Page 1

Bringing You the Best of Okeechobee SPRING 2015

Faye Haverlock Composes Her Own Symphony of Life

Plus

Greg Thogersen

Okeechobee Youth

Contributing to Okeechobee a Family Affair Brandon McKee

Looking Back First Ladies of Okeechobee


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Publisher’s Note

I

t is hard to believe that this year begins our ninth year in publication. The past year was as much challenging as it was rewarding as I settled in to my role as publisher. This year will be an exciting one for our community as the City of Okeechobee celebrates its Centennial. And we, of course, look forward to sharing all the events and celebrations with you throughout the year. Our cover feature this issue introduces you to Faye Haverlock, a dynamo of a woman who has had a big impact in the lives of many. You will also learn about Greg Thogersen who, although not an Okeechobee resident, loves it as his own and contributes so much to this community of ours. Our Okeechobee Youth story features Brandon McKee, OHS High School valedictorian and Florida FFA president. And in our Looking Back feature we bring you the second in the series about Okeechobee’s First Ladies by Betty Chandler Williamson. In our Behind the Business features you’ll meet Dr. J. Patrick Brennan and his daughter Dr. Christine Bishop of Brennan Eye Care and Sharon Covey, financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments. And this issue’s installment of In The Kitchen With… features Alison Ardinger, who shares her versatile Puffball recipe with us. As always, we have great coverage of our fabulous local events, including Okeechobee Main Street’s Christmas Festival and Parade, the Centennial Kickoff event, the Outdoor Sports Expo and more. Don’t forget to go online to Okeechobeethemagazine.com to see all the great videos and extra photos. So as we move forward through this new year, we look forward to continuing to bringing you everything Okeechobee, in print and online. Because after all, it is Okeechobee the Magazine, your magazine!

Susan Giddings

A little into the new year, where does the time go? I remember as a little child it always went so slow. Now that we are older time goes by so fast. It seems each year goes by so much quicker than the last. Savor each and every day, make do the best you can. There are just some things in life we can never do again. At the end of every day be thankful and be blessed. This will keep your mind at ease, no room for all the stress. Be kind to one another, do a good deed every day. Have a great year everyone, enjoying life’s bouquet. – By Patti Berglund

8 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Volume 9, Number 1│Spring 2015

Publisher Susan Giddings Creative Director Lorraine Vogel Graphic Designer Daralyn McColl Editor Chris Felker Writers Rachel Buxton Audra Clemons Raye Deusinger Photographers Sharon Cannon Jane Kaufman Sandra Pearce Contributors Maureen Burroughs Bianca Keefe Charles Murphy Betty Chandler Williamson Account Executive Trish Grygo Office Manager Patti Berglund

OTM Publications, Inc. DBA Okeechobee The Magazine 316 N.W. Fifth Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 Phone: (863) 467-0054 www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com President Susan Giddings Founder Maureen Budjinski Okeechobee The Magazine, is published quarterly in Okeechobee, Florida. Copyright 2015, all rights reserved by OTM Publications, Inc. 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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Contents

Spring 2015

Features:

34

♦ Faye Haverlock Composes Her Own Symphony of Life................................... 34

By Raye Deusinger

By Raye Deusinger

♦ ♦

Looking Back By Betty Chandler Williamson..................................................... 46 Okeechobee Youth Brandon McKee ................................................................. 72

♦ Greg Thogersen Contributing to Okeechobee a Family Affair ........................... 56

Departments:

56

By Audra Clemons

By Rachel Buxton

♦ Behind the Business Brennan Eye Care ......................................................... 86 Edward Jones Investments ............................................. 90 ♦ In The Kitchen With… Alison Ardinger ................................................................ 100

Columns: ♦ ♦

72

80 Look for the video and camera icons, then visit www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com to view videos and additional photos!

OHS Sports: Brian Chapman

By Charles M. Murphy.............................................................. 98

Health & Wellness

By Bianca Keefe................................................................... 102

Community Events:

Christmas Festival and Parade................................ 16 Veterans Day Speeches........................................... 20 AgVenture................................................................. 24 Wings of Freedom Tour............................................ 28 21st Farm-City Luncheon......................................... 32 Rotary's 2nd Chocolate-Wine Bash.......................... 42 Day of the Cowboy................................................... 52 Leadership Class...................................................... 66 Younified................................................................... 70 Okeechobee Bridal Expo.......................................... 80 Okeechobee Blood Roundup................................... 84 Okeechobee's Centennial Kickoff............................. 88 Outdoor Sports Expo................................................ 92 Ride for the Fight...................................................... 96

On the Cover

Faye Haverlock Story on Page 34 Bringing You the Best of Okeechobee SPRING 2015

♦ Around Okeechobee.................................. 104 ♦ Advertiser Index........................................... 106 Faye Haverlock Composes Her Own Symphony of Life

Plus

Like Us on Facebook.

12 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Greg Thogersen

Contributing to Okeechobee a Family Affair

Cover By Sandra Pearce

Okeechobee Youth Brandon McKee

Looking Back

First Ladies of Okeechobee


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OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

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Community Event

Aliyah Deckard had her face painted.

Christmas Fest Cheers Shoppers,

Okeechobee Main Street hosted its annual Christmas Festival and Parade Dec. 13 at Flagler Park. Vendors filled the park and provided the crowds with lots of food and items to purchase for gifts. As sundown approached, residents and visitors lined the parade route to watch the lighted floats. For additional photos and video visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.

Tin Fish was represented by Krissy Rodgers, Joe Melluso and Brayden Rodgers.

The Ferrell’s Market booth is a favorite for fresh fruits and veggies.

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s float.

16 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE


Photos by Jane Kaufman

Flower Petals dazzled parade watchers with its spectacular winning float.

Crystal Heible with Landon Arrants and Keaton Arrants on the Lightsey’s float.

Then

Parade Dazzles Spectators

The Big Lake Hobbies float. Donna and Rex England, with their dog Abigail, enjoyed the festival.

The Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School float.

Domer’s was in the Christmas spirit.

From left: Penelope Van Eman, Frankie Van Eman and Charlie Van Eman. www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 17


18 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE


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Community Event

Veterans’ Wives’ Speeches Mark Holiday Honoring Sacrifices Guest speaker Jane Dillehay.

Guest speaker Sandi Glenn.

Past American Legion Commander Dan Fennel.

In observation of Veterans Day, the community gathered at Veterans Park to honor and remember those who have offered their lives so we can live in freedom and peace. The event was led by past American Legion Commander Dan Fennel and County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper. Guest speakers Sandi Glenn and Jane Dillehay, both wives of veterans, gave moving speeches about the struggles of veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder. Students from Central Elementary attend the event.

OHS Junior ROTC delivers a 21-gun salute.

20 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.


Photos by Sharon Cannon

County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper.

Junior ROTC Honor Guard. www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 21


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Spring 2015 | 23


Community Event

Robbie Causey discusses citrus diseases.

Photos by Sharon Cannon

From left: Monica Annuez, Lindsey Mann, Diane Davies, Magi Cable, Debbie Clements and Melissa Montes de Oca.

AgVenture Participants Gain Farming Skills

The fourth annual “AgVenture” took place at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center Nov. 5 and 6. The event is staged for the benefit of Okeechobee’s fourth-graders from public and private schools, as well as home-schooled students. Participants learned the essentials of farming during demonstrations at different stations throughout the event.

From left, Kevin Hawthorn, Pat Miller and Zachary Strickland provide tasty gator bites.

For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.

Beekeeper Larry Smith talks about the importance of the bee.

Mrs. Williamson’s class enjoys the event.

24 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Magi Cable and Kimberly Powell plant seeds in a glove.


www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 25


Community Event

‘Wings of Freedom Tour’ Shows Off WWII-Era

Warplanes

From Monday, Jan. 19, through Wednesday the 21st, the airspace surrounding Okeechobee was abuzz with the sights and sounds of World War II-era planes. Flying into the Okeechobee County Airport, the “Wings of Freedom Tour” presented by The Collings Foundation continued its national journey, bringing a wonderful bit of history for locals to enjoy. On hand and available for both flights and self-guided tours, “Witchcraft” — a B-24 Liberator, “Nine-O-Nine” — a B-17 Flying Fortress and “Betty Jane” — a P-51 Mustang, brought crowds of all ages to crawl through the planes’ authentic (and cramped) quarters. Many veterans of the great war were among the visitors, sharing tales of times spent overseas and flights in aircraft of that bygone era. For additional photos and video visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.

From left: Baker Testerman, Bob Stamper, Harold Cole and Sam Stamper.

28 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

The B-17, B-24 and P-51 flying in formation (photo courtesy of The Collings Foundation).

The Collings Foundation staff members, Mac McCaulet, Steve Weigandt, Kelly Hughes, Robert Sichterman, Elaine Martin-Weigandt, Jim Harley, Steve Arnold, Ryan Keough, Steve Johnson, Zane Lemons and Mark Henley, with Airport Director/Tourist Development Council Coordinator Kathy Scott standing in front of the B-24.

The P-51 and the B-17.


