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Two Sections, 36 Pages of Community News


26 C E L E B R A T I N G


October 2019 Volume 16, Issue 10 Ph: 657-2418 1 7







Buckhorn Elementary Kicks Off 40th Anniversary With Fall Carnival

Let The Good Times Grow At The 2019 Greater Hillsborough County Fair

support is a huge factor to Buckhorn's success. Teachers want to teach here, families want to send their children here and students never seem to want to leave. There is a wonderful inclusive and safe atmosphere that exists. The students are committed to their learning and continually try their best." As Buckhorn Elementary School celebrates its 40th Former principals, Anniversary this year, it has moved their annual carnival to the fall. The community is invited to come and share including Ann Huntley in the fun. There will be inflatables, carnival games and (1979-1982), Eileen more at the event set for Friday, November 15. Duval (1982-1986), Buckhorn Elementary Evelyn Clites (1986School (Buckhorn) is cele1989), Donna St. brating its 40th Anniversary Peter (1996-2002), this year. When the school Lou Cerreta (2002first opened in August of 2005) and Amy Zilbar 1979, it was surrounded by (2005-2009), will be orange groves and cow recognized. pastures. Many things have As part of the changed in the area, but school's celebration Buckhorn has remained a safe and of its 40th Anniversary, it has moved successful place for learning. its 20th Annual Carnival to the fall. The school's principal is Tamara The carnival will be held on Friday, Brooks. She has been with the November 15 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. school since February of 2009. Christine Beisiegel, a parent, longBrooks said, "We are a hidden gem. time member of the Buckhorn PTA Thanks to the local community who and the Carnival Chair, said, "The supports our school, they have made entire area community is welcome to it an exceptional place for students to attend this fabulous, family fun event learn and teachers to teach." hosted by the Buckhorn PTA.” Elizabeth Belcher and Terry Beisiegel added, "This year, in Henderson have been teaching at celebration of our anniversary, we will Buckhorn for 27 years. The school be presenting the findings from a has 60 teachers and 47 of them have time capsule dating back to 1989 and eight or more years of experience. creating a new time capsule for stuThere are no teachers with less than dents to participate in for the 2019three years of experience. 2020 school year. We are also Brooks added, "Our community

cultural history, Hometown Hillsborough is the perfect location to host this year’s Rancher Roundup, 4H cooking competition and cattlewoman’s cook-off. Free entertainment includes Robinson’s Racing and Swimming Pigs, Firefighter Show and Family Thrill Circus. 2019 Greater Hillsborough County Fair. Grandstand events, The 2019 Greater Hillsborough which cost $10 plus admission, include County Fair is right around the corner. the rodeo on Friday and Saturday, The fair will take place over two weekOctober 18 and 19. The Truck and ends beginning on Thursday, October 17. Tractor Pull will take place on Friday and This year’s theme is ‘Let the Good Times Saturday, October 25 and 26. The Grow.’ The fair will run Thursday through famous Demolition Derby will round out Sunday (October 17-20 and 24-27). The the grandstand events on Sunday, fair is located at 215 Sydney Washer Rd. October 27. in Dover. There is always something going on Admission to the fair is $7 for adults, in the entertainment pavilion. This year, $5 for students K-12 and $4 for seniors. the stage will feature fan favorite Born Children 5 years and younger are free. Lonesome with local artist Royce Burt. Parking is free. Ride armbands are availEach Sunday, area churches will perform able for $20 or $15 online at in the Gospel Jam. This year’s children’s pageant will be held on October 19 and New this year is the Megapass. It the baby parade will be held on October includes unlimited admission and unlimit27. ed rides during the entire fair. The Purchasing tickets in advance to the Megapass, as well as other discounted fair results in savings as the fair offers a tickets and ticket packages, can be purmultitude of options. For more on tickets chased at and dates and times of events, please You visit will not want to miss Dollar Days at the fair on Thursday, October 17 and 24. Fair admission is only $1 and each carnival ride is $1. Also new this year is the new fair ambassador, Farmer Sydney, who will travel to Hillsborough County schools to 32 deliver seeds and show children how to plant their very own gardens. During the fair, children will have the opportunity to FAMILY HALLOWEEN EVENTS ...PGS 11‐12 join Farmer Sydney’s Kids Club. Membership includes an opportunity to EYE ON BUSINESS .....................PGS 25‐26 meet Farmer Sydney, a fair food treat, a CHALKLINES .....................................PG 32 pumpkin and a hay ride. The fair simply has something for ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 34 everyone, from carnival rides and fair food to livestock shows, art, photography READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE and a historical Hometown Hillsborough area. With a focus on farming and agri-

By Kathy L. Collins


Continued on page 15

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ECRWSS EDDM Osprey Observer 2109 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Valrico, FL 33596

By Kathy L. Collins

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First Call is a unique church in Dover that reaches out to first responders. The statues in front of the church, called the Three Guardians, represent three kinds of first responders (from left to right): law enforcement, military and fire and rescue. Read full article on page 12.

3426 Lithia Pinecrest Rd • Valrico (813) 681-2223 (located behind Chili’s)

Page 2

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Law Office of

Griffin & Associates, P.A. 1430 Oakfield Drive • Brandon, Florida 33511

Rachel L. Griffin

Eileen H. Griffin

Ryan W. Griffin


October 2019

Page 3

Valrico Edition

County Proposes Roundabouts As Part Of Durant Road Improvements

Sylvia Thomas Center Presents 7th Gems & Jeans To Benefit Adoptive Families

Hillsborough up,” said Wilkerson. County is proposing “They work best in two big changes to intersections with busy Valrico intertraffic coming for all sections. At a recent sides and both of public meeting, these intersections plans to improve are ideal candidates Durant Rd. at its for a roundabout intersections with solution.” Dover and Little According to Roads and Miller Wilkerson, roundRd. with roundabouts have a lot of abouts were prebenefits. sented to residents. “They are safer The goal of the than intersections Du improvements, with traffic signals ran tR which have a budget and cut fatal crashes d. of $2.9 million, is to down to almost zero improve safety and percent,” he said. traffic flow. In addi“Roundabouts are tion to the roundmore resilient in that abouts, the they continue to improved intersecoperate smoothly tions will enhance without power in the pedestrian conneccase of a storm. tivity with adjacent They are more envisidewalks. ronmentally sustain“These intersecable because cars tions, both currently are not idling, a four-way stops, were major cause of poladding congestion in Durant Rd. lution, like they do at the Durant corridor,” traffic signals.” said Hillsborough Residents who County Senior attended a public Media Relations meeting hosted by Strategist Chris the county late last Wilkerson. “A study month at Mulrennan showed that roundMiddle School were abouts are the traffic Hillsborough County recently held a public able to see and meeting to show residents proposed solution that fit this comment on the improvements to the intersections of neighborhood best.” design plans and Durant Rd. with Dove and Little roads and The design Miller Rd. The proposals for both intersec- learn more about tions include roundabouts. phase for these the reasoning Capital Improvement Projects is schedbehind the proposal. uled for completion this fall with procure“Roundabouts are not the solution at ment expected in the spring of 2020. every intersection,” said Wilkerson. “But Construction is scheduled to begin in the because of the traffic counts along summer of 2020. Durant, they are the perfect solution for “Roundabouts allow for continuous these two intersections.” movement so that traffic can move For info on the project, visit through the intersection without backing

The Sylvia and Adoption Thomas Center for Professionals in Adoptive and Foster this big way.” Families, a local nonKershaw added, “A profit agency devoted highlight of the to serving the needs evening is often of adoptive and foster the adoptive parfamilies located in ent(s) who share Brandon, is hosting its their personal stoSeventh Annual ries of adoption. Gems & Jeans Ball. Last year’s speakThis evening of cele- Seventh Annual Gems & Jeans Ball will be er, Francis Martin, held on Friday, November 15. bration will be held on had our guests rivFriday, November 15 at The Barn at eted with her anecdotes. Winthrop, located at 11349 The attendees reacted Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. with laughter and tears. It The festivities will begin at 7:30 was a truly moving night.” pm. Attendees can enjoy an evening The Sylvia Thomas filled with delicious food and drinks, Center has been a relicraft beers, live entertainment and a fanable source of information, advocacy and tastic silent auction. All attendees will be support for adoptive families across entered to win a beautiful, white gold, Hillsborough County since its inception in blue sapphire pendant donated by 2000. Thanks to successful therapeutic McAuley Fine Jewelry. and supportive services, the Sylvia Advance tickets are $40 each, or $75 Thomas Center has a greater than 99 for a pair, and can be purchased through percent success rate at keeping Forever Additionally, tickets Families together. Kershaw said, “This may be secured at the Sylvia Thomas event allows us the opportunity to raise Center, located at 500 Lithia Pinecrest awareness of who we are and what we Rd. in Brandon. Tickets at the door will be do, all while enjoying a great time.” $50. You can help it continue to provide November is recognized as National support for this outstanding organization Adoption Month to bring awareness to the by attending the Seventh Annual Gems & thousands of children and youth in foster Jeans Ball. So, grab your dancing shoes, care who are awaiting their Forever fancy jeans and boots or little black dress Families. Mary Ann Kershaw, CEO for the and join it in celebrating its success at Sylvia Thomas Center, said, “We are providing adopted children with Forever thrilled to host Gems & Jeans once again. Families. For more information, visit It is an honor to be able to celebrate or call 651Hillsborough County Adoptive Families 3150.

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Page 4

Valrico Edition

Volume 16, Issue 10

An Evening Of Hope Brings The Community Together To Help Others

Bloomingdale Medical Assoc. Expands Services As AdventHealth Office

You’re invitBrewer contined to An Evening ued, “There will of Hope on also be a silent Friday, auction featuring November 1 at one-of-a-kind items The Regent in to bid on. The Riverview. evening program Presented by starts at 8 p.m., Brandon and we will have Regional inspiring testiHospital and The monies from three Physicians of local families the An Evening of Hope rallies the community to Brandon help those in need while having an incredible Angel Foundation night out. Regional assisted while they Hospital, the evening brings together the were in crisis. This is my favorite event of community to raise funds and awareness the year." for the Angel Foundation. Tickets are $75 per person. Table The Angel Foundation is a nonprofit sponsorship is also available, which that offers assistance to families affected includes recognition and advertising. For by life-threatening illnesses or catastroph- more information or to purchase ic events such as fires and floods. It tickets/table sponsorship, please visit matches families with Angel Teams made up of local business owners and volunJanet Noah, the director of teers who can help. Community Relations at The Bridges "This is our 14th annual Evening of Retirement Community, has been an Hope and, in keeping with tradition, Angel Team member for the past nine guests will stroll around the tables with years and is also the co-chair of the live entertainment and enjoy wonderful Angel Team program. food and drinks from local restaurants, Noah described the impact of the bakers and caterers,” said Liz Brewer, the program, “Anytime cancer is a diagnosis executive director for the Angel for a family, it can completely turn their Foundation. world upside down. I have been on the This year, The Regent ballroom will [Angel] Team helping numerous families be transformed into a masquerade ball. as they go through radiation and chemo. The doors open at 7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for We help them with everyday needs, such VIP guests) with the first hour devoted to as meal delivery and lawn mowing.” music, mingling and munching on deliThe Regent is located at 6437 cious eats. The formal portion begins Watson Rd. in Riverview. For more inforwhen Channel 10’s Allison Kropff takes mation about Evening of Hope, please the microphone as the emcee. call 689-6889.

AdventHealth AdventHealth Medical Group Medical Group. Multispecialty at “Our continued Bloomingdale, growth and expanformerly sion allow us to Bloomingdale provide more conMedical venient access to Associates, is high-quality comexpanding servicprehensive care es to care for the that helps people Riverview, Lithia, live their healthiest Bloomingdale Medical Associates has now Valrico and life possible and become AdventHealth Medical Group Brandon commufind that care Multispecialty at Bloomingdale and offers expanded services to serve the community. nities under the close to where AdventHealth brand of compassionate they live, work and play.” whole person care. Services at the AdventHealth Medical Group location include cardiology care for Multispecialty at Bloomingdale was patients 18 and older, primary and prefounded in 1988 by Dr. Jeffrey ventative care, physicals, immunizaWartman. The practice has provided tions, acute and chronic disease manclinical excellence for over two decades agement and more for patients ages 12 under the leadership of Dr. Wartman, and older. AdventHealth Medical Group Dr. Myron Kwan and Dr. Margaret Multispecialty at Bloomingdale is Colleran. equipped with a full laboratory, X-ray “We are excited to join and a wide range of ultrasound services AdventHealth to make it easy for to provide convenience to patients. patients to receive comprehensive The AdventHealth network includes health care and the best long-term increased access to specialists and sur- health in primary care focused on qualigeons, as well as nearly 50 hospital ty and safety,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. campuses throughout almost a dozen Wartman, founder of AdventHealth states. AdventHealth Medical Group is Medical Group Multispecialty at comprised of nearly 250 providers, Bloomingdale. “We want our patients to operating in more than 90 locations, be able to get everything they need representing over 30 medical specialwithin one network and we’re excited to ties in the West Florida Division. make it happen with AdventHealth.” “We are excited to join this commuAdventHealth Medical Group nity and bring our brand of whole perMultispecialty at Bloomingdale is locatson care to meet the health care needs ed at 13403 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. of this growing area of Hillsborough To schedule an appointment, please County,” said Chris Jenkins, CEO of call 654-1775 or visit the location.

