Osprey Observer Riverview/Apollo Beach April 2022

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Riverview/Apollo Beach 45-54


April 2022

Volume 20, Issue 4

Ph: 657-2418



By Libby Hopkins

Osprey Observer 2109 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Valrico, FL 33596

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Established in items. “We had a July of 2011, the flyer created and SouthShore Chamtold our members ber of Commerce to drop off the rehas a long history quested supplies to of making a difour office during ference, and this our business hours,” month, members Davis said. “We did felt the need to a six-day collection help residents in and we limited it another county because we knew it as they face may be overwhelmThe SouthShore Chamber of extremely Commerce recently collected ing. We realize this difficult and items for refugees who fled the is such a small way life-threatenUkraine because of the coun- of helping, but it aling times. lows so many peotry’s attacks from Russia. The chamber’s vision is to preserve their ple to feel they were able to help, even if historic heritage while meeting the chang- just a little bit.” ing business needs of our community, and In six days, the chamber was able to recently, members held a collection for collect enough items to fill almost a 1,000 Ukrainian refugees who fled the Ukraine be- 2.5-gallon Ziploc bags with supplies. “Each cause of the country’s attacks from Russia. bag is being given to one family at the bor“I think we all felt so helpless seeing what der entering Poland,” Davis said. “We also they were going through,” said Melanie Da- collected $975 for the church, and that vis, the chamber’s executive director. “As was used for gas to help the person transwe watched the news and thought, ‘There’s porting the items.” got to be some way we can help them,’ our The chamber delivered the items and community and chamber members always cash to the church. “From there, they had want to help, and they started asking if someone with a semitruck that came there were any collections.” and put it on pallets, along with donaDavis searched online and found a tions from other local areas,” Davis said. Ukrainian church in St. Pete that was do- “They filled the entire semi and then it ing a humanitarian drive for very specific left St. Pete and headed to New York. In New York, it was all loaded on airplanes which flew directly to Poland.” The chamber was thrilled it could help the refugees in any way possible. If you would like to learn more about the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, you can visit its website at www. southshorechamberofcommerce.org.

The Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation broke ground last month on a new sports complex to serve fast-growing Southern Hillsborough County. The Waterset Sports Complex, located at 6110 Waterset Blvd. in Apollo Beach, will feature four multisport athletic fields, all featuring synthetic turf. The fields will be able to accommodate a variety of different sports, including soccer, football and lacrosse. The park will be home to one of the largest contiguous synthetic turf fields in the country.


High school classtechnology and veterinarian es don’t just prepare assisting. a student for college, Adults who have earned as they can be a way industry certifications can to earn college credalso apply those certifications it while still in high toward an HCC degree or cerschool. tificate. Are you a Microsoft In addition to the Certified Professional Develwell-known dual enoper? That equates to rollment program, an three hours of credit agreement between Hillstowards the Associate borough Community College in Science degree. (HCC) and the School Board Transfer agreements of Hillsborough County that with several public and allows high school students to private universities altake online or in-person classlow students to transes through HCC, articulation fer their credits earned agreements allow students to at HCC towards transfer in credits from high school. the attainment of HCC Career Pathways Coordia bachelor’s denator Elizabeth Shelby said the gree. program works in conjunction with Dr. Brian Mann, local employers to address their HCC associate needs and to prepare the workers vice president of of tomorrow with the right skills Associate in Scifor in-demand jobs. There are seven ence Programs, high schools in the South County Articulation agreements between said there are area that offer technical education the School Board of Hillsborough many benefits programs. “This program allows County and Hillsborough Commu- from taking adstudent to explore career pathways nity College helps students prepare vantage of these for college and careers. at the high school level and earn programs. college credit at the same time,” she said. “These agreements exist to assist stuLocal high schools and their career and dents entering employment or higher edutechnical education programs include: cation in obtaining industry certifications •East Bay: Accounting operations, TV and an associate’s degree more quickly and production technology, veterinarian assist- inexpensively while strategically building ing and web development. workforce skills,” he said. •Lennard: Early childhood education, apThe pathways programs, from high school plied engineering technology, aquaculture, to college to the workforce, help students hospitality & tourism management and TV gain the skills needed to prepare them for production technology. successful careers in in-demand industries. •Newsome: Criminal justice, TV producTo schedule an appointment with an acation technology, veterinarian assisting and demic advisor, visit https://www.hccfl.edu/ web development. academics/articulation-agreements. •Riverview: Accounting applications, culinary arts, TV production technology, veterinarian assisting and web development. •South County Career Center: Adminis- HOPE FOR LIFE .......................................PG 3 WATER CONSERVATION ................... PG 5 tration office specialist. •Spoto: Culinary arts, early childhood ed- EYE ON BUSINESS ...................PGS 25-26 ucation, finance and veterinarian assisting. SUMMER CAMPS......................PGS 41-48 •Sumner: Culinary arts, TV production


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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

ALAFIA RIVER CHAPTER DAR HONORS LOCAL VIETNAM VETERANS Staff Report gela Rumore. According to Ruiz, the chapter shows commitment to military members with handwritten thankyou notes for a special forces unit in Iraq. “Jen Gerken, chair of our Patriot Project, collects and sends shipments of goodies—with the help of chapter volunteers—containing the thank-you notes, beef jerky, gum, snacks such as breakfast The ladies of the Alafia River Chapter DAR (Daughters of bars and cheese and crackers and the American Revolution) recently welcomed home local a few personal items they can Vietnam veterans at two meetings. Pictured from left to use like chapstick, hand sanitizer right: Jennifer Marks, Alafia River Chapter regent; 1st Lt. and baby wipes,” explained Ruiz. Vince Gallagher, U.S. Army; Col. Kathleen Morrissey, U.S. DAR was founded in 1890 and Army; Maj. Jack Morrissey, U.S. Army; Captain Joseph is a nonprofit, nonpolitical volunR. Ponds Jr., U.S. Army; Darlene McFarland (in honor of teer women’s service organizaher father, Maj. Bobby L. Thomas, U.S. Air Force); Jane Gammon, commemorative events chairman; and (seated) tion with over 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the Capt. John M. Benenati, U.S. Air Force. world. The ladies of the Alafia River Chapter The Alafia River Chapter meets monthDAR (Daughters of the American Revoluly from September to May in Valrico and tion) are dedicated to promoting historic supports many charities and historical preservation, education and patriotism. preservation projects. There are guest Recently, the group welcomed home lospeakers each month and refreshments cal Vietnam veterans at two meetings. “We so enjoyed meeting these amaz- are served to all visitors and members. “If you are a woman over the age of ing Vietnam veterans and hearing about 18 years old who believes you have an their service,” said member Kim Ruiz. ancestor from the Revolutionary War “We were honored to hear Captain (ret.) and can prove blood lineal decent, you Dr. Joseph Ponds Jr., author of The 600 can become a member of the Daughters m.o.l.: Black Helicopter Pilots in Vietnam of the American Revolution,” said Ruiz. speak about his service.” If you would like to learn more about The members of the Alafia River Chapthe Alafia River Chapter, need help reter DAR have multiple service projects searching your genealogy to find your in progress throughout the year. At the group’s February meeting, ladies brought patriot or you’re a woman 18 years or donation items to assemble into 40 kits older who would like to attend a meetfor The Spring, a local battered women’s ing, email ARCRegistrar201921@gmail. shelter led by Women’s Issues Chair An- com or visit www.fssdar.com/Alafiariver/.

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By Libby Hopkins

Riverview resident agency,” Kramer said. “I Christine Kramer is a mom truly believe that it takes of two daughters on the a village of people using autism spectrum. She has their gifts and talents and a passion for being the their heart for service to hands and feet of Jesus, help individuals who cannot and her greatest desire live their lives without supis to serve those who are port. We currently rely on considered vulnerable, esstate funding through APD pecially the people who (Agency for Persons with are developmentally chalDisabilities) Florida, and it lenged. As such, Kramer is is becoming increasingly also the founder of Hope 4 difficult to keep our doors Life. open. I have seen agencies “Hope 4 Life was born around me closing their out of the challenges I doors because they simply faced trying to find supcan’t afford to do business port and services for my anymore. There are so daughters,” Kramer said. many people who need as“When my oldest daughter sistance to live meaningful was getting ready to gradand productive lives.” uate high school, I found Kramer believes Hope 4 Christine Kramer is the founder there were no supports to Life is so much more than of Hope 4 Life, an organization help her transition to adult- that helps families with children just an agency that helps. hood.” “We consider ourselves on the autism spectrum. Kramer spent years netto be a family, and we working with parents of spend time together when children with similar chalwe can,” Kramer said. “We lenges. Finding schools, go bowling once a month, doctors and other professtaff and clients. We partsionals willing to work with ner with other groups in her were daunting tasks. the area so clients can attend dances, “I learned the tremendous amount picnics and other fun activities and meet about what it takes to support an indi- others in the community like themselves. vidual with disabilities, so I took what I Our purpose is to give dignity and hope learned and began Hope 4 Life,” Kramer to people who might otherwise be oversaid. looked or written off. If given a chance, Hope 4 Life’s main focus is to equip and and with the right support, they can live empower individuals with disabilities by their lives just like any other able-bodied assisting them in developing pathways of person.” To learn more about Hope 4 Life, independence which lead to a fulfilling life. find the group on Facebook at www.face“It is very difficult to do this as a small bookcom/Hope4lifeu.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4


runs the ELDP, and two Corteva employees in the program toured RCMA during an ELDP visit to RCMA Wimauma Community Academy. “As a company, we are heavy invested in community betterment activities, including advancement of agriculture through science and education with a focus on STEM programs; increasing the understanding of modern agriculture, especially among youth; and improving food security in the communities we are Corteva Agriscience out of Myakka City donated a part of around the globe,” said Joshua $5,000 to RCMA to fund the purchase of six DJI Mini H. Temple, Ph.D., field sciences leader for 2 drones. Eastern U.S. crops with Corteva. “By supporting A group of local students STEM initiatives such have a fun way to learn thanks as the RCMA drone proto a generous donation. gram, we hope to invest Corteva Agriscience out of Myakka City in the lives that will one day be the future of donated $5,000 to RCMA, Florida’s largest agriculture, and even our company.” nonprofit provider of quality early childhood RCMA’s Drone Flight Academy started in education and family support services, for 2021 with five members and one drone. The a STEM program using drones at its K-8 club meets once a week during the summer. RCMA Wimauma Community Academy. In the club’s first year, students learned the The money will fund the purchase of six DJI basics of safe drone operation and ended the Mini 2 drones. class showcasing images they had taken usRCMA IT Director Scott Olson, a Tampa ing the drone. resident who expects to become a licensed Representatives from Corteva visited drone pilot by the end of 2022, leads the Wimauma Community Academy in January RCMA Drone Flight Academy at the school. to present the company’s check to RCMA One goal of the club is to have members be- board members Linda Miles-Adams and Socome licensed drone operators before they nia Tighe, Principal Mark Haggett and Olson. enter high school to help encourage them “It’s incredible to see the extent to which to pursue careers that use drones. These the Wimauma Community Academy invests opportunities include jobs in the film indus- in the children to prepare them not only for try and TV production, agriculture and even success in their future education, but also commercial pilots. in their community,” Temple said. “From the Corteva made the donation because of its extensive bilingual program to the extracurlong partnership with the Florida Fruit and ricular activities, we were very impressed by Vegetable Association (FFVA), which runs the types of students and future leaders the an Emerging Leader Development Program academy is training.” (ELDP). RCMA board member Sonia Tighe Learn more at rcma.org.


By Sharon Still

Tampa General Hosis intended to crepital (TGH) executives ate a health care flipped the switch at network with the the newly constructed most advanced central energy plant technology and at the recent ribcutting-edge care bon-cutting. The plant to serve the Greatis part of TGH’s $550 er Tampa Bay remillion master facility gion and beyond. plan. Our new central Located 33 feet energy plant can above sea level, the accommodate our 16,000 sq. ft., 4-story electrical power central energy plant needs now and holds four generators into the future,” capable of providing said John Couris, 100 percent power president and CEO Dustin Pasteur, senior director of design and to TGH’s main camof Tampa General pus in the event of an construction; John Couris, president and CEO; Hospital. Phil Dingle, chairman of the board; Kelly outage due to major Announced in Cullen, executive vice president and COO; Heidi storms or other dis- Benedetti of Gilbane Building Company; and September 2021, ruptions. With a price Dean Head, director of facilities management, TGH’s comprehentag of $53 million, the gathered to cut the ribbon on TGH’s new central sive master facility leading-edge design plan is the largest energy plant. boasts the ability to in the hospital’s withstand the impact history, designed and potential flooding to serve the reof a Category 5 hurrigion’s increasing cane. health care needs. “This additional Its master fageneration capacity cility plan is an will take our caminvestment in our pus from 50 percent team, physicians, emergency power to patients, in our 100 percent redun- A drone image of the new central energy plant at academic health Tampa General Hospital. dant power,” said system and in our Dustin Pasteur, secommunity,” noted nior director of design and Couris. construction. “With the adIn addition to the newdition of the natural gas genly opened central enererators, this also means we will be able to gy plant, a new ICU opened in June 2021, run much of the plant continuously, well be- renovations of the hospital’s regional burn yond the 96-hour regulatory requirement.” center, an off-site sterile processing facility, He added that the design looked toward more than 100 new ICU rooms and other conservation of natural resources; thus, renovations throughout the hospital are just three of the four generators run on natural a taste of what the master facility plan engas. compasses. In addition to the generators, three new Construction of these projects will run boilers with built-in redundancy create through 2026. As TGH updates and adds to steam and hot water for the purpose of the 25-acre campus, covering over 3 million sterilizing surgical instruments, cooking and square feet, it will also renovate the hospihot water for handwashing and personal tal’s main lobby, which will improve patient hygiene. and visitor flow and efficiency. “Every aspect of our master facility plan For more information, go to www.tgh.org. Private Charters: 4 hour, 6 hour, 8 hour & 2.5 hour Sunset Cruises. Cruising the Alafia River and Tampa Bay.


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April 2022







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Staff Report

7 2109 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, FL 33592 • (office) 657-2418 • (fax) 657-4469 MANAGING EDITOR

Marie Gilmore



Kate Quesada 657-2418





Kathi Hayes

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Taylor Wells 657-2418



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April is WaAccording to ter Conservation Bravo, urban Month. A typiyards and landcally dry month scapes are the in Florida, April first line of deis also when confense in preservsumer water use ing Florida’s fragis highest in the ile environment. state. “Recognizing Science tells us the home landthat residents ofscape as part of ten use more waa more extensive ter than needed in natural system home landscapes, will help us make though using Florsound decisions ida native plants in creating yards and following that are deF l o r i d a - Fr i e n d signed for Florily Landscaping™ da’s weather and principles can natural resourchelp. In a recent es. This will help experiment led protect Florida’s April is Water Conservation Month. by UF/IFAS Exnatural environtension Broward ment for future genCounty, nine homeerations,” he said. owners learned Bravo recommends how they could learning more about potentially save as F l o r i d a - Fr i e n d l y much as 1.7 million Landscaping, which gallons of water operates under the annually just by adjusting their plant se- UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conserlections along with how often and how vation & Ecology and is supported by the much water they use in and around their Florida Department of Environmental homes. Protection. To learn more, visit https:// “This is based on planting behavior ffl.ifas.ufl.edu. changes reported by the participants The mission of the University of Florand our water ambassadors,” said Lor- ida Institute of Food and Agriculturna Bravo, director for UF/IFAS Exten- al Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop sion Broward and an urban horticulture knowledge relevant to agricultural, huagent. “This is enough water to supply man and natural resources and to make nearly 20 households with water per that knowledge available to sustain year that results in an annual value of and enhance the quality of human life. $5,541 in water bill savings for partici- With more than a dozen research facilpating households.” ities, 67 County Extension Offices and Bravo led the experiment with a hand- award-winning students and faculty in ful of UF/IFAS Extension Broward Mas- the UF College of Agricultural and Life ter Gardener volunteers who serve as Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based water ambassadors. “These savings can solutions to the state’s agricultural and be duplicated in other counties by con- natural resources industries as well as tacting your local UF/IFAS County Ex- all Florida residents. tension Office,” explained Bravo. To learn more, visit ifas.ufl.edu.

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Staff Report

Three Future Fair hirit’s about helping them ing events in April will identify a long-term cagive Tampa area employreer, not just a job.” ers the rare opportunity Area employers are to engage with hundreds encouraged to staff of young, qualified and tables at the events to enthusiastic job prostake advantage of the pects eager to launch chance to showcase their careers. their career opportuniThe hiring fairs will Three Future Fair hiring events in April ties and to share their be attended by students will give Tampa area employers the rare cultures and missions who are part of the Fu- opportunity to engage with hundreds with students and adult ture Career Academy of young, qualified and enthusiastic job applicants. Businesses (FCA), an immersive pro- prospects eager to launch their careers. can register at https:// gram that prepares high school seniors for thefuturecareeracademy.com/product/ in-demand, entry-level jobs in their commu- future-fair-employer-expo-participant/. A nities. Future Fairs will be held on: variety of sponsorship opportunities are also • Wednesday, April 13 at TPepin’s Hospi- available. tality Centre (East Tampa: Armwood, King FCA is positioned to serve between 5,000and Middleton High Schools). 7,000 students in the 2021-22 school year. • Wednesday, April 20 at The Regent As a sign of FCA’s impact, the Future Fairs (Southern Hillsborough: Newsome, East Bay will be followed by three signing days from and Lennard High Schools). Tuesday through Thursday, May 10, 11 and • Thursday, April 28 at HCC’s Trinkle Cen- 12 to celebrate the FCA students who have ter (Plant City: Plant City, Durant and Straw- been hired by local companies or who are berry Crest High Schools, and Simmons Ca- entering into training or apprenticeship proreer Acceleration Academy). grams. In addition to students, the fairs will be FCA sponsors and partners include TECO; open each day from 12 Noon-2 p.m. for adult The Mosaic Company; Publix; Coca-Cola; job seekers as part of Best Florida Jobs, BayCare; RIPA & Associates; Tri-City Elecwhich will help round out the hiring needs of tric; Stingray Chevrolet; Hillsborough Counbusinesses and serve both students’ families ty; Hillsborough County School District; City and the community’s hiring needs. of Plant City; Star Distribution; Ace Hard“Workforce development is so important ware; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP; 84 for our community, and each of our hiring Lumber; CyraCom International; Hillsborevents provides a golden opportunity for ough County Sheriff’s Office; Hillsborough businesses to connect with promising job Community College; National Aviation Acadcandidates when the competition for talent emy; Service Works Commercial Roofing has never been tougher,” said Yvonne Fry, Inc.; Bausch & Lomb; Seminole Hard Rock CEO of Workforce Development Partners, Tampa; and many others. the Florida-based nonprofit behind both To learn more, visit www.thefuturecareerFCA and Best Florida Jobs. “For students, academy.com.

Volume 20, Issue 4



We all hope for long, healthy lives. But there’s a serious “side effect” of longevity – the possibility of outliving our money. How can you help prevent this? It’s useful to know the seriousness of the threat. Consider this: About 41% of all U.S. homes in which the head of the household is between 35 and 64 are projected to run short of money in retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. While this statistic indicates a cause for concern, it certainly doesn’t mean that you are necessarily headed for trouble – because there’s a lot you can do to help build and manage enough resources to last a lifetime. Here are a few suggestions: • Consider your estimated longevity. On average, a 65-year-old man can expect to live another 17 years, while a 65-year-old woman can anticipate about 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Of course, you’ll want to take into account your health and family history of longevity to arrive at a reasonable estimate. You can then use this figure to help determine how much money you’ll eventually need. To play it safe, you might even want to try to build an income stream that can last beyond your estimated lifespan, possibly up to age 90. • Don’t overlook health care costs. When budgeting for retirement, allow enough for your health care expenses, which can be considerable. Even with Medicare, you can expect to spend anywhere from $4,500 to $6,500 per year, per person, for traditional medical costs. Also, you may want to prepare for two to three years of long-term care expenses, which currently range from about $50,000 per year for home health care to over $100,000 per year for a private room in a nursing home. • Keep building assets for retirement. While you’re working, constantly try to put away as much

money as possible for your retirement years. Each year your salary goes up, increase your contributions to your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. You may also want to contribute to an IRA, depending on your goals. And within your retirement savings, make sure you devote a reasonable percentage of your investment dollars to growth-oriented vehicles that align with your goals and risk tolerance. • Seek out sources of guaranteed income. As a retiree, you will receive Social Security benefits – and the longer you wait before claiming them, the bigger your monthly checks will be. But you might also consider investments that can provide a source of income you can’t outlive, such as annuities. • Revisit your strategy before you retire. As you near retirement, you may want to review your investment strategy, possibly adjusting your risk level so that your portfolio would be somewhat less susceptible to market volatility. This is also a good time to review your spending needs in retirement. • Maintain a reasonable withdrawal rate. Once you are retired, you’ll likely need to start withdrawing from your 401(k), IRA and other investment accounts. To avoid taking out too much money too early in your retirement, you’ll need to set a reasonable, sustainable withdrawal rate based on your assets, age and retirement lifestyle. A financial advisor can help you determine an appropriate rate. It will take dedication and determination to help ensure your money doesn’t run out during your lifetime. But you’d probably agree that it’s well worth the effort. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.


