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Two Sections, 36 Pages of Community News

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9/11 Heroes Run Page 19 August 2017


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Volume 12, Issue 8 Ph: 657-2418 P U B L I S H I N G

Hillsborough County Veterans Population Soars To Highest In Florida

By Tamas Mondovics

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

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That Hillsborough County is boasting a large population of military veterans is not breaking news. In fact, for a while the County has proudly claimed having the third largest veteran population in the state of Florida. That is until now. According to a recent report by the U.S. Military veterans and their families are remembered and honored for Department of their sacrifice at Hillsborough County’s Veterans Park and Museum. Veterans Affairs County vets are regarded by the community in high regard, but now Hillsborough their numbers are also at the top in Florida. County had the expanding the parking lot not to mention most veterans of any county in Florida: the 8,000 sq. ft. Veterans Resource 98,307, an increase of 5,135 over 2015. is currently under construction Center The report also emphasized that the on the grounds that will become the number doesn’t reflect the thousands of home for the County’s Consumer new active-duty servicemen and serviceand Veterans Services. women who also live here. By compariAs funds become available future son, Duval County had 91,296 veterans, plans also call for a 14,000 to 16,000 and Pinellas had 90,533. sq. ft., addition for educational use and It is safe to say that Hillsborough museum exhibits. County officials and residents have “The new services center is the done a great job caring for and supportresult of a unified effort by our local ing its vets and their families, even as Veterans, Veteran advocates, many are working tirelessly to make Hillsborough County government and sure each vet has what he or she the state of Florida,” said Assistant needs. Hillsborough County Administartor, A good example of this support is Dexter Barge. the visible accomplishment at the Earlier this year, Tampa’s James A. County’s Veterans Park and Rear Haley Veterans’s Hospital (JAHVH) Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans administration and staff also celebrated Museum, which has been the center of the groundbreaking for the VA’s new care. The park is now working on Continued on page 7

Photo by Tamas Mondovics

Sunflower Café restaurant owner, Tatsu Horikawa, takes a moment to pose for a photo with Dylan Shadle, 5 and his brother Chase, 8, of Brandon during lunch last month. The boys each enjoyed an order of California rolls, a favorite for many served in a cozy and family friendly atmosphere. The restaurant located at 3452 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico offers meals for lunch and dinner and a fresh, delicious sushi menu.




Joint Effort To Bring Library Resources To More Than 200,000 Students

By Tamas Mondovics

Thanks to a Excited partnership about the new between initiative HCPS Hillsborough Deputy County Public Superintendent Schools (HCPS) Van Ayres said and the the HAAL Pass Hillsborough means four County Public times the numLibrary ber of schoolCooperative Hillsborough County Officials celebrate the intro- age children will (HCPLC) more duction of HAAL Pass to students last month. now have than 200,000 stu- The new initiative gives students in grades K-12 Hillsborough in the public schools system, including charter dents including County library schools, to more than a million books, audiocharter school stubooks, DVDs, newspapers and magazines, 3 cards and music CDs, thousands of eBooks. dents have the expands access chance to tackle the 2017-2018 school to quality educational resources. year with a powerful tool in the palm of “This is about just one number,” their hands. Ayres said. “The student’s ID number, or School officials are boasting of what lunch number will provide access to they appropriately named HAAL Pass many more educational resources in the (Hillsborough All Access Libraries) which Hillsborough County Public Library systhey said opens a world of learning and tem. This is a super exciting time for us. additional resources to each student. We rely on great partners in this district, For high school students, these and HAAL Pass is just one example of resources mean access to test-prep what a great partnership we have with materials such as study guides for the the public library.” SAT and ACT college entrance exams. For information, visit students can do research with pass. To learn more about Hillsborough National Geographic for Kids or Science County Public Schools' Library Media Online, and every student will be able to Services, go to the school district website choose to learn a new language or get at and type “go library” in tutoring assistance by using their new, the search box. easy-to-use access. Through the new initiative, students enrolled in grades K-12 in the public In This schools system, including charter Issue schools, don’t need to be library card holders – or even apply for a card – in NEW PRINCIPAL ................................PG 3 order to check out books, printed materials, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, or to HOMESCHOOL CONNECTION .......PGS 8‐9 use a wide variety of online resources SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION. ............PG 12 and learning tools from the public library system. Their seven-digit student ID numHOA HOT TOPICS .............................PG 17 ber is all they’ll need. EYE ON BUSINESS ........................... PG 21 By the numbers HAAL Pass will enable every K-12 Hillsborough County SPORTS CONNECTION...............PGS 32‐33 Public Schools (HCPS) student expandARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 34 ed public library access to more than a million books, 57,800 audiobooks, 91,360 READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE DVDs, 50,290 newspapers and zines, 37,500 music CDs, and nearly 288,000 eBooks.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 8

August 2017

Page 3

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Nativity Catholic School Kicks Off Its School Year With New Principal

HCSO Crisis Negotiation Team Takes First Place In Two-Day S.E. USA Competition

in her retirement. "After I retired, I wanted to move to an area where there was sunshine, warmth and beaches. I felt compelled to return to my work in the Catholic schools, which is where I began my education career 30 years previous,” said Myers. Nativity From Catholic 2012 to School in 2017, Myers was the principal at St. Brandon Mark Catholic School in Wilmington, was estabNorth Carolina. Without a hitch, lished Myers has transitioned back into the through Catholic education system. “I love the efforts that in the Catholic schools you can of four reach out and relate to the students Sisters and families not only on an acafrom the demic and social level, but also on Most Holy a spiritual level as well. Our stuTrinity. dents benefit from a full education— With its one that enriches both the mind and humble beginnings Mrs. Mary Myers joins Nativity the soul. This adds a layer of spiriCatholic School as its new prin- tual growth to our students in allowin 1961, cipal with 36 years of both ing them to pray and learn the teaching and administrative the experience. gospel teachings while encouraging school’s each student to accept the chalfirst year lenges God has set forth to be a betconsisted of 95 students in grades ter person in tomorrow’s world,” she one through six and employed explained. portable buildings for its classrooms. Along with her enthusiasm for Today, the highly esteemed school warmer weather, Myers brings 36 has long outgrown its temporary years of experience as a teacher and structures as it serves about 650 stuprincipal to the Sunshine State. dents in grades pre-kindergarten Myers is complimentary of Nativity’s through grade eight. This school year, Nativity Catholic competent staff and the school’s wellknown academic achievements. She School welcomes Mary Myers as its also looks forward to forming a partnew principal. Myers said, “As my nership with the parents and parish dream was always to live in Florida, I community. found my dream job at Nativity Myers said, “Our annual Catholic School where I plan to be for Novemberfest is just around the corthe remainder of my career.” ner, and plans are already in the Born and raised in Cleveland, works to make this another hugely Ohio, Myers began her teaching successful event through the collabocareer in the Catholic school system. ration of our entire school and parish However, after four years, Myers had community.” a calling to work with underprivileged Myers and her husband Rick live students and families in the in Plant City. She has raised four Cleveland Municipal School District. young men ranging in ages from 24 She remained in that school district to 31 years. For more information on as an elementary teacher and princiNativity Catholic School, visit nativitypal for more than 20 years before retiring her 30-year teaching career in or call 689-3395. The school is located at 705 E. a suburb of Cleveland. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. However, Myers was not settled

On the second day negotiations teams participated in a six to eight hour practical exercise similar to a real life incident involving a hostage taking. Johnson said that each team was required to work through this incident in an attempt to come to a peaceful resolution. “This exercise requires Members of the HCSO Crisis Negotiation team won the each member of the negotia2017 Bay Area Negotiator's Challenge. tions team to meet specific Members of the Hillsborough County training objectives,” he said adding that the Sheriff's Office (HCSO) Crisis Negotiation team’s success gives testimony to all their Team enjoyed the spotlight after winning efforts, commitment and hard work with the 2017 Bay Area Negotiator's Challenge. one goal in mind; to save lives. The recognition is appropriate as The training was monitored by two negotiators are often in the background judges who were selected based on their attempting to communicate with a violent experience in the negotiations community, or suicidal subject during a standoff and some of them the Tampa Bay Area. work in conjunction with the HCSO SWAT Based on the scoring, the top three Team to save lives. teams were announced including the The two day training event, saw near- HCSO as the first place winner followed ly 100 negotiators from around the southby the Pinellas Park Police Department east representing numerous local, state, and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, and federal law enforcement agencies. respectively. The challenge took place in early August HCSO’s Crisis Negotiation Team is led by the Bay Area Negotiator Group comprised of twelve men and women with (B.A.N.G.) in conjunction with the Florida a diverse background and experience Association of Hostage Negotiators, and level who have been recognized in the HCSO, and held at the University of past by their peers and other professional Tampa. organizations for their efforts in the field of HCSO Det. Danny Johnson, a 15negotiations. year veteran negotiator who takes the lead “The team motto ‘Bringing Calm to of the agency’s 12-member team, empha- Chaos’ is the primary goal of the team in sized that instructors from across the U.S., an effort to bring a peaceful resolution to presented case studies and advanced an incident that has escalated with viotraining topics to assist teams with best lence,” Johnson said. For information, visit practices when dealing with suicidal jects and hostage takers.

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Page 4

Volume 12, Issue 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Playing For Charity At Annual Knights Of Columbia Golf Classic The Knights of Columbus Golf Classic Mother Seton Council #6724 is preparing for its fourth annual charitable round of golf. Even the sweltering heat and afternoon showers will not stray these dedicated golfers from this annual fundraising event, which will take place on Saturday, September 23 at The Bloomingdale Golfer’s Club. “The proceeds will be used for charitable events throughout the year,” explained Neil Waid, Warden of the Counsel. “Charitable organizations such as Citizens with Disabilities, Lopez School of Exceptional Students, the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and Haley House along with various other local organizations are on the club’s list of recipients,” he continued. “Donations to support the homeless veterans and veterans’ families in need are also an organization that we help support,” said Waid. Tee off time will be promptly at 9 a.m. The fee includes a golf cart, range balls, beverages, breakfast sandwiches and lunch. Registration time will be from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. To add to the excitement for the day there will be a four-person

By Joyce Bliss

scramble. This year’s fees will be $95 for singles and $380 for a foursome. The winner of the Early Bird entry for a foursome will play for free. Registration for the Early Bird entry fee for a foursome is Friday, September 1. There will be prizes for first, second and third places along with the longest drive and closest to the pin. This year’s contests will include the hole-in-one contest with an award of $10,000 going to the firstplace winner and a golf vacation package to three more winners. There will be additional fundraising opportunities with a silent auction, a 50/50 contest and a raffle. “The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal organization,” Waid explained. This selfless organization believes in and supports the true meaning of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. You may also register and pay online with PayPal at or you can mail payment with registration form to Mother Seton Council #6724, Post Office Box 1327, Brandon, Florida 33511.. For more information contact Tim Kasprzyk at

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

BreakPoint: A Student Ministry At Bell Shoals Baptist Church




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

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Pastor me and made Matthew Angell a huge differfrom Bell Shoals ence in my Baptist Church life.” He further invites students illustrated the from grades 7 value of a prothrough 12 to gram where BreakPoint—a like-minded Student Ministry students can held on connect and Wednesday support one nights from 7 to another. 8:30 p.m. in the Even so, Point Student the ministry is Photograph is courtesy of Lucas Reed Pastor Matthew Angell is shown baptizing Leif-Erik not limited to Building on the a graduating senior, and one of the 16 stu- believing Brandon Campus. Hansen,dents baptized during summer camp. The fall kickoff is teens as it on Wednesday, August 16 and will also provides a place for Christian stuinclude a treat from the Kona Ice Truck. dents to bring their friends to learn The stated purpose of the ministry is more about Jesus and experience "to lead students to a personal, growing Christian community. relationship with Christ and for them to In an attempt to influence more desire to make Him known to others." youth, the Student Ministry is introducAngell, the Student Ministry Pastor, ing First Wednesday. “On the first described a typical Wednesday night. Wednesday of each month, we will "The evening begins with a fun game have something special for the stuand worship with the band. We will have dents like Remy’s donuts or a relevant message geared toward midJeremiah’s Italian Ice. It is free for all dle and high school students followed by the students, and it’s a big night for small groups where they discuss the them to invite their friends,” explained message," he said. Angell. Angell’s roots run deep at Bell The Student Ministry is a free proShoals Baptist Church. He grew up in the gram that runs weekly throughout the church and is a product of its Student year—with a short hiatus in July. Bell Ministry. Over the years, Angell has Shoals Baptist Church is located at served on the church’s staff, and in 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. For September, he assumed leadership over information, visit, the Student Ministry. Facebook @ Bell Shoals Student Concerning his latest role, Angell Ministry on Facebook or Instagram asserted, “I do it because it worked for bsbc_studentministry.