By Amanda Boston

Expiration: 10.31.2019

Expiration: 10.31.2019

By Ashley Jeffery

Expiration: 10.31.2019

October 2019

Page 5

Valrico Edition







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

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Hillsborough County Public School District 4 Citizen Advisory Council Coummunity Meeting Discussion Topic: Progression Plan will be held Tuesday, Oct 22 Marshall Middle School Media Center located at 18 S. Maryland Ave. in Plant City, Join school board member Melissa Snively and her 3 CAC (Citizens Advisory Committee) appointees at its community meeting. The meeting also serves as an opportunity to provide input to Melissa Snively regarding her decisions on budget and other policies. Parents, students, teachers and administrators are welcome.

Master Gardener Library Program: Growing Sprouts And Microgreens

Wednesday, November 6; 6:30-8 p.m. Bloomingdale Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico Grow delicious sprouts and microgreens. Produce an edible crop in less than a week on your kitchen counter with minimal supplies. Grow year-round with no concerns about weather conditions and without fertilizers or pesticides. No gardening experience required. Presented by Master Gardener Anne Marie Boehm. Bring a plant or other gardening item for fun drawing. For more info, call Richard Seedroff at 303-638-3917

Social Security Benefits Seminar Hosted By Angeloni Tax Advisory Group    

Tuesday, October 15 and November 19, and Thursday, October 3 and November 7 HCC campus at The Regent, 6437 Watson Rd., Riverview. Learn strategies and principles behind the proper timing of taking Social Security benefits; perfect for ages 58-67. Call 626-7575 to make reservations. Leave a message after 4:30 p.m.

Grey Matters Toastmasters

First and third Thursday of month; 6:30-8:30 p.m. Bloomingdale Library at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico Benefits of club include confidence-building in public speaking, enhancement of leadership skills and unique, lively, stimulating discussions. Visit

Pet Vaccination Clinic At Kim’s Natural Pets 

Saturday, November 2; 11 a.m.-12 Noon p.m. Kim’s Natural Foods, 2110 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Valrico EZ Pet Low Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic Call 684-3663 to confirm.

Fruit Tree Seminar

Saturday, October 19; 10 a.m. Kerby’s Nursery and Landscaping, 2311 S. Parsons Ave., Seffner Learn about protecting cold-sensitive fruit trees from potential winter cold and planting hardy trees. Call 685-3265; visit

Sweet Tea Senior Social

Tuesday, November 5; 1-3 p.m. - Cracker Country, Florida Fairgrounds 55+ Community; Join for snacks, iced tea, old-time games and museum tour. $8 per person; free parking (Orient Rd. only). Arrive by 1 p.m. gates close at 1:20 p.m. Visit

Congregation Beth Shalom Shabbat Services

Fridays; 7:30 p.m. 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. All welcome. Oneg, nosh and mingle follows. Services stream live afterwards on Facebook at Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon. Call 681-6547 for more information.

Tampa Bay Chief Petty Officers Meeting

Fourth Thursday each month; 6:30 p.m. Tampa Buffet, 3904 S. Dale Mabry, Britton Plaza, Tampa For information, call Chuck Peterman, President, 767-1569



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Page 6

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

The ‘Lost River’ - Hillsborough County’s Roosevelt River AKA Bull Frog Creek Have you ever visited the Roosevelt River in Hillsborough County? You may have, but you probably didn’t know it. If you’ve even heard of this 22-mile stream, you are one of a very few locals that can recognize this ‘river’ as Bull Frog Creek. The Roosevelt River is the 1910 marketing creation of Tampa realtor W. D. Davis. He informally 1926 photo of Gardenville School, located today on Symmes Rd. Right: Map of Gardenville Beach and renamed it Bull Frog Creek Gibsonton. in an attempt to bolster real Gardenville name survives as the site of estate sales in his two new subdivisions a local park on Symmes Rd. in Gibsonton located where the ‘river’ empties into Hillsborough Bay. Although the Roosevelt and includes the park’s restored 1926 River name did appear in land sale docu- Gardenville School, which houses Hillsborough County’s Aging Services ments, it never popularly caught on and facility. faded into history. More lasting was the W. D. Davis was a renowned realtor name, Gardenville, a town established in in Tampa, so it was no surprise that he 1912, which included those subdivisions. looked to the eastern shores of But today, even the name of Hillsborough Bay for suburban developGardenville has all but disappeared. The small village was ultimately swept into the ment opportunities. But few realized that Davis had larger dreams in mind. town of Gibsonton, which got its start in In July 1915, Davis announced plans 1923 when James. B. Gibson created the to build an all-year-round resort for suburb of Gibsonton-on-the-Bay on the Tampa families. He transformed the south side of the Alafia River. The FREE ESTIMATES

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Gardenville beach area, where the river meets the bay, into a large-scale recreation mecca. He constructed a dance pavilion and clubhouse, both with “modern lighting, water and sanitary systems.” He also built several “sleeping porch” cottages, furnished with “everything but the groceries” for sale or rental to vacationers. Hunting, fishing, swimming and boating were featured. Tennis courts and baseball fields were available, and plans for an 18-hole golf course were announced (although never built). Easy access by boat was provided by two boats posting nominal fares, and by car along Bayshore Rd. from Tampa to the Alafia River, where Davis established a ferry service to get motorists to Gardenville. 1,000 visitors attended the grand opening on May 7, 1916, although Davis had anticipated only 300. Ice cream and soft drinks were quickly depleted, and

swimmers were forced to share bathing suits as not enough were on hand. Park-goers arriving by boat could not return to Tampa until 3:00 a.m. as motorboats were stuck on a nearby sandbar. Davis offered quick solutions, however, and another large, enthusiastic crowd visited the following weekend. Weekend crowds did not last, however. By 1917, the war in Europe increasingly occupied the attention of Tampa residents. While there was no gasoline rationing, “Gasless Sunday” campaigns encouraged motorists to save fuel whenever possible. Nonessential businesses were encouraged to close operations at least one day a week. Land sales slowed. As a result of reduced demand, Davis discontinued almost all Gardenville advertising beginning in 1917. The final blow to the resort came with the disastrous hurricane of October 1921. The dance pavilion and other facilities were severely damaged. Today, very little remains to remember the town of Gardenville, and nothing remains of Davis’ resort on Hillsborough Bay but wind-blown memories. They’ve both gone the way of the Roosevelt River. Charles Nelson Bio Charles Nelson holds a MA degree in History from George Mason University and taught as an adjunct instructor at HCC (Dale Mabry). He is also affiliated with Tampa Bay History Center as a volunteer docent, researcher and community lecturer, with an emphasis on South Hillsborough County history.


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October 2019

Page 7

Valrico Edition

Howl-O-Scream 2019 ‘20 Years Of Fear’ Staff Report This fall season, triumphant screams you can take your of vampires and the ‘scare’ factor to new sobbing moans of heights when Howl-Otheir victims. Climb Scream 2019 into a coffin but your unearths long-buried photo may be all that icons of the past and comes out. new nightmares as Check out Camp Busch Gardens Doa, where campers Tampa Bay celebrates are snatched from On select nights through Friday, ‘20 Years of Fear’ with their idyllic dreams to November 2, take your scare factor to sinister surprises at new heights at Busch Gardens Tampa become ghostly stars every turn. of living nightmares. Bay’s ’20 Years of Fear.’ Brave souls can venture through horIn a post-apocalypse world, the surly rifying houses, terrifying scare zones and survivors will stop at nothing for food and thrilling roller coaster rides in the dark. supplies, destroying all who stand in their For select nights through Saturday, way. Can you run the gauntlet of a murNovember 2, you will run for your life as derous crazed biker gang to make it out gruesome ghouls emerge alive? from their tombs to twist your Go backstage at the daydreams into nightmares. Maniac Midway, the ‘scariest Several haunted houses show on earth’ with Sparky will await your demise, but the and his terrifying carnie crew scares don’t stop there. as they take over Pantopia Unspeakable horror lives in making the midway their own every dark corner, including stage of torture. on Busch Gardens’ pulseRide on Busch Gardens pounding thrill rides that are overrun with Tampa Bay’s roller coasters as creatures creatures riding alongside their soon-tofrom your nightmares haunt the attracbe-victims. tions. Experience Tigris, Cobra’s Curse, The horrors of Howl-O-Scream’s Falcon’s Fury, Cheetah Hunt, Montu, haunted past are the first frights to greet SheiKra and Kumba all night. you, rising from the dead and bringing 20 Choose from experiences like guided years of fear back to life, or take a creepy VIP Tours, front-of-the-line access with walk down memory lane to the bygone the Front Line Fear pass, dinner and a era of papier-mâché masks and homefreakish show at Fright Feast or a VIP made costumes sure to stir up the nighttour. mares of your childhood. Busch Gardens is located at 3000 E. There is plenty new this year. The Busch Blvd. in Tampa. Visit eerie quiet of Carpe Noctem, a gothic Romanian cemetery, is shattered by the owl-o-scream.

River Hills Residents Complete Purchase Of Country Club And Golf Course

By Brad Stager

River Hills nities throughout Country Club and its Florida are seeing 198 acres of land and developers purchase facilities, including an and build on golf 18-hole, par-72 course land, with course, has been pursubstantial negative chased by RHC impact on home valMaster Association, ues in those commuInc., the corporation nities, River Hills that is the homeownhomeowners believe ers association for the this will allow them to River Hills community. be in control of these The purchase assets, in control of price was $2.9M and their destiny,” Brooks the association will wrote in an email. spend another $2.1M Representing the to upgrade the facility seller, Fore Golf Aerial view of the River Hills Country Services, was and take care of Club golf course from the club’s deferred mainteSteven Ekovich, the Facebook page. nance. national managing director of the “With the purchase, residents can be Leisure Investment Properties Group of assured that will not change,” said Paul Marcus & Millichap. He says the sale Brooks, president of the homeowners means residents don’t have to worry association’s board of directors. about new owners developing part, or The 30-year-old course was all, of the site as apartments, a rehabilidesigned by legendary course designer tation center or an assisted living faciliJoe Lee and includes amenities like a ty. 13,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, pro shop as well “They did a fantastic thing by conas men’s and women’s locker rooms. trolling their property values,” said Other athletic and lifestyle facilities Ekovich, who handles similar transacinclude a playground, fitness center and tions throughout the country, ranging swimming pool, as well as basketball, from marinas to ski resorts. The River sand volleyball and tennis courts. Hills golf course was designed by Besides physical recreation, River ‘Gentleman’ Joe Lee, who, according to Hills dining and banquet facilities have, designed 146 courses been locations for countless family and in the second half of the 20th century, community celebrations, ranging from reshaping the landscape of Florida with wedding receptions to charitable chili 71 courses in the state, including cook-offs since opening in 1989. Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge “At a time where golf course commu- outside of Orlando.

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Page 8

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

oods, G e u q i Ant y Yard t i n u m Com re… , o M & Sale y Michelle Colesanti

ed b com Compil spreyobserver. o e@ michell

Friends & Flea At Patterson’s Farm

Stop by the Friends & Flea, where many vendors will be selling antiques, vintage wares, handcrafted goods, plants, refurbished furniture and more. Enjoy authentic kettle corn and Smokin’Gypsy BBQ. The semiannual event will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Friends & Flea will take place at Patterson’s Farm on 2706 Ranch Rd. in Dover. Visit on Facebook at Friends and Flea.

Lithia Ridge Community Yard Sale

Lithia Ridge will hold a Community Yard Sale on Friday, October 18 from 3-7 p.m. and Saturday, October 19 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Items available throughout the neighborhood include furniture, bikes, tools, video games, kids and adult clothing, toys, baby items, home wares, sporting goods and more. Enter the community at Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Lithia Ridge Blvd.

Bowling Event To Bring Awareness To Domestic Violence Benefits Metropolitan Ministries

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a charity Bowling Fundraiser to benefit Metropolitan

Ministries will be held on Sunday, October 20 from 2-6 p.m. at Oakfield Lanes, 1001 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Closing ceremony will be 5-6 p.m. You may participate individually or as teams. Event sponsorship is available for individuals and businesses. People may participate by bowling and/or sponsorship. The cost is $15 per person. For more information, email: or text 438-6158.

