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Riverview/Apollo Beach

50 31 C E L E B R A T I N G

December 2019 Volume 17, Issue 12 Ph: 657-2418 1 7







Big Bend Road At I-75 Interchange Scheduled For $65 Million Widening And Improvements

Two Sea Turtles Released From Florida Aquarium Apollo Beach Rehab Center

Big Bend Rd./I-75 exit ramp signal near the South County Public Works facility. The current I-75 northbound ramp will be removed in its entirety. Southbound improvements to the Big Bend Rd./I-75 interchange include constructing a new off-ramp for westbound Big Bend Rd. traffic The rendering shows I-75 from north to south, Apollo Beach which will eliminate the to the right and Riverview to the left. need to cross Big Bend Rd. exiting I-75 from the Big Bend Rd. will be north. The southbound I-75 off-ramp with widened from four lanes to six with conalso be lengthened in order to eliminate struction beginning in late 2021. The 1.6backups into travel lanes on I-75. mile project will stretch Eastbound Big Bend Rd. travelers between Covington Garden Dr. and Simmons Loop and will include enhanced will have an additional exit lane added and will continue to use the same traffic pedestrian, bicycle and bus pattern as is currently utilized without havfacilities. Pedestrian safety features will ing to share the exit with vehicles heading include wide sidewalks and enhanced west. crosswalks and signals. Old Big Bend Rd. will be reconstructThe joint design-build project ed to avoid the ramps to be built as part between Hillsborough County and the of the Big Bend Rd./I-75 interchange Florida Department of Transportation along with a roundabout utilized at the (FDOT) was initially planned to be comOld Big Bend Rd./Bullfrog Creek Rd. pleted in two phases and take up to 10 intersection. years. It will now be done simultaneously Signal improvements at Covington as a single six-year project. The new Garden Dr. and Simmons Loop as well anticipated completion date is slated for as improved storm water drainage are late 2024. Northbound improvements to the Big part of the $65,500,000 project, of which FDOT will be contributing $20,000,000. Bend Rd./I-75 interchange include conHillsborough County is also pursuing structing a new northbound on-ramp for additional funding (Build Grant) from the westbound Big Bend Rd. traffic which will Federal Highway Administration to offset realign the traffic from a left-turn across local county funds. travel lanes to a right-hand lane merging For more information, contact Manny onto the interstate. Eastbound travelers on Big Bend Rd. Santos, E.I. Public Works project manager, at 635-5400 (CIP Project Number: heading north onto I-75 will have a dedi69657000) or visit www.hillsboroughcouncated two-lane on-ramp added that will be accessible via a left-turn at the existing

The Florida Izar and Marco were Aquarium’s Animal cleared for release Response Team, supback into the wild by ported by Florida Blue, the Florida Fish and successfully Wildlife Conservation released two green sea Commission (FWC) turtles back into the and the veterinary Atlantic Ocean at staff at the Aquarium. Matanzas Inlet. Since opening “It’s always a great earlier this year, The day when you get to see Florida Aquarium’s turtles go back into the Sea Turtle wild after being rehabiliRehabilitation Center Two sea turtles were recently tated. Izar holds a spe- released back into the wild after being has taken in 14 sea rehabilitated at The Florida cial place in my heart Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation turtle patients for after all the treatment care. Currently, the in Apollo Beach. that he was given and with the amputacenter houses three species of turtles, tion of his front right flipper,” said Dr. including loggerhead, green and Kemp’s Lindsey Waxman. ridley. Since opening in 1995, The Florida The two sea turtles, Izar and Marco, Aquarium has rescued hundreds of ill and arrived at The Florida Aquarium’s Sea injured sea turtles. Guest admission and Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo memberships help support these rescue Beach on April 1 from Volusia County. efforts, along with generous donations. They were found suffering from cold-stunAll care and turtle rehabilitation by ning, which is when sea turtles are The Florida Aquarium is done with the exposed to cold ocean water and air tem- approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife peratures for an extended period, render- Service and the FWC under conditions ing them immobile since they are coldnot harmful to marine turtles and authorblooded. ized under conservation activities purCold-stunned turtles are unable to suant to FWC MTP-19-179. swim and can develop symptoms, includVisit ing decreased heart rate, low blood circulation and pneumonia. Upon intake, one of the sea turtles, In This Izar, had a puncture wound on its front Issue right flipper; the injury has unknown origins. The turtle received a blood transfusion from one of the aquarium’s other BELL SHOALS ROAD CONSTRUCTION PG 4 long-term patients, Banner, and quickly EAST BAY HONORS COACH ..............PG 11 improved. In the weeks following its care, Izar also received a CT scan at Tampa CHAMBER RIBBON CUTTINGS .........PG 12 General Hospital to get a better look at CHALKLINES .....................................PG 32 the injured flipper. Over time, The Florida Aquarium’s veterinary staff administered SPORTS CONNECTION......................PG 34 antibiotics in hopes of saving the flipper, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 38 but it was found that the injury was not healing correctly, and the flipper needed EYE ON BUSINESS .....................PGS 25‐26 to be amputated. Izar has since comHOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE .........BACK SECTION pletely recovered from surgery and can survive with no issue in the wild. READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE After a short period in rehab at The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach,

Staff Report

Osprey Observer 2109 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Valrico, FL 33596

Postal Customer



By Brian Bokor


Now Offering FREE DELIVERY Saturday, December 14 from 12 Noon-7 p.m. is this year’s Apollo Beach Golf Cart Parade, starting at the Salty Shamrock at 6186 N U.S. Hwy. 41. The parade will showcase decorated golf carts and there will be beads and candy for all. Cart line-up begins 5:30 p.m. and lighted parade begins 7 p.m. Activities and contests back at Salty Shamrock after the parade.

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Page 2

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

From The Law Office of

Griffin & Associates, P.A.

Rachel L. Griffin

Eileen H. Griffin

Ryan W. Griffin


(813) 681-2612 | 1430 Oakfield Drive • Brandon, Florida 33511 |

December 2019

Page 3

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Annual Veterans Day Celebration And Operation: REVEILLE

Summerfield Elem. Receives Grant From Interfaith Social Action Council

encing homelessness, presented 15 veterans with keys to furnished apartments. Andrew Morrow, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division, was severely injured in basic training years ago and was one of the veterans selected to The ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the five fitness receive housing. stations at Veterans Memorial Park took place on "I wish all of my veterVeterans Day. an brothers and sisters got On Veterans Day, November 11 at 10 an apartment. No one should wake up a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa, Hillsborough County Consumer & not knowing what they are going to eat that day, where they will sleep, where Veterans Services and the Veterans you're going to get medical help or if you Council of Hillsborough County hosted will be a victim of some crime," said the 55th annual Veterans Day Tribute. Morrow. The event included a special ribbonMorrow found himself homeless after cutting ceremony to debut five fitness stasuffering multiple heart attacks that led to tions along the park's recreational trail. Outdoor fitness equipment was funded by an extended stay in the hospital. When he returned home, he discovered that he a $17,365 donation from the Armed had been kicked out of his apartment. Forces Families Foundation. The fitness Though he had family close by, he didn't stations run along a section of the Tampa want to burden them with caring for him Bypass Canal Trail. and took to the streets. The ceremony honored U.S. military "I thank God for being here today. service members from all branches of Some people look at it as something to service. The program included keynote go through; I look at it as a blessing," said speaker Col. Stephen Snelson, comMorrow. mander of the 6th Air Refueling Wing, Veterans Memorial Park is located at MacDill Air Force Base; JROTC color 3602 US Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa. The park guard; a drill performance and tributes grounds also house a museum and the from local high schools; rifle salute and Veterans Resource Center that serves taps; Veterans Council awards; and about 33,000 veterans, survivors and refreshments. dependents. More information on Also, during the ceremony, Operation: REVEILLE can be found at Operation: REVEILLE, a program that aims to find homes for veterans experi-

Helping educators, deployments. learners and families “It helps me of Summerfield communicate betElementary School ter with my son develop better social and my son is willand emotional skills is ing to talk with me the purpose of a when he has prob$6,618 grant the lems,” said school received from Malone, who volthe Interfaith Social unteers at Action Council of Sun Summerfield. City Center (ISAC). According to The award is part Beall, the funding of the council’s ongothat ISAC provides ing support of educamakes it possible tion in the SouthShore Kelley Beall (right) presents a check to for educators to Principal’s Secretary Diane Cisneros. area through grants provide services and scholarships. According to the when the school’s budget is tight. organization’s website, it distributes “I would not be able to do this withmore than $160,000 annually to nonout the support of the Interfaith Social profit organizations in the community. Action Council of Sun City Center,” she Kelley Beall is Summerfield said, adding that the community can Elementary’s social and emotional also help by shopping or donating items learning (SEL) coach and applied for to ISAC’s Nearly New Shop, which genthe grant as a follow-up to a similar, erates revenue to support the organizasuccessful proposal she submitted in tion’s charitable efforts. 2017. The new grant will help sustain The council also awards scholarand grow the school’s SEL program, ships to seniors attending East Bay and which helps students manage their Lennard High Schools that can be emotions and make good decisions. applied to any accredited college, uniAccording to Beall, resource materials versity or trade school. Information will be purchased with the money to about ISAC scholarships is available expand SEL education to benefit more through school counselors. teachers and parents like Ayla Malone, To find out more information about who has a son enrolled at Summerfield. ISAC and how it supports the communiMalone said SEL parent training ty, visit online at www.interfaithcounhas given her military family valuable, where you can tools that help them deal with many also find grant applications, which are common daily issues in addition to accepted in January and September those arising from her husband’s each year.

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Page 4

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

County Updates Residents On Bell Shoals Widening Project

By Kate Quesada

Hillsborough buildings, heavy highCounty officials met way construction, site with residents at work and underground Bloomingdale High utilities. The company School last month to has 40 years of conshare details of the struction experience much-anticipated and an annual volume widening of Bell of $45,000,000. Shoals Rd. Drivers may have According to noticed changes on Hillsborough County the road over the last Construction on the widening of Bell year as workers reloSenior Media Shoals Rd. from its intersection with Relations Strategist Boyette Rd. and FishHawk Blvd. to cated private utilities to Chris Wilkerson, conmake room for the Bloomingdale Ave. is expected to start this month. struction on the road is road expansion. expected to begin this month. The bridge over the Alafia River on “The proposed changes include Bell Shoals Rd., just north of the replacing a two-lane undivided rural road FishHawk Blvd. and Boyette Rd. intersecto a four-lane divided urban roadway,” tion, will also be widened during the projsaid Wilkerson, who explained that the ect. construction will take place from Boyette “The bridge work will begin in Rd. to Bloomingdale Ave. over approxiJanuary or February of 2020 and will be mately two years. completed within 18 to 24 months followIn addition to the widening, improveing,” said Wilkerson. ments, including a bike lane and sidewalk According to county representatives, in each direction of the 3.1-mile stretch, funding for the $65 million Capital will occur during the construction phase. A Improvement Project comes from several new signal will be installed at Starwood sources, including approximately $8 milAve. and signals at Glenhaven Dr., lion from the Community Local Gas Tax, Rosemead Dr. and Bloomingdale Ave. $27 million from the Community are scheduled for upgrades. According to Investment Tax, $4 million from the Public county representatives, the road will Utilities Relocation Fund, $10 million from never be entirely closed during the projthe general and other reserve funds and ect. $16 million from developers Newland Residents at the meeting were Communities. informed that David Nelson Construction Visit or Co. was awarded the contract for the call Public Works at 635-5400. More construction. According to its website, information about David Nelson David Nelson Construction Co. is a genConstruction Co. can be found at eral contractor specializing in commercial

Volume 17, Issue 12

TECO Manatee Viewing Center Reaches Its 34th Season By Tatiana Ortiz

Free parking and admission are provided as well at the center. When the waters reach 68 degrees or colder, visitors can see multiple manatees. At the on-site environmental education building, visitors can learn about manatees, Tampa Electric Company’s power plant, stewardship programs and more. It also includes puzzle tables and manatee bones to Stroll along the TECO touch, just to Manatee Viewing Center, name a few. which is near the Big Bend While visiting, Power Station in Apollo check out the Beach, as it reopened on butterfly garNovember 1 for its 34th seaden, gift shop son and you can visit until and concesApril 15, 2020. Besides getsion. ting the opportunity to spot There are many manatees, it also Part of the tidal walk at the TECO about 35 voloffers a wide array of activiManatee Viewing Center. unteers who ties for all ages, such as the 900 ft. tidal work at the center. The volunteers are walk, the 50 ft. wildlife observation tower, educators who provide information about the Rays touch tank that is in partnership the Florida manatees, birds and more. with the Florida Aquarium and more. “All in all, this is a great fun place to TECO’s Senior Environmental learn about manatees and more with Technician Jamie Woodlee said, “I have friends and family,” Woodlee said. been a permanent part of this facility for For more information, visit www.tamabout 20 years and feel excited to see or check how much it has grown.” out its Facebook page at The Tampa Electric Company has owned and operated the center since its er/. establishment in 1986. On average, it The Manatee Viewing Center is draws more than 300,000 people during located at 6990 Dickman Rd. in Apollo its season. People from all over the Beach and is open Monday through globe, such as Ireland, Japan, New Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It closes Zealand and other places, travel to check on Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. and is closed out the manatees. The average daily vision Christmas and Easter. For more infortor attendance for the center is 2,400. mation, call 228-4289.

December 2019

Page 5

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition W W W



The Greatest Story Retold At Bell Shoals Light Has Come Service


2109 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, FL 33596 (office) 657-2418 • (fax) 657-4469

7 © Copyright 2012-2013 - Osprey Observer, Inc. No reproduction without written permission.


This holiday season, join Bell Shoals Baptist Church as it presents an encore production of Light Has Come. With performances on Friday, December 13 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15 at 6 p.m., guests have multiple opportunities to experience the greatest story ever told in a new and spectacular way. Light Has Come is a Bell Shoals Worship exclusive with original songs as well as traditional favorites. Jason Millsaps, the pastor of music and worship, and BJ Davis, the music director, collaborated on the project. Millsaps said, “The Bell Shoals Worship Choir debuted Light Has Comee last year as a unique Christmas worship experience.” He continued, “This has been an almost two-year project with writing, planning and updating. You’ll want to make this Christmas production a part of your family’s Christmas celebration.” Tickets are $10 for general admis-

Michelle Colesanti







Kathy Collins



Chuck Hoening

Terry Vassalotti




formance will have deaf interpretation. “The story of Jesus is timeless and does not change,” said Davis. “But we have an opportunity today to tell His story in a relevant way that can speak to the culture and community that we live in.” Light Has Come is presented with a state-of-the-art 50-foot video wall, a five-person cast in the style of black box theatre, a 150-voice choir and a 30-member orchestra. The entire production employs about 250 volunteers when also including the integral behind-the-scenes operators such as tech support, wardrobe specialists and more. For more information about the show, please contact the church at 689-4229 or visit Bell Shoals Baptist Church is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon.


Marie Gilmore

Kathi Hayes Bell Shoals Baptist Church is known for its annual Christmas musical production, which has become a tradition for many who live in the Brandon community.



By Amanda Boston

sion and can be purchased at the door or online at or Doors open an hour before the start of the show. The show is approximately 75 minutes long. Sunday’s per-



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Page 6

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Life Story Writing Classes Help Preserve Your Stories For Future Generations


By Michelle Colesanti

You may not This year, you think that your life can take the classes stories are intereither on a esting enough, but Wednesdays at 10:30 we all have tales a.m. (January 29to share with April 1, 2020) or future generations. Fridays at 1:30 p.m. For the 14th (January 31-April year, The 3, 2020). Bloomingdale Each class Learn to capture your life Writer’s meets for about stories on paper for Connection (BWC) two and a half future generations. will offer a 10-week hours each week Life Story Writing (LSW) class at the and is appropriate Bloomingdale Regional Library. It is free for all skill levels and all ages. Many peoto participate and the class is funded by ple find the course to be therapeutic the Friends of the Library. because the classes invite them to reflect Upon completion of the course, each on their lives and get new perspectives. person will have written at least nine new A different theme is visited each life stories and will have an organized life week. Hands-on activities and group story writing portfolio to which you may interaction help participants to dig deeper continue to add. The classes are for all into buried memories. skill levels. Susana Mueller took the class four According to Val Perry, who has years ago and said, “The 10-week Life coordinated these classes almost from Story Writing course at the Bloomingdale the beginning, “Many times I have been Library taught me how to tell my life stotold by participants that taking the life writ- ries in a series of vignettes, or short stoing class has changed their lives in a pos- ries. The class was a springboard to foritive way. Through writing short stories matting and publishing Now I Swim, a every week, younger people often find a book about how I overcame the fear of new life direction, while retired people water and became a swim instructor.” learn an appreciation for their lives.” According to Perry, “A large network Everyone develops an increased of life writers and many friendships have interest in their family history. The writing formed over the 14 years this course has coaches are trained to help writers at all been offered thanks to the sponsorship skill levels. The goal of a class participant of the Friends of the Bloomingdale might be to just leave a legacy of their Regional Library.” lives for their families, while others may For more, contact Perry at wish to rekindle their past enjoyment of or pick up a writing with a goal of publishing a book. brochure in the foyer of the library.

