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NEW! Brandon/Winthrop

See Parade Route Pg. 5 C E L E B R A T I N G

June 2017 Volume 12, Issue 6 Ph: 657-2418 1 5





Free Family Event Page 13 C O M M U N I T Y


Fourth Of July Parade Celebrates Brandon’s History Through The Decades

Kraftologee Brings Craft Cellar, Coffee House & New Kids Playzone Concept To Riverview

is this year’s Grand Marshall. Janine Nickerson, president of The Community Roundtable said, “Noriega’s store celebrated their 60th anniversary, so asking him to be the Grand Marshall was a perfect match.” Nickerson Photo Courtesy of Stephen Nickerson Come out with family and friends and continue or start the tradition of added, “This attending The Community Roundtable's Annual Brandon 4th of July Independence Parade. The parade is held on the 4th of July beginning at 10 a.m. in Day Parade is a the heart of Brandon. tradition for The Annual Brandon 4th of July many Brandon family residents. Often, Parade presented by The Community the Community Roundtable is told, ‘my Roundtable will be held on Tuesday, grandparents brought me to the July 4. The parade begins at 10 a.m. parade and now I am bringing my at the Law Offices of Reed & Reed at grandchildren as part of our holiday the corner of Lumsden and Parsons. celebration.’” The route will continue north on Brandon’s 4th of July Parade is a Parsons, stop at the reviewing stand great tradition that celebrates the resilocated in front of Nature's Health dents, schools, organizations and nonFoods at Parsons and Oakfield, conprofits of the greater Brandon area. tinue west on Robertson and end in The parade features floats, marching the Publix parking lot at Buckingham bands, dancers and more. Included in Place. the line-up this year will be the 2017 This year marks the 60th anniverHonorary Mayor who will be sary of both The Community announced that morning and the winRoundtable and the parade itself. It ner of The Community Roundtable’s also marks the 160th anniversary of Father of the Year. You can also see John and Martha Brandon’s arrival in Walt Raysick, the winner of the Alice the area. To celebrate these mileB. Tompkins Award (an award given to stones, this year’s parade theme is someone who epitomizes service to Through the Decades. Parade particithe community) and the winner of the pants are choosing the decade of their Maureen Krzanowski Scholarship, origin or significant anniversary to Melissa Chin, a member of Riverview honor the theme. High School’s class of 2017. John Noriega of Bill’s Prescriptions

changing.” With only a Rooms are wall separating designated for craft beers and kid children ages 3-5 friendly entertainand 5-10. ment, Kraftologee, “I heard about a new craft beer, this through word coffee house and of mouth,” said Lu kids creative playBarns, a local zone, has opened mom visiting a Kraftologee. “It’s space something fun for to do on a rainy both day.” parA visit to ents Kraftologee owners Chris their Facebook and kids to Harman & John Fontana. page will reveal unwind. (Top) Happy customer Isabella Escobar enjoys the over 1,400 folLongtime kids craft room. lowers, a five friends John star rating and reviews stacked with posiFontana and Chris Harman have co-coltive experiences and compliments to the laborated to construct a business that local coffee shop. combines high quality drinks, food and For more information and to stay glittery, colorful crafts. “We’ve been working on this concept updated on the latest Kraftologee news visit their Facebook page at for two years, “Harman said. “I’m most https://www.facebook.com/kraftologee/. excited to see the kids enjoy it.” Kraftologee is located in the corner of Fontana and Harman come together as a creative team that bring two different the plaza on Gornto Lake and Bloomingdale Ave. at 10312 skill sets to the table. Bloomingdale Ave Suite 101. Call 252Fontana has experience doing kid 3106 or visit http://www.kraftologee.com. friendly Lego-themed events with his business Bricks 4 Kidz. Harman is a talented musician. “We don’t have microwave pizza,” In This describes Harman. “Here, its all craft Issue beers and high-end quality choices.” Their success is a team effort. With a barista trained directly from the famed HOA HOT TOPICS ...............................PG 7 Buddy Brew Coffee, experienced cooks LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL. ...PG 10 and concoctions created by individuals with experience in the food and beverage OAKFIELD DENTAL WITH SAT APPT .PG 12 industry, parents are drawn to healthy, EYE ON BUSINESS ............................PG 25 quality choices. Kraftologee has a $10 per hour fee ROBONGI .........................................PG 27 for the children’s craft rooms and a tradiPHO VIET CUISINE............................PG 32 tional check-in system but it is not a daycare. Parents must stay in the building BREWWORK OFFERS CLASSES .........PG 34 and children must be potty-trained and SPORTS CONNECTION...............PGS 38‐39 able to work well beside others. “We had ideas, then we would come READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE in and reform our ideas,” Fontana said. www.ospreyobserver.com “We’re a new concept, still growing and

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

Postal Customer



Continued On Page 5

Photo by Tamas Mondovics

A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy stands ready during this year’s Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the Sheriff’s Office Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall, in Ybor City. The memorial service honors the 16 HCSO deputies who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1874. Please read the full story on page 10.

By Abigail Baker

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6

June 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Brandon Academy Announces IB Program

By Kate Quesada

Students attending Rudolph. “IB also Brandon Academy, a gives our high school private school offering students a distinct leg classes from preup on the very comkindergarten to high petitive world of colschool, have reason to lege admissions. We celebrate this month spoke with every as the institution admissions office in recently completed a Brandon Academy recently passed a the state of Florida two-year verification process to two-year verification and the overwhelming become a official IB World School. process naming it an response was that IB official IB World School, offering the students have an edge.” International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Rudolph explained that last year, the Programme. University of Florida accepted only 58 According to school Headmaster percent of all applicants, but accepted 88 Robert Rudolph, the IB program aims to percent of IB applicants. develop inquiring, knowledgeable and “Graduates of Brandon Academy caring young people who help to create a High School will simply have an advanbetter and more peaceful world through tage over the other students when it intercultural understanding and respect. comes to getting into colleges,” said Brandon Academy is the only private Rudolph. school in the area that offers this rigorous During the two year verification program. process all teachers received IB training Founded in 1968, the IB is a nonand created a specific curriculum within profit educational foundation offering four the IB framework. programs of international education with “From there the results go to the the goal of developing intellectual, perinternational offices of IB for acceptance,” sonal, emotional and social skills to help said Rudolph, who credits the birth of the students live, learn and work in a rapidly program to Dr. Tricia Rudolph who was globalizing world. Schools must be principal of the high school during the authorized by the IB organization to offer 2016-17 school year. any of the programs. Brandon Academy is located at 801 “The IB program offers unmatched Limona Rd. and can be reached at 689academic expertise worldwide,” said 1952. Visit www.brandon-academy.com.

Local Athlete Jessica Miller Wins Special Olympic Silver, Participates In TD Bank Day

By Nick Nahas

Jessica Miller competed in her first Special Olympics event nearly 15 years ago. Her father, Jon Miller, convinced her to participate in the 100-yard dash at Durant High School. Miller won the contest with flying colors, and she kept running, even though her shoe came off in the process. Jon was waiting at the finish line, signaling to Jessica to stop at the finish, but she didn’t hear him and kept running with one shoe on around the track. Miller is a big competitor. “I love to win,” she said. Every year since then, Jessica, who had Down Syndrome, has competed in the Special Olympics. She has participated in local events and district and state competitions as well. In May, she won a silver medal at the state level in a tennis skills event. Jessica loves to take part in tennis, bowling and swimming contests, which all occur throughout the year. “She gives it 110 percent,” Jon Miller said. “She likes to win, but at the same time, she cheers for all of her friends and all of the other athletes to win, too.” Miller, a Valrico native, has lived in the area most of her life. She graduated from Bloomingdale High School in 2007. In her spare time, Jessica likes to swim, go to church and to the movies. She also enjoys singing and is a part of her church’s choir and Sunday School pro-

gram. She works on Tuesdays at Stein Mart as well. She also likes hanging out with her longtime friends Rima and David from school. Rima participates in Special Olympics with Jessica. Jessica has an infectious attitude that rubs off on almost everybody that she meets. She always has a smile on her face, despite her challenges. She lives life as a happy person, and in the process, she leaves a positive impact on all that meet her and get to know her. “She obviously means the world to me,” said Jon. “She has helped give me a perspective on life that’s much different because of how kind she is and how loving she is. She doesn’t get caught up in the day-to-day drama of the world and giving the best hugs around.” On June 9, TD Bank hosted its annual Special Olympics Trading Card Day in Hillsborough County to raise money. Community members and media were invited in to local TD Bank branches to meet athletes participating in this year’s games. The fundraiser enables employees, customers, friends and family to support the goal of raising more than $1 million for Special Olympics in the states where TD operates. To date, $8.7 million has been raised for Special Olympics programs. If you would like to donate to the cause, contact your local TD Bank.


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Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Rosecastle Residents Get VIP Treatment At Tampa Bay Rays Senior Prom Day Game

Start Of Rainy Season Too Little Too Late To Avoid Countywide Water Restriction

Play Ball! group and was More than 40 determined to residents, manensure that they agement and received VIP staff members treatment and from the guided them Rosecastle down to a speAssisted Living cial seating area and Memory in premium Care SkyBox seating. Communities in This area affordCitrus, ed necessary Zephyrhills and space and easy Delaney Creek at access for the Brandon boarded residents with their community walkers and shuttle buses for wheelchairs. a trip to watch The the Tampa Bay Rosecastle resiRosecastle Senior Residents enjoyed plush SkyBox seating during the Tampa Bay Rays dents and staff Rays take on the Senior Prom Day event at Tropicana Field. Detroit Tigers at were greatly the Tropicana Baseball Field. appreciative of the ticket usher who Through a senior citizen ticket went out of his way to accommodate sales promotion, Activities Director their needs with a seating arrangeMichelle Denson from Delaney Creek ment where everyone was able to sit purchased the game tickets for the together. The residents and staff still Tampa Bay Rays Senior Prom for talk about how much fun they had on Senior Citizens event. The event incor- that day. porated special activities for seniors If you visit the Rosecastle including boutonnieres and corsages Facebook Page, you can appreciate for couples, music from an older era, a the posted selfie pictures of the resicrowned Senior King and Queen and dents watching the game, eating popa postgame Senior Center Field corn and sharing a beer. To top off the Shuffle. day, the Rays scored several home All three of the community shuttle runs and won the Senior Prom Day buses arrived at the stadium with game, 8 to 1. everyone dressed in their eye-catching Rosecastle at Delaney Creek is Rosecastle red t-shirts and Rays’ located at 320 South Lakewood Dr. in baseball caps. Brandon. For information or a tour, call Fortunately, a ticket usher saw the 655-8858.

The 2017 hurricane • Hand-watering: season officially began residents may handon June 1, and as water plants and shrubs, hoped brought some or use a micro-irrigation much needed rain to system in landscaping ease and give some beds at any time. relief to bay area resi• New sod and landdents. scaping: Days 1-30, Unfortunately, even water any day. Days 31the increase of rainy 60, water approximately days are but a drop in a Hillsborough County officials and every other day (evenSwiftmud have declared a Modified bucket for the region, Phase III Water Shortage for sev- numbered addresses on not enough to make up Tuesday, Thursday and eral counties. for months of less-than-normal amounts. Sunday; odd-numbered addresses on Coupled with dozens of brush fires Monday, Wednesday and Saturday). that scorched communities statewide, • Vehicle washing: individuals may local officials issued tighter water restricwash vehicles once a week, on the destions, in June, including limiting lawn ignated watering day for the address. watering to once a week. • Pressure washing: allowed once a The Southwest Florida Water year or to address a health or safety hazManagement District (Swiftmud) has ard, or to comply with health laws. declared a Modified Phase III Water • Fountains and other aesthetic water Shortage for features: may The new schedule for watering established lawns and several counties, landscaping throughout Hillsborough County, including only operate including the cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace, is: eight hours per • Addresses ending in 0 or 1 – Mondays Hillsborough, day. • Addresses ending in 2 or 3 – Tuesdays Pasco and • HOAs • Addresses ending in 4 or 5 – Wednesdays Pinellas, effec- • Addresses ending in 6 or 7 – Thursdays must suspend tive until at least • Addresses ending in 8 or 9, locations with no address, and any requireTuesday, Aug. 1. locations with mixed addresses (such as office complexes and ment to centers) – Fridays The tighter shopping replace lawns, County officials said that all watering must be done before 8 restrictions apply a.m. or after 6 p.m. pressure wash, to all residents or engage in and most water sources including private other activity which increases water use. wells and ponds or lakes that are used as In unincorporated Hillsborough alternate irrigation supplies. County, violating the restrictions could While reclaimed water customers are mean a fine of $100 for the first offense, exempt from the water restrictions they $200 for the second, leading up to $500 are asked to avoid using the resource for the fifth and succeeding violations. excessively or unnecessarily. Visit HCFLGov.net/Water.

Staff Report

By Tamas Mondovics


YOU DESERVE A NIGHT OUT! Two Locations Brandon • St. Pete paint a picture • SIP A BEVERAGE • ENJOY! Classes Available at 7pm Mon. - Sat. | Gift Certificates Available 11242 Winthrop Main Street • 813-644-5954

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June 2017

Fourth Of July Parade...Continued From Page 1

By Kathy L. Collins

You will also see the 2017 NonProfit of the Year, Portamento of Hope Café. The founder, Lela Lilyquist, along with its volunteers will be celebrated for the great work they do in the community. The Parade Committee is looking for sponsors and volunteers. Students in need of community service hours

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

can have fun and help the community by volunteering for set up and clean up. For more information on the 2017 4th of July Parade, please contact The Community Roundtable at 661-4350 or email at roundtable2008@aol.com or visit www.thecommunityroundtable.org.

is looking for Retail Merchandisers in Brandon, FL. As a member of our team, you will ensure the greeting card department is merchandised and maintained to provide customers the best selection of cards and product to celebrate life’s events. Apply at: WorkatAG.com. Questions? Call 1.888.323.4192

County Helps Residents Fight Mosquitos With Free Larvae-Eating Fish

By Tamas Mondovics

and are ideal for controlling larvae in backyard ponds, birdbaths, fountains, animal troughs, unused swimming pools, and other standing water. County officials emphasized that the fish require no feeding and care is limited to protecting them from garden sprays, chlorine, or As the rainy season arrives, Hillsborough County residents other chemicals used for are urged to invest in mosquito fish, a small native fresh- cleaning. water fish that eat mosquito larvae to help control and preMosquito fish do not vent mosquito breeding. lay eggs and require no What is the mosquito’s worst special environment for breeding. enemy? As it turns out it is Gambusia, a While residents are encouraged to species of freshwater fish, also simply make use of this simple way of controlknown as mosquito fish. ling mosquitoes, the County’s Mosquito In hopes of assisting residents to cut Control unit continues its routine spraying backyard mosquito breeding and to conair. by trol the spread of mosquito-borne disAccording to County officials, the ease, Hillsborough County has been product ANVIL 10+10 is used to control offering mosquito fish to residents for adult mosquitoes spraying by a Bell Jet free. Ranger 206 helicopter at an altitude of The Hillsborough County Mosquito approximately 300 ft. Control’s mobile truck with free mosquito Spraying is normally done after sunfish will be available at a number of locadown between the hours of 8-11 p.m. tions throughout the County. Locally, the Some tips for residents to control fish will be available in parking lots at the mosquitoes are listed below: following times and locations: June 24, 9 • Drain water from garbage cans, house to 11 a.m. at the Bloomingdale Regional gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower Public Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in pots, buckets, watering cans, kiddie Valrico; June 24, 12 Noon to 2 p.m. at pools, and any other containers where the Riverview Branch Library, 10509 rainwater has collected. Riverview Dr. in Riverview and July 22, 9 • Clean out rain gutters and downspouts. to 11 a.m. - SouthShore Regional Library, • Keep swimming pools in good condi15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin. tion, and maintain chlorination. The effort was based on the simple Visit HCFLGov.net/Mosquito or call fact that mosquito fish are small, native 635-5400. freshwater fish that eat mosquito larvae,

