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Two Sections, 36 Pages of Community News

Valrico

N E P O W NO Free Popcorn Pg. 26 C E L E B R A T I N G

December 2016 1 5

Y E A R S

O F

Volume 13, Issue 12 Ph: 657-2418

P U B L I S H I N G

Student Helps Fill Gift Closet At Kid’s Hospital

By Kate Quesada

PRSTD STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID TAMPA, FL PERMIT #2397

At this time page, Friends of of year, many FishHawk to residents are organize more looking for ways donations. to help those “Addison is less fortunate just such a bright than themlight,” said selves. NineRowjohn, who year-old Valrico coordinates resident Addison many volunteer Kapustiak has projects and has found a way to helped hundreds put smiles on of people in the faces of need through Valrico student Addison Kapustiak started a collecsome of the tion for new toys for children receiving treatment at her face nook All Children’s Hospital. Donations can be dropped page. “In spite of area’s sickest off at businesses throughout the area. children by all that precious starting a toy drive and is asking the com- child has been through, she still strives to munity to help. make things better for others. Her spirit Addison, who is in the third grade at just amazes me. She is such a shining Lithia Springs Elementary, has a rare dis- example.” ease that requires regular blood transfuDonations can be dropped off at sions at All Children’s Hospital in St. many places throughout the area includPetersburg. During one of her visits, she ing Car Wash on the Greens and other noticed that the prize closet, where local businesses from Tampa to patients can go and pick out a toy after Lakeland. Many other community memtheir treatment, was very low on toys. For bers and groups have jumped in to help her next birthday, rather than ask her the cause. T Marie’s Boutique on Lithia friends to bring gifts for her to her party, Pinecrest Rd. will offer a 10 percent disshe suggested they donate an item to the count to anyone who donates a toy. closet. When she received such great Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is offering a half off support, she decided to make the drive coupon for anyone dropping off a toy. for toys wider and Sending Smiles was Levi Stubbs with Green Star Realty is born. matching all money and toys donated. According to Addison’s mother, Alice, But Addison doesn’t want to stop collectthe only stipulation on the toys is that they ing after the holidays. are new and they appeal to patients from “Unfortunately, kids are sick all the babies to 21 year olds. time,” said Alice, who has also set up a “These toys are used as rewards for Paypal address for people who would children to take home, so there is a wide rather donate money for Addison to shop range of possibilities,” said Alice. “Things for toys for the closet whenever it runs like nail polish, crafts and hair acceslow. sories are great, but so are soccer balls, Paypal donations can be sent to puzzles and coloring books.” sendingsmilestoallkids@gmail.com. For FishHawk resident Kelly Rowjohn information or to help with the drive, email learned about Addison’s mission to fill the Alice at alliekap1@aol.com or find the closet and used her popular Facebook Friends of FishHawk page on Facebook.

C O M M U N I T Y

N E W S

Valrico Commissioner White Takes Helm As Chairman Of County BOCC

By Tamas Mondovics

Kemp, won the Countywide, District 6 seat, and replaced term-limited former Commissioner Kevin Beckner. The three Commissioners have officially joined Victor D. Crist (District 2), Stacy R. White (District 4), Ken Hagen (Countywide, District 5), and Al Higginbotham (Countywide, District 7). To complete its first collective assignment the Board elected its leaders for the comHillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, ing year. Victor D. Crist (District 2), Stacy R. White (District 4), It is noteworthy that while Ken Hagen (Countywide, District 5), Al Higginbotham (Countywide, District 7), are joined by incumbents the seven-member board Sandy Murman (District 1), Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr., praised its productivity in (District 3) and newly elected Commissioner, Pat Kemp (Countywide, District 6) for a photo following a recent years, it did not shy sworn-in ceremony last month. away from drawing the attention on some of pressing Three Hillsborough County issues and challenges facing the county Commissioners, incumbents Sandy it serves. Murman and Les Miller as well as newly Such high priority topics include betelected Commissioner Pat Kemp, took ter transportation system and more the oath of office last month, each pledggood-paying jobs. ing to do their best for County residents. In a recent interview, White emphaMurman, Miller and, newcomer sized his desire to be a strong voice in Kemp, will serve a four-year term each regards to the impact of land use decion the seven-member Board. sions on transportation infrastructure To begin the meeting, White was including road conditions within his own chosen as the new BOCC chairman, neighborhood and community. while Murman was elected as vice chair“This is a good time to talk about the man. Miller took over Whites former Continued on Page 4 assignment as BOCC chaplain. White was elected to the Board in 2014. From 2010-14, he served on the Hillsborough County School Board. A fifth-generation native of Hillsborough County, White lives in Valrico with his wife of 19 years and their three children. After graduating from East Bay High School, White earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida, and has practiced pharmacy for 19 years. Murman, who was first elected a Commissioner in 2012, will once again represent District 1, while Miller, who joined the Board in 2010, was re-elected without opposition to represent District 3.

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Morgan Crampton, 15, and fellow Durant High School Color Guard, Kadien Harwood, 17, pose for a photo while preparing to take part in the 75th Pearl Harbor Anniversary ceremony in Hawaii this month. Color guard Emily Orland (not pictured) also joined the girls as part of the school marching that traveled to participate in the historic event.


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Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 12


December 2016

Page 3

Valrico Edition

Tampa Bay Welcome’s Newest Chapter Of Young Marines To The Area

By Sandy Meyer

The Young Marines The Young Marines national youth organizais a youth education and service program for tion launched a new boys and girls, age unit in Tampa this past eight through the comOctober. Unit pletion of high school. It Commander Lori promotes the mental, Staben is proud to intromoral, and physical duce The Tampa Bay development of its Young Marines to the members. The program area. Staben, who focuses on character brings a wealth of expebuilding, leadership, rience having been the self-discipline and proexecutive officer of a moting a healthy, drugYoung Marines unit in free lifestyle. Illinois, says she finds The Young Marines the community service The young Marines have many is neither a recruiting aspect particularly satopportunities for community service tool, nor a program for isfying. throughout the year, including perWhen Staben forming Color Guard services at vari- troubled youth. One ous community events. thing the program is, and her three children however, is fun. Many (all Young Marines) friendships continue into adulthood. moved to Tampa last August, she was There are leadership schools as well as surprised there were no units in opportunities such as visiting Pearl Hillsborough County. Harbor; participating in National Code Rather than let the Young Marines Talkers Day; and joining summer camps slip from her family's lives, Staben decidfor sailing, simulated flying, working at a ed to start a unit. She contacted the cattle ranch, exploring the "Wild West," Marine Corps Forces Reserve unit as scuba diving lessons and visiting well as the Marine Corps League and American historical sites. There are also asked for support. Riverview MCL Detachment 1226 is now the unit sponsor multiple community service opportunities and several Active Duty Marines from the available for the Young Marines. The unit meets on Tuesdays from 6 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion are p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Marine Corps assisting the unit as Training Officers. Forces Reserve unit, 4th Assault "I'm very excited," Staben said. "It's Amphibian Battalion, 5121 W. Gandy all falling together. I have high hopes that Blvd. in Tampa. the Tampa Bay Young Marines will be a For more information, email Lori very successful unit, and we measure Staben at loris5@att.net, call 847-406success by community involvement and 9505 or visit www.youngmarines.com. kids having fun while learning."

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

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

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Page 4

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

Children’s Board Releases Over $10 Million In Grant Funding

By Kathy L. Collins

For non-profit healthy and safe; and governmental Children are develorganizations legally opmentally on track; operating in Florida, Children are ready to who provide quality learn; and Children services for children are supported and and families, the supportive families. Children's Board of Those served would Hillsborough County In keeping with its vision that Hillsborough be residents of has announced County will be recognized as one of the Hillsborough County top five places in the nation to raise funding of and primarily pregchildren, the Children’s Board has $10,300,000 in nant women and released over $10 million in funding for grants for the families with children grants. upcoming fiscal year. The funding is split up to age eight. between Leading Grants and Uniting Scott said, "This is an opportunity for Grants. the Children's Board and community According to Paula Scott, Director of providers to work together and serve their Public Relations, "A Leading Grant is a respective missions. We encourage applicontract awarded typically to small organi- cants to implement program practices zations that are primarily neighborhood and models that have been proven as and/or faith-based demonstrating innovaeffective in reliably producing the intended tive service delivery models in one strate- results when implemented with fidelity." gic focus area to meet emerging needs or "The Children's Board target underserved populations. The fund- Hillsborough County is a voter ing range is $5,000 to $65,000. A Uniting approved taxing authority that ensures Grant is awarded to an organization that there is a dedicated funding source of primarily demonstrates a neighborhood tax dollars that are invested and spent focus and collaborative approach to serv- wisely in programs that will provide the ice delivery that supports one or more best outcomes for the children and strategic focus areas. The funding families within Hillsborough County," request range is $75,000 to $525,000." said Kelley Parris, Executive Director The deadline for applications is of the Children's Board Hillsborough March 9, 2017. Grant applications are County. " Voters in Hillsborough posted on the Children's Board website at County pay a portion of their property www.childrensboard.org under budgeting taxes to the Children's Board to fund tab and funding opportunities. Funding the programs. The top priority is to can potentially be provided for programs make sure children of all ages are that utilize evidence-based, evidencehealthy, safe and prepared to learn," informed or promising practices in one or added Parris. Visit www.childrensmore of the following areas: Children are board.org.

