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Bloomingdale/FishHawk

Enter to Win! Pages C E L E B R A T I N G

December 2016 Volume 15, Issue 12 Ph: 657-2418 1 5

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Local Developer Plans New Residential Carnival Featuring Flying Wallenda’s Community Near FishHawk To Raise Funds For HCSO By Officer By Tamas Mondovics Kate Quesada Hillsborough County Sheriff and DUI Task Force National Honor recipient Larry Morrell was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer and on hearing the news, friends and family stepped up and quickly arranged a carnival fundraiser to help with expenses related to his illness. “We feel so humbled and blessed by the love we are receiving from friends, family members, our church and the community,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Larry Morrell was Morrell, who is currently on his third recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic of at least six rounds of aggressive Cancer and friends and family are hosting a carchemotherapy at Moffitt Cancer nival to raise money for his medical expenses. Center in for us. We are so humTampa. “We bled.” are blown Advance wrist away by the bands for the event are planning and available at Wayback thought that is Burgers, located at being put into 5672 FishHawk this carnival.” Crossings Blvd., for a Rick and Rietta Wallenda will perform along with mother Carla, 80, at the 10-24 Carnival. From discounted fee of $15 Thursday, December 1 to Sunday, for one day of rides and $60 for all four December 4 the community is invited to days. The price of the bands will come together to support one of its own increase to $20 for a day at the event. with games and family fun at the “10-24 For more information, visit www.faceCarnival”, which is the Sheriff’s call sign book.com/deputymorrell1024. A for Send Assistance. The event will take GoFundMe page has also been set up in place at 949 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. next to Morrell’s name. Foundation Christian Academy on the Church of Christ future home. The carnival will feature rides from Premium In This Shows of America and performances Issue from the World Record breaking Wallenda family including Rick and sister TENNIS PLAYER ..................................PG 9 Rietta who will perform a high wire act and mother Carla, 80, who will perform SWEET POTATO LOVE ......................PG 15 her world-renowned 90 ft. sway pole perHOA HOT TOPICS .............................PG 18 formance. The family will perform at 8 p.m. every day Thurs-Sun and at 3 p.m. NEW COMMUNITY PARK.................PG 21 as well on Sat and Sun. There will also SPORTS CONNECTION...............PGS 32‐33 be food trucks, musical entertainment and a visit from Santa. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 42 “Our hope is that people can come HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE ................PGS 45‐60 together at this event and just enjoy being with their families,” said Morrell’s READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE wife, Debbie, a third grade teacher at www.ospreyobserver.com FishHawk Creek Elementary School. “This is such an amazing community and they have come together so wonderfully

Osprey Observer 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Brandon, FL 33511-6121

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Residents living in FishHawk Trails exceed 164 homes on the 164-acre site. responded in great numbers to a neighFishhawk Trails, adjoining the property to borhood meeting and discussion about a the west, has a land use of RP-2 or two new residential development planned for homes per acre. “To the east of the site is the area. approximately 1,934 acres that already The meeting held at the Palmetto has a Residential 1 Land Use, which Club in allows for a nice FishHawk transition,” included Fischbach said. plans, As a tradidetails and tional subdivirezoning sion, each sininformation gle-family home for the new on the property single-famiwill be on public ly, detached water and public home sewer. All access developinto the neighment, locatborhood is ed on a planned from 164-acre Lithia Pinecrest site at the Rd., and would FishHawk Trails and surrounding area residents view northwest maps of the location of the new single-family detached not be interconresidential homes development planned in Lithia. The nected to any of corner of 164-acre site is located adjacent to the FishHawk Trails the surrounding Lithiacommunity with homes in the $400-$500K price range. Pinecrest communities. A and Browning Rds. in Lithia. small property close to the development Event host, local real estate broker has been apportioned for a new elemenand property developer, Reed Fischbach tary school site. of Fischbach Land Company, was joined Fischbach, did not hesitate to by representatives of Genesis Group, a acknowledge that a main concern for services firm that provides engineering, most attending the meeting included landscape architecture, planning, surveytraffic, schools and buffering issues, ing, GIS, and urban design services to which he said are all are taken into thousands of public and private sector consideration and are being clients throughout Florida. researched. From the start, Fischbach focused Based on the current plan, the earhis comments on the importance of good liest the project could potentially break communication and transparency and ground would be sometime in the fall of emphasized that the meeting was sched2018. A second, neighborhood meeting uled prior to any filings with Hillsborough to discuss the project is now scheduled County. The development’s for Tuesday, December 13, at 6:30 p.m. Comprehensive Plan Amendment is for a at the Palmetto Club in FishHawk. Residential 1 Land Use, which means For more information, please visit that the neighborhood density cannot www.fischbachlandcompany.com

Members of the Bloomingdale High School Air Force JROTC, perform a during Hillsborough County’s 52nd Annual Veterans Day Tribute. The event was held on Friday, November 11, at Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Museum, located at 3602 U.S. Highway 301 N. in Tampa.

Serving Our Customers in 4 Locations: Lithia • Big Bend, Riverview • 301, Riverview • Sun City Center


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Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

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Model Perfect 3/2/2 with 1,751 sq. feet. Home Features All update Stainless steel appliances, updated kitchen, painting and floors. Open floor plan, formal living, Covered Lanai, No CDD fees and Low HOA fees. Offered @ $189,000.

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Banked Owned with Repairs on LAKE. 4/3/3 with 3,692 sq feet. Features are Large Kitchen, Volume ceilings, garden tub, Awesome back yard. New carpet, paint, a/c and so much more. Offered @ $349,900.

Model perfect and includes one of the best lots in Waterset with deep conservation in back and no neighbor to the left of the home. 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, 3 car tandem garage with approx. 3400 sq ft. This home is a custom built Endeavor II floor plan with many great modifications. Offered at $400k

Short Sale. Lender Approved. 4/2.5/2 with about 2,164 sq feet. Located on Conservation lot, large family room/dining room combo, spacious kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and large master. Offered @ $190,000.

Stunning 3/2/2 with 1,643 sq feet home. Awesome upgrades with all granite countertops, an island, new appliances, 42 in cabinets and beautiful backsplash. Open Floor plan, Tile throughout, large master, and privacy fence. Offered @ $237,900

CALLING all investors for this home with 4 bedrooms 2 bathrooms and approx. 1,686 sq. feet. This Home has a full kitchen with all nice appliances, a Screened in back porch, and a fenced in backyard. This Bank Owned will need a little paint and few minor touch ups and should be good to go. Offered @ $166,500.

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December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 3

Newsome JROTC Wolfpack Battalion Hones Skills And Competes

Dumke Finds Innovative Ways To Run Blues Berry Farm In Plant City

Entering Birthday on October into the second 11 with a cake cutquarter of the ting ceremony and school year, learning the heritage Newsome’s of their unit’s Crest. JROTC On October 20, six Wolfpack Newsome JROTC Battalion has cadets attended the started Drill and Military Order of Color Guard World Wars practices to (MOWW) sponCadets LeDuc, Tanner, Hermida, Torsone, hone their skills sored Youth Cisneros, Wahle at YLC Luncheon for upcoming Leadership drill and color guard competitions. Earlier Conference (YLC) Recognition this month both the Raider and Rifle Luncheon where two of the cadets were Teams competed bringing back more honored for their outstanding performtrophies to the Wolf Den. ance at last Spring’s conference. Cadet The Raider Team competed on Lieutenant Colonel Garrett Hermida, the October 15 at Anclote High School with Wolfpack Battalion Commander, was the a 1st place in both the Fitness Challenge Distinguished Honor Graduate. and Team Run, 2nd in Rope Bridge, 5th Members of the JROTC Club also in Tire Flip, and 6th in Cross Country participated in Newsome’s Trick or Treat Rescue the Mixed Raider Team placed Street on Saturday, October 29 with a 2nd overall out of 17 teams. The Rifle Peter Pan themed room. The Battalion Team competed on the 15th as well recently kicked off Operation Patriot, a hosting a match at Newsome’s Rifle Service Learning Project, where cadets Range earning 2nd place overall, scorcollect/donate hygiene products, gift ing only six points (out of 1200 points), cards, paints, books, movies, and other behind Boca Ciega. There was also a items to the residents at Baldomero Raider meet at Zephyrhills High Lopez State Veterans Home in Land-OSchool on October 29 and a Rifle meet Lakes, Florida. A group of cadets on November 12 at Newsome. Both recently traveled to the Home on teams placed second. The newest November 11 to deliver their donations JROTC team Cyber Patriot and the and celebrate Veterans Day with the resJLAB Team continue to practice as they idents. prepare for their first competitions in For more information on events November. Color Guard and Drill Teams within the Wolfpack Battalion, visit first competition is on January 28, 2017 www.newsomejrotc.com or click on the at Brandon High School. JROTC link under the Programs tab on The Battalion celebrated its 12th the Newsome High School homepage.

Dumke Blues utilizes experiBerry Farm in mental and Plant City is non-invasive run in an ways to save innovative, water and creative and protect the compassionplants from ate way by pests. “We award-winare into susning owner tainability and Susan not being Persson Susan Dumke of Blues Berry Farm in Plant City is proud wasteful,” Dumke and to unveil her new food truck. She plans to partner with her family. In other farms and bring her delicious blueberry creations explained to the community in the coming months. Dumke who fact, Dumke uses kites and fake bird sounds in the was recently honored with the 2016 fields to fend off pests. Woman in Agriculture Award given at the In addition, Dumke has started proHarvest Awards Luncheon at the ducing jellies from the end of season harHillsborough County Fair. Dumke started in corporate American vest which often went to waste previously. “I was just over throwing out all this but has spent the last 10 years farming stuff, and it led to an ‘A-ha’ moment.” Her the delicious blueberries that can be jellies have been featured at Williams found at Costco and Publix (the blueberries are marketed under Wish Farms and Sonoma. Soon you will be able to sample others suppliers). some of Dumke’s jelly and other creDumke concerns herself not only ations when she rolls out her new food with her more than 40,000 blueberry truck. She hopes to attend events such plants, but also with her workers and the as the Plant City Food Truck Rally and environment as well. Dumke makes it a the Mayor’s Food Truck Rally in Tampa. point to get to know every one of her Dumke wants to inspire and motivate workers. If they have a need, she tries to others to recycle and save water as a find ways to help them. An example of newly elected member of the Soil and this need was demonstrated when Water Conservation District. The blueberDumke invited a small bank out to the ry harvest season begins in mid to late farm to help educate the workers. March. At the end of the harvest, Blues “Being in the fields brings something Berry Farm is open for U pick in early to different to the business,” explained mid-May depending on Mother Nature. Dumke. “We have great employee retenFollow Dumke and Blues Berry Farm on tion and I want the workers to want to facebook and Instagram. return to us every season.

By 1LT Cameron Woods, Battalion Assistant S5

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Page 4

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

Brandon Ballet Presents The Nutcracker At Riverview High School Auditorium

Bloomingdale Rajun’ Bull Marching Band Receives Superior 30th Straight Year

All of Act Two is under the Christmas Tree.” All of the scenery in Brandon Ballet’s performances is Come see the fantastic performances by the highly talented state of the art. dancers of the Brandon Ballet as they perform their version of the There are handholiday classic The Nutcracker. painted backdrops The Brandon Ballet will perform the and custom built props. The costumes Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic, The are professionally designed and made Nutcracker, featuring stunning new chorespecifically for this performance. ography by Artistic Director, Octavio This year, Sugar Plum Fairy and Martin, fantastic sets and wonderful cosSnow Queen will be alternated between tumes this December. There will be four Brandon Ballet’s own professional balleriperformances at Riverview High School, nas, Chloe Freytag and Sarah Metzler. located at 11311 Boyette Rd. in The Nutcracker Prince will be danced by Riverview. On Saturday, December 10 Brandon Ballet’s professional dancer, performances will be held at 2 p.m. and Reid Ginoza. According to Martin, “The 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, December 11 perrole of Clara this year is danced by a stuformances will be held at 2 p.m. and 5:30 dent of Brandon Ballet, Hailey Cheren, to p.m. accurately portray the age of the characThe Nutcracker tells the story of a litter.” tle girl named Clara who is given the gift Many of the roles in the Brandon of a wooden toy nutcracker by her Uncle Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker, will be Drosselmeyer. The magic happens when by two casts to give the audiences the the toy soldier comes to life and takes chance to view different artists’ interpretaClara on a magical journey through an tion of the characters. In addition, the enchanted winter wonderland where she majority of the cast are Brandon resiencounters dancing snowflakes, an eledents. Martin said, “Come see and enjoy gant Snow Queen and the majestic what we believe to be the best Sugar Plum Fairy. Nutcracker production in the area. With This year Martin adds a new twist to more than seven backdrops, state of the The Nutcracker story. Martin said, “In this art scenery and props, in the newly year’s version, all of the toys, dolls and updated Riverview Auditorium, this year’s decorations under the tree come to life to new storyline will surely entertain and dance for Clara’s delight. Uncle delight audience members of all ages.” Drosselmeyer uses his magic to make For tickets, www.brandonballet.org or Clara the same size as the toys and dolls. www.tututix.com or call 684-4282.

The Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Marching Band Rajun’ Bull program.” Marching Band Up next for and Crimson the band is their Guard are winter concert, known nationwhich will be ally and interheld at nationally for Bloomingdale their superior High School on sound and performance. On November 5, the band upheld its record and received the superior rating for the 30th year in a row at the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA) Marching MPA at Riverview High School. The band performed music from The Eagles which included Photo credit to Kristin Witt. Leilani Torres (left), Director Jon Sever, Robin English (cenDesperado, Life in the ter), and Joel Papineau (right) holding the award for the Fast Lane, Tequilla band’s Superior rating at the FBA’s Marching MPA performSunrise, Lyin Eyes, ances in November at Riverview High School. and Already Gone. The Rajun’ Bull Band is under the Thursday, December 8 at 7 p.m. direction of Jon Sever with Crimson Donations for Toys for Tots will be colGuard directors Billy Sullivan and lected at the concert. This concert will Coleen Petree. definitely get you in the holiday spirit. When asked about the 2016 Just a couple days later, on marching season, Sever said, “This Saturday, December 10, the Rajun’ year’s marching season was a chalBull Marching Band will be participatlenge due to all the weather issues, ing in the Snow on 7th parade in Ybor but the band did an outstanding job City. This is a really fun event for the and I am proud to have been a part of whole family. So come on out and the 30 year legacy known as the support the band.

By Kathy L. Collins

Staff Report


December 2016

Page 5

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Brandon Regional Hospital Cuts The Ribbon On State Of The Art Surgical Robot

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FOLLOW US

By Kathy L. Collins

In its sonalized, continuing pre-operative effort to proplan. The vide excelMako robot is lent care to further used the resiby the surdents of the geon when greater the bone is Brandon prepared for area, the implant. Brandon The Mako Regional system Hospital guides the The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce joined has surgeon to hospital staff and members of the community as they unveiled their new state of the art Mako robot used for unveiled its help with partial knee replacements and hip replacement surgery. newest surmore accugical tool, the Mako robot. At a ribbon cut- rate placement of the implant. Surgeons ting held on Tuesday, November 1, the must be specially trained to use the syshospital unveiled the Mako robot, used for tem. partial knee replacements and hip Dr. Michael Miranda, the Medical replacement surgery, to the community. In Director of Joint Replacement Surgery at attendance at the ribbon cutting were Brandon Regional Hospital, has received members of the Greater Brandon the specialized training needed to use the Chamber of Commerce, hospital staff and Mako robot. Dr. Miranda said, "This is prospective patients. state of the art. It allows us to achieve The Mako robot provides surgeons perfect bone preparation and implant." Dr. with a personalized surgical plan based Miranda added, "Because this is a minion a 3D model of a patient's knee or hip. mally invasive procedure, the patient also This state of the art technology allows has a quicker recoery with better outsurgeons to remove only the diseased comes." There are very few facilities in bone, preserving the healthy bone and the area that offer the Mako system. Jeff soft tissue, and assists the surgeon in Wesner, MBA, Vice President of Surgical positioning the implant based on the Services said, "This is an investment that patient's unique anatomy. the hospital is making in the community The process begins with a CT scan so that we can offer the very best care to of the patient's joint. This is used to genarea residents." erate the 3D model which is then used to Brandon Regional Hospital is a 438 prepare a personalized pre-operative bed Acute Care Center located at 119 plan. In the operating room, the surgeon Oakfield Rd. in Brandon. For more inforuses the Mako robot based on the permation, visit www.brandonhospital.com.

,

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Page 6

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Opening Day A Huge Success For A Simpler Place In Time

By Sharon Still

Step back in the market. It time at A Simpler provides a trustPlace In Time, a ed source for producers farmlocal, clean food ers market with a for the communifarm and food ty, commented focus. Local Raley. “You will eggs, organic find produce vegetables, artigrown on our san crafted very own farm soaps, herbs, along with grolocal honey, fresh ceries and goods fish and glutenthat honor a Vamos! Gourmet Catering owner Melinda Murray homegrown, free cakes are and chef Nicolas Gomez offered salads and just some of the other handmade, susfoods with a Columbian-Floridian fusion to offerings that vistainable lifestyle,” the hungry crowds at the opening day of a Simpler Place In Time. itors will find. she said, adding “Our mission that the farm is to expand direct relationships with kitchen produces from scratch goods that farmers and consumers and to provide a are locally sourced and seasonally community activity which fosters social inspired. The farm store is open gathering, interaction and healthful food Thursdays 3-7 p.m., Fridays and choices,” said founder Renee Raley. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A Simpler Place In Time kicked off “Our strong desire to connect our the season on Thursday, October 27, and community with local agriculture has lead a crowd of about 150 stopped by to us to expand our growing space from a browse and pick up items. single acre in rural Wimauma to an addi”I am really happy with the turnout. It tional three-acre farmette right in the heart has been a great night,” commented ven- of suburbia in Riverview,” Raley stated. dor Melinda Murray, owner of Vamos! Riverview residents Azrael and Gourmet Catering, which offers foods LeAnna Carrasco visited the Famers with a Columbian-Floridian Fusion. “We Market for the first time on opening day almost sold out and will be back next and commented, “I like this location. It is week with more.” very quaint and we love getting out and The market will be held every supporting local businesses.” Thursday, 3-7 p.m., rain or shine with the A Simpler Place In Time is located at exception of holidays, through May 25, 9903 Carr Rd. in Riverview (off of Boyette 2017. Also on-site is a farm store, dediRd. across from St. Stephen’s Catholic cated to providing an outlet for local grow- School). For information call 424-1874 or ers and artisans to bring their goods to visit www.asimplerplaceintime.com.

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December 2016

Local Gymnasts Set Sights On Olympics With Training Center Trip

By Kate Quesada

Last summer, work even harder. many young gymWhat we love nasts watched about these girls is athletes like that they have a Simone Biles and goal and they are Gabby Douglas willing to work as participate in the hard as they need Olympic Games in order to achieve and dreamed of it.” one day competAt the Olympic ing themselves. Training Site in Last month, this Texas in October, Brandon area gymnasts, Asia Reid, Lila Couture and Emerson Fisk recently traveled the girls competed dream became to the Olympic Training Center in Texas. closer to a reality against 300 athfor three local girls who were invited to letes between the ages of eight and 10, the Olympic Training Site in Texas to parfor a spot in a camp where they will be ticipate in high-level camps. watched by National Team Coordinator Lila Couture (8), Asia Reid (8) and Valeri Liukin. Emerson Fisk (9) all train at Golden City “He and the entire National Staff Gymnastics in Brandon in the Talent keep their eye out for the next Olympic Opportunities Program (TOPs) under star,” said Shauna. coaches Brianne and Shauna Swartz. Five athletes from Golden City have “This program is specifically for been invited to camps at the Olympic young athletes who show great potential Training Center in the next few months. In in the sport of gymnastics,” said Shauna, addition to Couture, Reid and Fisk, whose family owns Golden City Rayna Light and Nhi Nguyen, who are Gymnastics. both 11 years old, will be participating in a According to Shauna the athletes in Developmental Invite camp this month. the TOPs program, which consists of “It is an honor to have any athletes seven girls, train twice a week for three invited to the Olympic Training Site, but to and a half hours in addition to training for have five is incredible,” said Shauna, who their personal level, which can add up to explained that the camps only have about as long as 18 to 24 hours a week. 50 girls in them. “This is a great group of “These girls deserve recognition girls who have worked hard to accombecause the TOPs program, which leads plish their goals. They have Olympic to elite gymnastics, is an intense prodreams and we will do everything we can gram,” said Shauna, who has been to help them get there.” coaching for almost 10 years. “The trainFor more information on Golden City ing is vigorous and we expect perfection Gymnastics, located at 930 Lithia from them. We train them hard and they Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon, call 685-7770.