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Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Brandon Foundation Angel Teams Help Families In Crisis Staff Report

What is your network of definition of a Foundation “Angel tragedy? The Providers” who can leaders of the offer a free or disBrandon counted service to Foundation the families. In most Angel Program cases, the services ask themselves are needed for a that question very short with every new time, but request for in other The Brandon Foundation assistance. cases, it Angel Teams are excited to be able to help even more Whether it is can confamilies in 2017. from receiving tinue for the news that a loved one was seriously several injured or killed in a traffic accident or months being given a diagnosis of a terminal disuntil the crisis is over. In some situations, ease, these are examples that families in a family is in need of financial assistance. our community deal with everyday. The As long as they meet the criteria of a lifeBrandon Foundation Angel Program has threatening disease or catastrophic event, been able to walk alongside families dura request for financial assistance can be ing their most difficult times by lending a approved. helping hand and providing hope. The Angel Program has been sucSince 2006, the Foundation Angel cessful because it gives everyone in the Program has helped over 500 families in community the opportunity to help their a variety of ways. Upon receipt of a new fellow neighbor. While the Foundation request, an email is sent out to the Angel wants to share the stories of how they Teams. The Angel Team members are have helped families, they will never sentrained on how to support the families by sationalize someone else’s tragedy, so assessing their short and long term that makes it difficult to get the word out. needs. "When you are in the midst of a How can you help? “When you see crisis, you don't care that the lawn isn't someone faced with a life-threatening dismowed, but it still has to be done. ease or catastrophic event" shares Knowing there is someone there to help Program Co-Chair, Janet Noah. Jill support you through that difficult time can Lansky, Program Co-Chair adds, "Just go truly be the difference between having to our Website and enter in the request hope or no hope,” says Executive under Angel Assistance Request, and we Director, Liz Brewer. will reach out to the family.” For informaThe Angel Teams determine what tion, visit www.BrandonFoundation.com needs exist and then reach out to their or call 689-6889.

Estate Planning Wills & Trusts Powers of Attorney Guardianship Probate

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Become A Florida Master Money Mentor Volunteer And Help Others

If you like to help others, want to keep your own skills sharp, and can make sense out of dollars and cents, the Hillsborough County Extension Service Florida Master Money Mentor program may be just the volunteer opportunity you’re looking for. The Extension Service is now signing up persons interested in summer training to be a Florida Master Money Mentor volunteer. The program is an opportunity for participants to learn more about personal finance, and then share that knowledge with others. The four-week training is scheduled July 13, 20, 27, and August 3 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Extension office, 5339 CR 579 in Seffner. Participants must attend all four classes and complete some athome study. The cost is $16. The deadline to register is Wednesday, July 5. No previous financial education or background in financial services is required to be a Florida Master Money Mentor. Training topics include effective communication strategies, analyzing decisions about finances, cash flow management, credit, debt management, and saving and investing for future goals. Mentors are asked to commit to volunteering at least three hours per week, and follow guidelines for reporting, client confidentiality, and providing research-based unbiased information. Individuals who promote, sell, or endorse financial products or services are not eligible to be volunteers. But they can attend the training to increase their personal financial knowledge.

Register online at 2017fmmm.eventbrite.com. Seating is limited; register early to reserve a place. For more information, contact Lisa Leslie, Hillsborough County Extension Service at 744-5519 ext. 54143, or lesliel@hillsboroughcounty.org The University of Florida Extension provides the infrastructure for this program throughout the state of Florida, thanks to a gift from Bank of America.

Honor, Integrity, And Service Presented By The Florida Wind Band

On Sunday, July 2, the Florida Wind Band will perform patriotic music at the USF School of Music Concert Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. Titled Honor, Integrity, And Service—the performance is a musical tribute to the servicemen, servicewomen and all who serve the country. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com and will be accessible on the day of the concert at the School of Music Box Office. The price is $10 for students and seniors; $15 for general admission; $10 for active duty military and veterans and $10 for first responders. Group rates are also available if you call 531-9252 For information, visit www.floridawindband.org. The USF School of Music Concert Hall is located at 3755 USF Holly Drive, MUS 101 in Tampa.

Make A Difference In The Life Of An Abused Child

How can you make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child? Find out more about the Guardian ad Litem program and its volunteers at information sessions hosted weekly: Thursday, June 15, and 22 at 6 p.m. at the Guardian ad Litem office, located

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at 700 E. Twiggs St., Ste. 750 in Tampa and Thursday, June 29 at 6 p.m. at Higgins Hall, 5225 N. Himes Ave. in Tampa. Over 3,700 children are currently under court supervision in Hillsborough County. Only 1,800 of these children have advocates to care for their best interests. More volunteers are needed. For more information, call 272-5110 and ask for the recruitment team.

Congregation Beth Shalom To Hold The Following Activities

Breakfast All Day


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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Shabbat on Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. with Oneg (nosh and mingle) following the services. On Monday, July 17 from 6 to 7 p.m. the congregation will hold Page Turners, a book session about Yiddish language and culture. The book is Born to Kvetch by Michael Wex. Join in to discuss, nosh and kibbitz. A light dairy dinner will be served. The Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 681-6547.

Meals On Wheels Delivers Hurricane Preparedness Packs

Meals On Wheels of Tampa, HCI Group, CENTCOM, The Moffitt Cancer Center, Suncoast Credit Union, USF and many other dedicated volunteers delivered special Hurricane Preparedness Packs to the Meals On Wheels of Tampa recipients on the morning of Saturday, May 20 for the 2017 Hurricane season. Hurricane Preparedness Packs



WHAT DO YOU HAVE WHAT DO YOU NEED June 2017 - October 2017

July 9, 2017 An Understanding and Disciplined Mind August 13, 2017 Using What you Have September 10, 2017 Companions, friends and loved one’s

were given to all program recipients in case a disaster occurs that prevents volunteers from being able to deliver meals. Included in the packs were five shelf-stable meals, a gallon of water, a shelter evaluation form, a magic bottle opener, and a variety of emergency resource guides. The pack is free of charge to recipients. This year, funds received from Give Day Tampa Bay helped cover the cost of the Hurricane Preparedness Pack shelf-stable meals, as well as a generous donation from HCI Group, Inc. MacDill CENTCOM provided the gallons of water. For more information, please visit MOWTampa.org or call 238-8410.

Ladies Night Out Benefits LifeCare

On Thursday, July 27 from 6:30-9 p.m., the LifeCare Network will host its annual Latte for Life—a Ladies Night Out fundraiser. The event will take place at the Regent, located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. Guests will have the opportunity to sample specialty desserts and coffees while enjoying live music entertainment and a guest speaker. The night will also feature client testimonies, a ministry update and an opportunity to give financially to the organization. LifeCare’s mission statement is “to lead those we serve to the unconditional love of Christ as we protect the sanctity of human life, promote biblical sexuality, and proclaim God’s plan for marriage and the family.” Ladies can register to attend as guests or host a table of eight. For information or to sign up, visit www.lifecarenetwork.net/latteforlife.php or call 654-0491.

At Increasing Word, we offer an inspired word of God that help meet the needs of everyday life. We welcome you to come and join us and see how the ministry can bring change to you. At Increasing Word, our goal is to make the word of God applicable to today’s life. Come and take part in our upcoming services and see how your life can be changed today. WHAT WE ARE ABOUT: Life-applicable messages

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Page 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6

Bloomingdale Avenue Ranks Top On Most Dangerous Intersections List As recently released by HCSO, and also posted by ABC Action News, below is a list of the intersections, their ranking and the number of accidents for the month of April: __________________________________________________ PALM RIVER RD + 78TH ST S = 14 ANDERSON RD + WATERS AV W = 13 HABANA AV N + SLIGH AV W = 12

301 HW S = BIG BEND RD = 12 301 HW S + BLOOMINGDALE AV = 11

The watchful eyes of red-light cameras installed at the intersection of Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road are monitoring motorist since January 2010. Bloomingdale Ave. recently took its place on HCSO’s most dangerous intersections in Hillsborough County list.

With the recent countywide population growth, area roadways are making headlines for being over capacity and rightfully earning the “failed road” designation. Bloomingdale Ave. in southeastern Hillsborough County is no exception. Nearly six miles long and one of the busiest roadways in the County, Bloomingdale Ave., between US 301 and Lithia Pinecrest Rd., has recently found itself on another list that did not make things any better. The list was released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office naming the top intersections for accidents for just a one month period; the month of April. While the intersection of Palm River Rd. and 78th St. topped the list of most accidents (14) Bloomingdale Ave. made the list multiple times posting a high

ng! i c i Pr e l b da r o Aff

As recently released by HCSO, and also posted by ABC Action News, included is a list of local intersections, their ranking and the number of accidents for the month of April. For information, visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.



HANLEY RD + WATERS AV W = 8 number of accidents DALE MABRY HW N + VAN DYKE RD = 8 crossing US 301, Kings DALE MABRY HW N + NORTHDALE BL = 7 Ave., Bryan Rd., HIMES AV N + WATERS AV W = 7 Providence Rd., and LINEBAUGH AV W + GUNN HW = 7 DALE MABRY HW N + LINEBAUGH AV W = 7 Gornto Lake Rd. totaling BLOOMINGDALE AV + GORNTO LAKE RD S = 7 43 crashes for April. GIBSONTON DR + MATHOG RD = 7 Although not on the BIG BEND RD + SUMMERFIELD BL = 7 list, the intersection of Bloomingdale Ave. and visibility enforcement posted by Bell Shoals Rd. is by no means spared HCSO are constant features targetfrom being mentioned as it has earned ing many of the areas in hopes of the necessity to be one of just seven reducing traffic violations and acciRed Light cameras now in use throughdents. out the County. Commenting on the traffic probAfter also factoring in the high numlems in his district, Hillsborough ber of fender-benders that are plaguing County Commissioner Stacy White the now infamous roadway, motorists said that he is “anxiously awaiting that are routinely making use of the results of a recent east and Bloomingdale Ave. are clearly enduring Morning traffic cautiously crosses the intersection west corridor study” focusing on a daily travel nightmare at least during on Bloomingdale Ave at the Bloomingdale Square such roadways as Bloomingdale rush hour traffic. Plaza. Bloomingdale Ave. recently took its place Ave. Digital message boards and high on HCSO’s most dangerous intersections in

Hillsborough County list.

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June 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Navy Veteran And Local Small Business Owner Throws Hat In For Congress Seat Run

By Sandra Meyer

Andrew Learned has served his country as an officer in the United States Navy for eight years and now he’s taking his passion for service to a new level. Learned has recently filed to run for Navy Veteran and Congress in Valrico native 2018. The Andrew Learned Valrico native has announced his intent to run for believes that Congress in 2018. the time has come for him to take his experience as a military officer, economics major and a successful small businessman and direct that towards bringing common-sense leadership to Washington. Learned grew up in Valrico, playing softball on the Bloomingdale Little League. After high school he studied Economics at the University of Tampa with a full-scholarship from the U.S. Navy. During his eight years of military service Learned has spent four of those deployed to the Middle East where he supported operations against ISIS and led teams against Somali pirates. His experiences in the Middle East taught him how to be a leader and make hard decisions. Not one to be wasteful of his time, in 2013 Learned opened up a local branch

of the franchise GradePower Learning in Valrico in between his deployments. His success was swift and in 2016 the Valrico GradePower Learning was named the #1 GradePower franchise in the nation, receiving the GradePower President’s award. It has also helped connect him even tighter to the community he loves. Learned is now taking all of that experience to run for congress and represent the I-4 Corridor in the issues he feels affect the local community the most. “Health care is my number one issue right now. Washington is taking health care away from 50,000 people in the I-4 Corridor alone,” Learned said. He is also concerned with education, small businesses and ensuring good paying jobs for residents. “We need good paying jobs so people can earn a living here and not have to move away,” he added. Learned believes his on-the-ground experience is what is needed in Congress. “It’s not that macro level of Congress, my experience is dealing with people on the ground. We need a congressman who is from here. I grew up here, this is my home,” Learned said. Visit andrewlearned.com.

Page 9

BSAC Celebrates Opening of Ken Hagen Learn To Swim Community Pool

By Tamas Mondovics

provided renovations to the center’s current pool. The remaining $500,000 investment came from privatelyraised dollars in the local community. “This is not A large group of local leaders and community representatives during the official ribbon cutting of the center’s brand new Ken just a new pool, Hagan Learn to Swim Pool. but also a celeBrandon Sports and Aquatic Center bration of BSAC’s partnership with the (BSAC) Executive Director Chuck Hillsborough County Commission,” Burgess, was pleased to welcome a large Burgess said. “This partnership will greatgroup that gathered last month for the ly impact lives and allow BSAC to save celebration of the opening of a brand new more lives by spreading swim education community swimming pool. awareness while creating new jobs and Guests included members of the economically impacting our local busiGreater Riverview Chamber of ness sector through events that broaden Commerce (GRCC) Greater Brandon our leadership footprint in aquatics.” and Valrico-Fishhawk Chambers, Assisting with the ribbon cutting fesHonorary Mayor of Brandon Tammy tivities, Hagan emphasized the imporHolmberg, local community leaders, and tance of the pool and the role it will play in Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County the community, when he said, “I am honCommissioner District 5, in whose honor ored to be here at this grand opening. the pool was named–the Ken Hagan This is a much-needed tool for our comLearn to Swim Pool. munity, and our families. According to BSAC officials the comHagan added that with Florida leadpletion of the pool was made possible ing the nation in children drowning BSAC through a partnership with the is a valuable resource in the community. Hillsborough County Commission in a During the event, Honorary Mayor of major youth drowning prevention initiative. Riverview Tammy Holmberg, owner of The new facility was built as part of Chick-fil-A Brandon, delivered a procla$1.3 million BSAC program improvement mation to the Brandon Sports and Aquatic project. Center. To support the effort, the Board of BSAC, located at 405 Beverly Blvd. County Commissioners approved the in Brandon is a community-based 501c3 allocation of an $800,000 gift to the non-profit. Visit, www.mybsac.org. BSAC, which funded the building and

Page 10

Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Honors Its Fallen During 2017 Law Enforcement Memorial Service

