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A Dream Coming True

The Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens

Plus Richard Donegan Sandy Perry Bassmaster Elite Series Fishing Tournament

Dear Friends & Neighbors, We are easing into the slower, summer season that the community of Okeechobee experiences each year. Although many of our northern friends have departed for the warm season, illnesses and emergencies do not have an off-season. That is why, regardless of the time of day or season of the year, the doctors and nurses at Raulerson Hospital are committed and prepared to treat the community’s healthcare needs. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, do not delay or take risks with your health. In a medical emergency, being stabilized by nearby medical professionals is a crucial first step. Our ER wait times are shorter than the national average. We make our current average ER wait times available on our website , in our ER waiting room and by texting ER to 23000. If an emergency happens, Raulerson Hospital is prepared to treat you and your family with the best emergency care available. Our ER staff are highly skilled and qualified to treat all emergencies, adult as well as children. The staff, who are trained in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, utilize pediatric specialty equipment and a 24/7 on-call Pediatrician. Take comfort knowing that if a patient does require alternative, specialized treatment, we have a seamless transfer process which occurs under the safety and provision of medical professionals. Our sister HCA facilities in the Treasure Coast: Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute and St. Lucie Medical Center are trusted partners in the care of our community. Speaking of our physicians who are prepared to meet the community’s healthcare needs and exceed their expectations, Raulerson Hospital is proud to welcome Dr. Gregory Sainnoval to Okeechobee. Dr. Sainnoval will be providing general surgery services for Raulerson Hospital, in addition to operating his private medical practice here. Raulerson Hospital is your community hospital. You can rely on our professional staff to provide you with the best clinical care and kindest treatment without the hassle of leaving town. Some of the conveniences available for our patients and their loved ones include: • E-mail a patient function on our website • Wi-FI • Walgreens Bedside Prescription Delivery for patients being discharged • Online pre-registration for tests, procedures and screening mammograms If you would like to learn more about these or other services offered by Raulerson Hospital, please contact us at 763-2151 or visit our website If you or a loved one have been to our facility recently, I truly welcome and encourage your feedback regarding your experiences at Raulerson Hospital. It is the key to our goal of constant improvement. Patients and their families may call our 24-hour Customer Service phone number 824-2345 and speak directly to our staff about any questions or concerns they have during or after their stay. This phone number is posted in each patient room because we want you to know that we are listening! If you have not been to our facility in a while, stop in for lunch or a tour. We are proud to show all the great things that are happening at Raulerson Hospital! Sincerely,

Robert Lee, Chief Executive Officer

Take comfort knowing that if a patient does require alternative, specialized treatment, we have a seamless transfer process with our sister HCA facilities in the Treasure Coast: Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute and St. Lucie Medical Center. 1796 Highway 441N • Okeechobee, FL 34972• 863-763-2151 • 2 | Summer 2012 OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

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Summer 2012 | 5

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Summer 2012 | 7

Publisher’s Note volume


ne of the first signs of summer in South Florida is a noticeable change in pace, with everything slowing down a bit. And in Okeechobee, that’s just how we like it — nice and relaxing. Though we continue to be busy as we enter our sixth year of Okeechobee The Magazine, we want you to sit back and enjoy this issue. Speaking of busy, we feature in this issue Sandy Perry, a woman of many hats. In addition to her job as vice president of the Okeechobee Health Care Facility, Perry also is director of the Okeechobee Community Choir, secretary of the Okeechobee Ministerial Association, a member of the Economic Council and Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse, and she helps local churches with their music programs. Another local busy body is Richard Donegan, a teenager who has his sights set on becoming a professional golfer. Does he have what it takes? As the only Okeechobee High School student in history to win a state golfing title, his prospects are looking good. Also looking to the future, the Philippine American Cultural Foundation of South Florida has big plans for the Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens. Located on 20 acres in southwest Okeechobee, the complex will feature an art center, festival village and gardens built to showcase Filipino culture and traditions. Read about the details in our feature story.

6, number 2 | Summer 2012

publisher/managing editor

Maureen Budjinski creative director

Bridgette Waldau copy editor

Jason Budjinski office manager

Tamra Cunningham office assistant

Rose Brennan bookkeeping

Carol Lieberman account executive

Trish Grygo Gail Lockwood photographers

Sharon Cannon Felicia Maxwell Sandra Pearce writers

Ron Bukley Raye Deusinger Jan Fehrman contributors

Charles Murphy Michael Shellen distribution

This issue’s Okeechobee at Home features the ranch-style home of Darrell and Jeanne Enfinger, who used local contractors to update their house to accommodate large family gatherings. We continue our new series Behind the Business, this issue focusing Jeremy LaRue of Total Roadside Services and Cookie Smith of the 14k Gold Store. The past few months have seen some of the year’s biggest events, including the Okeechobee County Fair, Okeechobee Rotary’s L.O.S.T. bike ride, Top of the Lake Art & Music Fest, Ag-Venture, Cinco de Mayo, Walk for Life, the Okeechobee Relay for Life and many more. Again, we hope you have a relaxing summer and continue reading Okeechobee The Magazine — your magazine. Sincerely,


8 | Summer 2012


Jackie Martin Ryan Martin Okeechobee The Magazine

111 NE 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 Phone: (863) 467-0054

Maureen Budjinski president

Joshua I. Manning vice president

Barry S. Manning chairman & ceo Okeechobee The Magazine, is published quarterly in Okeechobee, Florida. Copyright 2012, all rights reserved by Okeechobee The Magazine, LLC. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisement errors beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error within the advertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.

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Summer 2012 | 9


Summer 2012


22 A Dream Coming True

The Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens By Jan Fehrman

52 Richard Donegan


Taking a Swing at Professional Golf By Raye Deusinger

66 Sandy Perry Wearing Many Hats By Raye Deusinger


30 Okeechobee at Home By Ron Bukley


Behind the Business 40 Total Roadside Services 42 14K Gold Store


78 Fishing on Lake Okeechobee By Capt. Michael Shellen

82 Jack Radebaugh By Charles Murphy



12 Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Bass Fishing Tournament 14 Speckled Perch Festival and Parade 16 Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Assoc. Spring Rodeo 18 Okeechobee County Fair & Livestock Show 20 Okeechobee Rotary L.O.S.T. Bike Ride 38 Okeechobee Relay for Life 46 Top of the Lake Art & Music Fest 48 Ag-Venture Event 50 Williamsons Celebrate 60th Anniversary 60 Cinco De Mayo ON THE COVER 64 Pregnancy Center Walk for Life Philippine Heritage Enrichment Future Complex and Gardens 76 OHS Band Goes to Washington, D.C. SUMMER 2012


A Dream Coming True

The Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens.


Richard Donegan Sandy Perry

Bassmaster Elite Series Fishing Tournament

48 10 | Summer 2012


84 Around Okeechobee 88 Advertiser Index

Story on page 22 Photo by Sandra Pearce

Upcoming Shoots June 24 NSCA Shot July 2 thru July 10 Closed July 21 NSCA Shoot August 11 NSCa Shoot

Summer 2012 | 11

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Bass Fishing Tournament The Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council presented the Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Bass Fishing Tournament March 22-25 at C. Scott Driver Park. Okeechobee County Water Fest was also a part of the festivities for the weekend. Smokey the Bear, McGruff and the crash dummies made a special appearance.



Jack Fulce awaits an autograph from pro angler Terry Scroggins.


4 5 1. Winner Ish Monroe proudly displays his catch. 2. The crowd watches the weigh-ins. 3. Sheriff’s posse: Brent Phares and Tommy Sutton. 4. Youngsters practice their casting as the anglers head out to compete. 5. Anglers at daybreak.

12 | Summer 2012


Dave Mercer announces the anglers weigh-in.

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Summer 2012 | 13

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Speckled Perch Festival and Parade 2012 The Speckled Perch Parade kicked off the festivities for the Speckled Perch Festival held the March 10 weekend at Flagler Park in downtown Okeechobee. Okeechobee Main Street coordinated the festivities for the weekend. In spite of dark clouds and the chance of rain, there was a great crowd and plenty of vendors offering arts and crafts, games for the children and food. Judy Jones and Shule Jones look on as patrons browse through their Seminole goods.

Moosita was “dressed� and waiting for the parade to begin.

Okeechobee Historical Society President Betty Williamson waves to the crowd.


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Summer 2012

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Association

Spring Rodeo Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Association Spring Rodeo was held March 10-11 at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center. The two-day event offered bareback riding, steer wrestling, tiedown roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, calf scramble, girls barrel racing and bull riding. The crowd enjoyed all events as well as the special 1 entertainment.




5 1. Barrel man Keith Isley. 2. Ladies barrel racing. 3. Chuck Schmidt and Prince Townsend. 4. (L-R) Melissa Albert, Miss Silver Spurs 2012; Kelly Lee Harper, Miss Rodeo Florida Sweetheart 2012; Kellie Munn, Miss Rodeo Okeechobee; McKenna Brooke Hickson, Miss Rodeo Okeechobee Princess and Sierra Megan Coward, Miss Teen Rodeo 2012. 5. Rodeo monkeys ride on their dogs. 6. Calf roping division.


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Summer 2012 | 17

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Okeechobee County Fair

The sixth annual Okeechobee County Fair was held March 13-18 at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center. The fair opened with a wonderful fireworks display at dusk. There were a host of events throughout the week, including the Okeechobee Youth Livestock Show and Sale, the Okeechobee Idol contest, Lucky Bob Extreme Juggling and Magic, DJ Ken Keller of WOKC, monster truck rides and a talent show. The carnival midway, games and food were family favorites as well as the free petting zoo. Local arts and crafts were also on display. For more info., visit

2012 Okeechobee Country Fair Miss Teen Taylor Fulford and Little Miss Morgan Roberts.


2 1. Josue Hernandez, Alejandro Pacheco and Adelaida Vega feed the giraffe. 2. Rylie Arnold’s cotton candy is bigger than her. 3. Tabitha Smith wins a prize at the dart booth. 4. Kelly, Alex and Charlie Hukriede win big. 5. The rides at night. 6. Okeechobee Idol winner Nikki St. Pierre with Tyler Fulford, Morgan Roberts and DJ Ken Keller of WOKC. 7. The ferris wheel was a popular ride.


4 5

6 7

18 | Summer 2012


Photos By Sandra Pearce

Okeechobee Youth Livestock Show and Sale at the Okeechobee County Fair 1



4 7

5 8

6 Youth Livestock Top Show Winners

1. Grand Champion Steer: Shelby Kirton. 2. Reserve Grand Champion Steer: Sarah Davis. 3. Grand Champion Hog: Justin Ray. 4. Grand Champion Lamb: Kaitlynn Lawrence. 5. Reserve Grand Champion Lamb: Carolanne Lundy. 6. Reserve Grand Champion Hog: Shyanne Prescott. 7. Grand Champion Goat: Jessica Humphrey. 8. Reserve Grand Champion Goat: Sarah Davis.

