Two Sections, 48 Pages of Community News
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April 2017 Volume 14, Issue 4 Ph: 657-2418
C E L E B R A T I N G
Y E A R S
P U B L I S H I N G
P O S I T I V E
C O M M U N I T Y
N E W S
Hillsborough County School Board To Vote Annual Blueberry Festival Offers April 25 Family Fun At Keel & Curley Winery On Proposed Bell Times Change By Tamas Mondovics By Michelle Colesanti
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Since day, there will Keel & Curley be live enterwas estabtainment and lished in over 100 food 2003, blueand craft venberries have dors with always been something for the star everyone attraction. including This year, the food, jewelry, winery celeand clothing. brates the Lularoe, small and Doterra tasty fruit Essential Oils with its Keel & Curley’s popular Blueberry Festival will take will join many place over two weekends; Friday and Saturday, April others. 10th Annual 14 and 15 and Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23 Blueberry “We will from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Festival. have your typIt has become ical fair/carnival type so popular that this food vendors (hot year, it is extended dogs, hamburgers, to take place over funnel cakes and two weekends: cotton candy) as well Friday and as other foods such Saturday, April 14 & as Abuelo's mexican 15 and Saturday food, Smokin' Aces and Sunday, April 22 & 23 from 8 BBQ and our very own restaurant will a.m.-6 p.m. be serving up some of our delicious This family event will include a food,” added Griffin. kid’s area with inflatables, along with Live music will be out on the deck a rock climbing wall. There will also with a variety of bands that will play be a petting zoo and pony rides. at different times each day. Since it is According to Event Coordinator also strawberry season, a limited Kristin Griffin, “The newest thing will release of strawberry shortcake wine be the expansion of our Kids Zone. In will also be available during the festiyears’ past, we only had an inflatable val as well. bouncy house. This year we want to Keel & Curley offers three types make the event even more familyof blueberry wine - sweet, semi-dry, friendly. Pets are always welcome and dry; all made from 100% blueberduring our festival as well.” ries. Admission to the Blueberry U-Pick blueberries will be availFestival is free, but parking costs $10 able from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., but you may ($5 from 8-10 a.m.) Keel & Curley want to arrive on the early side if you Winery is located at 5210 are planning to pick them. During the Thonotosassa Rd. in Plant City.
Photo By Tamas Mondovics
Bags of luminaries remembering those who have lost their battle with cancer line the field at a local high school during a recent Relay for Life event. The annual signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society sees hundreds of participants at each event, which includes the overnight walk remembering those lost to the disease and supporting many who are still fighting their battle.
On the heels of the Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Board’s controversial vote to end its courtesy busing, parents and students are again awaiting a decision on another transportation related issue: new bell schedule for the 2017-2018 school year. In a letter and on the disHCPS Superintendent Jeff trict’s website, Eakins addresses parents Superintendent and teachers about the Jeff Eakins district’s proposed new bell schedule and will be sent to informed parents the School Board for a vote and guardians of on Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30 the more than p.m. 200,000 elemenPROPOSED BELL SCHEDULE FOR 2017-2018 tary, middle and high school stuHigh school - 7:15 a.m. - 2:10 p.m., Early Release 1:10 p.m. dents in the Middle school - 9:30 a.m. - 4:25 p.m., Early Release 3:25 p.m. nation’s eighth Elementary school - 8:35 a.m. - 3:05 p.m., Early Release 2:05 p.m. largest district of the proposed although the process has involved change, scheduled to be brought to a teachers, parents and students from special called board meeting later nearly two dozen schools for some this month. time. “After you have watched the Continued on Page 20 video and studied the attached proposed bell times, we look forward to your feedback once again,” Eakins In This Issue said, while acknowledging that the issue prompts parents and students to have many questions and conGOOD SAMARITAN ............................PG 3 cerns. Parents are to review the proCHALKLINES .......................................PG 7 posed changes and email their NEW MOVE THEATER ........................PG 8 response to the district at BellSchedule@sdhc.k12.fl.us. SKYTYPING .......................................PG 12 “After we review feedback from SUMMER CAMPS ......................PGS 33‐39 our families, we will create the final recommendation and bring it to our ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 41 School Board for a vote on Tuesday, SPORTS CONNECTION......................PG 46 April 25 at 3:30 p.m. The request for feedback of the READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE already proposed new schedule www.ospreyobserver.com seems to have caught many parents off guard and a bit too fast to digest,
Volume 14, Issue 4
Local Ring Power Team Member Recognized As Good Samaritan By Tarpon Springs Police
BRANDON CATARACT CENTER AND EYE CLINIC
By Tamas Mondovics
A random act of undercarriage. kindness by one local “It was a miracle to man on behalf of an me,” Osarczuk said. out-of town police offi“Here is a guy on his cer on his way to parway to work who ticipate in funeral stopped whatever he services honoring his was doing to help out.” fellow officers did not Watson’s act of go unnoticed earlier kindness, however, did this month. not end there. Rollie Watson, of “I offered Rollie Plant City, a Heavy money for his fantastic Equipment Track Tarpon Springs Police Sgt. Scott “Oz” service, but he has flat Osarczuk, is joined by Rollie Watson out refused,” Osarczuk Shop mechanic at of Plant City for a photo last month, at said. “The only thing Ring Power in Ring Power. Riverview for the past he asked of me was if 23 years was recognized for assisting possible just send a letter to his employer. Tarpon Springs Police Sgt. Scott “Oz” I was positive he was late for work.” Osarczuk, a 21-year veteran, who found Osarczuk asked Ring Power to himself in a bind and just needed a hand. award Watson with a “Citizen Letter of En route to participate in services Recognition” for an act or acts in a spirit honoring fallen Orlando Police Lt. Debra of civic duty contributing to law enforceClayton and Orange County Sheriff ment efforts. Deputy Norman Lewis, Osarczuk experiTo top it all off, Osarczuk made the enced a flat tire on his department-issued trip once again, this time to Riverview to 2017 Chevy Tahoe SUV just off Interstate pay a surprise visit to Watson at his work 4 at the Branch Forbes exit. and formally present him with a plaque of Short on time and worried about soil- appreciation on behalf of the Tarpon ing his freshly pressed honor guard uniSprings Police Department. form ahead of the somber occasion, “I was definitely surprised,” Watson Osarczuk was in a predicament of being said. “I was just glad to help out especialeither late or showing up unbefitting the ly in this situation. I figured he was on his event of which he was a major part. way to the officers’ funeral.” “Rollie must have overheard my Turning to his new friend Osarczuk plight and without hesitation told me not added, “Thank you Rollie. You gave me to worry he will take care of it so I won’t hope and are a great example that there have to miss the service,” Osarczuk said, are still good people out in the world.” adding that it took an hour for his “Good Ring Power Corporation is located at Samaritan” to get the job done due to a 10421 Fern Hill Dr. in Riverview at exit difficulty removing the spare tire from the 250 off I-75, visit www.ringpower.com.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
Bloomingdale Community Cemetery Volunteers Maintain 1,500 Burial Sites
By Tamas Mondovics
Cemeteries and burial can. grounds might not be “We are not a perpetuthought of as beautiful hisal care cemetery, such as toric sites, but there are Hillsboro Memorial plenty of local residents and Gardens, so we depend on volunteers who will vouch families with loved ones for just that along with their buried here to help us,” importance of everyday life Martin said as she emphaand culture. sized that Board is hosting The Bloomingdale its annual meeting schedCooperative Community uled for Saturday, April 29 Cemetery, formerly known at 11 a.m., inside the as the Hendrix Family Bloomingdale Regional Cemetery until Peter D. Library’s McLean Family Hendrix donated the five Community Room. acres for a community Three of the seven-member Bloomingdale Cooperative One of the first grave sites dates back to the turn of the last The meeting provides Community Cemetery Company Board of directors, century. The entire 5-acre cemetery is well cared for by cemetery, is just one of volunteers and members Candi Martin, Bob Fox and Gene Layton, pause for a willing volunteers including the seven-member board of those historic sites located photo at the Bloomingdale Community Cemetery, just directors who are seeking the continued generous support a venue to discuss the at 3301 Bloomingdale Ave. east of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. The cemetery has financial and president’s of local residents and volunteers. nearly 1,500 burial sites including the very first dating in Valrico, about one mile annual report, as well as lives in Brandon. back to 1901 with room for at least 150 more. east of Lithia Pinecrest ways to support and maintain the cemeHelen Mulrennan Young, who lived prominent family in the cemetery. The first Road. proper function. tery’s just around the corner from the cemetery, person buried in the cemetery was According to local volunteers who Unlike other businesses, cemeterand who grew up where Mulrennan Artemesia Hendrix who died in 1901 of have been working tirelessly to maintain ies, particularly ones in heavily populatMiddle School is currently located, also typhoid fever. these sometimes less heralded historic ed areas, can only operate for so long lives in Brandon as a “very spry 94 yearWhile the cemetery has plenty of places, cemeteries are not only important, they run out of their main prodbefore old” with plenty of stories to tell. markers from the early 1900s, volunteers but are present in nearly every communiuct; usable space to put bodies in. The cemetery is currently cared for say many markers have been removed, ty. “We are hoping to get the word out How do cemeteries keep from by the Bloomingdale Cooperative damaged or were of a material that did that this indeed is a community cemethemselves going under and what hapCemetery Company, a 501 (c) (13) not survive the test of time. Many of the tery,” said long time Bloomingdale resipens when it runs out of money? organization, led by an all volunteer families buried there were the families of dent Candi Martin. “Even folks who have “When that happens, the site will seven-member board of directors. the Bloomingdale community, dating back family buried here have no idea what it an “abandoned” cemetery and become The cemetery is maintained by Jamie to the late 1800s. takes to maintain the cemetery. Many turned over to the state,” Martin said, Cooley, a descendent of the Parrish famiSome of those familiar family names assume the church owns and maintains ly, the only paid contractor who volunteers but then added, “It is a constant worry. I include; Garner, Parrish, Hendrix, it. Others, I guess, assume the occupants don’t know how many years beyond 63 say does much more than what he is McLean, Quick, Summerall, Martin, maintain it.” Martin, who personally has I might have, but that will not happen as paid to do, which is simply mow the great-great grandparents, great-grandpar- Stearns and Stone, with living relatives long as I can do anything to prevent it.” grass. Board members keep records, who still reside in the Bloomingdale and ents, grandparents, parents, sister-in-law information about For meet families at the cemetery to mark a and a son buried at the cemetery, empha- Brandon area. One such relative includes Bloomingdale Cooperative Community grave for a burial, maintain a phone for Martin’s first cousin, Hazel McLean sized that the Hendrix came from South Cemetery, call 438-9657. Donations are families and funeral homes to contact Henderson, who just turned 101 and still Alabama to Florida in 1842 and is a tax deductible. them and keep the records as best they
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Expanded Emergency Department & Upgraded Services Unveiled At Brandon Regional Hospital
W W W
O S P R E Y O B S E R V E R
C O M
By Kathy Collins
918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon, FL 33511 657-2418 (fax) 657-4469
7 © Copyright 2012-2013 - Osprey Observer, Inc. No reproduction without written permission.
CRIME/SAFETY & NEWS REPORTER
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Members of the community joined the staff of Brandon Regional Hospital to unveil the new emergency department complete with a rooftop helipad, for faster emergency treatment.
Brandon Regional Hospital unveiled the second phase of its newly expanded emergency department on Monday, February 20. The new $20 million phase features eight new exam rooms, four new trauma rooms, an ambulance entrance and a new helipad. Brandon Regional Hospital’s emergency department serves over 120,000 patients each year. “As one of the busiest emergency departments in Florida, we are always seeking new ways to treat patients more efficiently while maintaining our high quality of care,” said Bland Eng, Brandon Regional Hospital’s CEO. “This $60 million ER expansion improves patient care and experience in the ER. We now have 53 new private treatment rooms, a rooftop helipad and the latest radiology equipment, which allows us to better serve our community,” added, Eng. “This ER expansion project demonstrates Brandon Regional Hospital’s commitment to the future of our community,” said Andrzej Dmowski, M.D., Emergency Department Medical Director. The expanded ER provides for efficiency and the ability to provide faster care to
area residents. A new radiology suite located in the ER means that ER patients do not have to leave the ER in order to get imaging services. The new helipad and elevator take patients straight to the trauma room treatment area. According to Natalia Diaz, Marketing Director for Brandon Regional Hospital, “We are committed to the continued growth and prosperity of the greater Brandon community. We want to be the healthcare provider of choice for residents of the greater Brandon area.” Diaz added, ”We continue to invest in program technology such as our new transcatheter aortic valve replacement program for cardiology patients and our new Mako robot for joint replacement surgery. The hospital is also proud to be the largest employer in the Brandon area.” The final phase of the hospital’s $60 million emergency department expansion will include a 16-room pediatric emergency department. Brandon Regional Hospital is located at 119 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, please visit www.BrandonRegionalHospital.com.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
Grace Christian To Honor Founder With $5 Million High School Expansion
RVR Horse Rescue To Celebrate ASPCA Help A Horse Day On April 22
Since grades. By Grace adding a secChristian ond gymnasiSchool um, we will be opened its able to engage doors in 1974, the elementary it has susstudents in tained a solid exciting interreputation for scholastic academic leagues, provide excellence. Its a greater capacrigorous curity for all of our riculum is sports teams, taught from a and be the new biblical worldhome of the Grace Christian School is situated on 26 acres of land off of N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. view while in a Grace Christian structured but School Patriots caring environment. In addition to varsity sports.” In honor of the school’s preparing its students scholastically, the founder, Dr. Robert R. Gustafson, the school has an intentional focus on charnew facility will bear his name. acter development with emphasis on Gustafson, the beloved founder, adminmoral living, patriotism and civic duty. istrator, pastor, and baseball coach The more than 40 years of educapassed away in January 2016. He was a tional success has multiplied its student visionary with a passion for Christian population—causing the original school education. His legacy lives on through building to swell at its seams. In the Grace Christian School as it continresponse to the growth, Grace Christian ues to provide students with a high-qualfinalized plans for a two-year construcity Christian education. tion project to expand the high school “Unfortunately, we had to turn away campus. The new facility includes a high students last year,” said McKeen. “But school building, which will house 12 with a new building, we will have the classrooms, two auditoriums, administra- capacity for 400 more students.” To tive offices and a gymnasium. With a donate to the building fund, please conprice tag of five million dollars, the tact the school at 689-8815. Donations school is actively campaigning for funds. are tax deductible. Administrator Barry McKeen of Grace Christian School is located at Grace Christian explained, “The facility 1425 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. will increase our student capacity and Registration is open for the 2017-2018 expand our ability to provide new proschool year. For information visit grams in sports for students of all www.gracechristianschool.com.
