Fri & Sat 11a-11p › mojogrillandcatering.com

When you walk through the doors at The Mojo Grill, you’re in for a treat. You’ll want to return time and time again for all that good food cooking on the grill! The hometown favorites, like the Mojo Fish Tacos or Rondo’s Famous Cuban Pork Dinner, are to die for! They also offer a large gluten-free menu, not to mention plenty of vegetarian and lighter offerings. The friendly, fun atmosphere is just a plus! And don’t forget Mojo’s for your next catered event— they promise to make it both tasty and memorable.

Be sure to visit us at the Canopy Oaks Center. Pavarotti’s also caters. All-You-Can-Eat Mon: Spaghetti and Meatballs $6.99 Tue: 16” Cheese Pizza $7.99 Wed: 10 Chicken Wings $5.


Pavarotti’s Pizza & Restaurant

8075 SW HWY 200, Canopy Oaks Center, Ocala › (352) 291-9424 Mon-Thu 11a-9p › Fri-Sat 11a-10p › Sun 11a-8p

Pavarotti’s Pizza and Restaurant in Ocala is known for its famous, old-fashioned pizzas, hand-tossed and baked on a stone deck oven. Try the array of classic Italian entrées, fresh salads and subs, and hearty pasta dinners. Veal or chicken is served Parmigiana, Marsala or picatta style, and the seafood dishes are served fresh over linguini. Pizza lovers can’t get enough of the homemade pies, and don’t forget about the subs, stromboli and calzones!

Pizza & Restaurant

Come enjoy our brand-new tapas menu available exclusively at the bar. Monday through Saturday, 3-7pm for $7. Full-service catering also available. Additional parking in rear.

Mesa de Notte

2436 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala › (352) 732-4737 › mesaocala.com Mon-Thu 11a-9p › Fri & Sat 11a-10p › Closed Sun Now you can make your reservation to join Mesa De Notte for their Easter Sunday Brunch this April 16th from 10am until 3pm. A delicious carving station with lamb, ham and prime rib, along with breakfast items, pastas, salads, desserts and more are waiting for you. Do not forget to make your Mother’s Day reservations in advance! Our buffet will start at 11am and last until 8pm Sunday May 14th.

APR ’17 ›





Ipanema Brazilian Steak House

2023 South Pine Avenue, Ocala › (352) 622-1741 › ipanemaocala.com Dinner Tue-Thu 5-9p, Fri & Sat 5-10p, Sun 4-9p › Lunch Fri 11a-2:30p Brunch Sun 12-3p › Closed Monday A churrascaria (Portuguese for barbecue) is a dining experience where roaming gauchos slice and serve fire-roasted meats from skewers in a continual fashion. Ipanema Brazilian Steak House boasts 12 of the finest cuts of meat complemented by an opulent salad and vegetable bar, delectable desserts and delicious wines, beers and cocktails. Brazilian native and Executive Chef Ortencia DeAlmeida invites you to embrace the flavors of her homeland and experience the magnetism of Ipanema for yourself. Become a fan of Ipanema on Facebook at facebook.com/ipanemasteakhouse. Great discounts online!

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.

Chefs of Napoli Ristorante Italiano

5400 SW College Rd, Ocala › (352) 857-8111 Mon-Thu 11a-9p › Fri 11a-10p › Sat 12-10p › Sun 12-9pm 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? 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!


› Ocala


Dine with us in the most elegant and elaborate dining room in Ocala–perfect for a romantic dinner experience to remember. Taste Brazil! Happy Hour Tue-Fri 5-7p Join us for Easter Dinner on Sunday, April 16 from 12-7p.

Located at the Crossroads of NW 80th Ave. and Hwy 40 West. No matter what you have a taste for, Crossroads Country Kitchen is sure to become a new favorite. Former owners of “The Spiced Apple” restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. We accept all major credit cards.

The newest Chefs of Napoli location that is now open in Ocala! Traveling around Central Florida? Check out the locations in Spring Hill and The Villages, too! Catering is always available at all locations.