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Page 6

Volume 12, Issue 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

, MosquitoenFioisrh Cool S s & Activitie… More

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Hillsborough County Launches Free Mosquito Fish Wednesdays

Hillsborough County Mosquito Control is teaming up with the University of Florida (UF) to host weekly mosquito fish giveaways for Hillsborough County residents. Residents may pick up free mosquito fish on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at UF’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory at 1408 24th St. S.E. in Ruskin. Residents can pick up limited quantities of free mosquito fish for use in backyard ponds, birdbaths, fountains, abandoned swimming pools, rain barrels, and other artificial containers that are common breeding sites for mosquito larvae. The fish are available first-come, first-served and will be provided in temporary plastic

travel bags, along with instructions for introducing them to their new environment. Visit for more information on mosquito fish and Hillsborough County’s fish giveaway event.

August Is Too Hot But These Senior Activities Are Cool

Hillsborough County Aging Services offers a variety of activities for adults 50 and over. Visit to view activity calendars and additional center information or call Aging Services at 2725250. Upcoming August activities at the Brandon Senior Center, located at 612 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon. Call 635-8066.

Adam L. Bantner, II Files To Run For County Judge, Group 8 In 2018

FishHawk-area resident, lawyer and business owner, Adam L. Bantner, II filed

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to run for Hillsborough County Judge, ing his son's baseball and flag football Group 8. The election will take place teams, and leading civic organizations on August 28, 2018. and bar associations. With the county’s Bantner’s love of Hillsborough support, he hopes to bring this work ethic County and dedication to service led him to the bench. to seek the position of Hillsborough He has been the President of Tampa County Judge. His campaign hopes that Tiger Bay Club, President of Hillsborough his track record of hard work, history of County Association of Criminal Defense service, demonstrated leadership, fairLawyers, a member of the Hillsborough ness, and legal expertise will earn the County Citizen's Advisory Board (appointvotes of county residents. ed by Commissioner Stacy Adam and his White), a board member of younger brother grew up the East Hillsborough Bar in a middle class home Association, and a board while being raised by a member of The Greater single mother. At the age Brandon Chamber of of 14, Adam began learnCommerce. One must be ing the value of earning trusted to lead and Bantner his keep through work. has repeatedly earned that Since then he’s worked trust throughout his career. every year of his life Additionally, he has (minus two years while been recognized as a FishHawk resident, Adam L. board certified attorney by enrolled in law school) to Banter, II filed to run for County support himself and his the Florida Bar. In order to Judge, Group 8. family. In addition to be so recognized, you must being a lawyer since 2006, he’s worked have practiced law for at least five years, at his local pharmacy, restaurants as a have tried at least 20 cases to verdict (at dishwasher and cook, gym supervisor, least 15 felonies and 10 as lead attorney), landscaper, personal trainer, and copy then get approved to sit for the test editor with the Tampa Tribune. He through application and peer review, and opened The Bantner Firm in 2016 after then pass the test. He earned this distincleaving Brandon Legal Group. Prior to tion in 2016. He also has a perfect "10" joining BLG in 2014, he owned his own rating by AVVO and has been recognized firm, Adam L. Bantner, P.A., from 2011– as a Super Lawyers Rising Star every 2014. year since 2012. This work ethic served him well Finally, he is the proud father of a through high school, four years in college seven-year-old boy, a member at Bell at Florida Southern College in Lakeland Shoals Baptist Church, and has an where he earned his B.A. in English Bulldog rescue named Daisy. Communications, and three years in Visit and you Tallahassee at Florida State University can follow his campaign by College of Law. From there, he has “Liking” helped countless individuals as an attorudge. Meet Bantner his next event at ney, continued to serve his community Owen & Dunivan, 615 De Leon St. in through Chambers of Commerce, coachTampa at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, August 25.


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August 2017

Page 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Veterans Population...Continued From Page 1

By Tamas Mondovics

South Hillsborough Community Based Outpatient Clinic. All of this, of course, comes at a price. According to the report, Hillsborough County has remained first in the state in the amount of federal veterans’ compensation and pension benefits: $490 million in FY 2016, an increase of $64 million over the previous year. The VA has reportedly expended more than $1.1 billion in benefits and programs in Hillsborough in FY 2016, that also included $14,944,000 in construction, $118,979,000 education and vocational rehabilitation/employment, $5,998,000 in general operating expenses, $8,798,000 in insurance and

indemnities and $476,061,000 in medical care. Military veterans, dependents or survivors who want to know more about the wide range of benefits and programs that are available are urged to contact the Hillsborough County Consumer and Veterans Services for help. Certified Veterans Service Officers assist military members and their families at four locations, and there is never a fee. Staff also provides outreach and support to veterans in assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, private residences, and private businesses. For information, visit or call 6358316.

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Brandon Homeschool Fellowship Feels Like Family For Members

By Michael Smith

Field trips are a great place to build friendships.

When Bridee Manning was looking for a new homeschool support group about seven years ago, she tried several groups in the area but none of them seemed like a good fit for her family. Then she checked out Brandon Homeschool Fellowship (BHSF), a Christian homeschool support group that has been encouraging and supporting homeschool families in the Brandon area for almost 30 years. She felt at home in the group right away and has never left. “[BHSF] was the one that fit, it was the one that was ‘family’ right off. They embraced me, they said hello to me, they accepted me and my [two] children,” Manning said at BHSF’s annual kick-off Friday, August 4, at First Baptist Church of Riverview. “It’s more than just a homeschool group, it’s a family.” And even though her children have graduated from high school she is still part of the group. “You’re connected with these people forever.” Brandon Homeschool Fellowship

plans regular extracurricular activities for children and parents, and members enjoy a weekly park fellowship day on Thursdays during the school year. Members share information relevant to homeschool families on the group’s online member forum. BHSF also has several clubs that plan field trips and activities (elementary, middle school, high school and mom’s social). The group has an initiative called MUM (Moms Uplifting Moms) in which an experienced homeschool mom commits to mentor a new homeschool mom for the school year. Membership is open to homeschool families whose oldest child is at least K4 and up. Those interested in becoming a member are invited to come to BHSF’s weekly park fellowship day at Saladino Park, located at 1705 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. during the 2017-18 school year. Welcome Team members will be available to answer questions and help you register. The membership fee is $45 per family. Each family is required to choose two service areas in which to serve. This can be setting up or cleaning up for a party, planning a field trip, or helping with a fair. For more information about Brandon Homeschool Fellowship, visit its newly redesigned Website at

Helping Homeschoolers Is A Labor Of Love For Tampa Bay HEAT Founder

By Michael Smith

When Teresa blessed. God has His Manganello founded hand on this organizaTampa Bay HEAT tion, and I do it because seven years ago, I love people and want she never imagined to glorify God.” the homeschool supHEAT, which stands port group would for Home Education become what it is Activities Teams, opertoday. ates the Homeschool Manganello Resource Center at 307 decided to form S. Parsons Ave. in HEAT in May 2010 Brandon, where it proafter discovering that vides classes, clubs and homesupport to the communischoolers ty. were Manganello said her unable to organization’s greatest compete in challenge is a lack of Photo courtesy of Erin facility and parking the Florida Rhodes, Emagine space at the High Photography School Homeschool Resource Julia Rohm learns to do sutures using a femur bone during an Anatomy class offered Center. She also said it’s Athletic at the Homeschool Resource Center. Association very costly to rent facili(FHSAA) ties for the many events once they reached high school. that HEAT holds off-site. Her dream is to Now HEAT is one of only four have a larger facility with a gym. homeschooling groups competing in the She is thankful for the parents who FHSAA. Its girls volleyball team has support the ministry by volunteering, advanced to the State Final Four during whether it’s by planning a field trip or the past three seasons. helping out at the Homeschool HEAT’s membership grew to 500 Resource Center. families in 2016, and in addition to athManganello said the group is open letics the nonprofit group also offers to all families in the area and registraactivities for preschool through high tion is open throughout the year. “We school, including the arts, academics, are a Christian organization, but we welclubs, field trips and special events. come everybody,” she said. “I never thought when I did this it For more information about Tampa was going to be a full-time ministry; Bay HEAT, visit its Website at tamthat’s what it turned into,” Manganello or email tampabaysaid. “I think we’ve been so incredibly

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Bell Shoals Baptist Church Provides Support For Christian Homeschoolers

Veritas Brings Hybrid Homeschool Program To Brandon

For more than 20 years Bell Shoals Baptist Church has provided resources and support for Christian homeschool families. In 1995 the Brandon Campus of Bell Shoals formed its Photo by Nancy Bailey FISH (Families ANCHOR members pose for a group picture last year. Instructing Students Classes for the fall semester run from at Home) ministry, and in spring 2016 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Monday for ANCHOR (A Nurturing Christian 12 weeks. Homeschool ORganization) was founded Church membership is not required at the church’s Apollo Beach Campus. to be a member of ANCHOR. ANCHOR ANCHOR was started by Apollo Vice Chairwoman Stephanie Demorest Beach Campus Minister of Preschool and has seen several families start attending Children Rebeka Corgan and Co-op the Apollo Beach Campus after joining Director Nikki Hollifield, and was modeled the homeschool group. after FISH. Membership, which is open “ANCHOR indirectly provides memyear-round, runs from June 1-May 31 and bers with a preview to some of the Bell is $30 annually. ANCHOR members facilities and church events and Shoals receive a discount on membership to the also gives them some friendly faces so Florida Parent Educators Association and it’s easier to build connections when are able to participate in events, field trips attending church on Sunday,” she said. and clubs (book, Spanish, yearbook, who has three children Demorest, community service and LEGO). (ages 12, 4 and 1½), started homeANCHOR has a minimum of one schooling last year. group event (movie night, STEAM fair, “Since the beginning, ANCHOR has Bible bee, creative arts festival) per been an outstanding support system that month and one field trip per month has made homeschooling effective, (Jubilee Gymnastics, Lowry Park Zoo, and rewarding,” she said. enjoyable Hydro Harvest Farms, Veterans Park). Visit or go Co-op registration (ANCHOR memto bership required) is an additional $10 per or email semester per child (cap of $30). The To op consists of three elective classes for learn more about Bell Shoals Baptist babies through 12th grade. A drop-off Church, go to option is available for high schoolers.

Area homeschool Veritas families have a new Florida educational option Administrator available to them. Robin Hair Veritas Florida, a McEuen said hybrid school that the hybrid combines homemodel offers homeschool schooling and families “the classroom instrucbest of both tion, started its Photo courtesy of Veritas Florida worlds.” second year of At Veritas Florida, Christian, Last year holding classes at experienced teachers with Morgendee Southside Baptist degrees lead a traditional classroom for homeschool Meachem Church, located at students. Flannery and 415 W. Lumsden her husband were looking to revamp their Rd. in Brandon, on Tuesday, August 15. homeschool curriculum when they disAs part of the Veritas Classical covered Veritas Classical Schools. Schools family, Veritas Florida offers She contacted Veritas Florida about homeschooling families a unique complebringing its program to Brandon. McEuen ment to their home-study programs with agreed, and Flannery’s twin sons started an emphasis on a classical Christian attending classes at Southside Baptist model of education. Church. Christian, experienced teachers with “It was a perfect fit for our family as it degrees lead a traditional classroom that has an emphasis on a classical Christian meets from 9-2 p.m. on Tuesdays education that glorifies Christ and models (Humanities) and from 12:30-3 p.m. on character and virtue throughout every Thursdays (math). There is an optional subject and the academic standards Humanities help day available on remain high,” Flannery said. Wednesdays. “Few decisions have more impact in Humanities classes consist of history, my children’s lives than the education that grammar, literature/composition, Bible, logic, geography, vocabulary/spelling, cul- I chose for them. We are so very lucky to tural literacy/art and handwriting (cursive). have Veritas in Brandon.” The Brandon campus of Veritas Veritas Florida functions in the role of Florida is enrolling students from kindera tutor, assisting parents in their educagarten through sixth grade for the 2017tional roles. Students receive grades and 18 school year, which will last 33 weeks report cards, and they are provided with and run though mid-May. weekly assignment sheets outlining work For more info, visit its website at to complete at home. Teachers grade work and administer quizzes and tests.