Summer 2012 | 19

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Rotary Club of Okeechobee Ninth Annual L.O.S.T. Bike Ride The ninth annual Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (L.O.S.T.) bike ride/run/walk was hosted by the Rotary Club of Okeechobee the morning of March 31. The 54-mile round-trip ride started at C. Scott Driver Park and took place along the Hoover Dike to Port Mayaca and back. More than 100 bikers and walkers enjoyed the scenic route overlooking Lake Okeechobee. For more info., visit


2 1. The mother-daughter team of Melissa Mills and Mary Stinson enjoy the ride. 2. The Rotary Club Committee and volunteers. 3. Cyclists begin the 54-mile ride along Lake Okeechobee Scenic. 4. Rotary President Lyle Fried with fellow Rotarians Colin Cameron and Bennett Yeilding. 5. Tabitha Trent goes over the rules. 6. Jill Pitts and Laura McCall get ready for the walk. 7. Cyclists gather before the ride. 8. Tom with his son Timothy Roscoe McCoin volunteer to feed the riders after the event.




5 7


20 | Summer 2012


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Summer 2012 | 21

A Dream Coming True:

The Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens


By Jan Fehrman O Photos By Sandra Pearce

ocated in southwest Okeechobee, 20 acres of verdant meadow provide the setting for the Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens, a project of the Philippine American Cultural Foundation of South Florida (PACFF). The site will host a cultural complex featuring an art center, festival village and gardens built to showcase Filipino culture and traditions. “Our mission is to share the culture of Filipinos with other members of the community, and to educate Filipino-Americans about their Filipino heritage,” said Edwin Dominado of Palm Beach, president of the PACFF. “We also plan to share the facility with other nonprofits for their multicultural presentations.” Drs. Trinidad and Manuel Garcia were early supporters of the complex. Trinidad is a PACFF board member who decided to become involved because the complex is in Okeechobee. “We arrived here in 1973 and have made many sincere friendships,” she said. “We want to give back to this lovely community.” The Garcias are longtime physicians in Okeechobee. Dr. Trinidad Garcia specializes in obstetrics/gynecology, and Dr. Manuel Garcia is a surgeon at Raulerson Hospital. Situated at the far western edge of the South Pacific, the Philippine archipelago is made up of a chain of 7,017 islands, speaking 170 different languages. Its lush flora and fauna flourish in the many different regions of this long chain of islands. With China to the north, Vietnam to the west and Indonesia to the south, it’s very strategically positioned. The Philippines was a Spanish colony for more than 300 years and had a long relationship with the United States from 1898 until it became independent in 1946. From 1935 to 1946, it was a commonwealth of the United States like Puerto Rico is today. When the cultural complex and gardens are completed, they will transport visitors to a little bit of the Philippines. People will have the opportunity to learn more about its rich and varied heritage and to enjoy the country’s exotic flowers and trees, all without a 20-hour plane ride. The PACFF believes Okeechobee is the ideal place for its Philippine complex and gardens. “Okeechobee is centrally located,” Dominado said. He explained that there is a cultural complex on 10 acres in Tampa built by a Filipino-American organization, and it is booked with events for the entire year. The complex in Okeechobee will serve Florida and the entire United States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 122,691 people of Filipino heritage live in Florida, and it is the second-largest Asian group in the state. PACFF leaders hope the complex will eventually attract many Filipino-Americans to Okeechobee. They also think Okeechobee is the perfect setting for the complex and gardens because of the natural beauty of the lake and its surrounding area. Okeechobee offers additional activities such as fishing, hunting, boating and hiking to complex visitors. Dominado plans to coordinate with the Tourism Development Council so that the complex and gardens will result in an economic plus for Okeechobee. He envisions many tourists being drawn to the site, which in turn will create more jobs, hotels and restaurants.  22 | Summer 2012


“We want to give back to this lovely community.�

Dr. Manual Garcia and PACFF Board members Dr. Trinidad Garcia, Sid Estrada and President Edwin Dominado.

“We also plan to share the facility with other nonprofits for their multicultural presentations.”

Edwin Dominado of Palm Beach, president of the PACFF

The complex will hold both outdoor and indoor functions such as concerts, fashion shows, dance presentations, displays of arts and crafts, theater, quinceañeras and weddings. A rendering of the completed complex and gardens shows a wedding chapel in the center of a manmade lake, which will be created during the project. “At present there is an open pavilion there for a small party,” Dr. Trinidad Garcia said. “Two quinceañeras were held there recently.” Between the buildings will be gardens divided into three areas named after 24 | Summer 2012


major parts of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The climate in Okeechobee is like certain areas of the Philippines. “Some of the plants grown in the Philippines can be found here in Florida, and we will use them in the gardens,” Dominado said. “The YlangYlang tree is now in place at the site. This type of tree produces a lot of flowers used by noted perfume companies all over the world.” At present native vegetables such as the bitter melon are also being grown at the acreage.

Locally, the complex and gardens are in the very capable hands of PACFF Board Member Sid Estrada, who is project manager for the venture. Estrada has lived in Okeechobee since 1983, having worked for an insurance company until his retirement. He came to Okeechobee from Basilin City, Philippines, where he was an agriculturist and owned his own farm. Estrada’s background in business and agriculture serves him well as he oversees the building of the complex and gardens. Estrada is very enthusiastic about the

Summer 2012 | 25

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endeavor and what it will mean to Okeechobee. “This $15 million project will have a domino effect,” he said. “It will give a big boost to the economy as tourists arrive needing hotels, restaurants and additional recreation.” Although major construction has not yet begun, the PACFF is making good use of its 20 acres. This past winter, the PACFF hosted its second annual PhilFiesta at the complex site. Visitors enjoyed a variety of Filipino food and observed Filipino arts and crafts. On the outdoor stage, dancers in colorful costumes performed folk dances to traditional music, beauty queens of South Florida presented the Filipina Fashion Show, and martial arts were demonstrated.

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As part of its mission, the PACFF offers use of the site to nonprofit community organizations that have a 50l (c)3 status. On May 5, it hosted Cinco de Mayo to benefit El Centro Santa Fe and the Okeechobee Non-Profit Housing Inc., of which Estrada is a board member.

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This open pavilion is now on the property and it can be used for small events.

The public had a festive day full of many activities for all ages. For example, one could sample homemade tamales and fresh fruit salad while listening to mariachis perform their traditional songs. This was an excellent chance for the whole community to enjoy the culture and cuisine of Mexico. “With almost 10,000 Hispanics living in Okeechobee County, the site offers a place for large groups like this to use,” Estrada said; 

Summer 2012 | 27

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plans are also in the works for other local events with the Boy Scouts and ARC. PACFF plans to continue to support local events. “The complex will benefit the entire community, whether you are of Philippine heritage or not,” Dr. Trinidad Garcia said. “It will be equally shared by all. The founders of the project want everyone to be able to use it.” Funding will determine the time frame of the project. “Its completion depends on the flow of donations and contributions from different sources such as government funding, private individuals, corporations and fundraising activities initiated by different organizations,” Dominado said. “Donations to purchase the 20-acre site were a good beginning.” The groundbreaking was celebrated in 2010. More major donations would mean an early finishing point for the complex


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207 NE Park Street - Okeechobee, FL 34972 and gardens. When completed, the Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens can be a significant addition to Okeechobee County. It shares other cultures with the community as well as being a venue for local groups. At the same time it offers a boost to the economy. Dominado sees the complex as an “ambassador” to every nationality in America. “The complex will unite different nationalities for a better perception and appreciation of each other’s arts, music and culture,” he said. The Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex and Gardens is located at 1554 SW 16th Ave. in Okeechobee. For more information, call Sid Estrada at (863) 610-0515. O (Left) PhilFiesta 2011, held on the future complex grounds in Okeechobee.

Summer 2012 | 29



At Home

Darrell and Jeanne Enfinger By Ron Bukley O Photos by Felicia Maxwell

When Darrell and Jeanne Enfinger retired last year, they decided to update their ranch house–style home just outside Okeechobee to something more modern and appropriate for large family gatherings, now that their three sons are grown. The Enfingers took out walls to open the central portion of their home, and filled in what was once a sunken living room to improve mobility and further enhance an open feeling they were striving for. They felt it was important to use local contractors, some of whom they attended school with as far back as elementary school, where the couple first met. “We wanted to use Okeechobee contractors because we’re really into supporting our community because they support this community,” Jeanne said. “They did a wonderful job.” Before they retired, Jeanne was an educator, and Darrell was Okeechobee County director of parks and recreation for 37 years. Jeanne said her general contractor, Hoot Worley of G.M. Worley Inc. of Okeechobee, transformed her ideas into a mechanical drawing. “This house was built in 1983, and when we bought this house, I thought it was the most wonderful neighborhood in Okeechobee,” Jeanne said. “The house itself was very much a 1980s home. It had a sunken living room, separate kitchen, huge Chattahoochee stone fireplace, gigantic

30 | Summer 2012


hearth, rough-cut cedar on both sides of the fireplace. You can imagine it was very much a country home, very comfortable in Okeechobee. It just wasn’t what I wanted. The Enfingers bought the house in 1993. “All three of our sons graduated from Okeechobee High School from

derdale area, in the dairy business. We converged here because his family and mine were both involved in agriculture.” The Enfingers grew up together, graduated high school in 1967, went to college, came back, married and raised their children. They started the remodeling project in February and finished in mid-May. They did not have to move out during the project and were able to retreat to the bedrooms to live, which are vacant now that their sons had moved out.

(Above) Darrell and Jeanne Enfinger share a toast. (Right) The open-air kitchen area.

this home, so we waited until we retired to remodel because we wanted to do quite a lot,” Jeanne said. “We wanted to bring it into a modern look, and we definitely wanted a more traditional Southern look.” Darrell and Jeanne both moved to Okeechobee in 1958 when they were 10 years old. “We were in the same grade and had the same teacher,” Jeanne said. “His family moved in from Auburndale. I moved in from the Fort Lau-

With a split air-conditioning system, they turned off the front room unit and lived in the bedrooms since their sons had moved out. “There was just the two of us, so we took over the four bedrooms,” Jeanne said. “It was comfortable. We were fine.” The new design is a better fit for their lifestyle and has a lighter look, Jeanne said. They replaced carpet in the living room, parquet in the formal dining and piano rooms, and vinyl in the kitchen, with light oak flooring that runs diagonally throughout the house, except for a 3’x12’ inset at the entryway that runs straight back into the house between the piano and dining rooms. “We like the oak because it adds some texture to the floor without making it really busy,” Jeanne said. “And we love

Summer 2012 | 31

(Above) The kitchen now features a stove island. (Below) Musical accents in the piano room.

(Above) The dining area interacts with the living area. (Below) The piano room is inviting with the light oak flooring.

32 | Summer 2012


the diagonal. We love the way that it brings you in and takes you out to a nice vista.” They removed a wall that once separated the kitchen from the living area and installed a combination bar counter and stove island that both separates and joins the kitchen area to the living area, creating an openness for people in the kitchen and living area to interact, and for those in the kitchen to watch the 52-inch television above an antiquewhite, gas-powered fireplace at the end of the room that replaces the old fireplace.

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They moved French doors that previously opened from the fireplace to the kitchen, facing the front of the house, replacing what was once a window, which provides an additional vista to the back patio and swimming pool.