Join RVR Delightful raffle, Horse Rescue vendor, and tack in celebrating items will be availthe ASPCA able, along with Help a Horse RVR logo merchanDay on dise and their adult Saturday, April and children’s books. RVR Horse 22. The Rescue will be ASPCA (The competing for a American chance to win up to Society for the $25,000 in grant Prevention of prizes to assist with Cruelty to their efforts to proAnimals®) cretect horses. “RVR is ated the an all-volunteer national celebration to raise Shawn Jayroe has dedicated her life to rescuing, organization, rehabilitating and rehoming horses. Her 40-acre awareness of ranch in Riverview is the perfect place to follow known for taking on the worst cases of the plight of her dreams. abuse and neglect,” said Shawn Jayroe, horses. Equine rescues and sanctuaries Founder of RVR Horse Rescue. “Help a like RVR Horse Rescue will join the Horse Day is a wonderful opportunity for ASPCA on this day by hosting events of their own to highlight the work they do in us to welcome local residents and businesses to help spread awareness about their communities in rescuing and proat-risk horses that are in need of loving tecting these amazing creatures. homes. We hope our supporters will To celebrate the day, RVR will be come out on April 22 to help us win a open to the public and festivities will $25,000 grant so we can continue savinclude family fun and education. From ing these majestic, loving animals for 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., the 40-acre facility in years to come.” Riverview will bustle with music, food, Those who can’t attend the event and fun for the whole family. Children’s but still want to participate in Help A activities will include carnival games, pony rides, and petting miniature horses. Horse Day can make a tax deductible contribution via the donation button on Facility tours will introduce the guests to the RVRHorseRescue.org website. In the current rescue horses and those addition, donations may be made to the available for adoption. The event locacurrent “Let’s Go Nuts” initiative that protion is 12611 Hayes Clan Rd. in motes and funds the gelding of stallions. Riverview. Mark your calendars for this worthy comPresentations on various topics will munity event. take place throughout the event.
By Amanda Boston
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Strawberry Crest ROTC Students Inspires Fellow Cadets, HCPS Announces Winners & Magnet School Kudos Strawberry Crest High School JROTC Cadet Shows Courage In Face Of Personal Obstacles
Strawberry Crest High School (SCHS) JROTC Cadet Damiyan Garcia was recently recognized by his fellow cadets for setting an outstanding example of courage while battling personal obstacles. Garcia was the first Freshman Cadet promoted to the rank of Corporal this year and serves as an inspiration for all cadets. In fact, the Corps of Cadets has dedicated the remainder of the JROTC school year to Cadet Corporal Garcia. Dealing with brain cancer, the SCHS freshman has impressed many by demonstrating a positive attitude and is enjoying the support of his fellow cadets, students, and faculty and staff, school officials said, adding that Garcia’s cancer was reportedly in remission last year, but has returned more aggressively. Despite the pain from radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Garcia is known for always having a smile on his face. SCHS recently presented the young cadet with a congratulatory card for his recent promotion to the rank of Corporal, signed by many of the Charger cadets who are committed to keeping Garcia motivated during his continued fight against cancer.“Cadet Damiyan Garcia is a leader with a cando attitude who never quits and never fails his team. He is an inspiration to all,” said Strawberry Crest High School JROTC Army Instructor First Sergeant, Lashawn Lyas. Donations have poured in from groups and individuals to help the Garcia Family off-set expenses. If you are interested in helping Damiyan’s family offset his medical expenses, there is a Go Fund Me account set up in his name at www.gofundme.com/brain-cancer-battle. For more updates about Damiyan, please call Lt. Col. (Ret.) John Ingraham at 707-7522 ext. 263 or email him at email@example.com. Visit the SCHS website to find out more about the school.
District Hosts Series Of School Transportation Resource Fair
With school transportation concerns making headlines in recent months, Hillsborough County Public Schools officials began hosting a series School Transportation Resource Fairs at school sites throughout the District. The next scheduled fair is to take place at Eisenhower Middle School, 7620 Old Big Bend Rd., Gibsonton, on Wednesday, April 19, in the school cafeteria from 5:30-7 p.m. According to Jeff Eakins each event provides resources to parents including a list of alternative school transportation options, including walking school buses and bike trains. “These are options where a group of children walk to school with one or
more adults,” Eakins said, during a brief instructional video promoting the school transportation fair. ‘“A variation on the walking school bus is a bicycle train where adults supervise a group of children riding their bikes to school.” Eakins added that parents can find more information on creating such options on the Florida Department of Transportation’s Safe Route to School website. Eakins emphasized that the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority TBARTA provides access to a list of names and contact information of school parents who are interested in assisting with the alternative transportation programs. Lisa Silva of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) one of the presenting partners for the event is a liaison for the School Transportation Working Group. “We want to provide resources to parents,” Silva said. “We already have these great partners participating in our school transportation working group so we wanted to bring it all together. Our goal is to hear parents' concerns and give them some educational materials and information.” HCPS is encouraging parents to attend one of the remaining School Transportation Resource Fairs. Officials said that whether a child walks, bikes, gets a ride or takes the bus, families will find promotional materials, information and helpful tips at these events, along with representatives from HCPS and various other state and local agencies and organizations who will be on hand to answer questions and concerns. For more information parents are encouraged to visit the district’s website at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us and type ‘alternative transportation’ in the search engine.
Magnet Schools Receive National Recognition
Magnet Schools of America (MSA) has recognized a list of Hillsborough County public magnet schools and programs as Magnet Schools of Excellence or Magnet Schools of Distinction. According to district officials the awards recognize member magnet schools and programs that demonstrate a commitment to high academic standards, curriculum innovation, desegregation/diversity efforts, specialized teaching staffs, and parent and community involvement. Magnet programs are one of the many options families in Hillsborough
County Public Schools can choose. Magnet Schools of Excellence Awards recipients included Riverhills Elementary Magnet School, Orange Grove, Stewart, and Williams middle magnet schools; Rampello K-8 School; and Tampa Bay Technical High School.
Strawberry Crest High School (SCHS) JROTC freshmen Cadet Damiyan Garcia, receives a certificate of promotion to the rank of Corporal. Garcia is battling brain cancer and is an outstanding example of courage to his fellow cadets.
Magnet Schools of Distinction awards recipients included, Cahoon,
Dunbar, Lee, Lincoln, MacFarlane, Muller, and Shore elementary magnet schools; Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy, Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy, Progress Village and Walker middle magnet schools; and Blake, Jefferson and Middleton high schools.
HCPS Announces Excellence In Education Winners
Three top educators and support staff were recently honored as winners of the 2017 Excellence in Education Awards . Representatives of the Hillsborough Education Foundation and Hillsborough County Public Schools presented the awards at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The 2017 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year award went to Pedro Castrejon of Jefferson High School. The 2017 Instructional Support Employee of the Year award went to Terranique Ragins, Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy Middle School. The 2017 Teacher of the Year award went to Memorial Middle School teacher Maria Torres Crosby. For more information about the winners visit www.sdhgc.k12.fl.us.
Volume 14, Issue 4
Riverview 14 GDX Now Open As Tampa's Destination Movie Theater When Goodrich Quality Theaters, (GQT) a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company founded in 1930, chose Riverview to build its 30th location, a $20 million, state-of-the-art multiplex in Florida, the objective was clear and non-negotiable; open with no mistakes. “Our company culture is all about fanatical attention to detail,” said Dubbed as Tampa's destination theater, Goodrich Quality GQT Marketing Director, Theaters, (GQT) Riverview 14 GDX Theater’s recent opening at Kelly Nash. “This is our the southwest corner of I-75 and Gibsonton Drive directly east first multiplex outside the of Super Walmart (exit 250). Midwest and we wanted stand-alone to ensure we opened without excuses or restaurant, bar errors.” and Gastro-Pub Based on Nash’s sentiments, and developed by judging by opening weekend results, the Celebrity Chef 66,000 sq. ft., Riverview 14 GDX (Giant Brian Duffy of Bar Digital Experience), located at the southRescue and drink west corner of I-75 and Gibsonton Drive specials crafted directly east of the Super Walmart (exit by mixologist Mike 250), did not only meet its goals- but has Tipps. The restaufar surpassed its best expectations. rant has its own The theater features 1,665 electronientrance, and is cally reclining seats with snack trays and also accessible through the lobby and cup holders and all seats are reserved. offers a scratch kitchen perfect for lunch, “We opened our doors merely two dinner and late-night snacks, with nothing hours after government approvals and on the menu over $12, which gives a sold 1,300 tickets within the first 120 minwhole new meaning to the phrase, “dinutes,” Nash said, adding that in its first ner and a movie.” weekend, more than 10,000 tickets were Following her visit on opening weeksold. end, Riverview Honorary Mayor, Tammy Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a Holmberg, said, "This is not just the giant contemporary lobby that proudly movies. Goodrich Riverview 14 is a game includes Features, a first-of-its-kind,
By Tamas Mondovics
was a little delayed, its arrival did by no means disappoint. GQT COO, Martin Betz was also pleased when he said, “The fantastic welcome from across the Tampa Bay area demonstrates its excitement to have our state-of-the-art, familyfriendly fourteen screen cinema experience, as this is our first theater in Florida.” Betz highlighted the theater’s rewards program and free popcorn for people who bring a ticket stub from another theater through May 31. Riverview 14 GDX is hosting its Grand Opening Community VIP Weekend, scheduled for Friday-Sun, April 21-April 23. Moviegoers will receive a popcorn and soft drink combo all weekend for only $4. Visit www.GoodrichQualityTheaters.com. and on Facebook @GoodrichRiverview.
changer in the movie watching experience.” The lobby features box offices and self-serve ticket kiosks as well as concession stands coupled with self-serve soft drinks and $0.50 popcorn refills. Adding to the experience is Goodrich’s cutting-edge, large format auditoriums with 4K digital projection onto two 70 by 40 foot, floor-to-ceiling screens, with sound powered by the Premium Dolby ATMOS system with more than 60 * $8 Thrifty Ticket Tuesdays speakers and more * Frequent MovieGoer (FMG) Rewards Program than 265 seats Free popcorn at sign up each. * Party Room Rentals The 12 addi* Save a Stub, Get a Tub tional screens feaBring in any other theatre ticket stub, get a free 85 oz. ture state-of-the-art of popcorn valid through May 31. tub digital projection on * Classic Movies on the Big Screen every Sunday and 35-45 ft. screens Wednesday at 7 p.m.-upcoming: with the Trinnov 4/2 & 4/5-The NeverEnding Story Ovation system. 4/9 & 4/12-The Ten Commandments “Customers say 4/16 & 4/19-Hello, Dolly! that this is the best * Morning Movies-Every Friday, Saturday and movie experience Sunday at 10 a.m. free movies with FMG Rewards they have ever membership. See the movie line-up below: seen,” Nash said. 3/31 – 4/2: Wild Life 4/7 – 4/9: Kubo & the Two Strings It is safe to say 4/14 – 4/16: Trolls that while Riverview 4/21 – 4/23: Ice Age: Collision Course 14 GDX opening 4/28 – 4/30: Sing
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Support A Kid's Place By Attending Vintage Hollywood Black Tie Gala
By Kathy L. Collins
The Annual Fostering Hope Vintage Hollywood Black Tie Gala, which benefits A Kid's Place, will take place on Saturday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Epicurean Hotel located in the trendy neighborhood of Hyde Park in Tampa. Sponsorships Join A Kid’s Place supporters, Tom Sansone and his wife, beginning at $500 Cathy Unruh, A Kid’s Place CEO, Virginia Johnson and her husband, Doug Scrivner at the Fostering Hope Vintage and tickets are Hollywood Black Tie Gala to benefit A Kid's Place on Saturday, available, but May 13. space is limited. provided. Since its inception, over Individual tickets are $300 per person. 125,000 bed nights have been recorded. The Epicurean Hotel is located at 1207 A Kid's Place is a 60-bed facility S. Howard Ave. in Tampa. made up of five 3200 sq. ft. homes. The black-tie event will feature a They accept children from newborn bubbly bar and champagne tower, cigar through 18 years old. A Kid's Place utibar, photo booth and walk of fame. lizes the live-in house parent model Music will be provided by The Shawn which provides children with consistent Brown Band with poolside dancing caregivers and family style living. under the stars. In addition, a sumptuMary Berg, Community Specialist for ous dinner will feature classic dishes reA Kid’s Place said, “The children who imagined with a menu developed in colcome into foster care are traumatized, laboration with the legendary Bern’s and they have endured life experiences Steak House. that most of us cannot fully comprehend. A Kid's Place was the vision of These are innocent children who grow Dottie Berger MacKinnon. She wanted up with abuse and neglect and, for some to establish a place where sibling groups children, even abandonment by the very who had been removed from their people who they look up to for love, prohomes due to abuse, neglect, or abantection and guidance. donment are able to stay together in a For more information and to reserve safe, stable, home-like environment until tickets or become a sponsor, please visit a more permanent placement could be www.akidsplacetb.org.
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Our Residents Are Always On The Move!