Photos by Jane Kaufman

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Luke Bessey, Bryant Holtcamp (in plane) and Reed Mattson enjoyed climbing through the airplanes. www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 29


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30 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE


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WILLIAMSON CATTLE COMPANY PRESENTS Photos of the Past

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF OKEECHOBEE 401 S. W. 4th Street Okeechobee, Florida 34974 Present Pastor: Mark McCarter

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Charter granted in 1915 Present Church constructed in 1926 THE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

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Submitted by Betty Chandler Williamson www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 31


Community Event

Back, from left: Jevon Peters, Cody Barnes and Nancy Peters; front: Emily Hilderbrand, Leah Silvander, Jasmine Mora and Bridgette Curl.

Ethan Casperson and Cameron Williams.

Agriculture Workers Honored at

21st Farm-City From left: Kelsey Rimes, Braxton Lewis and Rance Pendray.

Luncheon

Hundreds came out for the 21st annual Farm-City Week Luncheon, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and the Okeechobee Area Agri-Council on Nov. 20 at the KOA Convention Center. The event featured presentations from the 4-H and the Future Farmers of America. A special award was given to Roger McWaters for his dedicated service to agriculture. This event provides a yearly opportunity to honor the people who work day in and day out to put food on our tables. From left: Dustin Villans, Jacey Mullis, Kimborly Tinegero, Janelle Markham, Kasey Durand and Emily Crews. 32 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.


Photos by Susan Giddings

Spinal Decompression

Kati McWaters Lawson presents the dedicated service award to her father, Roger McWaters.

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Spring 2015 | 33


‘Life is a continual learning experience. I thank God for the abilities He’s given me.’ ~ Faye Haverlock Faye with daughters ( from left) Becky, Linda Faye, Jennifer and Sandy.


Faye Haverlock: Lifelong Musician Composes Her Own Symphony of Life

OHCF founder pursues ‘sense of accomplishment’ in all her various careers. By Raye Deusinger

W

hen you meet Faye Haverlock, you begin to wonder how so much knowledge, charm, gentility and talent can be contained in such a small package. Driving up to her home is like visiting a Southern plantation. The welcoming picture opens into a gracious living room in which two pianos and an organ reside. Surely this is a woman who loves music. But music is only one part of a life filled with office skills and bookkeeping, working a ranch, managing a construction company, having impact on the very progress of Okeechobee and ultimately establishing and managing our own Okeechobee Health Care Facility.

Photos by Sandra Pearce

Faye was born in Sebring but moved to Okeechobee when she was just 3. She always wanted to be a nurse and began preparing to do so as early as ninth grade, when her parents sent her to a private school for two years. Here the emphasis was on algebra, Latin, history, physical education and piano, her passion from about age 5. The school also emphasized well-rounded training by requiring that students work in the kitchen and dormitories. She completed those two years with straight A’s and then finished her basic schooling at Okeechobee High school, graduating as valedictorian. It was at a women’s business college in Jacksonville that she began moving toward a calling in business. She completed studies in shorthand in only

a month, achieved typing proficiency in a week and progressed in studies in every phase of running a business, even completing a one-year accounting course in eight weeks. She loved setting goals and being competitive. “I enjoyed the challenge of competition at college,” Faye said, “but I enjoyed most using my training to accomplish the tasks assigned to me to the best of my ability. It gave me a sense of accomplishment.” Upon graduation, however, she entered a totally different career when she married rancher Jack Williamson and moved to the family ranch in Indiantown, where daughters Sandy, Linda Faye and Becky were born. A fourth daughter, Jennifer, was born  www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 35


Faye and husband Hershel on their wedding day.

after the couple later moved to Okeechobee. The girls grew up with responsibility for chores and pets, particularly horses, which they rode not just for fun but also to work the ranch. Faye did ranch work, kept the books and also shared with her daughters her love of music. All of her girls play piano as well as other instruments. When their friends wanted to learn to play, Faye conducted classes after school. Word spread, and before long she had 45 children in classes while also playing for her church’s services. Not having “enough to do,” she and her husband became partners with Homer and Iris Wall in opening a lumber yard in Indiantown, calling it W&W Lumber. Her business school skills became very useful in helping to establish and maintain this added business.

Top: Okeechobee High School graduation 1951 (valedictorian). Bottom: Faye as a contestant in a local beauty contest 1951.

36 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

With other Indiantown friends, the Evanses, the Williamsons helped build the Indiantown Baptist Church. When Mickey Evans wanted to open a men’s residential program on the old Martin Grade, today State Road 714, the Williamsons helped with Friday evening services. After congregants first met in a tent, donations soon accumulated enough to erect a building,  and Dunklin Memorial Camp came into being.


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‘I have witnessed her personal generosity … Truly, this woman understands the meaning of giving back to the community.’ – Jon Geitner, Seacoast Bank

The Williamsons sold their interest in the lumber yard to the Walls and moved to Okeechobee, where they bought Rock-A-Way Construction. Her girls’ attendance at Okeechobee High School led to yet another involvement for Faye. The principal’s secretary was retiring and Faye was asked to take her place, which she did. At one point during the chaos of a busy school day, the band director got locked in the instrument room overnight. When he was found the next morning, he resigned, and Faye was asked to take on that job also. She directed the school’s band all the way through the busy football season while also directing the marching band. Faye was next asked to work in the county Clerk of Courts Office, where her office skills and work accuracy served her well. “I cannot sit down and do nothing,” she said. “I must accomplish something; it is the way I was raised.” While taking the minutes at

the Okeechobee County Commission meetings, she used shorthand to record every word, which she then wrote for the newspaper. It was during this period that Jennifer was born. And still, music was the centerpiece of her life. Her daughters Sandy, Linda Faye and Becky were in school, and playing piano and organ with them was a regular occurrence. She encouraged their music lessons and lots of “practice, practice, practice.” She was also playing either piano or organ at several different churches around Okeechobee. She especially recalled the Teen Choir at First Baptist Church, which had more than 80 members — more than what could fit in the choir loft. Faye was also still involved in construction, and Rock-A-Way became part of the land development for Okee-Tantie Park, under the direction of the South Florida Water Management

District, which awarded Rock-A-Way the bid for management of the marina and restaurant. Faye became the Okee-Tantie restaurant manager. Remembering, she said: “One day our cook said he was tired and walked out. The restaurant was full and I had to step up as cook even though I had never used a commercial stove.” Two years later, a pontoon boat company bought the management contract. Rockaway also did the parking lots for the original U-Save, Publix and Winn-Dixie stores. While mining road-base material, a huge lake was created, and that lake, around which the Williamsons built a development, became the centerpiece for what today is known as Seminole Cove. Faye and an employee planted all the trees that today beautify the area. About this time, in 1982, Faye’s father was in a Sebring hospital suffering from 

Aerial view of Okeechobee Health Care Facility construction 1982/1983. Aerial view of Okeechobee Health Care Facility 1996. 38 | Spring 2015 OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE


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Spring 2015 | 39


From left: Jennifer, Assistant Administrator for OHCF Wayne Allen, Faye and Sandy.

complications after surgery. Jack’s father was in a nursing home in Avon Park following several strokes. Daily travel to both cities was difficult, and the couple talked about Okeechobee needing some type of care facility. Jack was by now a county commissioner and a member of the District 9 Health Planning Council representing Okeechobee County. Faye would go with him to meetings to take notes, and began researching how to open a health-care facility. The paperwork was exhausting, but she persisted for more than two years, and on Dec. 5, 1984, the Okeechobee Health Care Facility opened to its first resident. In 1985-86, Faye was elected to serve two years as president 40 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

of an organization of contractors called LICA, the Land Improvement Corporation of America. It was shortly after this that the pressures of work and their fathers’ illnesses led to the Williamsons’ separation and divorce. Upon completion, the 120-bed OHCF filled up immediately. Then they began additional treatment modalities. These today are in three wings, addressing dementia, health care and rehabilitation. Faye soon hired a full-time chaplain and invited churches to provide spiritual care for the residents. The Seventh Day Adventist Church has come every other Saturday since the facility opened, and all churches are invited. Of course, Faye plays the piano

for the Sunday services. Hazel Herbert, a friend who worked with her shortly after the facility opened and today is a resident there, said: “Faye has always been a wonderful person. She cares about people and wants only the best for all the residents.” Still involved in her many endeavors, Faye encountered a former employee, Herschel Haverlock, and hired him as a “problem solver.” For the next several years working together on various projects and decisions, they found they were both workaholics who got along well. In 1995, Faye married Haverlock, and today she feels he is her “behindthe-scenes” strength in all they do.


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Today, the OHCF has 180 beds, and plans for a 60-bed expansion are progressing, projected to open in January 2016. All four of her daughters are involved in some capacity: Sandy is the supervisor; Linda Faye is the accountant; Becky handles the interior décor; and Jennifer, an attorney in Stuart, takes care of the legal work.