Commissioners...Continued From Page 1

By Tamas Mondovics

widening of Lithia-Pinecrest Road,” White said. “In my mind, this would have a far reaching effect and would benefit communities over a broad area that includes FishHawk, Valrico, and Brandon.” The BOCC also agreed to retain most of the same positions on various boards, committees, and councils on which they serve. As a newly sworn-in Commissioner, Kemp assumed many of the positions held by her predecessor. Other appointments include: • Affordable Housing Advisory Board – Al Higginbotham • Arts Council of Hillsborough County – Victor Crist • Aviation Authority – Crist • Children's Board of Hillsborough County – Sandra L. Murman

• Environmental Protection Commission – Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr., chair; Crist, vice chair • Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority – Stacy R. White, Murman, Kemp, Miller • Hospital Authority – Miller, Murman • Juvenile Justice Board – Kemp • MOSI – Higginbotham • Port Authority – Murman • Public Transportation Commission – members/alternates: Higginbotham/Kemp, Ken Hagan/ White, Miller/Murman • Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council – Crist, member; White, alternate • Tampa Bay Water Board of Directors – Hagan, Murman • Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. – Hagan • Tampa Sports Authority – Hagan

For a complete list please visit www.HCFLGov.net/BOCC.

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December 2016

Page 5

Valrico Edition

Bloomingdale Student Raises Funds For Queena Survivor Feature Film

W W W

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O S P R E Y O B S E R V E R

.

C O M

FOLLOW US

By Kate Quesada

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

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Page 6

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

s To e s s a l C g in Life Writ mpassion Begin, Co More… e& Experienc ichelle Colesanti, d by M m Compile preyobserver.co s o @ michelle

Grace Baptist Temple Presents Christ Has Come: A Christmas Musical

Experience the wonder of Christmas in this special performance of Christ Has Come, performed by the Grace Celebration Choir at Grace Baptist Temple on Sunday, December 18, at 11 a.m. Admission is free. Grace Baptist Temple is located at 2909 John Moore Rd. in Brandon.

Life Story Writing/Memoir Classes To Begin At Bloomingdale Regional Library Life Story Writing/Memoir classes will start once again the third week of January at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Three classes will run simultaneously for 10 weeks each.

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HCC: Spring Registration Now Open At Hillsborough Community College

Growing Camellias To Be Discussed At January Riverview Garden Club Meeting

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its January meeting on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the

The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection celebrate the New Year with a Black and White Luncheon “New Year, New Vision” on Monday January 9, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in The Special Events Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. The cost is $15 and first time guests pay $10. Entertainment will be the Cornwell twins and the speaker is Erv Smith. Please call Lillie at 740-0098 by Monday, January 2 to make reservations.

This free event features an interactive journey through the true stories of children living in developing countries like the Philippines, Kenya, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. In over 2,000 sq. ft. of interactive exhibit space, visitors will step inside

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Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview. The guest speaker will be Master Gardener Emeritus Eileen Hart. She will discuss Growing Camellias in the Tampa Bay Area. First time attendance is free. There is free parking. For more information, call Harriet at 727-6567.

Registration for spring enrollment is now open at Hillsborough Community College (HCC). Students interested in applying to HCC can now register for spring courses through January 13, 2017. Visit http://news.hccfl.edu/.

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homes, markets and schools — without getting on a plane. Each child's story starts in poverty but ends in hope. New Home United Methodist Church will host this event on Friday, December 16 from 4-7:40 p.m., Saturday, December 17 from 11 a.m.-6:40 p.m., Sunday, December 18 from 9 a.m.-4:40 p.m. and Monday, December 19 from 11 a.m.-6:40 p.m. This event is free and family friendly. New Hope United Methodist Church is located 120 N. Knights Ave. in Brandon. To register, visit https://cts.compassion.com/events/523.

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December 2016

Page 7

Valrico Edition

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

Winter Is Prime Time For Viewing Manatees In Apollo Beach

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

It’s almost winterthe south end time in Florida, and of the Manatee although we don’t experiViewing ence the extremely cold Center’s parktemperatures as our ing lot. Bring a northern neighbors, the picnic lunch to Gulf waters do cool enjoy at one of down below 68 degrees the tables at and that means that the the base of the native manatees must tower. Now that cooler temperatures have finally find shelter in warmer Built and arrived, it is a great time to bring the family waters. located to minito the Manatee Viewing Center. Many seek refuge at mize the TECO’s Big Bend facility as warm water impact on the environment, the tower, flows from the power station’s discharge boardwalk and habitat trail are part of a canal. The Manatee Viewing Center, network of trails that will connect to located at 6990 Dickman Rd. in Apollo the Florida Conservation and Technology Beach, is both a state and federally desCenter, an under-construction project ignated manatee sanctuary providing crit- between Tampa Electric, the Florida ical protection from the cold. The viewing Aquarium and the Florida Fish and center is much more than just seeing the Wildlife Conservation Commission. manatees. The Manatee Viewing Center's tidal According to TECO’s Environmental walk is featured as part of the Great Technician Jamie Woodlee, “We are a Florida Birding Trail, but offers more than free environmental education facility just vibrant birdlife. During your walk on where people can come learn about 900-ft., ADA-compliant walkway from the manatees and Florida wildlife/plants in center to the Tampa Bay Estuary, you general.” Stroll among award-winning can identify a wide selection of native butterfly gardens and enjoy the Floridacoastal plants and trees as well as a wide friendly landscaping. Along the way, there variety of animal life. is a variety of native and coastal plant life, New for this year will be a ray’s touch where you can also catch a glimpse of tank and the boardwalks have been animals in the wild that make the center's widened leading out to the viewing area. habitat their home. Both parking and admission are free. Accessed by the nature trails, the The Manatee Viewing Center is open boardwalk will take you to the wildlife now through April 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 observation tower which opened in 2014. p.m. daily (wildlife observation tower and The tower is 50 ft. tall and gives you habitat trails close at 4 p.m.). It is closed a great view of the surrounding area and on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Tampa Bay. The entrances are located at Easter.

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Page 8

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 12

Durant Marching Band Performs At 75th Pearl Harbor Anniversary

By Tamas Mondovics

to excellence. Durant High School’s “Cougar The Durant High School Pride” instrumental music program Instrumental Music program had the opportunity this month to join has represented the State a list of local bands to demonstrate of Florida at several local their skills and talent during a special and national events over event. the last 19 years. This past On Wednesday, December 7, spring, the music program about three dozen of the more than ventured to Gatlinburg, 120-member band participated in a Tennessee to perform in the ceremony commemorating the 75th Smoky Mountain Music Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Festival. Harbor. Herrmann Led by band director Bruce students in the form was appointed Herrmann, the group joined a Pearl Director of Members of the Durant High School Cougar Pride of sponsorships or Harbor Mass Band of nearly 1,200 Band is led by director Bruce Hermann during donations. Instrumental students from all over the United practice and preparation of its participation in a While hoping to Music at Durant States and Japan to perform in memorial ceremony of the 75th Anniversary of the High School in attack on Pearl Harbor. The band joined a Pearl take the entire band, Hawaii on Remembrance Day. Harbor Mass Band of nearly 1,200 students from Hermann was proud June 2014. He “I am thrilled that we have a all over the United States and Japan. to take a much smalland his wife, chance to attend,” Hermann said durer, but excited group, Jamie, currently ing practice, just days before the event. how cultures once opposed can work whom he said have reside in together through the gift of music. “This extraordinary and historic event been working hard to Brandon. He is To prepare for the trip, which was offered to us by Music take part in the memoassisted by Celebrations International, which serves school officials said cost nearly $3,000 rable event. Dennis per student, the Durant Music Boosters, both an eye-opener, and a once-in-aSchool color Laorenza, Inc., a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organizalifetime opportunity.” guards, Kadien (Music), Derek tion, has reached out to corporations, Hermann added that event itself is Harwood, 17, Morgan Budzinski and local businesses, and private individua cultural exchange, which demonCrampton 15 and Chelsea als to provide financial assistance to its strates in a truly remarkable manner Emily Orland, 16, were Tortora, also looking forward to (Visual/Music), Members of the Durant High School attend for a number of marching band and instrumental program Jeremy Vest, takes part in a recent practice. reasons. (Percussion $ 00 “It is a great opportunity to reflect Director), Emily Macias, (Percussion on this historic event as well as to see Instructor), Andy Snow, (Color Guard Full Service Car Wash others learn and participate,” Harwood Director) and Errica Snelling and with Oil Change. Hole Includes Filter & 5 qts Oil said. Ethan Taylor, (Color Guard In One Everyday Low Price: $34.95 Durant High School’s “Cougar Instructor). Brushless Car Wash, Lube & Detail Center Expires 1/15/2017 Expires 1/15/2017 Pride” Marching Band and Instrumental Interested donors to the Cougar Music Programs have achieved numer- Pride band can visit the Facebook 657-6500 • 3618 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Hours: 8am - 5pm Monday - Saturday ous personal and ensemble awards page at Visa • MasterCard • American Express • Discover from their hard work and commitment facebook.com/DurantMusicBoosters.