Plant City Entertainment Presents Last Roundup Of The Guacamole Queens By Kathy L. Collins
Plant City and Rex’s Exes) which Entertainment will were performed by present the third many of the same cast show in the and directed by Kay Jones, Hope and Secord, hijinks are cerWooten trilogy tain to ensue in this about the southern-fried comedy. Secord said, “It has Verdeen family of truly become a labor of Sweetgum, Texas love to breathe life and this May. If you are looking for a humor into the words of good laugh, come these three well-known Plant City Entertainment will present see Last Roundup and beloved authors. Last Round Up of the Guacamole of the Guacamole Queens the first two weekends in May. Jones, Hope and will laugh and have a great time Wooten visited Plant Queens beginning You with family and friends as you are on Friday, May 5 City Entertainment entertained by the hijinks of the Verdeen cousins. at 8 p.m. Plant when we were in proCity Entertainment duction for Rex’s Exes. is located at 101 N. It was an honor and privilege for us to personally Thomas St. in Plant City. meet the people whose Plant City work we truly love to perEntertainment is offering form. We invite everyone to a special price of two come to our show and tickets for $20 for openlaugh long and loud at the ing night only and availlove and chaos that is part able at the door. of the Verdeen family and Other performances their family business, Wide will be held on Friday, Bride, wedding gowns for May 12, Saturday, May 6 Texas-sized women.” and 13 at 8 p.m. Sunday performances Dodie White, president of Plant City on May 7 and 14 will be held at 2 p.m. Tickets are just $16 for adults and $14 for Entertainment said, “You need to be prepared to laugh at these zany characters seniors 60 and over and students 18 and when you come to see Last Round Up of under. the Guacamole Queens. The cast and In this last play of the triology, crew have worked very hard to make Gaynelle, Peaches and Jimmie Wyvette, sure this is a fun night for everyone. It will the Verdeen cousins, are hustling to organize a high school reunion before the be an evening to remember.” For more information and to get tickold building is demolished. As with the ets, please visit www.pceshows.com. first two plays (The Red Velvet Cake War
Volume 14, Issue 4
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Taza Mediterranean Grill Brings A Flavorful Taste To Brandon
By Tatiana Ortiz
A scent of mixed herbs The 1,150 sq. and other sizzling flavors ft. building can seat filled the nostrils of con22 diners at Taza sumers as they walked into Mediterranean Grill. Taza Mediterranean Grill in Individuals can Brandon. Individuals can choose from a varialso discover an array of ety of gluten free authentic Mediterranean and vegetarian and Middle Eastern foods dishes. A welltoo. known entrée that Owners many order would Sam Sadou be the Mixed Grill. It and his wife consists of chicken, Barb Eagle beef, kifta, a combiopened Taza nation of grilled Owner Sam Sadou Mediterranean vegetables over sprinkles some of his Grill in seasonings onto the Tanoor rice all for November $12.99. Mixed Grill entrée. 2016. Originally Mediterranean born in Algeria, Village, Beef Shish Kobob, Baba Ganouj Sadou moved to France at 11-years-old. and Couscous can be considered other He spent 15 years in Paris as he continpopular items on the menu. If individuals ued to sharpen his culinary skills. Sadou want couscous, it needs to be ordered a and Eagle had operated a couple of day ahead. restaurants in Chicago, IL, before openNot only can individuals dine-in, but ing their current restaurant. They both they could place an order online for delivreside in Tarpon Springs and commute ery or pickup. The restaurant offers catersix days a week. ing too. A full list of prices and other menu Taza Mediterranean Grill came to items can be found here Brandon for a variation of reasons. “The http://tazamediterraneangrillfl.com/38899. diverse community and the growing busi“The customer makes our restaurant nesses in this area brought us here,” unique since they taste the food and Sadou said. know the freshness of it because it gets As a former Chicago resident, Sadou cooked on the spot,” Sadou said. knew about Portillo’s Hot Dogs in For information, visit their Facebook Brandon because it too came from there. page “We decided to follow owner Dick Portillo facebook.com/TazaMediterraneanGrill/. It and his restaurant because they felt that is located at 1076 E. Brandon Blvd. Suite the opportunity would be worth it,” he 107 in Brandon. Open Monday through said. Saturday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Call 324-7500.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
GEICO Skytypers Air Team Makes Florida Home For Winter Season
By Marie Gilmore
The World this team,” Famous GEICO describes Arkin, Skytypers Air Show “The planes spend Team was in Tampa the winters in for the Lakeland Florida and we all SUN ’n FUN Int’l have a love of flyFly-In Expo in April ing.” In addition to air and invited media to show performances, join the team during the team does a practice session Skytyping of mesaboard their WWII sages that are three era SNJ-2, 600 miles long and can horsepower planes. be seen for up to 15 Being a bucket-list miles around. Some of adventurer, I volunthe popular messages teered and can honestinclude, “Geico ly say, the ride aboard Welcomes You,” in the the plane was less tursky! This message bulent on my stomach takes 5 of the team’s 6 than some of the roller coasters at the theme Osprey Observer Managing Editor planes to ‘type’ and is Marie Gilmore takes a flight with amazing to watch in parks. My pilot was Geico Skytypers Team Flight Lead team-owner Larry Arkin Larry Arkin during the recent Sun n’ the sky. “We couldn’t do what we do without who has been flying Fun Fly-In Air Show in Lakeland. the support of our relacommercially for American Airlines for 28 years and comes tionship with Geico,” adds Arkin. “We are very proud to be connected to the Geico from a family of aviators. His team is brand.” comprised of seasoned pilots with comThe squadron of six World War II-era mercial and military experience with thouaircraft performs their low-level precisionsands of flight hours of experience. flying demonstration in SNJs that were During our flight with three of the originally used as training aircraft for team’s six planes, we performed close WWII and Korean war pilots. "We considproximately maneuvers close enough that I could wave to the other passengers er it an honor to demonstrate the amazing abilities of these vintage warbirds on and performed some smoke passes behalf of our sponsor, GEICO, while above the Fly-in crowds. This was an sharing a bit of aviation history,” said exhilarating experience that gave me a Arkin. The team will return to Florida May taste of flying and a huge respect for the 6-7 for the Ford Lauderdale Air Show. pilots and their skills. Visit www.geicoskytypers.com. “We have a great camaraderie on
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Volume 14, Issue 4
STEVE MORAN P.A. 813-661-2476
Letter: Thank You To Residents For Help With Our I-75 Motorhome Fire
Phyllis and Carl Schroeder
Letter To The Editor: Tuesday, February 28, we were headed home to Lombard, Illinois in our three month old, 2017 motor coach after six weeks of vacationing in Florida. Suddenly, ahead of us, a trailer carrying a large container blew a tire. Very large debris of tire littered the lane we were traveling in. With no place to go, we hit the debris which ripped off the exhaust system of the motor home and punctured the fuel system causing an immediate fire. My husband pulled to the shoulder, stopped and we exited the motor home. The fire was moving rapidly from the rear of the coach to the front where the exit door is located. Having a bad knee I fell to the ground while holding onto our small dog. I could not get up. Suddenly two strangers appeared and lifted me up by the arms and dragged me off to safety. One of the gentlemen was Donnie Carl. I did not get the other man’s name. I owe my life to both men and cannot thank them enough for their courage in helping a stranger. They also saved my dog. Many travelers stopped and offered to help in any way needed. We’ll never forget your local Ring
Power/Cat family. What a wonderful caring bunch of men and women. They offered assistance immediately. Jason sent out a covered golf cart for the dog and me to sit on to get out of the sun. Eventually we were taken to the main building with air conditioning. Once inside, there was more generosity such as the use of a cordless phone from Tanya to call family as well as treats and a dog blanket for our beagle, from a gracious lady whose name I did not get. A CAT leash from the company store replaced the temporary strap from the guys in the shop. One gentleman offered to take us and the dog into his home for the night. Jason gave us a ride to LaQuinta in Brandon and Pam brought us a cell phone donated by Carl and his wife to replace ours lost in the fire. Marsha gave me her telephone number and offered to help. I met so many wonderful people just sitting in the vestibule of your company. Your generosity and compassion to complete strangers amazed and renewed our faith in mankind. You have a wonderful company. Thank you again for everything.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
Family Promise Fundraiser Generates The Florida Orchestra Celebrates Homelessness Awareness 50 Years With 2017-18 Season By Amanda Boston
Rain or to reflect on the diffishine, Family culties and uncerPromise of tainties afflicting the Greater Brandon homeless. will conduct its “The night was fourth annual Box truly humbling. You Car City event to could get a glimpse raise funds to into the struggle of help homeless finding shelter and families and genprovisions for those erate awareness who battle homein the community. lessness,” said Participants spend a night in boxes, tents, or Carrie Simmons, a The fundraising cars in order to better understand the chalevent will take participant from last lenges homeless families encounter. place from Friday, year. Simmons is a April 28 at 4 p.m. until Saturday, April 29 volunteer host coordinator for Grace at 7 a.m. on the grounds of First Community United Methodist Church in Presbyterian Church of Brandon. Lithia. As a host coordinator, she works For one night, participants are temas the liaison between her church and porarily transported into another reality—a Family Promise in regard to accommodalife of a homeless person. The registration tions and meals. Grace Community is fee is $25 per person to sleep on the one of 17 supporting churches lending property in a tent, car or box. The fees space for interim lodging. Simmons will benefit the Family Promise organization camp out again this year to share in the whose mission is “to empower homeless daily challenges homeless families face. families to obtain sustainable housing and She said, “Taking part in this experience lasting independence by partnering with puts you temporarily in the shoes of the area Christian congregations and local homeless. This one night reminded me resources.” that I am blessed and I can support this The event is open to the public and program. Box Car City opened my eyes attracts a wide-variety of participants to the huge opportunity we have to help including entire families. The cardboard families with children right here in our city comes alive as arriving participants Brandon area.” create makeshift sleeping arrangements To find out more Box Car City or how out of tents and cardboard boxes. to support Family Promise, visit At dinnertime, participants are provid- www.FamilyPromiseBrandon.org, email ed a simple meal and lights are out at 10 email@example.com or call p.m. At sunrise, breakfast is served and 681-6170. Registration forms are availthe city dismantled. With a lack of modern able online and available on the day of amenities, the night offers plenty of time the event.
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The Florida Orchestra celebrates its milestone 50th season with a blockbuster lineup of concerts ranging from Carmina Burana to the Music of Star Trek & Star Wars under the leadership of Music Director Michael Francis. The 2017-18 season debuts in October and reflects TFO’s deep roots in Tampa Bay while underscoring its bold future, with the debut of two weekend matinee series at the Mahaffey Theater, the world premiere of a major work commissioned by the orchestra, and expansion of its popular Coffee series at Ruth Eckerd Hall. “The Florida Orchestra is a jewel in the crown of Tampa Bay,” said Maestro Michael Francis, who has signed on to lead TFO through the 202021 season. “Our 50th anniversary is a chance for us to celebrate our rich and successful past by performing favorite masterpieces from throughout the years. We will also look to our future with vibrant new works, including a very special anniversary commission by exciting young composer Michael Ippolito, who will capture the spirit of Florida to honor The Florida Orchestra. At the heart of our past and future is the extraordinary talent of The Florida Orchestra musicians, whom we will showcase in a variety of
By Kelly Smith
ways all season long. “Outside the concert halls, we will continue to grow our community programs, which have been so warmly received by everyone. We want to touch even more people this season through the power of music.” Francis leads his third season TFO Music Director brimming with Michael Francis conducts the orchestra. special moments to celebrate the orchestra’s 50th anniversary of bridging the bay with music -- which fittingly started more than five decades ago with an agreement signed on a boat in the middle of Tampa Bay in a merger of the Tampa Philharmonic and the St. Petersburg Symphony. The Florida Orchestra still is the only performing arts organization that unites the bay area, with performances in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. For a look at the full 2017-18 season, visit floridaorchestra.org, where you can purchase subscriptions online, a new feature available this season, or call the TFO Ticket Center at 727-892-3337 or 800-662-7286. Single tickets will go on sale in August.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
Cyber Security Takes Center Stage During Brandon Chamber Luncheon By Tamas Mondovics
Three Local Juveniles Arrested For Valrico Area Vehicle Burglaries Hillsborough were subsequently County Sheriff’s taken into custody withOffice K-9 and aviout incident as well as ation units have charged with three once again played counts of burglary of an a key role in the unoccupied conveyance. successful arrest The three teens of several suswere also reported as pects that juvenile runaways within deputies say were Hillsborough County. involved in burAccording to the glarizing one Sheriff’s Office website, Valrico neighborthe department’s K-9 hood last month. Unit is comprised of 22 According to dogs including German the Sheriff’s Shepherds, Belgian Office, on March Malinois, German 16, at 1:23 a.m., Shepherd/Belgian deputies respondMalinois Mix, ed to the St. Bloodhounds, and a Could Oaks subdiLabrador retriever, and The teens surrendered to the Sheriff’s Office K9 deputy Max, vision in reference 19 deputies or handlers. who was called to the scene to a call of a susEach dog has a speassisted by the department’s picious person in cialty, such as bomb or aviation unit. the area. narcotics detection or Due to prior fugitive apprehension. vehicle burglaries Bloodhounds are in the same area, used primarily for trackdeputies responding and missing pering to the call son’s cases. quickly set up a A dog normally joins perimeter, and utithe Sheriff's Office when lized aviation and it is between 1-3 years K9 units in attempt old, and completes 480 to locate the sushours of training with its pects. handler/deputy to be certiHCSO fied as a law enforcement spokesperson Cristal canine. Nunez said that It is then given its own deputies approached Sheriff's Office personal on foot and observed identification number and three juveniles combadge and become a mit multiple burgla“treasured part of the ries inside the neighSheriff's Office and any borhood. law enforcement agency.” “Once the suspects had been State laws are in place to help observed attempting to exit the subdi- protect law enforcement canines by vision, K9 Max was deployed and making it a felony to injure or kill a came in contact with the suspects as police dog. they were continuing towards St. Canines retire when they reach Cloud Ave.” Nunez said. approximately 7-8 years of age, and Deputies said that the juveniles become the deputy's family pet. from Valrico, Brandon and Ruskin For more information about surrendered to Max, the experienced HCSO’s K9 Unit, please visit www. German Shepherd K9 deputy and hcso.tampa.fl.us.
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With a topic of cyber security on its program, the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host its monthly Synergy membership luncheon. On the first Tuesday of each month, the luncheon is held at The Regent, 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. A good example of the Chamber’s continued effort to benefit its members was the invitation of FBI special agent A.J. Gilman, who thanks to his expertise on the Bureau’s cyber security squad, addressed the subject, which was very much on the minds of all present. The Chamber has had its ups and downs lately, including the most recent incident affecting all of its members when hackers attacked its computer system. “They had stolen everything,” said Christine Michaels, Brandon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “Years worth of valuable data had been lost.” Michaels explained that the Chamber leadership had no idea how to recover what was lost, eventually prompting the board to turn to DataCorps Technology Solutions a local Brandon IT Services Company and its CEO, Angel Rojas. “I called Angel and I said, ‘Can you please come help us?’ He came right away, dropped other appointments,” Michaels recalled the events during the luncheon, adding, “He literally dropped
By Tamas Mondovics
everything to do whatever was needed to help the Chamber in its hour of need.” Rojas also developed a program to help reconnect members who had lost touch with the Chamber, affectively strengthening the group as a whole. “All of our businesses are vulnerable,” Gilman said. In sharing some quick tips that the lunch hour time-frame allotted, Gilman first mentioned that each attack is a result of a combination of a number of steps. “It’s never just one thing that leads to an attack,” he said, “A big problem is over confidence and lack of vigilance when it comes to updates in hardware and software, and security,” he said. Gilman emphasized that the Bureau first focuses on larger establishments that affect many such as energy companies or financial institutions, while added that these larger facilities can also recover easier and faster as they can afford paying off hackers who through ransom ware may hold businesses hostage by stealing data or shooting the whole system down. Lunch was provided by Cater Tampa and the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4. For more information about the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce visit brandonchamber.com.
