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Two Sections, 40 Pages of Community News

Big Easy Comes To Brandon

Valrico

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September 2016 1 5

Y E A R S

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P U B L I S H I N G

Vendors, Artists Will Be Featured At 7th Twin Lakes Art In The Park

By Kathy L. Collins

Everyone is welcome to come to Zenia Park in the community of Twin Lakes in Valrico as they host the 7th Art in the Park on Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

event to bring the community together. What is better than an art festival to bring people together? This year, we would love to have as many artists as the park can hold.” The park is large enough that anyone who wants to attend and show their creativity is welcome. There will certainly be something for everyone at this year's Art in the Park including food and entertainment. The park is shady and beautiful. It is filled with oaks that are over 100 years old. It is the perfect spot to spend a Florida fall afternoon either displaying your work or perusing the work of local artists and crafts people. Organizers expect to welcome approximately 60 vendors and 500 people to the festival this year. Anyone interested in participating can register via email at LisaHarmonHomes@gmail.com. Please provide your name, type of art or craft, and a cell phone number. Reservations are required for vendors and artists to participate.

P O S I T I V E

C O M M U N I T Y

By Kathy L. Collins

The blank cards allow the soldiers to send a personal message to friends and family. Over the years, we have received thank you cards from the soldiers thanking us for our community’s support.” Rodriquez said, “If you have Photo courtesy Steve Nickerson a loved one curShow your support for the troops by participating in the 9th Annual rently serving Cards For Troops on Saturday, October 1 at Center Place in Brandon. overseas, give Center Place Fine Arts and The us their address and we will send a box Community Roundtable will present the of cards to them.” 9th Annual Cards For Troops on No experience is necessary to take Saturday, October 1 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at part in this wonderful community event. Center Place located at 619 Vonderburg Organizers are seeking sponsors Dr. in Brandon. and donations of food for lunch for the Members of the community 16 years card making volunteers. To make a donaand older can come together to assemble tion of any kind including one that will 2,500 cards this year. All cards are left help offset the cost of supplies and blank so that the troops can fill them out postage, contact Center Place at 685and send them to family and friends. 8888 or cp@centerplacebrandon.org or Lisa Rodriguez, marketing director for contact the Community Roundtable at Center Place said, "Cards For Troops has 661-4350 or roundtable2008@aol.com. grown into a fabulous community event where we come together as a strong and giving community and show our support In This for the troops. We have a wonderful comIssue mittee of Stampin’ Up distributors who donate their time months ahead of the event to design, create and prepare the COACH BAG BINGO..........................PG 10 supplies needed to create the holiday HALLOWEEN FAMILY FUN................PG 16 cards. Then, volunteers gather at Center Place and work tirelessly to make cards HOA HOT TOPICS .............................PG 17 in an easy step by step process.” MASTERPIECES & MARTINIS............PG 21 Janine Nickerson, president of The Community Roundtable said, "The CHALKLINES....................................PG 30 Community Roundtable looks forward to ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ...............PG 35 this annual event. As partners with Center Place, the roundtable is proud to be a ENTER TO WIN.................................PG 37 part of creating and sending this unexSPORTS CONNECTION...............PGS 38‐39 pected gift to our troops. The military personnel may not have access to a retail READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE card shop. This provides them an opporwww.ospreyobserver.com tunity to send a beautiful card back home.

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Durant High School Football Coach Michael Gottman keeps a close eye on his players as they warm up for a non conference home game against the Spoto Spartans. Ending with a 33-0 win, the bout was the Cougars second game of the 2016 fall season as well as a confidence booster for the entire program. See the full story in this edition on page 38.

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The lovely Zenia Park in the community of Twin Lakes in Valrico is a great location for the 7th Art in the Park. This art festival is set to take place on Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Twin Lakes is located east of Lithia Pinecrest Road at the end of Bloomingdale Avenue. The event is open and free to the community. Both artists and vendors of all kinds are encouraged to attend and share their creativity with the community. Artists and vendors can set up space anywhere within the 11 acre park. A fee of $10 is charged to offset the cost of hosting the arts event. There is no charge for Twin Lakes residents. Vendors must bring all of their supplies, including table, chairs and tent (not required). Electricity is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Art in the Park was started by festival organizer Lisa Harmon who said, “Art in the Park evolved over eight years ago when I volunteered on the Homeowners Association Social Committee. I was asked to create an

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September 2016

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County To Build $1.8M Veterans Resource Center At Veterans Memorial Park

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visits and correspondence. Construction on the new center is expected to begin by the end of 2016, and to be completed in summer 2017. The A rendition of the county’s future Veterans Resource Center to be $1.8 million project is built at Veterans Memorial Park. being funded by Hillsborough County officials $300,000 in County Capital Improvement announced the plans to build a brand Program funds, and a $1.5 million grant new resource center to care for the needs from the Florida Department of Economic of local veterans. Opportunity. According to Hillsborough County When complete, the new facility will Consumer and Veterans Services include a multi-purpose room for a numDirector Frank Strom, the proposed 8,000 ber of uses such as training and special sq. ft., Veterans Resource Center is to be events, but if funds become available located at Veterans Memorial Park, 3602 future plans for the center include a N. U.S. Highway 301, and will serve as phased addition of 14,000 to 16,000 sq. the new home for the County’s Consumer ft. for educational use and museum and Veterans Services. exhibits. “The location will serve as an all-inConstruction is anticipated to take one stop for our veterans,” Strom said. place on weekdays between 7 a.m.-5 “Following their visit at the center, they p.m. Work will involve heavy equipment can enjoy the park, its memorials and and excavation, it will generate normal museums.” construction noise. The County's Veterans Services is Access to Veterans Memorial Park currently assisting local veterans and their will be maintained throughout construcfamilies in accessing federal, state and tion, although in some areas, closures local benefits and supports veteran's within the park may be necessary. activities in the county as it connects For the safety of the workers, pedesthem to resources. trians and other motorists, are asked to With more than 94,000 veterans, observe all traffic control measures. All Hillsborough County is listed as the secareas affected by the construction will be ond largest veteran population in Florida. restored. Veterans Services assists an averFor more information about the projage of 28,000 clients each year through ect, visit HCFLGov.net/CountyProjects personal and telephone interviews, outunder the County Building Projects link. reach, community presentations, in-home

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Volume 13, Issue 9

Support Community Charities At Newland Communities Annual Concerts For A Cause By Tamas Mondovics

Road Rage Shootings Keep Deputies Busy

HCSO Detective and Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon briefs the media on a fatal shooting that stemmed from an altercation between two motorists in Plant City last month.

Recent news of road rage incidents within Hillsborough and surrounding counties continues to remind motorists of the importance of being mindful of how they behave on the roadways. Currently, Pasco County detectives are working on trying to identify individuals involved in a shooting incident, which reportedly was the result of road rage that escalated into an outright shootout between the occupants of the two vehicles, putting their own lives and the lives of nearby motorists in danger. The Pasco incident is nothing new as it comes on the heels of a fatal Hillsborough County road rage shooting just last month, which left one angry driver dead. Hillsborough County Sheriffs’ Office (HCSO) deputies responded to the 911 call about the shooting on East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Forbes Road in Plant City.

Based on eye witness accounts, investigators said that the shooting was the result of a road rage altercation between two motorists, which came to a head near the intersection. Upon arrival at the scene, deputies found Gary Lynn Durham, 40, of Brandon lying on the pavement suffering from a gunshot wound while a second man, Robert Padgett, 42, who was identified as the shooter, was performing CPR on Durham. During a media briefing, Col. Donna Lusczynski with HCSO said that Durham stopped his car in front of Padgett, got out, and an argument ensued between the two before Padgett pulled out a handgun and shot at least one round into Durham who died at the scene. Officials said that Padgett immediately called 911 and tried to resuscitate Durham, but he could not be saved. Ironically, before becoming a victim himself, Durham spent 10 years in prison for a road rage incident, which, according to the Tampa Bay Times, also began with a verbal altercation ending with Durham punching his victim in the face who then collapsed, hit his head on the concrete and died three days later of brain hemorrhage and skull fracture. Col. Lusczynski did not hesitate to warn motorists of the dangers of road rage when she said, "Don't engage with people, and don't get into some type of confrontation. It’s not worth anybody's life."

By Michelle Colesanti

become one of the most popular events in the area, attracting not just residents, but neighbors from surrounding communities as well. Each year, we’re overwhelmed with the generosity of our concertgoers who realize the need for meals in our community and always step up to the challenge while enjoying an Newland Communities will once again hold its Concerts for a Cause at FishHawk Ranch and evening of great music," said Waterset. Lynda McMorrow, marketing Everyone is invited to come out manager at Waterset by and enjoy the lovely fall evenings lisNewland Communities. tening to free live music while helping Some of the best bands in the Bay to make a difference in the community. area will perform. Attendees are Once again, Newland Communities will encouraged to bring lawn chairs and hold its annual Concerts for a Cause at blankets. both FishHawk Ranch in Lithia and in FishHawk Ranch concerts will be Waterset, located in Apollo Beach. held in Central Park at 14215 These popular concerts will support Barrington Stowers Dr. in Lithia on Seeds of Hope, a non-profit organizaSaturday nights from 6-9 p.m.: tion founded by FishHawk Ranch resiSeptember 17 - Eye Candy, October 1 dent Leda Eaton, and Feeding America – Raydio, October 16 – Frequency, Tampa Bay, the area’s leading food October 29 – Fall Festival featuring bank, which provides food to over Lovestruck Robot, and November 5 – 700,000 people in West Florida, includ- C’Nergy. ing Hillsborough County. Also this year, Waterset concerts will be held donations will help to support Friday nights from 6-9 p.m. at The Newsome High School Band’s March Lakeside, 7250 Parkshore Dr. in Apollo to Macy’s. Beach: September 16 – Lovestruck When you come to enjoy the Robot, September 23 – Raydio, bands, please bring a non-perishable September 30 – Frequency, October 7 food item to help area families who are – C’Nergy, October 14 – Eye Candy. in need. During the fall concerts last On Saturday, October 22 Waterset year, over 17,000 meals were collected will hold its Fall Festival featuring thanks to the generosity from the comStormbringer from 6-9 p.m. munity. Visit concerts4cause.com or "Our Concerts for a Cause have www.newlandcommunities.com.

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September 2016

Ladies’ Home Journal Award Winner To Empower Brandon Business Women

By Michelle Caceres

Women wanting to financial success, building become more successful healthier bodies through in their daily lives will find proper nutrition and exerplenty of helpful advice at cise, seeking spiritual Women’s Successful support and enjoying perLiving’s quarterly meeting sonal pampering. and brunch on Saturday, “As women we often October 1 from 9 a.m.–2 put our family’s needs p.m. before ours and our misThe meeting will be sion is to teach women held at The Event Gallery, that in order to take care located at 524 Oakfield of our families we first Dr. in Brandon, and will must take care of ourWomen’s Successful Living’s feature keynote speaker selves,” said Chiarenza. quarterly brunch in October will Stacey Schieffelin, CEO feature keynote speaker Stacey “We want to provide Schieffelin. and founder of ybf (your women with the tools best friend) Beauty, LLC who was voted to help them live financially successful Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and and healthier lives.” one of Ladies’ Home Journal’s Power In addition to the quarterly lunches, Women. Schieffelin inspires women on Women’s Successful Living is accepting their journey to self-actualization and fulapplications from women who would benfillment using the power of inner and efit from one-on-one mentoring. Selected outer beauty. applicants will receive three months of Other guest speakers include complimentary mentoring services with Melissa Haskins with Edward Jones, one or all of its speakers. Women can Sandy Lee of Sandy Lee Coaching, pernominate themselves or someone else. sonal trainer Ironbarbelle Meredith and “We want this to also be an opportuholistic life coach De’Nicea Hilton who nity to empower women thru mentoring in specializes in acupuncture and oriental our community,” said Chiarenza. medicine. Ticket prices are $50 for early birds Group organizers Rhonda McDaniel, (purchased by September 17), $55 for owner of A Caring Touch Skin Therapy in regular admission and $60 at the door. Brandon, and Pearl Chiarenza, owner of For more information about Women’s Bodyworks Health & Wellness Center, will Successful Living, visit www.womenssucalso speak about their areas of expertise. cessfulliving.com. To purchase tickets, The pair plan to host a quarterly brunch to contact McDaniel at Rhonda@womassist women who want to be more sucenssuccessfulliving.com or Chiarenza at cessful in all aspects of their life, by pearl@womenssuccessfulliving.com or improving family relationships, finding call 449-3308.