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“Meanwhile, my husband Herschel, is continuing to work on new projects, and we are both looking for opportunities to continue to make life interesting. I thank God for the abilities He’s given me.” Though not a nurse, she has fulfilled that first passion through the creation of the OHCF. Music has remained her comfort, and she still plays at every opportunity, both for her own enjoyment and as a gift to others and to her God. Jon Geitner of Seacoast Bank said: “Ms. Faye and her daughters have always demonstrated one of the strongest work ethics I have ever encountered. I have witnessed her personal generosity when she stepped forward to help financiallychallenged employees establish credit and obtain housing. Truly, this woman understands the meaning of giving back to the community she so dearly loves.”

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Spring 2015 | 41


Community Event

Debbie Raulerson and Pat McCoy.

From left: Brandi Botello, Holly Mixon and Kristina Stas.

Val Douglas and Kathy Crosswhite.

Rotary’s 2nd

Chocolate-Wine Bash Opens Holiday Festivities

The Rotary Club of Okeechobee hosted its Chocolate and Wine Celebration for a second year at Silver Palms RV Resort on Nov. 15. Local businesses and organizations were on hand doling out beverages, sweet treats and information. Guests were treated to live music and community fellowship during this festive event marking the start of the holiday season. For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.

Gayle Molyneaux.

From left: Mary and Randy Paulson with Magi Cable.

42 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Back, from left: Committee members Toni Wiersma, Club President Rob Willison, Denise Whitehead and Debi Large; front: Kristy Crawford, Trini Garcia and Darlene Mayers.


Photos by Jane Kaufman

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Landry Wilson and Pam Cooper.

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Wells Fargo Advisors and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice. Transactions requiring tax consideration should be reviewed carefully with your accountant or tax advisor. Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in your state. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate on bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

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Spring 2015 | 43


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Looking Back Second in a series By Betty Chandler Williamson

A great variety of women blazed trails into leadership positions in Okeechobee County, paths that contemporary women are following to this day.

First Ladies

O of

keechobee

Mary Sandefur Schulman

< (ca. 1918-date unknown) =

Mary Sandefur Schulman is known as the first female lawyer of Okeechobee County. She graduated from Okeechobee High School in 1937. While in school, she became a skilled, eloquent public speaker and was called the “Female Orator.” This young lady was invited, on occasion, to give out-of-town talks. Mary obtained her law degree by taking correspondence courses from La Salle University. She was admitted as a lawyer to the Florida Bar and became an assistant attorney general for the State of Florida early in the 1940s. She returned to Okeechobee in the late 1940s and practiced law with attorney G.E. “Bo” Bryant Jr. She became the first female prosecuting attorney for Okeechobee. She married Mike Schulman. (Photo not available.)

Alma Underhill Sherman Gross < (1906-1966) =

A native of Okeechobee, Alma Underhill Sherman Gross was the first female city clerk of Okeechobee. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Underhill of Okeechobee. Ms. Sherman was a deputy clerk when City Clerk Alto Watford Sr. decided not to run for reelection. She qualified and ran unopposed for the office, taking the seat in January 1941 and serving until January 1945. Alma was the mother of one son, Bill Sherman, who is presently the property appraiser for Okeechobee County. Other female clerks have been: Lorena Hilliard Pearce Spivey, Sandra Willis Bennett, Bonnie Stewart Thomas and, presently, Lane Earnest Gamiotea.

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OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE


Betty Jane Whidden Davis < (1927-1982) =

Betty Jane Whidden Davis is one of the first known female graduates of Okeechobee High School to become a registered nurse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;B.J.â&#x20AC;? (as she was called) graduated from St. Mary's School of Nursing in West Palm Beach. She was employed as a nurse at the Louisiana Chandler Raulerson Hospital in the 1940s. B.J. became director of nursing at the Okeechobee General Hospital, which opened in the 1950s. She and husband Johnny Davis had three children, Marty, Jeff and Melissa. Melissa is a registered nurse and has been employed by Raulerson Hospital for 25 years. Her daughter Tricia is also an R.N.; another daughter, Alisha, is attending nursing school. There are three generations of nurses in this family.

Sadie Irene Sanders Stein < (1920-2010) =

Sadie Irene Sanders Stein was the daughter of L.W. and Nellie (Walker) Sanders. Her siblings were Alevene, Patty, Veronica, John, Edward and Julia Smith. She graduated from Okeechobee High School in 1939 and was soon hired as a secretary for Judge T.W. Conely Jr. Sadie later traveled to Washington, D.C., where she was employed in the Maritime Commission Office and was soon promoted to assistant supervisor and received orders to transfer to the American Embassy in Paris. She sailed from New York to take up her new duties in France in June 1945. Her service uniform is on display at the museum of the Okeechobee Historical Society.

Mabel Parker Raulerson Sheffield < (1913-1971) =

Mabel Parker Raulerson Sheffield was the first female clerk of the Okeechobee County Circuit Court. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. Finis Parker. She served from 1945 to January 1949. Roy Raulerson, her husband, was clerk of court from January 1941 until November 1945, when he passed away. She was appointed by the governor of Florida to fill his place until election time. Ms. Raulerson was familiar with the duties of the office, as she had served as a deputy clerk. She ran for the office and was elected. Mabel and her husband, Roy, had two children, Joe and Jane. She was of the Methodist faith and had membership in the Okeechobee Garden Club, and also was a member of the Woman's Society of the Christian Service to the Methodist Church. She married William Sheffield after the death of her first husband. Other female clerks of the circuit court of Okeechobee have been: Gloria Ford, 1984-1995, and Sharon Robertson, 1995-present.

www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 47


Alevene Smith Lantz < (1924-2014) =

Alevene Smith Lantz was born to Dozier and Nell (Walker) Smith. Alevene's siblings were Sadie, Veronica, Patty, John, Edward and Julia. She attended schools in Basinger and married Robert (Bobby) Lantz during World War II. She became a credentialed-woman minister, having earned this distinction from the Berean Corresponding School. Bobby was called to be a missionary in Alaska in 1960. He became an ordained minister while on the mission field for the Assemblies of God Church. The couple worked hand-in-hand as missionaries until their return to Okeechobee in 1978. Elaine, their daughter, was 10 years old when they first arrived in Alaska. She attended native schools when possible and was home-schooled at other times. Elaine married while in Alaska and has two children and five grandchildren. She and her mother, Alevene,

Virginia Lee Culbreth

< (1929-1972) =

Virginia Lee Culbreth was the first female from Okeechobee to graduate from a formal law school (Stetson University School of Law) in 1951. She was very active on the campus at Deland. She was also the first Democratic lady to represent Okeechobee County and believed to be the youngest female to be elected to this position. Gilbert and Virginia Driggs Culbreth were her parents; Gil and Susie are

Elda Mae Bass

< (b. 1942) =

Elda Mae Bass is a graduate of the Okeechobee High School (Class of 1960). She was elected by the Okeechobee Cattlemenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association to be the first female president of that organization in the 1990s. She is a daughter of local pioneers, Oscar and Zona (Durrance) Bass. Elda Mae is a true cattlewoman, assisting in the roundups, gathering cattle for sale to the Okeechobee Livestock Market and helping in other aspects of ranching. Out of high school, she was employed at a local bank and worked for 13 years before deciding to work full-time on the family ranch. Her siblings are J.C., Elwyn and Glen Bass.

48 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE


Pearl Darlene Hazellief < (1946-2014) =

Pearl Darlene Hazellief was the daughter of Nathaniel and Patty (Smith) Hazellief. She had two brothers, Bruce and David. After graduating from Okeechobee High School, Pearl continued her education at Indian River Community College, where she earned a nursing certification. She was employed at Fort Pierce Memorial Hospital and later attended the University of Alabama and became a pediatric nurse practitioner. “Aunt Pearl,” as she was called, worked in health clinics and became a missionary to Haiti in the 1980s, helping the natives and their children. She was a member of the North Okeechobee Church of God.

Dr. Anna Darrow

< (ca. 1885-date unknown) =

Dr. Anna Darrow and her husband, Dr. C.R. Darrow, a physician and pharmacist, took the Florida medical exam in 1909, and both did well. “Doc Anner,” as she was called, scored 98 percent, the highest grade ever made up until that time in Florida. She was the second woman to be licensed as a physician in the state. We understand that she was also an artist. The couple returned to their home in Chicago and drove with their son Richard and daughter Dorothy to Okeechobee in 1911. They resided in Okeechobee until sometime in 1922 and then moved to the east coast of Florida. We are proud of our first female doctor, who arrived in this wilderness, to assist in our health care. 'Doc Anner' has on the white hat and dress in this photograph.