Queena Gears Up To Host 6th Annual 5K4Q Run To Continue Therapy Nine Years After Brutal Library Attack, Family Forms Non-Profit
By Tamas Mondovics
The result of a recent re-sentencing hearing request is life in prison for convicted 25year-old violent rapist Kendrick Morris. For his victim, Queena Voung, her family, friends and countless supporters it is simply, justice served. “I am thankful that the judge heard and understood our pain,” said Voung’s mom Vanna. “I feel like justice has been served, but it still breaks my heart.” In 2011, Morris was sentenced to 65 years in prison by Circuit Judge Chet A. Tharpe three years after he was convicted of dragging Queena behind the Bloomingdale Regional Library, where he raped and brutally beat the then 18-year old high school senior leaving her for dead. Queena’s injuries left her brain damaged, paralyzed and blind and she remains in need of ongoing medical care. Morris was also found guilty for an attack and rape of an elderly woman at knifepoint ten months prior when he was 15 years old, in addition to the Bloomingdale incident. Morris requested the hearing after a Supreme Court ruling, which deemed lengthy prison sentences without a chance of parole for juvenile offenders unconstitutional. While the changes in federal laws
allowed Morris to face Judge Tharpe once more. Now as an adult in hopes of a lighter sentence things did not go any better for Morris. Instead, Tharpe sentenced Morris—once more—to life in prison. “Queena’s attacker will spend life in prison, but my daughter also has her own life sentence that she did not choose,” Vanna said. Feeling less stressed and more peaceful, now that the ordeal of reliving the court process and the re-sentencing is over, the Voung family must refocus on the daily routine of taking care of Queena, a full-time job that gives Vanna little time to think about anything else. “Our average day, including the weekends, are very busy,” she said adding that the morning routine to “brush Queena’s teeth, her hair, wash her face, change her diaper, put on a new outfit for
chiropractic, acupuncture, essential oils, aroma-touch, natural supplements,” she said. “Queena is currently working on her communication device.” Of course all this is costly and the family is grateful for the community’s outpouring of generosity supporting the long road to Queena’s recovery. According to Queena’s sister, Anna Donato, the family is gearing up to host the 6th Annual South Shore 5K4Q Run now scheduled for Saturday, April 22 at E.G. Simmons Park in Joined by mom Vanna and her sister Anna, Ruskin. Bloomingdale Library attack survivor Queena Voung, “We will be celebrating enjoys a happy moment during her Queena’s 27th birthday that sister’s recent wedding. day,” Anna said, adding “Just her, give her food, water, and medicine two days before reaching the ninth year through her feeding tube, and lift her into since she survived the attack. The family the wheelchair takes a couple hours.” relies on the unwavering hope, prayer Then it’s time to go to all of Queena’s support from the community to keep and appointments for the day, either medical going. or therapy. For information about the 5K4Q “We are usually at out-patient theraevent, visit www.joinqueena.com/fundraispies for three to four hours before we ers/. Donations to support queen’s ongoreturn home for more in-home therapy,” ing care can be made at www.joinshe said. “Sometimes she gets a special queena.com. The family has formed treat like yoga, facial, massage, or art and Hope Heals The Brain Inc., a 501c3 nonmusic class.” organization. All donations are taxprofit The family has tried physical therapy, deductible. To support the family sponsorspeech, vision, occupational, and aqua for an upcoming 2nd annual golf ships therapy. For treatments, Queena receives tournament at Topgolf planned for hyperbaric oxygen, stem cell therapy, and Sunday, August 6 is also available, by neuro bio-feedback. reaching Donato at 956-3822 or avdona“For holistic, we try yoga, massage, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Proposed Bell Schedule........Continued From Page 1 For many the new bell schedule, which is arguably connected to the district’s changing bus service and efforts to save money, surfaced barely three weeks prior to the scheduled vote. Eakins said that the proposal is “because we have had years of parent, student and employee concerns around the issues of late buses, loss of instructional time, the need for additional teacher planning time and the need to work within the confines of our budget.” He added that the complaints have been channeled through the schools, parent phone calls, district emails and middle and high school student forums. Eakins called the current schedule unrealistic and that “something had to change in order to meet the needs of our students and properly secure the instructional minute’s necessary.” School officials said that with high schools dismissed nearly an hour earlier will allow opportunities for jobs and getting to practice and afterschool activities sooner, which means the student’s can get home earlier. Elementary students are said to gain an extra 15 minutes of art, music and PE, which school officials said improves their overall health and well-
By Tamas Mondovics
being. Middle school and high school students will keep a seven period day, which Eakins said affords them the opportunity to take more classes, including Advanced Placement and electives such as art, music and band to reach their graduation requirements. HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja added that the change will provide a more efficient bus schedule, and improve instruction for students due to maintaining or adding more planning time for teachers. Interestingly the Superintendent’s comments eventually circled back to the busses when he said, “Adjusting the bell schedule will allow a greater percentage of school bus drivers to transport three tiers of students (elementary, middle and high school). This shift translates to a cost savings of over two and a half million dollars for our school district.” While the topic of busses, student’s safety and bell times continue to be a formidable foe to many, to Eakins and his staff it is clearly a means to save money and a promised goal to work toward a 90 percent graduation rate by the year 2020. For a complete update, information and full list of new bell times, please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
Center Place’s Bet A Buck Auction Is A Fun Way To Support The Arts
By Kathy L. Collins
Center Place will ing the Florida host Bet A Buck Aquarium. There will Charity Auction For also be opportunities to The Arts on Friday, bid on a two night stay May 5 from 6:30 to at Siesta Key 9:30 p.m. at Center Bungalows, golf fourPlace located at 619 somes and even a 32 Vonderburg Dr. in inch Samsung Smart Brandon. This is a fun TV. and inexpensive way In addition to bidto get great stuff and ding on great items support the arts at the such as these, attensame time. Auction dees will enjoy a deliitems have been cious dinner and open Dawn Galia, Executive Director donated by local busibar. for Center Place, invites you to support the arts, have a great nesses. Last year, Center time and bid on fantastic items at Place raised $5,000. How does Bet A Center Place’s Bet A Buck Charity Buck work? Upon Auction For The Arts on Friday, This year, organizers May 5. arrival, you rent a padhope to double this. All dle. This is the device that gives you funds raised at Bet A Buck, help supthe opportunity to bid on fun and excit- port the wonderful programming at ing items. When an item comes up, Center Place. Galia explained, “Center you put $1, $2 or $3 in the bucket. The Place is celebrating our 40th year in amount you put in depends on the the Brandon community. We offer value of the auctioned item. Paddles summer camps for children and art are just $10 per person. Additional workshops for children and adults. We paddles cost just $5 per person. hire local artists as our instructors. We Dawn Galia, Executive Director for have a different artist exhibit in the Center Place said, “It is a unique and Mook Gallery every month. In addition super fun event to raise dollars for the to all of this, we have 75 children’s arts. If you want something unique and theatre productions each year and fun, join us for Bet A Buck.” Galia bring in over 15,000 children to see added, “We had a wonderful turnout live theatre.” last year and hope to have a great This is an event that is perfect for turnout this year as well. This year we both women and men. There is limited will have a list of items that will be seating, so pick up your tickets or auctioned off that evening.” make a reservation today. At Center Place’s Bet A Buck, you For more information, please visit can bid on all kinds of items including www.centerplacebrandon.org or call tickets to many area attractions includ- 685-8888.
Scout Builds Firepit For New Horizons Group Home Austin Chancey has been a part of scouting since the 1st grade. At first, it was just a group activity for him, but he later realized he was learning valuable life skills and lessons that he would take with him through his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, the The work site for the highest rank and barbecue pit that will be built at New honor a scout can Horizons Group Home achieve. “The for disabled men and Scouts have women. taught me life lessons, how to respect people, even if somebody disrespects you, you want to show everybody that you are different from other people,” said Chancey. “You have to stay true to your own character.” Chancey, now 17, lives in Seffner and attends Grace Christian School in Valrico, where he is captain of the soccer team. For his Eagle Scout Project, he is building a barbecue pit at New Horizons Group Home for disabled men and women located at Clay Ave. and Parsons Ave. The resources to build the pit are estimated to cost around $10,000. Chancey has already had some experience helping out with other scout’s Eagle Projects in the past, which
Join Us For Our
9th Anniversary Sale!
By Nick Nahas
has given him an idea about the time and effort it takes to be successful in this endeavor. Austin is accepting donations and is asking local business to contribute to the community project. He expects to have the project done before June. “I realize the hard work and dedication each Eagle Scout had to
Saturday, May 6th 10AM - 6PM
Residents of New Horizons Group Home
undergo to complete their projects,” Chancey said. “I accept the challenge that my Eagle Scout Project will bring to me.” While accomplishing these many feats, Chancey has done it while managing his dyslexia. “I will always have dyslexia, but with the knowledge and tools I have been provided, I will have a successful future,” Chancey said. If you would like to donate to this cause, checks should be made payable to Austin Chancey, Eagle Scout Project. Checks can be sent to P.O. Box 7124, Seffner, 33583.
Offer ends 5/30/2017
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Volume 14, Issue 4
Trey Curry Foundation 10th Annual Vine To Wine Goes Tropical
ASK THE EXPERT!
By Kathy L. Collins
The Trey $400,000 commitCurry ment to the buildFoundation is ing of the Trey proud to present Curry House at A the 10th Annual Kid’s Place last Vine to Wine on year, so now we Friday, May 12 are focusing on at The Regent continuing our relalocated at 6437 tionship with A Watson Rd. in Kid’s Place. As a Riverview beginfamily, we love the ning at 7 p.m. A satisfaction that it VIP Reception brings to all of us will be held at 6 The 10th Annual Vine to Wine will be held to continue to supon Friday, May 12 at The Regent in p.m. Advance port the children in Riverview. You can sample fine wines tickets are $100 provided by Breakthru Beverages (formerly need in our comand must be known as Premier Beverage) and feast on munity.” delectable treats created by Chef Dave West purchased by Curry added, of the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium. Sunday, April 30. “Since starting the After this date, tickets are $125 includ- foundation, we have given away over ing those purchased at the door. $700,000 to local charities. Our main Tickets can be purchased online at commitment to date has been to A www.treycurryfoundation.org. Kid’s Place, but we also donate to the This year, Vine to Wine is going YMCA, CCA of Florida and to Joshua tropical with its theme. Wines will be House. In addition, we have two sepaprovided by Breakthru Beverages (forrate endowments at HCC, one of merly known as Premier Beverage) which is in partnership with Chef Dave throughout the evening. Chef Dave West and the Rolling Pin. Our focus West of the Rolling Pin Kitchen has always been towards helping chilEmporium in Brandon will once again dren in need. We look forward to conbe preparing a delectable array of tinuing to do this.” savory treats. Curry said, “Paul Thomasson and The Trey Curry Foundation was Tim Thompson from Extravaganza founded in 2008 in honor and memory Productions have created another of Terry and Clif Curry's son, Trey. unique theme complete with waterfalls Proceeds from the annual Vine To and tiki bars to make the room feel like Wine event benefit A Kid’s Place in a tropical paradise.” Brandon. Mary Beth Curry, Executive For more information, please visit Director of the Trey Curry Foundation www.treycurryfoundation.com or call explained, "We completed our 655-0269.
Paren Patel, MD Board Certified Internist and Nephrologist at JSA Medical Group Brandon FL Phone: 813-685-4617
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Volume 14, Issue 4
CYCLE FOR MS................................PG 31 SUMMER CAMPS.....................PGS 33‐39 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 41 YARD RENOVATION FOR VET .........PG 43 April 2017
Volume 14, Issue 4
New Ownership At Craft Beer Cellar Brandon
Craft Beer Cellar (CBC) Brandon announces major changes under the direction of new ownership. CBC Brandon is the lone craft-beer-only bottle shop in the area and features more than 600 unique beers. It features 12 rotating taps for both growler fills and on-premise, highlighted by beer you won’t find at big-box tap houses. Thirty years of combined beer experience, with an emphasis on educating the public, makes CBC the perfect destination for everyone from the beer nerd to novice. It is located at 1937 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Visit email@example.com.
Guardian Advocacy Workshop For Parents Of Adult Children With Developmental Disabilities
A Guardian Advocacy Workshop will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m.-12 Noon. The speakers will be special needs planning attorneys, Laurie Ohall and Dana Kemper. If your child is turning (or has turned) 18, and has been diagnosed with a developmental disability (intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Down syndrome, PhelanMcDermid syndrome, or Prader-Willi syndrome), and continues to need your help to make financial, educational and health care decisions, you will likely need to petition the court to become a
duced Tutor Doctor – the fastest growing “at-home” tutoring franchise Guardian Advocate over your child. worldwide – to the When a child with special community. needs turns 18, he or she is still Tutor Doctor, a considered a considered a “legal rapidly expanding adult” in the eyes of the law— one-on-one tutordespite his or her disabilities. ing service Because of this, parents and designed to help caregivers are often prevented by students from law from making medical deciages six to 106, Attorneys Laurie Ohall and Dana Kemper will hold a sions, speaking to financial instituannounced the Guardian Advocacy Workshop tions or even managing the child’s opening of a new on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m.-12 Noon at 1219 benefits. franchise location Millennium Pkwy. in Brandon. The Workshop will take place in FishHawk offerat F.R.I.E.N.D.S Down Syndrome ing the community and students a priTampa conference room, located at vate, easy way to catch-up or get ahead 1219 Millennium Pkwy. in Brandon. in school. Admission is free and handouts will For more information, call 305-2696 be available. Seating is limited to 25 or visit tutordoctor.com/brandon. spots. To RSVP, visit www.Ohalllaw.com/guardianadvocacyReflexology Now Offered At workshop or call 438-8503. DayDreams Day Spa DayDreams Day Spa now offers 80 Tutor Doctor Now Making ‘House minute Reflexology with Foot Bath for Calls’ In FishHawk $95. This therapy uses pressure applied There will be fewer “math meltto carefully selected reflex points in both downs” and other homework headaches feet and hands to unlock tension and in FishHawk, Brandon, Valrico & stress. This treatment will stimulate cirRiverview now that Tom Avino has introculation, relieve stress, promote relax-
SPORTS CONNECTION ....................PG 46 ation, and release energy through your entire body. You can also book a 45 minute hand or foot Reflexology for 45 minutes for $50. This treatment is used to stimulate the therapeutic nature of reflexes found in the hands or feet in order to balance the body and restore proper circulation. This is a standalone treatment performed on the hands or feet. DayDreams Day Spa & Bath Shop is located at 658 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information or to book your appointment, call 657-2992 or visit http://daydreamsdayspa.com/.
Classes And Programs To Help Improve Your Personal And Professional Life
Co-Work Landing, located at 522 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon, is offering classes and programs designed to improve areas of your personal and professional life. Upcoming events include a MasterMind Group, which is designed to help you navigate through challenges using the collective intelligence of others. These groups will be held the second Thursday of each month, 12 Noon– 1:30 p.m., starting May 11. Additional classes include Yoga Classes on Monday mornings, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., as well as a Self-Defense Class, May 23 from 6-8 p.m. Co-Work Landing is a shared, affordable, workspace solution for work-from-home professionals and
Continued on Next Page
Volume 14, Issue 4
Originally opened in 1984 and located at 109 Margaret St., Teachers’ Helper moved to 622 Oakfield Dr. in November of 2012. The store has supplied teaching supplies to the Brandon area as well as most of the 50 and internationally through the store website.
Business Column Continued.............
By Michelle Colesanti
educational opportunities for entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as a quiet, professional meeting space for one-on-one and small groups in the Brandon and surrounding communities. For more information on Co-Work Landing, its workspace and classes, visit www.igscommunity.com or contact Shannon at 924-4679 or Shannon@igscommunity.com.
Encore By David Weekley Homes Delivers Engaging Lifestyle
One year after its launch, Encore at FishHawk Ranch is delivering an exciting, active lifestyle for residents. As FishHawk Ranch’s only 55+ lifestyle community, Encore by David Weekley Homes features three series of homes that offer an ideal balance of livability and outstanding design so you can enjoy the lifestyle you want, in a home that is as beautiful as it is accommodating. Daily activities are planned by a fulltime Lifestyle Director. Enjoy the 5,000sq. ft. amenity center, The Oasis, where you can host a party in the entertainment room, meet friends on the great lawn for yoga, swim in the adult-only pool or enjoy a game of bocce or pickle ball. If you are ready to jump into the energetic lifestyle of Encore at FishHawk Ranch, the community offers a variety of Showcase Homes ready for immediate move-in. Or, choose from our award-winning floor plans to build from the ground up and enjoy the amenities Encore has to offer while your new
home is being built. For more information about Encore by David Weekley Homes at FishHawk Ranch, contact 813-422-6175.