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BLUE WAVE SWIMMER MEETS OLYMPIC HEROES, COMPETES IN SOUTHERN ZONE SPEEDO SECTIONALS By Nick Nahas Spring is upon us now and Place the bobber about 3 the water temps are up. The ft. above the hook. seagrasses in the areas are Artificial baits like the flushing out after their dorsoft plastic swim baits mancy for the winter. This work great for the trout, will bring back the baitfish and they don’t get gut and all the grass flats fish hooked most of the time. we like to target, such as Trout have a significantsnapper, Spanish mackerel ly reduced survival from and trout. catching because unlike The scaled sardine, or as most other target species, we like to call them, greethey ingest the bait imnies, will set up on the grass mediately. Artificial baits flats throughout the area. have a much better sucThis makes them a lot more Ayden with a nice backwater snook. cess rate when catch and feasible to catch rather than release is desired. They are on the towers. Chum in also better for scouting for about 3 to 4 ft. of water and them since it is more of an you will see them begin to active method rather than amass for you to net in short passive (meaning taking fashion. These work better the bait to the fish rather than shrimp because they than waiting on the fish to are heartier and you won’t find the bait). have to bait up as often, not For trout, scout the to mention the target spegrass flats with artificial cies love to chomp on these baits until you find a few little protein morsels. A 1/4 bites. These fish tend to in. mesh net will be best and school very well and once will keep you from gilling they are located, catching them badly in the net as John Sullivan with a nice snook. 10 fish in 10 casts is not some smaller baits will aruncommon. Be wary of the rive with the mature baits. transient cobia cruising the flats and reefs I like to use a 1/0 circle hook for the gree- this time of year as they start migrating nies with 20-25 lb. text leader. As the water around the bay with the warming water. warms more, we will see the algal bloom Spanish mackerel will be chasing the back some, making the water a little cloudi- schools of threadfins and glass minnows as er. That’s when I shift to 25 lb. leader. Hook they move back into the bay. Watch the bait the greenie in the nose or under the pecto- getting worked and cast into the bait ball. ral fin (think armpit). This will keep the bait You may want a small segment of light steel alive longer and allow it to swim more natu- leader or 40 lb. leader to prevent some inevral. Some use bobbers, but I prefer freeline. itable cutoffs.

Blue Wave swimmer Valentine’s Day goody Michaela Walker recently bags for the Migrant qualified to compete at Education Program. the Southern Zone SpeeThe bags were for do Sectionals in Orlando, the less fortunate where she got to swim in kids of migrant workthe same pool with Olymers in need. pic Gold medalists, Caeleb The swimmer Dressel, Katie Ledecky, didn’t do as well as Natalie Hinds and Michael she wanted at the Andrew. Walker swam event, but meeting the 50m and the 100m her role models has breaststroke and also got changed her perspecto watch these Olympic tive. legends race, which left a “I didn’t do as well great impression on her. as I wanted to, but Photo courtesy of Agnese Walker “I was starstruck when Michaela Walker met Caeleb Dressel, the my coach told me I saw them in person,” that this meet is just fastest swimmer in the world. said Walker. “I especially was excited to see an experience and the start of a new chapKatie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel because ter,” said Walker. “He told me to just watch I’ve looked up to them since I started swim- them, as they are some of best swimmers in ming at age 8. It was very fun to watch Ka- the world, and just take in everything. My tie Ledecky beat her Olympic times. When favorite part of that weekend would have she touched the wall, the atmosphere on- to be getting the opportunity to swim in deck was crazy as everyone was cheering. the same lane as Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Watching Caeleb Dressel was also amazing, Dressel. I was just casually warming up and knowing that he’s the fastest in the world. when I got to the wall and looked up, there Actually meeting all the Olympians and hav- was Katie Ledecky right in front of me. I was ing a conversation with them was incredi- shocked that I was in the same lane as the ble, and I was at a loss for words. Reflecting fastest person in the world. This was the back on it makes me realize that they are moment that made me realize that although just people, proving that anything is possi- Ledecky has literally won the Olympics sevble.” en times and has swum all over the world, Walker has competed as a swimmer since she is just a person.” she was 8 for the Blue Wave at High 5, Inc. Walker will compete at the senior chamThe sophomore also swims for Strawber- pionships, which is a state-level meet for ry Crest High School, where she partici- swimmers aged 15-18 who qualify. She pates in the IB program. Walker is a great hopes to continue to improve and make student-athlete with a 5.0 GPA, balancing more sectional cuts and swim in more school and swim six days per week. events at sectionals. She also wants to make The 16-year-old is also active in her com- a Futures cut and has aspirations of swimmunity as a volunteer. She recently made ming in college.


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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4



As the cool, dry hurricanes and Florida winter gives tropical storms way to the balmy and can be winds of spring, the more accurate daily chance of rainy than weathweather increases. er radars that The amount of preactually only cipitation that falls on provide rainfall the area is something estimates and the National Weather are subject to Service (NWS) likes to calibration ertrack, so it is recruitrors. ing volunteer weather Photo courtesy of the US National Weather Service Tampa Austen FlanBay Florida Facebook page. watchers to help it do nery is the NWS A rainbow frames weather radar facilities at the Naso. Tampa Bay Cotional Weather Service Tampa Bay office in Ruskin. Local residents with CoRaHS cooran interest in the weather can dinator, and he said this is an join the NWS Tampa Bay office opportunity for people with in Ruskin’s rainfall monitoring an interest in weather and cliefforts by becoming part of the matology to get involved in a Community Collaborative Rain, meaningful way. Hail and Snow Network (CoCo“CoCoRaHS data has proved RaHS). The volunteer weathto be invaluable for building er observers monitor rainfall a more complete picture of amounts on their property and rainfall patterns across the report the measurements to the Tampa Bay region. Reports NWS via a secure online portal. are used for everything, from There is no fee to participate, but volunteers the evaluation of impacts associated with may need to purchase a standard four-inch, tropical cyclones to continually improving high-capacity rain gauge that costs around our understanding of day-to-day rainfall $30 if they do not already possess one. The patterns in the summer months, to undertraining required to properly collect and standing the severity of drought conditions record rainfall is accomplished via a short as they occur. The information not only altraining module that is completed online. lows the National Weather Service to fulfill The data collected is used by the NWS the Weather-Ready Nation vision, but it also to supplement information provided by its allows our residents to engage in citizen sciarray of high-tech weather monitoring sys- ence, promoting service and stewardship in tems and it is helpful to other agencies in the process.” the water business, such as the Southwest You can learn more about the NWS volWater Management District, for planning unteer rainfall observer program by visiting future projects. The information is also help- www.cocorahs.org, or you can send an email ful to the NWS during major rain events like to Flannery at austen.flannery@noaa.gov.

Calling all rock fans! To see all six of This is your chance to these great perforenjoy the sounds of mances performed many of your favorite “note for note, cut classic bands in person for cut,” then look without having to travel no further and too far. become a Classic The RP Funding CenAlbums Live Seter in Lakeland is excited ries subscriber. to announce the 2022 For $162, you get series lineup for Classic a ticket to each Albums Live as it returns concert, preferred with six iconic album seating, free parkperformances. ing and 10 percent Performed “note for off on concessions, note, cut for cut,” the plus savings of over Classic Albums Live $100 when purConcert Series starts off chasing a subscripwith one of the bestselltion. ing, greatest hits albums The Classic Alin recording history, The bums Live Series Eagles’ Greatest Hits, on pass is on sale now. Thursday, May 12. Service charges Then, a performance may apply. Series by Pink Floyd’s legendpasses are availary 1979 concept album, able by visiting the The Wall, on Thursday, RP Funding Center June 16. Following this Box Office, calling is a timeless rock ‘n’ roll toll-free at 888album that’s a favorite 397-0100 or going The RP Funding Center in Lakeland is for new and old fans excited to announce the 2022 series lineup online to www.rpalike, The Who’s Who’s for Classic Albums Live, as it returns with six fundingcenter.com. iconic album performances. Next, on Friday, July 15. Dates and ticket This next album was this band’s bestselling prices are subject to change without notice. albums, the Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms, The RP Funding Center is conveniently loon Friday, August 12. Next is an album which cated minutes between Orlando and Tampa has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, in Lakeland off I-4 on Lime St.; the RP FundU2’s The Joshua Tree, on Thursday, Septem- ing Center is a short drive from anywhere in ber 22. And, last but not least, wrapping up Central Florida. Regular box office hours are the Classic Albums Live Concert Series is Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For ticket Billy Joel’s The Stranger on Friday, October information, call the box office at 863-83423. The start time for all performances is 8111 or visit our website at www.rpfunding7:30 p.m. center.com.

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Staff Report

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

April 2022

Page 9

LEADERSHIP HILLSBOROUGH SCHEDULES GOLF TOURNAMENT By Kate Quesada Dust of your golf clubs ma, helps wounded postto help a good cause this 9/11 veterans and first month! Leadership Hillresponders regain their sborough, a nonprofit independence, return to leadership development civilian life and maintain program, is hosting its successful partnerships sixth annual charity golf through the training and tournament at River Hills placing of mobility assisCountry Club in Valrico tance and PTSD service on Saturday, April 30. In dogs. addition to raising Tournament Dimuch-needed funds rector and Board for the program, Chair Paula Scott a portion of the stated, “River Hills proceeds from the Country Club is an tournament will exclusive and prialso benefit Valor vate course. This Leadership Hillsborough is hosting its sixth Service Dogs, a lotournament allows cal nonprofit orga- annual charity golf tournament at River Hills nonmembers the nization focusing Country Club in Valrico on Saturday, April 30. opportunity to on providing serplay this course, vice dogs to post-9/11 veterans and first which is considered one of the top golf responders. courses in Tampa Bay, renowned for Leadership Hillsborough was founded its outstanding course layout and new in 1989 and is governed by a volunteer Champion Dwarf Bermuda grass greens, board of directors. The program pro- the same putting surface found on 12 motes harmonious relationships and PGA Tour venues, including Pinehurst enhanced communication by unifying all No. 2.” sectors of Hillsborough County through Supporters for this year’s tournament encouraging interaction among busi- include Regions Bank, Tampa General ness, professional and community-ori- Hospital, Publix, Tampa Bay Rays, Hubented individuals. bard’s Marina, ZooTampa, Topgolf and Money raised at the event will help many others. keep enrollment fees low while increasShotgun Tee off begins at 1:30 p.m. ing the possibility of scholarships for our and hole-in-one insurance has been purfuture class members. chased for all players, which provides an Valor Service Dogs focuses on em- opportunity to win $5,000 or prizes on powering America’s wounded veter- three additional individual par-3 holes. ans and first responders through the For more information or to register, support of service dogs. The nonprofit visit https://birdeasepro.com/leaderorganization, headquartered in Wimau- shiphillsborough/.

Results are typical and do vary.


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10018 Park Place Ave • Riverview (just off I-75 & Gibsonton Dr • Exit 250)

Page 10

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4


Compiled by Kate Quesada

Easter Bunny Makes Home Visits starts at 10 a.m. sharp on Saturday, April 16 FishHawk Fellowship Church munity Pet Project and Small But Mighty The Easter Bunny is making home visits and registration is not required. The orga- Hosts Park Square Easter Extrav- Heroes. Reservations are strongly recommendthroughout the area! He will deliver a treat nizers plan on hiding approximately 5,000 aganza box and take photos with you. Spots are very limited, call 813645-8777 to sign up. To learn more, visit www.playtimeapollobeach.com.

Playtime Apollo Beach Hosts Bunny Bash

On Saturday, April 16, babies and children up to 5 years old and their caregivers are invited to visit and take pictures with the Easter Bunny and attend an egg hunt, enjoy music and crafts, eat snacks and play at Playtime Apollo Beach’s indoor playground. Tickets must be purchased in advance. They cost $30 for one child and $25 to add a sibling, and two adults are included with each child. There will be a morning party from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and an afternoon party from 2-4 p.m. Call 813-645-8777 to register. To learn more, visit www.playtimeapollobeach.com.

eggs filled with goodies and trinkets, so bring your baskets and get ready. There will also be an area specifically for toddler Easter egg hunters. To ensure the safety of everyone, the Wheeler Rd. entrance will be closed during the event, so please enter Kerby’s Nursery via Parsons Ave. Kerby’s Nursery is located at 2311 S. Parsons Ave. in Seffner and can be reached at 813-685-3265. To learn more, visit www.kerbysnursery.com.

Join New Hope United Methodist Church for an Easter EGGstravaganza on Saturday, April 16, from 12 Noon-2 p.m. This is a free community event featuring a bounce house, photo opportunities, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones and more. Don’t forget your Easter baskets to collect your eggs! For more information on Easter at New Hope, visit findnewhope.com/easter.

South Bay Church In Riverview Hosts Egg Hunt And More On Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m.-

Easter Egg Hunt At Kerby’s Nursery

The Easter egg hunt at Kerby’s Nursery is back! This free event

ed. Sign up at Community Pet Project’s Facebook page or www.signupgenius.com/ go/10C0F4EA4A92BA0FCC70-easter1 or call 813-530-6722. Learn more about Community Pet Project at www.communitypetproject. org.

Community Pet Project Hosts Waters Church In Apollo Beach On Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., New Hope Hosts Easter EGG- Easter Bunny Photos Waters Church in Apollo Beach will host an On Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and Egg Hunt Extravaganza with music, food, a stravaganza 10, the Easter

At Last Chiropractic Hosts Annu- 12 Noon, South Bay Church in Riverview will host its Eggstravaganza Egg al Egg Hunt Easter lovers of all ages are invited to the second annual Easter egg hunt at At Last Chiropractic in Lithia. It will take place on Saturday, April 2 at 11 a.m. at 5613 Skytop Dr. in Lithia. Call 813-461-6500 for more information.

On Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., FishHawk Fellowship Church will host an Easter Extravaganza at FishHawk Ranch’s Park Square. The event is free and open to the public. The church’s Good Friday service will take place on Friday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Easter services will take place Saturday, April 16 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. To learn more, visit www.fishhawkfc.org.

Hunt with inflatables, games, music, food trucks and pictures with the Easter Bunny. Easter services at the church will take place on Good Friday from 7-8 p.m. and on Easter Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. South Bay Church is located at 13498 U.S. 301 S. in Riverview. To learn more, visit https://southbay.church/.

Bunny will be at the Springfest Fundraiser at HorsePower for Kids from 12:30-3:30 p.m. The Easter Bunny will be taking pictures with kids and families for a suggested $25 donation. Attendees will receive five digital images emailed to you from its photographer, Angela Renea Photography. All money raised will go into its general medical fund. A second event will take place on April 9 at Mighty Hero Nutrition, 3240 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Ste. 103 in Valrico. The Easter Bunny will be ready to take pictures with families. Two and four legged children are welcome and Southern Reflection Photography will be donating her time to be the photographer. Each participant receives a goody bag from the Easter Bunny and for a suggested donation of $25, five digital photos will be emailed to you. All money raised will be split between Com-

visit from the Easter Bunny, a 50/50 raffle, vendors and giveaways. The church will also celebrate Easter with services on Sunday, April 17 from 9:30-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. It is located at 5309 N. U.S. Hwy. 41. For more information, visit https://waterschurch.org/.

Centerpoint Church

Centerpoint Church will be hosting Easter services on Saturday, April 16 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. as well as Sunday, April 17 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Its CC Kids environment will be hosting an Easter Glow Party during all of its Easter

services on both Saturday and Sunday. The Easter Glow Party will include a glow-inthe-dark dance party, games and prizes, slime and more. Additionally, it is hosting a community-wide Spring Fling event on April 16 from 4-7 p.m., which will include a slide, inflatables, a petting zoo, face painting, Easter egg hunts, food trucks and more.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

April 2022

Page 11

TRANSPORTATION OPEN HOUSES HIGHLIGHT LACK OF FUNDING FOR SOUTH COUNTY PROJECTS By Sharon Still Hillsborough posed 1 percent County recenttax increase. “We ly held a series of came here looking Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n for answers,” she Open Houses with added. the goal of gatherCommissioning residents’ feeder Stacy Whites’ back about transaides helped resportation needs idents voice their while showcasing opinions via sticky the lack of funding notes placed in every area, from on a large map. A stretch of Boyette Rd. as it crosses over U.S. Hwy. sidewalks and traf- 301 is identified by the county as a “severe crash Residents addfic signals to pedesed their opinions corridor.” trian walkways and and suggestions roadway capacity. to the areas they Commissioner were concerned Gwen Myers greetabout, adding to ed guests at the the mass of coloropen house in Rivful notes already erview, saying that placed from the she again would open houses in be championing other districts. a 1 percent sales Erica Elwell, The Transportation Open House in Riverview surtax to be on the along with resiattracted many who are opposed to a proposed 1 ballot in November. dents who live off percent sales surtax. Her comments were of both Big Bend met with grumbles from the crowd and and Boyette Rds., complained about the incitizens passing out flyers encouraging res- creasing traffic every year from their homes idents to reject the tax hike. to I-75. Both of these roads have stretches Storyboards mounted on easels lined the marked “severe crash corridor.” perimeter of the room, each one showing “It used to take me five minutes to get maps and indicating how much money is to the interstate,” said Elwell. “Now, it can needed for already-identified issues and take up to 40 minutes during the morning how much money is available to fulfill these rush hour, and there is an accident almost needs. The outlook shows a significant short- every day.” fall in funding and inadequate revenues. Chris Wilkerson, representing HillsborAt the Riverview open house, residents ough County, commented that the workseemed to walk away with more questions shops were held with the intention of than answers. Many questioned the status getting input from the citizens about infraof the $521 million collected from the orig- structure needs but also served as a way to inal sales surtax collected in 2019-21. The open communication about the 1 percent referendum was later overturned by the sales surtax. Florida Supreme Court, and the money is The board of county commissioners held sitting in the courts. a workshop following the open houses to “This is a real eye-opener,” said former discuss residents’ concerns. County Adminprosecutor Krisanne Hall, also a professor istrator Bonnie Wise commented, “Each and at the River School of Government based every comment that they provided is valued out of The River at Tampa Bay Church. The and appreciated and helps us to better ungroup of students accompanying her were derstand the needs of the community.” among those passing out flyers with details To learn more, visit www.hillsboroughof why residents should vote ‘No’ on the pro- county.org.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

RIVERVIEW RESIDENT PLANS QUE FOR A CURE By Libby Hopkins A Riverview resident several comis looking to the competitions with munity to help raise him,” Lopez funds and awareness. said. “It is work, Roni-Kay Lopez fun and family grew up in Brandon all in one. While but is currently a Rivtalking to some erview resident. She of the BBQ famwas diagnosed as an ily, I told them infant with epilepsy I might host a and has had a lifelong competition for battle with seizures my charity, and and medication up un- Roni-Kay Lopez, founder of Seize the Moment Foun- the outpour of dation Inc., is planning a BBQ competition, Que for support til 2008. just a Cure, this fall. “In 2008, after overwhelmed having a seizure while me. So here we driving, I went through are, now getting an extensive diagnosready for our tic testing series which first BBQ comled me to find out all petition, Que for my seizures were in a Cure.” one area of my brain,” Since this Lopez said. is Lopez’s first Lopez underwent a BBQ event, she left temporal lobectois looking to my in April of 2008, the communiwhich started her ty for help and drive and determinasponsorships. tion to make others aware of “The community can help the opportunities available to by sponsoring the event, help ease their lives with seidonating funds or items zures and epilepsy. for the auction and raffle,” To further this goal, she creLopez said. “Also, coming ated Seize the Moment Founout to participate, support dation Inc., a nonprofit 501(c) and spreading the aware(3) organization designed to assist financial ness about epilepsy and seizures by sharing burdens that epileptic patients endure. stories too. Epilepsy affects more than 65 The foundation will host the first annu- million people, and there is little awareness al Que for a Cure on Friday and Saturday, about it. That’s why I am here, to help and September 16-17 at 6915 Riverview Dr. in spread awareness.” Riverview. To learn more about Que for a Cure, find “Over the last two years, I have met a lot the event Facebook page at www.facebook. of great people in the BBQ circuit because com/QueForACure or email Lopez at ronof my other half, Jim Elser, and have done ikay23@gmail.com.

Volume 20, Issue 4


When he is not out painting the town, 360° Painting Owner Chris Seufert enjoys mountain biking and exploring nature with his partner, Jessica, and his two children, Dahlia, age 8, and Jade, age 6.

When it comes to anything, hands-on experience is always the best teacher. Chris Seufert, owner of 360° Painting of Brandon, grew up learning a variety of construction trades from his father, an architect in the Bay area for more than 30 years. As an adult, he is an active real estate investor in Tampa Bay, leading him to many painting and rehabbing projects. He now uses all of his acquired talents as owner of 360° Painting of Brandon. Servicing all of Hillsborough County, 360° Painting offers both commercial and residential painting services with the goal of exceeding customers’ expectations. “Painting is a major investment both financially and emotionally,” said Seufert. He explained that the first meeting consists of an overview of the project covering essential details, a complimentary color consultation and getting to know the client’s wants, needs, ideas and budget. “We discuss options for the best possible and most cost-effective solutions and provide a free estimate,” he added.

360° Painting offers both residential and commercial painting services using only the highest quality paints. Examples of the company’s work can be seen all over town, from many homes in the Brandon area to the Osprey Observer office, as well as warehouses to multiple floors of a building in Harbor Island overlooking Tampa Bay. “Last year, we helped more than 300 residents with their painting projects,” Seufert proclaimed. He said that most of 360°’s work is on exterior, residential projects although the company’s commercial work is expanding, as is its interior painting work. Seufert’s commitment to quality shows in the company’s many five-star Google reviews. Additionally, 360° Painting of Brandon recently earned the home service industry’s coveted Angi Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained high service ratings and reviews on Angi in 2021. “Our homeowners’ consistent positive reviews make it clear: these are the top pros in our network,” said Bryan Ellis, senior executive at Angi. Giving back to the community also is important for Seufert. Recently, 360° Painting provided free interior and exterior painting services for the building and dog shelters at Raining Cats and Dogs in Plant City. Among other projects, Seufert is excited to announce that 360° Painting is in conversation with the local Paint Your Heart Out charitable organization for both paint and labor donations for upcoming projects. Check out www.360painting.com or call 813-567-8156 for further details.