By Michael Smith

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Page 10

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Over A Century Of Automobile Experience Separates Ferman Chevrolet From The Rest



Staff Report

Chevrolet introduced the Corvette in 1953. Mayor Curtis Hixon and two participants from the Gasparilla Parade pose in front of the new car in the Ferman showroom. (From the Ferman Collection)

The gasoline engine vehicle was ‘road tested’ for the first time in 1893 by Frank and Charles Duryea, who then opened the first U.S. facility designed for volume motor vehicle production three years later. The internal combustionengine motor vehicle was then patented in 1895. At about this same time, Fred Ferman became sole owner of Tampa Cycle Company. In 1899, he and Tampa Cycle Co. employee Victor James crafted two vehicles from bicycle parts, one of them powered by steam, the other by a Frenchmade gasoline engine. The latter was the first gasoline car driven in Tampa. Ferman had already established his instinct for emerging industries. Intrigued by the 1901 C u r v e d Dash Oldsmobile Runabout, 28 year old Ferman applied for and won an Oldsmobile sales agency in 1902. Now,

both he and the Tampa area had its first auto dealership. Chevrolet was founded on November 3, 1911, and since then has produced over 200 million cars and trucks. Chevrolet awarded Ferman its first Chevrolet dealership in 1930 establishing it as Tampa’s Heritage Chevrolet dealer. A Chevrolet Motor Company executive whose internal memo noted Fred Ferman, Sr.’s ‘good name and reputation’ and declared, “... this is the best connection we can make in Tampa.” In 1931, Tampa’s newest Chevrolet dealer advertised its new location at 307 Florida Avenue in Tampa and changed its name to Ferman Chevrolet in 1933. According to the website, “Since opening our doors, Ferman Chevrolet has been all about the ‘ease of doing business’ and growing our dealership ‘one Guest at a time’ by exceeding expectations with an outstanding selection of new Chevy vehicles, competitive prices and lease offers, and an impeccable guest service experience.” Much has changed since 1895, but one thing remains true...the mission and values guiding every dealership proudly bearing the Ferman name. Today, you can visit Ferman Chevrolet at 9751 Adamo Dr. in Tampa. For more, visit or call 400-2649.

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Page 11

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Local Barber Puts Focus On Giving Back

By Caitlin Masessa

hopes that the event, held July 23 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in Plant City, will become more than just a pick-up point. “We wanted to bring ourselves to the community in the right way,” Sureller beamed, “We want to give away all the 200 bookbags that were donated.” Passing out flyers around his community, Sureller could feel the buzz of excitement the residents felt over the event. A buzz that already has him seeing the Although only 24 opportunity to expand years old, Plant City Generation ReNewed native Dontrey Sureller beyond bookbags. “What we is aware of how lucky plan on one day soon is to he is. With two kids, a get to where we can do job two-year-old girl and a placement and prepare peobaby boy that entered ple for job interviews by givthe world this past May, ing them the right clothes to Sureller was quick to wear or to help them fill out have them exposed to an application,” Sureller said Photos courtesy of Dontrey the importance of famiSureller when speaking about helply. “My family and I are ing adults as well as chilsmall, but we’re very close-knit,” Sureller dren, “We just want to mentor and give explained. “It’s important for me to have back.” them see that closeness.” Cutting hair for Mentoring is nothing new for Sureller two years, and going on his first year at thanks to 6ixthelement’s tradition of giving 6ixthelement Barbershop in Brandon, free haircuts to the foster kids of A Kid’s Sureller discovered a new passion Place. Going on six months of performing through the job he loves. “While I cut peothe service, the Barbershop closes at six ple’s hair, I talk and mentor them,” every other Tuesday to accommodate the Sureller said, “I found that, through cutting children, and he stays until they have hair, I can touch lives.” given every child the cut they desire. “The Wanting to touch lives beyond the kids love us and have a good time,” barber chair, and with the help from his Sureller smiled, “They don’t really have family, Sureller decided to form anyone, so to see them come in and look Generation ReNewed, a foundation that up to us really touches my heart.” Sureller puts the spotlight on his home of Plant hopes that Generation ReNewed doesn’t City. “We want to give back to the Plant just touch the hearts that need it the City community by reaching back from most, but that it will also inspire more the generations of the past to the generapeople in the community to speak out tions of today to get our neighborhood about a cause important to them. “That restored,” Sureller explained the namefirst initial thought of ‘I want to help’ is all sake of the charity. With back-to-school you really need,” Sureller offered advice season rapidly approaching, Sureller to anyone who wants to help out, “If you decided it was the perfect time for can think it, you can do it.” Generation ReNewed to put on its First To learn more about Generation Annual Bookbag Drop. With food, music, ReNewed and its mission, contact bounce houses, and a Tuna Car Show Kimberly Kitchen at 562-4495. that had more than 60 vehicles, Sureller

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Page 12

Volume 12, Issue 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Transportation And Student-Safety Takes Center Stage At Start Of 2017-2018 School Year

By Tamas Mondovics

Thanks to recent changes after school hours. involving Hillsborough County Officials said that Public School student transportaAAA’s School’s Open tion such as the scrapping of – Drive Carefully, HCPS’s long standing courtesy awareness campaign busing, the start of the 2017-2018 was designed to curb school year presented plenty of a trend of unsafe concerns and worry for parents driving behavior in and students. school zones and Starting Thursday, August 10 neighborhoods that an estimated 6,700 middle and can lead to children’s High school students who are livinjury and death. With the end of courtesy busing and thousands of students back at school, transportation and student-safety is cening within two-miles of their “We must work ter stage in Hillsborough County. Motorists are urged to slow down, be vigilant and watch out for walkers and bikers. assigned school are now making together as a comtheir way to school by means of munity to remind effort to alert drivers to al back to school meeting. either walking, biking or being drivers to slow down and stay alert be extra cautious for Signs and magnets were dropped off and picked up. as kids head back to school,” Arja pedestrians and bicydistributed throughout According to HCPS spokespersaid. clists before, during and Hillsborough County in an son, Tanya Arja, elementary courTo keep students safe, tesy busing, will also end at the the Hillsborough County start of the 2018-19 school year. Sheriff’s Office also made School officials estimate the total arrangements to beef up its saving at nearly $10 million. presence on the roadways. While the estimated savings Deputies are scheduled to be are substantial, and can be used out in force, in patrol cruisin the classrooms, many parents ers, motorcycles and feel that no amount of saving is unmarked vehicles keeping a worth it if it comes at the cost of close eye on motorists who student safety. don't know or, don't heed Only time will tell what adjuststate laws regarding stopping ments are yet needed. In the for a school bus. mean time, local law enforcement “The goal is to keep our officials, school district staff and children safe through educaadministrators are urging residents tion and enforcement,” to be alert, to use extra caution. HCSO Cpl. Larry McKinnon To assist with the effort to be said in connection with the vigilant this year, AAA’s Auto Club agency’s annual school bus Group Traffic Safety Foundation safety campaign. For more has donated approximately 500 information on Florida's yard signs and more than 1,700 school bus laws, vehicle magnets to local law visit:http://floridaschoolbusenforcement officers at their


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August 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Neighborhood Pub Stein & Vine Expands With Coppertail Brewing Location Residents in the Brandon area used to have to drive into Tampa or out to St. Petersburg to enjoy craft beer and culinary creations apart from fast food or chain restaurants. All that changed five years ago when Lacey and Ty Mathis opened the Stein & Vine, a craft beer and wine bar at the corner of Kings and Bloomingdale. They are committed to the flavorful fare we crave. If you haven’t been there yet, you’re missing out. Lacey sums up their vision, “It stems from me and Ty wanting to create a place that we wanted to go.” Both passionate foodies, she and her husband sought after something more than your run of the mill restaurant, but didn’t always have time to travel. The Mathis family wanted that neighborhood pub environment, and all of Brandon is better for their efforts. They proudly offer a vast array of drink choices, especially local craft beers as they seek to support local breweries. Their menu changes daily, but you will find something savory every day of the week along with rotat-

By Amy Schechter

ing beer and wine specials. The best way to stay on top of their daily inspirations is to like and visit their Facebook page: Need a place to chill on the way home from work? Need dinner plans? Need a date night? The Stein & Vine is for everyone, whether you eat in or carry out. Lacey was so happy when she commented, “Every day someone new finds us,” because she and Ty are able to share their passion with the larger community. Look for a big fiveyear anniversary celebration to be announced in November along with a new partnership in Tampa, the S & V Kitchen at Coppertail Brewing. The more Stein & Vine in your life, the better you will be for it. For information, to call ahead, or carry out, call 655-4786 or visit It is open 12 Noon-12 Midnight on Sunday to Thursday and 12 Noon-2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. They are located at 827 W. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon.

Page 13

Troy University Offers Flexible Schedules To Non-Traditional Students By Nick Nahas A long-standing the service members and relationship with the just do what we can in military led Troy order to assist them in University in Alabama earning their degrees and to offer extension progressing in their educlasses at nearby milication.” tary bases in the The rare opportunity 1950s. Those classes to earn a degree from a have evolved and traditional university that expanded into 20 Troy has an NCAA Division 1 Service Centers in football program in the seven U.S. states, Sunbelt Conference, as including one in well as sororities and fraTampa. ternities, from afar is Troy offers a wide something that makes variety of classes and Troy University unique degree plans at the from other online proPhoto courtesy of Ed Siler graduate and underTroy University professors getting grams out there. Troy graduate levels. A also makes classes as ready for class. Masters of Science in Counseling and flexible as possible for students who have Psychology in Clinical Mental Health different needs than the average studegree is offered at the Tampa campus. dents, such as those that may have fullOther degree plans are offered online as time jobs and can't attend regularly. The well. All of the Tampa Bay region online in-class programs are only offered on students are provided support by the evenings and the weekends for maxiService Center, such as proctored exams mum flexibility. The online classes that and assistance from the staff. are offered are very adaptable as well. To accommodate the large military Students are also allowed to select the presence in Tampa, Troy offers programs, amount of credit hours per semester that as well as scholarships for military stuthey want to take, even if it’s just one dents. The Military and Family class. Scholarship Program reduces the tuition According to Siler, because Troy is a rate for all active duty members and their state school, their cost is very competispouses and dependents, for both gradu- tive. Also, since they have the Service ate and undergraduate programs. Centers in Florida and they are so conAccording to Ed Siler, area coordinanected to this area, they do not have an tor for Troy University, this is about a 50 out-of-state tuition rate for Florida resipercent tuition discount off of the regular dents. tuition rate. “Troy has been very tied to Classes begin on August 14 and regthe military for quite some time,” Siler istration goes through August 21. Visit said. “We see it more as a duty to serve

Page 14

Volume 12, Issue 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Pet Supplies Plus Offers Personal Touch And Self-Service Dog-Washing Station Let’s face it. Pets are members of the family, so when you go out for needed items, you want the best. However, as pets grow and change, so do their needs, and not all of us are experts. That’s where Pet Supplies Plus, your neighborhood pet store, provides personalized service without any hassle. Pet Supplies Plus is equipped to provide nutrition, toys, and supplies for most small pets including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and fish, so look no further the next time you need pet food to settle kitty’s stomach or a leash that gets your dog to heel. Jacki Kessler, independent owner and operator of the Valrico location, along with her staff have a passion for your pets: “We are hands-on. We go to great lengths to train employees, so the people on the floor are knowledgeable in anything from nutrition all the way up to needing a vet’s care.” For this reason, a number of her energetic, happy employees are also vet technicians. Apart from knowledge about nutrition, her employees want your family to live as happily as they can, therefore, they make recommendations on items to improve behavior, stay healthy, and get your pets needed play and exercise. Additionally, Pet Supplies Plus offers a self-service dog-washing station where for $10 you have 30 minutes and access to all the needed supplies, like water,

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shampoo/conditioner, towels, and combs, to get Fido squeaky clean. That’s better than trying your hand in a cramped bathroom at home, plus you leave the mess behind. Every weekend and by appointment during weekdays, Kessler offers the most affordable nail-trimming in town where you will pay between $10 and $12 rather than go through the hassle of clipping cuticles yourself. Pet Supplies Plus also partners with VIP Pet Clinic every other Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to offer shot clinics where pet owners can purchase discounted vaccinations and medications on site. They also team up with local adoption agencies, like Dogma Pet Rescue and Hillsborough County’s First Saturday Pet events, to hold adoptions at least monthly. For those who open their hearts to adopt an animal, Kessler and her team offer discounts to help offset the cost of purchasing supplies, so you go home ready to love on your knew family member. It is open 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. MondaySaturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to check out monthly specials, visit and choose the Valrico location or call 540-0645. Like on Facebook at Pet Supplies Plus is located at 1937 East SR 60 in Valrico.

