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Two Sections, 44 Pages of Community News


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July 2016 1 5



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Volume 13, Issue 7 Ph: 657-2418 P U B L I S H I N G




Valrico Veteran Honored With Award For Continued Service Decades After Retiring

County Celebrates Opening Ceremony New $2.1M Armwood Fire Station

Raysick is For many peoa Life Member ple retirement is of the Marine synonymous with Corps League rest and relaxin Riverview ation. It’s a time to where he was let go of some elected Judge responsibilities, Advocate for travel and enjoy a 2016-2017. simpler life. Part of his Fortunately, no duties with the one told that to Marine Corps Walter Raysick of League Valrico. includes preThe list of his senting the accomplishments Eagle Scout and contributions Good Citizens to the community Award to Boy is endless. Scouts earnRaysick retired in ing their Eagle 1989 as a Master Scout badge. Chief Petty Officer This is in the U.S. Navy. only the tip of His 30 years of Department Cmdt. Bill Cona awards Walter Raysick of Riverview Det. 1226 the coveted the iceberg. military service Chapel of Four Chaplains Award. The list of included time as a organizations that he is involved in is hospital corpsman in the Marines and too numerous to mention. service in Vietnam. He worked until “I’ve always been involved in com2004 as a civilian during which time he was a member of the Olney Lions Club, munity events, specifically in regard to veterans and veteran’s issues,” Raysick president of Crime Stoppers in said. Maryland and a graduate of the His continuous service earned him Citizens Police Academy. a prestigious award which was presentBut, he was just getting warmed ed to him last month at the Florida up. After moving to Valrico in 2004, Marine Corps League Convention. The Raysick immediately immersed himself Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of in the community with his volunteer work. His efforts include volunteering at Honor Award was given to Raysick in the Nativity Catholic Church Food Bank recognition to his lifetime service. The from 2004 to 2010, graduating from the award recognizes his service to all people of all races and faiths. Raysick said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Citizens receiving the award was “an extreme Police Academy and volunteering with and humbling honor.” the Cold Case Unit of the Homicide For more information on The unit. He was awarded the Hillsborough Chapel of Four Chaplains and its honor County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Award in programs, visit 2006 and again in 2010.

Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones said. Construction costs were funded through impact fees, general revenue funds, and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones, center, is joined Public Safety by County Commissioner Stacy White (District 4), Terry Flott of the Improvement Seffner Community Alliance as well as Fire Rescue personnel during Bond Project the recent opening of the new Armwood Fire Station No.4 in Seffner. funds. Hillsborough County Officials, Fire Construction took nearly a year to Rescue, (HCFR) personnel, along with complete, during which time Fire Rescue local area residents and community reppersonnel, equipment, and apparatus resentatives recently celebrated the com- operated out of temporary quarters on the pletion of a $2.4 million project to replace site so emergency services would continthe Armwood Fire Station No. 4. ue during construction. Instead of a ribbon cutting, the cereJones also spoke highly of the new mony held at the station, located at 11826 building when he proudly said, “As you E. U.S. Hwy. 92 in Seffner, included look at photos of the old Station No. 4, HCFR’s traditional uncoupling of fire you realize just how impressive this new hoses, which formally marked the stabuilding really is.” tion’s commitment to serving the area. The new facility is one of several The official ceremony welcomed spe- projects Hillsborough County has undercial speaker, Terry Flott of the Seffner way to replace, upgrade, or add fire staCommunity Alliance as well as tions throughout the unincorporated area, Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy including Riverview, Sundance, White (District 4). The celebration continCarrollwood, and the East Lake area. ued with tours of Station No.4 for all in For more about area building projattendance. ects, visit The new station now replaces the old building that has occupied the same site for nearly a half a century. At 9,300 sq. ft., In This the new facility is more than twice the Issue size of the old station and includes a number of upgrades and amenities to assist the full time staff. Upgrades include more modern living quarters and workHOA HOT TOPICS..................................PG 6 space designed to meet current fire staFREE MEALS FOR KIDS.........................PG 7 tion standards. The station’s three bays house a fire NEW VOTING DISTRICTS......................PG 8 engine, and a rescue vehicle. Each 24CHRISTMAS IN JULY..............................PG 9 hour shift is staffed by a crew of five personnel. The station also houses a fire ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT..................PG 19 investigator. “This replacement building is part of CHALKLINES.......................................PG 30 a larger plan set in place by the SPORTS CONNECTION................PGS 42‐43 Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to give firefighters and READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE first responders the tools needed to do their jobs, and a comfortable facility to return to after a call,” Hillsborough County

By Tamas Mondovics

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

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By Sandy Meyer

Photo by Tamas Mondovics

Dressed for the occasion and, of course, awaiting the candy coming their way, Kaydance Sheppard, 6, and Chloe Popham, 5, greet this year’s Brandon Fourth of July procession. With nearly 100 groups and an estimated 30,000 spectators, the annual parade is said to be Florida’s largest, organized by the Brandon Community Roundtable.

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Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 7

July 2016

Page 3

Valrico Edition

Hillsborough County Annual Neighborhoods Conference To Feature Workshop For Teens

By Tamas Mondovics

This year, special attention is given to the younger members of the community, through the efforts of the Hillsborough County Office of Neighborhood Relations, which has partnered with the Hillsborough County Youth Leadership Council. “This year’s event is a conference within the conference as topics of interest to our young, future leaders, including Members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are on hand to assist residents attending the 2015 money management, social Annual Neighborhoods Conference. media, career planning, comIn an effort to help local community puter literacy, bullying and anger manageleaders improve their leadership skills to ment, and team building will be an imporkeep their neighborhoods and communitant part of the conference,” said event ties more attractive, safe, friendly and coordinator Wand Sloan, who added that sustainable, Hillsborough County is hostto encourage teens to take an interest in ing its annual Neighborhoods Conference their community, the Children’s Board of with a special program focusing on young Hillsborough County has funded a $2,000 people ages 12 to 18. award toward a community improvement This year’s conference is scheduled service project, the winner of which will be for Saturday, July 23, from 8 a.m.-2:30 announced at the Neighborhoods p.m. at the Sheraton Tampa East Hotel at Conference. 10221 Princess Palm Ave. in Tampa. Sloan said also new this year is a Each year, the free event, which Community Conversation workshop that requires attendees to register in advance, is open to all conference attendees, welcomes hundreds of guests and including the teens to offer opportunities includes a continental breakfast, giveto exchange ideas and information about aways and access to all exhibits. The shared community concerns.. event draws a large crowd as it features For more info or to register for the more than a dozen valuable workshops, 2016 Neighborhoods Conference and as well as access to the Neighborhood Youth Conference, call 272-5860, or visit Recognition Awards luncheon. Some workshops include: Code odsConference. For more info and to enforcement questions and answers; apply for the 2016 Youth Community Recruiting and engaging volunteers; Service Project funding, visit Updates on legal requirements and or email accounting management for associations, Grant writing and more.




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Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Seniors Party Bollywood Style At Prom

By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough “Some of County senior resthe active idents 50 and older adults older had a can compete chance to revisit with the best the thrill of senior of them on the prom last month dance floor,” organized by she said. Hillsborough Each County’s Aging year, a highServices. The call light of the to gather and prom is the enjoy the timeless crowning of a magic of senior king and prom went out queen. This and effectively year, the drew hundreds of honor of residents, from Senior Prom Herman Sharpe, 84, and Linda Leone were around the county went to King crowned King and Queen during Hillsborough County’s annual Senior Prom held last month at to relive the memHerman The Regent. ories as well as Sharpe, 84, make new ones. while Linda Leone became this Senior The free event, which was held at Prom Queen. The Regent in Riverview, featured music Last year’s event drew national attenand dancing, food, drinks, and door tion after 89-year-old Ralph Wozniak, prizes. This year’s theme was “Bollywood who missed the prom in his teenage Comes to Life.” years because of World War II, who was “We are very pleased with the venue, crowned Senior Prom King. He handed and our senior residents were having a off the crown this year to a new, deservblast,” said Todd Pratt with Hillsborough ing senior. County Communications. The County’s Sunshine Line transPratt emphasized that Senior Prom ported the large crowd or residents to and aims to replicate the look, music, and from the event. emotional feel of an event that was the Hillsborough County Aging Services highlight of many a teenager’s life, offers a variety of fun activities for adults though, this one was only for those 50 age 50 and over. Visit and over. to view According to Aging Services General activity calendars and additional center Manager Frances Brea, the agency has information, or call Aging Services at 272been organizing Senior Prom for more 5250. For more information, visit than 20 years with great success.


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Valrico Edition

Community Invited To Mingle With Local Candidates At Bell Shoals Baptist 22nd Annual Candidate Forum

By Kathy L. Collins

The general public will have an opportunity for face to face meet and greet time with the candidates from 5:30-6:45 p.m. At 7 p.m. all candidates will have approximately three minutes to speak of their plans and give reasons to vote for them. According to Linda Townsend, a member of the Bell Shoals Church Issues Team and the co-chair of the forum, “This is a great event to attend because you can become acquainted with the candidates who want your vote. You do not have to rely on friends, family or political representaThe Bell Shoals Baptist Church Issues Team tives or pundits for information to encourages all residents who wish to vote in make the decision about for whom this year’s Primary in August and General Election in November to attend the 22nd Annual you will vote. You have a first hand, in Candidate Forum on Friday, August 5. person opportunity to respectively ask candidates their opinions and stances Bell Shoals Baptist Church in on issues that can affect and influence Brandon will host its 22nd Annual our quality of life in Hillsborough County.” Candidate Forum on Friday, August 5 The forum was started as a way to beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Worship encourage residents to become better Center. The forum is free and open to the informed on issues and learn more about public. Bell Shoals Baptist Church is individuals who want to represent our the located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in area. Townsend said, “Voters need to be Brandon. informed. We need to know where candiThe Candidate Forum is hosted by dates stand on the issues that affect our the Bell Shoals Baptist Church Issues liberty and our quality of life.” Team, a group of volunteers. Candidates In addition to the candidates, employseeking to represent the area are invited ees from the Hillsborough County to attend. This will include candidates for Supervisor of Elections Office will be on School Board, County Commission, State hand to give information and answer House and Senate, U.S. House and questions about voter registration. Note Senate candidates as well as any candiindividuals who wish to vote in the that dates for State Executive office. The Primary in August must be registered by forum is open to all candidates regardless August 1. of political affiliation or issues they support For more information, visit www.bellso long as they meet state qualification standards.


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ignite that passion in another. Your passion extended beyond the birds. Who would think of having a cat as mascot in a bird store? Audubon was not only a cherished pet, but she helped you share with the community the importance of keeping cats indoors. For your total knowledge on everything birding; to the bird walks that you organized every year during the cooler months, to your willingness to share your birding knowledge with Scout troops and Kindergarten classes, you will be missed. Both you and Tanya have made such a positive impact on our local community and that was recently expressed by the outpouring of love when your clients, friends and family learned of your passing. I was one of them. The birds - they are everywhere, and therefore so are you. Rest in peace Rich and Tanya – till we “tweet” again!