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 13

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


By Kate Quesada

large breakfast menu includes omelets, breakfast sandwiches, traditional egg platters and creative options like shrimp and grits and country fried steak. Lunch options include a wide variety Growing up in the Riverview area, Hunter Giambra enjoyed the Riverview of sandwiches, Sandwich Shop on the corner of Riverview Dr. and U.S. 301. After its closing, homemade soups Giambra decided to create Hunter’s Brunch Shack in the same location, and salads as well which opened recently. as burgers for For 38 years, residents, every member of the including Hunter Giambra, family. enjoyed the Riverview Sand“The goal is to wich Shop on the corner of make sure there is Riverview Dr. and U.S. 301. something on the When the restaurant closed menu for everyone’s its doors, Giambra jumped at taste buds,” said the chance to continue the Giambra. location’s legacy, and late last There are also month, Hunter’s Brunch Shack daily specials and was born. a children’s menu. “Growing up, my dad used to Giambra has take me to the Riverview Sandowned and operatwich Shop on his day off from ed multiple businesses in the Tampa area. work,” said Giambra. “When I noticed that Most know him for his IT specialty and the shop closed abruptly and the ladies ‘Robocall Vigilante’ name. He has previwho have been there for fifteen to twenty ously received notoriety for his IT compayears were out of work, I knew I wantny, Hurricane IT Solutions. ed to purchase and freshen up the spot Hunter’s Brunch Shack is located at to welcome the same crowd and attract 8001 U.S. Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview and more families into the building.” can be reached at 813-898-0459. To learn Giambra was able to quickly reopen the more, visit www.huntersbrunchshack.com restaurant after refreshing the paint, bar, or follow the restaurant on Facebook @ tables and chairs. HuntersBrunchShack and Instagram @ Hunter’s Brunch Shack kept some of hunters_brunch_shack. The restaurant is the Riverview Sandwich Shop’s favorite open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. items and offers breakfast and lunch. The and Saturday from 7-11 a.m.

Volume 20, Issue 4

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

April 2022


By Tatiana Ortiz

Abubakre Ademola, sophomore at East Bay High School, receiving his ninth-generation iPad.

Ariana Oden, freshman at East Bay High School, receiving her ninth-generation iPad.

lege. Sniffen’s iPad came at the right time as it will help her be more organized and assist with furthering her education. She will also be able to get her work done while on the go. Lynda McMorrow, marketing manager at Newland, explained how the selection pro-

Since its opening almost 10 cess works. years ago, Waterset by Newland, located in “Each semester, we work with the prinApollo Beach, has supported the communi- cipals and assistant principals of the two ty schools by working with the administra- schools to choose the winners,” McMorrow tion and teachers to award students from said. East Bay High School and Eisenhower Middle School. Each semester, students are awarded with an iPad for their achievements, positive impact at their schools as well as accomplishments. Recently, four students from East Justice Sniffen, senior at East Felix Matos Rosario, junior at East Bay High School reBay High School, receiving her Bay High School, receiving his ceived a ninth generninth-generation iPad. ninth-generation iPad. ation iPad. Amy Stevens-Cox, principal at East Bay The four students who won are Ariana High School, said that she is so grateful for Oden, freshman; Abubakre Ademola, soph- the continued support of their school, faculomore; Felix Matos Rosario, junior; and Jus- ty and students. tice Sniffen, senior. In addition to the iPad giveaways, WatSniffen shared her thoughts about being erset hosts the Turkey Trot 5K and Kids Fun selected as one of the four winners: “I feel Run every year on Thanksgiving morning. that it says a lot about my involvement in For more information, visit http://www. the school and about the way my charac- watersetfl.com or visit the Information ter is viewed by the assistant principals and Center in The Landing Club & Café, open principal. I am very thankful too.” Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Next year, Sniffen will be attending col- and Sunday, 12 Noon-6 p.m.

Page 15

RISE PROGRAM TEACHES STUDENTS A VARIETY OF FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT By Tatiana Ortiz This summer, gram unique. the RISE (Re“Program defining Internleaders strive ships for Student to line up stuEmpowerment) dents with program through fields and job Hillsborough duties that inCounty will give terest them,” rising seniors Kindred said. from HillsborVictoria ough County Tims, library Public Schools associate with an opportunity Ta m p a - H i l l to gain hands-on sborough work experience County Public Victoria Tims, library associate with Tampa-Hillsin the local govLibraries and borough County Public Libraries and former RISE ernment during former RISE intern, during her internship. a paid, eightintern, said week internship. The goal would be to that with her internship she was able to hire 30 student interns for the summer. see the inner workings of the library sysRISE started in 2017 to give rising tem and more. In 2020, she interned at seniors at Hillsborough County Pub- the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library lic Schools a chance to explore career in Tampa. paths, experience working full-time as Tims provided some advice for those well as earn money. Since then, around who may be interested in applying for 60 students have participated in this the internship: “Go into the internship summer internship program. The interns with an open mind.” generally get placed in county departThis internship begins on Monday, ments such as Library Services, Emer- June 6 and runs through Friday, July gency Management, Parks & Recreation, 29. To apply, certain qualifications must Pet Resources and more. Students also be met, such as having a minimum 2.0 work with mentors to learn profession- grade point average; two letters of recal development skills, which includes ommendation from teachers, community writing resumes, interviewing and net- leaders or parents; and proof of vacciworking. The program aims to create a nation for COVID-19 (or a request for a pipeline of future leaders in Hillsborough religious or medical exemption). County. The deadline to apply is Saturday, Acquelyn Kindred, talent acquisition April 16. partner with Hillsborough County HuStudents can apply by visiting the job man Resources and RISE program coor- section on Hillsborough County’s webdinator, explained what makes this pro- site at www.hcflgov.net.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4


By Kathy L. Collins

Senior Connection notes. Center is offering a “Senior Connection new virtual social Center has always learning platform depursued new and insigned specifically for novative ways to help older adults. Senior older adults and their Connection Center has caregivers maintain partnered with Gettheir independence by SetUp to help bridge supporting their physithe digital divide and Senior Connection Center has partnered cal and mental health,” with GetSetUp to bridge the digital divide combat social isolation and combat social isolation by providing said Patty Suarez, vice for residents 60 years a platform where seniors can participate president of marketing and older or their care- in live, interactive learning opportunities and communications for giver. The partnership Senior Connection Centaught by older adults. provides 10,000 live, interactive classes on ter. GetSetUp. The only requirements are that “We are so excited to be able to offer this you must live in one of Senior Connection new, user-friendly tool, GetSetUp, to local Center’s service area, including Hillsborough seniors and their caregivers at no charge to County, and be 60 years or older. them,” added Suarez. GetSetUp’s customized platform offers Senior Connection Center’s mission to an interface for older adults to learn, create help older adults and persons with disabiliand share their wisdom safely. The platform ties live with independence and dignity. helps to address the social determinants of GetSetUp is on a mission to help those health by ensuring older adults stay connect- 55 years and older learn new skills, connect ed to the tools they need to thrive and age with others and unlock new experiences. in place. GetSetUp’s live, interactive learning The social learning platform helps over 4.4 experiences range from everyday techni- million older adults in 160 countries stay cal skills to enrichment-focused courses on mentally and physically fit, creates economhealthy cooking, virtual travel and more. All ic opportunities through jobs and reskilling classes are taught by experts who are older and provides a community where people adults themselves. find connections. Through GetSetUp’s custom-built video Those 60 years and older and their carelearning interface, the experience has been givers who live in Hillsborough County (and tailored to older adults of all tech levels. the other four counties that Senior ConnecThe platform offers support via phone and tion Center serves) can begin the GetSetUp in all classes to assist learners with tech- registration process by visiting the homepnology and includes a booking system com- age of Senior Connection Center’s website plete with regular reminders and after-class at www.seniorconnectioncenter.org.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

April 2022

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WE-TRIUMPH OFFERS NEW PROGRAMMING TO THE COMMUNITY By Libby Hopkins We-Triumph is p.m., Monday thrilled and excited through Friday. to share the opening Our innovative of its Brandon-locatlearning center ed Adult Day Training focuses on the Academy with the interest and specommunity. cial needs of our “Our academy is students so they geared to educate can learn and adults with intellecmaintain their tual and developmenindependence. tal disabilities,” said We offer supWe-Triumph’s CEO, ported employWe-Triumph is thrilled and excited to share the Kimberly Quintana. ment programs, opening of its Adult Day Training Academy with the “Our innovative learnhealth and wellcommunity. ing center focuses on ness classes, job the interest and specific needs of consum- skills training and independent living skills to ers who may benefit from additional train- include budgeting and money management. ing focused on everyday chores and tasks Our program offers weekly classes to inthat allows them to live a full, productive clude training such as how to dress properly, and confident adult lifestyle. Classes assist hygiene, music and art class, etiquette, cookin supporting those skills needed to reach ing and caring for small pets. Our grocery and maintain goals that aid in their indepen- store has a cash register and POS system for dence.” our students to learn job skills. We particiQuintana was inspired to create We-Tri- pate in supervised outings that assist them umph by her daughter, Brandy, who has de- with skills to thrive in social settings.” velopmental disabilities. “I’ve always wantQuintana hopes the community will ened her to experience life as an independent gage this program and help it to grow. young adult but was not able to find the “We envision our program growing and right setting that offered services to give reaching more students and families each her the skills she needs to thrive,” Quintana and every day,” Quintana said. “We want to said. “It’s always been my priority that she reach and teach others in our community has the proper tools to learn to live with her who would benefit and grow by the services disability and not enable her because of it. I we provide. Our dedicated staff is commitknew she would flourish if she were given ted to providing the best learning experithe essentials, such as learning to live inde- ence available to empower everyone to live pendently, developing social skills and learn- their adult lives as independent members of ing to follow through on responsibilities.” society.” We-Triumph is a day program aimed toTo learn more about We-Triumph, located wards adults ages 18 and over with intel- at 780 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, and its lectual and developmental disabilities. “Our new program, visit www.we-triumph.com or program operates from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 call Quintana at 813-662-4531.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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Volume 20, Issue 4

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

April 2022

Page 19

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Coast Guard Boating Classes, Bunco, Craft Show & More... Compiled by Jenny Bennett jbennett@ospreyobserver.com

U.S. Coast Guard Offers Safe Boating Classes Online

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is restarting its safe boating class every Thursday night 6:30-9 p.m. The course is ‘Boat America, a course on responsible boating,’ and the cost is $40, which includes a printed study guide and runs for four weeks. The course meets the legal requirements for people born after January 1, 1988 who must complete an approved boater safety class in order to independently operate a boat. Students can enroll and enter the course at any time. Additional information can be found and you can register for the class by contacting Rich Strehl at rich@protectionflorida. com or calling 813-2998236.

Lighthouse Remnant Thrift Store Will Collect Donations

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition p.m. on the first Sunday of every month, with a rain date the following Sunday, at Gene Rodriguez with his 1957 the MiraBay Chevrolet Bel Air. Village Shopping Center off of U.S. 41 in Apollo Beach.

South Bay Genealogy Society Meeting

On Tuesday, April 19, the South Bay Genealogical Society will meet at the United Methodist Church in the Life Enrichment Center, located at 1210 W. Del Webb Blvd. in Sun City Center. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. is an optional roundtable discussion, followed by a sit-down luncheon at 12 Noon and then a presentation by the guest speaker, Debbie Smyth, at 1 p.m. Smyth will talk about ‘Making Sense of the Census’ and will focus on the content and information provided by the census in various years. It will include tips for the analysis of the data from early censuses and ideas for the newly released 1950 census. The cost is $15 per person for the meal and presentation. For reservations and meal choice, call Dianna Loudermilk at 864-607-1330.

Drag Queen Bingo For Autism Fundraiser

Experienced Autism Alliance is hosting a drag queen bingo event to raise funds for the programs that it offers families with children and adults who have autism. The event will take place at Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B in Brandon, on Thursday, April 28 at 6:30-9 p.m. Tickets for the event are $40 and include 10 games of bingo, appetizers, wine or hard seltzer and a performance by Freya. Tickets can be purchased at www.ea-all.org. Contact Tanya Hines with any questions or sponsorship opportunities at tanya@ea-all.org or 813-324-5352.

It is the time of year for spring cleaning, and the Lighthouse Remnant Thrift Store is here to help. Call it on 813-374-6919 and it will come and pick up your donations. Not only are you clearing your clutter, but you are also giving back to the community. All proceeds from the store go to the Lighthouse Gospel Mission and the mission to help the hurting, hungry and addicted in the community. The Lighthouse Remnant Thrift Store is Creative Junk Therapy Classes located at 7211 S. 78th St. in Riverview. Creative Junk Visit its website at www.lighthousegos- Therapy is a nonpelmission.org/remnant to find out more. profit creative reuse center located at South Hills Church Easter Cele- 727 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. Its misbrations Join the South Hills Church family as sion is to promote they celebrate Easter. There will be a ser- creativity, environmental awareness and vice for Good Friday on April 15 at 7 p.m. community through reuse. Materials are Saturday, April 16 will see an Easter cel- collected from local businesses and resiebration with an egg hunt, bounce house, dents and then distributed to educators, ice cream and popcorn take place between artists, makers and students through a va11 a.m.-1 p.m. Easter Sunday service will riety of opportunities. The center contains take place at 10:30 a.m. on April 17. All a thrift store, art gallery, class space and of these activities will take place at the ‘make-and-take’ space. Upcoming classes South Hills Church, located at 5505 SR include making a mosaic stepping-stone, fiber arts and a plant party. Visit www. 674 in Wimauma. creativejunktherapy.org for more details of classes and how to register.

Classic Chevy Is Cruiser Of The Month March Into Spring Bazaar A glistening, black 1957 Chevrolet owned and restored by Gene Rodriguez of Brandon is the Roamin’ Oldies Car Club Cruiser of the Month. Rodriguez had wanted a ’57 Chevy and found this one 18 years ago in a Texas barn. It took Rodriguez and his friends about a year to restore the Bel Air hardtop, which is now fitted with a 455-horsepower 383 Stroker engine coupled to a new automatic transmission, a 9-inch Ford rear end assembly and other performance enhancements. The Roamin’ Oldies Car Club hosts a cruise-in from 1-4

Kittie Corral, a local nonprofit animal rescue, is sponsoring a spring bazaar. Lake Wimauma Convention Center, located at 5408 SR 674 in Wimauma, is hosting the ‘March into Spring Bazaar’ on April 23, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This is a free family event for all ages. There will be over 100 local, family-owned and operated vendors, including animal rescues, food, drink, arts and crafts, games and raffles. Come out to support local businesses and local charity Kittie Corral. To find out more about Kittie Corral, visit www.kittiecorral.org.

Volume 20, Issue 4


By Brad Stager

How people and Improvement Progoods move within a gram, a five-year community affects the transportation plan overall quality of life for effective as of Ocits residents and has an tober 2021, and the impact on the cost of 2045 Long Range doing business as well. Tra n s p o r t a t i o n Locally, the HillsborPlan, which was apough County Transporproved in 2019. The tation Planning OrganiTPO also reviews zation (TPO) provides The Transportation Planning Organization plans created by has the responsibility of developing plans planning resources to various transportaand projects that keep Hillsborough County government officials tion agencies, such residents and businesses moving. who make decisions and as HART and the enact policies about what Florida Department of transportation options resTransportation (FDOT). idents and businesses have Residents can beavailable to use. It is part come involved in the of the Hillsborough County transportation planCity-County Planning Commission, which ning process by serving on one of the TPO’s makes recommendations to elected officials boards and committees, such as the Bicycle and staff members of the municipalities Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Livable of Tampa, Plant City, Temple Terrace, and Roadways Committee, among others. Hillsborough County on matters related to Currently, TPO meetings are conducted transportation and other issues of concern in a hybrid manner, held both in-person and to the community, such as managing growth online via the Hillsborough County Meetings and protecting the environment. The TPO is YouTube channel. Besides policy consideran entity mandated by state and federal law ations, updates to transportation projects, and ensures that transportation projects re- such as the ones underway to improve the ceiving state and federal money meet estab- capacity of I-75 from Moccasin Wallow Rd. lished criteria and standards. to north of Bruce B. Downs Blvd. are made. Membership of the TPO Board consists Amber Russo, FDOT project manager for of elected officials from Hillsborough Coun- the related Project Development and Envity, Plant City, Tampa and Temple Terrace as ronment Studies, said the work is needed to well as representatives from Hillsborough meet the needs of the fast-growing region. Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), “The improvements are expected to enTampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, hance I-75’s overall regional functionality Hillsborough County School Board, Tampa and improve the interstate’s operating conAviation Authority, Tampa Port Authority ditions,” she said of the plans, which call for and the Hillsborough County City-County adding express lanes in each direction of Planning Commission. I-75. Work performed by the TPO includes the You can learn more about the TPO by visdevelopment of the county’s Transportation iting planhillsborough.org. Specializing in treatment of:

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April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


Ma Isabella Rosal is the CEO of 7th Sky Ventures. Recently, she is also a certified Master Rummelier, which is the top professional designation in the rum industry.

Ma Isabella Rosal, or ‘Bea,’ as she’s known to her friends and Riverview residents, is a one-woman powerhouse. Rosel is a mom of two, a Navy spouse, a proud Filipina and the CEO of 7th Sky Ventures. As of recently, she is also a certified Master Rummelier, which is the top professional designation in the rum industry. Before launching 7th Sky Ventures, Rosal owned and managed TBD@301, a tea cafe in Brandon. “I was blessed to have the support of our local community from the start, especially from the Riverview Chamber of Commerce, and I made sure that we give back,” Rosal said. 7th Sky is a sustainability-first company, and all its products are healthy and straightforward. “We offer home fragrance, candles, soap, natural Florida wine and sustainable craft rum,” Rosal said. “Our home fragrance sprays are made with the highest quality essential oils and food-grade alcohol. It is a healthier, happier alternative to commercial chemical air fresheners.” According to Rosal, the alcohol base for

the spray is a redistillation of the waste products left from the rum production, and the fragrant components are derived from organic essential oils. The packaging is BPA-free and highly recyclable (PET 1). The portfolio of craft rum is guided by century-old Filipino traditions produced here in Florida using some of the best sugarcane in the world. “Born and raised at a rum estate and sugarcane farm in Northern Luzon in the Philippines, I was surrounded by all things rum from an early age,” Rosal said. “My mother, Chuchi Honrado, spent most of her professional life working as a chemist at that rum estate and later as an advisor to large rum producers and distilleries in the Philippines. In 2021, right after having my second child, the urge for a new entrepreneurial adventure never left. So, I sold my tea business and founded 7th Sky Ventures.” Rum making has had a reputation as a male-dominated field pretty much since the 1400s. “I am the first female ever to earn a Master Rummelier status,” Rosal said. “So many talented women work in the industry as traders or distillery owners or technical advisers like my mother, but we never talk about them. Being a female Rummelier is empowering and challenging at the same time. My mission is to break the bias and shed light on women in rum culture.” For more information, visit www.7thskyventures.com.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

OPERATION LOTUS TO HOST COMEDY NIGHT AT THE REGENT By Kate Quesada their talent, is something fun for our community as a whole.” Comedy Night will also feature a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, door prizes and cash bar. Brockmeier-Jordy, who founded OpOperation Lotus’ Comedy Night will take place on Thursday, April 21 at The eration Lotus Regent, located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview, featuring headliner Helen after her husKeaney, Jeff Klein and Michael Murillo. band, Leon, Laughter is often the passed away, best medicine, and a lois excited to announce a cal charity is hosting an new aspect of the sucevent this month that cessful charity. will provide laughter for “On top of it all, we are those attending while establishing the first-evraising important funds er Leon Brockmeier for those in need. Youth Athletic ScholarOperation Lotus, a ship by partnering with 501(c)(3) dedicated to the FishHawk Spartans,” restoring hope to those she explained. experiencing tragedy, Ten percent of the will be hosting Comedy proceeds raised will be Night on Thursday, April donated to the Fish21 at The Regent, locatHawk Spartans to proed at 6437 Watson Rd. vide scholarships to in Riverview. financially underpriviThe event will feature leged children to be able headliner Helen Keaney, to participate in youth Jeff Klein and Michael sports in Leon’s name. Murillo. “Leon would love Kicking off at 6:30 knowing that his legacy p.m. and running until 9:30 p.m., while lives on helping underprivileged athletes enjoying the entertainment, guests will play the sport they love,” she said. be treated to charcuterie provided by Tickets for this adult-only event are Davenport’s Daily Delights, dinner from $50 per individual or $360 for a table of East Coast Pizza and delicious desserts eight and can be purchased from the link provided by PattiCakes Custom Cakes on Operation Lotus’ Facebook at www. LLC. facebook.com/operationlotus. “I’m so excited about this event for a Sponsorship opportunities are still million different reasons,” said Operation available, and silent auction donations Lotus Founder Melanie Brockmeier-Jordy. are gratefully accepted. “Raising money to help local families while For information about Operation Lotus, also being entertained by my favorite co- please visit www.operationlotus.org or medians, who have graciously donated email operationlotusfl@gmail.com.