A Day To Remember

Performed at Tuscawilla Park on March 18. Check out the band and their most recent album, Bad Vibrations, at adtr.com. Photo by Ralph Demilio










Scene APR


Downtown To-Dos APRIL 4: Activate: Ocala, Citizens’ Circle, 8am APRIL 7: First Friday Art Walk, downtown Ocala, 6pm APRIL 15: Brick City Beer and Wine Festival and Concert, Citizens’ Circle, 2pm

Super Heroes on Parade

Don’t blink or you may just miss a slew of super heroes making their way through Sholom Park. The 4th Annual Super Hero Autism Walk will take place at 10am and is presented by the Outreach Autism Services Network. The organization aids families with autistic children in the area by offering employment, services, support meetings, referrals, education, events and more. Kids of all ages are encouraged to dress as their favorite super hero and take part in a fun-filled event, including activities, contests and more. outreachautismservicesnetwork.com or (352) 462-1068.

APRIL 21: Walk for Children’s Mental Health, Citizens’ Circle, 5:30pm





Tee Time For Camp Kiwanis

For over 70 years, Camp Kiwanis has given some 30,000 children the opportunity to experience the great outdoors with activities like swimming, canoeing, archery, camping and more. In 2016, the camp lost one of its most passionate supporters, George Albright Jr. In memory of George’s legacy, Camp Kiwanis will host the Save Camp Kiwanis Memorial Golf Tournament in his honor. The tournament will be held at the Del Webb Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Summerfield. Registration begins at 11am and will include greens fees, golf cart, lunch, a corn boil, drinks and an awards ceremony. The shotgun start will take place at 1pm. ocalakiwanis.org or (352) 817-1888.


› Ocala


The Best of Brews

Whether you are a master beer brewer, wine connoisseur or simply like a casual drink here or there, the Brick City Beer and Wine Festival has something for everyone. The fourth annual event will return to Citizens’ Circle at 2pm with a full lineup of brilliant brews and vibrant vinos from area vendors along with food trucks, live music and more. Stick around after the festival for free admission to a Feel Downtown Live concert. This year’s event will benefit Kimberley’s Center for Child Protection in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month. ocalafl.org or (352) 789-2486.



Go Green

Get out in the great outdoors and celebrate Mother Earth. The annual Earthfest at Arbor Day will feature a number of outdoor adventures for adults and kids of all ages, including a youth fishing derby, sidewalk chalk art, tree rappelling and more! Get down and dirty and help keep our city clean as part of the Mayor’s Spring Cleanup, and take home a sapling to commemorate your visit and held preserve the environment. The event kicks off at 10am at Tuscawilla Park. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5517.

A Quick Q & A

With Matthew Fischer

Interview by Bonnie Kretchik



HUGS All Around

The HUGS Charities, Inc. of Ocala invites the community to help crush cancer at the annual Community Hug Celebration and Fundraiser. This year’s event will honor Gayle Elkes and Page Branson, a local mother and daughter whose lives have both been impacted by cancer. The Country Club of Ocala will play host to an evening of hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and both silent and live auctions. Doors open at 6:30, and tickets are $75 with all proceeds benefitting local families fighting cancer. hugscharities.org or (352) 622-3241.



Ante up

Come roll the dice to benefit the area’s less-fortunate kids at Casino Royale! Presented by Kids Central, Inc., this Vintage Vegas-themed affair will take place at the Ocala Hilton and feature classic casino games, slots, drinks, food and more. Tickets are $75 and include $250 in gaming tokens, photo booth fun, food, two signature drinks courtesy of Tito’s Vodka from 7-8pm and non-alcoholic beverages. But don’t cash in your chips too soon, as winnings can be used to bid on fabulous prizes. The fun begins at 7pm. kidscentralinc.org or (352) 387-3474.