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Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Children’s Board Launches Mobile Water Safety Team Swim Lessons

By Tyler Shamlall

By Nicole Heubusch

How To Have A Successful HOA Board A Homeowners Association (HOA) Board consists of a group of individuals with different ideas and opinions all working together toward one goal, serving their community. The board members must be able to have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of its association, and what they want to accomplish. According to Melrose Management, HOA board members should possess certain qualities so that they can effectively do their job. The qualities they recommend to look out for include good communication skills, leadership skills, good ethics and maturity. Melrose Management stresses that since volunteering as an HOA board member is usually something that is taken on in addition to a fulltime job, the people that serve on the board are individuals who should want to better their association and make their community a more enjoyable place to live. also has a few traits they think should have HOA board members, which includes a willingness to dig in, a sense of honesty, the good sense to ask for help, ability to delegate, willingness to share and

ability to adapt. The New Jersey COOPERATOR suggests to look for board members with different personal and professional backgrounds. This will help to bring in a wider variety of thoughts and ideas. If everyone on the board has the same profession, chances are that they will think alike. If everyone has different careers, they will bring more unique ideas to the table. What are some of the things your HOA looks for in its board members? If you have any tips or advice for future HOA board members, send them to to be featured in next month’s HOA section. To read more about the sources, visit, or

teaching parents safety tips to keep their child safe. Chuck Burgess, the executive director of the Brandon Sports & Aquatic Center, said, “Forty-five minute classes, five days a week are held that are all free,” Burgess said. “Children will go home with water safety not only around pools, but at beaches and ponds and pretYouth swimmers and instructors came together at ty much any body of water.” the launch of the Mobile Water Safety Team at the According to Vivian McIlrath, Brentwood Hills Pool Complex. the public education technician for In the Tampa Bay area alone, 32 chil- the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue dren have lost their lives due to accidental Foundation, their partnership is dedicated drowning in the past four years. In an to teaching the parents, so they know effort to eradicate tragedies like these what to do in case of a poolside emerfrom happening, the Children’s Board of gency before first responders can get to Hillsborough County and community part- them and how to keep their child safe ners joined together as a Mobile Water while having fun. Safety team that will bring free swim les“The goal for us is to educate as sons to Hillsborough County youth. many parents and older children on Brentwood Hills Pool Complex hosthands only CPR, not only to educate ed the launch event this past June where how, but how to do it properly,” McIlrath partners of the Mobile Water Safety Team said, “We want [parents and older chilcame together to tell the community how dren] to be the first responders to first they will help end Youth Drownings. The responders.” Tampa Metropolitan YMCA, St. Josephs Having the Children’s Board of Children Hospital, Brandon Sports & Hillsborough County stand up against Aquatic Center, the City of Tampa Parks youth drowning and involving partners and Recreation, and the Hillsborough from the community will be what they County Fire Rescue Foundation are all hope to be the beginning of the end for partners that have come together with the this 100 percent preventable accidental Children’s Board of Hillsborough County death. to combat youth drownings. To find more information on Mobile Brentwood Hills was just the first step Swim Lesson’s offered by the Mobile to successfully launching the Mobile Swim Water Safety Team, contact the Water Safety Team and their motive to Director of Water Safety and Mobile teach Hillsborough County youth how to Swim Lessons, Ginger Upshaw at ginswim and be safe in the water while also

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July 2016

Page 7

Valrico Edition

Bibles & Basketball Camp Featuring Harlem Globetrotters To Hold Charity Game In Fall

County, School District Offers Free Meal Program During Summer Break

For 12 years, tinue to be Ed Treimanis has positive. He led and overseen feels that this the Bibles and is important in Basketball camp ensuring kids at Immanuel a safe and Lutheran, a probright future. gram dedicated to Though sharing the love of the Bibles and God and basketBasketball ball with kids. camp was not Treimanis has Ed Treimanis (right) and former Harlem Globetrotter held this sumworked with a few Larry “Shorty” Coleman (left) will be hosting a chari- mer, Treimanis ty basketball game in the fall. basketball celebristill assisted ties in running his camp and assisting in with the Legends camp with Shorty. This other similar camps such as the Harlem year the camp was held Monday through Legends Shoot For the Stars camp held Friday, June 20-24. Though Treimanis’ at the Ministries and Activities Center camp was not held, the annual charity (MAC) at the First Baptist Church of game will still be taking place in the fall. Brandon. One of these is former Harlem As of this time, there is no specific date, Globetrotter, Larry “Shorty” Coleman. but Treimanis has already been in contact Treimanis and Shorty met five years with Bloomingdale High School and Bell ago, and after discovering that they both Shoals Baptist Church about using their had a passion for basketball and helping gyms for the game. children, they started working together. Many who have worked with Although Shorty comes to Brandon priTreimanis speak highly of his passion for marily for the Harlem Legends camp, his camp and basketball. Jim Price, a forthey have set it up so both camps do a mer NBA player who began his career charity game every year together. with the LA Lakers, and now local to “I’ve only missed one Bibles and Valrico, has participated in past charity Basketball game and that was due to games and had especially kind words to medical injury,” said Shorty. share. Shorty is involved in many charities in “We’re all given a talent by God and addition to the two camps. In fact, he has Ed just loves sports and I believe that this been partaking in charities since 1994. is part of his ministry,” said Price. He also has been involved with hospitals More about camp and updates on such as St. Jude’s and spent time with the game in the fall, visit www.biblesandreligious figureheads such as Pope John Information on the Harlem Paul II, but Shorty’s main focus has been Legends camp can be found at to teach kids basketball and how to

SFSP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, that ensures low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. The program is federally funded and operated by the Hillsborough County Department of Aging Services. Applications are not required, and summer camp registration is not a requirement. The meals and snacks will be offered at local parks and other community locations Children line up to receive free lunch as part of to all children under 18 in the area. the county’s summer food program. Supporting the effort, Hillsborough County Public Schools is offering three Hillsborough County and Hillsborough County Public Schools have different programs.The Extended School Year program offers students breakfast or once again joined forces to make sure lunch at no cost at schools that provide children are well fed while out of school on summer vacation. Thanks to the annu- summer school programs. Monday through Thursday, from June 13 through al Summer Food Service Program August 5, all children can come to an (SFSP) area students and children 18 open school, regardless of whether the and under can receive free nutritious child is enrolled in summer school. lunches and afternoon snacks. For the fifth year now, HCPS is also This summer, nearly 500,000 free bringing food into the migrant communimeals will be served June 13 through ties through its Movin’ Meals “food August 3, at more than 50 sites throughbuses.” Four retired and renovated district out Hillsborough County at parks as well school buses are on hand to deliver as Boys and Girls Clubs or Recreation centers including: Gardenville Rec Center meals into neighborhoods offering breakat 6219 Symmes Rd. in Riverview; Apollo fast and lunch. Students can eat on the air-conditioned buses. Beach Rec Center at 664 Golf and Sea The district has also rented 13 refrigBlvd. in Apollo Beach; Wimuama Senior erated trucks to deliver box meals to comCenter at 5714 North St. in Wimauma and the Ruskin Rec Center at 901 6th St. munity sites with summer programs such as YMCA programs, HCC summer in Ruskin. “The Summer Food Service Program camps for kids, WIC locations, three libraries, and all the parks and recreation will provide a balanced meal during sumcenters. A list of sites can be found under mer vacation when school meals are not the Summer Food Service Program link available,” said Summer Food Project at Coordinator Amy Carieer.

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Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

New State Senate And Congressional Districts Could Change Voting Locations, More As you prepare to vote in the upcoming Primary on August 30 and General Election on November 8, it is important that every voter in Hillsborough County be aware of changes made as a result of U.S. Congressional and State Senate redistricting. Hillsborough County will now be represented by four Congressional districts (districts 12, 14, 15 and 16) and four State Senate districts (district 18, 19, 20 and 21). As a result of renumbering, you may be represented by a different congressman or state senator; it all depends on where you live. If you are a registered voter, you should have received a new Voter Information Card. This will provide you with the pertinent information on which district you now live in with respect to the U.S. Congress, State Senate, County Commission and School Board. According to Craig Lattimer, the Supervisor of Elections, “The Voter Information Cards are an important communications tool for us, and we ask that voters review the new cards carefully to ensure that their name, address and party affiliation are correct, and to see whether their precinct or Election Day place has changed.” After each U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years, the Legislature redraws the districts from which Florida voters elect their state representatives, state senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives (Congress). Redistricting is the process of redrawing the districts to adjust for uneven growth rates in different parts of the state. Districts determine which voters partici-

pate in which elections. Redistricting is standardized by the U.S. Constitution, the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Florida Constitution. In addition, in 2010 voters in Florida added Amendments 5 and 6 to the State Constitution. These are known as the Fair District Amendments. The map was drawn by the Legislature in 2012. While the map was used in the 2012 and 2014 elections, it was disputed by a coalition of groups including the League of Women Voters. Ultimately, after several years and numerous court battles, in December 2015, the Florida Supreme Court approved the map that is currently being used. For voters in Eastern Hillsborough County, this can mean changes to the person who represents you in both the State Senate and the U.S. Congress. For instance, State Senator Tom Lee’s District 24, which currently covers all of Eastern Hillsborough County and parts of Pasco and Polk County, has been redrawn. In November, Lee will run for the State Senate in District 20 which includes Zephyrhills, Dade City, Plant City

By Kathy L. Collins

is currently represented by Vern Buchanan. State House Representative Districts remain the same and were not included in the litigation because they are set by an act of the Legislature and approved by the governor and are not subject to mandatory review by the Florida Supreme Court. In order to vote in the primary, you must be registered to vote by August 1. Florida is a closed primary state, which means that only voters registered with a political party may vote in that party’s primary election. Early voting for the primary will run from August 15 through August 28. Every voter in Hillsborough County should be aware of the redrawn districts for the U.S. Congress and Primary Day is August State Senate seats up for election this year. 30. In order to vote in (Left) Current Supervisor of Elections, Craig Latimer, the general election, encourages voters in Hillsborough to check their voter registration card for precinct and district info. you must be registered to vote by and part of Polk County. State Senator October 11. Early voting begins on Bill Galvano will run in the new District 21, October 24 and ends on November 6. which covers the area south of State The General Election will be held on Road 60 in Brandon including FishHawk, November 8. Southern Hillsborough County and For more information on districts and Manatee County. Voters south of the who is running for office, visit www.voteAlafia River will also be in a new U.S. Congressional District (District 16) which

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July 2016

Page 9

Valrico Edition

Christmas In July Will Collect Toys For Tots, Showcase Vendors At The Regent

By Katelyn Massarelli

available to chat with attendees and give quotes for a couples’ wedding. “Anyone looking to book an event in the future will love the fact that they can interact with all of our vendors and get to know them,” Executive Director for The The Regent’s Christmas In July event will showcase vendors as well Regent, Julie as collect Toys For Tots. Juteau said. On Thursday, July 21, The Regent The Way 2 Dance Holiday Charity will be hosting their Christmas in July Ball collects toys for Toys for Tots and event for the community. They host an The Regent wanted to help them collect event every year for The Way 2 Dance even more toys. Last year’s event Holiday Charity Ball. The venue is looking brought in four full boxes worth of toys to get future brides and grooms to come and Juteau is hoping the event will bring out to see the venue and offer them the in more toys than last year. chance to meet The Regent’s preferred “We themed our event with vendors. All that is asked is that attenChristmas in July to put everyone in the dees bring an unwrapped toy for their spirit of giving,” Juteau said. “We ask Toys for Tots collection. everyone that comes to the event to bring Caterers and bakers will be present an unwrapped toy.” and available to talk to and get on-theThe Regent’s Christmas in July event spot quotes. People will be given the is free. Anyone wanting to attend needs chance to taste test food from caterers to RSVP by Sunday, July 10. You can and get to know The Regent and the ven- RSVP by emailing info@experiencetheredors they prefer. Caters and bakers such For more information on The as Port A Pit BBQ and Petite Madelyn's Regent, visit Bakery will be there to let attendees taste or visit their food. DJs, event and wedding planThe Regent at 6437 Watson Rd. in ners, photographers, etc. will also be Riverview.




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Page 10

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 7

Tani’s For Dessert In Plant City Serves Up Gourmet Desserts All Day Long

By Kathy L. Collins

Lloyd and Tania Summers invite you to try their dessert only restaurant, Tani’s For Dessert.

Dessert is that sweet little something you enjoy after a meal. But sometimes you just want dessert. When that happens, you can get a truly magnificent dessert at Tani’s For Dessert in lovely, historic Plant City. Tani’s For Dessert is a dessert only restaurant which serves classic desserts such as crème brulee, banana’s foster, tiramisu and pecan pie. Tani’s For Dessert, located at 2804 James L. Redman Parkway, Ste. 106 in The Village Shopping Center, is owned and operated by Lloyd and Tania Summers. They also own Buttercream Bake Shoppe, Plant City’s only independent bakery. Tania is a fantastic dessert chef. Everything she makes is a labor of love, and Lloyd is the consummate host. Both are lovely and inviting, and their desserts are indescribably delicious. Everything at Tani’s For Dessert and Buttercream Bake

Shoppe are made from scratch with only the freshest ingredients. All of Tania’s creations look as good as they taste. According to Tania, the couple started Tani’s For Dessert because there was no other place like it in the area that served just dessert. “We would go to the movies and when we got out, we did not want to go directly home, but there was no place to go just for dessert. We made a joke and said let’s go to ‘Tani’s for Dessert’ which was actually home,” explained Tania. About two years ago, the couple opened the bakery and then the restaurant. The desserts are often named after family members such as the Ambie’s cookie. This light, buttery and delicately soft cookie is named after their daughter, Amber. One of their summer specials is the Peach Mina, a delightful combination of freshly poached peaches with raspberry drizzled over vanilla bean ice cream and topped with fresh whipped cream. This fantastic dessert is named after their granddaughter. Tani’s For Dessert is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. -10 p.m. For more information, call 7045947. You can also follow them on Facebook.