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16162 Highway 441 N. Okeechobee, FL 34972 (10 Miles North of Hwy 70) Custom-cut granite countertops run throughout the kitchen and the appliances are all stainless steel. “We love the kitchen,” Jeanne said. “The cabinets we got at Home Depot. We bought the cabinets, and they installed them for us.” The Enfingers unveiled the remodeling project on Mother’s Day, when the entire family came home. “The boys had 

Summer 2012 | 33

not seen it,” Jeanne said. “One by one they came in and said, ‘Oh my goodness,’ and they love it, love it, love it, and then they’d say, ‘It’s not our house’ where we raised them. After they’d been here a few hours they had totally forgotten how the house used to be and said, ‘This is wonderful.’”

(Above) The formal dining room. (Below) Ready to serve guests tea. (Right) The beautiful fireplace in the living area.

Jeanne said the remodeled home was exactly what she wanted to accommodate large gatherings. “We had 15 or 17 people and they were watching television, and I was in here cooking and had all the ovens going, and we were all together,” she said. “The area flows so nicely. You can just open the French doors, and the party just goes right on out.” Family reunions sometimes grow to 20 or 25 people, and they need adequate seating. An old friend the couple grew up with, Penny Homer of Rebecca Homer Design, did much of the consultation. Homer believes in making use of furniture the owners have grown comfortable with over the years. “Much of the furnishings in here Jeanne already had, but take on a whole new look according to where you place them,” she said.

(Below) French doors open out to the pool.

Homer calls the technique “shopping your house.” One significant item she convinced Jeanne to keep was a wrought-iron and glass dinette table that had been in an informal dining area next to the kitchen. They moved it to a portion of the newly raised living room, which was now on level with the kitchen. Jeanne said she piled all her furnishings on the floor, including the pictures, paintings and lamps. “I kept saying, ‘I need all new furniture, Penny,’” Jeanne said, “and she would tell me, ‘No you don’t. We can make this work.’ She just pulls everything together.”

34 | Summer 2012


Jeanne did wind up buying counterheight barstools for the new kitchen island, which has an exhaust vent that pops up about 6 inches when in use that draws cooking fumes from the stove through a duct they installed underneath the new raised living room floor before they filled it in. “We didn’t want the big hood up there,” Darrell said. “We took a 6-inch pipe and ran it over toward that window.”

A State Certified General Contractor St. Lic. CGC1507657


Mack “Hoot” Worley President

Raising the formerly sunken living room was one of the more daunting parts of the remodeling, requiring about 10 square yards of fill and a new concrete slab, Darrell said. “All the outlets and wall switches had to be raised,” he said. “That was one of my projects.” Although the remodeling went quickly, Jeanne said they put a lot of consideration into the project beforehand. “I had a lot of expert help, but I really thought of little else since June of last year,” she said. “I spent six months thinking about what I wanted to do. 

We are here for your Equine needs. 110 NW 5th Street - Okeechobee, FL 34972

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A warm corner to relax next to the fireplace.

863-763-2220 Financing Available

Located in Okeechobee For Over 16 Years! 317 WS Park Street Okeechobee, FL. 34974

Summer 2012 | 35

Serving All Of Florida


Providing Quality Services at Affordable Prices

Chic Boutique & Consignment

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Unique Gifts Tired of Broken Buttons from Dry Cleaner Pressing? At Toni's we iron by hand!

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Fabric & Trim ~ Decorative Rods Draperies ~ Valances ~ Bedding Cornices ~ Blinds ~ Shutters ~Verticals All Window Coverings ~ Custom Sewing

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by Appointment.”


The following contractors participated in the project: G.M. Worley Inc., general contractor; Speed Square Framing LLC, window, door and mantel; Seminole Inc., electrical and lighting; Jeanette’s Interiors Inc., flooring installation; David Young Sheedy Construction, ceiling texture; Home Depot, cabinets and installation; LAS & JB of Fort Pierce, granite countertops and installation; Glades Gas, gas cook top connection; Don’s Appliances, kitchen appliances; and Rebecca Homer Design, décor consultation. O

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Introducing the latest styles, colors and collections. © 2012 Vera Bradley Designs, Inc.

Vera Bradley - Crabtree & Evelyn - Brighton Handbags - Bridal & Baby Registry Available

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Dennis R. Conner U.S. Navy, (Ret)

For County Commissioner, District 3

“It Just Takes Common Sense”

Mission is to pursue positive and progressive business growth. Okeechobee Resident since 1975. Will focus on opportunities for our youth. Will serve with an open-door policy. Paid by Dennis R. Conner, Republican, for County Commissioner, District 3

Summer 2012 | 37

Community Event

Photos By Felicia Maxwell

Relay for Life The American Cancer Society’s Okeechobee Relay for Life was held April 13 and 14 at the Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Arena. This year’s schedule included the survivor and caregiver laps, a cornhole tournament, three-legged races, dodgeball game, and lots of food and fun for the entire family. For more info., visit

North Elementary School team members Marlene Vega, Glenna Rucks, Pat Keebler and Carol Gable.

(Above) The Raulerson Hospital Mash Out Cancer team. (Left) Okeechobee Police Chief Denny Davis (right) with Sgt. Russ Cale, Detective Bettye Taylor, Sgt. Tom Tarner, who passed away from cancer three weeks later.



1. Mid Florida Credit Union team: Sandra Adams, Nicole Adams, Amy Daniel, Ester Banuelos, Tammy and Chris Loschiavo. 2. Cancer survivor Tony Bowers III. 3. The survivor lap begins and sets the tone of the event. 4. Event Chair Angie Griffin (right) with Operations Chair Missy Fipps. 5. The Pit Crew team: Eve Ramond and Cindy Douglas. 6. Luminaria bags surround the track in honor of loved ones who have survived cancer and in memory of those who lost their battle. 7. Dr. Ramesh Kumar speaks to the crowd.


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Summer 2012 | 39

Behind the Business Total Roadside Services


Raye Deusinger O Photos by Felicia Maxwell

eremy LaRue of Total Roadside Services didn’t come to Okeechobee until he was 10, but he spent the next 25 years, both professionally and personally, becoming a true “native son.” At the age of 14, LaRue took his first job at the old Pan American Tire. After Pan American closed its doors, LaRue worked at Izzy’s Tire, learning the truck tire business. At LaRue’s next

job, working at Goodyear, he met his wife Tabitha and furthered his education as a mechanic by attending Indian River State College and becoming a master ASE technician. LaRue next worked for St. Lucie Battery and Tire while starting his own business with help from his childhood friend Nathan Baisley. In the evenings, LaRue and Baisley worked roadside, helping people by changing tires or repairing their vehicles. LaRue then set up shop behind his house off Highway 70 and built the business. Tabitha worked a day job and did the business bookkeeping in the evening. Each time Total Roadside Services bought another truck, another mechanic was hired to drive it. In 2011, after watching the business grow, the LaRues built their new facility on State Road 710 and moved to that location. Wanting to “keep the dollars in Okeechobee,” Jeremy hired local engineer Marcos Montes de Oca and local contractor David Sweat to build the site, which has six regular work bays and one bay with a 50-ton lift for semis and motor homes. An ultra-modern shop, it is self-sustaining, powered by solar panels on the roof. Done for environmental as well as economic reasons, the efficient building is, as Jeremy said, “the way I can keep my prices down and give the customer such good prices.” “Skilled and trained employees can handle anything from tires to mechanical,” Jeremy said.

Tabitha and Jeremy LaRue

40 | Summer 2012


Whether for a car, truck, motor home, tractor, loader or semi, Total Roadside Services carries a tire inventory of more

than $800,000 with a motto that asks, “How safe is your rubber?” Total Roadside Services currently runs six vehicles, has 14 employees (including the LaRue’s daughter, Deianira (Day) and maintains a reputation for reliability and integrity verified on Google and Angie’s List. Once employed by Izzy’s Tires, Angelo Izzo (Izzy) now works with Jeremy as the tire manager. His childhood friend, Nathan Baisley (Big Nate), is the store manager. Hometown involvement has led Jeremy to work part time with the Okeechobee City Police Department and for three years as a county volunteer firefighter. His full-service business supports the Okeechobee High School basketball, softball and rodeo teams; 4-H Club;

FFA (Future Farmers of America; OCRA (Okeechobee Citizens Recreation Association); the Skip Bryant Memorial Fund; the Adam Bryant Minimal Regatta; the Okeechobee Blood Roundup; Boy Scouts; and the Okeechobee County Fair, where Jeremy has also volunteered. He spends his earnings supporting Okeechobee County through local businesses and charities, and is proud of his excellent relations with all other tire stores in town. Continuing to invest, Jeremy bought an additional halfacre behind his shop and opened a driveway so large vehicles can drive through instead of backing out. Stop in for service, relax in the clean lounge area and see how TRS serves its neighbors. Total Roadside Services is located at 3176 Hwy 710 E. For more information, call (863) 3578772 or visit O

We Proudly Support The Community We Live And Work In. As an organization and member of the community, we are dedicated to the safety of our driving professionals, as well as the motoring public.

863.763.5593 Fax 863.763.7874

Family owned and operated since 1951

Post Office Box 1177 - Okeechobee, FL 34973 Terminals also in Tampa - West Palm Beach - Birmingham

Summer 2012 | 41

Behind the Business 14K Gold

By Raye Deusinger O Photo by Felicia Maxwell


hen you step in the door of the 14K Gold Store, you instantly feel as if you are coming home and want to “sit a spell.” Then out steps Cookie Smith, with her Southern gentility and welcoming

smile, and you know you’re home. Cookie has lived in Okeechobee since 1976 when she moved here with her husband Don, from Tennessee. But it wasn’t gold they sold way back then; it was hoagies. Longtime Okeechobee folks will remember the Hoagie Hut. It was the place to go for sandwiches and even delivered to most local businesses. The Sm i ths’ f r i e n d l i n e s s a n d l ove o f Okeechobee has kept them in business 36 years. Cookie, born Etha Kaye, was one of seven kids. Though she met Don at only 16, things didn’t get serious until Don began writing her while he was in the Navy. This led to marriage, three children and now 1 0 gr an d c hi l d re n . Do n’s fa mi l y came to Okeechobee and opened the Hoagie Hut. Cookie and the kids followed a few months later. When his parents went back to Tennessee, Don and Cookie took over the store.