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Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Local Students Compete In The Head Of The Hooch Regatta

FINANCIAL FOCUS

By Tamas Mondovics

Melissa L Haskins

Consider Some New Year’s (Financial) Resolutions

Financial Advisor

ways to free up some money, increase your contributions to your retirement plan. • Review your portfolio. Is your investment portfolio still on track toward helping you meet your long-term goals? If not, you may need to make some changes. You’ll also want to study your investment mix to make sure it still accurately reflects your risk tolerance. Over time, and often without your taking any significant actions, your portfolio can “drift” to a place where you are taking on too much risk – or even too little risk – for your needs and long-term objectives. If this happens, you may need to “rebalance” your holdings. • Avoid mistakes. None of us can avoid all mistakes, in life and in our investment activities. But as an investor, you’ll clearly benefit from minimizing your errors. For example, it’s generally a mistake to jump out of the market in response to a period of volatility. If you wait for things to “calm down” before investing again, you might miss out on the opportunity to participate in the next market rally. • Think long term. Keep this in mind: You’re not investing for today or tomorrow, but for many years from now. Try to keep a long-term focus when making all your key investment decisions. By doing so, you can avoid overreacting to short-term developments, such as a sudden drop in the market or a “momentous” political event that actually decreases in importance as time goes by. Try to follow these financial resolutions as best as you can. You could make 2017 a year to remember. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

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We’re just about ready to open the door to 2017, so you might be thinking about some New Year’s resolutions. What’s on your list this year? More visits to the gym? Learning a new language? Mastering the perfect beef bourguignon? All worthy ambitions, of course, but why not also include some financial resolutions? By reviewing your needs and goals, you can identify some resolutions that are particularly relevant to your own situation. But here are a few suggestions: • Build an emergency fund. If you needed a major car repair or a new furnace, or faced some other large, unanticipated expense, could you cope with it? If you didn’t have the money readily available, you might have to dip into those investments intended for long-term goals, such as retirement. Instead, build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, kept in a liquid, low-risk account. • Cut down on debts. It’s not easy to cut down on one’s debt load. But if you can find ways to reduce your debts, you’ll help improve your overall financial picture. Many debts are not “useful” – that is, they don’t carry any tax advantages – so every dollar you spend to pay down those debts is a dollar you could use to invest for your future. • Boost contributions to your retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) or similar retirement plan, take full advantage of it. Your earnings have the potential to grow tax deferred and your contributions may lower your taxable income. Plus, most plans offer a selection of investment options, so you can choose the investment mix that fits your objectives and risk tolerance. Therefore, if your salary goes up this year, or if you think you can find other

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Completing part in the twothe final race of day race are set the fall season, a off at intervals team of local stuand have to foldents proudly low a course took part in The and are timed Head of the while penalties Hooch Regatta are given for in Chattanooga, missing buoys. Tennessee last Close to Members of the The Stewards Foundation rowing 9,000 seats are month. team, Newsome High School sophomore Drew Second only Bennett and freshman Cristian Lopez are joined by rowed during Bloomingdale High School junior Bryce Fuson and the event and to the Head of Bloomingdale resident Cullen Finley, compete in 1,200 boats the Charles in the The Head of the Hooch Regatta. Boston—the compete on largest regatta or boat race in the counSaturday alone, which is more in just one try—the Hooch draws more than 150 day than any other regatta. teams from around the country to take “It is a true test of rowing stamina part in races for all ages from high school, and skill,” said team mom, Jennifer college and masters programs. Bennet, whose son Drew not only enjoys Newsome High School sophomore attending the annual event, but said that Drew Bennett and freshman Cristian it’s the most important contest his team Lopez competed in the event held the trains for all year. weekend of November 5 and 6, and were “I love going to the Hooch,” Drew joined by Bloomingdale High School junsaid. “It's the big regatta we train for all ior Bryce Fuson and Cullen Finley, a fall. It's a great weekend away with my Bloomingdale resident who attends Jesuit team and we get to meet and compete High. against other rowers from around the The four boys proudly row for The country. I really like the competition and Stewards Foundation a nonprofit 501 (c) the memories I make. I’ll definitely be 3 organization, based at the bypass canal back next year.” The Hooch was the final in Tampa, which use the sport of Rowing race for the team’s fall season, and after as a vehicle to teach teamwork and a few weeks of rest the boys return to responsibility to young people. winter training. According to race officials, the course Those interested in learning to row is 5,000 meters (3.1 mile) long along the may contact head coach Mike Smith at Tennessee River from Chickamauga michaeljs7@gmail.com or call 786 0337. Dam into the Tennessee River Gorge at New crew members are always welcome. Chattanooga. For more information, please visit The more than 2,000 boats taking www.rowtampa.com.

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Page 9

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

BSAC Tennis Star Credits Success To Coaches, Family And Community Support

BRANDON CATARACT CENTER AND EYE CLINIC

By Tamas Mondovics

Newsome High She was involved in School senior and the school's Student Brandon Sports and Government for the Aquatic Center past three years, Tennis talent, Kylie National Honor Moulin, enjoyed the Society and many spotlight last month other volunteer as she officially clubs. Moulin’s signed to further her choice of school was education on a full also welcomed by scholarship at the her parents and University of friends, which she Alabama. acknowledged when Moulin, who she said, “My parJoined by friends, family and her coaches, grew up playing the Kylie Moulin signs her commitment letter to ents are super the University of Alabama. The Newsome happy with my decisport she loves, High School senior received a full ride. joining BSAC, 405 sion. They are excitBeverly Blvd. in Brandon, in 2009, coned that it is close to home and that it is a firmed her decision during a scholarship place where I can really excel in my tensigning ceremony at the center, while nis and academics. I plan to study to be giving her coaches, parents and friends a physical therapist and I want to minor all the credit for her own athletic sucin psychology.” Of course, balancing cess. school and athletics is not always easy, “If I didn't have a great coach and a something Moulin said she herself had family to support me I don't think I would to learn over the years. “There are be where I am today,” she said. “I love always hard obstacles to overcome, but the coaches at BSAC more than anythose are things that will only make you thing. Everyone is like family to me.” better and bring you one step closer to Moulin emphasized that her love your goal,” she said. To encourage those and drive for the sport and the people who aspire to walk in her footsteps, that supported her was, and continues to Moulin said, “I would tell younger kids to be, the force that helped her to be sucalways fight their hardest and to never cessful. As a 5-star tennis recruit, Moulin give up on a dream that they want to is currently ranked 41 nationally. She is achieve.” ranked top 15 in the southeast and as a BSAC’s Tennis program has been top 10 tennis player in Florida. operating under the watchful eyes of coThis past spring, Moulin earned directors Alex and Andrew Golub. The fourth place at a national selection in duo is supported by Tennis professionals Altamonte Springs. Moulin is in the top Damon Henkel and Morgan Frank. 25 in her Newsome graduating class. Visit mybsac.org.

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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

County Promotes Local Trails Through New Hiking Program

Outdoor Skating Returns To Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park With Winter Village

Hillsborough recent press County officials release. “The trails are hoping to lure are spread residents out from throughout the the living rooms County so people to the great outcan hike near doors and take a home or explore hike. new areas.” Advertised on Parks officials its newly emphasized that redesigned webPhoto Courtesy of Hillsborough County the listed hikes A group of residents from the Brandon Park range in length site, representaand Recreation Center hike the Bobcat Trail at from less than half tives of the Upper Tampa Bay Park, one of 19 sites County’s Parks a mile to four miles earmarked for the five-month Hiking Spree program. and Recreation and include such have unveiled a new program that they popular regional parks as Lettuce Lake, say encourages people to exercise, get Upper Tampa Bay, and Lithia Springs. out in the fresh air, and experience nature Take advantage of the lesser-known by exploring the numerous parks and pre- scenic parks, such as Blackwater Creek serves, including a Rolling Acres Fitness and Alafia Scrub preserves, that are also trail in Valrico, at 707 S. Miller Rd. on the list. Appropriately named, The Hiking Each of the 20 trails in the Hiking Spree, the program features 20 hikes and Spree program is classified by rank and is supported by Friends of the County severity as A-All Purpose, B-Basic or CParks, a nonprofit organization that startPrimitive; with the rating of 1-Easy, 2ed in 1988 to promote financial and comModerate, 3-Strenuous. munity support to the County’s Parks and Participants are allowed to create Recreation department. one other trail of their choice and for the After an online registration, residents sake of safety are to dress appropriately who are able to complete at least eight of and bring plenty of water. the hikes between November 1 and Those who have completed at least March 3 will receive a patch, or a medaleight hikes can turn in their forms at All lion for a walking stick from the People’s Life Center or locally at Brandon Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Center, 510 E. Sadie St. in Recreation department. Brandon and Gardenville Recreation “The Hiking Spree Program is Center, 6215 Symmes Rd. in Gibsonton. designed to introduce people to the Completed forms can also be mailed County’s varied parks and preserves,” to: HCPRD Hiking Spree, All People’s Life said Todd Pratt with Hillsborough County Center, 6105 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL Communications and Digital Media in a 33617.

The yearly through tradition of outChristmas day. door ice skating You can rent has returned to skates and have downtown 90 minutes of fun Tampa. This on the ice for just year, organizers $12. The rink’s have added a hours are twist to the much Monday through beloved event by Thursday 4 to 9 including the p.m.; Friday 4 to new Winter 10 p.m.; Village Shops. Saturday 10 a.m. All of the exciteto 10 p.m.; ment takes place Sunday 10 a.m. right along the to 9 p.m. When Give yourself a treat and visit Tampa’s Winter river in Tampa’s Hillsborough Village in Curtis Hixon Park. You can enjoy outbeautiful Curtis door ice skating, shopping in the Winter Village County Schools Hixon Park, Shops and sharing a holiday inspired snack pre- are out, the pared by the creative people at Sono Café by located at 600 N. hours are 10 Mise en Place. Ashley Dr. in a.m. to 10 p.m. Tampa. The Winter A temporary ice skating rink has Village Shops are open Thursday to been erected along the river. The new Sunday through Saturday, December 24. Winter Shops are made up of more than They are also closed on Thanksgiving. 20 rotating holiday market boutiques. The hours for the Winter Village Shops The boutiques are set up in PODS storare 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday age containers. Vendors will be selling and 12 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and holiday decorations, clothing, toys, jewel- Sunday. There is no fee to enter the ry and much more. Winter Village and dogs are welcome. In addition to the shops and ice skatWhen I visited on Sunday, it was a ing, visitors can enjoy holiday treats at glorious Florida day. This is a great conthe snack bar which sells roasted chestcept located in a wonderful park alongnuts, snowflake lollipops, chocolate bark side the Hillsborough River. Get out there and candied nuts. You can try a terrific and visit it for yourself. You will instantly holiday menu at the Sono Café by Mise get into the holiday spirit if you do. en Place. They offer sandwiches, soups For more information, and to get a and festive sweets along with beer, wine list of the shops and when they will be and holiday inspired beverages. there, please visit www.wintervillagetamThe ice skating rink is open now pa.com.

By Tamas Mondovics

By Kathy L. Collins


December 2016

Page 11

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquor Offers Unique Gifts For The Holidays

Happy Holidays!

By Amanda Boston

Thirteen quantity. years ago, Ajay Jambhekar Jambhekar of appreciates Valrico, traded in and studies the his career as an process of accountant in making alcohol, Corporate which is the key America for a component in more personal separating the and small-town good from the setting when he great. He launched his explained, “The store AJ’s Fine brand name is Wine & Liquor. not important. His previous 25 What is imporyears of busitant is how it is ness experience made, and how Ajay Jambhekar, owner of AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquor serves him well it tastes.” is offering free personalized engraving on select as it is evident An advowhiskey bottles on Wednesday, December 14 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. through his cate of small booming business. Robert Regester, a businesses alike, Jambhekar educates Valrico resident and patron, said, “Ajay is his clientele on the various alcohol proda great guy who knows his customers,” ucts available that are not as well marketand he attributed relationship building to ed, yet just as exceptional and oftentimes Jambhekar’s entrepreneurial success. more affordable. His highest objective is With Christmas and New Year’s Eve to provide his customers a product suitaround the corner, Jambhekar is offering able for their palate at reasonable prices. free personalized engraving on select Fittingly, Jambhekar offers his customers whiskey bottles purchased in store rangthe ongoing opportunity to sample assorting in price from $31 to $74. The annual ed liquor products, and on occasion, he engraving event will happen on showcases new wine with weekend wineWednesday, December 14 from 6 p.m. to tasting events. AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquor 9 p.m. Additionally, you may pre-order the also houses a walk-in humidor with engraving, provided that the product has cigars, craft beers, gluten free beers, been purchased beforehand. With regard organic beers, and a self-serve bar. The to engraving, there are no restrictions on store is located at 3443 Lithia Pinecrest the amount of letters or number of bottles. Rd., Valrico, in the Shoppes of Lithia Along with the opportunity to seize a Plaza, adjacent to the Publix. For informatruly unique hostess or host gift, AJ’s Fine tion on upcoming events, call 654-6488 Wine & Liquor endorses quality over or visit the store’s Facebook Page.

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Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Team Member Scholarships Are Legacy For Art Monkey Owner By Kate Quesada

Sydney Forsythe

Ian Roach

Rachel Patten

Before Bonnie Karet, founder of FishHawk’s Art Monkey Art Studio, handed the keys of her business to new owners last month, she impacted four of her long-time employees and many children on the other side of the world. Karet, who opened Art Monkey in FishHawk’s Park Square in 2011, sold the business to local residents Liisa and Eric Soncrant when she and her family relocated to the east coast of Florida. But in an effort to show her appreciation for four of her stand-out employees, she gifted each of them with a $500 scholarship for college. “Employees are one of the most special things about owning and business and these employees deserve extra special recognition,” said Karet, who

explained that the four students ran Art Monkey for her when she took six months away to hike the Appalachian Trail. “I received not one single complaint when I was gone, despite there being so much to do. They showed a maturity, dedication and work ethic that I needed to recognize.” The four students who received the scholarships are Sydney Forsythe, who is graduating from high school in the spring, Rachel Patten who attends the University of Florida, Mackenzie Karet who attends Florida State University and Ian Roach

Mackenizie Karet

who currently attends Hillsborough Community College. Throughout her time with Art Monkey, Karet worked hard to change the lives of other children by using the store to raise funds for the Big Big World Project, an organization that supplies direct support for children living in a Vietnam orphanage. In October, during Karet’s last week at Art Monkey, she organized a halloween party which raised much needed funds for the project. The event raised more than $2,000 through games, a raffle and food sales, to which Karet added $1,000 from Art Monkey.

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Karen, who started the Big Big World Project with a friend, travels regularly to Vietnam to see the children helped by funds raised at the store. “Our goal is to treat these children as a parent would,” she said. “Without help, 80 to 90 percent of these children end up in human trafficking.” For more information on the Big Big World Project, visit www.bigbigworld.org. “Knowing we have impacting so many children means that I can leave Art Monkey with a happy heart,” said Karet. “We have done good work in FishHawk.”Art Monkey is located at 16144 Churchview Dr. in FishHawk’s Park Square. For more information, call 315-9803 or visit www.artandicecream.com.

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December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Bloomingdale Student Raises Funds For Queena Survivor Feature Film

By Kate Quesada

Many peothe budget ple in the for the film Brandon area and putting know the story the final of Queena, the touches on 2008 the second Bloomingdale draft of the Library victim, screen play. but Derrick Ball “The target Perez with audience for Indomitable the film is Productions, a pretty much senior at anyone who Bloomingdale has been High School, is told they looking for help aren’t capafrom the comble of doing munity to introsomething. duce Queena This film will to a much larg- Bloomingdales High School senior Derrick Ball Perez is not only raising funds to make a movie about Queena, the 2008 er audience. prove them Bloomingdale Library victim. Perez, who otherwise, met Queena through his mother who perbut will also humble audiences to show forms essential oil aroma touches on her, them that they haven’t lost everything and has raised more than $1,500 towards his that life is precious and worth fighting for.” $25,000 goal to fund a movie in the style Perez is hoping to raise money from of the popular Dolphin Tale, based on the community to purchase equipment, Queena’s story. cover the cost of production and have “I knew about the events that took funds to distribute the film to audiences all place eight years ago, but I was extremeover the world. ly unaware of Queena’s current condi“We need the community’s help to tell tion,” said Perez. “A lot of people I know Queena’s story,” said Perez. “She has lost weren’t even sure if she survived.” a lot, especially a lot of things most of us Queena suffered a brain injury during take for granted. But the one big thing she an attack at the Bloomingdale Regional hasn’t lost is that amazing, beautiful smile Library when she was an 18-year-old sen- and that laugh that fills the room and ior in high school, and is now wheel chair brightens your day.” bound and was unable to take the spot According to Perez, all of the funds she had previously earned at the made from the sales of the film will go to University of Florida. Queena’s medical costs. “We want to make this film so we can For more information on Queena, use Queena’s story to inspire others,” visit www.joinqueena.com. Contact Perez said Perez who is currently working on at 304-7984.

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Page 13

Build A Toy With Santa At MOSI

By Grayson Kamm

It looks like the lost toys hidtoo many boys den around MOSI, and girls have and live science been good this shows. year, Santa Claus because Santa is will be dropping by running out of his workshop to room at the North share pointers and Pole and he’s holiday cheer with adding an his toy-making extra Santa’s helpers. Come Workshop at the take a photo Museum of with Santa Claus Science & Industry at MOSI from 10 (MOSI) in Tampa. a.m. to 4 p.m. He needs your help to make sure his elves can make all of the toys they’ll need for this holiday season. Included Santa is adding an extra workshop at MOSI this holiday season. Bring the chilwith MOSI admisdren to help the elves make the toys needed on Saturday, sion, kids can for this holiday season. come to the Idea December Zone® creativity 3. Santa will be lab and make real toys to take home and back at MOSI for brief 90-minute visits give to family and friends. Santa’s on December 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18. Workshop at MOSI continues “To me, the best kind of gift is a gift through January 3, 2017. Santa himself you make yourself – especially if you’re a will visit the workshop during the first kid. Santa’s Workshop at MOSI gives kids three weekends in December (see below the chance to show their creative sides for details). and make something memorable and Idea Zone® at MOSI will become a unique for a friend or family member, Minecraft-inspired winter wonderland, instead of only choosing a gift off a shelf,” complete with a cubic Christmas tree and said Molly Minecraft model train. With help Demeulenaere, MOSI President & CEO. from MOSI’s elf-trained staff, guests can No reservations are necessary and get hands-on with: cardboard creatures, hands-on Santa’s Workshop activities are retro toy-building classes, Santa Sleuths included with MOSI general - MOSI's Elf on a Shelf has raided MOSI's admission. MOSI is open secret stocking full of 3D-printed toys a every Tuesday through Sunday and is few good Santa Sleuths are being sought closed seasonally on some Mondays, to join in the reindeer game and help find visit mosi.org for daily hours.


Page 14

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

Newsome High School Musician Honored To Play In All American Bowl

Cross-Bay Ferry Kicks Off Six-Month Program To Test The Waters

When 125 Andrew Luck, high school stuAdrian Peterson dents from and Christian around the McCaffrey country perform made their at the nationalnational debuts ly-broadcast as U.S. Army All-Americans. U.S Army AllA total of 330 American U.S. Army AllMarching Band half-time show Newsome High School Senior Megan Wright was American Bowl on January 7, selected to perform in the marching band at the alumni have 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl half-time show. been selected 2017, Valrico in NFL Drafts. The 2016 game drew a resident Megan Wright will be among crowd of 39,121 to the Alamodome. them. “It is hard to put into words the A Newsome High School senior and marimba player, Wright was official- immense honor I feel to be counted amongst these people,” said Wright, ly asked to join the elite group of musiwho thanked many people from her cians and color guard members and given an honorary jacket at a ceremony grandparents to her fellow band members in her acceptance speech. “I can attended by her fellow band members, not express the joy I have to represent classmates, friends and family last Newsome High School.” Wright’s parmonth. “This is one of the biggest ents, Lloyd and Heather Wright, were announcements in the history of also honored at the ceremony with an Newsome,” said Principal Carla award recognizing their role in helping Bruning. their daughter realize her musical The U.S. Army All-American dream. “Megan is part of an amazing Marching Band performs each year at system which has helped her receive halftime of the U.S. Army All-American this honor,” said Band Director Michael Bowl. Band members are chosen not Miller. “She is part of a great band projust because they excel musically, but gram at a great high school in a great because they are mentally and physidistrict. Not everyone has this support cally agile, they know the importance of teamwork, and they are able to adapt to system.” The U.S. Army All-American Bowl challenging situations, similar to U.S. will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. Army Soldiers. SFC Jimmie Lawson EST on Saturday, January 7, 2017. The represented the Army at the ceremony Bowl, presented by American Family and spoke about the hard work Wright Insurance, is owned and produced by had put in to achieve this honor. “Only All American Games™, a New Jerseythe best are selected to participate in based sports marketing and event manthe U.S. Army All-American Bowl,” said agement company. For more informaLawson. “Students have to be dedicattion, visit ed, motivated and live the Army’s valwww.usarmyallamericanbowl.com and ues every day.” www.goarmy.com/events/aab. For 17 years, the U.S. Army AllNewsome High School is located at American Bowl has been one of the nation’s largest and most important high 16550 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. For more information on the marching band, school football games, serving as the email Miller at launching pad for America’s future colnhswolfpackband@gmail.com. lege and NFL stars. Odell Beckham Jr.,

A new pilot service are to program by eventually offer a Tampa Bay South County Ferries, to transdock to transport port residents the 6-8,000 across the bay MacDill staff from the members from Convention Southern Center dock to Hillsborough St. Petersburg County to MacDill Pier hub, is Cross-Bay Ferry policy advisor Ed Turanchik daily. Under curwelcomes community members aboard the rent plans, the underway and Provincetown IV for its inaugural ride between residents will ferry would Tampa and St. Pete. cast their votes for the project by buying tickets to demonstrate if this is a wanted service in our community. The Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project is a regional effort designed to demonstrate water transportation service options to the residents and businesses of the Tampa Bay region, helped in part by a $4.8 million federal transportation grant. The project is a collaboration between St. Petersburg, Tampa, Hillsborough and Pinellas County and will operate for six months accept the current transportation reimbetween the Vinoy Basin in downtown bursement option for military and there St. Petersburg and the Tampa would be no additional cost. Convention Center in downtown But, to showcase the need, the Tampa. current passenger ferry service, operFerry service officially kicked off ating with the 98-ft. 149-seat on November 1 and local elected offiProvincetown IV, catamaran, is up and cials, representatives from local running to showcase community Chamber of Commerce organizations usage and viability. and personnel from MacDill were invitFrontier Communications has ed to a special ride to learn more. signed a major sponsorship deal to “We are very thankful to Sandra provide free ride tickets every Murman and all the elected officials third Sunday of the month from who worked hard to make this hapNovember through April. pen,” said Ed Turanchik with Akerman Dubbed “Ride Free Day, Powered LLP, policy advisor for the project. by Frontier,” the deal covers the full “This is a special trip today from South $10 one-way ticket price and will County with some special representabegin Sunday, November 20, and contives from MacDill to give them an idea tinue December 18, January of what their transportation could be. 15, February 19, March 19, April 16. Our intention is to get MacDill up and Among community supporters and running a.s.a.p. This pilot project is partners of the Cross-Bay Ferry: The very important.” Tampa Bay Times, Frontier Air Force Tech Sgt. Isaac Dobson Communications, iHeartMedia, Clear was on the inaugural ride of the ferry Channel Outdoor, the Tampa Bay and is excited see its plans to come to Lightning, Tampa Downtown South County as an option for comPartnership, St. Petersburg Chamber, muting to MacDill. “Anything that will Visit Tampa Bay, Visit St. Petersburg save me time and money is welcome Clearwater and The Pirate Water Taxi. for me,” said the father of a 9-monthCurrently rides are $10 per pasold baby who lives in Riverview and senger each way and bicycles are welhas been assigned to MacDill for six come on board for $1 each way. years. “Currently, I take the toll road to Children under 3 ride free. For inforwork every day.” mation and advance tickets, visit The future hopes for the ferry CrossBayFerry.com.