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Page 11

Valrico Edition

Seffner Chamber Will Welcome New Teachers With Breakfast, Seeks Donations

By Kathy L. Collins

The Seffner Chamber’s event is unique in that its event has a pep rally flavor to it. Libhart said, “The highlight is definitely the school spirit contest. Each school’s group of new teachers presents a school cheer. This gives them an opportunity to show their creativity and to bond with other new teachers at their individual schools prior to the breakfast event. The cheers are varied and most entertaining. Last Last year, the Greater Seffner Area Chamber of year’s judges panel was left Commerce began welcoming new teachers to a breakfast which featured a school spirit pep rally. This friend- staring as the first year proly competition let new teachers from schools such as duced spirit way beyond the Mann Middle School Raiders show their spirit. expectations. Picture cosThe Greater Seffner Area Chamber tumes, baton twirling and cartwheeling of Commerce will hold its Annual New principals.” Teachers Welcome Breakfast on Friday, After the cheer, teachers then head August 5 at Armwood High School locatover to the goodie bag area. Instead of ed at 12000 U.S. 92 in Seffner. The event providing teachers with pre-stuffed bags, begins at 8:30 a.m. the Seffner Chamber lets teachers new to According to Lori Libhart, a long time, the Seffner area be greeted by area busiactive member of the chamber, “Teachers ness leaders who give them goodies to fill connect with our area’s most precious their bags. resource- our children. As a chamber, we Last year’s event was the first, and it want to build a relationship with all of the brought out about 130 educators and 25 teachers who are new to the area. Our area dignitaries. This year the planning goals are to make them feel welcomed committee hopes to see 150 new teachand appreciated, help them to bond with ers. other new teachers at their school and to The Greater Seffner Area Chamber build connections between schools in the of Commerce is celebrating its 30th year. area, and of course, to build connections They have a great history, and they are with our area business people.” looking to the future through evolving proThe community can help welcome grams that serve the community. new teachers by donating a door prize or For more, visit www.seffnercham by becoming a sponsor for as little as To become a part of this event, $100. contact Libhart at 508-6714.

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Valrico Edition

IB Student Graduates As Part Of School District Title VII American Indian Program

By Jillian Tumlin

Miranda Augustine being an IB student, recently graduated with Augustine is a dancer who high marks from has been dancing for Strawberry Crest’s seven years at Brandon International Ballet and 11 years at The Baccalaureate program. Dance Center. IB is a rigThe International orous program that chalBaccalaureate, or IB, is an lenges its students coneducational program dedistantly, so having a sepacated to developing rate schedule can be knowledgeable and demanding and intense. inquisitive students who “Some nights I had to actively participate in carskip dance when I had too ing about the world and much homework, and spreading knowledge to some weekends I wouldn't others. IB was founded finish assignments in Geneva, Switzerland Miranda Augustine graduated as because of a hectic part of the School District Title VII rehearsal schedule,” in 1968. Since then, American Indian program. schools across the world Augustine said regardhave adopted the IB program and ing her school and dance schedule. inspired young people like Augustine to As a result of her hard work and value learning. IB also embraces intercul- accomplishments, Augustine will attend tural understanding, which is especially New York University in the upcoming fall important to ethnically diverse students semester in their Liberal Studies Core like Augustine, who is part of the Program. She wants to go to graduate Hillsborough County School District Title school for journalism, then proceed to the VII American Indian program as a journalism field. Puyallup Indian. “Title VII” means she is a “I also intend to continue dancing, Native American student enrolled in puband when I physically cannot anymore, I lic schooling who has completed a Title would love to teach and/or choreograph,” VII Student Eligibility Certification form. said Augustine. This program provides support for young Augustine and her family are thorNative Americans academically and oughly excited for her further success and socially. growth in the academic world in her Augustine is graduated with a 6.5711 future. For more information on GPA. She ranks 352 out of the 12,679 Strawberry Crest’s IB program, visit seniors in Hillsborough County. She was For more also a member of the National Honor information regarding Title VII Services, Society and was awarded the National contact School Social Work Services at Commended Scholar award. Besides 273-7090.

Volume 13, Issue 7

July 2016

Page 13

Valrico Edition

Bloomingdale Library Teen Advisory Board Offers Community Service Hours, Experience


By Katelyn Massarelli

Teens often Jackson is dediwonder what kind cated to making a of community work environment service opportunifor the teen volunties are out there, teers that is comso they can gain fortable for them. community serv“I want to ice hours with make sure [Teen their school. Advisory Board Community servmembers] are ice hours are vital comfortable,” for teens to gain Jackson said. “If Dahnae Rogers, Lonette Jackson, and Kelsey for potential schol- Winiarski at the Bloomingdale Regional Library they are comfortafter a Teen Advisory Board meeting. arships and to able they will do show colleges the a good job. The extracurricular activities a student is able program teaches good work ethics for to participate in on top of their school their future career and helps them get work. Bloomingdale Regional Library where they want to go.” offers just that with the Teen Advisory Returning Teen Advisory Board Board. members, Dahnae Rogers, a recent The Teen Advisory Board is a group graduate from Bloomingdale High School of over 30 active teens from many differwho will be attending St. John’s University ent middle and high schools within in the fall, and Kelsey Winiarski, a homeHillsborough County who are able to gain schooled student who will be starting her community service hours and career junior year in the fall, are teens who have skills. Teens help out at the library stockloved working for the Teen Advisory ing shelves and making sure books are in Board. good conditions for library goers while “It’s not hard labor and the staff is also helping people find or use resources really friendly,” Rogers said. “The environoffered at Bloomingdale Regional Library. ment is really nice and it makes it much The teens are able to choose which sum- more rewarding and an enjoyable time.” mer programs they want to help out with For Winiarski, the Teen Advisory like children reading programs. Board has offered her much more than Each teen is properly trained to make community service hours. Being able to sure they are successful volunteers that work with children in different reading procan interact with people and do quality grams has made her time with the library work at the library. Before starting, each enriching and has helped her gain skills teen has to go through the policies and she can take with her in life. procedures with the head of the Teen For more, call 273-3652 or email Advisory Board, Lonette Jackson.

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Page 14

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 7

Seeds Of Hope, Inc. Receives $20,000 Grant From General Mills By Kathy L. Collins not easy to get." Eaton said, "The part I love about Seeds of Hope is the dual focus, giving students the opportunity Seeds of Hope founder, Leda Eaton (in blue dress) along with other volun- to get qualiteers was presented with a General Mills grant of $20,000. ty volunteer Seeds of Hope is an all volunteer service hours and helping those in need 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides much in the community. Many do not know that needed food assistance to residents of the Lithia area has had a high number of Southeast Hillsborough County. Recently, residents applying for food assistance in Seeds of Hope was recognized for the the past few years." good work it does in the community when Seeds of Hope provides assistance its founder, Leda Eaton, was presented in three main ways. The first is through with a $20,000 grant from General Mills. weekly food distribution on Thursday The mission of Seeds of Hope is to from 5-7 p.m. at 710 E. Bloomingdale provide help to local people in need and Ave. in Brandon. The second is by promeaningful community service hours to viding a backpack full of food for children students. and their families on the weekends and Kathy Ballance, a long time volunteer over school holidays. The third is through of Seeds of Hope, works for General a mobile food pantry. This is a one-to-one Mills. The company has been in business food distribution system. for 150 years. In celebration of this, Nic Ballance and Olivia Gutierrez are General Mills allowed employees to nom- student volunteers. Ballance said, "It is inate a non-profit. Seeds of Hope was meaningful service hours." Gutierrez said, selected from hundreds of nominees and "This gives students a good perspective. was one of 70 non-profits from across the You can see and value what you have country to be awarded a $20,000 grant. and what others do not." Robin Sawyer, category manager for You can get more information on General Mills, said, "We know Seeds of Seeds of Hope by visiting www.sohopeHope will put the money to good use." or by calling 489-4599. You can Scott Nevitt, customer manager for also follow Seeds of Hope on Facebook. General Mills added, "These grants are

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Page 15

Valrico Edition

Local Single Mom Hopes For Kidney Match By Madeline Sullivan for. She has been on the list for a kidney Jessica Clifford of Brandon was 32 transplant since 2009. when she was diagnosed with Fibrillary Glomerulonephirtis, a rare disease that With many friends and family stepaffects the individual filtering units of the ping forward to donate a kidney to kidney. Over a Clifford, none of period of time, them have the filtering units matched her get damaged blood type. and are replaced Although having by scar tissue. type O blood Therefore, the makes someone kidneys begin to a universal lose its ability to donor, they can filter blood which only receive from often leads to people who also have type O end-stage kidney Jessica Clifford, pictured with her two daughters, blood. This has disease. has Fibrillary Glomerulonephirtis and has been on made it very diffiClifford is 1 the list for a kidney transplant since 2009. cult to find a live in 8 people donor. A live kidney donor ensures that under 50 in the world to be diagnosed Clifford will live a longer life with a lower with this rare disease. As a single mother rejection rate. As important as it is for of two who worked full time, Clifford was determined to not let this set her back. Clifford to have a kidney transplant, she She continued to work full time at the said, “this is hard for me as it is, I don’t Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, until she like to ask for things.” had a level 5-brain aneurysm. The When donating a kidney, it is most aneurysm put Clifford in a coma for two often removed by a surgery called laparomonths. The day before doctors were scopic. During this type of surgery, thin going to take her off of life support, she incisions and a telescopic viewing device woke up. are used instead of large open incisions. Clifford goes to dialysis three times a Recovery time for kidney donors is anyweek to remove any waste, salt, and where between four to six weeks, with a extra water to prevent any buildup in her hospital stay of only two to four days. body and to control her blood pressure. Becoming a donor is simple. To She described dialysis as, “life support, I become a living donor, or to inquire about becoming one, call 844-5669 to speak to just get to go home in between.” a donor coordinator at Tampa General In end stage kidney failure, the kidHospital. A brief phone interview will be neys do not get better and dialysis is done for those who want to become a needed for the rest of the patient’s life, donor and then a blood test and a full unless they get a new kidney, which is body exam will be scheduled. what Clifford has been patiently waiting

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Page 16

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

RCMA Dedicate $3.6M Childcare Center For Low-Income Families

By Tamas Mondovics

deserve good early childhood education.” Since 1995, RCMA has operated a child-care center close to the new site, which currently accommodates 88 children, while maintaining the longest waiting lists among the rest of the centers that RCMA operates statewide. Officials were proud of the fact that with a capacity to serve Photo courtesy RCMA nearly 180 children, the new cenChildren and teacher from Redlands Christian Migrant Association cut a ribbon to celebrate the ter more than doubles the existing completion of a new child-care center for lowDover facility, which will officially income families in Dover. begin operation in November. While most people had their eyes on “We have 69 child-care centers Colin, the season’s third named storm statewide and Dover has had the longest making its way across the Gulf toward waiting lists,” Mainster said. “Now, Dover Tampa, members of the Redlands has the nicest child-care center.” Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) According to RCMA Director of and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Communications, Bill Coats, in October (USDA) Rural Development were not RCMA plans to move the older center, a deterred from hosting the scheduled ribcluster of modular buildings, to a rear corbon cutting ceremony of a brand new ner of the 6-acre home of the new center, state-of-the art child-care center for chilto resume operations. dren of strawberry pickers and other lowRCMA is Florida’s largest nonprofit income farm workers. child-care provider. Founded in Braving the weather, RCMA families Homestead in 1965, RCMA expanded to and their children representing the associ- Ruskin in Hillsborough County in 1974. A ation’s area schools and academies new Dover center also opened in 1981. along with invited guests were all present Today, Tampa Bay is home to RCMA’s to witness the festive unveiling program largest concentration of operations. for the new $3.6 million, 15,000-sq.-ft. USDA Rural Development loaned center at 3103 San Jose Mission Dr. in RCMA $1.9 million for construction of the Dover. new child-care center. The federal Head “We have a long, happy history in Start child-care program covered the rest Dover,” said RCMA’s Executive Director, by paying for the land, site work and the Barbara Mainster. “But we have regretted remainder of construction costs with for many years having to put so many grants of $1.7 million. Visit families on waiting lists. Their kids

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Page 17

Valrico Edition

Hair Loss Solutions Offered By LGC Hair Restoration By Renee Hobbs

and said, “Do you know how difficult it is for people for walk into my business? It’s terrifying, like going to a doctor for an unpleasant exam. When people come to me for this non surgical procedure, they are the only one in the room, I am the only person they will Owner of LGC Hair Restoration of Brandon, Stylist Laura Craig pro- deal with, and you vides hair to those who suffer from medical conditions that cause enter and leave people to lose their hair. discreetly.” Craig Owner of LGC Hair Restoration of stressed the importance of confidentiality. Brandon, stylist Laura Craig excitedly With almost 30 years experience, talks about one of the things she does for Craig just celebrated her two year a living, which is provide hair to those anniversary in Brandon. “My business who suffer from Trichotillomania, has really grown and it continues to,” said Alopecia, heredity issues, baldness, and Craig, who added, “I pride my business chemotherapy. on giving all my clients full attention.” “From fashion to necessary nonCraig likes to keep up on her educasurgical permanent hair restoration LGC tion she said, “There is always the latest has solutions to fit your lifestyle,” said and greatest and I want to know about it.” Craig. What also brings a smile to Craig’s Bubbly and perky, Craig explained face is when she talks about being an why she loves what she does and said, ambassador salon for the charity Wigs for “It feels great to do something so fulfilling Kids. Craig helps with restoring hair to for clients. After getting solutions to their children who suffer from medical hair loss hair loss they have confidence and they conditions. For more on this organization, feel great again about the way they look visit and feel. Craig provides a full service menu at Craig said there is a new person that her salon and is located at 146 W. emerges when he or she gets hair Robertson St. in The Pamper Stop. You replacement. can reach Craig at lgchairrestoration Craig sympathizes with her clients or 990-9234.