Hillsborough Awards Custody Of More Than 300 Dogs

A court order recently provided custody of the dogs to Hillsborough County and enjoins the owner of the business from ever possessing dogs. Animal Control brought the dogs to the Pet Resource Center (PRC) on 440 N. Falkenburg Rd., where they will be assessed and undergo any needed medical treatment. The large influx of dogs creates stress at the PRC, which was already over capacity. State law requires the dogs be kept for at least 30 days in case of appeal, meaning the PRC will hold the dogs for at least a month and none of the incoming dogs can immediately be adopted by the public nor sent to rescue groups. The dogs are mostly small breeds like Maltese, Shih Tzus, terriers and schnauzers. To help make room, PRC officials are appealing to the public to adopt dogs already at the shelter. All fees are immediately waived for all dogs. In addition, the shelter will take in dogs from the public only for emergencies for at least the next few days. The PRC also is working with other animal shelters and rescue groups to

help reduce the VSL’s Annual Harvest shelter’s current Dinner & Auction population of A new activity this dogs. Monetary year for GFWC Valrico donations may Service League, Inc. be made (VSL) members was makthrough ing mats out of recycled the Hillsborough plastic bags that were gifts County Pet to homeless in the comResources munity. Children helping Foundation Inc. on the project learned Please desigGFWC Valrico Service League, Inc. (VSL) about recycling and were nate the donamembers made mats out of recycled amazed that plastic bags plastic bags that were gifts to homeless in we throw out could make tion for the aid the community. Its main fundraiser of the of the more year, its Harvest Dinner & Auction, will be something so helpful and than 300 dogs. held on Sunday, November 3 at Center liked making those in Place. The Pet need more comfortable. Resource Center is open from 10 a.m. to The group's main fundraiser for the 7 p.m. Dogs and cats can be year is the 2019 Harvest Dinner & viewed online at Auction to be held on Sunday, November (search for 'pet adoptions'), but must be 3 at Center Place, located at 619 adopted in person at the shelter. Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at Center Brandon Coin Club Hosts Coin & Place through Friday, October 18. The Currency Show event sponsored by Terry Fink of State The Brandon Coin Club Inc., a Farm Insurance and Matt Carter, realtor, 501(c)(7) nonprofit organization, will hold of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, starts at its next Coin & Currency Show on 5 p.m., with a catered dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, November 2 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and live auction at 7 p.m. at the Brandon Elks Lodge #2383, locatOther activities of the group include ed at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in providing food, clothing and school supBrandon. plies for Title I elementary school children, There will be 30 dealers/45 tables participating in Cards for the Troops and and a free gold coin drawing. Admission hosting activities for residents at a needsand parking are free. Free coin grab bags based nursing home. Last year's auction for all children under 12. Food will be also helped VSL to support ECHO, available on-site. There will be free Brandon Outreach Clinic, Center Place, appraisals and door prizes. ICG Grading Family Promise of Brandon, A Kid's Service will be in attendance and offering Place, Seeds of Hope, Real Hope free verbal opinions along with $10 slabMinistry, Campo YMCA and Canine bing. Companions among others. For more information, contact Jack For more information, call Claudia Laci at 352-777-6073 or brandoncoinYake at 685-7998 or Sue Hadden at 6160.

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Page 9

Valrico Edition

Osprey Observer Hosts Bullfrog Creek Bingo Fundraiser For Miles For Moffitt Team

By Kate Quesada

The Osprey We are very fortuObserver staff is invitnate to have ing residents to have Moffitt so close to a good time for a us.” great cause this This is the month. On Thursday, second year the October 17 at 7:30 Osprey p.m., the Osprey Observer’s Observer’s Miles for MaKEITHappen Moffitt team, team is participatMaKEITHappen, will ing in Moffitt’s host a bingo night at annual 5K walk Bullfrog Creek and run, which The Osprey Observer’s MaKEITHappen Brewing in Valrico. will take place on Miles for Moffitt team is hosting a Tickets to the Saturday, fundraising bingo night at Bullfrog Creek Brewing on Thursday, October 17. bingo night are $20 November 23. All for five games and there will be a cash proceeds from the event support lifesavbar with food available to purchase from ing cancer research at Moffitt, where Rockstar Lobster’s food truck. The event researchers are at the very front lines of will also feature a raffle and silent auction, the effort to defeat cancer. with all proceeds going directly to Miles “I have close friends and family memfor Moffitt, Moffitt Cancer Center’s annual bers currently affected by cancer in some fundraiser. way and have lost many to the disease,” Osprey Observer Billing Manager said Osprey Observer Assignment Editor Terry Vassalotti has a personal reason for Michelle Colesanti who has participated raising funds for Moffitt. Her husband, in the fundraising walk for two years. “It Keith, is receiving treatment at the Tampa surrounds each and every one of us in center for melanoma. some way. Though there may not be a “Keith started his journey with Moffitt cure in my lifetime, I can most certainly back in May 2017 when they found that celebrate those who are currently dealing his melanoma had spread,” said with their own private battles and honor Vassalotti. “He had wonderful care then the memories of those I have loved dearand still does, from two surgeries to ly and lost.” remove tumors to six weeks of radiation. Doors will open for bingo night at Unfortunately, we found out in June of 6:30 p.m. To learn more, visit this year that it had spread again, and now he is receiving immunotherapy to Email hopefully keep the cancer from spreading for reserved seating details. Call 657further. Everyone we have come into con- 2418. Bullfrog Creek Brewing is located tact with, from doctors to staff to volunat 3632 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. teers, couldn’t be more helpful or kind.

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Page 10

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Trunk Or Treat Events Will Safely Entertain The Younger Crowd There are plenty of local options for young children in lieu of traditional trick or treating on Halloween. Below are a few places where you can bring your children locally to safely participate in fun family events.

Trunk Or Treat At St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church

Join in on Sunday, October 20 from 4-6 p.m. for a free annual Trunk or Treat family event at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, located at 3315 S. Bryan Rd. in Brandon. There will be games, shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck and hot food for sale, crafts, a scavenger hunt, pumpkin painting (extra fee), lots of candy and more. There will also be teal pumpkins at trunks that offer allergyfriendly treats. When attending, please donate a nonperishable food item as the St. Andrew's Food Pantry will be stocked at the event.

Trunk Or Treat At New Hope United Methodists Church Families are invited to join friends and neighbors for an evening of free fun on Sunday, October 20

from 4-6 p.m. New Hope will open its campus for its annual Trunk or Treat, a wholesome Halloween alternative featuring decorated car trunks filled with candy and other treats. In addition, children and adults alike are welcome to enjoy complimentary grilled hot dogs and chips. New Hope is located just north of S.R. 60 (Brandon Blvd.) at 213 N. Knights Ave. between Kings Ave. and Parsons Ave. For more information, call 689-4161 or visit on Facebook or online at

First Presbyterian Church Of Brandon Holds Trunk Or Treat And Festival

Pumpkin Palooza is a free community event with more pumpkins than you can possibly imagine. On Sunday, October 27 from 2-4 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Brandon will host a Trunk or Treat. The first hour will have Trunk or Treat. The second hour will have a Free Festival including games, pumpkin decorating and more. The address is 121 Carver Ave. in Brandon. For more information, call 689-4597 or visit

North Brandon Family YMCA To Hold Community Trunk Or Treat

Join in for Halloween Family Fun at North Brandon Family YMCA on Saturday, October 26 from 5-7 p.m. in the north facing parking lot. The Trunk or Treat event is free and open to the community. Bring your treat bag and enjoy trick-or-treating, games, snacks, baked goodies, music and more. The North Brandon Y is located at 3097 Kingsway Rd. in Seffner. For more information, email

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

Centerpoint Church Hosts Free Trunk Or Treat

Centerpoint Church will hold a free Trunk or Treat event on Saturday, October 26 from 4-6 p.m. at its North Campus at 1720 S. Saint Cloud Rd. in Valrico. There will be pony rides, a petting zoo, food trucks, candy and more. If you want to show us your best trunk, sign-ups for trunks are open now! This year, it will be offering a $100 gift card for the best trunk, $75 for second place and $50 for third place. You can sign up at

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October 2019

Valrico Edition

Page 11

Not So Scary Family Fun At Area’s Zoo, Museums And Theme Parks With the arrival of fall, there is a lot of ‘spooktacular’ family-friendly fun that you can find locally. Here are a few ideas to keep the fun going through the holiday season.

Florida Aquarium’s Guppyween Will Take You To Codwarts School Of Fishcraft And Squidery

The Florida Aquarium’s Guppyween will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27 from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Your presence is requested at the Codwarts School of Fishcraft and Squidery in The Florida Aquarium. Young wizards will be sorted into their Codwarts House before embarking on a quest to further their Fishcraft knowledge. Dazzling treats and magical adventures await you. All exhibits will be open, including the 4-D Theater and kids’ water play zone, The Splash Pad. The cost for kids in costume is $10 (purchased at the Aquarium). It is regular admission price for adults. A special Guppyween will take place on Saturday, October 26 from 89:30 a.m. for families and children with sensory differences to trick-or-treat throughout the Aquarium in a low stress environment. Doors will open at 8 a.m. for Sensory Guppyween guests only, with lights and sounds adapted for individuals with sensory differences and their families. There cost for Sensory Guppyween is $5 per person if purchased before the event and $8 per person on day of event. The Florida Aquarium is located at 701 Channelside Dr. in Tampa. Visit for more information.

family. Creatures emerge at dusk with startling surprises around every corner. No horror, no gore, just fun frights for all. Younger guests will enjoy a festive fall harvest complete with a pumpkin patch, scarecrows and friendly farm animals. Zoo Tampa is located at 1101 W Sligh Ave. in Tampa. Visit

LEGOLAND’S BrickOr-Treat Returns

On weekends in October, celebrate the spookiest time of the year with trick-or-treating, exclusive character meet-and-greet and spooktacular treats. The kids will enjoy the Brick-orTreat Trail where they can journey through the themed trail with their very own Brick-orTreat bag to pick up lots of scrumptious candy. Meet exclusive Halloween LEGO characters, enjoy a Scavenger Hunt and watch The Tale of Pirates’ Cove Fireworks Spectacular. LEGOLAND is located at One LEGOLAND Way in Winter Haven. Visit

Zoo Tampa’s Family Fright Fest Celebrates Halloween Season

Creatures of the Night, Tampa Bay's premier family Halloween even, returns every Friday and Saturday from 4-10 p.m. in October. After 4 p.m., the Zoo transforms into an eerie and immersive Halloween adventure for the whole

Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular

Get your favorite costume ready and make your

plans to live it up—collecting candies, sweets and delightful treats—all while Magic Kingdom park thrills and chills you with special fireworks, eerie entertainment and Disney Characters that go bump in the night. Best of all: since this event is ‘“not-so-scary’ and children of every age can enjoy the fun. Don’t miss this dazzling spectacular which features state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, light and fireworks during Mickey’s NotSo-Scary Halloween Party which is offered on select nights through Friday, November 1.

Monster Mash Along The River At Glazer’s Children’s Museum

Show off your most creative costume at the Glazer Children’s Museum (GCM) Halloween Spree. on Saturday, October 26 from 4-8 p.m. GMC has partnered with the Tampa Riverwalk to make this the ultimate Halloween party. Monster mash along the river and then bring your little ghouls and goblins to GCM to enjoy safe, indoor trick-or-treating, spooky experiments, creepy crafts, costume parades and more. Tickets cost $5 (members free) and are available now and at the door. GCM is participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project. Your little ones will receive non-edible goodies at stations with a teal pumpkin. On Sunday, October from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., GCM will host a Sensory-Friendly Halloween Spree. All programs will be featured as well as trick-or-treating with lights and sounds turned down and sensory adapted tools. Sunshine Sunday is a limited-

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

engagement event for children with special needs and caregivers. Children can explore the Museum with lights and sounds turned down and sensory adapted tools, special programs, and

community resources at their fingertips. It’s during this time that children and their families can experience the Museum and unite with others on a similar journey. The Glazer Children’s Museum is located at 110 W Gasparilla Plaza in Tampa. Visit

Hop Aboard Haunted River Tours On Tampa’s Pirate Taxi

Hop aboard the Pirate Water Taxi for a frighteningly good time on the water. On select nights in October come aboard for tales of ghosts and haunted facts along the Hillsborough River. Each tour will be led by a deadlightful docent who will entertain you with spooky stories of Tampa’s past. New this year, a batty fiend will hop on the taxi for new thrills. Cruises are kid-friendly and take

place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in October. Departures are located by the Tampa Convention Center where Pirate Taxi dock stop #7. Tickets start at $25 for the 45 minute haunted cruise. To purchase tickets, visit ed-river-tour.

Page 12

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Sydney Baptist Church Transitioned Into First Call For First Responders This year on April 7, Sydney Baptist Church finished transitioning into its new identity, First Call, ‘A Unique Church for Extraordinary People.’ The 110-year-old church voted in January to change from its traditional church model into its new model for a A police officer greater focus on its speaking before a mission to help the congregation in thousands of first First Call. responders and their families in our community. Senior Chaplain (Dr.) Daniel Middlebrooks, who is a retired military chaplain, noticed that some of Hillsborough County’s first responders wouldn’t go to church because they believed they didn’t fit in, that no one could understand their experiences or that their lives were too messy. Wanting to offer a safe place where they can be around people who understand them, decompress, express their thoughts and heal, Chaplain Middlebrooks was inspired to form First Call. “It’s a growing congregation of first responders, their families and the community that, deeply, are devoted to taking care of them,” said Chaplain Middlebrooks. “There are a lot of great churches that take care of the community; what our primary target and focus is; is to take care of those who take care of our community.”