About the Author Betty Chandler Williamson is a fifth-generation Floridian; her roots go back to the mid-1800s. Her husband of more than 60 years, Frank “Sonny” Williamson, is also a fifth-generation Floridian. Her hobbies are genealogy and local history. She has been president of the Okeechobee Historical Society for over two decades. Williamson is the coauthor (with Twila Valentine, now deceased) of Strolling Down Country Roads. She was responsible for compiling the first 75 years of the membership of the First Baptist Church of Okeechobee, where she taught Sunday school for 39 years and served as director of the Girls Auxiliary Mission Club for many years. She was also the church historian for a period of time. Williamson wishes to thank the following people for assisting her with the articles she submits: ~ Sonny, who encourages his wife to write. ~ Heather Williamson Rucks, a granddaughter, who assists with emailing the material to Okeechobee The Magazine. ~ A writing club she belongs to, The Okeechobee Writers League (OWL), led by published author Jan Fehrman. ~ Sonny Elliott for re-producing the photographs. Special acknowledgements to Elda Mae Bass, Gill and Marie Culbreth, Patty Hazellief, Judge W. L. Hendry, Melissa Davis Jones, Joe Raulerson, Jane Raulerson Turner, Bill Sherman, Juanita Douglas Walker, articles gleaned from the Okeechobee News, information from 'Okeechobee County History,' authors Kyle VanLandingham and Alma Gibson, 'Strolling Down Country Roads,' authors Twila Valentine and Betty Chandler Williamson.

www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 49


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Community Event

Photos by Jane Kaufman

Ranchers, Artisans Thrive on Their

‘Day of the Cowboy’

Miss Teen Rodeo Okeechobee — Katie Brummett.

Featuring a cross-town cattle drive, ranch rodeo, vendors and more, this year’s Top of the Lake Day of the Cowboy presented by Okeechobee Main Street proved to be a success. The event, on Jan. 17, began with the cattle drive down the center of town and culminated at the Okeechobee County Agri-Civic Center. The Day of the Cowboy allows local ranches and individual artisans to showcase the everyday workings of a typical cowboy or girl and to preserve our cowboy heritage. Horseback-riding 4-H groups and drill teams were also on hand to entertain the crowds, along with a ranch rodeo.

Emily Lawrence.

For additional photos and video visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.

The bronc riding event. Brad McFarland, Spook Whidden, Antonio Corona and Reed Durrance.

52 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

The vendors had lots of great items for everyone to browse through.


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Spring 2015 | 53


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‘Our whole family has a sense of being involved in community whether we live or do business in Okeechobee or not.’

– Greg Thogersen


Contributing Okeechobee to

FamilyAffair is a

Financial planner Greg Thogersen teams up with entire family to help support numerous local charities.

S

By Raye Deusinger

Photos by Sandra Pearce

ome people are driven by power, others by money and some by being the center of attention. But in a small town like ours, so many give of themselves for the betterment of the community. Such a man is Greg Thogersen.

past three years, his group has been associated with UBS Financial Services Inc. He said, “As partners, we three work together well because we have different strengths and a respect of and admiration for each other.”

By profession, Thogersen is a partner in Atlantic Wealth Management Group, a firm formed six years ago. For the

Strongly devoted to family, Thogersen was led into financial planning by his stepfather, William (Bill) Harms,

whom he considers one of the most influential people in his life. Though Harms passed away in October, his influence is still felt in Thogersen’s business and personal life. “My mom, Judy’s, strong faith and my stepfather’s strength have been an inspiration to me,” said Thogersen. “Still today I find that when a decision must be made, I  ask myself what they would do.” www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 57


Greg with his wife, Sheryll, and sons Jared (left) and WIlliam. Not pictured are son Austen and daughter Cristin.

Though he always felt an interest in finance, he didn’t consider the field until his stepfather suggested it. The financial firm Morgan-Stanley had a two-year training program, the passing rate for which is very low. Thogersen said, “I was determined, persistent, and I loved it.” He went on to certified planning classes and realized it was his calling. Today he still pursues continuing technical training. “My job,” said Thogersen, “involves dealing with people, and I find people very interesting. I’m a good listener and try to understand their situation and learn their needs and goals.” He first came to Okeechobee 12 years ago when his brothers Jim and Rick wanted him to get to know some of their friends such as Gail and Lavon 58 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Bass. The more he came to Okeechobee, the more he got involved in the community. He was soon invited to a Kiwanis meeting and joined that group as well as the Chamber of Commerce, and Thogersen began to fall in love with not just the people but the community, too, where he says he has very rewarding friendships. “Here,” he said, “you can be yourself; even my family feels the same way. My mom and dad are even involved, financially, in Okeechobee. They have inspired my giving.” Today, Thogersen is so much a part of Okeechobee that he is the Foundation Board president of CASTLE, on the boards of directors of Hospice and Okeechobee Battlefield Friends and is past president of Kiwanis. Asked why he is so involved, he said, “I love people, love dealing with the elderly who

sometimes need more help, and I can be here for them, maybe even become a role model for the young. “I do school career days because I enjoy talking with kids and can, maybe, make a difference in a young life. For four years, my family has sponsored School Day at the Battlefield to encourage children’s interest in local history.” Not only is Thogersen involved, but so is all his family. Thogersen’s family includes his mother, Judy, his wife, Sheryll, sons Austen, Jared and William and daughter Cristin. Though they don’t live here, they are part of our events, our civic organizations and charitable services through their interest and participation. With Thogersen, they are involved in supporting the Pregnancy Center, Real Life Children’s Ranch, the 


Greg with J.D. Mixon and Ms. Fuella's and Ms. Jones' classes at the Battle of Okeechobee Reenactment.

‘Greg is truly a great asset to Okeechobee. His support of the community is outstanding.’ – Dowling Watford Minimal Regatta, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), Okeechobee Main Street, the Chamber of Commerce and more. “My wife, kids, parents and brothers are my world,” he said. “I want to be able to influence my kids like my grandfather and stepfather influenced me. I have gotten my sons involved in volunteerism so they can see how fortunate they are. Our whole family has a sense of being involved in community whether we live or do business in Okeechobee or not.” His closest association in Okeechobee is with Kiwanis because “I have a soft spot for helping kids,” he said. “I have made wonderful friendships here and feel that if I broke down on any Okeechobee highway at any time, I know I could call any of 100 people and they would come and help me.” Thogersen’s friend J.D. Mixon describes him as a treasure and a true advocate for the community. “I first met Greg after joining Kiwanis in 2006. It wasn’t until a few months later that I learned he didn’t live in Okeechobee,” Mixon said. “The care he shows for our club and community is something 60 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Greg and Sheryll at CASTLE fundraiser.

rarely seen. I feel fortunate to have Greg as a friend. He is always there if someone is in need, not because others think he is supposed to, but because it is the right thing to do.” “I hang on to Okeechobee not only because of the friendships but also the business relationships I have formed,” Thogersen said. “My clients are my friends, and I enjoy socializing with many of them though we each maintain our own individuality in regard to how we think, our hobbies, interests and careers. I’m the luckiest person in the world; I’m always looking forward. It’s been said that when you enjoy your job,  you never work a day in your life.”


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Greg with Sheriff Paul May at the CASTLE Memory Field ceremony.

Though not indulging in hobbies, all his family members are huge Green Bay Packers fans and watch all their games. They have even followed them around the country just to cheer them on. “But though I grew up in Wisconsin, I wouldn’t trade Florida for it,” he said. “Okeechobee reminds me of my Midwestern upbringing — both, small towns with similar values, faith, family and community.” Thogersen’s hope for Okeechobee is that it continues to emphasize the values that have attracted so many. “I want to see it develop a better job base,” he said, “to keep the young people here and involved. I see it happening more and more, and even with a big job base, I know we will keep the values that make Okeechobee, Okeechobee. Though we have some national companies, Okeechobee’s base is family businesses.” 62 | Spring 2015

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He thinks that the growing involvement of the younger generation is a “passing of the torch.” “We have some very community-minded young people like Mike Hazellief, J.D. Mixon, Ken Keller, Sarah Reno and so many more I could list,” he said. “They have a level of responsibility, open minds and a willingness to continue to emphasize our values.” Recognizing the need for faith, Thogersen said: “Life is not without challenges, trials and tribulations, but when you have your faith it helps you get through, and you find those challenges are not as big as they at first seemed. It’s been said ‘People plan and God laughs.’ We have to trust something beyond ourselves because it helps our outlook on life.”

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A close friend, Dowling Watford, whom Thogersen met through Kiwanis, said: “Greg is truly a great asset to Okeechobee. His support of the community is outstanding, whether in serving his clients on financial matters, participating in our many organizations or donating to worthwhile causes in Okeechobee. He is always willing to lend his talents and leadership skills whenever needed. Greg is a friend to the community and many of its citizens, and we are very fortunate to have him as a part of our Okeechobee family!”

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North Campus 703 SW 6th Street Okeechobee 863.763.5453 Guy Harvey now has Military Charms & Double Marlin Pendants with Genuine Stones.

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South Campus 4664 Hwy. 441 SE Okeechobee 863.467.1400

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DR. JOE WATER TREATMENT “We Make Your Water Clean!” Free Water Analysis

Dentistry from Infancy to Adolescence Your child’s health is important and finding a positive relationship between kids and their dentist is a good way to build lifelong healthy habits. Melissa Kindell, DMD, makes every child who visits feel welcome and comfortable and is dedicated to educating and providing quality treatment to maintain your child’s oral health. Preventative Care - Restorative Dentistry In-Office Sedation Interceptive Orthodonic Treatment Extractions - Emergency Dental Treatment New Patient Exams Dental care for special needs and medically compromised patients.