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December 2016

Page 15

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Garvin Follows Biscuits Success With New Sweet PotatoByLove Marie Gilmore

Local blogger, chef and cookbook author Jackie Garvin has become nationally recognized for the success of her first ever cookbook, Biscuits and now, just in time for the fall weather, her second cookbook, Sweet Potato Love, is released and available on shelves. Garvin is living the dream! As a mom, grandmother and local cooking enthusiast, it was her Syrup and Biscuits Valrico author Jackie blog that first Garvin is thrilled with the release of her drew the attensecond cookbook, tion of publishSweet Potato Love. ers who wanted a cookbook focused on Biscuits. “The success of Biscuits is humbling and heartwarming,” said Garvin. “It’s in the third print run and will be available in paperback next fall.” Sweet Potato Love (Skyhorse Publishing; September 6, 2016; ISBN: 978-1-5107-0966-9; $24.99) contains 60 pages of sweet and savory recipes and is beautifully organized by season to make the most of the freshest produce and weather-based cravings. Seasonal recipes include: Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie, Cranberry Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Banana Sweet Potato Breakfast Bread, Sweet Potato Corn Bread, Barbeque Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, & more.

Alongside these delicious sweet-andsavory recipes, author Jackie Garvin provides a touching a personal narrative with full color photographs explaining the life, from harvest to shipment, of the sweet potato and her own family memories. “Somehow, Jackie manages to transform the simple sweet potato into a fabulous ingredient worthy of being showcased at any meal. It’s a potato lover’s dream come true—a real winner,”—said Melissa Sperka, author of Melissa’s Southern Cookbook. Garvin is well recognized in the Southern Cooking industry and in fact, will be a guest author and speaker on an upcoming Southern Sailings Country Cooking Cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas May 21-28, 2017. For more information, visit www.southernsailings.com. Garvin, a wife and mother, was born in Alabama but moved to Tampa in 1985 and retired after successful careers as a registered nurse, corporate executive, and entrepreneur. In 2011, she created her Southern food blog, Syrup and Biscuits, to chronicle wonderful food memories before they were forgotten. She lives in Valrico, Florida, with her husband and basset hound, Belle. Visit syrupandbiscuits.com or find her on Facebook.

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Page 16

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Valrico Inventor Ready To Take Cinch Clasp Jewelry Business To Market

By Marie Gilmore

Wife, mother, Valrico resident and anklets and any piece of jewelry that affixowner of Celestial Cinch Clasp LLC., es for men, women and children. Maria Gibbs “We wanted to create a product that was preparwill help people put on their jewelry ing for an effortlessly,” described Gibbs. “I had a evening out vision of what this product should be and with her husthe Cinch Clasp is exactly what I band one dreamed it would evening be.” when she In addition to couldn’t affix allowing for easy the perfect affixing, the Cinch necklace to Clasp has been accompany designed to conher outfit. nect jewelry She had to together for a charge whole new look. Cinch Clasp owner through the The double clasp Maria Gibbs has inventhouse, can affix two or more jewelry pieces, ed a new jewelry product that has been designed and manu- the triple can help create a cascading, yelling for her husband factured and is ready for market. draping jewelry effect with just one to come and help her and complete her clasp to undo. outfit. In addition to precious metals made A concept was born and Gibbs conto match all fine jewelry, Cinch Clasp is tinued ahead and headed to jewelers, also designed in Stainless Steel, 18k manufacturers and developers and even Gold Plated, Sterling Silver, 14k solid, filed patent papers, because she couldn’t and White Gold, Rose Gold and more. rest until she brought her revolutionary Husband James Gibbs, an Air Force product, Cinch Clasp to market. Veteran and also a customer, wears his Now, Celestial Clasp, LLC. is gold chain and heirloom cross with his pleased to announce the release of Cinch Clasp daily. Cinch Clasp, the newest jewelry accesso“This product is not just for women ry that will simplify jewelry attachment. who wear jewelry,” explained Gibbs. “This The concept is a secure but easy is a product for anyone who wears, or release clasp that will affix to the existing wants to wear jewelry.” lobster claw and connection on all current Cinch Clasp is currently available popular jewelry. The Cinch Clasp is online with a single Stainless Steel pricing secure, easy to release and is attractive starting at $24.99 at so as to not distract from the look of jewwww.cinchclasp.com. For more informaelry. It is perfect for necklaces, bracelets, tion, contact Gibbs at 352-9087.

Volume 15, Issue 12

Newsome’s New Criminal Justice Program Attracts 180 Students

By Tamas Mondovics

A small group, which represents the now 180-student strong Criminal Justice Program at Newsome High School, poses for a photo during class lead by retired Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Lieutenant, Carlos Somellan.

In response to an unquestionable interest on the part of its student body, Newsome High School is now offering a four-year program that according to school officials and teachers could not have come at a better time. “With all of the tragic events involving law enforcement officers across the nation, better understanding and communication between officers and members of the community is vital,” said retired Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Lieutenant Carlos Somellan, who is now teaching the program at Newsome High. “The Criminal Justice Program offered to our students here at Newsome High is as timely and beneficial as ever.” Somellan, who is routinely assisted by Newsome High School Resource Deputy Mike Alonso, proudly said that the available space for the program filled up quickly and is now serving as many students as the school has room for. “The kids did not hesitate to respond to take part of the new course,” said Somellan, himself a former school resource deputy who has served the Sheriff’s Office for 30 years. Somellan added, “Three months into

the program and the kids love it.” As it is the case in most high schools, the program gives students an opportunity to study constitutional law, court procedures, crime scene investigation, forensic science, international law, criminal law, and the techniques involved in field work such as fingerprinting and photographing for evidence collection just to name a few. “It is very much a hands-on program, which helps the students to get a better perspective of what law enforcement officers go through on a daily basis and what the job is really all about,” he said. “In just a short time, I have seen a tremendous change in my student’s views of law enforcement officers.” “Similar to the ROTC programs, criminal justice gives the students a better opportunity to learn the basics of law enforcement as well as to purse and find employment with the Sheriff’s Office,” Alonso said. Both deputies, Somellan and Alonso spoke highly of the Newsome administration’s support of the new program, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and its hard working deputies. For more info, visit Newsome High School, please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.


December 2016

Page 17

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

By Tamas Mondovics

County To Host Workshop To Build Community And Law Enforcement Relations As the violence against or, tragic events involving law enforcement officers across the nation is making headlines, Hillsborough County has managed to stay off the chart by means of good relations. “Our nation has sadly witnessed many recent tragic events involving law enforcement officers and a lack of communication within their communities,” said Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Lesley “Les”, Miller (District 3) a father of a police officer. To provide opportunity for constructive dialogue, the BOCC approved funding to organize a series of seven local Community-Law Enforcement Workshops (CLEW), scheduled from December, 2016 through September 30, 2017, using $30,000 in funding approved by the BOCC. The workshops are sponsored by the BOCC, United Way Suncoast, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the School District of Hillsborough County. Aimed at improving and maintaining good relations between law enforcement and community members, the effort promises to provide adults and youth residing in Hillsborough County a chance to share their perspectives on community policing, offer recommendations and allow law enforcement officers to share

the daily challenges they face. “These workshops will safely allow for open and honest dialogue between communities and local law enforcement that is necessary to maintain positive and productive relations in our neighborhoods,” Miller said. Small group discussions, role playing, testimonials, a 90-minute ride-along with law enforcement, summary discussions, and the recording of recommendations to pass along to elected officials and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are all on the list. Administered by four retired veteran workshop personnel, the series will be divided into four adult, two youth workshops, and 1 leadership retreat. The first event is now scheduled to take place on Monday and Tuesday, December, 5-6, from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at Clair-Mel Elementary School, 1025 S. 78th Street in Tampa, under the theme “Community and Law Enforcement working together toward greater intercultural understanding.” Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 29. To register or to request an invitation to attend the first workshop and for more information call 272-5720 or email WilliamsLA@hillsboroughcounty.org. or JenkinsAD@hillsboroughcounty.org.

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Page 18

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Ellel Ministries Hosts Beauty For Ashes Conference, A Journey To Healing

By Libby Hopkins

Author Henry David Thoreau once shared throughout the conference. said, “There is no remedy for love but to Registration opens at 6 p.m., love more.” God teaches us to love our Thursday evening, January 19. The enemies even though they may have event starts at 6:30 p.m. and session end caused us great at 9 p.m. Friday harm. “We have sessions begin seen how God at 9 a.m. and can take the end at 5:30 p.m. worst things that and Saturday Satan has done sessions begin to human beings at 9 a.m. and through other end at 12:30 human beings, p.m. All tickets humans' inhuare general manity to other Ellel Ministries will be hosting its Beauty for Ashes admission and Conference from January 19-21, 2017 at The first come first humans and Crossing Southshore Campus in Ruskin. The conserved. This restore the ference will feature Ellel International Directors ashes of peoPeter and Fiona Horrobin with author and teacher event is for men Sarah Shaw. and women 18 ple's lives into something beauyears of age tiful,” said Rosemary Sorg of Ellel and older. No childcare is provided for Ministries. “This was in the prophecies this event and children are not permitted about the Messiah found in Isaiah 6:1 at the event. A light boxed lunch on which promises he will give us beauty in Friday is included in your ticket purchase. exchange for our ashes.” This will likely consist of a sandwich and Ellel Ministries will be hosting their chips. Special dietary needs cannot be Beauty for Ashes Conference from accommodated, but you are free to bring January 19-21 2017 at The Crossing your own meal. Snacks, coffee, tea and Southshore Campus in Ruskin. The conwater will be provided during ference will feature Ellel International breaks. Attendees should bring a Directors Peter and Fiona Horrobin with notepad, pen and a Bible. “Our hopes for author and teacher Sarah Shaw. Sarah this conference is for those who have authored the book ‘Sarah', which relates experienced abuse, hurts and pains, negher incredible journey from utter brokenlect, rejection, wounding and feel like they ness and despair to complete restoration have no hope or that there is no light at the end of the tunnel,” Sorg said. “We and wholeness. “The conference speakhope that they will receive God’s truth.” ers will share their personal stories about Visit www.ellel.org/usa. The how God has done this in their lives,” Crossings Southshore Campus is located said Sorg. A powerful testimony of God’s at 3058 E. College Ave. in Ruskin. healing and restoration will also be

By Kate Quesada

FishHawk Hosts Market Day & Car Show Are you active in your homeowner’s association? The Osprey Observer wants to help promote and share events and happening in your community through our monthly HOA Corner column. If you have any upcoming events you would like to promote to residents throughout the area or if you had a successful HOA event you’d like us to tell everyone about, email kquesada@gmail.com. The deadline to get information for the Bloomingdale and FishHawk area edition is the 15th of the month.

items. Park Square is located at 16144 Churchview Dr. in Lithia. The market runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 657-6629.

Car Show Takes Over Park Square

Pre-registration is now open for the FishHawk Ranch Car Show which will take place Sunday, January 8 at Park Square. The cost is $5 per car in advance and $10 on the day of the show. There will be a DJ, FishHawk Ranch Hosts food and The FishHawk Ranch Homeowner’s Monthly Market Day a 50/50 Association is hosting a Car Show at Park The FishHawk Ranch raffle and Square on January 8. Preregistration is Homeowner’s Association is all proopen now. proud to host Market Day in ceeds will FishHawk’s Park Square the first benefit the Florida Gulf Coast Sunday of every month from October to Paralyzed Veterans of America. To sign May. up, go to the Osprey Club at 5721 This month, head to the market on Osprey Ridge Dr. in Lithia. Cash and Sunday, December 4 to get started on checks only are accepted. The show your holiday shopping with more than will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Park 50 unique vendors offering local and Square is located t 16144 Churchview homemade gifts, produce and food Dr. in Lithia. Call 657-6629.

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December 2016

Page 19

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Mission BBQ Celebrates Opening Of Its 40th Location

16637 FishHawk Blvd. • Suite 101 Lithia, FL

By Tatiana Ortiz

The Assisting Veterans of America Support Team (AVAST) Color Guard marched in formation to begin the grand opening ceremony From the left: Bill Leahy of Mission (Market Partner), Brian BBQ’s 40th Poole (Operating Partner), Steven Sullivan location in (Director of Operations), Brandon. A Steve Newton (Cosmiling crowd Founder), Bill Kraus (CoFounder) greeted the color guard as they approached the outside building of Mission BBQ to perform their routine. Before the ceremony concluded, individuals placed their right hand over their heart to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. A Veteran sang The StarSpangled Banner. Co-Founders Bill Kraus and Steve Newton from Mission BBQ mentioned that every day at 12 Noon the National Anthem gets sung. “We do what we do for the love of our soldiers, firefighters, police officers, first responders—all our loved ones in service,” Kraus and Newton said. On September, 11, 2011, Mission BBQ began operation in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Co-Founders Bill Kraus and Steve Newton from Mission BBQ continued the journey with their franchise and expanded it to 11 other states. Besides the state of Maryland, Mission BBQ can

be found in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina just to name a few. For a full list of locations check http://mission-bbq.com/locations. When diners

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walk into Mission BBQ they can see framed memorabilia mounted on the walls such as photos, patches and more throughout the restaurant. Mission BBQ does offer an array of food and beverage items on the menu such as pulled pork, smoked brisket, Maggie’s Mac-N-Cheese and fresh cut fries, kettle iced tea and much more. Mission BBQ does provide a catering service for any occasion and takeout. Diner Roscoe Turner said he enjoys barbeque and thought his chopped beef brisket sandwich, Maggie’s Mac-NCheese and baked beans at Mission BBQ tasted great. As being all about the community, Mission BBQ gives back to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, along with many other organizations. For more information, visit missionbbq.com. It is located at 1504 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Hours of Operation are Monday through Thursday

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Page 20

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Royal Family KIDS Camp Tampa Bay Teams Up With Brandon Volunteers

Staff Report

For 25 years, Royal Family KIDS, Inc. has helped make a difference in the lives of children suffering from neglect and various forms of child abuse. The charity is based in Santa Ana, California, but operates 190 camps for children ages 6-12, including new one starting in Brandon in 2017. "We are proud to stand up for children of abuse through the caring volunteers at Royal Family Kids Camp Tampa Bay," said Wayne Tesch, Founder and CEO of Royal Family KIDS. "These people will dedicate a tremendous amount of time, resources and effort to provide a powerful week of positive memories that stay with the children their entire lives. It is an honor to have Scott & Kris Mulhollen and Megan Jetter lead this camp in Brandon" he said. This year, Royal Family KIDS Camp Tampa Bay will host 40 to 50 children at the local camp and Royal Family KIDS, Inc. will host 6,270 children around the country, which is around 5% of the foster children, ages 6-12 in the United States, who qualify

for the free summer camp experience. "Each of our directors is passionate about helping children of abuse and neglect in their community," said Glenn Garvin, VP of Camps for Royal Family KIDS. "One child, one community at a time we are confronting abuse and changing lives," he said. Royal Family KIDS Camp Tampa Bay is seeking corporate partners to increase the number of children attending its camp. Interested parties can contact us by visiting rfkctb.com/corporate-sponsors or calling 6414141 and speaking with Scott Mulhollen. Individuals who which to donate their time and be a counselor for the week of camp can go to rfkctb.com/volunteer. The camp has a ratio of one adult to one camper, so 40 to 50 adults are needed. Individuals can also contribute financially to the camp by visiting rfkctb.com/donate. Royal Family Kids Camp Tampa Bay is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity under the name Tampa Foster Kids Camp – FEIN 81-1735611. All donations are tax deductible.

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Page 21

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

FishHawk Residents Seek Support For Future Community Park By Tamas Mondovics access County Park?” It is noteworthy that Hall’s passionate proposal for the site is not new, but is actually an effort to resurrect a park project for the 10-acre land that was originally A map and diagram of a 10-acre County-owned property located in the proposed, FishHawk Ranch Garden District shows the location of a community funded and park that was originally proposed in 2010. Momentum and support is designated now growing for an all access park to be built on the site. by the Health and wellness, recreation, County to the Fishhawk community in building a strong community, improve2010 and, featured elements that are ment of environmental conditions and, now a reality at the FishHawk Sports connection to the outdoors are just Complex, off FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. some of the ways that parks serve a “I would like to see at least a community. scaled down version of the originally That a neighborhood park can be planned park,” Hall said adding, “The the focal point of its surrounding comfeature I would most like to see in the munity, strengthening its identity, while Park is a really cool playground,” bringing residents together, there is litAccording County officials, while tle doubt. the available land is still owned by the With that in mind and, seeking County, and is designated for a their neighbors’ support, a group of County Park, it is no longer funded for FishHawk Ranch residents have such a project. joined forces to generate interest in a This is what Hall hopes to change new County-funded "all access” comby means of generating the necessary munity park to be built on a countysupport. owned 10-acre parcel within the devel“The Fishhawk Community has opment’s Garden District. worked together to get other county The actual location of the availpark projects and I believe we can do able property is adjacent to the it again with this proposed playgroundFishHawk Ranch Aquatic Club, just focused park,” Hall said. “Although south of the FishHawk Creek located in the Garden District of Elementary School. Fishhawk Ranch, like all county parks, The effort to generate support for the new community park would be the park is spearheaded by FishHawk available for all to use and enjoy.” resident, Jeremy Hall, who emphaHall is confident that by means of sized that while some residents would building a strong case to demonstrate like to see the property to stay as is, how the features of the proposed park there is growing support for a new would benefit not only Fishhawk park that that does not require card Ranch, but also the surrounding comaccess and is wheel chair accessible, munities, the effort will yield success. which he said, could be home to a To support the project and to see pair playgrounds for younger and the "FishHawk Ranch Community older children, gazebos, plenty of Park" to be developed residents can swings and, perhaps a volleyball and visit www.PlanHillsborough.org. and basketball court along with parking click on "Contact Us" near the top and a bathroom. right of the page and fill in the form. “Our CDD II amenities are great, For more information and comments, but should we be restricted to them visit Jeremy Hall’s Facebook page, with all the access, time and guest under the Frequently Asked Question restrictions,” Hall said. “Why not an all addressing all these points.

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Page 22

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Special Christmas Services Offered By Local Area Churches Traditionally speaking, many churches celebrate the birth of Jesus with a Christmas Eve service. However, this year, Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. This begs the question, which day is the church planning to celebrate. Some churches are preparing both an eve service and day service while other churches are opting for one day over the other. No matter your preference of day or denomination, the local churches have you covered.

Bell Shoals Baptist

Bell Shoals Baptist Church will hold services on Saturday, December 24 at 3p.m. and 5p.m. at the Brandon Campus and Apollo Beach Campus. Christmas Day services will be held at all campus locations on Sunday, December 25 at 11a.m. For more information, please visit www.bellshoals.com.

Boyette Springs Church of God

Will host a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Saturday, December 24 at 6p.m. Come celebrate the birth of our Savior. For more information, please visit www.mybscog.org.

Crossing Church

Will hold Christmas Eve services on Saturday, December 24 at 4 and 5:45 p.m. on both campuses for an evening of special music and a message from Pastor Greg Dumas. The Tampa campus is located at 10130

By Amanda Boston

Tuscany Ridge Dr. in Tampa and the SouthShore campus is located at 3058 E. College Ave. in Ruskin. For more information, please visit www.crossingchristmas.org.

cede the service from 6:45 pm to 7:15 p.m. First United Methodist will also host a Christmas Day service on Sunday, December 25 at 10:30 a.m. The church is located at 1310 S. Kingsway Rd., Seffner. For more information, call 689-3513.

First Baptist Church of Bloomingdale,

Located at 3303 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, will hold one service on Sunday, December 25 at 11 a.m. For more information, call 6893847.

First Presbyterian Church of Brandon

Will conduct Christmas Eve services with candlelight and communion on Saturday, December 24 at 5p.m. and 7:30 p.m. A Christmas Day service will also be held on Sunday, December 25 at 10 a.m. The church is located at 121 Carver Ave., Brandon. For more information, call 689-4597.

First United Methodist Church of Seffner

Will host a candlelight Christmas Eve service on Saturday, December 24 at 7:15 p.m. Special music will pre-

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Church

FishHawk Fellowship

Will hold services on Friday, December 23 at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 24 at 3 and 5p.m. in the Worship Center. Celebrate Christ with communion and discover the last name of God in our Knowing God series: Immanuel. There will be no Sunday service. For information, call 655-7431.

ing service. The service will offer The Lord’s Supper and conclude with a special candle lighting event. Journey is located at 1310 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 699-8262 or visit www.journey7.com.

Kings Avenue Baptist Church

Will hold a Christmas Eve candlelight service offering song, scripture, and drama on Saturday, December 24 at 5 p.m. On Sunday, December 25 at 10:45 a.m., worship will be held in the Cheever. The church is located at 2602 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon. Please contact the church at church@kingsavenue.org or call 6853095.

River of Life Christian Center

Invites you and your family to experience One Child, One Star, One Night on Saturday, December 24 at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday, December 25th at 10a.m. The service on Christmas Day service differs from the Christmas Eve services. River of Life is located at 6605 Krycul Ave. in Riverview. For more information, please visit www.mychurch.rocks.

St. Stephen Catholic Church

Grace Baptist Temple

Welcomes you to worship on Saturday, December 24 at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 12 Midnight at its Bell Shoals campus, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd., Valrico and/or at its Family Life Center, located at 10136 Saint Stephen Circle, Riverview. On Sunday, December 25, all Masses will be celebrated at the Bells Shoals campus only, at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m., and 5:30 p.m. For more information, please call 689-4900.

Immanuel Lutheran Church and School

Nativity Catholic Church

Located at 2909 John Moore Rd. Brandon, invites you to celebrate the birth of our Savior, on Sunday, December 25 at 11 a.m. For more information, call 689-7190.

Located at 2913 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. Three Christmas Eve services will be offered on Saturday, December 24; a service at 5p.m. to include a Sunday school program, a candlelight service at 7p.m., and a candlelight communion service at 9 p.m. On Sunday, December 25, the church is offering a Christmas communion service at 10 a.m. For information, call 689-1787 or visit www.GodSoLoved.org.