Homemade Recipes At FamilyOwned Alfredo’s Italian Cuisine Keep Customers Happy
Alfredo’s Italian Cuisine is a small family owned Italian-American restaurant located at 905 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Owner Frank Fayez has 30 years of experience, owning and running Italian-American restaurants in the Carolinas. The secret homemade recipes for delicious sauces and meatballs, as well as the fresh salads and delicious garlic bread, are what sets Alfredo’s apart from other restaurants. “We take pride in serving our customers an appetizing meal so delicious, they will feel as if they are eating in the comfort of their homes,” said Fayez. The restaurant has gained popularity through word of mouth maintaining just a minimal online presence. A lunch and dinner menu is offered with pick-up available. It also offers catering for parties of 10 or more people. For those who prefer delivery, they can order through Mobile Meals. There are plenty of choices for both lunch and dinner. For lunch, enjoy appetizers, salads, sandwiches with your choice of a side of fries or small
Visit David Weekley Homes 55+ community Encore at FishHawk Ranch.
spaghetti along with pasta and pizza choices. For dinner, pasta dishes come with a large salad and garlic bread. There is also a meat and seafood menu. The hours are Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday from 5-9 p.m. Call 530-0687. Visit on Facebook at Alfredo’s Italian Cuisine.
Teachers’ Helper Closes After 33 Years
After 33 years in business, Teachers’ Helper will be closing its doors at the end of April. The store has enjoyed serving the extended community for all of those years. Shearon Bailey and her staff have helped thousands over the past eleven years find the right item to decorate a bulletin board or science fair board, assist in finding math manipulatives, and to help with art projects. The store, a finalist for small business of the year for three years, has developed a reputation of excellent customer service. It has been a pleasure to meet so many dedicated parents and teachers over the years, but for several reasons it is time to close.
Is surgery proposed? Are you on narcotics for pain? Traditional Medicine Not Working?
Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group
Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly support group for those who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers on the third Thursday of every month. Upcoming meetings include April 20, May 18, June 15, and July 20. Physical, speech and occupational therapists will discuss treatment for issues related to balance, swallowing, talking and other skills that can be affected by Parkinson’s Disease. Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 West Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in their assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases. The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. For more information or to register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
Keller Williams Moran: An Agent With A “House Sold” Name By Matt Boniface
Who knows the Day, I'd be there with a area better than few slices of turkey to someone who grew make it happen.” up here? Steve He has local roots, Moran is a home graduating from both grown Realtor of the Brandon High School Tampa area. The and USF in his youth. majority of his territory The Tampa area isn't focuses around the just the place he lives Lithia, Valrico, and works, it's the Brandon and Plant home he's known his City areas; covering whole life. Moran said the majority of East his impact has continHillsborough County. ued through two generMoran has been ations of home buyers, in the real estate “People who I sold to Steve Moran and Family: Rhonda, industry since 1993, when I started now Conner, Steve, and Courtney. when he was awarded have their kids buying from me.” Rookie of the Year through Re/Max. Rhonda, his wife since 1995 and Through the years he has collected assistant since the beginning, is one of countless happy clients and awards: the keys to his success. His two children, Centex Salesperson of the Year 1994, Conner and Courtney, inspire him daily. Riverhills Salesperson of the Year 1995, Family life and community involvement Platinum Club 1996-2000, along with are essential. He has been a volunteer many others. He ranked in the Top 50 in coach for Bloomingdale High School's Florida in 2001 and #5 in the Florida in Varsity Basketball, has coached his son's 2005, and was even elected into the basketball and baseball teams and is an Re/Max Hall of Fame in 2001. He continues to be a member of both “America's active member of the Rotary Club of Best Real Estate Agents” and the “Keller Brandon. He warns that the realty indusWilliams Luxury Homes International try can quickly take over someone's life Group.” Moran explains, “I've finished as and responsibilities, but “I've been lucky the number one single agent 15 years in to never miss any of my son's games,” he a row”. shared. He would like to express his Luxury homes, Moran's focus as a thanks to his previous clients, friends and single agent, are homes in the $500k+ family for the success he has today. price range, but he is more than happy to For more information, you can help potential clients with homes in any access his website at http://www.steveprice range. He joked, “If a client wants to moran.com, call his office directly at 661buy a $50,000 home on Thanksgiving 2476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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er m m u S y t Coun gistration, Camp Re Events & YMCA ore… M helle Colesanti, ic om ed by M Compil spreyobserver.c o @ michelle
Nothing For Kids To Do? County Summer Camps To The Rescue
Want to keep your kids engaged and active over their summer break? Let them try archery. Or play basketball. Or work on interesting, challenging craft projects. All those activities are available at Hillsborough County’s popular summer camps for children. Open registration for the camps has begun. Camps are offered for kids ages 612, and from 12-15, and adaptive recreation for ages 5-22. The camps are open from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday from Jun e 5-August 4. Children can learn, play, and grow in a safe and supervised environment as they explore new places and activities with their peers. The camps offer arts and crafts, sports, and other recreational activities to keep kids entertained and physically active. Rates for a two-week session are $76, or $60 with a reduced lunch letter, and $40 with a free lunch letter. For more information, visit HCFLGov.net/SummerCamps. Parents are encouraged to register early as some camps fill up quickly.
Tampa YMCA Invites Families To Take Charge During Free Healthy Kids Day® Events On Saturday, April 29, the community is invited to free Healthy Kids Day® events hosted at nine Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA locations from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The goal of Healthy Kids Day is to teach healthy habits for kids and families; encourage physical and mental play and
inspire a lifetime love of exercise. When the school year ends, kids’ physical and educational health worsens. Data shows kids fall behind academically every summer because they don't have access to learning opportunities. By fifth grade, lowerincome children are two to three school years behind middle/upper-income students. In addition, the average child gains body mass index (BMI) nearly twice as fast during the summer as during the school year. “At the Y, we believe charged up kids achieve amazing things. We see it all the time. When a child is healthy, happy, motivated and excited…watch out…because something amazing is inevitably going to result,” said Communications Director Lalita Llerena. “As that child grows and fulfills their full potential, they will truly make the world a better place for everyone.” Healthy Kids Day is a free community event to help parents begin thinking early about ways to keep their kids both physically and intellectually active this summer. It is the largest event of its kind in the nation, taking place at over 1,600 Ys committed to taking on summer to address critical gaps in health and education. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder that a child’s development is never on vacation. The Y is here to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer. Each participating YMCA has more information on what type of free activities and food they’ll offer during their Healthy Kids Day event. Visit www.tampaymca.org/locations/.
Pilkerton Announces Candidacy For US Florida House District 15
Healthy Living Challenge At Campo Y
Join Campo Family YMCA for a healthy living challenge to support its Annual Campaign as well as to provide healthy fun ending with a celebration including prizes, food fun and more. This challenge will be from Saturday, April 22 to Friday, May 19. Each participant logs their total “Healthy Minutes” spent at the Y with a goal of completing the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 active minutes each week. Try for the Y Mini Triathlon. Challenge Day Triathlon will take place on Saturday, May 20. You can participate as an individual or team. Your distance will be tracked for prizes. Triathlon includes 20 minute treadmill run, 20 minute bike ride in the spin studio and 20 minute lap swim in the pool. Celebration day on May 20 will include prizes and drawings for those who participated in either event. Campo Y is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Call 6841371 for more information.
Greg Pilkington, a Polk County resident and member of Leadership Lake Wales Class 21, has announced that he is running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. Republican Congressman Dennis Ross, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, and was one of the current administration’s earliest supporters, represents Florida's 15th Congressional District which is made up of parts of eastern For more information on the Greg Pilkington for Congress campaign, email PilkingtonforCongress@gmail.com.
Dog Gone Holistic Will Celebrate 9th Anniversary With A Sale Come on over to Dog Gone Holistic on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Everything in the store
will be on sale. You will save 10% on all dog and cat foods, and 15% on everything else. Receive a free goodie bag with a $35 purchase while supplies last. Visit its two locations: 5620 FishHawk Crossing Blvd. in Lithia (651-0842) and 13131 US Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview (374-4743).
ALLEN’S CRACKER HOUSE & CRACKER CHURCH
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Volume 14, Issue 4
nts e m a n r u Golf Tocrambles, and S or Life & Walk f ore… M nti, Compiled by Michelle Colesa om er.c michelle@ospreyobserv
Fifth Annual Golf Tournament Hosted By Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church will hold its Fifth Annual Golf Tournament at River Hills Country Club, on Saturday, April 29, at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the winning foursome as well as for Longest Drive and Closest to the Hole Contests. There are also Hole in One Prizes and a putting competition. The event will conclude with dinner, a raffle and silent auction during the Awards Ceremony. For individual and foursome registration as well as sponsorship opportunities visit www.hiepiscopal.org. All proceeds will benefit the mission and ministries of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church.
Annual Walk For Life
LifeCare Network's Annual Walk For Life is on Saturday, May 6 from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Join in for family fun activities, music, walk for life and a kids fun run. This year's event will be held at a new location, Brandon High School, 1101 Victoria St. in Brandon. The Annual Walk For Life is an
easy, fun way to get involved and make a difference for life. You can help LifeCare advance its mission to protect and preserve the Sanctity of Human Life by signing up to participate. Everyone is welcome. Join in as a pledge-raising walker or register for the kids fun run. Walkers and runners are encouraged to get sponsors to help them reach their fundraising goal. The Walk For Life inspires a culture of life in our community. The event will also include refreshments, bounce houses, face painting, balloons, and music from a live band. For information, visit www.lifecarenetwork.net/run-walk.php or contact Jessica at 654-0491 or Jessica@LifeCareNetwork.net.
Community And Families United Worship And Prayer Service
Join in for a Community and Family United Worship and Prayer Service to be held on Sunday, May 7 from 6-8 p.m. at Brown Memorial Church of God in Christ, located at 2313 E. 27th Ave. in Tampa. Host Pastor is Bishop Matthew Williams. Call 744-6256 for details.
Overcoming Regrets – Women’s Connection Regional Conference
A Christian Women’s Connection Regional Conference, led by Rev. Betty J Bricker with music by James
Crumbly, Minister of Music will take place on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.. The conference will be held at Plant City First Church of God, 601 N. Gordon St. in Plant City (corner of Baker and Gordon). Explore how God does not look to our past to determine our future. Everyone is welcome. There is a cost of $10 which covers a soup, salad and dessert for each attendee. For more info, call
Luncheon For Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Features Summer Fashions
The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection is finishing this season’s luncheons on Monday, May 8 with a fashion show, Summer Fun Fashions, by Bon Worth. The luncheon and entertainment is $15. First time guests pay $10. There is no member-
ship required and it is interdenominational; all ladies are warmly welcomed. The luncheon will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in the Special Event Center, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. A reservation is requested by Monday, May 1. Please call Lillie at 740-0098. Lunches and bible studies will commence again in September.
Golf Scramble Fundraiser Benefits Royal Family Kids
On Tuesday, April 25 from 5:30-9 p.m., Royal Family Kids Tampa will hold its first annual fundraiser golf scramble at Top Golf in Brandon. Enjoy over two hours of golf, a hot breakfast and listen to a keynote speaker. Prizes will be given away for the good (and not so good) performances. A silent auction will be held. All proceeds support a week of camp for kids that have experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment. Corporate sponsorship is available as well as individual registration. Visit TampaKidsCamp.org or contact Scott Mulhollen, camp director at 641-4141 or email at email@example.com.
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Brandon Attorney Runs For LLS Local Residents Raise Funds For MS With Bike Ride Woman Of The Year By Kate Quesada By Kate Quesada Donelle “Now it is White is looking my time to for support in shine as a her campaign Woman of the for Leukemia Year candidate and Lymphoma for the Leukemia and Society’s (LLS) Lymphoma Woman of the Society with Year, but it is my aggressive donations, not goal,” said votes, that she White. needs. “Research into White is runblood cancers ning against is the most far seven other reaching women from the because it Suncoast impacts across Chapter of LLS the board. All to see who can types of canraise the most cer can be money for the helped by charity before knowing more the culmination about how the of the campaign Brandon resident Donelle White is running for affects disease on June 3. the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s the blood.” Every dollar Woman of the Year. According raised during the campaign is equal to a vote and to the LLS website, through prothe person with the most votes wins grams like Woman of the Year, LLS the title and the honor of bringing in has invested more than $1 billion in much needed funds to fight the dis- research to advance breakthrough therapies for blood cancers. It also ease. states that almost half of the new An attorney with the B. Lee anti-cancer drugs approved by the Elam P.A. law group in Brandon, U.S. FDA from 2000 through 2013 White has a long history of were original designed to treat fundraising that started after she blood cancers and LLS has helped lost her special needs daughter advance most of them. almost 20 years ago. White and her campaign team “She passed away at three and a half. Through her whole life, I bat- have scheduled a number of events to help raise funds including a suctled to get her all benefits she was cessful bingo night that kicked off entitled to, but health insurance didn’t cover it all,” said White. “This her campaign in March and a night at Hamburger Mary’s in early April. was the beginning of my advocacy She also has planned many small for children with medical issues.” business parties with proceeds Since that time, White has going to the charity and is working worked with the early intervention to schedule a movie night in May. program and Children’s Medical “I feel so supported by the Services, served as president of Brandon community,” said White. the Board of Infants and Young “No one has hesitated to help me, Children and participated in the they’ve given so graciously.” Mrs. Florida International pageant In addition to monetary donato bring attention to the underfundtions for her campaign, White is ing of these programs in Florida. also looking for silent auction and White is also a cancer survivor who, since becoming cancer free in live auction prizes which will raise 2004, has worked with various can- much needed funds during the celebration gala in June. Anyone intercer foundations including working ested in helping can call 967-5757 as co-chair of the Brandon chapter of the American Cancer Society and or search her name at www.mwoy.org. walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk.
Residents from the Valrico area are using their legs to raise funds to fight Multiple Sclerosis (MS) next month as they participate in Bike MS: The Citrus Tour, a 100-plus mile bike ride from The Fantasy of Flight in Polk City To the Omni Champion’s Gate in Orlando and back. The tour, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, is now in its 30th year and attracts approximately 1,000 participants, raising between $600,000 and $800,000 annu- Residents from the Valrico area are raising funds to combat ally. Most riders bike Multiple Sclerosis next month at Bike MS: The Citrus Tour. we know that 100 plus miles is 100 miles the first day of the event and can then chose whether to do 25, nowhere near as difficult as confronting a life time with MS,” said 50 or 75 miles the second day. Barone. “The National MS Society FishHawk resident Stephen gives us all a reason to hope, though. Barone heads Team Grace, the secIn addition to supporting novel ond largest team in the event, with research projects around the globe, more than 40 members from around they also provide much needed eduthe Brandon/Valrico area. The team’s cation, programs and services to goal is to raise $50,000 through everyone who is affected by MS, fundraisers and donations. including the diagnosed, their friends “We are a group of friends, neighand families and the healthcare probors and families from all over the fessionals who work with them.” central Florida area,” said Barone. Valrico resident and realtor with “We are casual recreational bike ridKeller Williams Realty South Shore ers, cycling enthusiasts, non-riding David Harbough is also participating volunteers, triathletes and people with in the tour as an individual. MS who use their bikes to fight and “Every year I ride for the eight fundraise, in spite of this nefarious people I know affected by MS,” said disease.” Harbough, who trains for 16 weeks Each participant in the tour must before the event, biking most days on raise at least $250 with the money his lunch break. “The event is very going directly to research programs well organized and a great way to and services for people impacted by raise funds for a disease that impacts MS, a disease of the nervous system many people very differently.” that interrupts the flow of information Team Grace is still looking for within the brain and between the members and volunteers to add to brain and body. Millions of people are their group. For more information on affected by MS to varying degrees the tour or to donate, visit www.bikewith unpredictable symptoms ranging flc.nationalmssociety.org. Search from numbness and tingling to blindTeam Grace or David Harbaugh to ness and paralysis. find their fundraising pages. “We ride the bike tour because
CIRCUS OF STYLE Sunday, April 23rd 12 - 4 PM
INTERNATIONAL SHOWMEN’S CLUB | 6915 RIVERVIEW DRIVE | RIVERVIEW, FL Shop with some of our amazing local LULAROE Consultants at this unique multi consultant shopping event! Choose from thousands of pieces of the latest styles and prints all in one venue! Don’t miss our raffle for FREE LULAROE clothes!