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HART Hosts State Of Transit, Promotes Partnership, Use Of Technology And Innovation

By Tamas Mondovics

Community partnership, innovation, use of technology as well as acting without delay while investing in a regional study was all on the roster to convince all present that HART has what it takes to add to Hillsborough County’s economic success. Suarez spoke about a partnership with Yellow Cab Company of Tampa, Megabus and RedCoach, to name just a few when he said, "Those kind of smart transit choices that we have made as a Hillsborough County community leaders, local board that we keep reaching out to peogovernment officials and area residents listen ple make HART, I think one of the key to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority State of Transit update. agencies across the state. Its about freeHillsborough Area Regional Transit dom to choose and have the opportunity Authority (HART) CEO Katharine Eagan to go anywhere.” stood in front of a huge crowd of commu“Revolutionizing transportation as we nity leaders, local government officials, know it,” was Brandes’ message while area residents and members of the trying to impress his audience, adding media, who gathered at the USF CALMS that he does not think of transportation in downtown Tampa with one goal in anymore as a system but as an organmind; to ensure all that the future of tranism. “We are living in the most exciting sit in Tampa Bay is in good hands. times since the pioneers of the model T,” “We are building not just for tomorBrandes said, adding that enhancing the row, but rather for the future,” Eagan said future of transportation and the future of adding, “That’s the vision. You can take transit has four key elements; electric, advantage of all the things that make autonomous, on demand and shared. Tampa Bay amazing and you know you Focusing on regional studies, Eagan can get there quickly because your partintroduced the HART HyperLINK, resolvner has you covered.” ing the first-mile last mile issue, which she It took no time to see the picture said will provide access to a reservation HART prepared for all to see during its call center and a smartphone app for cusState of Transit update event as besides tomers to bring real-time ride-sharing Eagan, the impressive list of speakers, technology to Hillsborough transit riders. including HART Chairman and Tampa “There is no doubt we are dominating City Councilman Mike Suarez, Senator this game,” she said. “We have no shortJeff Brandes, Tampa Bay Community age of innovation and imagination, but we Leader, Channelside Developer and are facing space constraints. Putting Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik, more buses on the streets will not solve each took their turn. transit problems.” Visit www.gohart.org.

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DAR Alafia Chapter Meets Monthly In Brandon

The Alafia River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) meets the first Thursday evening of the month in Brandon. DAR is a nonprofit, nonpolitical volunteer women's service organization, whose mission is to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Some of its volunteer projects include collecting donations for veterans and schools on an ongoing basis, in addition to an ongoing cemetery clean-up project that aids in historic preservation/conservation. Any woman over 18 years old who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. Individuals interested in attending a meeting and learning more about joining the Daughters of the American Revolution can contact registrarAlafiaDAR@gmail.com. Upcoming meetings for 2016 are October 6, November 3, and December 1.

Flapjack Fundraiser

A Flapjack Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, September 17 from 8-10 a.m. to benefit the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Tampa Bay Division. The cost is $7 per person and will take place at Applebee’s at 829 Providence Rd.

Safety In The Garden Clinic

On Wednesday, October 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., there will be a clinic on Safety in the Garden given by Master Gardener Gerri Almand, at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. This talk focuses on how to make working in the garden a safe and enjoyable pastime/hobby without causing harm, grief and frustration. This event is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Master Gardener Program of the Hillsborough County Extension, University of Florida, IFAS Extension.

too. The cost is $10 per person. The studio is located at 610 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Call 966-4788 or visit www.theway2dance.com.

5th Annual Gifts & Crafts Fair at The Bridges Seeking Local Vendors

Vendors with unique gifts and crafts are invited to register for the annual Gifts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Bridges Retirement Community at 11350 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. Interested vendors can con-

Volume 13, Issue 9

for entry is Tuesday, September 18. For more information call 309-3357. Entry forms and checks can be mailed to Women’s Resource Center at 1017 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon or faxed to 661-8622.

Hawthorne Hosts New Brandon Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center will host a new monthly support group for those who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19 at 2 p.m. Physical, speech and occupational therapists will discuss treatment for issues related to balance, Local Red Hat Society Chapter swallowing, talking and other skills Donates Supplies To School that can be affected. The Brassy & Sassy Red Hatters, Hawthorne Health & a Red Hat Society Chapter in Valrico, Center, located at Rehabilitation recently presented school supplies to 851 West Lumsden Rd. in Riverview Elementary School. Brandon, is a skilled nursing faciliBecause many teachers provide a lot ty with inpatient and outpatient of school supplies out of their own rehabilitation programs including pockets, the chapter, which has 17 speech, physical and occupationmembers, decided to give them a The Brassy & Sassy Red Hatters recently donated school al therapies. Hawthorne also hand. They purchased supplies and supplies to Riverview Elementary School. hosts a dementia support group delivered them to Riverview tact Janet at 413-8900 or jnoah@thein its assisted living facility, as well as past Elementary School in August. The Red bridgesbvm.com. meetings for those dealing with strokes, Hatters will continue to provide these diabetes, low vision and other diseases. much needed supplies to help the Be The Hope Fall Golf Classic Call 661-8998 ext. 204. schools.

Benefits Women’s Resource Center

Saturday Night Swing Party At The Way 2 Dance

Join The Way 2 Dance’s Monthly Saturday Night Dance Party on Saturday, September 24. The theme for the month is Rhinestone cowboy. The group class starts at 7 p.m. followed by the non-stop dance practice party from 8-10 p.m. Mix music and variety of dances guaranteed. Bring your own music and we will play

Women’s Resource Center of Tampa presents Be The Hope Fall Golf Class, which will take place at River Hills Country Club, located at 2943 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico. Event check-in is at 7:30 a.m. with a Shotgun Start at 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Collared shirts are required; no denims or cutoffs. Soft spikes only. The cost is $125 per person or $500 per team. Deadline

Riverview Garden Club Meets

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, October 12 at 10 a.m. in the Riverview Civic Center, located at 11020 Park Dr., in Riverview. The guest speaker is Phil Elting of Elting's Exotic Plants. Parking is free and admission is free for first time attendees. For more information call Harriet at 727-6567.


September 2016

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Valrico Edition

Annual Golf Tournament Helps Provide Funding For A Kid’s Place, Seeks Donors

FINANCIAL FOCUS

Are You Prepared for Financial Disasters?

By Kathy L. Collins

and more. Sponsorships and participation start at $500. All funds raised will benefit A Kid’s Place and their Siblings Connected Program. By supporting A Kid’s Place at the golf tournament, you will help provide a safe and loving home for siblings as well as on site medical, dental and therapeutic services to children in need. Mary Berg, resource specialist for A Kid’s Place said, “Foster children are truly our community’s most vulnerable children, and this golf tournament is a way to raise funds and support the programs at A Kid’s Place. We help foster Join others in helping raise funds for A Kid’s Place children from all over the greater by participating in their 5th Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, October 17 at Avila Golf and Country Tampa Bay area.” Club in Tampa. A Kid’s Place is a unique, state of the art 60 bed facility. Join others in helping raise funds for Children who live there range in age from A Kid’s Place, a local non-profit that pronewborn until the age out of the foster vides foster care and a loving home for care system at 18 years old. Since it abused, neglected or abandoned chilopened in 2009, A Kid’s Place has providdren, by participating in their 5th Annual ed a home to 1,100 children and has Golf Tournament. The tournament will be assisted over 479 families. The unique held on Monday, October 17 at Avila Golf aspect of A Kid’s Place is that siblings can and Country Club located at 943 stay together in a home like environment. Guisando De Avila in Tampa. A Kid’s Place has become a beloved The fun begins with registration and institution in the greater Brandon area, lunch at 11 a.m. and shotgun start at and this is your opportunity to help raise 12:30 p.m. The tournament will follow a much needed funds. Shamble format. During play, there will be For more information on sponsorseveral contests including closest to the ships and participation, contact Samantha pin, longest drive and putting contests. Mellen at 381-3839 or smellen@akidYou could win prizes including gift certifisplacetb.org. For more information on A cates to local restaurants, a Vizio Kid’s Place and other ways you can help, Flatscreen television, $500 gift cards to visit www.adkidsplacetb.org. Malio’s Prime Steakhouse, Titlest drivers

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“Be prepared” is the Scout motto, and it’s also pretty good advice for anyone seeking to guard against various disasters – including financial ones. Melissa L Haskins Financial Advisor

Here are some events that can have serious financial consequences, along with suggestions on preparing yourself:

• Loss of employment – If you were to lose your job, your family might have to struggle financially to make it until you’re employed again. To protect against this potential threat, try to build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses. That’s a lot of money, of course, so it will be challenging to build such a fund – but try to contribute something each month to a liquid, low-risk account. Without such an emergency fund, you might be forced to cash out your 401(k) or other retirement plan to pay for your living expenses during your period of unemployment. • Loss of health – If you were ill or injured, you might be out of work for weeks or months. Your employer may offer you some type of disability insurance as an employee benefit, but it might not be sufficient. So you may also want to purchase an individual plan to cover as much of your after-tax income as possible. You’ll have the flexibility to create a policy that is tailored to your needs, budget and overall financial goals. However, policies vary widely in cost and benefits, so you’ll want to shop around for the coverage that best meets your needs. • Loss of life – Death may be an uncomfortable topic to discuss. However, if you were to pass away, it would be emotionally devastating to your loved ones – but it could also be financially catastrophic. Would your family still be able to pay the mortgage? Could your surviving spouse afford to send your kids to college? Without life insurance, your death could leave your family without the ability to cover financial obligations. The exact amount you require depends on a variety of factors, such as your family’s expenses, size of family, savings needs over time, and so on. Generally speaking, you can choose between two broad categories of insurance: term and permanent. Term insurance, as the name suggests, is designed for a specific number of years and only provides a death benefit. Permanent insurance is typically more expensive, because, in addition to the death benefit, it offers a savings component. A financial professional can help guide you through your options to determine which one is appropriate for your needs. • Loss of property – If you own a home, you already have homeowners insurance, but it doesn’t hurt to periodically check your policy to make sure it’s kept up with any improvements or additions you’ve made to your house or other property. If you’re under-covered, and had to pay out-of-pocket for some major damage, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments. And while you’re making sure your property is covered, you might also want to consider adding “umbrella” coverage, which can provide extra protection to you in case someone is injured at your home, or even at an event at which you may be in charge, such as a Scout meeting. With luck, you can avoid all the threats to your financial security and that of your family. But you can’t count on always being lucky – so you need to take “financial disaster preparedness” measures soon.

Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor

2501 Thonotosassa Road, Plant City • 813-759-1491 This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

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Page 8

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

nce, e r e f n o C s Women’ wn Shofar rO u o Y e k a M & More… santi, ole ichelle C m M y b d e er.co Compil yobserv e r p s o @ michelle

Vendors Sought For Fall Craft Fair

The United Methodist Women at St. Andrew's are looking for vendors with crafts or gift items to apply for its Fall Craft Fair to be held on Saturday, October 29 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the church located at 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. Applications are available by calling 777-8371 or contacting mtrimble1@tampabay.rr.com.

Kick Up Your Heels At Women’s Connection Luncheon

The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon on Monday, October 10 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. will be a fun fall event, Kick Up Your Heels. This is a nondenominational luncheon for all ladies. No membership is required. It will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in the Special Events Center located at 2102 Bells Shoals Rd. in Brandon. The cost is $15 for lunch and entertainment. First time guests pay $10. A reservation is requested by Monday, October 3. Call Lillie at 7400098.

Revive Women's Conference 2016

"My Story" Revive Women's Conference will be held from Friday, September 30-Sunday, October 2 at The Palms Church, located at 207 New Hope Rd. in Valrico. It is open to all women and will feature three days of passionate worship with Jeremy Rosado, life changing messages, and inspirational content. It will be hosted by Pastor Mary Stahl. The cost of the three day conference is $45 and includes coffee, drinks, Saturday's lunch, snacks, and materials. Register at bit.ly/2bzgRVl.

Shofar Factory To Be Held In Brandon

for a spot at www.hiepiscopal.org. Contact 689-3130.

With the Jewish New Year What’s Happening At Beth Shalom and the holiday of Rosh Hashanah approaching, the Live Shabbat services - Welcome the It Live Workshops presents The Sabbath Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. Shofar Factory, a hands-on Oneg, nosh and mingle follows. workshop. Participants will see Page Turners – On Monday, how a ram's horn is cured, September 19 from 6-7:30 p.m., join the carefully measured, sawed, drilled, conversation and light dinner as award and polished. The result is a Shofar, the novel, The Innocents by Francesca trumpet-like Segal, is reviewed. instrument This is a smart and used by Jews slyly funny tale of on Rosh love, temptation, Hashanah and confusion, and comYom Kippur. mitment. When the shoiEngage: Jewish far is complete, Values and the participants Israeli-Palestinian then learn how Conflict A Hartman to blow it and Institute Lecture & sound the tradiStudy Series – Led tional notes. by Rabbi Torop will The workshop address and explore will also the Israeliaddress the Palestinian conflict, rhyme and reaand the complex son behind this meanings of peace custom. in Jewish tradition This is Jessie, a sweet and loving girl, who is Participants will on Tuesday, approximately 3 years old. She has a cute, perhave the manent head tilt, probably from a prior inner ear September 20 from opportunity to infection, but it doesn't slow her down. She needs 7-8:30 p.m. This a wonderful ‘fur’ever home. If you are interested session, The Current create their in adopting Jesse, please call 657-7078 or email own Shofar. Discourse: Living catcallfl@gmail.com. This workshop with Difference, is a program presented by Chabad examines pluralism and tolerance toward Jewish Discovery Center. There is a $10 gaining an understanding of ways Jewish fee per person. Reserve yours today communities accommodate difference at www.jewishbrandon.com/rsvp or 571and develop strategies of acceptance 8100. Supplies are limited. It will be held and belonging. at The Chabad Jewish Discovery Center Selichot Play - Saturday, September at 1578 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico on 24 at 7 p.m., join in as the complex lives Sunday, September 18 at 11 a.m. of contemporary Jews in an original work written and acted by congregants is

Holy Innocent’s Fall Whistle Stop Craft Show

Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church is accepting vendor sign-ups for its ninth annual Fall Whistle Stop Craft Show on Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The event will be held on the church grounds at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Both inside and outside locations are available. Interested vendors can register

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examined. Selichot directly precedes the Days of Awe. Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. Call 6816547.