Journey Church of Brandon

Will have one service on Saturday, December 24 at 5 p.m. with no morn-

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Located at 705 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon will hold two Christmas Eve Masses in two locations on Saturday, December 24: 4 p.m. in the Church (English) and gym (English) and 7 p.m. in the Church (English) and gym (Spanish). Join the Nativity Chorale and sing Christmas Carols at 11 p.m. in the Church. Christmas Day Masses on Sunday, December 25 will be celebrated in the Church at 12 Midnight (bilingual); 7, 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. (English); and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). For more information, call 681-4608.

Wishing You & Your Family a

Merry Christmas


December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 23


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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12


Bloomingdale/FishHawk

December 2016

Volume 15, Issue 12

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section

PUBLIC SAFETY ...............................PG 27 HARLEY’S HEROES ..........................PG 28 HISPANIC HERITAGE .......................PG 31 GET THE DIRT .................................PG 38 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 42 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE...............PGS 45‐60

Delectable and Creative Cheesecake Miniatures Suit All Tastes

Candlelight Celebration At Hillsboro Memorial

On Sunday, December 11 at 6 p.m., the Joyful Hillsborough Mini's came Memorial about Funeral through a Newland Communities donated $10,000 to the Newsome Home, 2323 family recipe High School Marching Band, which recently participated W. Brandon Joy Best established Joyful Mini’s using family and donain Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. recipes. Blvd. in tions for a Market, 9903 The check is from Brandon, will host a Candlelight friend's birthday. Joy Best established Carr Rd in Celebration. A $1640 check was presented to breast monies raised from her company in 2014, but it was not cancer patient Sherry Newton-Jackson on fundraisers that the According to Christopher fully operational until recently. The mis- Riverview November 8 by Paula Gaskin and Joyce beginning Oakfield store held Murray, Family Service Manager, “The sion is to provide "joy" to others Baker. November throughout the month of holiday season can be a particularly through delectable and creative 2016. October, which was Breast Cancer difficult time of year for families that cheesecake miniatures. Awareness Month. Music Showcase have experienced a loss. The ceremoJoyful Mini's offers a great tradiCheck Presented By Music raised the funds by selling pink ribny gives families an opportunity to celtional dessert with a little twist, in 12 Showcase for Breast Cancer Patient bons, cookies, cupcakes, and also ebrate the life and legacy of their loved different flavors. A few of these flavors Music Showcase awarded proheld a costume Halloween Party in one while also bringing other families are Strawberry, Caramel Nut and Oreo ceeds from month-long fundraising October. Music Showcase sought coping in similar situation together. It is cookie. Holiday favorites are Pumpkin, efforts to a 39-year-old breast cancer nominations for its always nice to see attenSweet potato and Mint. Two sizes are patient. The check totaling $1640 was fundraising dollars dees sharing stories and offered - the mini and the mini cup. and selected Ms. memories with one Mini's eliminate spoilage from purchas- presented to Sherry Newton-Jackson on November 8 by Paula Gaskin and Jackson as this another. Refreshments will ing a full pie. Since these cheeseJoyce Baker. Jackson is a single year’s winner. be served. Please RSVP at cakes are about the size of a jumbo mother with two children who has Music Showcase 689-8121. muffin, it is just the right size for an undergone a double mastectomy with would like to thank individual. Mini cups are great for parchemotherapy and radiation. She hasour patrons for their Black Rock Bar + Grill ties, social gatherings and meetings. n’t been able to work since April due to help in raising these Now In Brandon Prices range from $2.50 per mini her many doctor appointments and funds. For more cup and $5 per mini. Visit www.faceBlack Rock Bar + Grill treatments. She is struggling to keep information on book.com/Joyfulminis or call to place opened its doors October 27, 2010 in up with her mortgage payments and Music Showcase, visit www.musicorders at 941-889-9157. Visit Joyful Hartland, Michigan, a small town in a other bills. showcaseonline.com. Mini’s at A Simpler Place Farmer’s very tightly bonded community. It


Business Column Continued................... brought an Australian-style dining experience unlike any other. By pairing family recipes, a 755-degree volcanic stone, and a love for food, the Morganroth family knew they were a perfect fit for the restaurant industry; however, they had no prior restaurant experience, working only off their dream of what Black Rock could become. With a very determined family and help from the community, Black Rock grew into something remarkable. To learn more about Black Rock Bar & Grill, visit blackrockrestaurants.com. Black Rock Bar + Grill is located at 804 Providence Rd. in Brandon. Call 445-4111.

Sunshine State Aesthetics Center Hosts Holiday Open House

A Holiday Open House will take place on Wednesday, December 7 from 5-7 p.m. Savings this big only happen once a year with live demos and discounts. Pamper your loved ones this holiday season with a gift certificate to Sunshine State’s Aesthetics Center. Gift certificates available for purchase (for every $100 in gift card purchases, receive $10 free) and free gifts with purchase. Come shop for your loved ones and keep the free gifts for yourself. The first 50 people to RSVP will

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

By Michelle Colesanti

receive a free gift. While at the Open House, enjoy a delicious dessert bar with chocolate fountain and champagne. Sunshine State Family Care is your FishHawk Community Physican for Health & Beauty. Monica Rivera, M.D. is board certified in Family Medicine and Lisa Hart is a licensed medical Aesthetician. is located at 16144 Churchview Dr. (Bldg. A, Ste. 109) in Lithia. For more information, call 651-9396 for patient care (Monday and Tuesday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-12 Noon), and 540-5110 for the Aesthetic Center (Wednesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday 12 Noon-5 p.m.). Visit www.SunshineStateFamilyCare.com.

Multiple Services Offered By Armor Guard Painting & Coating, LLC

Armor Guard Painting & Coating is a full service painting company offering interior and exterior painting and coatings. The painting/coating of tile roofs, pool decks, garage floors and driveways are offered along with other services for interior including wall paper removal, popcorn removal, drywall repairs and texture. Free in-home inspections are offered along with a free written estimate. There are written warranties on all work and special dis-

counts are offered for veterans and seniors. Online specials from $250 to $550 off are offered. Visit www.armorguard.net for more details. Ask about the “show home” discount as well. For more information, call 727501-1264 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

private practice, shelter work, corporate practice, and mobile euthanasia/hospice work. She loves creating bonds with you and your pet because she wants this to be a lifelong partnership. Her interests are in general medicine/surgery, alternative medicine (acupuncture/chiropractic), behavior, pain management, end of life/hospice care. New Veterinarian Joins Dr. Nicole and her husMobile Vet Clinic of band love the outdoors, traveling, finding new Brandon eateries around town. Dr. Nicole will be takThey have two dogs, ing over the mobile Killian and Apollo, and appointments while Dr. one cat named Chevy. Anthony is at the office The Mobile Vet Clinic all day taking appointof Brandon is a full servments. This means way ice veterinary clinic offermore availability for you ing the convenience of and your pet. The an animal hospital at its Brandon Mobile Vet Dr. Nicole location at the intersecClinic is now able to take tion on Bloomingdale and same day or next day John Moore or coming to you in a fully appointments. Dr. Nicole is originally from a small town equipped mobile van to take care of all in Maine. She received her of your pet care needs. For more information call 643-8130 or visit brandonbachelor degree in Animal mobilevet.com. Science from the University of Maine, and then went to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine for her Veterinary degree. Since this school is in the Caribbean, Dr. Nicole had to do her clinical year at the University of Florida and that is where she fell in love with the state. Since graduating in 2011, Dr. Nicole has experience in different areas of Veterinary medicine including Hawthorne Village of Brandon honored its resident veterans on Veteran’s Day.

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December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

By Tamas Mondovics

Official 2016 Hurricane Season Leaves 14 Named Storms In Its Wake November 30, but for the Atlantic region proved to be most active since 2013. Six of the 14 storms were categorized as hurricanes, eight were tropical storms and three became major (Category 3 or larger) storms. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba on October 4 as a Category 4 storm. As shown by the tracks the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane sea- Matthew hammered the son posted 14 named storms including Hurricane Bahamas on October 5-6 Hermione and the season’s strongest; Hurricane Mathew. as a Category 3 and 4 hurThe season was an appropriate reminder for residents to ricane. heed the warnings and to be storm-ready. The southeastern After leaving 14 named storms United States was next as Matthew including Hurricane Hermine and brushed alongside the coasts of Florida, Matthew in its wake, the 2016 hurricane Georgia, South Carolina and North season gave clear testimony to the need Carolina, making one official U.S. landto be prepared, ready and to heed the fall on October 8, southeast of warnings. McClellanville, South Carolina. The season began in mid-January, The season reportedly cost more nearly five months ahead of the official than $10 billion dollars in damage. start, with Hurricane Alex, the first Sadly, and more importantly, the Atlantic January hurricane since 2016 season was all too deadly as it Hurricane Alice in 1955. reportedly claimed close to 1,800 lives, This hurricane season ends on

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most of which were from Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean. It took 11 seasons for the death count to again rise to such a level. In 2005 an estimated 4,000 people were killed by hurricanes. As reported by the NWS, some of the top wind gust reports from Matthew in Florida were: Cape Canaveral, 107 mph; Daytona Beach, 91 mph; Jacksonville 87 mph; South Ponte Vedra Beach, 84 mph; Melbourne, 70 mph and Orlando Area where gusts over 60 mph were measured. Both Hurricane Hermine and Matthew brought widespread flash flooding and record river flooding that unfortunately affected many local area residents living near the Alafia and Manatee Rivers. To assist local residents impacted by

Page 27

Hurricane Hermine, Hillsborough County, the state of Florida, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have partnered to open a Disaster Recovery Center last month at the Keysville Recreation Center, 9390 Edison Road in Lithia. The center is now closed, but homeowners, renters and businesses with storm damage still have until the end of the month to apply for FEMA relief at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling (800) 621-3362. Residents were assisted to find out about programs and services available to help them. Fortunately, each hurricane season has an end, and the Atlantic is looking very quiet. For more information about storms and the 2016 hurricane season, visit www.weather.gov.


Page 28

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

A Little Dog With A Big Dream – Harley’s Heroes Promotes Puppy Mill Awareness When pets are adopted, they become part of the family. Just as you want your kids to be healthy, you want your new furry family member to have had its early start in a healthy and loving environment. If your dog was born in one of the estimated 10,000 puppy mills across the U.S., chances are it did not get that great start in life. A puppy mill is a commercial dogbreeding facility where profit is the priority; not the health and welfare of the animals. About 99% of puppies sold in pet store come from mills. Most of these dogs live their whole lives in small cages in buildings, barns and sheds with no heating or cooling. They are not socialized or cared for, but most of all they lack in love and attention. Dogs used for breeding in the mills never see the light of day, and are usually killed when they are of no more value to the breeders. The sad fact is that every year, it's estimated that over two million puppies originate from puppy mills, while well over one million are killed in shelters annually because they are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Education on puppy mills has been the focus for Harley’s Heroes.

Harley, a Chihuahua, lived in a cramped, filthy cage in a puppy mill where he lost an eye. After 10

years he was freed and received much needed medical care eventually finding his ‘fur’ever home and lots of love with Rudi and Dan Taylor. Harley spent his remaining years working hard to educate children and adults about puppy mills. Harley personally participated in the freeing of more than 700 dogs from puppy mills Anne Cogley, who recently started the local chapter of Harley’s Heroes stands with her own mill survivor dogs, across the Midwest, along with Harley and his owners, Rudi and Dan Taylor, at and helped raise last year’s 2015 AHA Hero Dog Award in Vero Beach. money that gave freeMarch 2016, but his legacy lives on. dom to hundreds more. He continues to inspire hope and Sadly, Harley passed away in

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confidence in people of all ages who can relate to his less-than-perfect appearance. He continues to be the voice for hundreds of thousands of dogs still living in cages in puppy mills. Rudi and Dan initiated Harley's Puppy Mill Action and Awareness Project in September as a nationwide grass roots effort to educate the public about puppy mills. A local Valrico chapter was recently started by Valrico resident Anne Cogley. “I've followed Harley on social media for almost four years, loved him, and immediately wanted to support and share his dream ‘no more puppy mills’. I believe that if puppy mills did not exist, there would be 75% fewer dogs in shelters/rescues thus making homeless dogs a thing of the past.” Last December, Cogley had the honor of meeting Harley and his family shortly after he had won the 2015 AHA Hero Dog Award. “At this point, several Valrico friends and I decided to join to help make #Harleysdream come true,” continued Cogley. To date there are over 100 groups in 42 states nationwide and in Canada. After all, as Harley has been quoted saying "Educate yourself so that you can educate others". For more information visit harleypuppymilldog.com or email Yorkiemumsy@hotmail.com.


December 2016

Page 29

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

ot P , s t r e c n o HolidaycCk Lunch, Lu ore… M & s r e Fundrais santi, ole ichelle C m M y b d e co Compil observer. y e r p s o @ michelle

One World, One Child Holiday Event

You are invited for fabulous food from Smokin' Joes and drink to benefit One World One Child. The event will take place on Saturday, December 3 from 7 p.m. at The Bumberg’s, 16013 Ternglade Dr. in Lithia. There will be many great Silent Auction items and a 50/50 raffle. All proceeds from this event will assist with college expenses for a graduating 2017 Newsome student who excels academically and has financial need. The cost is $25 per person. For more information, contact Laurie Champagne Bumberg at 892-9794 or mainegirl12@yahoo.com. To register, visit https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/re gister/eventReg?oeidk=a07edfwvdce7434bf25&oseq=&c=&ch=.

Concert Band Presents Christmas Concert In Brandon

The community is invited to a Christmas Concert presented by the Eastern Hillsborough Community Band (EHCB) on Thursday, December 15 at 7 p.m. at New Hope United Methodist Church, Logan Hall, 115 Knights Ave. in Brandon. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. the night of the concert. Reservations are not required. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door. For more information, emailinfo@ehcb.org, visit www.ehcb.org or call 569-1771.

Annual Holiday Pot Luck Lunch At Brandon Community Center

The Brandon Community Center is hosting its Annual Holiday Pot Luck Lunch on Friday, December 9, which will feature local entertainment from church choruses, elementary schools, local musicians, and community residents. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. with coffee.

Entertainment begins at 10 a.m., and lunch is served at 11 a.m. Please sign up at 502 E. Sadie St. or call 636-8179 for more details.

Plant City Community Chorale Presents Holiday Concert

at the door. Sponsors are still being sought. Call Angela Spillis at 679-8386 or Visit www.ruggedcrossranch.com/boots---bling2016.html.

A Boots & Bling Benefit Concert will take place on Saturday, December 17 from 4-10 p.m. at Rugged Cross Youth Ranch, located at 421 Corbett Rd. in Lithia. Listen to great Christian, Country, and Southern Rock music from Eli Mosley, Skyler Clark, Harley Gay and more will be added to the line-up. Food trucks will be on site. Great raffle items. Bring your lawn chairs and an unwrapped gift for A Christmas to Remember for the local orphanages/foster care facilities. Funds will be raised for Rugged Cross Youth Ranch, a 501c3 non for profit, a local charity that touches hundreds of foster kids, orphans, military families, and hurting kids within the community. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $30

GFWC Brandon Jr. Woman's Club

Hamburger Mary’s Bingo Helps Fund Team Kelley Cure For Arthritis

The Plant City Team Kelley, a local parCommunity Chorale will presticipating team in the upcoment its annual Believe! A ing Jingle Bell Run in Tampa, will host a Christmas Concert on Saturday, fundraiser at Hamburger Mary's in Ybor December 10 at 7:30 p.m.at Eastside Baptist Church, which is located at 1318 E. Calhoun St. in Plant City. This annual Christmas The Plant City Community Chorale will present its annual holiday concert presentation on Saturday, December 10 at Eastside Baptist Church. is once again sponsored by Hopewell Funeral & on Monday December 12 at 6:30 p.m. Memorial Gardens. Minimum cash donation of $10 for 10 In addition to time-honored classics bingo cards. There will be prizes for all 10 such as O Holy Night, Have Yourself a winners and a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds benMerry Christmas, and White Christmas, efit the Arthritis Foundation and the Jingle the concert will include the beloved Bell Run-Tampa. Spanish carol, A La Nanita Nana and the Call 241-6279 for reservations. Seats sprightly Catalan dance carol, Fum, Fum, are limited. Fum. The Jingle Bell Run helps to raise Under the funds and awareness to cure Arthritis, direction of America’s #1 cause of disability. It will Claudia Bolano take place on Saturday, December 17 at Becerra, the Yankees Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Chorale continVisit ues to grow www.jbr.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent= both musically and in numbers, promising 1159317. to make your spirit bright this Christmas. Tickets are available at www.pccOnline Holiday Shopping Boutique chorale.org , from any Chorale member, or call 417-2808.

Boots & Bling Benefit Concert Will Benefit Rugged Cross Youth Ranch

Benefits Children’s Holiday Party

(BJWC) is hosting Hope for the Holidays Shopping Boutique online fundraiser runs through Monday, December 12. Vendors will donate a percentage of their sales to BJWC. This fundraiser supports the Club’s Annual Children's Holiday Party for 80+ children in the Brandon area, where they are provided with clothing, shoes, socks, toys, educational supplies plus a party with Santa Claus. Many of these children would go without any holiday otherwise.

Vendors Include Lula Roe, Origami Owl, Tastefully Simple, Thirty One Gifts, Premier Jewelry, Stampin Up, Hippie Jewelry, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Rohdan & Fields, Arbonne & more. For More information and a list of vendors, please visit www.facebook.com/events/16197709 31650934/

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For more information, call 813-657-6629.


Page 30

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

ur o Y e t i r W s, Auto Memoir More… Show &

lesanti, helle Co ic M y b d m Compile preyobserver.co s o @ e ll miche

Life Story Writing/Memoir Classes To Begin At Bloomingdale Regional Library

Life Story Writing/Memoir classes will start once again the third week of January at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Three classes will run simultaneously for 10 weeks each. One begins Tuesday January 17, 2017 from 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Another class begins Friday, January 20, 2017 from 1:30– 4:30 p.m., and the third class starts Saturday, January 21 from 1:30–4:30 p.m. All skill levels are welcome. Pick up a brochure in the lobby of the library or email LifeWritersBloom@msn.com for more information. Students are required to plan on attending all ten classes. The classes are sponsored by the Friends of the Bloomingdale Regional Library and are free to the public. To register, go to the “Ask Desk” inside the library or email LifeWritersBloom@msn.com.

Model Tampa Bay International Auto Show Pulls into Tampa Convention Center

o/FL0197P-BSA. To pay by check, make your check or money order payable to “Wreaths across America”, mark “Group FL0197P & Location FLBPNB” on the check and mail to: Wreaths across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623.

From vehicle reveals to mobility innovations, the 2017 Model Tampa Bay International Auto Show serves as a stage for automakers and suppliers to showcase their products and technologies to thousands of people in the Tampa Bay Area. Auto enthusiasts, casual drivers, families, and those curious about the latest innovations in today’s vehicle industry can all enjoy the offerings that the three-day event holds. It will take place Friday, December 2 from 12 Noon-10 p.m., Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, December 3 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Purchase wreaths through the Boy Scouts to place at Bay Pines National Cemetery. It will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. in Tampa. Tickets Public-Private Coalition Aims To cost $12 for adults, $5 for chilHelp Students Receive Financial dren, seniors (62 and over) and Aid For College Military and First Responders. LEAP, the Hillsborough College Advance sale E-tickets can be Access Network made up of a dozen purchased partners, aims to help more community at www.AutoShowTampa.com. students and parents get over one of Purchase online now and save the biggest hurdles to college – $1 on adult tickets. money. Partners and supporters have colScout Troop Seeks Donations laborated on a series of Financial Aid For Wreath Around America Nights and FAFSA Workshop Labs to Day provide assistance with completing the Boy Scout Troop 665 in Brandon is Free Application for Federal Student securing donations to purchase and Aid (FAFSA). place wreaths at Bay Pines National FAFSA completion is the first step Cemetery. Wreaths are $15. The troop in the financial aid process, and deterwill be placing them at Bay Pines mines the amount of financial support gravesites on National Wreaths across students may be able to receive to help America Day – Saturday December 17. them reach their postsecondary educaTo give online on behalf of Troop 665: tion goals. LEAP aims to increase the http://give.wreathsacrossamerica.org/got

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Volume 15, Issue 12

number of high school seniors completing the FAFSA this year by 5 percent in Hillsborough County. Last school year, only approximately 4 in 10 Hillsborough seniors completed the process, missing out on an estimated $9 million in available aid (U.S. Department of Education Office of Student Financial Aid, Florida Department of Education). At the school district-sponsored Financial Aid Nights, representatives from local colleges offer information and insights into the financial aid process. Community volunteers trained by United Way answer FAFSA questions at the FAFSA Labs. Volunteers and college staff assist students and families with the sometimes-difficult process of completing the online form. Participants attending the Labs will need to bring their FSA ID, parent and student 2015 tax returns, and parent and student 2015 W-2 forms. Financial Aid Nights and Labs scheduled locally are: Saturday, December 3: FAFSA Workshop Lab at the Bill Carey Brandon Boys & Girls Club from 12 Noon–4 p.m. and Tuesday, December 6 from 6-8 p.m. Financial Aid Night at the Plant City High School Auditorium.

iFLY Collecting Toys For Toys For Tots At Open House

iFLY is hosting an open house on Thursday, December 1 from 4–7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys For Tots and receive $10 off your first flight. Come on out to watch the flight instructors flying and to view the vertical tunnel. Purchase gift certificates for the holiday. iFLY is located at 10654 Palm River Rd. in Tampa.