Volume 14, Issue 4
Flu Bug Encourages Testing And Treatment At Community Events & Schools
Coaching Offered to Help Young Women Professionals Grow Their Careers
The Flu Bug the message is is spreading straightforward. through the Captain Quidel Tampa commuexplains how often nity. But don’t to wash your fear. The Flu Bug hands, how long to is actually a wash your hands Volkswagen and how to cough Beetle disguised into your elbow as the flu virus. instead of your Sherri Mills, drivhand. He also goes er of the Flu Bug over the symptoms and marketing and reminds kids manager for Fizz and adults alike to Corp., has been get tested as soon tasked with getas you feel the ting the word out symptoms. Testing to the community leads to treatment about prevention and reduces both and treatment for the length and the the flu. severity of the virus. According to Sherri Mills and Captain Quidel are on a Quidel has also cremission to stop flu deaths by educating the ated an app which Mills, the idea for the commu- community about prevention and treatment. allows users to input nity outreach program came from the their zip code to determine how active CEO of Quidel Corporation, a manufac- the flu is in their community. Just visit turer of diagnostic healthcare products. www.communidy.com to see the level of “He wants to eradicate flu deaths. activity in your zip code. There were up to 36,000 flu deaths in “We’re not for or against the flu vac2015 and we’re still waiting for 2016 cine. We just want you to get tested results,” said Mills. and get the proper treatment,” said Mills and her sidekick, Captain Mills. There is no charge for Mills and Quidel, visit community events, schools Captain Quidel to visit an event. They and senior centers in an effort to get the currently visit childcare centers, word out about how to prevent and treat schools, senior centers and attend netthe flu. Captain Quidel is a superhero, working events in an effort to get the cape and all, who comes to the events word out. If you would like to have the with Mills and speaks to the audience Flu Bug at your next event, camp or about the flu. The presentations norbusiness, please call Sherri Mills at mally last only about 10 minutes and 410-900-5630.
Women looking to starting their own businesses. grow their assertiveNewlin utilizes eLearning conness and climb the tent and live streaming video career ladder now technology to offer her empowhave a new support erment locally and across the system in the area. globe. Jennifer Newlin, career Newlin, who is married strategist and founder and has four children under of JN Coaching is age ten, understands that striving to make a difworking women have to juggle ference in the lives of their careers, family, and young professionals. finances and is conscious of “After working in the need for families to save corporate training the money. “I offer "freemiums" to Jennifer Newlin makes it her clients interested in testing out last 10 years and business to inspire young teaching "high potenmy programs so prices range women to achieve career suctial" team members from $0- $150 for my fourcess. how to maximize their week Emotional Intelligence career potential through soft skill develop- workshop,” she said. ment, I began to notice my impact on Newlin assisted over 50 women this young women in the business world and past February in her “Career Up" sesthe importance of increasing their sions, an informational program with HR assertiveness through professional devel- insights into hiring and personal branding. opment. This was a niche I found sucFuture workshops include a 12 week processful to me personally since it was gram this summer that will focus on something I always struggled with in my Personal Branding for corporate promo20’s,” Newlin said. tion. This program will help women in the In October 2016, Newlin decided to areas of assertiveness, presentation, make use of her certifications, which salary negotiation and self-awareness. include Gallup Strengths Coaching, She also offers speaking engagements to Integrity Solutions Mentor Facilitation and local women’s groups and businesses. corporate work with Franklin Covey’s “7 “I’d like to see the company grow to Habits of Highly Successful People. She include teaching women more tactical offers both paid and free E Learning proconcepts such as interviewing, resume grams that range from two to six weeks. writing, cover letters, and more, “Newline These include live weekly check in sessaid. sions allowing two-way communication For information email jennnewlinwith clients or direct coaching on their firstname.lastname@example.org or visit careers. Some clients seek advice on www.jennnewlin.com.
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2017 Camps Offer Many Options To Keep Kids Engaged This Summer It’s only the start of spring, but before you know, the dog days of summer will be upon us. What can you do to keep the kids entertained? Where can they go to try new things, learn how to swim, meet new friends and have great adventures and even learn about places and cultures far away? There are many options to choose from locally that will fit the bill. The staff at the Osprey Observer has collected the top recommendations for local summer camps and created this special pull out section. Maybe your kids would like to spend the summer “horsing around.” R&R Ranch offers just that opportunity, and not just to learn to horseback ride, but also about the care of the horses. At Music Showcase, music and theatre take the stage and so can your child. Musicals such as The Lion King Jr. and Legally Blonde Jr. will be offered, and your child can hold starring roles in these and other popular musicals offered from the Florida Academy of Performing Arts for children ages 5 and up. The local YMCAs will offer many types of camps which mix fun along with great learning experiences. With choices of half or full day camps, there is something for everyone. LEGOs and robotics take center stage at the camps offered by TechplayZone. Introduce your kids to hands-on fun
that will both enrich and entertainment them. Camp Superkids at A Child’s Haven offers field trips twice a week. Do you want your kids to retain the math skills they learned during the school year? Mathnasium is the place to help give them a strong start in the fall. For dates, prices and registration information on these and more, turn the page and enjoy this special section and have a great summer. Your kids will use a lot of STEAM by enjoying the science and tech camps offered this summer by MOSI. Your kids can experiment with many different things that will be offered. For the artist in your family, sign them up for workshops to learn about painting, drawing, pottery, modeling and more at Center Place Fine Arts. With weekly themes utilizing agespecific activities and field trips that make BSAC unique, your kids will enjoy every moment of summer camp. Did we miss one? Let us know by e-mailing subject line “Summer Camp” to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be sure to add our full listing online.
Primrose Schools® Present Summer Adventure Club
Let your kids, ages 5 to 10, experience the excitement of Primrose Schools® Summer Adventure Club where imaginations are free to run wild. Get ready for engineering design challenges, discoveries, outdoor exploration and more. Exciting field trips will also be included. Space is limited. Primrose School of Bloomingdale is located at 180 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. For more information, call 438-5980 or visit PrimroseBloomingdale.com.
Find Fun Activities For Your Budding Artists At Center Place Fine Arts
Who knew that art could be so much fun? This summer, you can sign up your budding artists, ages 7 to 16, for workshops at Center Place Fine Arts. Learn about painting, drawing, pottery, modeling and more. Workshops include Art Journaling, Art Mural, Build a Beach Party, Charm, Etiquette & Modeling, Collage, Creative 3-D Masks, Cruise around the World, Fantasy Sculptures, Paper Schulpures, Pet
Sculptures, Print Makimg, Project RoleModel, Recycled Art, Space Art and Wet & Wild Canvases. Classes are offered from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register today by calling 685-8888 or visit www.centerplacebrfandon.org.
MOSI Offers Lots Of Choice Science And Tech Camps
When school is out, MOSI is in. Get in-depth and hands-on with your favorite Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)
subjects or try something totally new. Enjoy hands-on experience and building projects. From extracting DNA to launching rockets and building robots, we are about creating the experi-
ences that expand interests and make dreams a reality. Doing real science with the tools and technologies used by industry professionals is just one way MOSI Summer Science Camps inspire our campers with a can-do attitude that can last a lifetime. Real science coupled with exciting experiments, simulations, explorations, and inventions will help you discover the innovator within. Instruction in the camps are by certified teachers and experienced science and technology educators in a positive environment. There will be opportunities to conduct experiments and use cutting-edge equipment and technology. Your kids will have access to current science and technology in one of the best science centers in the world. Summer Camp at MOSI will take place from Tuesday, May 29 through Wednesday, August 9. Upgrades available for extended care from 7–9 a.m. and 4–6 p.m. and daily hot lunches are available. Register online at MOSI.org or call 987-6000 for more information. MOSI is located at 4801 E Fowler Ave. in Tampa.
Enjoy Music And More This Summer At The Florida Academy Of Performing Arts
Full and half day camps are available for kids ages 5 and up at The Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) at Music Showcase. Kids will enjoy drums, acting, guitar, field trips, singing and games and more. Musical Theatre productions of The Lion King Experience, Jr., Legally Blonde the Musical, Jr., Winnie the Pooh Kids and Doctor
Dolittle Jr. will all take place this summer. For more information, call 4902787 or visit faopa.org.
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NOW ENROLLING $160 Per Week Includes meals, trips & transportation
• Nutritious Meals & Snacks • Low Salt & Sugar • Spanish & Music • Brainwaves Curriculum • ABC Mouse Computer Technology • STEAM
(Science,Technology,Engineering, Arts & Mathematics)
• Extracurricular Programs • Outdoor Playgrounds w/Water Park • Trained Professional Staff Certified in First Aid & CPR • Security Code Access Entry • FREE Internet Viewing of Your Child’s Day
Infant and Toddler Care • Pre-School • Voluntary Pre-kindergarten
• Before- and After- School Care • Summer and Holiday Camps
(Located across from Lithia Springs Elementary)
(Located next to Stowers Elementary and Mosaic)
4321 Lynx Paw Trail
5815 Kids Crossing Drive
Pick up and drop off at Stowers, Valrico Academy, Bevis, FishHawk Creek, Lithia Springs, Foundation Christian, Alafia and Cimino
NOW ENROLLING VPK 2017-2018 SUMMER AND FALL Must be 4 years old by 9/1/2017
Ostingers Baseball Camp Will Hold Three Sessions This Summer Ostingers Baseball Camp will give your child ages 7-14 years old a better understanding of the game of baseball, through instruction, drills, and games. Having a good time while learning the fundamentals will be the main focus of the camp. The instructors have 30 years combined professional playing and coaching experience. Kids will receive daily fundamental drills and activities for: Throwing, Pitching, Hitting, Fielding, Base Running, and Mental Game. There will be games at the end of the week to evaluate progress. Session 1 will take place Monday-Friday June 5 to 9, Session 2 â€“ Monday-Friday, July 10-14 and Session 3 from Monday-Friday, July 24-28. Camp will take place at FishHawk Sports Complex from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 pm. The cost is $175 per camper. Second child costs $125. Space is limited so register early to hold your spot. Call 737-3000 or visit www.OstingBaseball.com.
Kids Will Enjoy Horsing Around At R&R Ranch
R&R Ranch is a family-owned and operated horse ranch specializing in horse experiences for the young child and beginner riders.
Campers range in age from 6-12. They will enjoy daily trail rides and hay rides along with receiving an education on grooming and the care of the horses and farm animals Kids will also enjoy a bounce castle, movies and popcorn in the air
conditioned camp house, a petting zoo with baby bunnies, chicks, ducks and baby pigs, arts, crafts, and more. The cost for camp, which takes place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. is $195 per week or $50 per day. Early and late pickup can be arranged. Spaces are limited. Camp runs from Monday, May 29 through Friday, August 4. R&R Ranch is located at 9805 Bryant Rd. in Lithia. For more information, visit rrranchlithia.com or call 655-3819.
Your Kids Will Enjoy The Best Summer Ever At Y Camps
The local YMCAâ€™s are offering a Passport to the Best Summer Ever from Tuesday, May 30 through Friday, August 4. Get ready for the total camp experience. Day Camp is separated by grade level and features a rotation of diverse activities including indoor games, outdoor recreation, team challenges, structured and free swim. The themes change weekly and range from Super Heroes to Around the World and everything in between. Specialty camps are for kids looking for something different. Choose from any number of skills and specialties. Sports camps are for the kid who is
an athlete at heart. It is for those looking to try a new sport, or those simply curious about sports in general. The camps are full of fun with an emphasis on team work, sportsmanship and fundamentals. Aquatic camps include swim lessons and lots of fun water adventures guaranteed to keep kids active and engaged. Teen camps are for those looking to develop leadership skills. Gymnastic camps are for all skill levels from beginner to advance. Adaptive camps are available for campers with special needs ensuring
fun and inclusion for all. For info on the North Brandon location, call 685-5402, Campo Family location, call 684-1371, Camp Cristina, call 677-8400 or please register online at tampaymca.org.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
TechPlayzone Offers HandsOn Technology Enrichment In Fun & Safe Environment
TechPlayzone has led the charge for engaging young people in science, technology, engineering, and math since 2005. With an increased demand for hands-on technology enrichment, TechPlayzone has continued to provide families with excellent curriculum, and fun in a safe environment for all kids. Give your child a high-tech advantage at TechPlayzone this summer. TechPlayzone Engineering Camp TechPlayzone is pleased to partner with the Doolittle Institute to offer an engineer-
ing camp for young people in 2nd-12th grades. This will allow campers to build and program drone quadcopter robots, self-driving cars with sensors, and 3D print objects for use with Tetrix Robotics Systems. This camp has been developed for kids who enjoy problem-solving, designing, and building and will take place at 1528
Register online at www.girlswithconfidence.com Questions: Info@girlswithconfidence.com
Helping Girls Develop Positive Self-Esteem for a Lifetime Topics Include:
Friendships Girl Power Role Models Positive Mind & Attitude Love My Selfie Being Brave Taking Care of Yourself and much more! 5 Day Camps for K-Rising 6th Grade Girls
Special Camp for GIRLS 6th-12th Grade!
Camps offered throughout the Summer Full Day Camps 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (some end at 4 p.m.) *Extended Care Available
1/2 Day Camps 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Early Registration Discounts Available Please visit our website for full listing of available camps!
Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Camps are weekly from Monday, June 5Friday, August 4. The cost is $150 per week from 9 a.m.12 Noon or 1-4 p.m. TechPlayzone STEM Camp TechPlayzone is pleased to partner with Families Instructing Students at Home (FISH) to offer an amazing STEM camp for all young people in 2nd-7th grade. TechPlayzone Camp at Bell Shoals Baptist Church includes hands-on science experiments, LEGO Mindstorms Robotics, and Minecraft for Engineers. Campers rotate through hands-on activities. Each week is a different theme and campers enjoy different challenges every week. It will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church - The Annex, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon from 9 a.m.-12 Noon. This camp is for ages 7-11 and costs $125 per week. It will run Monday to Friday, July 10-14, July 24-28, and July 31-August 4. For information, visit techplayzone.com, call 684-7329 or email email@example.com.