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December 2016

Page 9

Valrico Edition

New Mission BBQ Brandon Celebrates Opening Of Its 40th Location

By Tatiana Ortiz

The http://missionAssisting bbq.com/locations. Veterans of When diners walk America Support into Mission BBQ they Team (AVAST) can see framed memColor Guard orabilia mounted on marched in forthe walls such as photos, patches and more mation to begin throughout the restauthe grand openrant. Mission BBQ ing ceremony of Mission BBQ’s 40th location in From the left: Bill Leahy Brandon. A smil(Market Partner), Brian ing crowd greeted Poole (Operating Partner), the color guard as Steven Sullivan (Director of they approached Operations), Steve Newton Photo courtesy of Bri’s Eye Photography (Co-Founder), Bill Kraus the outside build(Co-Founder) ing of Mission does offer an array of food and bevBBQ to perform their routine. Before the erage items on the menu such as pulled ceremony concluded, individuals placed pork, smoked brisket, Maggie’s Mac-Ntheir right hand over their heart to recite Cheese and fresh cut fries, kettle iced tea and much more. Mission BBQ does prothe Pledge of Allegiance. A Veteran sang The Star-Spangled Banner. Co-Founders vide a catering service for any occasion and takeout. Bill Kraus and Steve Newton from Diner Roscoe Turner said he enjoys Mission BBQ mentioned that every day at barbeque and thought his chopped beef 12 Noon the National Anthem gets sung. brisket sandwich, Maggie’s Mac-N“We do what we do for the love of Cheese and baked beans at Mission our soldiers, firefighters, police officers, BBQ tasted great. first responders—all our loved ones in As being all about the community, service,” Kraus and Newton said. Mission BBQ gives back to the Special On September, 11, 2011, Mission BBQ began operation in Glen Burnie, Operations Warrior Foundation, along Maryland. Co-Founders Bill Kraus and with many other organizations. For more information, visit missionSteve Newton from Mission BBQ continbbq.com. It is located at 1504 W. ued the journey with their franchise and Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Hours of expanded it to 11 other states. Besides Operation are Monday through Thursday the state of Maryland, Mission BBQ can 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 be found in Delaware, Pennsylvania, a.m.- 10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m.- 8 Indiana and North Carolina just to name p.m. Call 830-9618. a few. For a full list of locations check

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Page 10

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

Wawa Celebrates Opening Of 100th Florida Store With $100,000 Donation

By Tamas Mondovics

Hundreds of guests, company executives and state officials gathered earlier this month to celebrate the grand opening of Wawa’s 100th Florida store in Brandon. The festive event, joined by Florida State Senator, Tom Lee, State Representative, Ross Spano and Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White, marked a major Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens presents Feeding milestone in the comAmerica with a $100,000 check for the Wawa Foundation in pany’s long history and show of the company’s community involvement and support of support hunger-fighting initiatives throughout Florida. Florida development. “We are opening The ceremony included a donation our 100th store in just four years in of $100,000 to Feeding America, from Florida and are thrilled to be able to cel- The Wawa Foundation, demonstrating ebrate this incredible milestone in Wawa’s community involvement and Brandon as we continue to grow our hunger-fighting initiatives throughout brand across the Sunshine State,” said Florida. Wawa’s President and CEO, Chris The festivities also included the Gheysens. “We are honored to have charitable Hoagies for Heroes hoagiebecome a part of so many wonderful building competition, waged between communities, serve so many tremenHillsborough County Fire Rescue and dous customers and work with so many the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office. dedicated associates.” Each team had three minutes to build The new store, located at 1728 W. as many hoagies as they could in the Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, opened sigtraditional Wawa way. nificantly ahead of its initial timeline proThe trophy was reclaimed by the jection. Served by general manager, five-member Sheriff’s Office team. Jeffrey Burnett, its nearly 40 associates Both teams then received $1,000 in full and part-time positions, are eligifrom Wawa to support the charities of ble for competitive salaries and health their choice. benefits, as well as Wawa’s employee For more information about Wawa stock ownership plan (ESOP). please visit www.wawa.com.

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December 2016

Page 11

Valrico Edition

Valrico Inventor Ready To Take Cinch Clasp Jewelry Business To Market

By Marie Gilmore

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

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Page 12

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 12


December 2016

Page 13

Valrico Edition

Brenda Wade Team Presents Kid’s Place Donation

By Tatiana Ortiz

BRANDON CATARACT CENTER AND EYE CLINIC Auyanna Gilbert Licensed Aesthetician

Specializing in unique facials and chemical peels that cater to every ethnicity.

The Brenda Wade team presents a check to “A Kid’s Place” for its annual giving event.

The Brenda Wade Real Estate Team and their business partners joined together for their 4th Annual “Partners in Giving” event at Brenda Wade’s office in Valrico on November 15 to benefit “A Kid’s Place” of Tampa Bay. Brenda said, “We love taking a season out of our business year to focus on giving back to the community. We are always looking for ways to share, but we as a team made a commitment four years ago to set aside a day to focus on raising money for a local charity. Our “Partners In Giving” is based on the thought that together we can do more. We spend a day learning from our business partners and match every dollar that is contributed, so even though small, we can do our best to have an impact.” They raised $4,000 from the event, and then Brenda matched the amount for a total of $8,000. The Brenda Wade Team has given almost $25,000 in the past four years and is excited to see what they can accomplish in the years to come! “A Kid’s Place” of Tampa Bay Development Director Deborah Thielen and Board of Director Treasurer Mark

Tubb were on hand to receive the $8,000 check. “We really appreciate the tremendous support, from Brenda Wade, her team & business partners, as well as the community as a whole!” With its 60-bed facility, this unique non-profit organization in Lithia provides foster care and a loving home for abused, neglected or abandoned children, newborns through the age of 18. In the six years of operation, “A Kid’s Place” has provided a home to more than 1,100 children and assisted more than 479 families. The campus sits on five acres with five 3,200 sq. ft. homes that replicate a safe, home-like environment in a neighborhood setting. The primary focus of “A Kid’s Place” aims to keep sibling groups together in a safe and stable surrounding until a more permanent placement can be administered. "The Brenda Wade Real Estate Team is honored to pull alongside of this outstanding organization that provides home for children in need," exclaimed Brenda Wade. For more information about “A Kid’s Place”, visit http://www.akidsplacetb.org.

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Page 14

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

Lights Will Shine Bright Around Town During Holiday Season

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

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

Wonderland Of Lights New Display Offers Family Fun

Brandon will be the home of The Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru, at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover. This premier holiday light show and winter festival will be a spectacular celebration and brings back a family holiday tradition that so many have grown to love. Opening Thanksgiving Night, November 24 and running through Saturday, December 31 (6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday & Saturday). This 38–day event incorporates beautiful animated and still light displays that will dazzle the young and “the young at heart.” Plus, it will offer a blend of fun, family activities and entertainment sure to please all. Take

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some time to stop at the Christmas village featuring horse-drawn wagon rides, North Pole train ride, amusement rides, food and crafts. The show is produced by Massachusetts based North Pole Productions, known for their shows in Branson, Missouri and other locations across the country. To save time at the gate, tickets for the drive-through can be purchased online at www.brandonchamber.com under the events tab. Prices are: Vehicles (up to 8 passengers) $20; Season's Pass $35 (vehicles only); coaches, limos, mini vans (9-24 seating) $35; Motor Coaches (25-50 seating) $75.

Christmas Lane At The Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds

Christmas Lane started humbly enough. Over 30 years ago, a young boy started hanging Christmas lights in front of his childhood home in Dover. As with most things that grow, Christmas Lane began feeling growing pains several years ago. With the display outgrowing the family yard setting and a parking lot that was becoming overwhelmed by the growing Christmas Lane crowds, something had to change in order to accommo-

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date Christmas-loving crowds. Christmas Lane has a new home at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, 2508 W. Oak Ave. in Plant

15, the hours are 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. As Christmas approaches from Friday, December 16

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– Saturday, December 25, the hours will be extended to 6-10 p.m. For more info, visit www.christmaslane.com.