Teacher’s Helper Providing Quality Service, Products For Over 30 Years

By Madeline Sullivan

Owner of Teacher’s Helper Shearon Bailey has been providing parents and teacher with excellent supplies and customer service for more than 30 years.

Teacher’s Helper, Inc. store has been providing teaching supplies along with excellent customer service for more than 30 years. The store opened in 1984, originally located on Margaret Street before relocating to Oakfield Drive in 2012. Shearon Bailey, the current storeowner, bought the store back in 2005 after stopping in for some stickers. She inquired about the help wanted sign in the window and then two months later the store was hers. Bailey was a teacher for 17 years before becoming a storeowner. When asked about the difference between being a teacher and a storeowner, Bailey said, “I love owning the store because I had worked retail while teaching and had co-owned a consign-

ment business in Tennessee. It is so satisfying to help a teacher or parent with students’ specific needs.” The store sells many different kinds of teaching supplies, such as workbooks, puzzles, games, bulletin boards, poster boards, construction paper, along with many different types of office supplies. It also provides a lamination service at just $1 for every foot. In addition to that, it also offers a 17 X 15 classroom for rent located in the store. The rate for the classroom is $15 an hour with a price break at three hours. Teacher’s Helper Store takes pride in customer satisfaction, making it their number one priority. They always go the extra mile to make sure that their customers have everything they want. For more information, visit, visit the store at 622 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon, or call 6840688. The store is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.


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Page 18

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

By Tamas Mondovics

Crime Stoppers Seek Burglars, Make Arrests Crime Stoppers Tip Nets Recover Of Firearms, Arrest & Warrant Issued

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) takes all burglaries seriously, especially those that results in the theft of firearms. Thanks to some information received by Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay, which was then forwarded to HCSO detectives, two of the four guns recently stolen from a residence in Riverview were recovered along with the arrest of Ryan Carlton Williams, 36, of Seffner. During a burglary on Monday, June 13, in the Riverview community four firearms were taken. Deputies responded and initiated an investigation. While detectives were investigating the case, they received information from Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay which provided the whereabouts of the suspects involved in the gun theft and some of the firearms. The tip led deputies to recover two of the stolen firearms (Marlin .22 and a Remington 300 Win Mag) and to the arrest of Williams whom investigators said is just one of the suspects involved in the case. The investigation continued and resulted in the identification of Stephen Gladu, 29, as the second suspect, who now has an active warrant for felony charges. Williams is now charged with Grand Theft Firearm (two counts) and dealing in stolen property. A warrant was also issued for Gladu for Grand Theft of Firearm (four counts),

Armed Burglary of a residence, Felon in possession of a firearm and dealing in stolen property.

Detectives Seeking Valrico Burglary Suspects

HCSO officials reported that on Sunday, June 21 at 5:40 a.m., two black male suspects believed to be between 14-18 approached a woman at 3310 Pine Top Dr. in Valrico as she got into her vehicle. The report added that suspects motioned for the victim to exit, but she refused and Ryan Carlton Williams of fled the scene Seffner was arrested and charged with two while of the counts of Grand Theft suspects point- Firearm and dealing in ed a handgun stolen property. at her as she backed out of the driveway. Detectives believe that these same suspects are also responsible for multiple burglaries to unlocked vehicles that were reported in the same neighborhood and during the same time frame. “Video surveillance from a home security system shows a third black male, 14-18 years of age, assisting with the burglaries and a driver waiting in the suspect vehicle,” stated HCSO

Spokesperson Cristal Nunez in an online Media Alert. The suspects car is said to be a 2015-2016, white, four-door Ford Fusion. The surveillance video can be seen at Anyone with any information reference these suspects is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200 or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of these suspects and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers.

Plant City Detectives Seek To Identify Walmart Money Center Robber

Plant City detectives are seeking the assistance of nearby Stephen Gladu is wanted communities for four counts of Grand Theft of Firearm, Armed as they work Burglary of a residence on identifying and dealing in stolen prop- a suspect erty. responsible for a recent robbery of a local Walmart Money center. On Thursday, June 30 at 3:45 p.m. a black male demanded money from the teller at the Walmart Money Center at 2602 James L. Redman Pkwy. in Plant City. After receiving the cash the suspect fled on foot. Officers said the suspect is described as a black male, in his late twenties to early thirties, 6`, thin build, thin beard,

having a tattoo on his upper chest and was last seen wearing a black tank top, blue shorts and a green baseball hat worn backwards. Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the unknown suspect involved in this case. Anyone with any information regarding the identity of the suspect and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers. For more information regarding the specific case, contact 757-9200. For additional information regarding Crime Stoppers, call 318-5604 or email

Hit & Run With Serious Injuries

Hillsborough County detectives are seeking the whereabouts of the driver of a 2000-2002 Chevrolet Cavalier involved in a hit and run on Gallagher Road about 300 ft. north of Emerald Acres Avenue in Dover. Deputies said that on Thursday, June 23 at 9:25 p.m., Dover resident Alvin Chapparo, 52, was riding his Blue DBX 26" bicycle northbound on Gallagher Road along the northbound fog line when he was struck by the Cavalier. The vehicle would have been traveling northbound on Gallagher Road. The impact threw Chapparo northeast and onto the east, grassy shoulder. He was flown to Tampa General Hospital in serious, but stable condition. Anyone with any information reference the driver of the Chevrolet Cavalier is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200 or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of the driver and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers.

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July 2016

Valrico Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Artwork Of Late Dr. David Charles Cozart On Display At Bruton Memorial Library

The artwork of long time educator and self-taught artist, Dr. David Charles Cozart, Sr. is on display this month at the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City.

This month, the artist’s work on display at the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City is the work of the late Dr. David Charles Cozart, Sr. His work is extraordinarily brilliant and detailed. There are 11 pieces on display. Painting was his hobby, and his artwork is that of landscapes and places that he visited while traveling. The artwork is on display at the library, located at 302 McLendon St. in historic downtown Plant City, through the end of July. According to Chad Loving, administrative and services assistant for the Bruton Memorial Library, “July’s exhibit is a collection of paintings by Dr. David Cozart, Sr. who passed away in 2010. His wife, Gloria, reached out to me about setting up a show of his work. His passion for life is evident in his work. We are proud to show this collection at the Bruton Memorial Library.” Dr. Cozart served in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer. He attended

William Penn College on a full scholarship after his tour of duty was completed. He received his Doctorate in Education Administration from Fairleigh Dickerson University. He worked in education throughout his life, servings as a teacher, football coach, principal, adjunct professor and, after retirement, as a special needs and substitute teacher in Polk and Hillsborough counties. Dr. Cozart was a self-taught artist. He painted for the joy of it. The joy and love and dedication to his craft is truly evident in the paintings on display at the library. The Bruton Memorial Library is an excellent example of how libraries bring art to the community. The monthly displays feature local artists, both professional and amateur. If you are interested in having work shown at the library, stop by the library’s front desk and pick up an application.

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Two Local Students Receive Artistic Scholarships Sabrina Downing has Downing of performed in four Valrico and productions of Lillian Kraack of The Nutcracker Lithia will be including one at able to pursue the Mahaffey their artistic Theatre with the dreams in colMoscow Ballet in lege thanks to 2013. the scholarKraack, the ships they each daughter of received from Mitsie Kraack, Sabrina Downing of Valrico (left) and Lillian Kraack owner of TADA, Tampa Bay of Lithia (right) were among six students to be Businesses for graduated from awarded scholarships from the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts Charlie Culture and the Newsome High Hounchell Art Stars Scholarship Program. Arts (TBBCA). School in June. Each girl received $2,500 as part of the She will pursue a Bachelor of Music from TBBCA Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Oklahoma City University. Kraack is a Scholarship Program. singer who has performed with TADA, the Downing graduated from Blake High Newsome High School Chamber Choir School in June and will attend the and the Elite Show Choir. She has taken University of South Florida this fall. She voice lessons from Katy Decker. will pursue a double major in dance and Kraack chose Oklahoma City interdisciplinary natural sciences. “Dance University because of its program which is the major I always wanted to pursue, is based around theory and music skills but I also have a love for science,” said rather than performance. Downing. “After I graduate, I intend to Kraack said, “I love everything about dance professionally and then go back to singing and performing. It is so thrilling school and pursue a Master’s degree in a and exciting. There is something so spescience field.” cial about being able to stand up in front Downing has been dancing since of people and simultaneously entertain she was three years old. She danced at and inspire them to feel.” America’s Ballet School and the Tampa High School juniors and seniors from City Ballet II (pre-professional, non-profit) Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco under the direction of Paula Nunez and Counties are invited to apply for the Osmany Montano. At Blake, she received scholarship each year. Six students are instruction from Albena Arnaudova and awarded $2,500 scholarships to help Kelly Rayl-McCormick. cover the cost of tuition. Visit

Page 20

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Elvis h t i W d e ain Be Entert Artist, Help Tribute Backpack Support Y & More… nti, Promgprilaedmby MichelleeCr.coolemsa Co observ @osprey e ll e h ic m

Advance registration (by July 15) preferred. For more information, email

YMCA & ECHO Help Students Excel With Free Backpacks And School Supplies

The Tampa YMCA is teaming up with the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) to help Greater Tribute Artist Will Celebrate Elvis Brandon area students, in grades KAn Elvis Celebration will take 12, with backpacks stuffed with place as award winning tribute artist, essential supplies for the school Cote Deonath spends an evening year. The YMCA Backpack Outreach entertaining with the music of the Event is designed for pre-registered King or Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. families facing financial hardship or The event will recovering take place on from job loss, Friday, July 22 fire or another from 7:30-9:30 qualifying p.m. at emergency. Winthrop Barn Each regisTheatre, tered child will 11349 receive a free Bloomingdale backpack filled Ave. in with ageRiverview. appropriate Doors open at school sup6:30 p.m. plies. During Water and the event, snacks will be each family available for will receive a $1. This event free bag full of is open to the groceries, public. toothbrushes Advance tickand toothets cost $20 paste, water, and will not be smoothies and sold at the bananas. They Cote Denoath will be entertaining on Friday, July door. For tickwill also partici22 at the Winthrop Barn Theatre. ets, visit pate in free Campo Y at 3414 Culbreath Rd. or health screenings, crafts and fun call at 684-1371. activities. A $20 donation helps send one Enjoy An Evening Playing Golf To student back to school with a backBenefit Queena pack full of school supplies. Community members can also A benefit for Queena, the Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor, donate backpacks, pocket folders, college-rule paper and wide-rule will take place at Topgolf Tampa, located at 10690 Palm River Rd. The paper. Drop-off locations are YMCA donation is based on player sponsor- Camp Cristina, Campo Family YMCA and North Brandon Family ships – an individual costs $75, a YMCA. Checks can be made out to group of six is $400. Campo YMCA and should reference Spectator/Dinner only is $30. "backpack event." Tournament sponsorships are also The event will take place available. Player sponsorship cost on Saturday, July 30 from 9–11 includes first, second and third place a.m. at the YMCA Camp Cristina, awards, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, 9840 Balm Riverview Rd. in private cash bar, golf pro instructor, Riverview. It is open to pre-registered dinner and a fun evening of golf. families only. Donations are tax-deductible. Qualified families can register by Checks can be made payable to contacting Kavita Marballi Hope Heals The Brain, Inc. and sent to P.O. Box 891277, Tampa with a list at Kavita.Marballi@ or 684-1371 ext. of player names. To pay by credit 1606. Media members can card, call Anna Donato at 956-3822.

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East Hillsborough County Democratic Club recently participated in Brandon 4th of July parade. contact Lalita Llerena at, 22 4-9622 ext. 1240 or 545-7772.

Brandon MS Support Group Meets

The Brandon MS Support Group meets the fourth Monday of each month from 7-9 p.m. at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. For more information, contact 454-7585 or m.

Fibromyalgia And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Support Group Tampa Fibromyalgia Friends (TFF) Group meets from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on the first, third, and fifth Sundays of each month at USF Morsani Center for Advanced

Healthcare, located at 13330 USF Laurel Dr. in Tampa. For information, visit or call 653-4285.

Xeomin Launch Party

Is it time to tackle those moderate to severe frown lines? Xeomin is a Botox alternative to temporarily treat wrinkles. Check it out at a launch party being held on Tuesday, July 19 from 6-8 p.m. at 16144 Churchview Dr., Bldg. A, Ste. 109 in Lithia. Attendants will receive $50 off their treatment of Xeomin plus a $50 prepaid Visa card for a total of $100 savings. Light bites and refreshments will be served along with raffle prizes. For more information, call 540-5110 or 651-9396. Book now, seating is limited.