A Powerful Partnership

Ocala’s first art incubator, the Magnolia Art Xchange, or MAX for short, has slowly but surely been gaining momentum since its inception. As the group works to continue to raise the funds needed to enter into a lease agreement with the City of Ocala for the use of their current home at the historic Union Station, a welcome surprise from Fine Arts For Ocala (FAFO) brings their goals even closer to fruition. President of MAX Matthew Fischer took some time to explain the recent partnership between the two organizations and what it means for MAX. How are FAFO and MAX partnering up? FAFO has decided to partner with MAX and will match any fundraising efforts retroactively from January 1 of this year to December 31 up to $65,000. This is huge because it will help bring us even closer to entering into our lease for the Ocala Union Station. Aside from matching fundraising efforts, how else will the two organizations work together? All of our signage will have the FAFO logo, and the group will also have the right to name our “Studio A,” which will house a resident artist and also be involved in the process of selecting that artist. Why do you think FAFO decided to take on this project with MAX? Since FAFO was founded decades ago, they have had the goal of promoting the arts. We have the same goals and the same outlook, and

Ocala is a tight-knit community, which is what makes it so special. We now have the “oldest” and the “newest” organizations coming together to support the arts. How close are you to reaching your goals? I won’t lie—fundraising is hard. But the City of Ocala is also matching fundraising efforts toward capital improvements in the building, which brings us even closer to opening, and more and more people are starting to find out about us. What are some future fundraising events you will be hosting? The Pioneer Garden Club will host its annual flower show in our building on April 1, so people can come and learn more about us. We will also host our Painting with a Twist event in August and the third annual Paint Out at the end of September. But people can always stop by to see who we are and what we do.

magnolia art xchange FIND OUT MORE › Magnolia Art Xchange › maxocala.org or (352) 629-8414

APR ’17 ›




The Local


Arts, Crafts and Culture

Performing Arts

Call to Artists (Through April 28) › The City of Ocala and the

Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group Theatre at Universal CityWalk, Orlando


Magnolia Art Xchange invite artists between the ages of 16 and 30 to submit entries for the “Ignite Your Dream” Student and Emerging Artist Competition and Exhibit, taking place at Ocala City Hall. Artists will compete in three divisions according to age. All entries must have been completed within the last two years. The deadline to submit entries is April 28. An awards reception will be held on May 11. maxocala.org or (352) 629-8414 or (352) 629-8447.

Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba

Disney Springs, Orlando


Upcoming Exhibits At The Appleton › Diversity in Cultures

The Affections of May

Ocala Civic Theatre

Mar. 16Apr. 9

The Price is Right Live!

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando

Apr. 2

Reilly Arts Center, Ocala

Apr. 3

Hard Rock Live, Orlando

Apr. 7 Apr. 7-8, 14-15

Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra Jay Leno Evita: Presented by CF Musical Theatre Ocala Symphony Orchestra: American Graffiti Disenchanted! The Hilarious Hit Musical Hamlet Chris Rock Crowns Mamma Mia!

Dassance Fine Arts Center, Ocala Reilly Arts Center, Ocala

Apr. 8

The Plaza Live Theatre, Orlando

Apr. 11-20

The Hippodrome State Theatre, Gainesville Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando Ocala Civic Theatre, Ocala Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando

Apr. 14May 7

Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions Last Sunday Comedy Reilly Arts Center, Ocala Night Series The Vagina Monologues Reilly Arts Center, Ocala Dr. Phillips Center for the Matilda: The Musical Performing Arts, Orlando Julianne and Derek Dr. Phillips Center for the Hough: Move Beyond Performing Arts, Orlando Live on Tour Shrek: The Musical

Ocala Civic Theatre

All About Olivia (April 23) › If you are

“Hopelessly Devoted” to Olivia NewtonJohn, you are in luck! The four-time Grammy Award winning singer, actress, community activist and breast cancer “thriver” will take the stage live at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in The Villages for one night only. With a career spanning more than five decades, Olivia skyrocketed into fame alongside John Travolta in the 1978 film Grease and has been a headliner ever since with 10 No. 1 hits and more than 15 Top 10 singles. The live show will begin at 7pm, and doors open at 6pm. thesharon.com or (352) 750-5411.


› Ocala


Apr. 16-17



Appleton After Hours (April 6) › The Appleton Museum will host an after hours event featuring live entertainment and dancing, special displays of artwork by the Ocala Art Group and tasty samplings from Mojo Grill with a cash bar available. Doors open at 5pm, and music begins at 5:30. The event is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.