Your Kids Will Enjoy Camp Superkids At A Child’s Haven Different themed camps will keep your kids busy at A Child’s Haven. Camp is for ages K5 through 5th grade. Each
week there will be two weekly field trips. Your kids will enjoy a healthy lunch and snacks along with fun academic summer studies, character building, awesome friendships, an arcade recreation room and lots of
other fun activities. The cost is $125 per week and includes all field trips and activity fees. A Child’s Haven is located at 1520 Brentwood Hills Blvd. in Valrico. For more information, call 684-1622 or visit AChildsHavenSchool.com.
FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club Offers Tennis For All Levels Of Skill
FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club is offering its 5th Annual Tennis Camp for your child ages 6 and up. Full day camps include plenty of tennis games and fun. Kids cool down in an air conditioned event room, and during lunch times engage in other fun outdoor and indoor games. On Fridays, campers walk down to the Starling pool and game room for a nice finish to the week. All levels from Beginning to Advanced. Register online at FishHawkRanchTennisClub.com or call the Pro Shop at 681-4000.
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Ages K5 through
3239 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. | Valrico, FL (just north of Bloomingdale Ave.)
(813) 643-5332 firstname.lastname@example.org
5th Dimension Dance Center
June 5th - 9th Intensives 9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Ages 9 & up June 12th - 16th Intensives 9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Ages 9 & up June 19th - 23rd Mini Intensives 8:00 am - 12:00 pm - Ages 8 & under Competition Team Auditions will be held at the end of each week of intensives and again on July 15th. Please call or email for registration and pricing information today!!!
Themed weekly camps. You pick which camps to attend. 2 weekly field trips for K5 - 5th grade
Weekly Fee for K5 - 5th Grade
Includes ALL Field Trips & Activity Fees
Healthy Lunch and Snacks Fun Academic Summer Studies Character Building Awesome Friendships Arcade Recreation Room Tons of Fun Activities
A Child’s Haven
1520 Brentwood Hills Blvd, Valrico S of Hwy 60, N or Lumsden, off Mt. Carmel • CHC 404
Mathnasium Now Enrolling For Summer
You can keep your kids on track this summer by enrolling them at Mathnasium. The summer programs are designed to combat summer learning loss. Through their time spent during the summer at Mathnasium, your kids will retain all they learned in math class this year giving them a strong start in the fall. Mathnasium offers help in math, enrichment, and test prep as well as homework help. It is located at 11446 US
Hwy. 301 in Riverview. Call 667-6284 or visit mathnasium.com/riverview for more information.
Summer Camps For Girls Develop Positive Self Esteem
Girls With Confidence offers fun and creative workshops, events and camps for girls in K-12th grade that focus on the development of strong
Summer Camp at
self-esteem and confidence. This summer, Girls With Confidence will help your daughter between the ages of Kindergarten through rising 6th graders develop positive self-esteem during day camps geared just for them this summer. Camps will begin on Monday, June 5. Girls will enjoy camps: Girls Empowered Camp, Cool Confidence Camp, Giving Back Camp, Back-To school Camp, Girls Rock! Scrapbook
Camp, Cool Confidence Camp, Girls Empowered Camp, and Believe in YOU Camp. Please visit www.girlswithconfidence.com for more information. You can also email email@example.com or call 571-2002.
5th Dimension Dance Center Focuses on Summer Intensives If your child is interested in
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Our instructors have 30 years combined professional playing and coaching experience.
May 29th through
Session 1 June 5-9 (M-F) Sign Up for
We specialize in horse experiences for S u m m e r C am p the young child and beginner riders. Space is limited. • Daily Trail Rides & Hay Rides O n ly $ 1 9 5 p e r wk . (Mon. thru Fri. 9am - 5pm) • Horse Education We Also Offer: Field Trips, Pony Parties, Trail Rides, Play Groups & More 9805 Bryant Rd Lithia, FL 33547 Visit us on the web: rrranchlithia.com
F or more info call 81 3-653 -3 819
Session 2 July 10-14 (M-F)
Session 3 July 24-28 (M-F)
Location: FishHawk Sports Complex Space is Limited Age Group: 7 - 14 yrs Register Early Time: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm to hold your spot! Cost: $175/camper **(Second Child $125) **Multi week discounts
Daily Instruction • Games • Pitching/Catching Fundamentals Addressed • Drills For More Information:
Call 813.737.3000 or visit our website at www.OstingBaseball.com
Volume 12, Issue 3
dance, 5th Dimension Dance Center strives to provide a stimulating environment, focused on providing students of all ages with a unique, healthy and challenging dance experience. Intensives will be held this summer on: Monday to Friday, June 5-9 and also Monday to Friday, June 1216 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for ages 9 & up. Competition Team Auditions will be held at the end of each week of intensives and again on Saturday, July 15. A Mini Camp will be held Monday to Friday June 19-23 from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon for ages 8 and under. 5th Dimension Dance Center is located at 3239 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico (just north of Bloomingdale
P.O. Box 6099 • Brandon, FL 33508
Ave.). For more information or to register, please call 643-5332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org m. Visit www.5thdimensiondancecenter.com.
Patel Conservatory Offers Dance, Theater And Music Camps, Classes The Straz Center’s Patel
Summer classes and camps in Dance, Theater and Music will take place at Patel Conservatory, which is located at the STRAZ in downtown Tampa. Patel believes that every student, regardless of age or experience, deserves the opportunity to participate in the performing arts and discover their creative potential. The Conservatory offers nationally recognized intensives, camps and
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classes. Whether your child is skilled in the arts or wants to participate for the very first time, it offers a fun-filled summer for students of all ages and skill levels at this state-of-the-art facility. There is a required $35 registration fee per student, or $60 per family. This fee is waived for Straz Center annual donors. To become a
Straz Center donor, visit patelconservatory.org or call 222-1040. Register online at patelconservatory.org or call 222-1040 or in person at the Patel Conservatory Admissions Office/Chairmen’s Library. You can also register by mail: Download the Registration Form from patelconservatory.org and mail with payment to: Patel
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Award W inning STEM Camps Since 2005 Where Bright & Creative Kids Play to Learn
Conservatory Admissions Office Attn: Admissions Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL 33602 For more information, visit patelconservatory.org.
Get Ready For Kids ‘R’ Kids Most Interactive Summer Adventure Ever
Discover and explore a unique camp each week. During Kids R Kids 10 week summer camp series, campers will explore their hidden talents, potential passions and intriguing interests. Each boy and girl will experience art and cooking, engineering and community service, Spanish and Music. This summer camp is all about the journey to discover what suits each camper’s personality – the quest to discover what they like best.
Kids will enjoy outdoor playgrounds with a water park. Trained professionals that are certified in CPR and first aid are on staff. There is security code access entry and free Internet viewing of your child’s day. It is now enrolling for summer camp. The cost is $160 per week and includes meals, trips and transporta-
tion. Kids R Kids Valrico is located at 4321 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico. Call 657-6200. Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy of Circa/FishHawk is located at 5815 Kids Crossing Dr. in Lithia. Call 654-7000. For info on both locations, visit http://krkvalrico.com/.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins
Art Around Town Is A Project Of East Hillsborough Art Guild The East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) is celebrating 25 years of presenting fine arts to the community. One of the perks of membership in EHAG is that artists get to show their work at various venues in and around Plant City through the Art Around Town project. Artwork is shown on a rotating basis at Plant City YMCA, Walden Lake East Clubhouse, Walden Lake Community Association and in the Classroom Gallery at the historic Plant City High School Community Center, located at 605 N. Collins St. in downtown Plant City. The Classroom Gallery, which is open Thursday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., exists thanks to a partnership between EHAG and the East Hillsborough Historical Society. The partnership is supported by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. The current exhibit, which is up through April 22, features the artwork of Eleanore McDade, founder of EHAG. In 1972 the Plant City Art Club was founded with 20 members. The club began sponsoring the fine art show at the Florida Strawberry Festival. In 1992, when the club was about to disband, McDade took it over and renamed it EHAG. There were 25 members at the time. McDade's intent was to grow the club and get members from surrounding areas. EHAG has grown and expanded over the years and works to help revi-
If you like fine art produced by local artists such as EHAG founder, Eleanore McDade, be sure to check out the rotating art exhibits at locations such as the Classroom Gallery located in the historic Plant City High School Community Center in downtown historic Plant City.
talize the historic Plant City downtown. This effort continues in the tradition begun by McDade in reaching out to the surrounding communities and to artists giving them opportunities in expanded areas. Today, EHAG continues to sponsor the fine art show at the Florida Strawberry Festival. The club also hosts an annual Christmas art show. This year the Christmas art show will be held at the Plant City Entertainment theatre building. At the Classroom Gallery, art classes and workshops are offered by qualified EHAG member instructors and the artwork is for sale. Please visit www.ehagfinearts.com for a schedule. Art Around Town chair, Gay Nell Lewis said, "We are committed to showing our artwork in public and private venues. I came up with the idea so that our members would have the opportunity to not only show their work but sell it as well." EHAG meets at the Women's Club of Plant City on the first Monday of each month except over the summer. For more information, please visit www.ehagfinearts.com.
NOW OPEN South Brandon 2010 Bloomingdale Ave Hours: 6am-10pm
High School Students Are Recognized At Annual High School Art Show At Center Place
Students from area high schools entered artwork in the Annual High School Art Show held at Center Place. The prizes for the winners are provided by the GFWC Brandon Service League.
The 2017 High School Art Show was held on Thursday, March 23 at Center Place in Brandon. The GFWC Brandon Service League provides the funding for the winners. Students from area high schools submit entries for 2D, 3D and photography. The high schools repreStudents from area high schools entered artwork in the Annual sented in this year’s High School Art Show held at Center Place. The prizes for the show included East winners, including the Best of Show art piece “Josephine,” are provided by the GFWC Brandon Service League. Bay, Durant, Bloomingdale, Plant East Bay High School for her piece City, Blake, Armwood and Newsome. called “Little China Town.” The judge for this year’s show was Sikora-Muehl said, “It was a pleasJennie Sikora-Muehl, a ceramic artist ure to jury this show. The work is specializing in hand built tableware amazing. There were so many excepand sculptures made from earthen tional entries that it was difficult to clay. choose award winners.” Best of Show was presented to Center Place also presented the Jesus Vazquez from Bloomingdale 2017 Patricia B. Odiorne Scholarship. High School for his piece, “Josephine.” Dawn Galia, Executive Director of Sikora-Muehl said, “I loved the use of Center Place said, “Odiorne’s wide the comic strip as a back drop against reaching civic involvements and many the lines of the drawing. The image is accomplishments could fill a book. well done and accurate. The shading She was a dedicated servant of her is beautiful. This piece stood out from community.” This is a $1,000 scholarthe rest making it a well-deserved best ship given to high school seniors. This of show.” year two young ladies who are comThe first place winner in 2D art mitted to the arts and serving the comwas Brooke Hogue, a student from munity split the scholarship. Monica Durant High School, with her piece Diaz plans to use the scholarship in “Blooming Hope.” In photography, the her pursuit of a degree in computer first place winner was Amanda Scallon science. Likewise, Abigail Hernandez from Blake High School with will use it to pursue a degree in “Drowning.” The first place winner in behavioral science 3D was Maissie Hughes from Blake For more information on the 2017 High School with “Broccoli and the High School Art Show and the Patricia Beast.” B. Odiorne Scholarship, please visit The Center Place Fine Arts Award www.centerplacebrandon.org. was given to Desiree Webber from
P.O. Box 6099 • Brandon, FL 33508
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Volume 14, Issue 4
nce, a m r o f r e P . Annie, Jr l Organizer Professiona y Event & At Librar … More Compiled by Michelle Colesanti, email@example.com
Performances will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $10. Grace Christian School is located at 1425 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico.
Declutter And Organize Your Closets
Oh,The Places You Can Go When You Read A Book!
Artist, Laure Ferlita, will illustrate how to create and personalize a poster about a favorite book using watercolors or colored markers Saturday, May 6 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Attendees will discuss how books have opened up new worlds for them. The class is free, and supplies will be provided. There is a 20 person limit. Please register at the library Ask Desk or call 273-3652.
Twin Lakes Of Brandon Community Garage Sale
The Twin Lakes of Brandon, located east of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. at the end of Bloomingdale Ave., will hold its annual spring garage sale on Saturday, April 22 from 8 a.m.-12 Noon. With 460 homes, there should be plenty of great finds available to those willing to take a ride around Lake Michaela and through this beautiful community.
Bring Your Family To See Annie, Jr.
The Grace Christian School Drama Department presents Annie, Jr., an adaptation of one of the world's best-loved musicals. Annie, performed by Brooke Wilson, charms everyone she meets despite her rough start during the Depression-era in New York City. Annie is determined to find her parents who abandoned her at an orphanage run by the cruel, Miss Hannigan (Daviana Denney). When billionaire Oliver Warbucks performed by George Hambos, decides to invite an orphan to his mansion for Christmas, Annie’s whole life begins to change. Despite Miss Hannigan's evil plans concocted with her brother Rooster (Justin Floyd) and his girlfriend Lily (Cameron Givens), Annie befriends President Franklin D Roosevelt and finds a new home alongside Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell (Marianne Samson), and her lovable mutt named Sandy (Joshua McKeen). Directed by Aimee Griggs and assisted by two GCS Graduates Emily Pickles and Jasey Stebbins.
Library from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For this one-day only sale, all bookstore items will be marked down and specially priced for inventory reduction. There’ll be a wide assortment of books (both hard-cover and paperback), CDs and DVDs available for purchase, all at unbelievably reasonable prices. Complete your collection of your favorite authors or find something different, useful or exciting. Stop in and browse and you may find just what you’re looking for. All proceeds from bookstore sales provide funding for library programs. Bloomingdale Regional Library is located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. For more information, please call the library at 273-3652.
Cabot Creamery And The Florida Dairy Farmers Hosted The First Girl Scout Patch Day
In March, the Cabot Creamery and the Florida Dairy Farmers hosted the first ever Girl Scout Patch Day which included more than 100 Girl Scouts and their families. The free program was part of Cabot’s Scout Patch program that enables Scouts to earn custom-designed patches for various educational activities focused on health, community, business and social responsibility. Girl Scouts who participated and completed the twohour program earned Cabot’s newest patch program “Fueling Head To Toe”, that helped Scouts learn about the importance of healthy eating and exercise in building a healthy body. The Scouts engaged in adult-led fun activities to learn how to build a healthy snack, how to do yoga to strengthen their body and why dairy is a healthy part of a balanced and nutritious diet.
On A Budget
On Monday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m., kick off Money Smart Week with professional organizer Pam Hopener. She will share organizational and time management tips on how to become more structured on a tight budget using ingenuity and easy techniques. This free event is for teens and adults and will take place
First Ever Girl Scout Patch Day at MOSI.
at Bloomingdale Regional Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.
Help For Quitting Tobacco
Quitting tobacco isn't easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started. Free Community worksite and clinic groups will be offered, with programs covering all forms of tobacco. Free Nicotine replacement patches, gum and lozenges will be available, while supplies last and if medically appropriate. Locally, classes will be available: Monday, April 17 and May 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Oakfield Medical Plaza, 276 S. Moon Ave., Ste. 260 in Brandon; Tuesday, April 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Pre-registration is required by calling 974-7889. For additional classes, visit www.ahectobacco.com.