Michael Holley To At Speak HighPoint Church In Valrico

Michael Holley, who recently announced his latest book Finding the Wisdom You Seek, will speak to the congregation of HighPoint Church in Valrico on Sunday, September 25, at 10:30 a.m. Holley’s life path has taken him from humble beginnings in Panama City to operating one of the largest Chevrolet dealerships in the United States to serving a prison sentence after a 2008 arrest. His life story and undeniable faith will keep you on the edge of your seat as he shares not only the life lessons he has learned but also his keys to survival through the power of never-ending faith, hope, and love. His story is one of success, failure, bankruptcy, prison, persecution, cancer, survival, guardian angels, and ultimately resurgence into the faith and business communities. He is now a storyteller, author, and speaker, and brings hope to others by sharing his stories, and because of these stories, his own spiritual enlightenment. His insights into success and failure as well as his positive attitude will lift you up and inspire you. Holley’s first book spent its first week on the market on Amazon’s Top 100 Hottest New Releases. Copies of Finding the Wisdom You Seek and his first book Pinstripe Suits to Prison Blues are both available at amazon.com or www.michaelholley.co m/store. HighPoint Church is located at 2207 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Visit www.hpcbrandon.org.

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Valrico Edition

Celebration Dinner Promotes Empowering Choices For Positive Change For Teens

Staff Report

teaching them refusal skills, and encouraging students to set boundaries in their dating relationships. Lecturers discuss the benefits of abstinence. It has a partnership with the Hillsborough County School District and has a presence in almost all the main high schools in Hillsborough County. For over A semi-formal dinner to learn about the Teen IMPACT 15 years, IMPACT has Program takes place on Thursday, September 22. reached about 10,000 stuIMPACT, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, prodents each year, teaching them how to motes healthy living and relationships avoid high-risk behaviors. through its Teen IMPACT program. It gets In the summer a program called students to commit to being drug-free, Summer Staff is offered. High school stualcohol-free, and tobacco-free, while prac- dents are recruited and trained to provide ticing abstinence. skit-based presentations, highlighting the According to Executive Director healthy choice lifestyle that they have Angie Kagey, “The essence [of IMPACT] learned through IMPACT at area Boys is to continue to provide students with and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, recreation ceneducation on healthy choices and relaters, and church youth groups. In order to tionship education throughout our comparticipate, students need to apply, audimunity.” tion, and pass an interview. IMPACT has a three-prong IMPACT’s annual dinner is a celebraapproach. Besides the classroom education of IMPACT and its main fundraiser. tion and teen IMPACT, there is also The semi-formal dinner takes place this Parent Power, where parents learn how year on Thursday, September 22 from to have conversations with their teens 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Regent, located at about how to avoid high risk behavior. 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. Doors The program provides additional support open at 6 p.m. and dinner starts at 6:45 to help parents feel more qualified to talk p.m. There is no cost to attend the event to their teens. and reservations can be made at IMPACT’s Classroom Education prowww.whatisimpact.com. There are also gram sends trained speakers into the opportunities for both individuals and schools to educate teens on the imporbusinesses to host or sponsor a table. tance of sexual risk avoidance, while also Call 264-9368 for more information.

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Page 10

Bloomingdale Graduate’s Tripstr App Helps Share Travel Memories

By Michelle Colesanti

Bloomingdale High School graduate, Austin Cooley, recently helped create, develop and launch the new Tripstr app that helps you share travel stories.

You have just returned from a great vacation and want to share the specifics of your adventures along with your pictures, but by the time you return and get around to it, you realize you have forgotten a lot of the details. Tripstr is a new app that is now available to help you share your future trips by automatically building beautiful trip journals from your iPhone photo library. The app tags the specific places you visited, stayed and dined, and instantly infuses your photos with chronology and meaning. If you have the app on your phone during a trip, Tripstr will post updates as you travel, and your followers will get notifications so they can stay up-to-date the entire trip. You have an option for privacy if you choose. Trip journals can be shared to the web and are viewable by anyone. You have the ability to share your “Top Spots” from the trip. It’s the best way to share your thoughts and recommend the most outstanding parts of your trip to other Tripstrs. Co-founder and CEO of Tripstr, Austin Cooley, is a 2004 graduate of Bloomingdale High School. He went on to earn his Computer Engineering degree (Software and Hardware) from the University of Florida. He is one of two core team members who developed Tripstr, and along with designer Oykun Yilmaz, he has spent the last five years helping to build the product. Jim Kitchen is also a co-founder and lead investor along with another important co-founder, Adlai Holler, also a graduate of Bloomingdale High School. Holler is a talented iOS Engineer that helped build the company, and now is an employee at Pinterest. Prior to Tripstr, Cooley helped create

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

a startup app, Quilt (Qui.lt), which is a mobile photo sharing app for families and friend groups. Cooley said, “While many users come to Tripstr looking for a place to preserve their memories, we hope they come away with inspiration for future trips. One of the main features of Tripstr is the ability to ‘Save Places’ others have been; collecting spots to visit on your next adventure.” The future looks bright for Tripstr. As it grows, upgrades will continue to be made. “We want to make it easier to find trips people have taken and the top spots they visited while traveling. Beyond that, we want to make it easier for people to integrate their photos from other sources (like Dropbox, Instagram, etc.),” noted Cooley. Video is also important to the longterm strategy, but according to Cooley, they want to get the core photo-sharing experience right before adding such a major new feature. Currently, Tripstr is only compatible with Apple products. You can download it to your iPad or iPhone. When not working hard on developing apps, Cooley enjoys playing on his keyboard. During high school and college, he was heavily involved in music. He currently resides in San Francisco, and enjoys hiking and exploring nature in the hills of the city as well as outside the city limits. For more information on the app, visit tripstr.com. Download Tripstr for free from the Apple Store at apple.co/2beRirx.

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Coach Bag Bingo To Raise Funds For Sylvia Thomas Center

By Kathy L. Collins

also be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. Guests will have the chance to win items from local businesses such as A Caring Touch Skin Care, jewelry donated by Deborah Williams with Parklane, a gift certificate from Salons by JC and a healthy food basket donated by Bodyworks Health & Wellness Center. All of the designer bags have been Support the Sylvia Thomas Center by attending Coach donated. Companies can Bag Bingo on Tuesday, October 18 at The Regent. also put information on their The Sylvia Thomas Center, a local business in the bags for a donation of non-profit which provides comprehensive $100. post adoption support to keep the “forevThe Sylvia Thomas Center provides er” in forever families, is holding its comprehensive case management, supAnnual Coach Bag Bingo on Tuesday, port groups, counseling and education for October 18. The event will be held at The foster and adoptive families in Regent located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Hillsborough County. Chiarenza said, Riverview. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and “While foster and adoptive families are the games will begin promptly at 7 p.m. ready to open their hearts and homes to Tickets to this event are $35 per perchildren, it often takes more thank love to son per ticket with only 200 tickets availhelp a child overcome trauma.” That is able. All proceeds from the event benefit what the Sylvia Thomas Center strives to the Sylvia Thomas Center. do, and they do it with a small staff and The night will include food, drink and team of volunteer interns from the Bingo with a twist. Pearl Chiarenza, comUniversity of South Florida. Since its munity liaison for the Sylvia Thomas inception in 2000, the Sylvia Thomas Center said, “There is a lot more satisfac- Center has assisted 6,000 families. tion in yelling ‘bingo’ when the prize is a For more information and to purbrand new Coach designer bag. This chase tickets to the Coach Bag Bingo, game comes with a disclaimer to the contact Chiarenza at 449-3308 or stop by moms: If you win, you will probably have Salons by JC located at 3448 Lithia to share your purse with your daughter.” Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico Tuesday through In addition to the chance to win a Saturday or call the Sylvia Thomas designer purse from Coach, there will Center at 651-3150.

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September 2016

Page 11

Valrico Edition

Seventh Annual Day Of Pampering For Moms-To-Be Seeking Donations

By Sandy Meyer

Last year 475 moms-to-be, 30 dadsto-be and 250 guests attended the day of pampering along with 40 vendors. This year Hills-Ackbar is expecting more than 500 moms-to-be. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend training classes for new parents, receive gifts, lunch and even free Moms-to-be will have the opportunity to visit several vendors to massages. receive free items and parenting educational materials. “A lot of these On Saturday, October 8 the seventh expectant moms won’t get a baby showannual Day of Pampering for Moms-toer,” said Hills-Ackbar. “This is an opportuBe will take place at Ybor Square Church nity for them to have a shower and get of Scientology. This annual event has educated about parenting at the same helped countless expectant moms to pretime.” pare for motherhood. All of the moms-toIn order to give these parents-to-be be are on public assistance in the best head start possible, Caregivers Hillsborough County and are in need of Helping Hand, Inc. is hoping to provide the basic necessities to care for their the essentials they will need to care for babies. their child. To donate, volunteer or The day of pampering is the brainbecome a sponsor for this very special child of Tampa resident Richedean Hillsday, visit www.chhincvolunteers.org. Ackbar and is sponsored by the non-profMoms-to-be can register at Moms-toit volunteer organization, Caregiver’s be.eventbrite.com. Hills-Ackbar said they Helping Hand, Inc. The annual event has are still in need of a pediatric center sponalways taken place on a Friday but this sor to come out and speak to the expecyear has been moved to a Saturday. tant parents. For additional information, “We’re hoping to bring in more dads call 379-8966. to the event and since most are at work The shower takes place from 10 on Fridays, we’ve decided to move it to a a.m.-2 p.m. at the Ybor Square Church of Saturday in the hopes more dads will be Scientology, located at 1300 E. 8th St. in involved,” said Hills-Ackbar. She is hoping Tampa. Siblings and grandmothers are to increase the number of dads in attenwelcome. dance by at least 100 percent she said.

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Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

Secondhand Savvys Celebrates 10 Years Of Success By Nicole Schoen

Secondhand Savvys coowner team and mother daughter duo Shelbi Weeks (left) and Jennifer Estrada (right) celebrate 10 years in business

Secondhand shopping has become increasingly popular among the thrifty-minded consumers, offering an affordable alternative to malls. Local store Secondhand Savvys recently celebrated 10 years in business re-selling clothes and filling closets with gently used, name brand, designer clothing for men and women. Established in July 2006, Bloomingdale resident and Owner Jennifer Estrada originally began with half the shopping space of the current store, located at 210 S. Kings Ave., Ste. D in the plaza with the original Beef O’Brady’s. After a successful first year, she expanded the shop to its current size of roughly 2,500 sq. ft. “Keeping an open mind and accepting items for a wide variety of shoppers is what I feel has made us successful. We work hard as a team to constantly change displays, mannequins, wall decor, etc. for customers to adapt to upon their weekly arrival,” said Co-Owner and daughter of Estrada, Shelbi Weeks, who helps run the family-owned shop. Secondhand Savvys is different from the average consignment store as it credits money to consigner’s accounts after

an item is purchased for half the price the item was sold at with no appointment necessary. The consigner can choose to get a check for the accrued funds or use the money toward an instore purchase. After an item sits on the racks for over 60 days, the consigner has the option to pick up their items, or the shop will donate the items to either Emergency Care Help Organization or Hospice. “We currently have about 3,000 active consignors dropping off every single day, seven days a week. We receive on average 30 drop offs a day. We do not have a minimum or maximum drop off requirement therefore, one consignor can drop off 25 trash bags consisting of shoes, purses, jewelry, and clothing, and another may only drop off a small grocery bag of sunglasses and belts. After sorting through the items, we accept and put on the floor 6,000 to 8,000 pieces per month,” said Weeks. The shop sells designer clothing, swimwear, shoes, purses, accessories, formal dresses, household and beauty items, and more. Sizes range from 00 to plus sized items. Every two to three months it holds its famous Fill-A-Bag sale, usually on a Saturday morning, where shoppers can fill a single bag full from specific bins and only pay $10 for the entire bag. “I love the shabby chic vibe, the people, even the music is great. The deals are phenomenal, that goes without saying, but I know what I’m getting is top quality because of how selective and caring the owners are,” said Karen Hogan of Valrico. “I have been shopping at Savvys for six years and can’t bear to drive down Kings without making a quick pit stop.” For more information, visit www.consignsavvys.com or call 643-6020. Follow them on Instagram (@secondhandsavvys) or on Facebook to see new items that come in the shop and upcoming events.