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Page 7

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

made and paid for 18, 2020, cash bar, cookie exchange, raffles and by Friday, January 11 a.m.-2 50/50. 3, 2020. p.m. in the Donations are tax deductible. Make All luncheons Community checks payable to Riverview Woman’s are led by ABWC Room at Club Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organiPresident Claudia the Apollo zation. The foundation awards scholarGassett, beginBeach ships to graduating seniors in Riverview ning at 11:30 County and for members only; scholarships are e ll he d by Mic e il p a.m. for socializRecreation awarded to member children or grandchilm o C se ospreyob @ e ll ing and lunch is Park on dren with no Riverview residential requiree h mic served at 12 Noon. 664 Golf ment. Visit For menu details and and Sea reservations, contact Blvd. in To purchase tickets, visit December Meeting Of East Sharon Vasquez at Apollo, Hillsborough Democratic Club The Sgt. Walter P. Ryan Detachment of the Marine Corps League held its celebration of the Beach. The email The next monthly meeting of the East 641-7856 or sharonlMarine Corps’ 244th birthday and awards cost is $35 or Hillsborough Democratic Club will be on presentation. Those receiving awards (pictured The ABWC pro($20 will go call 384-8633. Tuesday, December 10 at O’Brien’s Irish left to right): Jim Johnson, Associate Member of the Year; Judy Essick, Auxiliary Member of the vides scholarships for back to the Pub & Grill, located at 701 W. Lumsden education and training Year; Peter Farren, Marine of the Year; and the scholarship South Shore Community Chorus Rd. in Brandon. Bring your family and Detachment Commandant Brian Frank. of students who live in fund). Fourth Annual Winter/Holiday friends for the meet and greet at 6 p.m. Apollo Beach and the surrounding areas Tickets must be purchased by Friday, Concert The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The January 3, 2020. Brunch will be served. Come and ring in the holiday season guest speaker is Hillsborough Democratic with a demonstrated financial need. On November 12, the ABWC Community This fun family event includes children 10 with the South Shore Community Chorus. Executive Committee Chairwoman Ione Service Committee visited Ruskin, Apollo years or older. RSVP to Jeanette at apolThe concert will take place on Tuesday, Townsend. Visit www.easthillsborBeach, and Doby Elementary Schools to present two deserving families from Riverview Woman’s Club Apollo Beach each school Publix To Host A Night Of Woman’s Club gift cards to be used Holiday Music And Upcoming Luncheons to assist with Cheer And Events Thanksgiving. ABWC The Riverview The Apollo Beach will continue to assist Woman’s Club is hosting a Woman’s Club (ABWC) deserving families at musical holiday celebration January luncheon will be these schools. to get into a festive holiday on Wednesday, January Visit www.apolmood will take place on 8, 2020 at the Apollo’s lobeachwomanWednesday, December 18 Bistro located at 6520 or contact from 6-9 p.m. Enjoy holiday Richies Way in Apollo South Shore Community Chorus. Second Vice music and cheer catered Beach. Longevity President of by the Summerfield Crossings Golf Club. December 10 at 7 p.m. at the St. Andrew awards will be presentMembership Liz Entertainment provided by the Riverview Presbyterian Church, located at 1239 W. November luncheon, L-R: Tina ed to ladies who have McGlynn, CATE (Conquering Pedersen at 777Del Webb Blvd. in Sun City Center. The High School Chorus. been ABWC members Addiction Through Education) 8215 or kenlizpederIt will take place at Summerfield intergenerational choir has prepared a for 10, 15 and 20 or president/co-founder and program Crossings Golf Club on 13050 wide variety of styles and genres. This is speaker; Beverley Brooks, first vice more years. The lunchpresident of ABWC programs; and A Paint Party will Summerfield Blvd. in Riverview. Tickets a family-friendly event and it’s free. A eon cost is $18. Sharon LaFelice, CATE vice be held on January donation of $5 per adult is suggested. are $25 per person. There will also be a Reservations must be president/co-founder.

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Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Free , s e l c y c i Donate B rt & e c n o C n Christia More… olesanti, helle C d by Mic e il p m o C obse @osprey e ll e h ic m

Violin Virtuoso Jaime Jorge In Concert At Riverview Seventh Day Adventist Church

The concert will be held at the Riverview Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 10407 Holland Ave. in Riverview. It is free and designed for all ages and denominations. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 707-3793.

Bicycle Donations Sought By Bikes For Christ

A multiple chamber ribbon-cutting was recently held to welcome ARISE Church to the SouthShore area.

The Riverview Seventh Day Adventist Church Bikes For invites you to Christ is attend a free Bikes For Christ is hoping to provide bikes to ramping up Christian concert low-income families this holiday season. A for the holiday bicycle can be a lifeline providing access to featuring Jaime work and school. season. The Jorge, a worldnonprofit provides bicycles to those class violinist, on Sunday, December in need, but there is always a greater 15 at 6 p.m. The concert will feature demand this time of year, and funds music ranging from favorite hymns to have been depleted. Bikes For Christ contemporary praise songs. Jorge provides them to about 50 organizahas played in 60 countries on six tions in the Tampa Bay area all year continents and has released 17 long. To help, please albums. visit Jorge was born and raised in communist Cuba and was offered Chambers Celebrate The New many opportunities if he renounced SouthShore Campus Of ARISE his belief in God. When he was 10, Church his family was given the opportunity Riverview Chamber members to leave. In 1996, Jorge left medical along with the Brandon and school and a promising medical SouthShore Chambers gathered to career to devote himself to full-time celebrate the new SouthShore cammusic ministry.

pus of ARISE Church. ARISE operates with seven core values: People, Relationships, Authenticity, Growth, The Next Generation, God’s Presence and Creativity. ARISE exists to experience God and strive to create a fun and exciting environment where relationships are more important than a ritual. There is a strong emphasis on youth and the church offers several programs aimed at engaging children and teens. The SouthShore location is even equipped with a meeting room just for teens. Campus Pastor Mike Braddock is hopeful that the presence of the church and engaging with the local community will encourage more SouthShore residents to join them on Sunday mornings. ARISE Church has a location in Brandon. The SouthShore campus will bring convenience to its members who were making the drive to Brandon and also provide the opportunity to deepen the church’s outreach in the region. It is located at 3048 E. College Ave. in Ruskin. Call 689-2345 or visit

e/ or

Christmas In The Country

Experience a 19th century Florida Christmas in the Country at Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Christmas in the Country will take place on Saturday, December 14 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Guests can stroll through the four-acre complex and experience seasonal décor, music and traditions in 13 original buildings, including a train depot, historic homes, general store, post office, blacksmith shop and more. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children ages 612. Children 5 and under will be admitted free. Parking is $8 per car and $14 per bus or RV. The Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa. Please enter the Fairgrounds via the Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. entrance. Visit ome-visit/when-to-visit/christmasin-the-country.

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December 2019

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Riverview To Host Dancing For Donations' First Nutcracker Performance

By Tatiana Ortiz

Photo courtesy of Selah Photography

Dancing for Donations performers are getting ready for their first Nutcracker performance.

Take a seat and travel back into the storyline of the famous Nutcracker as it will be performed by Dancing for Donations for the first time at Riverview High School on Saturday, December 21 at 3 p.m. Nearly 40 dancers of all abilities between the ages of 3 to 12 will be participating. Tickets cost $8 prior to it or $10 during the week of it. Those interested in attending can purchase tickets through 4&sid=0&message=. President and Director of Dancing for Donations Sara Battaglia mentioned how this all came into fruition. “We put on a smaller Christmas performance every December and thought it would be appropriate for the dancers to be exposed to the Nutcracker,” Battaglia said. “To add, as a child I always performed in it as well.” The Dancing for Donations performers will be placing their own spin to the traditional Nutcracker as it will remain inclusive. Battaglia and another teacher

are assisting with the choreography, which includes acro dancing. Some of the costumes for this recital were donated by Traveling Tutus. Dancing for Donations partners with Traveling Tutus and donates to them monthly. With this partnership, Dancing for Donations can provide assistance to Traveling Tutus in regards to assuring that its exact mission of the love of dance and spread of joy become available for individuals around the world. Battaglia shared that the recital is open to the public and is seeking community support through volunteers, sponsors and more. Anyone who would like to assist should send an email to “Overall, I am excited for our dancers as they get to perform the Nutcracker,” Battaglia said. Individuals who cannot attend will get another chance to watch a smaller version of the Nutcracker on December 23 at 2 p.m. at The Bridges Assisted Living Community at 11202 Dewhurst Dr. in Riverview. For information, please visit Check out the Dancing For Donations Facebook page. Dancing for Donations is located at 1076 E. Brandon Blvd. #101 in Brandon and is open Monday through Friday from 3-7:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:4511:30 a.m.

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Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Let Us Cater Your

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Receives Coast Guard Unit Commendation

Holiday Parties & Events

Staff Report

public service and support to the U.S. Coast Guard.” The citation also indicates that during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Auxiliary provided over 19,000 hours of vital Members of Flotilla 75. support to the The U.S. Coast Guard Seventh and Auxiliary Flotilla 75 in Apollo Eighth Coast Beach received the Coast Guard Guard Districts. Unit Commendation at its October It also conductRibbon: Members of the Auxiliary are authorized to wear ed over monthly meeting from the comribbon indicating their promandant of the U.S. Coast Guard this fessionalism, pride and devo- 977,000 vessel in Washington D.C. safety checks tion to duty. Boaters in Tampa Bay are defiand marine dealer visits. It delivered nitely familiar with the U.S. Coast over 133,000 hours of boating safety Guard, but some may not be as familiar courses, logged nearly 17 million hours with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. of support, saved over 700 lives, assistThe Auxiliary is the civilian volunteer ed over 19,700 boaters in distress and organization of the U.S. Coast Guard. It prevented the loss of more than $101 has a similar mission as the regular million in property. Coast Guard and members get the Members of the Auxiliary are same training as the regular Coast authorized to wear a ribbon indicating Guard. their professionalism, pride and devoThe difference is that the activities tion to duty in the U.S. Coast Guard of the Auxiliary are all done on a volunAuxiliary. teer basis. This award demonstrates For information about the Auxiliary the recognition by the commandant of or on how to become a member, visit the U.S. Coast Guard of the work that or its Facebook page. You is provided by the Auxiliary. are also welcome to attend its monthly The award was given to Flotillas in meeting on the fourth Thursday at 6 the Seventh and Eighth Districts, which p.m. in the Tampa Sailing Squadron includes the Tampa Bay area, of the building located at 1250 Apollo Beach U.S. Coast Guard. The citation reads: Blvd. For more information, please con“For exceptionally meritorious service tact Flotilla Commander Steve from June 24, 2014 to June 23, 2019 Browning at 314-853-3932 or brownwhile providing extraordinary levels of

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December 2019

Page 11

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

East Bay Indians Honors Volunteer Booster And Longtime Coach Stephen Wint For the last 15 years or so, Stephen Wint has been a major part of the East Bay Community, volunteering with the East Bay Buccaneers Youth Football and Cheerleading program and the East Bay High School Indians football program. “He had a huge heart for the kids and a bigger heart to serve. His passing was very tough on the community Stephen Wint was the quarterbacks coach for East because he was so loved Bay High School. and respected,” said East Bay Head Coach Frank LaRosa. “Steve was a great guy—not just for our football program, but also for our school and community.” Wint was a volunteer with the East Bay High School Booster Club, as well as a volunteer coach and director of concessions. He volunteered for the East Bay The football team honored Stephen Wint with decals on the Buccaneers Youth back of their helmets. Football and Cheerleading program and went to college. when his son, Stephen, and his According to the East Bay head daughter, Shealynn, were a part of it, and he began helping out at East cheerleading coach and longtime friend of Wint, Tracy Howard, who Bay High School when Shealynn spoke at his funeral, he had a serstarted school there. He continued vant heart and always wanted to to be a big part of the football program, even after his kids graduated help people when he was needed.

By Nick Nahas

death is a great loss for our community,” said Vildibill. “People were drawn to him and his example.” According to Vildibill, Wint had dreams of upgrading the outdated and rundown concession stand at the high school in which he worked. He had already started raising money and getting volunteers to help with the remodel. November 1 was the first football game played at home since Wint’s passing. The team had decals with his name on the back of their helmets to honor him, and the program celebrated him Stephen Wint with his wife, Vicky (left), and his throughout the game. daughter, Shealynn. “Selfless, hardworking and “There wasn’t anything that he caring are all words Steve lived by,” wouldn’t do for the community, our said LaRosa. organization and for the kids Wint’s family has asked that in involved in our organization,” said lieu of flowers, donations be made Howard. “He never said no to volto the East Bay High School unteering for anything, and he Athletic Booster Club and East Bay committed himself to the program Buccaneers football and cheerleadeven after his kids graduated and ing. Donations can be made at this moved on.” facebook group: https://www.faceJo Ann Vildibill, who was a friend of Wint’s and worked with 2/. In addition, checks payable to him in the concession stand, said East Bay High School Athletic that his funeral was attended by Booster Club (EBHSABC) may be over 200 people and was standing room only. Wint, 56, has left behind sent to the school at 7710 Old Big Bend Rd., Gibsonton, FL 33534. All his wife, Vicky; mother, Vinnet; donations will go toward upgrading three children and several siblings; the concession stand. as well as two grandchildren. “His



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Page 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview Chamber Recognizes And Celebrates Local Businesses

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

GRCC Celebrates With Sun City Center Funeral Home

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) members gathered to celebrate Sun City Center Funeral Home and Director Danielle Daugherty. The occasion marked Daugherty’s one-year anniversary with Sun City Center Ribbon-cutting for Sun City Center Funeral Home. Funeral Home. A ribboncutting ceremony was held. Sun City Center Funeral Home is dedicated to providing an exceptional level of personalized service. You will have help throughout the entire process of designing a funeral, life celebration or memorial service that will truly honor your loved one. Embracing Life Wellness Center recently celebrated its five-year anniversary. From cremation and traditional burial to to see that each patient is treated with ShareLife celebrations of life, it proequal respect and concern. vides options and guidance tailored to NeuroStar Advanced Therapy has you and your family. Regardless of recently been added. It’s a gamecircumstances or budget, you will be changing, non-drug depression treathelped with everything, including ment. It uses a targeted pulsed maginsurance, social security, banks, vetnetic field, similar to what is used in erans’ benefits and more. an MRI machine. While the patient is Sun City Center Funeral Home is awake and alert, NeuroStar TMS located at 1851 Rickenbacker Dr. in Therapy stimulates areas of the brain Sun City Center. Someone is availthat are underactive during depresable 24 hours a day, seven days a sion. week. Call 331-5111 or visit Embracing Life Wellness Center is located at 6332 US 301 in Riverview. Visit or Embracing Life Wellness Center’s call 662-5919.

Fifth Anniversary

Chamber members gathered to celebrate Embracing Life Wellness Center’s fifth anniversary. The celebration included an open house and tours were provided. Dr. Melissa Fickey, MD and the staff were all on hand to welcome everyone. Embracing Life Wellness Center is a local mental health treatment facility which treats the whole person, not just an illness. The wait times are kept low and it maintains the highest level of service by following strict scheduling guidelines and adhering to ethical standards of care. Embracing Life Wellness Center desires to build trust and patient confidence while striving

Grand Opening Of Edward Jones – Gabriel Mbulo

GRCC members gathered to celebrate the grand opening of new member Edward Jones – Gabriel Mbulo, a financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments serving individual investors and businesses, focusing on solutions for business owners, executives, retirees and nonprofits. Mbulo has been in the financial services business since 1997. He earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tampa in 2003. In addition to being a member of GRCC, Mbulo is a board member of the Arts Council of Hillsborough

employer funding requirements and assisting businesses in succeeding by reducing employer overhead while simplifying employee administration, ensuring governmental compliance and increasing employee benefits. It will facilitate and administer all of your payroll service needs, including direct The grand opening of Edward Jones – Gabriel Mbulo was deposit, payroll and celebrated with the GRCC. employment tax, W-2 preparation and delivery and much more. By partnering with Urban Employee Management, you may also be able to offer a better overall package of benefits, and thus attract more skilled employees. It is located at 206 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. Call 760-2881 or visit Ribbon-cutting for Urban Employee Management’s new location.