December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Dr. Daley & Associates Prime Med

Staff Report

Dr. Andrew and my staff care Daley is known about their wellin the Brandon being,” said Dr. community for Daley. being a kindPatients enjoy a hearted prifull range of compremary care hensive health servicphysician who es including prevenreallytakes tative health and welltime with his ness counseling and patients. So it diabetic teaching. is no surprise Medical records are that his new electronic, ensuring event, his efficient access and “Daley Dose” accurate safekeeping Dr. Daley (center) meets with his patient family luncheon was while maintaining the during this first annual “Daley Dose” luncheon in celebration of the first anniversary of Daley & highest standards for a great sucAssociates PrimeMed of Tampa Bay in cess. This was the privacy and secuBrandon. part of the celrity of records. ebrations for the first anniversary of his Ada Gilmore has been a patient for own practice, Daley & Associates many years and would never dream of PrimeMed of Tampa Bay in Brandon. changing her favorite primary care physiAccording to Dr. Daley, “When cian. patients fail to make their appointments or “Dr. Daley really takes time to answer are lost to follow up, they receive a all of my questions during every appointreminder from my team to come in for ment and he manages my health care their “Daley Dose,” hence the term. needs,” said Gilmore. This seems to work well, helping to Dr. Daley & Associates PrimeMed of improve patient compliance and overall Tampa Bay is a traditional Internal regard for their health and wellness. Medical practice and is open to ages 18 Dr. Daley is a resident of Brandon and up. For patients’ convenience, most and has been since his reassignment to commercial insurance products, including MacDill Air Force Base back in 2003. He Aetna, AvMed, Blue Cross and Blue was a managing partner of Cornerstone Shield, CIGNA, Humana, Tricare, United Medical Care of Brandon for eight years, Healthcare are accepted along with a where he dedicated himself to bringing variety of Medicare products. world-class care to his patients. The office is located at 631 W At Daley & Associates PrimeMed of Lumsden Rd. in Brandon and is open Tampa Bay, the same world-class care Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and attention is provided to all of his Dr. Daley also has an office in Bradenton. patients. “It is very important that my To make an appointment, call 530-0903. patients leave my office knowing that I

Page 31

Campo Family YMCA Celebrates Hispanic Heritage with the Community Individuals at the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico, sprung from their seats to dance together to the rhythm of a catchy beat at the Attendees dancing at the Hispanic Hispanic Heritage event. Heritage celebration. Members and non-members of the Campo Family YMCA attended. As part of the celebration, attendees had the opportunity to consume foods from various Hispanic cultures such as Puerto Rico, Panama and much more. “The purpose of the event is to share Hispanic culture and traditions with the YMCA family and friends,” Associate Membership Director Kavita Marballi said. A focus group at the Campo Family YMCA called Hispanos Unidos hosted the event. With 280 participants, this will be the first year that the YMCA invited the community. The last couple of years it did honor the Hispanic Heritage, which showcased a variety of activities. This event had 30 local business sponsors that supplied items such as flowers, food, beverages, gift cards and photography. For instance, Love Story Florist from Riverview provided the flowers. Juicy Juice distributor owner Hugo Munoz and family contributed to the beverages. In March of this year, Hispanos Unidos formed at the Campo Family YMCA with its Hispanic members. The

By Tatiana Ortiz

genesis behind the group would be to work together and connect the whole community through their Spanish language and culture

A table displayed with artifacts from the Hispanic cultures.

with service. Member Services Representative Marcela Gonzalez at Campo Family YMCA, started Hispanos Unidos and leads it. “She developed a connection to serve the Hispanic community for the last 10 years,” Marballi said. Gonzalez mentions her thoughts and what she would like the community to grasp. “I am proud to be the leader of Hispanos Unidos and what the group did this year with their hardwork and support. I also want the community to see how much we enjoy working together and living in the United States,” Gonzalez said. For more information, visit http://www.tampaymca.org/. It is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 5 a.m.- 10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.- 6 p.m. Call 6841371.


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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

P R E SS

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Volume 15, Issue 12

Sports Connection 657-2418 www.ospreyobserver.com

Armwood, Durant Reaches Playoffs, Local Teams Conclude Fall Football Season

By Tamas Mondovics

ending the Class overall attitude, which 7A, District 9 reghe expressed right from ular season with the start. an 8-2 overall and Unfortunately, local a 5-1 district teams like Newsome, record, which Bloomingdale, East includes a sevenBay, Riverview, game winning Lennard, Spoto, and streak prior to a Plant City, will have to disappointing 27wait until next year to 7 conference share the Cougars sucgame loss to discess. trict champion, While the Brandon Tampa Bay Tech. Eagles finished their Armwood Hawks, running back Erin Collins takes the handoff The Cougars conference at 2-3, the Cougars junior quarterback Carlton Potter gets ready to from QB Devin Black during a regular season game against concluded the Strawberry Crest pass the football in the first quarter against the Spoto Bloomingdale. The Hawks advanced to the playoffs with a 9-1, 5regular season Spartans. Potter led Durant to a 33-0 win giving the Chargers winless sea0 record, only falling to Plant in game four. program confidence of a season success. with a 8-3 win son means that the The first Friday of November against King, a much needed boost program can only have The Bloomingdale Bulls (3-3) were marked the end of the 2016-2017 regahead of the program’s first away playone direction to go when they return led this year by newly hired program ular season for most Hillsborough off game of the season at East Lake next year. head coach Max Warner, and enjoyed County high school football teams. during the a much better season than the last While Armwood and Plant both region quarterone. continue to lead the region as state finals. The Newsome Wolves led by title contenders, it is encouraging to While Kenneth Hiscock, worked hard, but see local teams pushing through the understandmanaged just to break even, ending season for a chance to appear in the ably disapthe season with a 3-3 district record. playoffs. pointed—due East Bay posted a 2-4 district As expected, the Hawks, led by to some record, followed by Lennard and head coach, Sean Callahan, advanced uncharacterisRiverview (1-5) and Spoto 0-4. to the playoffs after another strong tic mistakes Plant City had a chance, but regular season, posting a 9-1, 5-0 that led the ended the season at 4-2. record. district title slip Perhaps the ups and downs of Another local team that had every through the each season is what makes high reason to be optimistic of post season Cougar’s finschool athletics exciting, as it promises success was the Durant High School gers— no assurance of the season’s outCougars led by program head coach Gottman was come. Mike Gottman, who is in his 13th year pleased with For more information about the Bloomingdale Bulls ready to take on football powerhouse Armwood coaching the team. his team’s during an early season game. The Bulls (3-3) posted a even season, post football season, please visit Durant dominated the district by while the Hawks (5-0) stayed the course on their quest for a state title. effort and www.fhsaa.org.


December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Sports

Page 33

Connection

Story and photos by Tamas Mondovics

Barrington, Hosts Randall And Burns In Three-Way Mid-Season Track And Field Meet At Newsome High School Young athletes from Barrington, Randall and Burns Middle Schools got a chance to measure up their skills during a mid season 3-way track meet last month. The event, which enjoyed a great turnout with close to 100 students participating, was held at the Newsome High School stadium, officially hosted by the Barrington Randall Middle School, Middle School Hawks Keleigh Scallon, 13, enjoys a huge lead Bolts. during the 800M race Especially which she easily won proud of his with in 2 minutes, 23 seconds. Scallon is girls performpreparing to claim the ance, four-year district title, which she Barrington narrowly lost last year. Lady Bolts Track team coach, Scott Hottenstein spoke highly of the contest results. "This is probably the most talented team Barrington has had in the past four years,” Hottenstein said, adding, “more importantly, they are a great group of girls who have a positive attitude, concentrate on their objectives, and give their best effort on the track, in the classroom, and at

field team. Not only are they a hard working group of athletes, but respectful to the coaches, to each other and other students from other schools they are competing with in the meets. Barrington, Randall and Burns share the district line up with Shields and Eisenhower Middle Schools. Come out The Barrington Middle School Bolts Track team gathers for a photo hosted the event to support the at Newsome High. middle schools at the area Cluster Track and Field meet, Wednesday, November 30, at 6 p.m. at Barrington Middle School Newsome Lady Bolts Megan High School. Hoening, hits the12’5” Those who mark with this jump. Hoening finished fourth qualify will in the long jump. move on to the Hillsborough County Track Championship, Wednesday, The Randall Middle School Hawks Track led by Coach Stacey Fett and Coach Cat Randall. December 7. home.” achieve their potential.” For more information about Hottenstein emphasized that Randall Hawks Coach Stacey Barrington, Randall and Burns Middle coaching his team “has been a priviFett and Coach Cat Randall have schools, please visit lege and fun to watch the girls taken much pride in their track and www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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Page 34

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

RobZ Celebrates 10 Years in Valrico Plantation Palms Golf Club Re-Opens By Kate Quesada

With the holireally want.” days fast approachThe RobZ ing, it is time to start Fitness Website, at thinking about New www.Rob-ZYear’s fitness resoluFitness.com, docutions and Rob ments more than Zulkoski and his staff 100 written and at RobZFitness want video testimonials to help. from clients who For the first time have undergone a in the business’ 10 fitness journey with years in Valrico, Zulkoski’s team. Zulkoski is promot“These are people ing a discount to like you who live in Rob Zulkoski and his staff at RobZFitness new clients who sign are offering a discount for new clients that the area and have up for fitness servic- sign up before the New Year to celebrate trusted us to get 10 years at their Valrico studio. es before the New them back into Year. shape,” he said. “I am offering a 25 percent discount “When people think of losing weight, we for signing up before the New Year are the experts in the area.” because time slots fill up once the holiValrico resident Bob Hendryx credits days hit,” said Zulkoski who has helped Zulkoski and his team with helping him thousands of clients reach their weight lose 105 pounds in less than a year. loss and fitness goals over the last 10 “When I realized it was time for me to get years. healthy, Rob gave me a few options for Zulkoski’s 2,400 sq. ft. studio, located getting started,” said Hendryx, who used in the Stein Mart and Fresh Marketa combination of healthy eating, cardio anchored Lithia Crossings plaza on Lithia exercise and weight lifting workouts to Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico, offers personal start losing body fat and maintain a and group fitness training, with aerobic healthy weight. “I am now doing stairclasses such as BODYPUMP, Step, Boot climb training every Saturday at the Bank Camp, CXWORKS and Core. of America in Tampa, and I have started “We are different from other services jogging two miles to the grocery store on out there because all of our trainers have Sundays. It has been interesting to see at least a four-year degree in Exercise my progress change from merely a desire Science and Wellness,” said Zulkoski to lose weight a year ago to being fit, athwho has 24 years of personal training letic and eating healthy.” experience. “Not only are our trainers Visit www.Rob-Z-Fitness.com for extremely educated and experienced, but healthy recipes, fitness tips and class and they really care about our clients. We studio times. For more information, call know how to get them the results they 371-3700.

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The families in for everyone in the the Plantation area.” Palms in Land The real first O'Lakes wanted for Tampa Bay golf their club back. After courses is the 18the popular golf hole miniature golf course and restaucourse that has rant closed in 2014 opened at and several failed Plantation Palms. suitors, the commuThe course was built next to the nity partnered with clubhouse and fealocal Ace Golf owntures tropical landers Bill Place and scaping, waterfalls, Su Lee to restore and reopen the pub- Owners of Ace Golf, Bill Place and Su Lee fountains, trick stand with their family. They recently shots, and is lighted lic golf course that helped to reopen the Plantation Palms winds through their Community Golf Course in Land O’Lakes. for night play. “Some golf community. operators complain that fewer people The renovation started in May. New are playing golf”, said Place, “but this greens and manicured fairways are does something about it. Lots of kids back. The clubhouse has a new coat of and families will come out to play miniapaint, but, the club is not the same. To ture golf, see the big golf course, and ensure the new club’s success and to maybe work their way up to it. make it more available to the general Place and Lee started the Ace Golf public, Ace Golf added an Irish pub, Ranges in Brandon and Riverview over miniature golf, and a lighted driving range. A new banquet room will be 20 years ago. The company also owns added next year to host weddings and and operates the Pebble Creek Golf events. The new Mulligans Irish Pub Club, Wentworth Golf Club, and Crescent Oaks Country Club. Mulligans recently opened to the public with Irish Pub and the new Miniature Golf sweeping views of the golf club. It is Course at Plantation Palms are at modeled after Ace Golf’s two other pubs 23253 Plantation Palms Blvd., Land in New Tampa and Tarpon Springs. O’Lakes. Hours are Monday to Thursday There is now an Irish-themed family pub 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday with high, beamed ceilings, Irish murals, an expanded menu with salads, burgers, 11a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. The restaurant and the miniature sandwiches, dinner items, and pub fare golf are open to the public. For more like fish n chips and shepherd’s pie. info, call 996-4653 or visit plantationAccording to Place, “An Irish Pub is a palms.net. natural fit for a community golf course For more info on Ace Golf, visit aceand appeals to more than just golfers. golf.com. We want this to be a neighborhood pub

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December 2016

Page 35

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Bloomingdale Athletes Commit On Signing Day With Their Future Schools

By Nick Nahas

Three Bloomingdale High School coach. “I feel like I will fit in perfectly Park Vista, sending Bloomingdale to teammate). She will leave an outstudent-athletes are one step closer there,” Wilson said. Wilson is a fourits first state championship game standing legacy at Bloomingdale, to achieving their dreams of becomyear starter who has made a huge appearance in school history. after leading the Bulls to district ing college difference Chevalier, who signed with athletes after with both his Division 2 national champs, officially signglove and his Nova Southeastern University, ing on the bat. His older wants to end his high school dotted line brother Austin career in style. “I want to win with their the state championship. I want and cousin schools on to get the team there and to Kam both National Signing Day in a room full of their families and friends. “It feels so awesome, I’m relieved and excited,” said Emily Doyle, West Virginia Bloomingdale centerfielder Nate Chevalier signed Wesleyan with Division 2 national champions, Nova volleyball Southeastern University. commit. “I Bloomingdale second baseman Cody Wilson signed lead championships in both her freshman just want to with UNC Asheville. by and senior seasons. go right now, As for Wilson and Chevalier, they I’m so excited.” A BSHS volleyball played for the Bulls Bloomingdale volleyball superstar Emily Doyle signed with West Virginia Wesleyan College. will start their final high school seastandout, Doyle will major in psycholas well. He will major son in February. Bloomingdale head ogy and eventually wants to get her in business. example,” he said. He plans on baseball coach Kris Wilken said he PhD. Doyle, along with baseball stars Wilson and teammate Chevalier majoring in physical therapy sports will miss writing both of their names Cody Wilson and Nate Chevalier, sat have played together for four straight exercise. in the lineup card, after penciling in beside each other while they signed seasons at Bloomingdale, as well as Doyle’s high school career ended their names the last four years. “Their their National Letters of Intent. for the Ostingers, an AAU team. last month in a heartbreaking five-set talent sticks out first and foremost, Cody Wilson, Bloomingdale secChevalier has started every high match against East Lake. Doyle led but their work ethic is off the charts ond baseman, signed with UNC school game in centerfield since he her team with a total of 191 kills and Asheville. “When I went up there to and through the roof, and that’s why was a freshman. As a freshman, 128 digs this past season (she had visit the campus it felt perfect for me. they will get to play at the next level,” Chevalier scored the game-winning 107 more kills than her next closest It has small classes and I loved the he said. run in the state semifinals against

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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12


December 2016

Page 37

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Story by Tamas Mondovics

Schools Host Financial Aid Nights, Students Excel On AP Exams and FL-ALAS Honors Vazquez Barack Obama was quoted, “We recently learned that America’s high school graduation Hillsborough County Public rate went up to 83 Schools have hosted a series of percent…the highFinancial Aid Workshops for seniors est on record.” and their families, leaving two more Obama added, events now scheduled for the first “Teachers deserve week of December. more than our gratThe six previous workshops were itude, they deserve held at area high school locations our full support.” among them Armwood and Plant City Of course, and Riverview, and have provided an higher graduation overview on how to apply for postsecrates are not the ondary financial aid conducted by a only way to measuniversity or college financial aid ure success on the part of students expert. and teachers. The workshops cover the Free In a recent report, Hillsborough Application for Federal Student Aid County Public Schools officials were (FAFSA), deadlines, state scholarpleased to announce that the number ships and Bright Futures of HCPS students taking Advanced Scholarships. Placement (AP) exams and scoring at a pass rate of 3, 4, or 5 continues to Both events will be held from 6 increase, giving students more opportunities for Financial Aid Workshops: higher education. Tuesday, December 6, 2016 Monday, December 5, 2016 Gaither High School Plant City High School By the 16200 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa One Raider Place, Plant City numbers, district officials said that the number of HCPS stup.m. - 8 p.m. in the school’s auditoridents taking AP exams increased by 7 um. percentage points from last year. In According HCPS officials the disaddition, the number of students earntrict, in collaboration with LEAP – Hillsborough College Access Network, ing a pass rate of 3, 4, or 5 increased by 4 percentage points. Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, The district is especially proud of Hillsborough Community College and the results from its Hispanic and United Way Suncoast, is also particiAfrican American students. pating in a series of FAFSA Labs The number of Hispanic students where students and families can get taking AP exams increased by 18 persupport from college representatives centage points over the last year while and trained community volunteers. maintaining a 44 percent pass rate. Families can get information on African American students scoring the labs through their school or after a 3, 4, or 5 went from 18 percent two attending the financial aid workshops. years ago to 28% this past year, a 10 For more information about percentage point gain. HCPS, please visit “We continue to push for open www.sdhc.k12.fl.us. access into our Advanced Placement classes at our high schools. These HCPS Students Taking and results show our students are looking Excelling on AP Exams for more opportunities and our teachSpeaking highly of teachers ers and staff are giving them the supthroughout the nation, President port they need,” said Hillsborough

Area Schools to Host Final Set of Financial Aid Night

• Montessori Certified Teachers • Spanish and French, German with K-3rd • Spotlight Dance with Ms. Susan • Tumblebus • Piano and Harp Lessons • Soccer Shots • Arts and Smarts • Harp Lessons with Ms. Kristen

County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins. School officials said that taking AP courses and passing the related exams gives students more opportunity to be accepted into a four-year university and allows them to earn college credits, for their major or as an elective, eliminating the need to take the classes in college which saves them money and time. The graphic shows the increase over the years in the number of AP exams where students scored a 3, 4, or 5. For more information, please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

career to educating children,” said Superintendent Jeff Eakins. “I am proud of the way he embraces diversity and empowers the growing Hispanic community,” Vazquez joined Hillsborough County Public Schools in July, 2015, and previously, served as the Superintendent of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Vazquez has been the Associate

FL-ALAS Honors Hillsborough County Public School’s Chief of Staff Alberto Vazquez    

Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Chief of Staff, Alberto Vazquez, was honored this month as the recipient of the Latino Excellence Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Chief in Education Award. of Staff, Alberto Vazquez The Florida Association of Latino Superintendent of Schools for Queens Administrators and Superintendents North in Brooklyn, New York and was (FL-ALAS) celebrated Vazquez, with a Principal in Bronx, New York. He has the Wings of Inspiration Award, for his also served as an Adjunct Professor commitment and work with Latino stufor higher education institutions includdents who make up 35 percent of the total student population in Hillsborough ing Notre Dame University, Fordham University, and Ana G. Mendez County Public Schools. University System. “Dr. Vazquez has dedicated his

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Page 38

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

GET THE DIRT

WITH FLORIDA YARD EXPERT Lynn Barber, Hillsborough County Extension used PVC pipes, a trash can lid, old UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough boots and a Halloween pumpkin bucket.. County – Recycled Yard Art The first place award for an Contest Elementary School was awarded to Alisia at the Hillsborough County Fair The purpose of the Recycled Yard Art Contest was to increase environmental awareness and encourage reuse/recycling of materials into yard art. The competition involved two and three dimensional art created from items already used for their original purpose. During the eight days of the Hillsborough County Fair, attendees voted for the People’s Choice award. The votes have been tallied, all 4,135 compared to the total last year of 1,543, and the winner is: Andy Hamilton’s Minion Mermaid, created with an air tank, springs, pie pans and metal pieces. Nicolette Tiedemann won the first place award by the panel of judges for her Planter Face, which she created using duct tape, glue, milk jugs and plaster. The On Target 4-H Club won first place for their creation of a Pumpkin PVC Person, using plastic water bottles, plastic bags, an old chair frame, metal cans,

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Ramos who made a Bird House from tree branches, paper and a Christmas ornament. All of these contest winning entries will be on display in our lobby at the UF/IFAS Extension Service for the next 30 days. We hope you will be able to stop by and see these wonderful recycled creations if you were not able to attend the Hillsborough County Fair. We have been asked by the Florida State Fair, for the third year in a row, to again hold a Recycled Yard Art Contest with them. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the rules, please contact Lisa Meredith with our office, meredithL@hillsboroughcounty.org, or if you have questions regarding the contest, call Lisa at 744-5519 x 54146. For assistance with gardening-related questions, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner 33584, give us a call at 744-5519, visit hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu.