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• Coughing or choking while eating or drinking, difficult or painful swallowing, food stuck in the throat or continual nose running during meals, can all be addressed by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who specializes in adult impairments. In addition, SLPs can assist with word finding, short term memory and vocal disorders, including helping those with Parkinson’s Disease improve their ability to be understood. • Difficulty walking, weakness, impaired balance and coordination (including dizziness), gait abnormality, postural instability, amputation, musculoskeletal pain (headaches, joint pain, etc) and post-surgical impairments can be addressed by a Physical Therapist (PT). PTs are able to treat the impairments using manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, balance and gait interventions. • Low vision, which a term for someone who has tried glasses, medication or surgery, but is still unable to complete necessary activities due to poor vision, can be addressed by an Occupational Therapist (OT) with a specialty in low vision. In addition, OTs can address fine motor problems that effect writing, dressing, bathing, toileting, meal preparation and housekeeping. OTs address the underlying reasons for the problems, teach compensatory techniques and recommend adaptive equipment. Anyone looking for outpatient therapy should make sure to ask for one-on-one treatment with therapists who specialize in adults. It’s important to know in advance what kinds of payment the facility takes (Medicare, insurance, private pay). A doctor would need to write a prescription for therapy. If you’re not sure if therapy would help, call a rehab center and ask to talk to a therapist. Dustie Lynch, MBA, MS, CCC/SLP is an SLP at Hawthorne Health & Rehab Center in Brandon, and specializes in swallowing, speech and cognitive impairments for both inpatient and outpatient adults, certified in VitalStim and LSVT Loud programs, and can be reached at

851 W. Lumsden Rd. Brandon, FL 33511


August 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

lf Charity Go ucks t, D Tournamen inner & Unlimited De… Mor Colesanti, e by Michell Compiled ospreyobse michelle@

adults and $3 for children. There will be games, a checkers tournament at 1:30 p.m. (register by 1 p.m. - $2 entry fee). The children will enjoy a slip and slide (bring towels and lawn chairs).

Charity Golf Tournament To

Benefit St. Judes

Amazing Kidz Therapy is hosting a Charity Golf Tournament at River Hills Country Club on Friday, September 15 at 1 p.m. The cost is $100 per player or $400 for a team and includes greens and cart fees, lunch and dinner, skills contests, prizes, raffles and more. All proceeds will benefit St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Register at For more information, email Kathleen.Pici@AmazingKidZtherapy.c om.

Brandon Elks Lodge Labor Day Picnic

Join the Brandon Elks for its annual Labor Day Picnic on Monday, September 4 from 12 Noon-4 p.m. Enjoy chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixins’ for lunch from 12 Noon-2:30 p.m. The cost is $6 for

The Brandon Lodge is located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon. For more information, call Rita at 9669002 or the Lodge Office: 685-6469.

East Hillsborough Ducks Unlimited Dinner And Auction

The East Hillsborough Chapter of Ducks Unlimited (DU) of Hillsborough County, Florida, will host its annual Dinner and Auction on September 14 at the Plant City Armory located at 4004 Airport Rd. in Plant City. Happy hour starts at 6 p.m.; dinner served at 7:15 p.m., with raffles and auctions to follow. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities or more info, contact Wayne Tasler at or 727-743-8810. Buy Tickets online: ents/46002/east-hillsborough-dinner.

Page 15

Page 16

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

eam T l l a b e s a B 12u rs, e y a l P s k e e S ns o i t i d u A r e NutcrackMore… & Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Tampa Bay Thunder 12u Seeks Players

Tampa Bay Thunder is looking for a few 12u players for the fall 2017 season. The Thunder is a family-oriented team that focuses on developing players. Practice takes place two to three times per week and games take place two to three weekends per month. The team practices in the Plant City/Pinecrest/Lithia area and most games are played locally. All players are welcome. If you love the game, want to work hard to get better and still keep the fun in the game, call or text Coach Tony at 731-3299 or email

2017 Nutcracker Auditions

Announcing Theatre Arts & Dance Alliance (TADA) in conjunction with Tampa Bay Dance Theatre's audition for its 10th annual production of The Nutcracker. Auditions will be held at Theatre Arts and Dance Alliance located 16711 Fishhawk Blvd. on Saturday, August 26. TADA's annual production features a cast of 100 aspiring dancers, acrobats and actors as well as Hillsborough County Teachers and Administrators. Those interested in auditioning can go to to

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

find audition information and times. Performances will be at Howard W. Blake High School on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10. Visit or call 571-0901.

Tampa Bay Teen R&B Singer Audtions For American Idol

JJosh, a local teen and R&B artist, teams up with the American Idol casting company to audition directly for the Executive Producers and bypass the audition lines in Orlando on August 17 for the upcoming season of Idol. At only 15, his first single, 7 Years, released earlier this summer, creating interest with American Idol casting. The single is his own rendition of Grammy Nominated singer-songwriter, Lukas Graham’s, hit single; it was arranged and produced by Grammy winning pianist, Lannie Battistini under the Hands in Motion Music label. JJosh is considered by those that listen to him “an old soul with young charm.” He is inspired heavily by old school and vintage styles, including Elvis, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra. His R&B inspirations are drawn from artists such as Kanye West and Drake, as well as being open to all kinds of inspiration, reworking it into his own sound and voice comfortably. “This has always been

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Family Time At Brandon Regional Library

Make reading time family time. On Tuesday, August 22 and 29 at 7 p.m., enjoy stories, action rhymes, songs and interactive activities make up this fun 30minute program that celebrates a love of reading for children of all ages. Children may wear pajamas and bring a blanket and favorite cuddly toy. Family Time is for children and their caregivers. Brandon Regional Library is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. Call 273-3652 for more information.

Golf Tournament Benefits Campo YMCA

You are invited to participate in this year’s Campo Family YMCA Annual Golf Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, September 30 at Riverhills Country Club in Valrico. This tournament is a major part of Campo’s fundraising effort to help support families and individuals of all ages who could not otherwise afford vital community programs such as: pediatric cancer survivor program; summer camp, school readiness program; chronic disease prevention;

Volume 12, Issue 8

teen leadership; Livestrong for cancer survivors; and drowning prevention, youth sports, and much more. All the proceeds from this golf tournament stay local and have a lasting impact on our neighbors in the community. The Tampa Metropolitan YMCA is a Four-Star Charity and is a 501(c)(3) organization. A portion of your sponsorship is tax-deductible and donors will receive a tax receipt for contributions. For more information or to register contact Kavita Marballi at 6831371 or

Recruiting The Community For Family Events Benefiting NonProfits

A kickoff community event will be held on Sunday September 17 from 12 Noon-4 p.m. at The Barn at Winthrop, located at 11349 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. This first free family event will showcase Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as they bring the programs to create new packs and troops. The goal is to have these events on the third Sunday of every month beginning in December. Each event will promote a different non-profit that is doing something to support our community. In addition there will be vendors, food trucks, bounce house and activities for the kids. For a list of vendors or to find out more information, please visit 111371862837705/ or email

August 2017

Increasing Word Fellowship

By Kate Quesada

Bloomingdale HOA Receives County Recognition The more. Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Homeowner’s won in the category Association (HOA) of Neighborhood Improvement as it is was recently recogcreated a new online nized by Hillsborough community standards County in its annual Neighborhood The Bloomingdale HOA was recognized list addressing the most common comRecognition Award at the recent Hillsborough County program. The associ- Neighborhoods Conference last month. plaints and worked with the county to iniation, which repretiate a codes sweep program. sents 5,200 residents in 32 sub-divisions The group also received an award for won awards in three of the nine cateNeighborhood Communications due to its gories announced at the Hillsborough monthly publication, The Bloomingdale County Neighborhoods Conference last Gazette which provides coverage on month. HOA issues, county news and business “These awards recognize those profiles. The association was also recogwhose efforts go above and beyond to nized for using a website and social make a difference,” said Hillsborough County Community Relations Coordinator media to reach residents. Finally, Bloomingdale HOA was also Michelle Van Dyke. recognized as one of the Effective Boards According to Van Dyke, the 2017 for prioritizing communication, problemcountywide awards program was solving, inclusion, training and strong revamped to reflect the changing ways residents are contributing to their commu- leadership. “Frank discussion is encouraged, volnities. unteers are recognized, various commit“The all-new categories recognized individuals, groups and organizations that tees organize a wide variety of events and initiatives and members interact reghave enriched the quality of life in neighborhoods through outreach, improvement ularly with government agencies on behalf of the community,” said Van Dyke. projects, vomiter work, safety programs, For more information on the awards, art, partnerships and board leadership,” visit or call said Van Dyke. the Office of Neighborhood Relations at Nominations were judged by an 272-5860. For more information on the panel that included representatives from Bloomingdale HOA, visit www.bloomingthe public sector, non profit groups, or call 681-2051. cation, neighborhood associations and

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

District Names New Communications And Media Officer, Grayson Kamm

By Tamas Mondovics

Pending approval the Public from the Hillsborough Information Office, County School responding to media Board, inquiries and sharing Superintendent Jeff story ideas. Eakins has named The team is veteran journalist and tasked to respond in communications proa timely fashion to all fessional Grayson requests from nationKamm last month as al, state, and local the new media and provide Communications and assistance with Media Officer for ParentLink. Hillsborough Since January Photo submitted by HCPS 2016, Kamm has Schools. Veteran journalist and communications served as the According to professional, Grayson Kamm was school officials, Communications named last month as Hillsborough Kamm, a graduate of County Public School’s new communi- Director at Tampa’s cations and media officer. the University of Museum of Science Florida, was ready to lead a team of & Industry. professionals on July 24, his first day “As a member of MOSI’s execuwith the district with the goal to tive team, Kamm has managed comimprove the connection between the plex projects and communications community and the district. effort and generated substantial posiOfficials said that Kamm is plantive media coverage for the institution,” ning on using a wide range of commu- said HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja. nication channels, which include its Before joining MOSI, Kamm covNewsDesk (online news blog), Inside ered a broad range of topics for 14 HCPS (a talk show with years as an award-winning journalist – Superintendent Jeff Eakins that highincluding extensive investigations, lights schools and teachers), as well breaking news, feature stories and as Social Media sites such as more - on television, in newspapers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and and online. YouTube Channels. Kamm is married to attorney and HCPS’ communications team that child advocate Cathy Kamm. includes Tanya Arja, (Media Outreach The oldest of their two children will and Department Manager), David begin kindergarten in Hillsborough Valdez (Marketing Manager) and Schools this fall. Doryann Carrega (Content For more information, please visit Development Manager) also serves as

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Volume 12, Issue 8

Bikes For Christ Provides More Than Transportation

By Amanda Boston

With its clever catchphrase, ‘Helps with Transportation on the Road to Salvation,’ the nonprofit organization Bikes For Christ puts bikes and Bibles into the hands of those less fortunate. In March 2016, local resident Patrick (Pat) Simmons coupled his love for Christ with his passion for cycling to start up the organization. Simmons explained, "I saw a need for transportation within the homeless

Pat Simmons, founder of Bikes For Christ, recently handed out bikes and Bibles with the Tampa Homeless Outreach. The event benefited homeless veterans.