GRCC Celebrates With Restoration 1 Of Tampa Bay

GRCC members gathered at Leaven Brewing to celebrate new member Restoration 1 of Tampa Bay. General Manager Dave Adams and wife Heidi Adams were both on hand to greet attenRestoration 1 of Tampa Bay is a new member of the Great dees. Riverview Chamber of Commerce. Restoration 1 offers County and the Ruskin Firehouse fire, water and mold damage restoraCultural Center and is also a member tion services, as well as storm damof Rotary Club of FishHawkage services, sewage system Riverview. cleanup, emergency restoration and Mbulo’s office is located at 10657 more. You can never be fully preBig Bend Rd. Call 319-3983. pared for the damage natural disasters can cause. When your home or New Location For Urban Employee business suffers from a fire, flood or Management other devastating event, don’t lose GRCC members gathered to cele- hope; call Restoration 1. The restoration services in Tampa are provided brate the opening of Urban Employee by experienced and knowledgeable Management’s new location. experts who handle cleanup, home Owner/CEO Donna Garrett and repairs and improvement. Andrew Bales were both on hand to Restoration 1 is available 24/7 greet everyone. and all of its professionals are fully Urban Employee Management is licensed and insured. Call 544-3864 a professional employer organization (PEO) helping businesses succeed by or visit lowering employer tax rates, reducing

December 2019

Page 13

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Marlin James Air Conditioning And Heating Celebrating 25 Years

By Kelly Wise Valdes

Kathleen Carroll MD, Charles DeVine MD, Troy Noonan MD Board Certified in General Psychiatry Marlin James Air Conditioning and Heating has been providing top-of-the-line service to customers throughout Hillsborough County and the surrounding Tampa Bay area for 25 years. Owners Scott and Glenda Clark attribute much of their business success to their mission statement: “To serve all with integrity while striving for excellence.” This familyowned and operated business has a long history of exceeding customers’ expectations with integrity, honesty and quality work. Glenda was born and lived in Plant City until she was 12 years old, and then her father’s job took the family to Houston, Texas. Eventually Glenda and Scott (the “Marlin” in Marlin James) met in Houston and have now been married for more than 37 years. The entire family moved back to the Brandon area in 1984. “Both my husband and father, Red (Red was the ‘James’ of Marlin James), worked in the air conditioning business here for 10 years before deciding to start their own company,” said Glenda. “My father’s only stipulation was that I do the accounting.” When Red decided to retire in 2006,

Glenda purchased his half of Marlin James. This family-owned business, along with its employees, focuses everyday on integrity and accountability. “Our employees also have the authority to use WWRD (What Would Red Do) while servicing our customers,” said Glenda. “This allows them to make decisions based on what should be done to ensure 100 percent satisfaction.” Glenda also explained what sets them apart from their competition is that they don’t use sub-contractors. “Our service and install technicians are not paid on commission nor do they have a quota,” said Glenda, “which is different from most companies. We are of the belief that this insures there is no reason to try and sell something that the customer does not need.” Marlin James Air Conditioning and Heating was founded on an incredible combination of loyalty, integrity and pride. Positive leadership along with devoted employees and customers are testimony to 25 years of successful business for Marlin James in this community. For more information, call 689-0817 or visit

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Page 14

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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December 2019

Page 15

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Sage Offers Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaner With 15 Locations & 24-hour Lockers Coming

Christian Artist Brandon Health To Perform At South Bay Church

The upliftConvenience ed feeling and is another feature confidence that of Sage Cleaners comes from where customers wearing freshly benefit from laundered or advances in techdry-cleaned nology. attire is now Besides 15 easier than retail locations, ever to experi- Cohen Wills is the founder of Sage Cleaners, an from Plant City to ence with Sage environmentally-friendly dry cleaning and laundry Apollo Beach, business that offers free pickup and delivery. Cleaners ready customers can to take care of your clothes in a conventake care of their dry cleaning and launient, customer and environment-friendly dry needs by downloading the Sage manner. Cleaners app to their mobile phone and Sage provides its customers a arrange for free pickup and delivery of refreshed and longer-lasting wardrobe their clothes at home or at the growing with a dry cleaning process that the comnumber of Sage lockers sprouting up at pany says is an alternative to the petroleapartment communities and retail locaum-based methods predominating the tions. The app also helps customers track industry. and pay for their orders and keeps them Using a silicone-based cleaning solinformed about special deals. vent and process, trademarked as Green Sage’s retail locations and cleaning Earth, instead of conventional petroleum facility previously operated as Majik products means no chemical smell linger- Touch Cleaners for more than three ing on clothes that Sage dry-cleans. It decades before Wills bought them, and also avoids petrochemical contamination they are now transforming to the Sage of the environment that the dry cleaning brand. That means an experienced team industry is known for. According to Sage is caring for customers’ clothes, whether Cleaners Founder Cohen Wills, operating the request is for dry cleaning, laundering an environmentally conscious company is or routine maintenance and alterations. A the way he wants to do business. full range of services for garments requir“When it’s this easy to do things the ing special care such as leather, suede right way, why wouldn’t you?” Wills added and wedding gowns are also available. that research shows clothes cleaned with To learn more about the environthe Green Earth process last longer, promentally-friendly cleaning services viding more value to customers. Sage Cleaners offers, call 654-2323 or “There’s no good reason to go anyvisit, where you can where else when your clothes can last 40 also find a link to download the compercent longer.” pany’s app.

“God is asking for everything I’ve got. Whole Heart speaks to a vulnerable topic, but I wanted it to sound free and open and triumphant,” said Heath about the song. “God’s already got it all in His hands, but He still asks us to surrender.” Heath hails from Nashville and began writing songs at 13 This holiday season, join the award-winning years old. His ability to lyrically Christian artist Brandon Heath for a family-friendly connect with his audience has concert in Riverview. earned him admiration among felSouth Bay Church invites you and low Christian artists as well as accoyour family to a night of worship with lades. In 2014, Heath was named BMI’s contemporary Christian artist Brandon ‘Songwriter of the Year.’ BMI recognizes Heath. The event takes place on songwriters from all genres. Saturday, December 21 at 7 p.m. Pam Walsh, the special events “Every year, our pastor, David coordinator, said, “At South Bay, we look Speicher, enjoys gifting our community at this concert as an outreach to the with a low-cost Christmas concert the community, and so we like to keep costs whole family can enjoy,” explained Sean low so that the whole family can enjoy Doherty, the associate pastor of operait.” tions at South Bay. “This year, we are Tickets are $10 per person and are honored to host Brandon Heath.” available online at Heath is an eight-time GMA Dove The conAward-winning artist, a five-time GRAMcert is expected to sell out due to the MY® nominee and has received an church’s capacity of 500. The venue is American Music Award nod and an open seating with doors opening at 6 Emmy Award. He is best known for his p.m. No. 1 singles I’m Not Who I Was and Doherty said, “We are excited to Give Me Your Eyes. provide this gift to our community and His latest album, ‘Faith Hope Love provide an opportunity for them to get Repeat,’ was released in 2017 and into the Christmas spirit.” takes its name from 1 Corinthians 13:13. South Bay Church is located at “And now these three remain: faith, 13498 US 301 S. in Riverview. For more hope and love. But the greatest of these information about South Bay, visit is love.” The album’s title track along To learn more with Whole Heart are crowd-favorites about Brandon Heath, visit www.branplaying on today’s Christian radio.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

SmileLYNN Pediatric Dentistry Offers Quality Care To Young Members Of The Community By Libby Hopkins

Mother Teresa something many offices once said, “Let us do not allow. I love having always meet each parents with us during the other with a smile, for visits, it helps to commua smile is the beginnicate issues and we all ning of love.” Smiles work as a team to do are something Dr. what's best for the chilCasey Lynn of Apollo dren. Most importantly, we Beach loves. He loves treat every patient as if them so much that he we would treat our own made smiles his busifamily.” ness. Dr. Lynn is a Dr. Lynn also loves dentist and the owner Dr. Casey Lynn (center) is a den- giving back to the comof SmileLYNN Pediatric tist and the owner of SmileLYNN munity when he can. Pediatric Dentistry in Apollo Dentistry. “I wanted my Recently, he and fellow Beach. practice to be different dentist and friend Dr. than most pediatric dental offices,” Dr. Jason Watts provided more than Lynn said. “I feel building relationships $70,000 worth of free dental work to and giving kids the best experience 107 veterans, three of whom were possible is the ultimate goal in pediatric WWII veterans. “Dr. Watts and I have dentistry, as it sets the kids up for life been great friends since dental school,” long oral health success. For that reaDr. Lynn said. “We've worked on son, we do not overbook, we schedule numerous projects together for classes, ample time for our visits and make sure dental organizations and life in general. kids leave happy.” When he asked if I wanted to join Starting with their first visit, keeping forces to give back to the vets in Apollo his client’s children’s smiles as strong, Beach, the only possible answer was beautiful and healthy as possible is yes. I'm proud to donate my office and important to Dr. Lynn and his staff. With time to those who have served our that in mind, Dr. Lynn constantly strives great country and allow us to live the to provide the best oral health care in a way we do today. It's awesome having friendly and comfortable environment like-minded friends and colleagues in for his patients of all ages. “We do pedi- Apollo Beach. We look forward to hostatric dentistry differently,” Dr. Lynn said. ing this event for years to come.” “Many parents who switch to our office Visit or comment on the ‘feel’ and ‘differences’ call Dr. Casey Lynn at 591-3052 to in our office, compared to normal pedimake an appointment. Dr. Lynn’s office atric offices. We allow parents back for is located at 122 Harbor Village Ln. in all cleanings, exams and routine dental Apollo Beach. Its hours of operation are work, which is big for parents today and Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Volume 17, Issue 12

December 2019

Page 17

Valrico Edition

Kids y a d i l o H t& Day Ou … MoMricehelle Colesanti,

the public. Water, jelly filled donuts, and potato pancakes with applesauce will be available at a nominal charge. Attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate to the y b m ed co Compil spreyobserver. Congregation Beth Shalom Food Bank. e@o michell Let’s Chat: Not your Religious School’s Chanukah Story - Let’s Chat will take place on Sunday, December 29 at 3 p.m. We all know the Chanukah story: the miracle of the oil. Very rarely do we Kids Day Out At Campo Y talk about the violent guerilla campaign During the holidays, bring led by the Maccabees and later violent your kids to the Campo Y for zealotry recorded in the Book of an enriching experience while Maccabees and by the historian you are at work or out and Josephus. Learn about this Chanukah about. Kids will enjoy team building story and talk about how we feel about games, arts and crafts, STEM, high and and respond to the more violent moments low energy games and making new in Jewish history. Was this violence justifriends. The dates are December 23, 26fied? How would we have 27 and 30 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost responded/acted at the time? Should we for members is $35 per day per child. celebrate violent acts? Non members pay $50 per day per child. Taste of Tanakh – Saturday, January Campo Y is located 4; 10 a.m.-12 at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Noon - Monthly Valrico. For more inforTorah study group mation contact Alison will discuss the Gartner at Alison.gartcurrent Torah or tion. Members call 684-1371. and nonmembers are welcome. A Upcoming Events At light nosh will be Congregation Beth served. Sabbath servShalom ices are Fridays Chanukah The 2019 Chanukah Celebration at at 7:30 p.m. Celebration – Sunday, Park Square in the FishHawk. Oneg, nosh and December 22 at 2 p.m. mingle follows. All welcome. On Congregation Beth Shalom will offer a December 27 all are invited to bring and Chanukah Celebration at Park Square in light their Chanukah Menorahs. Choir the FishHawk Community, 16132 members will be lifting their voices Churchview Dr. in Lithia. Shabbat on January 17. A large Chanukah Menorah will be lit Congregation Beth Shalom is located and there will be storytelling by Rabbi at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more Bryan. There will be games and gifts for information, call 681-6547. children. This event is free and open to

Christian Artist Brandon Health To Perform At South Bay Church

By Amanda Boston

“God is asking for everything I’ve got. Whole Heart speaks to a vulnerable topic, but I wanted it to sound free and open and triumphant,” said Heath about the song. “God’s already got it all in His hands, but He still asks us to surrender.” Heath hails from Nashville and began writing songs at 13 This holiday season, join the award-winning years old. His ability to lyrically Christian artist Brandon Heath for a family-friendly connect with his audience has concert in Riverview. earned him admiration among felSouth Bay Church invites you and low Christian artists as well as accoyour family to a night of worship with lades. In 2014, Heath was named BMI’s contemporary Christian artist Brandon ‘Songwriter of the Year.’ BMI recognizes Heath. The event takes place on songwriters from all genres. Saturday, December 21 at 7 p.m. Pam Walsh, the special events “Every year, our pastor, David coordinator, said, “At South Bay, we look Speicher, enjoys gifting our community at this concert as an outreach to the with a low-cost Christmas concert the community, and so we like to keep costs whole family can enjoy,” explained Sean low so that the whole family can enjoy Doherty, the associate pastor of operait.” tions at South Bay. “This year, we are Tickets are $10 per person and are honored to host Brandon Heath.” available online at Heath is an eight-time GMA Dove The conAward-winning artist, a five-time GRAMcert is expected to sell out due to the MY® nominee and has received an church’s capacity of 500. The venue is American Music Award nod and an open seating with doors opening at 6 Emmy Award. He is best known for his p.m. No. 1 singles I’m Not Who I Was and Doherty said, “We are excited to Give Me Your Eyes. provide this gift to our community and His latest album, ‘Faith Hope Love provide an opportunity for them to get Repeat,’ was released in 2017 and into the Christmas spirit.” takes its name from 1 Corinthians 13:13. South Bay Church is located at “And now these three remain: faith, 13498 US 301 S. in Riverview. For more hope and love. But the greatest of these information about South Bay, visit is love.” The album’s title track along To learn more with Whole Heart are crowd-favorites about Brandon Heath, visit www.branplaying on today’s Christian radio.

