November 2016 Volume 11, Issue 11 Ph: 657-2418
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Kings Avenue Baptist Church Celebrates 30 Years With Annual Walk Thru Bethlehem
Wawa Celebrates Opening Of 100th Florida Store With $100,000 Donation
Thru Bethlehem This year as realistic as marks 30 possible. Don’t years for be surprised if Kings Avenue the Roman Baptist guards harass Church’s you or if you are annual Walk asked to pay Thru your taxes.” Bethlehem. Gallops, Thursday, who has been December 8 involved since its through inception, also Sunday, December 11, Walk Thru Bethlehem is a family tradition for the reminisced on a Gallops family. Pictured above, on the left, is key the story of organizer, David Gallops with his daughter and son. side story developing over the Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection is illustrated with past 30 years, “My children have grown up on the set; they have played the a guided 45-minute interactive tour parts from baby Jesus to a Roman solthrough biblical scenes of Bethlehem. dier.” Walk Thru Bethlehem is not only a The little town of Bethlehem is brought yearly tradition for the Gallops family; it to life by town merchants, tax collectors, has also evolved into a Christmas tradiRoman soldiers, shepherds, Mary, tion for the local community. Joseph, and of course, a baby Jesus. A Over the four nights, the free familycamel, sheep, and donkey also join the friendly event draws a sizeable crowd cast to create an authenticate atmosupwards of 7,000 visitors. In order to phere. avoid longer wait times, it is recomA production of this magnitude mended to arrive earlier in the evening. requires over 300 volunteers. Since Upon arrival, visitors are given a number 1986, Kings Avenue congregants have designating a guide and an appointed faithfully created and staged the live tour time. While waiting for an assigned scenes with the purpose of sharing the tour, visitors can enjoy holiday tunes true meaning of Christmas. The dramareverberating from the local school tized depiction of the Gospel has bands while partaking in a variety of changed lives. Over the past 30 years, food concessions. the event has prompted numerous visiWalk Thru Bethlehem is scheduled tors to rededicate their lives or accept for Thursday, December 8, from 6:30 to Christ for the first time. Sandra 9:30 p.m.; Friday, December 9, from Rodriquez, the coordinator for costumes 6:30 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, December 10, and props, echoed King Avenue’s motifrom 4 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, vation, “It is a lot of work, but if one perDecember 11, from 4 to 9 p.m. The son is saved, it’s all worth it.” church is located at 2602 S. Kings Ave. David Gallops, one of the main in Brandon. Contact the church office at organizers, emphasized the authenticity 685-3095. of the event; “We try to make the Walk
Hundreds of guests, company executives and state officials gathered earlier this month to celebrate the grand opening of Wawa’s 100th Florida store in Brandon. The festive event, joined by Florida State Senator, Tom Lee, State Representative, Ross Spano and Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens presents Feeding White, marked a major America with a $100,000 check for the Wawa Foundation in show of the company’s community involvement and support milestone in the comof support hunger-fighting initiatives throughout Florida. pany’s long history and Food Bank. Florida development. Prior to the store officially opening “We are opening our 100th store in its doors, Wawa associates from all just four years in Florida and are across the Tampa region came togeththrilled to be able to celebrate this er to build 1,000 hoagies for local food incredible milestone in Brandon as we banks. Adding to the traditionally enercontinue to grow our brand across the getic ceremony, there were hoagie Sunshine State,” said Wawa’s building lessons and cheers led by President and CEO, Chris Gheysens. Wawa’s mascot Wally Goose. “We are honored to have become a Representatives from the Central part of so many wonderful communities, serve so many tremendous cusContinued on Page 14 tomers and work with so many dedicated associates.” The new store, located at 1728 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, opened sigIn This nificantly ahead of its initial timeline Issue projection. Served by general manager, Jeffrey Burnett, its nearly 40 associates HOA HOT TOPICS ...............................PG 7 in full and part-time positions, are eligible for competitive salaries and health TOY RUN. .........................................PG 10 benefits, as well as Wawa’s employee HOLIDAY LIGHTS ..............................PG 13 stock ownership plan (ESOP). The ceremony included a donation EYE ON BUSINESS ............................PG 25 of $100,000 to Feeding America, from CHALKLINES .....................................PG 38 The Wawa Foundation, demonstrating Wawa’s community involvement and HOLIDAY GUIDE ........................PGS 29‐35 hunger-fighting initiatives throughout ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 37 Florida. The donation is promised to be SPORTS CONNECTION......................PG 38 distributed to representatives from Second Harvest Orlando, Feeding READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE Tampa Bay, Fort Myers Harry Chapin www.ospreyobserver.com Food Bank and the Treasure Coast
By Tamas Mondovics
Osprey Observer 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Brandon, FL 33511-6121
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Walt Raysick, of the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County takes part in Hillsborough County’s 52nd Annual Veterans Day Tribute held Veterans Memorial Park and Museum, 3602 U.S. Highway 301 N. in Tampa. The event saw one of the largest turnouts honoring all active and former U.S. military service members.
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Volume 11, Issue 11
Hillsborough County’s 52nd Annual Veterans Day Tribute Draws Large Crowd At Veterans Memorial Park By Tamas Mondovics
Each year, entation of the Waurishuk and U.S. Navy Commander Hillsborough County’s Veterans Day Scott Johnson (CENTCOM), MacDill Air Veterans Day ceremony proclamation, durForce Base. or Veterans Day ing which he said, “Tributes such as this one today Tribute, which honors “I want to thank all truly honor our veterans and acknowlall active and former of our veterans edge what it means to serve,” Johnson U.S. military service and families of our said, adding, “Everyone—no matter members has been veterans who have what capacity—who has served is known to draw a sizresponsible for our able crowd. safety. We owe our Thanks to a partappreciation for all nership between the veterans.” Hillsborough County As is the case Consumer and each year, the tribute Veterans Services and also included the the Veterans Council of MIA/POW Missing Hillsborough County, Man Ceremony, the county’s 52nd awards by the Annual Veterans Day Veterans Council of Tribute on Friday, Hillsborough County LT Tom Clark, USN (Ret.) introduces a series of special exhibition drill November 11, 2016, and performances by performances and patriotic recitations by Hillsborough, Chamberlain, Plant City, was no exception. the Newsome High Bloomingdale and Riverview High School JROTC cadets, during Hillsborough With nearly 94,000 County’s 52nd Annual Veterans Day Tribute. School Jazz Band. veterans, Hillsborough Refreshments were Ceremonies, Walt Raysick with the County has the fourth largest populamade the altimate also provided by Hillsborough County Veterans Council, tion of veterans in Florida. sacrifice.” Veterans of Foreign guests were treated to three special The event took place at Veterans Speaking Wars Post 8108. exhibition drill performances and patriMemorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy highly of the For more inforotic recitations by Hillsborough, Collins, Jr. Museum, 3602 U.S. Veterans mation about the Chamberlain, Plant City, Bloomingdale Highway 301 N. in Tampa, under the Memorial Park 52nd Annual and Riverview High School JROTC theme of “Honoring America’s and Museum, Veterans Day cadets. Veterans,” and saw hundreds of guests, 6th Air Mobility Wing MacDill AFB and White added, Tribute, or Veterans Presentations included members of Riverview High School Navy JROTC young and old, who have gathered to “This Park is a Memorial Park and the 6th Air Mobility Wing and Riverview Color Guard, takes part in the hear and see a variety of speakers and great testimony of Museum, call presentation of the Colors during High School Navy JROTC Color Guard presentations. Hillsborough County’s 52nd Annual our community’s Hillsborough County and Rifle detail as well as the Riverview Veterans Day Tribute. Following the opening welcome support for all Consumer & Detachment of the Marine Corps address, presentation of the Colors, the veterans and their families.” Veterans Services at 246-3170 or 744League. National Anthem and the Pledge of Special guests speakers included 5349, or go to Hillsborough County Commissioner Allegiance directed by Master of retired U.S. Air Force Col. Jim www.HCFLGov.net/Veterans. Stacy White was on hand for the pres-
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Volume 11, Issue 11
Brandon Regional Hospital Cuts The Ribbon On State Of The Art Surgical Robot
Local Gymnasts Set Sights On Olympics With Training Center Trip
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.
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.
By Kathy L. Collins
By Kate Quesada
County Promotes Local Trails Through New Hiking Program
By Tamas Mondovics
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.
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Volume 11, Issue 11
air, F e t a t S Florida bacco, iFLY Quit To More… ti, &by Michelle Colesan d m Compile preyobserver.co s o @ e ll miche
tion, visit www.FloridaStateFair.com or follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter.
