Page 1 B r a n d o n • Va l r i c o • L i t h i a •  S e f f n e r • R i v e r v i e w • P l a n t C i t y • A p o l l o B e a c h A Free Publication from Osprey Observer Inc.

Volume 23, Issue 4

Food & Wine 11

April 2019

The Crossing Church SouthShore Campus To Hold Easter Service In New Building

By Joe Kerr


Easter Hunts 9

Newswire 17

The first service for in the new facility of The Crossing Church SouthShore is scheduled for Resurrection Sunday, April 21. Service times are 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. For those early risers, the first service is a little less crowded, but with the first service being on Easter Sunday consider coming early. Even though this campus has been meeting for several years in its current location about half a mile away, this new campus has that feeling of the first step, but in the same direction. SouthShore campus pastor Hector Rivera embodies that proud papa emotion as he walks the building still under construction. “We are expecting," he repeated. The church is already active in the community. Neighborhoods like Del Webb, River Bend, Vista Palms, Covington Park, Waterset and MiraBay already know The Crossing SouthShore for its 'come and meet your neighbor' events. Sponsoring events or partnering with local block parties, the church thrives outside the building in its community. The church's heart for the communities includes individuals, businesses and local first responders.

areas, and office space for the growing volunteer staff who ministers to its ever-increasing body. Architects incorporated that sense of a growing family into the building design. Gathering space is built into the lobby, so it functions as a place to meet, greet and fellowship. Come early to enjoy coffee with friends. Don’t be surprised if your neighbors are already there. The build"We will be ing design feeding the fire has a covand police ered drop-off departments area for parfour different ents to get times," said kids in and Pastor Rivera. out at the "They bring their main trucks and inter- The new facility at The Crossing Church at SouthShore entrance. The act with the fam- is close to completion. The first service is scheduled brand-new for Easter Sunday. ilies at our SouthShore events." location is 2409 East College Ave. in He added, “People know Ruskin on the corner of College and SouthShore [the church] is here, now 24th St. they will be able to join us in our new For more info or to see a video of location.” the new campus in progress, visit The new campus features a and cious auditorium with seating for 1,000 click on New Building Info. The church people, expanded youth and children’s office can be reached at 626-0783.

Memorial Mass Held For Longtime Nativity Pastor Msgr. Lara

Cathedral 13

Columns: GraceNotes:

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Your Monthly Catch: Page 8 Faith & Footprints:

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Hooked On Books:

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For three decades, Monsignor James ‘Jaime’ Carreras Lara served as pastor of Nativity Catholic Church. In February, Msgr. Lara passed away from a sudden heart attack while in the hospital near his home in Spain. Nativity Catholic Church held a Memorial Mass on February 23 to celebrate his life. In 1957, Msgr. Lara was ordained for the Diocese of Toledo, Spain. Two years later, he was sent as a missionary priest to the Diocese of St. Augustine. Then, in 1969, Msgr. Lara transferred to the newly-established Diocese of St. Petersburg. He faithfully served as the pastor of Nativity Catholic Church mourns the passing Nativity Catholic Church until retirof Msgr. James Carreras Lara. ing in 1999. During those 30 years, the parish experienced tremendous growth. Reverend John Tapp, the current pastor of Nativity Catholic Church, said, “Msgr. Lara pastored Nativity In August 1999, at the request of Parish in a time of unparalleled Bishop Robert Lynch, Pope St. growth. He took this small mission John Paul II bestowed the title of community and built up a church, Monsignor upon Lara. Within four school and parish to the vibrant months of his retirement, Msgr. community which it is today.” Lara was asked to temporarily

By Amanda Boston

assume the role of Administrator of St. Brendan Parish in Clearwater. In 2014, Msgr. Lara returned to Spain to live closer to his siblings, and he remained there until his death. Rev. Tapp continued, “While Msgr. Lara built buildings and set up this city set on a hill, he above and beyond all else, attempted to be a beacon of hope to so many who otherwise might feel helpless. In the five years I have been here, I have heard incessant stories about how Msgr. Lara reached out to individuals to help them in their need, to comfort them in their sorrow, to encourage them in their vocations, and, yes, to even give them a kick in the pants when they needed someone to push them when they just felt they couldn’t go any further.” Although Msgr. Lara has moved on from this world, the profound impact he had at Nativity is still felt by its parishioners. Nativity Catholic Church is located at 705 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. For more information on the church, visit

Page 2 • • April 2019


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Bell Shoals Baptist Church Living Out Its Mission While In Transition

2nd Annual Praise In The Park Will Bring Music, Fun And The Community

As Bell Shoals This September Baptist Church from 19-21, Bell Shoals searches for a new will host ‘Welcome senior pastor, the Home Initiative,’ a church continues to three-day conference carry out its mission for veterans suffering to "follow Jesus, love from PTSD. The propeople, and make gram is designed to disciples." This year make veterans feel Bell Shoals has sev‘welcomed home’ in eral significant every sense and conevents on its calensists of talks and dar along with its resources for coping ongoing ministries. The student ministry at Bell On Friday, April Shoals Baptist Church recently 26 at 6:30 p.m., Bell collected food for its Real Hope Shoals presents House. The pantry distributes food every Wednesday from 12 ‘Come to the Table,’ Noon to 2 p.m. a women’s gathering where 400 women will share a meal, their and hearts and experience the love of God. recovery. The event will be held on the Brandon Further detail on the proCampus and costs $10 per person. gram can be obtained at www.welcomeThis May and June will provide opportunities for missional living as Bell On Friday, October 11, ‘The Freedom Shoals leaves behind the building and Tour,’ a women’s event featuring engages in the community. Join Bell author/speaker Jennie Allen and worship Shoals on Saturday, May 4 to participate leader Christy Nockels will be held on the in ‘Church has Left the Building,’ and Brandon Campus. The gathering’s theme spend the day doing service projects centers on the freedom we have in Jesus throughout the Greater Brandon area. Christ and includes a time of Bible teachThen over the weekend of June 1 and 2, ing and praise and worship. Bell Shoals will reach out with acts of In addition to these signature events, kindness to its neighbors through the Bell Shoals is continuing to serve its com‘Bless Every Home’ event. munities in a variety of ways through its “Some people might just think we’re ESL classes, classes to improve marsitting still while waiting for our next senior riages, finances, and parenting and our pastor,” said Gary Payne, executive pasEncouraging Sports program. Visit tor at Bell Shoals. “Nothing could be to learn more. ther from the truth.”

The second said, “If you like annual Praise in the music, you will get all Park will take place kinds of music in a on Saturday, April 13 Christian form at beginning at 3 p.m. Praise in the Park.” and lasting until 9 Trunzo added, “Last p.m. This is a free, year was an overChristian faith event whelming success. ,which features live We are preparing for musical performancanother great day.” es, award winning Praise in the Park will food trucks, puppets, take place rain or The Second Annual Praise in the Park, face painting, stilt shine. Kelly said, “It is which promises to be bigger than better than last year, will take place in going to be awesome walkers and worldPlant City (from the Robert W. famous Plant City because of the Willaford Railroad Museum all the way strawberries. groups coming to Evers St.) on Saturday, April 13 from 3 to 9 p.m. Be a part of what was together.” Proceeds from the deemed one of the three best event will be donated The Common community events in 2018. to the Plant City Ground Movement is Pregnancy Center. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ,which offers This year, organizers, Frank and Campus Encourager Program in local Wenda Trunzo (owners of Krazy Kup, a schools. They place pastors in schools unique coffee house located in Plant to assist principals, staff and teachers. City) and Pastor Joe Kelly of The They offer a CGM Mass Choir Program Common Ground Movement, have which unites high school students from joined forces to bring the community this public, private and charter schools to family friendly, fun event. sing in one choir. The Common Ground Last year’s Praise in the Park was Movement also has a tutoring program selected by the Plant City Chamber of which uses high school students to proCommerce as one of the three best vide tutoring in exchange for service community events. This year’s event hours. Finally, local youth are brought promises to be bigger and better with together for CGM Nights of Joy Services more live acts and an expanded venue. where they highlight youth bands, drama The main stage will be at the Robert W. teams, dance teams, singers and speakWillaford Railroad Museum on Palmer ers. Ave. Other stages will be located at If you are interested in becoming a areas from Palmer Ave. all the way to sponsor, please contact Trunzo at 789Evers St. 4227. If you would like to have a vendor There will be a wide genre of music spot for $50, please contact Kelly at from soul to gospel rock. Frank Trunzo 344-7361.

By Amanda Boston

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Page 4 • • April 2019

Bay Life Church Celebrates 25 Years In Brandon On Sunday, March 3 Bay Life Church of Brandon celebrated 25 years with a unified service and anniversary picnic. A total of 1,546 people were in attendance, and the service featured worship pastors from both past and present for a time of worship and teaching from Pastor Mark Saunders. Leading up to the event, Bay Life’s Facebook page was seasoned with posts featuring personal stories of how lives had been changed at Bay Life. “Celebrating 25 years as a church was special in ways I hadn’t expected,” said Pastor Mark Saunders. “Sure, there were the stories of ‘humble beginnings’ and ‘grassroots growth,’ but I was marked most by the significant changes that occurred in individual cases. Over and over again in the days leading up to our celebration, people posted on social media their personal stories of how God had used His church called Bay Life to alter the course of their lives forever.” Pastor Saunders stressed that Bay Life Church is not a building or location, but the church is its people. At Bay Life, this family of followers, who affectionately call themselves Lifers, seek to love, serve and share Jesus Christ. Speaking about Bay Life’s impact, Pastor Saunders said, “Marriages were saved, addictions were overcome, minds were renewed, all by the power of Jesus

By Amanda Boston

and the love of His saints.” He continued, “I am grateful that God has used us over our first 25 years to draw so many into faith. As we look to our future, I pray for more— more life change, more church campuses, more people responding to and then sharing the good news.” In addition to the support rendered within the body of believers through its life groups, children and youth ministry, counseling and such, Bay Life also makes an impact on both its surrounding community and abroad. From local missions like Feed the Bay, which originated at Bay Life, to global missions in Uganda and Africa, the church seeks to help those in need while spreading the good news. Stephen Stough, communications director at Bay Life, added, “A few of the things I loved was that my sons, now 19 and 13, could hear about the faithfulness of God to His people and be here to witness first-hand how God moves in His time and for His purposes for His glory.” The programs mentioned above and missions are only a sampling of the areas where Bay Life serves. An in-depth list and more information can be found at Service times are Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 9 and 10:45 a.m. Bay Life is located at 1017 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon.