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Start Your Holidays With A Performance Of The Nutcracker By The Brandon Ballet

By Kathy L. Collins

The Brandon Ballet tle girl named Clara who will present its annual is given the gift of a production of wooden toy nutcracker Tchaikovsky’s holiday by her uncle, classic, The Nutcracker, Drosselmeyer. The this December. There will magic happens when be three performances. the toy nutcracker Two performances will comes to life and takes take place at Riverview Clara on a magical jourHigh School on Saturday, ney through an December 7 at 7:30 p.m. enchanted winter wonand on Sunday, derland where she December 8 at 3 p.m. On encounters dancing Sunday, December 15, snowflakes, an elegant they will present a perSnow Queen formance at Veterans and the majestic Theatre in Sun City Sugar Plum Center. Fairy. For the Sun City Hannah B. Courtney Moody, in her second Center performance, the Townsend, adminseason with the Brandon Ballet, Brandon Ballet will also istrative director for the will perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy. present a premiere of Brandon Ballet, said, What’s Up, a new work “This year's performchoreographed by former Royal Danish ances feature a few new guest artists, Ballet dancer Karina Elver. In addition, including Jared Brunson from dancers will perform Dorica Sales’ conComplexions Ballet in New York City and temporary ballet, Elegie. Brentwood Townend of Tampa City Ballet. Tickets to the Riverview performancThere will also be new choreography es are $35 for adults and $30 for seniors made specially for the dancers in the lead and children 12 and under. Tickets will be roles. Specifically, the Arabian pas de available at the door, but all prices will be deux will feature new choreography made increased by $5. You can get tickets by specifically for professional dancer Eden visiting Tickets Frazier and her partner, Noah Quigley.” for the Sun City Center performance must “This production features talented be picked up at the Sun City Center box professional, pre-professional and comoffice and can be reserved by calling 387- pany dancers; lavish costumes and 3447 by Friday, December 13. There will scenery; and an infectious score that will be no tickets at the door for the Sun City mesmerize children and adults alike.” Center performance. For more on the Brandon Ballet, The Nutcracker tells the story of a litplease visit

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Page 22

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Ruskin Christian School Earns Middle States Association Accreditation

Staff Report

develop a strategic plan for the future that is built upon continuous school improvement,” said Lisa Marie McCauley, Ed.D., president of the MSACESS. “Middle Statesaccredited schools benefit from the power of peer review and should be commended for their commitment to collaboration, growth and advancing student achievement.” RCS received its Ruskin Christian School members with three reaccreditation in April accreditation certificates. 2019 through the Florida Ruskin Christian School (RCS) Association of Christian Colleges and announced on November 4 that it had Schools and in August received its earned accreditation by the Middle first national accreditation through States Association Commissions on AdvancED/Southern Association of Elementary and Secondary Schools Colleges and Schools. (MSA-CESS), a worldwide leader in Based in Philadelphia, the Middle accreditation and continuous school States Association is the worldwide improvement. leader in accreditation and school “Middle States accreditation improvement. For over 125 years, serves as an independent validation Middle States has been helping of the good work we do, and the school leaders establish and reach accreditation process focused our their goals, develop strategic plans, attention on strategic planning and promote staff development and continuous improvement practices,” advance student achievement. said Tim Vanderveer, administrator of With more than 2,500 accredited RCS. “We are proud to have earned schools and school systems in 34 accreditation and look forward to constates and over 100 countries, MSAtinuing to work with our administraCESS is proud of its continuing legators, teachers and parents to provide cy and its ongoing innovations to high-quality education for all stumeet the challenges of improving dents.” education in the 21st century. For “The Middle States accreditation more information, visit www.msaprocess brings together school ers, teachers, parents and students to

McTavish The Haggis Spreads Holiday Cheer To Children Near And Far

By Libby Hopkins

Do you know what a dren’s book.” Haggis is? It is a threeAfter editing and hirlegged bird, and ing a local artist, Bob McTavish the Haggis is Dorsey of Image the main character in a Brewery, for the cover, children’s book by the Norrie had it published. “I late author Norrie Smith. designed a plush “McTavish the Haggis is a McTavish toy and sell it Scottish children’s book and the book at Scottish of a poem written by my festivals, online and at husband, Norrie Smith, London Pride, a British for our first son, Stewart,” shop in Largo,” Billie said. said Billie Smith, wife of “It comes with a CD proNorrie. “A friend, Les duced by Bill Dudley Scarborough, a very talStudios and narrated by ented artist from George RobertsonTallahassee, illustrated it. Burnett, a Scotsman from McTavish the Haggis is a The story is about a fictiAberdeen and a wellScottish children’s book about a tious three-legged bird fictitious three-legged bird called known Rotarian from called a ‘Haggis.’” a ‘Haggis.’ McTavish, the main Bartow. I donate 10 per“McTavish, the main character, sets out on a journey cent of the book sales to and meets Scottish animals character, sets out on a help end Polio through along the way. He eventually journey and meets Brandon ‘86 Rotary.” wants to go back home and finds out his return trip is much Scottish animals along A free download and easier than when he started out. the way. He eventually study guide for McTavish wants to go back home and finds out his the Haggis is available on Billie’s website. return trip is much easier than when he “I’m hoping to get the word out to kinderstarted out,” she said. “I had wanted to garten, first and second grade teachers publish the book for many years as a who would like to introduce their students legacy for both our sons, Stewart and to another culture,” Billie said. “Teachers Duncan. A dear friend, who dropped by can also email one Christmas, convinced me it needed for a to be done.” copy but going through our website, will Norrie was from Leuchars, Scotland register them for a free hardback copy and he was a very prolific and incredibly and plush toy, just in time for Christmas. talented poet whose work was of a seriWe will give one of each away for every ous nature. “He wanted to write some10 classes.” thing for our son as a tribute to his own If you would like to purchase a copy homeland and wrote McTavish in one of McTavish the Haggis, you can visit afternoon,” Billie said. “It was his only chil-


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December 2019

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 23

Page 24

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach

In This Section

GIFT OF HOPE.................................PG 28 WINTER JAM CONCERT ..................PG 29 WINTHROP AIRSTREAMS ...............PG 29 HOLIDAY HOME TOUR....................PG 30 December 2019

Volume 17, Issue 12

CROSS BAY FERRY...........................PG 30

Ph: 657-2418

Connie’s Home Decor & Design Celebrates Two Years

Connie Kennedy, owner of Connie’s Home Decor and Design, is celebrating two years at her new location in Cypress Village Plaza at 3818 Sun City Center Blvd. in Ruskin. Connie’s Home Décor and Design will breathe new life into any room. It is quick to assist with difficult and sometimes overwhelming home decorating decisions. Services are affordable and results are guaranteed. Kennedy offers a fun event, Fairy Hair, twice a month on Saturdays and usually on Wednesdays. For more information, call 3287705. Visit

Partyrific Party Supply, Banners, Balloons And More

Partyrific Riverview recently opened at the end of October. Owners John and Cassandra Hansel said to expect to find superb customer service, and an array of products to fit all your party needs. You will find balloon columns and arches, glitter banners, custom confetti, custom banners, custom cake toppers, piñatas, gift wrap and more.

Memory Care Community recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with a ribbon-cutting cereCassandra started mony, conducted by out by opening her first the Greater Riverview Etsy store in 2014 called Chamber of UrEnvited. By June Commerce, and a 2016, she opened her special evening affair second Etsy store called The Bridges celebrates 10 years for residents, their with a Riverview Chamber UrEnvited Too. “In early families, friends and ribbon-cutting. 2018, I began the staff. “We have a process of planning to open the first wonderful community of residents, party store in my area, and with a lot family and staff. We all feel blessed of hard work, Partyrific Riverview to be part of The Bridges family,” opened for its first day of business, stated Donna Steiermann, who, as Wednesday, October 30. We hope to executive director, opened The provide you with superb customer Bridges 10 years ago. service and an array of products to fit The Bridges opened its doors in your party needs,” she said. October 2009 and has since grown Partyrific Party Store is located in its community to over 90 assisted livthe Summerfield Square Shopping ing and memory care Plaza at 13159 US 301 S. in residents. Residents enjoy a variety Riverview. of activities, wellness programs, social events and sharing meals with Local Business Celebrates 10th friends. Anniversary According to Pam Buschbacher, The Bridges Assisted Living and whose mother has resided at The

A ribbon-cutting was recently held for Accountable Actions.

Bridges for 10 years, “It is impressive to me that many of the employees who opened The Bridges are still there. As new staff members were added, I was struck by the sincere consistency in care not only for our mother but for all residents. Knowing my mom is well taken care of gives me peace of mind.”

GRCC Welcomes New Member Accountable Actions

The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) members gathered to celebrate new member Accountable Actions and The Alley at South Shore. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at The Alley at South Shore, immediately following the GRCC’s Taking Care of Business Relationship Building Network meeting. Accountable Actions provides high-quality, effective and friendly coaching completely customizable to

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Page 26

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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

By Michelle Colesanti

meet your needs. Accountable Danahy will oversee every aspect Actions is led by owner Coach Kathy of the dealership, including sales, McKnight, a graduate of the service, new and used cars, employUniversity of Tampa with a Bachelor ees and customer service. of Science degree in marketing. Ed Morse Cadillac Brandon is When you need motivation and located at 11020 Causeway Blvd. in accountability the most, Coach Brandon, and Ed Morse Auto Mall Alfa McKnight will be there. Romeo and FIAT are at She will help you reach 11024 Causeway Blvd. your goals in a wide Visit range of areas, includwww.edmorsecadiling fitness, nutrition, life, sales, spirituality and relationship coachTeleVoIPs Ranked ing. Coach McKnight is No. 1977 On Inc. a certified professional 5000 coach, certified collabInc. magazine orative divorce trainer today revealed that and certified wellness TeleVoIPs ranked No. coach with a back1977 on its annual Inc. ground in extreme Brian Danahy is the new general 5000 list, the most manager of three local Ed Morse prestigious ranking of exercise and over 32 dealerships. years of sales experithe nation’s fastestence. growing private companies. The list You can visit Accountable Actions represents a unique look at the most online at successful companies within the or call American economy’s most dynamic 690-5105. segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Ed Morse Automotive Group Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Names Brian Danahy As General Yelp, Zillow and many other wellManager Three Dealerships known names gained their first nationThe Ed Morse Automotive Group al exposure as honorees on the Inc. announced that automotive veteran 5000. Brian Danahy has been named gener“The TeleVoIPs team is immenseal manager for three of its dealerly proud to have made this list for the ships, Ed Morse Brandon Cadillac, first time. I am so grateful for the Brandon Auto Mall Fiat by Ed Morse team, partners and clients that helped and Brandon Auto Mall Alfa Romeo by us achieve the growth required to be Ed Morse. Danahy has been with Ed a part of the Inc. 5000,” Morse Automotive Group for more says TeleVoIPs founder and CEO than 30 years and will also remain as Grant Baxley. general manager of its successful Ed Not only have the companies on Morse Cadillac dealership in Tampa. the 2019 Inc. 5000 been very compet“Brian has been an asset for our itive within their markets, but the list organization for decades and we are as a whole shows staggering growth pleased that he will expand his leadcompared with prior lists. The 2019 ership role with these new GM posiInc. 5000 achieved an astounding tions. He will continue our tradition of three-year average growth of 454 perproviding an incredible experience for cent and a median rate of 157 perour customers and employees,” said cent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revTeddy Morse, chairman and CEO of enue was $237.7 billion in 2018, Ed Morse Automotive Group. accounting for 1,216,308 jobs over the Danahy started at the company at past three years. age 14, working in the parts departComplete results of the Inc. 5000, ment. His 30 plus career climb at Ed including company profiles and an Morse Automotive Group encominteractive database that can be sortpassed working in almost every ed by industry, region and other criteaspect of the dealerships including ria, can be found paint, service, collision, sales, manat agement and in 2011 became the GM TeleVoIPs Business Phone of Ed Morse Cadillac Tampa. As GM Solutions is located at 1723 S. Kings of this location, it was named Dealer Ave. in Brandon. Visit of the Year three times.

Academy Provides Interactive Education on Bloomingdale Ave.

By Kate Quesada

Brandon Points area students Standards with special and typically needs have function sigan education nificantly alternative that below grade they may not level,” said know about. Appelbaum. Interactive The Education school offers Academy three options (IEA), located for earning on diplomas. The Bloomingdale first is the Students enrolled at the Interactive Education Ave., specialstandard 24 Academy on Bloomingdale Ave. receive a personalizes in teachcredit high ized education with small class sizes. ing middle and high school students school diploma. There is also a stanwith learning disabilities and special dard 19 credit high school diploma needs and is currently enrolling for which is only recognized at two-year grades six through 12. colleges and technical schools. The According to English Teacher and final option is a Standard Diploma on Principal Madeleine Appelbaum, the Access Points, which looks identical to school, which is fully accredited through a traditional high school diploma but is the National Independent Private not recognized as valid at any post-secSchools Association (NIPSA), helps ondary institutions including two-and students with dyscalculia, dyslexia, pro- four-year colleges, technical schools cessing delays and disorders, dysand all branches of the military. graphia, brain injury, dyspraxia, ADD, “In Florida, students with disabilities ADHA, autism, Tourette’s Syndrome, are granted the right to stay in school Asperger’s Syndrome and other learnuntil they are 22 years old,” said ing disabilities. Appelbaum. “We often encounter students who IEA’s philosophy is to provide a well have had negative experiences in tradi- rounded education, grounded in a comtional classroom settings and are lookmitment to teach to the student, not to ing for an alternative route,” said the standard. A specialized curriculum Appelbaum, who has a Master’s is tailored to help students with excepdegree in Public Administration from tionalities succeed, both inside and outVillanova University and a Bachelor of side the academic arena. Science in Rehabilitative Science, with The school, which originally opened a focus in Developmental Disabilities, in 2001 as the Dyslexia Institute of from Clarion University. America, recognizes the Gardiner Thirty-eight local students are curScholarship as well as the John McKay rently enrolled in the school which has Scholarship that is awarded to public six teachers. Class sizes average from school students in Florida under an eight to 12 students although the upper Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a high school class is currently made up 504 plan. of 14. According to Appelbaum, 12 stuTo learn more about Interactive dents are currently educated in the self- Education Academy, located at 1474 contained classroom. Bloomingdale Ave., call 689-2087 or “Students in a self-contained classvisit www.interactiveeducationacaderoom are educated on the Access

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Page 28

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Food, Toys And Volunteers Needed For Annual Gift Of Hope Distribution

By Amanda Boston

Greater Brandon area for three to four of Gift of Hope is a multithose years. It’s an church outreach that honor to serve each provides a traditional person, look in their Christmas meal and eyes, hear their story Christmas gifts to famiand pray with and for lies in need. Hundreds them. The experience is of families in always exhausting, but the Greater Brandon in a beautiful way. I area are food-insecure. consider it a mission Local high school students are Hunger not only affects shown sorting through toys donated trip into my own comto Greater Brandon Gift of Hope. the homeless—often, munity.” families have to choose between paying For families to participate, they must a bill or purchasing food. reside in the Greater Brandon area and To help fill the gap, the Gift of Hope will be vetted through Brandon’s ministry rallies local churches to join Emergency Care Help Organization together and tangibly demonstrate the (ECHO). To sign up, participants will need love of Jesus to those in their community. a picture ID, security card and proof of This year’s combined effort includes 10 address. The list of zip codes being churches that will collect the Christmas served can be found on the Gift of Hope meal items, toys, gift wrap and other website. For questions, call 485-5604. items. Last year, Gift of Hope served close Over three days, volunteers from to 657 families and had 380 registered multiple denominations will assemble at volunteers. For those who wish to volunthe First Baptist Church of Brandon to teer but are not connected to a church, distribute meal items and help parents help is needed during the distribution ‘shop’ for their children’s Christmas gifts. days. You can sign up for a time slot This year’s distribution dates are online through the Gift of Hope website at Thursday, December 12 and Friday, Volunteers December 13 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and must be 14 years or older (unless accomSaturday, December 14 from 9 a.m.-5 panied by an adult). p.m. Donations of food items and toys are “I’m eagerly anticipating this year’s also appreciated. To see a list of requestupcoming event," said Kit Enriquez, who, ed items, please visit the Gift of Hope along with her husband, Eric Enriquez, website. ECHO will accept donations durhas been involved with Gift of Hope for ing regular business hours. If you would the last 6-7 years. rather make a monetary donation, the She continued, “We’ve helped on option to purchase a turkey is available occasion in the prayer chapel, but I’ve online. First Baptist Church of Brandon is had the privilege of running the gift wrap located at 216 N. Parsons Ave.

Volume 17, Issue 12

December 2019

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Winter Jam Tour Returns To Tampa

Staff Report

Christian music's multi-artist annual outing, the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, returns to the AMALIE Arena on January 11, 2020 at 6 p.m. This year’s headliner is the fan favorite and GRAMMY®-nominated singer-songwriter Crowder. With recent hits such as Red Letters and All My Hope, the genre-spanning artist—who regularly appears on the Grand Ole Opry—leads a star-studded 2020 lineup featuring some of the biggest names in Christian music. Known for its musical diversity and focus on the gospel, Winter Jam is a non-ticketed event. However, a suggested donation of $15 is accepted at the door. The concert includes a message with the acclaimed pastor, author, speaker and Passion Movement founder Louie Giglio. The renowned worshippers of Passion will also be featured. “It’s crazy to think this is my first time speaking on Winter Jam, one of the most influential tours of the last few decades,” said Giglio. “I'm pumped and really excited to share the nights with our fam— Crowder and Passion!” “We can’t wait to get out on Winter

Jam 2020,” echoed Crowder. “There is nothing like it, and 2020 is going to be just insane! Too much goodness in one place.” Winter Jam 2020’s lineup also showcases hip-hop recording artist and producer Andy Mineo, Dove Award-winning pop hitmakers Building 429, GRAMMY®-nominated rockers RED, Dove Award-nominated singersongwriter Austin French and GRAMMY®-nominated Winter Jam creators and tour hosts NewSong. Additionally, the PreJam opening set will feature 2019 New Artist of the Year, Dove Award-nominee Riley Clemmons and will introduce singer-songwriter Billy Ballenger, as well as emerging rap/hiphop recording artist Zauntee. “I’ve never been more excited about Winter Jam than I am for 2020,” said NewSong founding member and Winter Jam creator Eddie Carswell. “The lineup is amazing, and the desire to see Jesus change lives remains our top priority. Bring your friends, bring your youth group—just don't miss it.” In addition to the tour's popular Jam Nation membership, which allows attendees early entry among other exclusive perks, Winter Jam is introducing a limited number of Jam Nation Ultimate Access passes for 2020. This exclusive pass includes a backstage meet and greet with Crowder, premium reserved Jam Zone seating and free Jam Nation entry to any other 2020 Winter Jam date. For more information, visit, or call 301-2500.