April 20-23 Apr. 27 Apr. 30 Apr. 30 May 5 May 9-14 May 16 May 18June 11

Through African Insights features textile pattern designs and themes of West African folk tales and myths. The exhibit runs through April 2. Hallowed Absurditites: Work By Theodore Waddell raises the issue of the use of guns in our society. The exhibit runs through May 7. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.



Jazz Revue (April 7) › The Eustis Band Program will host its 7th Annual Jazz Revue at the Mount Dora Community Center beginning at 5:30pm. The event will feature live jazz performances, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks and a silent auction. eustisband.com or (352) 308-8559. Central Florida Master Choir Concert (April 9, 21, 23) › The Central Florida Master Choir will present their spring concert, “Lord Nelson Mass.” The concert will be held at Countryside Presbyterian Church at 3pm on April 9, The Reilly Arts Center at 7pm on April 21 and Dunnellon Presbyterian Church at 3pm on April 23. The concerts are free, but goodwill offerings will be accepted. cfmasterchoir.com or (352) 615-7677. Ocala Calligraphy Guild Meeting (April 10) › The Ocala Calligraphy Guild will meet in the education wing of the Appleton Museum of Art at 9:30am. Social time begins at 10:30am followed by a presentation by calligrapher Marjorie Bannish on “artful envelopes”at 11am. For more information, visit the Ocala Calligraphy Guild Facebook page. Trips ’N’ Tours (April 12) › The program will take guests to

The Orlando Museum of Art for The Wyeths and American Artists in Maine exhibition, followed by a visit to The World of Chocolate Museum and Café for a a guided tour of the museum and dessert. Tickets are $80 for Appleton members and $90 for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.

Gourd Workshop (April 15) › The Marion County Gourd Artist

Association will host a gourd art workshop at Cherokee Park in Belleview at 9:30am. Dues are $16 per person for the year and $25 for a family. marioncountygourdartists.com or (352) 871-3786.

Craft Fair (April 22) › Christ the King Anglican Church will host a craft

fair as a fundraiser for their building funds. The event will run 9am-2pm in the Living Waters Gymnasium. ctkaocala.org or (352) 351-9727.

Marion Civic Chorale Concerts (April 23, 30) › The Marion

Civic Chorale will present Standing Ovation: Celebrating 30 Years of Singing at two locations. The April 23 concert will make place at First United Methodist Church with a 30th anniversary reception to follow. The April 30 concert will take place at the St. George Anglican Continued on p.70











Resident: $10-12 | Non-Resident: $12-14









Resident: $20-22 | Non-Resident: $22-24

Resident: $20-22 | Non-Resident: $22-24


Resident: $8 | Non-Resident: $10 Reserved Table Seating

Resident: $32-34 | Non-Resident: $34-36


Resident: $14-16 | Non-Resident: $16-18

Resident: $18-20 | Non-Resident: $20-22









Resident: $14-16 | Non-Resident: $16-18

Resident: $14-16 | Non-Resident: $16-18

Resident: $20-22 | Non-Resident: $22-24



FRANKIE AVALON FrankieAvalon.com Resident: $48-50 | Non-Resident: $50-52










Resident: $18-20 | Non-Resident: $20-22




VOICExperienceFoundation.org Free with Ticket ** (Limit two general admission tickets per household)



Enjoy over 100 crafters plus food, fun and live entertainment on The Town Square.








Resident: $8 | Non-Resident: $10 Reserved Table Seating

















Resident: $16 - $18 | Non-Resident: $18-20




Resident: $8 | Non-Resident: $10 Reserved Table Seating





Resident: $8 | Non-Resident: $10 Reserved Table Seating









Resident: $20-22 | Non-Resident: $22-24

Resident: $24-26 | Non-Resident: $26-28

Resident: $25-27 | Non-Resident: $30-32

8395 SW 80th Street, Ocala, FL 34481 | (352) 854-3670 | CSCulturalCenter.com TICKET OFFICE HOURS: Mon-Sat: 11 am - 2 pm | Day of Show: 11 am - Showtime