New Brandon-Based Team Helps Local Families Facing Homelessness

By Kate Quesada

Metropolitan the family stress Ministries is known and make strides in the Tampa Bay towards self-suffiarea for helping ciency. The prothousands of famigram’s goals are to lies facing homehelp the children lessness every achieve success at year. One of the school and to stabigroup’s lesser lize the family life known programs, by reducing stress First Hug, helps and providing the children of resources, tools these families and and education that Metropolitan Ministries recently opened a recently expanded nine-person Brandon area office to help fami- also lead to conto the Brandon nection with job lies facing homelessness. area. and home placement services where According to Sandra Gonzalez, appropriate. supervisor of Family Advocates for “Our specialists and advocates can Metropolitan Ministries, the charity decid- come to the family and see where they ed to open an office in Brandon late last need help,” said Gonzalez. “Once we year after noticing a large number of sign on with a family, we meet weekly, referrals coming from the area. face-to-face to help with issues from child “The First Hug Program has been a developmental screenings to aid in findsuccessful one for us for more than five ing safe living environments.” years,” said Karrie Roller, Vice President Since opening in January, the of Case Management for Metropolitan Brandon office has received 71 referrals Ministries. “We felt strongly that with the and has already started helping 34 familarge number of people expressing interlies with many more pending. Specialists est in the program from the Brandon are bilngual and can help English and area that it would be beneficial to Spanish speaking families. become immersed in the community and The program is supported by a grant base a team there.” from the Hillsborough County Children’s First Hug is a child-centered program Board, but donations and volunteers are for families with children from birth to always needed. Residents with expertise middle school age who are homeless or in financial, credit counseling and facing homelessness. Families referred employment areas are especially needed to the program, either through schools, to offer bootcamps and classes for other agencies or self-identification, meet clients working towards stabilization. with a mobile team of family and child To learn more about the program, advocates to establish a plan to reduce visit or call 385-4016.

Page 5 • • April 2019

Grace Notes







Just Over It

918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon, FL 33511 657-2418 (fax) 657-4469

By Debora Coty

Ever have one of those days, when parenting drains you dry? When lil’ Princess Leia has a hysterical meltdown in the candy aisle, or Mama’s boy Roy decides to taste-test his fresh nose pickings during the children’s choir performance. Or drama queen Ilene screams with a vengeance those three heart-shattering words you never, ever, in a million years expected to hear: “I hate you!” You’re just over it. Over your head. Overdrawn. Overrun. You’re sure it’s as obvious to everyone else as it is to you: you’re just not good enough. Other parents don’t seem to have these problems; they must be doing it right. Their kids don’t flush the hamster down the toilet, bash the TV with a hockey stick, refuse to eat anything green except M&M’s, tie the neighbor dog’s legs together, wet their toothbrush without actually using it, and bathe only the “important parts.” Wait. Or do they? I’ve got a newsflash for you, my kerfluffled friend: you’re not the only one who thinks your parental arrows are missing the bull’s-eye. We all do. On some days – okay, many days – those arrows do fly willy-nilly, but it’s okay. Hear me? I’ll say it again: It’s


okay if you miss the target. Papa God (translation of the biblical Aramaic term “Abba”) created you to be enough for the specific needs of your chil-

dren. Even when you don’t feel like it, it’s true: You. Are. Enough. Now breathe. And try to relax a little. You’re not ruining your kids any more than your parents ruined you by their parenting mistakes (no eye-rolling, please; I’m not finished). In fact, your heavenly Father spins many of those very mistakes to make you a better person and a better parent. Papa God’s in the redemption business; He specializes in redeeming defective and damaged people. That would be all of us. So when you need a hug from your heavenly Papa, crawl up into His big lap for a cuddle. He’s always waiting. “I have loved you … with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT). ~Adapted from my newest book, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms

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Page 6 • • April 2019

Special Events & Easter Services Offered By Local Churches

By Amanda Boston

Bay Life Church will hold Easter Weekend Services on Good Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 20 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 8, 9:30,11 a.m. At the center of the Christian faith stands the resurrection. In Adam, we all died because we all sinned, but in Christ, we can each be raised back to life because He didn’t stay dead. This Easter, we invite you to join us in celebrating anew the hope that is ours in the Resurrection. Bay Life campus is located at 1017 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon. For more information, visit Bell Shoals Baptist Church Apollo Beach Campus will hold Easter services on Saturday, April 20 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. The campus is located at 408 Apollo Beach Blvd. in Apollo Beach. For more information, please visit Bell Shoals Baptist Church Brandon Campus will hold a Good Friday service on April 19 at 12 Noon in the Chapel and Easter services on Sunday, April 21 at 9:15 and 11 a.m. The Congregacion Hispana will hold services on Good Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. and Easter Sunday, April 21 at 11 a.m. The Brandon campus is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. For more information, please visit Bell Shoals Baptist Church Palm River Campus will hold an Easter service on Sunday, April 21 at 11 am. The Palm River campus is located at 5415 Palm River Rd. in Tampa. For more information, please visit Bell Shoals Baptist Church Riverview Campus will hold Easter services on Sunday, April 21 at 9:15 and 11 a.m. The Riverview campus is located at 9990 South U.S. Hwy 301 Suite 10026 in Riverview. For more information, please visit The Chapel At Fishhawk will hold Easter services on Sunday, April 21 at 9 and 10:45 a.m. We will gather to celebrate the good news of Jesus that sets us free from shame and gives us hope every day. The Chapel is a non-denominational church that strives to make all of life All About Jesus. We are located in the heart of Fishhawk at 6026 Churchside Dr. in Lithia. For more information, visit

The Crossing Church will observe Good Friday on April 19 at 5 and 7 p.m. at the Tampa campus. The Friday service combines both campuses for a time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus. The Crossing Church will hold weekend services at both campuses celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Tampa campus will hold Easter services on Saturday, April 20 at 4 and 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 8:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. The Tampa campus is located at 10130 Tuscany Ridge Dr. in Tampa. The SouthShore Campus will hold Easter services on Sunday, April 21 at 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. and is located at 2409 E. College Ave. in Ruskin. For more information, visit Firm Foundation Christian Fellowship will have its Resurrection Sunday Worship Service on Sunday, April 21 at 10:30 a.m. This is a time to reflect, remember and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and all that He has done at the cross on our behalf. The community is invited. The church is located at 12001 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview. For more information, visit or call the church 784-5973. First Presbyterian Church of Brandon will hold a dramatic reading of the Passion Story titled From Palms to Passion on Palm Sunday, April 14 at 8:30 and 11 a.m. On April 18 at 7 p.m., First Presbyterian will hold a Maundy Thursday service. The service will begin with dinner in Mauldin Hall with communion around the tables, time in prayer garden and then conclude in the sanctuary. The church will hold a Good Friday service on April 19 at 7 p.m. for a time of prayer and meditation of the cross. On Sunday, April 21, the church will hold an Easter outdoor sunrise service at 6:45 a.m. with other services at 8 and 11 a.m. The church is located at 121 Carver Ave. in Brandon. For more information, visit Grace Baptist Church will hold a ‘Night of Worship’ on Good Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. A Resurrection sunrise service will be held on Sunday, April 21 at 7:30 a.m. with other services at 9 and 11 a.m. These services will include a trans-

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fruit, pastries/donuts, and coffee/milk/juice will be served in the gymnasium from 7 a.m.-11a.m. Immanuel is located at 2913 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 6891787 or visit formational message about the resurrection, inspirational worship in song, a photo opportunity and a gift for every first-time guest. The church is located at 2909 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. For more information, visit Harvest Bible Chapel Tampa Bay will hold an Easter service on Sunday, April 21 at 10 a.m. to celebrate the risen Savior at Bloomingdale High School, located at 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. For more information, visit Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church will hold two services on Palm Sunday, April 14: Holy Eucharist Rite I (Said Service) at 8 a.m. and Holy Eucharist Rite II (Music and Choir) at 10:30 a.m. On Maundy Thursday, April 18, the church will offer Holy Eucharist Rite II (Music and Choir), followed Prayer Vigil and watch at 9 p.m. There will be two services on Good Friday, April 19: Stations of the Cross at 12 Noon and Holy Eucharist Rite II (Music and Choir) at 7 p.m. Holy Innocents’ will observe the Great Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 20 starting at 7 p.m. There will be two services on Easter Sunday, April 21: Holy Eucharist Rite I (Said Service) at 8 a.m. and Holy Eucharist Rite II (Music and Choir) at 10:30 a.m. Childcare will be provided for all services. The church is located at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. For more information, contact the church office at 689-3130. Immanuel Lutheran Church and School will observe Holy Week with services for Palm Sunday on April 14 at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Maundy Thursday services on April 18 at 8:15 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Good Friday on April 19 at 7 p.m. and Holy Saturday Easter Vigil on April 20 at 9 p.m. Easter Sunday services will be held on April 21 at 6:30 (sunrise), 8:30 and 11 a.m. A complimentary Easter breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage, grits, biscuits & gravy, Journey Church of Brandon will observe Good Friday on April 19 at 6:30 p.m. with other churches from the Tampa area. The message will focus on Jesus’ seven last words on the cross and what that means for you. Journey will hold an Easter service on Sunday, April 21 at 9 a.m. The church is located at 1310 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. For more information, visit Lighthouse Freedom Center will hold a Good Friday Service on April 19 at 7 p.m. and an Easter Sunday Service on April 21 at 10 a.m. The church is located at 7211 S. 78th St. in Riverview. For more information, visit Living Savior Lutheran Church will hold an outdoor Easter sunrise service on Sunday, April 21 at 7 a.m. As the sun rises, we are reminded of the events happening around the empty tomb early on that first Easter Sunday. Following the sunrise service, the church will host an Easter breakfast at 8:30 a.m. featuring generous portions of breakfast items. At 9:15 a.m., all children are invited to participate in an egg hunt. Then at 10 a.m., the church will hold an Easter Festival Service filled with praise and thanks celebrating the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Living Savior is located at 2650 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Nativity Catholic Church will observe Holy Thursday on April 18 at 8 a.m. with morning prayer in the chapel and Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m. in the church (bilingual and ASL). Good Friday services will be held on April 19 at 8 a.m. for morning prayer in the chapel, and the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion will be held at 3 p.m. in church (ASL); 6:30 p.m. in the gym (Spanish) and 7 p.m. in the church. On Holy Saturday, April 20, services will be held at 8 a.m. for morning prayer in the chapel, 12 Noon for the Blessing of the

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Page 7 • • March 2019

Special Events & Easter Services Offered By Local Churches

By Amanda Boston

Easter food baskets in the chapel and 8 p.m. for an Easter Vigil in the church (bilingual). On Sunday, April 21, the Easter Masses in English are as followed: 6:30 a.m. in the church, 8:30 a.m. in the church (ASL) and gymnasium, and 10:30 a.m. in the church, chapel and gymnasium (family). Easter Masses in Spanish will be held at 12:30 p.m. in the church and chapel. The church is located at 705 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. For more information, call 681-4608 or visit New Hope United Methodist Church will celebrate Palm Sunday, on April 14 with a special musical program, featuring a full choir and orchestra at 9:30 and 11 a.m. On Maundy Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m., the church will have a worship service with communion in the sanctuary. On Good Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., the church will do a combined English and Hispanic service in Logan Hall. On Easter Sunday, April 21, services will take place at 8, 9:30, 11 a.m. on the church property. The Hispanic service will take place in Logan Hall at 11 a.m. You are invited to bring a cut flower to place on the flower cross in the courtyard, an annual tradition enjoyed by many people at New Hope UMC. A Hispanic sunrise service is also offered at 6:30 a.m. at

Little Harbor Beach, located at 602 Bahia Del Sol Dr. in Ruskin. Bring a lawn chair and a flashlight for reading. The Tampa Bay Emmaus Community will join in with Riverview United Methodist Church for their ‘Son’ Rise service on the edge of the Alafia River at 8 a.m. New Hope UMC is located at 121 N. Knights Ave. in Brandon. For more information, visit, email or call at 689-4161. Next Level Church FishHawk will hold an Easter experience at Newsome High School at 10 a.m. After the experience, the church will do a Helicopter Egg Drop. Information and wristband to access the secret location will be available at the experience. For more information, visit Newsome High School is located at 16550 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. Redeemer Church will observe Good Friday on April 19 at 7 pm. On Sunday, April 21, the church will hold a sunrise service at 7:30 a.m. on its back property and regular worship at 9:30 a.m. The church is located at 12404 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. For more information, call 741-1776 or visit South Bay Church will observe