Help For Quitting Tobacco
Quitting tobacco isn't easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started. Free Community worksite and clinic Picture Yourself At The Florida groups will be offered, with programs covering all forms of tobacco. Classes State Fair will be available The Florida State Fair on Thursday, Authority invites people December 1 across the state and beyond 6:30-8:30 from to “Picture Yourself at the p.m. at First Florida State Fair” – the Baptist Church theme for the 2017 event, of College Hill, slated for February 9-20, 3838 N. 29th 2017. St. in Tampa, “We want both loyal Monday, patrons and those who have December 12 not yet experienced the Fair from 5:30-7:30 to join us in making memoat USF–Area ries that will last a lifetime,” Health said Cheryl Flood, executive Education director of the Florida State Center, 3535 Fair Authority. Fletcher Ave., The Fair Authority also Ste. MDT 1400 has confirmed that the in Tampa, and Country Gold tour once Tuesday, again will be returning to the December 13 Fair in 2017. A fan favorite, from 5:30-7:30 the 2017 concerts will boast p.m. at Robert some of the biggest names W. Saunders to join the tour, including Library, 1505 Johnny Lee, Bobby Bare, Picture yourself at the Florida State the Gatlin Brothers and Fair slated for February 9-20, 2017. Nebraska Ave. in Tampa. Marty Haggard (son of the Pre-registration is required by calllegendary Merle Haggard), as well as ing 974-7889. For additional classes, Leroy Van Dyke of “Auctioneer” and visit www.ahectobacco.com/calendar. “Walk on By” fame. Tickets for the 2017 Fair and the STEM Open House At iFLY For Country Gold Tour go on sale December 1. For more informaEducators And Veteran’s Special
Apollo Beach Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Brandon Brandon FishHawk Riverview Riverview Seffner Valrico Valrico
Attention educators: Please plan to attend a STEM Open House at iFLY on Thursday, December 1 from 4-7 p.m. Learn more about its flight teams, how you can become involved, and try some hands on STEM activities. An iFLY wind tunnel is a marvel of math, science and engineering that connects classroom learning to the real world. On a field trip to iFLY Tampa, your students will conduct experiments, receive flight and safety training, fly in the wind tunnel, and learn all about the STEM concepts involved in their flight. No experience is necessary. iFLY special all month long for veterans and their families. Get 15% off any first time flyer package. iFLY is located at 10654 Palm River Rd. in Tampa.
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.
622 Oakfield Dr., Brandon, FL 33511 684-0688 fax: 689-0624 www.teachershelperonline.com
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$35 for space and an eight ft. table. No electricity available; duplicate vendors not permitted. Contact the synagogue office or Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 706-4214459 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.
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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 p.m. Vendor spaces available $30, or
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Royal Family KIDS Camp Tampa Bay Teams Up With Brandon Volunteers
Holiday Safety Tips For Your HOA Community With the holidays approaching we have created a list of holiday safety tips for all HOA communities. We know that the holidays can be a busy time of the year and want to ensure everyone’s safety.
Inspect All Stringed Lights
When it’s time to hang up the holiday lights, whether inside or outside your home, or in the community center, look for any old wires, broken sockets, wire bends and bare spots. It’s recommended that you don’t overload any outlets, and connect the string of lights to an extension cord before plugging in the lights. If your HOA has light rules and restrictions, make sure residents are aware of where holiday lights are allowed.
Keep The Holiday Tree Watered
If residents plan on using a live holiday tree, be aware to keep it well watered so it does not dry out. A dried out Christmas tree is a huge safety hazard.
Turn off the holiday lights, both tree and house lights, when you’re not home or sleeping. Not only is it an energy waster, but it can be a potential fire hazard. We suggest that you do not place a holiday tree near a heat source, such as a lit candle. Speaking of lit candles, do not leave them unattended at any time.
Test Smoke Detectors
Remind residents to test all smoke and carbonmonoxide detectors, and if needed, replace their batteries.
Stop Any Mail
If residents plan on going out of town, encourage them to have their mail held at the post office or arrange for a neighbor to pick it up. A full mailbox and a driveway littered with newspapers are signs to prowling thieves that no one is home. Does your HOA have any other events or tips to share? Send them over to Kate Quesada at email@example.com to be featured in next month’s edition.
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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Volume 11, Issue 11
Brandon High School Grad Plays Key Role On Amphibious Navy Warship By Petty Officer Jamal McNeill, Office Public Affairs
A 2012 spectrum of miliBrandon High tary operations School graduate and missions, is playing a key including putting role in supporting Marines ashore the newest and for combat operlargest amphibiations, launching ous warship in air strikes, keepthe Navy. ing sea lanes Airman free and open for Brandon High School graduate Airman Travis the movement of Travis Price, is Price plays a key role on newest amphibious an aviation global comNavy warship. boatswain's merce, and delivmate (handling) serving aboard USS ering humanitarian aid following a disAmerica (LHA 6), based in San Diego, aster like the typhoon that devastated California. America is the fourth warthe Philippines in 2013. ship to be named for the United As a member of the U.S. Navy’s States. finest warships, Price said he and As an aviation boatswain's mate, other sailors are proud to be part of Price is responsible for the safe most capable amphibious force in the launching and recovery of aircraft world aboard the ship. “It means a lot to serve aboard “I stay busy with my job but it’s this ship,” said Price. “Everyone here great because it’s hard work and it has joined to serve their country but keeps me on my toes,” said Price. “I when you are serving on this ship also have a great sense of accomnamed after our nation, it takes the plishment knowing that I am defending sense of pride to the next level.” my country to the best of my ability.” Sailors’ jobs are highly varied on America is equipped with a fuelAmerica, according to Navy officials. efficient hybrid electric propulsion sysTheir job includes keeping all parts of tem, which is an energy initiative the ship running smoothly--this designed to increase range, includes everything from maintaining endurance and longer deployments aircrafts and engines, processing enhancing America's combat capabilipaperwork, to handling weapons, and ty. It’s 844 feet long and 106 feet wide flying the aircraft. and weighs nearly 45,000 tons, with "The Navy has taught me how to two gas turbine engines that push the work with people from all walks of life ship through water at more than 22 and I understand how important teamknots. work is with others to achieve a comHer mission is to support a wide mon goal,” said Price.
Greater Brandon Chamber Of Commerce Showcases Its First Veterans Bass Challenge
By Tatiana Ortiz
The water won,” Everhart at the Edward said. Medard Bass Pro Reservoir filled Shops and Powerwith 25 boats Pole donated all lined up with prizes to the wina total of 30 ners. Bass Pro local serviceShops in Brandon disabled hosted a celebraVeterans for a tory awards cereone-day fishing mony barbeque tournament. dinner for the Greater Veterans. The Brandon public had the Chamber of opportunity to join Veterans James Thompson (on the left) and in the festivities Commerce the right) developed a new with a $25 ticket to produced their Steve Jarrett (on friendship. first Veterans the dinner. Mission Bass Challenge. BBQ and Frankie’s Patriot BBQ provid“We want the Veterans to have a ed the food that evening. Other sponday of peace and relaxation on the sors of the event include Century 21 water, enjoying the natural beauty of Shaw Realty Group, Bass Pro Shops, Hillsborough County,” Executive McDonald’s and HoneyBaked Ham. Director at the Greater Brandon Air Force Veteran Steve Jarrett Chamber of Commerce Christine gave his thoughts in regards to his parMichaels said. ticipation in the Veterans Bass The participants of the tournament Challenge. “I had a great time and did divide into teams to compete for enjoyed being able to share this day prizes, which consisted of three winwith the disabled Veterans,” Jarrett ners. Josh Everhart caught the largest said. Bass weighing in at 4 lbs. 14 oz. Edwin Overall, “I hope that we can continQuiros won top Veteran’s fish with his ue the event because we had enough weighing in at more than two pounds. community support this year,” Michaels Boat captain Patrick Gleason took sec- said. ond place. For more information on the Josh Everhart from the S.O.D. Brandon Chamber, visit www.brandon(Shadow of Darkness) fish crew share chamber.com. It is located at 330 his thoughts about winning first place. Pauls Dr., Ste. 100 in Brandon. Hours “It felt really good to be part of this of operation are Monday through event and I am quite surprised that I Friday 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Call 689-1221.