Over 1.5 million lights will adorn over 200 Christmas trees, from 4 to 40 ft. tall. There is a train taking children through a winter wonderland which includes a tunnel of lights, along with several new rides. Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with his elves, attend nightly in his sleigh. Children share their wishes and the parents capture many memorable photo opportunities. Enjoy real characters such as Rudolph and Frosty the Snow Man make spontaneous appearances and a complete nativity scene demonstrates the real reason for Christmas. There are larger-than-life items on display, such as a Christmas Castle, two 10 ft. toy soldiers, a 14 ft. reindeer, and even a stuffed polar bear flying a small airplane. Christmas Lane will be open Nov 25 - Dec 25, 2016. From Friday, November 25 – Thursday, December

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Christmas Light Show In Apollo Beach

Apollo Beach Christmas Light Show, with over 100,000 lights synchronized to Christmas songs featuring a 20 ft. mega tree and leaping arches, can be found at 486 Florida Circle North and will run through Monday, January 2.

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December 2016

Page 15

Valrico Edition

Tucker Family Says Many Thanks For RobZ Celebrates 10 Years in Valrico By Kate Quesada Ten Years Of Stocking Hope really want.” With the holiStaff Report

Ten years There are many ago the grief ways you can particifrom the loss pate in this project of a child from making your own became the tax deductible donacatalyst to tion at www.givingbring hope to hopethroughfaith.org families facto hosting a holiday ing cancer. party at your office or The Giving home and encouragHope through ing friends to bring a Faith gift card or donation to Foundation fill a stocking. A gift of began with a $1,500 provides packmission to ages to a family for a support families facing pediatric cancer with financial, spiritual and emotional support. In Sherry and Dirk Tucker started the Giving Hope through Faith those ten Foundation after losing their years, over year. A gift of $500 will purchase son to pediatric cancer 10 years ago. $1 million has dinner for 20 of our families. A gift been raised with over 600 families of $100 provides five boxes of smiles being served. “We are beyond grateful and a gift of $50 gives a night at the for the amazing support we have movies for one of our families. received from the Brandon area,” states The families receive monthly care Sherry Tucker, President of the founda- packages containing gift cards and tion. “We were so determined to bring messages of hope, once a month for a good from this terrible tragedy and year. The foundation is operating on a because of so many family, friends and volunteer basis with ninety-six cents of strangers coming together to help us, every dollar received going out to the we have been able to bring much need- families that are assisted. ed help to many families. We are on To learn more about the foundation target to serve 75 families in 2016 if we or the Stockings of Hope project, can raise $40,000 dollars with our please visit www.givinghopethroughStockings of Hope Project this holiday faith.org or contact Sherry or Dirk season.” Tucker at 685-6773.

,

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

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Page 16

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

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through Tuesday, February 21. The Florida State Fair runs from Thursday, February 9 to Monday, February 20. Shifts and hours are varied. Applicants must be available to work flexible hours including, but not limited to, on-call, late nights, early mornings, weekends and holidays for the duration of the Fair. For consideration, please apply at www.floridastatefair.com. Background checks are conducted on all candidates. EOE/DFWP

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Below is the lineup of headline entertainment acts performing on the Wish Farms Soundstage at the 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival, which will take place March 2-12, 2017. Plenty of country, clas-

Thursday, March 2 – Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra | Drifters, Platters & Cornell Gunter’s Coasters | for KING & COUNTRY Friday, March 3 – Willie Nelson and Family | Kip Moore Saturday, March 4 – Kane Brown | 3 Doors Down Sunday, March 5 – Clare Bowen/Charles Esten | Little Big Town Monday, March 6 – The Bellamy Brothers | Jennifer Nettles Tuesday, March 7 – Brenda Lee | NEEDTOBREATHE Wednesday, March 8 – Tracy Byrd | Scotty McCreery Thursday, March 9 – Cab Calloway Orchestra | The Oak Ridge Boys| The Blues Brothers Friday, March 10 – Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers | Elle King Saturday, March 11 – Maddie & Tae | Patti LaBelle Sunday, March 12 – Joe Nichols| Rascal Flatts ‘RHYTHM & ROOTS’ Tour

sic country, Christian, rock, or oldies concerts to choose from. Tickets go on sale Thursday, December 8 at 8 a.m. and can be purchased at flstrawberryfestival.com/headline-entertainment/, over the phone at 7541996 or in person at the Amscot Main Ticket Office, 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City.

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

Prepare to be astonished and amazed by artists who redefine the word extreme in everything they do, magnifying traditional elements of the circus and combining these elements with neverbefore-seen spectacles, original, fastpaced performances and incredibly hilarious moments. Join in at Amalie Arena, Tampa from January 25-29, 2017 a world of extreme beauty, flexibility, strength and dexterity are explored in ways you’ve never seen before. With such an exciting lineup, The Greatest Show On Earth® guarantees to dazzle and astound, and a Ringling Bros.® show wouldn’t be complete without a full menagerie of amazing animals. Circus XTREME features beautiful Bengal tigers and two-humped camels ridden by brave Mongolian women. Tickets for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME are on sale now. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. All seats are reserved and tickets are available by calling 800-7453000. For group rates, call 866-248-8740. Purchase tickets and view show times on Ringling.com.

County Park Passes Now Available Online

Annual passes to Hillsborough County’s regional parks offer a great way to enjoy hiking, fishing, bird watching, and a host of other outdoor activities. Now, getting a pass has become more convenient than ever. Purchasing an annual pass used to require going to the regional park administrative office and completing the paperwork and payment on site. Outdoor enthusiasts now can skip the trip and buy an annual pass from their computer or mobile device. An annual pass allows free access to the County’s 10 regional parks. The cost is $50 for an individual pass and $100 for families. The permit is issued in the form of a transferrable tag that hangs from a vehicle’s rear view mirror. The new, more convenient system comes just as prime camping season begins in Hillsborough County. Moderate temperatures, lower humidity, and fewer bugs make late fall through March an ideal time for outdoor adventures. Camping for the general public is offered at Edward Medard, E.G. Simmons, Lithia Springs, and Alderman’s Ford parks, and requires an additional fee. Regional parks include: Alderman’s Ford Park, Edward Medard Park, E.G. Simmons Park, Eureka Springs Park, Lake Park, Lake Rogers Park, Lettuce Lake Park, Lithia Springs Park, Upper Tampa Bay Park, and Upper Tampa Bay Trail. For information, call 987-6240.

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December 2016

Page 17

Valrico Edition

Gayane Stepanian To Lead RCMA

FINANCIAL FOCUS

By Bill Coats

Gayane A. Stepanian, an executive with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, has been selected as RCMA’s next executive director. Stepanian is to take the position of Barbara Mainster, who joined RCMA in 1972 and has been executive director since 1988. RCMA is Florida’s largest nonprofit child-care provider, with more

thrilled to join others who are absolutely dedicated to delivering world-class child care and education for our most vulnerable kids.” The search for a new executive director was complicated by Mainster’s impressive legacy. She has led RCMA to open more than 100 child-care centers during her tenure. And she has transformed thousands of lives as RCMA hired people from farmGayane A. Stepanian has been selected as working backgrounds and RCMA’s next executive director. trained them to deliver cuttingthan 70 locations in rural Florida, edge child care. including three charter schools. “It’s extremely important that we Stepanian’s selection ends a not look at this as an attempt to search dating back to June 2015, replace Barbara, because we can’t do when Mainster informed her Board of that,” said Board member Michael Directors and RCMA’s staff of 1,600 Stuart, who led a search committee of that she was planning to retire. RCMA Board members. Mainster, 75, introduced Stepanian to Stepanian is set to join RCMA RCMA staff by email last month. on January 2. Since 2014, she has “I think you will all agree that been Director of Grants Development Gayane is a wonderful addition to the for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Miami. RCMA family,” Mainster told the staff. She is a child safety expert with “I like her, and know you will, as well.” degrees in psychology and education, “I am inspired and humbled to join and is a mother of three teenagers. RCMA,” said Stepanian, 45. “I am

Consider Some New Year’s (Financial) Resolutions

Melissa L Haskins Financial Advisor

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

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

Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor

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Page 18

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

Build A Toy With Santa At MOSI

By Grayson Kamm

It looks like too Santa Claus will many boys and girls be dropping by his have been good this workshop to share year, because Santa is pointers and holiday running out of room at cheer with his toythe North Pole and making helpers. Come he’s adding an take a photo extra Santa’s with Santa Claus Workshop at the at MOSI from 10 a.m. Museum of Science & to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Industry (MOSI) in December Tampa. He needs your 3. Santa will be back help to make sure his at MOSI for brief 90elves can make all of minute visits the toys they’ll need on December 4, 10, for this holiday sea11, 17, and 18. son. “To me, the best Included kind of gift is a gift you with MOSI admission, Santa is adding an extra workshop at make yourself – espeMOSI this holiday season. Bring the kids can come to the children to help the elves make the cially if you’re a Idea Zone® creativity toys needed for this holiday season. kid. Santa’s Workshop lab and make real at MOSI gives toys to take home and give to family and kids the friends. Santa’s Workshop at MOSI conchance to tinues through January 3, show their 2017. Santa himself will visit the workcreative sides shop during the first three weekends in and make December (see below for details). something Idea Zone® at MOSI will become a memorable Minecraft-inspired winter wonderland, and unique for a friend or family memcomplete with a cubic Christmas tree ber, instead of only choosing a gift off a and Minecraft model train. With help shelf,” said Molly Demeulenaere, MOSI from MOSI’s elf-trained staff, guests can President & CEO. get hands-on with: cardboard creatures, No reservations are necessary and retro toy-building classes, Santa Sleuths hands-on Santa’s Workshop activities - MOSI's Elf on a Shelf has are included with MOSI general admisraided MOSI's secret stocking full of 3Dsion. printed toys a few good Santa Sleuths MOSI is open every Tuesday are being sought to join in the reindeer through Sunday and is closed seasonalgame and help find the lost toys hidden ly on some Mondays, visit mosi.org for around MOSI, and live science shows. daily hours.