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Spring 2015 | 65


Community Event The Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leadership Class met for its third and fourth sessions just before the holidays. The third class, on Nov. 19, featured visits to the Okeechobee County Emergency Operations Center and the county jail. The fourth class, Dec. 17, covered the environment and water management. The eightmonth program is designed to cultivate leadership through education, exposure to the community and interaction among class members.

Class members enjoyed a great afternoon with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Leadership Learners Visit EOC, Jail, and Explore Ecological Management

Lt. John Rhoden explains the living quarters at the county jail.

Sheriff Paul May with the leadership class at the Okeechobee County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office.

EOC Director Mitch Smeykal explains the Emergency Operations Center's role in the community.

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For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.


Photos by Sharon Cannon

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South Florida Water Management District representatives Gary Ritter and Bill Graf speak to the class about the stormwater treatment areas.

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The class enjoyed looking at the wildlife while taking an airboat tour of Lake Okeechobee.

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Chamber President Terry Burroughs and Don Fox of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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Spring 2015 | 67


On-Site meeting space available.

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Meet Dr. Karen Todd Changing Lives in the Blink of an EYE Can an Eye Exam be Life Changing? Meet Dr. Todd, Glaucoma & Cataract Ophthalmologist. She has a way of solving medical mysteries with a dilated eye exam. Tirelessly uncovering evidence of heart disease, stroke - even brain tumors to find answers for elusive symptoms like blurry vision or headaches. When things don’t look right, make the call for comprehensive eye care & see how life can change.

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Spring 2015 | 69


Community Event

Volunteers, from left, Ty Smith, Ernie Tumoszwicz and Cesar Marin.

Youths give praise with motivational speaker Jeremy Ellis.

YOUNIFIED

3rd Annual Energizes Okeechobee Youth

Bringing together hundreds of local youth for an incredible night of music, food, praise and prizes, the third annual YOUNIFIED Youth Rally, which took place Jan. 17 at Osceola Middle School, rocked Okeechobee once again. D Kidd emceed the growing event, with performances by In Pursuit, Jericho and Random Hero. Jeremy Ellis, following up his in-school discussions, gave a powerful keynote presentation to round out the free event. Jericho performs with volunteers from the audience.

Way FM DJs Charity, Matt and Wally.

Organizers Debi Large, Tabitha Trent, Sarah Reno, Will Diaz-Helble, Bobby Steiert and Karen Matthews with all the presenters and performers. Not present were Luke Enfinger, Noel Stevens and Donna Helton.

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For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.


Photos by Jane Kaufman

BERGER REAL ESTATE 425 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 Philip Y. Berger

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Keynote speaker Jeremy Ellis.

In Pursuit performs during the event. www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

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okeechobeeYouth Brandon M ckee OHS valedictorian hits the road as FFA state president By Audra Clemons

Photos by Sandra Pearce

Okeechobee High School Class of 2014 graduate Brandon McKee has a lot to say about his FFA (Future Farmers of America) service, admiration for his family and what has influenced his ambitious goals up to this point in his life. The recent high school co-valedictorian has a far-from-normal schedule. He was recently part of an elite FFA group that traveled to South Africa, and he’s been traveling stateside over the past few months to encourage leadership among FFA members and future agriculturists. Even before he left high school, McKee had a busy schedule alongside an impressive roster of organization involvement next to his name — Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honors Society, Key Club and 46 college credits with a scholarship to Indian River State College. “I am so proud of Brandon and all of his accomplishments,” said OHS Principal Toni Wiersma. “Our vision statement for Okeechobee High School is ‘Excellence through PRIDE.’ PRIDE is an acronym for perseverance, respect, integrity, dependability, ethics. Brandon exemplifies all of these traits on a daily basis.” After graduation, McKee took a year off to serve in the state office of the Florida FFA organization as the elected 2014-15 president — a decision that has put him on the road explaining to various schools across the country about agriculture 300 days out of the year. The process of being selected as the FFA state president is multifarious. The Florida FFA 

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I am blessed to have what I do, and now I find it easier to count those blessings.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; ~ Brandon McKee, reflecting on his trip to South Africa


has a state screening every year where officers are selected by a group of judges based upon seven skills: personal interviews, conversational interviews, a written prompt, a written test, SAE (supervised agricultural experience) interview, group teamwork activity and agricultural education interview. Once selected from this process, the candidates campaign and are voted into positions at the FFA State Convention. For presidential candidates, one becomes president and the other secretary; and for vice-presidential candidates, one is voted in and the other goes to college the following year. “I was very blessed to score so highly out of the 40 applicants and was able to win my election in July. As a state officer, during the 300 days of travel, I am mostly at schools helping educate. For me, as president of the association, I also have to make congressional visits to make sure they understand what we’re doing in agriculture — a lot of times I feel like I am bridging a gap,” said McKee of his performed duties. McKee was invited to meet with congressmen representing various districts in the state of Florida, while attending a leadership conference in Washington, D.C. This was followed by an invitation to Tallahassee for a week to speak about the importance of agricultural education and the FFA to the state’s representatives and senators. Making the decision to be involved in FFA was something McKee came to after watching his sister’s success. The McKee siblings share a special bond over their beliefs in an organization that facilitates agricultural education to middle school and high school students. “My sister was in FFA, and she was also valedictorian of her class. My goals were

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very influenced by hers, and I followed suit,” said McKee of what spurred him to set his ambitious goals. McKee still collaborates with his sister: “We talk about how I’m serving, and she helps me gain a better perspective.” Just as highly as McKee speaks of his sister, he speaks also of his parents Cary and Fran McKee.

“My father is used to public speaking. I watch him speak to the congregation at More 2 Life Church, and I have learned a lot from him. My parents weren’t given the same opportunities that I have now, but they still understand, support and encourage me,” said McKee. “They have been my role models. They have given their life to Christ and have a passion to feed people through ministry. They


have shown me how to serve God and give him the glory.” McKee goes on to say that service is a central topic among his family. “Brandon is a servant leader,” Wiersma said. “He leads by example.” This is also a topic that also resonates in his own spiritual relationship, as well as his service duties as FFA state president. “I was taught how to give back. First by my parents, and then by the organizations I was involved in during high school, as well as the community of Okeechobee (during the scholarship ceremony). The Okeechobee community is always so giving on scholarship night,” said McKee in regards to service being a major theme in his life.

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‘Brandon is a servant leader. He leads by example.’ ~ Toni Wiersma, principal of OHS

Rick Chartier

“He was consistently recognized not only by his outstanding academic achievements, but by his care and concern for every student on campus,” said Wiersma. “He always thinks of others before himself.” Academics and education aside, this attitude alone can positively propel a person quite far on life’s journey. McKee’s positive attitude and humble perspective most certainly caught the attention of the FFA board members who selected only 75 out of 400 FFA officers to go on a trip to South Africa. “The state FFA officers are given an opportunity every year for international travel. This year I was selected,” McKee said exuberantly. “While we were there, we went on business and industry tours

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Spring 2015 | 75


to carrot, beet, beef and peanut farms. And, we did tourist things like going to Seven Sisters Winery and the top of Table Mountain,” he recalled. He goes on to explain the similarities and differences he saw between the United States and South Africa. “South Africa was beautiful! We had the opportunity to visit the Kliptown Youth School Project, which was very eye-opening. We were allowed to play with kids ranging from ages 4 to 16. Being able to experience the joy that these kids had despite having so little was truly convicting for me. I am blessed to have what I do, and now I find it easier to count those blessings rather than look at someone else's green pasture,” said McKee, reflecting on his international travel. Travel as an educational tool is very powerful. Talking to McKee, it is apparent how much he learned on his trip to South Africa — not only in the

Cary, Brandon, Fran and Valerie McKee attended OHS Class of 2014 scholarship night.

realm of agriculture, but also in relation to being tolerant of other cultures and thankful for his own. McKee realizes what a great opportunity he was given to see the nation

and travel internationally. These opportunities, along with his role as FFA state president, are not taken for granted. “I want to finish my year in service as FFA state president strong; I want to give God the glory while making an impact on the people I meet. I want to meet new people and make new relationships, too,” said McKee. After McKee finishes his year of service, he wants to settle down a bit and be a college student where he can focus on his academics. McKee wants to finish classes at IRSC and then transfer to the University of Florida because it’s a land grant school.

Brandon with the Belle Glade FFA.

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Abraham Lincoln established land grant schools in 1862 under the Morrill Land-Grant Act. Under the act, every state college had to have an agriculture college, wherein each eligible state received a total of 30,000 acres of federal land. The land, or the proceeds from its sale, was to be used toward establishing and financing the


agricultural educational institutions. McKee knows his stuff. He wants to pursue a food and resource economics degree in agricultural studies. He says this is a very diverse degree and that with it, he can work for a co-op, the South Florida Water Management District or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because McKee has a leadership role in the Future Farmers of America organization, he has strong beliefs when it comes to current farming trends, like organic vs. traditional farming. “I believe there is a fine line between convention and organic practices. Both groups of farmers are striving for the same goal, and we have to be accepting of both practices. We are feeding the world, not just our own country, so there is room for both,” he said. When asked his thoughts on food and consumer awareness vs. retail marketing, McKee said: “It’s a doubleedged sword. Consumers have the right to know about their food, but they need to trust the farmers. Consumers are more aware now than ever about where their food comes from. I think the next big push will be the practice of sustainability, and this is where agricultural education is extremely important.”