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September 2016

Page 13

Valrico Edition

STEVE MORAN P.A. 813-661-2476

Valrico Resident Helps Ugandans On Mission Trip

By Nick Nahas

Valrico native and sharing the Taylor Green is conGospel so that peotinuing his family’s ple can be introduced commitment to servinto God’s Kingdom.” ice by helping people Kelly Green in need. He recently Global worked in unireturned home from a son with Green’s mission trip to Africa mom’s ministry, God helping provide inforis Grace. This organimation and resources zation teaches the to the impoverished women of Uganda a people of Uganda. trade or how to start He spent 11 days in their own business Africa doing work because the majority with both his mom of them have very litand dad’s ministry tle education, and tragroups, Kelly Green ditionally, it falls on Global and God is shoulders of the the Taylor Green (left in white) and Brock Grace. women to work in Bell (in purple) speaking at a local school in Uganda. Green, 31, head order to provide for trainer/manager for RobZ Fitness and for- their families, Green said. They are taught mer baseball player for Bloomingdale how to sell their trades, such as clothing High School, spent some time teaching or necklaces. Sponsors from the U.S. children aged 7-16 how to play baseball. give a fixed amount of money each He also went to high schools to teach the month for 10 months to help these importance of abstinence, and also to women get their businesses started after raise awareness for HIV and AIDS. “They they graduate from the course. just wanted to know what you had to say, Taylor said he and his mom, Beth, they were super respectful, they were spent a couple of days with these women very eager to know more about you and to hear their stories about how this organyour family and where you are from,” he ization has changed their lives. They colsaid. “Everybody wanted to have some lected clothes to bring for the women and sort of interaction with you.” their families, with the help of the Osprey Kelly Green Global was founded by Observer, as well as resources such as Green’s dad, Kelly, in 1979. According to fabric to help them get started. their website, over the last 40 plus years, “Going to Africa and realizing that I Kelly has visited over 1,500 churches and don’t have to necessarily give money, I has made several international mission can just give myself, my time, my trips to help spread the word of the resources — just to be able to do that for gospel. The Kelly Green Global mission people in need is very fulfilling,” Taylor statement says they model Jesus’ minsaid. “It was good for me to experience istry, “caring for the sick, training leaders, that.”

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Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen Brings The Big Easy To Brandon

By Michelle Colesanti

“WHO-DAT” Cajun Blackened Chicken is one of the many specialty items found at Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen.

New Orleans may be 660 miles from Brandon, but you won’t have to travel a long distance to experience the vibe of ‘The Big Easy’. At recently opened Tibbys New Orleans Kitchen in Brandon, you are immediately immersed in the culture of the city with its authentic artwork and décor. Many of the pieces adorning the restaurant are actually from Mardi Gras floats. Come in and try the delicious creations on Tibbys menu such as Shrimp Creole and Etouffee Shrimp or Crawfish. You can order specialties such as “WHO-DAT” Cajun Blackened Chicken; with its special Cajun seasonings along with house lemon butter sauce, and served over homemade Boudin grit cakes. The blackened chicken has just the right zing to it – not so spicy that you can’t enjoy the wonderful flavors. Other traditional menu dishes include Jambalaya, Crawfish pies, Po Boys and Shrimp and Grits. Enjoy some of the house specialties including Rita's Lemon Chicken, Chicken Pontchartrain and pasta dishes. According to Corporate Account Manager with Tibby’s, Hillary West, “Tibby’s is not just about what you see, but how it makes you feel. It’s about expressing personality and character through food, music, art and heritage. It has the vibe of New Orleans funk in a very fun atmos-

phere. It is vibrant in expressions and true to its colors. It reflects a social gathering that feeds the soul. It’s not the New Orleans you may have visited; it is the New Orleans that local’s call home.” The Owner of Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen, Brian Wheeler, originally founded Tijuana Flats in 1995, but sold to a private equity firm and decided to put his focus on Tibby’s to create something that reminded him of home. Tibby’s is named after his uncle, Walter Tabony (Tibby), who was rescued from the 9th Ward when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Tibby and his wife were brought to the Superdome, and eventually relocated to Baton Rouge. The first Tibby’s opened in Winter Park in 2011 and the second location in Altamonte Springs in 2013. Brandon is the third Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen and the first free-standing location has 6,526 sq. ft. and 220 seats. “We are excited for this new location in the Brandon community. There is so much growth and development in this area and we are confident that Tibby’s will become a staple in this community,” stated Wheeler. Boasting a full liquor bar, they are currently in the process of finding a live band from the Brandon/Tampa area with that New Orleans Funk & Blues sound to bring entertainment to this location. Tibby’s also offers a private ‘Napoleon Room’ where you can host an event for up to 40 people. Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen is located at 1721 Brandon Blvd. For more info and to view locations, visit Tibbys.com.

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Community Roundtable To Offer Community Service Forum At Brandon High School

By Kathy L. Collins

Students in Hillsborough County need service hours for many reasons including graduation requirements, college applications and scholarships. Similarly, volunteers are often the life blood for many local non-profits. In an effort to help students get the hours they need and non-profits the volunteers they need, the Community Roundtable is holding a Community Service Forum on Thursday, September 29 at Brandon High School located at Photo courtesy Steve Nickeron 1101 Victoria St. in Brandon. The event Students needing community service hours will take place from 6-8 p.m. and free to wcan attend the Community Roundtable’s all who wish to attend. The event will be Community Service Forum on Thursday, September 29 at Brandon High School. taking place on the same evening as College Night. service hours, so this is a natural fit.” Janine Nickerson, the president of The Community Roundtable will be the Community Roundtable said, “The holding another Community Service mission of the Community Roundtable is Forum in the spring so that students to assist all of the non-profits in the matriculating from eighth grade to ninth greater Brandon area. The Community can begin their volunteer hours during the Service Forum provides an opportunity summer. for local non-profits to showcase their Nickerson said, “Parents have literally organization’s purpose. It also allows stucome up to us to give us a hug for providdents and adults to meet with the local ing information about the local opportunicharities and gain an understanding of ties for service hours. Students apprecitheir goals.” ate knowing about neighborhood nonThe first Community Service Forum profits. If the purpose of requiring service was held in November 2013 at hours is to ignite the spark of volunBloomingdale High School and attracted teerism, then showcasing the variety of a record number of students and nonnon-profits in our community will help stuprofits. dents find something that touches their Nickerson added, “This is the first hearts thus creating life-long volunteers.” time we are holding the Community The Community Roundtable is an allService Forum in conjunction with volunteer organization that has been College Night. Since students will be serving the greater Brandon community gathering information for choosing their for nearly 60 years. college, many will be seeking scholarFor more information, visit www.comships as well. The Bright Futures munityroundtable.org. Scholarship program requires volunteer

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September 2016

Valrico Edition

By Tamas Mondovics

HCSO Reminds Motorists Of School Bus Safety Through “Got Brakes?” Campaign To begin 2016-2017 school year, more than 200,000 students made their way back to class, which has clearly made a huge impact on roadways felt by motorists throughout Hillsborough County. The increased rush hour traffic—

thanks to the nearly 1,000 busses on the roadways—and the presence of area students waiting for their bus or make their way to and from school on their own puts an increased responsibility, not only on drivers, but also on parents as well as students. Each year thousands of drivers illegally pass school busses on any given day amounting to millions of possible violations, not to mention putting children at risk. To keep students safe, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) also made arrangements to beef up its presence on the roadways as deputies are scheduled to

be out in force, in patrol cruisers, motorcycles and unmarked vehicles, keeping a close eye on motorists who don't know or don't heed state laws regarding stopping for a school bus. Taking it even further, HCSO is promoting its student safety efforts by means of a video presentation on the its website appropriately called “Got Brakes?” in which motorists are reminded of important rules of when they do and don't have to stop for a school bus and to make sure that the season will continue with the utmost student-safety in mind. "Got Brakes? is the name of our public awareness/enforcement campaign aimed at educating motorists about when they do and don't have to stop for a school bus,” said HCSO Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon.“ The goal is to keep our children safe through education and enforcement. This public awareness video will help you understand Florida law.” For more information on Florida's school bus laws, visit floridaschoolbussafety.gov. The Got Brakes? video can be found on the Sheriff's Office website at www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.

Page 15


Page 16

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 9

Family Friendly Halloween Fun At Local Theme Parks & More Lowry Park Zoo – Creatures of the Night

This new Halloween event, Creatures of the Night, will offer a widerange of activities for all. From youngsters to teens and adults, find eerie adventures for the entire family throughout the Zoo. Wander into scare zones or encounter animals at night. You can party the night away at a ghoulish dance party. You won’t find horror or gore, just scares and startles for one and all. The animal areas will be open, pending weather and other circumstances, besides the Florida Boardwalk. Please visit before 5 p.m. to see the Florida animals including manatees, stingrays, and black bears. In addition, Animal Ambassadors will have scheduled mingles in select locations. Children (ages 11 and under) are invited to arrive in their most spooktacular attire. Toy weapons of any sort will not be permitted. For the comfort and safety of all guests, adults (ages 12 and older) are prohibited from wearing masks, wigs, face paint or costumes of any kind. It will take place on Fridays and Saturdays from October 7 - October 29 and will remain open until 10 p.m. For members of the Zoo, Creature’s of the Night is included in their membership. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2coMYIY.

The Florida Aquarium - Guppyween

Join in on Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30 from 1-5 p.m. for the only time wild animals, ghosts and princesses can roam the Aquarium—

Guppyween. Trick-or-treat among over 20,000 sea creatures, makes for the perfect family-friendly Halloween event. Entertainment and treats will be provided, so come dressed in your best costume. The cost for kids in costume is $10.

ening event features trick-or-treating along the Brick or Treat Trail, larger-thanlife LEGO models, LEGO build activities, the world's largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, a scavenger hunt with prizes, and an exclusive, Halloween-themed fireworks show in Pirates' Cove. Brick or Treat will take place

Compiled By Michelle Colesanti

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a separately ticketed event in Magic Kingdom Park. Don’t miss your chance to collect candies, sweets and frightfully delightful treats—all while the park hosts grim grinning ghosts, eerie entertainment and Disney Characters that go bump in the night. Many regular attractions will also remain open. Best of all: since the tone of this event is “not-so-scary,” that means children of every age can enjoy the fun. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party costs $67 per child and $72 per adult (plus tax), and takes place on September 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29 and 30, October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30 and 31. Before you arrive dressed up for the occasion, please read the official costume guidelines at Mickey’s Not-SoScary Halloween Party for children and adults. Visit http://bit.ly/1isT8sY for more information or to purchase tickets.

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular

Adults (12yrs and older) pay the regular admission price Regular Admission Price of $24.95 or $22.95 online. Florida Aquarium Members and children under 2 get in free.

Legoland’s Brick or Treat Returns

Brick or Treat will be back with more spooky, kooky Halloween fun for kids. Expanded in 2016, the friendly-not-fright-

on weekends in October 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2223, 29-30 and Halloween 31. No fireworks on Halloween. Visit http://bit.ly/2bTT0n5 for pricing information.

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It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater "fantasea" including trick-ortreating, whimsical pumpkin fish, seathemed arts and crafts and up-close animal encounters in a family-friendly event that could only come from SeaWorld. Halloween Spooktacular runs weekends from October 1-30, and is included in park admission. Visit http://bit.ly/2c4NYBC.


September 2016

Valrico Edition

By Nicole Heubusch

How Can Your HOA Use Your Newsletter To Promote Community Involvement? Typically, most homeowners associations (HOA) provide residents with a community newsletter. It can be weekly, bi-monthly, or even monthly, as long as it provides a source of communication. It is one of the most effective ways an HOA can communicate with residents about sponsored activities, upcoming events, or just general community news and updates. If you feel that your attendance levels are low, there might be a lack of awareness about ongoing events. In that case, here are a few simple ways to get residents excited about reading their HOA newsletter. Promote, Promote, Promote Promote all your events. Whether a community garage sale, a networking event, a movie night, or even a big holiday event, residents won’t show up if they don’t know something is happening. Create a calendar section in your newsletter that includes a recap of last month, so residents can see what they might have missed, and add all the events for the upcoming month. Provide HOA Updates And Board Decisions Is there something big happening with the HOA board? Did you get the approval for pool renovations, or to plant those new trees that residents wanted?

Whatever it is that’s going on with the board, your residents might be interested in knowing. Provide the information on board meetings too, when and where, in case residents would like to attend. Contests Contests are a great way to get the community involved. It could be something fun like a newsletter crossword puzzle, or even have residents take a picture of something in the community to send in for next month. Contests are especially helpful when trying to promote an event. Give away tickets to the event, or a prize during; that’s a good way to ensure a higher attendance. Get Residents Involved Allow your residents to have a voice in the newsletter. Ask for them to share ideas and activities for the newsletter, address their complaints in the newsletter, or even recruit a few residents to write a guest article. If you have any tips for promoting community involvement with your HOA newsletter, or any news from your HOA that you want published in the Osprey Observer, send them to nicoleh@ospreyobserver.com to be featured in an upcoming HOA article.

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Page 17

County Fair Welcomes New Wonderland Of Lights Drive Thru This Holiday Season

By Christine Michaels

The Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru will take place at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds this year.