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December 2016

Page 19

Valrico Edition

STEVE MORAN P.A. 813-661-2476

County Service Offers Helpful Hints To Avoid Getting Cars Towed To Impound

Staff Report

If you think you’ve ber to grab the been wrongfully towed in receipt. Hillsborough County, the If you parked Public Transportation in a lot with an Commission (PTC) honor box, make is here to help. The PTC sure you videotape regulates for-hire transor take a photo of portation, which includes yourself paying, so towing companies, and you have proof. often assists drivers in Don’t block Hillsborough County anyone’s driveway by investigating tow or business complaints. entrance when Brett Saunders, parking. Chief Inspector with the The PTC also Hillsborough County offers tips to help Public Transportation you if your car Commission said, “We has been towed: often have local citizens The Public Transportation Commission If you suspect can help you if you feel that your car report to us that their that the tow has been unlawfully towed in car has been towed and was not lawful, call Hillsborough County. they either don’t know the PTC to report it why, or they feel the tow truck company before you get your car back. is charging them too much. Once Take pictures of the area around we receive a towing complaint, we your car. Take notice of any signs indicatwill investigate it within 48 hours. This ing that your car was illegally parked. involves us contacting the tow truck com- If signs were not posted at every pany and reviewing their documentation entrance, it was not a valid tow. All for the tow to help us resolve the comsigns should list the tow company with a plaint.” contact phone number. In some instances, the PTC has Tow truck drivers are required been able to get full or partial refunds for to have proof of the violation. If the driver drivers. So far this year, the PTC has did not take pictures of your violation, you helped over 70 percent of citizens who may be entitled to a partial or full refund. sought their help with getting a refund. Be sure to pick up your To avoid getting towed, the PTC vehicle between 8 a.m. and 6 offers this advice: p.m. Monday through Saturday. Don’t park in a business’ lot if you are Otherwise, you will be charged a gate fee not patronizing that business. of $50 before obtaining your car. If you parked in a staffed lot, rememVisit hillsboroughcountyptc.com.

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Page 20

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 12


Valrico

December 2016

Volume 13, Issue 12

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 23 SPORTS CONNECTION .............PGS 24‐25 CHALKLINES....................................PG 26

CRIME BEAT....................................PG 27 GIFT GUIDE..............................PGS 28‐35 remarkable. To learn more about Black Rock Bar & Grill, visit www.blackrockrestaurants.com. Black Rock Bar + Grill is located at 804 Providence Rd. in Brandon. Call 4454111.

Current Chiropractic Celebrates One Year

Dr. Annie Apatiga and Dr. Theodore Dragoo are celebrating Current Chiropractic’s one year anniversary. They are humbled by how quickly the local community welcomed them. “There is no way we would have been able to do it without so much support from the local chambers, organizations, small businesses and residents.” Dr. Apatiga and Dragoo love serving the community and giving hope to many that have none, and pride themselves on providing a unique and individualized approach to patient care. In order to provide this, the doctors perform one of the most thorough and comprehensive exams possible to help determine the cause of their patients issues instead of just symptom control. The doctors take the time with their patients necessary to find long term solutions and also determine any and all behaviors patients are performing that negatively affect their health. Current Chiropractic is located at 3432 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. For

Investors Sought For Blink Fitness Franchise Expansion

www.currenthealthuc.com.

more information, call 603-4466 or visit

Black Rock Bar + Grill Now In Brandon

Black Rock Bar + Grill opened its doors October 27, 2010 in Hartland, Michigan, a small town in a very tightly bonded community. It brought an Australian-style dining experience unlike any other. By pairing family recipes, a 755degree volcanic stone, and a love for food, the Morganroth family

New York-based Blink Fitness is planning franchise expansion into Florida with sights set on targeted communities across Hillsborough and Sarasota Counties, including Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Plant City and more. With nearly 50 corporate locations already open in New York/New Franchise expansions of Blink are slated for the Jersey, the fitness chain is aiming to Tampa Bay area. open 15-20 franchise clubs in the knew they were a perfect fit for the area and is currently seeking qualified restaurant industry; however, they had no franchise investors to open one or multiprior restaurant ple locations. experience, working For more information about the Blink only off their dream Fitness franchise opportunity, visit blinkof what Black Rock franchising.com. could become. With a very determined Edward Jones Financial Advisor family and help from Moves To New Office the community, Melissa L. Haskins of the financial Black Rock grew into something Continued on Next Page


Page 22

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

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

By Michelle Colesanti

services firm Edward Jones recently Baker. Jackson is a single mother with moved to a new office at 1068 E. two children who has undergone a douBloomingdale Ave. (Plaza Bella), in ble mastectomy with chemotherapy and Brandon radiation. She hasn’t been able to work Haskins, who has been a financial since April due to her many doctor advisor since 2013 said, "We are excited appointments and treatments. She is about our new location, and we are eager struggling to keep up with her mortgage for our clients to visit us." payments and other bills. Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 comMusic Showcase would like to thank pany, provides financial services for indiits patrons for their help in raising these vidual investors in the funds. For more inforUnited States and, mation on Music through its affiliate, in Showcase, visit Canada. Every www.musicshowaspect of the firm's caseonline.com. business, from the types of investment Keep Math Skills options offered to the Sharp And Build location of branch Confidence This offices, is designed to Holiday Season cater to individual With Math investors in the comEnrichment munities in which The most wonthey live and work. derful time of the The firm's 14,000year is here once plus financial adviA $1640 check was presented to breast again, and with holicancer patient Sherry Newton-Jackson day cheer come sors work directly on November 8 by Paula Gaskin and with nearly seven milmany lighthearted Joyce Baker. lion clients. opportunities for math For more information, please learning. “The holidays are the perfect call 685-5294. time for parents to show their children the Visit www.edwardjones.com. many practical applications of math outside of the typical classroom environCheck Presented By Music Showcase ment,” said Becky McDaniels, Owner of For Breast Cancer Patient the Mathnasium of Brandon franchise. Music Showcase awarded proceeds Encourage kids to explore math in their from month-long fundraising efforts in everyday lives while keeping their skills October to a 39-year-old breast cancer fresh with these positive, low-pressure patient. The check totaling $1640 was enrichment activities such as cooking and presented to Sherry Newton-Jackson on baking, gift shopping, decorating and holiNovember 8 by Paula Gaskin and Joyce day crafts, family game nights, holiday

travels: stave off boredom in transit and keep your child busy with activity books and games that involve math. As you explore math over the holidays, “remember to keep it light,” McDaniels said. “Winter break is a time for kids to step away from academic responsibilities and celebrate with family and friends. Focus on exploring concepts, practicing skills, and expanding knowledge. The proprietary Mathnasium Method™ is the result of 40+ years of hands-on instruction and research. Contact: Becky McDaniels at 655-6284. Visit brandon@mathnasium.com.