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Under New Ownership Newly Re-Decorated Rooms!

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Join Us at the Boathouse for drinks by the water!

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Community Event

Carriage rides were provided by Wind Chase Farms.

Second Expo Presents Buffet of

Bridal Fantasies

&

Hannah Whiting.

Cindi Evans puts the finishing touches on her cowboy wedding cake. Channing Boyd and Michelle Ritter at the OK Corral Booth.

Event organizers Tiffany Johnson and Tammi Kelly.

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Kim Hargraves at the 1 Stop Party Shop booth.

Rachel Muros.


Photos by Jane Kaufman

Models, from left: Amaris Grove, Selena Bowman,Vanessa Bowman, Krista Pope, Hannah Whiting, Anna Yanez, Rachel Muros and Kaylee Davis.

Wedding bells could practically be heard at the OK Corral Gun Club on Jan. 18 as brides-to-be flocked to Okeechobee’s second Bridal Expo. Vendors provided the women with treats, ideas and services for their big day. Wedding planners, cake samples, jewelry displays, music, photography and even horse-drawn carriages were available to spark the imaginations of the soon-to-be-wed. Local models closed out the event with a fashion show featuring hair and makeup by Bella Rose Day Spa and Salon, with gowns by GB’s Ladies and Men’s Formal Wear. For additional photos and video visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.

Joy Jarriel shows off her beautiful cakes.

Gayle Molyneaux at the Mary Kay booth.

Gini Beth Henderson of GB’s Formal Wear provided the gowns and emceed the fashion show.

Vanessa Bowman. www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 81


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Okeechobee’s Only Full-Service, Family-Owned & Operated Funeral Home

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Spring 2015 | 83


Community Event

From left, Dorothy Schantz, Marilyn Hadley and Anges Burke handed out the goodie bags.

Blood Drive

State’s Biggest Always in the Nick of Time

Volunteers, front row, from left: Marilyn Rinear, Marilyn Hadley, Terry Haynes, Russ Colwell, Marie Kirchhoff, Linda Hazellief and Paula Fisher; back: Marilyn Buxton, Lou Johnson, Amanda Roberts, Joan Shults, Susan Williams and JoAnn Kane.

Now recognized as the largest independent blood drive in Florida, the 9th annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup, conducted Nov. 22 and 23 at the Freshman Campus, drew an amazing 450 units of whole blood, red cells, platelets and plasma. This drive, which takes place each November, serves to build blood supplies just before the holidays, when donations slow down and shortages can become critical. In just 18 days — two days a year for nine years — the Okeechobee Roundup has drawn 4,126 units of blood. Forty-one adult and 29 student volunteers worked the drive, and more than 200 prizes were given to donors, each of whom also got a goodie bag. If you would like to help, call Raye Deusinger at (863) 467-2557. For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com. Jean Alcimeus gets ready to take Magi Cable's blood pressure.

From left, Crystal Delburn, Michael Brown and Jacqueline Claxton.

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Volunteers, front row, from left: Connie Phillips, Vanessa Huerta, Nancy Bartholomew, Mary Lou Raab, Judy Mattern, Raye Deusinger, Ida Brandenburg, Ann Rodgerson and Colleen Hollett; back: Nancy Murphy, Naomi Snowden, Dorothy Schantz, Maureen Bradley and Neile Foreman.


Photos by Sharon Cannon

Volunteers Eric Eurperio and Madison Mayer.

Donor recruiters Maria Guirado and Leigh Stewart.

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Raye Deusinger welcomes Wilma Hepler. As of 2014, she has donated 18 gallons of blood.

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Behind the

By Raye Deusinger

Brennan Eye Care Once serving as mayor of Davie, the small town where he lived, J. Patrick Brennan now serves another Florida small town, Okeechobee, with the same dedication and devotion. Today, Brennan is the owner of Brennan Eye Care, sharing his profession with his daughter, Christine Bishop, both Doctors of Optometry. Their motto is “Quality Eye Care You Can Trust.” “Brennan Eye Care is a family business,” said Dr. Bishop, “primarily providing the management of eye diseases, routine eye care and 24-hour emergency care.” Raised in and around the office, Dr. Bishop built a passion for working in health care because she likes helping people. “Working with Dad,” she said, “means that our office always has a skilled, licensed doctor on premises from 8 to 5, five days a week, available to handle emergencies which, sometimes, means before or after normal working hours.” An optometrist for more than 40 years, Dr. Brennan opened Brennan Eye Care in 1982 in Okeechobee, and Dr. Bishop joined the practice in 2008. A lifetime resident of Okeechobee, Dr. Bishop completed her undergraduate studies at Florida Southern College in only three years, then transferred to Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, where she completed her bachelor’s degree as she was working on her four-year program toward a degree in optometry. Graduating from Nova with honors, she was a member of the 86 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

The office staff ‘family’ (from left): Optician Brenda Merritt, Crystal White, Dr. Christine Bishop, Dr. J. Patrick Brennan, Melissa Ellis, Michann Hancock and Angel Baldwin. Dhana Striebel was not present.

Honor Society as well as the Student Optometric Association. Brennan Eye Care is very communityoriented. The practice participates in the Health and Safety Expo each January and annually provides at least 25 indigent people with comprehensive eye exams and glasses under the Eye Care for the Needy Program for adults and children. Prior to this service being implemented in cooperation with the Treasure Coast Optometric Society, Dr. Brennan had been serving Okeechobee with this type of program for many years. The doctors continue to offer free eye exams for infants up to 1 year old in a program called “Infant See.” If needed, they assist in providing glasses for those children. Bishop served the TCOS as vice president

two years prior to her election as president of the four-county society in 2012, a position she still retains. The society encompasses Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties. Brennan Eye Care utilizes the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies. An OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) machine uses photography for detection of retinal problems, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic eye disease. Ultrasound equipment is used to detect or confirm retinal detachment. Their Visual Field machine is used in detecting neurological problems such as brain tumors or stroke. Dr. Bishop says “an eye exam is more than about eyes; it is dealing with the whole person to assure their overall well-being.”


Encouraging routine eye exams, Dr. Bishop points out that an eye exam can also frequently diagnose diabetes, high blood pressure and lupus before symptoms appear elsewhere in the body. Once a patient is diagnosed, Brennan Eye Care works with medical professionals in different specialties of eye health located in Sebring, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and other cities. Patients are referred to those offices for medical care, which is then maintained and managed here in Okeechobee. Dr. Bishop was recently appointed by the Okeechobee County Commission to the Board of Directors for the Health Council of Southeast Florida. The 12-member council is one of 11 private Local Health Planning Councils for the State of Florida. These organizations develop regional health plans containing data, analysis and recommendations that relate to health needs

within the community. The council on which Dr. Bishop serves includes Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Dr. Bishop also attends and is available for speaking at many local events and organization meetings to explain the importance of eye care and overall good health within her community. Drs. Brennan and Bishop are members of both the Florida Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. In addition to treatment and diagnosis, Brennan Eye Care operates a wellstocked eyewear department staffed by Brenda Merritt, a licensed optician, who takes pride in accurate and prompt

service of prescription eyeglasses. The staff working at Brennan Eye Care has been with Drs. Brennan and Bishop for many years. Two staffers have been with them for 17 years, one for 13 years and two for 12 years. A new addition to the “family” has been there for one year. “We provide quality eye care you can trust,” said Dr. Bishop. “You not only receive quality from us, but dependable, friendly service from our wonderful staff.” Dr. Bishop and her husband, Hamilton, have three daughters, Lila, 4, and Lexi, 3, along with newest daughter Lily Anne, born last February. Brennan Eye Care is at 710 S. Parrott Ave. in Okeechobee; telephone, (863) 467-0595.

Log on to OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com and click on “Behind the Business Videos” to learn more about Brennan Eye Care.

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Spring 2015 | 87


Community Event

City Begins a Year of It was a beautiful evening for the kickoff event.

The City of Okeechobee kicked off its 100th year celebration in Flagler Park Jan. 9 with the unveiling of the official Centennial Logo created by Bridgette Waldau. The Centennial Kickoff also included a special speech by retired Senior Circuit Judge William Hendry and a performance from the University of Mobile RamCorps traveling brass ensemble. City officials were in attendance, along with several community members. Guests were treated to food samplings from various local restaurants and cafes. For information on all the upcoming centennial festivities, visit www.facebook.com/ OkeechobeeCentennial or the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at www.cityofokeechobee.com.

The University of Mobile RamCorps traveling brass ensemble entertained the guests.

Mark and Paulette Bragel of Brown Cow Sweetery brought their delicious chocolate-covered strawberries.