Volume 11, Issue 11
Cookson Hills Toy Run Celebrates 23 Years Of Helping Those In Need In The Community
BSAC Tennis Star Credits Success To Coaches, Family And Community Support
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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 socieMoulin, enjoyed the ty and many other spotlight last month volunteer clubs. as she officially Moulin’s choice of signed to further her school was also weleducation on a full comed by her parscholarship at the ents and friends, University of which she acknowlAlabama. edged when she Moulin, who Joined by friends, family and her coaches, said, “My parents grew up playing the Kylie Moulin signs her commitment letter to are super happy with the University of Alabama. The Newsome my decision. They sport she loves, High School senior received a full ride. joining BSAC, 405 are excited that it is Beverly Blvd. in Brandon, in 2009, conclose to home and that it is a place firmed her decision during a scholarship where I can really excel in my tennis and signing ceremony at the center, while academics. I plan to study to be a physigiving her coaches, parents and friends cal therapist and I want to minor in psyall the credit for her own athletic succhology.” Of course, balancing school cess. and athletics is not always easy, some“If I didn't have a great coach and a thing Moulin said she herself had to family to support me I don't think I would learn over the years. “There are always be where I am today,” she said. “I love hard obstacles to overcome, but those the coaches at BSAC more than anyare things that will only make you better thing. Everyone is like family to me.” and bring you one step closer to your Moulin emphasized that her love goal,” she said. To encourage those who and drive for the sport and the people aspire to walk in her footsteps, Moulin that supported her was, and continues to said, “I would tell younger kids to always be, the force that helped her to be sucfight their hardest and to never give up cessful. As a 5-star tennis recruit, Moulin on a dream that they want to achieve.” is currently ranked 41 nationally. She is BSAC’s Tennis program has been ranked top 15 in the southeast and as a operating under the watchful eyes of cotop ten tennis player in Florida. directors Alex and Andrew Golub. The This past spring, Moulin earned duo is supported by Tennis professionals fourth place at a national selection in Damon Henkel and Morgan Frank. Altamonte Springs. Moulin is in the top For more information visit 25 in her Newsome graduating class. mybsac.org.
By Libby Hopkins
By Tamas Mondovics
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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. “We are fortunate not to have had those tragedies occur in Hillsborough County, but we must stay proactive and work together to avoid them from happening.” 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
By Tamas Mondovics
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 ridealong 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.
Allen S. Carman FORMER ATTORNEY FOR A MAJOR AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY
Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru Hillsborough County Fairgrounds Opens Thanksgiving Night Nov. 24th thru Sat. Dec 31st 6pm ‐ 9pm Sun ‐ Thurs. | 6pm ‐ 10pm Fri. & Sat.
Vanessa A. Bevington
Michael J. Finegan
MEMBER OF THE FLORIDA, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, AND BRANDON BAR ASSOCIATIONS
MEMBER OF THE FLORIDA, AND HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATIONS
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WWW.BRANDONLEGAL.COM After driving thru the beautiful lights, stop by The Christmas Village and Enjoy: • • • • • •
Hot Cocoa & Donuts Kettle Korn Kona Ice goodies Popcorn & Cotton Candy Funnel Cakes A selection of Fair foods & more
• North Pole Express Train Ride • Pony Rides • Horse Drawn Wagon Rides • Visit with The Wolves of the World • Shop, Craft & Gift Vendors
Vehicles (up to eight passengers) $20 Tickets for the drive thru can be purchased at www.thewonderlando!lights.com
223 LITHIA PINECREST RD., BRANDON THE HIRING OF A LAWYER IS AN IMPORTANT DECISION THAT MUST NOT BE BASED ON ADVERTISEMENT, YOU MAY REQUEST INFORMATION CONCERNING LAWYER’S CREDENTIALS FROM THIS FIRM
Volume 11, Issue 11
Lights Will Shine Bright Around Town During Holiday Season 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 email@example.com. We’ll share with our readers online.
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 drivethrough 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 (2550 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.
Stanley A. Castor, M.D., FACS Board Certi!ied Plastic Surgeon Certi!ied American Board of Plastic Surgery
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-thanlife 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,
Compiled by Michelle Colesanti
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
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 HO-scale 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). It is located at 2719 Oakdale Street, South in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit www.christmasdisplay.org.
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 “We can make our food fast and it is much to it, and it has been great fun figurgood because it is always fresh,” said ing out the flavor combinations people Director of Operations Bill Kadow. “All of enjoy the most,” said Kadow, who has our meals are made to order or just worked in the restaurant business since 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 commumade ice cream sandwich which uses a nity by setting up spirit nights and cooking 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 want to make sure they aren’t missing 1426 W. Brandon Blvd. and can be any of it.” reached at 864-8008. Visit Many of the menu items have been www.wowthatsfresh.com to see the menu added over the two years the restaurant and for more information.
Volume 11, Issue 11
Wawa Celebrates 100...Cont From Page 1
By Tamas Mondovics
Florida USO a nonprofit organization that offers many free programs and services to support U.S. troop, took part in performing the National Anthem. Wawa Director of Operations Dave Prevost hosted a Wawa Florida “Smilestone” Parade, which was recognized by Commissioner White, who in representing the Hillsborough County Wawa executives, state and county officials and guests gather for a ribbon cutting photo during the grand opening cereBoard of County mony of Wawa’s 100th Florida store in Brandon. While celeCommissioners probrating its current success the company is hoping to expand claimed November 4, to 500 stores within the next 10 years. 2016, as Wawa tatives now look to future expansion Smilestone Parade Day. throughout the Sunshine State, predictWawa Chairman of the Board Dick ing the opening of 500 stores within the Wood, drew attention to the company’s next 10 years. success thanks to its six core values. “We can’t wait to see what the next The festivities also included the few hundred stores bring as we contincharitable Hoagies for Heroes hoagieue to fulfill customers’ lives every day building competition, waged between across the state of Florida,” Gheysens Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and said. the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office. A chain of more than 730 Wawa Each team had three minutes to build convenience retail stores are located in as many hoagies as they could in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, traditional Wawa way. Maryland, Virginia and Florida, offering The trophy was reclaimed by the a large fresh food service selection five-member Sheriff’s Office team. including Wawa brands such as builtBoth teams then received $1,000 to-order hoagies, freshly-brewed coffrom Wawa to support the charities of fee, hot breakfast sandwiches, built-totheir choice. order specialty beverages, and an The celebration also included free assortment of soups, sides and coffee at all Wawa Florida stores, all snacks. For more information about day. Moving forward, Wawa represenWawa please visit www.wawa.com.
Brandon Elks Lodge Bags of Brotherly Love Will Help Area Homeless
By Michelle Colesanti
Nine year I could not afford old Edwin the expense, so I Font’s home lived in my car for life in Palatka, six months until Florida was not one day a fellow the best, yet employee got wind he was more of my situation and concerned offered me a room about the in his home. That homeless he was the lift I needBrandon Elks’ members volunteer for the new ed to help get me saw in his program, Bags of Brotherly Love. This new neighborhood. back on track in program will help the homeless living in the area. Not wanting life.” He wants to them to go hungry, he started preparing incorporate more than just food and nourpeanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The ishment into the bags, adding, “We have program Edwin’s Happy Bags was startvolunteers who wish to donate clothing ed. It wasn’t long before he received and other hygiene products to help bring donations from several private citizens a little more dignity back into their lives.” and the city of Palatka. Robert (Bob) Blair, Over 400 homeless men, woman a member of the Brandon Elks Lodge and children, including veterans, live in #2383, and his wife Elisa spent time with the immediate area. Bags of Brotherly Edwin and were so taken with his project, Love will be distributed to the homeless they brought the idea to the Brandon Elks by the Elk volunteers on a monthly basis and Bags of Brotherly Love was created. bringing bags, conversation, and informaJoyce Dominick Schaefer, Grants tion on where help is available for both Coordinator, was tasked with writing a physical and mental needs, and most of proposal for funds to finance the program. all a smile and spirit to show that “Elks The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Care Elks Share”. along with Josh Boyer, Hillsborough Blair would love to see this go County Homeless Coordinator, got statewide for the Elks. “There is a lot that involved, along with several businesses in we can do, and a lot that still needs to be the area, who agreed to help with ondone to help the plight of the homeless. going aid to the program. Working hand in hand with the Along with other private donations, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office the Brandon Lodge and Brandon Ladies Community Outreach Organization and of Elks also donated over $1,000. the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough Blair knows firsthand what it is to be County has been a great experience and hungry. “I, too, was one of the unfortuhelp,” he said. nates 35 years ago. I had a job that wasFor more info call Brandon Elks n't paying much, and a car, but no home. Lodge at 685-6469.
Formed In 1916, Limona Village Chapel Celebrates 100th Birthday United Methodist Church Limona Village Chapel is proudly celebrating 100 years of service this year. The doors opened in the rural community of Limona in 1916, and it originally began as a United Brethren Church that started meeting in a small school building. The church bought the school building and moved it to its current property until it was destroyed in a fire in 1968. After the new sanctuary was built in 1969, the church built the Francis Anderson Fellowship hall and broke ground for the Seymour Educational Building, which houses our Children’s Center. The youth building was built & dedicated the Philip Mook Building in 1991. Today, Limona Village Chapel continues to serve its community, and maintains its history and heritage. It continues to be a busy congregation, hosting barbeques, The Village Fair, Family Promise, Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, and more. They recently held their first Pumpkin Patch Festival for the community.