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Page 29

The Winthrop Airstream Market Is The First Of Its Kind For The Greater Brandon Area

By Kathy L. Collins

Hillsborough View photos of the County's newest store on Instagram attraction, the @fullgrowngirl or on Winthrop Airstream Facebook. Market, is located Mama's within the commuGeneral Store is nity of Winthrop in owned and operated Riverview. It is the by Katharine first of its kind in Sullivan-Dawes. It is Hillsborough located in a vintage County. The Spartan trailer. Photo By Jacob Seace@New Light Studios Winthrop Airstream The Winthrop Airstream Market is a unique Mama's General Market is located at collection of tiny shops located within the Store is a small, heart of Winthrop. 11267 Winthrop highly curated gift Main St. in Riverview. shop for all occasions. Mama's General Winthrop Town was founded and Store is open Wednesday through Friday developed by John and Kay Sullivan. from 12 Noon to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. John Sullivan said, "The inspiration for to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Visit www.mamasWinthrop's Airstream Market came after and like it on Facebook. we saw how the concept worked in The Code Revolution is owned and Austin, Texas and Seaside, Florida. We operated by Paul Kaman. His concept is created our market to help small busito make computer programming more nesses who want to try out new, unique accessible to children. Kaman said, "As ideas on an affordable budget." an IT professional with children, I underThe first shop that opened was stand the challenges of teaching my chilRemi's Minis in March 2017. Remi's Minis dren about computers while working a is in a 1963 Airstream. It serves miniature full-time job. We teach computer prodonuts, coffee (espresso and cold brew), gramming by leveraging a gaming format tea and more. Remi's Minis is owned and (mobile gaming and Minecraft).” operated by Ben and Christy Chambless. The Code Revolution offers classes Remi's Minis is open Wednesday on Tuesdays from 4:30-7:30 p.m. and through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For p.m. For more information, please call more information, please visit www.the525-7282 and follow it on Facebook. Next, Full Grown Girl, which is owned Located within the Airstream Market and operated by Cynthia Atkins, is is also the Winthrop Arts Art Factory, an housed in a 1960 Airstream. It is an arts education center that offers arts eclectic and quirky gift shop. instruction to children, teens and adults. Full Grown Girl is open Wednesday For more information on the classes, through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. please visit

Page 30

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

The GFWC Brandon Service League Presents Its Annual Holiday Home Tour

By Kathy L. Collins

For more This year’s than 25 years, homes are located the GFWC throughout the area. Brandon Service There are two within League has been River Hills and one hosting a Holiday is in Magnificent Home Tour. This Magnolia Place. year’s tour will be Together, they feaheld on Saturday, ture over 40 trees of December 14. varying sizes. For the first time Tickets to the Come out and tour three beautifully deco- Holiday Home Tour in the event’s rated homes, each with a unique theme, history, it will be are just $20 each at the Annual GFWC Brandon Service held in the (cash or check). You League’s Holiday Home Tour. evening from 4 to 8 p.m. Not only will you can purchase them at the Green get the opportunity to see several beautiBoutique at 1032 Bloomingdale Ave. in fully decorated homes adorned with twin- Valrico, Four Paws Veterinary Hospital at kling lights and holiday finery, but attend9430 Balm Riverview Rd. in Riverview, ing the Holiday Home Tour is a great way Julie’s Closet at 720 W. Robertson St. in to support a local organization that Brandon and at Plummer’s Family serves the Greater Brandon area. Restaurant at 11758 E. Dr. Martin Luther This year’s tour will showcase three King, Jr. Blvd. in Seffner. You can also local homes. Judy Darsey, president of purchase them online at www.gfwcbranthe GFWC Brandon Service League, There is a $1 consaid, “You will not want to miss this one. venience fee per ticket. Once again, three homeowners have Please note that you must have your opened their hearts and their homes to ticket in order to gain access to the support this event that gives 100 percent homes in River Hills, which is located off of the funds raised back to local nonprofof Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. its and six area high school art departMagnificent Magnolia Place is located in ments.” the Riverview area. Darsey added, “Whether you start at The GFWC Brandon Service League 4 p.m. and see the homes in daylight or is accepting new members. The GFWC come after 6 p.m. and see the homes Brandon Service League meets on the with their spectacular lights on, you have second Thursday of the month from a chance to see what three homeowners September through May (not including love about decorating for Christmas. December). They each have their own individual For more information, please visit style.”

Cross-Bay Ferry Returns For Third Season In Tampa Bay

Staff Report

The Cross-Bay Ferry is back for a third year. The Cross-Bay Ferry has returned for its third year and will run through Thursday, April 30, 2020, sailing between the Tampa Convention Center and St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Yacht Basin. "It’s going to be another strong season for the Cross-Bay Ferry," said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. "I want to thank our regional partners for agreeing to bring the ferry back to Tampa Bay. “ This year, the ferry will run Wednesday through Sunday and have increased services on the weekends, with four stacked departures at both locations on Fridays and Saturdays and earlier service on Sundays, now beginning at 11 a.m. There will be additional service on New Year’s Day and no service on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Saturday, January 25, 2020 (Gasparilla). "Tampa is committed to creating a true, multimodal transportation system,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “I view water transportation, including permanent ferry service, as a major element of creating such [a] true mobility system that our region can grow on. It's why we wanted

to locate the ferry terminal in the heart of our downtown." Also new this year, the Cross-Bay Ferry has expanded its partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning and will run for every Lightning game, including Mondays and Tuesdays, when the ferry isn’t scheduled to run. Additionally, it will not depart from Tampa until 30 minutes after the game has ended, giving riders time to board. It will also run an altered schedule for Sunday, December 29 and Sunday, March 8, 2020 to accommodate earlier Lightning game times, with an additional dead-end run departing Tampa after the game. Tickets cost $8 for adults; $5 for seniors 65 and up, active and retired military and college students; $3 for youth ages 5 to 18; and free for children 4 and under. They are available for purchase on or at the ferry’s dockside ticket booths; reservations are highly encouraged. "As a county-wide county commissioner, I know there is a broad base of enthusiastic support for ferry transportation,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp. “My expectation is that this third year of temporary, seasonal service will provide the impetus to finally start permanent ferry service." The Cross-Bay Ferry is a collaboration between St. Petersburg, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and the Florida Department of Transportation. Those interested in learning more about the ferry can visit

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December 2019

Page 31

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Keep Christmas Classical With The Florida Orchestra Santa on the beach? Lighted palm trees? Not this year. When you’re longing for a classic Christmas, there’s no place like The Florida Orchestra, sparkling with holiday magic that you can’t find at the mall. Holiday Pops: The annual favorite is a jolly good time for the whole family. This year’s concert is a sleigh-load of classics you know and love, including Sleigh Ride, The Nutcracker, Winter Wonderland and a holiday sing-along. The concerts are Friday to Sunday, December 1315 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, with two matinees that won’t spoil anyone’s bedtime. Daniel Black conducts with Vanessa Thomas on vocals. Tickets start at $18 in the Raymond James Pops series. Handel’s Messiah: For nearly 300 years, one work has brought audiences to their feet in the ultimate celebration of holiday joy: Handel’s Messiah, with its divine ‘Hallelujah’ chorus. Michael Francis leads the orchestra and The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay in three special performances, which will take place at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz (Thursday, December 19), the

Expiration: 12.31.2019

County Approves Full-Time Athletic Trainers For All High Schools

By Kelly Smith

Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg (Friday, December 20) and Indian Rocks Baptist Church (Sunday, December 21). Tickets start at $18 at the Mahaffey and $30 for general admission at the churches. Holiday Brass: TFO’s incomparable brass and percussion sections perform festive favorites in the exquisitely renovated historic Tampa Theatre. Daniel Black conducts arrangements for brass and percussion ensemble, including Sleigh Ride, Ave Maria, The Nutcracker, Messiah’s ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus’ and classic carols. This will take place on Thursday, December 19 at 7 p.m.; $20 for general admission. For details and tickets, visit

By Nick Nahas

The Hillsborough side organization. County school board In addition, the has made some much board wants all paid needed changes in coaches to continue to regard to students’ receive emergency health and safety medical training. They when they partake in are all CPR and AED extracurricular activicertified, and they ties. In an August 20 must take nationally board meeting, the standardized courses school board adopted each year, including a proposal to have fullConcussion in Sports time athletic trainers at and Heat Illness every high school. The Prevention, and the plan passed unanifootball coaches must mously. The proposal have Heads Up came after Middleton Football safety trainfootball player ing. The coaches are Hezekiah Walters also directed to ensure passed away during shade and plenty football conditioning of water are availMiddleton football player Hezekiah drills this summer. Walters passed away during football able. The county conditioning drills this summer. Certified athletic follows all FHSAA trainers from the University of South guidelines for frequent water breaks, Florida SMART Institute (USF), Select rest and restricting how long conditionPhysical Therapy and PT Solutions ing and practice can last. In addition to Holdings, LLC will now provide their the athletic trainers, the county providservices to each Hillsborough County ed cold immersion tubs a few years Public High School. Each school will ago. have an athletic trainer year round. “We want you to rest assured About $270,000 will now be availwhen your child is taking part in afterable in the Safety and Risk school activities that they are being Management budget. Before this procared for by highly trained staff who posal passed, there were athletic train- put their students’ safety above everyers at only half of the high schools, thing else,” said Hillsborough County and they weren’t available for summer Superintendent Jeff Eakins. conditioning. The trainers were not For more information, visit the employees of the county, and their Hillsborough County website at time was typically donated to the and click on the 'athletschool from a medical group or outics' tab.

Expiration: 12.31.2019

Expiration: 12.31.2019

Page 32

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Marilan McCray

4th Gr rfield Summe gs Crossin d By


Align Rig Realty

Gibsonton Elementary School Initiates New Programs For Students And Community

Teacher Of The Month

Marilaany McCrade


Why Become a Teacher? nt industry and the I was working in a differe s placed in my heart. passion for education wa have a desire to I wanted and continue to on the next make a positive influence ders who will impact generation of student lea our tomorrow.

Hidden Talent: ng I enjoy planning and putti and together events for family friends. Surprise for Students: g to I'm in the process of tryin understand and learn the televiKorean language through sion shows.


McCray 1

has bee

n a teac


er for 5 years. Quote: . “The way to get started is to g.” Walt Disney quit talking and begin doin ge gh to think they can chan ou en y az cr e ar o wh e pl “Peo o do.”- Rob Siltanen the world are the ones wh

School Change: ve the correct curriculum ha rs he ac te at th re su g in Mak taught. resources for all subjects

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The staff at reach is going to Gibsonton continue. Any family Elementary has been whose student working hard this attends Gibsonton is year to shift the balencouraged to ance for their stucome.” dents. What started Students are when Gibsonton was also welcome to pick identified as a comclothes from the munity school in the school’s newly develspring has led to oped Clothing many new programs Closet. to help students and “Our Clothing their families, from a Closet is an effort to food pantry to a Little help students who Free Library. come to school withAccording to out proper fitting Catherine Gilmore, clothing or who have community school accidents during the resource coordinator, day,” said Gilmore. Gibsonton is one of “In some cases, stuGibsonton Elementary has installed six community schools many programs to help its students and dents need clean in Hillsborough County. the community since being identified as clothes because they a community school earlier this year. come to school with “A community One of the programs is a Little Free school is a school Library open to the public at the front of unwashed clothing.” focused on bringing The closet is supthe school. equality to not only the school, but the ported by donations from the community community,” said Gilmore. “Many of our and is always in need of clothing for stustudents are not given the access and dents from size four to youth medium, opportunity that other communities are especially jackets and shoes. offered. In Gibsonton, we find ourselves “We give an average of four pairs of working to shift the balance. We want to shoes a week for our needy students,” promote ways in which students and said Gilmore, who came to the school families can find positive growth and suc- five years ago to teach special education cess.” and took over her current position when In order to find out where to start, Gibsonton was identified as a community Gilmore and other staff members are school. using a Listening Project where they surGilmore also helped install a Little vey and interview parents, students, staff Free Library at the front of the school to and community members to identify what improve access to literacy within the aspects of the community they feel are community. working, what is missing and to develop “We make sure we give a large numa vision for the future. ber of books to ensure the community “We want to make sure we are findhas a variety of choices,” said Gilmore. “It ing the right resources that fit our specific is not just available to students, the comneeds,” she said. “Our goal is to transmunity can access it by coming to the form Gibsonton.” front of the school.” One of the most important ways the Gibsonton Elementary’s programs staff is helping is by providing food. The are supported by the School District of school has had a Feed the Bay-funded Hillsborough County, the teacher’s union weekend backpack program in partner(HCTA) and community partners, but volship with Mosaic and the Kiwanis Club unteers are always needed. for seven years, serving 75 students a “We are always looking for partners, week with single-serve and child-friendly community members and volunteers to foods to meet their nutritional needs. But support our students and families,” said this year, Gibsonton opened a food Gilmore. “If anyone is interested in volunpantry thanks to help from Publix. teering, we would welcome the support. “As the weeks continue, the families Our goal is to see everyone succeed.” are learning that the pantry is open every To learn more about Gibsonton week on Fridays from 2-4 p.m. and that Elementary, located at 7723 Gibsonton we are excited to see them,” said Dr., call 671-5100. For anyone looking to Gilmore. “Last week, we served 34 famihelp, Gilmore can be reached at lies, and believe strongly that our

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December 2019

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Area Hillsborough County School Projects Benefit From Referendum Dollars In the year since Hillsborough County voters approved a halfpenny sales tax to fund infrastructure projects in county schools, known as the Education Referendum, more than $80 million has been raised and Brandon-area students are already seeing the benefits. According to Chris Farkas, deputy superintendent of operations, Hillsborough County Public Schools has spent more than $66 million on 119 projects throughout the county. These projects include 24 air conditioning overhauls, 15 roofing projects, seven school athletic tracks, 17 playgrounds and nine play courts. “The projects are chosen based on the age of the school, the age of its equipment and the number of maintenance requisitions that come in each school year,” said Farkas. High schools in Eastern Hillsborough county that have already benefitted include Bloomingdale High School, where a new access control system was installed in April; Durant High School, which received a new roof, completed in three phases, and a new water tank; East Bay High School, where a new public

• • • • • • • • • • • •

By Kate Quesada

billion in deferred maintenance and $1 billion needed to build new schools to handle growth. Without the referendum dollars, our students faced a future in aging, crowded classSchools throughout Eastern Hillsborough County have benefitted from the half-penny sales tax rooms,” said Farkas. “Our Education Referendum passed last year. district normally address system was where previously we would have needed received around $110 million per year in installed in the cafe; help two or three times a week. We are funding for repairs and construction. That and Riverview High School, which very grateful the community has shown amount never could have tackled the received a new HVAC system in July. such amazing support for our public backlog of overdue work, along with the “Our district maintains an ongoing schools.” new repair requests that are coming in five-year work plan and also tracks needs In addition, Bloomindale’s Alafia every day. Now, with the half-penny sales many years farther into the future,” said Elementary School received three new tax bringing in an estimated $131 million Farkas. “Schools receiving air conditionplaygrounds over the summer, a year for 10 years, we can take on the ing overhauls over the 10 years of the refSummerfield Elementary underwent a overdue work and have the $110 million erendum were the next 203 schools in partial roof replacement and Yates we normally receive each year available need of an overhaul based on system Elementary received a new roof. to help handle additional growth and new age, reliability and related factors. Other More than $20 million will also go problems that appear as our schools projects were selected similarly, based on toward new classroom technology. age.” need and available budget, with the intent “Florida ranks 44th in the United Projects and spending are reviewed of making a significant investment in States in K-12 education funding,” said by an independent Citizen Oversight every school.” Farkas. “The inadequate state funding, Committee, led by former State Lithia Spring Elementary School in combined with massive growth in Education Commissioner Betty Castor Valrico was one of the first locations to Hillsborough County during the 90s and and Sheriff Chad Chronister, before the receive an air conditioning overhaul, in early 2000s, led to our community’s shortwork is submitted to the school board for addition to two new playgrounds. fall.” final approval. “The air conditioner upgrades this The Education Referendum is To learn more about the Education past summer have been great for our stuexpected to generate between $1.2 and Referendum and to see a list of projects, dents and staff,” said Lithia Springs $1.3 billion over the next 10 years and the visit and Principal Kevin Martin. “Once the system district plans to invest a minimum of search for 'Citizen Oversight Committee was up and running we have not had to $500,000 in each school in the county. Project Updates'. make a single maintenance request “Last year, our district was facing $1


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Page 34

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Photos courtesy of the Riverview football program

Riverview Sharks Football Team Makes Playoffs For First Time Since 2006 The Riverview Sharks football program made tremendous strides this season by achieving its first winning record since 2007 and its first playoff appearance since 2006. The Sharks finished with an 8-3 record and lost in the regional quarterfinals to Osceola on November 8. Head Coach William Mosel took over the program three years ago and has made a quick turnaround in a short period of time. Mosel said that the process started up front on both sides of the football, controlling the line of scrimmage. He credits the turnaround to his team working hard at lifting weights starting in January and buying in during the off-season while also having great team chemistry, playing together as a team. The offense ran the ball for almost 3,000 yards and threw for just under 2,000 yards. “They made it their personal mission to make sure that they turn this thing around and they really believed in us,” said Mosel. “It was really nice to see

them achieve their goals.” six touchdowns on the ground and 15 Sophomore dual-threat quarterback receptions for 330 yards and two touchStazion Gage had a big downs through the air. part in the 2019 camSenior David Haynes paign as anybody in his carried the ball 50 times first season as the signal for 434 yards (8.7 avercaller, throwing for 1,594 age) and five touchyards with 13 touchdowns and caught one downs through the air touchdown as well. while also carrying the Junior defensive end ball 92 times for 736 James Moore recorded yards and 10 touch11 sacks and an interdowns on the ground. ception on defense. Senior running back Mosel said that he Cheyenne Greaves will always remember added 65 carries for 755 key parts to the season, Head Coach William Mosel yards (11.6 average) and addresses the team after a game. such as his team block-

ing the potential goahead field goal against Durant to win and Devin White’s game-sealing interception against Ridge Community. “There were some great moments this season, they never quit during football games and held in there, and there were times where they could have easily not stood their ground,” he said. According to Mosel, the team is currently working in the weight room and they will build from there. The Sharks want to continue the momentum that they built from this season. They will have a great chance to make a run next season with a lot of key players returning. “I think we set the bar, and now we need to stay up there,” said Mosel. “These guys came together as a team and really fought and believed in each other and believed in what we talked about every single day. I couldn’t have been prouder of them.”