Carol Brown and Cookie Smith

42 | Summer 2012


Two years later, jewelers Doc and Louise Edlin came to town and wanted to open a store. With a wall dividing the front of the store in two, they leased half as a jewelry store while maintaining the Hoagie Hut on the other side. Their relationship was a good balance of business and friendship; each would operate the other’s store when needed. It became a profitable venture, as customers could have a hoagie while shopping or waiting for jewelry repair, or they could look at jewelry

when they came in for lunch. Soon Don began schooling in jewelry repair to help Doc. He helped Louise keep the store open when Doc died in 1985. “They were such a joy to be around and taught us so much,” Cookie said. When Louise wanted to sell, they bought her out and Don and Cookie became owners of two businesses. Two years later they closed the Hut and the 14K Gold Store grew into the successful business it is today. Since Don died in 2006, Cookie has continued. Living out their faith was always important to them, and the sound of gospel music was common while Don worked repairs. It was not unusual for customers to stand around and sing along. Today people often stop in just to say hi, look at new pieces, choose a Daz-

zler Collectible or buy a beautiful rose which has been dipped in acrylic and edged with 14k gold. While her main interest is her grandchildren, Cookie stays active in bookkeeping, pricing and selling. She has wonderful assistance from Carol Brown, an experienced laser welder who makes repairs so skillfully, the repair cannot even be detected. “She’s been such a blessing,” Cookie said. The store also carries used jewelry and even buys scrap gold. The economy has made things hard, but Cookie plans to soldier on. “As long as God keeps us here, we’ll stay,” she said. Cookie welcomes everyone to stop in the 14K Gold Store, located at 411 SW Park St. Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (863) 763-8883. O

Summer 2012 | 43

EXPERIENCE THE NETWORK OF PHY TO PROVIDING QUALITY HEALTH introducing our hospitalist program Raulerson Hospital is proud to announce a new investment in the patient-centered care provided at our facility. Beginning in June, Raulerson Hospital will employ a unique type of physician, whose primary focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. These doctors are known as Hospitalists. They do not have an office in the community for outpatient or office visits. They are 100% committed to the care of the patients who are admitted to the hospital. There are two scenarios when you may be seen by one of our new Hospitalists. • If you do not have a primary care physician to admit you to the hospital from the Emergency Room, the Hospitalist will assess and treat your medical condition and coordinate your hospital care. Then our Hospitalist and case managers will help to refer you to a primary care physician with whom you can follow up upon discharge. • Your regular primary care physician may choose to coordinate your admission with our Hospitalist program. In this instance the Hospitalist Physicians will: o assess and treat your medical condition

o review your progress with your physician

o coordinate your hospital care

o transition your medical care back to your primary care physician upon your discharge

o establish a relationship with you and your family

If you need a specialist while you are in the care of the Hospitalists physicians, they will coordinate your care with other specialists as needed. 1796 Hwy 441 North Okeechobee, FL 34972 • (863) 763-2151 • Emergency Services - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 44 | Summer 2012



Introducing General Surgeon Dr. Gregory Sainnoval

General Surgeon Dr. Manuel Garcia

GENERAL SURGERY is a crucial function for any

hospital. Many times the outcomes of diagnostic tools such as tests and lab work leave physicians with no choice but to recommend a surgical procedure to correct a patient’s condition. Having a surgical procedure is a major event; often a once in a lifetime occurrence. Although experiencing a surgery may be considered a rare incident that only a portion of the population ever requires, the results are often life-changing. Just ask the patients who have had emergency surgery to treat their appendicitis, or the patient who received a total knee replacement or the patient whose cancerous tumor was removed. There is, however, a small portion of society for which experiencing a surgical procedure is not a once in a lifetime event. For operating room nurses and general surgeons, like Dr. Manuel Garcia and Dr. Gregory

Sainnoval, performing these and many other surgical procedures, is their day-job! They are professionals and their precision and experience are a comfort to patients requiring a surgical procedure at Raulerson Hospital. Beyond the variety of general surgery and laparoscopic procedures performed by our talented general surgeons, Raulerson Hospital offers additional surgical services, performed by the specialist-physicians on our Medical Staff. Surgical Services available at Raulerson Hospital include: • • • • • •

Colon/ Rectal Surgery Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery Endoscopic Surgery Gynecology General Surgery Laparoscopic Surgery

• Pacemaker/Defibrillator Implantation • Podiatry • Orthopedics • Urology

For a Free Physician Referral & Healthcare Questions, call CONSULT-A-NURSE ® at 1-800-449-8642

Summer 2012 | 45

Community Event

Best of Show artist Brad Phares of Okeechobee.

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Top of the Lake Art & Music Fest The sixth annual Top of the Lake Art and Music Fest, sponsored by Okeechobee Main Street, was held April 14 and 15 at Flagler Park in downtown Okeechobee. The two-day event featured fine art by local and national artists, as well as local student artists. A variety of contemporary and jazz music was performed both days in the park. The Okeechobee Main Street Arts & Cultural Committee’s mission is to bring the finer arts to the community. For more photos and information about this event, visit www.

Judge’s Choice artist Teri Meagher of Fort Myers.

(Above) OKMS Arts and Culture committee (L-R): Rafael Pacheco, OKMS Executive Director Cindy Birdashaw, Jan Fehrman, Chair Bridgette Waldau, Jennifer Dodd and Kathleen Shatto.

2013 Poster Art Winner Highwayman artist Jimmy Stovall of Ft. Pierce.

(Above) OKMS fourth mural project presentation displayed art panels from the mural installation. (L-R) Mural sponsors Marie and Gil Culbreth, artist Joseph Steiert, and Okeechobee City Councilman Dowling Watford.

(Above) The Okeechobee High School jazz band performs. (Right) Leslie Dance Studio dancers perform to a large crowd in the street. 46 | Summer 2012


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3 Kids, young and old, enjoy the KidZone, sponsored by Grand Oaks, new to the Top of the Lake Art & Music Fest. 1. Ron Dawson delighted the children with his balloon creations; OKMS promotion director Frank DeCarlo shows off his balloons. 2. Devin Maxwell reads to the children at the Story Time tree. 3. The “Operation” game was popular to all the kids.

Summer 2012 | 47

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Ag-Venture HoldS Inaugural Event Ag-Venture held its inaugural event May 9-10 at the Trading Post Flea Market. Sponsored by TD Bank, this event was held for Okeechobee’s fourth-graders from public and private schools, as well as home-schooled students. Students learned the essentials of farming through demonstrations at different stations. The topics covered were vegetables, citrus, forestry, soil and water, dairy, beef and gator farming. The students, teachers and volunteers enjoyed lunch after the activities.

Daniel Culbert, Extension Agent III - Horticulture, talked to the students about growing your own vegetables.

Okeechobee Ag Venture Board Members (L-R) Mark Roberts, V.P. Audrey Driggers, Debbie Clements, Melissa Montes deOca, Kay Duke, Pres. Diane Davies, Sec/Treas. Cecilia Elliott and Wayne Cunningham (not pictured Mary Hurley, Bill Wallace and Val Lewis).




6 8

48 | Summer 2012



1. Dakota Spells, Tyler Murphy, Wyatt Cannon and Treshawn Wiggins. 2. Students from the Okeechobee Christian Academy. 3. Lisa Jensen, Bonnie Wolff Pelaez, County Commissioner Joey Hoover and Diane Davies. 4. Kayleigh Crum pets a gator with Parker Island Gator Farms Jeanie Tillman. 5. TD Bank’s Diane Davies addresses the students. 6. Chantavia Baul seems to be enjoying the day. 7. Kay Duke demonstrates “gardening in a glove.” 8. Addonai McLaren, Carisse Law, Cole Verano, Gabriel Hall, Nathan Smiley, Dustin Barnes and Grace Morgan of Cornerstone Christian Home Educators hold a gator hide.



United Country MidFlorida Realty Okeechobee’s Hometown Realtor

3126 Hwy 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974


United Country MidFlorida Realty is conveniently at located at 3126 Hwy 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974. Julie Turner is an Okeechobee native who has raised her family here because she loves Okeechobee.  She is familiar with the community, its history, and uniqueness – qualities which enables her to help current or prospective residents find the perfect home and neighborhood for their needs.  Julie has a B.S. from Florida State University and has been a Realtor since 2003.  Julie is currently the President of the Okeechobee County Board of Realtors (OCBR).   United Country MidFlorida Realty’s goal is to get you the best possible price in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of inconvenience to you.  By remaining focused on this goal, it is our desire to obtain exceptional, individual results utilizing skills, honesty and integrity to create a lasting relationship one client at a time. UNITED COUNTRY is America’s rural real estate company.  Your best source for locating real estate for sale throughout the small towns and cities of rural America – residential, farms, ranches, recreational and business!  Through a network of over 600 offices – nationwide, United Country has been uniting buyers and sellers of country real estate for over eighty years.  MidFlorida Realty’s years of local experience and reputation, provides sellers and buyers with a unique insight into the local marketplace. You can count on United Country - MidFlorida Realty to provide you with quality, professional service.  

Broker Julie Turner

View all of our properties at Virtual Tours, Multiple Photos & Detailed Descriptions on All Our Properties and the Entire Okeechobee MLS available on our Website.

United Country MidFlorida Team Pictured (L-R): Garry Smith, 2010 President of Okeechobee County Board of Realtors (OCBR) Julie Turner, 1999-2002 OCBR Treasurer Lynne Price, 2010 OCBR New Comer Award Wendy Bostwick and 2010 OCBR Treasurer Betsy Sheffield.

863-763-3566 - 3126 Hwy 441 South - Okeechobee, FL 34974

Summer 2012 | 49

Community Event

Photos By Sandra Pearce

Williamsons Celebrate


Anniversary On April 21 friends and family shared the day with Sonny and Betty Williamson to celebrate at the Williamson Conference Center at Indian River State College in Okeechobee. (Above left) Williamson family members. (Left) All couples married for 50 years or more. (Below) Betty and Sonny Williamson enjoy the celebration.

The Berger Clinic

Adult Health Care Diagnosis and Management of Medical Conditions Preventive Health

863-467-1117 Call For Appointment

Jay S. Berger, MD Okeechobee Medical Park 1713 Hwy 441 N. Suite D Okeechobee, FL 34972 (Located across the street from the hospital.)

Dr. Berger and Staff have proudly served the Okeechobee area since 1985. 50 | Summer 2012


Betty and Sonny with Mickey Evans, founder of Dunklin Memorial Camp.

Dr. Charles W. Bartels Board Certified Optometric Physician

Big Lake Eye Care would like to welcome Dr. Carlo D. Fodor, a Board Certified Optometric Physician to our practice here in Okeechobee. Dr. Fodor graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Doctor of Optometry and is living in Sebastian with his family. He also obtained a Bachelor of Science in Vision Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with a Minor in Biological Sciences.

(863) 763-3937

We Accept and Bill Most Major Insurance, Medicaid, Medicare & BlueCross Blue Shield Healthy Kids

These accomplishments have enabled Dr. Fodor to teach the natural sciences in the past as an associate professor at the Palm Beach Community College. He brings his teaching skills into the exam room because educating patients on their conditions is a crucial part of every exam. Dr. Fodor has excellent communication skills in English, Spanish, and Italian. He has completed

Dr. Carlo D. Fodor Board Certified Optometric Physician

rotations in Primary Care, Ocular Disease, Glaucoma, Contact Lenses, Pediatrics Binocular Vision, and Low Vision. He has also served two years working at the Visual Health & Surgical Center managing all types of post-operative patients. Dr. Fodor is well qualified and trained to identify subtle abnormalities in our eyes that may be able to be corrected. Dr. Fodor has been working in the field since 1994 in numerous commercial and private offices. His knowledge and well- rounded background will allow him to manage his patients where ever he decides to practice. He enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

606 North Parrott Ave Okeechobee   863-763-3937   Visit : Summer 2012 | 51

“You have to go after your dream; you’re going to miss a lot of growing up.”