time, Burtt, who is the music minister at First Baptist Dover, was also seeking to start a bicycle ministry. In fact, Burtt was in the process of converting a back room of the church into a bike repair shop. With nearly 85% of the donated bicycles requiring maintenance, Simmons asserts that their partnership is more than happenstance. "David joining During a Metropolitan Ministries vendor fair, David Burtt met a with Bikes For Christ family from Puerto Rico who had recently moved to Tampa has been a blessing, and had no transportation. Burtt provided the entire family and the opening of the with bikes. bicycle repair shop has communities, especially for the ones been an even greater dream come who are trying to better themselves and true," he said. get their lives back on track. They needBikes For Christ is always accepted transportation to get to a job or a doc- ing road worthy bikes, but it also relies tor." on monetary donations to purchase The organization not only provides bike parts and Bibles. On Friday, bikes to the homeless but also to veterSeptember 8 and Saturday, September ans and underprivileged children. It 9, Bikes For Christ will hold a fundraisaccepts donated bicycles from ing event at Keith’s Oaks Bar and Grill Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco in Brandon from 6 to 10 p.m. Counties and then redistributes them The entertainment will include live through several different agencies. Bikes music, raffles, prizes, items for auction For Christ collaborates with Tampa and a vendor fair in the courtyard. Homeless Outreach, Hillsborough Friday night’s entertainment will feature County Sheriff’s Office, Amazing Love the Eddie Wright Band, Pat Simmons Ministries, ECHO, A Kid’s Place, Family and other musical guests. Saturday Promise, Women’s Resource Center night’s entertainment will include musiand more. cal guests and Karaoke. All proceeds “The bicycles are just a segue to our from the event go to Bikes For Christ. real purpose, which is getting the word For more information, visit of God into these people’s hands. We or call 533plant the seed, and hopefully, they con9177. To donate a bike, you can drop it tinue to grow in Christ,” remarked off at University Bicycle Center, located Simmons. at 1220 E. Fletcher Ave. in Tampa. To Last December, Simmons teamed make a monetary donation, visit its up with David Burtt, another avid cyclist website and click donate. with a heart to share the gospel. At the

August 2017

Page 19

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Win Designer Sunglasses And Support Water Smart Tots Bingo Fundraiser

Family Friendly 5K And Fun Run Honors The Sacrifice Of Heroes

Florida resievery child dents know the deserves the importance of water opportunity to learn safety and the scary survival swimming statistics associated skills,” said Yick. with infant drown“Since our inceping. Local charity tion, close to 200 Water Smart Tots is children have benhosting an event efitted from receivnext month where ing scholarships donors can have who would otherfun while raising wise not have Water Smart Tots is hosting its second annufunds to help teach al Designer Sunglasses Bingo fundraiser on been able to afford September 14 in Valrico. local children to lessons.” swim. “The nationwide average cost for the The second annual Water Smart Tots 4-6 week specialized swim program is Designer Sunglasses Bingo fundraiser approximately $400-$500 per child,” said will take place on Thursday, September Yick. “For many families, these classes 14 from 6-10 p.m. at River Hills Country would not an option for them without a Club in Valrico. voucher or scholarship.” “This is our biggest fundraising event In addition to Bingo, every ticketed to raise money to provide survival swimplayer will also receive a goodie bag with ming scholarships to financially underpriv- snacks from Heavenly Creations and ileged children or children with special Harvest Crisps, samples from R+F by needs in Hillsborough County,” said Amanda McMahon and coupons from Cammie Yick, the Community Outreach Pinot’s Palette and Chick-fil-A Coordinator for Water Smart Tots who Bloomingdale. Each bag will contain a proposed the idea for the event to the raffle ticket for a chance to win a door charity’s board in 2016. “Last year the prize of one of six Alex & Ani bracelets event was nearly sold out and raised provide by Operation Lotus. DJ Jake more than $8,000. The funds directly Dela Cruz will provide music for the benefitted more than 25 children.” evening. There will also be a 50/50 aucWater Smart Tots is a non-profit cortion with baskets including Stampin' Up poration dedicated to eliminating pediatric Scrapbooking, Disney, Busch Gardens, drowning in Hillsborough County. Florida Aquarium, Aquatica, SeaWorld, “With pediatric drowning being the Medieval Times and WonderWorks tickleading cause of accidental death among ets, 2 roundtrip tickets on JetBlue & much children ages one to four in Florida, more. There will also be appetizers and a Water Smart Tots was founded by local cash bar. Visit or resident Kari Bahour on the belief that email

thing for me I think is just remembering 9/11… and it’s important to remember what that day was all about.” This nonprofit charity run is about remembering 9/11 and the wars since. This includes all the veterans, first responders, civilians, and military. The foundation wanted this run to also unite communities. A large portion of the net proceeds raised from the run will go back into the community. The rest goes to the Travis Manion foundation programs for veterans and survivors and its Character Does Matter program. Higgins said “I think as a community it is easy to lose sight of that day; what was a momentous day in the history of the United States, and the 9/11 Heroes Run is an opportunity to remember, and share our story… and hopefully to energize the community to give back.” The race will take place at Park Square, 16144 Churchview Dr. in Lithia starting at 8 a.m. Registration through August 22 is $27.50 for 5K for an Individual, $17 for the 1 Mile, $90 Fun Run/Walk Family Pack of 4 and $24.75 for 5K Active Duty Military or First Responder. The price goes up on August 23. There is a 10 percent discount for active duty status, with a government ID presented. For information, visit

By Kate Quesada

By Brittany Wallace

The 2016 Lithia 9/11 Heroes Run will take place this year on Saturday, September 9. Runners go full speed ahead on a day to remember 9/11 and the heroes who served.

The annual 9/11 Travis Manion Foundation Heroes Run will take place on Saturday, September 9 in Lithia. The Foundation is named after Manion, who was a US Marine Corp and served in Command 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. He died April 29, 2007 saving his teammates in Iraq. He used to say, “If not me then who…”. The Foundation works to keep that attitude by helping connect military to citizens, and help veterans and military. There will be a 5K run and a one mile fun run. Both runs are open to everyone no matter level of ability. You can choose to either run or walk. This is the third year for the Lithia 9/11 run. The director of the Lithia-based 5k 9/11 heroes run, Beau Higgins, knew Manion personally. He was the commanding officer of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion he served in. Higgins said, “The most rewarding

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Page 20

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 8


August 2017

Volume 12, Issue 8

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section BUDDY WALK..................................PG 24 MORE LAND FOR VETERAN PARK. .PG 27 CHALKLINES....................................PG 31 SPORTS CONNECTION .............PGS 32‐33 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 34

Flow Fitness Boutique Brings Babies And Moms Together For Barre Class

Barre Above™ is a totally unique approach to barre workouts as you’ve seen them. Fusing the best of pilates, stretching, aerobics, and elements of the strengthening exercises dancers do, Barre Above™ delivers a results-driven workout that is not only fun and dynamic, but it will sculpt your body and get you into absolutely amazing shape. And now your little one can join you. Not only do you get to bond with your baby over exercise, but the added weight provides a dynamic shift to your work out. Baby Wearing Barre Above™ is every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. Flow Fitness Boutique is located at 11331 US Hwy 301 S, Ste 101 in Riverview. Visit For more information, call Michelle at 405-7952 or email

An Eclectic Boutique For Your Wedding Needs - REVE

Visit REVE, which is an eclectic boutique located at 211 S. Moon Ave., directly across the street from Brandon Regional Hospital. REVE offers a unique, elegant

collection of quality products at affordable prices. REVE is owned by Christy JacksonCollins who notes that you will find many items not only for weddings, but for other events at the boutique, which recently opened. Check out wedding accessories including bridal veils, unity candle sets, cake toppers, blusher veils, bridal beach sandals, bridal bouquets, decorative bra straps, bridal belts, bridal and special occasion jewelry sets, decorative shoulder chains, Quinceanera and prom tiaras, Quinceanera rings, bridal and special occasion hair jewelry, birthday cake toppers, cake knife sets in English and Spanish, beach wedding flip flops, bridal shawls, bridal totes, ring bearer pillows, boutonnieres, wrist corsages, wedding favors, denim fashion accessories and jeans, featuring denim couture and American Bazi, imported Brazilian and Peruvian jeans, small sizes 0 and 1 avail-

able. Jeans in junior sizes 0-15, missy sizes 10–22, denim sandals, denim handbags denim belts, denim jewelry, fashion tops and T-shirts, 18 karat gold plate jewelry sets, hand stamped inspirational jewelry along with the latest fashion trendy jewelry. Wedding Packages are available to save Brides-to-Be both time and money starting at just $60. Hours are Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Call 643-6446 or visit, or on Facebook at

Thursday of every month. A variety of speakers will provide information on topics relating to swallowing, balance, walking, speaking, mobility, exercise, selfcare, cognition, and memory, all of which can be impacted by Parkinson’s Disease. The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in the assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases. For more information or to register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

Award Winning Program Offered At The Bridges

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly support group for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and caregivers on the third

The award-wining program, “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” will be offered at The Bridges

Continued on next page

Page 22

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 8

Business Column Continued............. County Changes Direction In Proposed By Michelle Colesanti

Assisted Living Community in partnership with Senior Connection Center, Inc. This free four week program emphasizes practical strategies to manage falls. Participants will learn to view falls as controllable. They will set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risks, and exercise to increase strength and balance. Anyone interested in improving their balance, flexibility and strength or that have restricted activities because of falling concerns are encouraged to attend. Classes will be held every Wednesday and Friday from September 6–September 29 from 9- 11 a.m. in the Clubhouse at The Bridges. Space is limited. Please call Janet at 413-8900 for more information.

band and wife team of Dr. Martha Ducatel and Dr. Watson Ducatel. Dr. Martha Ducatel is a graduate of the University of South Florida and Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. Her goal is to help you obtain your desired healthy smile while improving your oral health. Dr. Watson Ducatel also graduated from the University of South Florida and then attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. His focus area is a hands-on approach for diagnosing and treating disorders of the internal organs and musculoskeletal system. Together, they offer premium dentistry and first class Healthy Bodies medical care Medical and under one roof Dental Center with one goal, Celebrates Grand Photo courtesy of Ed Booth, Huth and Booth "Optimize Your Opening Photography. Healthy Bodies Ribbon Cutting for Healthy Bodies Medical Health". They craft their care and Dental Center in Brandon. Medical and Dental to suit your Center has recently unique needs. opened for business. The Greater The office is located at 3415 Brook Riverview Chamber of Commerce Dr. in Brandon. Call 540Crossing (GRCC) members, along with friends, 5005 to schedule an appointment with family and staff of Healthy Bodies either or both of these doctors. Visit showed up in July to celebrate with them. This is a new venture for hus-

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Bloomingdale Parks Improvements

By Tamas Mondovics

$1 million for the splash pad and tennis center and would have been paid for through park impact fees for new construction. Booher said that East Bloomingdale residents did not want to lose the tennis courts A map shows Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation’s originally prompting the proposed enhancement plan for Bloomingdale East Park. After resi- County to recondents’ input County officials have decided to refine the project or sider the prodecide if the project should not move forward. posed plan for Pointing to unexpected scheduling both parks. issues and a fair amount of public input Based on public comments and the ahead of an open house format public engineering analyses and surveys, meeting, Hillsborough County Parks Booher emphasized that Parks and and Recreation officials have changed Recreation will refine the project or direction on a proposed improvement decide the project should not move forproject of two Bloomingdale area parks. ward. Prior to its cancellation, the meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, July 11 and was seeking public input on improvements to Bloomingdale East Park, 3902 Natures Way Blvd. in Valrico, and Bloomingdale West Park, 3940 Canoga Park Dr. in Brandon. “We have received a lot of input from the community prior to the meeting indicating that residents were glad about improvements to the parks, but were not excited about some of the proposed A map shows Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation’s originally proposed enhancement plan changes,” said County for Bloomingdale West Park. After residents' input spokesperson Kyla Booher. County officials have decided to refine the project or The project called for rendecide the project should not move forward.. ovating the two parks, which “We have decided to change direcare about half a mile apart on either tion and for now looking at a smaller side of Bloomingdale Avenue. renovation such as repair and resurfacAt Bloomingdale West, the proing of the existing amenities at each posed project was going to expand the park,” she said. tennis courts into a $600,000 tennis Some of the amenities at the 19-acre center and include racquetball courts, Bloomingdale West Park include a basrestrooms, shelters and parking. ketball court, picnic shelters, open field, At Bloomingdale East, the project playground, racquetball and tennis courts, would have removed the tennis and sand volleyball and walking trails. The racquetball courts because of the new East Park has similar amenities. tennis center nearby and added a Some residents have expressed con$400,000 splash pad, also known as a cern about the lack of restroom facilities spray pool area with sprinklers, founat Bloomingdale West and hope that tains, nozzles, and other devices or county officials will consider adding it to structures that spray water with little or the proposed improvement plan. no standing water. For information, contact Kyla Booher The projects’ estimated total cost is at 307-1891 or visit