By Tamas Mondovics

Every year the Jr.’s name had members of the to be added to Hillsborough the list of County Sheriff’s deputies who Office, citizens and were killed in the families of the fallline of duty, raisen gather on the ing the number campus of the to 16, since Malcolm E. Beard 1874, when Sheriff's Deputy Richard Operations Center Roach was shot in Ybor City for a and killed at his solemn ceremony home in the subhonoring local urbs of Tampa. deputies who gave Roach’s the ultimate sacrimurder has Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, and his command staff honor the 16 fice. never been HCSO deputies who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1874. The This year was solved. department hosted its annual Law Enforcement Memorial at the Sheriff’s office Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall, on the campus of the Malcolm E. Beard Remembering her grandson, HCSO Deputy David Abella, no different as a Sheriff Sheriff's Operations Center in Ybor City. who lost his life in 1977, Hortensia Abella places her hand David Gee large crowd on the Sheriff’s law Enforcemnet Memorial Wall. The Sheriff’s Sheriff’s deputies who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1874 are: joined Office held a memorial service honoring local deputies who emphasized Deputy Richard Roach, 1848 - August 15, 1874 gave the ultimate sacrifice. Sheriff what the memoDavid Gee Deputy William E. Whitehurst, 1870 - July 4, 1893 rial does for the these law enforcement officers Deputy Ed Aulick, April 18, 1901 - January 24, 1932 and his community when he said, “This cereare never forgotten and is now Deputy Robert M. Suarez, June 8, 1904 - September 3, 1944 command mony pays tribute to a lot of heroes encompassing the Sheriff’s Sergeant Ben P. Wilder, Jr. February 28, 1923 - July 22, 1962 staff at who deserve it. This Wall of Heroes Memorial and Fallen Heroes Sergeant Donald C. Williams, May 21, 1917 - June 12, 1967 HCSO’s Memorial is a sacred place for us. We Wall. Sergeant James Strachinsky, February 13, 1912 - September 4, 1969 Law want to thank the community for their is how we remember “This Aux. Sgt. Lee A. Hutchinson, September 7, 1912 - July 25, 1970 Enforcement Deputy James A. Allen, March 27, 1919 - May 21, 1974 support.” our guys,” Gee said. “This is Memorial, Corporal Lemon Harvey, April 28, 1947 - December 15, 1981 Gee added that coming out to visit important to the families of those which was Deputy Frederick T. Clark, November 16, 1952 - May 7, 1987 the memorial is a way for Hillsborough we lost and it is a way to showcreated to Deputy Donna M. Miller, February 9, 1961 - May 8, 1987 County residents to contribute. case what this community is all commemo- Deputy David A. Abella, June 19, 1977 - April 21, 2004 “People need to know and underabout. It is the fabric of the rate and pay Sergeant Ronald Harrison, August 25, 1951 - August 15, 2007 stand the sacrifices of what these Sheriff’s office.” tribute to the Deputy Mark A. Longway, May 8, 1962 - September 21, 2010 deputies and law enforcement memGee added that during his 16 members Deputy John R. Kotfila, Jr., September 9, 1985 - March 12, 2016 bers are doing,” he said. four decade long career he of HCSO For more information about the remembers many of those who The memorial was built four years who have fallen in their quest to "Serve ago to ensure that the memories of memorial or the Sheriff’s Office please were lost in the line of duty. and Protect.” visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. Last year, Deputy John R. Kotfila,

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Page 11

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Four-Term Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee To Retire September 30

By Tamas Mondovics

community leader is his truly genuine care for those whom he worked with and those he served over the years. Florida Gov. Rick Scott will now appoint an interim sheriff to serve Hillsborough County until a new sheriff is elected at the next general election in November 2018. Residents can expect their next After serving the community for nearly four decades, four-term Sheriff appointed from Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee has announced his within the Sheriff's retirement effective at the end of September. Gee’s potential Office. successors include a pair of agency veterans. Potential sucAfter nearly four decades of serving cessors include Colonels Chad his community in a great number of law Chronister and Donna Lusczynski. enforcement functions, four-term While also a possible successor, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee HCSO Chief Deputy José M. Docobo has decided to retire effective September is reportedly not likely to take the job. 30. Gee thanked his staff for their While not unexpected, the announce- “remarkable service” and spoke highly ment has saddened many that have had of leading the more than 4,000 memthe privilege of knowing and working with ber agency when he said, “It has been Gee who has led the agency unopposed an honor and privilege for me to be for the past 13 years and would have like- your colleague, your friend and your ly continued such a status in 2018. extended family member. It is now But, Gee said it was time. time for me, however, to concentrate “After over 40 years of law enforceand devote my full attention and supment service, I have decided to retire at port to my family. I wish each of you the end of September,” Gee wrote in an well and ask that you continue to proemail to his employees while announcing vide the level of commitment neceshis decision, which he said, “has not been sary in making this transition as made lightly and was one of the most difsmooth as possible.” ficult decisions that I have made in my For more information about there career.” Sheriff’s Office please visit The Sheriff’s career began 38 years www.HCSO.Tampa.fl.us. ago as a patrol deputy, followed by servNote From The Osprey Observer ing as a homicide investigator, Internal Editor: Affairs supervisor, public information offiThe Osprey Observer Newspapers cer, chief financial officer and chief wishes to express its sincere appreciadeputy. tion and gratitude for the service proGee was elected Sheriff of vided by Sheriff Gee. His leadership Hillsborough County in 2004 and was rehas led the Hillsborough County elected—unopposed—in 2008, 2012 and Sheriff's Department for many years in 2016. and the success of the department is a During his long career Gee has direct result of his efforts and dedicaenjoyed a long list of awards, honor and tion. Sheriff Gee's commitment to qualaccolades while humbly stated, “Each of ity and professional integrity has set my Sheriff's Office family and the citizens the bar for future leadership positions. of our community is very important to me. Thank you Sherriff Gee, enjoy I have dedicated my life to serving others every minute of your retirement and and hope that I have served well. we know your legacy of kindness, Throughout the years, serving the comrespect and integrity lives on in munity has been my priority and it has Hillsborough County. been an honor and privilege to serve with you by my side.” Sincerely, Your Friends at Perhaps the best thing about this Osprey Observer

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Page 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6

Justice Realty League LLC Provides A Genuine Outlook With Its Services

Oakfield Dental Offers Easy Saturday Appointments And Much More

Justice Realty League LLC pays cash for houses once its offer gets accepted. This all can be completed within seven days if needed. The types of benefits that one will Justice Realty League is an investment company specializing in receive from purchaseing distresses properties. choosing them Homeowners who might be in a would be no fees, no required troubling situation or seeking to sell appraisals and much more. For the resquickly can reach out to Justice Realty idential house acquisitions, the ideal League LLC in Brandon. This real property Justice Realty League LLC estate investment company specializes looks at would be 2 bedrooms (ideally 3 in purchasing distressed properties bedrooms- 5 bedrooms), 1.5 baths (idesuch as multi-family, commercial, retail ally 2+ baths) and more. and more. It also works with qualified As being one of Brandon’s top real local investors and contractors to repair estate investing groups, Justice Realty homes. Investors could flip the home, League LLC focuses on doing everyhold it or rent it out too. thing right. A huge passion of theirs is February 1 of this year, Justice to help being a part of beautifying the Realty League LLC became estabcommunities it works in by getting indilished by Johnathan Donato and his viduals out of difficult real estate situawife Anna Donato. It primarily focuses tions. in the Brandon area, but more specifiOverall, “we want to be known as cally the 33510 and 33511 zip codes. the genuine, honest and reliable busiJustice Realty League LLC provides ness. To add, we also care about the assistance to homes in the $60,000community as well,” Anna said. $200,000 price range. This company To learn more about Justice Realty buys, sells and remodels homes. League LLC, visit http://www.justicereIn regards to the location of the altyleague.com. Check out their business Johnathan feels wonderful Facebook page, justicerealtyleague. about it. Open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. during the “Working in Brandon seems like a week with flexible hours, too. Call 605good place to start because of the 1635 or email admin@justiceregrowth in the area,” Johnathan said. altyleague.com.

Providing highServices available quality dental care in a include general, cosmetstress-free environment ic, preventative and is the motto at Oakfield restorative dentistry as Dental, which Dr. Amir well as extractions and Boules opened in implants. “We believe in 2016. not only getting patients to healthier teeth, but also “We offer a patientto a more confident focused approach and smile,” he said adding passion to make denthat the office tistry something comalso offers fortable and even Zoom enjoyable, rather than Whitening, something to be which is an infeared,” said Dr. Dr. Amir Boules, Owner of Oakfield office whitening treatment Boules. “We believe Dental, with his wife Melanie. The couple married just over a month that gives instant results; that a child's early ago. Minor Tooth Movement experiences at the (MTM); and, Invisalign, which use clear dental office is formative in setting the trays to straighten teeth. person up for dental health in the future The office is completely digital, and one of our greatest joys is seeing a dental-phobic patient little by little become including x-rays, which minimizes radiation exposure to the patient. less fearful of seeing the dentist.” While Dr. Boules has been busy with From the moment guests enter the his new practice over the past year, he office, from the coffee and tea bar to also recently married his wife Melanie, essential oil diffusers to full-wall windows who he met in dental school. She is joinwith views of plants and birds in each ing the practice on Fridays and brings room; it is obvious that the goal is to crewith her, her experience working with chilate a comfortable environment. dren as well as with Invisalign. “Our biggest asset is our team, Oakfield Dental is located at 1457 whom I hand-picked for their attention to Oakfield Dr. Hours are Mondaydetail, compassion and genuine desire to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.help others,” he added. 4 p.m. Fridays are nicknamed "Kid Adding to all of that, Oakfield Dental also offers Saturday appointments from 9 Friendly Friday." Although the office sees children every day of the week, on a.m.-4 p.m. “We chose to open on Fridays, the staff decorates the office to Saturdays because we work ourselves be more comfortable to its young friends. and know how inconvenient it is to take Visit www.oakfielddental.com or call off a day of work for a doctor's appoint813-906-8808 for further information. ment,” Dr. Boules explained.

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June 2017

Page 13

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Locally-Owned Tranquility Landscape Offers Unique, Affordable Design

The World's Largest Display Of LEGO® On Display In Tampa With Art Of The Brick

recommendations based on the property and the customers budget. Tranquility thinks ahead to make sure that the clients landscape is only being done once. “We listen to Tranquility Landscape does full landscaping and landscape design. see what [the Ray Burke, owner of Tranquility customers] want and what they have Landscape, started in lawn care at 15 with the free estimate,” Burke said. “We years old in New Jersey. He knew that give them an idea of what we are able he was never going to be an office guy to do with design and name a few and wanted something different everyoptions and let them take a look at difday. Now in Florida, Tranquility ferent things we can incorporate and Landscape offered Burke the chance to see what they like.” get into landscaping with the client in One thing it does not do is fertilizamind. tion or spraying to get rid of weeds. “A huge reason I’m getting into the Tranquility works to keep chemicals out landscaping is that each house is differ- of his landscaping process. ent and I get to design completely difWith landscaping, there is someferent each time,” Burke said. “I wanted thing new to work with for each properto have something different each day.” ty, according to Burke. Each property Burke works closely with homehas different aspects and each client owners and realtors to create the ideal has different wants and needs which landscape design for the particular makes each landscape design different. home. The usual work he deals with is Burke licensed and insured offers landscapes where everything is overlawn maintenance, ladscaping, irrigagrown or reinstalling new landscape. tion and sod for residential and comTranquility Landscape works to create mercial. the landscape under the price range Just a few of the areas Tranquility acceptable to the client. Landscape has covered in the past are Tranquility Landscape gives a free FishHawk, Bloomingdale, River Hills, consultation, so clients can express Treasure Island, Riverview and Apollo their wants as far as what they want to Beach. keep and get rid of for the new landFor a consultation, Burke can be scape design. Tranquility will then make reached at (813) 523-9204.

The Vinik have never seen Family Foundation before," said Sawaya. invites area resi"A goal with this coldents to experilection of art is to ence The Art Of demonstrate the The Brick®, an potential of imaginaexhibit featuring tion and the power of artwork made creativity," added exclusively from Sawaya. the iconic LEGO® The Art Of The brick. The exhibit Brick has visited over was created by award 80 cities worldwide. This is winning artist, Nathan the first time it has visited Sawaya. The Art Of The the Tampa Bay area. Brick is on display at The Art Of The Brick is 802 E. Whiting St. (forthe first major exhibition to merly District 3) in use LEGO bricks as the downtown Tampa now sole art medium. Sawaya through Monday, transforms a simple toy The Vinik Family Foundation into tremendous and September 4. The proudly presents The Art Of exhibit is available for The Brick, the largest exhibit thought-provoking sculpof art made entirely out of tures. viewing Wednesday LEGO bricks. through Sunday from "Nathan's inspiring 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibit is free to story and unique perspective of art is the public. what makes this exhibit a can't miss The Art Of The Brick is the world's for all ages this summer," said Jeff largest display of LEGO brick art. The Vinik, founder of the Vinik Family collection features original sculptures, Foundation and owner of the Tampa as well as re-imagined versions of art Lightning. "Our hope is that everyone masterpieces. Visitors will see Vincent in our community will be able to expeVan Gogh's Starry Night and rience this incredible exhibition up Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. You close. Art is both impactful and inspican also get up close with a fan rational, and we hope to continue to favorite, Yellow, the life size sculpture share world class cultural events like of a man ripping his chest open with The Art Of The Brick with Tampa Bay," thousands of yellow LEGO bricks cas- added Vinik. cading from his chest. For more information, including "The Art Of The Brick takes LEGO how to plan your visit, special group bricks somewhere you would not instructions and more, please visit expect and shows you things you www.artofthebricktampa.com.

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Tickets On Sale Now For Tampa Theatre’s 6th Annual BrewFest Fundraiser

By Kathy L. Collins

The Tampa rants include Anise Theatre is Global Gastrobar, proud to Datz, Ella’s announce that Americana Folk Art its 6th Annual Café, Fodder and Movie-themed Shine, The Beer Festival, Independent and also known as The Refinery. BeerFest, will While the be held on theme of the event Saturday, June is funny and silly, 24 from 7 to 10 BeerFest's purpose p.m. at the hisis most serious. toric Tampa Now in its 6th year, Theatre locatEnjoy great craft brews and delicious foods the annual ed at 711 N. fundraiser is one of from some of Tampa’s finest independent restaurants at the Tampa Theatre’s 6th Franklin St. in the Tampa Annual BrewFest on Saturday, June 24. downtown Theatre's favorite Tampa. BeerFest 2017 will be kicking fundraisers. ales and taking names with a fun Jill Witecki with the Tampa movie-themed night, Barley's Angels. Theatre said, "The party will spill out As with previous beer-soaked, onto Franklin St., where there will be tongue-in-cheek BeerFest events like live music, more beer and photos with The Brews Brothers, The Big Barley's Angels, Amber, Blondie, Lebowski and Hoppy Gilmore, Honey and other entertainers, courBarley's Angels will feature craft beers tesy of Busch Gardens." Witecki and local Brewers, plus snacks and added, "BeerFest guests are invited to samples from some of Tampa's top get into the spirit by dressing in their independent restaurants. favorite Charley's Angels character or Co-chairs, Michelle Baker of The in a costume inspired by the movie." Refinery and Fodder and Shine and A limited-capacity premium samVeronica Danko of The Independent pling begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are Bar and Cafe, have put together a $70. Grand sampling ticket holders fantastic line up of breweries and can enter at 8 p.m., and tickets are independent restaurants. The brew$45. Tickets are available at the eries include 7venth Sun Brewery, Tampa a Theatre Box Office or online Brew Bus Brewing and Coppertail at www.tampatheatre.org (a $2 conBrewing Company, Crooked Thumb venience fee applies to online sales). Brewing, Escape Brewing Company, For more information, please visit Florida Avenue Brewing Company www.tampatheatre.org or call 274and Motorworks Brewing. The restau8981.


Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition



Water Safety Takes Center Stage As Summer Boating Season Begins

By Tamas Mondovics

Considered by Larry McKinnon. many as the one McKinnon added that of the busiest Florida State Statute also boating weekends requires that all children 6 and the start to the years old and younger summer boating must actively wear a life season, Memorial jacket when on a boat Day weekend under 26 feet in length. arrived with perfect To assist boasters weather for Bay who find themselves in area residents. these situations, HCSO To match the has initiated Operation traffic and to keep Safe Bay with the generboaters safe on ous financial support of local waterways, Port Tampa Bay and members of the West Marine Pro who Hillsborough Hillsborough County Sheriff’s marine together provided 100 life County Sheriff’s jackets that will be deputy stands by a sign promoting Office Marine Unit boating safety during Boating safety stocked at three separate week late last month. The Sheriff’s were also out in Office’s Marine Unit is working hard to boat ramps in full force. Hillsborough County keep boaters safe, and wants all boaters to be aware of boating rules including E.G. Simmons The Marine and regulations to be safe. Unit, part of the Park Boat Ramp in Homeland Security Division, was Ruskin, Williams Park Boat Ramp in enforcing Florida boating laws, monitorRiverview and at the Salty Sol ing slow and no-wake zones, looking for Fleishman at the Gandy Blvd Public boaters under the influence, patrolling Boat Ramp. restricted areas and performing boating Boaters are to utilize an honor syssafety checks. tem and are allowed to borrow life jackDeputies found that most boaters ets to ensure the safety of each child. have more than enough life jackets on The life jackets will be available in two their boats for the number of people sizes "under 50 lb." and "50 lb. to 90 lb." they are carrying, except when a guest “Once the boaters return to the unexpectedly brings a child on the boat. ramp, they can return the vest for the “When that person with a child next user,” McKinnon said. shows up at the dock and the vessel If boaters have any questions Captain fails to have the appropriate life regarding boating safety or boating jackets to fit the child, he is in violation laws, they can contact the Sheriff's Florida State Statute,” said HCSO Office. Detailed information is available Public Information Officer, Corporal at www.myfwc.com.


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June 2017

Page 15

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Keller Williams Moran: A Local Agent With A “House Sold” Name

New Blue Sky Brandon Affordable Apartments Open At Full Capacity

Who knows the the home Moran has area better than known his whole life. someone who grew Moran said his impact has up here? Keller continued through two Williams award-wingenerations of home buyning realtor Steve ers, “People who I sold to Moran is a homewhen I started, now have grown, home-town their kids buying from me.” realtor from right He adds that his wife here in the Brandon Rhonda and their two chilarea and he's proud dren Conner and Courtney, to call the area inspire him daily. Family home. life and community involveMoran graduatment are essential. He has ed from Brandon been a volunteer coach for High School and Bloomingdale High the University of School’s Varsity Basketball Home Grown Keller Williams Realtor Steve Moran with his wife team, has coached his South Florida. He Rhonda, son Conner and has been in the real son’s basketball and basedaughter Courtney. estate industry ball teams and is an active since 1993, when he was awarded member of the Rotary Club of Brandon Rookie of the Year through Re/Max. and of Bell Shoals Baptist Church. Through the years he has collected Moran is also an avid golfer and a countless awards including: Centex member of Buckhorn Golf & Country Salesperson of the Year 1994, Club. Riverhills Salesperson of the Year Moran feels fortunate to have made 1995, Platinum Club 1996-2000, along a career in real estate for his family, with many others. He ranked in the Top “I’ve been lucky to never miss any of 50 in Florida in 2001 and #5 in the my son’s games,” he shared. He would Florida in 2005, and was even elected like to express his thanks to his previinto the Re/Max Hall of Fame in 2001. ous clients, friends and family for the He continues to be a member of both success he has today. He also con“America’s Best Real Estate Agents” tributes to Keller Williams Cares, a nonand the “Keller Williams Luxury Homes profit organization, with every real International Group.” In addition, Moran estate transaction. has finished as the #1 single agent with For more information or details Keller Williams Suburban Tampa 14 about local real estate, visit Moran’s years in a row. website at stevemoran.com, call his Southeast Hillsborough County isn’t office directly at 661-2476 or email realjust the place he lives and works, it’s tormoran@aol.com.

It took just four want to upgrade as years for a vacant many things as piece of property in possible and make Brandon to be purit a great place to chased, developed, live.” built and opened as With that, the Blue Sky Brandon, apartments boast affordable housing granite counter for local families, tops, keyless entry, The Brandon and developers are ft. ceilings, bal9 Foundation received a thrilled that the donation for $6,000 for conies, stainless its Angel Program at steel appliances much-needed projthe Blue Sky Brandon affordable ect is already a and the community apartments grand opening in June. success. offers a resort-style The brand new 120-unit, affordable pool and clubhouse with children’s activity family housing community was built by room, social and recreational services. funding provided by Hillsborough County, The gated community offers one, two Florida Housing Finance Corporation, J.P. and three bedroom floorpans and started Morgan Chase, Neighborhood Lending moving in its first tenants in early May. Partners and Raymond James Tax Credit In attendance at the ribbon cutting Funds. were local dignitaries, Chamber memIn June, lenders, builders and county bers, Hillsborough County representatives gathered to officially open Commissioners Victor D. Crist and Pat the complex, which has a waiting list for Kemp, Air Force Veteran Greg Mouradian apartments. who received a special flag presentation “We are very proud of this project,” and representatives of The Brandon described Shawn Wilson, representing Foundation Angel Program who received Blue Sky. “We want to be a place that a $6,000 donation including $5,000 from gives families a new start.” All of the Blue Sky and $1,000 from its partner apartments have income limits and 108 Chase Bank. are reserved for families earning less than Blue Sky Brandon is located just off $32,000 per year. Twelve units are of S.R. 60 near Parsons Ave. at 504 reserved for families earning less than Cobalt Blue Ave, Brandon, FL, 33510. It $22,000 per year and six of those units is managed by Carteret Management are also reserved for special needs resiCorp. dents. The rental rates are set by the Blue Sky is building Sweetwater State of Florida and are based on Villas, a project in Tampa and expects income. completion next year. Wilson explained, “At Blue Sky, we For more information, visit don't just want to give people space, we www.blueskybrandon.com.

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Page 16

Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Holistic Chamber Of Commerce Welcomes New Chapter In Tampa-Brandon



Staff Report

With a vision of national organization, the healthy people on a HCC – Tampa-Brandon will healthy planet, the promote and support local Holistic Chamber of holistic and sustainable proCommerce (HCC) fessionals and business is weaving together owners. The first meeting is an international scheduled for Tuesday, June movement promot20 at 6:30 p.m. and will ing holistic, natural meeting at Square One and sustainable Burgers, products, services 2030 and solutions. To Badlands that end, the HCC Dr., at Lynne Wadsworth is the chapter is pleased to which time president of the Holistic Chamber announce that everyone will have an of Commerce in Brandon. holistic leaders in opportunity to give input on Tampa-Brandon have started a local a permanent meeting time and place. chapter. Online presence is already established Lynne Wadsworth is the at Tampa/Brandon chapter president. www.HolisticChamberOfCommerce.com/ “Brandon is the perfect place for the brandon. Holistic Chamber of Commerce. We The HCC is an international organihave a large population here and a com- zation which serves as a bridge bringmunity that really values those products ing consumers together with holistic and services. It’s time for us to come and eco-friendly options. Now with together and show the standard of almost 1,500 Professional Members integrity and professionalism we bring to throughout North America, consumers the work we do. I see association with have easier access to high quality the international organization as a natuhealth, lifestyle and business products, ral partnership for our vibrant and growservices and solutions. ing holistic business community. We are For more information on how the in the service business, yet we are still Holistic Chamber of Commerce can hidden. That marketing aspect is where I help consumers as well as holistic pracreally see a need for support. The HCC titioners, professionals and businesses, offers that, said Wadsworth.” Along with visit the organization website at her experience and expertise, www.HolisticChamberOfCommerce.co Wadsworth brings a clear vision of her m. own to this local chapter. She is owner All potential professional and busiof Holistic Health & Wellness, LLC. ness members must submit references As a group associated with the inter- before being accepted for membership.




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June 2017

Page 17

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Offers e s e e h C . Chuck E ndays, Special u Sensory Sians Compete Olymp ore & M lle Colesanti, he d by Mic rver.com e il p m o C obse @osprey e ll e h ic m

Tennis For Fun Athletes Compete At Special Olympics State Summer Games

Twenty-five special needs athletes from the Tennis For Fun program recently competed at the Special Olympic State Summer Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. The event took place on Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21 with athletes hailing from local Tennis For Fun clinics. The athletes competed in either individual tennis skills or singles matches. The singles play consisted of different levels to match their abilities. Tennis For Fun is a free tennis clinic for athletes with special needs. Athletes of all ages are welcomed, and the program is run entirely by volunteers. For the past 16 years, Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) has donated court time to the Tennis For Fun program. The clinics will resume in the fall and are free. The Tennis For Fun clinics are held at four locations in Hillsborough County: Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC), FishHawk Trails, Tampa Palms and HCC Tampa

Tennis Club. For more information, visit tennisforfun.org or contact Judy Moore at 417-3751.

calm and safe environment that includes: smaller crowds and less noise, no Chuck E. mascot or other costumed character and dimmed lighting with no shows or music. Food and games are offered, and parents are permitted to bring snacks for their children due to dietary restrictions. Also, a trained and caring staff will Pictured are the local special needs athletes who recently participated make sure each in the State Summer Games. guest has a fun filled visit. For Brandon’s Chuck E. Cheese Offers more information, visit Sensory Sensitive Sundays chuckecheese.com. Chuck E. Cheese’s recently colAdventures Archery laboratOffers Summer ed with Camp CARD (Center Adventures for Archery is offering a Autism summer camp beginand ning Monday, July 17 Related through Friday, July Disorders) to offer Sensory Sensitive 21 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Sundays at the Brandon store located cost is $150 per child and includes at 1540 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. range and equipment rental, certified Sensory Sensitive Sundays occur on instruction and supervision, multiple the first Sunday of every month archery activities and program materifrom 9-11 a.m., beginning in June. al costs. Children under 8 years of The sensory-friendly experience age may attend one of the classes provides an opportunity for children to and receive approval from our enjoy games, pizza and prizes in a instructors to participate in the sum-






mer program. The camp is located at 2210 S. US Hwy 301 Suite 200 in Tampa. For more information or to register, call 664-8700.

Presbyterian Church Of Bloomingdale Presents Maker Fun Factory VBS

From Monday, July 17 through Thursday, July 20, the Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale will host Maker Fun Factory, a VBS where kids will discover that God made them for a purpose. The VBS is for children from age 5 to 15 and will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every evening. Kids will participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play team-building games, make and devour yummy treats, experience one-ofa-kind Bible adventures, collect Bible Memory Buddies and test out Science-Fun Gizmos. Each day concludes with the Funshop Finale to get everyone involved in living what they have learned. Family members and friends are encouraged to join in each night for this special time at 8 p.m. Kids at Maker Fun Factory VBS will participate in a missions effort to fund the digging of clean water wells for remote villages in Peru. For more information, call 654-3699 or secretary.pcob@gmail.com.

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Page 18

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6

By Tamas Mondovics

Detectives Uncover Grow Houses, Seize Guns, Make Arrests, In Narcotics Investigations Sheriff HCSO also David Gee conducted a briefed the synthetic marimedia last juana investigamonth at the tion commonly Criminal known as Investigation “spice." Division, Incidents located at involving such 2224 N. drugs include Falkenburg overdoses and Rd. on multiintoxicated susHillsborough County Sheriff David Gee answers ple investigapects who questions during a recent briefing about two investitions in illegal gations into illegal narcotics throughout the County. sometimes narcotics and The investigation led to dozens of arrests, and the attack or vioseizure of drugs and firearms. numerous lently resist law arrests that have occurred. enforcement. The first case, called "Operation Sheriff's Office developed a stratFall Harvest”, was prompted by sevegy aimed at all levels of spice distrieral anonymous tips on the part of cit- bution, to include street-level dealers, izens through the Crime Stoppers mid level distributors and businesses program. as well as upper level spice manufacDetectives spent countless hours turers. Detectives investigated a wide of research and surveillance, which range of suspects, including homethey said revealed a large organizaless persons and certified gang memtion that spanned from Hillsborough bers, as well as business owners with County to Pasco County and as far no prior involvement in the criminal north as Marion County. justice system. Detectives employed a variety of Agents of the Florida Division of techniques and manpower. Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco and “Our detectives made the investiHillsborough County Code gations a priority, trying to reduce vio- Enforcement, also assisted with citing lence in our neighborhood recognizand revoking the license of businessing the danger of this type of criminal es actively selling spice. organization poses to the community.” Near the University of South Gee said. Working closely with the Florida, detectives seized 150 pounds State Attorney's Office, the concluded (approximately 7,200 packages) of with 13 search warrants, 10 of which spice packaged for sale. Another 222 were executed in Hillsborough pounds of Damiana leaves used to County. manufacture spice with a street value The Pasco and the Marion of $352,000, was also seized, along County Sheriff's Office also executed with $10,500 in U.S. currency. search warrants at locations related Search warrants and consent to the organization, which yielded six searches were served at five area grow houses that contained a total of businesses actively selling spice with481 marijuana plants. in Hillsborough County, Mary's The seized plants, along with Beverage Castle (voluntarily closed additional 24.5 lbs. of processed mar- subsequent to the search warrant) ijuana found, totaled $1.4 million in 9401 US Hwy. 301 S Gibsonton and street value, while $97,011 in drug Apollo Beach Food Mart (search warproceeds were also seized along with rant) 10 firearms. Additionally, 13 subjects 6020 US 41 S. in Apollo Beach. were arrested on a variety of serious For more information, please visit charges including racketeering and www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. drug trafficking.