Good Friday with a service on April 19 at 7 p.m. The service will feature reflective music on the events that transpired over 2000 years ago. It will also feature a time of prayer, communion and a word from the pastor. On Sunday, April 21, South Bay will hold an intimate outdoor sunrise service at 7 a.m. and celebrate the rising sun with acoustic music and teaching. Other Easter services will be held at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12 Noon. Join us and hear about how Jesus overcame death once and for all at Calvary, and why that message is the greatest event in all of history. The church is located at 13498 U.S. Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview. St. Anne Catholic Church will celebrate the Easter Triduum with Holy Thursday on April 18 at 8 a.m. with Morning Prayer of the Liturgical Hours and then the Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m., followed by the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 12 Midnight. St. Anne will observe Good Friday on April 19 at 12 Noon with the Stations of the Cross, at 3 p.m. with Solemn Celebration of the Lord's Passion and at 6 p.m. with

La Pasión del Señor. On Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m., the church will celebrate Holy Saturday with Reconciliation, then at 12 Noon with the Blessing of Easter food, and 8:30 p.m. with an Easter Vigil. On Sunday, April 21, Easter Mass will take place at 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 noon (Spanish) and 5 p.m. St. Anne is located at 106 11th Avenue N.E. in Ruskin. For more information, call 645-1714. St. Stephen Catholic Church invites you to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with us. Join us for Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. and stay for prayer anytime until 12 Midnight ‘in the garden.’ On April 19, Good Friday services begin at 12 Noon with the Stations of the Cross, which is followed at 2:30 p.m. with the Novena of The Divine Mercy. The Veneration of the Cross will take place at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Saturday, April 20 at 8:30 p.m., Easter Vigil services will begin as we welcome the Light of Christ. On Sunday, April 21, we welcome your family to worship with us at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. St. Stephen is located at 10118 Saint Stephen Cir. in Riverview. For more information call 689-4900 or visit

Page 8 • • April 2019

Your Monthly Catch

The Mighty Miracles Of Jesus

Healing Of The Possessed Man In Capernaum

By Kelly Wise Valdes

Local Happenings In Our Community men of all races and denominations to spiritually endure life's circumstances. Join us in a time of great worship The Foundations of Life Walk/Run music, teaching and fellowship. for Life will be held on Saturday, April Guest speakers include James 13 at Ben T. Davis Beach on the Ford, Jr., pastor and author Courtney Campbell of Treasured Causeway between Truth Radio, feaTampa and Clearwater. tured on Moody Registration begins at Radio Florida, 8 a.m. and races start and Brad Stine, at 9 a.m. with the folspeaker and lowing options: 1 mile, Christian comedi2 miles, and 5K. an. Cost is $30 Registration is $10 per adult and and includes a ‘Unique $20 per youth. from Day One’ T-shirt, Lunch will also Baby Feet Pin, Goody be provided. Derrick Williams. Bag and more. Spirit More information FM will broadcast from and how to registration can be found the beach, and The Knights of at or by Columbus will provide hot dogs, chips, calling 220-5296. The Portico is locatand drinks for the participants. For more information or to pre-reg- ed at 1001 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa. ister, visit or Hop On Over To Brandon Christian email Women Connections Luncheon Ben T. Davis Beach is located at 7740 ‘A Bunny Hop’ will feature a fun W. Courtney Campbell Causeway in jewelry exchange so bring a nonTampa. favorite piece of jewelry and exchange Golf Scramble And BBQ Hosted By for something new to you. The luncheon with entertainment will be on Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church Monday, April 8 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church Bell Shoals Baptist Church in the will hold its seventh annual ‘Best Ball’ Special Event Center, 2102 Bell Golf Tournament and BBQ dinner at Shoals Rd. in Brandon. River Hills Country Club on Saturday, The cost is $15 and first time April 6. Tee off time for the tournament guests pay $10. Please call Lillie at is set for 1 p.m. with dinner beginning 740-0098 for reservation and more at 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to information. the winning foursome as well as for the ‘Longest Drive’ and ‘Closest to the Hole’ contests. There are also ‘Hole in The Rock & The Rabbi Musical Features Local Music Artist One’ prizes and a putting competition. The rousing musical The Rock & During dinner, there will be a silent The Rabbi comes to Countryside auction, prize raffles and a 50/50 Christian Church in Clearwater on drawing. Friday, April, 19 at 7 p.m. Audiences For individual and foursome registration as well as sponsorship opportu- all over the country have enjoyed the Rock & The Rabbi—from the Tampa nities, visit All Bay Performing Arts Center to proceeds will benefit the mission and ministries of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium to New York City’s Lambs Theatre. Church. Local artist Derrick Williams has performed the role of The Rabbi for Christian Men United Presents the past 21 years. ENDURE, A Men’s Conference Tickets can be purchased at Christian Men United (CMU), a nondenominational men’s ministry, will Countryside Christian Church is locathold a men’s conference on Saturday, ed at 1850 N. McMullen Booth Rd. in April 6 from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Clearwater. Visit www.therockandtherPortico. This year’s conference theme is ENDURE with the purpose of calling

Foundations of Life Pregnancy Center Walk/Run For Life 2019

During His ministry, Jesus performed more than 40 miracles including healing the sick, changing the natural elements of nature and even raising people from the dead. A miracle is considered an event that occurs outside the bounds of natural law. Each month, we will take a closer look at one of His miracles to understand the depth of His love for us. Understanding the miracles of Jesus can change your life, and it all begins with believing through faith. The fourth documented miracle of Jesus was recorded in Mark 1:21-28 and Luke 4:33-37. Jesus had been preaching in Nazareth for a while, and by Luke's account, He traveled to Capernaum to teach in the synagogue. The people of Capernaum were new to Jesus but hearing Him preach impressed them. However, His preaching was abruptly and loudly interrupted by a man that was possessed by a demon. Luke 4:31-37 states, “Then He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath, He taught the people. They were amazed at His teaching, because His words had authority. In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, ‘Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you

come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’” Jesus responded, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” The demon immediately came out of the man as the man fell to the floor, but was not hurt. The people who witnessed this were astounded. But, why did the demon confirm in the temple that Jesus was, in fact, the Holy One of God? Perhaps the demon was attempting to make Jesus the next best roadside attraction, calling attention to Jesus in a negative way. Jesus intended to teach humility to His disciples and practice kindness. And now He had to use His authority to cast out a demon in front of a large group of people. Jesus knew that this phase of His earthly ministry was short and there was much work to do. Having to cast out demons in such a dramatic way drew more attention to the scene and less for the glory of the message that Jesus was preaching. It is a common phrase in our society to refer to our personal demons. We may be consumed by demons of our past mistakes or of hate, anger or resentfulness. If we have conquered our own demons through God’s love, then how do we react to others who are still struggling? When Jesus called out the demon, He didn't call out the man; He called out the spirit. We must do the same. We must learn to love the person but not love the behavior. We all certainly have displayed unlovable behaviors, but as Christians, we search for forgiveness. This miracle of casting out the demon demonstrates that God loves us, even if He doesn’t love what we are doing. Jesus sets people free and wants us to love others as He loves us.

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Page 9 • • April 2019

Egg Hunts, Crafts, Activities And Family Fun All Around Town First Presbyterian Church of Brandon will host an Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Bring a basket and a dish to share. The event will feature crafts, games, an egg hunt and potluck lunch. The church is located at 121 Carver Ave. in Brandon. Grace Baptist Church will host an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Children 12 and under are asked to bring a basket for the hunt. The egg hunt will also include complimentary photos with the Easter Bunny. The church is located at 2909 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. For more information, visit Hawthorne Village Retirement Community invites you to its Bunny Hop Treat Trail on Friday, April 19. The ribbon cutting to open the treat trail is at 10:30 a.m. There will be treat stations set up on the trail and the Easter Bunny will be on site. Hawthorne Village is located at 859 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 6618998 or visit Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church will hold a free Easter breakfast and egg hunt on Sunday, April 21 at 9:15 a.m. The church is located at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. For more information, contact the church office at 6893130. Lighthouse Freedom Center will host its annual Easter of Hope Outreach on Saturday, April 13 at 11 a.m. The event includes Riverview's largest egg

By Amanda Boston

hunt and a free bike giveaway. Celebrate Jesus with food, fun, face painting, candy, prizes, dance contests, skits and more. All are welcome to this free family event. LRC is located at 7211 S. 78th St. in Riverview. For more information, visit Living Savior Lutheran Church will host an Easter breakfast featuring generous portions of breakfast items on Sunday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. Then at 9:15 a.m., children are invited to participate in an Easter egg hunt. The church is located at 2650 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Next Level Church FishHawk will do a Helicopter Egg Drop at a secret location on Sunday, April 21. The drop will take place after the church’s Easter experience held at Newsome High School at 10 a.m. To receive a wristband and access to the egg drop location, you will need to attend the 10 a.m. experience. The egg drop is free and will also include bounce houses, face painting and other family-friendly activities. Registration is required for entry, visit to register and for more information. Plant City's Annual City-wide Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m.-12

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Noon. The event features an Easter egg hunt, food, photos with the Easter bunny, inflatables and more. The egg hunt is free, but other activities cost a nominal fee. The egg hunt is for all youths ages 3-11, and children will be divided into age groups. Two special ‘Golden Eggs’ will be hidden in each egg nest. Finders turn them in for a large Easter Basket after the hunt. The event is held at the Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex, located at 2402 East Cherry St. in Plant City. More information can be found at Redeemer Church will hold its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20 at 9:30 a.m. for toddlers through fifth grade. The free event also includes refreshments, a special craft and worship. The church is located at 12404 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. For more information, visit www.redeemer- South Bay Church will host an Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m.-12 Noon. The egg hunt will feature more than 20,000 eggs, a food truck rally, music, prizes and the Easter Bunny. The church is located at 13498 U.S. Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview. For more information, visit St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church of Brandon will host its annual Easter egg hunt and festivities on Sunday, April 14 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on campus. The event will include games, crafts, cookie decorating food and of course, egg hunts featuring an indoor toddler room and an indoor glow in the dark hunt for older kids. The outdoor egg hunt will include a fenced-in area where those age 5 and under can hunt eggs with kids their size. Eggs will be color-coded to help children with allergies distinguish non-candy/peanut-free items. Kona Ice will also be on location selling some cool treats. The event is free but please register online at The church is located at 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon.