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Centennial Festivities

City Centennial Committee members, from left: J.D. Mixon, Katrina Elskin, Magi Cable, Dawn Hoover, Shari Turgeon, John Williams, Antoinette Rodriguez and Justin Domer. Not present were Jeanne Enfinger, Donna Gaiser and Susan Giddings.

For additional photos and video visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.


Photos by Sharon Cannon

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Centennial Committee chairman J.D. Mixon.

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Okeechobee Megan Mattson from nutmegs café had samplings of sweet treats from her restaurant.

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Join the Okeechobee Medical Reserve Corps Today!

We currently need medical and non-medical volunteers for Local Disaster Response, Emergency Preparedness, and Community Health Improvements.

Okeechobeans Taking Care of Okeechobee Retired Circuit Judge William Hendry gave a wonderful talk about the history of the downtown area.

For More Information or to Request an Application, Call 863.462.5819 www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 89


Behind the

By Audra Clemons

Edward Jones Investments Sharon Covey is Okeechobee’s financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments, the No. 1 investment firm in the United States. The company’s old-fashioned approach and conservative values have proven to be a successful component in setting it apart from the plethora of companies offering the public financial opportunities. “It’s a compliment to be conservative,” Covey said of the reputation. “This means we’ve maintained our values. What we say we’re going to do is what we believe in.” Covey has been ahead of the curve throughout her entire career, which started in 1985 in financial services for Okeechobee’s Barnett Bank branch. She was with the bank for 15 years — the last five as a financial advisor — until she saw company changes that didn’t reflect her values or benefit her clients. “I was courted by an Edward Jones regional leader in South Florida, who would travel through town and said they were going to open an Okeechobee office. The company wanted me to be part of it,” Covey recalled about the day in 1999 when she made up her mind to transition employment. “When I heard the rumors of Barnett changing 90 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Ana Jones and Sharon Covey.

to Bank of America, I looked into the opportunity.” Fast-forward 20 years, and Jones is calling the financial shots for 500 clients. “At Edward Jones, we place our clients first. They are a name, not a number,” Covey said. She believes spending time with clients should be based on their needs. She goes on to say that there’s not a week that goes by when she doesn’t confirm she made the right choice to move from the bank to Edward Jones. Covey’s had 20 successful years serving her community, from which she is fourth-generation.

Her clients receive advice on everything from stocks and bonds to annuities, life insurance, and everything in between. “This business has been a huge success for me and for my clients, even in a market that’s continually up and down,” said Covey of her 20-year run with the Edward Jones Okeechobee office. “My goal is to do a good job for my clients. Some of my clients want to save money for their children’s education, their dream homes, or even retirement.” Covey identifies a certain risk tolerance for her clients and educates them on the type of investment that would benefit their lifestyle. She will have a client take a risk tolerance assessment test, which is similar to a psychological


exam. The exam asks similar questions in a myriad of ways, enabling a personality assessment of whether the client is conservative, moderate or an aggressive investor. After she receives a cumulative conclusion, Covey will give her client a recommendation followed by a budget that will help clarify investments and their time frames. She intently wants her client to understand her and what she can do for them. For instance, Covey says that a great way to get involved in the market is to start with a mutual fund. “A mutual fund is like having a basket of stocks or a big array of investments.

It reduces the overall market risk for the client,” Covey said. “Everyone sees the ticker tape on the news where the Dow Jones gets all the attention. The Dow only represents the top 30 companies, which may not be representative of my specific clients. I suggest that my clients look at the Standard & Poor’s 500, which is broader and covers more.” Clients needn’t even follow the market if they don’t want to, however. That is the point of having a financial advisor — someone who does all the research and who will walk one through the process. “Shaky markets give people anxiety. I keep them on track and remind them of their goals and the overall market

Log on to OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com and click on “Behind the Business Videos” to learn more about Edward Jones Investments.

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averages,” Covey explained. “Sometimes I’m kind of like a babysitter; I hold their hand and help them through the market because it can be scary.” Covey will spend as much or as little time with a client as the person wants. Some meetings last over an hour and some last only 30 minutes. She does, however, require an annual checkup from her clients. The hours she keeps are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and she accepts both phone and office appointments. For more information on Edward Jones Investments, visit www.edwardjones. com; and for information specifically on Sharon Covey, click on the “search for advisors” icon on the company’s home page. Covey can also be reached via phone at (863) 357-4724. Her office is at 107 S.W. 17th St., Suite J, Okeechobee.

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Spring 2015 | 91


Community Event

1st Outdoor Sports Expo Boosts Businesses, Entertains Kids

The inaugural Okeechobee County Outdoor Sports Expo was staged Nov. 15 and 16 at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center. The exposition had an array of recreational and all-terrain vehicles, boats, and trucks on display. Vendors were on hand selling items such as boating supplies, tackle, hunting equipment and clothing, as well as giving demonstrations. The children enjoyed the Native Village Show, which featured reptiles, tortoises and baby alligators to hold. Entertainment was provided by the Tom Jackson Band. From left: Will Nace, Tyler Cheeseman, Connor Tyson, Blake Kraus and Jacob Stoltz.

For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.

ARS Powersports had a great display of ATVs and dirt bikes.

Quail Creek Plantation representatives Steve Slade and Eric Davis. The Tom Jackson Band entertained the crowd.

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Photos by Sharon Cannon

Peggy Carpenter-Brady

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Gilbert Outdoors had its Hustler mowers on display. www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 93


A State Certified General Contractor St. Lic. CGC1507657

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Employee Commitment, Dedication and Community Partner ▲ Okeechobee Landfill processes food waste from Publix and Whole Foods stores, along with yard waste provided by FPL to produce nutrient rich compost soil. WM operates two compost processing facilities in Florida located in Okeechobee and Deland. Compost is available for public purchase.

Waste Management Launches a NEW Online Portal Around Recycling. Visit www.RecycleOftenRecycleRight.com to learn more about “getting back to basics” of good recycling and accept the recycling promise. 1. Recycle all bottles, cans and paper 2. Keep items clean 3. No plastic bags

Users can also visit Facebook and Twitter to learn more about recycling.

94 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Recycling Rockstars Take the Pledge

Community Relations Manager Teresa Chandler educates students at Central Elementary School for America Recycles Day. Recycling Rockstars K-5 took the recycling pledge. “I pledge to recycle, and tell everyone about recycling. I pledge to celebrate, Earth Day, every day!”


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Spring 2015 | 95


Community Event

Photos by Sandra Pearce

Second

‘Ride FOR THE Fight’

Brian Trimble announces as Miss Rodeo Okeechobee and event organizer Nano Corona look on.

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Will Aid Cancer Sufferers

Raising money for local cancer patients and their caregivers, the second annual “Ride for the Fight” took place at the Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Arena Jan. 3. Showcasing both bull and bronc riding, the annual fundraiser helps provide various services to lessen the burdens often experienced with illness — with 100 percent of all proceeds staying within the community. For more information, visit www.rideforthefight.com.

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OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

For additional photos visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com.


Office Space Available Call 863-763-4740

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Spring 2015 | 97


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

Junior Bowler Chapman, Unsatisfied With Awards, Aims at State Finals

B

rian Chapman has had quite the year in bowling.

The Okeechobee High School junior has hurled two perfect games in his league play in Stuart, something bowlers can go a lifetime without ever accomplishing. In January, he added a record high series for his age bracket at Stuart Bowl. Chapman had an 848 series in three games on Jan. 17. He rolled scores of 290, 279 and 279 to set the record. At one point, he had 17 strikes in a row, then later had 14 strikes in a row, and had no open frames. Chapman rolled 11 strikes in the first game, 11 strikes in the second game, and 10 strikes in the third game. He also is a member of the National Honor Society at Okeechobee High School. Chapman has won the MVP Award for boys bowling at Okeechobee High School for the past three years. “The award is special. It took a lot of practice and dedication.

OHS bowling Coach Carole Olney, Carl Bond, and Brian Chapman.

I also had good coaching. Carl Bond got me to where I am now. I owe a lot to him and my family for their support in what I’m trying to do,” he added. Chapman was named an All Treasure Coast bowler for the past two years by Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. Chapman said most of the bowlers on the team are his friends. “Most of the bowlers over there I know personally, and I interact with them when I bowl over there.” Chapman said he fell short of his high school bowling goals this year as he missed out on a state finals visit. He’d like that to change when he’s a senior. “Next year my plan is to make state; this year, I didn’t do as well as I hoped. That is the past; I want to work on the future now.” Brian is considering a couple of college offers and hopes to get scholarships so he can become a doctor.

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He’d also like to see the bowling team continue next year. He will try to spread the word in school to raise interest. “I’m trying to get the kids interested, then I can work with them and make them better bowlers.” The team will lose six seniors to graduation.

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Telephone: 863.824.6776 98 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE


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Spring 2015 | 99


By Rachel Buxton

In The Kitchen With…

Alison Ardinger B

eing a mother, by default, usually makes you a cook. Maybe not necessarily a good one, but a cook nonetheless. For Alison Ardinger, though, cooking for her children came naturally and was something she believed in. “I have three children,” Ardinger said. “And I’m an overgrown hippie, so I believe in cooking dinner and not buying McDonald’s.”