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Volume 20, Issue 4


By Kathy L. Collins

The 2022 Florida State find work by recognizing Legislative Session has endtheir out-of-state licenses ed. During the 60-day sesin Florida. sion, the Republican-domLearned also stood inated legislature passed up for small businesses several bills, some conagainst frivolous lawtroversial, and an historic suits. He fought against state budget of $112 billion. new data privacy lawsuits It should be noted that the that would have cost the budget was aided by over state’s Main Street busi$3 billion in federal coronanesses an estimated $80 virus relief funds. billion in new compliance State Representative and litigation costs. He Andrew Learned, a Demoalso helped pass sweeping crat who currently serves workforce reforms to help State Representative Andrew Learned currently represents District 59, which covers with the ongoing staffing Riverview and much of District 59, which covers Riverview crisis across the state. and much of Brandon. Brandon, said, “The 2022 Learned added, “I promlegislative session is officially behind us. ised I would fix the roads. The BloomingdaWhile many of our fights were hard this le and 301 intersection improvements are year, I am proud of the work we accom- on schedule to be done soon, and work is plished for Florida’s veterans, our local small beginning on the Big Bend/I-75 interchange businesses and towards fixing our roads.” and Boyette. Our Bipartisan Infrastructure Learned added, “While we did some great Deal, numerous local projects and helping work, the Republican majority’s focus on fix the All for Transportation debacle by rehyper-partisan culture war issues like ‘Don’t routing the $500M back into Hillsborough’s Say Gay’ and ‘Stop WOKE Act’ prevented local road projects are all part of my ongous from doing anything concrete to address ing effort to get us all moving again.” issues such as rising prices we are paying at As we all know, a U.S. census was conthe pump, dealing with the affordable hous- ducted in 2020. This resulted in many ing crisis, skyrocketing property insurance things. Among them is redistricting of the rates and fighting climate change.” state and federal legislative maps. Learned The latter issues may require that a spe- will be running for reelection in November cial session be called. in Florida State House District 69. It continLearned said, “The reality of a 60-day leg- ues to cover much of his current district, but islative session is that there is only so much it now includes the FishHawk area. time to get anything done.” For more information on the 2022 Some of the work that Learned is proud Florida State Legislative Session and to of includes passing legislation to help veter- learn more about Representative Andrew ans fill critical shortages in classrooms, tak- Learned, please visit www.andrewlearned. ing on the challenge of ending veteran sui- com, www.myfloridahouse.gov and www. cide statewide and helping military spouses flsenate.gov.

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4

Celebrating 41 Years Serving our Community Thinking it’s time for a new roof? Do you think your roof may have wind damage? DO NOT REPLACE YOUR ROOF WITHOUT LETTING US TAKE A LOOK!



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Riverview/Apollo Beach

April 2022, Vol. 20, Iss 4 45-54

New Business Partnership At Ohall Kemper Law Longtime colleagues at the Law Offices of Laurie Ohall have now become partners, changing the name to Ohall Kemper Law. “We are not just lawyers, we are people that are truly passionate about serving and caring for the elderly,” said Laurie Ohall, elder law attorney. Ohall Kemper Law specializes in elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, probate and guardianship. It is located at 1464 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Additional information can be found on its website, www.ohalllaw.com, or by calling 813438-8503. Dining Room Reopens At Riverview Chick-fil-A The Riverview Chick-fil-A is happy to announce that the dining room at its 12810 Summerfield Crossing Blvd. location is now fully reopened. Stop by to enjoy its variety of chicken sandwiches, strips, nuggets, salads and drinks. It is currently serving its Smokehouse BBQ sandwich, so do not delay enjoying this limited time offering. Adogable Pet Services Seeking Experienced Groomer Adogable Pet Services is an

established, locally owned business based in Sun City Center, and it is looking for experienced dog groomers to join its team. “We are not just highly trained groomers, we are consultants for the well-being of your pet,” said Owner Laura Rubin. Adogable Pet Services is located at 4884 Sun City Center Blvd. in Sun City Center. For more information, call 813-419-4972 or visit its website at www. adogablepets.com. Flower Me Tampa Wants To Be Part Of Your Next Big Celebration Flower Me Tampa Décor and Rentals creates beautiful flower walls and much more that will add an elegant ambiance to any special occasion. It specializes in creating stylish flower walls and custom letters and number BloomBoards that will set your event apart from others, adding that unique touch to dinner parties, weddings, graduations, baby showers, quinceañeras, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, corporate events and more. Flower Me Tampa is located at 1508 Windy Gap Pl. in Valrico. More information can be found on

its website at www.flowermetampa.com ily and community involvement. Dancand by calling 813-716-9811. ing for a Difference is certified in Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, which Suncoast Credit Union Earns AARP means the studio is an environment that BankSafe Designation is safe for all children. It offers a variSuncoast Credit Union is proud to an- ety of dance styles, including ballet, jazz, nounce that 100 percent of its branch and tap and lyrical, for all ages. To learn more interactive teller machine staff about Dancing for a Differhave completed the American ence, visit its website at Association of Retired Persons www.dancing4donations. (AARP) award-winning BankSafe org or call 813-601-3009. training program, which trains employees to identify and stop Home Helpers Home suspected financial exploitation Care Of Brandon Earns and abuse, particularly among Best Of Home Care Proolder adults. As a result, Suncoast Credit vider Of Choice Award Union was one of only 115 financial inHome Helpers Home Care is pleased to stitutions nationwide to be awarded the announce that its East Tampa franchise BankSafe seal for its efforts. has been named a Provider of Choice in A Virginia Tech study from the 2022 Best of Home Care Awards. October 2019 found that Home Helpers Home Care offers the inBankSafe-trained employees dustry’s leading model for comprehensive helped stop more than $110 care with its unique care program that million from being stolen provides the necessary components for from the accounts of older living independently. This includes peradults since the program’s sonal care and companionship, nutrition inception. and meal planning, 24/7 emergency response and wellness calls to help ensure Dancing For A Difference medicaCelebrates New Location tions and Dancing for a Difference is hydration celebrating moving to its new are mainstudio, located at 1076 E. tained. Brandon Blvd., #101 in Bran“It’s an don. It is a nonprofit dance honor to studio, and its mission is to make dance be recognized. This award is based on and the arts more available to all chil- feedback from our clients, it’s not somedren in the Tampa area. It keeps classes thing we applied for or sent in our own as affordable as possible by utilizing fam- data to earn, so it’s a true reflection of

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

BUSINESS COLUMN CONTINUED... Start Fresh Counseling Center Opens New Office Start Fresh Counseling Center recently opened a new office in Brandon. It uses solution-focused therapy to help clients uncover their true potential by working together to better understand and resolve challenges in their lives while providing support and guidance toward a more meaningful life. While it can’t change difficult situations of the past, it can work to better understand and resolve challenges in your life. Counseling services include individual, couples and family. Its new office is located at 135 Moon Ave. in Brandon. Additional information can be found on its website at www.startfreshcounselingcenter.com or by calling 813-489-4547.

the wonderful care our caregivers provide,” said Ursella Slusher, owner of Home Helpers Home Care of East Tampa. To find out more about Home Helpers Home Care, visit its website at www. homehelpershomecare.com/east-tampa. FURnandos Mobile Pet Grooming Makes Pet Care More Convenient In an attempt to help busy pet owners keep their pets looking and feeling great, FURnandos Mobile Pet Grooming offers a pet grooming service that comes to your doorstep. The new local pet grooming service offers a totally self-contained grooming salon on wheels in the convenience of your driveway. The unit is equipped with a generator, water heater, air conditioner, fresh and gray water tanks and all the conveniences of a regular grooming salon. For more information about FURnandos Mobile Pet Grooming, visit its website at www.furnandos.com or call/text 813-808-6035 to schedule an appointment for your pets.

ACT Massage Of Lithia Now Offers Monthly Membership Package ACT Massage of Lithia, owned by local resident Jean Niccum, now offers monthly membership package deals from only $65 a month. There are a variety of massage services available. Visit its website at www.massagebook.com/biz/ ACTMassageofLithia or call 813-3569703 to find out more. ACT Massage of Lithia is located at 411 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Ste. 411 in Valrico.

Volume 20, Issue 4

IT’S ALL ABOUT COMMUNITY & PATIENTS FOR DR. ANDREW DALEY By Sharon Still Finding a good doctor its, plus new patients is of utmost importance. ages 18 and older are One is Dr. Andrew Daley of currently being acDaley & Associates Prime cepted. Medical of Tampa Bay, Also high on Daley’s who is dedicated to bringlist is security and ing world-class service protecting patients’ and personalized care to identities. Daley & every one of his patients. Associates adheres “Dr. Daley is passionate to strict guidelines about community educawhen it comes to pation and access to meditients’ records. Fully cal care for all,” said Terra electronic medical reDawson, practice adminiscords ensure efficient trator. access and accurate “The true success of the Dr. Andrew Daley of Daley & Associates safekeeping while practice is due to the tire- Prime Medical of Tampa Bay and his maintaining the highteam is dedicated to bringing world-class less effort of the staff— est standards for the service and personalized care to every namely, Yesenia Mendez, privacy and security one of his patients. medical assistant,” Dawof records. son added. “She has been with Dr. Daley Daley recognizes the challenge today of since 2015 and has a special gift of caring finding affordable health care and accepts for patients and delivering excellent pa- most major insurances. He said, “The issue tient care.” stretches further than seeing the physiDedication to the community is a pri- cian but having access to affordable medority for Daley, a Brandon resident. That ication and therapy.” includes everything from participation in Daley & Associates Prime Medical of local events to support organizations like Tampa Bay is a traditional internal medthe American Heart Association, to get- icine practice with offices in Brandon ting out of the office and helping those in and Bradenton. From preventative health need. counseling to diabetic guidance, prospecDuring the pandemic, Daley offered free tive patients are offered a full range of consultations to both patients and non- comprehensive health services. “Internal patients alike to provide education about medicine is a widely encompassing disciCOVID-19. He conducted seminars spe- pline which deals with the clinical as well cifically targeting the black community as the psychology and social aspects of and provided education, free masks and medicine,” Daley explained. hand sanitizers to East Tampa community Daley & Associates Prime Medical of through faith-based organizations. Tampa Bay is located at 631 W. Lumsden Additionally, he is one of the few doc- Rd. in Brandon. Its office hours are 8 a.m.tors around that offers inpatient as well 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 813as outpatient care and doctor home vis- 530-0903 for information.




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April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 27

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR AT REED & REED By Michelle Caceres they were numbers, quickly moving from one client to the next,” said Ryan. “He wanted a more compassionate and connected approach to his clients.” That approach, he said, more resembles grocery Hiring Brandon personal injury attorneys Jacquelin, Ryan & Paul Reed of giant Publix’s conReed & Reed is like having an attorney in the family. cept of customer Attorneys are always careful when choos- service. “We treat our clients like we would ing a law partner, and for good reason. The treat family or friends if they needed legal reality is that sometimes attorneys spend help,” he said. far more time with their law partners than That means when clients call, they speak with family members, but that’s not so with to an attorney who assists them from signfather/son duo Paul and Ryan Reed, Esquires. up to verdict, and even to appeal if necessary. The pair formulated the plan to create “Our clients sometimes feel spoiled with Reed & Reed, a personal injury law firm, this type of treatment,” said Ryan. during Ryan’s freshman year in college. SevIn addition to treating clients like family, en years later, Reed & Reed opened its doors it also helps that Reed & Reed produces rein October 2013. Ryan’s wife, Jacquelin Reed, sults. It has tried cases in more than 12 counherself an attorney, also joined the firm. ties throughout Florida; argued before the “We fight side by side, day after day, year Second, Third and Fourth District Courts of after year for our clients,” Ryan said. Appeal; and secured several verdicts of more Located at 101 E. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon than $1 million for clients. at the corner of John Moore and Lumsden Reed & Reed offers a free initial consultaRds., the attorneys at Reed & Reed have de- tion, and if it represents a client, they don’t cades of experience helping individuals and have to pay unless and until they obtain a families recover compensation for all types verdict or settlement. “You don’t want an atof personal injury accidents suffered at the torney that dabbles in personal injury law,” hands of negligent individuals, doctors, store said Ryan, “you want one that specializes in owners and many others. it.” Brandon native Paul Reed, who has argued Reed & Reed’s office hours are Monday to cases in trial and appellate courts through- Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; however, it can arout Florida and the United States for the last range meetings after-hours or on weekends 26 years, worked for a large ‘big-box’ firm when necessary. before venturing out on his own and learning For more information about Reed & Reed a few things along the way. or to schedule a consultation, visit www.nee“My dad didn’t want to treat clients like dreed.com or call 813-438-5960.

Jason Edwards DMD

Volume 20, Issue 4


By Sharon Still

He likes the rugfrom, depending ged outdoors, campon tastes and the ing, hunting and number of people. fishing. She prefers Upon arrival, guests fancy hotels with will find a beautiful room service and tent equipped with big fluffy pillows on a floor, rugs, beds, the bed. Now they lamps, chairs and can combine the two electrical outlets tastes, as Timberline for charging devicGlamping Company es. Each tent also brings a new way has a heating and Timberline Glamping Company Franchise to camp to Hillsbor- Owners Raz and Aleksandra Miles invite guests air conditioning ough River State unit—the latter a to bring along their furry friends. Park. must in Florida. A ‘Glamping’ is a relatively new term that Keurig coffee pot with pods, coffee mugs merges the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘camp- and a mini fridge also are included. ing.’ It is used to describe the traditional The site will be decorated with string lights elements of camping combined with more surrounding a fire pit, charcoal grill, picnic upscale amenities, such beds, electricity and table and hammocks. Clean, well-maintained more. It is the best of both worlds, allowing park restrooms are in proximity. Additionalthe enjoyment of nature and the outdoors ly, there are several add-ons to choose from, without sacrificing creature comforts so you such as games, s’more-making kits, bike rentcan fall asleep under the stars and wake up als and more. without an aching back. Guests just need to pack up the car with Franchise Owners Raz and Aleksandra some clothes, toiletries, games, food and a Miles said that they fell in love with Tim- flashlight and be ready to make memories berline Glamping upon discovery. “We are with the family. big outdoorsy people,” said Aleksandra. She Timberline Glamping Co. started in Georgia explained that the attention to detail and in 2018 and is rapidly growing through franamazing amenities kept the couple talking chises. The Hillsborough State Park location about it for more than a year until they is the launching point for 11 additional new found out that they could start their own franchises planning to be established in 2022. franchise location. Co-founder Allegra Parreira said that Tim“Hillsborough River State Park is the right berline Glamping Co. is now in its fifth season. fit for us,” she said, adding that the park “Through the 2021 season, we have hosted offers many activities in a beautiful, tropi- more than 16,000 guests,” she proclaimed. cal setting. The more than 3,300-acre park Hillsborough River State Park is located features 7 miles of hiking trails, canoeing, at 15402 U.S. Hwy. 301 in Tampa. Reservakayaking, fishing, picnicking and suspension tions can be made on the website at www. bridges to explore. timberlineglamping.com or by calling 813There are different packages to choose 586-3081.

Tom Backeris DMD

Comprehensive Oral Surgery



2922 Lithia Pinecrest Road | Valrico, FL 33596


Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

April 2022

Page 29

SPREADING CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS ONE DRINK AT A TIME By Sharon Still Feel good while no matter where drinking something they are in their that is good for you journey,” commentat Mighty Heroes ed Downing, adding Nutrition, a newly that she could not opened shop in the do all of this withRoyal Oaks Shopout the support of ping Center in Valthe community and, rico. The menu is more importantly, filled with nutritionher husband, Justin. al shakes, tea, lemDowning said onade and coffee, that fundraisand its mission is to Mighty Heroes Nutrition, a shake shop benefiting ing events will be bring the commu- children with cancer, recently opened, celebrating planned for the fuofficially with a Valrico FishHawk Chamber of nity together and ture. Blood drives, Commerce ribbon-cutting. spread awareness bone marrow of childhood cancer, one drink drives, biking events and yoga at a time. are just some of the events she The store is run by Small hopes to put together. “Our but Mighty Heroes (SBMH), intention is to host events to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organicontinue to fundraise and to enzation spearheaded by Tina courage the community to come Downing. “The idea is to spread together and to grow the village more awareness of childhood as we support children battling cancer,” said Downing. “The shop is a means cancer,” remarked Downing. The brick-andto bring in much-needed funding for children mortar store will make fundraising events battling cancer.” possible. Every day, 46 children, from birth to age “My passion for these superhero children 19, are diagnosed with cancer. Statistically, runs deep within me, and I will continue to one in 285 children, translating to at least pursue advocacy, to spread awareness of eight of about 2,400 students attending childhood cancer and to partner with reBloomingdale High School, is or will be di- search foundations to focus on less toxic agnosed with cancer by the time they are treatments and a cure,” she said. “As we say 20 years old. at SBMH, it takes a village, and no one fights Downing’s passion and lifelong goal of sav- alone.” ing children led her to start SBMH in 2017. Mighty Heroes Nutrition is located at SBMH focuses on children and families 3240 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Ste. 103 in Valriimpacted by childhood cancer. Each family co. Its hours are Monday through Friday, 8 is offered tailored support and the aim is to a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visrecognize each child as an incredible super- it www.smallbutmightyheroes.org, where hero. there are stories of children, ways to donate “We truly focus on what is impactful to and more, or call 813-541-7487 for further them as we remain constant and relevant details.

Welcome and Thank You to the

2022 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Michael Broussard The Flying Locksmiths


Janet Noah

The Bridges Retirement Community

Past Chair

Theresa A. Sharkey

Jim Johnson

Your Pie

Treasurer Elect

Kristi McCart

McCart & Tesmer, P.A.

Tammy See

Christian Beiter CFP

OEL Heating & Cooling

Preservation 1st Financial Group, LLC

Nikki Foster

Mike Jones

Chair Elect


Board Emeritus

The Mosaic Company

Florida DOE Vocational Rehabilitation

Phil Minden

Rick Monsipapa

Dawn Myers

Elena Westrop

Tanya Doran

St. Joseph’s Hospital - South

Dr. Randall J. Rockefeller

Jeff Sheffer

Hillsborough Community College Pronesis Technology Group - Brandon

Nail the Sale

Myers Law PA

Charity Clothing Pickup

Saint Anne Catholic Church

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce President/CEO



HOLY WEEK REMEMBRANCE Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter OF CHRIST’S PASSION Saturday, April 16th at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9 Vigil Mass 4:30 p.m. EASTER SUNDAY Palm Sunday, April 10 Mass 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m. MASSES 12:00 p.m. (Español) April 17th Monday, April 11 Mass 8:00 a.m. 6:30 a.m. (Sunrise) • 8:00 a.m Tuesday, April 12 Mass 8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. • 12:00 p.m. (Español) Wednesday, April 13 Mass 8:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. EASTER TRIDUUM 8:00 a.m. Holy Thursday, April 14 Morning Prayer of the Liturgical Hours 7:00 p.m. Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper 12:00 p.m. Good Friday, April 15 Stations of the Cross (Fast & Abstinence) Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 3:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. Holy Saturday, April 16 Reconciliation 12:00 p.m. Blessing of Easter Food

106 11th Avenue NE, Ruskin (U.S. Hwy. 41 and 11th Ave. NE) | Parish Office: (813) 645-1714


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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition



By Lily Belcher

Lawn care’s Uber fee to the company, is making its way not the customer. into the Brandon “I’ve been in landarea with Greenscaping my whole Pal’s expansion that entire life. I grew will bring the lawn up mowing lawns mowing app to Hilland did that through sborough County college. I knew there residents. GreenPal was a disconnect, … I GreenPal customers can select from a variety of is a Nashville-based knew that there had local lawn care professionals service that alto be a better way to lows residents to connect homeownrequest local lawn ers to landscaping services to care professionals,” exfor their yards in plained Caballero. a safe, contactless Caballero worked way. in sales on the West GreenPal, an app Coast and saw digiwhich was first tal services like Uber launched in Tennesfind great success. see in 2015, allows homeowners to list He incorporated both his history of worktheir lawns and indicate when they need ing in lawn care and knowledge of sales to service. From there, local, prescreened craft an app that would become the “Uber lawn professionals can bid on the yard for lawn care.” and the homeowner can decide which “I knew that if somebody was going to lawn service they will employ. Over 30 summon a stranger to pick them up and percent of GreenPal’s users are over the take them somewhere, they would do the age of 60 and have benefitted greatly same with lawn care someday,” said Cafrom the availability of the contactless ballero. “That idea was sparked in 2012, service made possible with the digital but we didn’t actually get the ball rolling payment method. until 2015.” “We don’t actually have any influence Since its launch, GreenPal has expandon the pricing,” said Gene Caballero, ed to 48 states and has over 1 million co-founder of GreenPal. “We just connect homeowners signed up. Over 25 thousand the homeowner with the lawn care pro- landscaping professionals are running fessional.” their businesses on GreenPal and proAround 35 lawn care services in the viding convenient, contactless service to Brandon area are available through the their customers. app. GreenPal supports the local services For more information on GreenPal, visit by helping with marketing and route opti- www.yourgreenpal.com/fl/brandon-lawnmization and only charges a five percent care.

The Doors of The Church Are Open Church Services 10am Sunday

Good Friday at 7pm Easter at 10am (followed by the Annual Easter Egg Hunt)

Youth & Teens Church School 9:00 a.m. Kingdom Builders 10:00 a.m. 5920 Robert Tolle Drive (Children’s Church 2-10) Riverview, 33578 Bible Study 813-337-7457 7pm Tuesday (Teens) Office Hours: 7pm Wednesday (Adults) Mon - Thur 10am- 3pm Community Food Pantry www.Mtzionriverview.com 2nd & 4th Thursday 11:00 -2:00 Monthly FACEBOOK: Mt Zion AME Church Second Chances Riverview Job Training Mon.-Thurs.