ALL SHOWS BEGIN AT 7 PM & DOORS OPEN AT 6 PM (except as noted) Gift Certificates Available

Schedule and prices subject to change without notice. Reduced ticket prices are for residents of On Top of the World Communities and Stone Creek. (Resident ID required when purchasing at ticket office.) Ticket prices do not include sales tax. Refreshments available for purchase at events. To arrange for handicap seats, call or visit the ticket office. *Online tickets subject to a convenience fee. ALL TICKET SALES FINAL. **FREE TICKETS NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE. TICKETS MUST BE PICKED UP AT THE CIRCLE SQUARE CULTURAL CENTER TICKET OFFICE DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS.

#11856 - 3/17



The Local

Scene Continued from p.XX


Cathedral. Both concerts will take place at 3pm and are free of charge. marioncivicchorale.tripod.com or (262) 227-6495.

Ticketmaster › (800) 745-3000 › ticketmaster.com All dates are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to confirm venue listings.

To Write Love on Her Arms

House of Blues, Orlando The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, The Villages Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala

Billy Gilman The Company Men Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack The Chainsmokers Panic! At The Disco, Misterwives & Saint Motel Ariana Grande

St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Olivia Newton-John Red Hot Chili Peppers Neil Diamond Sheryl Crow Weezer Eric Church

Outdoor & Athletic Endeavors

Apr. 1

Group Bike Rides (Ongoing) › Brick City Bicycles offers group bike

Apr. 7

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

Apr. 7

Kayak Outings (Ongoing) › The Marion County Parks and

Apr. 8

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

Apr. 13

Amway Center, Orlando

Apr. 14

Amway Center, Orlando The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, The Villages Amway Center, Orlando BB&T Center, Sunrise Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando St. Augustine Amphitheatre Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

Apr. 15



Apr. 23 Apr. 26 Apr. 26

Derby will be held at Lake Lillian from 9am-12pm. The derby is for youth under 15 years of age, and registration is free. Participants must arrive by 8:30am. A cookout will follow the event. For more information, visit the fishing derby’s Facebook page or call (352) 245-7021 ext. 2115.

May 4 APR



Don’t miss a single dunk or slide into home base. Here are the home schedules:

NCAA Baseball


University of Florida Stetson Apr. 4 6:30p Tennessee Apr. 7 5:00p Tennessee Apr. 8 6:00p Tennessee Apr. 9 1:00p S. Carolina Apr. 20 7:30p S. Carolina Apr. 21 6:30p S. Carolina Apr. 22 12:00p

Miami Marlins Braves Apr. 11 Braves Apr. 12 Mets Apr. 13 Mets Apr. 14 Mets Apr. 15 Mets Apr. 16 Pirates Apr. 28 Pirates Apr. 29 Pirates Apr. 30

University of Central Florida Stetson Apr. 5 6:30p FL Atlantic Apr. 11 6:30p Bethune-Cook. Apr. 18 6:30p

NBA Orlando Magic Brooklyn Apr. 6 Indiana Apr. 8 Detroit Apr. 12 Miami Heat Denver Apr. 2 Cleveland Apr. 10 Washington Apr. 12 070

› Ocala


7:00p 6:00p 8:00p

6:00p 7:30p 8:00p

Tampa Bay Rays Yankees Apr. 2 Yankees Apr. 4 Yankees Apr. 5 Blue Jays Apr. 6 Blue Jays Apr. 7 Blue Jays Apr. 8 Blue Jays Apr. 9 Tigers Apr. 18 Tigers Apr. 19 Tigers Apr. 20 Astros Apr. 21 Astros Apr. 22

7:10p 7:10p 7:10p 7:10p 7:10p 1:10p 7:10p 7:10p 1:10p

1:00p 7:10p 7:10p 7:10p 7:10p 6:10p 1:10p 7:10p 7:10p 1:10p 7:10p 6:10p

The Celtic Open Golf Tournament (April 1) › A golf tournament hosted by Al and Judy Dunlap will take place at the Country Club of Ocala using a four-person scramble format. Early registration is $125 per player, and day of registration is $150 and begins at 8am. A shotgun start will take place at 9am. The tournament will also feature raffles, prizes, hole-in-one awards and more. (352) 817-3126. Fishing Derby (April 1) › The 3rd Annual City of Belleview Fishing

Apr. 29

May 5

Recreation Department will host several kayak outings for children and adults. marioncountyfl.org or call (352) 671-8560.