Richard Donegan Taking a Swing at Professional Golf By Raye Deusinger O Photos by Sandra Pearce


very little boy loves to bang things around, whether it’s blocks, bikes, balloons or balls. One of those little boys has grown into a young man who took that love and intends to make it his career.

Meet Richard Donegan, a teenager on his way to greatness. Donegan is the only Okeechobee High School student in history to win a state golfing title, a title he won in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSSA) Class 2A Tournament held Nov. 2, 2011 at the Mission Inn Resort & Club at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Because of this, Donegan was named Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers’ 2011 All-Area Boys Golfer of the Year, an honor voted on by all the area golf coaches. “The kid is smart, and the kid is talented,” said Jim Waldau, founder and president of Waldau’s Junior Golf. “He works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen, and he’s going to get what he wants.” What he wants is to become a pro golfer. Donegan, who graduated in June, recently turned 18, and the first thing he chose to do was try to qualify for the U.S. Open regionals. He is already listed among the top 300 junior golfers by He has been encouraged to follow his goal by his parents, Rick and Nancy, who have made many sacrifices in time and money. His father travels with him to all tournaments, and “my mom has worked hard to provide what I needed to get where I am,” Donegan said. “They have always believed in me.” He has also had the backing of Waldau’s Junior Golf and Okeechobee High School Athletic Director Kenneth Buckner. Donegan started playing golf at age 3 and attended Waldau’s Junior Golf clinics each summer from 2003 to 2007, and volunteered at the summer clinics from 2008 to 2010, where he mentored younger kids. Donegan played many sports, including soccer, track and baseball, from 2007 onward and by 10th grade was on both the baseball and golf teams while supporting other school teams. He also participated in clubs such as SAAD and Beta, and was involved with his senior class where he finished in the top 10. “I’m a

Summer 2012 | 53



2 0 0 3 C li n ic Youn g Golf Jr. Awa rd

5 200


“We are very grateful for Richard’s participation and leadership throughout the years, and are confident that his success will be an inspiration to many kids and adults as well, here in Okeechobee for years to come.”


- James R. Waldau, President of Waldau’s Junior Golf

ic 2 0 0 7 C li n

ic Clin 2010 teer n Volu


2 0 10

2011 2011


OHS Golf Team

Jr. b e eh i p n t o h ec ns name O k ea m p i o r h OKEECHOBEE 54 | SummerC2012 THE MAGAZINE Tou


Jr./Ad ult Champ s







Black and white archive photos provided by Waldau’s Junior Golf.

student first and an athlete after that,” he said. Knowing he must continue his education, Donegan earned more than 15 scholarships. Working the dual enrollment program with Indian River State College he already has 27 college credits, needing only 30 more to become a sophomore. His college preference came down to a choice between Stetson University and Florida Atlantic University. “I chose FAU because it is close to home and I’ll have more opportunities to play year-round,” Donegan said. “FAU’s golf program competes against the best schools, and I love to compete.” He noted that an added incentive is the fact there are nine courses in the area and the Minor League Tour practices there. A determined young man, he begins his weekend each day at 7 a.m., when he travels to Port St. Lucie’s PGA Learning Center, hits the weight room, exercises and hits balls until about 3 p.m. Then it’s time to eat and back to more balls. He usually arrives home between 9 and 10 p.m. each night. Each weekday he goes to the center as soon as school is out.

Waldau Bridgette studio of graphic design fine arts & graphic arts from concept to print

111 NE 2nd Street Okeechobee Florida 34972

863 467 7300

“Conditioning keeps you from falling apart,” Donegan said. “Your bag and clubs alone weight 30 to 40 pounds and you have to be in shape. It is a yearround job, just no pay.” Though this has taken a lot of time and hard work, Donegan knows it’s worth the effort. “You have to go after your dream; you’re going to miss a lot of growing up,” he said. “Tim Tebow said, ‘Whoever practices more is the one who wins.’” Buckner noted that in the state tournament, Donegan ended the first day of competition in fourth place with a score of 75, seven strokes behind the leader. On day two Donegan needed to bring 

Summer 2012 | 55

Kathleen Shatto and John Macchia

Seacoast’s Rural Banking Team

TO AGRICULTURAL LOANS* MADE POSSIBLE If you’re in agriculture, you know there’s no other business like it. When it comes time to purchase new equipment, acquire cattle, or obtain seasonal working capital, you need a partner there who can help make it happen. That’s exactly what we do at Seacoast. We’re local, which means you’ll always talk to someone who understands your unique needs and the types of loans and operating lines of credit that can help you most. So while you’re growing your crops and livestock, we’re here to help grow your business.


John Macchia





56 | Summer 2012


*Subject to credit approval. Certain restrictions may apply.

his best to win and that is what he did. He ended day two, three strokes ahead with a score of 69. Donegan’s final score for the tournament came to 144. “He deserves everything he’s gotten because he’s worked for it,” Buckner said. “He’s a typical teen with the exception he works like an adult. When it’s time to work, he does it.” From 2003 to 2007, Donegan was awarded the annual Waldau’s Junior Golf Young Junior Award. From 2008 to 2010, he competed in the Okeechobee County Junior Championship and twice won the medallist award, and in 2010 and 2011 he competed in and won the Waldau’s Junior Golf Junior/ Adult Championship, partnering both years with Waldau. “We are very grateful for Richard’s participation and leadership throughout the years,” Waldau said, “and are confident that his success will be an inspiration to many kids and adults as well, here in Okeechobee for years to come.”

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Summer 2012 | 57

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58 | Summer 2012



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Summer 2012 | 59

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Cinco De Mayo

The 2012 Cinco de Mayo Family Fiesta was held Saturday, May 5 at the Philippine Heritage Enrichment Complex in Okeechobee. The celebration benefited the El Centro Santa Fe and the Okeechobee Non-profit Housing Inc. The family-friendly festivities featured Mexican and American food, music, dancing, arts and crafts, exhibits, pony rides, games, a giant slide, and a clown and magician show.



2 1. The vendors. 2. The kids enjoy a magic performance by Nick Garcia. 3. The tin can flower booth. 4. Kids have fun on the slide. 5. Sister Elinor Sevigny, Cecilia Elliott and Sid Estrada. 6. Natalie Ramirez purchases a snowcone.



6 60 | Summer 2012


It’s Time For A New Vision. Elect

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of Okeechobee County Keith Hickman & Bobby Hickman

We get Bugs out! No Pest Problem is Too Big.

Pre-Treat •Termite Inspection • Full Termite & Pest Control Services • Rodents • Lawns Highland Pest Control is Family Owned and Operated We Can Provide You with Quality Service for All of Your Pest Control Needs.

863-634-8429 P.O. Box 2481 Okeechobee, Fl. 34973 Political Ad Paid for and Approved by J.H. Folbrecht (R) for Sheriff of Okeechobee County.

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Networking Cabling Accessories Audio Visual Wireless Managed Services

COMPUTERS ““Featuring ICS Elite Series desktops powered by the new Intel i-Series Processors”


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Summer 2012 | 61

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119 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974

Weddings - Pets - Family Boudoir - Baby Bumps - More


Fax: 863-763-1797 Cell: 863-634-0491 Felicia Maxwell Photographer

119 So. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, Florida 34974 62 | Summer 2012


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Offers valid as of April 10, 2012. Credit approval required. A minimum $5 savings account is required for membership with MIDFLORIDA and access to these offers. Offers are available for a limited time only and may be cancelled without notice. Existing MIDFLORIDA loans and credit cards do not qualify for the incentive or the special advertised Annual Percentage Rates (APR). Checking incentive is deposited to new checking account. Loan and credit card incentives will be applied to a MIDFLORIDA Visa Platinum credit card. Other rates and terms are available and are based on credit. Visit or see an associate for details.

1. Anyone who has held a checking account with MIDFLORIDA in the past year will not qualify for the $77 incentive. In addition to opening a new Free Checking account, you must accept and open online banking, online bill payment, eStatement, eNotice, direct deposit ($500 minimum which must post within 30 days of account opening) and a debit card. For RT4T Checking accounts, you must make 5 debit card transactions in the first 30 days in lieu of the direct deposit requirement. Freedom Banking accounts do not qualify for this incentive. Minimum to open Free checking is $50. 2. To qualify for the incentive, you must refinance a loan of $15,000 or more from another financial institution. Loans of $5,000 to $14,999 Federally will receive a $100 credit. 3. Incentive is offered on new credit card accounts only. The insured by introductory APR is available on non-MIDFLORIDA credit card balance transfers for the first 12 months on new accounts only. A 1% balance transfer fee will apply. NCUA.

Toll Free (866) 913-3733 Habla Español (877) 834-6376 OKEECHOBEE 3261 U.S. Hwy. 441 S.

33 LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT CENTRAL FLORIDA Lakeland Highland City Auburndale Winter Haven Haines City Davenport Bartow Lake Wales Avon Park Sebring Lake Placid Okeechobee Wauchula Arcadia Tampa Brandon Land O’ Lakes Lutz Summer 2012 | 63 ■

Community Event

Photos By Sharon Cannon

Pregnancy Center Hosts

Walk for Life

The Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee hosted its inaugural Walk for Life event May 5 in Flagler Park in Okeechobee. The weather was perfect for the 3-mile walk that began at 8:45 a.m., with several teams registered. Prizes were awarded for the largest team, coolest T-shirt and the most money raised by a particular team. It was a fun-filled event for the whole family to enjoy. For more information, visit




â&#x20AC;&#x153;J E R RY â&#x20AC;? Your Hometown Injury Attorney

3 1. Runners take off. 2. A great turnout for a first event. 3. Pregnancy Center Executive Director Lisa Lumpkin addresses the crowd. 4. Dowling Watford with his grandson T L Gopher and wife, Cheri.

~ Phone Answerd 24/7 Se Habla Espanol

763-3333 Law Office Of Gerald Lefebvre 1910 S. Parrott AVe. Okeechobee, FL

64 | Summer 2012



11/15 • 2012 Titanic: The Musical


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1/8 • 2013 The Great American Songbook 1/24 • 2013 Juan Siddi Flamenco 2/1 • 2013 Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

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12/10 • 2012 The Lowe Family Christmas Spectacular

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12/1 and 2 • 2012 The Living Christmas Tree



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2/25 • 2013 Fiddler on the Roof 3/12 • 2013 Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience 3/25 • 2013 Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues 4/16 • 2013 TAP - The Show! 5/4 • 2013 The Wizard of Oz 5/10 • 2013 Street Beat, Inc.

863-763-7711 1802 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974

All dates, artists and programs subject to change.

1977 College Drive, Belle Glade, Florida

Summer 2012 | 65

“If you’re given a gift, it should be used in service to others.” 