By Taylor Wells

To accommodate the schedules of first responders, First Call altered its service times. Its services and messages are also designed with them in mind, focusing on personal resilience, spiritual growth, leadership development and the readiness of daily development for putting on the armor of God. The church began its transition by installing three statues, called the Three Guardians, in front of a cross, which was built at the church’s beginning. Each statue represents a different kind of first responder. The left statue depicts law enforcement, in the middle is military and on the right is fire and rescue. Through these statues, First Call acknowledges and celebrates all first responders in our community. According to Chaplain Middlebrooks, by standing at the cross, not only do the statues represent the congregation First Call is reaching out to, they also remind us that the foot of the cross is level and that all of us need to understand what it means to live under grace as well as live that grace. First Call is located at 1510 Cre Rd. in Dover. For more information, visit, call 652-8178 or email Chaplain Middlebrooks at




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October 2019

Page 13

Valrico Edition

Take A Crack At Brandon’s New Crafty Crab Restaurant In Ben’s Spot On S.R. 60

FishHawk Teen Has Dream Granted By Rays Player And Throws Out First Pitch

Recently, sevarrangement of flaeral crab and vors.” seafood restaurants For friends have been opening and family memup in the communibers who prefer ty, and joining in the something that trend in Brandon is isn’t shellfish, Crafty Crab, which Crafty Crab also opened this year in has fried chicken February. tenders and wings, Crafty Crab’s fries, coleslaw, home-style, cheese sticks and Southern seafood more that are all comes in the forms just as tasty. of freshly cooked When asked For those who just can’t get enough, Crafty which foods are crabs, crawfish, Crab in Brandon has a seafood platter that calamari, lobsters, includes snow crab, whole shrimp, crawfish, favorites among mussels, clams, corn and potatoes. shrimp and more, customers, Crafty alongside corn and Crab’s manager, potatoes. It also offers generStephen Beltz, said, “The ous portions, making for mouthboils definitely, and I think watering meals that can easily the combination platter that satisfy your appetite. we sell the most is the headAfter you choose a seafood less shrimp with snow crab, boil, you can pick from four seaand that comes with potasonings, including buttery garlic, toes and corn as well.” lemon pepper, its original Crafty Cajun As for what makes Crafty Crab stand and the Boom!!!, a mixture of all three out among similar restaurants that recentseasonings that create an explosion of ly opened in the area, Beltz said, “Our flavor. Then comes the choice of spiciseasonings speaks for itself, our secret ness, be it mild, medium, fire or dry, spices that we use that we don’t share which is a seasoning of your preferred with anyone and I think the biggest thing spicy level on the side. is our customer service and the friendly According to its website, “At Crafty staff that we have.” Crab, we know food tastes better with Crafty Crab is located at 704 E. your hands, so don’t be shy—dig in! Our Brandon Blvd. and is open Sundaysignature New Orleans-style low country Thursday from 12 Noon-10 p.m. and boil is a feast for seafood lovers and perFriday-Saturday from 12 Noon-11 p.m. fect for a casual dinner. We make our Visit or call own seasoning to create a unique 278-5111.

Fifteen-year-old Kiermaier to make Grace Davis will Grace’s wish to have a never forget August special evening with her 20, 2019. The father come true. FishHawk resident “Grace and her dad, threw out the first Matt, both really love the pitch at the Ray’s band Queen, so it was game that day as the most incredible part of a much dream experience for anticipated wish them to be able to attend granted for her by the concert together,” the Children’s said Susan. Dream Fund. Matt, a lieutenant Grace, who colonel in the Army, was diagnosed recently returned from with postural ortho- FishHawk resident Grace Davis threw his sixth year-long out the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays deployment. static tachycardia game in August as part of a dream syndrome, mast The family, including granted for her by the Children’s cell disease, hered- Dream Fund. She also attended the Grace’s three brothers, Queen concert with her father and will Luke, Ryan and Isaiah, itary alpha visit Disney World with her family. tryptasemia and who was recently adoptsmall fiber neuropathy three years ago, ed after being fostered by the family, is also attended the sold-out Queen concert looking forward to visiting Disney together in Tampa with her father and received when the weather cools off as the final tickets for her whole family to go to aspect of Grace’s dream. Disney World thanks to the fund. As part of her treatment plan, Grace “Grace’s diagnosis means that she receives infusions twice a week, but that has severe allergic reactions that threaten does not stop her from keeping up with her life,” said her mother, Susan Davis. her school work. She takes classes “The opportunity to create memories through Florida Virtual School, has a GPA thanks to the Children’s Dream Fund is of 4.8 and is on track to graduate a year something that our whole family cherishearly with a Bright Futures Scholarship. es.” She is scheduled to begin a new The Children’s Dream Fund, which treatment which will have her spend a was founded in 1981 with the purpose of week in the pediatric ICU at All Children’s fulfilling dreams for children living in West Hospital in St. Petersburg within the next Central Florida with life-threatening illmonth. nesses, has granted wishes for more To learn more about the Children’s than 3,000 children since its inception. Dream Fund, visit www.childrensdreamThe group worked with Rays player Kevin

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Page 14

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Exhibit Brings History’s Building Blocks To Life In LEGO® Bricks

By Manny Leto

In the U.S. for the first time, ‘Brick History’ lets visitors journey through pivotal moments in world history modeled in LEGO® bricks. Featuring key figures from Mozart to Martin Luther King, scientific discoveries from the Big Bang to DNA and recent history from mobile phones to the moon landings, history comes to life in LEGO® bricks during ‘Brick History,’ a new exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center opening on Saturday, October 19. The exhibit features 28 meticulously crafted models, each depicting a person, moment or discovery that altered world history. ‘The Arts’ explores creativity from cave paintings to pop art, ‘Conflict’ moves from natural disasters like Pompeii to political disputes such as the Boston Tea Party, ‘Equality’ brings to life the Civil Rights movement, ‘Exploration’ depicts discoveries and inventions that have changed our world, while ‘Transport’ moves from railways and seafaring to

flight. LEGO® artist Warren Elsmore and his team have created a celebration of our shared stories, struggles and triumphs, made from everyone’s favorite Danish toy. There will be tables set up inside the exhibit area where both kids and adults can build their own LEGO® brick creations. Kids can try their hand at building iconic Florida models, including a palm tree, an alligator, a sailboat and more. ‘Brick History’ will also feature some bay area flare, with LEGO® brick portraits of pirates, local sports logos and a map of Florida by Tampa artist John Fontana from Bricks 4 Kidz. The exhibit is on view at the History Center through Sunday, February 16, 2020. Some upcoming events include: Tuesday, October 22 at 6 p.m. – Sangria and Stories: Brick History; Saturday, November 16 at 10 a.m. – Bricks 4 Kidz (ages 5-14); and Saturday, November 16 at 7 p.m. – LEGO® Brick Retro Game Night (hosted by the History Center Teen Council). The Tampa Bay History Center is located at 801 Old Water St. in Tampa. Tickets start at $10.95 for children age 7 and up, and they are free for children age 6 and under. More information is at, or call 2280097.


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Valrico Edition

Buckhorn Elementary Celebrates 40 Years... Continued From Page 1

By Kathy L. Collins

thrilled to and prizes. The $6 announce that wristband, for parents, speaking at this gets you all you can eat event will be Abby pizza, salad and one Boyce, PTA presisoda. dent, Tamara Funds raised at the Brooks, Buckhorn’s event will be used to principal, and Dr. fund beautification projDakeyan Cha Dre ects, equipment and art Graham, Florida’s supplies for the school. Teacher of the Beisiegel said, “The Year for 2020.” carnival is our biggest Admission to event we host as a the carnival includes access to Eight year old Alexandra over five giant Beisiegel-Tinsley is currently a inflatables, mini 3rd grade student at Buckhorn golf and carnival Elementary School. games with unlimited prizes. Families can enjoy a day of music from area school PTA. As we bands, face are celebrating painting, crafts Buckhorn’s 40th and a fire truck Anniversary, we felt it demonstration is important for us to from bring the entire comHillsborough munity together to join County Fire and Rescue, Station 7. in the festivities. Our hope is that Tickets or wristbands will go on past students will bring their families, sale beginning on Monday, October friends, children and grandchildren to 16. The $15 wristband gets you celebrate with us.” unlimited inflatables, games, prizes For more information and to get and all you can eat pizza, salad, one tickets to the carnival, please visit soda, a photo in the picture booth, To become a one snow cone, one popcorn and business sponsor, please contact one cotton candy. The $12 wristband Beisiegel at gets you unlimited inflatables, games

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Page 16

Valrico Edition

Volume 16, Issue 10

October 2019

Valrico Edition

day i l o H , r ai Craft F , Pecan Sales Market More… & anti, e Coles

Lithia for its Holiday Market UMW Women’s Holiday Pecan Sale on Saturday, November 9. Begins The event, from 9 a.m.- 2 The United Methodist Women p.m., is being presented (UMW) of New Hope UMC will hold its by the Women of Grace. 49th Annual Pecan Sale through Friday, The church is located at November 1. These are just picked, ll 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. e h shelled and fresh from the orchard. ic ed by M com in Lithia. Prices are the same as last year: $45 for Compil spreyobserver. e@o Vendors selling a a five lb. box of mammoth halves or michell variety of products, such pieces and $10 for a one lb. bag of as arts and crafts, jewelmammoth halves. Specialty items will be ry, clothing and more. National compaoffered again at the same prices as last nies will be on a first-come, first-served year: $12 for pralines in a 16 oz. bag, Fall Craft Fair At St. Andrew’s United basis. For example, only one Mary Kay $12 for chocolate amaretto in a 16 oz. representative or one Methodist Church bag and $25 Premier Jewelry vendor will for a 20 oz. St. Andrew’s United Methodist be allowed. assortment in Church 52nd Annual Fall Craft Fair St. The fee for a 10 ft. by 10 a Christmas tin Andrew’s United Methodist Church will ft. space is $25. Proceeds (including prahold its 52nd Annual Fall Craft Fair on line, chocolate Saturday, October 26 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. will help support missions in the community. The market amaretto and Enjoy 70+ outside vendors exhibiting will be outdoors, and venroasted, salted unique handmade crafts. Enjoy a bake dors are asked to provide pecan halves). sale, Granny’s Attic Rummage Sale and their own tent, table and To order, mission café in the Family Life Center. chairs. Food will be available Get your holiday pecans from the UMC call Mary Pick out a pumpkin from the Pumpkin Women of New Hope. Baker from 9 Patch. St. Andrew’s is located at 3315 S. for purchase. For more information a.m.-8 p.m. at 643-4493, email Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more inforand vendor application, visit or mation, call 689-6849 or visit or contact event visit and pay by Vendors are still needed. organizer Susan Ferraro at bosecredit card. Checks payable to UMW or 361-1724. can be mailed to P.O. Box 546, Lithia, Hope Fest FL 33547. Only prepaid items are On Sunday, November 17 from 10 Optimize Your Brain’s Creative reserved. Others will be sold on a firsta.m.-2 p.m., Hope Fest at Iglesia Power come, first-served basis. Transformando al Mundo will offer health Tina Yeager, LMHC and award-winPickup is Saturday, November 9 and screenings, family supplies, ning author, speaker, flourish-meant Monday, November 11 from 8 a.m.-6 educational/job opportunities, haircuts, podcast host and life coach, will speak p.m. at the New Hope Life Center prayer and more. This free event also at Bay Life Church, located at 1017 Building on 213 N. Knights Ave. will offer Kids Fest, and it will take place Kingsway Rd., on Saturday October 19 The annual fundraiser benefits many at 1310 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. from 1-3 p.m. She is offering a workshop local missions, such as Family Promise, open to the public called Optimize Your Women’s Resource Center, Cornerstone Seeking Vendors For Lithia Holiday Brain's Creative Power. The registration Ministries, Brandon Life Care and more. Market In November link is For more information, please call Vendors are being sought by Grace Barbara Brooks at 689-7016 or Community United Methodist Church in ccis1s/. email

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Page 17

Knights Of Columbus Patriotism Spirit Week

The Knights of Columbus Monsignor John F. Scully Assembly #3418 of Riverview is sponsoring a Patriotism Day Celebration on Wednesday, November 6 at Bloomingdale Pizza from 4-9 p.m. The evening will feature Patriotic Songs led by a local men’s ensemble and guest speaker Kelly Kowall of My Warrior’s Place (MWP) in Ruskin. Bloomingdale Pizza will donate 10 percent of all sales to Assembly #3418, including takeout, when you mention ‘Knights for Vets’ from Monday, November 4 through Thursday, November 7. Proceeds will support the VAVS (VA Hospital Veterans Services) and My Warrior’s Place in Ruskin. The Knights of Columbus Monsignor John F. Scully Assembly #3418 sponsors meals at the James A. Haley Fisher House for the family of loved ones who are patients at the hospital, provides Thanksgiving meals for veterans, provides personal hygiene products for inpatients at the VA Hospital and regularly donates books, magazines, DVDs and CDs to the VA Patient Library, valued at over $6,000, over the past three years. MWP is a retreat for veterans founded by Gold Star Mother Kelly Kowall. Visit Bloomingdale Pizza is located at 4334 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico. Remember to say 'Knights for Vets' when you order. If you can’t make the event but would still like to help veterans, you can send a check payable to the Knights of Columbus Assembly #3418 to Sir Knight Mark Lovejoy, 6951 Cohasset Circle, Riverview, FL 33578.