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December 2016

Page 23

Valrico Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Local Art Teacher Inspires And Encourages Students To Create Art In And Out Of School

Fabulous Collection Of Black And White Photographs By Jim Graves On Display At Bruton Memorial Library

A love of art and to get involved in the desire to teach community events. students is what She recently had drives Shelly Valdez, two students who an art teacher at were selected for Lithia Springs the Inaugural Elementary School Holiday Card Art in Valrico. Valdez Exhibit sponsored teaches art to stuby the Tampa Bay dents in first through Buccaneers and fifth grades. She held at One Buc sees the students Place in Tampa on for 30 minute classNovember 8. Lithia es twice a week. Springs is a Bucs Valdez said, Academy School. "Providing students Students were with an art education asked to create a is invaluable. I have card that incorpoLithia Springs Elementary School art several students tell teacher, Shelly Valdez, was proud of rated the Bucs logo her two students, Madeline Kapsick with a holiday me each day that and Kendra Smith, fourth grade stuthey could not wait dents, for being selected as two of the theme. The winner's to come to art. This creation was used 10 finalists in the Inaugural Holiday Card Art Exhibit sponsored by the helps with attenas the cover for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. dance and liking Bucs' official school in general. Art also builds self- Christmas card. esteem when they create something Valdez said, "While we were not they love," Valdez added, "Art also the final design, we were extremely develops higher order thinking when proud of Madeline Kapsick and students are young. Kendra Smith, both fourth grade stuIt also helps teach them to think dents, who were two of the 10 disoutside the box. In their art projects, trict-wide finalists." they are required to come up with a In addition, Valdez works with variety of solutions and to look at Center Place of Brandon who prothings from a variety of angles." vides scholarships for students to Valdez so believes in the value of take a free art class for one month. art that she encourages her students

The ing photographs, December using film and mediexhibit at the um format cameras Bruton that leads to more Memorial deliberate, contemLibrary in plative, yet intuitive downtown narratives." Plant City feaGraves was tures the fanborn in The beautiful art photographs, skillfully shot and tastic and mys- framed by Plant City resident, James Graves, Pennsylvania and tical black and are on display at the Bruton Memorial Library in moved to Florida downtown Plant City throughout the month of white photowhen he was in his December. graphs of early teens. He James Graves, a resident of Plant City. attended the University of South Florida According to Amanda LaPorta, where he earned a B.A. in English Adult Services Librarian for the Bruton Literature and an M.A. in Library and Memorial Library, "Graves is displaying Information Studies. He first took up 11 framed photographs. They possess photography after he graduated from melancholy quality and convey themes USF. He has always used black and of isolation, from one photo of an abanwhite film in creating his art photodoned chair to another of a figure in the graphs. After a career as a librarian in woods." LaPorta added, "Each photothe county public library system, he graph is thoughtfully compared such returned to photography. that each tells an individual story, while Graves' work has been exhibited on also being part of a collective, eerie nar- a solo basis at the Bruton Memorial rative." library in 2013 and the Jimmie B. Keel a The exhibit is indeed one of the Regional Library in Tampa in 2014. He most interesting I have viewed in a long has been in group exhibits at the Florida time. The exhibit is worth a visit to hisMuseum of Photographic Arts and in toric, downtown Plant City just to see it. photography centers in Vermont, Graves' stated, "My project, Marking Colorado and South Carolina. Questions, documents the world around For information on Graces' work, me as I attempt to make images which visit www.jgravesphoto.com. The Bruton speak, much like poetry, on both the Memorial Library is located at 302 W. conscious and subconscious levels. I McLendon St. in Plant City. Call 757have a slowed down approach to mak9215 or visit the front desk.

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Page 24

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

P R E SS

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Valrico Rams Cheer And Football Celebrate 2016 Fall Season Success

By Tamas Mondovics

the organization’s cheerleading squads. “We are also proud of our level 3, Jr Pee Wee and level 4, Varsity squads both of whom won

and Brandon communities just to name a few. The National Pop Warner League boasts of member organizations in 42 states with a participant base of more than 400,000 young football players and cheerleaders. As it was the case this year, Pop Warner provides a number of opportunities for the Rams, which includes fielding teams for children with special needs in their Challenger

Valrico JV Football Team Celebrates its 2016 fall season success after reaching the regional finals, topping off the year with a game at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The Valrico Rams Football and Cheerleading organization is in its fourth season as members of the National Pop Warner League.

Coaches, players and parents associated with the Valrico Rams Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization are no strangers to success, which was validated once agin this fall, following one of the program’s most successful season in its 11-year history. Now in its fourth season as a member of the National Pop Warner Football SouthEast Region League, the Rams managed to send its undefeated Jr Pee Wee, Pee Wee and Junior Varsity teams deep into regional playoffs after each team winning its conference. The Rams Jr Pee Wee (13-1) team lost in the second round of regional playoffs, but received an

invitation to Game Day of Champions held on Saturday, December 3, at Raymond James Stadium. The Rams Peewee (12-1) and JV (8-2) teams both advanced to the Regional Championship, finishing the season with games played at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Valrico Rams Varsity and Junior Pee Wee Cheerleading squads celebrate their regional along with several invitational championship success, which led both programs to the national stage. bowl games played on its home field, 707 S Miller Rd. in Valrico Division, as well as the opportunity to Regionals advancing to the National against a trio of teams from Hawaii. advance teams to the Pop Warner competition,” he said. “I could’t be happier for what our Super Bowl at ESPN’s Wide World of Thanks to its reputation and succoaches and teams were able to Sports complex at Walt Disney World. cessful presence within the Greater accomplish this year,” said Rams vice For information, visit www.valricoBrandon area the Rams pull players president John Cleckler, adding that rams.org., or call 393-6026. from Riverview, Valrico, FishHawk the season’s success also included

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December 2016

Sports

Valrico Edition

Page 25

Connection

Story and photos by Tamas Mondovics

Local Head Tennis Pro Takes The Helm At Buckhorn Springs Tennis Club Local Head His recogniTennis Pro, tion as the 2016 Brandon inductee into the Feldman has NJCAA Men’s officially taken Tennis Coaches the helm at the Association Hall Buckhorn of Fame, was Springs Tennis the result of his and Swim Club previous work, in Valrico. while Head Thanks to Coach and his reputation Director of and successful Athletics for Buckhorn Tennis Club Head Tennis Pro, Brandon Oxford College three-year run Feldman, right, is joined by Glenna Almond, as Head Pro at Catherine Kotson and Dorothy Flair during a begin- of Emory the FishHawk University. ners class earlier this month. Ranch Tennis Feldman Club, Feldman’s recent move serves as a was born in New York, N.Y. and began much-anticipated addition to the his tennis career when his family moved Buckhorn Club located 2721 S. Miller Rd. to South Florida. in Valrico. Finishing high school Feldman Continuing his goal to coach both moved on to NCAA III Skidmore College young and old, Feldman brings to Valrico (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) where he as much talent and coaching experience became the No. 1 doubles and No. 2 sinas any facility could wish for. gles player, along with being co-captain of “FishHawk was successful and I am the team, followed by wins over players looking forward to offering the same high ranked in the top 30 for singles nationally, quality program here in Valrico,” Feldman as well as the top doubles team in the said, while pausing for a few minutes dur- country. ing a morning lesson offered to a small Feldman and his wife, Tiffany, have group of ladies that are taking part in a two children, Davina, 10 and Lander, 7. beginner’s course. He said he enjoys spending time with During his transition from FishHawk them, playing music and learning about to Buckhorn, Feldman was inducted into technology. the National Junior College Athletic For more information, visit www.buckAssociation (NJCAA) Men's Tennis Hall of hornspringstennis.com. Fame.

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

By Kathy L. Collins

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


Page 26

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

County Swears In New School Board Members & Introduces New Chief Of Staff To complete the official’s ceremony, the Hillsborough County School Board elected Stuart a new School Board chair. Sally Harris was selected as vice chair. For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools, please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.

dent population in Hillsborough County Public Schools. “Dr. Vazquez has dedicated his career to educating children,” said The Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins. “I am School Board welcomed two proud of the way he embraces divernew School Board Members sity and empowers the growing and two returning School Hispanic community,” Board Members during the Vazquez joined Hillsborough swearing-in ceremony on County Public Schools in July 2015, Tuesday, November 22. and previously Lynn Gray was sworn in served as the to represent District 7 Superintendent Countywide. of the Diocese Gray was a teacher and FL-ALAS Honors of St. instructional leader for 26 Hillsborough Petersburg. years in Hillsborough Hillsborough County Public Schools superintendent Jeff Eakins is County Public Vazquez County and has been a joined by current school board members Susan L. Valdes, Sally School’s Chief of has been the Harris, Cindy Stuart, Melissa Snively, Tamara Shamburger, April local business owner for 16 Griffin and Lynn Gray. Staff Alberto Associate years. She was elected in insurance industry for 19 years and Vazquez Superintendent the November General Election repas a Mortgage Broker. of Schools for Hillsborough County Public resenting all of Hillsborough County. The third member on the list was Queens North Schools Chief of Staff, Alberto The school board also welcomed Susan Valdes, who represents in Brooklyn, Vazquez, was honored this Tamara Shamburger, who was also District 1 and was re-elected in the New York and month as the recipient of the elected in the November General Primary election in August. was a Principal Latino Excellence in Election and sworn in to represent Hillsborough County Public Valdes was first elected to the Education Award. District 5. Schools Chief of Staff, Alberto in Bronx, New School Board in 2004. York. He has Vazquez The Florida Association of Shamburger was born and raised The second returning board also served as Latino Administrators and in Tampa and is a graduate of is Cindy Stuart represents member an Adjunct Professor for higher eduSuperintendents (FL-ALAS) celebratBloomingdale High School, and District 3. Stuart was first elected to cation institutions including Notre ed Vazquez, with the Wings of received her Master of Business the School Board in 2012, and also Inspiration Award, for his commitment Dame University, Fordham University, Administration from St. Leo re-elected in the Primary election in and Ana G. Mendez University and work with Latino students who University. August. System. make up 35 percent of the total stuShamburger has worked in the