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Page 10 • • April 2019

Pearson Capital, Inc. Offers Ways For Everyone To Build Wealth

Local Y Group Welcomes New Members & Keeps Each Other In Stitches

Achieving can.” greater financial Every day may security and indeseem like Christmas pendence is a goal when your financial that to many people house is in order, but may seem like a when the holiday good idea, but also comes around each hard to do without a year, Pearson and lot of time to do Hathaway are coordiresearch, not to nating the collection of mention all the fees goods for the annual that can eat away at Marine Corps Toys for investment gains. Tots campaign in the Don Pearson and Ann Hathaway of Don Pearson, SouthShore area. Pearson Capital, Inc. are ready to help president of Pearson Over the last 15 years, people invest in their futures. Financial, Inc., offers Pearson and another approach, which is to invest Hathaway have grown the drive into a through his firm and the only fees to be major joy-giver for kids in Hillsborough paid are a management fee of one perCounty. They started out with 25 colleccent on assets over $1,500 and $6.95 tion boxes in the SouthShore area and per trade, which is levied by TD now there are 100 of them. According to Ameritrade through which transactions Hathaway their most recent drive garare made. nered more than 6,000 toys (100 of them “If your portfolio goes up, we get paid bicycles) and more than $9,000 in cash more,” he said. “If it doesn’t, we don’t.” donations. Pearson is a Registered Investment In recognition of the work Pearson Advisor, which he said carries with it the Capital does on behalf of the Toys for obligation to put client interests above his Tots campaign, the SouthShore Chamber own. of Commerce gave a Special Recognition “I need to give you things that are Award to Pearson in January for his best for you. A broker decides based on sponsorship of the annual SouthShore their interests.” Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive. Unlike many personal financial advisTo learn more about how Pearson ing firms that may require large sums of Capital, Inc. can help you grow financially money to invest with, Pearson’s clients secure, call 641-7575 or visit pearsoncapcan start with whatever they can afford. where you can also read the “We have no minimums,” said Ann Pearson Investment Letter, which Hathaway, account manager at Pearson includes Walter’s Wisdom, written by Capital for the past 15 years. “We encour- Pearson Capital founder, and WWII veterage people to start with anything they an, Walter Pearson.

It is early on the Brandon a Monday mornRegional Hospital ing and the Baby Suites.” ladies start to New members trickle into the are always welcome conference room to join. Debbie at the Campo Y. Wieder, who faciliEach of them tates the informal walks in wearing group, said, “We tell a smile, and after you to bring your the welcomes yarn and hook from other group In honor of National Heart Month, members whether you are croof the Happy Stitchers group that meets members, they weekly at the Campo Y recently donated red cheting or knitting. begin stitching hats to Brandon Regional Hospital’s Baby There is always Suites. hats, blankets someone there to and other items, all while enjoying the help you get started. We try to talk to camaraderie of those around them. The everyone.” ladies belong to The Happy Stitchers and Sandy DiBurro has been with the truly enjoy their craft and the company. group for a year. She found herself alone The ladies love to give back to the and was looking for companionship, so community. In July, they donated she decided to join. “This group has Lapghans to the Veteran’s Hospital. become like a family to me. I’ve done a Lapghans are smaller than blankets and lot of sewing and alterations since I was a can be used by those in wheelchairs or kid.” for the elderly to help keep them warm. Currently, there are 18 members who They also donate Lapghans annually to attend. You do need to be a member of the Y’s Livestrong Program. the Y to belong to the group. Members Recently, the group knitted more than currently range in ages from the 30s on 150 hats and donated them to Brandon up. All skill levels are welcome and the Regional Hospital (BRH). The hospital members are glad to help you get started. partners with the American Heart You only need to bring your favorite color Association to provide red knitted hats to yarn and the tools to crochet or knit. all babies born during February. This is A few of the ladies are bilingual and the second year that the Happy Stitchers can help if Spanish is your first language. participated. The Happy Stitchers meet every Jill Lansky, Business Development Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Director in charge of the program at the Campo Family YMCA, 3414 Culbreath hospital said, “Thank you Campo YMCA Rd. in Valrico. For more information, call Happy Stitchers for making and donating Kavita Marbali at 684-1371 ext. 1606 or hand-knit hats for our newborn babies at visit the welcome center.

By Brad Stager

5th Annual Impact’s Got Talent Friday, April 12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Bloomingdale High School

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Page 11 • • April 2019

Page 12 • • April 2019

Feast On New Flavors And Enjoy Entertainment At Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival

Staff Report


Boyz II Men Tampa’s premier spring festival returns on Saturday, March 16 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Food & Wine Festival. With more than 35 delicious dishes to pair with over 100 wines, craft brews and cocktails, guests can explore a variety of flavors while enjoying a diverse concert line-up, including acts for all tastes. The Food & Wine Festival runs weekends from March 16 to April 28 and is included with admission to the park. In addition to returning fan favorites, this year’s menu boasts many daring new flavors inspired by cuisines around the country. Guests can begin their culinary road trip with grilled lamb chops featuring a 15year balsamic drizzle from northern California. Foodies cannot miss mouthwatering Tex-Mex classics like chorizo queso fundido with sweet onions and shishito peppers or grilled elote–the park’s spin on Mexican street corn, featuring cotija cheese and lime crema. Island delights feature flavors of paradise with Hawaiian-inspired delicacies, including a dreamy pineapple upside down cake or Kona-crusted filet mignon with Maui onion butter. Nostalgic guests can

Hunter Hayes even take a trip down memory lane with a visit to the 60th Anniversary cabin, featuring recipes inspired by

The Band Perry wine tastings. The best way to savor and save on everything the festival has to offer is with a Food & Wine Festival

You can enjoy fun foods with daring new flavors as well as great entertainment at Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival, which will run weekends from March 16 through April 28.

historical Busch Gardens’ treats and snacks from decades gone by. This year’s festival features five unique tastings, including returning favorites and new options. Guests can explore exotic spirits at signature vodka, bourbon, ice wine, tequila and sparkling

Sampler. Guests can purchase a 5, 8 or 12-item sampler lanyard to use at each festival cabin to explore samplesized dishes and drink offerings with ease. Pass Members can purchase an exclusive 15-item sampler for the same price as a 12-item sampler.

From country and rock to R&B, the Food & Wine Festival line-up reflects musical genres of all tastes. Fans can book the ultimate festival experience with one of two exclusive VIP packages available for each act, including reserved concert seating and a sampler lanyard. Concert headliners include: Saturday, March 16–Daughtry; Sunday, March 17–The Band Perry; Saturday, March 23–3 Doors Down; Sunday, March 24–Blue Rodeo, Kathleen Edwards and Fred Eaglesmith, featuring Tif Ginn; Saturday, March 30–Justin Moore; Sunday, March 31–El Gran Comb; Saturday, April 06–TBA; Sunday, April 07–Josh Turner; Saturday, April 13, Mighty Mighty Bosstones; Sunday, April 14–Boyz II Men; Friday, April 19– Edwin McCain and Vertical Horizon; Saturday, April 20–Hunter Hayes and Levi Hummo; Sunday, April 21–Mat Kearney; Saturday, April 27–Walk Off the Earth; and Sunday, April 28– Foreigner. For more information about tickets and a complete schedule, visit

Page 13 • • April 2019

Impact’s Got Talent Show & Program Offers Great Opportunities For Teens

By Amanda Boston

By Kelly Wise Valdes

Cathedral Basilica Of The Sacred Heart In Newark, NJ When Henry Hudson sailed down Newark Bay in the early 1600s, many colonies started to form in what is now New Jersey. As new settlers continued to flock to the Garden State, their cultures and beliefs also came with them, resulting in some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in America today. It may come as a surprise that one of the most stunning examples of French Gothic architecture in the United States is the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in downtown Newark. The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the fifth largest cathedral in North America, with more than 45,000 square feet under roof. Construction took almost a half-century to complete, beginning from 1899 until 1954. When the construction began, more than 100,000 people gathered to watch the cornerstone laying ceremony. During the construction period, there were several design changes, ultimately leading to the French Gothic Revival look. The result is one of the most spectacular cathedrals anywhere in the country, including ornate twin towers and a pointed spire standing more

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Mark your callifestyle choices. endar for Friday, Kagey continApril 12 for the fifth ued, “Last year, our annual Impact’s Summer Staff proGot Talent. gram reached over Impact’s fundraiser, 750 students and based off the 28 site locations in NBC’s television Hillsborough and show America’s Polk County over Got Talent, showthe summer at area cases singers, Boys & Girls Clubs, Pictured is last year’s grand prize winner dancers and musiYMCA's, Parks & Jennifer Manangan, a 9th grader at Wharton high school. cians and more. Recreation Centers The festivities will be held at and other community organizations.” Bloomingdale High School and will kick Impact lives up to its name as Nick off at 6:30 p.m. as students of all Lazaro, a senior at Newsome ages take the stage to vie for the High school explained, “Impact $250 grand prize. Additionally, has helped me personally first and second place trophies because it allowed me to will be awarded in each categobecome more confident in my ry. The event will also hold a ability to speak in public. 50/50 raffle along with its highly-anticipatThrough my time in the program, ed silent auction. I made lasting friendships and will never Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are forget my time being an Impact summer $10 per person and can be purchased staffer.” online at Eventbrite or at the door. All tickImpact receives its funding from the et sales benefit the Impact program. Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Angie Kagey, the founder and execu- local pregnancy centers, individuals, tive director of the nonprofit explained its churches, businesses and fundraising mission, "Impact educates and empowers events. On Thursday, October 3, Impact teens to make healthy choices by avoidwill hold its annual Celebration Dinner at ing high-risk behavior." The Regent in Riverview. The nonprofit tackles tough subjects For more information on Impact, like drugs, alcohol and sex through clubs, visit or its classrooms, its Summer Staff program, Facebook page @whatisimpact. For furcamps and more. Impact’s Summer Staff ther questions or to become an event is eight-week program, where a group of sponsor, contact Angie Kagey at selected students perform comedic skits or 264-9368. that touch on powerful subjects and Bloomingdale High School is located at encourage abstinence and healthy 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

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Page 14 • • April 2019

Manatee Apparel Graphics Is Hot Off The Presses & Ready To Fulfill Orders If you are looking for a local and family-owned apparel graphics business, look no further than Manatee Apparel Graphics. Dennis Frey and his wife own and run Manatee Apparel Graphics and are proud to offer screen-printing, embroidery, digital printing (DTG), sublimation, banners, signs, decals, window clings and delivery services to the Tampa Bay area. Frey was born in the Bronx, NY and raised in the Northeast. He moved to Florida in 1983 and relocated to Manatee County in 1993. “I really wanted to have my own business and heard about a small company that might be for sale, Manatee Apparel Graphics,” said Frey. “I was working for a company that manufactured traffic control equipment around the world.” The Freys purchased the business in June 2002. “What I like best about Manatee Apparel is the people we meet and the diverse markets we serve,” said Frey. “We service schools, churches, bands, professional athletes, small businesses, corporations, civic organizations, municipalities, police, fire, military, family reunions, etc. With the equipment and the staff we have, if a customer needs it decorated, we can handle it. “ Screen-printing remains the most

By Kelly Wise Valdes

widely known and widely used form of decorating custom apparel. With such a long legacy of fantastic quality workmanship along with outstanding customer service, coupled with a large variety of in-house services, the Freys launched an additional facility in Riverview more than 10 years ago, in January 2009. “We are a one-stop shop within the decorated apparel and promotional product industry,” said Frey. “We do it all inhouse with our machines and our employees, some of who have been with us for over a decade.” In addition, Manatee Apparel Graphics offers E-Commerce and fulfillment services. For customers who want to sell on the internet without the hassle, Manatee Apparel can build and host its website. Currently, Manatee Apparel Graphics is hosting a special for 15 percent off the next order for any customer, new or existing, that mentions this article from now through the end of 2019. People can also follow its Facebook page for other specials offered throughout the year. Call 677-1500 or visit and view the latest promotional video. Stop by the local office at 6520 U.S. Hwy 301, Suite 102 in Riverview.