After Ardinger’s children left the nest and she retired, her cooking grew into much more than just cooking a family meal. It became a hobby and one that she has begun to share with her family, friends and the entire world. After receiving many recipe requests from one of her daughters, Ardinger decided to start her own cooking blog named Second Stars. Her daughter is a graphic designer, so she helps design the website.

Puffball Recipe

1/2 cup water 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup flour 2 eggs In a pan, heat butter and water to a boil. Mix in flour. Stir constantly until it leaves the sides of the pan in one ball. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Beat eggs in one at a time until smooth. Whip until velvety. Using a spoon, drop batter on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes until golden brown. Broccoli Filling 1 head of broccoli 3 tablespoons of ranch dressing 12 ounces of cream cheese Cut the florets off of the stem of broccoli and put in food processor. Or use a knife to chop broccoli very small. Mix all ingredients together. Cut puffballs in half and stuff with filling. Bacon and Chive Filling 1 cup crumbled bacon 1/2 cup chopped green onions or chives 8 ounces of cream cheese Mix all ingredients together and stuff puffballs. 100 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

Please visit www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com for a step-by-step video.


“It’s something fun we get to do together,” Ardinger said. Ardinger’s most popular recipe, puffballs, is one that dates back many years to when she was in the sixth grade. “It’s been around the family for a while,” she said. Ardinger first learned how to make puffballs when her older sister was taking home economics and was making some for class. Since then, Ardinger has been making the light and fluffy treat for any and all occasions.

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“Everywhere I go, people want my puffballs,” she said. “Any event, I have to have my puffballs.” Ardinger loves to experiment with many different fillings. She said the best thing about the puffballs is that it is such an easy recipe and, depending on the filling, you can either make them sweet like a dessert or savory for a meal. It’s been over a year since Ardinger started her blog at www.second-stars.com, and she is having a blast doing it and loves that she is able to share her family recipes with everyone.

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Spring 2015 | 101


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Reflexology: More Than Just a Foot Massage By Bianca Keefe

1408583

Many people enjoy a good foot massage, and may also be familiar with the term reflexology — but most are not familiar with what it means. This alternative modality has been around since ancient times and is a non-invasive therapy based on a theory that the body is comprised of different energy zones.

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Reflexology is the application of firm pressure to specific points — called reflex areas — on the feet, hands and ears that are said to correspond to specific organs, glands and an interconnected energy system of the body known as qi (energy flow). Each foot has about 7,200 nerve endings. The reflex pressure sends impulses to the nerve endings, which stimulate the nervous system, and relaxes the body. Some of the benefits of reflexology are stress reduction, pain relief, improved circulation, increased energy, and soothing of tired, achy feet, according to the Harpenden Clinic outside London. Testimonials there claim it has been beneficial for some patients in overcoming symptoms of insomnia, digestive disorders, sciatica, headaches, PMS, panic attacks and diabetes, to name a few. Those who have experienced it claim a profound feeling of relaxation and sensations derived from the benefits of touch — as well as feeling like their feet are lighter. Essentially, it can make a person feel good, which in turn makes


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one happier and more relaxed. Age and gender notwithstanding, many patients say it helps them. Mothers testify that the gentler pressure used for infants helps soothe them when they are cranky, constipated, or unable to sleep. Reflexology is also being used in hospitals and hospice care. The Penny Brohn Cancer Care in Bristol, England, offers a wide program of therapies such as reflexology to help ease the impact of cancer. A study reported in the American Cancer Society Journal found that one-third of cancer patients used reflexology as a complementary therapy for post-operative or palliative care. Major reflexology associations highly recommend seeking a certified practitioner trained in the proper techniques and application of reflexology. Improper techniques used, or the application of pressure to the wrong reflex areas, will not provide relief as desired but may cause other problems. If the applied pressure is greater than needed, pain will be experienced in the reflex area or within the corresponding part of the body. *PLEASE NOTE: Reflexology is an alternative therapy and should not be used as substitute or replacement for medical care. A reflexologist can neither prescribe medications nor diagnose illnesses. If you have an urgent-care need or acute condition that requires attention, consult a medical professional.

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Around Okeechobee Brought to You By:

Chamber Ribbon-Cuttings

Northlake Veterinary Hospital

The Lounge at Sacred Sanctuary

Countryside Florist

Silver Palms RV Resort

Buckhead Volunteer Firefighters Get a Boost

From left: Darrel Lewis, Lt. Jack Bayless Jr., Lt. Chris Crum, Mike Hevey, Jacob Hummel, Don Salo, Chief John Wilkenson and Capt. Joann Bayless.

104 | Spring 2015

OKEECHOBEE THE MAGAZINE

The Buckhead Ridge Volunteer Fire Department staged its 23rd annual Catfish Festival fundraiser on Jan. 31. Money raised from this event helps the volunteer firefighters purchase much-needed equipment.


Around Okeechobee Brought to You By:

Main Street Mixers

Okeechobee Main Street members hosted mixers at their businesses.

Raulerson Hospital

Pictured from left: Tara Minton Rowley (Executive Director), Erik Melville, Jon Geitner, Dawn Hoover, Fred Fanizzi, John Williams (Chairman), G.M. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hootâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Worley, Keith Walpole, Rick Chartier, Sandy Perry, Robert Lee and Todd Clemons. Not pictured Bob Riedel and Wes Williamson.

Economic Council of Okeechobee 2015 Board of Directors

Founded in 1990, the Economic Council of Okeechobee is delighted to celebrate its 25th year of service to the Okeechobee community. A not-for-profit and non-governmental organization, the Council strives to positively impact the business landscape of Okeechobee County and continues to act as a catalyst between the public and private sectors to foster dialogue, planning and action. Providing dedicated leadership, the Council seeks to encourage civic-minded individuals to serve their community and provides a forum for open discussion on matters of local interest.

Stafford's Salon

From left: Brandon Smith, Brian Bradley, Bobby Keefe, Phillip Smith, Daniel Allison, Kevin Parrott and Kim Smith.

Okeechobeean Shares Homegrown Beef With Warriors

Phillip Smith of Okeechobee presented members of The Warrior Center Inc. and local Wounded Warriors with homegrown beef Jan. 31 as a way to say thank you for their service and sacrifice to our country. Every year, Smith raises a cow to help feed his family, and this year he and his wife, Kim, and son Brandon wanted to give some of their beef to local Operation Enduring Freedom veterans for their enjoyment. The presentation took place at the Okeechobee Veterans Memorial Park. For additional photos and video visit www.okeechobeethemagazine.com. www.OkeechobeeTheMagazine.com

Spring 2015 | 105


List of Advertisers

What People Are Saying... “Our community truly benefits from Okeechobee The Magazine with its wonderful articles and photographs that showcase our Okeechobee people and lifestyle. I enjoy reading every issue and I know our IRSC students enjoy it as well.”

— Russell Brown, Provost, IRSC Dixon Hendry Campus

14K Gold Store.................................. 64

Gilbert Collision Center...................... 87

Porcelain Esthetics............................ 30

A & G Concrete Pools......................... 71

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Abney Building & Consulting............ 39

Glenn Sneider, Attorney.................... 75

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American Drilling Services................. 31

Quail Creek Plantation...................... 13

Anderson Realty................................ 31

Heartland Discount Pharmacy............. 9

Applebees......................................... 91

Highland Pest Control....................... 85 Holiday Inn/Best Western.................. 68

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Bass Electric...................................... 63

ICS Computers................................... 75

Regions Bank.................................... 25

Berger Clinic...................................... 63

Indian River State College................. 41

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Big Lake Eye Care................................ 3 Brennan Eye Care.............................. 62

Rustic Now Furniture & Emporium.... 51 Jeanette’s Interiors........................... 93

Brown Cow Sweetery........................ 93

Salon Safari....................................... 29 Lake Okeechobee Digestive

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Disease Center.................................... 18

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Law Office of Gerald Lefebvre........... 83

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CenterState Bank.............................. 27

Los Cocos Mexican Restaurant........... 53

Silver Palms RV Resort...................... 59

Buxton & Bass Funeral Home............ 83

Skull Hill Steel................................... 99

Clear Title & Legal Services................ 98

Main Street Salon.............................. 50

Sprint Communications....................... 7

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Stafford’s Salon............................... 102

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Tire Zone........................................... 50

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New Vision Eye Center...................... 14

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Toni’s Chic Boutique.......................... 78

Dr. Joe Water Treatment................... 65

Northlake Veterinary Hospital........... 69

Treasure Coast Food Bank.................. 50

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Trinidad Garcia, M.D.......................... 30

Edward Jones Investments................ 83

OK Corral & Gun Club......................... 79

UBS Financial.................................... 37

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Peace Lutheran School...................... 62

Wemmer Family Orthodontics.......... 41

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Okeechobee The Magazine Spring 2015  
Okeechobee The Magazine Spring 2015