December 2019

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 35

New Volunteer Hours Tracking Platform Helps Students Help Community

Barrington FFA Team Named National Champions At Convention

Students at select “Local groups lookHillsborough County ing for volunteers will high schools have an just need to log on to easier way to help the Profferfish, create an community and the account and upload their chance to win some needs,” said Snively. great prizes this month. Currently, one third Hillsborough County of the high schools in Public Schools (HCPS) the county, including recently teamed up with Lithia’s Newsome Profferfish, a cloudHigh, have introduced based platform that will their students to allow students to access Profferfish and Snively volunteer opportunities hopes that number will and earn community grow in the near future. Hillsborough County students service hours for Florida Kelsey McGuinness and Addison The school district Collins can now log their communiBright Futures in a is also hoping that use ty service hours with Profferfish, a streamlined, convenient of the platform will help streamlined online platform. manner on their mobile devices. students get more involved in their comAccording to School Board Chair munities. Melissa Snively, the paperless, secure “Students who give back are less platform is free to use and will benefit not likely to get in trouble and more likely to only students and parents but also counget better grades,” said Snively. “We hope selors, schools and nonprofits. that Profferfish will encouraged more stu“The current way the district has to dents to get engaged, not just those looklog community service hours is very time- ing to log Bright Futures hours.” consuming and archaic,” said Snively, In an effort to encourage students to who has been working with Profferfish use the platform, the school district has officials for three years to help develop teamed up with Caspers Company the software. “This way is not only easier McDonald’s and Outback Steakhouse to and more intuitive for the students, but it offer incentives. will also save our counselors significant All students earning four or more effort and hours pushing paper, which will community services hours before turn into time they can use to work in the December 6 will qualify for a drawing to schools with the kids who need them.” win one of five special Outback Bowl In addition to using the platform to log Game Day Experiences. and check in on their community service To learn more, visit hours around the clock, students will also, search for be able to search for organizations in the 'Profferfish' on or concommunity in need of help. tact your college career counselor.

their event. They had a goal and really went after it.” The team, made up of Kannon Gailey, Emma Dolan, Caroline Haxton, Lia McLaughlin, Mimi Walters, Peyton Haxton and Gabby Howell, all attended Barrington Middle School when they won the state championship, although some of the students have now moved on to ninth grade at Durant High Kannon Gailey, Emma Dolan, Caroline Haxton, School. Lia McLaughlin, Mimi Walters, Peyton Haxton According to Riverview resident and Gabby Howell, with their advisor Greg Bryan Dolan, whose daughter, Lehman, were recently named National Emma, participated on the team, Champions at the FFA National Convention. members learned skills that will A group of girls from Barrington help them throughout their lives and Middle School have a lot to be proud of future careers. this month. Seven student members of “Through their hard work they the school’s Future Farmers of America learned critical thinking, debate skills, (FFA) group brought home the title of public speaking and so much more,” said national champions after competing in Bryan. Indianapolis against middle and high During the contest, competitors were school teams from 40 states. asked to assume various officer duties, The students, who are now in eighth including president and vice president, and ninth grades, participated in the Conduct of Chapter Meetings Leadership and were given one minute to prepare a scenario that was evaluated by a team of Development Event (CDE) designed to judges. In the first round of the national introduce members to parliamentary procontest, they competed against 39 other cedure by conducting efficient meetings teams, mostly made up of high school and building communication skills. The students. They then went on to a round of group qualified to attend and compete at 12 and from that they were chosen to the National FFA Convention after winparticipate in the finals against teams ning the state championship over the from Washington, Missouri and summer. Oklahoma. “This is an amazing group of stuTo learn more about Future Farmers dents with a significant work ethic and of America, visit Barrington very high level of commitment,” said Middle School is located at 5925 Village Barrington’s FFA advisor, Greg Lehman. Center Dr. In Lithia and can be reached “These kids do a lot of work on their own time and have learned the ins and outs of at 657-7266.

By Kate Quesada

By Kate Quesada

Page 36

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Where To See Holiday Lights And Entertainment To Please The Entire Family Christmas Lane At The Strawberry Festival Grounds

Over 2,000 volunteer hours have prepared the winter wonderland full of the magic at Christmas Lane, which will take place at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds on 1508 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City, from Friday, November 29 through Tuesday, December 24 from 6-10 p.m. Enjoy over 1.5 million lights, drawing more than 180,000 watts of power, adorning over 200 Christmas trees from 4 to 40 ft. tall. Be sure to visit Santa. Have your photo taken, professionally or with your own camera, and enjoy the live entertainment. Fritzy the One Man Circus performs each hour and area performers will entertain on the half hour. Food concessions are available and rides will entertain the young ones (for an additional charge). Admission is $5 for ages 13 and older, $3 for ages 4-12 and free for those 3 and under. Parking is free. For more information, visit

Tampa Bay’s Wonderland Of Lights & Santa’s Village Don’t miss Tampa's Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village located at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Dover from Thursday, November 28, 2019 through Saturday, January 4, 2020. Drive through one mile of dazzling lights and holiday displays. At the end of your journey, you can visit the village and enjoy circus attractions, comedy or magic shows (check the calendar for list of events), a wolf exhibit, amusement rides, pony and camel rides and photos with Santa. Yummy fair-style food such

as mini donuts, chocolate chip cookies, funnel cakes, pizza and pulled pork will be available. New this year, take a journey through the light display or just visit the village for a small admission fee. Season tickets are available so you can make multiple visits. The hours are 6-9 p.m. on weekdays and 610 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Please check the calendar online as it is not open every weeknight through the holiday period. If you purchase your tickets online, the cost is $25 for a car (one to eight passengers). The cost includes admission to Santa’s Village. A season pass costs $65 per vehicle. Visit

Nights Of Shimmering Lights

Enjoy the grounds at the Sun Kissed Acres, which has joined with Nights of Shimmering Lights to bring a holiday light experience for families to enjoy. Enjoy a quarter-mile walking trail through the lights with music, animated scenes, outdoor holiday movies, games, a photo booth and Santa. Located at 2302 N. Dover Rd. in Dover, Nights of Shimmering Lights opens on Saturday, November 30 and runs through Wednesday, December 25. It will be open Thursday to Sunday each week and also Monday to Wednesday, December 23-25. The hours are 6-9 p.m. on Sunday and Thursday and 6-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The cost is $6 per person over 3 years old. Ages 3 and under are free. Parking is free. Visit

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti


Barrington Oaks - Christmas Lights Display

Enchant Christmas

Enchant Christmas is a large-scale, immersive holiday light experience featuring the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze, a locally curated food and Christmas market, ice skating trail, live entertainment and much more. The larger-than-life maze experience is coming to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and is based on Enchant’s storybook, The Great Search. In this story, Santa’s reindeer are accidentally set free and the entire city is charged with helping him track them down inside Enchant’s World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze. Build traditions and make memories that last a lifetime as this experience festively wraps guests of all ages in the awe and wonder of this cherished time of year. Tropicana Field is located at 1 Tropicana Dr. in St. Petersburg. Enchant Christmas will run from Friday, November 22 to Thursday, December 12 from 4-10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and 4-11 p.m. from Friday to Sunday. From Friday-Sunday, December 13-29, it will be open from 4-11:00 p.m. daily. Enchant Christmas will be closed Monday-Thursday, November 25-28, and on Monday, December 2 and 9. Adult general admission starts at $19.99. Tickets are on sale now.

Each year, Barrington Oaks subdivision, located on the southeast corner of Lumsden Rd. and John Moore Rd., opens its neighborhood to the public in the spirit of the holiday to share in the spirit of Christmas with a light display. The gates will be open Friday, December 13 through Thursday, December 26 from 6-11 p.m. every night with extended hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas day from 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. for those two special days. The neighborhood welcomes you but asks that you please make a right hand turn as you enter the neighborhood.

You can visit the Oakdale Light Display in St. Petersburg, which is ranked among the best in the U.S. and features approximately a half million lights. It is the only display to make HGTV's #1 and NBC's Today show's top three in the same year. This year, there are many major additions, upgrades and changes to the lights and displays. Enjoy the walkways, fountains, computerized light show, animated dolls and a snowman about three stories high. The most popular item is the large HO-scale model railroad running 18 trains at one time. The event is free and fun for everyone. Visit the display from Friday, November 29, 2019 through Thursday, January 3, 2020 from 6-10 p.m. at 2719 Oakdale St. in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit


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December 2019

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 37

Get Into The Holidays Spirit With Lots Of Fun Holiday Events In November And December By Kathy L. Collins

light the tree with Mayor Jane Castor. Curtis Hixon Park is located at 600 N. Ashley St. in Tampa.

There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to attend a Christmas tree lighting event. Check out all of the events coming up in November and December.

Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade

The Annual Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade will be held on the next day, Saturday, December 7, beginning at 11 a.m. The parade will wind throughout downtown, but the best place to view the parade is along Madison St. The parade will be followed by the Annual Santa Fest in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park from 12 Noon to 4 p.m.

Ybor City Annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Market

The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce will kick off the holiday season with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Market on Wednesday, November 20. This free event will feature Courtesy of Michael M. Sinclaire Enjoy some magical holiday fun at the many area Christmas holiday entertainment, Tree Lighting events including the Annual Ybor City Tree photo opportunities and Lighting Ceremony which will kick off the holiday season. holiday shopping. The Annual Lights of Love. This fantastic Holiday Market opens at 5 p.m. The annual event includes a Christmas tree music and entertainment start at 6 p.m. lighting ceremony in McCall Park located Mayor Jane Castor will help count down to the lighting of the tree. The event takes at 100 N. Collins St. The 24-foot tree is lit with lights purchased by area residents, place at Centro Ybor, located at 1600 E. organizations and businesses in honor of 8th Ave. in Tampa. someone they have lost. The proceeds Enchanted Tree Lighting In Hyde will benefit South Florida Baptist Hospital. Park Village You can get photos with Santa and Mrs. The Annual Enchanted Tree Lighting Claus at 5:30 p.m. The tree lighting cereCeremony in Hyde Park will take place mony will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 23 from 5 to 8 Ginny Cozy of Valrico said, “The nosp.m. This is a free, family-friendly event talgic feel of Plant City is the perfect backwhich will feature holiday surprises, live drop for a Christmas tree lighting event.” music, photos with Santa, food trucks and more. Hyde Park Village is located at 1602 W. Snow Ave. in Tampa.

Downtown Plant City For Annual Lights of Love

On Thursday, December 5, come to historic downtown Plant City for the

Plant City Annual Christmas Parade

Come back to Plant City on Friday, December 6 for the Annual Christmas Parade from 7 to 9 p.m. The parade begins at the intersection of Collins St. and Alsobrook St. in downtown Plant City.

Winthrop Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

The parade will run down Collins St., turn right on Reynolds Ave. and end just past the Plant City Courthouse. You can bring chairs and comfortably watch and be a part of this annual tradition in Plant City.

City of Tampa Annual Tree Lighting

The City of Tampa will hold its Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 6 at 6 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. The event is free and includes a countdown to

On Friday, December 6, the community of Winthrop in Riverview will present its Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. This annual event is fun and free for the whole community. The event begins at approximately 6 p.m. The tree lighting will take place at approximately 7 p.m. A free holiday movie will follow. Winthrop Town Centre is located at the intersection of Bloomingdale Ave. and Providence Rd. in Riverview. Are we missing a favorite event? Email and we’ll add it to the list.

Page 38

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Celebrate The Holidays With An Entertaining Trip To The Firehouse Pub The Firehouse Bring the Pub in Ruskin has whole family to a great variety of A Christmas entertainment for Carol, A Radio you this month. Play presented On Friday, by MacBeth & December 13, Cheese in Stephanie K., an partnership American jazz with the vocalist based in Firehouse Germany, will per- You will not want to miss all of the great enter- Cultural Center form at 7:30 p.m. tainment options being offered at the Firehouse on Saturday, Cultural Center’s Firehouse Pub this month. She will be December 21 This includes an exciting presentation of A backed by La Christmas Carol, A Radio Play. This will be per- at 7:00 p.m. Lucha, a Tampa The formed on Saturday, December 21 at 7 p.m. along with a live reading of The Night Before Charles Bay-based trio of Christmas. best friends from Dickens clasthree different parts of the world. Its sic comes alive onstage. Hear the members are Alejandro Arenas on timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge bass, John O’Leary on piano and and his discovery of the true meaning Dave Rudolph on drums. Their reper- of Christmas presented and told as a toire is a diverse mixture of Latin1940s radio broadcast complete with inspired rhythms with jazz standards, vintage commercials, live sound twisted arrangements of pop songs effects and period costumes. The and original compositions. MacBeth & Cheese players bring to Come back on Saturday, life all the characters you know along December 14 at 7:30 p.m. to hear with three ghosts that take Scrooge Valerie Gillespie and her ensemble on a thrilling journey through perform. They will be playing jazz Christmas past, present and future. music from her Holiday Repertoire. As a bonus, the audience will Whether she is performing along experience a live reading of The music legends or in her own backNight Before Christmas right before yard, Gillespie and her ensemble, the show. along with her signature saxophone, Advance tickets to all shows are offer a sentimental take on new and $18 for members and $23 for nonclassic jazz songs. members. Day-of tickets are $23 for In addition to playing with many members and $28 for nonmembers. well-known people, Gillespie has perYou can get your tickets by visitformed with local talent such as Dan ing McMillion, Theo Valentin, JoAnn The Firehouse Cultural Center is Samson, Belinda Womack and many located at 101 1st Ave. NE. in other very talented musicians from Ruskin. For more information, please the Tampa Bay area. call 645-7659.