Page 18

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

nd A s r a C Trains, rafts Shows C Arts & More… & helle Colesanti,

a.m.-6 p.m. Parking and admission are free. Experience the hauntingly beautiful voice of the Native American-style flute. Listen to the nonstop music of incredible flute by Mic d players, singers, storye il p r m Co bse ospreyo tellers and Sacred @ e ll e h mic Thunder Drum. Stroll through the vendors and enjoy arts and crafts for sale. Enjoy Regal Railways Presents Toy Train & Indian tacos, fry bread, Collectible, Toy Show buffalo burgers, hamburgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, A Toy Train, Collectible and Toy homemade ice cream, Show/Sale will be held on Saturday, drinks and more. November 23 at the Hillsborough County This is a cultural event open to the Fairgrounds, located at 215 Sydney public as well as a family event with no Washer Rd. in Dover from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. drugs or alcohol allowed. Pets are welVendors are welcome with any train memorabilia, trains, accessories, baseball come on a leash, but bring baggies to clean up after them. cards, crafts, comic books, coins, crafts, Visit or antiques, die-cast cars or any other call Dock Green Silverhawk at 763-2118. hobby or collectible related items you may be interested in selling. Six ft. tables 41st Annual BOPC (Buick Olds cost $20 each. Call Joe at 727-244-1341 Pontiac or visit www.regalrailCadillac) Car to buy a table Show And Swap online.

Silverhawk Native American Flute Gathering And Arts And Craft Show


The 41st Annual BOPC Car Show and Swap Meet with all years, makes Plant City resident and models of Dock Green Silverhawk Buicks, will host his 16th annual Dock Green Oldsmobiles, Silverhawk Native Silverhawk will host his 16th Silverhawk American Flute Native American Flute Gathering and Pontiacs and Arts and Craft Show on October 19-20. Cadillacs will be Gathering and Arts and held on Saturday, Craft Show on Saturday October 26 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., at and Sunday, October 19-20, at Downtown City Park on 119 W. Park St. Withlacoochee River Park on 12449 in Auburndale. Withlacoochee Blvd. in Dade City from 9

A charity auction and 50/50 raffle will benefit Florida Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. The show’s sponsor is the Olds Club of Florida. All swap meet items need to be displayed on vendor provided tables. Free admission for spectators, and a $25 fee for car exhibitors. Awards will be given for the top 10 of each class. Visit for the registration form and flyer.

Spooktober-Fest Benefits Needy Veterans

The Knights of Columbus Assembly 1850 from Nativity Parish will sponsor Spooktober-Fest, a fundraiser where all proceeds go to purchasing turkey dinners (with all of the sides) for needy veterans in the area. Through the help of the Veterans Administration Volunteer Services (VAVS) identifying veteran families, we provide a turkey and all of the sides needed to make a Thanksgiving Day meal. Spooktober-fest will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 7-10 p.m. at the Eagles Club, located at 1850 Front St. in Valrico. Tickets cost $10 each ($5 for children) and are required for admission. The price includes a brat or hot dog meal. For more information or tickets, call Larry at 476-2406 and leave a message.

Estate Sale At Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan, a nonprofit Christian ministry, opened its doors on 10 acres in May 1984 to serve those in need in the community. Recently, it streamlined into a mobile ministry and is no longer in need of much of the existing equipment, tools, furniture or other items. An estate sale will be held as a result of this transition. Treasures include furniture, antiques and collectibles and tools; preschool furniture, equipment supplies and playground equipment; commercial kitchen

(stainless steel) equipment, 10-burner gas stove with ovens and three-compartment commercial sink; a 1940 fixer-upper ‘Cracker-style’ house; and more. It will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19 and October 25 and 26, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Good Samaritan is located at 14920 Balm Wimauma Rd. in Wimauma. Call 480-1118.

Keep On Kicking Event To Help With Clothes And Shoes For Needy

Clothes To Kids (CTK) is kicking off a new drive for much needed shoes. ‘Keep On Kicking Partner.’ CTK distributes over 12,000 pairs of shoes during the year. ‘Kick One Back’ for Clothes to Kids – a Shoe Event will be held on Thursday, October 24 from 7-9 p.m. Join in for a fun evening of networking, food and drinks at the Rialto Theater on 1617 N. Franklin St. in Tampa. Kick One Back will help raise awareness and funds needed in order to give each child who shops at Clothes To Kids a bag brimming with clothes and shoes that fit. Get your ticket to the Kick One Back event at

International Folk Fair Returns To Vinoy Park

SPIFFS 45th Annual International Folk Fair will be held from Thursday to Sunday, October 24-27, at Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg. The four-day festival showcases food and culture from 36+ ethnic organizations, each representing immigrants from nations across the globe. The groups will unite in a Grand Parade of Nations, culminating in a swearing-in ceremony of new American citizens. SPIFFS International Folk Fair transforms St. Petersburg’s waterfront into a microcosm of the world, with a multitude of ethnic crafts, arts, food, cooking demonstrations and special entertainment. For more information, visit

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October 2019

Page 19

Valrico Edition

The Angel Foundation Sponsors Luncheon For Community Leaders


The Area’s #1 Choice for Assisted Living

By Amanda Boston

On Thursday, Dr. Alessandro September 12, the Anzalone, the Angel Foundation held Interim Campus a luncheon for commuPresident at HCC nity leaders at The Brandon Campus, Regent. More than 40 was the guest community leaders speaker for the leadfrom local businesses, ership spotlight. He nonprofits and the shared experiences school board gathered in his current and together to network Dr. Alessandro Anzalone, the Interim past positions Campus President HCC Brandon and encourage one imparting wisdom Campus, was the guest speaker at another to make a difand valuable lessons the Luncheon for Community ference in the commulearned over the Leaders. nity. years. Additionally, each table was proThe Angel Foundation’s mission is vided with a leadership quote to dis“to partner with businesses and individcuss and apply to real-life scenarios. uals to be a caring resource for families "We have amazing leaders in this in our community experiencing tempocommunity, and we want to bring rary crisis due to a life-threatening illeveryone together to meet the needs ness or catastrophic event.” It matches of others," said Shannon Keil, the families with Angel Teams made up of Angel Foundation’s new president, local business owners and volunteers "We are not just a resource for who can provide the assistance needBrandon but for other surrounding ed. communities." "This luncheon is the first of many," Keil announced the Angel said Liz Brewer, the executive director Foundation’s vision to expand outside of the Angel Foundation. "We felt that of the Greater Brandon Area, calling it there was an opportunity to invite com‘Angel in a Box.' The nonprofit will munity leaders who couldn't get out of assist other surrounding communities their offices on a monthly basis but in Florida with establishing their own would attend a quarterly event.” Angel Foundation. Brewer continued, “We want to The next luncheon is scheduled share with our community some new for January. If you would like to get initiatives being done here at the founinvolved in the Angel Foundation or dation and second, to have a ‘leaderattend these luncheons, visit ship’ emphasis and spotlight a business or call leader that will share their insight and 689-6889. The Angel Foundation is how they have been successful in busi- located at 1210 Millennium Parkway, ness.” Suite 2010 in Brandon.

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Page 20

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

AARP And SouthShore Regional Library To Host Free Caregiver Open House

Toxic Algae Blooms Linked To Dog Deaths By Dr. Jennifer Challenger DVM, MPH

You may have heard about pet dogs getting sick and even dying soon after swimming in neighborhood ponds and lakes. These illnesses and deaths have been attributed to toxic algae in the waters. This is by no means a new threat. Algae blooms are common when weather is warmest. Similar to the algae causing red tide on our coasts, bacteria are also causing havoc in our fresh bodies of water. Due to the changing climate, the number of occurrences and intensity of toxic algae blooms in our waters are expected to increase. According to the Environmental Working Group, 2019 is seeing a recordbreaking number of algae blooms when compared to the years prior. Warmer bodies of water combined with lawn and farm nutrient runoff stimulates the growth of algae and triggers the production of toxin. Symptoms of toxic algae exposure seen in pets vary depending on what algae they are exposed to. In some cases, dogs exhibit neurologic symptoms (staggering, drooling or suffering seizures) minutes after exposure. Others may show signs of liver and gastrointestinal damage (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, not wanting to eat) later in the day. In either case, poisoning may be fatal to your pet.

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If you are profit industries the caregiver to help line), an adult family Hillsborough member and County Adult Day want to learn Care Services and about resources Taoist Tai Chi available to you, Society of come to the Brandon—will SouthShore speak at the event, Regional Library beginning at 10:30 in Ruskin on a.m. At the end of Friday, each speaker, November 1 there will be a The AARP, with the help of volunteers like these from 10 a.m. to 2 shown here, will host a free Caregiving Open drawing for a spep.m. AARP and cial caregiver House at the SouthShore Regional Library in Ruskin on Friday, November 1. the SouthShore prize. Attendees Regional Library will host a free open must be present to win. house. In addition to the speakers, an addiThe event, intended for adults who tional 20 organizations will host tables are the family caregivers for other adults, and be available to provide information will offer information on the many on resources to attendees. These resources available for caregivers as include Meals on Wheels, Tax Aid, well as programs and opportunities for Sunshine Line Transportation and more. stress reduction. The Brain Bus from the Alzheimer’s Organizers request that attendees Association will also be parked in the register by calling 877-926-8300 or visitlibrary’s lot. ing online at The AARP is no longer the American Association for Retired ouse110119. Light snacks will be offered Persons. The current name is AARP, at the event. Real Possibilities. Any adult 18 years old Dr. Sue Stein, an AARP volunteer and above can join. and co-chair for the event, said, "AARP The SouthShore Regional Library is and the Hillsborough County Library located at 15816 Beth Shields Way in System want to provide events like this Ruskin. to help family caregivers become aware If you are unable to attend the of the many resources offered by govNovember 1 open house, the AARP ernmental agencies, AARP and nonprofit offers periodic 90-minute workshops organizations." which are free for the public to attend. Representatives from four groups— For more information, please visit Bay Area Legal Services, Shine (a

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By Kathy L. Collins

Immediate veterinary treatment is essential to saving your pet’s life from algae toxin poisoning. Unfortunately, there are no specific cures. They will need to be intensely medically managed for their specific symptoms. To reduce your dog’s risk of being exposed to toxic algae, keep your dog on a leash to prevent her from jumping into a body of water that may have the poisonous bacteria. Keep your dog away from bodies of water that looks slimy or has foam or scum on its surface. Also, avoid bodies of water that have a foul smell or if it has a strange color, like blue, bright green, brown or red. If you think your pet has been exposed to toxic algae, remove them from the source immediately and rinse them off thoroughly with clean water. Make sure to rinse their mouth as well. Monitor for the symptoms mentioned above. It is recommended to take your pet to the veterinarian immediately even if symptoms are not seen right away. Getting ahead of symptoms preventively will always result in a better prognosis when compared to treating a symptomatic pet. Until a permanent solution is found to control algae blooms and their affects, we must remain vigilant on our pets’ exposure to contaminated waters. To find out more information on the toxic effects of Algal blooms and what you can do to minimize your risks, visit


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October 2019

Valrico Edition

Cirque du Soleil AXEL Is Back on Ice With New Experience

Staff Report

young man and his dynamic group of friends, whose passion for live music and graphic arts come to life in an exhilarating adventure that reminds us all that our dreams are within reach. Discover this young artist as he falls for the fascinating Lei in a high speed chase for love and self-realizaCirque du Soleil AXEL is the group’s second creation combining acrobatics and live music on ice. You can tion. Get lifted by the electrifysee it at Amalie Arena from Thursday, October 31 through Sunday, November 3. ing experience of Cirque du Cirque du Soleil is proud to Soleil AXEL, with stunning performancannounce its return on ice with a new cre- es that blend ice-skating, acrobatics and ation that will spin you into the vibrant live music will leave all audiences world of Cirque du Soleil AXEL. This astounded. unique experience will showcase worldCirque du Soleil AXEL is the 48th class acrobatic skating performances set original production of Cirque du Soleil, in fantastical universes combining fullpart of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment spectrum visual effects and awesome live Group, and its second on-ice experimusic that seamlessly integrates popular ence. songs with new original scores. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Cirque du Soleil AXEL will be preGroup is a world leader in live entertainsented at the Amalie Arena, 401 ment. On top of producing worldChannelside Dr. in Tampa, for seven perrenowned circus arts shows, the formances only starting October 31. Canadian organization brings its cre“The success of our first creation on ative approach to a large variety of ice has reinforced our ambition to further entertainment forms such as multimedia explore the extensive creative possibilities productions, immersive experiences, of a frozen playground,” said Daniel theme parks and special events. Fortin, Vice President AXEL will run: Thursday and Friday, Creation. “With Cirque du Soleil October 31 and November 1 at 7:30 AXEL, we will offer a truly electrifying p.m., Saturday, November 2 at 11:30 experience to all audiences, pushing the a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. and boundaries of creativity with the unique Sunday, November 3 at 1 and 5 p.m. approach that has forged the reputation More information and tickets are of Cirque du Soleil.” available at or Embark on the journey of Axel, a visit