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July 2016

Page 21

Valrico Edition

T Marie’s Boutique: A Place For Parties, Philanthropy

By Michelle Caceres

while receiving personalized after-hours attention. She said the store has hosted bridal and wedding parties, Sweet 16 and girls’ nights out. “The private parties have been very popular,” she said. Owner T Marie Benchley began offering private parties when customers started asking for them. “I think women yearn for a time when shopping was more T Marie’s Fashion & Gifts Boutique is the perfect of a personal experience and it place to hold your next shopping party. could be leisurely enjoyed,” she When River Hills Country Club staff said. With marble floors, crystal chandemember Amy Flori was organizing a speliers and dressing rooms, the boutique cial event for women Clubhouse certainly reminds customers of a time Members and their guests, she looked no when shops spent as much time on the further than the upscale T Marie’s décor as it did on its merchandise. Fashion & Gifts Boutique. Benchley has also been busy offer“The ladies of the club are always ing her merchandise and services to looking for fun ladies’ nights out,” said many local charities. Most recently, Flori. “We selected T Marie's for its conBenchley has supported The Terry Curry venient location and the ability to combine Foundation by donating a one-of-a-kind socializing and shopping.” Swarovski crystal embellished gold cockTwenty-five women enjoyed an tail bag and a $1,000 shopping spree. evening of hors d’oeuvres and drinks She has also supported the GFWC while shopping in the 2,600 sq. ft. bouBrandon Service League, Inc., Dress for tique for the season’s most sought-after Success, the Brandon Foundation and but affordable clothing and accessories. A local high schools. personal stylist was on hand to help “We’re a part of this community and I shoppers find clothing and jewelry to best feel like everyone needs to give back suit their individual tastes. Partygoers when they can,” Benchley said. received goody bags at the end of the T Marie’s Fashion & Gifts Boutique is evening. open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.– T Marie’s General Manager Lindsey 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 Noon–5 p.m. Visit Ress said the shopping parties are a fun or call 530-0922. way to spend time with friends and family

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Page 22

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 7

Award-Winning All Family Law Group Advocates For Clients

By Michelle Caceres

Tampa Bay Client and founder and managing USAF retiree attorney of All Family Harry LaClair Law Group, P.A., reached out to All Lynette Silon-Laguna, Family Law is an attorney familiar because of the with earning profesfirm’s experience sional awards and in father’s rights accolades. Most and military recently, she was recdivorces. The ognized by The father of three and American Institute of primary caregiver All Family Law Group attorneys (from right) Ginger L. Dugan, Lynette SilonFamily Law Attorneys said divorce was Laguna and Danielle M. Lord. as one of the “10 Best” simply the most family law attorneys in Florida based on emotionally, financially and physically bruclient satisfaction. tal experience of his life. He was separat“In every case, each one of us strives ed from his children, served divorce to put our clients in the best possible posi- papers and outmaneuvered at every step tion moving forward and to be responsive by his ex-wife who had planned for to each client,” Silon-Laguna said. divorce for years. The firm attorneys and legal assis“If it wasn’t for the attorneys assigned tants recognize that divorce can be like to my case from Family Marital Law, I riding an emotional roller coaster and don’t know where I’d be today,” he said. offer clients the experience necessary to “They advised me, fought for me, stood guide them through one of the most diffiup for me in court and most importantly cult times in their clients’ lives. They continued to give me hope.” attend to every aspect of divorce, includHis divorce is final, but retains the ing property division, alimony, child cusfirm in case issues arise. “Until your chiltody and child support and as well as dren reach the age of 18, your divorce is other areas of family law including paternever really over,” he said. nity, stepparent/relative adoption and conAll Family Law Group’s main office is sumer bankruptcy. located at 6314 U.S. Hwy. 301 S. in With more than 36 years combined Riverview with satellite offices located in experience exclusively practicing in South Tampa, Apollo Beach, Brandon, divorce and family law, the attorneys at All Carrollwood and Clearwater. It provides Family Law Group are leading experts an initial consultation at no charge to disand eminently qualified to represent indicuss the options available based upon viduals going through a divorce or dealing the circumstances. Visit www.Family with another family law issue. or call 672-1900.

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July 2016

Valrico Edition

Page 23

Page 24

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 7


July 2016

Volume 13, Issue 7

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section

CHALKLINES.........................................PG 30 VALRICO HARPIST................................PG 32 WEDDING GUIDE..........................PGS 33‐37 VALRICO ICE SKATER............................PG 39 SPORTS CONNECTION..................PGS 42‐43

Skinny Clinic Weight Loss & AntiAging Medicine Offered By Dr. Caban

Dr. Francis A Caban has been treating dermatology patients in Brandon for the last 25 years and is now offering Medical Weight loss and a variety of Wellness and Anti-Aging treatments. The “The Skinny Clinic Diet” and the Skinny Clinic HCG Diet are now being offered. Anti-Aging treatments include: Botox and Fillers, Skin Rejuvenation with Chemical Peels, Laser Treatment and Microdermabrasion, Platelet Rich Plasma treatment (Vampire Facelift), IPL Photo Facial treatment, Laser Hair and Tattoo Removal, MiraDry (permanent underarm sweat reduction), Sclerotherapy (Spider Vain Removal), Hair Loss Treatments. Dr. Caban is located at 109 Margaret St. in Brandon. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 235-4090 or visit or on Facebook at

Pain & Stress Management Seminar

Each Tuesday in July and August, a pain and stress management seminar will be held at 1135 Professional Park Dr. in Brandon. Each session will run about 50 minutes of Q/A in a group environment. There will be two sessions each Tuesday; 12 Noon and 6 p.m. Registration and sign up is necessary to reserve your space, which is limited. The cost is $10 per session per person. Interested parties may reserve their

Live and Learn Compounding Pharmacy continues to serve as a drop off site for Cell Phones For Soldiers. Visit 13224 Boyette Rd. in Riverview Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Visit

YoYo Juice Offers Chance To Win Free Smoothies For A Year

Dr. Francis A Caban offers a variety of services from The Skinny Clinic Diet to laser hair and tattoo removal.

time and seat online at Click online scheduling and select Wellness Seminar, follow additional prompts. Each Tuesday will dedicate a focus for your healthcare concerns; neck and shoulder pain, low back pain, abdominal pain and bloating, weight gain and sleepless nights. Still Waters is expanding into Brandon and shares space with Alternative Healthcare; massage therapy, yoga and movement therapy for pain and stress management, weight loss and bio identical hormone replacement therapy for both men and women. Call 863-9403828 or visit

Donate Old Phones To Cell Phones For Soldiers Since 2004 the Minutes That Matter program has had a simple mis-

sion: to help troops call home, at no charge. Generous donations have fueled this mission providing over 220 million minutes of free talk time by sending more than three million calling cards to servicemen and women and recycling more than 11.7 million cell phones. Each contribution worth $5 enables them to provide 2.5 hours of talk time for America’s bravest men and women. Helping Heroes Home is able to provide one-time emergency grants to aid veterans making the transition back into civilian life. Since July 2012, more than 2,800 veterans overcome communication challenges and physical, emotional and assimilation hardships with communication services, imperative car repairs, rent payment to avoid eviction and more.

Join YoYo Juice’s Summer Sweepstakes to win free smoothies for one year #MyYoYoJuiceSummer #SummerSweepstakes. You can get 10 tickets per day and have a chance to win a T-shirt, juice cleanse, wrap platter, and the grand prize which is free smoothies for a year. No purchase is necessary. Tickets are easy to obtain by checking into our VIP kiosk, liking YoYo Juice and posting a picture that tags it and uses #MyYoYoJuiceSummer on social media. YoYo Juice is located at 1044 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Call 653-4300 or visit

Grand Re-Opening Celebrated At Cold Stone Creamery

A Grand Re-Opening celebration recently took place to help the new owners of Cold Stone Creamery, Kelly and Joshua Cook, celebrate their new business venture. They officially took

Continued on next page

Page 26

Valrico Edition

Business Column Continued.............

By Michelle Colesanti

ownership of Cold Stone in April. The Cook’s invite the community to enjoy the ‘Ultimate Ice Cream Experience’ at Cold Stone Creamery, located at 3426 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Call 486-4601 or visit

Friends All Breed Rescue. Visit

Ability Rehabilitation Now Coast To Coast With New Office Openings

Ability Rehabilitation is expanding into Florida’s west coast with the opening BarkAID’s 50 States of two new offices in July Tour Comes To Salon - one in Tampa and Roxy another in Brandon. With For the fifth year, the new offices, Ability Rehabilitation now has master stylist Patrick Lomantini and Team will 17 locations across be kicking off the Orange, Seminole, BarkAID Lomantini Volusia, Lake and National Tour (50 States Hillsborough counties. All Tour) to raise funds for locations are CARF animal shelters and resaccredited, meaning cues across the country. each office has underLomantini’s ultimate road gone an extensive trip will be visiting each review process to ensure of the U.S. 50 States the highest quality of beginning on July 15 in care for patients. Augusta, Maine and Interested patients can ending in Wichita, request an appointment Kelly and Joshua Cook, standing online with or without a Kansas on October 20. with their two children, Keegan Each day during the fea- and Kenzie, are the new owners physician referral by visittured salon/school’s busi- of Cold Stone Creamery, located ing in Valrico. ness hours, guests can arrange an appointment for a special hair- or by calling the location nearest to them. cut to help raise funds for U.S animal shelters. Lomantini and Team will be Introduction To Nia Workshop donating their time, resources and servicDesigned for beginners, an es during the 50 States tour while asking Introduction to Nia Workshop will be held for donations of $20 or more to help supon Saturday, July 30 at 2 p.m. This 1.5 port the cause. Salon Roxy, located at hour workshop will explore the basic con3305 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., will be hosting cepts and fundamentals of Nia, an this cause locally on Sunday, August 7 expressive body-mind-spirit cardiovascufrom 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Appointments can be lar movement program that blends dance, made by telephone at 324-8817. Funds martial arts and healing arts, including will benefit Second Chance Boxer yoga. Get moving in a beginning-level Nia Rescue, Inc. and Second Chance class. The use of eclectic, rich music,

guided imagery, powerful kinesthetic cues, and heart-felt joy add to the full experience of a Nia class. All fitness levels welcome. Bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing you can move freely in. The workshop will be facilitated by licensed Nia Black Belt teacher, Kathryn Mansfield. The cost is $18 and will be held at Asana Yoga of Brandon at 1038 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Register online at asanayogaofbrandon .com/workshops.php.

Vendor Event In FishHawk

Volume 13, Issue 7

The Chapel of Fishhawk one week prior to the event. Food vendors are welcome; however, they need to present proper permits. Limited electrical outlets are available. Those requesting access to electricity will be required to pay an additional $10 fee. Vendors are to set up and take down their booths in their entirety. They should provide their own tables and tents (not to exceed 10x10), and will be responsible for cleaning up their area after the event concludes.

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s For the first time, a vendor event will Christmas in July Donation Drive be held at The Chapel of Fishhawk, at 6026 Churchside Dr. in Lithia. The event St. Joseph's Children's Hospital will be open to the public and will take treats thousands of Tampa Bay’s children place on the first Saturday of each month every year. Whether they arrive by ambufrom September through January, lance, are recovering from open-heart between the hours of 2-5 p.m. Several surgery or undergoing cancer treatment, vendors have already signed up to partici- they receive the finest medical treatment, pate including Scentsy, ItWorks!, Bridge emotional support and loving care availBowtiques, BowsForMe, Lip Sense, Juice able. But they have other special needs Plus, Tower play and distracGarden, Rodan + tion from their illFields, ness - that are Lifevantage, met with the Younique, Actihelp of generous Labs, doTerra people throughEssential Oils, out the commuTrades of Hope, nity. Join St. LuLaRoe, Avon, Joseph’s Toffee Tradition, Children’s Damsel in Explore the basic concepts and fundamentals of Hospital’s Defense, Nia at a workshop to be held on Saturday, July 30 Christmas in July at Asana Yoga of Brandon. Celestial Clasp, donation drive LLC, Nutrimetrix, Primerica, Origami Owl, and help provide entertainment and comLadies Ministry Baked Goods, and Dog fort to pediatric patients throughout the Rescue. If there are any MLM businessyear. Drop off toys and donations in the es that are interested in presenting prodcircular drive in front of St. Joseph’s ucts at the event, contact Angela Dull at Children’s Hospital during the Christmas, or 863-860-6167. in July community event Friday, July 29 Vendor fee is $25 per booth which is non- from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 872-0979 or visit refundable (unless the event is cancelled due to inclement weather). It is payable to CAREGIVER TIP: “For someone with dementia wringing their hands is normal. Stimulate their minds and their hands by creating a !idget quilt.”