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Page 19

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

To End k l a W , p i h lars 4-H Scho a Young p m a T , ’s r Alzheime embers M s k e e S s Marine olesanti,

more than 100 feet into the sky during MOSI’s Rockets’ Red Glare Festival. The fun lifts off on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday June 25 and C Saturday, July 1 and July 2. e ll y Miche rver.com b d e il MOSI’s Rockets’ Red Glare p e bs Com ospreyo @ e ll Festival is included with e h mic MOSI admission. Then that same paper rocket launching fun will continue on every weekend day during the festival, led by The Teki Hinton Ericson the staff of Memorial Scholarship MOSI’s Idea Announced Zone The Hillsborough Makerspace. County 4-H Foundation is Plus, at varipleased to announce the ous times on fescreation of the Teki Hinton tival days, live Ericson memorial academdemonstrations ic and trades scholarship. will give you an Mrs. Ericson was a 4-H up-close look alumnus and daughter of into the science Chip and Jemy Hinton. We that makes firewish to thank the many works light up friends of the Hinton family the sky, led by MOSI’s Teki Hinton Ericson and to the Nat and Alice STEAM Team. Storms family for making this Scholarship MOSI, the Museum of Science & possible. Application forms are available Industry, is Tampa Bay's community-supthrough the 4-H Office. Submission ported science center located at 4801 E. Deadline for 2017 is Monday, July 10 at Fowler Ave. in Tampa. For 4:30 p.m. The scholarmore information, visit ship will be awarded at mosi.org or call 987-6000. this year’s 4-H Awards Banquet on Saturday, Get Your Purple On At The August 12 at the the Walk To End Alzheimer’s Hillsborough County Kick Off Party Fairgrounds. On Thursday, June 29 from 4-7 p.m., head over to MOSI’s Rockets’ Red Eats American Grill located at Glare Festival 6264 Winthrop Town Centre Launches Before Independence Day Blvd. in Riverview for the 2017 Walk to Discover the science of fireworks, End Alzheimer's Kick Off Party. Stop by to then build rockets and send them soaring join a walk team or sign up a new team


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the Elks Lodge. Lunch will be served from 12 Noon-2:30 p.m. with a menu of chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs and the fixings. The cost of lunch is $6 for adults and $3 for children. Activities include a Slip & Slide for kids and a Checkers Tournament that will include first and second place prizes. The tournament begins at 2 p.m. with the registration ending at 1:45 p.m. The tournament entry fee is $2. Attendees can also view the movie Independence Day in the Lodge’s Lounge. The Brandon Elks Lodge is located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon. It is two blocks North of Brandon Blvd. off Oakwood Dr. For more details, contact Rita at 9669002 or the Lodge Office at 6856469.

The Tampa Bay Young Marines Are Looking For A Few Good Kids

for the Alzheimer Walk happening on Saturday, October 14 at the Sun City United Methodist Church. The party will include door prizes, a 50/50 drawing, a free beer when you register your team and 5% of the sales donated to the Walk. For more information, visit www.alz.org/flgulfcoast or contact Kim Brownstein at Kbrownstein@alz.org or 614-332-6740.

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Page 20

Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Local Foundation Needs Volunteer Help To Continue Working With Troubled Kids

Dr. Amir Boules

By Abigail Baker

She took an hour of the school day a few times a week to do her ‘superhero” exercises with nine students at Palm River Elementary School. “I had the idea going on for quite some time, Dr. Gwyn said. “I took what I had with my doctoral students and applied it.” Dr. Gwyn attended Palm River, so she was aware that the elementary school is in a low income area. The small number of children that attend the Presley program are kids with Torey Walton holding a sign that he made in the program. behavioral conDr. Gwyn’s full-time busicerns rooted in ness, Gwyn Consulting issues that extend Services sparked her interest past the classroom. in helping children struggling However, in in public schools due to their the classroom Dr. challenges. The Florida Gwyn and a small Native has over 14 years of experts group Boys in the Presley Youth and experience working in child use nontraditional Education Foundation use welfare in the field and on age-level educational games methods in order to to build on academic skills. also on a management level. teach students how She holds a PhD in Organization and to use characteristics like courage, selfManagement and a MS and BS in discipline and honesty to tackle real Criminal Justice. Her services offer world issues. academic help to doctoral students all “One child couldn’t read; he would over the world, from Venezuela to the play a game that helped him recognize United Kingdom. sight words,” Dr. Gwyn said. “He was Dr. Gwyn started the Presley reading and trying to sound out the Youth and Education Foundation in words, and another child sat behind him 2016 with the intent of using her edu- telling him “I believe in you.’” cation, skills and expertise, along with For more information on how to help the skills of her doctoral students, Dr. Gwyn continue her work with these into guiding struggling elementary children, you can contact the foundation school students along the right path. at 766-5276 or presley.yef@gmail.com.




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June 2017

Page 21

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Hurricane Expo Helps Residents Stay Prepared For Storm Season Ahead 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Statistics: ___________________________________________________________ 2016 1981-2010 Average Named Storms Hurricanes Hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger)

Five named storms affecting the Unites States in 2016, included Colin, Hermine, Matthew, Bonnie and Julia. To help prepare area residents for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Hillsborough County has scheduled for its annual Hurricane Expo. Residents can also learn more by visiting the County’s website, at www.HCFLGOV.net.

“Partners In Preparedness” has been chosen as the theme of Hillsborough County’s 2017 Hurricane Expo, a free event organized by disaster response experts from Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, the City of Temple Terrace, the American Red Cross, and the National Weather Service, (NWS). In harmony with the Atlantic Hurricane season (June 1 - November 30) the Expo is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 250 WestShore Plaza Mall in Tampa. “This is a great event to help residents be ready, to understand their resources and meet with disaster response experts face to face,” said Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Preston Cook. Cook emphasized that the NWS is predicting 11 named storms for the 2017

hurricane season. This year's expo is designed to feature activities for adults and children, including education displays, touch-a-truck station, disaster preparedness booths, and a severe weather panel with local meteorology specialists to identify their evacuation zone, pick up preparedness materials, and sign up for HCFL Alert. The first 500 to visit all the stations and fill out a passport will receive a NOAA weather radio and a disaster starter kit. To assist residents, County officials promoted this year’s “Have A Plan, Know Your Plan” reminder urging residents to take the necessary steps before a hurricane hits. “The time to prepare for hurricane season is before the tropical weather moves toward us across the Atlantic Ocean,” Cook said, adding, “It only takes one to cause a disaster.”

15 7 3

10.8 5.6 2.5

The 2016 season actually began months ahead of the norm as Alex became the second hurricane on record to form in the Atlantic Basin during the month of January. As reported by the NWS, according to NOAA's historical hurricane tracker database, the last hurricane that formed in the Atlantic during January was in 1938. Alex is also the first hurricane to occur in the Atlantic in January since Alice in 1955. The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season was also the first above average Atlantic hurricane season since 2012, producing a total of 15 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. It was also the costliest season since 2012, and was reportedly the deadliest since at least 2008. Twelve of the 15 named storms in the Atlantic basin in 2016 affected land directly in some way and of the 12, five hit the United States. Two storms that came too close for comfort included Hurricane Matthew, which first struck Haiti as a Category 4 storm on October 4. Matthew strengthened to a rare

By Tamas Mondovics

Category 5 late on September 30, becoming the first Category 5 Atlantic Basin hurricane since Felix in early September 2007. Scraping Florida’s eastern coastline, Matthew's center came ashore near McClellanville, South Carolina, as a minimal hurricane. The second major storm to threaten the state was Hurricane Hermine in early September, which also broke Florida’s decade long streak with no hurricane landfalls. After it traveled more than 4,000 miles, Hermine pushed inland near St. Marks, Florida, as a Category 1 storm. Evacuation zones, hurricane storm surge probabilities, local flood zones are among the main “need to know” items on the list. Some hurricane preparedness tips include: -Plan to pay close attention if authorities begin announcing zone evacuations. Know where you will go and how you will get there. - Compile contact information for family members, law enforcement, local hospitals and utilities, and your property insurance agent. - Share your preparation efforts with family members, make a plan, and be sure everyone knows how it will play out if severe weather looms. - After a storm passes, listen to local officials for instructions. When they deem it's safe to return home, watch out for debris, downed power lines, and standing water. -Prepare for the unexpected. For more information, visit HurricaneExpo.com.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6

June 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series East Arrives At Amalie Arena August 19

Staff Report

New Yorker Brings Fresh Business To Brandon With Eliana’s Market & Produce By Caitlin Masessa

Digger, El Toro Loco, Pirate’s Curse, Megalodon, Alien Invasion, Zombie, Monster Mutt Rottweiler, and Blue Thunder. Monster Jam competitors are trained at Monster Jam University in mastering the skills needed to compete in the series. Approximately 12 ft. high and about 12 ft. wide,

which smoothie he can be found sipping on before adding with a smile, “But that’s everyone’s favorite.” Whether your favorite is strawberry banana, or if another taste is calling to you, Eliana’s Market offers customers the opportunity to personally pick the fruit they want to be used in The Meija Junior family poses outside of Eliana’s Market.

Tickets are now on sale for Monster Jam®, set to take place at Amalie Arena on Saturday, August 19.

Feld Entertainment Inc. recently announced that tickets for the first ever arena style Monster Jam®, the most adrenaline charged, action-packed motorsports experience delivering edgeof-your-seat excitement, are now on sale for AMALIE® Arena. Tickets for Monster Jam Triple Threat Series East are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at $15. Tickets are available at the McDonald’s® Ticket Office at AMALIE Arena and all Ticketmaster locations. Monster Jam Triple Threat Series East will be performing on Saturday, August 19, at 1 and again at 7 p.m. The Monster Jam Triple Threat Series East takes the skills of Monster Jam competitors to a whole new level of athletic endurance with the survival of the fittest. This series can only be seen in select cities across the country and features the most versatile athletes of Monster Jam. Fans of all ages will enjoy witnessing each competitor drive three customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks to face off in battles of strength, ability and perseverance for the ultimate championship and a highly-coveted bid at Monster Jam World Finals. These premier athletes vying to be the Tampa champion are: Grave

Page 23

Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 lbs. Built for short, highpowered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster Jam trucks can fly up to125 to130 ft. in distance and up to 35 ft. in the air. The Pit Party on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 12 Noon gives fans the opportunity to meet the Monster Jam athletes and get up close the Monster Jam trucks. A pit pass and 1 p.m. event ticket are required for entrance into the pit party. For more information on Monster Jam, please visit MonsterJam.com, or facebook.com/MonsterJam, twitter.com/MonsterJam, instagram.com/MonsterJamLife or youtube.com/MonsterJamLive. Order tickets by phone by calling 800-745-3000. Advanced parking passes are available at Ticketmaster.com or the ticket office. Visit amaliearena.com or call 3012500 for more information. Group discounts available by calling 301-6900.

If you’re looking for a sweet, but healthy, treat that will cool you down in the heat of a Florida summer, then look no further than the quaint Eliana’s Market. The location, which was once the home of the popular La Septima Café, specializes in a Caesar Meija, Jr., the owner of Eliana’s variety of meal options that will Market, takes stock of his variety of produce. leave you satisfied and ready for more; including Cuban sandwiches, their smoothie from the wide selection fresh fruit, and smoothies. offered in the store. “It’s something difWanting a change from the hustle ferent,” Meija said of the unique of New York City, Caesar Meija, Jr. approach to blending drinks. made the decision to start his fresh That’s what Eliana’s Market is all market business in Brandon due to the about; giving customers a new experi“neighborly feeling” the area exuberin their old neighborhood. If you ence ates. “Brandon offers a quiet and qualiwant to take a bite of a Cuban sandty life,” Meija said as he meandered wich, and then wash it down with a around his produce. This affection for smoothie filled with ingredients handfamily shines through when Meija is picked by you, take a trip to Eliana’s speaking about what he hopes for his Market. business; a spot for those to take a The market is open from Monday break from their busy lives to enjoy a to Saturday from 8:00 a.m.to 8:00 sandwich and a smoothie. p.m.and is located at 160 N. Parsons “My favorite flavor is strawberry Ave. in Brandon. banana,” Meija answered when asked

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6


June 2017

Volume 12, Issue 6

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section

CLASS VIDEO GOES VIRAL ..............PG 27 CHALKLINES....................................PG 28 MEALS ON WHEELS........................PG 30

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 37 SPORTS CONNECTION....................PG 38‐39 on the corner of Bloomingdale and Bell Shoals and serves real noadded sugar smoothies, fresh squeezed Stop in until August 5 for your chance to be this year's winner.

Dr. Laura Bridges Voted One Of Tampa’s Top General Dentists

The current edition of Florida’s Tampa Magazine has announced that Dr. Laura Bridges was voted as one of the top general dentists in the Tampa Bay area. Dr. Bridges was selected after Tampa Magazine sent ballots to over 900 active and licensed dentists practicing in the Tampa Bay area. The selection of Dr. Bridges was a result of the anonymous voting conducted by active area dentists. According to Dr. Bridges, Tampa Bay has an amazing network of general dentist and dental specialists so to be recognized by her peers makes this award very special to her. Bridges Dental is located at 3646 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. New patients can make an appointment to see Dr. Bridges by calling the office at 6543399. Bridges Dental accepts over 14 major PPO dental insurances and offers its own in-house dental wellness

Visit YoYo Juice for your change to win free smoothies for a year.

plan for patients without dental insurance. Visit Bridges Dental at www.bridgesdental.com.

Recently Opened The Wooden Spoon Diner Offers Breakfast and Lunch

If you are looking for comfort food with a modern twist, The Wooden Spoon Diner is the place for you. It has recently opened at 865 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon (to the left of the Walmart Supermarket). The Wooden Spoon Diner serves breakfast and lunch in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. This is the third restaurant for owner, Manny Roussos. If you are a coffee lover, enjoy micro roasted, organic cold brew coffee or the iced mocha. The hours are 7 a.m. – 2

Healthy Bodies Medical and Dental Center Hosts Grand Opening Event

Dr. Martha and Dr. Watson Ducatel p.m. from are excited to open Healthy Bodies Tuesday Owners Dr. Martha Medical & Dental. through Sunday. Ducatel and Dr. Watson It is closed on Monday. For more inforDucatel are proud to announce the mation, call 655-5556 or visit on opening of Healthy Bodies Medical and Facebook at The Wooden Spoon Diner. Dental, a new concept office offering full medial and dental services located at 3415 Brook Crossing Dr., Brandon. My YoYo Juice Summer Contest For information or an appt., call 540YoYo Juice will be running a huge 5005 or visit healthybodiesmdc.com sweepstakes over the summer with Healthy Bodies Medical and Dental the Grand Prize being free smoothies Center is a center with the purpose of for a year. Other prizes include juice optimizing its patient’s health. Its belief cleanses, fruit platters, free smoothie is that oral and physical state are coupons, t-shirts and more. Earning important to personal health, happiness entries is as easy as downloading the and family health. new app and walking in the door. The Brandon Chamber of Every day of the week there will be a Commerce will be hosting a ribbon cutdifferent special such as Monday's $1 ting on Wednesday, July 12, 11:30 off your favorite thick blended smootha.m.-1 p.m. with raffles and hors ie bowls, twice as many d’ouevres until 6 p.m. tickets Tuesday, a special discount that changes every Thursday, Five Continued on Next Page Ticket Friday and more! YoYo Juice is

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Business Column Continued............. Classic Stone Gallery Is Your One Stop Shop For Granite And Marble

Classic Stone Gallery is a granite and marble supplier, fabricator and installer. It supplies, cuts and installs the granite and marble slabs right in your home making it a one stop shop. Classic Stone Gallery specializes in custom made marble and granite counter tops, remodel work, shower stalls, patios, fireplaces, staircases, both commercial and residential jobs. According to owners Stefano Plazza, Jimmy Mormino and Joe Plazza, they chose to work in this industry because they love what they do. They came from Sicily in the 70's with nothing but their expertise in sculpting and crafting marble and granite and a few close friends. They have now flourished in the heart of Tampa for almost 40 years. “We enjoy creating counter tops and unique design pieces that grab people's attention.” Their experience in the industry allows them to transform large imported slabs into real works of art. They can accommodate designs from simple to exquisite, and offer an impressive variety of granite and marble slabs stocked on-site. They fabricate and install granite, marble, and quartz counter tops and flooring. Classic Stone Gallery can help with all of your natural stone renovations. They deal directly with the public and only charge by the square foot, which saves you money by not having to pay for full slabs. Call 247-2840 or email for a free quote. It is located at 5724 E. Adamo Dr. in Tampa. The hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit ww.classicstonegallery.com.