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December 2016

Page 27

Valrico Edition

By Tamas Mondovics

Detectives Seek Public Assistance In Catching Brazen Gun Shop Burglary Suspects It took ing in conjunction less than five with the Bureau minutes for of Alcohol, the dozen or Tobacco, so unknown Firearms and suspects in Explosives are hooded asking for inforsweatshirts to mation in the remove nearTampa gun shop ly three burglary. dozen The Sheriff’s firearms from Office said that the Bureau of a Tampa area After smashing a vehicle through the front entrance, gun store dur- more than a dozen unknown suspects steal nearly 40 Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms from a Tampa area gun shop last month. Firearms and ing a smashExplosives (ATF) and National Shooting and-grab robbery last month. Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade The incident took place in the middle of the night at the Tampa Arms Company association for the firearms industry, have located at 4023 Waters Ave. W., but announced a reward for information leadaccording to detectives, its robbery’s con- ing to the arrest and conviction of those sequences can reach to much farther. responsible for the theft of firearms from Based on surveillance video capTampa Arms Company, a federal firearms tured at the scene, detectives said that an licensee (FFL), in Tampa. unknown suspect drove a vehicle through ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000, which will be matched by the the front glass entrance of the gun shop, NSSF for a total reward of up to $10,000. which then provided a way for as many Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is also as 10-15 suspects to enter the business offering a reward of up to $3,000 for inforand remove close to 40 firearms, includmation that leads to the identification and ing Glock handguns, shotguns and ARarrest of the unknown suspects involved 15 assault-style rifles before they fled the in this case. scene by unknown means. “We take this incident very seriously “These types of incidents always pose a higher level of danger as and pursue it aggressively,” McKinnon weapons get out on to the streets,” said said, adding that the community is always Hillsborough County detective and Public part of the success. Information Officer Larry McKinnon. Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS Hillsborough County detectives work- (8477), www.crimestopperstb.com.

If your home has a dull, worn­out kitchen, you're probably dreading the process of upda"ng it. Then there's the "me, cost and inconvenience that's typically involved. The good news: refreshing and upda"ng your kitchen doesn't have to be a huge disrup"on, and now is the perfect "me to do it. Trusted remodeling company Kitchen Tune­Up and its local Tampa Bay franchise, co­owned by cabinet refacing experts Ma# and Lorna Pierce of Tampa, can provide a completely updated kitchen or bathroom in less than one week without the mess or cost of a complete tear­out. "Our average remodeling project only takes between one to four days to complete," explains Lorna. Kitchen Tune­Up's Tampa loca"on specializes in cabinet refacing, cabinet redooring (new custom cabinet doors), cabinet and drawer organiza"on, wood recondi"oning, as well as kitchen remodel with new custom cabinets. The local business recently added a brand­new product line of closet and garage cabinets as well. "You can finally use that workbench in the garage, clear of clu#er, thanks to our shelving and organizers," said Ma#, who has over

Amazon Offers New Convenience Lockers For Merchandise Pick Ups And Returns

By Michelle Colesanti

You don’t have won’t see it.” to spend time any You can find more waiting for Amazon Locker locayour Amazon delivtions when selecting a ery to make it to shipping address duryour house. Since ing the checkout last summer, process or when Amazon gives conadding a new address sumers a new in your account. option for their Locker sites are given deliveries – individual names. Each Amazon Lockers. Locker has a name Once your because it's an easy package is delivway for our customers ered to the Locker Amazon has a Locker named Boulder to identify them,” comlocation that you at the Speedway at Lithia Pinecrest mented Billimoria. Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave. where you choose, you will Currently there are can pick up items ordered. receive an email to five locations within let you know it’s available for pick up. the south Hillsborough County corriMany Locker locations have early dor to choose from. Many more locamorning and late evening hours, some tions are expected as the program even offering 24 hour service. You can grows. Locally, they can be found at: also make returns using the locker. Amazon Locker “Rigsby”, located at Jim Billimoria from Amazon 10016 McMullen Rd. in Riverview at Corporate Communications said, “We the 7-Eleven, Riverview, Amazon have nearly 20 Lockers in the area Locker “Ethan”, located at 9817 US since late this summer. Amazon Hwy. 301 S in Riverview at the 7Lockers are a safe, secure, and conEleven, Amazon Locker “Boulder”, venient way for our customers to located at 3353 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. receive their Amazon packages and in Valrico at Speedway, Amazon can do so at any time up to three Locker “Diana”, located at 1020 S business days after their order has Kings Ave. in Brandon at the 7been delivered to a Locker.” Eleven, and Amazon Locker “Vienna”, Local residents think this is a located at 3629 E SR60 in Valrico at great option that Amazon offers. the 7-Eleven. Patricia Tracy thought it had another More info about Amazon Lockers great use especially around holiday can be time. “If you are getting a gift for at www.amazon.com/Locker. To find a someone in your house, you can pick Locker close to you, visit www.amait up at one of the lockers so that they zon.com/findalocker.

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Sweepstakes Highlights Best Of Shop Local By Marie Gilmore This holiday season, the Osprey Observer is partnering with local businesses to highlight the best of Shop Local gift giving. The campaign is called, the Osprey Observer, A Few of Our Favorite Things and we have gone to local businesses and asked them to give us ideas of a few of the top items available this holiday season. From now until December 16, we will be collecting Our Favorite Things all throughout the community and putting them together in one giant gift basket that will be given out in a Sweepstakes for our readers. “We have so many great items coming in and someone is going to be very excited to receive all of these great items from the businesses in our community,” said Kerrie Hoening, Advertising Sales Manager.

“We have never done a program like this in the paper and we are excited to share some of the treasures from our local small businesses with our readers.” Bridget Jenkins Wilson, owner of Cardinal Roofing and a member of the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber is also focused on encouraging local shopping this holiday season, “Anything we can do to keep our local businesses in the spotlight is great for our community,” she said. “And, this is a great opportunity for Osprey Observer readers to have a chance to win an amazing holiday gift.” To enter, email Sweepstakes to contest@ospreyobserver.com or fill out the entry form and send in by mail, fax or email. Good luck and thank you for shopping local!

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

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

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

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

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

Gift Basket Item: Jewelry Snug Value: $30

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

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

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

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Breathe Easy at Salt Grotto, Soar To New Heights At The New iFLY Indoor Skydiving address respiratory and skin ailments. Give the gift of good health to your loved ones. There are both adult and children’s Salt Room Therapy. Acupuncture, therapeutic massage and foot reflexology are also offered. Another great gift idea is a Himalayan Salt Lamps, which are said to help blood flow, improve sleep cusand also improve asthma and tom built outdoor kitchens. allergy symptoms. It is located at 509 W. Gift The Salt Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Basket Item: Grotto is Pool Lounge Call 324-8824 or visit located Value: $50 www.recreationalpoolssGift in Plaza Basket Item: pasandmore.com. Bella Salt Lamp Value: $25 Shopping Center, Visit The Salt Grotto 1026 And Breathe Easier This Holiday Season Bloomingdale Breathe easier Ave. in Valrico. It is open this holiday season. Tuesday - Friday from10 Relax in luxury at a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday The Salt Grotto. Dig from10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and your into the sand Sunday from 12 Noon-4 like salt and fill your p.m. It is closed on lungs with safe, natuMonday. For information, rally salty air. With each breath, call 324-8946 or visit inhale micro-particles that holistically thesaltgrotto.com/.

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

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

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

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

813-816-BIRD (2473)

www.BackyardBirdseed.com BackyardBirdseed@gmail.com

Backyard Birdseed

Great Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List! Premium Birdseed • Bird Baths

Bird & Bat Houses • Hummingbird Feeders Patio & Garden Decor

Gift Certifificcates Available! Mondays (closed) | T thru F - noon to 6pm | Sat & Sun - 10am to 4pm


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

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

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

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

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

P.O. Box 6099 • Brandon, FL 33508 • Water, Fire, Smoke & Mold Remediation and Restoration • Residential & Commercial Buildings • 24/7 Emergency Service • Licensed and Insured • Trained and Certified Technicians • Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed • Locally Owned & Operated

Dave Adams

888-466-8055

State Licenses: • CGC 1514699 (General) • MRSR 2642 (Mold Remediator)

www.Restoration1.com/Tampa-Bay


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

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

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

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

By Michelle Colesanti

Shop Pet Supplies Plus This Holiday Season For All Your Pet Needs Holiday gift shopping is not just for your two legged family and friends. Your pets will enjoy receiving some new toys and snacks and Pets Supply Plus is the perfect place to find the perfect gift. If you are planning to welcome a new pet member to your family this holiday season, Pet Supplies Plus is the perfect spot to pick up any supplies and goodies for your new family member. You will find everything you might need for dogs, cats, smaller pets, reptiles, birds, and fish. Pet Gift Supplies Basket Item: Plus is GloFish located at Aquarium 1937 E. Value: $50 S.R. 60 in Brandon. It is open MondaySaturday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 540-0645.