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July 2016

Page 27

Valrico Edition

Miriam Velez Valkenburg Seeks To Be Hillsborough County Court Judge In Group 10 By Kathy L. Collins

Dedication to the Valkenburg. practice of law and serv“As a former law ice to the community are enforcement officer and as an attorney in private two reasons why Miriam practice, I understand Velez Valkenburg is runthe challenges of reprening for County Court senting clients in court Judge in Group 10 on Friday, August 30. and am much more cogA native of Chicago, nizant of constitutional Valkenburg moved to issues,” said Valkenburg. Florida in 1990 to attend In addition, USF. After graduation Valkenburg has continued to give back to the she became a probation community in meaningful officer because she ways. She is co-founder wanted to serve the of Are You Safe, Inc., an community. After graduorganization that proating from Stetson vides free legal service University’s School of Velez Valkenburg, pictured to victims of domestic Law, Valkenburg worked Miriam with husband, Jason, nine year as an Assistant State violence. She also old daughter, Ellianna, and Wrigley, is running for County Attorney for Hillsborough serves in the Guardian Court Judge in Group 10. County. As a prosecutor, Ad Litem Program. she handled thousands of cases in traffic, Valkenburg balances her work life misdemeanor and felony juvenile offenswith her personal life as a wife to Jason es. and mother to her nine year old daughter, In her current practice as a shareEllianna. holder in Valkenburg & Valez, PA, she “My prior work and life experiences practices in numerous areas of law qualify me to perform the duties of a including civil, criminal and family law. county court judge. I believe my life expe“While in private practice, I have handled riences have taught me to be objective cases involving breach of contract, lien and patient. I truly believe that I possess matters, foreclosures, consumer debt the intelligence and temperament necesissues, landlord tenant, personal injury, sary to be a county court judge. As judge, wrongful death, petitions for protection I will always strive to be patient, ethical against domestic violence and civil traffic and treat each litigant with the respect citations. This is significant because civil they deserve while following the law and county judges preside over a wide range making informed decisions based upon of causes of actions and must know the the facts and the law,” said Valkenburg. applicable rules, procedures and laws For more information on Valkenburg, that govern those areas of law,” explained visit

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Page 28

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Candidate In Group 24 Gary Dolgin Prepared To Serve As Circuit Court Judge

Your FishHawk Community Physician for Health& Beauty

By Kathy L .Collins

With 26 years of a friend or family experience and the member who has expertise that comes gone through the with being a Board process. People Certified Attorney in want someone Marital and Family who is an expert Law, Gary Dolgin is in what is going to uniquely qualified to happen with their serve as a children, their Hillsborough County money and their Circuit Court Judge. property.” Dolgin is running for Moreover, judge in Group 24 and Dolgin has experiencourages everyone ence in criminal to vote on Tuesday, law as he served August 30. as an Assistant In Florida, Board State Attorney in Certification recogManatee County Gary Dolgin wants to be the first Circuit Court Judge elected in Hillsborough County and an Assistant nizes an attorney’s who is Board Certified in Marital and Family special knowledge, Public Defender Law. skill and proficiency in in Hillsborough a particular area of law. It also recognizes County. He has handled juvenile delinprofessionalism and ethics in practice. quency and dependency cases as wellThe minimum standards to become all areas of law that a Circuit Court Judge Board Certified are quite rigorous which is must rule upon. why there are only about 26 attorneys in Dolgin said, “I want to be this comHillsborough County and only 273 in the munity’s Marital and Family Law Judge state of Florida who are Board Certified in because the area impacts a tremendous Marital and Family Law. number of people, and citizens deserve a Dolgin is the only candidate in Group judge who has both the expertise and 24 to have achieved this distinction. In passion for the law.” addition, he would be the first Circuit Dolgin has lived almost all of his life Court Judge elected in Hillsborough in Hillsborough County. He has been County who is Board Certified in Marital married to Wendi Towbin-Dolgin, a regisand Family Law. tered nurse, for 25 years. They have twin According to Dolgin, this makes him 18 year olds, a son Corey and a daughter qualified because, “Family law is the diviMallory, and a 12 year old son, Ari. sion that most new judges are assigned. For more information on Dolgin’s This area of law affects the greatest num- candidacy for Circuit Court Judge in ber of citizens in our state. Everyone has Group 24, visit

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July 2016

Page 29

Valrico Edition

eth B r o F e s Open Hou ily Movie am Shalom, F More… Night & ti, Colesan helle d by Mic e il p m o C obse @osprey michelle

Power Networking Event –Christian Business Connections

Christian Business Connections is hosting a Power Networking event as part of its regular Monday, August 15 meeting. Meetings are held at the Golden Corral, located on 815 Providence Rd. in Brandon on Mondays at 7:45 a.m. Like most networking groups, Christian Business Connections (CBC) is very effective in helping small business grow and succeed. CBC exists to promote fellowship and prosperity for its members. RSVP to For more information, contact Rod Burkhardt at 655-4353.

New Luncheon Season To Begin For Brandon Christian Women’s Connection

Brandon Christian Women's Connection will commence its season of luncheons with a theme, music and a spiritual speaker on Monday, September 12. Salute to America with a patriotic theme and music will honor veterans. This is a nondenominational luncheon for all ladies and no membership is required. It is held the second Monday of the month, from 11 a.m–1 p.m. at The Special Events Center at Bell Shoals Baptist Church at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. The cost is $15. First time guests only pay $10. Call Lillie at 740-0098 for information.

1st Presbyterian Church Of Brandon To Host Veteran Interviews

The 1st Presbyterian Church of Brandon became a host site for the interviews in January 2016. The Florida West Coast Region of the American Red Cross supervises and staffs the project. The Brandon project has recorded 20 interviews, encompassing a variety of veterans’ experiences, since January. The successful project will continue with appointments open for July and August. The Veterans History Project captures, through a private video interview, a firsthand account of the experiences of a veteran. Those who served in any branch

of the U.S. military in any capacity, or call the temple directly at from World War II through the pres681-6547. You can also contact Gail ent, and are no longer serving are eliVerlin, Membership, at 988-8193 or gvergible to participate. The Brandon project has conducted interviews of World War II through Viet Nam Era Family Movie Night At Nativity vets: combat vets and military supNativity Catholic is holding a Family port staff, including women who Movie Night in served. the social Hall Civilians who served in support on Saturday, of a U.S. war effort in a professional July 23 from 5capacity are also welcome to participate. 8:30 p.m. The Once the editing and packaging of the movie is geared more for kids aged 4-10 interviews are submitted to the Library of years old. A donation of $5 per person Congress, each participant will receive includes pizza, drink, snack, and a two DVD copies of their interview. Peanuts souvenir lunch box. A snack The Veterans History Project was concession stand with sweet treats and created by the raffle will be available for United States purchase. Congress in 2000. Seating is limited The authorizing legand registration closes islation was Public on Saturday, July 16. Law 106-380, Tickets can be purwhich received chased in advance unanimous support online at www.nativityin congress. The experiAll proceeds will help ences of local vetSaint Rita Circle ministry erans are collected Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon is supporting engaged couhosting an open house on Sunday, and preserved so ples of the Parish and August 14. that future generaFamily Promise of tions and a veteran’s family will have a Greater Brandon. Nativity Catholic better understanding of each experience. Church is located at 705 E Brandon Blvd. For more information or to schedule in Brandon. an interview, contact Judy Smolk, Coordinator of the interviews for FPCB at Mobile Clinic Comes To Iglesia La 643-9586 or Esperanza/Hope community Church

Annual Open House For Congregation Beth Shalom Of Brandon

The membership committee of Congregation Beth Shalom is planning its annual Open House for the Brandon Synagogue. The event will take place on Sunday, August 14 from 9:30 a.m.-12 Noon at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. Religious school registration will also be conducted. This event is free and all interested families are welcome. A light, bagel breakfast will be served; reservations are not necessary. Information about many of the congregational activities will be available during the open house. The “full service” synagogue offers Friday Worship services, Religious School (Pre-K through tenth grade), B’nai Mitzvah Preparation, Chavurah Groups, Youth Programming, Adult Education Classes and holiday celebrations, and more. If you are not able to attend the open house but want information about joining the congregation, visit www.bethshalom-

In Valrico

The Iglesia La Esperanza/Hope Community Church in Valrico is partnering with Suncoast community health centers bringing the Mobil Clinic every other week on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. For the last five years, the church has had a food bank helping 25 to 30

families a week (Tuesday 5:30 p.m.) with a box full of can goods, cereal, vegetables and meat. Little Lambs is a fun and safe place featuring age appropriate activities like art, music, dance, math, Spanish, and Bible classes for children to play and learn. Babysitting and back up care offered. For more info, call Pilar Forero at 309-1405. The Church is located at 401 S. Saint Cloud Ave. in Valrico. For more information, contact Pastor Javier Forero at 309-0077.

Limona Village Chapel United Methodist Church Invites Children To Cave Quest VBS

A summer kids’ event called Cave Quest VBS will be hosted at Limona Village Chapel United Methodist Church from Monday, July 25-Friday, July 29. At Cave Quest, kids explore what it means to follow Jesus through dark times. Kids participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and dig into treats, experience one-of-a-kind Bible adventures, and test out Science-Fun Gizmos they’ll take home and play with all summer long. Plus, kids will learn to look for evidence of God all around them through something called God Sightings. Each day concludes with a Cave Quest Closing that gets everyone involved in living what they’ve learned. Family members and friends are encouraged to join in daily for this special time at 8 p.m. Cave Quest is for kids from ages 3 to entering fifth grade and will run from 5-8:30 p.m. and includes dinner each day. For more information, call 689-8385.

Lake Brandon Village (813) 655-1237 | Westfield Brandon Mall (813) 654-6769

Page 30

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Story by Tamas Mondovics

Summer Reading Program At YMCA, Online Report Cards & More...

Volunteers help local children read at the Campo YMCA in Valrico.

Campo Y Hosts Summer Reading Program

New Car Giveaway For Perfect Attendance

The Campo Family YMCA in Valrico announced the hosting of a reading program "Bridging the Gap" for children K-5 to help youth YMCA members who struggle with reading. According to YMCA Communications Director Lalita Llerena, as volunteers, local teachers, stay at home moms or dads, staff or high school students offer their time to tutor twice a week. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11a.m.-12 noon. During the hour-long program, the participants read one-on-one with a teacher for the first 45 minutes and the

Not missing school has paid off nicely for one local high school student last month during an annual event that inspires high school senior to faithfully attend school. Blake High School senior Jennifer Vasquez was the tenth student out of 12 to choose a key and try to unlock the car door of a brand new Toyota Scion. Minutes later—stunned when she heard the horn beep and the car door unlock—she became a proud owner of the car, thanks to pulling the winning key in the New Car Giveaway for Perfect Attendance at Toyota of Tampa Bay.



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last 15 minutes they learn basic Spanish. “I hear the kids are having a great time and it's a rewarding experience for staff and volunteers,” Llerena said. The program began in June and will run until for the first three weeks in July. Y officials are also planning to host a small celebratory graduation at the end of the program.


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Vasquez was one of 160 students who had perfect attendance in their senior year of high school and who preregistered with their school for a chance to win the new car. Vasquez is planning to attend HCC in the fall and will then transfer to USF where she plans to be a pre-med student. To set up the contest, Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board members took turns drawing students' names and letting them select keys for their chance to win the new car. Graduating seniors who had perfect attendance the entire year received two entries into the contest. Seniors who had perfect attendance for one semester received one entry. The event was the sixth year Toyota of Tampa Bay has sponsored the new car giveaway for students in Hillsborough County Public Schools.

become available for access online. Links to access the report card will be available through the district website, mySPOT, and Edsby. The new online report card will replace the previously mailed final report card. To ensure that this confidential information is delivered securely, students were sent a letter (Sample Letter) containing a unique Personal Identification Number from their school. Parents will need this PIN, along with other student specific information, to access the online report card. As the electronic report card becomes available, notification will be sent by a phone call, email, and/or text message using the contact information listed on the Student Emergency Information Card. If unable Online Report to access the Blake High School senior Jennifer Vasquez proudly report card Cards takes ownership of her brand new car that she won electronically, Hillsborough last month during the Sixth Annual New Car a printed County Public Giveaway for Perfect Attendance. copy may be School officials picked up from the school after they are reported that beginning with the fourth made available online. quarter of the 2015-2016 school year, all For more, visit middle and high school report cards



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July 2016

Valrico Edition

Page 31

For Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Group 24 GARY DOLGIN IS MOST PREPARED TO SERVE • 26 years of Legal Experience • Board Certified Expert in Marital & Family Law • Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator • Owner of successful law practice since 1993 • Former Assistant State Attorney & Public Defender

Brandon Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Recognizes Gary Dolgin for Circuit Court Judge as a new member.

Endorsed by Hillsborough County Firefighters Local 2294 Endorsed by Plant City Mayor Rick Lott

Please remember to VOTE on August 30, 2016 813-223-3200 Like us on Facebook: Gary Dolgin for Judge

The Dolgin Family: Corey, Ari, Gary, Wendi, Mallory and “Chester”

Pd. Pol. Adv. Approved by Gary Dolgin, non-partisan for Circuit Court Judge Group 24.