“It’s Official” Wedding Officiant Services Will Help You Plan The Perfect Wedding

It’s Official Wedding Officiant Services owner Mimi Giordano is an ordained non-denominational Minister and Florida Notary who will help you plan your perfect wedding day. Each ceremony is crafted to fit your joyous celebration, be it a wedding, an elopement, or even a renewal of vows for those celebrating a milestone anniversary. Ceremonies are personally crafted

Enjoy Trivia Night At FEATURES GastroPub

Volume 12, Issue 6

now offers Sunday morning worship service, which includes preaching and teaching. Services take place from 9:15-10:15 a.m. at Riverview 14 GDX Theaters, located 10550 E. Bay Rd. in Gibsonton on the following Sundays: June 11 – Life and Movement in God; July 9 – An Understanding and Disciplined Mind; August 13 – Using What You Have; September 10 – Companions, Friends and Loved One’s; and October 8 – Always Getting Better. For information, call 606-0144 or email increasingword@gmail.com.

FEATURES GastroPub, located at By Michelle Colesanti Goodrich Quality Theaters, to express your recently launched a terrific love and commitweekly, entertaining and familyment to each other friendly evening Trivia Night for today and your every Wednesday from 7-9 lifetime to follow. p.m. It is free and run by a Wedding packvery professional organization. ages will be Consider how much fun it crafted to your spewill be to put together a winning cific desires offering team (no limit to the number of religious or secular people on each team). Many foundation cerecategories including movies will monies that may be included. include a unity can- Mimi Giordano will help you Great prizes will be awarded Ribbon Cutting And Grand dle or sand ceremo- plan your perfect wedding day. Opening Of Hybrid Logistics each week for first, second and ny. Hybrid Logistics recently celebratthird place. Enjoy $3 off all appetizers Giordano provides each ed the opening of its new and from the scratch kitchen. couple with information improved modern office with a ribbon FEATURES GastroPub is located for an on-line pre-marital cutting ceremony on June 19. Nicole at 9390 Theater Dr. in Gibsonton. counseling course Dunbar said, “We've been here in Hours are Sunday to Thursday from 11 (optional), the Social Brandon for 15 years. Hybrid Logistics a.m.-12 Midnight and Friday and Security Administration expanded their Tampa operational Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Visit documentation for service center to accommodate a largwww.featuresgastropub.com or call change of name, notarizer shipper base and employee count.” 295-8469. ing and filing your marriage license with The company, located at 510 the Clerk of Court and a personalized Vonderburg Dr., New Church Offers keepsake Marriage Certificate. Ste. 214, in Inspired Word Giordano said, “Crafting your perBrandon anticipates Increasing Word sonal ceremony, selecting vows, a spedoubling in size in Church is a new church cial reading of a poem or verse and the next few years offering an inspired directing the ceremony is what you and due to the Word of God to help I will do together. Your wedding day is a increased demand meet the needs of cherished lifetime event.” for their third party everyday life. Everyone Hours are by appointment. Call logistics services, is welcome to come and 545-8128. Visit www.itsofficialwedwhich include truckjoin in to see how the dings.com. load, intermodal, ministry can bring you less than truck load, change. Its goal is to Mobile Hair and international make the Word of God Studio Perfect shipping. For more Application to today’s For Weddings information, call life. Hello, 643-3080 or The church with Darling! Wedding Reverend Henry Dale and wife www.hybridl.com. Reverend Henry Dale Jennifer. & Event Hair is a completely mobile, on-location studio. Owner Kelly Hall said that in addition to bridal parties, she is also available for private parties, corporate events, headshots and commercial shoots. Since graduating from the Paul Mitchell School in Tampa in 2009, Hall has been perfecting her craft creating new techniques behind the chair. “My passion for creativity and making others look and feel their bet has led me to the launching of Hello, Darling!” Hello, Darling! also works with make-up artist, Rachel Lunsford, for those looking for both hair and make-up services.Hours are by appointment. Call 750-5149 or email Kelly@hellodarlinghairco.com Visit www.hellodarlinghairco.com.

June 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

End Of Year Video Gets More Than 200,000 Views For 2nd Grade Teacher

By Kate Quesada

parents so they could see their children and share the project with friends. “This was the first time I had videoed one of our songs and I thought it would be a great way for the parents to see how much their kids have learned A video made by Valrico Academy teacher John Latacz and through the school his second grade class went viral recently with more than 200,000 views. year,” said Latacz, who was described as “The The end of year project put together Rock Star” of Valrico Academy by parent by a second grade teacher at Valrico Lisa Erkens. Lake Advantage Academy is getting “Once The Daily Mail approached attention as far away as England. me, the views went through the roof,” FishHawk resident John Latacz, made a said Latacz. “A lot of the parents have video of a song he wrote with his seven also been messaging The Ellen Show as and eight year old students and within days the clip has been viewed more than they think it is the type of feel-good video they would air.” 200,000 times with shares from famous Latacz, who also led his class to vicsites such as England’s Daily Mail newstory in two school fundraisers and the paper with a goal of making it on to The second grade Fairy Tale Bowl and Box Ellen Show. Top Challenge, credits his support sysLatacz, who moved to the area from tem for such a great first year teaching. New Jersey and began teaching at the “From the class parents to the school charter school in August of 2016, said his administration, I have received support goal with making the song was to reinfrom so many this year,” said Latacz. force what his students had learned over “For his first year teaching, he has the year. made such a positive impact on this class “Very often throughout the year if some of the students were struggling with as well as the school,” said FishHawk resident Bonnie Pelletier, whose son something, I would break out the guitar,” Benjamin was in Latacz’s class. said Latacz. “Second grade students Valrico Academy is located at 13306 learn in different ways and making a Boyette Rd. in Riverview. Call 699-5049 song seems to be a way to help get the information to stick with most of the kids.” or visit www.valricoacademy.com. To see the video, visit He posted the video on his personal www.facebook.com/john.latacz. Facebook page and tagged his students’

Robongi Provides Asian Fusion Cuisine & Fresh Ingredients To Valrico

By Tatiana Ortiz

able. Two flat screen televisions can also be seen mounted on the walls as part of Robongi’s décor. The restaurant serves lunch from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. and offers a variety of specials too. For example, the Combo Box Lunch cost $9.50. It consists of either Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Teriyaki and a few other choices. It comes with salad, rice, three gyozas (dumplings) and three California rolls. Besides specials, Robongi does provide a wide range of food Individuals visiting the options to Valrico area in search to choose from fulfill their craving of Asian as such food should visit Robongi. Seafood It offers a vast selection of Delight, Asian Fusion Cuisine food Sushi items. Sashimi, This Valrico restaurant Steamed became established in with Chicken December 2016. The mixed vegRobongi owner, Jian Lin, etables and brought the idea to incormuch more. porate a food menu that The restauincludes sushi, Chinese, rant sells grilled items and more. He wine, soda, also owns another place in tea and other Valrico called Asian beverage Kitchen, which serves as a items too. to-go restaurant. Guests patrons Also, can dine-in for lunch, dinRobongi’s Sushi Sashimi Lunch Combo. can order ice ner or do carry-out. For an cream and additional $2 the restaurant does deliver, fried bananas for dessert. but only to the Valrico area. It does “Overall, I want the community to catering as well. know that we provide different types of “Through the other restaurant I food here at Robongi,” Lin said. heard many people inquiring about sushi For more information, visit and delivery. Robongi opened as anothwww.robongivalrico.com. It is located at er avenue for our customers,” Lin said. 2519 E. SR 60 in Valrico. Open Monday, To add, as soon as diners walk into Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m.Robongi they will notice a sushi bar with 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a high countertop and chairs. The a.m.10:30 p.m. and Sunday 12 Noon restaurant seats 65 diners comfortably 9:30 p.m. Call 662-2997. with multiple tables and booths avail-

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Page 28

Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Story by Tamas Mondovics

High School Graduations, End-of-Season Accomplishments Take Center Stage

Bell Creek Academy Bell Creek Academy Strawberry Crest Valedictorian: Arianna Salutatorian: Kirsten Valedictorian: Kevin Chacko Meekins, Olekszak (IB) GPA: 7.07 GPA: 6.09 GPA: 7.84 College: University of Florida College: University of Florida College: University of Florida

Hillsborough County’s Top Students Recognized During 2017 Graduation Ceremonies

Ending the 2016-2017 school year, thousands of students representing 28 high schools throughout Hillsborough County have scheduled to celebrate one the most important day of their young lives; graduation. Included during each graduation ceremony, or commencement is the traditional valedictory and salutatorian speeches delivered by seniors who stood out from the rest of their classmates due to their personal achievements.

Students To Receive Healthy Meals During the Summer Break

To make sure students receive nutritionally balanced meals this summer, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Student Nutrition Services (SNS) are now offering several opportunities as it rolls out its Movin’ Meals summer food service program. For the past six years SNS have been bringing food into communities through its Movin’ Meals “food buses” providing thousands of meals.

According to school officials, five retired and renovated district school buses have been selected to deliver meals into neighborhoods offering breakfast and lunch until Wednesday, August 2. Students can eat on the air-conditioned buses. The purpose of the annual summer program is to reach communities where children may not have access to a neighborhood school or park. “The Movin’ Meals bus is very visible and the children know it represents a good meal, but more than that, it represents our determination to feed our children during out of school time,” HCPS sated in a recent online press release. The buses will stop at a number of locations throughout the area including some serving the Brandon and Valrico communities. See some of the times and locations below:

Bus #1

Parks Springs Apartments 300 Park Springs Circle, Plant City B 7:30 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. / L 12:45p.m. – 1 p.m. Martin Luther King Rec Center, 1601


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Strawberry Crest Valedictorian: Fatima Iyer (Traditional) GPA: 9.0 College: Harvard Law School

Strawberry Crest Salutatorians: Keylonnie Miller (IB) GPA: 7.75 College: University of Michigan

E. Martin Luther King, Plant City, B 9:00 – 9:15 / L 11:15 – 11:30 Plant City Health Center, 307 N. Michigan Ave., Plant City, Lunch only 10:15-11 a.m.

Bus #3

Nature’s Classroom, 13100 Verges Rd., Tampa, B 7:30 – 8:00 / L 12:30 – 1:00

Bus #4

Palm River Health Center, 7728 B Palm River Rd., Tampa, Lunch Only 10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. Hillsborough County Public Schools also offers the Extended School Year program, providing students breakfast and

Strawberry Crest Salutatorians: Alanis Rosado (Traditional) GPA: 7.3 College: University of South Florida

lunch at no cost at schools that provide summer school programs. Monday through Thursday, in select schools this summer, all children 18 years old and younger can come to an open school, regardless of whether the child is enrolled in summer school. Hillsborough County Public Schools is committed to providing nutritionally balanced meals to children during the summer vacation when school breakfast and lunch are not available. For more information, please contact Tanya Arja in the Communications Office at 272-4060.

June 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Custom Classics Collision Is Your One-Stop-Shop After An Accident

Local Electronic Repair Business Gives Top-Notch Customer Service

As the popuCustom lation in our Classics is a communities one-stop shop soars and after a collision. increased traffic If there are any fills our streets, mechanical or auto accidents electrical issues in addition to the will continue to body repair, rise as well. If Custom Classics you find yourself has an entire involved in one network of valof the many colued mechanics lisions that occur Custom Classics owner Manny Gonzalez has to subcontract on our roads the Brandon area for near- the work and every day, you’re been proudly serving ly three decades. keep your repair first priority will process as simple as possible. They be getting your vehicle back into precan also recommend a PIP attorney to accident condition. Custom Classics Collision and Motorcycle Refinishing is customers when the collision involves medical issues. ready to help you through this Gonzalez’s advice to drivers is to process. Custom Classics has been serving avoid texting while driving. “Cell phones are the new rain for our busiBrandon and surrounding areas since ness,” he said. “While we don’t mind 1990. Owner Manny Gonzalez has the business, we sure hate to see peobeen working in collision repair since ple get hurt. There’s no text worth your he was 14 years-old and brings life,” he added. He also wants drivers decades of experience to ensure your car is returned in the same condition it to know that it is every driver’s right to choose their own collision repair comwas before the accident, a promise he pany if an accident occurs. It is illegal backs up with a lifetime guarantee. for insurance companies to try to dicGonzalez and co-owner Tyson tate where you have your vehicle Kimik operate an independent shop repaired. that offers collision repair and paint Custom Classics is open Monday work. Custom paint work is also avail– Friday from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. able for vehicles and motorcycles. and Saturday’s by appointment. It is They accept all estimates from insurlocated at 1018 W. Brandon Blvd. Ste. ance companies. “We work with the 110 in Brandon. Please call 327-4953 insurance companies to repair vehior visit autobodyshop-brandon.com for cles, we don’t work for them,” said more information. Gonzalez.

for $50 and the phone breaks with that protector on it, the next screen repair will only cost $9. “I want customers to know that we have their best interest at heart,” Sells said. “We are always honest and forthPhoto courtesy of Bryant Sells right, which isn't always the case In 2014, uBreakiFix opened a store in the Valrico area in the Shoppes at Lithia plaza. in the sales industry.” Bryant Sells is living the American uBreakiFix will price-match to make sure dream — moving up the company ladthat each customer gets the right deal. der from being an employee working on Sells takes pride in his store’s customer retail development with uBreakiFix, to service and he wants to make sure that owning two of his very own franchises. every customer leaves the store with a Just over three years ago his dream great experience. “I know that nobody became a reality when he opened his plans for electronic repairs, they just very first store in the Valrico area in the Shoppes at Lithia plaza. Two years later, happen,” he said. uBreakiFix has over 300 locations, Sells opened his second store in the both nationally and internationally. It has Regency Square shopping center in stores located in Canada and Trinidad Brandon. “I always wanted to be a business owner,” Sells said. “I just had to get as well as the U.S. Sells would ultimately like to purchase some more my foot in the door.” uBreakiFix franchises in the future. “We uBreakiFix offers a wide array of want to be an established figure in the services fixing consumer electronics, community and to be a go-to resource from game consoles and laptops, to for everybody in the greater Brandon phones and tablets. They have even area, “ Sells said. “We want to be repaired TV motherboards and drones. respected and well-known in the comuBreakiFix will look at your electronics munity.” and give an estimate for free. They also For more information you can visit sell products, such as glass screen prothe Facebook page at https://www.facetectors and phone cases. If you purchase a glass screen protector warranty book.com/uBreakiFix.Valrico/.