This coming holiday season, Brandon will be the home of The Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, conveniently located just east of Brandon. This premier holiday light show and winter festival will be a spectacular celebration and brings back a family holiday tradition that so many have grown to love. The Drive Thru will open Thanksgiving Night, November 24 and run through Saturday, December 31. It will be open from 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Greater Brandon Chamber is excited to be a partner in bringing a holiday light show back to eastern Hillsborough County. The chamber and its Military Affairs Committee, along with the Greater Hillsborough County Fair Association will receive a portion of the proceeds to fund needed programs and services for eastern Hillsborough. This 38–day event incorporates beautiful animated and still light displays that will dazzle the young and “the young at heart.” It will offer a blend of fun, family

activities and entertainment sure to please all. Take time to stop at the Christmas village featuring horsedrawn wagon rides, North Pole train ride, amusement rides, food and crafts. The show is produced by Massachusettsbased North Pole Productions, known for its shows in Branson, Missouri and other locations across the country. "We are excited about the return of a Christmas light drive thru. Ideally this attraction appeals to all ages and one of the most popular fairgrounds events," said Tom Umiker, fair manager. Tickets for the drive thru can be purchased at www.brandonchamber.com under the events tab. Prices are: Vehicles (up to eight passengers) $20; Season's Pass $35 (vehicles only); Coaches, Limos, Mini Vans (nine to 24 seating) $35; Motor Coaches (25 to 50 seating) $75. Hold your company or organizations holiday party in the fairgrounds’ air-conditioned exhibit hall. The fairgrounds is taking reservations now to secure the most economical rates. The location is perfect for a daytime holiday party, or a nighttime party combined with the Wonderland of Lights show. For reservations, contact the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds at 7373247 or www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com.


Page 18

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

lgate, i a T e l a d Blooming Expo & Business More… Colesanti,

supposed to actually send her into the past. Heckenbach is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in The Bloomingdale Biology. Her YA fantasy High School Academic elle h ic series Toch Island Chronicles M y Foundation will be hosting db m Compile preyobserver.co includes Finding Angel, the third annual Alumni @os michelle Seeking Unseen, and Tailgate on Friday, October Legacy Rewound. All three 14 from 5-7:30 p.m. in the books are available on Bloomingdale High School parkAmazon.com and ing lot. There will be a bouncy BarnesandNoble.com in Local Resident Completes Basic house for the kids, face painting, ebook and print. Training At West Point DJ, and more. Alumni T-shirts for Visit www.findingangel.com Cadet Steven Anthony Cilenti III, son sale, yearbooks from all of the or visit www.katheckenpast classes will be for sale. of Steven and Kristen Cilenti of Valrico, to keep up with bach.com Visit Camp Dorothy Thomas on Sunday, September 18 from 3-6 p.m. Local business will completed Cadet to find out about becoming a Girl Scout. her writing and events. be set up for you to Basic Training at the visit. Attendees are U.S. Military Saturdays, October 8, and November Girl Scouts Invite Girls To Get Your encouraged to attend the Academy. Steven 12. The Workshop is free, but you must Camp Face On Homecoming football game entered West Point register in advance by visiting faopa.org. On Sunday, September 18 from 3-6 afterward, where there will on June 27 and sucp.m., an event will be held to introduce be special recognition for cessfully completed Local Author Releases Third Book In in grades K-12th to Girl Scouts and girls Bloomingdale six weeks of CBT. YA Fantasy you can sign up for the Alumni. Businesses can CBT is one of the Trilogy year. Meet 2016-17 rent a booth for $40. most challenging Local author, troop leaders and other Proceeds will benefit the events a cadet will artist, and home Girl Scouts from the Bloomingdale High School encounter over the school mom Kat Caloosa community, Academic Foundation, course of their four Heckenbach has which serves the which works to enhance the years at the acadereleased the third Riverview/Brandon learning experience for stumy. The initial milibook in her fantasy area. Girls will learn dents by adding more techtary training program trilogy for teens, about campfire building, nology in the classrooms. provides cadets with Toch Island camp crafts and making Donations are basic skills to instill Chronicles. Legacy go geo-caching. It will welcome. Contact Becky discipline, pride, Rewound finishes held at Girl Scout be McDaniels at cohesion, confioff the series with a Camp Dorothy Thomas, Brandon@mathnasium.com dence and a high combination of located at 16119 Cadet Steven Anthony Cilenti III of or Michelle Hernandez at sense of duty to magic, mystery, Valrico recently completed West Boyette Rd. in Mhernandez@alphaprepare them for and time travel. Point basic training. The mobile Riverview. omegatitle.com. entry into the Melinda knew Girl Scout store will also Corps of Cadets. Areas of summer Kalek’s music crebe on property to purMusic Makers At Music Showcase instruction included first aid, mounated powerful chase uniforms. taineering, hand grenades, rifle marksChildren ages 4-10 can attend a free visions, but it wasn’t manship and nuclear, biological, and workshop on the second Saturday of chemical training. Steven began classes every month from 9:30-11 a.m. by The in August. The West Point curriculum Florida Academy of the Performing Arts , offers 37 majors balancing physical sciat Music Showcase at 402 Oakfield Dr. in ences and engineering with humanities Brandon. This fun and interactive workand social sciences leading to a shop allows children to hear and see Bachelor of Science degree. Steven was band and orchestral instruments like the homeschooled and dual enrolled at flute, trumpet, tuba, or violin and they get Hillsborough Community College. He to try them out themselves. Kids will also plans to graduate from West Point in make an instrument that they get to take 2020 and be commissioned as a second home along with a goody bag. The Music lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Makers Workshop will take place on

Third Annual Bloomingdale High Alumni Tailgate & Business Expo

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September 2016

Superintendent Promises Districtwide Success During Back To School News Conference

By Tamas Mondovics

his current, full team is now in place ready to work on the district’s strategic plan, including the four top priorities he introduced one year ago. “We are excited as now this plan will guide us to focus on these priorities,” Eakins said, adding that one of the biggest goals is to increase graduation rates. “By the year 2020, we Photo Courtesy Hillsborough County Public Schools are aiming for the graduaSuperintendent Jeff Eakins talks to Hillsborough County Public School Board members, teachers and staff during tion rate of 90 percent,” Eakins said. “This rate is the annual back to school news conference held at Mort Elementary, A Community School. unheard of in a district this Superintendent Jeff Eakins was size, but it will happen because of the recently joined by school board members people in Hillsborough County.” to explain his goals for the upcoming Eakins said that one of the main school year during the annual back to things to reach his goals of graduation school news conference, held this year at rate is to understand that every child Mort Elementary, A Community School. counts and that the job of each teacher is The event took place just two days to know their students and their needs. before the start of the 2016-2017 season, Speaking once again about the supwhich saw more than 200,000 students port in place for the more than 16,000 return to the classroom at the nation’s strong faculty, Eakins promised, “Every eighth largest school district. teacher will receive the support and the To begin, Mort Principal Woodland tools they need, when they need it, at Johnson called on school board chair their school site, so that they can best April Griffin who put things in perspective meet the needs of the most important when she said, “I know we had an abbre- client we serve; our students.” viated summer but that just means that Eakins emphasized that for the diswe really didn't get out of the school spirit trict to achieve its goals, each member and we are all excited to get back.” must believe it can be attained. The press Taking his turn, Eakins reminded his conference concluded with the ribbon cutaudience that during his first year at the ting for Mort Elementary, A Community helm, the board went through a lot of School. For more information, visit changes and growth as a district but that www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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Valrico Edition

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Page 20

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

Fair, b o J g n i Upcom CON & ROBOTI e Mor Colesanti, helle d by Mic m Compile preyobserver.co s o @ e ll e mich

Commissioner Sandy Murman’s County Job Fair

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman, in association with CareerSource Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Community College, will host a County Job Fair on Friday, October 7 from 8:30 a.m.-12 Noon at the HCC Dale Mabry Campus located at 4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd. in Tampa. Employers are encouraged to participate. Visit http://bit.ly/2bBHcHg for employer/vendor information. More than 50 employers and vendors participated last year, some of whom interviewed potential employees on the spot, while others provided online links to jobs. In addition, larger companies such as Amazon, Coca-Cola and Hillsborough County Public Schools were present at the event to offer employment opportunities. The 2016 County Job Fair is free and open to the public. For more information call Astrid Mosterd at CareerSource Tampa Bay at 3972090 or email Astrid at mosterda@ careersourcetampabay.com.

ROBOTICON Tampa Bay Set For October 8 & 9 At The USF Sun Dome

ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2016 is coming to the USF Sun Dome on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Over 800 students will descend at the Sun Dome to learn while they play, and show guests this exciting “Sport for the Mind.” ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is free to the public. Advance registration is available at www.Sun DomeArena.com. Sign up for the SD VIP Pass to receive all the information you need about this event and others at www.SunDomeArena.com. Become a fan and follow the USF Sun Dome on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSunDomeAre na and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/USF_SunDome for special sneak peeks and daily updates.

Help For Quitting Tobacco

Quitting tobacco isn't easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started. In September, free community, worksite and clinic groups will be offered, with programs covering all forms of tobacco. Free Nicotine replacement patches, gum and lozenges will be available, while supplies last and if medically appropriate. Classes will be available on Monday, September 19 and Monday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Oakfield Medical Plaza, 276 S. Moon Ave, Ste. 260 in Brandon. Pre-registration is required by calling 974-7889. Visit www.ahectobacco.com/calendar.

County Seeks Opinion On Local, Regional Parks Through Online Surveys

By Tamas Mondovics

success already,” he said. “More responses helps to make more balanced decisions to improve our parks.” All of this comes on the heels of the department’s recent series of public meetings soliciting input from residents about the future of local neighborhood parks, dog parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, and recreation centers and regional parks. Residents enjoy canoeing at E.G. Simmons Park, just one of Hillsborough County’s regionOfficials said that the county is al parks that offer a wide variety of recreational also in the process of pursuing a secopportunities for all ages. ond survey. Hillsborough County residents have “We are also sending out postcards recently received their Annual Notice of to 20,000 households with information Property Assessment, Truth in Millage about the survey,” Dougherty said. (TRIM Notices) in their mailboxes, which “These surveys will allow response from this year came with a bit more than just residents who could not attend our previhow much their house and property are ous meetings.” worth. With the public meetings now comHillsborough County Parks and pleted, officials are planning to meet with Recreation Director Dale “Doc” Dougherty some of the larger groups such as the said that nearly 450,000 of the TRIM various sports leagues that use the parks notices were sent out, but through an throughout the county. agreement with his department, the The department will be collecting the notices also explained to property owners responses until the end of September, how to take an important survey on which they will be analyzed to get a after parks. better picture of what residents want. “The notices give residents another “We are hoping to get done with this opportunity to tell Hillsborough County campaign by the end of fall and put what they want to see in their local park together as well as began the process of system,” Dougherty said, adding that implementing the new master plan,” Parks and Recreation is in the midst of a Dougherty said. major survey designed to gather resiHillsborough County Parks and dents’ input on facilities, programming, Recreation is offering a wide variety of and recreational needs throughout the facilities and programs for all ages and county and that the information will be while in the midst of developing a abilities, used for the Parks and Recreation Master Parks and Recreation Master Plan that Plan. needs residents’ ideas. The survey is “So far we have received more than available through PlanYourParks.org. 1,700 responses back, which is a huge

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September 2016

Page 21

Valrico Edition

Center Place To Host Masterpieces And Martinis Fundraiser To Benefit Children’s Programs

By Kathy L. Collins

ed to have it every year.” Money raised from the event directly benefits Center Place’s children’s programs and helps fund scholarships so that every child can have the opportunity to unleash their creativity. Rodriguez said, “Center Place has been a pillar of our greater Brandon community for 40 years. We have Create a masterpiece at Center Place’s Masterpieces and brought the arts to the Martinis painting event on Friday, September 16. community by providing Looking for a fun girls’ night out or a theatre, art classes, student scholarships, fun date night? Check out Center Place’s special events, summer camp workupcoming Masterpieces and Martinis on shops, monthly art exhibits and recepFriday, September 16 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. tions. The arts play an important role in Tickets are $40 per person and $70 per the development and fabric of our comcouple. Tickets include dinner, martinis (or munity.” another beverage of your choice) and all Center Place is continually updating of the supplies needed to paint a fantastic and adding to its already busy slate of canvas. This event usually sells out, so events and exhibits. In 2017, Center get your tickets now by calling Center Place will host its first national contempoPlace at 685-8888. rary art competition and exhibition called Patty Sisco of the local favorite, Square’s Off. Artists from all over the local Sketch and Sip, will lead this fun, adult area and beyond are encouraged to enter night out which supports a great local arts and as Rodriguez said, “Think outside the organization, Center Place. Enjoy a box and ‘Square Off’ against fellow artists sumptuous dinner before creating your from all over the nation.” This exciting art masterpiece. In addition to dinner and competition and exhibit will take place painting, there will be a raffle to bid on from Friday, January 20, 2017 through that night. Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The deadCenter Place’s Masterpieces and line to enter is Thursday, September 15. Martinis started in 2008 when Tammy For more information on all of Center Holmberg ran for Honorary Mayor of Place’s programming, including Brandon. According to Lisa Rodriguez, Masterpieces and Martinis and its newest marketing director for Center Place, “The art competition Square’s Off, visit event was so well received that we decid- www.centerplacebrandon.org.

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Page 22

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

Universal Studios and Busch Gardens Host Adult Only Halloween FrighTS

Compiled By Michelle Colesanti

Howl-O-Scream Puts On An “Evil Encore”

Mr. Karver put his heart and soul into his dolls. After the authorities came to close him down, Karver locked himself in his “Hall Of Dolls” and burned it to the ground. Now, the dummies are back and they insist the show must go on. It’s the encore no one asked for, and it’s about to bring down the house, forever. It’s the Evil Encore everyone is dying to see. Tampa Bay’s premier Halloween event returns with tormenting surprises and unexpected frights around every corner. There are two brand-new haunted houses and a bone-chilling storyline starring a disturbing cast of demon dolls.