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August 2017

Page 23

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Longtime Campo Y Volunteer Ayden Thomas Honored During Anniversary Celebration

Valrico Family Thrilled To Open Second Zaxby’s With New Gibsonton Location

including serving as communications and Y stewardship coordinator, working closely with facility sponsors and program promoters. Over the years, Ayden has learned computer and people Photo courtesy of YMCA skills. She Campo YMCA volunteer, Ayden Thomas, center, is joined by fellow volunteers and Y representatives during a recent surprise anniversary cele- also helps to bration, recognizing her seven years of hard work, commitment and plan special dedication while serving the Y and the community. events and From coaching sports teams, plan- gives presentations at board meetings. ning events, raising funds and handling “When I first started seven years dozens of key responsibilities, YMCA ago, I didn't know much about the Y volunteers serve an important role in and didn't really know what the letters association’s daily function. meant, but I am so thankful for the According to a recent report nearly opportunity and what working here 9,000 volunteers motivated by their helped me achieve.” desire to give back to their local comY officials acknowledged that if it munity, donate an estimated quarter weren’t for her willingness and volunmillion dollars worth of time to the teer spirit, Ayden would be stuck inside Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA annuher home all day, while her mother ally. works full-time. One such long-time volunteer who Campo YMCA VP of Operations has earned her local YMCA staff as Rob Gray emphasized Ayden’s exemwell as the community’s respect and plary attitude when he said, “One thing admiration is Campo Y volunteer that struck me and continues to Ayden Thomas. impress me is Ayden’s smile and posiTo acknowledge her seven years tive spirit every time she comes to of dedicated service, Thomas, 31, who work. She has done this 16 hours a enjoys great support from her mom week for seven years straight.” Kim, was recognized late last month As an added benefit, volunteering during a special surprise anniversary at the Y has given Ayden a way to celebration hosted by the Campo Y meet new people in a friendly welcomstaff. ing environment, to improve her deciAyden was born with Spina bifida sion-making and time management and is wheelchair bound. skills not to mention gaining a whole lot What she lacks in mobility, she of self-awareness. makes up for in spirit including the Her mom agreed when she said, “I more than 5,000 volunteer hours that have seen Ayden’s self-confidence she has logged at the Campo Y, not to grow and her willingness to try new mention the thousands of dollars that things expand.” she had a hand in raising for the faciliTo sum up her appreciation for the ty. opportunity to be an integral part of the “I love working here,” Ayden said. Campo Y family as well as to serve her “The Y gave me an opportunity and I community Ayden said, “It has been a have grown so much from where I healthy experience and a blessing. The have started, which of course has a lot Y has been there for me for the past to do with the positive environment that seven years and I don't see myself I work in.” going anywhere anytime soon.” Known for her happy, outgoing and For more information about the positive attitude, Ayden currently hanCampo YMCA please visit www.tamdles a wide range of assignments

In March own business, 2003, Matt has been a Wortman big help giving made his him advice. dreams come Wortman has true when he bought the bought his rights for two first Zaxby’s more restauchain restaurants, but rant in Valrico. plans to open On April 3rd of only one more this year, he restaurant in expanded, Hillsborough building off Zaxby’s stellar staff getting County. He the success of wants people ready for the opening. his first store. to know what his restaurant has to The current offer. “We try to put love and care into Valrico resiour restaurant like a family would, dent opened and we just want to do the best for all his second restaurant in Gibsonton, in the guests that come in and want to the Riverview 14 Shopping and enjoy the excellent food that we proEntertainment Center, near the vide,” Wortman said. Goodrich GDX movie theater. Wortman is focused on making Wortman became interested in his Zaxby’s restaurant a desirable owning a Zaxby’s chain when he place for families to eat, along with worked for the company while he was great customer service. “I expect in college in Georgia, he said. He great customer service, excellent food made an offhand comment to his and any complaints to be solved mom about one day wanting to own a immediately if somebody has a bad Zaxby’s. He said his family was very experience,” Wortman said. “I want supportive and helped make his the management team to do the best dream become a reality. that they can to correct the mistakes He moved to Valrico in 2002 and that were made.” went into business with his mom, and Zaxby’s is a fast-food restaurant together, they purchased their first that specializes in chicken wings, restaurant. The family-owned busichicken fingers, sandwiches, salads ness has had success, which led to and more. It also offers special dipthe opening of the second store 14 ping sauces and catering is available years later. Wortman said his father, as well. It primarily operates in the Robert, who previously owned his south with more than 800 locations.

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Volume 12, Issue 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Host Buddy Walk To Support Down Syndrome Community Since being established in 2006, the nonprofit organization F.R.I.E.N.D.S Down Syndrome West Florida has worked to provide educational and support services to families who have been impacted by the condition as well as encouraging community involvement through events. One of these events, the Second Annual FDSWF Buddy Families come out to support FDSWF at the First Annual Walk, is slated to occur Buddy Walk in 2016. on October 7 at Raymond organization, but James Stadium. The idea for the Walk the good will came to Ann Foyt, the President of didn’t stop there. FDSWF, after welcoming an enthusiAfter running an astic Craig Woodard Sr. “He had article on the organized a fundraiser through his Buddy Walk, the employer [Springleaf Financial] and St. Pete Times raised over $1200 for FRIENDS,” Ann donated over Foyt said of the addition, “He came to $4,000 worth of me in 2016 with the idea of hosting a advertising while Buddy Walk.” the Winthrop With four people doing the work Group donated of 18, it took the team a mere four months to secure a location and spon- office space to FDSWF, giving sors for the event as well as more them a place to than 50 volunteers from the University host workshops of South Florida. “I thought we would and meetings. have a couple of hundred people to With the donashow up and maybe raise a few thoutions raised, the sand dollars,” Foyt spoke of her expectations, “In the end, we had over organization could begin their 860 registered families and over 2,000 Sponsorship Program as well as conpeople showed up the day of the walk. tinue to sustain their current programs. As this year’s Buddy Walk quickly It was phenomenal.” The supportive approaches, Foyt is prepared to delivfamilies raised over $30,000 for the

By Caitlin Masessa

crowd with superheroes and princesses as the participants make their way down to the Buccaneers field. Tampa Food Trucks and YoYo Juice will provide food while FDSWF’s own Robert Taylor grills ribs and pulled pork. The event is expected to have a few local celebrities in attendance. With his Buddy Walk volunteers work to make the First Annual Buddy Super Bowl ring, forWalk unforgettable. mer Bucs DE Chuck er a day Darby will be signing autographs and that is taking pictures. The raffles will also “bigger offer autographed footballs by QB and betJameis Winston, WR Mike Evans, and ter” than DE Gerald McCoy. the sucThe registration fee for the event cessful is $15 and includes a free t-shirt as year well as admission into the event. before. Down Syndrome individuals and chilThe day dren 12 years old and under is free. will start For the Buddy Walk and beyond, with a President Ann Foyt is thrilled to contin“child ue serving the community. “I have friendly” such a passion for our DS community Tailgate and I will not stop until we have grown Party into the organization that our families hosted can be proud of,” Ann Foyt spoke with by DJ confidence, “We aren’t going anyChuck where.” The Second Annual Buddy Eckhart. Walk will be on Saturday, October 7 at After getting their faces painted by Raymond James Stadium. Lola The Party Girl, the children are For more information, visit welcome to participate in inflatable or slides and obstacle courses. The MUCH Foundation plan to delight the

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August 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Feld Entertainment, Inc., Brings Newest Disney On Ice Frozen to Tampa

By Vanessa Evans

Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, announced it will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life. Tickets are on sale for Disney On Ice presents Frozen, which visits Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Dr. in Tampa from Friday, September 29 at 7 p.m., Saturday, September 30 at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, October 1 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as Let it Go, Do You Want to Build a Snowman? and Fixer Upper. “In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” said producer Nicole Feld. “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innova-

tive show elements and world-class skating.” Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee add, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace Frozen has been the experience of a lifetime. And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Feld Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.” In Disney On Ice presents Frozen, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all. To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating. All seats are reserved and tickets are available by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amalie Arena office. Group ticket sales and information, call 866248-8740. Visit

Page 25

Hillsborough County Pet Resource Celebrates Major Milestone, Earns BOCC Commendation

By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough of close cooperation County Pet Resource with animal rescue Center (PRC), the groups and new policounty’s only opencies that aggressively admission shelter in promote adoption, Hillsborough County, foster, and spay-andand its staff and volneuter programs. According to Pet unteers have every Resource Center reason to be proud of Director Scott their hard work, Members of the Hillsborough County Pet Trebatoski, the which was recently Resource Center were recognized by the recognized by the Board of County Commissioners for their monthly adoption Board of County hard work that has included assisting the events have become Commission (BOCC). adoption of more than 50,000 dogs and a much-welcomed cats at the center in the past four years. addition and have During a regularhelped with center capacity. ly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, “We are now seeing a following as July 19 on the 2nd floor of the County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., the BOCC residents come out to adopt as well as enjoy a day of fun and celebration with issued a commendation to us,” Trebatoski said. the Center and its adoptions and rescue Officials emphasized that the shelter partners for the life-saving programs that also depends on a talented veterinary have led to the rescue and adoption of staff and dedicated community volunteers over 50,000 pets in the past four years. that now number more 640 and who According to County officials, prior to the BOCC embarking on the ‘Be the Way have logged in 26,000 hours of service in 2016. Home’ plan in May 2013, approximately “Many of those hours dedicated to 40 percent of the animals brought into the finding loving homes for shelter pets,” PRC were adopted out. Trebatoski said. However, during the following three As part of the continued effort to years, and thanks to some aggressive accomplish its purpose, the Center is crechanges in leadership, organization and ating a wall at the shelter to showcase improvements to the center and its functhe pets with their adopted families. tions, the number of pets adopted more Adopters are encouraged to take a than doubled to 85.5 percent, including 90 percent for dogs, which officials said is family photo with their PRC dog or cat and drop it off at the center, 440 N. an amazing figure for a shelter that Falkenburg Road, or email it to accepts any pet regardless of size, age, breed, or medical condition. For info about Pet Resource Center, The increase in the number of pets finding new homes is said to be the result visit

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 8

August 2017

Page 27

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Southside Baptist Church Celebrates Its 50 Year Anniversary In 1965, a group of members from First Baptist Church of Brandon broke ground on five acres located on the ‘south side’ of Brandon to create the Southside Baptist Mission. On Mother’s Day in 1966, Southside opened its doors to the community with its first worship service. Pastor James Shearer led the service in a bare bones building with concrete floors and no air-conditioning. Marilyn Lucas was among the 61 persons who attended its first worship service in 1966. She said, “We had furniture handed down from four other churches, no cushions and lots of splinters. There were no classrooms— just two rooms in the back for the nursery. It was quite a noise in the building that day.” On September 10, 1967, Southside Baptist was officially constituted as a church. A half a century later, Lucas is still a member at Southside and is on the church's anniversary planning committee. Lucas, along with several committee members, is working diligently to plan a 50-year anniversary celebration on Sunday, September 10 at 10 a.m. Lucas said, “It has truly been a privilege and honor to serve my church for these 50 years. We hope any past members who are reading this will call the church and let us know they are coming.” The festivities will begin with a memories program, which will include former pastors Pete Vandeweghe and Chad Driggers as speakers. Dr. Tommy Green,

By Amanda Boston

the Executive DirectorTreasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention will also speak during the presentation. Southside Baptist plans to recognize former music and youth ministers with special music. The celebration will conclude with a catered lunch where friends both from the past and present can mingle. In honor of its 50th anniversary, the church began an outreach called VBS @ The Park this summer. For years, Southside has offered a summer Vacation Bible School on its property. However, instead of bringing the community to its campus like previous years, the church took VBS to the community. Youth Minister Ricky Holder and his army of volunteers held VBS at Heather Lakes Park and Bertha and Tony Sandino Park in Brandon. When Holder was asked about the success of VBS @ The Park, he said, “It’s not about numbers because that’s not an accurate way of looking at it. But as far as getting a presence out in the neighborhood and with these families, that's what we are really going for, and I feel we have been successful in that.” For more information on the church or the upcoming celebration, visit To contact the church, email or call 689-6049. Southside Baptist Church is located at 415 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon.