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First Free Women's Rehabilitation Program Opens In Tampa Bay Area

By Richard Hodder

The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Hillsborough County has opened its new women's program. Since 1950, the ARC has been providing a six to 12 month residential program to men who want to A rendering of the building that houses the new Salvation Army solve their alcohol women’s rehabilitation program in Tampa. and drug prob“Since December of last year, the lems. Now, with the construction of a ARC is able to help women in their separate residence, the ARC offers own safe environment. Just like the its 12-step, faith-based, long-term rest of our country, Tampa Bay is rehabilitation program to women. having to find solutions to the opioid The rehabilitation program is crisis and sex trafficking. Now The funded completely by the unwanted Salvation Army can provide hope to items people donate to get recycled women in our community who want in The Salvation Army Family Stores. to conquer these terrifying problems,” The ARC residents do not have any said Administrator Major John Reed. out-of-pocket costs or need any To support this much needed health insurance coverage. community service, people can The women's residence contains schedule a free truck pickup of their 10 bedrooms; each bedroom houses three women. The facility includes an unwanted items by calling 1-800-SATRUCK or visiting SATRUCK.ORG. intake office, library/two classrooms, To get involved with the new offices/conference room, kitchen, dinwomen’s program, ing room, great room, recreation contact katherine.reed@uss.salvaroom, fitness room, laundry/hair or 972-0471 ext. 59170. ting station, and two resident manThe ARC is looking for women sponagers’ bedrooms. The ARC also has sors, a women’s committee dealing a new chapel, seating 250 persons with recovery, and a special projects for both the men and women beneficommittee. ciaries and their families and friends.

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Page 15 • • April 2019

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Page 16 • • April 2019

Lost and Found – The Mysterious Journey Of A Childhood Bible

By Kelly Wise Valdes

My alarm my parents still live in sounded at 6 a.m., Jacksonville. Kim sent and I begrudgingly Teo more pictures to pulled myself out of send to me. Many of bed. This day was the photographs were like any other day– of the notes inside of but this particular the pages of the Bible morning took an that were in my mothunexpected turn. I er’s handwriting. My had a Facebook sister’s name was message from a even written on one of longtime friend, Teo the pages. Leonard. Still, in disbelief, I "Hello, Kelly. I went to find my Bible Kim Patterson found a bible dedicated to just saw this post Kelly Wise from 1975 and reconnected on my bookshelf and with her to return it. from a friend of opened it up. Then I mine named Kim Patterson–and I realized that the Bible on thought you might be my bookshelf was one interested in seeing that my parents gave me it…” Then he sent back when I was a me a copy of the young adult. post: Teo put me in “Last week I'm out touch Kim. We made at a thrift store looking arrangements to for a few outfits for a meet. We immedichild we took under our ately hugged, and wing. There were books with a sign sayI saw my childing Bibles are free! I politely asked if I hood Bible, discould take 2 and they have been in my played on her wall backseat ever since. Yesterday morning in her dining room. for some reason I opened one of them It was very worn, up. Kelly Wise - this Bible was dedicated from either being to you on 8-31-75. Mrs. Sandra Collins well loved or from was your teacher along with Mary Poole. the mysterious ..." journey that evenWell, my maiden name was Wise, tually brought it to but I didn’t know who this Kim lady was a thrift store in Ruskin. and why would my Bible be in a thrift “When I happened to open your shop? My Bible was on the bookshelf in Bible, the verse circled was about serving my room. others,” said Kim. “This is what actually So, I replied to Teo, “Well In 1975 I sparked my interest.” would have been in 3rd grade. But those “Why I posted that day on Facebook people’s names don’t sound familiar to I have no idea,” as she continued telling me at all. I don’t think it’s mine. In 1975 her story. “I pick up Bibles, but I don't look lived in Jacksonville, Florida and went to through them.” a small Methodist church. Where exactly She graciously gave me back my did she find this Bible?” childhood Bible, although part of me He replied that Kim lives in the wanted her to keep it. I know she was Ruskin area and that she picks up Bibles meant to find it, and I consider it ‘our’ in thrift stores to hand out to people that Bible now. Our paths were meant to she may run across that would need one. cross for a reason. Was this God’s I’ve moved quite a bit in my life but all reminder to me that I had drifted from my my books have moved with me, and I’ve beliefs? Did He want me to know that my never been to a thrift store in Ruskin. Out dusty Bible and my dusty heart needed a of pure curiosity, I asked if he could have good cleaning? Is this God’s way of getKim send him a picture of this mystery ting my attention to remind me that He is Bible. still here and loves me? It could all be a Then Teo sent a picture of the inside series of coincidences, but I believe in the page of the Bible that said, "This Bible is God of miracles. dedicated to Kelly Wise. August 31, 1975. How did my childhood Bible find its Wesconnett United Methodist Church." way to a thrift store in Ruskin? This we It WAS my Bible! That was my child- may never know. But, my childhood Bible hood church! It’s about a mile from where has finally found its way home.

Foundation Christian Academy To Present Into The Woods This April

By Kathy L. Collins

who are on a quest to begin a family. They interact with both a witch who places a curse on them and other fairy tale characters. Lushanya Barth is the Theatre Director at The Foundation Christian Academy. Along with her husband, Cody, they direct The talented students at Foundation Christian Academy in Valrico, under the the school’s productions. In direction of Lushanya and Cody Barth, will the fall students performed perform Into The Woods on Thursday, April Arsenic and Old Lace, and 4, Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6. The community is invited to come see the magical last spring, they performed performance of a popular Sondheim musical. The Wizard of Oz. Barth looks for shows The Theatre Department of that will allow all of the students in both Foundation Christian Academy in Valrico middle school and high school have a will present Into The Woods this April. part in the production. “When picking the The spring production will take place on next show to perform, we watch a lot of Thursday, April 4 at 6 p.m., Friday, April 5 other school performances,” said Barth. at 7 p.m. On Saturday, April 6 there will “Our kids are exceptional. They are dedibe a matinee at 1 p.m. and then a show cated, hard-working, and they glorify God at 7 p.m. All shows will take place at in their positive attitudes. They are going Foundation Christian Academy located at to knock your socks off with this one,” 3955 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. added Barth. Tickets to Into The Woods are $15 Bobbi Williams’ daughter, Justice for general admission and $10 for stuDeveney plays Jack’s mother in Into The dents and teachers. The Foundation Woods. Christian Academy’s production is approWilliams said, “The directors are talpriate for all ages. Refreshments will be ented. It is exciting for the students to offered during intermission. work with them. My daughter has been in Into The Woods is one of Stephen the Theatre Department for three years. It Sondheim’s most popular musicals. It folhas helped her grow in so many ways. I lows the plots of several Brothers Grimm would like to see this for other children.” and Charles Perrault fairy tales including You can buy tickets to Into The Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Woods by visiting Bean Stalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella and The musical is tied together by intertwining a childless baker and his wife tianacademy. You can also call 444-5905.

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Page 17 • • April 2019

Hot Off The Christian News Wire

Six Artists Compete To Win Gospel Music Recording Contract

Six gospel music artists will have the chance to become a gospel music star on a new reality program called The Gospel. Throughout eight episodes, contestants compete for a national management contract with T.D. Jakes' Dexterity Sounds and Marquis Boone Music Group. The first of its kind for gospel music, the winner of this competition will perform at the International Pastors and Leadership Conference in Tampa on Thursday, April 25.

The Gospel will serve as a platform for up-and-coming gospel artists while inspiring viewers through their faith-filled musical performances. Not only will artists discover stardom, but they will also experience the hustle and drive necessary to rise in the entertainment industry. Contestants were discovered via video recordings submitted on social media. A sneak peek of the series is available at The 2019 International Pastors and Leadership Conference takes place Thursday-Saturday, April 25 – 27 at the Tampa Convention Center. At the conference, Jakes will also be unveiling his latest book, Crushing: God Turns Pressure into Power. For more information, visit

After Only 5 Months, 'Pause to Pray' Radio Feature Now Airing On 225+ Stations Nationwide

The Presidential Prayer Team, the national, nonpartisan prayer ministry for America and its leaders, announced today the rapid growth of its ‘Pause to Pray’ radio program, a daily one-minute feature dedicated to praying for a different national leader, which is now airing on 229 stations across 40 states after launching in October.

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something for every young girl preparing for her First Holy Communion. The Kid's Dream Online Shop will offer the same collections as they do for its 500+ retailers that are in more than 30

Presidential Prayer team to engage more Americans in daily prayer at a deep level. Radio stations can access the free program through the Amb-OS system or make a direct request for the feature online via Founded in 2001, The Presidential Prayer Team is a national, nonpartisan ministry dedicated to a focused mission of encouraging, inspiring and praying for the president and leadership of the United States of America. To learn more about The Presidential Prayer Team, please visit

countries, giving shoppers direct access to the elegant range of styles from classic to modern communion options that meet most parish guidelines. Kid's Dream takes its community responsibility seriously and has a standing partnership to donate dresses in its one-for-one program with nonprofit Baby2Baby. The family-owned company offers a personalized touch to customer service and also free domestic shipping on orders more than $30. New communion shoppers receive a 15% discount code for signing up and have the option to make installment payments for dress orders via AfterPay. Kid's Dream is a family-owned and operated special occasion girl's dress that specializes in flower girl dresses, Easter dresses, communion dresses, graduation dresses, holiday dresses and christening gowns. For more information, visit or follow @kidsdreamus on Instagram or Pinterest.

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Page 18 • • April 2019

Seven Couples Renew Vows Together

By Kate Quesada

A group of and guests Valrico residents enjoyed a made a very special Valentine’s Daycommitment last themed reception month. In honor of with drinks, dinner Valentine’s Day, and dessert. seven couples from Married for 73 the Featherock manyears, Elvis and ufactured home Mary Lou have community renewed advice for couples their wedding vows who have not in the community’s been together for club house. as long. According to RJ “I think the Seven couples living in Valrico’s Featherock success of our Bruce, Associate Community renewed their wedding vows in with Reputation marriage is, he a joint ceremony last month. Partners Communications, the seven lets me be me and I let him be him,” couples had been married a combined said Mary Lou. “I knew when I was 10 343 years when they renewed their years old that he was the man I was vows. going to marry.” “The couples reaffirmed their comRobert and Carol, who celebrated mitment to one another, honored the their 50th anniversary with the renewal years of marriage they already shared also shared their secrets to marriage and raised a glass to their futures togeth- success. er,” said Bruce. “People ask us, ‘How do you stay The couples who participated were together that long?,’” said Carol. “He’s Robert and Margaret Hoinkis, who my best friend.” have been married for 58 years; “She’s right here and its the same Robert and Carol Zavacki, who celething the other way,” said Robert. brated their 50th anniversary the day “That’s the way it’s been for 50 years.” of the renewal; Elvis and Mary Lou Featherock is a 55 and older comWilson, who have been married for 73 munity with more than 900 residents. years; Samuel and Myrian Hernandez, Amenities include a clubhouse with bilwho have celebrated 21 years of marliards and a game room, a library, riage; Bernie and Amy Robart, who shuffleboard and tennis courts and a married 40 years ago; Horst and swimming pool. Gudrun Odparlik, who have been marThe community is located at 2200 ried for 63 years and Diane and Issac S.R. 60 E. in Valrico. For information, Yates, who are celebrating 38 years of visit munities/Florida/Featherock or call After the ceremony, the couples 855-678-5694.

Live Like You Mean It

When Faith Needs To Do More Than Merely Make Sense.