Volume 15, Issue 12

WOW Fresh And Fast Celebrates Two Years In Brandon

By Kate Quesada

Serving fresh has been open and food, fast, is a some choices are winning recipe for seasonal and only WOW Fresh and available for a short Fast, a Brandon time. restaurant offering “We started high quality meals out slow with our from salads and menu so that we sandwiches to could really get a pizzas and burgfeel for what the ers, which celecustomers here brated its second WOW Fresh and Fast Manager Ryan Castle would want. Over and his team recently celebrated two years at the two years we anniversary last the restaurant's Brandon location. month. have added so much to it, and it has been great fun figur“We can make our food fast and it is ing out the flavor combinations people good because it is always fresh,” said enjoy the most,” said Kadow, who has Director of Operations Bill Kadow. “All of worked in the restaurant business since our meals are made to order or just made. We don’t have microwaves or he was 16 years old and also operates serve anything lukewarm.” the Carrollwood WOW Fresh and Fast Some of Kadow’s favorite items on location which celebrates its one year the menu are the garlic parmesan chickanniversary this month. en wings, which he describes as “life A family business, with Kadow’s changing,” the Southwest Chicken father, Bill Kadow Sr., as president, WOW Sandwich, and the menu-staple cheese Fresh and Fast is working hard to burger. He also raves about the homebecome an important part of the community by setting up spirit nights and cooking made ice cream sandwich which uses a fresh baked rocky road cookie and vanilla at events with local schools and donating ice cream. to charities such as the Joshua House “Our menu has something for everyand the Gramatica Family Foundation. one’s palate,” said Kadow. “We have “We have been in the restaurant some people who come in every week business long enough to know that comand order the same dish because they munity is where your business comes love it so much, but others who come in from,” said Kadow. “Brandon is such a all the time and order something different great place for us to share our food.” because they love all of our food and WOW Fresh and Fast is located at 1426 W. Brandon Blvd. and can be want to make sure they aren’t missing reached at 864-8008. Visit any of it.” www.wowthatsfresh.com to see the menu Many of the menu items have been and for more information. added over the two years the restaurant


December 2016

Festival, Fair and Circus Fun In the New YearFestival, Fair and Circus Fun In the New Year

Ticket Office, 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Is Bringing XTREME To Tampa

Prepare to be astonished and amazed Compiled by Michelle Colesanti, by artists who redemichelle@ospreyobserver.com fine the word extreme in every2017 thing they do, magnifying tradiHeadline Entertainment Lineup of tional elements of the circus and the Florida Strawberry Festival combining these elements with Below is the lineup of headline never-before-seen spectacles, entertainment acts performing on the original, fast-paced performances Wish Farms Soundstage at the 2017 and incredibly hilarious moments. Florida Strawberry Festival, which will Join in at Amalie Arena, take place March 2-12, 2017. Plenty of Tampa from January 25-29, 2017 a country, classic country, Christian, world of extreme beauty, flexibility, Thursday, March 2 – Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra | Drifters, Platters & Cornell Gunter’s Coasters | TBA Friday, March 3 – Willie Nelson and Family | Kip Moore Saturday, March 4 – Kane Brown | 3 Doors Down Sunday, March 5 – Clare Bowen/Charles Esten | Little Big Town Monday, March 6 – The Bellamy Brothers | Jennifer Nettles Tuesday, March 7 – Brenda Lee | NEEDTOBREATHE Wednesday, March 8 – Tracy Byrd | Scotty McCreery Thursday, March 9 – Cab Calloway Orchestra | The Oak Ridge Boys| The Blues Brothers Friday, March 10 – Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers | Elle King Saturday, March 11 – Maddie & Tae | Patti LaBelle Sunday, March 12 – Joe Nichols| Rascal Flatts ‘RHYTHM & ROOTS’ Tour

rock, or oldies concerts to choose from. Tickets go on sale Thursday, December 8 at 8 a.m. and can be purchased at www.flstrawberryfestival.com/headlineentertainment/, over the phone at 7541996 or in person at the Amscot Main

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Page 39

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

strength and dexterity are explored in ways you’ve never seen before. With such an exciting lineup, The Greatest Show On Earth® guarantees to dazzle and astound, and a Ringling Bros.® show wouldn’t be complete without a full menagerie of amazing

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cal “Snap Stops” scattered throughout the Fairgrounds, the 2017 Fair promises enough photo ops to fill an album. The Fair Authority also has confirmed that the Country Gold tour once again will be returning to the Fair in 2017. A fan favorite, the 2017 concerts will boast some of the biggest names to join the tour, including Johnny Lee, Bobby Bare, the Gatlin Brothers and Marty Haggard (son of the legendary Merle Haggard), as well as Leroy Van Dyke of “Auctioneer” and “Walk on By” fame.

charges may apply. All seats are reserved and tickets are available by calling 800-745-3000. For group rates, call 866-248-8740. Purchase tickets and view show times on Ringling.com.

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Page 40

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

cal, i s u M s a Christm sights Series Jewish In en & More… For Womd by Michelle Colemsanti, Compile preyobserver.co @os michelle

The Spirit of Christmas Is Luncheon Topic For Brandon Christian Women’s Connection

Join in at the Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon Spirit of Christmas to celebrate the season together and enjoy a children’s bell choir and tips from its chef. It is on Monday December 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Bell Shoals Baptist Church’s Special Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. The cost is $15. First time guests pay $10. No membership is required and this is a nondenominational event. Please make a reservation by Monday, December 5 with Lillie at 740-0098.

Upcoming Events At Congregation Beth Shalom

Shabbat services - Welcome the Sabbath at Congregation Beth Shalom on Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. Oneg (nosh and mingle) follows services and all are welcome. MOB Scene – A craft and vendor sale by mother and other small local owned businesses will take place on Sunday, December 4 from 10 a.m.–1

Temple is located at 2909 John Moore Rd. in Brandon.

p.m. Vendor spaces available $30, or $35 for space and an eight ft. table. No electricity available; duplicate vendors not permitted. Contact the synagogue office or Kate at kaswedlow@gmail.com, or 706-421-4459 for more information. iEngage: Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - A Hartman Institute Lecture & Study Series will be led by Rabbi Torop on Tuesday, December 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. This session addresses Attitudes Toward the Land Perspectives from Outside the Land, exploring Diasporic conceptions of the place of land in Judaism and how they shape the way one views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. Call 681-6547 for more information.

New Course For Women, Simple Truths, Offers Pivotal Jewish Insights For Centered Living

This December the Rosh Chodesh Society—the women’s division of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI)— launches its latest course, Simple Truths, a new seven-session series for women. Slated to run in over 200 locations across the globe, Simple Truths explores core insights and values that have formed the cornerstone of Jewish teachings for millennia. “Simple Truths presents not only the beauty of our Torah’s ancient wisdom, but its seamless application to the challenges and vicissitudes of modern life,” said RCS director Shaindy Jacobson. “It uncovers insights that anchor us, empower us, and guide us in times of doubt and uncertainty, giving us the confidence and know-how to navigate life’s most difficult challenges.” The course will be taught once per month for seven consecutive months and is designed for women at all levels of Jewish knowledge. “This course allows us to step back and wrestle with big questions that

Grace Baptist Temple Presents Christ Has Come: A Christmas Musical

Experience the wonder of Christmas in this special performance of Christ Has Come, performed by the Grace Celebration Choir at Grace Baptist Temple on Sunday, December 18, at 11 a.m. Admission is free. Grace Baptist

impact every area of our lives,” said Tzippy Rubashkin, facilitator for the Society. “How do we become more successful, fulfilled, and happy? How do we achieve our true potential? How do we align ourselves with our core values and stay focused on what’s most important to us? How do we cope with our own failings and imperfections? How do we build strong, deep, lasting relationships? Simple Truths helps us uncover profound and compelling answers in the treasure trove of ancient wisdom that has guided the Jewish people throughout our history.” The Rosh Chodesh Society is an international Jewish sisterhood that aims to connect, empower, and inspire Jewish women through monthly Jewish learning and cultural experiences. For information on Simple Truths, visit roshchodeshsociety.com/courses . Tzippy Rubashkin of Chabad of Brandon will be teaching Simple Truths in Valrico and in South Shore starting December 6. Please call 571-8100 if you are interested or visit Jewishbrandon.com for more information.

Bring Your Family To Visit Santa At Hawthorne Village

Santa Claus is coming to town and he's visiting Hawthorne Village Assisted Living Community of Brandon (in the Town Square). Bring your family to visit him on Tuesday, December 13 from 67:30 p.m. Hawthorne is located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 661-8998.

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December 2016

Page 41

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Gifts That Strike The Right Chord By Kelly Smith

vocalist Doug LaBrecque and the Lumina Youth Choir. Then sing along to your favorite carols. Conductor Jeff Tyzik will be your very merry host. Tickets start at $15. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses (Friday, December 16) Just in time for the holidays, the Triforce has granted every gamer’s wish. Journey back to the land of Hyrule to celebrate 30 years of the beloved Legend

Vocalist Doug LaBrecque will perform with the Florida Orchestra at the Holiday Pops concerts Friday to Sunday, December 9-11.

This holiday season give the gift that doesn’t come from the mall. Make the moment matter, with musical experiences that last well beyond the holidays; all local, from your Florida Orchestra. Early gift: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (Friday to Sunday, December 24) Hint: You should keep this one for yourself. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is known as extremely demanding, but it’s in good hands with TFO Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer, who steps into the spotlight as soloist. Also on the program is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, his first major work after the oppressive years of the Stalinist regime. All under the baton of popular returning conductor Joshua Weilerstein. Tickets start at $15. For the family: Holiday Pops (Friday to Sunday, December 9-11) This is the ultimate family tradition, which is why these concerts are so popular. Don’t worry, this year there five performances, including two matinees. Fill your season with the joy of holidays past and present, including Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, What Child is This, Winter Wonderland and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells, featuring

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Page 42

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

The Art Factory At Winthrop Arts Holds Instructors’ Show

The Village Players Present It’s A Wonderful Life

our students learning about all different kinds of mediums has inspired me to be more creative and really get back to creating art myself,” said Martinez. The Inaugural Instructors’ Show was a hit with the instructors, students, parents and other visitors. Winthrop Founder, Kay Sullivan, who also serves as the president of the Winthrop Arts Board of Visionaries said, “The high level of positive energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by our visionaries, instructors, parents and students The Art Factory at Winthrop Arts held its Inaugural Instructors’ Show on Thursday, November 17 at the Art Factory in Riverview. The show featured the wildly talented instructors who provide creative and intelligent artistic instruction to the students who attend the Art Factory’s After School and Home School The Art Factory at Winthrop Arts held its Inaugural Programs. Instructors’ Show on Thursday, November 17. The The instructors who were show featured the artwork of the instructors who inspire the students who attend the Art Factory’s After School featured include Bryant and Home School Programs. Martinez, the Winthrop Town Artist, Maurice Mullinax, Eddie Ewell, Neil cannot be understated. It is as though Lennard, Anji Sulick and Tim Hoffmeister. everyone involved recognizes that there Martinez teaches drawing and painting is something very special, almost magical and mixed media. Martinez also leads the that is taking place here in the Art Home School program on Tuesdays and Factory.” Thursdays. Mullinax teaches an interestWinthrop Arts became a nationally ing course called Core. Students learn recognized 501 (c )(3) in September the language of art (color theory, design, 2015. When it was established, one of color wheel, etc.). Lennard teaches the goals was to have a permanent ceramics. Ewell leads students in space for the Art Factory. The Art Factory Storytelling. Sulick and Hoffmeister are opened on October 3. The Instructors’ Teacher’s Assistants who provide instrucShow is a testament to the determination tion through projects including mosaics. of everyone who worked tirelessly to get The Art Factory is led by Martinez there. who started it a few years ago in the Children five years and older may Winthrop Pole Barn. It then moved to two apply to attend the Art Factory. The Art repurposed containers. Teaching and Factory is located at 11267 Winthrop inspiring young artists is a joy for Main St. in the heart of Winthrop Town Martinez, but doing this in the Florida ele- Center in Riverview. For more information ments with no air conditioning or bathon hours, pricing and classes, please visit rooms was difficult to say the least. “I am www.winthroparts.org or email so happy to be in this place now. Seeing info@winthroparts.org or call 758-5161.

Hal directing this show. Hal is one of the most versatile and talented actors I have worked with, and he has a way of developing all types of amazing characters.” Pierce added, “This is an awesome show for family and friends. It is also very affordable entertainment.”

The Village Players will present the much beloved story- It’s A Wonderful Life at the historic James McCabe Theater located at 506 5th St. in Valrico. The traditional Opening Night Dinner Theatre is sold out. Regular performances will be held on Friday, December 9 and 16 and Saturday, December 3, 10 and 17. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Two matinees will be held on Sunday, December 4 and 11 at 3 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior Come see the Village Players’ production of It’s A Wonderful Life this December. It is a magical time to the show. of the year, and there is no better way than to Tickets for all shows other spend it than with friends and family at a local than opening night are $15; $13 community theatre performance of a Christmas for students, seniors and military classic. with ID; and $12 for groups of 10 or more by advance purchase only. The Village Players is a non-profit It’s A Wonderful Life is based on community theatre that strives to not the Christmas classic starring Jimmy only give the community a great Stewart as George Bailey. After source of entertainment, but also to George wishes he had never been teach aspiring actors. Pierce said, born, an angel is sent to earth to “We have a lot of new faces on our make George's wish come true. stage, and they are all very talented. George starts to realize how many We strive to encourage others to lives he has changed and impacted, come out and experience the exciteand how they would be different if he ment of being on stage. There is was never there. This is the wonderful something magical about bring books, show featuring the famous lineplays and characters alive and espe“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets cially at Christmas which truly is a his wings.” magical time of the year,” said Pierce. The Village Players’ adaptation is You can get your tickets online at directed by Hal Granholm. Gail www.thevillageplayersvalrico.com or Pierce, Producer of the Village by calling the Villages Players hotline Players said, “I feel fortunate to have at 480 3147.

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December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 43

By NITISH S. RELE nitishrele@gmail.com

Chewy Cranberry Pecan Bars Of all fruits, only three - the blueberry, the Concord grape and the cranberry - can trace their roots to North American soil. The name "cranberry" derives from the Pilgrim name for the fruit, “craneberry," so called because the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. Cranberries are a unique fruit. They can only grow and survive under a very special combination of factors: they require an acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, sand and a growing season that stretches from April to November, including a dormancy period in the winter months that provides an extended chilling period, necessary to mature fruiting buds. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. Instead, they grow on vines in impermeable beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds, commonly known as "bogs," were originally made by glacial deposits. Normally, growers do not have to replant since an undamaged cranberry vine will survive indefinitely. Some vines in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old. In 1930 the Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. formed as a grower-owned marketing cooperative.

Ingredients & Directions 1 cup plus 2 tbs. all-purpose flour, divided 2 tbs. plus 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided 1/4 cup cold butter 2/3 cup chopped pecans, divided 1 large egg 2 large egg whites

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Page 44

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12


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Sweepstakes Highlights Best Of Shop Local By Marie Gilmore This holiday season, the Osprey Observer is partnering with local businesses to highlight the best of Shop

Advertising Sales Manager. “We have never done a program like this in the paper and we are excited to share some of the treasures from our local small businesses with our readers.” Bridget Jenkins Wilson, owner of Cardinal Roofing and a member of the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber will host the Shop Local Holiday Commerce said Expo on Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m.-12 noon. the Chamber is also focused on encouraging local Local gift giving. The campaign is shopping this holiday season and in called, the Osprey Observer, A Few of Our Favorite Things and we have gone face has a Shop Local Holiday Expo coming up on Saturday, December 3, 9 to local businesses and asked them to a.m.-12 Noon at Park Square in give us ideas of a few of the top items FishHawk Ranch. “Anything we can do available this holiday season. to keep our local businesses in the From now until December 16, we spotlight is great for our community,” will be collecting Our Favorite Things she said. “And, this is a great opportuall throughout the community and putting them together in one giant gift bas- nity for Osprey Observer readers to have a chance to win an amazing holiket that will be given out in a day gift.” Sweepstakes for our readers. To enter, email Sweepstakes to “We have so many great items contest@ospreyobserver.com or fill out coming in and someone is going to be the entry form and send in by mail, fax very excited to receive all of these or email. Good luck and thank you for great items from the businesses in our shopping local! community,” said Kerrie Hoening,

Enter the Sweepstakes to win a prize basket of items from The Favorite Things Shop Local Campaign. Why would you like to win the Shop Local Sweepstakes Basket?

Name: Address: Phone: Email: Community: Enter to win online at contest@opreyobserver.com, fax to 657-4469 or mail to 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon, FL 33511.


Be Happy Gifts Give Back And Music Showcase Lessons & Performing Arts

Invest In Gifts That Give Back To The World At Be Happy Boutique As you enter Be Happy Boutique, warm teas perfume the air and guests are surrounded by fashionable, unique lines of apparel, shoes, accessories, home décor, specialty gifts, and candles. Positive energy radiates throughout the entire space, and best of all you will find something here for every taste and every budget. Owner Tonya Antaki seeks out items that give back to the world in some way so you can feel good knowing that the gifts you purchase will have additional impact around the world. A great gift idea for your special

Instrument rentals start at $10 (if you don’t want to make a purchase). If you sign up online, the instrument will be delivered to your school. All your music needs can be found at Music Showcase,

402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, call 685-5998 or visit MusicShowcaseOnline.com and FAOPA.org. Gift Basket Item: Music Lessons Certificate Value: $70

Gift Basket Item: Jewelry Snug Value: $30

Be Happy is located in the Marathon Plaza, 11369 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview. Call 677-2300 for more information or visit www.behappyboutique.com.

A Few Of Your Favorite Things Can Be Found At Music Showcase Music is the international language that is understood and enjoyed by all. Share your love of music by offering voice or instrument lessons to your favorite student.

which offers competitive pricing on sheet music and books, in-house repair shop, private and group lessons. Is your child interested in musical theatre, acting, or maybe photography? Sign them up at the Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase. Music Showcase is located at

Custom Letterman Jackets For High School Student At 1 st Sporting Goods 1st Sporting Goods provides the community with quality sporting goods and personalization of athletic apparel and letterman jackets, and would be a memorable gift for your high school student. It is something that reflects personality and can be cherished years into the future. “The

AJ’s Fine Wines & Liquor

B We

rin g

Life

Be Happy Boutique seeks out gift and apparel items that give back to the world.

friend or family member is Jewelry Snug. It is the perfect gift for the girl who has everything. This is for the friend who loves to travel and look good when she arrives at her destination. (Don't forget to buy yourself one!)

By Michelle Colesanti

ur Spirits In Yo

3443 Lithia Pinecrest Road

at the corner of Lithia-Pinecrest & Bloomingdale in the Publix Plaza

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Neighborhood Liquor Store with Cigars Self-serve Bar Walk-in Humidor, Walk-in Beer Cooler Craft Beers Gluten Free Beers Organic Beers Variety of IPA’s Stouts Non-alcholic Beers Available Specializing in Fine Wines Special Orders Upon Request Call About Delivery

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Breathe Easy at Salt Grotto, Soar To New Heights At The New iFLY Indoor Skydiving good thing about our process is that we don’t have to send off the jacket to be made,” said owner Laurel Giardina. 1st Sporting Goods provides silk screening and embroidery services as well. Many things are provided to customers who walk in the doors. 1 st Sporting Goods is located at 3321 Gift Lithia Pinecrest Basket Item: Rd. For infor3 Local High mation, call School Team 571-0111. Spirit T-Shirts

Value: $60 Visit The Salt Grotto And Breathe Easier This Holiday Season Breathe easier this holiday season. Relax in luxury at The Salt Grotto. Dig your into the sand like salt and fill your lungs with safe, naturally salty air. With each breath, inhale micro-particles that holistically address respiratory and skin ailments. Give the gift of good health

to your loved ones. There are both adult and children’s Salt Room Therapy. Acupuncture, therapeutic massage and foot reflexology are also offered. Another great gift idea is a Himalayan Salt Lamps, which are said to help blood flow, improve sleep and also improve asthma and allergy symptoms. The Salt Grotto is located in Plaza Bella Shopping Center, Gift 1026 Bloomingdale Basket Item: Ave. in Valrico. It is Salt Lamp Value: $25 open Tuesday Friday from10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday from10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 Noon-4 p.m. It is closed on Monday. For more information, call 324-8946 or visit http://thesaltgrotto.com/. Soar to New Heights At iFLY Indoor Skydiving Enjoy some holiday time creating amazing memories with your family. Why take flight at iFLY? - To experience the fun and sensation of flying in a safe

By Michelle Colesanti Repair Your Home Damage In Time For The Holidays With Restoration One Restoration One offers remediation and restoration of residential or commercial properties for damage caused by environment. From water, fire, smoke or mold. It is localage 3 to 103, almost ly owned and operated by David Gift anyone can fly. Basket Item: and Heidi Adams. Trained and cerNew to the Family 4-Pack tified technician’s offer 24/7 emerBrandon area, iFLY Indoor Skydiving gency service. Value: $240 Indoor Skydiving For more information, call 888now brings this 466-8055. Visit experience locally. www.restoration1.com/tampa-bay or Imagine the excitement www.facebook.com/Resto1TB. when loved ones find out they will have the opportunity to fly like a bird. iFLY also offers kid and adult parties, corporate team building opportunities, educational experience for students and much more. It will be open seven days a week. Gift iFLY is located at 10654 Palm Basket Item: River Rd. in Tampa. For more inforFamily Basket with $50 Visa GC and mation, call 773-4359, email accessories info.tampa@iFLYworld.com or visit Value: $120 iFLYworld.com.

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Holiday Coin Collections, A DayDreams Day Spa Escape & New Sporting Goods Corbin’s Stamp & Coin Can Help You Start Treasured Family Heirloom Are you looking for the perfect keepsake gift for a family with a new baby? Maybe you are interested in starting a new family tradition by commemorating the Christmas season each year. Holiday coin collections are the perfect way. One ounce pure silver coins are available for $29.95 in a gift box or also as an ornament that can be displayed. Corbin’s Coins is located at 209 N. Kings Ave. in Brandon and is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

13446 Bath Shop. You can make that posBoyhette Rd. sible with a gift card to in Riverview Daydreams. (RiverSprings There are many different types plaza at FishHawk and of spa packages to choose from Boyette Rds. It is a including massage therapy, body, locally owned family therapy, skin car therapy, nail and 1oz Gift Basket Item: business, and offers pedicure treatments. There is Pure Silver Theeach Tranquility a local alternative also a shop that includes spa Journey Gift Boxed or Ornaments for all of your products. “Escape to family’s Pevonia Skin Tranquility” Spa sporting Care products Day Value: $135 good needs are offered. 209 N. Kings Ave. in a family Gift certificates Brandon, Florida 33510 friendly environment are available at the Spa, located at 813-651-3266 that is closecorbincoin@verizon.net to home and offers 658 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon or Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm Sat 9am - 1pm competitive pricing. online at *Silver prices subject to change. You will find new and gently used www.daydreamsdayspa.com. sporting apparel and equipment for A second DayDreams location is all sports. These will make great gifts in Lakeland at 1463 Town Center Dr. for your favorite young athletes For more information on this locathis holiday season. tion, call 863-686-5859. For more information, Gift Basket Item: Enhance Your Photos At call 324-9161 or visit New FastFrame For The Perfect FHSportingGoods.com. Football Holiday Gift Value: $30 Did you take a special picture Journey To Tranquility At this year while you spent time with DayDreams Day Spa family, maybe on vacation or at a your With all the stress the holidays special event? Surprise your family this bring, what better gift for someone year with a wonderful family picture com(or yourself) is to escape for a few hours to DayDreams Day Spa &

Christmas C ins

FishHawk Sporting Goods Offers New And Gently Used Gift Apparel & Basket Item: Equipment 1 oz. Silver FishHawk Christmas Coin Sporting Goods Value: $30 is a new store that recently opened at

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CORBIN’S

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By Michelle Colesanti memorating this special shared time.