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Local Artists Exhibit Artwork At The SouthShore Regional Library The SouthShore 18 years. According Regional Library in to Melanie Hanson, Ruskin is showcasing library services and the artwork of two technology guide II/art local artists during coordinator, the month of "Resendiz is selfDecember in the taught in acrylic and John Crawford digital painting. She Gallery. You can see enjoys the natural the exhibit now beauty of the ocean You can see the artwork of area through the end of and sea creatures. December during the artists at the SouthShore Regional She and her family Library in Ruskin this month. The normal operating artwork of Cathryn Paulus (B) and (son and daughter) Linda Resendiz (T) are on display love beaches and hours of the library. through December. The SouthShore exploring new beachRegional Library is es, such as Grand located at 15816 Beth Cayman and Cozumel." Shields Way in Ruskin. Hanson added, The two featured "Her father was a artists are Cathryn Paulus source of inspiration to and Linda Resendiz. follow creative passions Paulus has exhibited and pursue art." artwork at the SouthShore The John Crawford Regional Library previousGallery is open for all ly. Paulus is a resident of area artists who want Tampa. Her current work to exhibit their artwork. in the exhibit consists of In addition, groups can four pieces. One of the pieces is a apply to have their artwork exhibited watercolor, and the three other in the gallery as well. Hanson said, pieces are acrylic on canvas. "If artists are interested in exhibiting The titles of Paulus' works in the their artwork, they can contact me at exhibit are Power Puff Girls in the southshoreart@hillsboroughcounty.or Clouds, The Beatles: Yellow g." Submarine, Jack and Aku's Portrait Hanson added, "The exhibits run and Spinel. for two months. I encourage all Resendiz is a new exhibitor at artists who create all types of artwork the SouthShore Regional Library. to apply. We can always feature more She is showing two pieces called than one artist in an exhibit." Centered and Free and Seven For more information on the Spines. Her medium is digital airSouthShore Regional Library and the brush painting. Hillsborough County Public Library Resendiz is from Naples, and system, please visit www.hillsborshe has lived in the Tampa area for

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Experience Joy And Wonder Every Day At Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™. There is so much to experience and see at Christmas Town. Guests will enjoy millions of twinkling lights, Christmas shows, the Sing-Along Train and, of course, visits with Santa and Rudolph, which takes place every day of the season through Monday, January 6, 2020, featuring extended hours on weekends. Christmas Town is included with any daily admission or annual pass and is open until 10 p.m. on select dates. New this year is Merry Mint Lane, where park guests will waddle with excitemint as they get up close to penguins and other animal ambassadors in a whole new way at the Animal Care Center. The area’s festive makeover includes photo opportunities with new Peppermint Pals, tasty treats and more. Come early with the whole family and make Christmas Town the unforgettable backdrop for your holiday card. Santa Claus will be at Busch Gardens through Tuesday, December 31 in the Nairobi section of the park. The big man himself will take a break from his busy holiday schedule to meet and take photos with your family in his study at Santa’s House Presented by Coca-Cola®. Additional amazing photo opportunities are around every corner: the enchanting twinkling

Page 39

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Staff Report

light tunnel leading into Stanleyville, all your favorite characters at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, Ice and Poinsettia princesses along pathways, largerthan-life Cookie Monster and Elmo nutcracker figures along the Sesame Street® Safari of Fun walkway, and playful penguins at the holiday-themed

Penguin Point. Explore Christmas Town Village’s quaint holiday cabins while shopping for the perfect gift from a selection of artisan offerings. The Christmas Town Village opens at 4 p.m. daily. Discover the magic of Christmas On Ice, brought to you by the award-winning creators of Turn It Up! Then journey to the Carol of the Bells light show to be dazzled by the choreographed lights and music, or see the all-new The Most Wonderful Time show at Dragon Fire Grill. Busch Gardens will be open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and it will open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. From Saturday to Monday, January 4 to 6, 2020, unfold the famed journey of the Wise Men during Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Three Kings Day Celebration event. For more information, visit or follow the park on social media.

Winter Village At Curtis Hixon Park Offers Outdoor Ice Skating & More

By Kathy L. Collins

The yearly tradiat 25 minutes past tion of outdoor ice the hour. skating has returned Roundtrip tickets to downtown Tampa. are $10. The holiThe Winter Village, day-themed featuring the Winter streetcar will run Village Shops, the on select Sundays Winter Village from November 24 Express and more through December will be open through 22. Sunday, January 5, This is a fun 2020. The Winter holiday activity for Ice skating, holiday shopping and more the whole family Village and ice skatavailable at the Winter Village in Curtis ing will take place in are Hixon and something the Waterfront Park in downtown Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa now through Sunday, January 5, Collins family has 2020. which is situated enjoyed for severalong the Hillsborough River at 600 N. al years. Ashley Dr. in downtown Tampa. If you do not need to own skates, The Winter Village Shops, consistthen rent them. You can skate for 90 ing of 10 boutiques featuring local merminutes for just $15. Group rates are chants and purveyors, are creatively available. You can rent the rink for a priplaced in the area, making it an attracvate party by contacting Rachel tive holiday market. The pop-up holiday Radawec at rradawec@tampasdownshopping experience allows shoppers to or call 221-3686. get an assortment of holiday decoraThe ice skating rink will be open tions and gifts. The unique holiday marMonday through Thursday from 4 to 9 ket is a fun way to spend the day along p.m. On Friday, the hours are 4 to 10 Tampa’s beautiful waterfront. Treat your- p.m. On Saturday, come out anytime self to a holiday delicacy while there at between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and on the Café at Winter Village. Sunday from 12 Noon to 9 p.m. During If you have not yet had a chance to school breaks, the rink is open from 10 ride the TECO Streetcar, then you will a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through not want to miss the Winter Village Saturday and 12 Noon to 9 p.m. on Express. You can hop on a holidaySunday. The rink will be open on themed streetcar at the downtown Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Whiting Station beginning at 3:25 p.m. and on Christmas Day from 4 to 10 p.m. and travel to Ybor City. The one-hour Hours vary for the Winter Village roundtrip adventure features holiday Shops. sing-alongs, milk and cookies and more. For more information, please visit The streetcar takes the trip every hour

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Page 40

Volume 17, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


Top Producer 2002 - 2019


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Page 41

Favorite Things Sweepstakes Offers Special Rolling Pin Early Bird Prize-Big Green Egg

By Marie Gilmore

to or fill out the entry form and send in by mail, fax or email. Last year, more than 1,000 local residents entered the campaign and ONE lucky winner walked away with a prize package worth more than $2,000.

Christmas C ins

nd Prize ear’s Grahristmas y t s la n wart wo in time for the C Alyce Ste st Valrico’s kes drawing ju liday. Ho sweepsta

For five years, Osprey Observer newspapers has been partnering with local retailers to publish the Holiday Favorite Things Sweepstakes and gift guide, and this year promises to be one of the best yet! This year, we've partnered with our friends at Rolling Pin to offer an early bird prize of a Big Green Egg Grill! We are so excited to have such a great prize for our readers! The campaign is called, the Osprey Observer, A Few of Our Favorite Things, and we have gone to local businesses and

Early Bird Prizes will include a Big Green Egg from Rolling Pin, tickets to Busch Gardens Christmas Town and more. Good luck and thank you for shopping local and reading your Osprey Observer Community Newspaper! Managing Editor Marie Gilmore

asked them to give us ideas for a few of the top items available this holiday season. From now until midDecember, we will be collecting Our Favorite Things all throughout the community and putting them together in one giant gift basket that will be given out in a Sweepstakes for our readers. “We have such great success and we are excited to share some of this year's treasures from our local small businesses with our readers,” explains Assignment Editor Michelle Colesanti. To enter, email Sweepstakes

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Page 42

Cooking Classes & Big Green Egg Make Rolling Pin A Great Place For Gifts A visit to Rolling Pin Emporium will give you plenty of ideas to help you find something for every chef in your life. If you have holiday parties to attend this year, Rolling Pin also has a great selection of special wines and decorative holiday gifts. Do you like to cook—or just like to eat? Rolling Pin also offers cooking classes for all types of meals. Some of the classes are hands-on and some are demonstration-only. Either way, you get to enjoy a great meal. You can take classes to learn about new foods you have not yet experimented with. The classes also make for a great date night, and the classes are a great gift that anybody would enjoy receiving. Stop by and browse the gourmet retail store’s extensive collection of classic and unique kitchenware. You will find everything from barware, bakeware, aprons, towels and mitts, coffees and teas, cookware, electrics, gadgets, gifts for entertaining, knives and cutting boards, outdoor cooking and more. According to owner, Chef Dave West, “We are the area’s licensed retailer for Frozen 2 (the movie) bakeware, as well as a huge selection for all holiday baking needs - cookie cutters, bake essential and decorating tools.”

Staff Report

If you can’t decide on what you’d like to give, gift cards and gift certificates for both retail and cooking classes are available. Rolling Pin Emporium is Brandon’s Premier Platinum Big Green Egg Dealer. “The new Expander System is hot, as is the Egg Genius Remote Temperature Controller,” according to West. The all-new MiniMax Big Green Egg is proof that great things come in small packages. This EGG is the first to arrive with its own transportation in the form of a sturdy, easy-to-grip carrier. With a value of $599, this year’s special gift giveaway is the MiniMax. It is perfect for camping, poolside and for tailgating at the ballgame. It is also at home in award-winning restaurants. Top chefs love exploring the EGG’s versatility and discovering the amazing flavors produced in such a compact and high-performance package. The MiniMax is built to perform and is ready to travel to wherever your culinary interests take you. Rolling Pin Emporium is open for private events too. Rolling Pin is located at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Call 653-2418 or visit for more information.

Music And The Arts Are Focus For Great Holiday Gifts At Music Showcase Music is the international language that is understood and enjoyed by all. Music Showcase is your one-stop shop for everything related to music and the arts. It is both a retail store and education center. This year, what better than to gift a love of music to your children? Music Showcase offers name-brand products at competitive prices, and you can also buy used gear at lower prices. Competitive pricing is available for sheet music and books too. For your instruments needing repair, the work is done in-house. Music Showcase also offers group as well as private one-on-one music lessons. Instrument rentals start at $10 (if you don’t want to make a purchase). If you sign up online, the instrument will be delivered to your school. To spark a love of music early in life, Music Showcase hosts free workshops for mini musicians ages 4-10. At these free workshops, youngsters learn about various instruments and are welcome to join in to play, hear and learn about them. They can try the guitar, violin, trumpet, drums and more. These workshops take place on the second Saturday of the month. Upcoming workshops are scheduled for November 9 and December 7

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Staff Report

from 9:30-11 a.m. Register at or call 4902787. Is your child interested in musical theatre, acting or maybe photography? Sign them up at the Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase for performance programs, musical theatre, summer camps, art classes and more. Tickets are currently on sale for Beauty and the Beast, Matilda The Musical, Mamma Mia, The Jungle Book and Footloose. Do your kids need to get some holiday shopping done too? Music Showcase and FAOPA will host Santa’s Workshop on Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., offering food, games, prizes, ‘snowball’ fights, ‘ice skating’, crafts and more. Your children will make and wrap five gifts to give to loved ones. There will be a ‘Best Christmas PJ’s’ contest. The movie Arthur Christmas will also be shown. The cost is $20 per child enrolled in a program or lesson and $25 for a child not enrolled. Call 490-3787 or visit for more information or to sign up. Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, call 685-5998 or visit and

Page 43

Corbin’s Coin, Bundt Cake Tower And Mainstream Boutique Mac Jeans Corbin’s Stamp & Coin Is Your Source For Treasured Family Heirlooms If you are looking for the perfect gift - maybe for a family with a new baby or to celebrate a momentous occasion, a special coin may be the perfect keepsake? Start a new family tradition by commemorating the Christmas season each year. Holiday coin collections are the Gift Basket Item: perfect way. Corbin’s Holiday One ounce silSilver Coin ver coins are Value: available for $29.95 $29.95 (plus tax) in a gift box or also as an ornament that can be displayed. The many varieties include Baby's First Christmas, Oh Holy Night, Season’s Greetings, Santa and other coins. The coins come either in an AirTite capsule with a gift box or in an ornament holder. The ornament holder does not fit into the gift box. Corbin’s Coins is located at 209 N. Kings Ave. in Brandon and is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.

to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 651-3266.


Stamp & Coin Nothing Bundt Cakes Are Perfect Desserts To Add To Your Holiday Meals Nothing Bundt Cakes creates cakes using hand-crafted recipes that not only remind you of home, but also open you to a new world. At Nothing Bundt Cakes, you get real eggs, butter and cream cheese in every cake. Not only do these cakes look great, they taste even better. These are great holiday gifts to take to all of your holiday events and for all Gift Basket Item: Holiday Bundlet of your family Tower gatherings. Value: It is located at $62.50 11238 Sullivan Street in Winthrop Town Centre. Everything you need

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Mainstream Boutique You can visit Mainstream Boutique, a retail clothing store, in Winthrop to get some great ideas on gifts as well as attire for the holiday season. Make your head to toe purchases here where everything is new. It carries clothing, jewelry, accessories and shoes. Adorable outfits are available for every age group. The exclusive brand of jeans called

By Michelle Colesanti Gift Basket Item: Mac Jean Value: $80

Mac and Me is available. Designed by a woman, the line is multigenerational and fits all body types. Buttery soft; fitting in all the right places; stretching with you, but don’t stretch out. Another popular brand in stock is Liverpool. All jewelry is handmade and made in the USA. Some of the jewelry is from local and are one-of-a-kind pieces. Other services offered are One on One Style sessions, Ladies Night Out and shopping for a cause. Mainstream Boutique is located in Winthrop at 11231 Sullivan St. in Riverview. Hours are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 Noon-4 p.m. Call 643-0090.

Page 44

Rolling Pin Kitchen, Full Grown Girl, Santa At Pixel Portraits, McAuley Jewelry Great Gift Ideas and Classes Help Make Rolling Pin A Great Stop For Holiday Gift Needs If you are stuck coming up with creative gift ideas, a visit to Gift Basket Rolling Pin Item: Emporium will Big Green Egg give you plenty of Mini Max: 13ideas to help you inch grill diamfind something for eter every chef in your Total Value: life. Rolling Pin also $599 offers cooking classes for all types of meals. It is also Brandon’s only Platinum Dealer for the Big Green Egg, the ultimate cooking experience. Rolling Pin is located at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Call 653-2418 or visit for more information. Full Grown Girl Airstream Shop Opens In Winthrop Owner Cynthia Atkins recently opened a new gift shop featuring hand-

made items, candles, jewelry, beauty and bath products, baby items, home décor and vintage finds. No matter your taste or style, you will find something for your favorite family members and friends. Full Grown Girl is located in a vintage Airstream trailer at 11267 Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. The hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 629-1124, visit or find on Facebook at Full Grown Girl.

Water Filter Warehouse Offers Unique Gift Ideas The team at the Water Filter Warehouse feels that there is nothing like celebrating the holidays with clean water and a whole house water system. This is a unique gift for someone. It offers Salt Free Water Systems & Wholesale Water Filters, Filtered Water Pitcher or Water Filter Gift Basket Bottles. Item: Stop by the show$50 Gift Card room, which is located Total Value: at 3110 Lithia Pinecrest $50 Rd. in Valrico. You can also call 844-420-8326 (H2O-TEAM) or

Reserve Your Space With Santa At Pixel Portraits Pixel Portraits is more than a photo Gift Basket: shoot; it is One Hour Family an experience. It Christmas Session specializes in (8x10/two family, maternity, 5x7/eight wallets) baby, children, Value: couples engage$100 ment, glamour, business headshots and more. For the holiday season, Pixel Portraits will hold special Santa Minis Portrait sessions on select days: November 2, 3, 10, 11, 16 and 17. This includes a 20 minute interactive session, 11x14 framed art print and personalized studio viewing for $100. Another favorite are the Family Christmas Sessions from which you can choose four differGift Basket ent Christmas scenes. Item: Pixel Portraits Filtered water is located at 930 W. pitcher Lumsden Rd. in Total Value: Brandon. Regular $70 hours are

By Michelle Colesanti

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. It is closed on Thursdays. Call or visit online to schedule an appointment: 657-7121 or

McAuley Fine Jewelry Is A Gem In The Community Make this season merry and bright for someone you love by designing something unique to surprise them with. McAuley Fine Jewelry will help you plan your custom-made piece of jewelry. Previously loved pieces of jewelry are also available.