County To Buy Additional Land For More Parking At Veterans Park

By Tamas Mondovics

Program funding; the $200,000 for site improvements, that is part of $560,000 in additional funds recommended for 2018 CIP. If approved, the property will be purchased by October 2017 followed by design from October 2017 to April 2018. The estimated seven-month-long A site plan shows a nearly two-acre parcel scheduled to be construction is purchased for additional parking space at Veterans Park and scheduled for April Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum. County 2018 to October officials hope to complete the project by fall 2018. 2018. Residents were invited last month to The museum and park are popular learn about the County’s proposal to destinations, featuring several memoriincrease parking availability at Veterans als and monuments, and hosting a Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. number of special events and cereVeterans Museum. monies throughout the year. The open-house format meeting Officials emphasized that the hosted by Hillsborough County Real 8,000-sq. ft. Veterans Resource Center Estate and Facilities Services, was held currently also under construction on the at the museum, 3602 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in grounds will become the new home for Tampa, with project displays available for the County’s Consumer and Veterans viewing, giving residents a chance to Services. review plans, ask questions, and comAs funds become available future ment on a proposal to buy a 1.85-acre plans also call for a 14,000 to 16,000 parcel at 3801 Danny Bryan Blvd. sq. ft. addition for educational use and According to officials, the purchase of museum exhibits. the parcel is the first step in the $450,000 “The new services center is the project to create parking for an additional result of a unified effort by our local 70 to 90 vehicles along with the addition Veterans, Veteran advocates, of a secondary access point for use durHillsborough County government and ing special events. the state of Florida,” said Assistant The project is included within the Hillsborough County Administartor, existing Veterans Memorial Park Capital Dexter Barge. Improvement Project and is planned to be It will include a multi-purpose room funded by two sources. A State of Florida for uses such as training and special Department of Economic Development events. grant awarded to the County in the 2017No interruptions to park activities 2018 legislative session, $250,000 of are anticipated during planned conwhich is for land purchase, part of a struction. $388,000 grant that includes Veterans For more information, please visit Resource Center enhancements. the County’s Veterans Memorial Park Money for the project also comes Expansion – Additional Parking project from the County Parks Impact Fee webpage at

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 8

Encore by David Weekley Homes At FishHawk Ranch Lets Residents Live Life To The Fullest Just because Encore at FishHawk Ranch is a 55 and over community, don’t assume that its residents sit around all day playing bridge. Well, in all honesty, they do have a weekly Bridge night, but it’s sandwiched in between Pickleball, line dancing, Yoga and aqua fitness classes. Let’s not forget Wine Down Wednesdays. In fact, residents are given a monthly activity calendar so chock-full of entertainment options, life here can seem more like a vacation than the daily grind. The hub of this community is The Oasis Lifestyle Club, 5,000-sq. ft. complete with full-time activities director Sandy Acevedo, a personal trainer and group exerMixologist Ed Blash whips up drink concoccise instructor, resorttions at a get-together at Encore at FishHawk style lap pool, bocce, Ranch. pickle ball courts and or playing Bridge,” said basketball gym. Haupt. “I had no idea there were so When Dee Haupt made the decimany activities.” sion to move from Pinellas County to Haupt finds herself attending most FishHawk to be closer to her daughter of them, as do many other residents. and grandchildren, she immediately Resident and author Ed Blash fell in love with the vibrant community. heads up the breakfast and board “Sometimes I’m up at the Oasis game clubs. He gets his daily work-out Lifestyle Club two or three times a day, in at the gym. taking yoga and line dancing classes “I wasn’t looking for a social cen-

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accustomed to hosting large gatherings and coming up with new activities. Holidays are easy but it’s the days in between that can prove more challenging. August’s party is a Cheeseburger in Paradise party. “My staff Encore at FishHawk residents Dee Haupt, Mardy Hall, and I start Colleen Keane and Gerry Knox share a game of cards before thinking about taking a swim in the pool at The Oasis Lifestyle Club. an activity and our brains just go crazy,” she said. The 240home community currently has 42 occupied homes but are selling quickly. Homes in Encore at FishHawk Ranch, built by David Weekley Homes and sitter, but I’m pleased with all the uated on 50’ homesites, start in the options,” he said. “You really have the high $280’s and feature expanded outchoice here to be as social as you door living areas and inviting living want.” spaces, great for entertaining and conWith a calendar that changes necting with friends. every month, one might think it is diffiFor more information about cult to come up with fun and unique Encore at FishHawk Ranch visit events tailored to the over-50 set. or “Not so,” said Acevedo, who once worked at the Y.M.C.A., and was

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Fast Track Urgent Care Offers Quick Healthcare Without The Hassel By Amy Schechter

Going to patient schedthe doctor can ules and within be an unpleaspatients’ budgant experience. ets. True care, One is often not profit, is at unwell when the center of you find yourtheir business self waiting in a model and the crowded area customer is with other sick always most people. Your important. appointment The first runs behind thing you notice Fast Track Urgent Care Now Open in Riverview. schedule and when you walk you should be leaving to get to work or in is the warm, welcoming environment, get the kids to school. Perhaps work is more like a lounge filled with stunning artpiling up because you had to leave the work than a doctor’s office. Dr. Nanda office early to meet an unreasonable explains the vision: “This is where I want appointment time. These were all probto bring my mom. I want our patients to lems Dr. Daron G. Diecidue decided to say this is the single best medical care solve when he started Fast Track Urgent I’ve gotten in my life.” Care Center in 2005. Born and raised in From here, doctors are able to treat the Tampa area, Dr. Diecidue wanted a variety of common illnesses, such as customer service and care to be at the respiratory or stomach ailments, as well heart of his practice, and since opening as treatments and tests such as blood his practice, it has expanded to include draws and x-rays. Appointments are six, soon to be eight locations, with the offered seven days a week from 8 a.m. newest location right here in Riverview. until 8 p.m. Are you going to school? He and his staff are most definitely doing Working? Hours are offered that meet something right. your needs. Don’t want to wait? You can Dr. Paul Nanda, the medical director call the office or go online to request a explained the changing face of urgent Fast Pass. Most major insurance is care and the need for all patients to accepted and special discounted rates to receive “evidence-based, patient-focused, uninsured patients. Walk-ins are welcost-effective healthcare,” even if they come. only see a doctor in times of illness or For information, visit www.fasttrackuremergency. Owned and operated by or call 925-1903. The physicians, they employ those who pracRiverview office is located in an outparcel tice family medicine and are committed to in the new Publix lot at 11406 US Hwy forming lasting relationships and educat301 S. in Riverview. Facebook at ing their patients all while working with

Leadership Brandon Class Of 2017 Hosts 18th Annual Casino Night

Staff Report

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Brandon Class of 2017 will host its 18th Annual Casino Night on Friday September 8 at the Regent, which is located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. This year’s theme is a Black & White party. Casino Night is an annual fundraiser for Leadership Brandon, which is a 10month professional development program developed by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. The Casino Night party features casino-style gaming, an open bar, DJ, and silent auction items. The event typically draws several hundred people, with popular raffle items like the Chest of Cheer, a 50/50 raffle, and the Tower of Beer. “Casino Night makes a great date night, or a girls/guys night out, and it’s a wonderful way to meet other businesses and network in the Brandon community,” said Melissa Baldwin of Leadership Brandon Class 2017. Tickets can be purchased at Pre-sale tick-

ets are available through Friday, September 1 for $50 per person and are $65 per person thereafter. The ticket price includes food, open bar and casino money. The Leadership Brandon Program started in 1985 and connects people with the opportunity to grow as leaders, develop relationships with people of influence, and inspires them to make a difference in their business and in the community. The program has educated and inspired hundreds of people over the years. Many have gone on to positions throughout the community and made countless though extraordinary contributions. Leadership Brandon graduates serve in senior positions in state and local government, both for profit and non-profit business, as directors on boards and as volunteers and advocates throughout our community. It is a program of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the Chamber, visit The Class of 2017 is also actively seeking silent auction donations and sponsorships for Casino Night. Donations of merchandise, services, or gift certificates would be appreciated for the silent auction. Donations should be received by August 25.


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Volume 12, Issue 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

District Begins 2017-2018 Season With Confidence In Continued Student Success Annual Back To School Press Conference

Superintendent Jeff Eakins, School Board members, students and staff welcomed the media to its annual Hillsborough County Public Schools Back to School news conference, on Monday, August 7, at 10:30 a.m., at Ben Hill Middle School, located at 5200 Ehrlich Rd., Tampa. The event is an opportunity for Eakins to share some of the district’s goals for the upcoming school year, including district’s promised efforts to continue building a strong school culture at each school while providing an engaging curriculum for the more than 212,000 students. “Through the dedication of the district’s teachers, administrators and support staff both at the schools and at the district level, Hillsborough County Public Schools continues to increase the district’s graduation rate,” said HCPS communications officer Grayson Kamm. Kamm emphasized that the most recent graduation rate increased three percentage points to 79.1 percent and the district currently has 996 more graduates than in the prior year. At the news conference, Superintendent Eakins also explained the district’s systems of support, that he said, “Ensures that our teachers have

the tools necessary to be successful in the classroom.” For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools please visit

During the 2016-2017 school year, 51 traditional schools were graded “A” in 2017, up by 10 from 2016. In 2017, 38 traditional schools were graded “B”, 15 traditional schools improved their grade from a “D” to a “C” and there fewer "F" traditional schools, District Welcomes New dropping to 3 from 7 in 2016. Educators For 2017-2018 Seven of the district’s turnaround Season schools, as defined by the state, have improved and are now in a monitoring Hillsborough County Public status. Just Elementary went from a “D” Schools officials including to a “B”, while Jennings and Van Buren Superintendent Jeff Eakins, Superintendent Jeff Eakins talks to the nearly 600 new Middle, and Gibsonton, Lockhart School Board Chair Cindy Stuart, teachers ready to begin the 2017-2018 school year. Magnet and Reddick Elementary as well as other School Board theme of the Hillsborough Educators all went from a “D” to a “C”. Schools members and district staff welcomed Institute is “Learn, Grow, Thrive” and is Superintendent Jeff Eakins emphanearly 600 educators, last month to take the first opportunity for new hires to learn sized that there is still more work to be part in the annual Hillsborough Educators about the more than 212,000 students done, but said that he is committed to Institute. they themselves will be welcoming in to supporting the efforts of our school staff The event hostesd by Gaither High their classrooms on the first day of as we all work to prepare students for School was designed to assist teachers school. life. to gain insight into the district and learn to “We are committed to student sucbe the most effective teacher in the classDistrict Boasts Of More “A” Schools    cess,” he said. “The school grades show room. Hillsborough County Public School we are doing something significant in Following the opening remarks, officials were pleased to post the results the way students are learning and how teachers transitioned into sessions organof the 2016-2017 school grades, released they are achieving. We have people in ized by area, by school and by grade last month by the Florida Department of our schools who are creating the right level. Education, showed students making culture in our schools, advocating for Day two of the program offered partremendous gains. students and building relationships,” said ticipants a variety of sessions from This release demonstrates that Superintendent Jeff Eakins. increasing engagement in everyday Hillsborough County Public Schools The 2016-17 school grades, district classroom activities, classroom manageadministrators, teachers and support staff grades and school improvement ratings ment, and knowing your students through are dedicated to student success and are now available at http://schooldata. advocate for every child, officials said. According to school officials the

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Volume 12, Issue 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition






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Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay Program Posts Record Setting Day At Junior Nationals

By Tamas Mondovics

Eric Lowry a member of the Hillsborough County Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay competes in the under 18 category during the National Junior Disability Championships.

Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay, a program of Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, enjoyed the spotlight last month, after a record setting day during the National Junior Disability Championships. The tournament was held July 16-22 in Middleton, Wisconsin, with hundreds of athletes from across the country participating. The Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals is for athletes ages 6 to 22 with physical disabilities and is the oldest and largest continuously held competitive sports event in the country. When it was over the Hillsborough County team in its Small Team Division posted nine national records along with top team honors. According to the sports coordinator for Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay, Andy Chasanoff, the team’s three

Logan Krepop competes in the under 16 category during the Paralympic National Junior Disability Championships.

athletes competed in track and field, swimming, archery, and weightlifting. In all, Eric Lowry, 17, of Land O’ Lakes, Danielle Kanas, 12, of Lutz, and 15-yearold Logan Krepop of Parrish won 18 gold, 11 silver, and four bronze medals. One of the gold medals came when Danielle shattered the old national record in the javelin by a stunning six meters. “They worked so hard in practice, and their hard work really paid off,” Chasanoff said. “They were very focused and very supportive of each other. You could see Members of Hillsborough County’s Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay the effort they put Small division team assistant coach Dave Lowry, Eric Lawry, Logan, Krepop, Danielle Kanas and program director forth.’’ Andy Chasanoff. pose for a photo following its successful particiA signature propation during the National Junior Disability Championships. gram of Hillsborough County’s Parks and Recreation, Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay offers year-round sports and recreation programs to promote healthy lifestyles, independence, and personal growth for people with physical disabilities. For info on Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Paralympic Sport Danielle Kanas, 12, competes in the under 14 shot-put event the Tampa Bay visit National Junior Disability Championships.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition



Story and photos by Tamas Mondovics

County Opens Registration For 2017 Brandon Skatepark Hosts Best Senior Games, Bunco Joins The Sports Shredder Contest By Tamas Mondovics By Tamas Mondovics

designed for beginThe second, and ners and offers a traditionally the street-like experilargest, of the threecontest Best Shredder ence. County officials skateboard tournasaid that the idea of ment will was held in the annual contest is early August at the to showcase the Brandon Skate Park, area's most talented 5720 Providence skaters and the Road, in Brandon. Young skaters at the Brandon Skate Park Event organizers show off their skills during a recent com- County's three petition organized by Hillsborough County skateboard parks as expected a large Park and recreation. the sport gets turnout and were not increasingly popular. The annual Best disappointed giving testimony to the Shredder event helps fuel the excitement. park’s rightful place in the community, As reported by the Hillsborough which when completed came at the cost County communications, Zackary of $500,000. Monson, 19, an accomplished skater Each year, the Best Shredder tourney brings together Hillsborough County’s from Valrico, is a regular at Brandon Skate Park who has recently displayed top skateboarders to compete in a streetsome of his skills at an exhibition at style contest that features prizes for first, Apollo Beach Skate Park, and is strongly second, and third place, and names a considering a run for Best Shredder said, Best Shredder in each division for the "I just love it. I’ll keep doing it until the day overall series. The tournament is organI die or my legs fall off.” ized by Hillsborough County's Parks and New this year at each event is the Recreation, and feature skateboardingbest-trick exhibitions during midpoint related vendors and exhibits. breaks. Skaters who execute the best The Brandon tournament is the sectricks earn prizes, but the maneuvers ond, and the largest, of the three tournawon't count toward the Best Shredder ments that make up the Best Shredder competition. contest, which this year began on March First place winners at the Brandon 18, at the Jackson Springs Skate Park, contest included Sam Christoff (8 and the County’s newest course located at under), Tommy Lee (9 - 12), Paris Kilby 8612 Jackson Springs Road in Tampa. (13 - 15), and Sly Sullivan (16 and up). The final event is scheduled For information, visit September 30, at Apollo Beach Skate or call (813) 744Park, 664 Golf and Sea Blvd. in Apollo 5319. Beach. The Apollo Beach park is


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among senior games participants, games organizers said. Other options include horseshoes, darts, billiards, bag toss, and shuffleboard, with a total of more than 40 sports and recreational events. Some events serve as qualifiers for Hillsborough County residents 50 and up take part in the annual the Florida Senior Tampa Bay Senior Games. Last year more than 600 participants Games. took part in the two-week long Olympics-like event. "It's a lot of fun, One of the year’s most exciting local and you don't have to be an athlete," said sporting events is Hillsborough County’s Mary MayGlass, 78, and a six-year Annual Tampa Bay Senior Games, which Senior Games veteran. It's not intimidatwill be celebrating its 37th season. ing at all. We encourage each other." Registration for the fun and friendly With socialization as a major part of competition is now open for all those who the Games, participants will for the first meet the requirements and are interested time try a roll of the dice at a Bunco table in taking part in the 18-day event, schedthis year. uled to take place October 2-20 through"I've met a lot of nice friends,” said out the Tampa Bay area. May who competes in darts, bowling, With an estimated 650 people shuffleboard, and horseshoes, among a expected to attend, the Senior Games is long list of other events. “It’s not about a three-week long competition ranging winning or losing; it's about good friends from a baking contest, hobby show, and and having fun.” talent showcase on opening day to the Registration is now open for contestmore physically demanding activities of ants who will be at least 50 by the end of tennis, golf, softball, track and field, 2017. The senior games are hosted by cycling, powerlifting, golf, and bowling not Hillsborough County in partnership with to mention pickleball, one of the fastest Friends of the County Parks, City of growing sports in the country according to Tampa, and City of Temple Terrace. the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA). For more information and to register, The event has become a favorite please visit

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Page 34

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 8

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Members Of Paint Box Studio Show Their Artwork At Center Place

Center Place Presents Practically Perfect This September

Paint Box for two years. Biasetti Studio is a group said, "I paint for the joy of female artists of painting. I love it, who work in difand I paint all the ferent media time." Biasetti added, "I from painting to get inspired by the quilting. These other artists in the experienced and group." Paint Box Studio members, Peggy Little, talent artists are Biasetti can be Deborah Biasetti and Gunni Nilsson Price, showcasing their were on hand at a reception of their show contacted at deborahwonderful artPaint Box Studio Old and New, held recently at Center Place. The group gets together, work in an Peggy Little, who paints together and offers helpful advice and exhibit at Center critiques to one another as they work to cre- uses both watercolor Place, called and acrylic, has been ate beautiful works of art. Paint Box Studio with the group for over Old and New. The exhibit is available for 10 years and has been painting for 30 viewing now through Wednesday, August years. "I love to paint beautiful artwork. I 30. love to see pretty colors and look forward Paint Box Studio is composed of to seeing the finished product," said Little. Melinda Albritton, Deborah Biasetti, The group is all friends who inspire Carlene Earl, Meletha Everett, Judith E. one another. Little said, "We critique one Johnson, Peggy Little, Bonnie Phillips another's work. Sometimes you just need and Gunni Nilsson Price. that to be creative." Little can be contactThe current exhibit is a lovely one ed at which reflects the diversity of the artists in Gunni Nilsson Price, who uses oil as both style and subject matter. In addition her main medium, has been with the to the usual late art pieces, these artists group for many years. Nilsson-Price said also enjoy creating beautiful miniatures. of the show, "We have held this show off The different media exhibited in the show and on for a number of years. It is a good includes oil, watercolor, acrylic and oil way to show our work, both old and new. with pen and ink. The show accurately depicts the work of Several of the artists were at a recep- each artist. You can see their progress as tion held at Center Place on Thursday, artists." To view Nilsson Price’s work, August 10. Deborah Biasetti, who is a please visit http://www.home.earthlink.netwatercolor artist, has been with the group /gunnibobpr.

Center Place of Screen Actors Guild Brandon will host Lifetime Achievement the national tour of Award. a brand new theatriDawn Galia, cal eventExecutive Director of Practically Perfect Center Place said, "It is The Music of Julie going to be a fantastic Andrews and Her show. It is definitely a Leading Men, show for all ages. We are Robert Goulet and super excited to be able Dick Van Dyke. Center Place will host the national tour to have a show of this calof Practically Perfect. There will be only iber at Center Place." two performances of Practically Perfect. Practically Perfect is a production of The performances will be held on Friday, Matthews Entertainment and Event, a September 22 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, national touring entertainment company September 24 at 3 p.m. that brings the finest music and producBoth performances will take place at tion values of Las Vegas, Broadway, and Center Place located at 619 Vonderburg cruise ships to their tour venue partners. Dr. in Brandon. Matthews Entertainment and Event speTickets range from $18 to $25. Group cializes in high energy theatrical concerts, rates are available in advance. Call vintage supper club entertainment and Center Place at 685-8888 to reserve your full-length Broadway musical productions. tickets today. Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Practically Perfect is a magical show Association was established in 1976. It is which the whole family will love. a non-profit organization whose members Practically Perfect will feature beloved are dedicated to the promotion of fine arts and well-known songs from Camelot, and civic involvement. Center Place offers Cinderella, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, cultural enrichment opportunities for The Sound of Music and Thoroughly everyone in the community through a Modern Millie. Julie Andrews made her variety of programs including art exhibits, film debut in Mary Poppins and won an art education and the performing arts. Academy Award for Best Actress for her Center Place is located at 619 performance. In addition, Julie Andrews Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. For more won five Golden Globes, three Grammys, information, please visit www.centerplacetwo Emmys and was awarded the

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August 2017

Page 35

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

McGinnis Law Firm Puts Clients First With Family & Marital Law Practice

By Nick Nahas

Wendy McGinnis practices McGinnis knew all areas of family law, since the 7th grade including divorce cases, that she wanted to paternity cases, adopbecome a lawyer. tions, name changes and “My parents would domestic violence cases always tell me that as well. According to I was good at makMcGinnis, she is very ing arguments,” hands-on with her she said. In 2001, clients. They deal directly she fulfilled her with her and aren’t dreams, becoming passed off to a paralegal licensed in Florida or assistant. She is also to practice family a certified family medialaw. tor. “I am there for my McGinnis went clients, advocating for to the University of their best interests and Delaware for her their rights under the undergraduate law,” she said. schooling, majoring McGinnis lives with in political science her husband and four and minoring in kids in the Brandon area. French, and then She likes to volunteer in Wendy McGinnis has been attended Seton her spare time to help the practicing family law for 16 years. West Florida Flames Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey Soccer Club. She also enjoys particito get her law degree. pating in races, such as the Fishhawk In November 2007, McGinnis Turkey Trot 5K and the Gasparilla started her own law firm, McGinnis Distance Classic. Law Firm. For 10 years now, You can call 800-768-2026 to McGinnis has served the greater schedule a free initial consultation Tampa area, specializing in family with McGinnis Law Firm. Their office law. According to McGinnis, the six hours are Monday through Friday years prior to owning the practice, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and she worked for several private law weekend appointments are available firms that also practiced family law, by request. helping her learn the ins and outs of For more information, you can the business, which assisted her in visit the McGinnis Law Firm website starting her firm. at

Superior Residences Activities Director Wins Director Of Year Award At Conference Individuals at Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care sang along to their theme song called You Are My Sunshine as Activities Director Bill Andrew softly played it on the piano. Andrew recently won the Life Enrichment Director of the Activities Director Bill Year award at Andrew at Superior the 2017 Senior Residences of Living Brandon Memory Care wins Life Enrichment Conference on Director of the Year July 28. This award. conference took place at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida from July 26- 28 with the sponsor being Florida Argentum. He had no idea about his nomination for this particular award and shared his thoughts about it. “I felt elated and very humble to receive the Life Enrichment Director of the Year award. Definitely an honor to represent the state of Florida,” Andrew said. Andrew resides in the Riverview area and highly involved with The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce for many years. For the last two years Andrew maintained his position

By Tatiana Ortiz

as the Activities Director. He began his journey at Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care 15 years ago and played the piano. Andrew also attends Mulberry United Methodist Church and directs music there. He has been playing organ and piano in church since 1974. To add, during his college years he majored in music and started his lessons at the age of four! What he loves most about his role at Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care would be when he plays the piano and the residents sing along with him. In addition to that, Andrew enjoys sitting at the table with the residents to converse with them. Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care offers a homelike community for all levels of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diagnosis. These programs and services here utilize the latest knowledge and therapeutic techniques. It does provide amenities too. Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care also encourages family involvement and community activities. To learn more, visit It is located at 1819 Providence Ridge Blvd. in Brandon. Call 657-8587.

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Page 36

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 8

Profile for Osprey Observer

Osprey Observer 2017-8 Brandon/Winthrop  

Osprey Observer 2017-8 Brandon/Winthrop