66 | Summer 2012


Sandy Perry

Wearing Many Hats

By Raye Deusinger O Photos By Sandra Pearce


adage, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person,” truly reflects Sandy Perry. She has quite the full schedule, serving as vice president of the Okeechobee Health Care Facility, director of the Okeechobee Community Choir, secretary of the Okeechobee Ministerial Association, a member of the Economic Council and Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse, and helping local churches with their music programs. Perry maintains a positive outlook in roles that would exhaust others. “I want to give my best for the Lord,” she said. “If you’re given a gift, it should be used in service to others.” Born Sandra Lee Williamson, Perry grew up west of Indiantown on Williamson Cattle Ranch, her grandparents’ ranch, the oldest of three sisters at that time. “I learned to ride a horse before I learned to ride a bicycle,” she said. “Daddy didn’t have any boys, and there was a ranch to run, so [her sisters] Linda Faye, Becky and I worked cows, many a day from daylight to dark.” Perry began taking piano lessons at age 5 from her mother and attended Warfield Elementary School through the eighth grade. Coming to the “big” town of Okeechobee, where her maternal grandparents Parker and Nora Abney lived, was a special treat. In 1966 her parents Faye and Jack Williamson moved their family to Okeechobee. Perry’s youngest sister, Jennifer, was born when Perry was 20. They attended Dunklin Memorial Baptist Church in Indiantown, then the First Baptist Church in Okeechobee, where Perry’s love of music continued to grow. Even today, she and her mother play an offertory duet every Sunday at Northside Baptist Church. “It was my mother who instilled a love of music in me,” Perry said. “I admire her wisdom and energy.” In September 1999, Dr. Trini Garcia called on Perry, her children’s piano teacher, to present a Christmas program at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. At that time, Perry was the interim choir director at Church of Our Saviour Episcopal and substituted regularly on the piano for Seventh Day Adventist Church services. Singers were combined from all three churches, and the cantata, a religious story sung by a choir, was presented on Friday, Christmas Eve at Sacred Heart, Saturday at Seventh-Day Adventist and Sunday morning at the Episcopal church. Cantatas are now presented the weekends before Christmas and Easter on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoons and typically include 55 choir members, ages 15 to 90, from 17 local churches. The largest presentation to date numbered 65 voices. In Perry’s opinion, First United Methodist Church, where 17 of the 26 cantatas have been presented, has superb acoustics. “Since the church’s recent remodeling, it is an inspiring venue in which to sing to the glory of God, especially when the sanctuary is so beautifully decorated at Christmas,” she said. 

Summer 2012 | 67

She also leads the community choir for the OMA Fifth Sunday inter-church services. It was for such service, in 2010, that Perry needed an accompanist. Rev. Loy Mershimer of Okeechobee Presbyterian said he had a “friend who played.” Enter Frank Carter, a composer, concert pianist and director of music and arts at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in West Palm Beach. “When he began to play, he was so impressive everyone stopped singing and just listened,” Perry said. “He has been with us ever since, even composing one Christmas and two Easter Cantatas for the community choir to premiere.” Teaching music is one of Perry’s greatest joys. “The community choir is not a group of professionals,” she said. “While there are other choir directors and members with music degrees, there are also singers who don’t have the slightest idea what a quarter note is when they join.” For each cantata, Perry marks the score with teaching reminders and provides rehearsal CDs so everyone can do what they love — sing. For the past three years, Perry has led the choir at the community Easter Sunrise Service at Lock 7. She also drives to the home of Rev. Mickey and Laura Maye Evans on State Road 714 every other Thursday evening to accompany and help lead hymn and testimony time for those participating in the Dunklin recovery program. “Mickey led me to the Lord when I was in fourth grade, and Laura Maye was my GA [Girls in Action] leader,” Perry said of the longtime family friends. After graduating from Okeechobee High School, where she followed in her daddy’s footsteps as drum major(ette), Perry attended Florida State University to study music education. Her love of a music therapy course led her to switch her major. After graduation she was 68 | Summer 2012


The 8th wonder of the world! A never-ending cascade of rich chocolate is yours for the dipping!

863-763-0444 Steaks, Buffet & Bakery

700 S Parrott Ave. Okeechobee, FL

Employee Commitment, Dedication and Community Partner

Okeechobee Landfill, Inc. Waste Management purchased five hogs at the 4-H Livestock sale and donated processed meat to local non-profits including Marthaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House, Real Life Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ranch and Faith Farm. Pictured: Jonathan Bean, Teresa Chandler and Jason Johns.

Waste Management Okeechobee Landfill, Inc. 863-357-0824 10800 N.E. 128th Ave. Fax: 863-357-0722 Okeechobee FL, 3497

Waste Management supports the 4-H Livestock sale by purchasing five hogs. Pictured: Tony Bishop, District Manager and Erin Grace.

Waste Management supports the 2012 GRAD Night event for all graduates in Okeechobee County.

Summer 2012 | 69

We are not just Western.


1001 South Parrott Ave. - Okeechobee, FL


Come in & Check out Our New Spring Line! Jewelry & Accessories Personalized Mugs Gifts Shoes and More Ladies and Men's Clothing Boys Sizes 4-20 Girls SIzes 4-16

Serving the legal needs of the Okeechobee Community

Glenn J. Sneider Attorney at Law

Our entire staff is dedicated to helping clients with their legal matters.

•Family Law •Criminal Law •Civil Litigation

863-467-6570 200 SW 9th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974


No Need To Go Out Of Town For Expert Health Care Services! We Are Right Here In Okeechobee, Your Hometown!

Over 15 years experience in the treatment of all digestive disorders. Colonoscopy & Endoscopy  Capsule endoscopy  Liver disease (Hepatitis & Cirrhosis)  Colon Cancer Screening  Irritable Bowel Syndrome  Gallbladder Disease  Ulcerative Colitis  Crohn’s Disease  Removal of Polyps  Treatment of Ulcers  Diverticulitis  Gastrointestinal Bleeding  GERD Most Insurance Accepted 70 | Summer 2012

Dr. Albert F. Bravo Board Certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine

(863) 357-8222

225 N.E. 19th Drive - Okeechobee, Fl 34972


Se Habla Español

We will be closed July 1 to July 30 and will reopen on July 31.

Better Care...For a Better Community

“I never dreamed I’d be back in Okeechobee, doing what I love every day.” hired to teach music to all the self-contained St. Lucie County special education classes, from learning disabled to profoundly handicapped, and found music a true motivator for learning. She maintained a 4.0 GPA while teaching resource LD fulltime and obtaining her master’s degree in learning disabilities at Florida Atlantic University. After moving to Sarasota, she received certification in supervision and administration from the University of South Florida while teaching music and study skills at Pineview School for the Gifted. After 12 years at schools in Fulton County, Ga., Perry ended her employment there as an assistant principal. Perry then returned to Okeechobee, where she joined her mother, Faye Haverlock, at OHCF, where music plays a major role with a weekly Friday musical service featuring residents, guests and employees. Since 2009, Perry has served on the Okeechobee Economic Council and currently chairs the Quality of Life Committee, whose recent work is aimed at beautification of the 441 medians, and working with a coalition of businesses and organizations focusing on drug abuse among Okeechobee’s youth. 

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407 S. Parrott Avenue - Okeechobee, FL 34974

Summer 2012 | 71

Years ago, due to her community choir involvement, Perry was invited to attend an Okeechobee Ministerial Association meeting. The secretary had resigned, so Perry was asked to take the minutes. At the next meeting, she was nominated as secretary, an office she has held ever since.

Personal Background Professional  Master Degree in Special Education, FSU 1993  Former Special Education Teacher  Married 18 Years, 2 daughters  Current local agriculture business owner  Actively involved in Okeechobee since 2000

Community Goals

 Treasure Coast Builders Assoc. (TCBA) member since 2006  Okeechobee Chapter Chairperson for TCBA, 2009, 2010  Current TCBA Associate 2nd Vice President  Future Builders of America, Okeechobee Chapter Advisor  Current business owner, Tree Locators, Inc.

 To enhance and manage responsible growth.  To develop and use our available resources wisely.  To create fresh positive attitudes, ideas and outcomes.

I Chose to move to Okeechobee because it is a family friendly community with great people, great potential and great values!

Along with her father, Jack, Perry serves on the sheriff’s posse, whose volunteers ride in parades and, when called day or night, work search-and-rescue operations through rough terrain where motorized units are unable to travel. In addition to playing the piano and directing the church choir at Northside, Perry accompanies for the Okeechobee Presbyterian Church choir rehearsals and Sunday morning services, and plays for the Seventh Day Adventist Church services on Friday nights. With Perry, organization is a priority. “I

72 | Summer 2012


Peace Lutheran School

Growing together with Jesus

Enroll now for summer camp. Ages 2 - Fifth Grade. Scholarships available. Accepting enrollment for the 2012-13 school year. Now accepting Step up for Students and McKay Scholarships for kindergarten. Serving Children Ages 2 - Kindergarten Small Class Size Christian Centered Program at an Affordable Price Nationally School Phone: 863-763-7566 Accredited School Church Phone: 863-763-5042

750 Northwest 23rd Lane - Okeechobee, Florida 34972

“A Special Gift for that Special Someone”

Diamonds 14K Gold Jewelry Guy Harvey & Hersey Kiss Jewelry

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Local Residents, Mention This Ad and Receive A 15% Discount Off Rooms or Our Meeting Space


Located 1 mile from Beautiful Lake Okeechobee

Summer 2012 | 73

call it a blessing,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to do all the activities I do if I weren’t organized.” At OHCF, she oversees the dietary and activity departments and will complete the administrator-in-training program next September. “My greatest happiness is my son, Logan,” she said; he is at the University of Florida obtaining a degree in agricultural communication.




TD Bank understands the critical role agriculture plays in our local economy. That’s why we have an experienced team who are dedicated to your unique needs. We offer a higher level of personal service and innovative solutions along with the security, stability and capital strength you need in a banking partner. • Treasury Management • Lines of Credit • Term Loans

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PUT THE POWER OF TD BANK TO WORK FOR YOU. Speak with Andy McGinnis, Regional Vice President, at 772-462-4182 or Farrah Kay, CCIM Relationship Manager, at 772-563-3427.

TD Bank, N.A. | Some fees and restrictions may apply. Loans subject to credit approval. | Equal Opportunity Lender | TD Bank Group is a trade name for The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission. For detailed credit ratings for The Toronto-Dominion Bank and TD Bank, N.A. visit Credit Ratings are not recommendations to purchase, sell or hold a financial obligation inasmuch as they do not comment on market price or suitability for a particular investor. Ratings are subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the rating organization. Insurance products are: not a deposit; not FDIC insured; not insured by any federal government agency; and, not guaranteed by TD Bank, N.A. or any of its affiliates. Insurance products are offered through TD Insurance, Inc. TD Insurance, Inc. represents the product provider in placing your travel insurance, and may provide services to you for that product provider. TD Insurance, Inc. will receive compensation from the product provider in connection with the placement of your travel insurance. TD Insurance is a service mark of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission.