Junior Tennis Clinic (April 7, 21) › The City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department will host Junior Tennis Clinics at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Complex from 4-5pm. Clinics are free and open to children ages 7 to 15. Tennis rackets and balls will be provided, and registration is not required. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5517.

Corporate Run for the Springs 5K (April 8) › Marion County’s 5th Annual Corporate Run For the Springs will take place in downtown Ocala, beginning at the McPherson Complex. The event will feature a children’s area, refreshments, giveaways and prizes, including a Corporate Cup award for the fastest-running business team. Registration opens at 7:15am, and the run takes off at 8am. marioncountyfl.org or (352) 671-8686. Walk to Defeat ALS (April 8) › A two-mile walk to raise funds

and awareness for ALS will take place at the Jervey Gantt Recreation Complex. The event will run 11am-1pm. ocalafl.org or (352) 613-6673.

Bridles, Birdies and BBQ (April 13) › The second annual Bridles,

Birdies and BBQ will pair an experienced equestrian rider with a corporate team to compete in a fun obstacle course. The event will be held at the Florida Horse Park and begins with a cocktail hour at 5:30pm followed by the competition at 6:30pm and a dinner at 7:30pm. Tickets are $50, and proceeds benefit the First Tee of Greater Ocala. firsteegreaterocala.org or (352) 362-2258.

5K Run/Walk (April 15) › The 3rd Annual Chuck Savage Family 5K

Run/Walk will take place at the Baseline Road Trailhead of the Florida Greenway at 8am. The run is presented by the Ocala Lions Club for KIDSIGHT. Registration is available race morning beginning at 6:30am. (904) 514-4665.

Ride for the Arts (April 22) › The Third Annual Ride for the Arts

Gran Fondo will begin downtown and wind through horse country with 15-, 18- and 75-mile ride options available. The race is sponsored by the City of Ocala and benefits the Marion Cultural Alliance. The ride begins at 8am. rideforthearts.com or (352) 369-1500.

Charity Golf Tournament

(April 22) › The Queen of Peace Catholic

Church will host the 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament. The tournament is presented by the Knights of Columbus Council 9649 and will be held at the Stone Creek Golf Club at 8am. Registration is $65 and includes complimentary morning coffee and donuts, golfers buffet lunch and golf with cart. Registration deadline is April 14. (352) 502-3093.

Senior Fishing Derby

(April 24) › A fishing derby will be held

at Tuscawilla Park for adults ages 50 and up. The derby will run 9am-noon. ocalafl.org or (352) 401-3916.

Poker Trail Ride (April 29) › The

Florida Horse Park will host the “Preby” Poker Trail Ride the weekend prior to the Kentucky Derby. The trail ride will take place on the Marjorie Harris Cross Florida Greenway and the day-long event will include a derby hat contest, 50/50 drawings, vendors, food trucks, activities and more. The event is free and runs 8am-5pm. (352) 236-7143.

Other Fun Stuff! Garden and Plant Show (April 1) › The Seedlings Garden Club of McIntosh will host its annual Garden and Plant Show from 9am-4pm at Van Ness Park in McIntosh. The event will include over 30 vendors, entertainment, food trucks, a children’s learning center and more. Parking and entrance are free. (352) 591-0579.

Butterfly and Blueberry Festival (April 1-2, 8-9) › Timberline

Farm will host a Butterfly and Blueberry Festival featuring the butterfly and spring garden, hayrides, duck races, farm animals and more. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for students and free for children under 2. The festival runs 10am-6pm on Saturday and noon-6pm on Sunday. (352) 454-4113.