Page 32

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Harpist Shares Skills Through Performances, Lessons

Puff-N-Stuff Events & Catering Brings 30 Years Of Creativity To Local Events

Hoyos teaches harp at a Montessori school called Bloomingdale Children’s House in Brandon once a week, and everyday teaches harp lessons at her home. People of all ages can come learn the harp. Hoyos has been teaching for two years and loves it. On the weekends, one may find Hoyos playing her harp at a wedding, corporate event, fundraiser and more. Her harp business continues to flourish with just two years of operation. She travels to various parts of Florida with her harp. Her rates begin at $250, but that can increase Photo courtesy Head Over Heels Photography depending on the type of event. Kristen Elizabeth Hoyos plays a tune on her harp. To book an event, individuals can Fifteen years ago, Kristen Elizabeth visit www.harpistkristen, Hoyos of Valrico discovered an incrediwhich gives more detailed information. ble passion for an instrument that many Given the opportunity to play for have not heard or seen. She fell in love others and meet different people is with the harp at a young age, which something that Hoyos enjoys. Along grew into something more throughout with that, a talent agency selected the years. Hoyos to be featured in a television In the eighth grade, her guitar commercial for an international chemical teacher introduced the harp to her. In company called BASF. The production addition to the harp, she can also play of the commercial occurred on the the violin, piano and guitar. Her father Skyway Bridge. She also won an plays the piano and she comes from a Instagram contest for Harp Column family of musicians. Hoyos attended magazine called Practical Harpist about Howard W. Blake High School for the how technology improved their business performing arts where her skills and where she won a year subscription to passion for music grew. Harp Column. “The harp and piano are very simi“I strive to be better because it is lar when it comes to reading music,” not work when it is your passion,” said said Hoyos. Hoyos. For more information, visit her With all those years of experience, Facebook page or call (304)-804-4277.

Thomas Edison develop a world-class once said, “The three reputation by providing great essentials to restaurant-quality cuiachieve anything sine, impeccable servworthwhile are, first, ice, and creating hard work; second, unique, custom stick-to-itiveness; third, events,” Warren said. common sense.” Puff-N-Stuff curWarren Dietel can rently serves Central relate to Edison’s stateand West Coast ment because Florida. It is recognized Dietel and his as a national leader in family have the catering industry owned and operand Warren feels it has ated Puff-N-Stuff reached this achievePuff-N-Stuff Events and Catering is ment by passionately Events and Catering recognized as a national leader in the for more than 30 years. perfecting life’s celebracatering industry. “As an entrepreneur, tions. my greatest attributes are tenacity and “This is more than our tagline, it’s our perseverance,” Dietel said. “I firmly mantra,” Warren said. “It’s our way of life, believe that innovation is the distinguishone that we’ve been celebrating for 30 ing characteristic between good and years.” great. I understand that it must be transIt is a full-service event company that lated into tangible and relevant concepts provides more than just food. From knowthat work in real life with real people.” ing the ins and outs of over 200 In 1971, Puff ‘n Stuff opened as a incredible venues, to creating dream wedsmall pastry shop in San Fernando, dings, spectacular corporate events, Trinidad specializing in puff pastries. or memorable social events, they can do When the owners, Susie and Glenn it all. Dietel, moved to Florida, they re-opened “Our award-winning team orchesthe Puff ‘n Stuff pastry shop in Central trates up to 20 events per day, and each Florida in 1980. The little shop grew one receives the attention, creativity, and quickly and soon began providing catercommitment to quality and service that ing services. In 2003, their son, Warren, are the hallmarks of our business, had a vision for the company, purchased whether it’s lunch for 20 or a gala for the business from his parents, and imme- 2,000,” Warren said. diately set out to grow Central Florida’s To learn more about the services premier catering operation into a full-seroffered at Puff-N-Stuff Events and vice event company. Catering, visit or call “I updated the brand, added ‘catering’ Warren at 712-7833. The Tampa office is to the company name, and continued to located at 5804 E. Columbus Dr.

By Tatiana Ortiz

By Libby Hopkins

e s, u n e V est B e h t nt , o e t m e n i d i Gu e rt a t n E , s r e st e t r a e L t a & C hy p a r s g Ph o t o o r W e ddi n g f T re n ds

Special Section

The Hues of Summer


hoosing colors for your wedding is, of course, an entirely personal matter. But that doesn’t mean the experts haven’t attempted to predict the trends for 2016. Writing for Glamour Weddings, Brie Walter of Brie’s Honeybees & Flowers predicted a classic palette of soft colors, such as blush and creams, would be popular this year. On the flip side, Leah Weinberg, of Color Pop Events, and Amanda Hansen, of Decoration, Inc., predicted that couples will choose brighter colors. Print color authority Pantone recommended a list of 10 of its colors for this year’s brides in its Fashion Color Report for Spring 2016. Among its picks were rose, peach, sky and nautical shades of blue, buttercup yellow, aqua, a grayish purple, an orange-hued red, a coffee-inspired brown and a bright yellow-green.

GO MULTI-TONAL Another wedding trend creates a great opportunity to let brides be a little more creative with their color choices. It’s becoming popular to style bridesmaids in vary-

ing tones of a single color. For example, if you opt for greens, let each bridesmaid choose a unique gown in shades from pale mint to candy apple. You also might mix shades of hot pinks with bright oranges. Another option is to consider an expansive color palette, with the wedding party sporting varying muted shades of some of Pantone’s top-10 swatches.

GO FOR CONTRAST If you’re feeling adventurous, mix the two ideas for a rustic or woodland theme accented with vibrant pops of color. Subtle wood tones make a great neutral background for bright pops of color that evoke summer’s abundant flora. Of course, a more classic rustic theme can make great use of pale rose and cream, as well. Whatever aesthetic you choose, your personal touches will make your wedding your own.


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Rose Gold Rings n the 2000s, platinum was all the rage in wedding jewelry. White gold is a more affordable option, while yellow gold is timeless. Now there’s a new metal on the block. Enter rose gold.

Rose gold is technical a gold and copper alloy, according to jeweler Do Amore. More copper makes for a ring with more red tones, while less copper produces a pink effect. Before you go ring shopping, here are a few things to consider.

PROS Durability. The copper content in rose gold makes it more durable than white or yellow gold, according to So if you’re looking for a piece of jewelry that will stand the test of time, consider rose gold. Affordability. Although rose gold is gaining in popularity, copper is very affordable, making rose gold a budget-conscious choice. Versatility. Rose gold complements warm and cool skin tones, making it a good choice for many women. Although it can be used in modern and more classic ring designs, rose gold is best in a vintage-inspired piece. Rose gold also can be mixed with yellow and white gold to achieve a unique look. Pair rose gold with colored stones to create a conversation piece.

CONS Allergies. Some people may not be able to wear a rose


gold ring due to a copper allergy. It is not considered to be hypoallergenic. If the love of your life has sensitive skin, think twice before shopping

for rose gold. Yellow gold tends to produce fewer allergic responses. Availability. You may have a harder time finding the style

you want in a rose gold setting. White and yellow gold are more common metals for engagement rings, so you may have to search near and far

for just the right piece. The good thing is that more couples are choosing rose gold settings, so your options will likely increase with time.

Summer in Bloom


he lush blooms of summer make for endless options for vibrant arrangements. This means the summer bride can have her pick of the many in-season flowers for her bouquet.


Sunflowers, yellow roses and daisies are all great choices for the summer bouquet. These sunny hues are undeniably fun and offer a uniquely summery vibe. Snapdragon and hypericum are great for filler and offer lighter tones.

PINKS AND PURPLES Hot pink Gerbera daisies are eye-catching and pair well with yellows. Pink roses are classic, while bright stargazer lilies also are a summery sight. Deep plummy calla lilies make a statement, while cooler purple aster, flox, freesia and alstromeria also are appealing. Add punchy pinks to a mass of lavender blooms for a unique aesthetic.

ORANGES Orange-hued blooms also seem to have been ripped from the landscape of summer. Gerbera daisies, oranges, carnations and snapdragons all can add a warm touch to a bouquet.


for a light, airy feel.



If you want your bouquet to play a less prominent role, use a more subtle palette. Mix pale pink and yellow roses, or pair yellow and white blooms

If your color scheme embraces a wide variety of vibrant colors, a host of summertime flowers fit the bill. Carry a rainbow of alstromeria

blooms, Gerbera daisies, roses or day lilies. The sky is the limit when it comes to incorporating colorful blooms.

CENTERPIECES A white metal basket spilling over with weighty peonies.

Bright daisies resting in crystal clear glass vases. Clumps of lavender in blue-tinted glass jars. Summer flowers are made for adding punches of color to centerpieces. To add height to the table, the reach of striking phalaenopsis

orchids draw the eye upward.

FOR THE CEREMONY Add interest to the aisles with kissing balls of blooms, either hanging from each chair lining the aisle or a shepherd’s hook, or lying on the ground.

Paper Wedding Crafts


or the do-it-yourself bride, paper offers versatility and affordability that can’t be beat. It’s easy to add paper touches to everything from the aisles to the favors, so you can see why brides are getting crafty with paper.

Pinterest is awash with ideas for paper creations for your wedding. Your options are endless, with scrapbooking and craft papers of every hue and texture and die-cutting machines galore on the market.

A PAPER FOR EVERY LOOK Choose chic vellum or coarse kraft paper for just the aesthetic you want. Rustic weddings themes can make great use of natural and earth-tone papers. From the invitations to placecards to guest books, mix textures and shades of browns, creams and even leafy green to keep the look natural and accessible.

CRAFT YOUR OWN FLOWERS Cut or fold paper into floral shapes and patterns for affordable but beautiful decor. With a little practice, you can make floral arrangements that are indistinguishable from the real thing. Punch sheet music or pages from old books into heart shapes to make confetti for tables at the reception or for showering the couple as they leave the festivities. These media also make for great bouquets or boutonnières. Add paper flowers to the outside of cheap paper lan-


terns for simple hanging decor. Craft paper butterflies to peek out from floral centerpieces. Hang a wall of paper flowers spaced evenly down the length of twine for the look of a floral curtain.

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FUNCTIONAL CREATIONS If you expect the day to be hot, cut intricate patterns into circle-shaped sheets of scrapbooking paper and fold into a fan. Add craft sticks at each end for a unique take-home favor. Use thick stock paper to

make favor boxes or accent cardboard boxes with a greeting. Make quick work of crafting placecards with a paper and font to match your wedding theme. When it comes time to thank your guests, there’s

nothing a die-cutting machine and imagination cannot do. Use your imagination to create a card that says “thank you” in style. As you can see, the versatility of paper affords you the opportunity to get creative — just a little or a lot.

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Page 38

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 7

July 2016

Valrico Ice Skater Travels Across World To Pursue Career

By Ivy Velazquez

Michelle Fee from Valrico is following her ice skating dreams in Germany at Phantasialand.

Often, following one’s dreams can seem intimidating. There can be so much uncertainty, never really being able to tell whether that dream can truly become a reality. For Michelle Fee however, this wasn’t about to stop her from pursuing hers to become a professional ice skater. And it was this determination that brought her all the way to Germany. A local to Valrico, Fee is a graduate from Bloomingdale High School. She graduated from the University of Central Florida this past December where she majored in event management. And it wasn’t long after graduating that Fee moved to Germany to start her job as an ice skater at the theme park Phantasialand. Fee has been ice skating for almost 16 years. She first started when she was 6-years-old, when she was introduced to it by going to a friend’s birthday party at the local ice skating rink. From there, she started taking lessons and hasn’t stopped skating since. She has had many achievements as an ice skater, from medaling in competitions to receiving the Helen McLoraine Scholarship from U.S. Figure Skating for three years of college. According to Fee, these pale in comparison to what she feels to be her highest achievement thus far. “My biggest achievement has been passing my

Page 39

Valrico Edition

Senior Freeskate test, which is the highest level test you can take in figure skating. It was a huge goal of mine to pass this test before I graduated from high school, and I did so about a week before my graduation,” she said. Fee heard about the position in Germany through an online organization for figure skaters. When applying, she sent in an audition video and some recommendation letters and was fortunate enough to be offered a contract a month later. “When I was in the process of applying for the job, I was terrified of what would happen if I actually was offered the position. I was graduating from college in December, so I decided that I wanted to pursue my passion for skating in any way that I could - and if that meant moving across the world, then I wanted to go for it,” said Fee. She added that it has been an amazing experience and that it has solidified her feelings for making ice skating her career. Her current contract ends this coming November, but Fee has already started looking at options for the winter season. “I may stay here in Germany, or try to go travel to a new place and experience a different show,” she said. She also mentioned that she has always been a Disney girl at heart and may even look into Disney On Ice. “It would be an amazing opportunity because they have tours that take you all over the world.” More information about Phantasialand and Fee’s show, Ice College 2016, can be found at Fee can be contacted at