By Nicole Heubusch
“My husband Merit & I have been members at Limona Village Chapel since 1956. We are the longest standing members on the rolls at this time. I was secretary there for 20 years and it was a blessing serving in this capacity,” said long-time member of the congregation, Joanne O’Neal. Limona Village Chapel will be celebrating its 100th Birthday with a Centennial Celebration Service and dinner on Sunday, December 4 at 10 a.m. in its sanctuary. They invite the community to come celebrate with them, and hope to see many former members. If you plan on staying for dinner, please contact the Church Office at 6898385 to make your reservation. On Sundays, Limona Village Chapel offers a Contemporary Worship at 9:30 a.m. and a Traditional Worship at 10:45 a.m. Bible studies, small group, youth groups, and more are also offered. Limona Village Chapel is located at 408 Limona Rd. in Brandon. For more information, please visit limonavillagechapel.com.
Volume 11, Issue 11
Shop Local And Visit Florida Santa At Valrico/FishHawk Holiday Expo
Fused Glass Jewelry Created By Talented Seffner Resident
mine the best decorated flamingos to be ‘crowned’ during the event. Families will enjoy music, shop the local business booths, enjoy games and pick up a few treats for Holiday gift giving. “We wanted to host an event that help introduce our businesses to the community and also make it fun for parents and families this holiday Florida Santa will be on hand with his Flock of Corporate season,” said Flamingos at the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber Holiday Fest & Expo held on Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon at Valrico/FishHawk Park Square. Chamber Event Celebrate the holidays in true Florida Coordinator Bridget Jenkins Wilson, style and pick up a few items from local owner of Cardinal Roofing. vendors to fill that holiday wish list at the Sign up at WWW.VALRICOFISHsecond Shop Local-Holiday Expo at HAWK.ORG. Chamber member booths: FishHawk’s Park Square on Saturday, $50 for members with corporate chalDecember 3, 9 a.m.-12 Noon. lenge flamingo. Non-chamber member The idea of an old-fashioned, family booths: $100 with corporate challenge fun expo with Florida Santa, games, flamingo. Proceeds from the event will treats for kids, business booths and local benefit Center Place Fine Arts & Civic crafters, all gathering for a holiday event Center. was developed and the first annual Shop FishHawk Park Square is located in Local Holiday Expo was created last the heart of FishHawk Ranch at the coryear. ner of Dorman Rd. and Churchside Dr. Join more than 50 local business The event is free to attend. booths and take a photo with Florida Business booths are still available Santa and his sleigh pulled by a 'Flock of and cost $50 for Chamber members and Flamingos', which have been decorated $100 for nonmembers and include a by local businesses Holiday Flamingo Flamingo to decorate and a 10x10 space Challenge. Each flamingo is sponsored at the event. Email questions by a local business and judges will deterto Bridget@cardinalroofingandsolar.com.
JoAnn takes two to Wedge of three hours and Seffner is a is limited to six talented and people. In this creative artist. class, the piece She has been is finished on creating art site. for over 41 Wedge years and is graduated from as passionate the University of about art as South Florida she was with a degree in when she education. began. While at USF, Wedge she took a potJoAnn Wedge of Seffner creates lovely fused glass creates lovely pendants and earrings. Wedge shares her decades- tery class. She and stunning long love of art with others through classes she offers fell in love with to the community. jewelry (penit and eventualdants and earrings) crafted from dichroic ly left teaching to be a potter full time. fused glass. This type of glass gives her About 20 years ago she discovered creations shine and glow. Wedge sells glass. For about 10 years she combined her original creations on Etsy. She also clay and glass. She eventually decided offers classes where she leads others in to go with just glass and has not looked creating jewelry. "I get enjoyment out of back. "I love the creativity glass offers," seeing others create." Classes take said Wedge who creates wearable art. about one and a half hours, and Wedge Wedge loves being able to help othcompletes each piece in her kiln and ers express their creativity through glass. returns the finished piece in just a couple Wedge said, "You can feel authentic to of days. yourself with art. Expressing yourself Wedge brings everything that you through art is a spiritual release." Wedge need to create a whimsical and beautiful added, "There is calmness and a feeling pendant or a pair of earrings. It costs of inner peace that overcomes me when only $15 per piece. Wedge offers her I am creating art and helping others do classes at area independent living facilithe same." You can view Wedge's wearties, women's clubs, birthdays, girls' night able art at www.facebook.com/Wedgeout or home parties. Fused-Glass. If you are interested in getFor those who want to push their ting some of Wedge's jewelry or get creativity, Wedge offers a class that com- information on her classes, you can conbines beads and glass. This more tact Wedge at firstname.lastname@example.org advanced class costs $40 per piece, or call 760-3542.
By Marie Gilmore
By Kathy L. Collins
Artisan Aesthetics’ Dr. Castor Offers New Cellfina™ Treatment
Stan Castor, MD, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, announced that Cellfina™, the only FDAcleared, minimally invasive procedure clinically proven to treat the primary structural cause of cellulite for at least two years, the longest FDA clearance for a cellulite treatment, is now available at his practice, Artisan Aesthetics. The Cellfina™ System treats the primary structural cause of cellulite, the connective bands woven throughout fat in the thighs and buttocks. These tight bands pull down the skin, creating the puckering you see on the surface of the skin. Similar to a rubber band under tension, once released, the treated skin bounces back to smooth itself out in as little as three days. Cellfina is a straightforward solution to cellulite that combines a proven approach with innovative, proprietary technology, for an effective treatment that produces precise, longlasting results in a single doctor’s office visit. “With Cellfina the results last,” said Dr. Castor. “Patients typically
notice significant improvement at three months, and those results are still evident two years after treatment.” In the pivotal study, 96 percent of
Cellfina patients were satisfied after two years surpassing satisfaction rates of other leading cellulite treatments. T he in-office treatment takes less than an hour, depending on the number of dimples being treated and the patient’s individual needs. It is a cellulite solution that doesn’t involve general anesthesia, so afterward patients are able to go about their day. “Cellfina is unique because it treats the primary structural cause, it’s a minimally invasive procedure and its effects last at least two years, the longest FDA clearance for a cellulite treatment,” said Dr. Castor. “The result is a smoother and healthier look that gives my patients the confidence to wear shorts, yoga pants or a bathing suit again.” For an appointment call 9712000 or visit www.DrCastor.com.
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Volume 11, Issue 11
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 fan-favorite 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 Red-Nosed 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/mickeys-very-merrychristmas.
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 sing-alongs 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
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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, artisancrafted gifts. O Wondrous Night® is a 30minute 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/.
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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 handcarved 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 eight-lane 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 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 not-so-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/buy-tickets/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/eventcalendar/Aqua-Eve.aspx or call 2734000.
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. Visit Santa, and have a merry and memorable evening at this magical holiday event in the unique setting of the Zoo at night. Enjoy Christmas in the Wild on November 25-25, December 2-3, 910, 16-23 and 26-30. Lowry Park will be open until 10 p.m. Zoo Members and Pay for A Day Ticket holders enjoy free and unlimited access to Christmas in the Wild. Visit lowryparkzoo.org/events/christmas-in-the-wild or call 935-8552.
New Bridges Dental Continues Dr. Rahal Success In Bloomingdale
By Kate Quesada
When Dr. Laura University of Florida College Coyle Bridges opened of Dentistry. She served as the doors of her dental class president for three office on Lithia years and was awarded the Pinecrest Rd. in Delta Dental Senior September, she was Leadership Award. In the achieving a life-long years since receiving her dream. degree, she has worked in “I have lived in the both corporate dentistry and Brandon area since private practice environments 1987,” said Coyle and she recently worked in a Bridges, who graduatpractice with four dentist and ed from Bloomingdale almost 30 employees. High School. “I have One worked very hard to of the be able to purchase ways and run my own pracCoyle tice here.” Bridges Valrico resident and Bloomingdale High School When Coyle graduate Dr. Laura Coyle Bridges recently opened believes Bridges heard that Dr. a dental office on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. her new Rahal, who had owned and operated his office is different from other dentists in the dental office in the same location for 27 area is the way it uses technology to years, was retiring, she jumped at the ease patient discomfort and reduce anxichance to open her own practice in the ety. area where she and her husband Brad “One aspect of our practice that is raise their five children. relevant to almost everyone is our use of “We are so excited to offer dental The Wand,” said Coyle Bridges, referring care to the community we love,” said to a product from Milestone Scientific that Coyle Bridges. “We have only been open uses a needle the size of a hair to proa few weeks, but are already doing what vide local anesthesia for patients. “With we can to be a great part of the commuThe Wand we can numb only one tooth nity by sponsoring local events like the at a time which allows the patient to suffer Buckhorn Color Run and fundraisers at much less discomfort and even allows us Bell Shoals Baptist where our children go to work on both sides of the mouth in to school.” succession meaning fewer visits. It also Coyle Bridges received an underlets the patient leave without a numb graduate degree from Florida State face.” Bridges Dental is located at 3646 University, a degree in Biomedical Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and can be reached Science from the University of South at 654-3399. For more information, visit Florida and graduated from The www.bridgesdental.com.