Extreme E-Tracker Event

(April 2) › An event to teach children how to survive in crisis situations, natural disasters and more will take place at Tuscawilla Park from 8am-4:30pm. The event will be a combined effort with local fire and police departments and will include an outreach activity for the Homeless Community of Ocala. Food and care packages will be given away free of charge. ocalafl.org or (352) 857-7828.

Empowered to Connect Conference (April 7-8) › The

Empowered to Connect Conference will be simulcast at Brick City Church from 10am-6pm. The conference focuses on adoptive and foster parents, those considering adoption or foster care and any professionals who work with children. Registration is $10. (352) 789-6822.

Ocala Boat Club Open House (April 9) › In recognition of the 70th

Anniversary of the Ocala Boat Club, the organization will host an open house from 11am-4pm. The event will include free food, entertainment and a free boat safety inspection. ocalaboatclub.org or (352) 236-3227.

KidX Club Easter Eggstravaganza (April 14) › The

Paddock Mall will host a visit from the Easter Bunny from 3-5pm in the Belk Court. The event will include a mall-wide scavenger hunt for candy filled eggs, decoding flowerpot messages, springtime crafts and games for prizes. Admission is free. paddockmall.com or (352) 237-1221,

Nerdy Derby Night (April 21) ›

The Discovery Center will host a paper airplane and rocket contest at the Aerospace Exhibit from 5-9pm. Guests are encouraged to dress in their favorite “nerd” gear, and awards will be given for Most Creative, Farthest Flight and Most Cargo Carried. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 4 to 12 and free for children 3 and under. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900.

Lip Sync Challenge (April 28) ›

The United Way of Marion County’s Women’s Leadership Council, “Women of Worth,” will host a lip sync challenge fundraiser at the Reilly Arts Center from 6-8pm. The event will feature three local headliners as well as teams from Signature Brands, the College of Central Florida and others. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $50 for VIP, with all proceeds to benefit the ReadingPals program. uwmc.org or (352) 732-9696. APR ’17 ›






World Wings International Hosts Fundraiser for Ocala’s Helping Hands › Written And Photographed By Ronald W. Wetherington


orld Wings International Inc., a local Heart of Florida Chapter, recently marked its 11th year as an incorporated chapter by hosting a benefit for Helping Hands of Ocala at the Country Club of Ocala. The evening included a silent auction and a live auction with donations from generous contributors, including Country Club of Ocala, RaceWash Car Wash, Ocala Fresh Produce, B&G Seed Processors, Bob Wines Nursery, Stone Creek Golf Club, Juliette Falls Golf Club and numerous individuals. Led by Heart of Florida Chapter President Mala Hinton Lawrence, the executive members and club members worked long hours to make the event a success. Hard work and dedication were certainly illustrated by Renate Barreras, Josie Carmody, Margie Davison, Christine Haines, Carole Hofle, Linda Poggione, Clare Rakestraw and Ellen Wenk. World Wings is a philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants who donate their time and energy to raise money for charities. The Heart of Florida Chapter draws its members from Ocala and beyond. Mala Hinton Lawrence observes, “For the last three years, we have supported Helping Hands of Ocala because we

believe in their efforts to help women, children and families. Our Pan Am-themed event takes quite a bit of planning and coordination, but we have fun doing it and feel that we are making a difference in our community.” Brad Dinkins, chairperson and founder of Helping Hands, states, “We are very grateful for the World Wings team and their efforts of putting on a fantastic fundraiser. The money raised will help the many women and children we serve with needed housing, food, clothes, medical, jobs and life skills training.” Directors Lori Boring, Tracy Rains and Pete Whirle are instrumental in helping others in this faith-based charity. Helping Hands had an inspirational beginning in July 2008 when a 70-year-old distraught, homeless man was outside a local restaurant asking customers for help in finding shelter for the night. Brad Dinkins put this helpless, older man in his truck but couldn’t find a motel that would take him. Later that night, Mr. Dinkins found an empty apartment. Since incorporating as a nonprofit corporation in 2009, many citizens have assisted Helping Hands. Like surviving aboard a life raft on stormy seas, those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction, those who have suffered abusive relationships or those who just find themselves destitute are grateful for Helping Hands. This nonprofit corporation owns and operates two apartment buildings for those in its care. Helping Hands also operates the Helping Hands Thrift Store at 9536 Maricamp Road in the Post Office Plaza as well as the Treasure Shoppe located at 8820 SW SR 200 between Oak Run and On Top of the World. The Treasure Shoppe has a collection of beautiful, unique items along with brand-new mattresses and bed frames. For some in Marion County, life can be a lonely and dark place. Helping Hands helps individuals regain self-esteem as they give them a heaping helping of encouragement. To make a donation or for further information, please take a moment and visit helpinghandsocala.org.