Howl-OScream is intended for a mature audience. This year's event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore and blood. There are seven haunted houses, and throughout the park and in between the haunted houses, every corner will be deemed unsafe. Guests can test their limits while braving thrill rides in the dark, including Cobra’s Curse, Busch Gardens’ new one-of-a-kind spin coaster. Plus, challenge North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower Falcon’s Fury, Florida’s first and only triple-launch coaster Cheetah Hunt and others. Freaky Preview returns this year and will open Howl-O-Scream 2016 on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24. The event then runs select nights from Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 30. Operating event hours are 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. This year, 4-Pack Ticket Deals start at $35.99 per person, plus tax. Reduced advance-purchase rates are available online, and special offers are available for

Busch Gardens Pass Members. Additionally, out-of-towners can take advantage of great vacations packages, like the Overnight Fright or Wild & Wicked Weekends packages. For more information, visit HowlOScream.com. Howl-O-Scream 2016 is a separately-ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. For guest information, visit HowlOScream.com or call 1-888800-5447

Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

fans and those unsuspecting guests, step inside the twisted world of the award-winning anthology horror series that’s been terrorizing T.V. viewers since 2011. Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event and occurs rain or shine. No rain checks, returns or refunds. Prices, dates, times, attractions and entertainment subject to availability and may change without notice. Other restrictions may apply. For more information on ticket prices, times and dates, visit www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/.

On select nights from Friday, September 16 through Monday, October 31, the streets of Universal Studios Florida theme park come alive with hordes of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. Nobody creates a more nightmarish Halloween event filled with truly original scares and authentic horror movie moments. Explore terrifying haunted houses, make your way through multiple scare zones where creatures lurk around every turn, enjoy outrageous live shows, and experience many of the park’s most exciting rides and attractions. New this year for American Horror Story

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September 2016

Valrico Edition

Page 23

Immanuel Lutheran School To Host Family-Friendly Oktoberfest

Three Valrico Eagle Scouts Recently Recognized At Court of Honor

Immanuel cotton candy and Lutheran School candy apples. (ILS) has been holdILS opened its ing its Oktoberfest doors for the first for 31 years providtime in September ing families with a 1980 with 72 stufun way to celebrate dents. Over the the fall season. years, classroom Once again ILS space has been invites the communiexpanded and a prety to enjoy the fun on school program Saturday, October started in 15 from 10 a.m.-2 2008. Today ILS prop.m. Entry is free, vides a quality but games and rides Christian education will require tickets, for students from which cost 50 cents preschool to 8th each. grade. Two sections As one of ILS’s The community is invited on Saturday, will separate the largest annual October 15 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to younger children fundraisers, the Immanuel Lutheran School’s Oktoberfest. from the older ones. money raised helps Kids will get to enjoy car bash, bounce to fund school activities. houses, trampoline bungee, pony rides Chair Person Devon Woodward said, and a petting zoo. There will be a hair “I have three children. One is in college booth for wrapping and a hair spray color and he attended ILS from 6-8 grades. I booth. Entertainment will be held inside currently have one in middle school and along with many vendor booths. New this one child in second grade. ILS is a wonyear will be a foam pit and a live actual derful environment and many of my older Pacman game. son’s friends today are ones he made at A costume contest will be held at 12 ILS in middle school. I agreed to chair Noon with prizes for first, second and Oktoberfest because of my love for this third place winners. school. I think ILS is the best kept secret If you get hungry while enjoying the in Brandon. I love our Oktoberfest fun, you can try authentic German food. A because when we came to the school it local family has run the kitchen and cook- was a tiny school event. Today we have ing for this event for the last six years. grown the event and truly work every Hamburgers and hot dogs will also be year to make it bigger and better.” available. Indulge your sweet tooth at the ILS is located at 2913 John Moore bake sale or by purchasing snow cones, Rd. Visit www.ilsbrandon.com.

Three local boys from Troop 109 recently earned the right to call themselves Eagle Scout. At a triple ceremony in August at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Valrico, Justin Mayne, Cameron Eppich and Casey Dixon were recognized as earning the highest rank in Boy Scouting. In order to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, a boy must complete an individual service project which benefits the community. Mayne, Eppich and Dixon (From left) Cameron Eppich, Casey Dixon and collectively spent 200 hours Justin Mayne recently earned Eagle Scout status (along with the volunteer help and were recognized in August at a triple ceremony from younger scouts) to complete at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Valrico. three projects: jamboree events, the camaraderie of At Masonic Youth Camp, Mayne working together as a unit to volunteer at organized a project to build a floating community events, share their knowledge dock to be used by all visitors. This dock with younger scouts and persevering included a ladder and a bench and will be through difficult challenges. used by Camp Pioneer and the Boy and According to Dixon, his most memoGirl Scouts coming to Masonic to work on rable scouting moment was a tire various water skills like swimming, canoeblowout. "While for most a blowout woulding and kayaking. n't be exciting the time our van blew out At the same camp, Dixon designed, two tires on the way back from summer fundraised and led the building and instalcamp is one of my favorite memories. It lation of 11 firewood shelters to supplebrought the troop a lot closer through the ment the Masonic Park and youth camp's combined struggle and I got to test my designated camping areas. The creation skills at roadside tire changing.” of these shelters will be used by various Mayne plans to pursue a career in camping groups to preserve and keep the United States Air Force, while Eppich firewood dry. plans to head to the University of Central Eppich led and organized a project to Florida and Dixon plans to head to benefit his church community. He dismanFlorida Polytechnic. All the Eagle scouts tled an old fence around a well at the plan to “pay it forward” to scouting by church, and built a new fence around it coming back to the Troop and becoming that will withstand the elements and time. leaders to the next generation of scouts. These young men have enjoyed Email bsatroop109valrico@gmail.com. week-long out-of-state campouts, national

By Michelle Colesanti

Staff Report


Page 24

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 9


Valrico

September 2016

Volume 13, Issue 9

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section

WINTHROP ARTS FACTORY................PG 29 CHALKLINES........................................PG 30 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...................PG 35 ENTER TO WIN....................................PG 37 SPORTS CONNECTION..................PGS 38‐39 hors d’oeuvres, pampering and fun. Call 654-7121 to RSVP. HealthSource Chiropractic is located at 166 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Ste. B in Brandon.

Backyard Birdseed, LLC Opens

Backyard Birdseed, LLC is a familyowned retail supplier of premium birdseed that is free of filler ingredients and products for birding and outdoor living. Backyard Birdseed opened its doors on September 1 at 3642 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Owners Brian and Heather Bisesto grew into birding as regular customers of Rich’s Backyard Birds. The name, Backyard Birdseed, is a nod to Richard Crete’s birding legacy. Part of the vision for Backyard Birdseed is to honor Crete’s passion for birding by continuing to provide the same careful selection of birdseed blends. Backyard Birdseed kicked off their business by donating a portion of their sales at the FishHawk Shopping Bazaar this past June to the Richard and Tanya Crete Memorial Bench/Birding Sanctuary Fund (managed by Operation Lotus). The Bisestos will continue supporting the memorial while establishing Backyard Birdseed as a favorite local supplier of products for enjoying backyard nature. The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 Noon-6 p.m., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday during September. The store will hold a grand opening event on Saturday, October 1. Call 816-2473 or visit www.backyardbirdseed.com.

The Stein & Vine Offers Neighborhood Craft Beer & Wine Bar Celebrating three years in Brandon,

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Backyard Birdseed will hold a grand opening event on Saturday, October 1.

The Stein & Vine is proud to serve craft beers from local breweries in the Tampa Bay area. You will find some of the most sought after craft beers on tap. You are encouraged to stop by and try one of many great local beers and help support your local brewery. Along with a nice selection of craft beers and wines from all over the world, comes a menu full of delicious dishes like "Pig Wings" or the "33 1/3" which is one third bacon. The menu changes daily. It is located at 827 W. Bloomingdale Ave. (corner of Kings and Bloomingdale Ave.) in Brandon. Visit www.thesteinandvine.com.

Cleaning And Organizational Services Offered By Custom Living Services

Stephanie Franklin specializes in cleaning and organizational services. She takes pride in helping others do what comes naturally to her, and uses green products to clean and sanitize the homes

of her clients. Franklin brings all her of own equipment including vacuums, towels, and dusters. The products are healthy for the environment and easy on her budget, so she passes those savings on to her customers. Franklin goes the extra mile with personal one-on-one service, stage setting, and organization upon each visit. Her mission statement, with every client, is to remain detail oriented, consistent, and honest. Franklin has recently expanded locally. Call 694-0745 or email sfranklin@customlivingservices.com.

Third Annual Ladies Night Out At HealthSource Chiropractic

HealthSource Chiropractic will host its third annual Ladies Night Out on Tuesday, October 11 from 6-8 p.m. There will be a number of local vendors for shopping, along with wine, cheese,

The Network Professionals, Inc. Valrico/FishHawk Breakfast Chapter meets every Thursday at The FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club at Starling, located at 15921 Courtside View Dr. in Lithia. Open networking begins at 7:15 a.m. and the meeting runs from 7:30-8:45 a.m. Call 662-3622 or visit www.facebook.com/npifishhawk.

Join The Wayne Lee MD Plastic Surgery & Return 2 Fitness Team

The staff of Wayne Lee MD Plastic Surgery invites you to join their Return 2 Fitness Team participating in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, held Saturday, October 22 at 9:30 a.m. at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. To join their team or donate, visit main.acsevents. org/goto/TeamWayne LeeMDReturn2Fitness. Dr. Wayne Lee, MD is a Brandon-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon who offers a variety of cosmetic and non-surgical procedures, as well as reconstructive services for cancer patients. Visit WayneLeeMD.com or call 579-3369 to schedule a free consultation.

Continued on Next Page


Page 26

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

Business Column Continued............. Visit Fishhawk Brightway In River Hills Plaza For Insurance Needs

Fishhawk Brightway is now open and offering Home/Auto/Commercial Insurance for the community. Founded in 2003, Brightway Insurance is now the nation’s seventh largest privately held Personal Lines insurance agency in the country. Chad Ourso, owner of both Orlando and Fishhawk Brightway Agencies, is the seventh Agency Owner in the Brightway system to own more than one location. The Agency Principal/Manager, Dianne Good, is looking forward to bringing a new level of commitment and risk advice to the community. Visit the newly renovated agency at 4375 Lynx Paw Tr. in Valrico, weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. Visit www.brightwayinsurancefishhawk.com or email dianne.good@brightway.com or call 681-6700.

Streamsong Resort Breaks Into Top 10 In Golf Magazine’s List Of Top 100 Courses In America

By Michelle Colesanti

guests a range of unique activities and amenities, including guided bass fishing excursions on the resort’s prolific lakes and streams, sporting clays, archery, the grotto-style AcquaPietra spa, tennis courts and a nature trail. Call 888-2946322 or visit www.streamsongresort.com.

Breast Cancer Fundraisers At Music Showcase

Music Showcase is taking nominations for locals currently undergoing treatment breast cancer patients to be the recipient of its month long fundraising efforts in October. There will be “Stomping Out Breast Cancer” T-shirts which will be on a pre-paid pre-order basis. The deadline to preorder is Tuesday, September 20. Baked Goods and popcorn will be available all month for donations of $1-$5 each. The recipient will be announced at the Costume Social on Friday, October 28 from 6–10 p.m. Visit musicshowcaseonline.com or call 685-5998 and ask for Debra Campos or Paula Gaskins to nominate Dianne Good is the agency principal/man- someone to be a recipient or ager of Fishhawk for information.

Streamsong Brightway. Red and Streamsong Blue – Day Of Care At Five Star Dental two of the top modern courses in the A Day of Care for people who need industry that emerged from a former dental work will be held Saturday, phosphate mine nearly four years ago – October 22 beginning at 7 a.m. at Five have been named to GOLF Star Dental in Valrico. Dr. Jeff Bynum has Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Courses You been in business for 20 years, and has Can Play 2016-2017,” a biennial ranking provided a Day of Care to the community of the 100 best public-access courses in for many years. This is for people that are America. Since their debut rankings on in desperate need of dental work, to help this list just two years ago, Streamsong with the pain and get hygiene cleanings. Red and Streamsong Blue have climbed Dr. Bynum, his staff, volunteers from his to the No. 10 and No. 12 spots respecchurch and often other dentist, usually tively, making Streamsong Resort one of see 75-100 patients that day. Dr. Bynum only three destinations on the list to have multiple courses in the top 15. The GOLF recently went to Nicaragua with his family to provide dental work for those that need Magazine rankings are based on input from a group of panelists, who singled out it so desperately. If you, or someone you know, is in need of dental work, visit Five Streamsong Red, recognizing the course Star Dental at 3203 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. for its “firm, fast-running fairways, signifiValrico on Saturday, October 22. cant elevation changes, and showmanship in the form of sunken lakes,” citing Integrity Pressure Cleaning, Inc. Now that “it adds up to a course that seems Includes Roof-A-Cide destined to rise higher in years to come.” Tucked away on 16,000 natural acres in Roof-A-Cide, the manufacturer of central Florida, Streamsong also offers environmentally safe roof cleaning solu-

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tions and algae preventatives is making its products available throughout the area through a recently established Authorized Roof-A-Cide Applicator – Integrity Pressure Cleaning. Roof-A-Cide is an EPA approved algaecide/fungicide specifically designed and approved for use on Barrel Tile, Concrete Tile, Asphalt Shingle roofs, and Stone-Coated Steel. Roof-ACide is safe to work with, safe for the roof, and safe for landscaping. Roof-ACide has been used successfully on over 250,000 properties to date throughout the U.S. Roof-A-Cide has been approved for use by the largest roof materials manufacturers in the United States including GAF, Boral, and Gerard. Roof-A-Cide is guaranteed to prevent the growth of dark algae stains for at least two full years with each treatment. Integrity Pressure Cleaning is a full service pressure cleaning company since 2004. Call 293-4077 or visit IntegrityPressureCleaning.com for free estimates.