Cosmetic Dermatology Expert Joins Hightower Dermatology

By Amy Schechter

Sometimes walking listen to Moody speak. into a doctor’s office draws “I was born and raised in Florida,” she shares. “I us back to the days when we were children, appreknow how the harsh sun hensively awaiting the next can be overwhelming. vaccination. As adults, we Every age, though, is really beautiful. Sometimes we know more of what to all need a little pick-meexpect, but healthcare can up.” seem complex and dauntShe is committed to ing nonetheless. This is educating and treating all not the case at Hightower of her patients as individuDermatology, whose pasals, so she can help them sionate commitment to reach their goals of health quality care is evident the and happiness. Her medmoment their friendly staff Nurse Practitioner Donna greets patients at the door. Moody was recently added to ical assistant, Lindsey the team at Hightower Daniels, attests to her Their mission is also Dermatology. patience. unmistakable when clients “Donna is the best. She looks at meet with Nurse Practitioner Donna everybody individually and takes her time, Moody, the newest member of Dr. so they feel listened to. She’s really Kortney D. Hightower’s team. In Sun City focused on personalized care,” Daniels for a little over a year, Moody widens the array of dermatology and skincare servic- said. Whether one is looking for preventaes the practice offers. Already an expert in general dermatology, dermatologic sur- tive care or has a few problem areas, Moody invites the community to consult gery, and Mohs surgery, the single most with her for their skincare needs and effective technique for removing cancerprides herself on helping others achieve ous tissue, Dr. Hightower joined with subtle, natural looks. She is well versed in Moody who brings her extensive experiBotox and Dysport, a newer and often ence in cosmetic dermatology. After raising a family, Moody returned less expensive way to combat fine lines and wrinkles. to school at the University of South The practice accepts most major Florida where she found her interests insurances as well as Care Credit. To piqued by dermatology, especially as it request an appointment, and for specials, relates to dealing with oncology, and visit or practiced for just over 10 years in the call the office at 634-1484. Hightower Brandon area. Perhaps just as important Dermatology is located at 957 E. Del as knowing you’re in competent hands is Webb Blvd., Ste 101 in Sun City Center. the feeling of warmth you get when you

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Page 40

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Senior Center Opportunities, Disability Awareness Expo & More Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Volunteer Opportunities

and hand massage.) Thursday, July 21 at 1 p.m. - I Scream, You Scream for Ice Cream Social (Pre-registration required, homemade ice cream.) Monday, July 25 at 1 p.m. - Make Your Reunion T-shirt (Pre-registration required, bring light colored

tee-shirt.) Thursday, July 28 at 1 p.m. Wellness: Healthy Meals on a Budget with Wellness staff. Friday, July 29 at 10 p.m. - Brandon Friend and Family Reunion (Pre-registration required, wear T-shirt, dancing, refreshments.)

Looking to volunteer? Aging Services Nutrition sites located throughout Hillsborough County are seeking Food Service Assistant Volunteers to help in serving hot, nutritious midday meals to citizens 60 and older. Volunteer benefits include: flexible schedule, engagement with seniors in a fun, social environment, and the opportunity to help the community. For more information, contact Maria Bridgewater at 635-8066 or

Disability Awareness Day Expo At MOSI

Health And Wellness Options For Active Older Adults

Hillsborough County Aging Services offers a variety of activities for adults age 50 and over. Visit to view activity calendars and additional center information, or call Aging Services at 272-5250. Brandon Senior Center - 612 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon, 635-8066 Wednesday, July 20 at 10 a.m. - Make a Difference in a Child (Intergenerational craft activity, refreshments.) Thursday, July 21 at 10:30 a.m. - Gorgeous Grandma Day (Preregistration required, manicure

The Hillsborough County Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities is proud to present this year’s Disability Awareness Expo with a theme of: “American with Disabilities Act (ADA)- The Next 25 Years!” Commissioners Sandy Murman, Al Higginbotham and Kevin Beckner will attend. This free Community Event is open to the public and will take place Saturday, July 23 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Kids N Charge Building at MOSI located at 4801 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa. The event will feature USF Young Innovators, live entertainment, educational presentations and art displays in addition to over 40 exhibitors providing information and resources for Individuals with disabilities, families and their

supports. Advocacy and Art Award presentations will begin at 11 a.m. by MC Kate Wentzel from Channel 10 WTSP and will be followed by Keynote Speaker: County Commissioner Al Higginbotham. This Expo is meant to benefit the community and will offer discounted $8 MOSI admission tickets to individuals who visit select sponsor booths.

ing the full site on a smartphone, and once the user performs a map or property search, redirects them to the streamlined mobile site ( If users prefer to access the full HCPA website on their phone, they can simply tap the “Link to Full Site” message found at the bottom of every mobile site page. The mobile site is not intended to have all the same functionality as the full site, and instead, is designed to help citizens quickly identify the details of properties while on the go. With this in mind, one of the standout features of the mobile site is its ability to pinpoint a user’s precise location. This is especially useful for an individual or real estate professional that is on site at a property searching for such details as number of bedrooms and baths, last sale date and lot size. With one tap of the mobile site’s compass icon found on the map page, the user’s location is displayed on the map and nearby parcels, and their details are easily identifiable. For more information on this and other features of the mobile site, visit

Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Launches First Mobile Website

Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez has taken another major step in the modernization of his office and improved service to the public by launching the first-ever mobile version of the HCPA website. The mobile website comes less than 15 months after Henriquez unveiled a complete renovation of the full HCPA website and is in recognition of the growing trend toward mobile web browsing. While the HCPA’s full site at still offers the type of responsiveness needed for use on mobile devices, the new mobile site is specifically designed for smartphones. The easy-to-use site automatically detects users who are visit-


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Page 41

Valrico Edition

Cissy Sevelin Pursues Position Of Circuit Court Judge In Group 24

By Kathy L. Collins

“Equality before the law years. During that time, is not just a legal principle Sevelin wrote thousands of to me; it is my entire reason legal opinions. for being an attorney, mediSevelin has been a ator, law clerk and public sole practitioner in servant,” said Isabel Cissy Thonotosassa since 2013. Boza Sevelin (Cissy However, she is not in a Sevelin), candidate for traditional practice. This is Circuit Court Judge in because 100 percent of Group 24. Sevelin’s practice is devotSevelin stated, “My ed to pro bono work. Her dedication and involvement clients are financially disadwith our community sets vantaged and cannot afford me apart from others who representation. Cissy Sevelin is running for are running in my group. I Sevelin explained, am compassionate about Circuit Court Judge in Group 24. “The general nature of providing life-changing legal assistance to my current practice is representing indithe poor and oppressed in our communigent clients in various areas of the law ty. I have dedicated more than 2,500 such as Domestic Violence Injunction hours in pro bono legal services since Hearings, Family/Domestic Relations, October 2013. I am dedicated to following Wills, Trusts and Estates, Advance the rule of law as written and not as I Directives, and Juvenile Dependency and wish it to be.” Delinquency Hearings.” Sevelin is also a Throughout her life, Sevelin has Certified Family Mediator where she worked in a variety of fields before deals with custody, child support, division becoming an attorney. She began workof property and other family law matters. ing at the age of 12 when she went to “I personally understand what it takes work at Olympia Bakery in Tampa. to accomplish goals in life and be able to Sevelin received her Associate of Arts set aside potential legal obstacles. While Degree from Hillsborough Community raising three children and working full College in 1989 and graduated from the time, I was able to attend college and University of South Florida with a dual complete my education,” said Sevelin. “I major in accounting and finance in 1995. believe that I have the credentials, the Sevelin has worked as an accountant, a spirit and the experience to pursue the loan officer and a small business owner. opportunity to become a member of the Sevelin became an attorney in 2002 and judiciary. I hope you will vote for me on worked as a mediator and then as a Tuesday, August 30.” Bankruptcy Law Clerk for the judges in For more information, visit www.cisthe Middle District of Florida for nine



Page 42

Valrico Edition





Mondovics tamas@ ospreyobserv

crest Rd. 900 Lithia Pine FL 33511 Brandon,-241 8 657 www.ospreyo

Volume 13, Issue 7

Sports Connection 657-2418

FHSAA Reduces Live Contact Time For High School Football Practices

By Tamas Mondovics

The first practice day, including the routine acclimatization period of the 2016 season, is to begin on August 1 and comes with another major change for football teams. Keeping in harmony with its efforts to improve and maintain player safety, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) announced the implementation of procedures which limit live contact during practices. Both the preseason and spring session will begin with a five-day acclimatization period without contact or full pads for a maximum of three hours. In an online press release, FHSAA officials explained that during the regular season, live contact will be restricted to 30 minutes per day and 80 minutes total per week. Live contact, or drills with game-like conditions where players are taken to the ground, will be limited to no more than two consecutive days and not to exceed three practice days per week. “Player safety has and will always be the number one goal of the FHSAA,” FHSAA Executive Director Dr. Roger Dearing said. “Protecting our student-athletes is paramount in growing the game of football and this administrative procedure is a step in the right direction.” The release explained that from day six through Monday of the first regular

season game (or end of spring practice), live contact will be limited to 40 minutes each day, with no more than two straight days of live contact. During double practice days, only one practice can include live contact and not surpass 40 minutes. Acknowledging the dangers of the sport, FHSAA Football Administrator Frank Beasley said,

Beasley emphasized the importance of education when he stated that the FHSAA will continue its efforts to teach coaches on the Drive to December about how to run effective practices while using the limited-contact procedures. Student safety and making changes necessary to protect its athletes is by no means new for the FHSAA. Just last year

A group of local high school football players push hard during a preseason practice. To improve and maintain player safety, the Florida High School Athletic Association announced new limits to live contact during practices.

“The game of football will always come with some inherent risk, but we will never stop working to try and make one of the greatest team sports on earth safer.”

FHSAA officials announced additional safety changes, including a mandatory course on concussion, along with an online test, before athletes take one foot on the athletic field, court or gym.

FHSAA officials noted that, while the additional process is a considerable undertaking for programs like football with its more sizable roster, the effort was an important one covering all involved especially since the stakes are high for student-athletes dreaming to someday play in the big leagues. The FHSAA supervises and regulates interscholastic athletic programs for high school students at member public, private and charter schools. The organization also recognizes and honors academic achievement among student-athletes at almost 800 middle, junior and senior high schools statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, it is the official governing body for interscholastic athletics in Florida. To reach its latest decision, the association said that it worked alongside Practice Like Pros founder Terry O’Neil who has worked with high school associations nationally to improve player safety in America. "We thank leadership of the FHSAA for working with us on these practice-field restrictions,” O’Neil said. “As a trendsetter and a top-three football state, Florida sends this message nationally: In order to preserve the game we love on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, let's mitigate risk Monday through Thursday.” Visit

July 2016

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Valrico Edition



Local Cricket League Holds Pair Of Championship Games Story by Nick Nahas how old they are, wherever they have 10 feet of space, flat surface, they start playing cricket,” said Nehal Patel, team captain for the Thunders. “It’s great that we are able to continue that here in the U.S. and have this awesome facility to do so.” The league has two seasons every year, each lasting about three and a half months. Division 1 has 16 teams and Division 2 has 18 teams, both are divided up based on skill level and perPhoto courtesy Ankit Maheshwari formance. Teams are seedThe USF Legends celebrate a victory in the Tampa Cricket League Championship in June. ed in both divisions to determine the playoff bracket. The Tampa Cricket League held its Superbowl for us.” small twist is that the bottom two One end-of-season championship games on The league only had four teams teams from the upper division play the Saturday, June 25 at Evans Park in when it started back in 2007, since then it top two teams from the lower division, Seffner. The Royal Indians defeated the has expanded to 34 teams consisting of Kerala Tuskers 54-53 in the morning two divisions and nearly 700 players that play each weekend during the season. match for the Division 2 championship The opening of the $630,000 Evans and the USF Legends defeated the Park fields a year ago helped the rise in Thunders 78-77 in the evening match to popularity of cricket in the Tampa Bay win the Division 1 championship. area. Anirudh Jethi won MVP honors for The majority of the players are from the Legends, allowing only 14 runs while Tampa Bay’s large Indian community, bowling four overs and scoring five runs. with some players traveling from St. “It feels really nice,” said Nagesh Nayak, team captain for the USF Legends, made Pete, Largo, Lakeland and Orlando to play cricket on the weekends. “Growing up of mostly University of South Florida up in India this is one of the sports that graduates. “We watch basketball, people play no matter where they are, American football and this is like the

with the winners moving up to the higher division. Entrance fees are set at $125 per team. The money goes towards field maintenance so that the fields are not a burden to the county. The winners of the league receive $750 and the runners-up get $400, which is mostly used to purchase jerseys or equipment. The goal is to continue expanding, adding more teams for the future. According to the Tampa Cricket League President Nitheesh Shetty, they are going to add cricket youth camps as well as a youth league this August when the next scheduled season starts. “We are a part of the big picture here and, hopefully, in a few years, there will be American people playing the game as well,” said Nayak. “That’s why we will keep this going.” For more information, visit

Photo courtesy Nancy Nahas

The USF Legends and the Thunders had a spirited match for the Division 1 Cricket League Championship.

Page 44

Volume 13, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

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Osprey Observer 2016-7 Valrico  
Osprey Observer 2016-7 Valrico