By Derek Maul

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” – Job 11:7 I have been in a lot of conversations recently with people who want everything to fit together tidily and to make sense, especially in terms of faith. At the essential ‘bottom line’ level that’s not a tall order. Here is how I understand it: •Humankind was created to be in relationship with God; •Jesus is God’s wideopen invitation; •God’s love is an opportunity we can either accept and live into or walk away from. The complexity and the angst come into play when we try to make God fit into our limited grasp of time and eternity, finite and infinite, fair and unfair, physical and spiritual, life and death, reasonable and unreasonable, mortality and immortality, seen and unseen, perishable and imperishable. This is where the season of Lent is both critically important and beautifully suited for those who want to wrap their minds around faith but at the same time need to embrace the mystery. The weeks leading up to Easter are primarily about being more deliberate in spiritual practice, and more conscious of God as Mystery, as Presence and as Guide.

Beyond the simple truth of our need to accept God’s invitation and come home, there is very little about faith that offers anyone the comfort of being neatly explainable, especially when we add the layers of sin and injustice and prejudice and exclusion and translation (and more) that have shaped history and culture and message and communication. Again this is where our journey to Jerusalem and The Cross through the season of Lent can help us to be more consciously attuned to the mystery and the deeper spiritual nuances of faith in Jesus. If you are not currently involved in a worshipping community, then this time of the year is a great opportunity to visit and to engage the journey in the company of other pilgrims. God is faithful and true and will certainly meet us all along the way. Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at



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Bloomingdale Hosts Special Olympics ‘IncrediBull Games’

By Nick Nahas

On February to help with the 15, event. Hart said Bloomingdale that there were High School about 15-20 difhosted its fourth ferent groups annual Special from the school Olympics field that helped out. day event called Every student the IncrediBull (called a buddy) Games. The is paired up with school hosted 15 an athlete, and schools from the Photos by Bloomingdale High School Yearbook Team they take them eastern side of around to comBloomingdale hosted its fourth annual Hillsborough pete in their IncrediBull Games. County. events. Several About 335 classes helped athletes competset up games ed in track and and activities in field and soccer the Olympic events. Donna Village where Hart, ESE athletes could teacher at hang out and Bloomingdale, have a fun time and Principal while they waited Sue Burkett were for their events. inspired by a According to In total, there were about 335 athletes that similar event Hart, about 450 competed. Athletes getting ready to compete in held at Gaither students from an event. High School and Bloomingdale wanted to do volunteered their something comtime this year to parable for the put this on for schools on the the athletes. The eastern side of next event will be the county to held at the same compete in as time next year. well. They start plan“It’s a great ning for the school-wide event at the very event, and a way beginning of the Students from Lennard High School were that everybody school year, and among the participants. comes together it takes about six to make everymonths to get thing happen for everything lined these athletes,” up and ready to said Hart. “It’s go. just a great “The event is experience.” a time where our Some of the special athletes schools that are able to be competed included in a include sporting event,” Newsome, said Hart. “It Armwood, Plant gives the athThe event included 15 schools from the eastern letes and the stuCity, Durant, side of Hillsborough County. Riverview, East dents at Bay, Lennard, Spoto, Brandon, Bloomingdale an opportunity to develop Strawberry Crest, Burns Middle School, friendships, it’s a big inclusion event. The Giunta Middle School, Willis Peters support that the partners and athletes Exceptional Center and Simmons show back and forth is probably the best Exceptional Center. thing of the school year for all of us. It’s Students from different sports teams something that everybody benefits from and clubs at Bloomingdale volunteered and looks forward to.”

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BAPTIST Bay Life Church 1017 Kingsway Ave., Brandon (813) 661-3696 Bell Shoals Baptist - Brandon 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon (813) 689-4229 Congregación Hispana 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon (813) 689-4229 ext. 242 Bell Shoals Baptist - Apollo Beach 408 Apollo Beach Blvd., Apollo Beach (813) 641-2222 Bell Shoals Baptist - Palm River 5415 Palm River Rd.,Tampa (813) 621-2058 Bell Shoals Baptist - Riverview 11525 Ramble Creek Dr., Riverview (813) 689-4229, ext. 232 First Baptist Church of Brandon 216 N. Parsons Ave., Brandon (813) 689-1204 First Baptist Church of Bloomingdale 3303 Bloomingdale Ave.,Valrico (813) 689-3847 First Baptist Church of Gibsonton 9912 Indiana St., Gibsonton (813) 677-1301 First Baptist Church of Ruskin 820 College Ave. W., Ruskin (813) 645-6439 FishHawk Fellowship 15326 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia, (813) 655-7431 Grace Baptist Temple 2909 John Moore Rd., Brandon (813) 689-7190 Journey Church 1310 John Moore Rd., Brandon (813) 699-8262 Shiloh Baptist Church 1104 Cason St., Plant City (813) 752-8345 CATHOLIC Nativity Catholic Church 705 E Brandon Blvd., Brandon (813) 681-4608 St. Anne Catholic Church 106 11th Ave. NE, Ruskin (813) 645-1714


St. Matthews Anglican Church 10701 Bloomingdale Avenue, Riverview 813-663-0334 St. Stephen Catholic Church 10118 Saint Stephen Circle, Riverview (813) 689-4900 CHURCH OF GOD Boyette Springs Church of God 12114 Boyette Rd., Riverview (813) 671-0086 Plant City Church of God 2103 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City (813) 752-4591 EPISCOPAL Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church 604 N. Valrico Rd., Valrico (813) 689-3130 LUTHERAN Immanuel Lutheran Church 2913 John Moore Rd., Brandon (813) 689-1787 Living Savior Lutheran Church 2650 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Valrico (813) 681-2375 METHODIST First United Methodist Church of Seffner 1310 South Kingsway Rd., Seffner (813) 689-3513 Grace Community United Methodist Church 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia (813) 661-8858 • New Hope United Methodist Church 120 N. Knights Ave., Brandon (813) 689-4161 Riverview First United Methodist Church 8002 US Hwy 301., Riverview Ruskin United Methodist Church 105 4th Ave. NW, Ruskin (813) 645-1241 South Shore United Methodist Church 11525 Big Bend Rd., Riverview (813) 649-9462 NON-DENOMINATIONAL Destiny Church 2322 11th Ave. SE, Ruskin (813) 645-3337 Centerpoint Church 1801 S. Miller Rd., Valrico (813) 689-1906


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Grace Community Church 1425 N Valrico Rd., Valrico (813) 689-9781 Harvest Bible Chapel Bloomingdale High School 813-699-0517 Life Church 6420 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia (813) 681-6503 Love First Christian Center 12847 Balm Riverview Rd., Riverview 813-671-2009 River of Life Christian Center 6605 Krycul Ave, Riverview 813-677-4453 South Bay Church 13498 US 301 S., Riverview 813-677-0721 The Chapel at FishHawk 6026 Churchside Dr. Lithia 813-661-7105 The Crossing Church - Main Campus 10130 Tuscany Ridge Dr., Tampa, (813) 626-0783 The Crossing Church - SouthShore 3058 East College Ave., Ruskin (813) 626-0580 The Palms Church 207 New Hope Rd., Brandon (813) 841-9598 True Sanctuary 6528 US Hwy 301 S., Suite 114, Riverview (813) 319-5862 PENTECOSTAL HighPoint Church of Brandon 2207 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Valrico/Brandon (813) 685-4827 PRESBYTERIAN First Presbyterian Church of Brandon -PCUSA 121 Carver Ave., Brandon (813) 689-4597 Redeemer Church-PCA 12404 Boyette Rd., Riverview (813) 741-1776 Westminster Presbyterian Church PCA 402 E. Lumsden Rd., Brandon (813) 689-6541



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Page 21 • • April 2019

Celebrate Easter Every Sunday

By Kelly Wise Valdes

On Easter Sunday, church buildings will once again be filled to the brim with record attendances. Easter is one of the most popular church attendance days of the year. But what about the next Sunday? Or the Sunday after? Just like spring-cleaning happens only once a year, that shouldn’t be the only time you clean for 12 months. Maybe if you’re like many of us, you may have become caught up in your children’s sporting events, extracurricular activities, work, chores, etc., and Sundays have indeed become your day of rest. But God wants to recharge your soul each week with encouragement and Christian fellowship. If you've fallen out of the habit of a weekly church routine, maybe consider this Easter as your starting point. Commit to honoring and celebrating the God that loves you and get your family involved in church again. Christ's resurrection is something that should be celebrated every day, not just once a year. Blessings to you and your family this Easter as you celebrate this sacred day.

Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church's Lost Generation By Ken Ham, Jeff Kinley, Britt Beemer The Church is in danger of losing future generations, but only if there is a failure to understand the problem and don't engage them in a way that appeals to their generation. This book offers parents, pastors and Christian educators the information and help needed to reach teens and millennials in a way that cements their Christian faith.

Rerouting: Finding Our Way Back to God and His Church By Fr. John Riccardo

Many people who were brought up in the church have left for a variety of reasons. We often feel as if we're on the road without a map, or have the wrong map, or only pieces of the map. This book addresses this problem head-on, putting the map once again into our hands—or, in today’s language, providing us with the voice of a GPS device telling us where we must go in order to come safely home to loving Christian fellowship.

Come Home: A Call Back to Faith By James MacDonald

This book's invitation is this: come home. It invites the departed to return and offers the promise of the gospel—that all wrongs and sins can be forgiven through Jesus. There is no expiration on the promise of forgiveness and the open arms of Christ, so no matter how long the wanderer has wandered; he or she is still welcome. All hurts can be healed, all brokenness mended. Just come home.

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Sports 657-2418

Connection By Nick Nahas, Photos courtesy of Jarrett Guthrie of

Seffner Christian Looks To Have Breakout Season With Third-Year Head Coach Sal Giardina

By Nick Nahas

SCA third basemen Ben Cheek trying to put the tag on.

The Seffner Christian baseball team is looking to have a bounceback season after going 10-12 last year. The Crusaders are off to a great start, defeating Brandon 8-1 and losing 4-2 to a tough Plant City squad in the preseason. They beat Bell Creek Academy 6-3 in their season opener and lost to IMG Academy Silver 2-0 to start the season with a record of 1-1. Over the summer and fall seasons, third-year Head Coach Sal Giardina Sr. and the team have gone back to the basics, working on fundamentals and defense. “We’ve

Coach Sal Giardina congratulates Daniel Tomasello after a home run.

made huge improvements from last year,” Giardina said. The Crusaders have a young team this season, with only five seniors on the roster. Senior left-handed pitcher Bobby Wellen (4.20 ERA) is the ace of the staff, senior infielder Jackson Shelton (.338 average, 24 hits and 9 RBIs), senior left fielder/pitcher Bryce Mitchell (.296 average), junior catcher Daniel Tomasello (.333 average,12 hits and 8 RBIs) and junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman Tommy Turkett (2.55 ERA) will all play crucial roles on this year’s team. “This year our


Giardina visits the mound to talk to his pitcher, Bobby Wellen.

team goals consist of making it to the district championship and playing every game like it’s our last,” said Tomasello. “I’m looking forward to seeing how far my team can go and see how much we have improved from previous years.” In the offseason, the team stayed busy doing charity work as well. As a baseball program, they adopted 25 less fortunate families and gave them all dinner for Thanksgiving. This is a tradition that Giardina started when he was with the Bullets AAU organization. He wants to continue to grow the num-

Tommy Turkett crosses the plate for a run.

ber of families over time. The players also meet up at Hardee’s before school for Bible study. Giardina is looking forward to district play this season. Some of the key opponents include Bishop McLaughlin, Lakeland Christian, Cambridge Christian and Carrollwood Day. “Our goals are to continue to grow throughout the season and, hopefully, start to peak right around districts and give it a good run,” Giardina said. “We want to grow baseball players and good Christian men.”