Nigel Wagg and Brad Dinkins

Jim and Lois Evans, Magie Davison

Ronald W. Wetherington 072

Joe and Audrey Kuzma, Lois and Bill Dolin

Peter and Anita Klaus

Janulee Shirvis, Faith Coomes and Kathy Dinkins

Clare Rakestraw, Christine Haines, Carol Hofle, Mala Lawrence and Ellen Wenk

Kathy and Brad Dinkins

Paul and Jean Finnegan

Rick and Marianne Yoder, Arlene and Red Martin

Joyce Gilpin, Paula St. Denis and Tracy Gruber

Christine and Lew Haines

APR ’17 ›






Golden Ocala’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

Photos by Ronald W. Wetherington, Social Scene Editor @ Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club

Thirty years ago, the golf course at Golden Ocala opened, and to celebrate that anniversary, the golf and equestrian club threw quite the celebration recently. It began with a golf game, followed by cocktails and dinner. Guest speaker Ron Garl, the golf course architect, completed the celebratory event.

Roger and Nancy Little, Marian and Denny Speed

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Terrie Purdum and Bob Bissell

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Bob Wyont, Beverly Cox, Nancy and Frank Puckett

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Medical Expo of North Central Florida

Photos by Crys Williams @ The India Association Cultural and Educational Center

Medical professionals recently gathered at The India Association for the 17th Annual Medical Expo. Companies in tune with the interests of the medical community exhibited the latest in medical products and services, along with the newest trends and advances in medicine. There were raffles, prizes and entertainment for those in attendance as well.

V. Jayakumar, Dr. Chandramohan and Dr. Samy

Hima Mikkilinen, Prabhakar Rumalla and Tina Chandra

Perin Alfred, Naila Kahn, Asha Velisetty and Krishna Rao

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SPRING SAVINGS! It’s time to spruce up your home! As you dust, organize and polish your home this spring, consider these helpful tips from Ocala Electric Utility. • When cleaning larger appliances, be sure to dust off the coils. • Change your A/C filters at least once a month. • Change the direction of your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise. • Installing window treatments, blinds, shades and films can reduce indoor temperatures. • When you’re home and need a cool temperature, set your programmable thermostat to 78 degrees.

For information on energy-efficient home improvements and additional savings,

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“Ocala Electric Utility provides electrical services to nearly 50,000 homes and businesses in the City of Ocala and surrounding areas. As a locally owned and operated utility, we are dedicated to providing safe, reliable and affordable power to you and your families. We are delighted to be your hometown public power utility and look forward to serving you!”

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FAFO’s 50th Anniversary Party

Photos by Ronald W. Wetherington, Social Scene Editor @ Livingston Park

Fine Arts For Ocala recently celebrated 50 years of supporting the arts in our community with a ‘60s-style party within the Livingston Park development. Guests dressed the part before groovin’ on the dance floor under the stars. For the final touch, FAFO dedicated a portion of the proceeds toward art scholarships.

Sagi Asokan, Julie Shealy and Buff Moring

Mary and Craig Baggs

Lois and Gordon Schwenk

Ben and Meagan Gumpert

Dawn Lovell and Bill Futch

Tyrus Clutter and Susan McMurray Maureen Quinlan, Reba Boyd and Rose Derkay

Jim and Jessica McCune, Suzanne and Trip Green

Jena Brooks and Jon Barber

Jena Brooks, Donna DeScalfani and Maggie Weakley

Alberto and Chayo Comas, Jeff Shealy


› Ocala


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