Page 21

Duo Starts Adaptive Bra Business That Brings Comfort & Hope To Cancer Patients

By Karin Davis-Thompson

Katerina those who have had a Rosenberg and mastectomy and use Susan Bonagura are prosthetics. true examples of the Today, the duo has saying “necessity is created 21 styles. the mother of invenNineteen of those styles tion.” When include an insert that Bonagura was diagallows the use of a prosnosed with breast thetic. The bras are covcancer and began ered by several insurance chemotherapy, she carriers, and they are found that many even using overlays over undergarments, the base of the garment to especially bras, no vary the style and look longer met her without comneeds. promising Susan Bonagura and Katerina Rosenberg host pop up shops “The bras on comfort. the area to promote the market felt rough throughout The bras the apparel line they began and irritated my are made after Bonagura’s breast cancer diagnosis. skin,” she said. “It without was a necessity for me, but I couldn’t find underwire and clasps and are designed anything. It was hard.” to stay on the shoulders without the need After sharing her frustration with her to adjust the strap. Sizes range from extra friend, Rosenberg, the two came up with small to 4XL. Most users would purchase an idea—to make adaptive clothing that the same size for the bra as they do for meets the needs of women trying to lead their clothing. normal lives while battling cancer. Bonagura said the response to the “I had the manufacturing background, product has been inspiring and exciting. and we became an LLC in September of Along with online purchases, Pink Lift is last year,” Rosenberg said. set to become a preferred vendor with They started with bras and looked for Moffitt Cancer Center. A hospital in materials that were soft and comfortable. Atlanta is also reviewing Pink Lift and After making a prototype and talking with considering a partnership. other women having the same struggle, “This journey has been amazing,” the two realized they were on to someBonagura said. “We are also talking with thing. a few boutiques and may begin selling They started Pink Lift and worked the bras in stores in October.” with prosthetic specialists to make sure To learn more about the company or their bras were comfortable and suitable to make a purchase online, visit www.pinfor women enduring chemotherapy and

Page 22

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival One Event, Combining Food, Fun, Art

By Kelly Wise Valdes

The first-ever combined event, SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival, will be debuting Saturday-Sunday, November 23 at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin.

The firstever combined event, SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival, will be debuting Saturday-Sunday, November 2-3 at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. This family-friendly event will bring together the tasty delights of the Seafood Festival along with arts and crafts, live entertainment and so much more. “We are excited to announce that the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce has decided to merge our spring arts festival with our fall seafood festival, creating the SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival,” said Melanie Rimes, president of the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce. “We are bringing the Ruskin Seafood Festival and the Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts together as one dynamic SouthShore event.” The SouthShore Seafood Festival was the largest festival in Hillsborough

County, attracting more than 15,000 attendees each year. Now, this new combined event is thought to draw more than 30,000 guests looking for delicious seafood vendors, amazing artists, kids’ activities as well as live musical entertainment. There will be more than 150 vendors in this new combined festival. “We are excited to bring the community an even bigger and better festival,” said Rimes. “It's a lot of work planning these events (seven-nine months each) and this will allow us to plan our one huge event and then go back to focusing on the day-to-day chamber business.” There is a $2 entry fee per carload to E.G. Simmons Park. This fee is not per person—it is per carload and goes directly to Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation. Admission to the festival is $5 per adult and children under 12 years old are free. Active military are free with military ID. The SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival will be held at E.G. Simmons Park, located at 2401 19th Ave. NW in Ruskin, on Saturday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, November 3 from to 5 p.m. For information, visit, email or call 645-1366.

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October 2019

Page 23

Valrico Edition

Local Resident Authors Book About His Life Story After Taking Library Workshop

By Kathy L. Collins

Everyone has a life Later in life, they may add story. Some people are volumes for their own jourcompelled to write about neys.” their life story. Some, like When asked what he Jerry Humphrey, have wants readers to know even written complete about him and his book, books and had them pubHumphrey said, “Hope is in lished. our natural family on earth Humphrey took the and our family of God in the Life Story Writing Body of Christ. It was a Workshop offered at the blessing for our family to Bloomingdale Regional stay the course together in Library a few years ago. According to Jerry Humphrey unity as one, regardless of of Valrico, “Everyone has a our daily challenges.” His book, Heritage & life story to tell. Just do it.” Hope, has now been Humphrey conducted Humphrey took the Life Story Writing Workshop at the published and is availextensive research to write Bloomingdale Library. able on Amazon for just his book. He utilized many $10 plus tax and delivery. sources, including historical articles from Humphrey explained that his book the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the “Includes history, family, biography, nostal- Tampa Tribune). In addition, his youngest gia, truth, redemption in Christ and purbrother, Donald, provided extensive family pose. It is the memoirs of a 75-year-old genealogy research for the book. native Floridian’s nostalgic years in Humphrey will have a book signing Eastern Hillsborough County during the during the Annual Pioneer Heritage Day ‘40s and ‘50s and the ‘New South’ in the on Saturday, November 9 from 9 a.m. to ‘60s. His known family history extends 3 p.m. at the East Hillsborough Historical from the mid-1700s in an evolving Society located in the 1914 Plant City America.” High School Community Center at 605 N. Humphrey was born on September Collins St. in Plant City. Book readings 16, 1943. He was home delivered into a are also being scheduled. large family living in Dover, Florida in the You can contact Humphrey at midst of World War II. He graduated from Auburn University and is retired from a The award-winning Life Story Writing career in construction estimating. He and Workshops are sponsored by the Friends his wife, Karen, recently celebrated their of the Library. The workshops will once 50th anniversary. again be offered sometime in January Humphrey explained that he was 2020 at the Bloomingdale Regional prompted to write Heritage & Hope so Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale that “Our future generations will have a Ave. in Valrico. record of our family history and heritage. For information, visit

Local Clinic Receives Funding From CVS Health Foundation

By Kathy L. Collins

The Outreach instructions on how Clinic was one of to apply for these seven free clinics programs and most across Florida to of them cannot follow receive funding from through the compliCVS Health cated application Foundation. The process due to barrigrant is a part of the ers facing the low CVS Health income. These Foundation's ongoing include lack of comeffort to make quality puters, printers or fax The Outreach Clinic has been providing machines and generhealthcare convenmuch needed healthcare to uninsured ient and affordable for al understanding of residents for 30 years. more Americans. the complicated guidelines." The Outreach Clinic, located in "We kept seeing the same patients Brandon, received $20,000 to create a getting discharged from the hospital. We Medical Home Placement and soon realized that that they could not Management Program that will allow case complete the process for eligibility. Since managers to identify and assist newly dis- they were unable to get approved, they charged hospital patients in managing the continued to have no access to healthchallenges uninsured patients often face care and continue to come to our clinic," when placed into a medical home. said Meegan. Deborah Meegan, the executive "This program allows our case mandirector of The Outreach Clinic, said, agers to assist individuals with the appli"This program will focus on the complicat- cations, thereby increasing the approval ed challenges uninsured patients have rate and allowing them to access a medwhen they are discharged from the hospi- ical home and expedite the ongoing care tal. It will allow case managers to identify they need to manage their health; it and assist patients in the completion of allows us to save our resources for online and phone applications for patients who are not eligible for services Medicaid, Social Security Disability and elsewhere," added Meegan. Hillsborough County Heath Care while The Outreach Clinic is a local being cared for at our clinic." resource that is vitally needed in the comMeegan added, "Timely placement munity. Approximately 15 percent of indiinto an appropriate medical home would viduals living in Hillsborough County do facilitate follow up care and reduce readnot have health insurance. mission to the hospital while improving The Outreach Clinic is located at 517 health outcomes for these individuals." N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon and has Meegan explained why this program been serving the community for 30 years. is needed. "Currently, patients are given Please visit

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Page 24

Valrico Edition

Volume 16, Issue 10

In This Section


TOUR OF 61 NATIONAL PARKS ......PG 28 WOLFE’S PRODUCE ........................PG 31 CHALKLINES....................................PG 32 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 34 October 2019

Volume 16, Issue 10

Bottle Engraving At AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors

Ph: 657-2418


Campo YMCA Focuses On Keeping All Ages Active And Engaged

AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors will The Campo Family YMCA is pleased host an engraving event on to welcome Angela Fulgieri as its new Tuesday, November 26 from 6-9 program director of senior health and p.m. well-being. In this role, Fulgieri will work The engraving can be done on with the community’s ever-expanding the following items: Woodford active older adult population, helping Reserve from 375ml and up; Jack grow current offerings while also developEnjoy a trip on the Little Daniel’s Single Barrel 375ml and ing new and innovative senior proManatee River with Latitudes 750ml, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel gramming. Tours in Ruskin. It will celebrate AJs Fine Wine & Liquors Rye 375ml and 750ml, Jack its one-year anniversary on Fulgieri brings with her a wealth Angela Fulgieri engraving. Sunday, October 20. Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel proof of experience having served as the has just been We are espeas Campo 375ml and 750ml and Jack Daniel’s wellness experience director for the home, Tropical named YMCA’s new program cially appreciative of the local support. We Sinatra Select 1L. Plant City Family YMCA for the past two Escapes is director of senior health and even have a number of repeat customers You are welcome to purchase items years. Her time at the Plant City Y resultwell-being. your premier who bring their visiting family." from the store ahead of time and bring outdoor contractor, specializing in swim- ed in new community partnerships, While onboard, you will encounter your receipt to have the bottle engraved increased member retention and expandming pool construction. Some of the various local and migratory birds, dolthat evening. These make great holiday ed personal training. Prior to that, Angela many additional services offered are phin pods, manatees, rays and more gifts as well as a nice host/hostess gifts began working for the Tampa spas, fire pits, rockwork and water feawhile hearing about the rich history of for Thanksgiving celebrations. Metropolitan Area YMCA years ago as a tures. the area. The 36’ tour boat offers covAJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors is located Welcome Center representative, group The latest technology is used as ered/cushioned seating and onboard at 3443 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. well as innovative building methods. You exercise instructor and wellness coordinarestroom. Optional meals and drinks are For more information, call 654-6488 or tor. will receive the one-on-one attention available on each cruise. visit on Facebook. “As we age, it is increasingly imporneeded during Reservations are required. tant to stay active and exercise regularly,” any major conLatitudes Tours is located Latitudes Tours Celebrates One Year said Fulgieri. “From group exercise and struction project. at 580 Bahia Beach Blvd. in Latitudes Tours will celebrate one Tropical Escapes pickleball to potlucks and chronic disease Ruskin. For more information, year on Sunday, October 20. It offers prevention, the Y is committed to providlikes to be concall 641-1311, email Info@latiguided ecotours and sunset cruises ing fundamental health and social activisidered a local swimming pool boutique which are perfect for all ages. The captain or visit www.latitudesties that contribute to older adults living a providing more quality, less volume. and naturalist are expert guides who will healthier and more fulfilling life.” Hours are Monday to Friday from 7 take you on an exploration of the Little She will work with the YMCA of the a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m.-5 Tropical Escapes Pool Builders Manatee River and nearby nature preUSA and institutional experts to develop p.m. and it is closed on Sunday. For Offers Boutique-Style Service serve. an overreaching strategy to serve the more information, call 474-2500 or visit If you are looking to build a beautiful Owner and Managing Director Nancy local senior population. With Fulgieri area where you can spend your time Lopez said, "We've had a phenomenal onboard, the Campo Y team is eager to relaxing in the comfort of your own response from the moment we opened. Continued on Next Page


It’s going to be a Wicked Good time at our Halloween Party!

October 26th • 8 PM - 3 AM

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Valrico Edition

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

By Michelle Colesanti

expand its positive impact in the Greater Brandon community.