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Page 30

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Meals On Wheels Seeks Partners To Expand Service Areas

By Amanda Boston

“It bothers me to get a call and have to tell a person we don’t serve that area,” said Jim McNeil, president of McNeil, the Jimthe local Meals on president Wheels awarded husband and wife team, of the Tony and Jean Ippolito, Greater the Volunteer of the Brandon Award. Meals on Wheels. On April 20, McNeil’s opening remarks at the annual Meals on Wheels volunteer appreciation luncheon were a call to action as he publicized the need to expand into the Riverview area. For 41 years, the local Meals on Wheels program has delivered hot meals to homebound persons in the Brandon, Seffner and Valrico areas. However, the Riverview area from Boyette Road and further south receives no assistance. McNeil prays that the Riverview area churches will begin participating in the program to meet the escalating needs. The local chapter operates through the combined efforts of 19 local churches. Volunteers from the participating churches prepare and deliver about 250 hot meals per day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. The volunteers are at the core of the program, and President McNeil expressed sincere appreciation for the many hearts and hands that make a difference in the community. Dawn Trattner from First Presbyterian Church of Brandon acted as the master of ceremonies and applauded the volunteers for their dedication and efforts to the organization. Referencing 1 Corinthians 12, a passage concerning spiritual gifts

P.O. Box 6099 • Brandon, FL 33508


Ray Fischer, a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, received special recognition for going beyond the typical scope of duty.

from God, Trattner said, “God, Himself is behind it all. Each person has been given something to do that shows who God is. ...The variety is amazing as some of you are bakers, some of you are cooks, some of you are screeners, some of you drive, and some of you organize the lists.” The volunteers were awarded for years of service, which included seven volunteers receiving 40-year service awards. Ray Fischer, a volunteer who performs multiple roles at several churches, was awarded special recognition for his dedication and diligence. Tony and Jean Ippolito, a husband and wife team, were awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award for their longevity and outstanding commitment to the organization. Tony, a sprightly gentleman in his mid-90s, said, " We are thrilled to do what we do, and we’ll continue to do it while we are able to do it.” If your church is interested in volunteering with Meals on Wheels, please contact Jim McNeil at Jsmcelmc@aol.com. Donations of food, supplies and monetary funds are always welcomed. For information, visit www.brandonmealsonwheels.com.

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Volume 12, Issue 6

Local Realtor Looks To Join Forces With A Local Non-Profit

By Sandy Meyer

Buying or sellning. “The first 30 days ing a home can be is when you get the one of the most maximum traffic to your stressful experihome. If a realtor tells ences in life. Joy you its okay to overFrisch and The price, find another one,” Tampa Bay Realty she said. Team are ready to As a way of thankhold your hand ing the community for through the entire her success, Frisch is process to ensure looking to extend a peryou have the centage of her office’s smoothest experimonthly profits to a ence possible. local non-profit charity. Frisch opened To have your non-profit The Tampa Bay considered, please Joy Frisch with The Tampa Bay Realty Realty Team as a send an essay (feel Team to select local non-profit for a satellite office for free to include any monthly grant. Charles Rutenburg other pertinent informaRealty and has more than 12 years of tion) to Joy Frisch, explaining how your real estate experience and holds the non-profit makes a local impact on othABR, SRS, SRES and MCNE certifica- ers. tions. The winner will get $500 initially Frisch and her team represent both and then become the recipient of a buyers and sellers and offer a variety percentage of monthly sales. This is an of programs and guarantees. For buyamazing opportunity for a local charity ers, there is a satisfaction guarantee to get a big boost. Please mail essays that if you are not happy with your new to: Joy Frisch c/o Non-Profit Essay home within the first 18 months, they 10703 Rockledge View Dr. Riverview, will resell it for free. For sellers, Frisch FL 33579. Deadline is Monday, July 10 will buy your home if it fails to sell with- and winner will be announced by the in a time frame agreed upon at the inimiddle of August. tial agreement. For more information on how The Typically it is set at 180 days. “We Tampa Bay Realty Team can ease the look at our client’s needs and our pressure of buying or selling a home, clients come first, second and third,” please visit Frisch said. thetampabayrealtyteam.com or call Frisch’s advice to those currently 677-5897. Also visit looking to sell their homes is to price joyfrischauthor.com for a list of Frisch’s your house correctly from the beginpublished books on real estate.

June 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Jehovah’s Witnesses Launch 2017 “Don’t Give Up!” Three-Day Summer Convention Series At Fairgrounds And Invite Public To Attend

By Tamas Mondovics

As part of its annual practice, 52 parts and will be presented in a and that he is now ruling Jehovah’s Witnesses have once again variety of formats, including interas King of God’s heavenly scheduled to hold a series of three-day views and brief discourses featuring Kingdom, which will soon summer conventions with the rather simhow God “supplies endurance” to bring peace to the entire ple, but powerful theme “Don’t Give Up!” all sorts of people, even today. — earth. The first of five conventions, three (Romans 15:5.) Additionally, it is their English and two Spanish, each expected Short videos are also designed belief that Jesus never to see nearly 6,000 in attendance is to help attendees discover how the claimed equality with God scheduled for the weekend of Friday, July Bible and even nature teach lesand thus is not part of a 14, at the Florida State Fairgrounds, sons about how to endure. Trinity. Expo Hall, 4800 U.S. 301, in Tampa. The Public Bible Discourse Jehovah’s Witnesses Judging by the content, the focus of entitled “Never Give Up Hope!” is are found at all level of this year’s program, center on the chalarranged to be given at each consociety; they do not physilenges in life, which the vention on Sunday cally separate themselves witnesses say can rob morning. from those who do not people of peace and Additionally, one share their beliefs. They even cause some to segment of a threelive, work and go to school Members of Jehovah’s Witnesses attend a regional convention. think about giving up part feature film entiwith people of different relion themselves or even tled, Remember the gious beliefs, but they Admission to each event is free and on God. Wife of Lot will be shown emphasize following Jesus’ example of no collections are taken. According to a each afternoon. being “no part of the world” by avoiding Jehovah’s Witnesses are members release on the According to the the unchristian prejudices and controverof a worldwide Christian religion who Witnesses website Witnesses, the muchsies that divide mankind today.—John actively share with others information JW.org., the 2017 conanticipated concluding talk about God, whose name is Jehovah, and 17:15, 16. vention shows how to on Sunday afternoon entiThe dates for the three three-day about his Son, Jesus Christ. They view enjoy a happy life now tled “Keep in Expectation English conventions are July 14-16, July first-century Christianity as their model and gain a real hope . . . It Will Not Be Late!” is 21-23 and July 28-30. Two, three-day and that living by Bible principles gives for the future. based on the scripture Spanish language conventions are also purpose to life, promotes strong family “More than 30,000 found at Habakkuk 2:3 scheduled to be held at the Fair Grounds ties, and develops productive and honest persons attended our and is expected to starting on Friday, August 4 and Friday, citizens. conventions last year strengthen all in attenAugust 11, 2017. It is the Bible, upon which Jehovah's from the Tampa area,” dance to endure and not “It is our purpose this year, that our Witnesses base all their beliefs, including Entitled, “Don’t Give Up!” said Joseph Lavore, a to give up. convention will benefit both Witnesses that Jehovah is the only true God, the Jehovah’s Witnesses expect to spokesman of As in years past, the and non-Witnesses because it promises see more than 30,000 in attenCreator of all things and that Jesus is the dance for their annual Regional Witnesses in the Tampa Jehovah’s Witnesses to empower individuals not only to keep Son of God. Convention. in the Tampa area. Bay area and around the enduring but also to cope with challenges The Witnesses believe that Jesus “We hope to have an even larger audiworld are participating in a campaign to in a productive way,” Lavore said. came to earth from heaven and gave his ence this year.” personally invite the general public from For more information, visit perfect human life as a ransom sacrifice, The three-day program is divided into their communities to attend. www.jw.org.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

County Public Schools To Hire 200 Bus Drivers, Mechanics For Upcoming Year

By Tamas Mondivics

Hillsborough and a competiCounty Public tive benefits Schools (HCPS) package are recently announced promised, while its plans to hire officials said that school bus drivers no experience is and mechanics for necessary and paid training will the upcoming school be provided to year, which is now suitable candiset to begin a bit dates who have earlier on August 10. a clean driving To launch the record and no summer hiring camcriminal backpaign HCPS officials ground. have scheduled to Anyone with host a series of excellent driving informations sesabilities and an sions and hiring interest in helpevents as the Transportation Hillsborough County Public Schools officials ing students is Services department are hosting a series of information sessions encouraged to in an effort to hire school bus drivers. attend one of is looking to hire seven information sessions scheduled close to 200 school bus drivers before for June 19, and June 26, and July 10 the start of the new school year. and July 17, at the Transportation With safety in center stage and putting students first, transportation offi- District Office, 9455 Harney Road in Thonotosassa and at HCPS’s Area 1 cials are seeking individuals who are motivated, compassionate and dedicat- Transportation Office, 5002 N. Lois Ave in Tampa, respectively. ed to providing safe and reliable transThe open application lab times for portation school bus drivers and information or to “School bus drivers play an imporsign-up for an upcoming event, visit tant role in providing safe, timely, effibit.ly/NowHiringBusDrivers or call 813cient and courteous transportation 982-5521. services to our students,” HCPS You can get updates on the hiring External Communications Manager, events @HCPSschoolbus. Tanya Arja stated in a recent press Following the information session, release. District officials will be on hand to assist In addition, the School District is in in beginning the application process need of bus mechanics. and will provide tours of the school bus Flexible working environment with centers. benefits such as paid federal holidays

Offer ends 6/30/2017

Volume 12, Issue 6

At Pho Viet, Vietnamese Cuisine Becomes A Staple In Brandon

By Caitlin Masessa

If you’re authentic looking for a Vietnamese meal. “I fresh twist on focus on bringing the classic higher quality food dishes of to my customers,” North and Pham told of his South goal. Vietnam, do While it may be not look any impossible for Pham further than to choose his own The dining room of Pho Viet is spacious and Pho Viet, a favorite item from welcoming. Pho Viet sits proudly on West restaurant the menu, he does Brandon Blvd. devoted to recommend that introducing new customers try the Vietnamese cuisine very dish the establishto the Brandon ment his named after; the area. Sitting at Pho Soup. “I use beef 1202 W. Brandon because it has a good Blvd., near where flavor,” Pham gave a an old Pizza Hut short summary of what used to be, the makes his Pho the best, location promises a “It’s also healthier than relaxed dining experience that is only most options.” enhanced by the friendly staff as they Although foodies can only find Pho offer customers a cultural experience Viet in Brandon, Pham does aspire to through the variety of dishes offered. expand his business so that more peoAfter getting his start in the culiple will be able to enjoy his healthy nary business as a chef at his family’s approach to Vietnamese cuisine. “I’m restaurant, Pho Viet owner Thienan still looking for the right locations,” Pham decided that it was time to take Pham spoke of finding the right fit for the risk of opening his own spot. “My his business. sister owned a restaurant,” Pham To savor the best Vietnamese cuiexplained how he got into the busisine that Brandon has to offer, visit ness, “But it was my friend who Pho Viet Monday through Thursday encouraged me to open a place for from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. The establishmyself.” Since the opening of Pho Viet, ment is also open from Friday to as well as throughout his entire career, Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. as well Pham has never stopped striving as on Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. towards being the best option when it Pho Viet is located on 1202 W comes to satisfying the craving for an Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511.

June 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

William Morris and Susie Tate Morris Broker/Owner

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6

Boulevard Salon Team Offers Hair Styling, Nails, Facials And Full Spa Services

Brewworx Offers Great Variety Of Beers, Brewing Classes & More

When Lithia resiizes in anti-aging treatdent Eva Duchesne ments, Vitamin-C and visits hair stylist Cathy acne treatments and Turner at Boulevard microdermabrasion. Salon, she knows her With so many hair is in good hands. ways to make a Duchesne has been woman feel fabulous a client of Turner’s for on the outside, it’s a 13 years and trusts surprise that owner her explicitly to tame Kathy Hegenauer is her mane and leave more concerned with her hair looking fabuhow her clients feel on lous. the inside. “She came to me “This is a place highly recommended Boulevard Salon nail tech Samantha where we work togethHoule not only offers a great and always makes er to really make manicure but a listening ear to my hair look great,” clients feel welcome,” longtime customer Phyllis Tyree. said Duchesne. “I said Hegenauer. know she does a great job because of all That welcoming feeling extends to the compliments I receive.” both clients and staff. Many members of In addition to the standing appointHegenaur’s team have been with her ment for cut and color, Turner occasional- since the salon opened. Nail technician ly applies Keratin Complex on Samantha Houle has been working with Duchesne’s hair to repair damage, lock Hegenauer for more than 20 years. out humidity and reduce unwanted frizz. Customer and Valrico resident Phyllis “I have a lot of hair and in the sumTyree has had a biweekly standing mer the keratin treatments help my hair appointment with Houle for a manicure look sleeker and healthier,” said for more than 20 years. Duchesne. “Who wouldn’t love to come in here Located at 210 E. Brandon Blvd., and spend time,” she said. Tyree is greetBoulevard Salon is more than a place for ed warmly when she arrives and offered fabulous haircuts. It’s an all-inclusive a beverage. experience encompassing hair and nail For Tyree, it’s about more than a care and aesthetic needs including but great manicure. “It’s the personal connecnot limited to facials, waxing services, tion and we talk about life, it’s challenges, eyebrow and eyelash tinting, permanent the good times and the bad times,” she make-up and massage. Hydro-facials are said. “She’s such a caring individual.” performed with a high-tech water oxygen Boulevard Salon is located at 210 E. treatment skin dialysis machine by aesBrandon Blvd. Visit boulevardsalon.biz or thetician Rania Chamoun, who specialcall 571-5800.

It started dog for a walk with Shawn and sneaks off to Goechner, owner get a beer. of Bootleggers “I love pets Brewworx in and I love bringBrandon, visiting ing my dogs his friend in every now and Northern San then,” Goechner Francisco. The said. enjoyment he Goechner’s Customers can visit Brewworx to learn how to got from visiting brew their own beer. The store, located 650 purpose in offerOakfield Dr. in Brandon, is both kid- and pet- ing brewing his friend and friendly. always leaving classes for cuswith a six-pack led to Goechner readtomers is not only to spread his love ing up on brewing beer, so the for brewing his own beer, but also to California-native didn’t have to travel let others try it for themselves. There 100 miles for a good beer. are many aspects to brewing a beer, “I get a great deal of enjoyment but it doesn’t have to be difficult, out of making minor tweeks [while according to Goechner. brewing a beer] and seeing how it “We want to get you comfortable changes the product,” Goechner said. making beer,” Goechner said. “We’ll His enjoyment led to the opening talk to clients about what beer they of Bootleggers Brewworx in Brandon. like and select kits that fit the style. The store is a place customers can We’ll take them through the process come to learn how to brew their own and the beer stays here in a temperabeer or wine with classes sometimes ture controlled environment for 1-2 taught by Goechner. Brewworx offers weeks.” beer and wine brewed in the shop, at Having a brewery so close to local breweries and in different counTampa offers more options for the ties such as Pinellas, Sarasota and wide variety of beers kept on tap at Manatee. the shop. Goechner said his store has Despite the common thinking of atleast half a dozen beers kept on tap leaving the kids at home, Brewworx in at all times. Brandon offers a family and pet-friend“Tampa is the beer Mecca of the ly environment. There is a special corSouth,” Goechner said. ner for kids and no hard liquor offered Bootleggers Brewworx in Brandon because of the family-friendly environis located at 650 Oakfield Drive in ment. The pet-friendly environment is Brandon. For more information, call inspired by the common theme in (813) 643-9463 or email them at England that the husband takes the info@brewworx.com.