Karen J. Sims, Pastor and Roy Sims (brother)

Volume 20, Issue 4

did reach out to Camaray to set up a time for Young to visit since he could not make it to the scheduled party, so Camaray threw another party for her daughter. Abbie thought Young would simply be talking to her via video. Needless to say, Camaray was shocked when the country artist walked into their living room. “The pancakes and pajama theme came about because Country singer Brett Young surprised Abbie Simmons for her birthday.

Abbie Simmons, a Lithia resident, got the surprise of a lifetime for her 10th birthday when country music artist Brett Young attended her birthday party after receiving an invitation to the red carpet-themed event and sang his single “Lady” for the 14 girls. This was the first time Abbie has invited a celebrity to her birthday party and was content with just having hope that he would show up. Her mother, Camaray Simmons, tried not to get her daughter’s hopes up as she did not want Abbie to be disappointed if he did not show. “She had asked if she could invite him to her birthday. She wanted a red-carpet party with her friends and a DJ. She handwrote him a letter asking if he would please come because he is her favorite singer. We mailed it to the record label,” said Camaray. Since Young was unable to make it to Abbie’s first red carpet-themed birthday party, her mother purchased a life-size cutout for the party, which she said was a big hit, to her surprise. Young’s team

Abbie Simmons and her 13 guests were surprised by country artist Brett Young.

Brett Young could come in the morning to do the surprise, so we told the girls his manager wanted a theme so we could take pictures,” said Camaray. “The girls love a theme, so they were instantly on board and were beyond excited for just the zoom call.” He performed his song “Lady,” which is about his own daughter. Camaray said it meant so much to have him sing the very meaningful song to her daughter in their home. “He did something so special for her,” said Camaray. “I will be forever thankful for him making my little girls dream come true. It will be a forever memory.”

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 31


Shell Point Marina, located at the mouth of Little Manatee River and just minutes away from Tampa Bay, offers both storage and service for boat owners in its Ruskin marina.

Shell Point Marina, located at the mouth of Little Manatee River and just minutes away from Tampa Bay, offers both storage and service for boat owners in its Ruskin marina. It currently offers dry storage for 200 boats, has 43 wet slips and a service yard, but an expansion will expand the storage space and renovate the repair facility. “The idea is to transform the old Shell Point Marina from basically a boat storage and repair facility to a completely renovated full-service marina,” said General Manager Tom Hudson, who purchased the facility on June 1, 2021. After the approximately two-year renovation Hudson plans to complete, Shell Point Marina’s new piling building will be home to new offices and a restaurant and bar above Tampa Bay’s beautiful sunsets. The marina is located just minutes from the open waters of Tampa Bay, where families can fish under the Skyway Bridge and go for a boat ride to one of the bay’s golden beaches.

“The idea is to create a smaller, more intimate environment for Marina Members, their friends and the public. … This will be old-school Florida with better food and comfortable surroundings,” said Hudson. Shell Po i n t Marina customers will h a v e access to an exclusive guest pavilion, the boat ramp and the privacy of a gated marina. It also offers free high-speed Wi-Fi, synthetic docks with water and power for each wet slip and bathrooms with showers. Forklift service is utilized to move boats in and out of the dry storage upon request. The service yard at Shell Point Marina is the largest DIY service yard in Tampa Bay and offers mechanical and cosmetic services. The service yard is large enough for boats up to 54 feet and allows customers to do their own repairs. Boaters can also arrange for repairs and services to be done if they do not want to do it themselves. Customers can purchase wet slips at $16 per foot (length overall) per month or dry storage at $14 per foot (length overall) per month. For more information on Shell Point Marina, visit its website at shellpointmarina.com or contact 813-654-1313 or info.shellpointmarina@gmail.com.

NOW Accepting New Patients Call today to schedule an appointment.

813-530-0903 631 W. Lumsden Rd. | Brandon, FL 33511

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


Volume 20, Issue 4


By Makenzie Atkins

By Lily Belcher Cruce Pest low any unwanted water to sit Management, in the house. located in RivCruce said that homeowners, erview off U.S. especially those living in houses 301 and Big 10 years and older, should take Bend Rd., offers a walk around the outside of both prevention their houses to make sure there and treatment is good airflow that can dry the services for sides of the house. This means southern Hillskeeping bushes and plants from borough County growing as termite seatightly Cruce Pest Manageson looms over along the ment’s truck at work Florida resihouse. helping residents fight dents. Termites Houses termites. plague Floridusually ian’s homes each year, especially since have a Florida is prone to hot and wet weather pretreatalmost year-round. ment to “I wanted to be able to provide a good d e t e r service at a fair price and make a fair liv- Subterranean termite damage to a termites door frame. ing. I worked for larger companies and w h e n all they were about were the numbers. built, but I’m not really a numbers person, I’m more this treatment lasts less than five years. a people person,” said Robin Cruce, owner of Cruce Pest Management offers treatment Cruce Pest Management. and an insurance plan for customers looking In colder states, residents get a break to protect their home from termites since from the wood-eating insects as they are common homeowners insurances do not not as active in colder, dryer months. Cruce cover termite damage. urges Hillsborough County residents to take Cruce Pest Management opened in May proactive steps in preventing termites from of 2016, so Cruce and her three employees destroying their homes. are looking forward to their six-year anniCruce’s main tip is to take care of mois- versary. ture around the house, especially in bath“We love this area [and] love working rooms, kitchens and around air conditioning here,” said Cruce. “Every day is an advenunits. Termites are attracted to moisture in ture.” the house and these areas, while not solely For information on termites, visit Departwood, typically use wood to support struc- ment of Agriculture’s website at fdacs.gov. tures, like showers. Residents should also For information on Cruce Pest Management, ensure grout is in good condition and not al- call 813-915-5973.

A LAW FIRM FOR SMALL BUSINESSES The Law Office of Jeffrey Dowd, PA Serving the Brandon, Riverview and Greater Tampa Area Business Formation Business Acquisitions Contracts General Counsel Trademarks Wills and Trusts Jeffrey A. Dowd, Esq. 156 W. Robertson Street, Brandon (813) 773-3529 | Jeff@DowdLaw.com | dowdlaw.com

The number one show in filming in different ways. on the Paramount NetAs the show can only alwork, Bar Rescue took low so many diners into the Osprey Observer team members over Southeastern Hillrestaurant, people begin linKerrie Hoening, Kate Quesada, sborough County early ing up hours in advance in this year to revamp a Marie Gilmore & Mckenzie Atkins hopes to make it inside. Afline up for a Bar Rescue filming at few beloved restaurants. ter waiting in line, producers JF Kicks/Jimmy’s. Bar Rescue is a popperform COVID-19 tests ular TV show that on those first in line up to spends about five the amount of people they days at a time flipping can allow in. Finally, once restaurants. The show everyone passes the test, visited the area for alfilming begins, and everymost a month to help one let in stays for hours three local spots and until it is complete. one Ybor location. LoShow host, Jon Taffer is cally, AJ’s on the River, a larger-than-life television now known as Jerry’s personality who takes a Dockside Bar and Grill; The Forge, which no-holds barred approach to helping hotels, became The Crowne Irish Pub; and Jimmy’s, restaurants, bars and businesses reach their formerly known as JF Kicks were all given full potential. He is also an international cea refresh with new menu items, makeover, lebrity, New York Times best-selling author, paint, seating and appliances. highly sought-after hospitality consultant “AJ’s has always been a great place to and is the creator, executive producer and hang out, but I think Bar Rescue elevated it star of Paramount Network’s number-one from a local hangout to a destination place,” show, Bar Rescue. said Leda Eaton, a frequent diner at AJ’s on During the show, restaurants are renovatthe River who was at the resturant during ed and redesigned. Shows will air in a few filming and excited about the changes. “It months when editing is complete. had all the elements already—great water For more information, call The Crowne at views and friendly staff—but Bar Rescue 813-548-7090, Jerry’s Dockside Bar and added things that took it to the next level.” Grill in Gibsonton at 813-605-4621 or JimEach night, locals are invited to take part my’s at 813-643-7777.

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

April 2022

Page 33


Staff Report

USA Executive Director and CEO Scott Vance helps 5-year-old Luca June, blind since birth, catch his first fish at the USA’s Suncoast Take Kids Fishing Day.

More than 250 youth and adults turned out for Take Kids Fishing Day at Suncoast Youth Conservation Center (SYCC) in Apollo Beach last month, despite the weather bulletin indicating gale force winds, heavy rain and a tornado watch. “It was the worst weather we’ve had in a long time. We thought about cancelling, but we never give up—we like to do good things for the community,” said Keven Barber, Ironworkers Local 397 Union financial secretary-treasurer/business agent, who organized the event. Hosted by the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) and Ironworkers Local 397, the free community event is aimed to introduce youth to saltwater fishing from the boardwalk and fishing pier constructed by union volunteers at SYCC in 2019. The wheelchair-accessible structure was the result of a multiyear community service project organized by the USA through its Work Boots on the Ground conservation program. It flanks a restored saltwater pond and marsh adjacent to the SYCC’s 6,000-squarefoot education facility. When lightning and thunder drove most participants into the facility, SYCC staff were prepared with eight education stations, in-

Participants received hands-on assistance from union volunteers along with free fishing rods, reels and gear.

cluding fish tagging, fish crafts, knot tying, fish measuring, fish puzzles and more. During breaks in the weather, participants headed outdoors, where 22 union volunteers from Ironworkers Locals 397 and 7, Roofers Local 123 and UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290, along with USA and SYCC staff, assisted the excited young anglers, each of whom received a free fishing rod and reel as well as other goodies. Many of the kids who attended had never fished before, and several of them had special needs. Luca June (Junie), a 5-year-old boy who was born blind, attended the event with his mom. Junie immediately warmed up to USA Executive Director and CEO Scott Vance and continually grabbed his hand for Vance to show him how to fish and where the water was. When he caught a big drum, he put his ear close to the fish to listen to the sound it made. “I’ve been doing conservation outreach events for nearly 30 years, and this event was one of the most emotional and impactful experiences I’ve ever had,” Vance said. “The fact that these kids and their families braved gale force winds and driving rain to learn to fish was both encouraging and humbling. The opportunity to help kids like Junie

Despite gale force winds and driving rain much of the morning, over 250 youth and adults turned up to fish.

catch their first fish touched me deeply.” Kathy Guindon, director of SYCC, experienced the perfect scenario for recruiting new anglers at Saturday’s event. “I helped some families who had recently moved here from India at our casting station. One girl struggled with casting initially

A family that recently moved to the U.S. from India enjoyed learning to fish at the USA’s Take Kids Fishing Day and plans to purchase fishing licenses to continue to fish.

but ended up catching her first fish—the biggest silver jenny I’ve ever seen,” Guindon said. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or connect on Facebook @ unionsportsmen, Twitter @UnionSportsmen and Instagram @unionsportsmen.

(Take Out Only)



27 Years in Brandon! CAC1820162

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

SUMMERFIELD TO HOST GOLF TOURNAMENT FUNDRAISER By Kate Quesada Summerfield Cross“Tighten the Drag ings Golf Club in RivFoundation works erview has shown its hard to help provide support for golfers these families with with disabilities for financial relief and, years and is doing most importantly, init again this month formation and guidby hosting the sixth ance on navigating round of the Road to the challenges that Recovery Golf Tourcome with spinal cord nament on Saturday, injuries. This founApril 26. dation was instruThis event will benmental in helping my efit Jared Ramella family navigate such and Tighten the Drag challenges,” she said. Foundation. “This is why we feel According to Jarit is so important to Summerfield Golf Club in Riverview is ed’s sister, Amanda give back to a foundahosting the Road to Recovery Golf TournaRamella, Jared was ment Sixth Round on Saturday, April 26. tion that helps other involved in a tragfamilies that may not ic accident while riding his motorcycle have the resources to do so.” which left him paralyzed. The tournament will begin with a shot“This tournament started to support a gun start at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $95 son, brother and friend who was injured in and include a round of golf, range balls, a tragic accident and is now able to help personal coolers with complimentary provide support to other families,” said beers, lunch on the course and a dinner Amanda. “Tighten the Drag Foundation’s party at 19th hole. mission is to extend the opportunity of re“Summerfield Golf Club is the only covery and better quality of life for those course in our area that allows those with suffering a paralyzing spinal cord injury disabilities the opportunity to be active as a result of an accident.” in a sport they love—golf,” said Amanda. Amanda explained that every year in “This cart is open to anyone that needs the United States between 250,000 and support while golfing, and in our area, 400,000 people suffer spinal cord inju- there are many people who could benefit ries. The average newly injured person from a machine such as the ParaGolfer if with a spinal cord injury will incur 2.9 mil- they only knew it existed.” lion dollars in medical costs in their first To register for the tournament, go year. The average yearly medical costs online to 6thround.eventzilla.net. Sumafter the first year can be $400,000 up merfield Crossings Golf Club is located to $750,000, depending on the level of at 13050 Summerfield Blvd. and can be injury. reached at 813-671-3311.

Volume 20, Issue 4

THE SYLVIA THOMAS CENTER HELPS FAMILIES IN THE COMMUNITY By Libby Hopkins The Sylvia Thomand thrive,” said Mary as Center, a nonprofit Ann Kershaw, CEO 501(c)(3) corporation of the Sylvia Thomas devoted to serving the Center for Adoptive needs of adoptive and and Foster Families foster families in Hillssince October 2016. borough County, is getBased on need, the ting creative this month center provides free to raise much-needed in-home family counfunds and items. seling, comprehensive Founded in 2000 in clinical case managehonor of Sylvia Thomas, ment, advocacy, infora champion for adoptive mation, referrals and and foster families who psych education. is constantly working Kershaw and her to improve the homelife team formed a partof children, the center is nership with Walmart located in Brandon and so that the communiThe Sylvia Thomas Center is a 501(c)(3) offers services free of ty can help the center corporation devoted to serving the needs continue to thrive as charge to those in need. In April 2000, Thom- of adoptive and foster families in Hillsbor- well. ough County. as, who made herself “The Registry for available to dependent Good is a Walmart and displaced children and their initiative to strengthen communifamilies to listen, support and asties at the national level,” Kershaw sist with solving everyday chalsaid. “Since 2015, Walmart has lenges with children and the child averaged more than $1.4 billion in welfare system, died suddenly of a annual donations each year to a vabrain aneurysm. Four of her colleagues and riety of local causes and organizations.” friends who were moved by her charitable The registry, which can be found at by works collaborated in July 2000 to honor searching ‘Sylvia Thomas’ at www.walmart. her memory by forming a nonprofit agency com/registryforgood, contains consumable to continue her work. items such as water, construction paper, The center is able to operate free of tablecloths, etc. that can be used directly charge by receiving through funding from for events and activities with the children, the State of Florida, Eckerd Connects Com- youth and families as well as gift cards that munity Alternative and the generosity of the can be used to assist families on an emercommunity and individuals’ support. gency basis. “Our mission is to keep the ‘forever’ in To learn more about the Sylvia Thomas forever families by providing adoptive and Center, located at 500 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. foster children and families the necessary in Brandon, visit www.sylviathomascenter. tools and supports to enable them to bond org.

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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Former NFL players Bell and Pressley talk to the students of the Fit and Fun program at YMCA Camp Cristina.

Recently, YMCA Camp Cristina hosted former NFL fullback Chris Pressley and tight end Jerry Bell to talk to the kids in the Fit and Fun program at the YMCA. The Fit and Fun program is in its third year after receiving a grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County that has allowed it to bring around 20 children nutrition and exercise information in a fun and interactive way. The visit by the two former Buccaneers was just one of numerous activities for its after-school program. “We’re basically teaching them how to set themselves up to be more successful as an adult and to, hopefully, maintain a healthy weight,” said Healthy & Safe Children Director Nicole Ketterman. During the hour-long visit, Pressley and Bell discussed the importance of an active lifestyle and emphasized a healthy and balanced diet with the group of 6 to 11-year-olds. Pressley emphasized fighting for goals, staying focused and having fun during this health journey while

Bell discussed a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. “It just struck home to me. I said, ‘This is something I definitely need to be involved with. Let’s talk to the kids about fitness.’ The earlier they get started on their journey to health and fitness, the better off they are,” said Pressley, who was a member at the YMCA and the Big Brothers Big Sisters program growing up. The Fit and Fun program is a part of the YMCA’s after-school program. The grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County has allowed them to give all their students Fitbits so they can track their steps, participate in challenges and become more conscious of their healthy habits. “This session is part of Fit and Fun at the Y, a curriculum-based program that focuses on fitness and nutrition education, increasing physical activity levels and preventing childhood obesity for children enrolled in the YMCA after-school programs,” said Senior Communications Director Cathy Mayo. “Through grants and a partnership with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, this program is provided free to kids and their families.” For more information on the YMCA’s youth development programs, visit ymca. org.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


The Straz Center in downtown Tampa has a great series of Broadway shows available for audiences now though 2023. Pick your favorites and get your tickets now.

Broadway shows are back at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. The 2022-23 season is underway, and there are some outstanding productions you will not want to miss. “Touring Broadway is back in Tampa in a big, big way,” said Straz Center President and CEO Judy Lisi. “This lineup truly is the best of Broadway, and we cannot wait to share it with Tampa Bay area audiences,” added Lisi. The offerings from the Straz Center include My Fair Lady (Tuesday, April 26 through Sunday, May 1), The Band’s Visit (Wednesday, May 4 through Sunday, May 8) and Pretty Woman (Tuesday, May 17 through Sunday, May 22). In the fall, the Straz Center will present Six, a new musical about Henry VIII’s six wives, from Tuesday, November 1 through Sunday, November 6. Hadestown will run from Tuesday, November 29 through Sunday, December 4. TINA The Tina Turner Musical, a new musical, will run from Friday, January 13, 2023 through Sunday, February 5, 2023. Chicago, a musical that has been running for over 25 years, will run from Tuesday, February 21 through Sunday, February 26, 2023.

317-203-9678 | honeyzfortune5.com Follow us on Facebook for Live Shows

The critically acclaimed book To Kill a Mockingbird is now a Broadway production thanks to Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin, who adapted Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork. To Kill a Mockingbird runs at the Straz Center from Monday, April 11, 2023 through Saturday, April 16, 2023. Ain’t Too Proud will run from Monday, May 2, 2023 through Saturday, May 7, 2023. The new musical Jagged Little Pill will run from Monday, May 16, 2023 through Saturday, May 21, 2023. The season also features the unique comedy whodunit Shear Madness from Wednesday, February 15, 2023 through Saturday, April 8, 2023. In addition to the eight-show Broadway series, the Straz Center will present two special return engagements. Hamilton will be presented from Wednesday, December 28, 2022 through Monday, January 22, 2023. Wicked, the Broadway sensation that looks at what happened in the Land of Oz but from a different angle, will be presented from Wednesday, March 8, 2023 through Sunday, March 26, 2023. The Straz Center is continuously evaluating health conditions and adjusting safety protocols. Guests should always visit strazcenter.org/safety before attending a performance. Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice. For more information, call the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office at 813-229-STAR (7827) or visit www.strazcenter.org. Individual show tickets will go on sale at later dates, to be announced.

kel 100% NicFree d a e &L

Volume 20, Issue 4

BRANDON BALLET PRESENTS CINDERELLA Brandon Ballet will present Cinderella for one night only on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. The ballet will be presented at Riverview High School, located at 11311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. Tickets are available online at www.brandonballet.org. Adults are $35 ($40 at the door), children and seniors are $25 ($30 at the door) and homeschool groups and students are $15 ($20 at the door). Cinderella tells the story of a young girl who finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, who reduce her to a scullery maid. Despite her dreadful circumstances, she never gives up hope. Cinderella receives an invitation to a ball at the palace, and it is rumored that the prince is going to select his bride at the ball. However, her stepmother puts up many obstacles to her attending. But, in the end, Cinderella finds love and happiness. The role of Cinderella will be performed by Sarah Parry, a professional dancer with Brandon Ballet. Hannah Townend, administrative director for Brandon Ballet, said, “This is her second time performing the role of Cinderella, and she is excited to bring a fresh take to the role since her inaugural performance in 2018.” Brentwood Townend will be dancing the role of the prince. Townend is also a professional dancer with Brandon Ballet. In January of 2022, Townend said, “Brentwood Townend was asked to also fill the role of assistant artistic director at Brandon Ballet. Alongside Courtney Moody, fellow professional and performer

Brandon Ballet will present Cinderella on Saturday, April 30 at the Riverview High School Auditorium in Riverview. This one-night presentation is going to be an enchanting and beautiful version of the classic ballet.

of the Fairy Godmother role, he has been helping guide the ballet and the company as well as dancing the lead role in it.” The performance of Cinderella will also feature two guest artists. This includes Fay Leonard, who will be performing the role of one of the stepsisters, and Jeff Cassamajor, who will be performing the humorous role of ballet master in act one. According to Townend, “Choreography for this production is heavily inspired by the original choreography as well as the unique versions of the late Richard Munro and, more recently, Doricha Sales. Brentwood Townend takes their exciting and intricate choreography and adds other enchanting details and moments that we think the audience will thoroughly enjoy.” Townend added, “Though the Brandon Ballet is small, it is dedicated to bringing quality ballet training and performance to the Tampa Bay area. Our dancers are well-known for their professionalism and technical abilities. We pride ourselves on the individual growth of each dancer through the performances and events we offer.”