Hess Orthodontics Holds Annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back To Benefit Troops

Hess Orthodontics will be holding its annual Halloween candy buy-back. For every pound of candy donated, you will receive $1. All candy collected will be donated to the troops via Operation Gratitude. Candy collections will take place on Friday, November 1 from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Riverview office, located at 11970 Boyette Rd., on Monday, November 4 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the FishHawk location at 16307 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia and in Parrish at 8312 US Hwy. 301 N. and on Wednesday, November 6 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Apollo Beach location at 421 Apollo Beach Blvd. and at the Riverview location. For more information, call 645-4377 or visit

industry, Eric Blankenship has joined the executive team for The Heights District, Armature Works and BE1 Concepts. It was announced by Chas Bruck, co-owner of The Heights District, Armature Works and BE1

Concepts. During his tenure as the vice president of marketing, Blankenship was responsible for the brand development, advertising, promotions, digital marketing, digital media, social media, live events, creative services and retail marketing for the Tampa Bay Lightning. “We are very excited to acquire someone with the experience, relationships and track record for success that Eric has in this market,” commented Bruck. “Eric led efforts to develop one of the most-admired brands in the Tampa Bay area and we look forward to his leadership as we look to elevate Eric Blankenship Named some already-strong Chief Marketing Officer Eric Blankenship has joined local brands into someFor The Heights District, the executive team for The thing even bigger.” Heights District, Armature Armature Works & BE1 In his newly created Works and BE1 Concepts. role, Blankenship will be Concepts After over five years with the responsible for the brand development, Tampa Bay Lightning and over 20 advertising, promotions, digital marketyears in the sports and entertainment ing, digital media, social media, special

Volume 16, Issue 10

events and creative servicnity. Since leaving PHFL, es across all three busiCunningham successfully ness units—The Heights maintained his recovery and District, Armature Works eventually became a house and BE1 Concepts. manager at Real Recovery, a “I’m extremely fortusober living home in Brandon nate and excited to join an where he is still employed as organization that continuthe program administrator. ally brings people together “Here I am able to give in memorable ways,” comback and help guys transition mented Eric Blankenship. back to life without drugs and “I look forward to being alcohol. Many of the life skills Keller Williams Realtor part of a team of individuSteve Moran was the I still used today can be als so committed to mak- number one single agent traced back to the many in July. ing the Tampa Bay area a groups I took at Phoenix better place to live, work and play.” House Florida,” stated Cunningham. Born and raised in Tampa, For more information, visit Blankenship graduated from Jesuit School and from the University of da. South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Blankenship is Realtor Steve Moran Has Record married and resides in Tampa with his Sales Month wife, McKenzie; son, Jackson; and Keller Williams Suburban Tampa daughter, Isabella. is proud to announce that Steve Visit was the number one single ship74/. agent in July. Moran had a record month with Phoenix House over $3.6 million in closed Florida’s Holds volume for July 2019. He Annual was recently recognized as Celebration of the No. 3 single agent in Recovery the North Florida Region Phoenix House Florida (PHFL) out of 6,625 realtors. Moran stated, recently hosted its Annual Celebration "We are definitely blessed to receive of Recovery. The celebration is held recognition from Keller each year to recognize patients’ hard Williams…considering $3.6 million in work and success in recovery. a month is more than I did my entire Phoenix House Florida holds the event first year 27 years ago…is quite an every year in September to commemo- accomplishment. We have been rate National Recovery Month. blessed over the years because 90 John Cunningham, a graduate of percent of our business is from past Phoenix House Florida, received the client/friends." Celebration of Recovery Alumni of the Moran can be reached at realtorYear Award for his inspirational story or 661-2476 and leadership in the recovery commu- (office).

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October 2019

Valrico Edition

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Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Newsome High School Grads Blog About Lifestyle Tour Of 61 National Parks

By Kate Quesada

Lauren and Steven Keys logged more than 34,000 miles in their van in seven months earlier this year, but they saw some pretty amazing sites while doing it. The couple, both of whom grew up in the Brandon area and graduated from Newsome High School, visited all of the United States’ 61 national parks between January and August without spending a significant amount of money. They detailed their journey, with tips and suggestions for readers, on their blog, Trip of a Lifestyle. “We love to travel and this was something that we have always wanted to do,” said Lauren, who left her job before the trip but was able to develop a photography and freelance business while on the road. “We hope that by sharing our experience on our blog we can inspire other people to follow their own similar goals.” The Keys, who are high school sweethearts, left Florida on January 7 in their Nissan NV200 cargo van, which they equipped with a full-size bed. Their plan was to stay in the warmer states throughout the winter and move northward as the weather warmed up. “That was a good plan in theory,” said Steven. “But between the fact that it was a really cold winter and the government shut down, which meant that we couldn’t access some of the parks when we planned to, we had to be flexible.”

Their trip ing,” said took them Steven. “We 34,000 miles in plan and save their van, which far in advance they drove to so that even Alaska in June, though we keep and on multiple our expenses flights, including low, we have a chartered bush buffer to fall flights, and boat back on if necrides to accomessary. Our savplish their goal ings give us the of seeing every freedom to realone of the ly make our parks. goals a reality.” Budgeting Lauren and and making Steven share good financial Lauren and Steven Keys visited all 61 United States many of their choices are very national parks between January and August this year. financial tips, They detailed their experiences on their blog and important to the and even hope to inspire others to take similar trips. Keys, who expense describe themselves as diligent savers. reports, on their blog and found ways to “Whenever we take a trip like this, continue to make an income, mostly by our goal is for it [to] cost us next to nothtaking freelance jobs, while on the road.


They encourage anyone interested in traveling to plan and save in advance, but say that although a significant savings account is helpful, it is not necessary. The blog also contains details about their time in each park, along with fun and artistic shots from each area. “I made it a goal to get one really fantastic image from each park,” said Lauren, who has developed a business offering photography at weddings and events since returning from the

When asked which of the parks was their favorite, the Keys were easily able to answer thanks to a ranked list they put together on their trip taking into account three main factors. “We looked at three things in deciding how to rank the parks,” said Lauren. “We started with the ‘Wow Factor,’ meaning how much the park amazed us; but also took into consideration the ‘Fun Factor,’ what there was to do there; and the ‘Solitude Factor,’ because we found ourselves really enjoying the places that let us get away and have time to ourselves to think.” To learn more about the Keys’ trip, follow their blog at Visit to see and purchase photographs from the trip. Use the coupon code BACKFX at the checkout to receive a discount until Friday, November 15.

October 2019

Church Offers Assistance Post Addiction

By Amanda Boston

Dr. Young said, “I want men who want to be discipled, follow God and have expressed a spiritual interest—not ‘I need to get off the street.’” Volunteers operate the Vocational Church ministry. For $300 a month, ex-addicts can reside on the property, which houses 15 beds. The caveat—he must stay clean. There is zero tolerance for drug abuse. Vocational Church ministers to men who are post “The men are free to come addiction both spiritually and vocationally. and go as long as they come Why do many addicts relapse after a back sober,” said Dr. Young. “This is a drug rehabilitation program? Some say post addiction place that helps them get it’s emotional triggers; others believe it’s their act together.” their environment or the duration of the The $300 goes toward the property’s addiction. Others will reason that it’s mortgage. A house mother purchases unresolved mental issues, unemployfood and prepares meals using the ment or all the above. men’s EBT card (food stamps). For those After spending time ministering to residents still seeking employment, he is drug addicts through the Salvation Army not charged the $300. Sponsorship helps Adult Rehabilitation Center, local resident offset this cost until he obtains employDr. Charles Young recognized a void ment. Every man is assigned a personal regarding post addiction support and mentor from Bell Shoals Baptist Church, care. To fill the gap, he founded and he is required to attend three Bible Vocational Church in 2016. The nonprofit studies weekly. The Bible studies are ministry is for men who have already taught mainly by Dr. Young, but other completed a rehabilitation program, and teachers are rotated in for variety. its mission is to “help struggling men Four men have successfully transibecome spiritually and vocationally baltioned out of the program. Currently, 12 anced.” men are in the program with good jobs Dr. Young’s ministry experience and are working toward restoring their spans over four decades with him servlives. ing in multiple roles ranging from senior Vocational Church is located in pastor to missionary and corporate chapValrico. More information and ways to lain to licensed clinical chaplain. Using help can be found at www.vocationhis unique background and credentials, Dr. Young’s book Post Dr. Young reaches these ex-addicts Addiction Restoration is available on through spiritual mentoring, vocational Amazon. For questions, email training and physical needs.

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Page 29

Valrico Edition

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Page 30

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Local Tom Gallo Law Firm Has Been Part Of The Community For 14 Years

By Libby Hopkins

Winston Churchill cies and computerized once said, “We make receptionists,” Gallo said. a living by what we “People yearn for the days get. We make a life by when they were able to what we give.” Tom talk face-to-face to a carGallo has been making human being. People ing a living and his life do not want to be lectured for 14 years in the to or talked down to. I take Brandon community. the time to have a converGallo is an attorney sation with clients, learning and own of Tom Gallo us much as I can about Law in Valrico. them, as individuals with The mission of Tom Gallo Law “My beautiful wife hopes, dreams, goals and firm in Valrico is to educate clients and I have been mar- about the importance of planning fears before we even for their future. ried for 30 years,” begin to talk about their Gallo said. “We have two grown sons, legal needs. As a firm, we try our best to who both live in Hillsborough County, and make the clients relaxed and comfortable we have three beautiful granddaughters, when they are visiting us.” ranging from age 7 to 6 months.” Gallo’s law firm offers a variety of Gallo attended Rutgers as an under- legal services, which include wills and graduate and William and Mary Law trusts, elder law, probate, guardianships School. “I have practiced in Valrico and and asset protection. Brandon since 2005, and I have always “I enjoy the interaction with people, found it to be a friendly, welcoming comlearning about them and their experimunity,” Gallo said. “It has a great mixences and most of all, the satisfaction of ture of young and old folks from all parts seeing the smiles on their faces when we of the country. Even though it is a growhave helped them reach their goals,” ing area, it has a ‘small town’ feeling, Gallo said. “We have a great team at the where people can feel they are a part of firm, who all realize that we are there to a community.” serve our clients and that the clients are His law firm’s mission is to educate the true bosses. We provide a comfortclients about the importance of planning able environment for clients to make it for their future and that of their families easier for them to make some of the and to help them understand the documost difficult decisions that they will ever ments that they will need to do so, with have to make in their lives.” simple and straight forward language, in For more information, visit www.toma friendly, family environment. or contact Gallo for a free “I have found that most people are consultation at 815-4529. Tom Gallo Law frustrated by continually having to deal is located at 2240 Lithia Center Ln. in with large corporations, major bureaucra- Valrico.

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Page 31

Valrico Edition

Gather Family For Fall Fun & Hayrides At Wolfe’s Family Produce

Your Questions Answered Regarding Benefits Of Prescribed Burns

The corner of the last three weekBloomingdale and ends in October— US Hwy. 301 will Friday through Sunday, once again be October 11-13, 18-20 transformed into a and 25-27 from 6:30perfect family fall 9:30 p.m. The hayrides gathering place as will also take place on Wolfe’s Family two ‘bonus nights’ right Produce becomes before Halloween on home to one of the Tuesday and area’s largest Wednesday, pumpkin patches. October 28 and This, along with its 29, from 6:30-8:30 famous Halloween Hayrides p.m. There will be on its 13 acres, promises fun free candy and for the entire family. you are welcome The owners are twin to wear your cosbrothers Jeff and Jonathan tume. Hayrides Wolfe. The pair graduated are $7 per perWolfe’s Produce, located at 6005 Riverview High School in son. US Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview. 2003, and both were The pumpkin involved with the agriculture and 4-H propatch is open every day from October 1grams. The brothers have run this great 31 from 8:30 a.m. to closing time. family-owned business since May 2008. Pumpkins are received in split loads all Year-round, they manage and run the through the month. That way, when you stand offering fresh produce, hot boiled purchase your pumpkin, you will have peanuts, honey and other products from better choices of size and they will be local vendors. fresh. This will be the 10th year that the Jeff said, “We get a huge selection brothers have offered the hayrides in with all shapes and sizes available from addition to the pumpkin patch, and they mini to monster-sized pumpkins.” Jeff and are proud of the business they have creJonathan are both married with children ated. Each year, more decorations and and are proud to be building their familylights are added to the trail. owned business alongside their families. “We have 13 acres of trails and thouWolfe’s Produce is open from 8:30 sands of pumpkins to choose from, and it a.m.-7 p.m. beginning on Thursday, is great to see all the families come October 1 and is located at 6005 US Hwy. through,” said Jeff. “We offer fresh pro301 S. in Riverview (on the corner of 301 duce and local products for families.” and Bloomingdale Ave.). Call 927-2203 or The hayrides are scheduled to run 927-2204 for more information.

Setting prescribed system database, fires in controlled setnatural community tings can reduce the data and site knowlrisk of wildfires burning edge to develop an out of control, as many annual burn plan for Floridians witnessed District-managed during the state’s wildconservation lands. fire emergency in 2017. Land managers Chris Reed, land mandetermine what areas agement manager for to burn based on the Southwest Florida habitat type, time Water Management since the last fire on District, explained why that property and the District’s prescribed weather conditions. burn efforts are critical Q: What are the to keeping Florida’s benefits of a preecosystem in balance. scribed burn? Chris Reed, land management manager for the Southwest Florida Q: What is a preA: There are Water Management District. scribed burn? many benefits to A: A prescribed burn, also known burning, most importantly reducing the as a prescribed fire or a controlled risk of a catastrophic wildfire posing a burn, is a fire intentionally ignited by risk to neighbors and firefighters. land managers to meet specific land Additional benefits of prescribed fire management goals. The burns follow a include promoting plant diversity, written prescription which outlines: the improving wildlife and grazing habitat, defined fire treatment area, goals of preserving fire-dependent species, the burn, specific weather conditions controlling forest insects and diseases that are required, the tactics staff will and improving recreational access. use and the resources that are Q: How much District property is required to conduct the burn. burned each year? Additionally, a smoke management A: The District conducts prescribed map is prepared to identify smoke sen- fires on approximately 30,000 acres sitive areas, which are places where each year. The most common Florida smoke from prescribed fires is intolera- natural community habitats historically ble, like schools and hospitals. burn every two to four years. District Q: Why does the Southwest staff attempts to mimic this same interFlorida Water Management District val and base goals on burning areas conduct prescribed burns? once every four years, while burning A: Nearly every natural community more frequently when possible. The in Florida is shaped by fire. Plants and District works closely with the Florida other vegetation accumulate quickly in Forest Service and must receive a daythese natural systems if they are not of burn authorization from the Florida burned routinely. District land manForest Service for every prescribed agers conduct prescribed burns to burn. reduce this vegetative fuel buildup, Q: How do you notify the public which decreases the risk of catastroph- about prescribed burns? ic wildfires. Other common prescribed A: The District’s Land Management fire objectives include promoting plant Section notifies county and municipal diversity, enhancing or maintaining the fire departments, adjacent neighbors character and condition of wildlife habi- and recreationists as well as the tat, site preparation for planting pine Florida Turnpike Enterprise, the Florida trees and maintaining access for public Highway Patrol and/or other law recreation. enforcement agencies when appropriQ: How does the District plan ate. The District distributes news prescribed burns? releases quarterly to the media for A: District land management staff each county impacted and sends email takes great care to analyze the condiblasts to potentially impacted neighbortion of District properties and identify hood associations to alert them of fire the most appropriate areas to burn, as activity in their area. The District also well as the best time of year and under uses social media to spread the word what conditions to meet the burn goals. about active prescribed burns on an Staff uses a geographic information as-needed basis.