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Volume 11, Issue 11
Online Holiday Shopping Boutique Benefits Children’s Holiday Party
GFWC Brandon Jr. Woman's Club (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. Vendors Include Lula Roe, Origami Owl, Tastefully Simple, Thirty One Gifts, Premier Jewelry, Stampin Up, Hippie Jewelry, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Rohdan & Fields, Arbonne & more. Beginning December 1 will be 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways. All purchases will be entered into a raffle drawing for each $25 purchase, raffles provided by all the vendors. For More information and a list of vendors, please visit www.facebook.com/gfwcbrandonjuniors.
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On Sunday, December 11 at 6 p.m., the Hillsboro Memorial Funeral Home, 2323 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, will host a Candlelight Celebration. According to Christopher Murray, Family Service Manager, “The holiday season can be a particularly difficult time of year for families that have experienced a loss. The ceremony gives families an opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of their loved one while also bringing other families coping in similar situation together. It is always nice to see attendees sharing stories and memories with one another. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP at 689-8121.
is coming to town
Candlelight Celebration At Hillsboro Memorial
Kappa Delta Phi Sorority is a national A Boots & Bling Benefit Concert will organization dedicated to providing take place on Saturday, December 17 opportufrom 4-10 nities and p.m. at experiRugged ences Cross that Youth inspire Ranch, women to located at great421 ness. Corbett The Plant City Community Chorale will present its annual Several Rd. in fundrais- holiday concert on Saturday, December 10 at Eastside Church. Lithia. ers are Listen to held annually to benefit charities in the great Christian, Country, and Southern Brandon area. Brandon chapter of Kappa Rock music from Eli Mosley, Skyler Clark, Kappa is looking for new members to Harley Gay and more will be added to the join. Please call Lily Barney at 681-6006. line-up. There will be food trucks on site, and drinks for sale. Great raffle items. Bring your lawn chairs and an Plant City Community Chorale unwrapped gift for A Christmas to Presents Holiday Concert Remember for the local orphanages/fosThe Plant City Community Chorale, ter care facilities. Funds will be raised for under the direction of Claudia Bolano Rugged Cross Youth Ranch, a 501(c)3 Becerra, will present its annual Believe! A nonprofit, a local charity that touches hunChristmas Concert on Sa turday, dreds of foster kids, orphans, military famDecember 10 at 7:30 p.m.at Eastside and kids within the community. ilies, Baptist Church, which is located at 1318 Tickets cost $20 in advance and $30 E. Calhoun St. in Plant City. This annual at the door. Sponsors are still being Christmas presentation is once again sought. Contact Angela Spillis at 679sponsored by Hopewell Funeral & 8386 or visit ruggedcrossranch.com.
On Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. for one show only, Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular comes to Amalie® Arena. This fun-filled family holiday event features the cast of Cirque Musica together with all-time favorite holiday songs performed by a live orchestra. It is a concert and visual experience where audiences journey into a world of high-flying adventure with amazing acrobats, aerialists, and holiday cheer. The show blends the spell-binding grace and dare-devil athleticism of today’s greatest circus performers with the sensory majesty of the greatest
Boots & Bling Benefit Concert Will Benefit Rugged Cross Youth Ranch
Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular Live
Kappa Kappa Brandon Chapter Accepting New Members
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. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. the night of the concert. Reservations are not required. EHCB is a full-sized concert band that has been entertaining the Tampa Bay area since 2009. For more information, ehcb.org.
Concert Band Presents Christmas Concert In Brandon
Memorial Gardens. In addition to time-honored classics such as O Holy Night, Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, and White Christmas, the concert will include the beloved Spanish carol, A La Nanita Nana and the sprightly Catalan dance carol, Fum, Fum, Fum. Tickets are available at www.pccchorale.org , from any Chorale member, or call 417-2808.
h d by Mic m Compile preyobserver.co s o @ e michell
holiday music of all time. Tickets for the event are available at the McDonald’s® Ticket Office at AMALIE Arena, Ticketmaster outlets and at Ticketmaster.com. Order tickets by calling 800-745-3000. Ticket prices are $25, $35, $55 and $85. Prices do not include facility fee or service charges. Group discounts available by calling 301-6900 or visit amaliearena.com
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GFWC Brandon Service League Proudly Presents Its Annual Holiday Home Tour
By Kathy L. Collins
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 Brandon Service start some new traditions of League’s Holiday your own. Gourmet Booth and This year’s tour will in “Ghosts of showcase three whimsical 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 ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past is rapidly “These homes were selected because of becoming a popular stop as well. We feathe different styles that are representative ture all varieties of pre-owned and gently of the owners. Contemporary, traditional loved Christmas decorations at very reaand antique are the basic themes of these 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. For more information on the tour and Tickets to the Holiday Home Tour are to become a sponsor for as low as $100, just $20. Tickets are available at TMarie’s please contact Swanson at 662-4371. Fashion and Gift Boutique, Essentials
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Volume 11, Issue 11
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
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
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.
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Volume 11, Issue 11
Volume 11, Issue 11
NINETY‐NINE YEAR OLD MAN ........PG 27 CHALKLINES....................................PG 28 HOLIDAY GUIDE.......................PGS 29‐35 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 37 SPORTS CONNECTION....................PG 38
cheesecake miniatures. Joyful Mini's offers a great traditional dessert with a little Armor Guard Painting twist, in 12 different & Coating is a full service flavors. A few of these painting company offering flavors are Strawberry, interior and exterior paintCaramel Nut and Oreo ing and coatings. The cookie. Holiday painting/coating of tile favorites are Pumpkin, roofs, pool decks, garage Sweet potato and floors and driveways are Mint. Two sizes are offered along with other offered - the mini and services for interior the mini cup. Mini's Dr. Nicole is taking over the including wall paper Dana Kemper recently joined Ohall eliminate spoilage Brandon Mobile Vet Clinic’s mobile removal, popcorn Law as an elder care attorney. from purchasing a full appointments. Kemper can be reached by callremoval, drywall repairs pie. Since these to take same day ing 438-8503. and texture. cheesecakes are about or next day Joy Best uses family recipes to create her cheeseFree in-home inspections are the size of a jumbo muffin, it is just the appointments. Dr. cake miniatures. offered along with a free written estiright size for an individual. Mini cups Nicole is originalmedicine/surgery, alternative medicine mate. There are written warranties on are great for parties, social gatherings ly from a small town in Maine. She (acupuncture/chiropractic), behavior, all work and special discounts are and meetings. received her bachelor degree in pain management, end of life/hospice offered for veterans and seniors. Prices range from $2.50 per mini Animal Science from the University of care. Dr. Nicole and her husband love Online specials from $250 to $550 off cup and $5 per mini. Visit www.faceMaine, and then went to Ross the outdoors, traveling, finding new are offered. Visit www.armorguard.net book.com/Joyfulminis or call to place University School of Veterinary eateries around town. They have two for more details. Ask about the “show orders at 941-889-9157. Visit Joyful Medicine for her Veterinary degree. dogs, Killian and Apollo, and one cat home” discount as well. Mini’s at A Simpler Place Farmer’s Since this school is in the Caribbean, named Chevy. For more information, call 727Market, 9903 Carr Rd in Riverview Dr. Nicole had to do her clinical year at 501-1264 Monday to Friday from 8 beginning November 2016. the University of Florida and that is Delectable and Creative a.m.-5 p.m. where she fell in love with the state. Cheesecake Miniatures Suit All Since graduating in 2011, Dr. Nicole Local Business Celebrates Seventh New Veterinarian Joins Mobile Vet has experience in different areas of Tastes Year Anniversary Clinic of Brandon Veterinary medicine including private Joyful Mini's came about through a The Bridges Retirement Dr. Nicole will be taking over the practice, shelter work, corporate pracfamily recipe and donations for a Community recently celebrated its sevmobile appointments while Dr. Anthony tice, and mobile euthanasia/hospice friend's birthday. Joy Best established enth anniversary with a special is at the office all day taking appointwork. She loves creating bonds with her company in 2014, but it was not evening affair for residents, family, ments. This means way more availyou and your pet because she wants fully operational until recently. The mis- friends and staff. To further the exciteability for you and your pet. The this to be a lifelong partnership. Her sion is to provide "joy" to others Brandon Mobile Vet Clinic is now able Continued On Next Page interests are in general through delectable and creative
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Business Column Continued............. ment of the night, the Just Two Duo performed music from the 40s, 50s and 60s. "We have a wonderful community of residents, family and staff. We all feel blessed to be part of The Bridges family", states Donna Steiermann, Executive Director at The Bridges. The Bridges opened their doors in October 2009 and have since grown their community to over 90 assisted living and memory care residents. Residents enjoy a variety of activities, wellness programs, social events and sharing meals with friends. According to Carole Fluhart, whose sister resides at The Bridges, "I have found The Bridges to be a community full of energy and activities. I particularly like their wonderful music program, which I know to be so beneficial to the well-being of people of all ages. I have peace of mind knowing that my family member is well-taken care of and is experiencing excellent quality of life." The Bridges Retirement Community is located at 11202 Dewhurst Dr. in Riverview and is dedicated to providing health care and housing for the elderly.
HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater To Serve As Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
Hillsborough Community College (HCC) announced President Dr. Ken Atwater as the newly-elected chairman of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Dr.
Volume 11, Issue 11
By Michelle Colesanti
Atwater accepted his position during the 2016 annual meeting where the Tampa Hillsborough EDC celebrated another great year of exciting economic growth and community success. Between his commitment to education and to the multitude of local organizations, it is clear that Dr. Atwater and the community at HCC are invested in seeing the Tampa and Hillsborough County community reach new heights. He became the seventh president of HCC on July 1, 2010. Dr. Atwater earned his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, and Master and Bachelor of Science degrees from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.
Season of Giving: Always Best Care Hosts Online Food Drive
This holiday season, Always Best Care® Senior Services of Hillsborough County, located at 1210 Millennium Parkway, Ste. 1034 in Brandon and Always Best Care of Tampa Bay, located at 6015 Williamsburg Way in Tampa, are hosting an online food drive to combat local hunger. Now through December13, the two Bay Area franchises encourage residents to visit yougivegoods.com/, an innovative company that connects tangible giving to community needs through a free, easy-to-use online
service, and select from a variety of goods to purchase for donation. Always Best Care of Hillsborough County will be benefitting http://www.cornerstonekidsinc.org/. Always Best Care of Tampa Bay will be benefitting St. Vincent De Paul Society at St. Paul Catholic Church - https://yougivegoods.com/abc-tampa. Always Best Care is one of the nation's leading providers of non-medical in-home care, assisted living placement and skilled home health care.
New Cremation Concept Opens in Brandon
Right Choice Cremation, the nation’s newest cremation provider, has opened its fourth location at 2130 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Families have the convenience of making and paying for their cremation arrangements for themselves or a loved one online where they can chat live with a cremation specialist. Unlike many other companies that offer cremation, Right Choice Cremation owns and operates its own crematory. As a result, a loved one never leaves their care. And Right Choice Cremation takes special precautions to safeguard every loved one the moment he or she is taken into their care. Right Choice Cremation’s personal identification system and secure cremation facility provide family members with the peace of mind that a loved one’s remains will be returned safely back to the family. Right Choice Cremation is a growing provider of affordable and person-
alized cremation services whose caring staff delivers a loved one’s final wishes with exceptional service and a 100% money back guarantee. From the moment a loved one is taken into their care, Right Choice Cremation attends to every detail until the loved one is safely returned. Call 844-7364621 or visit www.rightchoicecremation.com.
Cheer Counseling to Celebrate 10 Years
Cheer Counseling has been in business ten years, helping people feel better and achieve their dreams. Please come and celebrate on Saturday December 3, from 1:30–4 p.m. There will be food, live music, pain relief self-help demonstrations (Jin Shin Jytsu), chiropractic massage and more. Cheer Counseling is located at 339 E. Robertson St. in Brandon. Call or text 620-4900 for more information.
Julie Gajewski, Owner of Fuzzy Friends Pet Care Earns International Certificate
Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, has announced that Julie Gajewski, owner of Fuzzy Friends Pet Care in Brandon, has completed the PSI Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting and earned the designation of PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter. Gajewski’s commitment to her business and clients led her to pursue this certificate. Contact Gajewski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 6 84-9830.
Family Friendly Holiday Events Offered By Center Place Of Brandon
By Kathy L. Collins
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 visits so bring your Santa Claus as he get you and your family into the holiday helps light the giant spirit at several event hosted by Center cameras. Parents 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.
*Certain Restrictions Apply
Ninety-Nine-Year-Old Ledbetter Says Walking Everyday Is Key
By Michelle Caceres
Starting an Experts exercise regimen is agree that exernever easy, especise helps keep cially at ninety-sixaging bodies years-old. For healthy by Tampa resident increasing Howard Ledbetter it blood flow to took encouragethe brain, carryment from his ing extra oxyniece, who called gen and other him three years nutrients. It also ago and invited him helps keep Ninety-nine-year-old Howard Ledbetter keeps blood pressure to walk the indoor fit by walking three miles a day at First track with her at and blood sugar Baptist Church. First Baptist at normal levels, Brandon’s Ministry and Activities lowering the risk for vascular demenCenter (MAC). tia. Tampa resident Beatrice Gillespie, Today, the 99-year-old Ledbetter who walks the track while her daughgets dropped off at the gym every day ter is in school at First Baptist’s (except weekends), where he walks Academy, thinks Ledbetter is an inspibetween two and three miles daily. ration. Between laps he does exercises to “He’s so committed and always so strengthen his arms and legs. pleasant and ready to offer smiles and His dedication has paid off. say hi to other walkers,” she said. “I’m stronger now than I was fifty Ledbetter said he doesn’t know years ago,” said Ledbetter, founder of where he’d be if he hadn’t taken up Ledbetter’s Repair Shop, specializing walking. “At my age if I didn’t come in the repair of Mercedes Benz vehiout here and walk I wouldn’t last a cles. “I also am still independent, have month,” he said. “Just sitting around a better appetite, sleep well at night.” and doing nothing is no way to live.” When he started exercising, he The MAC is located at the corner could walk unassisted but now, of Morgan and Edwards Streets and because of arthritis in his knees, uses offers many different fitness and a walker, which has actually allowed recreational activities, including bashim to walk at a faster pace. ketball, racquetball, game room, “If I had known I was going to live weight room and group exercise this long I would have taken better classes. Membership to the MAC is care of myself when I was younger,” open to the public. For more informasaid Ledbetter, who says his doctor tion about the MAC call 315-3280. approves of his exercise routine.
Volume 11, Issue 11
Story by Tamas Mondovics
Schools Host Financial Aid Nights, Students Excel On AP Exams and FL-ALAS Honors Vazquez highest on record.” Obama added, The Florida Association of Latino Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, “Teachers deserve more than our gratiAdministrators and Superintendents Hillsborough Community College and tude, they deserve our full support.” (FL-ALAS) celebrated Vazquez, with the United Way Suncoast, is also participatOf course, higher graduation rates Wings of Inspiration Award, for his coming in a series of FAFSA Labs where Hillsborough County Public Schools students and families are not the only way to measure mitment and work with Latino students officials announced plans to host seversuccess on the part of students who make up 35 percent of the total can get support from al Financial Aid Workshops for seniors and teachers. student population in Hillsborough college representaand their families. In a recent County Public tives and trained The workshops that scheduled to report, Schools. community volunbe held at area high school locations Hillsborough “Dr. Vazquez teers. among them Armwood and Plant City, County Public has dedicated his Families can get are promising to provide an overview on information on the Schools officials career to educathow to apply for postsecondary financial labs through their were pleased to ing children,” said aid. Each event will be conducted by a announce that the Superintendent school or after attenduniversity or college financial aid expert. ing the financial aid number of HCPS Jeff Eakins. “I am The workshops will cover the Free students taking proud of the way workshops. For more Application for Federal Student Aid Advanced he embraces information about (FAFSA), deadlines, state scholarships Placement (AP) diversity and HCPS please visit Hillsborough County Public and Bright Futures Scholarships. exams and scoring empowers the www.sdhc.k12.fl.us. HCPS AP Exam Chart Schools’ Chief of Staff, All workshops will be from 6- 8 p.m. at a pass rate of 3, growing Hispanic Alberto Vazquez in the school’s 4, or 5 continues to increase, community,” HCPS Students auditorium. giving students more opportunities for Vazquez joined Hillsborough County Taking and Excelling on AP Exams According HCPS officials the dishigher education. For more information Public Schools in July, 2015, and previtrict, in collaboration with LEAP – Speaking highly of teachers please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us. ously, served as the Superintendent of throughout the the Diocese of St. Petersburg. nation, Financial Aid Workshops: Vazquez has been the Associate FL-ALAS Honors Hillsborough President Superintendent of Schools for Queens Thursday, December 1, 2016 Tuesday, November 29, 2016 County Public School’s Chief of Staff Barack Obama Armwood High School Jefferson High School North in Brooklyn, New York and was a 4401 Cypress St., Tampa 12000 E. US Highway 92, Seffner was quoted, Alberto Vazquez Principal in Bronx, New York. He has “We recently Hillsborough County Public Schools’ also served as an Adjunct Professor for Tuesday, December 6, 2016 Monday, December 5, 2016 Plant City High School Gaither High School learned that Chief of Staff, Alberto Vazquez, was higher education institutions including One Raider Place, Plant City 16200 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa America’s high honored this month as the recipient of Notre Dame University, Fordham school graduathe Latino Excellence in Education University, and Ana G. Mendez Hillsborough College Access Network, tion rate went up to 83 percent…the Award. University System.