Once you have that beautiful photo, a frame becomes part of the bigger picture, so it’s important to make sure that it brings out the photo in just the right way. When customers bring in their personal items and they are not sure about how to decorate their art, FastFrame owner Alex Roche helps to educate them on how to enhance their item through framing. He offers competitive pricing and has been assisting customers with frames for over 28 years. For more information, visit www.fastframe.com or call Roche at 655-6400. FastFrame is located at 6128 Winthrop Gift Basket Town Center Ave. Item: Two $40 in Riverview. Gift Cards Hours of operation Value: $80 are Sunday and Monday by appointment only with 24-hour notice and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

3642 Lithia Pinecrest Rd (next to CarWash on the Greens)

1026 Bloomingdale Avenue • Valrico (Located in the Plaza Bella)

813-324-8946 Debbie@TheSaltGrotto.com

www.TheSaltGrotto.com

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813-689-8124


Gifts Of Fashion At TMarie’s, Gift Of Health From The Campo Y, Gifts For Home At Orange By Michelle Colesanti a.m.-7 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 Noon-5 p.m. It is located at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. For more information, call 530-0922. Visit www.TMariesfashions.com Find Your Perfect Holiday Ensemble At TMaries Fashion & Gifts Boutique TMaries Fashion & Gifts Boutique is your one stop shop for all of your favorite fashion outfits and accessories for the upcoming holiday season. While you are in there shopping for those party clothes, you will also find many accessories including jewelry that would make great gifts for friends and family members. Some brands available at TMaries include Tribal, Elan, Catherine Barclay, Julian Chang, French Dressing Jeans and Cabana Life. T. Marie’s Fashion & Gift Boutique is open Monday to Saturday from 10

Gift the Gift of Health At Campo Y The start of a new year holds a lot of promise. Everyone makes resolutions to eat healthier and to exercise more. This year, it is time to do something about it. By giving a gift of a Campo Y membership to someone, you are letting them know how much you care and want them to live their healthiest lives. Campo Y offers many exercise options for all ages and body types. Gift Basket Item: Many family Luxurious blue velvet evening bag programs with Swarovski crysand camps tal embellishment are offered and peacock including design child care Value: $128 while you work out. Other programs

great place to find an inspired mix of great gifts for men, women and chil-

are also offered. For many, Campo Y becomes like a second home. Campo Y is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. It is open Monday to Friday from 5 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday Gift Basket from 7 a.m.-7 Item: Family p.m. and Membership for Three Sunday from Months 12 Noon-6 Value: $250 p.m. For more information, call 684-1371. Visit tampaymca.org/locations/campo. Find That Perfect Wow Gift At Orange Home Accessories Orange Home Accessories is a

dren. It carries home accessories, gifts and jewelry. Debbie Ploor opened this chic shop filled with the eclectic color, artistry, elegance and whimsy of topquality designs. Whether you are looking for something to complete your room décor or a great gift for a hard to shop for friend, this is the place. Orange Home Accessories offers unique gifts for everyone. Orange Home Accessories is located at 1046 E. Bloomingdale Gift Basket Ave. in Plaza Item: S’well Bella. For 25oz bottle and more informaThe Giving Key tion, email (necklace with a key) info@orangeValue: $85 homeaccessories.com, visit www.orangehomeaccessories.com or call 681-8686.


Backyard Birdseed Gifts For Nature Lovers, Tasteful Fruit Bouquets & Your Pet Find Great Gift Ideas for Nature Lovers and Birders At Backyard Birdseed Fly on by to check out the great gift ideas for the nature lovers in your life. A great gift idea is the Squirrel Buster bird feeder, which helps to limit squirrels from making claim to the food. Backyard Birdseed carries premium seed for all types of feeders depending on what type of birds you are trying to attract. You can also mix your own blend birdseed. A wide array of other products is also carried to increase backyard (and front yard) enjoyment for children and birders of all ages., find ideas and problem-solvers for your outdoor living spaces, and discover activities and tools for indoor learning and fun. Backyard Birdseed is located at 3642 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico (next to Carwash on the Green). It is open Tuesday-Friday from 12 Noon-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10

a.m.-4 p.m. It is closed on Monday. For more information, call 816-BIRD (2473) or visit www.BackyardBirdseed.com and on FB: Backyard Birdseed. Gift Basket Item: Squirrel Buster & Food Value: $50

Tasteful Gifts From Edible Arrangements Make Great Holiday Treats What better way to say you care than with a healthy and tasteful gift of fresh fruit. With many assortments from Edible Arrangements, you will find something for everyone on your gift list. Choose from many beautiful holiday gift baskets such as the Christmas Tree Bouquet, which is decorated with cantaloupe, “ornaments” made of Swizzle Apple Fruit Truffles®, small

pineapple star “lights”, a large pineapple star tree topper, and a Merry Christmas Gourmet Belgian Chocolate Pop; or an adorable snowman keepsake with a Season’s Greetings Celebration™ bouquet featuring gourmet chocolate dipped pineapple stars, reindeer, and strawberries. Following the traditional Delicious Celebration® bouquet recipe, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes are scattered throughout to create an eyecatching and wow-worthy effect. There are many other eye-catching and delicious choices. Edible Arrangements can be found locally in the Shoppes at Lithia, located at 3455 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico (571-7200), and also at 10273 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview (Bell Plaza) (672-6111) or order online at www.ediblearrangements.com. Gift Basket Item: 12-count Chocolate Covered Fruit

THE BIG GREEN EGG THE MOST VERSATILE COOKING DEVICE EVER... IS IT A GRILL, AN OVEN, OR A SMOKER?

By Michelle Colesanti

Shop Pet Supplies Plus This Holiday Season For All Your Pet Needs Holiday gift shopping is not just for your two legged family and friends. Your pets will enjoy receiving some new toys and snacks and Pets Supply Plus is the perfect place to find the perfect gift. If you are planning to welcome a new pet member to your family this holiday season, Pet Supplies Plus is the perfect spot to pick up any supplies and goodies for your new family member. You will find everything you might need for dogs, cats, smaller pets, reptiles, birds, and fish. Pet Gift Supplies Basket Item: Plus is GloFish located at Aquarium 1937 E. Value: $30 S.R. 60 in Brandon. It is open MondaySaturday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 540-0645.

®

YES

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for Hol

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Give Gifts For The Chef, Gifts For Your Outdoors And Gifts Of Jewelry

By Michelle Colesanti

cooking classes - whether you enjoy cooking – or just eating from great date nights to learning about new foods, this is a great gift idea for everyone. It is also Brandon’s Big Green ‘Eggheadquarters’, the ultimate cooking experience. Rolling Pin’s Favorite Things basket will include items for a Florida-style holiday season, with a fun, novelty food-truck cutting board and a poultry grilling rack for cooking your bird outdoors. These are complemented by everything you need to make the feast flavorful with a subtropical twist. Rolling Pin is located at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Call 6532418 or visit http://rollingpinonline.com/ for more information.

Great Gift Ideas And Classes Help Make Rolling Pin A Great Stop For Holiday Gift Needs If you are stuck coming up with creative gift ideas, make a visit to Rolling Pin and you will find something for every chef in your life. Rolling PIn offers a gourmet retail store, cooking classes, Open for Private events, gift cards and lots of great holiday Gift Enjoy Outdoor Time gift items. Basket Item: With Great Gift Ideas If you are looking to bring Small Basket From Recreational wine to your host or hostess, Including Pools Rolling Pin has many choices $100 Cooking Class What’s on your GC and $100 in of quality wines. Products holiday gift list? There are many great reaValue: $200 Recreation Pools, Spas sons to attend Rolling Pin’s & More can help you. Are

you looking for spas and hot tubs? It has Tampa Bay’s largest selection – Bullfrog, Calder, Sunrise, Dream maker & more. Maybe your dad wants a Big Green Egg (maybe he doesn’t know it yet)! Visit and see the big selection of the most versatile outdoor barbeque on the market. It is the ultimate cooking experience and dad will love you for it. Recreational Gift pools also offer Basket Item: custom built outPool Lounge Value: $50 door kitchens. It is located at 509 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Call 324-8824 or visit www.recreationalpoolsspasandmore.com.

Martin’s Jewelers Offers Fine Jewelry For The Special People On Your Gift List Martin’s Jewelers has been a staple in the Brandon area for the last 61 years. It will soon be closing its doors and must liquidate its entire inventory. Great offers on fine jewelry will make you happen and will thrill that special person on your gift list. Come on in to receive up to 60% off on custom jewelry designs and watches. Martin’s Jewelers is located at 664 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon and is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 681-2298 or visit www.martinsjewelry.com. Gift A Set of 7mm Freshwater Pearls (Necklace, Bracelet, & Earrings). Value $135

Your FishHawk Community Physician for

Health& Beauty

LISA HART MONICA RIVERA, M.D.

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Aesthetic Center:

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Patient Care:

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Mon. &Tues - 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Thur. 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Fri. - 8 a.m. - noon

Holiday Open House December 7th 5-7pm

RSVP to reserve your special gift! 16144 Churchview Dr. Bldg A, Ste 109, Lithia, FL

(Located in the Park Square in FishHawk Ranch, next to Cherry’s)

www.SunshineStateFamilyCare.com LIKE US on Facebook for current Skincare specials Sunshine State Family Care & Aesthetic Center


Give The Gift Of A Massage, Pool Or Patio, Skin Care And Fashion DK’s Outlet Offers Great Gift Ideas At Outlet Prices Are you ready to look your best this holiday season? All new top designer looks are available at outlet prices at DK’s Outlet, located at 3455 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. (Winn Dixie Plaza). DK’s Outlet also has plenty of gift ideas such as clothes, jewelry, luggage, and shoes. Brand names such as Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Style & Co. are available. The store is open MondayThursday from Gift Basket Item: 9:30 a.m.-6:30 Blouse And p.m., Friday Jewelty Ensemble and Saturday Value $50 from 9:30 a.m.7:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For information, call 4093521. Everyone Needs The Gift of Relaxation This Holiday Season The holidays can be a very stressful time of year. With the flexible schedule that Daniella’s Mobile Massage offers, find a convenient

time to take that break and be good to yourself. Daniella offers Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular, Pre-natal and Sports Massage. The goal is to provide pain and stress relief through therapeutic massage in the privacy of your own home. What a great gift to give to someone on your list. Daniella is a professional licensed Massage Therapist, who has Gift Basket 13 years of experiItem: One ence and a backHour ground in Physical Massage Therapy. For inforValue: $65 mation, call 3234901, email dveten@gmail.com.

The Gift of Health Can Be Found At Sunshine State Family Care & Aesthetics Give yourself or a loved one the gift of health. Gift certificates are available for purchase (for every $100 in gift card purchases, receive $10 free).

Sunshine State Family Care is your FishHawk Community Physican for Health & Beauty. Monica Rivera, M.D. is board certified in Family Medicine and Lisa Hart is a licensed medical Aesthetician. Specializing in medical spa services and aesthetics, it provides a relaxing MedSpa setting for: Dermal Fillers and Wrinkle-Reducing Treatments, Microdermabrasion and Skin Rejuvenation, Chemical Peels and Medical Grade Facials, Permanent Makeup, Facial Waxing (Brow, Lip, Chin), along with Skincare Products and Consulting. Sunshine State Family Care is located at 16144 Churchview Dr., Bldg. A - Ste. 109 in Lithia. For information, call 651-9396 for patient care (Monday and Tuesday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-12 Noon), and 540-5110 for the Aesthetic Center (Wednesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday 12 Noon-5 p.m.). Visit www.SunshineStateFamilyCare.com.

By Michelle Colesanti

Pinch a Penny’s Big Green Egg Is Eggsactly The Perfect Gift Gift Basket The Big Item: Green Egg is a HydraFacial great gift for anyValue: $165 one on her holiday list. Lithia/FishHawk. It is the most versatile cooking device ever made. It is a grill, an oven and a smoker. It can basically cook everything from stake, pizza, breakfast, chicken, turkey, desserts and much more. Pinch a Penny offers all of the Eggcessories to go along with the Big Green Egg such as a BBQ Tool Set, Rib Rack, Dutch Oven, Vertical Chicekn/Turkey Stand and Electric Starters. Of Gift Basket Item: course all of Dizzy Pig Spice your pool Set needs are Value: $95 available too with great gift ideas for pool owners. Pinch a Penny is located at 16715 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia (across from Newsome High School). Call 6553700. Visit www.pinchapenny.com.


Eight-Year-Old Survivor, Tristan Wombacher Speads Cheer Throughout The Community

By Amanda Boston

optic nerve, only part of This past the tumor could be Halloween, extracted. eight-year-old, Today, the benign Tristan tumor still resides in Wombacher Tristan’s brain, except didn’t dress up now; it is only the size of in the ordinary superhero cosa sugar cube. As a result tume or lug of living with this tumor, around the Tristan must take growth pumpkin-colhormones, maintain a ored pail while restricted diet, and have trick-or-treatfrequent blood draws. ing. Instead, Additionally, he cannot he donned a Santa suit complete with a red velvety sack, chockfull Eight-year old, Tristan of candy Wombacher dressed up as canes. Denise Santa for Halloween delivering candy canes to his neighGraf, a bors. Fishhawk neighbor, said, “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was sitting on the porch watching what was happening and The Wombacher Family with Tristan, on hearing the reaction from the people the bottom right. who were getting gifts from Santa on Halloween.” allow his body to overheat, which can This account of a kindhearted be quite a challenge in the Florida clithird grader, who opted to pass out mate. candy on a holiday, which is known Despite the daily inconveniences, for receiving it, could end here as a Tristan is an upbeat little boy with a heart-warming story. However, it giving spirit. He loves all things doesn’t. It simply can’t. There is far Christmas, but specifically, he enjoys too much to divulge about this special crafting elaborate homemade preslittle boy named, Tristan. ents for others. This year, Christmas Three years ago, Ken and Jamie could not come soon enough for this Wombacher were vacationing in third grader. As Halloween Anchorage, Alaska with their fiveapproached, Tristan told his mother, “I year-old son, Tristan and three other need some candy canes so I can children. Within 24 hours of arriving, hand them out and make people Tristan started experiencing terrible happy.” Resembling an elf prepping headaches, throwing up, and became for Christmas Eve, he began creating extremely lethargic. His parents his Santa costume. rushed him to the local emergency On Halloween night, he strolled room, where a CT scan revealed a the streets as Santa sharing candy brain tumor about the size of a large canes. The sight of this gesture captiorange situated on his pituitary gland. vated the hearts of his neighbors Without delay, the Wombacher while throngs of children trailed family returned to Florida; their son’s behind in support of his undertaking. new diagnosis required extensive sur- The adage it is better to give than to gery followed by 28 days of intense receive became apparent to the entire radiation. Due to the location of the community through the actions of this tumor, and its intertwining with the selfless little Santa.

Witness The Wonder Of Jesus Through One Man’s Eyes At Bell Shoals Baptist Church

By Amanda Boston

6 one-man dramas, will portray Simon Peter in the production. Millsaps’ vision is a fresh approach to the Christmas message presenting the full Gospel with a modern day emphasis. According to Millsaps, “It’s going to be a memorable and powerful night.” The Bell Shoals’ Worship Choir and Orchestra is set to tickle the ears of the audience with a Bell Shoals Worship Choir and Orchestra

Bell Shoals Baptist Church invites you to experience The Wonder of Jesus Through One Man’s Eyes, a musical and theatrical production, at the Brandon campus on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m. This Christmas performance is presented from a unique perspective as it retells the story of Jesus’ life through one of his disciples. The event is free, open to the public, and suitable for all ages. This year’s production is not your typical Christmas pageantry with its cast fashioned in archaic costumes gathered around the babe in the manger. But rest assured, the play is biblically sound and transports the audience back 2000 years to the birth of Jesus. The story also continues with a depiction of Jesus’s ministry, death, and resurrection through the eyes of Simon Peter. The Wonder of Jesus Through One Man’s Eyes is the brainchild of Worship Pastor Jason Millsaps, who began collaborating in February with long time friend and award-winning Christian narrator and scriptwriter, Mac McConnell. The multi-talented McConnell, also known for his brilliant

more contemporary vibe of Christmas tunes. The ensemble welcomes Dave Cleveland, one of the world’s premier guitarists, who has recorded and toured with top music artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Point of Grace, and Michael W. Smith. In addition to the spectacular music and stage talent, a free app called Offline Lights is available for download. Although the app is not essential for viewing, it will add some fun elements to enhance the audience’s experience. Bell Shoals Baptist Church of Brandon is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon. For more information on the event, please contact the church at 689-4229 or visit www.bellshoals.com/brandon or on social media [Facebook, Instagram & Twitter] @bellshoals.

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Tucker Family Says Many Thanks For Ten Years Of Stocking Hope

Staff Report

Ten years ago the grief from the loss of a child became the catalyst to bring hope to families facing cancer. The Giving Hope through Faith Foundation began with a mission to support families

$40,000 dollars with our Stockings of Hope Project this holiday season.” There are many ways you can participate in this project - from making your own tax deductible donation at www.givinghopethroughfaith.org to hosting a holiday party at your office or home and encouraging friends to bring a gift card or donation to fill a stocking. A gift of $1,500 provides packages to a family for a year. A gift of $500 will purchase dinner for Sherry and Dirk Tucker 20 of our families. A gift of started the foundation after losing their son to $100 provides five boxes of pediatric cancer 10 years smiles and a gift of $50 facing pediatric cancer with ago. gives a night at the movies financial, spiritual and emotional support. In those ten years, over $1 for one of our families. The families receive monthly care million has been raised with over 600 packages containing gift cards and mesfamilies being served. “We are beyond sages of hope, once a month for a year. grateful for the amazing support we have The foundation is operating on a volunreceived from the Brandon area,” states teer basis with ninety-six cents of every Sherry Tucker, President of the foundadollar received going out to the families tion. “We were so determined to bring that are assisted. good from this terrible tragedy and To learn more about the foundation because of so many family, friends and or the Stockings of Hope project, please strangers coming together to help us, we visit www.givinghopethroughfaith.org or have been able to bring much needed help to many families. We are on target to contact Sherry or Dirk Tucker at 6856773. serve 75 families in 2016 if we can raise

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Volunteers Are Needed For Christmas Baskets For Seniors By Sandy Meyer

Caregiver’s meet its goal this Helping Hand, year. Last year Inc. is reaching Caregiver’s was out to the comable to purchase munity for help socks for all the with its Christmas seniors thanks to Senior Gift a donation from Baskets program. its major sponsor, Caregiver’s will the Tampa be delivering care Yankees. baskets to local This is the senior nursing 15th year for the Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to homes, resident Christmas Senior deliver baskets, sing carols and bring joy to centers, Gift Baskets proseniors this Christmas season. and senior living gram which facilities at Christmastime. This year the began with Ybor Health and Rehab and organization is looking to provide the bas- has added new centers each year. kets for 20 centers and includes gifts for Richedean Hills-Ackbar, founder of more than a 1,000 men and women. Caregiver’s, says this is one of the many Caregiver's Helping Hand, Inc. is a projects she takes on each year. non-profit volunteer organization with a Caregiver’s will begin delivering the mission to always give a helping hand. Its baskets on Saturday, December 3 at Intergenerational Program has been help- which time volunteers will visit three care ing local seniors since June 15, 2001. centers. Additional delivery dates include Volunteers of all ages deliver gifts Saturday, December 10; Thursday, and sing Christmas Carols. Caregiver’s December 15; Saturday, December 17, needs the following items donated: wrapSunday, December 18 and Monday, ping paper, lotions, shower gel, body December 19. For more information, wash, sweaters, socks, T-shirts for men please visit www.chhincvolunteers.org. and women and wall pictures. Cash “This is a great time to bring the donations are also needed to purchase whole family out to teach our kids what the gifts and cards and Caregiver’s is Christmas is all about. GIVING TO OTHhoping to raise the $3,500 needed to ERS!” concluded Hills-Ackbar.


December 2016

Page 55

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Lights Will Shine Bright Around Town During Holiday Season

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

Here are a few places you can visit with your family to help get into the spirit of the season. Wonderful light displays that include fun for the family. If you know of additional displays locally, please email michelle@ospreyobserver.com.

Wonderland of Lights New Display Offers Family Fun

Brandon will be the home of The Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru, at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover. This premier holiday light show and winter festival will be a spectacular celebration and brings back a family holiday tradition that so many have grown to love. Opening Thanksgiving Night, November 24 and running through Saturday, December 31 (6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday & Saturday). This 38–day event incorporates beautiful animated and still light displays that will dazzle the young and “the young at heart.” Plus, it will offer a blend of fun, family activities and entertainment sure to please all. Take some time to stop at the Christmas village featuring horse-drawn wagon rides, North Pole train ride, amusement rides, food and crafts. The show is produced by Massachusetts based North Pole Productions, known for their shows in Branson, Missouri and other locations

across the country. To save time at the gate, tickets for the drive-through can be purchased online at www.brandonchamber.com under the events tab. Prices are: Vehicles (up to 8 passengers) $20; Season's Pass $35 (vehicles only); coaches, limos, mini vans (9-24 seating) $35; Motor Coaches (25-50 seating) $75.

Christmas Lane at the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds

Christmas Lane started humbly enough. Over 30 years ago, a young boy started hanging Christmas lights in front of his childhood home in Dover. As with most things that grow, Christmas Lane began feeling growing pains several years ago. With the display outgrowing the family yard setting and a parking lot that was becoming overwhelmed by the growing Christmas Lane crowds, something had to change in order to accommodate Christmas-loving crowds. Christmas Lane has a new home at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, 2508 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City. Over 1.5 million lights will adorn over 200 Christmas trees, from 4 to 40 ft. tall. There is a train taking children through a winter wonderland which

includes a tunnel of lights, along with several new rides. Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with his elves, attend nightly in his sleigh. Children share their wishes and the parents capture many memorable photo opportunities. Enjoy real characters such as Rudolph and Frosty the Snow Man make spontaneous appearances and a complete nativity scene demonstrates the real reason for Christmas. There are larger-than-life items on display, such as a Christmas Castle, two 10 ft. toy soldiers, a 14 ft. reindeer, and even a stuffed polar bear flying a small airplane. Christmas Lane will be open Nov 25 Dec 25, 2016. From Friday, November 25 – Thursday, December 15, the hours are 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. As Christmas approaches from Friday, December 16 – Saturday, December 25, the hours will be extended to 6-10 p.m. For more info, visit www.christmaslane.com.