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

By Michelle Colesanti

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

Great Gift Ideas And Classes Help Make Rolling Pin A Great Stop For Holiday Gift Needs If you are stuck coming up with creative gift ideas, make a visit to Rolling Pin and you will find something for every chef in your life. Rolling PIn offers a gourmet retail store, cooking classes, Open for Private events, gift cards and lots of great holiday Gift Custom Letterman gift items. Basket Item: Jackets For High If you are looking to bring Small Basket School Student At 1 wine to your host or hostess, Including Rolling Pin has many choices $100 Cooking Class st Sporting Goods GC and $100 in 1st Sporting of quality wines. Products Goods provides the There are many great reaValue: $200 community with quality sons to attend Rolling Pin’s

Your FishHawk Community Physician for

Health& Beauty

Martin’s Jewelers Offers Fine Jewelry For The Special People On Your Gift List Martin’s Jewelers has been a staple in the Brandon area for the last 61 years. It will soon be closing its doors and must liquidate its entire inventory. sporting goods and personalization of athletic apparel and letterman jackets, and would be a memorable gift for your high school student. It is something that reflects personality and can be cherished years into the future. “The good thing about our process is that we don’t have to send off the jacket to be made,” said owner Laurel Giardina. 1st Gift Sporting Basket Item: Goods 3 Local High proSchool Team vides Spirit T-Shirts silk Value: $60 screening and embroidery services as well. Many things are provided to customers who walk in the doors. 1 st Sporting Goods is located at 3321 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. For information, call 571-0111.

Great offers on fine jewelry will make you happen and will thrill that special person on your gift list. Come on in to receive up to 60% off on custom jewelry designs and watches. Martin’s Jewelers is located at 664 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon and is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 Gift p.m. Call A Set of 7mm 681-2298 Freshwater Pearls or visit (Necklace, www.marBracelet, & tins-jewelEarrings). ry.com. Value $135

r OrdeAY! TOD

LISA HART MONICA RIVERA, M.D.

LICENSED MEDICAL AESTHETICIAN

BOARD CERTIFIED IN FAMILY MEDICINE

Pamper Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

Purchase $100 in Gift Certificates, Receive $10 FREE 50% OFF All Laser Hair Removal Packages Receive a FREE Large Tote Bag

Specialty Sweets for Every Occasion This Holiday Season Custom Cakes, Desserts, Pastries & Breads

GLUTEN FREE OFFERINGS AVAILABLE WITH ADVANCE NOTICE. 1017 E. Bloomingdale Avenue (next to Firehouse Subs)

(813) 681-CAKE (2253) • www.petitemadelynsbakery.com petitemadelynsbakery@gmail.com

Hours of Operation: Tue-Fri: 10-7 pm | Sat: 10-5 pm | Sun-Mon: Closed

with every $250 ZO product purchase

Shoppes at Lithia

3455 Lithia Pinecrest Rd Valrico, FL 33596

813-571-7200

Save $5

Aesthetic Center:

813-540-5110

Wed. - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Fri. - noon - 5 p.m.

Patient Care:

813-651-9396

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

16144 Churchview Dr. Bldg A, Ste 109, Lithia, FL

Bell Plaza

10273 Big Bend Rd Riverview, FL 33578

813-672-6111

CODE:FLOS1216 EXP 12-31-16

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

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

*See store for details. Offer expires 12/31/16. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Restrictions may apply. Edible®, Edible Arrangements®, the Fruit Basket Logo, and other marks mentioned herein are registered trademarks of Edible Arrangements, LLC. © 2015 Edible Arrangements, LLC. All rights reserved.


Page 36

Volume 13, Issue 12

Valrico Edition

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

I love Christmas and so does the Brenda Wade Team! We love the cooking, the anticipation & the excitement of being with the ones we love! We celebrate the friends & family that touch our lives and The Baby that still changes our world! We pray you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by the ones you love, making sweet memories Signature Realty Associates to last long after the season has passed! Top Producer 2002 - 2016

B r e nd a

BRENDA (813) 924-8677 • OFFICE (813) 655-5333 ! G EWIN N T S LI

WATERFRONT BEAUTY! 5/5/3 + bonus + pool/spa home with private dock! Tray ceilings, large windows & kitchen with granite counters, cherry cabinets topped with crown & stainless appliances incl. 5 burner gas stove! $699,000

! EW E N RIC P

OVERSIZED LOT IN GREAT LOCATION! 4/2.5/2 + office+ sunroom + pool home that offers great paint choices, crown, wood-burning fireplace & separate formals! Kitchen with wood cabinets, granite & stainless appliances! Huge fully fenced yard! $339,000

WATERFRONT BEAUTY IN MIRABAY! 3/2/2 + office home that welcomes you with large front porch! Open & bright with tile & wood floors in living areas & great water views throughout! Fall in love with the pavered lanai! $349,999

! EW E N RIC P

SUNRISE HOME WITH POND VIEW IN PLANT CITY! 4/3/2 home on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Walden Point community! Features include staggered tile flooring, crown, upgraded lights & faucets & granite in kitchen & master bath! $295,000 ! G EWIN N T S LI

STUNNING HOME! Gorgeous 4/3/3 + bonus home that offers stunning curb appeal with stacked stone accents & manicured landscaping! Inside offers crown, volume ceilings & kitchen with 42" maple cabinets & walk-in pantry! Fully fenced! $261,500

WONDERFUL TOWNHOME JUST SECONDS TO SR 60! 3/2.5/1 + bonus 2015 built home located in a wonderful community with pool! Exterior offers siding & stone accents! Interior features large open floor plan with neutral paint! Screened patio! $168,900

PRIVATE 4.5 ACRES! 3/3 half/2 full/4 + bonus + in-law suite home that oozes southern charm! Built in 2007, this home offers crown, wood floors & kitchen with cherry cabinets & granite counters! In-law suite with kitchen, bedroom & full bath! $369,900 ! EW E N RIC P

BEAUTIFUL HOME ON LAKEFRONT LOT! 3/2.5/2 + bonus home in Lake St Charles! New A/C 2014 and water heater in 2016! Home offers expansive lake views, wood floors & kitchen with new cabinets, granite counters & huge pantry! $250,000

VACATION RESORT BEAUTY! 2/1.5/1 townhome in Little Harbor! Community has 2 marinas, tennis court & swimming pools! Kitchen with wood cabinets, granite & stainless appliances! Three balconies, two with water views! $199,000

! EW E N RIC P

0.43 ACRE LOT ON QUIETWOODED STREET! 3/2.5/2 + pool home with no HOA fees or deed restrictions! Features include wood-burning fireplace, French doors, separate formals & kitchen with wood cabinets & newer appliances! $259,900

EXQUISITE MEDITERRANEAN STYLE HOME IN GATED COMMUNITY! 5/6.5/4 + office + bonus + game room + media room + pool/spa home! Over 5,200 sq.ft with stunning features & fixtures, this will be your forever home! Waterfront location on Hendry Lake! $1,124,990 ! EW E N RIC P

1.06 ACRE FENCED LOT! 4/2/1 + salt-water pool + detached garage home with fresh landscaping! 14ft ceilings, crown, diagonal tile & granite in kitchen & both baths! New appliances, new water heather in 2014, A/C in 2010 & water softener in 2016! $332,000 ! EW E N RIC P

CHARMING HOME ON 1/3 ACRE LOT! 3/2/2 home that offers separate formals, crown, wood floors, French doors & wood burning fireplace! Large screened lanai offers even more space for you to relax! Great location! $264,900

PERFECT WESTFIELD "MAYFAIR" HOME IN TWIN LAKES! 4/2/2 home that offers fresh exterior paint in 2015, hardwood floors, 8ft French doors & remodeled kitchen with maple cabinets, Quartz counters & stainless appliances! Fully fenced! $267,500

CUL-DE-SAC LOT AT THE BACK OF NEIGHBORHOOD! Brand new 4/3.5/2 + office + loft bonus Horizon "Boca" home! Beautiful elevation with stacked stone accents! Double masters, 5 1/4 inch baseboards, gourmet kitchen with granite & so much more! $308,990

BRENDA@BRENDAWADE.COM • WWW.BRENDAWADE.COM

Osprey Observer 2016-12 Valrico