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2019 Summer Camps Offer Many Options To Keep Active & Engaged It’s that time of the year when parents are beginning to wonder how they will keep the kids busy during the dog days of summer. What can you do to keep the kids entertained? Where can they go to try new things, learn how to swim, meet new friends and have great fun? There are many options to choose from locally that will fit the bill. The staff at the Osprey Observer has collected the top recommendations for local summer camps and created this special pull out section. Maybe your kids would like to spend the summer ‘horsing around.’ R&R Ranch offers that opportunity, and not just to learn to horseback ride, but also about the care of the horses. At Music Showcase, music and theatre take the stage and so can your child. Musicals such as Willy Wonka and Frozen Jr. will be offered, and your child can hold starring roles in these and other popular musicals offered from the Florida Academy of Performing Arts for children ages 5 and up. For your actor or musician, don’t forget to also check out Firehouse Cultural Center and Patel q

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Zoo • Dinosa

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Conservatory, which also offer fun and exciting ideas. The local YMCAs will offer many types of camps which mix fun along with great learning experiences. With plenty of choices, there is something for everyone. Mathnasium offers ways to keep your student’s math skills from getting rusty in a fun environment. Do you have a child interested in cooking? Check out Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium’s Cooking Camps for Kids through Teens. With weekly themes utilizing agespecific activities and field trips that make BSAC unique, your kids will enjoy every moment of summer camp. Specialty camps for Baseball (Ostingers), Legos (Bricks4Kidz), Art (Center Place) and Tennis (FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club) also offer great opportunities. For dates, prices and registration information on these and more, turn the page and enjoy this special section and have a great summer. Did we miss one? Let us know by emailing subject line ‘Summer Camp’ to and we will be sure to add to our full listing online.

Spots Filling Fast For Outdoor Adventure At Tampa YMCA Summer Camp

Staff Report

This is the year to experience YMCA Summer Camp. Registration is now open for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA’s newly enhanced summer camp program. Y Summer Camp 2019 offers children a day camp curriculum full of fun, educational activities. Activity specialists will lead campers through various experiences each day including swimming, science, high ropes, outdoor education, nature encounters,

Enjoy archery and many other activities this summer at YMCA Summer Camp. The camp offerings vary by location.

horseback riding, canoeing, visual arts and more. The fun and unique experiences give Y campers an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. In Y Summer Camp, kids are in a welcoming environment where they can belong, build relationships, develop character and discover their potential. New for 2019, parents now have the option to add on before- and after-care activities which include swimming, horseback riding, sports and high ropes. There are also various specialty camps where campers will be immersed in their selected specialty in addition to enjoying traditional camp fun. Activities and specialty options vary by location.

Once again, Hillsborough County Public Schools has committed to providing free breakfast and lunch as part of the Summer Food Program. The program runs from Monday, June 3 – Friday, August 2 and is open to all kids in the community ages 18 and under, including Y campers. To find out the time frames when free breakfast and lunch are available, contact your local Y. Visit for locations. Spots are filling fast at 14 locations across Hillsborough and East Pasco counties, including four sites for the Y’s The First Tee of Tampa Bay program. ( Experience summer camp locally at: Campo Family YMCA in Valrico (6841371), North Brandon Family YMCA (685-5402), Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Rd. in Riverview (228-9622) and YMCA Camp Cristina in Riverview (6778400). To ensure your kids stay engaged socially, physically and academically throughout the summer, register today at

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Registration Open For Patel Conservatory Summer Camps And Classes

By Leslie Farrell

tions will be held Thursday, March 28, Thursday, April 18 and Friday, May 17. Dancers age seven and older will attend placement classes to determine which classes are most appropriate. Those younger than seven are not required to attend a placement class. Registration for auditions is required by visiting or by calling 222-1040. Nearly $200,000 in scholRegistration is arships will be awarded for now open for Patel Patel Conservatory camps Conservatory dance, and classes this summer. music and theater Scholarship applications are summer camps and available online at www.strazclasses, which begin; the prithe week of Monday, Patel Conservatory is now regis- ority deadline is June 3. tering for its summer camps and Monday, April 8. Nearly 70 camps classes. Some will require auditions. The accredited Patel and classes are Conservatory offers classes in dance, offered, most with performance opportunimusic and theater for students of all ages ties, for students of all ages and abilities. and experience levels. Each year, the Camps and classes vary from jazz dance Patel Conservatory and the Straz to jazz music, from Shakespeare to Annie Center’s arts education programs enrich to Comedy on Broadway, and from the lives of more than 50,000 students in Ukelele Camp to Youth Opera Camp. A our classrooms, on our stages and complete line up is online at www.patelthrough the community. Events, days, dates, times and prices Some summer camps and classes, are subject to change without notice. which are held for all ages and abilities, Patel Conservatory is located at the require auditions. Music auditions will be Straz Center for the Performing Arts, held Saturday, March 30, Saturday, April 1010 N. W.C. Macinnes Pl. in Tampa. 13 and Tuesday, May 21. Theater audi-

Game Show Themes Add Up To Summer Camp Fun At 2019 Camp BSAC

Staff Report

BSAC offers a game show themed summer experience for campers this year.

BSAC campers can once again look forward to exciting themed weeks of fun camp experiences. BSAC’s ‘Who’s Got Game’ theme is based around game shows. Have you always wanted to be a contestant in your favorite TV game show? Now you can. Each themed week runs from Monday to Friday (except week 5 when there is no camp on the 4th of July). Week 1: SURVIVOR - June 3 – June 7; Week 2: ESCAPE ROOM - June 10 – June 14; Week 3: THE AMAZING RACE - June 17 – June 21; Week 4: FEAR FACTOR - June 18 – June 22; Week 5: MINUTE TO WIN IT - July 1 – July 5 *Closed July 4th; Week 6: DOUBLE DARE - July 8 – July 12; Week 7: WIN, LOSE, DRAW - July 15 – July 19; Week

8: WIPE OUT - July 22 – July 26; Week 9: FAMILY FEUD - July 29 – August 2 and Week 10: THE REUNION SHOW - August 5 – August 9. Registration Fees are $45 per child or $85 per family. It includes one camp T-shirt and one backpack per camper. The cost for camp per child is $150 full a full day (7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.); $90 week for half day – either 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m.6:30 p.m. If you want to bring your child for drop in days, the cost is $40 for the day from 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Drop in days must be selected and paid in advance to reserve and are non-refundable. Field trips are offered throughout the season at extra cost and are optional. A Summer Camp Open House will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Get a preview of the summer experience: a day in the life of a camper. Be a contestant on your favorite TV game shows. You will tour BSAC, swim and play games in the pool, meet the summer camp mentors, have a family fun day with summer camp games and activities. There will be a DJ and vendors. BSA is located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon. For more information, call 689-0908 or visit www.mybsacorg.

Enjoy The Summer Scene 2019 At The Florida Academy of Performing Arts

Family-Friendly Summer Camp Expo

Full and half day camps are available for kids ages 5 and up at The Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) at Music Showcase. Musical Theatre productions of Willy Wonka (June 3-14), Once Upon A Mattress (June 10-21), Frozen Jr. (June 17-28), The Wizard of Oz Jr. (July 8-19), Once on This Island (July 15-26), and The Lion King Jr. (July 22-August 2) will all take place this summer for ages 5 and up. Campers will participate in various classes each day that are customized to fit their appropriate age groups and will experience, music, acting, singing, dance, creative art, rock camp and more. Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, call 490-2787 or visit


The Family-Friendly Summer Camp Expo (Brandon Edition) will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Hillsborough Community College, 10451 Nancy Watkins Dr. in Tampa. There will be fun for the entire family to learn about summer camps being offered in Brandon, Tampa, Riverview, Lithia/FishHawk, Valrico, Southshore and surrounding areas. Learn about VBS programs as well as STEM, Arts & Crafts, Dance, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Sports, Sewing & more. The first 250 families get a giveaway bag with goodies. There will be giveaways: free week of camps & more. Kids will enjoy bounce houses, face painting, free crafts, a dodge ball arena, princesses and superheroes. Enjoy Easter fun with a Scavenger Hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny and a petting zoo. Register for free tickets at

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Our instructors have 30 years combined professional playing and coaching experience.

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Bricks 4 Kidz Offers LEGO® Summer Camps

Bricks 4 Kidz is back with awesome LEGO® Summer Camps being offered all over the Brandon, Riverview and Valrico areas. Join in for a different theme each week such as Fortnite, Pokemon, Star Wars, Minecraft and much more. Each week campers will be building signature Bricks 4 Kidz robotic LEGO® models, very popular LEGO® mosaics and 3D LEGO® sculptures, as well as playing fun games and creating arts and crafts projects they will get to take home. At the end of each week, every camper will get to take home their very own LEGO® minifigure. Each day and week will be a brand new LEGO® adventure you won’t want to miss! The schedule for the camps being offered at nearby locations is as follows: We Rock The Spectrum Monday to Friday, June 10–14:

LEGO® Gamer’s World July 1 – July 5: LEGO® Summer Theme Mashup (Single Day Pricing: No July 4 Camp) Monday to Thursday, July 15– July 18: LEGO® STAR WARS/MINECRAFT Mashup - (Four Day Pricing).

Monday to Friday, June 3 – June 7: LEGO® Gamer’s World Monday to Friday, July 8 – July 12: LEGO® STAR WARS/MINECRAFT Mashup Monday to Friday, August 5 - August 9: LEGO® Summer Theme Mashup Sign up at or call 545-4282.

Center Place Fine Arts Offer Summer Art Camp To Brighten The Day

The Venue In Riverview Monday to Friday, June 17– June 21: LEGO® Summer Theme Mashup Monday to Friday, August 5 - August 9: Bricks 4 Girls LEGO® Camp with Girls With Confidence FishHawk Aquatic Center

Who knew that art could be so much fun? This summer, register your 7-13 year old to discover their love of painting, drawing, pottery and more. Classes are offered Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include Art Mural, Animal Paintings, Pencil Drawings Cruise Around the World, West & Wild Canvases, Ceramic Sculpture, Recycled Art, Landscape Drawings, Paper Sculptures, Space Art, Mixed Media and more. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B in Brandon. For

more information or to register, visit or call 6858888.