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Page 32

Valrico Edition

rrissey Ms. Mo Coach g Readin High n a Dur t ol Scho d By


Signature Wade

Ms. Karen Morrissey Teacher Of The Month

School District Solicits Input From Community About New Superintendent

By Brad Stager

was also cited. As for what attendees wanted in a new school leader, characteristics such as a collaborative management style and a commitment to conducting the district’s business with integrity and holding people accountable for their

a teacher? Why did you decide to become t to make a difference and wan I e aus I became a teacher bec to be educated, good citizens work with students of all ages g learners. I knew the day I in their community and life lon om and met my teacher, sro stepped into my 3rd grade clas passion, patience, humor Mrs. Bartoz, who was full of com that I wanted to be just like and a overall zest for learning Mrs. Bartoz (she even her when I grow up! Thank you attended my wedding!)

cher? What is a goal of yours as a tea be independent to ts den stu er I want to empow empathy learners, critical thinkers, show with the necm toward others and support the cessful on suc be to essary tools and resources takes is mis g kin Ma h. their own academic pat on ing ect refl s; ces pro g part of the learnin a you ke ma will it from g nin failure and lear of nce orta better learner; to value the imp CCEED! SU to AD RE ay… ryd eve g readin on away cati edu r No one can ever take you in ieve Bel s! star the from you, reach for Yourself!

A few dozen people attended a community forum at Bloomingdale High School to provide input about the hiring of a new superintendent for Hillsborough County schools.

Ms. Mo why? teacher rrissey has bee What is your favorite book and n for over a It's s. ety 24 yearsa Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sep . to gs brin t tha k boo ion fict al young adult historic ny ma do nor ut abo ed talk often light a piece of history that is not II. WW ing dur ut abo w kno people even

saying? What is your favorite quote or s 4:13 who strengthens me." Philippian Him ugh "I can do all things thro system? like to see changed in our school What is something you would uired and req e stat d to reduce the amount of imporI would change testing, we nee the all line am stre students. If we could test and recommended testing for out re mo n lear and rk wo s so students can n give ts tant facets of the different test studen ing options, would love to see t den less. I also want to change test Stu . based testing, especially for FSA an option, paper or computer s. choice and interest drives succes



The process of hiring a new superintendent to lead Hillsborough County’s public schools has begun, with the process including input from the public online and at community forums such as the one that took place on September 17 at Bloomingdale High School. A few dozen parents, school district employees and interested residents told a consultant hired by the district to facilitate the hiring process what they want to see in the new superintendent who will replace the departing Jeff Eakins. The meeting was facilitated by Sandi Gero of Ray and Associates, a company specializing in educational recruitment that is conducting the national search. Gero said hiring a new superintendent is a task that should not be undertaken casually. “It is the most important job your school board embarks upon.” While most of the meeting was devoted to collecting input regarding the qualities expected of a new superintendent, Gero began by asking the audience why someone from outside of the Tampa area would want to move here. The answers highlighted the district’s range of school—urban, suburban and rural—as well as the high quality of its teachers and staff who work in them. The variety of academic programs such as advanced placement courses and magnet schools

actions were mentioned. Some audience members said the ability to properly manage the district’s infrastructure, especially ensuring adequate air conditioning, is needed. Supporting and providing engaging educational opportunities to a diverse student population, in terms of race, socio-economic standing, gender/sexual orientation as well as physical and cognitive abilities, was also mentioned. Jacqueline Haynes, who is director of the district’s 50 achievement schools (schools identified as needing greater district support), said closing the gap between highachieving students and those who are struggling is important. “We have to level the playing field for our students.” Audience members were also invited to submit names of people who they thought would do a good job. The information gathered at community forums and online submissions will be presented to the school board in October, with the recruiting process expected to last to the end of 2019, and a new superintendent will be selected at the beginning of 2020, according to Gero.

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Volume 16, Issue 10

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October 2019

Page 33

Valrico Edition

Local Middle School Teacher Publishes Two Young Adult Books

By Libby Hopkins

Writers can be Eddie get into is a surprise inspired to write by to me when I write, and numerous things, but hopefully that feeling of when they are inspired suspense translates to the by a loved one, the reader.” words they put down Jordan has been told on paper have so his books are like The much more meaning to Hardy Boys and Journey to them. Scott Jordan is a the Center of the Earth technology teacher at combined. Barrington Middle “Reading teachers in School in Lithia. He is Maine and Florida have also a local author who told me that these books was inspired to write are especially interesting Scott Jordan is a technology by his mother and for boys who are reluctant teacher at Barrington Middle his wife. readers,” Jordan said. School in Lithia. He carved out time “I've always to write two young adult books in “They've told me there's the early mornings before school just enough adventure, been an avid reader and on the weekends. of science fiction and fighting and gore to keep fantasy books, and the characters in my boys interested, and enough strong books came to me a long time ago,” female character action to [keep] girls Jordan said. “My mother and wife interested as well.” encouraged me to pick up and complete If you ask Jordan what he likes the this story I began in the early 2000s.” most about writing, he’ll tell you that he Jordan is the author of two young never realized how much work is adult books titled, The Four Doors of Mt. involved in writing a 350-page book. Katart: Another Boone Boys Adventure “The editing and rewriting to make and The Curse of the Black Opals: the story flow seems never-ending at Boone Boys Adventures. times, but the reward of hearing positive “Both books follow the adventures of feedback makes the hard work worth it,” the teenage Boone brothers, Josh and Jordan said. “I'm currently taking a break Eddie,” Jordan said. “They decide to look writing book three of the Boone Brothers into the disappearance of a young boy in series, and I'm working on a murder the mines near their home in Missouri mystery detective novel set in the 90s in and get swept into a Below World full of Portland, Maine. That book should be monsters and creatures. In book one, published by the end of the year.” they have to struggle and fight through If you would like to read either one of this scary world, and in book two, they go Jordan’s books, they are available on back in to rescue someone left behind. Amazon or you can Sometimes the trouble that Josh and email Jordan at

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Page 34

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Meg Scott Exhibits Artwork At Library In Plant City Meg Scott, a resicommunity columnist dent of Plant City, is for The Tampa this month's featured Tribune. artist at the Bruton Scott is selfMemorial Library in taught and has taken downtown Plant City. only a few classes Scott has 17 pieces in here and there, but the exhibit she calls the artistic creativity "Faces, Places and she possesses is just Things." pure, raw talent. The exhibit is a Scott comes from collection of paintings a military family and done over the last has moved around a couple of years. lot. She and her husThe exhibit is band, a retired Army quite colorful and officer, moved to shows great techFlorida in 2004 to be nique. It is a lovely closer to family. They Plant City resident Meg Scott is the exhibit with a wide reside in Plant City featured artist at the Bruton variety of subject mat- Memorial Library in Plant City this along with their dog, month. The exhibit consists of 17 ter. Winston, who is pieces of art that Scott has created Scott said, "I con- over the years. You will see "Things, prominently dissider myself an amaplayed in the exhibit. Faces and Places" in her exhibit. teur, my own worst While Scott has critic, but that criticism drives me to only entered a few shows, such as do more, to keep improving. I was the Florida Strawberry Festival Fine happy to have our great library staff Arts Show, she has sold some of ask me to display some of my work." paintings. "Most of what I sold are Scott prefers to work with waterportraits of dogs and human beings, color or pastels. "Acrylics are my and most of them were through comdownfall," said Scott. She has been missions," explained Scott. painting since she was a child. "I had Scott's exhibit is available for a long career in public relations in viewing during the normal operating Texas and Europe and rarely had time hours of the library now through the to pursue painting. Once I retired after end of October. The Bruton Memorial teaching English (as an adjunct proLibrary is located at 302 McLendon fessor) at Hillsborough Community St. in historic downtown Plant City. College in Brandon, it became a If you are an artist and would like favorite thing to do (no stress)," said to have your art featured at the library, Scott. please visit the library's front desk and In addition, Scott worked as a request an application.

You Can See And Experience History At The 42nd Annual Pioneer Heritage Day Come out to historic Plant model train to ride courtesy of City on Saturday, November 9 the Robert W. Willaford for the 42nd Annual Pioneer Railroad Museum. Vendors Heritage Day from 9 a.m. to 3 will on hand selling everything p.m. The daylong, free festival from jams and jellies to clothis held at the historic 1914 ing, garden ornaments and Plant City High School candles. You will be able to Community Center, located at find lots of heritage crafts such 605 N. Collins St. in Plant as pine needle baskets, tatCity. ting, knitting, basket weaving, This year, the Plant folk arts and chair caning. Museum (located at the The Plant City Garden University of Tampa) is sponClub will host its annual juried soring ‘Mr. Henry Bradley flower show. The East Plant’ (Plant City’s nameHillsborough Art Guild will sake), who will greet visitors sponsor an Art Show and Sale to the festival. In addition, two as well as a special auction of live characters from the wooden slat chairs painted by museum’s member artists. There will be Upstairs/Downstairs at the a bake sale courtesy of the Tampa Bay Hotel will be at Quintilla Geer Bruton Archives the festival. You can listen to Center. The Planteen tales told by Arthur Schleman, Recreation Center of the Plant a Hunting and Fishing Guide City Parks and Recreation Photo courtesy of NRG (circa 1895) and Maggie Department will sponsor the You will not want to Stroud, a Laundress (circa miss the 42nd Annual children’s games. Kids can Pioneer Heritage Day enjoy old-fashioned games 1920). on Saturday, Moreover, local artist November 9 in historic such as potato sack races, John Briggs will be creating a downtown Plant City. egg races and two-legged There will be food, new lithograph of Henry Plant races. heritage craft vendors in a studio on the third floor of and “The Annual Pioneer live entertainment. the 1914 Plant City High Heritage Day is a great day of In addition, you can bid on a slat chair School Community Center. enjoyment for the whole fami(Top) created by a The auditorium at the member of the East ly. We have music on stage, center will be dedicated to Hillsborough Art Guild and local dance studios peror get an original Roy Wise, the building careform,” said Shelby Bender, lithograph of Henry B. taker for 29 years who Plant (Bottom) from executive director and presipassed away in 2017. A local artist John Briggs dent of the East Hillsborough plaque in his honor will be Historical Society. unveiled. To become a vendor, please contact You can enjoy arts and crafts, face the East Hillsborough Historical Society at painting and more. There will be a small 757-9226 or visit

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October 2019

Page 35

Valrico Edition

Bell Creek Academy Hosts A Night Under The Seas And Stars

By Sandy Meyer

learning about the seas. “The school has a 200gallon touch tank that it purchased three years ago, so I’ve added access to that as part of the night,” said Gregos. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the sea life in the touch tank, which currently includes sea stars, serpent stars, horseshoe carbs, hermit crabs, feather duster Students from the Seas Club will be on hand to talk worms and sea urchins. about the sea life living in the 200-gallon touch tank. The Seas Club students Bell Creek Academy will be hosting a will be there to talk about these creatures Seas and Stars event on Thursday, and answer questions. October 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This In addition to the telescopes and unique experience will allow the commutouch tank, guests can view students’ scinity to come in and learn about astronoence experiments, which will be on dismy and biology and see what the stuplay. dents at Bell Creek Academy are learn“We love this opportunity to bring the ing. community in to see all that Bell Creek The astronomy portion of the night Academy has to offer,” said Gregos. will feature two giant telescopes for viewKona Ice will be serving up tasty ing that are being provided by MOSI. A shaved ice treats and the PTSO will also representative will be on hand to talk be hosting a book fair during the event. about what is available for viewing on that Access to Seas and Stars is just $5 at the particular night. door, with a portion of proceeds being “One year we saw the rings of donated to the American Red Cross for Saturn!” said Event Coordinator hurricane relief efforts. Catherine Gregos. Bell Creek Academy Middle and High Gregos is a biology and science School is a local charter school whose teacher at the school and has been mission is to create a challenging proinvolved in this extracurricular event since gram for students with a focus on STEM. she started teaching there in the school’s It is located at 13221 Boyette Rd. in second year of opening. The event origiRiverview. For more information on the nally centered only on astronomy, but school, please visit Gregos has expanded it out to include

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Page 36

Volume 16, Issue 10

Valrico Edition


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Osprey Observer Valrico October 2019  

Osprey Observer Valrico October 2019