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June 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 6

Barbara McGinnis, The Mother In Cater Tampa Offers Custom Catering Mother-Daughter Yellowfin Realty Team At Valrico Space Or Any Venue By Alicia Thompson By Sandy Meyer

It is summer “Catering is a and that means unique animal. it is time to gathThere are er with our always new friends and famithings to overlies over good come, new food, celebrating people to meet weddings, gradand new venuations or any ues to attend,” other momenhe added. tous occasion. In addition That is where to traveling to Cater Tampa private vencomes in. ues, Harris Photo Courtesy Cater Tampa Facebook Page Cater has a also Adam Harris brings decades of culinary experience to your venue to make it a memorable event. Tampa offers full banquet space scale catering services for just about in Valrico which seats up to 120 people. any personal or corporate event that Since Cater Tampa opened in February, comes to mind. Owner Adam Harris is Harris has already taken on large corpohappy to bring his expert catering servrate clients including HCC and has ice back to the area, offering breakfast, catered events like the Brandon Swim & lunch, and dinner menus for just about Aquatic Center’s fundraising event. any taste. Cater Tampa offers an extensive Harris has worked in the food menu with dozens of entrees and an industry since he was just 12 years old almost unlimited variety of appetizers. and took a job at Village Inn. Over the Harris says what sets his company decades he has dabbled in just about apart from others is his vast amount of every aspect of the food business experience. “I’ve catered over 600 wedincluding owning several restaurants, dings,” he said. “I’ve even assisted in nightclubs and working under a five-star hurricane relief, serving 6,000 breakfast, Cordon Bleu™ chef in the 1980’s. lunch and dinners daily,” he added. Harris was the owner of All Events Cater Tampa is ready to assist in Catering from 1995 until 2010. When your next corporate event, birthday or the economy collapse became too anniversary celebration or ‘just because’ much, he had to close his doors. Harris special event. turned to restaurant consulting for the Cater Tampa’s event space is locatnext seven years. Now he’s back doing ed at 1903 E. SR 60, Ste. F in Valrico. what he loves with his newest endeavor, For more information on its services or Cater Tampa. to rent space, visit catertampa.com or “I missed catering,” he said. call 906-0222.

REALTOR® Barbara McGinnis’ personality is as vibrant as her bejeweled glasses. She made them herself, she said, with tiny red, white and blue gems for a patriotic look. McGinnis obtained her real estate license in 1985, after raising her three children, and has been serving the Tampa Bay real estate market ever since. She started working for Yellowfin Realty in 2014, and splits her time between helping people list or buy a home and managing rental properties. She specializes in first-time home buyers, although she’s always happy to see repeat buyers or customers from the past. According to McGinnis, the most important part of working with new home buyers is to remain patient. The average buyer sees eight to ten homes before finding the one that will be a future home. “We keep looking until that smile crosses their face that they just can’t wipe off, and they light up like a Christmas tree,” McGinnis said. Right now, there are “more buyers than homes to buy,” said McGinnis. “We’re absolutely blowing up.” Because of the market, where it can be hard for buyers to find existing homes

in their price range and desired location, many are turning to developing communities. Especially in those situations, McGinnis said, a realtor is essential for navigating the contracts, inspection, and other aspects of the process. “Most homebuilders will tell you that 80 percent are from realtors bringing someone in,” McGinnis said. “We know where communities are, we know the amenities. We know how to take the back roads.” McGinnis calls Yellowfin Realty “phenomenal,” and loves that it’s familyowned. She works with her daughter, Kim Smith, which helps to keep them always available for their clients. They share an office and bounce ideas off each other, although it means that it can be difficult to step away from work. “When we’re on vacation,” McGinnis said, “it’s a rolling business.” Yellowfin Realty was established in 2009, and is headquartered at 11256 Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. McGinnis and Smith both work out of the nearby office located at 801 W. Bloomingdale Ave. Call 229-8862 or visit yellowfinrealty.com.

June 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Music Showcase Hosts 10th Annual International Piano Guild Award Ceremony

Artist Creates Fantasy-Inspired Series Of Woodland Creatures

Music receive commuShowcase nity service hosted its credit through 10th Annual the public school International system and acaPiano Guild demic accreditaAward tion on college Ceremony in applications and May. resumes. Students Lukose is Lukose Ocasio performed an 11th grade before a student in the judge in a International closed juried Baccalaureate event at program at Music Strawberry Crest Showcase. High School. Five Music She has been Showcase playing since students she was seven received high Ames years old. Edwards marks. The Ocasio is a students 14 year old 9th Music Showcase students, Karishma Lukose, grade student at included Jacob Cravens, Brody Karishma Ames, Isabella Ocasio ad Bloomingdale Lukose and High School. Kai Edwards received high marks at the 10th Jacob This is Ocasio’s Annual International Piano Cravens who Guild recital held in May fifth Guild perreceived first formance, and at Music Showcase in Brandon. place in the her first time state level; placing first in the state level. She has Brody Ames been playing since she was 9 years old. Cravens and Isabella Ames is a 13 year old 8th grade stuOcasio who dent at Randall Middle School. This is his earned second place at the state level; third year participating in the Guild. He and Kai Edwards who received a perfect has been playing for four years. He perscore in the district level. Students who forms with the Randall Middle School participate in the International Piano Guild Chorus and plays for the residents at The must memorize and play scales and Bridges in Riverview on Saturday aftersongs. It can be as many as 10 each. noons. “The International Piano Guild holds Edwards is eight years old. This is his yearly auditions around the world with first piano Guild. He has been playing for music professionals grading students on a year and a half. accuracy, continuity, phrasing, pedaling, Cravens is a 13 year old 7th grade dynamics, rhythm, tempo, tone, interprestudent at First Baptist Brandon Christian tation, style, and technique. The audition, Academy. He has participated in the open for students of all levels, is a yearly Guild for the last seven years. event at Music Showcase,” explained The Music Showcase students take Debbie Evans, Director of Public piano lessons from Jean Hackley who Relations for Music Showcase. The has been a music instructor at Music Guild’s purpose is to encourage growth Showcase since 1999. and enjoyment of the piano. Auditioning Music Showcase is located at 402 students receive the prestige of becoming Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more informembers of the Guild for a year and mation, please visit www.musicshowreport cards which are evidence of their caseonline.com. accomplishments. Students can also

Elizabeth Recently, Johnson is a profesJohnson was juried sional artist with into the 9th Annual more than 40 years Winthrop Arts of experience who Festival and Artisan creates whimsical Market held in art pieces. She calls Riverview. "This her art Fairy Flower was my first time at Festival. The art is the Winthrop Arts enchanting to peoFestival. It was the ple both young and Elizabeth Johnson's artwork reflects her love only outdoor show I of plants and portraits along with her visions have done this old. of the magic and fantasy. Johnson year. I felt the festiexplained, "Most of my paintings are in a val organizers treated the artists like famiseries called Fairy Flower Festival. This is ly and went out of their way to make the a combination of two of my loves: porshow a pleasurable experience for us," traits and flowers. They are done in pasJohnson said. tels or oils. The fairies vie for the May Johnson is a member of the Brandon Queen title and hang a banner of their League of Fine Arts, the Morean Arts image and the flowers they grew for the Center and Florida Regional Artists. other fairies to vote on." Johnson added, Johnson is currently working on a "I love the challenge of coming up with a project for the Southeastern Guide Dogs. new character and selecting the flowers "I am currently working on a painted fiberfor her. The intricate Passion flowers were glass dog for Superheroes on Parade, a challenge because of all fragile parts." Puppy Edition. This is a benefit. The Johnson considers herself a reunveiling will be held on Sunday, July 9 in emerging artist. Johnson said, "I re-startSarasota. ed my career after I retired from a federal Johnson is also working on a series government job in July 2015.” She has of Florida based paintings from the been drawing and painting since she was Maitland Art Center known for the Mayan a child. Johnson even did the show circuit revival architecture and the gardens at for over 20 years. She exhibited her work Bok Tower. These are large oil paintings. in state, regional, national and even interFor information, visit http://enchantinational shows. ngforestfaeandfauna.weebly.com.

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Volume 12, Issue 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition






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Brandon Eagles Struggle At Spring Football Jamboree Ahead Of 2017-2018 Fall Season This year’s much anticipated spring football jamboree gave local programs a chance to test their players ahead of the upcoming 2017-2018 season later this fall. The line up included the Brandon Eagles, Durant Cougars, Bloomingdale Bulls and the Newsome Wolves, which hosted the event last month. While each program put its best upcoming seniors on display it was also a time for head coaches, Isaac Anderson (Brandon), Mike Gottman (Durant), Max Warner (Bloomingdale) and Kenneth Hiscock (Newsome), to challenge their players and measure up their respective teams. First up for the night was a two-quarter bout between Brandon and Durant which expectedly displayed a strong

“We are returning six on offense, but we have work to do on defense,” Gottman said. “Our fall season will depend on how fast we can clean up mistakes.” The jamboree’s second half saw an exciting game between host Newsome and visiting Bloomingdale, which from the start did not disappoint the sizable crowd of parents and fans who filled the bleachers in support of the players. Bulls receiver Ed Amos scored on an 80-yard touchdown on the kickoff return. Newsome answered back to tie the game at 7-7, but the scoring continued as Bloomingdale featured Corey Thornton and Levi Williams. Newsome managed to squeeze in a field goal and another touchdown to end the bout at 2117 in the Bulls favor. For more information please visit www.maxpreps.com. Brandon High School varsity football players warm up for this year’s spring football jamboree against the Durant Cougars. The Eagles are led by new program head coach Isaac Anderson.

The Eagles, are now led by Anderson, the program’s third coach since 2011 after John Lima and Dean Eychner. Aside from the 2015 fall season during which Brandon turned in one of its best season in years (9-3, 4-1) the program has been strugDurant High School Cougars football coach Mike Gottman gling. If the recent talks to his players before taking on the Brandon Eagles during this year’s spring football jamboree. The Cougars jamboree is any indidefeated Brandon 21-7. cation, the Eagles have plenty to work on to be ready for Cougars offensive line up ending in a the fall. 21-7 win over the Eagles.

While Brandon was trying to keep up, Durant was led by Russian born, 230-pound fullback David Tabakovic, and Cameron Myers. Brandon scored on a play by quarterback Harry Kanu connecting with Jamal Nash to cut the Cougars’ lead to 147. Third-year Durant starting quarterback Carlton Potter connected with Myers once Durant quarterback, Carlton Potter and teammate David Haynes get ready to face off the Brandon Eagles during more on an 83-yard this year’s spring football jamboree. pass to seal the game. Assisted Living #AL9739

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June 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Sports Connection Story by Tamas Mondovics

Former Brandon Eagles Baseball Standout Shines At Central Penn College

Armwood Football Coach Sean Callahan Says Goodbye After Successful Career

When he said goodsaid Biller’s father Jerry bye to his school and Biller. teammates, former As a true freshman Brandon Eagles basein his Collegiate ball talent Jerry Biller III, Baseball career, Jerry promised to make his secured the starting parents, his coaches second baseman posiand team proud, athletition and played every cally and academically. game this past year. True to his word With 109 plate Biller did not disappoint appearances in the those he left behind after regular season, Jerry moving onto the next reportedly batted .379 level to become a stuoverall, .500 in the condent-athlete of the ference. Central Penn College As reported by his Fighting Knights in father, Jerry’s on base Summerdale, Pa. Taking his talent to the next level, perfect overall was former Brandon Eagles baseball To track back for a .500 and in the confersecond, it is noteworthy standout, Jerry Biller III, now a fresh- ence was .607., men at Central Penn College in to consider that last year Pennsylvania takes part in the in the adding that his son is USCAA National Championship tour- currently ranked 4th the Brandon High nament held last month in at East overall in the USCAA School Eagles baseball Field Park in Glens Falls, N.Y. team won the District (United States College Championship with Biller as its starting Athletic Association) for stolen bases with catcher behind the plate. 21 and has been nominated as Biller finished the 2016 season rankCollegiate Academic All American with a ing eighth in the country in fielding by 3.72 GPA. MaxPreps, Defensive Player of the Year Central Penn College Baseball Team by Brandon High School and selected as has also received a bid to participate in National Athlete of the week by Varsity the USCAA National Championship tourViews. nament held last month in at East Field According to his parents the young Park in Glens Falls, N.Y.. The tournaplayer visited a number of schools around ment, known as the "Small College the country in California, Michigan, World Series," was hosted by the Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, and College of St. Joseph's Vermont. Pennsylvania to name just a few, before With Jerry on board, the tourney settling on Central Penn College, a mem- marks a historic event for Central Penn ber of the USCAA governing conference College, as it is the first time in school and a growing program. history that the Knights have qualified for “Jerry felt Central Penn College with the National Championship Tournament. small class room sizes would provide the For more information about Jerry education opportunity he wants to gain, Biller III and Central Penn Collage visit, while also playing collegiate baseball,” www.centralpenn.edu.

Armwood High School straight title games varsity football coach Sean (2013-15). The Hawks lost in the region semiCallahan, announced his finals last season. resignations ahead of the There is little upcoming 2017-2018 doubt about school year. Callahan’s success Callahan, who needs and subsequent no introduction, leaves the respect he has program with a 233-105 earned from his record, after turning the peers. Hawks into a state football On another note, powerhouse. successful coaches The Hawks made the turning in their resigplayoffs for the first time in nations this spring 1996, followed by advancalso included East ing to the state semifinals in After leading the Hawks to Bay High School 2000. In 2003 the Hawks become a high school football girls flag football won the county’s first state powerhouse, Armwood head coach Sean Callahan turned in coach Michael championship. his resignation. Cooper, who said Callahan announced goodbye to his players and to the prohis resignation last month, following this gram after a decade long run, which year’s spring football jamboree and came at the conclusion of the 2017 before he would have entered his 28th spring season. season with the program. Cooper led the program to its 100th As expected the Hawks are ready for win in 11 years, and to the school’s the fall as a state title contender team sixth flag football district championship. filled with strength and talent. While successful Callahan’s coaching In the 11 year history of the sport in career at Armwood is not without blemish. Hillsborough County, East Bay made every district tournament. During the 2011 season, the Hawks “My first district championship was team was investigated by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) in 2008, a 1-OT win against Riverview for allegedly recruiting and residency alle- and my last district championship game, a 2-OT win against gations. Bloomingdale,” Cooper said. “I am very Recruiting was not proven, but five proud of all my teams who have given players were cited for falsifying residency me so many wonderful memories. I claims. thank you all, I love you all and I am When it was over, Armwood was proud that I had the honor to coach you fined nearly $13,000 and stripped of its all.” 2010-2011state championship that came For more information about with 26 wins. Armwood and East Bay High Schools Skipping a year, the Hawks returned visit www.maxpreps.com. with a vengeance and advanced to three

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Volume 12, Issue 6

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