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Page 45

BLU Indigo Spa Escapes, Music Showcase Lessons And Water Filtration on Oakfield Drive, in the Atlantic Village Plaza, Kings Ave. & Oakfield Dr. It is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 689-8124 or visit

Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Call 651-3258 and visit

Gifting Music Lessons At Music Showcase Can Create a Life Long Passion Music is the internationGift Basket al language that is underItem: stood and enjoyed by all. Find Time To Relax Over Spa Treatment Share your love of music The Holidays Or Give The Total Value: by offering voice or instruGift Of Relaxation $90 ment lessons to your favorite BLU Indigo Spa has a warm, student. Instrument rentals start therapeutic atmosphere designed to at $10 (if you don’t want to make a enhance your relaxation and comfort. purchase). If you sign up online, the Let our expert staff take you on a instrument will be delivered to your journey to establishing a new and revitalized you. Let them help you put school. The gift of music lessons to let your child try a new instrument is your best self forward. Help yourself gear up for the holi- something that can last a lifetime. All of your music needs can be days with a relaxing massage or look found at Music Showcase, which your best at holiday events with a offers competitive pricing on sheet facial. Other services include nails music and books. There is an inand waxing. Walk-Ins are welcome house repair shop, and private and and hours are Monday and Tuesday group lessons are offered. from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday to Is your child interested in musical Saturday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. A great gift idea to help your Gift Basket friends and family de-stress durItem: ing or after the holidays is the Ukulele with gift of a massage or facials. Gift Lesson Book cards are available and good Total for all services offered. Value: BLU Indigo is located at 3939


theatre, acting, or maybe photography? Sign them up at the Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase. Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, call 685-5998 or visit and

By Michelle Colesanti

Refresh Your Home This Holiday Season Or For The New Year With Gift Basket Walker Hill Item: Designs 2 Hour In Are you Home Design entertaining Consultation this holiday seaTotal Value: son? Get in touch $200 with Walker Hill Designs, which will style your home

Page 46

Pinch-A-Penny Has Big Green Egg, Edible Is A Sweet Idea & Mobile Massage

By Michelle Colesanti

so that you love it. Everyone deserves the gift of a beautiful home and Walker Hill Designs offers Interior Decorating, Home Staging and Color Consultations. If you are trying to sell your current home, Walker Hill Designs also offers home staging. Call 951-4545 to schedule a refresh. Visit

tion of pool supplies - since pool season never really ends in Florida. Purchase gift certificates as holiday gifts. Pinch a Penny’s is holding a sale from Thursday to Sunday, November 14-17. All Big Green Eggs and accessories will be 10% off. Hours are Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The FishHawk Pinch-APenny located at 16715 FishHawk Blvd. in the Winn Dixie Plaza in Lithia. Call 655-3700.

Holiday Gift Ideas From Pinch a Penny Include Big Green Egg Gift Basket Owners Larry and Item: Kathy Rugledge say Assortment of their favorite items to Edible Arrangements Is A Sweet Big Green Egg gift for the holiday Idea Spices & Sauces season are the Big There’s nothing sweeter for the Total Value: holidays than an arrangement of deliGreen Egg and all its $100 accessories. This comcious sweet fruit or chocolate dipped plete outdoor cooking system fruit gift boxes. It’s the perfect gift to give is the only outdoor cooker you will ever your holiday host or to send to someone need. It is the most versatile cooking out of state. device ever. It’s a grill, an oven and a There are two locations locally to smoker. You can cook anything from a serve you: Edible Valrico, 3455 Lithia turkey to baking a cake. It would make a Pinecrest Rd. Call 571-7200 and Edible great gift or a great perRiverview, 10273 Big Bend Rd. Call sonal purchase so 672-6111. Visit edithat you can cook Gift Basket Item: up an amazing Happy Holiday holiday dinner. A Gift Of Platter Relaxation At Pinch a Total Value: Your Doorstep Penny FishHawk $50 Daniella’s has a great selec-

Mobile Massage offers deep Specializing in holistissue, neuromuscular, pretic foods made from natal and sports massage. real ingredients like Daniella, who is a licensed meat, fish and Massage Therapist with 17 healthful vegetayears of experience, offers bles, not byprodconvenient mobile massage ucts, it offers a with flexible scheduling. With great selection of a background in Physical all-natural foods as Therapy, she offers stress well as unique, natrelief through therapeutic ural chews and massage in the conventreats, including a ience of your home. frozen section feaGift Basket Item: turing all-natural raw food diets. All She recommends One Hour Mobile the foods are American-made, that a gift certificate Massage would be the perfect corn, wheat, soy and gluten-free. Total Value: gift for anyone on your You will find natural remedies for $65 list. worms, fleas and ticks. To schedule your (deKim’s also offers a wide variety of stress holiday appointment or toys, dog and cat bedding, apparel and to get information on gift certificates, supplies. please call, 323-4901, email Kim’s Natural Pet Foods is located Visit Daniellas at 3110 Lithia Pinecrest Mobile Massage on Facebook. Rd. in Valrico (next to Gift Basket Subway). For more Item: Don’t Forget Your Pet’s In The information, call Pet Gift Basket Holiday Celebrations 684-3663 or visit Total Value: Your pets are part of the family and kimsnaturalpet$100 you don’t want them to miss out on the holiday celebrations. Kim’s Natural Pet Foods has everything you need to give your pets happy, healthy lives, and there is no better time to check out some new food and treats to keep them as healthy and happy as possible.

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Boat Tours, FastFrame For Gifts, YMCA Membership & Sunset Grille Dinner and Monday by appointment only with 24-hour notice and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Enhance Your Photos At Fast Frame For The Perfect Holiday Gift Did you take a Gift Basket special picture this year Share The Beauty Of Florida Item: while you spent time With Your Friends And Family Two $40 Gift with your family, maybe On Latitudes Tours Cards for on vacation or at a speNeed a respite from all of the Framing cial event? Surprise holiday celebrations? Or maybe Total Value: your family this year with you are looking for something fun to $80 a wonderful family picture do with relatives who are visiting? specially framed to order Share the beauty of Florida by taking commemorating this special them on a Sunset Dinner Cruise or shared time. Dolphin and Manatee Tour. If you have a Once you have that beautiful photo, a large group (up to 24) and want to celeframe becomes part of the bigger picture, brate, you can book a private charter. so it’s important to make sure that it Latitudes Tours also offers senior and brings out the photo in just the right way. veteran discounts and can accommodate When customers bring in their personal special needs. items and they are not sure about how to Gift certificates are also available and decorate their art, Fast Frame owner Alex would make a great gift for family and Roche helps to educate them on how to friends. enhance their item through framing. He Call 641-1311 or visit offers competitive pricing and has been assisting customers with frames for over 28 years. Fast Frame also offers oil paint Gift Basket stretches, shadow boxes, needle points, Item: restoration and repairs and corporate art. 4-Pack Family Fast Frame has been a part of the Tour Eco community for 15 years. For more inforTotal Value: mation, visit or call $100 Roche at 655-6400. Fast Frame is located at 6128 Winthrop Town Center Ave. in Riverview. Hours of operation are Sunday

By Michelle Colesanti

Six-Month Family Sunset Grill & Beach Bar Offers YMCA Excellent Views Membership Overlooking the beauty of Tampa Campo Y Bay is a table just for you. With exquisite offers many sunsets, live entertainment 7 days a exercise options week, great food and ambiance, why go for all ages and anywhere else? body types such as During your visit, escape your Yoga, cycling, everyday life with our staff’s contagious 6 Month Pilates, aerobics energy and relaxing atmosphere. Family and much more. Membership to Whether you want to sip on a cocktail or Many proenjoy a meal , its American and seafood YMCA grams and camps inspired fare will surely delight any taste Value: $569 are offered for the bud. family including child Come and enjoy one of Ruskin’s care while you work out. Sports for best-kept secrets at Sunset Grill and the kids are available such as basBeach Bar. ketball, volHours are Sunday leyball and - Thursday: 8 am. - 11 more. Seniors p.m. and Friday & not only benSaturday from 8 a.m.efit from 12 midnight. Sunday workouts geared toward them, but Brunch is served 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. With through the friendships made over 11 hot items to chose from through the other programs plus a chocolate fountain, Sunset Grill fresh cheese display, full offered. Gift The local Campo Y is truly a salad bar, soup station, Certificate fresh made omelette stapart of our community so make it Value: $50 tion, fresh fruit, beef carving a part of your family. Located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico, it is station, mimosa or champagne open Monday to Friday from 5 a.m.and desserts available. 10 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m.-7 For more iformation and reservap.m. and Sunday from 12 Noon-6 tions, please call 607-2900 or visit p.m. Sunset Grill and Call 684-1371. Visit www.tamBeach Bar is located at 602 Bahia Del Sol Dr. Ruskin FL, 33570.

We style your home so you love it, or stage it so someone else will! · Interior Decorating · Home Staging · Color Consultations

Call us to schedule a refresh of your home before the holidays!


SAVE $10* On purchase of $50 or more Code: TAKE10 | Expires 12/31/19

Admission $20 Includes: Party Favors, Live Music, DJ, Photo Booth & Fireworks Call or visit our website for more info! 813-607-2900 | 602 Bahia Del Sol Drive, Ruskin | Sun - Thurs: 8am - 11pm | Fri & Sat: 8am - 12am

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Pinch A Penny Offers Gift Certificates, Pool Gifts & Big Green Eggs

By Michelle Colesanti

Do you enjoy cooksizes, from extra large ing and barbecuing? If down to the MiniMax, so, this holiday season is which comes with an time for a new tradition. easy-to-grip carrier, so it FishHawk Pinch A is perfect as a tableside Penny owners Larry and cooker at your outdoor Kathy Rutledge said that party or a traveling EGG their favorite items to gift for motor homes or tailfor the holiday season gating. are the Big Green Egg Since pool season and all its accessories. never really ends in The Big Green Egg is a Florida, it is also a great complete outdoor cooktime to consider pool ing system; the only outitems or gift certificates door cooker you will ever Pinch A Penny’s Jimmy Rutledge for pool services as holistands with The Big Green Egg, day gifts. Consider a need. It is the most verone of his favorite items for satile cooking device nice basket of pool supholiday cooking, and a great gift ever, being a grill, an plies for your gift recipifor your favorite chef. oven and a smoker. You can cook your ents who own pools. Pinch A Penny turkey and bake the cake in it. FishHawk has the best selection of supBlending ancient traditions and modplies, including liquid chlorine, tablets, ern technology, it is strong and durable pumps, filters and more. You can count and provides better heat insulation than on personal service from the Rutledge any other outdoor cooker on the market. family. The Big Green Egg stands alone as Don’t miss Pinch A Penny’s sale from the most versatile barbecue and outdoor Thursday to Sunday, November 14-17. All cooking product on the market. You can Big Green Eggs and accessories will be make everything from pizza to ribs, or 10 percent off. holiday dinners and desserts. Whatever Stop by to get some great ideas. you choose, it will exceed all your expecHours are Monday to Saturday from 9 tations for culinary perfection. It is an a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 invaluable culinary tool for restaurant p.m. The FishHawk Pinch A Penny is chefs. located at 16715 FishHawk Blvd. in the The Big Green Eggs come in many Winn-Dixie plaza in Lithia. Call 655-3700.

Surprise Loved One With A Special Gift From McAuley Fine Jewelry

By Michelle Colesanti

This holiday season, whether you are planning to surprise your significant other with an engagement ring or just would like a custom piece of jewelry to give as a gift to your special someone, McAuley Fine Jewelry is a gem in the community and owner Ed McAuley, who has been in the business for many years, and the outstanding staff, many of which have been in the jewelry business for decades, will help you find the perfect piece that will enchant the bearer of your gift. McAuley spent a decade as assistant manager at Martin Jewelers prior to opening McAuley’s Fine Jewelry. When Martins Jewelers closed, he took over becoming the owner and changing the name, but he kept all of the skilled staff. His journey to the jewelry trade wound through other professions. “I’ve sold things from insurance to appliances, but was miserable because these were things customers had to buy,” said McAuley. McAuley’s is a one-stop-shop for all of your jewelry wants and needs. Custom

designs are a specialty at McAuley’s, but previously loved (consignment) jewelry is also sold. Watch and jewelry repairs are done on-site by experienced staff members. McAuley’s will also purchase gold from you. Find it on Facebook at McAuley Fine Jewelry and enter its random drawing each month for a chance to win a featured piece of jewelry. Gladys Zenquis recommended McAuley Fine Jewelry on Facebook. “We only have them take care of our jewelry. Not only the great customer service and communication, but also how they treat every piece of jewelry like if it was their own. If you’re going to be needing something fixed or even cleaned.... this is the place to come,” she commented. Hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit McAuley Fine Jewelry at 664 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. You can reach them at 689-8124. Visit

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Hand-crafted Bath, Body & Facial Products • Products hand-crafted and created by a

Licensed Clinical Aesthetician • We use all-natural ingredients for our products “Where your skin is our business.” • Our gift baskets are not just for the Holidays, Veteran Family Owned Business but great gifts for all occasions or that Serving the Greater Brandon Community special someone Since 2004

Order online at or email Unique and Inspirational Holiday Gifts with Call To Schedule a g oppin Personal Sh ce en ri Expe

Interchangeable Handbags,

Wallets, Hats, Gloves, Snap Jewelry, Inspirational Karma Cha Cha Bar Pendants and Bracelets and many other accessories. Shop on line at:  Email: Call: 813-345-6010

Give-Aways: * ACT Skin Therapy: Gift basket containing all natural body products (soap, lotion, bath bomb & body scrub) Value: $25 * Mike Gould Mobile Massage Therapy: One hour massage (choice of medical, deep tissue, relaxation or Russian sports) Value: $50 * Origami Owl Jewelry: Customized Origami Owl Living Locket including 6 charms and chain Value: $82 * Pink Zebra: Simmering Light base with an accent shade, and jar of soy wax Sprinkles Value: $65 * Premier Designs Jewelry: Silver Parker bracelet and earring set Value: $49 * Magnolia & Vine: Eclectic Necklace (Rhodium and Yellow Gold Tone with Black Metallic Chain, 29-32”). Value: $60 * ECHO Handmade: Original Upcycled Holiday purse made from t-shirt, sweatshirt and tie. Value: $25 * Yoga Blessings: One week unlimited yoga. Value: $100

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 17, Issue 12

December 2019

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Center Place Presents Its Third Annual Christmas Card Lane

By Kathy L. Collins

Center Place else can you get Fine Arts & Civic such fantastic, Association upbeat advertis(Center Place) will ing for an entire kick off the holiday month at the low season with its cost of $50? You Third Annual get to place your Christmas Card giant Christmas Lane. Local busicard where everynesses, families, one drives by and artists and area sees it. This organizations will shows true comparticipate in this munity involveholiday event by ment and brings creating giant holi- Be among the many businesses and organiza- holiday spirit to tions, including Winthrop Arts, who will particiday cards. The Brandon." pate in Center Place's 3rd Annual Christmas cards will line the Card Lane. Your special holiday message will be Rodriguez seen by thousands as the cards are on display added, "Center streets along S. throughout the holiday season. Parsons Ave. and Place is dressing around Clayton Lake near Center up the community for the holidays with Place. The holiday cards will be on dis- an array of giant holiday cards. Load play from Monday, December 2 until up the car and bring the whole family New Year's Day. to Center Place to see these giant, To create a card, please call beautiful cards." Center Place at 685-8888. You can Rodriguez said, "Everyone can download the application by visiting participate in this fun event. The Organizations including schools, civic entry fee is $50 with all funds raised organizations, neighborhood groups, benefitting Center Place and its arts scouts and families can create the programming. All cards must be picked cards and then scores of people will up between Friday, January 3, 2020 get to enjoy them all season long." and Monday, January 6, 2020. Center Place is a 501(c)(3) nonLisa Rodriguez, marketing director profit that has been serving the Greater for Center Place, said, "This is a wonBrandon area since 1976. Center derful event for businesses to particiPlace is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. pate in and help the community celein Brandon. For more information on brate the holidays. Making your card Center Place, Christmas Card Lane can be a team building experience. and other upcoming events, please You get to create your own special visit or message for the community. Where call 685-8888.

Buy One Get One




Sunset Grill 602 Bahia Del Sol Dr, Ruskin FL, 33570


Enter the Sweepstakes to win a prize basket of items from The Favorite Things Shop Local Campaign. Why would you like to win the Shop Local Sweepstakes Basket?

Name: Address: Phone: Email: Community: Enter to win online at, fax to 657-4469 or mail to 2109 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, FL 33596.

Also, enter by email at

10% OFF ENTIRE PURCHASE Sunflower Cafe • Valrico • 813-65-SUSHI

Only valid with regular menu. With this coupon. Must present before submitting payment. Before tax. One coupon per visit. Not valid with other offers. Expires 01/08/20

Little Greek Fresh Grill 813.570.8162 10173 Big Bend Rd., Riverview Expires 01/08/20






Candor Grille • 813-548-0410 • Located in the RiverSprings Plaza at the Corner of FishHawk Blvd & Boyette Rd

13418 Boyette Rd • Riverview, FL

Limit 1 coupon per person per visit. Expires 01/08/20

Summerfield Golf Doc’s Grille 813.671.3311 13050 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview Not valid on Holidays. One coupon per check. Expires 01/08/20

Page 52

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 17, Issue 12

Profile for Osprey Observer

Osprey Observer Riverview/Apollo Beach December 2019  

Osprey Observer Riverview/Apollo Beach December 2019