April 2022

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4


By Sharon Still

Are you looking for a Levy. “We are excited Christian-based counselabout opening our ing service to help with a doors in the Rivervariety of mental health view community and services? Then look no helping to bringing further than Renewed much-needed quality Integrative Counseling in services to those in Riverview. need.” Owned by Jeannette The team of highAlcantara and Amanda ly qualified licensed Levy, the business offers counselors—includmental health counseling ing licensed menfor individuals and coutal health counselples, family counseling, ors, licensed social psychological testing workers, licensed services, small group marriage and famcounseling and more Jeannette Alcantara and Amanda Levy ily therapists and recently opened Renewed Integrative for children, teens and licensed registered Counseling in Riverview. adults. state interns—and “Renewed is a place professional life where people are invited into coaches work with each a journey of healing from client to create a personalhurtful life experiences; a ized care plan to meet their place where people learn to specific needs with the end develop effective coping skills goal of helping each perfor managing emotions and son build a better quality of stresses of life; a place where life. The team’s core beliefs people grow and foster are grounded in prioritizing healthy relationships; a place God, family and self-care bewhere purpose is drawn out fore service to ensure they and people begin to live out that purpose are at their best emotionally and spirituin fullness,” said Alcantara and Levy. ally within their personal lives so that they The Christian-based practice imple- can provide the highest quality of care for ments a holistic and integrative approach their clients. to mental health care that fosters emoRenewed Integrative Counseling is lotional, physical and spiritual health, lead- cated 11912 Balm Riverview Rd. in Rivering to effective long-term wellness. view and can be reached at 813-444-7116. “Our compassion team is made up of To learn more, visit www.renewedic.com a group of amazingly talented licensed or check the business out on Facebook at professionals who build safe and trust- www.facebook.com/WelcometoRenewed. ing relationships with clients and meet Renewed in open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.them where they are,” said Alcantara and 8 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment.

hearing loss doubles the risk of dementia, moderate hearing loss triples the chances and severe hearing impairment makes someone five times as likely to develop dementia. He added that the high cost of hearing aids is leading people to buy the devices over the counter, which he strongly advises against. “Every person is different,” Don advised, explaining that devices are tailored to each person’s specific needs and adjusted over time. “We can retrain the brain, but we cannot regrow damaged nerves,” Don explained. He also said that when people by over-the-counter hearing aids, they end up turning them up louder because they are an improper fit. “Louder is not better,” he added. If you are experiencing hearing loss, go see a professional before you end up with more problems—which is the main message that Don and Chris would like to share with the community. Don frequently talks at churches and other places locally, educating the residents about the importance of addressing hearing loss. A+ Hearing Center is located in the heart of Sun City Center at 1647 Sun City Center Plaza Bldg., Ste. 203A. Current office hours are 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; summer hours may differ. Obtain further information by calling 813-6428200 or visiting www.aplushearingsuncity. com.

Chris and Don Guiley, owners of A+ Hearing Center in Sun City Center.

A+ Hearing Center Inc. Owners Chris and Don Guiley are passionate about what they do and want to share their knowledge about hearing loss with the community. In business in the area for more than two decades, the couple cares about people’s well-being and strive to do whatever they can to help them improve it. One issue the couple feels strongly about is people’s access to affordable health care, especially when it comes to the cost of hearing aids. “The main reason people do not get hearing aids is because of the cost,” said Don. He has worked closely with local assisted living facility administrators to address this issue, even approaching former State Representative Ross Spano, who also is a local resident. Don feels that hearing aids should be put in Medicare and Medicaid coverage to give more people access to the devices. Don said that people do not realize there are many other, more serious issues that can arise from untreated hearing loss, particularly an increased risk of dementia. “If you think it is expensive to buy a hearing aid,” stressed Don, “wait until they need 24-hour care.” According to a Johns Hopkins study, mild

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


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Select students in Hillsborough The long-running coronavirus pandemic has fueled your life, you may have simultaneous financial goals. County Public Schools had an oppora lot of anxieties – including financial ones. But some For example, you could be investing for a retirement tunity to showcase their artwork repeople have had far fewer worries than others. that’s decades away, while also trying to save for a cently. Students in fourth and fifth Consider this: Among those investors who work with child’s college education. A financial professional grade from area schools, including a financial advisor, 84% said that doing so gave them can suggest ways you can keep working toward both Bevis Elementary, participated in the a greater sense of comfort about their finances during objectives, in terms of how much money you can afford Fine Arts Festival held at FishHawk the pandemic, according to a survey from Age Wave to invest and what types of savings and investment and Edward Jones. vehicles you should consider. Creek Elementary School on March 5. Of course, many people experience investment-relat… Prepare for the unexpected – Most of us did not One local student whose artwork ed fears even without a global health crisis, and that’s need a pandemic to remind us that unexpected events was on exhibit was Ryan Kittleson, a probably not surprising, given the periodic volatility of can happen in our lives – and some of these events fourth grade student at Bevis Elementhe financial markets. But financial guidance can come can have serious financial impacts on us and our loved tary School. Ryan is in Mrs. Dasta’s in handy during relatively normal times, too. ones. Do you have adequate life insurance? How about homeroom. Mrs. Fernandez is Ryan’s A financial professional can help you … disability insurance? And if you ever needed some type art teacher. … Look past the headlines – Inflation, interest rates, of long-term care, such as an extended stay in a nursing Ryan created an image of his hand pandemics, elections – there’s always something in home, how would you pay for it? A financial advisor the news that could affect the investment world in the can evaluate your protection needs and recommend using a method known as Zentangle short term. But by helping you construct a portfolio appropriate solutions that fit within your overall design. He used drawing paper, Sharpthat’s built for the long term and reflects your goals, financial strategy. Ryan Kittleson, a fourth grade student at Bevis ie markers and special art markers. Elementary School in Lithia, recently participated in risk tolerance and time horizon, a financial advisor can … Adapt to changing circumstances – Over time, Ryan said of the inspiration for his de- the Fine Arts Festival at FishHawk Creek Elementaenable you to look past the headlines. many things may change in your life – your job, your sign, “I like a lot of different patterns ry. Ryan is shown here with his art teacher and the … Avoid emotional decisions – Many people let their family situation, your retirement plans, and so on. A and green is one of my favorite colors. principal at Bevis Elementary School. emotions drive their investment choices. When the financial professional can help you adjust your financial I added the space border because I market goes through a downturn and the value of their strategy in response to these changes. Artome frames a work of art for evinvestments drops, they sell to “cut losses,” even though Achieving your financial goals may present challenges, thought it looked cool.” ery student in a school. It also provides these same investments may still have good business but it doesn’t have to cause you years of worry and Ryan added, “I like art because it is gallery displays so children, parents and fundamentals and promising futures. Conversely, when distress – as long as you get the help you need. fun, and you get to draw a bunch of neat x 2” administrators can view and share their 3.5”the market is on an uptick, some poeple chase after things.” “hot” investments, even when they become overpriced This content was provided by Edward Jones for use by artwork in an organized way. Its experiRyan’s mom, Karen Kittleson, said, “The and may have very little room to grow. But a financial Gabriel N. Mbulo, AAMS®, your Edward Jones financial enced art show professionals set up and Fine Arts Festival was great. There were advisor can help keep you from making these fear- and advisor at 10657 Big Bend Road break down the on-site shows and make some amazing pieces of art on display. greed-based actions by only recommending moves that Riverview, FL 33578. sure everyone’s experience is extraordimake sense for your situation. This was the first time Ryan participated nary. … Work toward multiple goals –Mbulo, At various times in in the event.” Gabriel AAMS® Gabriel N. Mbulo, AAMS® Parents were able view the artwork In addition to the art, the attendees Financial Advisor Financial Advisor, Edward Jones online and make purchases. Funds raised enjoyed a delightful music program. 10657 Big Bend Road 10657 Big Bend Rd from the purchase of the artwork went Riverview, 33578 The students’ works that were selected Riverview, FL FL 33578 toward the Hillsborough County Arts (727) 455-3513 were featured in the festival and online 813-319-3983 cell Program. (813) 319-3983 office through a service known as Artome. It Karen noted that art in schools has gabriel.mbulo@edwardjones.com is the premier organizer of full-service value, as does displaying their art in pub> edwardjones.com www.edwardjones.com/gabriel-mbulo school art shows. It believes that dislic. She said, “It offers creative students MKT-5894M-A playing and celebrating student artwork an outlet to show their successes to the is fundamental to art education and opcommunity. It is absolutely incredible to erates both virtual art shows as well as see what these kids are capable of.” on-site events.

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By Michelle Caceres

The average wait time dialysis. Doctors inserted for an organ from the a catheter so she could transplant list can take receive peritoneal dialysis three years or longer. For at home, where, for nine 25-year-old River Hills hours a night, cleansing resident Jisselle Hidalgo, fluids flow through the that time can feel like an catheter to remove waste eternity. products from her blood. Hidalgo was a child Hidalgo, who was addwhen diagnosed with ed to the kidney transfocal segmental glomerplant list in September ulosclerosis (FSGS), a 2019, hasn’t been as lucky disease in which scar tisthis time around. A possue develops on the small sible match was found parts of the kidneys that River Hills resident Jisselle Hidalgo last May, but she was is hoping to find a kidney donor filter waste from the passed over because she through Tampa General Hospital’s blood. had been diagnosed with paired exchange program. Her kidney function beCOVID-19. gan to slowly decline. At age 13, while living She is hoping that a kidney will be found in New York, she was put on dialysis, a pro- through Tampa General Hospital’s paired cedure that helps remove waste, salt and ex- exchange program, in which a living donor tra water from building up in the body. Her who isn’t compatible with the person to name was added to the kidney transplant whom they want to donate to instead dolist, and a month later she received news nates to a different matching recipient and, that a match had been found. in exchange, the donor’s recipient receives Life returned to normal for Hidalgo, who a living donor kidney from someone in the moved with her family to River Hills in 2012. same situation. Both recipients get a living She attended Newsome High School, grad- donor kidney through paired exchanged douated in 2015, began taking classes at Hill- nors. sborough Community College and she got a “My doctors have told me that finding a job at Creative World. live direct living donor is going to be chalThen, in 2018, she noticed swelling in her lenging,” she said. “My transplant team has ankles and puffiness around her eyes, and encouraged me to try to find a living donor she was waking up nauseous. willing to participate in the kidney exchange “I made an appointment with my kidney program.” doctor and after running tests, they told Hidalgo, who lives with her parents, feels me that my body was rejecting the kidney like her life is on hold. She dreams of travand that I was going to need another trans- elling, going back to school and having chilplant,” she said. dren. “It’s a waiting game right now,” she In October 2018, she received the news said. that she was in complete kidney failure. For more information, call 813-844-5669 Months later, she started emergency hemo- or email it at livingkidneydonor@tgh.org.


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Volume 20, Issue 4

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE 12TH ANNUAL CRAWFISH & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL Staff Report Are you a seafood Since its inception, lover? Then mark your the Rotary Club of Fishcalendars for a delicious Hawk-Riverview has been event that also helps out involved in numerous serthe community. vice projects and, most The Rotary Club of recently, a global project in FishHawk-Riverview is Honduras providing water hosting its 12th annual filtration and latrine sysCrawfish Festival at Wintems for local communities throp Town Centre on in that country. Saturday, April 30 from “We have also provided 11 a.m.-4 p.m. funds for college scholar“We are looking forship programs for local high ward to making this the school students; Student largest Crawfish Festival Dictionary Distribution— yet to be put on by the The 12th annual Crawfish Festival, over 8,500 dictionaries to Rotary Club of Fish- hosted by the Rotary Club of Fish- elementary students since Hawk-Riverview,” said Hawk-Riverview, will take place at the program began; RotaGabriel Mbulo, the club’s Winthrop Town Centre on Satur- ry’s Camp Florida, a camp day, April 30 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. president. for special needs children One hundred percent and adults in Brandon; of the proceeds from the event will help Group Study Exchange; Reading Is Fundathe Rotary Club Foundation, a 501(c)(3) mental, where more than 800 books have charity, to fund and support local, national been donated to Head Start students and and international charities and activities. members volunteer to read to the students Charities and activities include, but are monthly; Project C.U.R.E., a collection and not limited to, college scholarships for lo- distribution of medical supplies to developcal students, ECHO, Campo Family YMCA, ing nations; PolioPlus and The Rotary FounYMCA Camp Christina, the Sylvia Thomas dation,” said Mbulo. Center, the Brandon Outreach Clinic, RoRotary International is an organization tary’s Camp Florida, Head Start, PolioPlus of business and professional leaders, unitand more. ed worldwide, who provide humanitarian The event will feature a live perfor- service, encourage high ethical standards mance by Soul Circus Cowboys, a high-en- in all vocations and help build goodwill and ergy powerhouse Southern rock band from peace in the world. In more than 165 counTampa. There will be lots of fun, free games tries worldwide, approximately 1.4 million and various activities for children. Rotarians belong to over 33,000 Rotary “As usual, we will be offering a variety Clubs. of Cajun-style dishes, such as crawfish dinSponsorships and vendor spots are ners, étouffée, gumbo, jambalaya and ham- available for the event and all of the inforburgers and hot dogs,” said Mbulo. “Addi- mation, including food pricing and pickup tionally, we are anticipating having over 50 information, please visit our website at vendors in attendance.” www.luvcrawfish.com.

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


By Amy Schechter

Whether you’re Not sure where looking to update to start? Fifi’s emyour wardrobe or ployees enjoy doushop for a special bling as personal occasion, Fifi’s Fine shoppers, and its Resale Apparel friendly staff can has exactly what help you find that you’re looking for. piece you didn’t With over 20 years even know you specializing in the needed. Williams resale of designer speaks so highly wear and accesof her team: “I sories, you know cannot say enough you’ll get someabout my emploything authentic ees. They are the Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel is located in Apollo Beach. and special. root of my busiOwner Judith Williams offers a boutique ness. I love each and every one of them. We experience at pocket-friendly prices. At Fi- call ourselves the Fifi’s family.” Williams fi’s, you will find designer labels like Gucci, invites the community to visit not just her Louis Vuitton and Coco Chanel. Upgrading store, but their entire plaza. She feels blessyour wardrobe with high-end, name-brand ed to be a part of a community of wonderfashions was never so easy. Williams can ful business owners. guarantee you will get the best quality for Williams makes sure that she always the best price: “We’re very proud of being gives back to the community that has able to authenticate our items and we’re supported her. She works a lot with local proud of the prices we are able to set for nonprofit organizations, including Selah them.” Freedom, Mothers Helping Mothers, and How many times do you look in our clos- the Resurrection House. Part of everything et and have a lot in there but still feel like Fifi’s consigns goes back to these organizayou have nothing to wear? With Fifi’s Fine tions to support their causes. Resale Apparel, you can afford to liven up For more information or to find out your wardrobe, and it’s not only econom- what it is accepting, call 813-641-8444 or ical, it’s also eco-friendly. Williams added, check it out online on Facebook at www. “People don’t need a big wardrobe if you facebook.com/JOINFIFISFRENZY/, Instaknow consignment. You buy consignment, gram at www.instagram.com/fifisfrenzy/ you wear consignment and you reconsign and https://fineresale.com/. It is open 10 it.” Stop by the store and you’ll find out why a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and they have over 14,000 consigners. “People is closed on Sunday. Fifi’s Fine Resale Aplook at us because they know we will take parel is located in Apollo Beach at 6156 N. care of their item and will get the best price U.S. Hwy. 41 in Apollo Beach. It also has a for it. Plus, we have a great atmosphere to sister location located at 7343 52nd Pl. E. come in and shop. I’m very proud of this in Bradenton, which can be called at 941little boutique. Come and see us.” 907-8900.

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY UPGRADES FISHHAWK SPARTANS FOOTBALL FIELD By Nick Nahas Last year, the Fishduring that time. The Hawk Spartans, forprogram included merly known as the other sports, such as South County Spargolf and wrestling, tans Athletic Prothat they hope to gram, merged with bring back soon. the TBYL FishHawk Beiter plans to reWolves. The proimplement the honor gram’s football and roll program that procheerleading facilivides extra incentives ties are now based at to the students for the FishHawk Sports having good grades, Complex at 16000 along with a tutoring Photos courtesy of the FishHawk Spartans. program. Also, the FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. According to The FishHawk Spartans had a successful Spartans are lookFishHawk Spartans first season after its merger with the TBYL ing for community FishHawk Wolves last year. President Christian sponsors as well as Beiter, the county will more volunteer footupgrade one of the ball and cheerleading fields with new artificoaches. cial turf. To make joining the “We are excited program easier, there about the upcoming are payment plans, season with our new multiple athlete disturf field,” said Beiter. counts and scholar“With the new field, ship opportunities we will have one of for those who can’t the biggest and most afford to pay regisexpansive in Hillsbortration fees. The program had another outstanding ough County.” If your child is infootball season all around with six out of its The nonprofit, now terested in joining seven teams making the playoffs. in its fifth year overall, the program or if you had another successful football season want to become a volunteer football or all around with six out of its seven teams cheerleading coach or become a commumaking the playoffs. Over 200 students nity sponsor, visit fishhawkspartans.com have registered for cheer and football for or reach out through Facebook @souththe upcoming season, and they started countyspartans. conditioning on April 5. Donations can be made on the FishThe program was not able to compete Hawk Spartans Facebook page as well as in 2020 due to COVID-19. The players and through PayPal. Monthly or one-time docoaches associated with the organization nations can be made to the program for played and coached for different teams budget needs.

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Volume 20, Issue 4

April 2022

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 43


LENNARD BASEBALL CLAIMS SALADINO SILVER DIVISION TOURNAMENT, ACHIEVES BEST START IN SCHOOL HISTORY Lennard High School claimed the Saladino Silver Division Tournament in mid-March, keeping its perfect 9-0 record intact. The win gave the Longhorns their first-ever Saladino championship and continues the best start in the program’s history. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the score tied 8-8 after a seven-run comeback by Robinson, junior shortstop Alex Brazer led off the inning with Lennard Head Coach Victor Martinez celebrates a hit-by-pitch and a steal of second. He The win gave the Longhorns their first-ever Saladino championship and continued the best start with the school’s principal, Denise Savino, after the later scored the go-ahead run to start in the program’ s history. victory. a two-run rally that Lennard needed. In the final inning, he caught the last out of years at the helm. The Ruskin native has especially growing up in Hillsborough Counthe game on a line-drive with pitcher John been with the team as an assistant since ty and playing in the event. It was definitely Smith on the mound, preserving the 10-8 2007 before taking over as head coach in pretty sweet to win it as a coach.” victory over Robinson High School. 2021. Last season, Lennard finished with a Senior first basemen Keith McClain, who “It felt great,” said Brazer. “I actually record of 9-13. This season, the Longhorns leads the team with a .458 batting average, caught the last out, and it was really inde- have already matched their win total from loves his team’s resiliency and work ethic. scribable; I joined the dogpile, and we all 2021 and are off to their best start in their “My favorite part about being a part of were extremely excited. The win means a school’s history with a perfect 9-0 record. this team is simply being around individuals lot to me and the guys but also this pro- Martinez, a former East Bay shortstop, re- that always want to be better,” said Mcgram. It’s serious when the principal joins members fondly competing in the tourna- Clain. “We, as a team, constantly push each us to celebrate with the team. To me, it ment as a player under mentor and long- other every day, and I think this is what shows that all the work I’ve put in is well time Hillsborough County baseball coach is helping us play at the standard that we worth it and to keep going, and for the Bill Leiby. strive to be and hold ourselves to.” team it just shows what we can do when “It was a good feeling,” said Martinez. “It Martinez is excited about the buzz his we work as one.” was one of those things where we thought team has created in the Ruskin community. Head Coach Victor Martinez has led his we could make a deep run, but obviously “I think it’s good for the town of Ruskin team to a quick turnaround in just two that last out there were a lot of emotions, to have a team doing as well as we are, and

Head Coach Victor Martinez has led his team to a quick turnaround in just two years at the helm.

the support of the community has been really good,” he said. “The boys really look forward to playing at home with the fans there. It definitely helps out playing at home with the excitement of the people around the town coming to watch baseball.” Brazer, McClain, Martinez and the rest of the Longhorns aren’t just satisfied with this victory, they want to continue their winning ways throughout the season and make a playoff run. “The goal is to play as hard as we can every game and to win a district championship,” said Brazer. “It would be great to be the team that goes the furthest in the playoffs in Lennard history. This is a special group we have in Ruskin, and this is just the beginning.”

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 20, Issue 4

April 2022

Osprey Observer

Page 41

AREA SUMMER CAMPS OFFER MANY OPTIONS TO KEEP KIDS ACTIVE AND ENGAGED Have you got the calendar ready? Summer is just around the corner and camps are gearing up for an active and busy camp season! The staff at the Osprey Observer has collected the top recommendations for local summer camps and created this special pullout section. We asked local camps what they are doing to keep students engaged and active this year! Buckhorn Springs Racquet & Pool Club Tennis Camp Do you have a budding tennis player in your home? If so, Buckhorn Springs Racquet & Pool Club camps might be the place for you. Camp Osprey, LLC For a fun, traditional camp experience, check out Camp Osprey which is located on 204 acres of beautiful woodlands alongside the Little Manatee River in Wimauma. Camp activities include high ropes courses, ziplines, horse back riding and much more. Hurricane Volleyball Academy Volleyball players should check out the camps offered at Hurricane Volleyball Academy (HVA) owned by Riverview residents Victoria and Brian Adams.