74 | Summer 2012


Skilled in roping, riding horses and training cow dogs, Logan works as a pickup man at Gethsemane Christian Rodeos and takes part in rodeos throughout Florida, alongside boss and champion roper D.R. Daniel. Perry recalled regularly finding a 3-year-old Logan straddling the back of the couch, dressed in jeans, chaps, long-sleeve shirt, boots, cowboy hat, rope and gloves, copying the moves of the Mesquite Rodeo cowboys on TV. “ I n e v e r d r e a m e d I ’d b e b a c k i n Okeechobee, doing what I love every day,” Perry said. “I’m blessed with wonderful employees and residents at the nursing home to work with and serve, and have had the opportunity to establish rewarding and unique friendships through my extracurricular activities, especially the community choir. We all share a love of living in Okeechobee.” O

We Love To Care... Family owned and operated, Okeechobee Health Care Facility began providing Long-term and Rehab care to the citizens of Okeechobee and the surrounding communities in December of 1984. ring ra Riser du n & Barbaw & report activitnyg o ft Lo e ci La ne intervie participati the Valenrttih ES 5th-graderastional program. with No onth intergener in the 9-m

Sh & Sonirley Stephe , Noel, n, join for th ed by e Art S daug how C hter, D alend ebbie, ar Par ade.

Betty Mills modeling her Mardi Gras costume.

Rehab Therapy, consisting of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Out-Patient Therapy, is available seven days a week in a loving, caring environment. Long-term care is available for loved ones who can no longer be cared for safely at home, in addition to a secured Dementia/Alzheimer's Memory-Care Unit.

Show er roo in m on A towelto a relaxin-Wing has warm g spa, been t e soft, srs, backgrocomplete wransformed oothin und m ith g colo usic a nd rs.

nd time y Fix spneder the rl e v e B John &ther outside uthe many toge ee in one of ts”. oak tr sit & visit spo “

Dietitian-Developed Nutritious Meals & Snacks Stimulating & Fun Daily Activities - Pastoral Services Home-Like Atmosphere - Dedicated Nurses and CNAs Provide Personal Care    24 Hours Every Day.

Herschel Haverlo therapy fro ck receiving out-patie while Pat LammmMaurice Cogle, RPT. - nt exercises with a smile"

Fre weigh d Hawkins beg Mauricet-bearing exercisinning & Regne r Dioqueins with t ,RPT. Resideng the d n a t n in , Resideoutside enjoylie Jo rt e rb e H il e Hazel , spends tim e with CNA B ta, RN. te Advocawers and foliangd Kareen Mora flo an, left, a Freem

Eula Morgan, 96, with her painting that was selected as the cover for the annual Resident Art Calendar.

3rd andLorene Hancock 4th-gen ,8 eration tr5, with her ick-or-tr eaters!

Okeechobee Health Care Facility 1646 US Highway 441 North - Okeechobee, Florida 34972


Summer 2012 | 75

Community Event OHS BAND GOES TO WASHINGTON A special honor was given to the Okeechobee High School marching band. Nominated by Congressman Tom Rooney (R-District 16), the band performed in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. The trip was paid for by a fundraising effort throughout the Okeechobee community.

76 | Summer 2012


Serving You For 52 Years.

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Fast & Friendly Service Drive-Up Window Pharmacist Accessibility for Medication Counseling Phone Answered by Our Staff not machines

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7 Days a Week From 11:00 am To 10:00 pm

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Happy Hour 7 Days A Week 3 pm - 6 pm Well Drinks and Draft Beer 2 for 1

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Accept Most Insurances Medicaid, Medicare Part D

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Stop by today & taste our Authentic Mexican Food that will keep you coming back for more!

863-763-8247 FAX




State Road 441



NW 2nd Avenue


State Road 70

Serving Great Mexican Food in Florida and the Treasure Coast Since 1999

Summer 2012 | 77

Fishing on By Capt. Michael Shellen


t’s summertime in Okeechobee: Our Northern friends have all returned to their homes, and you can once again drive from one side of town to the other in 15 minutes. The boat ramps are nearly empty during the middle of the week, and yet the fishing is arguably some the best we see all year.

“Helping You Is What We Do Best” Tim Craig, Agency Manager and Celeste Hawk, Agent

Charlene Dewey

Federation Clerk Customer Service Representative

863-763-3101 Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm

Lisa Marie Morgan Customer Service Representative

Brandie Axt

Customer Service Representative

401 NW 4th Street Okeechobee FL 34972 Okeechobee County Farm Bureau is now on Facebook. Become a fan.

Okeechobee County

Your Local Hardware Store For ALL Your Hardware Needs "We match local advertised prices." Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 5 pm Saturday 8 am - 4 pm


pen! Mid-Florida Hardware Postal Center

Now O

U.S. Postal Service Contract Postal Unit

Postage for Domestic and International Mailings Insurance and Certified Mail with No Surcharges Operating hours are: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

3603 HWY 441 S. Okeechobee, Florida 34974 78 | Summer 2012


The water is warm and relatively low, and most of the bass are inhabiting the outside bands of vegetation that surround the big lake. The baitfish like shad, shiners and other small minnows are taking refuge in the grass line as well. With the close proximity of both predator and prey, a feeding frenzy can ensue at any moment. During the very early pre-sunrise morning, bass can be seen and heard chasing and eating baitfish in and along the lake’s outside edge. This schooling action has no time limit; some days it lasts a couple hours, and other days it is over as soon as the sun hits the water. Many times, rough weather will keep the fish fired up for longer periods of time. During this time of year we favor starting each morning with a top-water bait. Some days it’s possible to catch 15 to 20 bass in a short time. Other days, only a few fish will respond. There are many types and styles of top-water; a bait that mimics a fleeing shad is always a good choice. The rest of our day we alternate between baits that have worked well for us previously — spinner baits, swim baits, flipping jigs, senkos and any of the myriad of plastics that one can find at the local tackle shop. For those anglers who like to catch pan fish, now is the time. Blue gill are some of the most fun to catch, and they are delicious when the

Lake Okeechobee

Capt. Michael Shellen

filets are prepared fresh off of the lake. Many anglers use a light spinning rod with 4- to 6-pound test; a small slip bobber is then affixed to the line, as is a small sinker and a small sharp hook. Grass shrimp are the bait of choice for many anglers but can be difficult to acquire. Red worms and crickets are nearly as good and are more readily available. Many highly skilled anglers prefer catching these tasty pan fish with a fly rod. A four-weight rod with floating line and a tiny river cricket or popping bug presented over bedding pan fish will result in all of the hook-ups you desire. Okeechobee was recently named the No. 2 bass-fishing lake in the United States. Having fished here for many years, I can tell you that it has never been better, and with the present health of our fishery, the future looks very bright. With all our city has done to promote our town, we are well on our way to being recognized as a top rate destination for those visiting Florida or just looking for a vacation spot. Come, visit, stay. O Capt. Michael Shellen Shellen Guide Service

(863) 357- 0892

Okeechobee Motor Company Quality Ford Sales and Service for over 66 Years! We will gladly locate or special order the Ford car or truck you need. Low mileage, late model Pre-owned with factory warranties.

Never high pressure sales.

863-763-2121 3175 Hwy 441 S

Summer 2012 | 79


Kick Tobacco in the Butt!

 Driveways  Patios  Screen Enclosures  Mobile Homes  Houses Ed Gassaway

(863) 763-6175 The Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee

Park Street Parcel Service, Inc. Phone (863) 824-0641 Fax (863) 357-4548

The Tobacco-Free Partnership of Okeechobee County is a membership group of local adults and youth dedicated to limited tobacco use to children and creating a tobacco free environment.

Quit Smoking Now Quit Smoking Now Classes Call 877-819-2357

FREE NRT available for those who are eligible (Patch, Gum, Lozenges while supplies last)

Lic# 1672

Authorized ShipCenter  Pack & Ship Services  Printing/Copy Services  Packing Boxes  Document Shredding  Private Mail Boxes  Shipping Supplies  FaxServices  NotaryServices

919 NW Park Street - Okeechobee, FL 34972

Our Mission

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee County is a community based coalition mobilized to impact policy and systems change, prevent initiation and reduce the use of tobacco products.

Policy Goals Goal 1. Prevent Initiation of Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults Goal 2. Eliminate Secondhand Smoke Exposure Goal 3. Promote Cessation from Tobacco use

Meeting Dates Tobacco-Free Partnership of Okeechobee meets the last Wednesday of the month Call for more information: 863-462-5781 Okeechobee County Health Department 1728 NW 9th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972






For more information please contact:





80 | Summer 2012

Rosalind Brown Program Manager



COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SERVICES D. Robert Willson, MAI,CCIM State-certified general real estate appraiser Licensed Real Estate Broker

410 S.E. 2nd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974

Your Local Commercial Real Estate Expert

Office: 863-763-0999 Fax: 863-763-1945

B L R U E F V I F R Fishing Resort

Located on Beautiful Kissimmee River

Nicely Furnished One & Two Bedroom Rentals Nitely - Weekly - Monthly Laundry Room - Game Room - Bath House Boat Ramp - Boat & Dock Rentals

14725 NW 1st Parkway

(863) 467-4371

CARL SHUMATE For County Commission

A Vote For Me Means to Common Sense   YES Leadership to Creating a   YES Business Friendly County to Smart Economic   YES Development Personal

Married to Phyllis 33 years. Dad to Jason (Jaime), Kevin & Layton. Grandpa to Chase & Levi

Business Experience SFWMD 18 years, District Security Specialist, managed 1.2 Million Dollar Budget. Owner of The Alarm Company of Okeechobee Owner of Park Street Parcel Service, Inc. FedEx Ship Center

Appointed To OK County Planning Board 2007 - Present

OK County Agri-Civic Center Advisory Committee 2007 - Present


1365 US Hwy 441 SE - Okeechobee, FL 34974 (Next to the bowling alley)



(863) 484-0707 Paid by Carl Shumate, Republican for County Commission, District 1

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R adeba u gh E n j o y s N ew B rah m an S tart


By Charles M. Murphy, WOKC’s Voice of the Brahmans

Okeechobee High School varsity football player Jack Radebaugh will enter his senior year among the OHS recordholders for games started at quarterback. He hopes to save his best work for his final season as he learns a new system and a new coaching staff. Radebaugh has started for three years, but he did miss a few games during his junior year due to a freak hand accident. He has 15 career touchdown passes and well over 1,600 yards passing during his career. This year, Radebaugh decided to focus fully on football and didn’t play varsity baseball as he had for the past two springs. He felt this would give him more time to work on football, and get him more prepared to do well in the fall. Radebaugh has attended numerous football camps, and has improved his physical strength and conditioning. He also has dived into the new I-formation and offensive playbook of Brahman coach Chris Branham, and admits the new system is more catered to his skills as a stationary, classic in-the-pocket thrower. “Spring practice has gone pretty well,”

Radebaugh said. “We are building good chemistry on the team and we’ve gotten a lot of reps with this new offense.” Branham has implemented the new system slowly so the quarterbacks can catch on quickly. If they know the play, they’ll learn more about the play over the summer and solve mistakes before they are made. Radebaugh claims there isn’t a large difference between this offense and the one he ran for the past three years. “Coach is keeping it simple so we can all figure it out,” Radebaugh said. “It doesn’t seem that tough.”

Chemistry with linemen and receivers top the list of goals this spring. Radebaugh continues to work hard and wants to learn the entire playbook and soak in all the information. “I think we have a lot of old talent in players who have been here for a couple years, and it’s definitely helping,” Radebaugh said.