Armwood, Plant City, Riverview High Schools to Host District Financial Aid Night
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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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 657-4469 or mail to 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon, FL 33511.
Be Happy With Gifts Give Back And Music Showcase Lessons & Performing Arts Be Happy is located in the Marathon Gift Plaza, 11369 Big Basket Item: Bend Rd. in Jewelry Snug Riverview. Call Value: $30 677-2300 for more information or visit www.behappyboutique.com.
Be Happy Boutique seeks out gift and apparel items that give back to the world.
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 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!)
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. Instrument rentals start at $10 (if you don’t want to make a purchase). If you sign up
By Michelle Colesanti
online, the instrument will be delivered to your school. All of your music needs can be found at Music Showcase, 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 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
Apparel that tells the story of you in ALL sizes XS - 3X Being UNIQUE stands out in ANY crowd!
11369 Big Bend Rd, Riverview, FL
www.behappyboutique.com | 813-677-2300
Breathe Easy at Salt Grotto, Soar To New Heights At The New iFLY Indoor Skydiving 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 microparticles 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, 1026 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. It is
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/. Gift Basket Item: Salt Lamp Value: $25
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 environment. From age 3 to 103, almost anyone can fly. New to the Brandon area, iFLY Indoor Skydiving now brings this experience locally. Imagine the excitement when
By Michelle Colesanti
offer 24/7 emergency service. For more information, call 888466-8055. Visit www.restoration1.com/tampa-bay or www.facebook.com/Resto1TB. 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. iFLY is located at 10654 Palm River Rd. in Tampa. For more information, call 773-4359, email info.tampa@iFLYworld.com or visit iFLYworld.com.
Gift Basket Item: Family 4-Pack Indoor Skydiving Value: $240
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 water, fire, smoke or mold. It is locally owned and operated by David and Heidi Adams. Trained and certified technician’s
Gift Basket Item: Family Basket with $50 Visa GC and accessories Value: $120
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BIG GREEN EGG BBQ GRILLS!
Christmas C ins 1oz Pure Silver
Come See Our BIG Selection of the Most Versatile Outdoor Barbecue on the Market!
Dad wants a BIG GREEN EGG!
each Gift Boxed or Ornaments
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Stamp & Coin 209 N. Kings Ave. Brandon, Florida 33510
Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm
Sat 9am - 1pm
*Silver prices subject to change.
FROM JUST $4,995 (813)324-8824
Holiday Coin Collections, A Daydreams Day Spa Escape & New Sporting Goods By Michelle Colesanti 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 FishHawk Sporting 1oz Goods Offers New starting a new And Gently Used Pure Silver family tradition each Apparel & Equipment by commemoGift BoxedSporting or Ornaments FishHawk Goods is a rating the new store that recently opened at Christmas 13446 Boyhette Rd. in Riverview season each (RiverSprings plaza at FishHawk year. Holiday and Boyette Rds. It is a locally coin collec209 N. Kings Ave. and offers owned family business, tions are the Brandon, Florida 33510 a local alternative for all of your famperfect way. ily’s sporting good needs in a family One ounce firstname.lastname@example.org environment that is close to pure silver Mon-Fri 9am - 4pmcompetitive Sat 9am - 1pm home and offers pricing. coins are *Silver prices subject to change. You will find new and gently used available for $29.95 in a gift box or sporting apparel and equipment for also as an ornament that can be disall sports. These will played. make great gifts Corbin’s Coins is located at 209 for your favorite Gift N. Kings Ave. in Item: Basket young athletes Brandon and is New this holiday seaopen Monday to Football Gift son. Friday from 9 Basket Item: For more 1 oz. Silver a.m. to 4 p.m. information, call 324Christmas Coin and Saturday Value: $30 9161 or visit FHSportingGoods.com. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Christmas C ins
Stamp & Coin 813-651-3266
Journey To Tranquility At DayDreams Day Spa With all the stress the holidays Gift Basket Item: bring, what better gift for someone The Tranquility Journey (or yourself) is to escape for a “Escape to Tranquility” when few hours to DayDreams Day you indulge in this 80 minute Spa & Bath Shop. You can Relaxation Massage. The pammake that possible with a gift pering continues with a card to Daydreams. Hydrating Heated Hand Therapy There are many different Treatment and Serenity Hot types of spa packages to Stone Foot Massage that will choose from including massage relax the muscles, allowing for a therapy, body, therapy, skin car therapeutic experience. Total therapy, nail and pedicure treatTime is 95 minutes. ments. There is also a shop that Value $135 includes spa products. Pevonia Skin Care products are offered. Gift certificates are available at the Spa, located at 658 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon or online at www.daydreamsdayspa.com. A second DayDreams location is in Lakeland at 1463 Town Center Dr. For more information on this location, call 863-686-5859.
(813) 643-8888 1026 Bloomingdale Avenue • Valrico
1202 W Brandon Blvd Brandon, FL 33511
(Located in the Plaza Bella)
Salt...a relaxing natural, drug-free therapy Natural Relief From:
Sinusitis • Allergies • Bronchitis • Congestion & Cough Asthma • COPD • And Much More! ALSO OFFERING MASSAGE, ACUPUNCTURE & INFRARED SAUNA
We use herbs in our pho recipes that help syndromes such as common colds, stomach or intestinal issues, and constitutional deficiencies. Mon - Thurs 11:00 am - 9:30 pm Fri, Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm Sun 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
New Holiday Fashion & Gifts At TMarieâ€™s And The Gift Of Health From The Campo Y
By Michelle Colesanti
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. Marieâ€™s Fashion & Gift Boutique is open Monday to Saturday from 10 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
Gift Basket Item: Luxurious blue velvet evening bag with Swarovski crystal embellishment and peacock design Value $128
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. Many family programs and
camps are offered including child care while you work out. Other programs 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 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 Noon-6 p.m. For more information, call 684-1371. Visit www.tampaymca.org/locations/campo.
Gift Basket Item: Family Membership for Three Months Value $250
Backyard Birdseed Gifts For Nature Lovers, Tasteful Fruit Bouquets & DK’s Outlet 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
6 Weeks thru 12 Years
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
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.