Patel Conservatory The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center is hosting a variety of week summer camps for rising actors, musicians, and dancers starting May 31 and running through August 5. Weekly camps will take place Monday through Friday. Trilogy Dive This summer, Trilogy Dive Center is hosting scuba camps for 10 to 17-yearolds: the Open Water Camp, for noncertified scuba divers, and the Advanced Open Water Camp, for those already scuba certified. Kids R Kids With locations in Valrico and Lithia, Kids R Kids has been offering summer camps since cians. 2004. This summer, the With a variety theme is Camp Boomerof camp options in full ang and students can sign and half-day experiences, there’s up on a weekly basis or for something for every young entertainer. the whole summer. Mathnasium of Riverview and Brandon Have your child’s math skills been impacted by the last school year? Have they fallen behind? Music Showcase The Florida Academy of the Performing Arts at Music Showcase offers summer camps for aspiring actors a n d musi-

High 5, Inc. Brandon’s High 5 Inc. is inviting students to sail away for the best summer of their lives, kicking off on May 31. YMCA All camps begin on May 31 and run through August 5 with ten separate sessions available Monday-Friday. TLC’S Gypsy Haven TLC’s Gypsy Haven offers weekly themed riding camps, ages 8-99, focusing on riding and grooming. The camps take place from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sidekicks Summer Camp Sidekicks Martial Arts is gearing up for its Summer Camp 2022 program with Martial Arts, field trips & more. Watch for our Summer Camp Sweepstakes link where the Osprey Observer will buy your child a week of camp at the summer camp of your choice! Or, enter now by emailing (subject line ‘Summer Camp Free’) contest@ ospreyobserver.com. Did we miss a great summer camp option? Let us know by emailing (subject line ‘Summer Camp’) to kquesada@ospreyobserver.com and we will be sure to add it to our full listing online. Have a great summer of fun!

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Osprey Observer


By Lily Belcher

This summer, Trilogy Dive Center is hosting scuba camps for 10 to 17-year-olds: the Open Water Camp, for noncertified scuba divers, and the Advanced Open Water Camp, for those already scuba certified. Successful students will earn their scuba certification as Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water Diver. “[The goal of the camp is to] have fun, meet new friends, Trilogy Dive Center is hosting two scuba camps for 10 to explore our 17-year-olds this summer. underwater world and get scuba certified,” said Scuba Instructor and Owner Mike Massaro. Each camp is offered every week this summer. No camps are held on the week of Wednesday to Sunday, July 4-8. Each week of camp will last Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Trilogy Dive Center on E. Columbus Dr. in Tampa. For the weeklong certification camp, campers will participate in 40 hours of dive instruction and leave with their scuba certification. The Open Water Camp is for those with no prior scuba certification. The camper will participate in the classroom, pool and open water checkout dives to earn their Open

Water Scuba Certification. “The camper starts off their week with classroom academics and pool work. This happens Monday-Wednesday. Thursday and Friday are spent at dive sites with the divers putting their newfound skills to work,” explained Massaro. “To become certified, they must attend every day, successfully pass all of the water skills in the pool and successfully complete four checkout dives that we conduct at lakes and springs.” Every diver starts with Open Water Scuba. Trilogy Dive Center’s instructors are military veterans, health care professionals and educators. They have extensive experience training young adults to scuba dive. Each camp is limited to 10 campers and will be led by an adult scuba instructor. Equipment, drinks and snacks will be provided, so the only things campers have to bring is lunch, sunblock and a towel. The Open Water Camp is $595, and the Advanced Open Water Camp is $695. Register now and give your child an adventure that will last a lifetime. Visit trilogyscuba. com, call 813-425-3500 or email scuba@ triologyscuba.com.

Volume 21, Issue 4


By Lily Belcher

The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Cen- basics and skills to showcase in their final ter is hosting a variety of week summer performances. Showstoppers: Broadway Incamps for rising actors, musicians, and tensive is available for teen students at the dancers starting on Tuesday, May 31 and end of the summer as well. Musical theater running through Fricamps are an option for day, August 5. musically inclined acWeekly camps tors and actresses to will take place combine their dancMonday through ing, acting and singFriday, with preing talents on stage. and post-camp Music camps and available for an intensives are availadditional $30 able throughout the each or $50 for summer, with focuses both extensions. on different genres in The Patel Coneach camp. The Patel Conservatory offers dance, servatory offers “Summer music summer dance camps theater and music camps throughout the offerings at the Patel Consummer. and intensives for beservatory allow students to ginner and advanced dancers. The advanced experience singing in a choir, discovering and intensive camps, which vary in price, re- a new instrument or playing in a chamber quire prior experience, but its beginning jazz ensemble. Instrumentalists and vocalists of dance, tap dance and ballet camps are open all ages have fun while developing their talto elementary and middle school dancers for ents,” according to the brochure. $145. Group classes for violin, piano, singing and For aspiring actors and actresses, theater chamber music are offered over the summer students can register for the Patel Conser- and allow students to fine tune their musical vatory’s production camps. talents with a teacher. Private lessons and “The Patel Conservatory Theater De- music theory classes are also available. partment offers training in musical and Information on the camps offered as nonmusical theater through productions, well as specific dates, times and pricing are performance camps and technical theater available in the 2022 Summer Camps and programs,” explains the summer camp bro- Classes brochure on the Straz Center’s webchure. site at strazcenter.org. For more information Young actors can participate in shows like on specific details of the camps, contact the Disney’s 101 Dalmatians and Shakespeare’s admissions staff at 813-222-1040 or 800As You Like It, where they will learn theater 955-1045 (toll-free).

Osprey Observer

April 2022

YMCA CAMP INSPIRES DREAMS AND SUPPORTS CHILDREN By Amy Schechter Whether you riding, canoeing, need childcare visual arts and over the summore. mer or just want Besides many your kids to esconvenient locacape the house, tions in the Branthe YMCA has don, Riverview what kids crave and Apollo Beach at one of its area, including many summer the North Tampa camp locations. YMCA, Campo Camp CristiFamily YMCA and na Operations Spurlino Family That feeling when you’re ready for YMCA Summer Director Meagan YMCA at Big Bend Camp! Springer spoke Rd., the community with joy when she described is lucky to have Camp Cristina, summers at the YMCA: a 65-acre campus in Riverview “Camps provide an experience complete with many outdoor where kids have an opportuoptions, including a rock wall, nity that’s very unique. At the ropes course, horseback riding, heart of what we do, we are and water activities. always thinking of ways we All camps begin on Tuesday, can stimulate and support May 31 and run through Friday, kids through recreation while August 5 with 10 separate sesthey are out of school.” sions available from Monday to The American Camp Association (ACA) Friday. Book one weeklong session or book recently announced that the Tampa Met- them all. Camp programming runs from 9 ropolitan Area YMCA Summer Camps re- a.m.-4 p.m. with free early morning care ceived ACA-Accredited Camp status for the beginning at 7 a.m. and free afternoon ex2022 season. After a thorough review of tended care until 6 p.m. Prices start at only nearly 300 standards, the ACA found that $169 per week for YMCA members and the YMCA camps’ staff qualifications, train- are open to the public. Discounted rates for ing and emergency management reflect members, early registration, siblings, multithe highest standards in the industry. Plus, camp sign-ups and early-bird registration YMCA camps offer an array of fun where are available. activity specialists lead campers through For more information on specific lovarious experiences each day, including cations and pricing and to register, visit swimming, science, high ropes, outdoor tampaymca.org/programs/camp/sumeducation, nature encounters, horseback mer-camp.

Contact us today to schedule a risk-free assessment and learn about our summer specials. TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU Mathnasium of Brandon 813-655-6284 1048 Bloomingdale Avenue Valrico, FL 33596 mathnasium.com/brandon

Mathnasium of Riverview 813-565-1102 Coming 1388 US 301 Soon! Riverview, FL 33579 mathnasium.com/riverview

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FOR THE LOVE OF VOLLEYBALL, HVA IS HERE By Libby Hopkins Victoria and Brian Adams are both edu- ni go off to play volleyball at the collegiate cators. Combined, they have taught in the level,” Victoria said. “We believe in providing district for more than 25 years. “We live in a home for all levels of athletes to achieve Riverview, Florida and love it here,” Victoria their personal goals.” said. “Together, we The mission of HVA is to cultishare a passion for vate an environment of compethelping the youth itive learning through innovative in our communicoaching techniques and high ty, whether that is standards of performance. “HVA through education, is a volleyball club dedicated sports, community to player development both on service, you name it.” and off the court,” Victoria said. Brian won coach “HVA’s customized practice seof the year in 2012 at quences enable us to East Bay High in the maximize individual Western Conference skills training through for volleyball. “Brian a unique format.” The mission of Hurricane has been coaching for HVA will offer volVolleyball Academy (HVA) 14 years in Hillsbor- is to cultivate an environleyball summer camps ough County,” Victoria ment of competitive learning this year. “We have said. “I won teacher of through innovative coaching techniques camps that run all through the year at East Bay and high standards of performance for summer,” Victoria said. ages 8-18. High School in 2016.” “We will be offering bundles Brian grew up playwhere people can pick and ing competitive beach volleyball and has choose the skills position they want to focus always had a love for sports and coaching. on. We will have $10 open gym time where “He is currently teaching physical education they get some upfront instruction, then get at Riverview High School,” Victoria said. to play some games in the gym. We will be “About six years ago, he decided to begin offering college camps as well. Our last colthe journey of fulfilling a personal challenge lege camp with Warner University resulted of starting his own volleyball club. I jumped in a player receiving a college scholarship to right on board.” And from there, Hurricane play volleyball. We target ages 8-18, both Volleyball Academy (HVA) was born. boys and girls, all skill levels.” HVA started in 2016 and has grown from If you’d like to learn more about HVA or a 15 to 18-year-old girls club to expand into their upcoming summer camps, you can visit a club for both 8 to 18-year-old girls and its website at www.hurricanevolleyballacadboys. “We’ve had dozens of Hurricane alum- emy.com or call Brian at 813-220-0905.

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Buckhorn Springs Racquet & Pool Club Tennis Camp Do you have a budding tennis player in your home? If so, Buckhorn Springs Racquet & Pool Club camps might be the place for you. Located at 2721 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico, camps take place Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m.12 Noon, with Friday as a rain day. Camps, which boast a 6:1 student-to-instructor ratio, cost $185 a week, but if you register before Friday, April 15, you qualify for the early bird price of $170. New players get a free beginner racket when registering for more than two weeks. Additional discounts are available with inquiry. Snacks and meals are not included. To learn more, call 502-5160 or visit www.buckhornracquet.com.

Osprey Observer

can be purchased in the camp canteen. The camp is located at 18050 U.S. Hwy. 301 S. in Wimauma and can be reached at 941-928-6860. For more information, visit www.camposprey.com.

Hurricane Volleyball Academy Volleyball players should check out the camps offered at Hurricane Volleyball Academy (HVA), owned by Riverview residents Victoria and Brian Adams. HVA started in 2016 and has grown from a 15 to 18-year-old girls club to expand into 8 to 18-yearold for both girls and boys with camps that will run throughout the summer. Options will include bundles where people can pick and choose the skills position they want to focus on and $10 open gym time, which will include Camp Osprey, LLC instruction and games. College camps will For a fun, traditional camp experience, also be offered. check out Camp Osprey, which is located To learn more, visit www.hurricanevolon 204 acres of beautiful leyballacademy.com or call 220-0905. woodlands alongside the Little Manatee River in Mathnasium Of Riverview And Wimauma. Camp activBrandon ities include high ropes Have your child’s math skills been imcourses, ziplines, horsepacted by the last school year? Have they back riding and much more. fallen behind? Are there gaps in their learnCamps take place every week starting on ing? Do they need a greater challenge? If Sunday, June 5, and campers can sign up so, consider a summer math program with for a week or the whole summer. Day and Mathnasium. But don’t wait too long beovernight options are available, with day cause spots are filling up fast. camp costing $325 a week and overnight Mathnasium’s personalized learning being $645. Meals are provided and snacks plans are proven to improve grades and

give them a head start going into the new school year. With live face-to-face instruction, either in-center or online, its summer programs are designed to work in tandem with the other summer camps and activities. Just two or three one-hour sessions per week are all kids need to help keep their math skills on track for the upcoming school year, and your child will continue to enjoy summer because Mathnasium makes learning math fun. Call today for a free assessment. Mathnasium of Brandon (mathnasium.com/brandon) is located at 1048 Bloomingdale Ave. and can be reached at 655-6284, and Mathnasium of Riverview (mathnasium.com/riverview) is located at 1388 U.S. 301 and can be reached at 565-1102. Music Showcase The Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase offers summer camps for aspiring actors and musicians. With a variety of camp options in full and half-day experiences, there’s something for every young entertainer. The traditional camp exposes campers to music and more. You can sign up for one weeklong camp or you can sign up for multiple camps. Camps are structured by age, ability and interest. Its other camp option is a musical theater camp, where campers work together

Volume 21, Issue 4

over the course of a few weeks to put on a show. Camp registration opens in mid-March. For further details, visit www.faopa.org or call 490-2787. Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. The Patel Conservatory The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center is hosting a variety of week summer camps for rising actors, musicians and dancers starting Tuesday, May 31 and running through Friday, August 5. Weekly camps will take place Monday through Friday, with pre- and post-camp available for an additional $30 each or $50 for both extensions. Information on the camps offered as well as specific dates, times and pricing are available in the 2022 Summer Camps and Classes brochure on the Straz Center’s website at strazcenter.org. For more information on specific details of the camps, contact the admissions staff at 222-1040 or 800-9551045 (toll-free). Trilogy Dive This summer, Trilogy Dive Center is hosting scuba camps for 10 to 17-yearolds: the Open Water Camp, for noncertified scuba divers, and the Advanced Open Water Camp, for those already scuba certified. Successful students will earn their scuba certification as Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water Diver. Each camp is limited to 10 campers and

April 2022

will be led by an adult scuba instructor. Equipment, drinks and snacks will be provided, so the only things campers have to bring is lunch, sunblock and a towel. The Open Water Camp is $595, and the Advanced Open Water Camp is $695. To sign up for the camp or for more information on Trilogy Dive’s camps, visit trilogyscuba.com, call 425-3500 or email scuba@triologyscuba.com.

Osprey Observer

on a cruise ship theme, including swimming, diving, games and activities, a scavenger hunt, dress-up days, various tournaments, bounce houses, a slip and slide, water slides and gaming tournaments. Camp is offered Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. at High 5, which is located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon. Campers can sign up for weeks throughout the summer or the entire summer, with registration opening in April. There is a $40 registration fee per child Kids ‘R’ Kids and camp costs $160 a week per child. Friday, August 5. Weekly camps will take To learn more, visit www.high5inc.org or place Monday through Friday, with pre- call 689-0908. and post-camp available for an additional $30 each or $50 for both extensions. YMCA Information on the camps offered as Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has well as specific dates, times and pricing are what kids crave at one of its many summer available in camp locations. the 2022 YMCA camps offer an array S u m m e r of fun where activity specialists Camps and will lead campers through varC l a s s e s ious experiences each day, inbrochure on the Straz Center’s website at cluding swimming, science, high strazcenter.org. For more information on ropes, outdoor education, nature specific details of the camps, contact the encounters, horseback riding, caadmissions staff at 222-1040 or 800-955- noeing, visual arts and more. 1045 (toll-free). All camps begin on Tuesday, May 31 and run through Friday, August 5 with 10 High 5, Inc. separate sessions available from Monday Brandon’s High 5, Inc. is invitto Friday. Book one weeking students to sail away for the long session or book them all. best summer of their lives, kickCamp programming runs from ing off on Tuesday, May 31. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with free early Campers will be able to morning care beginning at 7 choose different activities based a.m. and free afternoon ex-

tended care until 6 p.m. Prices start at only $169 per week for YMCA members and are open to the public. Discounted rates for members, early registration, siblings, multicamp sign-ups and early-bird registration are available. For more information on specific locations and pricing and to register, visit www.tampaymca.org/letscamp. FishHawk Fellowship Church Sports Summer Camp Calling all young athletes! FishHawk Fellowship Church is hosting its very popular sports camps again this summer with sessions for basketball, soccer and flag football. The basketball camps start Monday, June 6th and continue through Friday, July 1st with soccer and flag football following the weeks of July 11th and July 18th respectively. Sessions are broken down by sport and age group. The price is $100 per week and there are options for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The camp runs from 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and campers need to bring their own lunch and water bottle. For dates and to sign up, visit fishhawkfc.org/sports. The church is located at 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia.

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martial arts, amazing field trips, arts and crafts, educational lessons and so much more. Your child is going to have a blast! (For rising kindergartners to rising sixth graders.) Visit www.fishhawksummercamps.com or text 308-0368. Sidekicks is located upstairs at Park Square in the heart of FishHawk Ranch. TLC’S Gypsy Haven Located at 4325 Keysville Rd. in Lithia, TLC’s Gypsy Haven offers weekly themed riding camps, ages 8-99, focused on riding and grooming. The camps take place from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. from Monday, June 6 to Friday, August 5. Students pack their own lunch, snacks and drinks and are encouraged to wear light pants or leggings, but boots are a must. The camp boasts one teacher, one aide and one volunteer per 10 students. For more information, visit tlcsfarms. com, call Tammi at 842-4236 or email TLCS2867@aol.com

Impact’s Awesome After School & Summer Camp Located at 11942 Boyette Rd. in Riverview, Impact’s Awesome Summer Camps include martial arts, dance, tumbling, outdoor sports, edSidekicks Summer Camp ucational lessons and much more for ages Sidekicks Martial Arts is gearing up 5-12. To learn more, visit www.Impactfor its summer camp 2022 program with SummerCamps.com or call 813-952-8053.

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Osprey Observer

Volume 21, Issue 4


“Kids ‘R’ Kids and water play. Learning Academy Other themes offers a safe, well-suwill include ‘Depervised, educational, cade Dash’; ‘Natengaging and thrilling ural Talent’; where summer camp experistudents will draw ence for children K-5,” inspiration from said Owner Ben Ferthe earth, and nandes. ‘What’s Cookin’,’ With locations in which will allow Valrico and Lithia, campers to cook Kids ‘R’ Kids has been up a ton and give offering summer them the chance camps since 2004. to learn how our This summer, the taste buds work theme is Camp with regard to Boomerang, and sweet vs. sour vs. students can sign salty foods. The up on a weekly baweek ends with a sis or for the whole potluck dinner feasummer. turing a favorite “Camp Boomerdish from each of ang will show- Registration is now available for camp at Kids ‘R’ our campers. Kids in Lithia and Valrico. case unique weekly According to Ferthemes designed to make your campers nandes, field trips will include a Rays game, smile, think, explore, collaborate and grow Sea Screamer in Clearwater, the Ringling in exciting new directions,” said Fernandes. Museum, a tour of the Bucs stadium and The summer camp will feature Australian more. themes, including ‘Down Under,’ which will “We even go to the River Hills Country take campers to explore what makes Aus- Club pool,” he explained. tralia special; a movie-themed week called The camp includes all meals and field ‘KidFlix’; and ‘Reef Creatures,’ where camp- trips, and space is limited. ers will pay a virtual visit to the beaches Kids ‘R’ Kids Valrico is located at 4321 in Australia, including a deep dive into the Lynx Paw Trl. and can be reached at 657Great Barrier Reef and a chance to learn 6200, and Kids ‘R’ Kids Circa FishHawk is about a variety of ocean creatures that call located at 5815 Kids Crossing Dr. in Lithia it home. The week will include beach games and can be reached at 813-654-7000.

Summer camp is “We will have a DJ sure to be a hit at at the start of the Brandon’s High 5, Inc. week to do the ‘MunThe camp, which inster Drill,’” added Nelvites students to sail son. away for the best Camp is offered summer of their lives, Monday through Friwill kick off on Tuesday from 7 a.m.-6 day, May 31. p.m. at High 5, which According to High 5 is located at 405 BevRegional Director Ererly Blvd. in Brandon. ica Nelson, campers Campers can sign up will be able to choose for weeks throughout different activities the summer or the based on a cruise ship entire summer with theme. sessions starting on “We will have a Tuesday, May 31 and Summer camp at High 5, Inc. will have a cruise itinerary for registration opening in cruise theme this year. each day, but the April. campers will have the There is a $40 regisopportunity to make tration fee per child and their own choices as camp cost $160 a week well,” said Nelson. per child. Camp will consist of High 5, formerly Bran‘The Stern,’ which will be don Sports and Aquatics outside games; ‘The Lido Club (BSAC), has been Deck’ which involves part of the Brandon time in the location’s community since 1963 pool; field trip ‘Excursions’; ‘Creative and was the area’s first multipurpose Cover’; ‘The Plank,’ which are diving facility, dedicated to making positive boards; and ‘Encounters,’ which will in- impacts on the lives of residents in the volve pickleball, swimming and other region and beyond. The site also offers sports and recreation activities. a competitive swimming program, OlymOther features will include a scaven- pic-level diving as well as swimming lesger hunt, dress-up days, various tourna- sons from beginners to adults. ments, bounce houses, a slip and slide, To learn more, visit www.high5inc.org water slides and gaming tournaments. or call 813-689-0908.