Re-Elect PAUL MAY SHERIFF Proudly representing Okeechobee County on the Board of Directors of The Florida Sheriff’s Association and The Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches.

“Experience You Can Talk To ~ Common Sense You Can Trust” Political Advertisement Paid For and Approved By Paul May, Republican, For Sheriff

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Jack Radebaugh fires a pass down field.

In practice, Radebaugh is getting a crash course on basics from another quarterback in Branham, who entered his second tenure as Brahman coach this winter. Branham attended West Virginia State University and is using his knowledge of having played the position to help his young signal callers. Radebaugh said he will not take the starting job for granted, and he wants to take advantage of all the opportunities he’s given this year. “I like the pro offense because it’s more comfortable for me to be stationary in the pocket,” he said. “I feel I’ve gotten a lot better throwing the deep ball and putting touch on the ball.” Radebaugh also has taken to the role of mentor to the younger players and has an interesting philosophy on that: “You never learn anything until you teach it.”


The Economic Future of Okeechobee County is in Good Hands Culpepper & Terpening wishes to say Thank You to the Business Development Board of Okeechobee for their untiring work to bring responsible economic growth to Okeechobee. The Business Development Board of Okeechobee is making a positive difference for the future of all of Okeechobee County. The Business Development Board of Okeechobee is committed to diversifying the economy and increasing the number of high wage job opportunities for Okeechobee residents.

A special Thank You to the Board and its leaders!

(772) 464-3537

Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Celebrate 50 years! WOKC Radio has been on the air for every Okeechobee sunrise since February 6, 1962.

A Local Legend

Sunrise at Nubbin Slough 2011


Fax 888-875-1570

Summer 2012 | 83



Serenity Coffee Hosts Reception With SAMESTATE Band

Okeechobee Main Street Mixers

SAMESTATE performed on May 4 at Osceola Middle School. (Above) Serenity Coffee owners Curtis and Jennie Tyson with the band.

Okeechobee Xplosion

This past March the Okeechobee Xplosion junior level 2 team represented Okeechobee in the highest standard at the Mardi Gras Spirit All Star Spirit event in Lakeland.

Chamber Holds Quarterly Luncheon

The following Okeechobee Main Street members held mixers at their businesses: (top) TD Bank; (middle) Hospice of Okeechobee; and (bottom) Rustic Styles & Furniture. The Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County held its quarterly investors luncheon on May 23 at the Williamson Conference Center at Indian River State College. Congressman Tom Rooney did the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Pictured here are (third from the left) Chamber Vice President Terry Burroughs with (L-R) business spotlight speaker William Bedwell of New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and guest speakers Cedric Gibson, Bob Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien and Spike Schultheis with Joe Gorham from IRSC.

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Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County and Okeechobee Main Street Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies (Left) Applebee’s Restaurant, located at 1210 SR 70 in Okeechobee held a ribbon cutting on March 17. For information, call (863) 3570141.

WILLIAMSON CATTLE COMPANY PRESENTS Photos of the Past A Palmetto Shack Was Used For The First School In What Was Known As “The Bend”

(Right) The SonRise Café, located at 301 NE Fourth Ave. held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on May 21. For information, call (863) 763-4127.

(Left) A ribbon cutting was held April 27 at Syble’s Flowers & Gifts. Under the new ownership of Felicia Maxwell, Syble’s is located at 119 S. Parrott Ave. in Okeechobee. For information, call (863) 763-2225.

Peter and Louisiana (Chandler) Raulerson arrived in what is now known as Okeechobee in 1896. These Pioneers saw a need for a school; a cabbage palmetto shack was built in 1898 and served as the first one at the “Bend.” The building had a good floor and slabs of timber, which were called puncheons, which were used for seats. The palmetto roof had to be replaced often, due to rain and wind.

(Above) A ribbon-cutting was held March 16 at CenterState Bank. After the official ribbon-cutting ceremony a barbecue lunch was served to hundreds of well-wishers in attendance. CenterState Bank is located at 2100 S. Parrott Avenue (across from WalMart). For information, visit or call (863) 763-5537.

ECO CARE AWARD GOES TO LYNCH PAVING & CONSTRUCTION COMPANY The Economic Council of Okeechobee quarterly CARE (Community Award Recognizing Enhancement) award was presented to Lynch Paving and Construction Company located at 503 NW Ninth Street in Okeechobee.

In 1909, a one room building was constructed. This school was called “Tantie.” and located near the first log cabin home, built by the Raulerson family. It was used for this purpose until the first brick school was built in 1916.

Pictured (L-R) are ECO Executive Director Tara Rowley, Quality of Life Committee Chair Sandy Perry, Board Member Donna Helton and Lunch Paving Vice President Robert Gent.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Information from “History of Okeechobee County, ” by Kyle S. VanLandingham and Alma Hetherington. Also enjoyable talks with the Raulerson’s great-granddaughter, Zelda Johnson Mixon. Photos used with permission of: Thomas A Markham and Frank (Sonny) Williamson, Jr.

Summer 2012 | 85

List of Advertisers Beat the Heat~ Get an Ice Cream Treat! We Also Offer FRESH CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRIES (Every Friday & Saturday)


14K Gold Store ........................................... 73 5th Street Pharmacy ................................ 77 A & G Concrete Pools ............................... 73 Audibel Hearing Center .......................... 68 Badcock Furniture .................................... 77 Bass Electric ............................................. 57 Bangkok O-Cha Restaurant .................... 25 Berger Clinic ............................................. 50 Bella Rose Day Spa .................................... 86 Big Lake Eye Care ............................. 3, 17, 51 Bridgette Waldau Graphic Design ............ 55 Buyer Brokerage Co. of Okeechobee ........ 59 Brown Cow Sweetery ................................ 86 Carl Shumate Campaign ........................... 81 CenterState Bank ..................................... 28 Charlie’s Landscaping ................................ 28 Cowboys Steak & BBQ Co. ...................... 21, 59 Culpepper & Terpening .......................... 83 Custom Window Treatments & Blinds ..... 36 Dennis Connor Campaign ........................ 37 Dermatology Center of Florida............... 43 Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center ................. 65 Don’s Appliance ......................................... 35 DR Willson Land Co. ................................ 80 Ed’s Pressure Washing ............................. 80 Edward Jones Investments ....................... 33

Farm Bureau ........................................... 78 Florida Eye Institute ................................. 21 Flower Petals ............................................. 29 Gilbert Chevrolet ....................................... 7 Golden Corral ............................................. 69 Hammerheads .......................................... 15 Hampton Inn ............................................. 13 Heartland Discount Pharmacy.................. 71 Highland Pest Control ............................... 61 Holiday Inn ............................................. 73 Hoskins, Steve - Attorney .............................47 ICS Computers ........................................... 61 Jon Folbrecht Campaign ............................. 61 KOA ......................................................... 26 Lake Okeechobee Digestive Disease Center .....70 Lakeshore Marine .................................... 81 Law Office of Gerald Lefebvre .................. 64 Law Office of Glenn J. Sneider ................ 70 Law Office of Philip DeBerard ............... 87 Los Cocos Restaurant ................................. 71 Mama Flegos ............................................ 26 Maxwell & Maxwell ................................... 16 MidFlorida Credit Union .......................... 63 MidFlorida Hardware ................................. 74 MorganStanley SmithBarney .................... 79 New Vision Eye Center ................................ 72 Okeechobee Claws & Paws ...................... 14 Okeechobee Dodge Chrysler Jeep ............. 27 Okeechobee Health Care .......................... 75 Okeechobee Medical Reserve Corps ........ 62 Okeechobee Motor Company ................... 79


Okeechobee The Magazine will be fun to read during the lazy days of summer.


Quality Air Conditioning ............................. 37 Quality Lawn Care ..................................... 36 Raulerson’s Absolutely Art ......................... 37 Raulerson Hospital ..................................... 2 Raulerson Hospital .............................. 44, 45 Raulerson Hospital ....................... Back Cover Ray Domer Campaign ................................. 59 River Bluff RV & Fishing Resort .................. 81 Rustic Style & Cabins ................................ 61 Sandra Pearce Photography ....................... 80 Seacoast National Bank ............................. 56 Serenity Coffee Shop .................................. 74 Sharon Wallace ......................................... 74 SonRise Cafe ............................................... 39 Southern Styles .......................................... 70 St. Lucie Tires ............................................. 57 Stafford’s Salon .......................................... 38 State Farm Insurance ................................. 39 Superior Water Works................................ 60 Syble’s Flowers & Gifts ............................... 62 Tara Boshell Campaign ................................. 72 TD Bank ...................................................... 74 Teez 2 Pleez ................................................ 39 Tobacco Free Partnership .......................... 80 Toni’s Chic Boutique ................................... 36 Total Roadside Services ................................ 9 Tree Locators ............................................. 33 Tri-Co Supply .............................................. 33 Trinidad Garcia, M.D. .................................... 5 United Mid-Country FL Real Estate ............ 49 UPS Store .................................................. 47 VNA/Grand Oaks ......................................... 4

Park Street Parcel ....................................... 80 Paul May Campaign .................................... 82 Peace Lutheran School .............................. 73 Platinum Performance Builders ............... 6 Pritchards & Associates ............................ 65 Pueblo Viejo VI Restaurant ....................... 77

Walpole, Inc. .............................................. 41 Waste Management .................................. 69 Wemmer Family Orthodontics ................ 39 Williamson Cattle Company ...................... 85 WOKC 1570 AM .......................................... 83 Women’s Health ......................................... 58 Worley Construction ................................... 35

Quail Creek Plantation .............................. 11

Xplosion All Stars ....................................... 62

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Summer 2012 | 87

Raulerson Company Care, a department of Raulerson Hospital, is part of a comprehensive network solution to local companies’ occupational health needs. Through efficient and cost effective methods, Company Care is dedicated to helping you build a healthier business. • Providing a full range of Occupational Health Services, including Drug-and-Alcohol Testing and Worker’s Comp services to employees in both the private and public sectors. • Meeting all FDOT requirements for annual physicals (including hearing screenings) and Drug & Alcohol testing. • Providing a comprehensive array of work related healthcare services with specialists in Occupational Medicine. • Guiding you through the complexities involved with understanding worker’s compensation and the State and Federal rules that regulate the workforce. • Striving for the desired outcomes that allow for a timely return to work and rapid treatment progression, which benefits both employers and employees.


HYSTERECTOMY Raulerson Hospital offers Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, performed by Dr. James Bradfield. Dr. Bradfield is a Board Certified Gynecologist with 30 years experience in the field. Find out if Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is right for you. For more information, Dr. James Bradfield, Board Certified Gynecologist

call Raulerson Hospital at 763-2151.

Emergency Services - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (863) 763-2151 • 1796 Hwy 441 North Okeechobee, FL 34972 ® CONSULT-A-NURSE • For Free Physician Referral & Health Care Questions call 763-9228 OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

88 | Summer 2012

Okeechobee The Magazine Summer 2012  
Okeechobee The Magazine Summer 2012  

Summer 2012 ON THE COVER | Philippine Heritage Enrichment Future Complex and Gardens | Photo by Sandra Pearce