Spend The Summer At R&R Ranch Horsin’ Around

Summer Campers will enjoy riding and caring for horses at family-owned R&R Ranch. R&R Ranch specializes in safe horse experiences for the young child and for beginners. The name stands for ‘Rest’ and ‘Relaxation’. Pony parties, field trips, trail riding lessons, horse boarding, playgroups and horse camps are all offered. Summer Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Monday to Friday. Early and late pickup can be arranged. Camp runs Monday, June 3 through Friday, August 9. Student’s ages 6 to 12 years are invited to attend. The cost is $225 per

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week. Campers will enjoy: a daily trail ride or lesson, pony painting, hayrides, lots of games, snowball fight, learning how to care for horses and farm animals, bounce castle, lunch and disco in the air conditioned camp house. There is a petting zoo with baby bunnies, chicks, ducks and baby pigs. Kids will also get to enjoy arts and crafts and more. Safety helmets will be provided. R&R Ranch is located at 9805 Bryant Rd. in Lithia. Visit

Learn Baseball From The Pros At Ostingers Baseball Academy Summer Camp

Ostingers Baseball Academy will hold its baseball camp this summer to give your child a better understanding of the game of baseball, through instruction, drills and games. Having a good time while learning the fundamentals will be the main focus of this


Summer Camps (Ages 6-11) 10:30am - 1:00pm

camp. Ostingers staff is made up of all former professional players who instruct, teaching the game from the ground up. The camp is not a full day camp with video games and indoor activities. Jim Osting is a baseball instructor with 12 years of professional baseball playing experience including two years of Major League Experience (Padres and Brewers). Patrick Ryan is a baseball instructor with eight years professional pitching experience. Kris Wilken is the Head Baseball Coach at Bloomingdale High School and has six years of professional playing experience. College and high school players trained by Ostingers Baseball Academy will assist your child throughout their camp experience. Additional help is provided from Ostinger players current and past to make the campers experience ‘one of a kind.’

June 3-6 June 10-13 June 17-20 June 24-27 July 8-11 July 15-18 July 22-25 July 29-Aug 1 Aug 5-8


Summer Camps (Ages 11-15) 2:00pm - 4:30pm

Brandon’s Big Green “EggQuarters”

With the instructors and the staff, the ratio per camper is around 6:1. This ratio allows for added reps for each player and helps to break up the groups in age appropriate format. Camp weeks run Monday to Friday, June 3-7, July 8-12 and July 29August 2. Camps run half days from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Camps are held Monday to Wednesday at Ostingers Baseball Academy, 8711 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Thursday and Friday at the FishHawk Sports Complex fields located at 16120 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia (for games and other activities). The cost is $180 (sibling discounts available). For more information or to register, call 737-3000 or visit

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Is Cooking Up Some Summer Fun Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium’s Summer Camps are a great way to

learn new skills in the kitchen, create tasty recipes, and meet lots of new friends. The only things you need to be prepared are closed toe shoes and a restraint for shoulder length hair. All of the ingredients, tools and even the fun are included. Students are taught how to properly use real kitchen tools, knives and appliances safely under adult supervision. Students come away with the confidence to prepare dishes that are age appropriate and tasty. The goal is to encourage your child to be a help in the kitchen and to have fun while building a lifetime of

good skills. Cooking Camps for kids ages 6-11 will take place from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. daily and the tween’s and teen’s Summer Camps, ages 11-15 will take place from 2-4 p.m. Camps will take place weekly for four days and run from Monday, June 3 through Thursday, August 2. Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium is located at Brandon Crossroads, 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Call 6532418 or visit

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Hoop It Up At FishHawk Fellowship’s Basketball Camp

Take your game to the next level. Develop your skills and have fun doing it. Work daily to improve every player’s technical abilities. Camp is suitable for everyone from beginners to elite players. FishHawk Fellowship Church is partnering with Alpha & Omega Sports, Inc. Its staff designs intense, fun training sessions. Camp will run Monday, June 24 to Friday, June 28 for grades 2-5 and Monday, July 22 to Friday, July 26 for grades 6-12. Both camps will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at FishHawk Fellowship Church, 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. The cost is $100 per student. For more information, visit

Tennis Camp Weeks Offered In FishHawk

FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club will offer camp this summer for ages 6 to 16. Camp is for beginning and intermediate skill levels.

Choose your weeks between Monday, June 3 and Friday, August 9. Full day camp available or half days from 9 a.m.1:30 p.m. or 1:30-4 p.m. are available. Camp will be offered at 15921 Courtside View Dr. in Lithia. Register online at or call 681-4000.

Musical Theater And Much More Offered At Firehouse Cultural Center

The Firehouse Cultural Center will be offering Summer Camp through the summer. It is located at 101 1st Ave. NE in Ruskin. Week 1: June 3 – June 7 - Musical Theater I; Week 2: June 10 – June 14; Musical Theater II Week 3: June 17 – June 21; Musical Theater III; Week 4: June 24 – June 28; Musical Theater IV Week 5: July 1 - July 5 (No Camp on Thursday, July 4), Art Studio; Week 6: July 8 - July 12, Art Studio II; Week 7: July 15 – July 19, Cartooning & Animation; Week 8: July

22 – July 26, Robotics-Tech Fee for Robotics: $50; Week 9: July 29 – August 2, Robotics -Tech Fee for Robotics: $50. For more information, call 6457651 or visit

Combat Dreaded Summer Slide With Mathnasium Of Brandon Or Mathnasium @Home

Kids can power up this summer with Mathnasium of Brandon or Mathnasium @home. The summer slide is real and students can lose over two months of mathematical skills every summer. Mathnasium can help prevent that with its Power Up summer programs. Summer is an ideal time for student's math ability to skyrocket. Without the pressure of

school and extracurricular activities, students are able to focus and learn in a relaxed atmosphere, and they will love coming to Mathnasium as FUN is built in to the mathematical activities along with celebrating successes and fun prizes for outstanding attendance and growth. "Take advantage of the more relaxed environment of summer break which is a golden opportunity to improve math performance whether your student is struggling or just wanting to dig deeper into their math studies," suggest Becky McDaniels, center director at Mathnasium of Brandon and Mathnasium @home. Mathnasium's @home program is an additional benefit for students who would like to keep up their skills but are traveling. You can take Mathnasium anywhere with Mathnasium @home. Mathnasium will help parents choose a Summer Power Workout Plan, such as numerical fluency, fractions, multiplication fluency, problem solving, algebra readiness, geometry readiness and so much more based on a diagnostic of the student. Experts say that the effects of a summer learning program, such as Mathnasium's, will make a positive difference for student's moving forward. Call 655-MATH (6284) or visit to schedule your student's risk free diagnostic at your favorite neigh-

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borhood center or at home with the Mathnasium @home program and help your student to Power Up this summer. Mathnasium of Brandon is located at 1048 E Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico (Plaza Bella shopping center).

Mathnasium of Riverview is located in the Publix shopping center on Symmes Rd. and 301. Call 844-667-6284 or email

TechPlayzone Offers Hands-On Technology Enrichment In Fun & Safe Environment

TechPlayzone has led the charge for engaging young people in science, technology, engineering and math since 2005. With an increased demand for hands-on technology enrichment,

Noon. For the elementary camp, TechPlayzone is honored to partner with FIRST LEGO League at Hillsborough Community College to power the FIRST LEGO League Camp. Every week of TechPlayzone camp includes: LEGO Mindstorms Robotics, Minecraft for Jr. Engineers, Hands-On Science Experiments, Scratch Game Design. It will take place at HCC Brandon Campus, 10414 E. Columbus Dr. in Tampa. For middle school (6-8 grade) students, TechPlayzone offers engineering enrichment. Using TechPlayzone’s formula of hands-on project-based learning with cutting edge technology, students can

Mathnasium Of Riverview Makes Summer Math Fun

Summer time is ideal for having fun and at Mathnasium of Riverview, that is understood and a a comprehensive summer math program has been put together that makes math sense and kids have fun doing so. The programs range from helping to stop finger counting to Calculus. Summer is a perfect, no-stress time to stay in tune with math. With Mathnasium being the ‘Math’ in STEM, Mathnasium knows how to teach math. Text LEARN to 57711 for your first pre-enrollment special discount.

TechPlayzone has continued to provide families with excellent curriculum, and fun in a safe environment for all kids. Give your child a high-tech advantage at TechPlayzone this summer. TechPlayzone is pleased to offer 4 weeks (July 8, 15, 22 and 29) of STEM Camp for elementary and middle school students ages 7-13. Middle school camp is 8 a.m.-12 Noon and Elementary school camp is 9 a.m.-12

work at their own pace or work as a team with the assistance of facilitators and staff members to complete one of the engineering projects each week. Register for your choice of Minecraft Mods and Raspberry Pi, LEGO EV3 with RobotC, App Inventor App

Development and Programmable Drones. For more information, contact Desh Bagley at 444-2267 or

Summer Camps At Adventures Archery

Kids from the ages of 8-16 can spend some time this summer honing their skills at archery. Learn about range safety, archery skills and arrow fletching. Summer camps will take place during three sessions from 10 a.m.-12 Noon daily. The sessions are Monday to Wednesday, June 17-19; July 8-10 and July 22-24. Camp will be available at both locations – 2210 W. US Hwy. 301 in Tampa and 2332 E. Edgewood Dr. in Lakeland. The cost is $100 per child with equipment rental, $60 per child who does not need to rent equipment. Space is limited. You can pre-register by calling 664-8700 or 863-9378968. Visit

Your Kids Will Enjoy Camp SuperKids At A Child’s Haven

Different themed camps will keep your kids busy at A Child’s Haven. Camp is for ages K5 through 5th grade. Each week there will be two weekly field trips. Your kids will enjoy a healthy lunch and snacks along with fun academic summer studies, character building, awesome friendships, an arcade recreation room and lots of other fun activities. The cost is $125 per week and includes all field trips and activity fees. A Child’s Haven is located at 1520 Brentwood Hills Blvd. in Valrico. For more information, call 684-1622 or visit

Make Summer Days Happy Days At Happy Day Summer Camp

Weekly themes that are fun for your kids ages 1 to 10 will include many activities that will keep them moving and having a great summer. The days will include plenty of arts

& crafts, friendships as well as academic summer fun. Music, sports & games, character & Manners, bouncy house and giant slide with outdoor water play round out the fun. Kids will enjoy an ice cream social and much more. The cost is $100 per week for upcoming K5 to

Kids Club! Weekly Summer Camp Includes Field Trips At Morning Glory Preschool

Sign up today for $110 per week. The price includes two weekly field trips and all activities. Your kids, ages K5-5th grade, will enjoy arts & crafts, friendship play, academic summer fun, music, sports & games, character & manners, ice cream social, pizza parties, bouncy house and giant slide and outdoor water play Morning Glory Summer Camp.

5th grade campers. This includes all field trips and weekly activities such as bowling, skating, AMC Movies, state parks, MOSI, public library, Publix, Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo,

SUMMER CAMP 2019 Award Winning STEM Camps Since 2005 Where Bright & Creative Kids Play to Learn

813-444-2267 |

Summer Camps at


Three Sessions

per child

(register for one session, or all three)

with equipment rental


10:00am - NOON Daily June 17, 18, 19 July 8, 9, 10 July 22, 23, 24


per child

with no equipment

Learn About

for ages


range safety, archery skills, arrow !letching Call TODAY to Pre-Register.

Tampa/Brandon Location 813-664-8700 2210 W. US Hwy 301, Tampa Cam p sp ac e is lim te d.

Lakeland Location 863-937-8968 2332 E. Edgewood Dr., Lakeland

Dinosaur World and more. Happy Day Summer Camp is open from Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and is located at 722 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 685-0028.

Field trips include bowling, skating, state parks, movies, Medieval Times Theater, Pump It Up, MOSI, Bricks 4 Kidz, Lowry Park Zoo, ACH Video Arcade, Great Explorations Children’s Museum, Florida Aquarium and more. Morning Glory is located at 6001 Christy Lane (off Bloomingdale near Rt. 301). For more information, call 6280541 or visit its website at

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Osprey Observer 2019-04 Christian Voice  

Osprey Observer 2019-04 Christian Voice