Osprey Observer

April 2022


By Kathy L. Collins

The winner of the anto build dancers who benual Richard Munro Mecome not only great at morial Scholarship is Jada their craft but great in Stevenson, a demi-solotheir character.” ist dancer with Brandon Dancers who are seBallet. She has been with rious about their ballet Brandon Ballet for four training are invited to auyears. dition to be considStevenson is currentered for the scholly a junior at Blake High arship. Based upon Jada Stevenson (center), a School in Tampa, where junior at Blake High School the judges’ recomshe studies film produc- in Tampa and a dancer with mendation, BranBrandon Ballet, is this year’s Richard tion. She has trained in don Ballet awards ballet, modern, jazz and Munro Memorial Scholarship winner. Ste- one winner a prize of venson is shown here with Alice H. Bock contemporary for the past (left), executive director of Brandon Ballet, $250 to $500 to go seven years. In the future, and Brentwood Townend (right), assistant towards a summer Stevenson hopes to use training program artistic director for Brandon Ballet. the skills gained in school of their choice. For and at The Dance Center, home of Brandon over 10 years, the Richard Munro MemoriBallet, to study towards becoming an OB- al Scholarship has provided several dancers GYN. Hanna Townend, administrative direc- the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations of tor for Brandon Ballet, said. “Let us raise a dancing professionally. heartfelt congratulations to Jada.” Brandon Ballet was founded in 1993. Munro was a vital component of Brandon Brandon Ballet is a nonprofit, preprofesBallet. As a ballet coach, choreographer, sional ballet company that develops and consultant and master costume artist, his promotes opportunities for aspiring young creativity and artistry shone in everything dancers. By offering a superior training prohe touched. His legacy lives on at Brandon gram and three major performances each Ballet, which was graced with such an asset. year, Brandon Ballet helps serious dancers Townend said, “When he passed in 2008, broaden their dance experiences. we sought a way for his legacy and inspiYou can see the dancers of Brandon Ballet ration to live on. We are honored to contin- perform locally in An Evening of Enchantue his legacy annually through the Richard ment on Saturday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in Sun Munro Memorial Scholarship.” Townend City Center at 1900 Clubhouse Dr. Tickets added, “Through dance training, perfor- are $16, which includes admission and desmance opportunities and more, we are able sert. To get tickets, please call 813-387-3447.

Ages 8 - 18

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GET READY TO ROCK YOUR SUMMER WITH THE FAOPA AT MUSIC SHOWCASE By Amy Schechter Want the perfect place to make memories and music? The Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) at Music Showcase offers a magical summer camp experience for aspiring actors and musicians. With a variety of camp options in full and

FAOPA summer camp sign-ups start soon.

half-day experiences, there’s something for every young entertainer. Debbie Evans, director of accounts, cannot stress how wonderful the experience is: “It’s more than just learning about music or learning how to sing. Kids are gaining self-confidence and self-esteem. They blossom into performers who like music and like being on stage.” The traditional camp exposes campers to music and more. Every few hours, students can learn an instrument like guitar and drums, take vocal lessons, take acting and improv classes and do arts and crafts. You can sign up for one weeklong camp or you can sign up for multiple camps. Camps are structured by age, ability and interest.

Their other camp option is a musical theater camp. Campers work together over the course of a few weeks to put on a show. They will memorize lines, music and choreography. This summer, depending on the camper’s age, they will perform Newsies Jr., Oklahoma! Youth Edition, Bye Bye Birdie Youth Edition, Big the Musical, High School Musical 2 Jr., Fiddler on the Roof Jr. and Broadway Boot Camp. Sanchez went on to say, “If you do the musical camps, you’re learning about teamwork in an ensemble. A lot of parents are always so surprised. They had no idea their child had it within them when they see them perform.” Campers must bring their own lunches, drinks and snacks, with snacks also available for purchase. The Florida Academy of Performing Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established to support the performing arts through programs at the academy and in the community. Camp registration opens in mid-March. For further details, visit www.FAOPA.org or call 813-490-2787. Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon.

Summer Camp Options Competitive Girls and Boys Teams

Summer Boot Camps (June/July)

Several skill specific sessions to hone a current skill or come to ALL and learn all aspects of volleyball positions. For beginner/intermediate and advanced players. This is a low commitment but high energy and fast paced skill building. A great way to learn or to continue to improve over the summer.

College Clinics (June/July)

Last year we welcomed both Webber International University and Warner University head coaches to host a college clinic for players in our area. This was for girls and boys and had beach and indoor volleyball opportunities.

Open Gym (June/July)

$10 Open Gyms- both beginner and intermediate advanced. If you want to have some fun give volleyball a try, make some friends in the process this is a great start for you. This open gym also gives you an opportunity to meet our amazing coaching staff and learn some quick basic skills.

High School and Middle School Dust off (Late July)

This is a targeted clinic designed to refresh and remind players of what High School and Middle School volleyball coaches are looking for. From skills, techniques even body language. Let us help you dust off your skills as you prepare for your schools volleyball tryouts.

Your One Stop Shop for all things VOLLEYBALL! Summer Camps • Fall Leagues • Team Camps • Skills Clinics Positional Trainings • Training for ALL Skill Levels

Visit Our Website For More Information!

813-220-0905 | HurricaneVolleyballAcademy.com

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CENTER PLACE: ART CAMPS & MORE By Libby Hopkins Summer is just a Center Place’s few short months summer art camps away, so to get cost $125 per ready for summer, camper and the Center Place Fine camp times are 8 Arts & Civic Assoa.m.-1 p.m. All the ciation is excited to camps’ supplies are offer two awesome included, but campsummer art camps. ers do need to bring In June, Center their own lunches. Place will offer its Summer art camps and new classes are happening Camps are capped at Center Place. Jump-Start to Art at 12 campers each, Camp with Doreen Donovan and Outside so register soon for one of the camps’ weeks the Lines Summer Art Camp with Alejan- because they will fill up quickly. dro Algarin. “Doreen was a summer favorite Center Place has a new teacher, Chris last year, so she’s back with us at Center Kline, who recently joined the staff at CenPlace for two fun weeks of art camp,” said ter Place. Kline will be teaching oil painting Libby Hopkins, Center Place’s executive di- on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m.-12 Noon rector. “Doreen’s camps will be June 20-24, and then adult art therapy on Wednesday and the ages for both of her camps [are] evenings from 5-7 p.m. 6-10 years old. Her second camp will take Kline is currently the president of the place on July 18-22, and it’s the same ages Brandon League of Fine Arts, which has its for that week as well.” The Jump-Start to meetings at Center Place. “Since Chris is a Art Camp will offer a different form of art familiar face at our center, it was a natueach day, art scavenger hunts and so much ral fit for him to teach these two classes more. at Center Place,” Hopkins said. “Chris’ class Center Place’s Outside the Lines Summer fees are try-it-one-time for $12 or four Art Camp with Alejandro Algarin will ex- classes for $45.” plore the world of street art and cartoonIf you are interested in registering your ing. “Alejandro’s classes are becoming quite children for any of Center Place’s summer art popular at Center Place, so we are thrilled camps or if you’d like to register for Kline’s he has decided to offer two art camps this new classes, you can visit Center Place’s summer at Center Place,” Hopkins said. website at www.centerplacebrandon.com “Alejandro’s June camp will be June 13-17, or call the center at 813-685-8888. Center and the ages for this camp [are] 6-10 years Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. old. His July camp will be July 11-15, and the B inside the Brandon Regional Library. ages for this camp are 10-14 years old.

Volume 21, Issue 4

JOIN THE ANNUAL STORYTELLING FESTIVAL OF TAMPA-HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY By Kathy L. Collins For 42 years, proximately 30 the Hillsborough minutes with a County Public question and anLibrary Cooperswer session. ative has held a In addition Storytelling Festo virtual sestival. This year, sions, there the Storytelling are some live Festival is virtuonline events al. This allows scheduled a lot more area The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative is which require residents to be- presenting the annual Storytelling Festival now through registration by May. come involved. attendees. A liThe Storytelling Festival runs through Fri- brary has been set up so that attendees who day, May 13. have missed prior virtual sessions can log in Attendees can learn the art of storytell- and watch the videos anytime at their coning and become storytellers themselves. The venience. online festival features performances by stoAdams said, “Storytelling enhances your rytellers, fun workshops and the chance to life. For young people, it strengthens reading, submit your own storytelling video. writing and listening skills. It increases conKatie Adams is a professional storyteller. fidence as there is a public speaking compoAdams is a member of the Friends of Sto- nent. Storytelling can also help strengthen rytelling of Tampa-Hillsborough County. family ties with fun stories. All of these are Adams joined the Friends of Storytelling in great even for young children.” 2014, but she has been involved with the anAdams added, “We would love for people nual Storytelling Festival since 1987. to join the Storytelling Festival this year. Adams explained that attendees will learn There is still plenty of time to join and learn everything they need to tell a story and that how to tell a story.” it’s good for parents and children. You will Adams is the owner of Make Believe learn the process of telling a story and even Theatre. She offers storytelling and puppet be able to submit a video. The video submis- shows and takes her craft to schools and sion is due by Friday, April 22. libraries throughout Florida. She has been The annual Storytelling Festival is good for doing this since 2000. children in kindergarten through 12th grade. For festival information and to learn how You can join any time by visiting www.hcplc. to participate, please visit www.hcplc.org/ org/storytellingfestival. Each session is ap- storytellingfestival.

(Ages K-5)

April 2022

Osprey Observer


Staff Report

Hillsborough County cuss course programs Public Schools (HCPS), that would be most in collaboration with beneficial for a future industry leaders, has workforce as well as announced an innovathe type of equipment tive plan to ensure the students should train workforce of tomorrow with during their courswill be prepared with es. Students will gain the necessary skills to knowledge in specific have an exciting career programs of study or pathway after graduwork towards industry. ation. Students will be The cutting-edge Hilltrained in state-of-thesborough Construction art programs housed Academy at Bowers/ Hillsborough County Public Schools in high-tech, advanced Whitley will welcome recently announced Building Tampa’s facilities through partstudents district-wide Tomorrow. nerships at local, state and national levels. in grades nine through 12. Over the next five Following extensive research and in-per- to 10 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Stason meetings with industry experts, edu- tistics expects faster-than-average employcational advocates and civic leaders, Hill- ment growth in the building and construcsborough County Public Schools recently tion industry. The district has been meeting announced Building Tampa’s Tomorrow. with local industry experts to determine the This new workforce development initiative most in-demand careers that will, in many will create two new high schools—the Hills- cases, offer students high-paying jobs right borough Medical Academy and the Hillsbor- after graduation. Programs of study or inough Construction Academy, set to open in dustry certifications will focus on areas inFall 2023—and a Medical Technical College cluding building construction, AC, refrigeropening in Fall 2024. The district is also look- ation, heating technology, electric vehicles, ing to add a distribution/logistics education- augmented reality/visualization, water infraal pathway down the road. structure/treatment and framing/drywall. The state-of-the-art Hillsborough Medical “Hillsborough County Public Schools is anAcademy at D.W. Waters will serve students swering the call to leverage a highly trained district-wide in ninth through 12th grade. workforce that aligns with the needs of emHCPS is partnering with major hospitals in ployers in the Tampa Bay area,” said Hillsthe area, including Tampa General Hospital, borough County Public Schools SuperintenBayCare, AdventHealth, Moffitt Cancer Cen- dent Addison Davis. ter and Ultimate Medical Academy, to disVisit www.hillsboroughschools.org.

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CALLING ALL YOUNG NATURALISTS Staff Report A new program is The curriculum available for young covers three Florida nature enthusiasts ecosystems—upinterested in learning lands, freshwater and more about Florida’s coastal—and includes environment. Inspired lessons on animals, by the Florida Master plants and humans Naturalist Program, living together with this youth program nature. It also introtakes kids ages 10-13 duces participants to The Florida Youth Naturalist Program on a journey through career opportunities Instructor Field Guide, developed by UF/ Florida’s ecosystems. in natural resources, IFAS Extension, Florida 4-H and the Florida The Florida Youth Master Naturalist Program, offers 24 hours ways to give back to Naturalist Program of instruction, including hands-on activities, their community and field trips and more, for kids ages 10-13. Instructor Field outdoor safety. Guide, developed by “Programs like this UF/IFAS Extension, Florida 4-H and the help to create lifelong learners with a curiFlorida Master Naturalist Program, offers osity for exploring,” Johnson said. “We want 24 hours of instruction, including hands-on youth to leave this program and grow as activities, field trips and more. The curricu- young naturalists and budding scientists.” lum is geared toward nonformal instructors The curriculum is available for purchase like Extension agents and nature center ed- by anyone. Everyone is encouraged to beucators that host youth programming but come an endorsed instructor to receive adcould be used by formal educators. ditional resources and evaluation materials. The program is flexible and can be taught Endorsed instructors will be listed on the across the span of a weeklong summer camp program website to help draw participants or spread over several months for groups to the program. that may meet monthly. It’s also adaptable “This project has been in the works for a to younger ages if needed. long time, and we’re excited to get it in the “This is a critical age to expose youth to hands of educators around the state,” said environmental appreciation and develop an Johnson. “We hope to continue modifying understanding of the natural world,” said and updating it over time so it stays releShelly Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension state vant. Then, we hope to develop curriculum specialized agent in natural resources. “We for the 14 to 17-year-old age group too.” want youth to understand and appreciate For more information on the program, to nature to ingrain a conservation ethic in become an endorsed instructor, visit https:// them. Then, they grow up to be adults that programs.ifas.ufl.edu/florida-youth-naturalcare about Florida’s natural resources.” ist-program.

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Osprey Observer

MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY WITH DANCE AND HAIRCUTS By Libby Hopkins Dancing for a Differbeautiful and handence is a 501(c)(3) nonsome.” profit organization with The event and possia mission to make dance bly new program will and the arts more availbe under and hosted by able to all children in the Dancing for a Difference Tampa area. The organion Monday, April 4. zation has been growing “We are still working lately and has moved out the times but keep into a new space with an eye on our Facebook the ability offer more page for more details,” programs. said Battaglia. “Dancing for a Dif“This event will not ference is growing at a only give kids in foster rapid rate and the space carefree haircuts and next door to ours is va- Dancing for a Difference will be hosting pampering but also be cant,” Owner Sara Batt- a fundraiser on Monday, April 4 for Dos a fundraiser to open the aglia said. “We had al- for a Difference. The goal of this fund- space next door to ours ready made comments raiser is to give children in foster care to allow for events like haircuts. about wanting to rent this to be ongoing as it out in the near future. Jenn well as allow more space for Lawless came to me expressDancing for a Difference to ofing interest in renting one of fer more dance, art, music and the smaller rooms in the back so much more.” to open her own salon suite.” Battaglia is looking to the This request from Lawless community for sponsors to help got Battaglia’s wheels turning. with Dos for a Difference. “Hair sponsor“My mind went off on a tangent as usual ships are $250, nail sponsorships are $150 and with lots of conversation and thoughts, and makeup sponsorships are $150,” Battso now we have ‘Dos for a Difference,’” aglia said. Battaglia said. “We would like to start by To help Battaglia and Dancing for a Difgiving 10 children in foster care haircuts ference raise money for Dos for a Differfor free. We are also hoping to work with a ence, visit dancestudio-pro.com or contact Mary Kay consultant and/or a color street Battaglia at 813-601-3009. Dancing for a consultant to make these young girls and Difference is located at 1076 E. Brandon boys who are going through so much feel Blvd. ,#101 in Brandon.

Volume 21, Issue 4

BEYOND VAN GOGH: THE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE COMES TO SARASOTA By Michelle Caceres Prolific impressionist helps us understand artist Vincent van Gogh’s there was more to the innovative works, numpainter than his poor bering more than 2,000 mental health. “He pieces created during a saw beauty in ordinary career that spanned just life and painted those 10 years, are scattered things,” she said. “Art in museums and private was the way he comcollections throughout Tickets are on sale now for Beyond Van municated with the the world. One of his Gogh: The Immersive Experience in Sara- world.” sota until Sunday, April 24. most famous works, Curtat said the exhibThe Starry Night, inspired by the view from it is wonderful for all ages. “In the Immersive his window at an asylum in Southern France, Room, children are engaged as they follow is on permanent display at the Museum of the petals as they float on the floor,” she said. Modern Art in New York. “It’s impactful to see them connecting to art Producer Paquin Entertainment Group is in this way.” bringing more than 300 of his 19th-centu- Beyond Van Gogh, which runs through Sunry masterpieces into the 21st century in an day, April 24 is open Sunday to Thursday, 10 immersive way at ‘Beyond Van Gogh: The a.m.-9 p.m., and Friday to Saturday, 10 a.m.Immersive Experience,’ which takes the art 10 p.m. It takes about an hour to experience lover into a three-dimensional world that ex- the entire exhibit, with final entry being one hilarates the senses. hour before closing time. Located at 195 University Town Center Tickets are sold only online at www.vanDr. in Sarasota at the Starry Night Pavilion goghsarasota.com or call call 1-800-441at University Town Center, Van Gogh’s art 0819. Ticket prices start at $23.99 for chilcomes to life by appearing and disappearing, dren under 16 and $29.99 for adults. Children flowing across multiple surfaces and height- 4 years and younger are free with an accomening the senses with their immense detail. panying adult with a ticket. Through his own words set to a symphonic Exercise enthusiasts can also participate score, guests come to a new appreciation of in Beyond Yoga, where local yoga instructors this tortured artist’s stunning works as they each Thursday and Saturday guide particsegue through three areas: the Education ipants through a class while in the exhibit’s Room, the Waterfall Room and the Immer- Immersive Experience Room. sive Experience Room. For information about Beyond Van Gogh: According to art historian and creative The Immersive Experience, call 1-800-441team member Fanny Curtat, the experience 0819.

April 2022

Osprey Observer

STATE FARM DONATES $60,000 TO JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT Staff Report The Junior They act as employees Achievement (JA) and consumers, from Florida Foundation paying bills to handling has received a new customer service, and $60,000 grant they experience what it from State Farm. is like to earn and work The statewide iniin a community. JA Fitiative will support nance Park is a real life Junior Achievesimulation where ment learning students enter experiences in the game of life The Junior Achievement Florida, enabling (JA) Florida Foundation and apply finanthousands of has received a new $60,000 cial concepts to young people to balance their grant from State Farm. participate in JA’s personal budget nationally recognized financial literacy and and learn to make choices that support their career readiness learning experiences. In future goals. the past five years, State Farm has awarded The JA Florida Foundation areas have over $300,000 to support all nine JA chap- worked with local State Farm representaters across Florida. tives to build out an interactive Career Explo“State Farm is committed to helping en- ration booth for the JA Inspire Career Expo. sure that young people receive financial This virtual platform provides students with literacy and work readiness education pro- the opportunity to explore over 100 business grams,” said Jose Soto, State Farm corpo- and education booths and listen to dynamic rate responsibility analyst. “Junior Achieve- speakers. Live virtual interaction days where ment programs help all students acquire students can ask volunteers industry-related and improve their financial literacy skills, questions are scheduled. especially the low to moderate-income stuRichard George, president of Junior dents who derive greater benefits from the Achievement of Tampa Bay, stated, “The programs.” State Farm funding supports our efforts Each JA area will use the support to ad- throughout the state of Florida, and we vance learning experiences most needed in are so grateful. Junior Achievement is protheir region. viding our young people with the tools to JA Tampa Bay, which includes Hillsbor- transform their futures. We are increasing ough, Polk, Highlands and Sarasota Coun- economic equity and mobility through our ties, is excited to be able to open its Cap- learning experiences focused on financial litstone campus this fall and provide students eracy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. with valuable hands-on interactive learning This creates a brighter tomorrow for all.” experiences. JA BizTown introduces fifth For more information on Junior Achievegraders to economic concepts, workplace ment, visit www.juniorachievement.org/ skills and personal and business finances. web/ja-floridafoundation.

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Staff Report

The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is once again taking to the skies over Lakeland from Tuesday to Sunday, April 5-10, celebrating the annual comradery of aviation. This year’s expo will also be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the U. S. Air Force, which will be highlighted by a demonstration from the USAF Thunderbirds in their first appearance since 2016. Marking its 48th year, this event is the primary fundraiser for the Aerospace Center for Excellence, which enables the delivery of STEM-related and aerospace education programs and scholarships engaging over 50,000 local youth each year. The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is a sixday, aviation-nirvana event for 225,000 attendees plus millions more via the power of social media. Touted as the largest annual convention in the State of Florida as well as the second largest general aviation event in the world, attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the training forums, hands-on workshops and aircraft demonstration showcases. There’s plenty of engaging activities for the public of all ages to enjoy. The activities are scheduled from sunrise until after sunset and most are included with the ticket purchase. In keeping with this year’ theme of ‘Where It’s At,’ the expo has over 500 exhibitors, many plane manufacturers, a three-day

career fair, a National STOL Competition and more. There is lots of food options and daily live entertainment across 2,000 acres of fun. The SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In Style Pilot Program is new for 2022 and will recognize and reward pilots that fly their aircraft to the event, including pilots flying right seat, with deals and discounts throughout the week. For this year’s military air show component, it will be a U.S. Air Force trifecta. The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron Thunderbirds will take flight in their premier multirole fighter jet, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The aggressive USAF A-10 Warthog, a primary low-altitude, close air support aircraft, will be showing off its unique combat capabilities. If you prefer heavy metal, the C-17 Globemaster III, aka ‘The Moose,’ will be part of a multi-aircraft static display. In addition to the daily high-adrenaline air shows, there are two-night shows with lights and fireworks flying their routines to music and an artistic drone show. There are many ticket options available including Florida resident, senior and military. On-site camping is also a fun way to never miss a minute of the excitement. The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is being held on the south side of the Lakeland Linder International. For more information, including ticket prices, visit flysnf.org.

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Volume 21, Issue 4

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