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)
4321 Lynx Paw Trail
(Located across fromLithia Springs Elementary)
Enhance The Perfect Photo At FastFrame & Get Pampered With A Mobile Massage 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
HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm • Sun 12pm-5pm
www.TMariesFashions.com 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd Valrico (at Bloomingdale)
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
Volume 11, Issue 11
Brandon To Share Movie Market As Two New Theaters Poised To Open This Holiday Season
By Tamas Mondovics
Greater with comfortable, plush, Brandon area powered recliners. residents and “The theater will movie lovers include two auditoriums are now promwith GDX (Giant Digital ised to have no Experience), our premishortage of um large Format (PLF) theater seats screen, much like to fill this holiIMAX, with a screen day season, span of 70 ft. thanks to the wide and feature construction of state of the art two brand new Dolby Atmos multi-dimensional theaters; sound systems Riverview with discrete sound 14 GDX in being pumped out of Gibsonton and Xscape AMC the Regency more than 50 speak20 Theaters have ers,” Nash said. Theaters on been serving While Riverview 14 Progress Village Greater Brandon area residents for the GDX’s opening day is Blvd. past 30 years. Two additional theaters are scheduled to open. yet to be determined, Both theaters are nearing comNash said the company pletion and are said to open on time, to is hoping to welcome its first guests in welcome the holiday crowd. late November. AMC The Regency 20 Theaters, Less than five miles north on located in Regency Square 2496 W Progress Village Blvd., construction is Brandon Blvd, which has been serving only weeks from completion on the $15 the Brandon area and has dominated million Xscape Theaters, the area’s the movie market for more than three third movie and entertainment destinadecades, will now have to share the tion option. road and work a bit harder to keep its When open, the facility, which longtime guests. brings an additional 14 screens (12 regJust 15 minutes south on I-75, on ular auditoriums and two XTREME Gibsonton Drive, Goodrich Quality auditoriums), will effectively raise the Theaters is building Riverview 14 GDX, total number of screens between the a 66,000 sq. ft., facility with 14 screens. three multiplex locations to 48. Xscape Theaters representative, According to Goodrich Quality Scott Bagwell emphasized the wide Theaters Marketing and Creative Director, Kelly Nash, Riverview 14 GDX variety of impressive features and perks will be Tampa Bay’s Largest Screens all that rival all others. “We offer what all
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movie lovers want; better picture, better sound and better price,” Bagwell said adding, “We have better seats also.” While each facility pretty much offers the same thing, theater representatives agreed that keeping old guests and winning new ones comes
Xscape Theaters is nearing completion and will feature 14 screens while offering a wide variety of special features to movie goers.
tive with ticket and concession prices.” It is safe to say that the real winners are the local movie goers, who will now have three multiplex theaters, nearly 50 screens, plush seats, great snacks and refreshments along with a truck load of extra special Goodrich Quality Theaters, is now building Riverview 14 GDX one of two new multiplex theaters scheduled to open for the holiday season. amenities to The new theater is featuring 14 screens and a wide range of special choose from as amenities. they look forward down to much more than just the size to a great movie experience during the and number of screens, expanded food upcoming holiday season and beyond. menus, extra wide rows or the plush For more information about AMC The reclining chairs, all of which are actually Regency 20 Theaters, please visit up to each guest’s personal preference. www.amctheatres.com, Riverview 14 “We realize, the Greater Brandon DGX Theaters, please visit area communities will now have more www.goodrichqualitytheaters.com. choices in the area for movie theaters,” For more about Xscape Theaters, Nash said, adding, “We will be competiplease visit www.xscapetheatres.com.
With Arts &â€ˆEntertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins
The Tampa Theatre Celebrates The Holidays With Classic Movies And New Year's Eve Bash Who can resist a good holiday movie? When you couple that comforting feeling with a majestic movie palace, Christmas carols and even a visit from Santa Claus himself, you have an excellent holiday outing perfect for the entire family. The Tampa Theatre is proud to present its annual Holiday Classics movie series. Jill Witecki with the Tampa Theatre said, "When you visit the Tampa Theatre, you are not just coming for a movie. You are coming for an experience." Witecki added, "One of the brightest and most beloved of those experiences for our guests is the tradition of sharing holiday films on the big screen with family and friends, and singing along to Christmas carols with the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ before the show. First up is the Academy Award winning film from 1947- Miracle on 34th Street on Sunday, November 27 at 3 p.m. But first, Santa will make an appearance in the Tampa Theatre lobby at 2 p.m. At 3 p.m. Santa will share a special story from the stage at 3 p.m. Miracle on 34th Street is the perennial Christmas classic. It has an uplifting message that magic can still happen in the mundane world. This movie has earned its place in our hearts. On Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m.
ings as they travel the road to love. come see Holiday Inn starring Bing No holiday season is complete withCrosby and Fred Astaire. This is a wonout seeing It's A Wonderful Life. If you derful holiday movie. The music is by the watch It's A Wonderful venerable Life every year, you will Irving Berlin. see a different message Bing and in it every time. The Astaire Tampa Theatre will dance and show it eight times sing like beginning on Friday, nobody else ever has. Witecki said, "The holiday season can be stressful; hopefully Come and enjoy classic holiday movies such as It's A Wonderful Life at the Tampa Theatre or watching ring in the new year with an Animal House Holiday Inn themed New Year's Eve Party. can help." December Next, on Sunday, December 11 at 3 16 at 7:30 p.m. come see the fantastic holiday film, p.m. It's A Wonderful Life will also be White Christmas. The song by the same shown on Saturday, December 17 at 3 name was made famous by Bing Crosby and 7:30 p.m., on Sunday, December 18 who sang it first in Holiday Inn. White at 3 p.m. and Monday through Thursday, December 19 to 22 at 7:30 p.m. Finally, on Friday, December 23, come see Love Actually. This is really three and a half movies in one. It is a Christmas movie, a romantic comedy, an ensemble movie and half of an anthology movie. Witecki said, Christmas stars Crosby, Danny Kaye, "Christmas draws people together, so Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen as making a series of interlocking love stomatched pairs of entertainers playing out ries makes a lot of sense; Christmas can a timeless story of cute misunderstand-
also make people anxious and fretful, so making the movie a frantic accumulation of plots makes a lot of sense too." Adults 21 years and older can ring in the new year at the Tampa Theatre's NYE Wrap Party 2016 on Saturday, December 31 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Tampa Theatre will be transformed into the fraternity house where Bluto, Flounder, Otter and the rest of the Animal House gang lived in the 1978 classic movie. Bed sheet togas or other Animal House inspired costumes are we one. Party goers will feast on heavy hors d'oeuvres, desserts and beer and wine. Tickets for the Holiday Classics movie series are $10 for adults and $8 for children and Tampa Theatre members. Tickets for the NYE Wrap Party 2016 are $99 and $89 for Tampa Theatre members. You can buy your tickets to any of the holiday classic movies or the NYE Wrap Party at the Tampa Theatre Box Office or online at www.tampatheatre.org. There is a $2 convenience fee if you buy tickets online. The Tampa Theatre, built in 1926, was one of America's most elaborate movie palaces. Today, it is one of Tampa's most beloved historical treasures, located at 711 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa. For more information, please call 274-8981.
Volume 11, Issue 11
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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 quarone. continue to lead the region as state terfinals. 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 Perhaps the ups and downs of Another local team that had every slip through each season is what makes high reason to be optimistic of post season the Cougar’s school athletics exciting, as it promises success was the Durant High School fingers— 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.
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Center Place Holiday Tea Offers Music, Scones & Devonshire Creme
By Kathy L. Collins
Center Place Yummy desserts Fine Arts and will be provided Civic Association by Jute’s Box (Center Place) will Bakery and hold its 6th Annual Moreno’s Bakery. Holiday Tea on Teavana holiday Sunday, teas will be proDecember 4 vided by Orange beginning at 2:30 Home p.m. The cost is Accessories in $35 per person or Valrico. Chick-fil-A $250 for a table of at Lake Brandon eight. Table reser- Gather your friends and family and set a great is also a lunch holiday table at Center Place’s 6th Annual vations must be sponsor. Holiday Tea set to take place on Sunday, made by Attendees will be December 4. November 20. treated to special You can get your tickets by calling 685entertainment by The Southern Company 8888 or email email@example.com. Chorus, an 18 member local, all women This is an adult only event. This event chorus. always sells out early, so be sure to get In addition to great food and enteryour tickets or tables now. All proceeds tainment, you can enjoy Center Place’s raised fund children’s programs at Center great silent auction. Rodriguez said, “Our Place. fabulous silent auction will be a great This year’s theme is “A Florida place to shop for those unique Christmas Christmas.” Lisa Rodriguez, Marketing gifts, while supporting our non-profit art Director for Center Place explained, “This center at the same time. It is a win-win. offers the sponsored tables an opportuniGift items for all ages will be showcased.” ty to really be creative. For instance, you Center Place is a not-for profit arts could have a beachy Christmas with organization established in 1976. Its items such as shells or one featuring members are dedicated to the promotion gators or manatees. Just have fun. We of fine arts and civic involvement. Center will have special prizes for the most Place offers cultural enrichment opportuunique and most whimsical table.” nities for all ages through a variety of proFor just $50 you can have the talentgrams including original art exhibits, art ed decorators at Center Place set your education and the performing arts. table. Center Place is located at 619 The 6th Annual Holiday Tea will feaVonderburg Dr. in Brandon. For more ture a special holiday lunch including holi- information, please visit www.centerplaceday scones and Devonshire cream. brandon.org.
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Witness The Wonder Of Jesus Through One Man’s Eyes At Bell Shoals Baptist Church 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 Bell Shoals Worship Choir and Orchestra 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 6 one-man dramas, will portray Simon Peter in the production. Millsaps’
By Amanda Boston 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 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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Volume 11, Issue 11