Oakdale Light Display Is One of the Largest and Longest Running Displays in Country D O G

D A Y C A R E

Now in its 40th year, the Oakdale Light Display has become a tradition in the Tampa Bay area drawing people from all over. It was ranked in the top three nationally by NBC’s Today Show, presented first in HGTV’s All Out Christmas Special and also featured in People Magazine. Every year the display is different. There are about one-half million lights. You will enjoy walkways, water fountains, a computerized light show, a huge collection of animated dolls, a snowman about three stories high. Enjoy the large HOscale model railroad running 18 trains at a time. The kids love the double bubble machines and games. The display is free and fun for the entire family. It is open from Friday, November 25 and continues nightly through Tuesday, January 3 from 6-10 p.m. (rain or clear skies), located at 2719 Oakdale Street, South in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit www.christmasdisplay.org.

FishHawk

Residents Tim and Christine Chefalas decorate their house, located at 6023 Palomaglade Dr. in Lithia, each year. The Christmas light display is set to music. As you drive by, tune in to 107.7 FM. You can enjoy the lights from Thanksgiving through the first of the New Year.

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Page 56

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

GFWC Brandon Service League Proudly Presents Its Annual Holiday Home Tour

Family Friendly Holiday Events Offered By Center Place Of Brandon

With the holiday seaMassage, Facial and son fast approaching, you Spa, The Green will not want to miss the Boutique and at GFWC Brandon Service Greg’s Hallmark. You League’s Annual Holiday can also purchase a Home Tour on Saturday, ticket from a Brandon December 10 from 10 a.m. Service League to 2 p.m. You can tour member. three impressively decoratTicket holders will ed homes. You may even have the opportunity get some great ideas and to shop at the GFWC start some new traditions of Brandon Service your own. League’s Holiday This year’s tour will Gourmet Booth and showcase three whimsical in “Ghosts of and beautifully decorated Christmas Past.” Don’t miss the magic of the homes located in Valrico Swanson said, GFWC Brandon Service League’s “These are two of the near Sydney Rd., in Annual Holiday Home Tour on Riverview just off of Saturday, December 10 from 10 most popular extras a.m. to 2 p.m. Gibsonton Dr. and in on the tour. Our Valrico near Pearson Rd. members are fabuBradlee Swanson, President of the lous bakers which makes the gourmet GFWC Brandon Service League said, booth a must see spot on the tour. The “These homes were selected because of ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past is rapidly the different styles that are representative becoming a popular stop as well. We feaof the owners. Contemporary, traditional ture all varieties of pre-owned and gently and antique are the basic themes of loved Christmas decorations at very reathese homes and the owners are sure to sonable prices.” play up each style with their holiday In addition, the GFWC Brandon décor.” Service League will be offering handSwanson added, “There are lots of made Christmas ornaments for sale at wonderful things about this tour. Each the refreshment booth located in one of home is very different so there is somethe decorated houses. All proceeds from thing for everyone. Traditional trees the GFWC Brandon Service League’s paired with specialty themes, DIY projAnnual Holiday Home Tour are given to ects, antiques and Christmas fun are all Brandon area non-profits and to Brandon part of this year’s tour.” area high school art programs. Tickets to the Holiday Home Tour are For more information on the tour and just $20. Tickets are available at TMarie’s to become a sponsor for as low as $100, Fashion and Gift Boutique, Essentials please contact Swanson at 662-4371.

Center Place in Rodriguez added, Brandon will offer an “We always have a array of family friendgift wrapping station ly fun holiday events where the kids can this December. You wrap their projects will not want to miss as gift for a loved Center Place's time one.” honored holiday Chick-fil-A at events designed to Lake Brandon get everyone into the sponsors lunch for holiday spirit. the children. Santa Come see will be on hand for All of Santa’s Elves will be on hand to help Santa Claus as he get you and your family into the holiday visits so bring your spirit at several event hosted by Center cameras. Parents helps light the giant Place of Brandon including the 9th Santa’s and adults can Christmas Tree Workshop on Saturday, December 17. located on Clayton enjoy lunch sponAve. on Wednesday, December 7 begin- sored by Boston Market for just $5. ning at 7 p.m. In addition to great holiTickets are required for this event, day entertainment courtesy of several and no tickets will be sold at the door. local dancers and singers, you can visit Please bring a new, $10 unwrapped with Santa Claus and even get a photo. Christmas toy in exchange for the ticket Parents please bring your own cameras. to the event. You can get your tickets at You can also enjoy some delicious Center Place. All toys will be donated to refreshments served by the Community ECHO of Brandon. Roundtable. The event is free and open Center Place is also holding a to the community, so come out and Holiday Coloring Contest for children enjoy a holiday tradition that has been ages three, four and five and ages six, taking place for over 30 years. seven and eight. The coloring sheet can Next, Center Place will hold its 9th be picked up at Center Place or you can Annual Santa's Workshop on Saturday, download it at www.centerplacebranDecember 17 beginning at 11 a.m. don.org, Please submit your masterAccording to Lisa Rodriguez, Marketing piece by Monday, December 19. Director for Center Place, “This is our Winners will be contacted prior to special Christmas event for kids, and it Christmas and will receive a one year has been a big hit for many years now.” Family Membership to Center Place. This event is designed for children five Center Place is conveniently locatyears old and up. They will enjoy 10 difed at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. ferent arts and crafts stations and will For more information, please visit make their own individual projects www.centerplacebrandon.org or call including decorating sugar cookies. 685-8888.

By Kathy L. Collins

By Kathy L. Collins


December 2016

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 57

Local Theme Parks Provide Family-Friendly Holiday Fun During Christmas Season ‘Tis The Season For Christmas Town At Busch Gardens Tampa

The annual holiday tradition, Christmas Town™, returns to Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay with more than two million twinkling lights, festive treats, holiday entertainment and unique attractions, including the all-new addition of the beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The popular event takes place on 23 select dates from Friday, November 25 to Saturday, December 31, with fanfavorite entertainment and new twists: New this year is Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, located in the Celestial Crossing. Meet and take photos with Rudolph, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble. Play holiday games and indulge in Yuletide treats while scenes of the beloved story of Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer come to life. Enjoy Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola®. Guests can also expect the return of fan-favorite shows including Christmas on Ice, Carol of the Bells light show and the Holiday Hills Brass Band. Christmas Town is open until 10 p.m. on select dates and will close at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For New Year’s Eve, the event will remain open until 1 a.m. Christmas Town is included with any annual pass, Fun Card or daily admission to the park. Guests who purchase their 2017 Fun Card now can visit Busch Gardens for the remainder of 2016 for no additional cost, including the popular Christmas Town event.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party At The Magic Kingdom

Join Mickey for live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and an oh-so-jolly holiday parade at his very merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy fun, magic, cheer and enchantment for guests of every age. Held from 7 p.m.-12 Midnight at Magic Kingdom Park, this annual yuletide event will take place on November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27 and 29 and December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 22. Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto are dropping by dressed in their Christmas best. Peter Pan is flying in from Never Land, Alice and the White Rabbit are hurrying over from Wonderland and Woody and Jessie from Toy Story are galloping in for this holiday ho ho hoedown. Plus, Snow White and Dopey, Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket and many more surprise guests will be stopping by. This joyous performance is the perfect yuletide treat to share with your family. Your favorite characters will ring and sing in the holidays with carols old and new. You’ll witness the splendor of Cinderella Castle aglow with enchanting and ever-changing holiday illuminations. Feel the warmth and wonder of the season as this unforgettable performance is Christmas-wrapped up in one sensational, snowy, show-stopping finale. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a separate admission ticket. Prices vary depending on your chosen day to visit. For more info on prices and to purchase tickets, visit disneyworld.disney.go.com/events/mickeysvery-merry-christmas.

Celebrate The Holidays At Universal Studios Florida And Islands Of Adventure

Many people will never get to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, but can experience it here. Universal Studios Florida® comes alive during the holidays from December 3 to January 1 with balloons and floats beyond your imagination, marching bands, Santa, and seasonal singalongs for the little ones. The fun continues with Grinchmas™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, featuring the Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular. You can really get into the spirit by enjoying performances by Mannheim Steamroller on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. Join Barney™ and his friends for a magical musical show full of songs at "A Day In The Park With Barney™!" Located inside Universal Studios Florida ® . Grab your sunglasses and get ready to rock and roll. Jake and Elwood perform festive favorites like "Santa Claus is Coming To Town," "Blue Christmas," and more with snow on Delancey Street in Universal Studios ® at the end of each show. For more information on holiday events, visit https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Holidays/Overview.aspx.

Sea World’s Christmas Celebration

The season meets the sea at SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration on select days from November 25 to December 31. At SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration™ carols fill the air, a sea of lighted trees sparkles over the lake in a wintery, watery wonderland, and worldfamous skaters twirl on ice. Enjoy stunning live shows, and delightful entertainment inspired by the natural world, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is where holiday memories are made. Stroll the lakeside Christmas Market and savor the cinnamon and spice holiday scents of delicious treats as you shop for unique, artisan-crafted gifts. O Wondrous Night® is a 30-minute show features puppetry and dance against the backdrop of traditional Christmas music that will charm, entertain and delight people from all walks of life. SeaWorld® invites you to experience the power and beauty of the Shamu family in a nighttime holiday show, Shamu® Christmas Miracles. New this year, you can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Rudolph leads the way to

Christmas joy and holiday fun with allnew ways of making spirits bright. Christmas comes to life on a stage of ice, jewels and light as skaters dazzle and delight in this show-stopping, ice skating extravaganza in Winter Wonderland On Ice. The other stars of the show are the towering fountains of water dancing on the lake and fireworks that light up the night sky after the last ice show of the evening. Take a walk through a wintery, watery wonderland and immerse yourself in a sea of holiday trees. For more information, visit https://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworldorlando/christmas/.

ICE! At Gaylord Palms Features A Charlie Brown Christmas

New for 2016 is ICE! Featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz. Watch Charlie Brown rediscover the true meaning of Christmas as the beloved classic story unfolds through interactive ice sculptures and displays. Experience the Peanuts gang in iconic scenes such as their holiday play rehearsal, Snoopy’s decorated doghouse and Charlie Brown choosing the perfect Christmas tree. Everything is hand-carved from two million pounds of ice. Other attractions include a walkthrough holiday attraction, kept at a chilly 9 degrees, four ice slides, The Frostbite Factory (live carving zone) and a Nativity scene carved from crystal clear ice. Enjoy Alpine Rush Snow Tubing in the Alpine Village and zoom down an eightlane tubing hill that's fun for all ages and is covered in real snow. Christmas in Orlando is fun for the entire family. Gaylord Palms Resort is located at 6000

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

W. Osceola Pkwy. in Kissimmee. ICE! will run Friday, November 18 through Sunday, January 1. For more info, visit www.marriott.com.

Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland

Bricktacular is Legoland’s annual holiday celebration. It returns to deck the halls with a 30-ft.-tall Christmas tree made of thousands of LEGO® and DUPLO® bricks, festive decorations, a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh, holiday-themed scavenger hunts with prizes, and opportunities to build with LEGO alongside Master Model Builders. Meet LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier during daily park appearances and end the evening with a notso-silent-night fireworks spectacular set to classic Christmas melodies. Bricktacular will take place on December 17-18, 24-25, 26-30. Purchase tickets at www.legoland.com/florida/buytickets/admission-tickets/.

Florida Aquarium Holds Aqua Eve

Come celebrate New Year's Eve, Saturday, December 31, with a splash at The Florida Aquarium’s Aqua Eve. Enjoy fantastic live music, complimentary food, beer and wine along with a champagne toast - and the best view in town for an amazing fireworks display at midnight. The Florida Aquarium's Aqua Eve party is the premiere New Year's Eve party in Tampa to ring in 2017. Early Entrance is 8: 30-9 p.m. Main event runs from 9 p.m. -1 a.m. Ages 21 and over only; ID required. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.flaquarium.org/event-calendar/Aqua-Eve.aspx.

Christmas in the Wild At Lowry Park Zoo

The traditions of Christmas will be abundant at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo this holiday season! Be immersed in a festival of lights shining brightly. Encounter amazing animals at night, enjoy Christmas carolers and live entertainment, and marvel at the skills of artisans. You can sample holiday treats and seasonal refreshments at the Christmas Lodge. Enjoy Christmas in the Wild on November 25-25, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-23 and 26-30. Lowry Park will be open until 10 p.m. Visit lowryparkzoo.org/events/christmas-in-the-wild or call 935-8552.

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Page 58

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Sincerely Santa Making Wishes Come True

By Matt Boniface

of the class to see, comChristmas is the monly the group will find season of giving. a local eye doctor to One local organizadonate an eye exam and tion is dedicated to pair of glasses. Wishes that adage by colthat were not selected by lecting gifts for chilsponsors are gathered dren in need. by the Sincerely Santa Sincerely Santa's Elves. Using financial annual kick-off contribution from busiparade will be held nesses and community on December 1 at 8 members, the elves pura.m., hosted at chase items to fulfill the Desoto Elementary. wishes of these local chilLocal police and first dren. Common sponsors, responders will such as Capital One and escort Jolly Old Walmart, are plugged on Saint Nick as they their Facebook account begin their 29th Santa greets children with a cherry but many other choose year of bringing nose and a bag full of donations. to remain anonymous. smiles to the faces of Raasch continued, “We're all cops children.Sincerely Santa Tampa collects toys, clothing and school supplies for chil- and firemen, it's our way of giving back.” He spoke about a heartwarming story dren in the Hillsborough area who are from a previous year, “[The children] write considered 'at-risk' and underprivileged. These children, kindergarten through third the letters in August. One child, by December, had moved two counties grade, write letters to Santa describing north.” The Sincerely Santa elves were what they need most. Their teachers add able to pass along the gift package from additional essential information such as clothing sizes, siblings and special needs. fire-station to fire-station until a local Sincerely Santa Elves add the letters to a Battalion Chief made the final delivery. Sincerely Santa has been bringing display at the Westfield Brandon Mall smiles to the Tampa area since 1987 with along with additional partner locations. the support of Hillsborough County Public Community members can become sponSchools, Fire Rescue, and Law sors to make a child's wish come true by Enforcement. Doing the purchasing for donating the needed items. After selectthe wishes and donating the unwrapped ing a wish to fulfill, unwrapped items can gifts is always preferable to monetary be dropped off at any Sincerely Santa donations, as it lessens the work for the booth. David Raasch, Sincerely Santa organization, but all forms of donation are President said, “Typically wishes are for the bare necessities. Anywhere from from happily accepted. For information, visit www.sincerelysantatampa.org glasses...to a bed to sleep on.” For children reported as needing to sit in the front

Volume 15, Issue 12

Kings Avenue Baptist Church Celebrates 30 Years With Annual Walk Thru Bethlehem

By Amanda Boston

This year Thru Bethlehem as marks 30 years realistic as possible. for Kings Avenue Don’t be surprised if Baptist Church’s the Roman guards annual Walk Thru harass you or if you Bethlehem. are asked to pay Thursday, your taxes.” December 8 Gallops, who through Sunday, has been involved December 11, the since its inception, story of Jesus’ also reminisced on birth, death, and Walk Thru Bethlehem is a family tradition for a side story develresurrection is the Gallops family. Pictured above, on the left, oping over the past is key organizer, David Gallops with his illustrated with a 30 years, “My childaughter and son. guided 45dren have grown minute interactive tour through biblical up on the set; they have played the parts scenes of Bethlehem. The little town of from baby Jesus to a Roman soldier.” Bethlehem is brought to life by town merWalk Thru Bethlehem is not only a yearly chants, tax collectors, Roman soldiers, tradition for the Gallops family; it has also shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and of course, evolved into a Christmas tradition for the a baby Jesus. A camel, sheep, and donlocal community. key also join the cast to create an authenOver the four nights, the free familyticate atmosphere. friendly event draws a sizeable crowd A production of this magnitude upwards of 7,000 visitors. In order to requires over 300 volunteers. Since 1986, avoid longer wait times, it is recommendKings Avenue congregants have faithfully ed to arrive earlier in the evening. Upon created and staged the live scenes with arrival, visitors are given a number desigthe purpose of sharing the true meaning nating a guide and an appointed tour of Christmas. The dramatized depiction of time. While waiting for an assigned tour, the Gospel has changed lives. Over the visitors can enjoy holiday tunes reverberpast 30 years, the event has prompted ating from the local school bands while numerous visitors to rededicate their lives partaking in a variety of food concessions. or accept Christ for the first time. Sandra Walk Thru Bethlehem is scheduled Rodriquez, the coordinator for costumes for Thursday, December 8, from 6:30 to and props, echoed King Avenue’s motiva- 9:30 p.m.; Friday, December 9, from 6:30 tion, “It is a lot of work, but if one person to 10 p.m.; Saturday, December 10, from is saved, it’s all worth it.” 4 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, December 11, David Gallops, one of the main from 4 to 9 p.m. The church is located at organizers, emphasized the authenticity 2602 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon. Contact of the event; “We try to make the Walk the church office at 685-3095.

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December 2016

Page 59

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Cookson Hills Toy Run Celebrates 23 Years Of Festive Christmas Tree Lightings, Movies Helping Those In Need In The Community And Parades Kick Off The Holiday Season By Libby Hopkins

creation and success, people wanted the event back the way it was. They wanted the ‘traditions’ Bill and I created through the years that made the event a 21year success. Those that stepped in when Bill was sick and I was his caregiver did wonders having little or no experience. I am very grateful that they did so or a great event would have become just a memory.” The toy run will be held The Cookson Hills Toy Run has become a yearly on Sunday, December 4. The tradition in the Brandon community. The run has been helping forgotten veterans, children (newborns beginning of the run will be held to 18-years-old), special need individuals (all ages) and seniors in our area for 23 years. This year the from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, located toy run will take place on Sunday, December 4. at 1810 Front St. in Valrico. The Cookson Hills Toy Run has “We are asking those attending for a become a yearly tradition in the Brandon donation of $15 a bike and rider, $10 pascommunity. The run has been helping for- senger including a toy which will include a gotten veterans, children (newborns to free T-shirt and free lunch at Veteran's 18-years-old), special need individuals (all Memorial Park,” Brown said. “Auctions ages) and seniors in our area for 23 and raffles begin at 10:30 a.m., with the years. “The down home make you feel ride starting a 1 p.m at Veteran’s good all over Cookson Hills Toy Run will Memorial Park.” The Main Event begins be different this year and we are hoping at 1 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Park. everyone joining will agree,” said Sheri “Christmas gifts are passed out to those Brown, the creator of the toy run.” As invited to receive and are opened about always, the toy run is open to anyone 2:30 p.m. in your presence,” Brown said. who wants to make a difference in the life “The event comes to an end about 4:30 of those less fortunate.” p.m.” Last year Brown had to step Brown is looking for event spondown from running the Toy Run that she sors to help with food and gifts for the and her husband, Bill created because he guests who come to the toy run. If you was ill. He passed away in November would like to help, you can contact Brown 2015 from pancreatic cancer. “I was at 643-5758 or email her at cooksonasked to come back by some of those toyrun@aol.com. To learn more about the that had run it last year,” Brown said. “Bill Cookson Hills Toy Run, you can visit their and I put our hearts and souls into the webpage at www.cooksonhillstoyrun.com.

6 Weeks thru 12 Years

By Kathy L. Collins

There is no bet7:15 p.m. Bryant ter way to kick off Martinez, Winthrop the holiday season Town Artist and memthen to attend one ber of the Winthrop of the area's Arts’ Board of Christmas Tree Visionaries said, Lighting events. "This is the 10th year There are several that we have had a scheduled during Christmas Tree November and Lighting in Winthrop. December. Everyone is invited to You can bring come and enjoy this the family to Hyde great holiday tradiPark Village in tion." Winthrop Town Christmas Tree Lighting events including Tampa for the the 10th Annual Winthrop Arts Christmas Centre is located at Tree Lighting featuring holiday themed the intersection of Enchanted Tree entertainment by local performers. Lighting Ceremony Bloomingdale Ave. and on Saturday, November 19 from 5 to 9 Providence Rd. in Riverview. p.m. This free, family friendly celebration The City of Tampa will hold a Tree kicks off the holiday season. Everyone Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December will enjoy live entertainment, food and 2 at 6 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Waterfront beverages. Hyde Park Village is located Park in downtown Tampa. The event is at 1602 W. Snow Ave. in Tampa. free and includes a count-down to light On Thursday, December 1 you will the tree with Mayor Bob Buckhorn. A not want to miss the lighting of the movie will be shown after the lighting in Community Christmas Tree in historic the park. The 35th Annual Santa Fest will downtown Plant City at McCall Park. This be held the next day, Saturday, event begins at 5:30 p.m. Come back to December 3 beginning at 11 a.m. folPlant City on Friday, December 2 for the lowed by Santa Fest in Curtis Hixon Park Annual Christmas Parade from 7 to 9 from 12 to 4 p.m. p.m. McCall Park is located at 100 N. On Wednesday, December 7 Center Collins St. in downtown Plant City Place will host its 32nd Annual Christmas On Friday, December 2, gather Tree Lighting. Center Place will showcase friends and family and come out to local dancers and singers at their event. Winthrop Arts’ Annual Christmas Tree Join the Bloomingdale High School Lighting in Winthrop Town Centre in Ambassadors as they welcome Santa Riverview. The tree lighting ceremony will Claus who will help light the tree and take take place from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and a holiphotos with children. Center Place is day themed movie will be shown on the located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in lawn behind the tree at approximately Brandon.

Pick Up & Drop Off At: Stowers Valrico Academy Bevis Fishhawk Creek Lithia Springs Foundation Christian Alafia and Cimino

• Nutritious Meals & Snacks: Low Salt & Sugar • STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) • ABC Mouse Computer Technology • Trained Professional Staf, Certified in First Aid & CPR • Spanish & Music Brainwaves Curriculum • Extracurricular Programs • Outdoor Playgrounds with Water Park • FREE Internet Viewing of Your Child’s Day • Security Code Access Entry • VPK Part Time and Full Time

TWO GREAT LOCATIONS... CIRCA FISHHAWK 813-654-7000

5815 Kids Crossing Drive

(Located next to Stowers Elementary and Mosaic)

www.KRKCirca.com

VALRICO 813-657-6200

4321 Lynx Paw Trail

(Located across fromLithia Springs Elementary)

www.KRKValrico.com


Page 60

Volume 15, Issue 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:11

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Osprey Observer 2016-12 Bloomingdale/FishHawk