Topper’s Creamery Now Open At Westfield Shopping Center

Brandon Town Center is the site of the newest Topper’s Creamery. At 218-sq. ft., the location is convenient to the east entrance and adjacent to retailers such as Zales Jewelers, The Children’s Place, Finish Line, and Kay Jewelers, among others. The announcement was made by Topper’s Creamery Chairman and Co-Founder Wade Oney, who also owns more than 50 Papa John’s locations as well as eight Qdoba stores. Oney is a former Chief Operating Officer for Papa John’s Pizza. Visit topperscreamery.com.

Pure Barre Brandon Opens

Pure Barre is the nation’s fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. In just 55 minutes, you will achieve a full-body workout concentrating on the areas women struggle with the most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. The Pure Barre technique is lowimpact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a

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stretching section in order to create long, lean muscles without bulk. Pure Barre Brandon will be open seven days a week with over 30 classes per week. It will have a women’s retail boutique featuring designer athleisure and active wear and a studio room to host Pure Barre classes, specialty classes and events. Pure Barre Brandon is located at 857 E. Bloomingdale Ave. The hours are 6 a.m.8 p.m. depending on class time. Email Brandon@purebarre.com. Visit www.purebarre.com/fl-brandon.

Medical Facility Evening Social Opens Doors To Community

The Brandon Foundation is grateful to the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute for hosting an evening social and open house in August. Members of the community enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and wine and were given a tour of the new facility located at 403 Kings Ave. The social provided an opportunity for guests to meet the Dr. Shalin Shah, Monica Clark, Senior Physician Liaison and the rest of their team of doctors, nurses and staff. Dr. Shah discussed the various ways the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation helps individuals affected by cancer with financial support and how the Brandon Foundation was able to provide assistance to one of their patients through the Foundation Angel Program. Brandon Foundation Executive Director Liz Brewer also shared with members of the staff and the community how the Foundation Angel program has been able to help over 400 families since its inception in 2006 by providing them with “angels” to meet their practical needs. Commissioner Stacy White also spoke about how important this partnership is to our community to help our residents in their time of need. The Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute will be one of the sponsors of the Foundation’s annual dinner, An Evening of Hope & Charity Check Presentation to be held on Friday, November 4 at The Regent. Visit www.BrandonFoundation.com

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September 2016

Valrico Edition

Page 27


Page 28

Valrico Edition

Pearle Vision Of Brandon Helping Students Protect Their Vision This School Year

By Katelyn Massarelli

With summer sale running coming to an end, through the end of it’s a busy time of the year. year for parents, According to teachers, and stuPlumb, polycardents as they prebonate lenses pare to enter yet help protect a another school child's vision by year. As students holding up to advance in their rough-and-tumble education the play or sports work gets harder, without cracking and textbooks or shattering. and amounts of “We insist on reading gets largpolycarbonate er making eye lenses for chilcare a priority for dren's eyeglasses everyone going for safety reaback to school. sons,” Plumb According to said. “The materiPearle Vision of Brandon Owner, Sara Plumb al is lighter than Co-owner of helps customer Jake Despenas find the perfect standard plastic or Pearle Vision of pair of glasses to go back to school. Brandon Sara glass, which Plumb, most parents and educators makes eyeglasses with polycarbonate incorrectly assume that if a child passes a lenses more comfortable to wear and less school screening, then there are no vision likely to slide down your child's nose. And problems. Many school screenings only they block out 99 percent of UV rays, test for distance visual acuity, so a child another important feature built into to with 20/20 vision can still have vision polycarbonate lenses.” problems. The vision skills needed for Pearle Vision of Brandon is owned successful reading and learning are more by Sara and her brother, Michael Plumb. complex. It offers a wide variety of frame styles “Eye problems often mask themfrom brands such as Ray-Ban, Converse, selves as learning disabilities,” Plumb and Nike for children to choose from to said. “Since 80 percent of what you learn make glasses stylish and ready for is through vision, the better you see, the school. better you learn.” Visit www.pearlevision.com. Pearle To make sure your child’s vision is in Vision of Brandon is located at 1929 W. tip-top shape for this school year, Pearle Brandon Blvd in Brandon. Call 681-8880 Vision of Brandon is offering free polycarto book your child’s back to school eye bonate lenses during its back to school care appointment.

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Volume 13, Issue 9

MOSI Forms Partnership With Behavioral Consulting Of Tampa Bay

By Libby Hopkins

ence,” the collaboration will lead to more vital science and math education for a wider range of students in the Brandon and Tampa Bay area, richer and more fulfilling time together for families that include children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and guidelines for other museums and businesses that are looking to create a more inclusive experience. “This is a fantastic way to take the expertise BCOTB has developed by working one-on-one with families The Museum of Science and Industry has formed a partnership with Behavioral since 2003 and bring it out into the Consulting of Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay community,” BCOTB President and Founder Kelley Prince To make fun and learning even more said. “Our families are always searching open to all families in Tampa Bay, the for places where they can spend time area’s leader in hands-on science learntogether that will be supportive of their ing is teaming up with the community’s needs and won’t overwhelm them. We’re largest provider of Autism Spectrum excited to help MOSI take that to the next Disorder analysis and care. level.” The partnership between the BCOTB and MOSI have already perMuseum of Science & Industry (MOSI) formed a thorough assessment of the sciand Behavioral Consulting of Tampa Bay ence center. Some potential changes (BCOTB) is the first of its kind for either identified in the study include revising organization. maps and signs to clearly show families “At MOSI, our core ideology is to what kinds of sensory information (lights, make science real for people of all ages sounds, etc.) to expect in certain areas and backgrounds,” said Grayson Kamm, and rearranging some exhibits to allow MOSI’s communications director. families to bypass sections they may find “Accessibility and inclusiveness is at the overwhelming. “Some changes will come heart of what we are all about. So as we more quickly than others,” Kamm said. look at ways to eliminate any barriers to To learn more about BCOTB, visit accessibility that we have unintentionally created, it's a perfect fit to have a partner- www.bcotb.com or call their Brandon location at 440-4933. BCOTB Brandon ship that helps us understand the best office is located at 9225 Bay Plaza Blvd. ways to serve families who have memSte. 401. Learn more about MOSI at bers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” www.mosi.org. MOSI is located at 4801 Working under the motto “partnering E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa. toward a more autism accessible experi-

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September 2016

Page 29

Valrico Edition

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Celebrates Dreams Realized With Opening Of The 20 Years With The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve Art Factory At Winthrop Arts By Kathy L. Collins

atre on December 24. While seeking shelter from the cold, the teen is discovered by the theatre’s caretaker, who uses the ghosts and spirits from the building’s past to turn her life around. The rock opera features Christmas favorites such as Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24, O Come All Ye Faithful, Good King Joy, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring its critically acclaimed The Ghosts of Christmas Eve to Tampa’s Christmas Canon, Music Box AMALIE Arena on Sunday, December 18. Blues, Promises To Keep The critically acclaimed, musical and This Christmas Day. The 2016 tour powerhouse, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will see an all new second set containing will bring its treasured holiday tale, The some of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s greatGhosts of Christmas Eve, to Tampa’s est hits and fan-pleasers. AMALIE Arena on Sunday, December 18 Paul O’Neil, who launched the Transwith shows at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Siberian Orchestra said, “This show was show will be seen in 61 cities across an experiment, to take something that North America beginning in November. was conceived for T.V. and try to express Tickets go on sale beginning on that story live on stage. Integrating segFriday, September 16. Trans-Siberian ments of the T.V. show, with a live narraOrchestra was launched in 1996. Visit tor, and full rock band was something www.trans-siberian.com for details. As TSO has never done. The overwhelming this is its platinum anniversary year, each response from the fans during the 2015 concert ticket purchased online will Winter Tour drove the band’s decision to include a digital audio copy of The take it back out on the road this year.” Ghosts of Christmas Eve. This is the first If you attended last year, you will see time these songs have been released in new artists, new special effects and a lot an audio package, and the album feaof surprises this year. tures a bonus track titled Music Box The Trans-Siberian Orchestra Blues. donates one to two dollars from every The Ghosts of Christmas Eve ticket sold to select local charities. To debuted last year to rave critical and fan date, over $13 million has been distribreviews. The Ghosts of Christmas Eve uted to worthy charities across North follows the journey of a runaway who America. For more information, visit breaks into an abandoned vaudeville the- www.trans-siberian.com.

By Kathy L. Collins

What was once Winthrop Main St. in just a dream- to have a Riverview. fully functioning after Teachers at the Art school program in Factory are professionRiverview- has become al artists and educators a reality with the openwho want to pass their ing of Art Factory at knowledge onto the Winthrop Arts. The Art next generation. The Factory is unique in Art Factory will offer that it will not only allow painting, drawing, students of all ages and sculpture, mixed media, abilities to express their fabrics and more. The creativity, but it will offer Art Factory will allow a program that will children to rotate daily teach students the eleso that they experience ments of art. a variety of arts each The Art Factory week. In addition to began as the brain these classes, the Art Eddie Ewell and Winthrop Town child of Bryant Factory will also offer Artist Bryant Martinez are excited Martinez, the Winthrop about the opening of the Art Factory The Word Shop, a at Winthrop Arts, an arts based after class created and Town Artist, and John school program. and Kay Sullivan, the taught by renowned founders of Winthrop. They sought a historical author, Doris Weatherford. safe, fun and creative place for their chilKatharine Sullivan-Dawes, the direcdren to go after school every day. tor of everything for Winthrop Arts said, Martinez and the Sullivans developed the “We see the Art Factory becoming a creArt Factory concept and have been holdative destination for our community with ing classes informally over the past two classes happening all the time, not just years. Through the growth of Winthrop after school. We also plan to invite artists Arts, Inc. into a formal 501(c)(3) organiza- to come in from all over the country to do tion, the Art Factory is expanding into a special master classes and workshops. renovated building with studio space, We see the Art Factory becoming an multiple classrooms and room for up to important cultural hub.” 60 students. For more information on Winthrop The Art Factory will be open Arts and to sign your child up at the Art Mondays from 1:45-6 p.m. and Tuesday Factory, visit www.winthroparts.org. through Friday from 3-6 p.m. The cost to Become a part of Winthrop Arts by visiting attend is $55 per week and includes all the generosity campaign and making a supplies. There is a $35 registration fee. donation at bit.ly/2biezZC. The Art Factory is located at 11267

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Page 30

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

Public Schools 2016-2017 Calendar, Florida Sheriff’s Association Awards Scholarships & More 2016-2017 School Calendar

Hillsborough County Public Schools began welcoming more than 200,000 students back to the district August 10. Cutting the summer break a bit shorter, the district’s approved new calendar has shifted the school year up two weeks. View the full calendar online at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/calendar/.