One Day Spring Book Sale At Bloomingdale Library
The Friends of the Bloomingdale Regional Library will be holding a special spring book sale on Saturday, April 22 in the McLean room and Bookstore area of the Bloomingdale
for supporting our Local Businesses! They are the reason we can provide you with Positive, Local News each month!
New Show, Flip My Florida Yard Helps Disabled Veteran Enjoy His Outdoor Space
By Michelle Colesanti
being done, they were sent off to enjoy the day at The Florida Aquarium. The work was done by a team from the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association, and led by Thonotosassa-based Tampa Bay Landscaping and Horticulture Services. Flip My Florida Yard has also redone yards in Bradenton,
Melissa L Haskins Financial Advisor
A yard in Riverview was recently transformed to make it accessible for a 25 year old wheelchair bound veteran thanks to the new TV series Flip My Florida Yard with Chad Crawford.
Riverview resident, Brandon Walker, a 25 year old wheelchair-bound veteran and his parents, recently received a backyard landscaping overhaul thanks to Flip My Florida Yard, a new weekly TV series which recently aired its first episode nationally on Fox Sports Sun and locally on WTSP-Channel 10. The yard work, completed in one day, was done in the Park Creek neighborhood and is estimated to be worth $50,000. The work included constructing a lot of outdoor living spaces to give Walker easy access to the backyard, which includes a hot tub and pergola. Walker said, “My new yard is super rad. There’s a workout area for me, and I'm able to go out there independently. I loved the crew and how they designed the yard to be so accessible for me.” The Walker’s had recently closed on their home, and were selected for Flip My Yard after they submitted information describing their yard and their son’s story. The yard work is completely free to the family, and while the work was
S A V E
Newberry (near Gainesville), Oviedo (near Orlando) and Fort Lauderdale. The family will also get one year of free pest control. The host of the show, Chad Crawford, was onsite during the overhaul. He is also the host of How to do Florida with Chad Crawford. Flip My Florida Yard is created by the Crawford Media Group, and is also responsible for the Emmy-award winning show How to Do Florida. The new series will challenge the way Floridians view their role in preserving the state’s water through education. A native, Florida-friendly yard requires less chemicals, fertilizer and watering. To get a taste of the new series, visit the trailer at https://Vimeo.com/187992983. The Riverview episode will likely air the last week in April.
$5 OFF $20 $10 OFF $50 $20 OFF $100 Firewood Bar B.Q. 7013 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Lithia 813-438-8710
Don’t Keep Family in the Dark About Your Plans
You might work diligently at building a financial roadmap for your retirement years and a comprehensive estate plan. But you can’t just create these strategies – you also have to communicate them. Specifically, you need to inform your spouse and your grown children what you have in mind for the future – because the more they know, the fewer the surprises that await them down the road. Let’s start with your spouse. Ideally, of course, you and your spouse should have already communicated about your respective ideas for retirement and have come to an agreement on the big issues, such as when you both plan to retire, where you’ll live during retirement, and what you want to do s retirees (volunteer, travel, work part time and so on). But what you both might have let slip through the cracks are the important specifics related to financing your retirement. You’ll need to answer several questions, including these: • When will you each start taking Social Security? • Are there strategies for maximizing both of your Social Security payments? • When will you need to start tapping into your respective retirement accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k)? And, once you do start withdrawing from these accounts, how much should you take out each year? You may want to work with a financial professional to address these issues, but however you proceed, you and your spouse need to be “on the same page” regarding the key financial components of your retirement. Now, consider your grown children. You need to clearly communicate your estate plans to them, not only for the sake of openness and honesty, but also because they may well play active roles within those plans. So when talking to your children, make sure you cover these areas:
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor
Plaza Bella @ 1068 Bloomingdale Avenue, Valrico 33596 813-685-5294
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• Durable power of attorney – You may well decide to give one of your grown children the durable power of attorney to pay bills and make financial choices on your behalf if you are unable to do so. • Estate executor – An executor is the person or entity you name in your will to carry out your wishes. An executor has a variety of responsibilities, so you’ll want to choose someone who is honest and capable of dealing with legal and financial matters. Again, you could ask a grown child to serve as your executor, but, to avoid potential conflict of interests among your children, you might want to go outside the family. Talk with an attorney about how best to name your executor. • Status of will and living trust – Assuming you have already drawn up a will, share it with your grown children. The same is true with a living trust, a popular estate-planning tool that may allow your survivors to avoid going through the time-consuming, public and expensive process of probate. A will and a living trust will obviously contain a great deal of information your children should know about – so take the time to explain your thinking when you created these documents. You want to enjoy a comfortable retirement, and you want to leave a meaningful legacy through your estate plans. To help accomplish both these goals, you need to include your loved ones in your arrangements – so open those lines of communication.
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Volume 14, Issue 4
al, v i t s e F h s Crawfi Sale, SWAT Garageh Meeting & Lunc ore… M
its inception, “Mission I Do” has provided five dream weddings valued at nearly 125,000k. Application period runs from April 1-22. Apply at Compiled by Michelle Colesanti, firstname.lastname@example.org official-giveaway-rules/. Visit oldmcmickys.com/community-giving/mission-i-do/.
Seventh Annual FishHawk Riverview Rotary Crawfish Festival
The Rotary Club of FishHawkRiverview is pleased to announce the 7th annual Crawfish Festival will be held on Saturday, April 22, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Winthrop Pole Barn area in Winthrop on Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. All of the money raised is donated to local charities and scholarship funds. There will be live music and plenty of food, drinks, and activities for the children available for purchase. For reserved crawfish meal tickets, please purchase tickets online. Reservations will guarantee a crawfish meal to be available the day of event. This will include about two to three lbs. of crawfish with the fixings (corn and potatoes). Other food items and beverages will be available for purchase at the event, to include Cajun food, hamburgers and hotdogs. Free hotdogs will be given away to children that bring nonperishable food donations. There are many ways that you can help make this event a success including sponsorships, volunteers, donations, selling tickets and more. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit FishhawkRiverviewRotary.org or call 927-4603.
Old McMicky’s Farm Announces “Mission I Do”
Annual Garage Sale Benefits The Brandon Lions Club
The Brandon Lions Club will hold its semi-annual Garage Sale on Saturday, April 22 at the Lions Club House, located at 610 Limona Rd. in Brandon. The Brandon Lions Club performs many civic functions such as providing glasses and hearing aids for those who cannot afford them and helping provide guide dogs for the blind in cooperation with Southeastern Guide Dogs. It also supports such activities as the Conklin Center for the Blind, Brandon Outreach, Cystic Fibrosis, ECHO, Brandon Youth Soccer League, Diabetes America, the Don Bishop Track Meet and the Lavoy Exceptional Center for the Blind. The Brandon Lions club is the oldest service organization in Brandon, charted in 1954 and is currently seeking new members. For more info, call 360-4163 or email email@example.com.
In appreciation of men and women Finding the Missing Piece Through Kappa Kappa in the military and in honor of those who have been wounded in combat, Geri Clark has been happily Old McMicky’s Farm (OMF) is honored to announce the 6th "Mission I Do" Dream Wedding Giveaway. Old McMicky’s Farm will provide an active Kappa Kappa Brandon, chapter of Kappa Delta Phil is currently looking duty or milifor new members. tary veteran, residing or stationed in Tampa Bay, the retired for several years, but felt like wedding of their dreams at The Barn something was missing her life. When at Crescent Lake. The lakefront venue girlfriend Melinda and her mom is elegant, rustic and will play host to Lynnette suggested she join Kappa the lucky couple and their 100 guests. Kappa Chapter of Kappa Delta Phi This all-inclusive wedding giveSorority, she realized this might be just away will include everything a couple what she has been looking for. dreams of on their wedding day, from Lynnette Zink has been a member of a beautiful venue and a wedding planKappa Kappa, a philanthropic based ner to award-winning catering, photog- sorority, since 1966. She has seen raphy, entertainment, wedding dress, many members come and go throughwedding rings, wedding cake, officient out the years, and was excited to see and more. To make this special event “new blood” join the organization. even more perfect, all wedding eleWhen Betty Harper’s friend Janice ments and services have been graheard that Betty was looking for new ciously donated by several local hospi- members to join Kappa Kappa, her tality industry businesses with amazing first thought was that she wanted to hearts. OMF launched the “Mission I help a good friend. Betty and Janice Do” program in April 2014 and since carpool to the meetings and now
share this common bond in addition to other aspects of their friendship. As part of this small sorority, both women have found new friends and companionship amongst the other women and their husbands. They both feel a renewed sense of purpose in contributing their efforts to fundraisers The Brandon Chapter of SWAT Networking meets the secwhich benefit local ond Thursday each month at 11:45 a.m. at The Shrimp Brandon charities such Boat. as Nativity Food Pantry, Outreach Clinic and so many more. There are also afternoon and evening socials to enjoy the company of others while exploring our community, and a common bond of working together to help those who need it most. Previous winner of Old McMicky’s “Mission I Do” Dream Wedding The Kappa Giveaway. Kappa Brandon, space. SWAT is a unique sisterhood of chapter of Kappa Delta Phi is looking professional women that is comprised is looking for new members. Would of exclusively women entrepreneurs you like to meet some truly wonderful and business women from the women and make lifetime friends with Brandon/Riverview/Apollo Beach and a minimum time commitment? Please surrounding areas meeting the call Lily Barney at 681-6006. second Thursday of every month at
SWAT Networking Lunch Meeting Moves To Shrimp Boat
The Brandon Chapter of Successful Women Aligning Together (SWAT) Networking has outgrown their
11:45 a.m. for lunch. The meeting will now take place at Shrimp Boat Grille in Plaza Bella at 1020 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. All business types are invited. Visit www.swatnetworking.com for more information.
NOW’S THE TIME TO SELL! What are you waiting for? We need listings!
PATRICIA TRACY Realtor
Call “The Tracy Team” (813) 748-9364
Where your experience is our priority!
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Home Value Estimates! Selling the Neighborhood We Live, Work & Play Over 15 years Experience
Volume 14, Issue 4
tamas@ ver.com ospreyobser
Sports Connection 657-2418 www.ospreyobserver.com
Rd. Pinecrest11 918 Lithia n, FL 335 Brando -24 18 657 bserver.com www.ospreyo
Jesuit Tigers Beat Alonso Ravens To Take 37th Saladino Trophy Win
Alonso Ravens sophomore pitcher, Marc DeGusipe turns the heat on during the tournament.
Thirty-two local public high school teams played each other during spring break last month, to complete the 37th Annual Hillsborough County School’s Tony Saladino High School Baseball Tournament. The title game did not disappoint baseball fans as the Jesuit Tigers defeated the equally talented Alonso Ravens 5-2 to win the coveted trophy. With four Saladino championship titles already under its belt since 2009, Alonso (2016 runner up) led by program head coach Landy Faedo had high hopes for a better outcome. As for the Tigers, the victory was a sweet accomplishment nearly three decades in the making.
Jesuit senior Jeffrey Hankanson takes over in the third inning and led his team to a 5-2 win for the second time in school history.
The last time Jesuit won the Saladino title was in 1986, although the program reportedly had not been a regular participant in the event. With two runs in the first inning, the Ravens came out strong, a lead they managed to maintain until the fifth. To start, Jesuit sported junior varsity pitcher Cristian Troncoso in the first two innings when coach Miguel Menendez decided it was time to get serious and to replace the young player with senior Jeffrey Hankanson who took the mou with a vengeance striking out five of the first six batters and finished the night with three more; two in the seventh including the final out to end the game while allow-
Jesuit senior Jake Jones connects for a base hit in the second inning of the cham- Jesuit senior Garrett Sheppard slides into home base and pionship game. sealed his team victory with a ing only two hits. bration seventh inning homer.
In the seventh, Jesuit's Garrett Sheppard woke everyone up with his homer that was followed by two more RBIs from junior McGuire Weaver and senior Alex Mocny. As it is the case each year, the tourney was much more than just winning a trophy. The week-long, round-robin tournament provided fans of all ages the opportunity, not only to spectate, but to participate in and enjoy a variety of baseball-related activities in a nostalgic, family oriented and safe atmosphere. “This is much more than just a tournament,” said Tony Saladino. “It is a cele-
of the sport, while it keeps the kids and all who love baseball busy and out of mischief during Spring Break.” Of course, tournament matriarch, Bertha Saladino’s absence never goes unnoticed by anyone who have tasted the event’s spirit, anchored by her unmatched generosity, kindness, love of her family and friends, fans the media and, of course, the young players. Bertha died in early 2016 surrounded by friends and family. She was 84. For information about the Saladino baseball tournament, visit, www.tonysaladinobaseballtounament.com.
Closed Easter Sunday
Valrico Sunday Market
Our seasonal market under the grandfather oaks is a weekly event that offers fun in the sun, fresh shopping and serves as a gathering place for families and friends to bond, mingle and buy local. 50 Artisans- Jewelry, Wood Works, Glass, Candles, Flowers, Foods, Pet Products, Clothing, Soaps, Fruits & Vegetables, Baked Goods, Kids Gifts, Knife Sharpening and more.
Food Court with Live Music
and even Free face painting and balloons for the kids.
Every Sunday 9:30am to 3:00pm 3407 Lithia Pinecrest (just south of Bloomingdale) 813-530-0922
Super Heroes Needed To Sign Up And Be Organ Donors
By Michelle Colesanti
it was a chapter of his Have you ever story that lifted thought what it weights from our might be like to shoulders while a become a super machine literally hero? You can give the gift of life to worked to compenanother person by sate what his body could not do.” signing up to She then had the become an organ, opportunity to give life tissue and eye once again to her son donor through by donating her kidLifeLink of Florida. ney to him. This independent, “We’ve come a non-profit organiza- Evan Ranieri is now a healthy 6 year old long way, our family is tion is dedicated to Kindergarten student thanks to his mom’s donation of her kidney four years strong and we have serving patients in ago. April is ‘Donate a Life’ month and all learned to accept need of transplant everyone is encouraged to consider therapy. signing up as a potential organ donor. kidney disease. Someday it will haunt April is ‘Donate us again because having a chronic illa Life’ month. In the U.S., over 118,000 ness doesn’t go away. However, God people currently wait for a lifesaving uses our deepest pain as a launching organ transplant. Over 5,600 are pad for our greatest calling,” added Floridians. Melissa. The Rainieri’s are a local family that Today Evan is a healthy and enerknows all too well the importance of getic 6 year Kindergartener living life to organ donors. Born in 2011, their son Evan was diagnosed with stage 4 chron- the fullest. He is no longer tube fed and ic Kidney Disease as a result of hypopla- has had surgery to remove his dialysis catheters. sia. Evan spent his first month in the The family has now become an NICU at Tampa General Hospital and active advocate for LifeLink Foundation. underwent his first surgery at four days All major religions support donation old. The battle was endless and he spent and there are no costs to the donor’s many hours on dialysis. Evan’s mom Melissa said, “We were family. To save lives as an organ and tissue donor, register told that dialysis was a bridge to transplant and while transplant was not a cure at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org, or say that the ultimate goal was to get Evan big “yes” to donation when getting or renewing your driver license or state identificaenough to receive a kidney. Our prior thoughts of dialysis were our biggest mis- tion card at your local driver license office. conception. Although the days were long
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Volume 14, Issue 4
The Brenda Wade Team
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