Florida Sheriff's Association Awards Scholarships To Children Of Law Enforcement

Following in its annual tradition, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSAA) awarded scholarships to 10 hardworking students studying toward a career in law enforcement, corrections or another criminal justice field. According to FSAA officials, the students look to follow in the footsteps of their parents as they are sons and daughters of employees working full-time for a Florida Sheriff's Office. Three of the 10 students chosen, Robert Bullara, Matthew Booth and Janae Dace, are children of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) employees. To be considered for the scholarship, students submitted a five-page application and an essay on how their parent

... “Relax ke a t l ’l e w it.” care of

University of Florida pursuing a degree in motivated them to choose law enforcecriminology with aspirations of attending ment. law school. The applications and essays were reviewed by a committee of representaDistrict Posts Free, Reduced Price tives from the Florida Sheriffs Association Meal Guidelines whose members selected 10 recipients. Matthew Booth, is the son of HCSO Hillsborough County Public Schools Master officials have Deputy Mark posted this Booth, who year’s guidewill be pursulines for free ing a degree and reduced in Criminal price meals Justice at the reminding parUniversity of ents and stuCentral dents to take Florida. advantage of Janae the district’s free Dace, breakfast prodaughter of gram offered, HCSO payregardless of roll clerk the child’s Yolanda household Dace, is income. planning to According Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Major Robert Bullara, right, attend and his wife Laura are joined by their son Robert who was to a recent awarded a scholarship from the Florida Sheriffs’ Hillsborough release, children Association. Community are able to College and then Albany State University. receive free, nutritious breakfast every Robert Joseph Bullara, is the son of school day thanks to The National School HCSO District 4 Major Robert Bullara, Breakfast Program, with breakfast options Sr., who is currently attending the that include fruit and yogurt parfaits,

whole grain muffins, and apple cinnamon oatmeal all of which are promising to meet federal nutrition standards, free of charge to all students in Hillsborough County Public Schools. A free breakfast is available before the first bell rings. Children from families whose income is at or below the guidelines are also eligible for free or reduced price meals. Household application for school meal benefits are available online. To apply, participants are asked to visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us, type “Go SNS” in the search bar, and follow the instructions. Applying online is simple, secure, and the fastest way to apply for free school meal benefits. A new family application must be completed each year. For reference only, parents may view a sample application in 34 different languages at the following website: www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/applying-free-and-reduced-price-school-meals. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. If a child moves from one Hillsborough County public school to another in the same year, parents do not need to submit a new application. For more information, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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September 2016

Valrico Edition

Local Teen Releases New Single, Donates Song And Talent To Charity

By Pearlie Mondovics

For 13-year-old John Prince Park Riverview resident at Lake Worth, and up-and-coming where she is R&B singer-songscheduled to take writer, Estacia, the stage, at no singing is not just a cost, performing part of life, but is her single along life. with the Star "Music is the Spangled Banner. voice of my soul “She is perthat neither words sonally lobbying nor actions can for this event and asking people to describe,” Estacia donate for this said. “It's the thing cause,” Neysa that runs in my said, adding that veins. Music is basiLocal teen Estacia recently released her new Estacia will also cally my life. It's R&B single and is looking forward to donating her time and talent to local charity at the participate in the been my life since I upcoming St. Jude’s Walk/Run to End actual five-mile was young." Childhood Cancer. The young walk and run and artist's love of music, specifically rhythm encourages people to come and join her and blues, began during her father’s team. “Her goal is to sign up 50 people to deployment, as she sang the tunes of her walk or run with her,” Neysa said. favorite artists to lift the spirits of her famiNeysa emphasized that nominated ly. as a Blue Star Military child, Estacia also This love for music and family led to understands the sacrifices of military famithe recent release of her new single, lies during their loved ones’ deployments Speak To Me, produced by local Grammy and has received many thanks for her winner, Lannie Battistini, for the record community service works. label, Hands In Motion, located at 140 W. “With her gifts and experience in Robertson St. in Brandon. charitable work, Estacia wants to conAccording to Estacia's publicist and tribute her talents to help find the cure for agent, Neysa Battistini, the single is curcancer,” Neysa said. rently being considered for a nomination Estacia's album is scheduled to be for the 59th Grammy Awards. completed later this year and released in Aside from the song's release in January 2017. More about Estacia can June, Estacia is looking forward to share be found at www.iamestacia.com, on her time and talent during the upcoming Facebook at www.facebook.com/ St. Jude's Walk/Run to End Childhood IAmEstacia and Twitter at Cancer, on Saturday, September 24 at www.twitter.com/IAmEstacia.

Page 31


Page 32

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

2016 Hillsborough County Fair Fine Arts Show Issues A Call To Artists By Kathy L. Collins

Pre-registered entrants will receive one free fair ticket. Pre-registration must be postmarked by Monday, October 10 in order to receive the free ticket. The entry form can be downloaded at www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com (click on competition and then visual arts). Entry forms can be scanned and emailed to mjwagoner5757@gmail.com or mailed Mary Jane Wagner at 3412 Silver to The Hillsborough County Fair will host a Fine Meadow Way, Plant City, FL 33566. Arts Show. All Fine Arts entries must be hand Artists, amateurs and professionals, delivered to the fairgrounds on Saturday, young and old who live in Hillsborough 15 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or on October County, are urged to submit entries for Monday, October 17 from 3-6 p.m. There the 2016 Hillsborough County Fair Fine is no entry fee. Arts Show. The Hillsborough County Fair The show will be judged by highly runs October 20-23 and October 27-30. qualified judges. Awards will be given on The fair is held at 215 Sydney Washer a merit basis based on the intended Rd. in Dover (east of Brandon on SR 60). design, composition, mastery of theme, Fine art entries must be original and medium, technique and presentation. not older than two years. No entry previwill be winners for Best of Show, There ously shown at the fair will be accepted. First, Second and Third Place. Small Adult art will be judged according to their prizes and ribbons will be monetary respective media. Youth art will be awarded in all categories. defined and judged in three categoriesMary Jane Wagner, chair of the Fine Elementary (grades 1st through 5th); Arts Show said, "The Fine Art Show is Middle (grade 6th through 8th); and moving to the Family Living area which is Secondary (grades 9th through 12th). located in a large building on the fairArtists may enter up to three pieces. This will allow fair visitors to grounds. Each piece is not to exceed 32 inches view all types of art including fine arts, including the frame. All 2-D art must have photography and other creative crafts, installed screws and wires and be ready entries all in one central location.” to hang. Fine art consists of acrylic, oil, For a detailed explanation of the watercolor, computer/graphics, pencil, rules and to print an entry form, please charcoal, ink, mixed media and digital fine visit www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com. art.

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September 2016

Valrico Edition

Photographers Can Enter 2016 Hillsborough County Fair Photography Competition By Kathy L. Collins Photographers Entry forms can be who live in scanned and emailed Hillsborough to Brenda Anderson, County are invited Hillsborough County to submit entries for Fair the 2016 Photography/Mixed Hillsborough Media Photography County Fair Competition chairperPhotography/Mixed son, at onemininut@ Media Photography gmail.com or mailed Competition. The to 1524 S. Wiggins Hillsborough Rd., Plant City, FL County Fair runs 33566. from October 20 to Photographs 23 and from must be 8x10 and October 27 to 30. must be mounted on The fair is held at standard 11x14 white 215 Sydney mounting board. Washer Rd. in Mixed media photogDover (east of raphy must be Brandon on SR framed and ready to 60). hang using screw Youth entries eyes and wire only. Hillsborough County Fair seeks photogracan be submitted All work will be phers for its photography competition. for the following judged based upon divisions: Elementary 1st through 5th visual impact, composition, quality and grade; Middle 6th through 8th grade; appeal. All contestants must agree and Secondary 9th through 12th grade. Adults sign that all of their photographs were 18 and older may also enter. Participants taken and all work completed within the may enter two pieces per class in photog- last 12 months. No work may be raphy (black/white/color and digital) and enhanced using digital software other one piece in mixed media photography. than to remove red eye and crop. Those who pre-register can receive Prizes will be awarded for Youth and one free fair ticket. Pre-registration must Adult in each category. be postmarked by Monday, October 10 in For more information on the specific order to receive free ticket. There is no rules regarding size and mounting and entry fee. specifications for each category of the The entry form can be downloaded Photography/Mixed Media Photography at www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com (click Competition, visit www.hillsboroughcounon competition and then visual arts). tyfair.com.

Page 33

Southeastern Guide Dogs Launches Puppy Kindergarten Adventure

By Ruth Lando

are developing Southeastern most rapidly.” Guide Dogs has Puppy added an exciting new dimension to its highly Kindergarten Adventure will popular puppy hugging include a variety of activity with the launch different curricuof the Puppy lums, each focusKindergarten ing on one particuAdventure. While lar lesson, such as guests have loved Health Class, which playing with adorable teaches puppies puppies and helping Katie Harris and her mother, Bobbie, take to socialize and part in the Health Class curriculum of the about staying calm new Puppy Kindergarten Adventure at for veterinary accustom them to Southeastern Guide Dogs. exams. Physical human interaction, Education promotes the exploration of the Puppy Kindergarten Adventure goes new surfaces and under-footings. No further. Up to seven guests at a time will matter which module visitors are offered, actually become volunteer Kindergarten they will enjoy novel and engaging teachers, upping the educational value of hands-on experiences of play with a purplaytime as the puppies experience fun, pose led by trained volunteer puppy edumulti-sensory learning sessions that cators. expose them to new sights, sounds, puzThe Puppy Kindergarten Adventure zles, textures, under-footings, and more. is suitable for ages 6 and up. Guests Every intimate experience is geared to must register online preparing the dogs for the diverse enviat www.guidedogs.org/activities/puppyronments and physical activities they will kindergarten-adventure. One-hour sesface as extraordinary service dogs. sions are offered Mondays, Tuesdays, “Our future superhero guide and Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9 service dogs are going to transform a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The cost is $25 per someone’s world and change a life forevperson and proceeds help defray food er someday,” said Leslie Shepard, direcand other expenses for Southeastern tor of puppy raising services. “The creGuide Dogs, which is a nonprofit that has ation of extraordinary dogs is both an art nurtured almost 3,000 partnerships and a science, and our education and between inspirational people and extraortraining strategies follow clear career dinary guide and service dogs. paths from pre-school to graduation. The Southeastern Guide Dogs is located Puppy Kindergarten Adventure introduces at 4210 77th St. in Palmetto. For more young dogs to important skills and cominformation, visit www.GuideDogs.org or petencies during the first three months of call 941-729-5665. life, when their brains and learning ability


Page 34

Valrico Edition

Volume 13, Issue 9


September 2016

Page 35

Valrico Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

The Classroom Gallery At The 1914 Plant City High School Community Center Showcasing Art Around Town

The Classroom Gallery is now showing Art Around Town.

The Classroom Gallery, located at the historic 1914 Plant City High School Community Center, is a new partnership venture between the East Hillsborough Historical Society and the East Hillsborough Art Guild. The first show, Art Around Town, is up for viewing by the community until November. The Classroom Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m. The current exhibit is very interesting and contains something for everyone from baskets, carvings, hats, miniatures and paintings of all sorts. Most of the artwork in the show is available for acquisition. You can support a local artist with a purchase. You will meet some of the artists when you visit. Volunteer artists from the East Hillsborough Art Guild work at the exhibit to meet and greet residents who come to see their art. You might even get to see one hard at work on a demonstra-

tion. The East Hillsborough Art Guild also plans to offer classes and workshops. On the day I visited, I met a lovely artist and long-time member of the East Hillsborough Art Guild, Patci Sawyer. “As an artist, I am grateful for a place like the Classroom Gallery. It gives us access to a place where we can create and talk with others in a perfect setting,” Sawyer said. “We are so blessed to have a space to dream, use and to do what we love.” Shelby Bender, executive director of the 1914 Plant City High School Community Center and president of the East Hillsborough Historical Society said, “We have the space for art here at the center. We want to be instrumental in bringing the community and organization together.” It is indeed a beautiful space for art. There are tons of windows and so much natural light. It is definitely a must see. The next exhibit of the artists from the East Hillsborough Art Guild will be presented in conjunction with Plant City Pioneer Day which is held on the second Saturday in November. The East Hillsborough Art Guild is a non-profit organization of artists, art lovers and patrons. They meet on the first Monday of the month October through May at the GFWC Woman’s Club located at 1110 N. Wheeler St. in Plant City. The 1914 Plant City High School Community Center is located at 605 N. Collins St. in Plant City. Visit www.ehagfinearts.com.

Two Local Artists Work On Display At Bruton Memorial Library artist statement said, “My artistic expressions began very early in life. Drawing with pencils was my first love and after some time, I began working with paints.” Putnal prefers acrylics. The statement further said, “I love painting animals. I have retired from teaching, but still enjoy painting and drawing, my The artwork of Sandy Putnal and Beryl Harvey are first love.” on display at the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant Putnal is showing 20 pieces. City throughout the month of September. The media displayed in this exhibit The exhibit this month at the Bruton include acrylic, pencil and watercolor. All Memorial Library in Plant City is a wonof Putnal’s work in the exhibit is different derful collection of artwork from two and interesting. One piece, a pencil piece artists- Beryl Harvey and Sandra Putnal. featuring “Otter Joe” is especially lovely. According to Tonda Morris, director of The pencil work shows a lot of skill and is Library Services, “We are featuring two very expressive. artists this month. Both have a life-long Putnal also included several smaller love of art and a realistic style in their pieces in the exhibit including a miniature work.” acrylic called “Cornfield.” The smaller Harvey moved to Florida from pieces are displayed in the display case. Rochester, New York in 1979. Harvey is a All in all, this is a lovely exhibit featurself-taught artist. Harvey’s artist statement ing the work of two talented but different said, “Now with time to spare, it was time artists. Each took the time to create for me to start my life long dream which thoughtful artist’s statements and even was and still is creating art on canvas.” numbered the pieces so that the viewer Morris said, “Harvey has a realistic paintknows the medium and the name of the ing style and uses acrylic or watercolor on piece. canvas and displays a variety of subThe Bruton Memorial Library is dedijects.” cated to showing the artwork of local Harvey is showing 10 pieces in the artists. For more information on how to exhibit. All of the pieces are colorful, clear have artwork featured at the library, visit and reflective. the library located at 302 W. McLendon Putnal is from Plant City. For her, art St. in Plant City or call 757-9215. is the way she expresses herself. Putnal’s

10/31/2016


Page 36

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

Osprey Observer Interns Gain Reporting Skills Over The Summer

By Michelle Colesanti

Every summer the Osprey Observer welcomes summer interns. They are usually high school or college students looking to either gain some insight into the world of journalism or to just learn about something new and maybe out of their comfort zone. This year four local students were welcomed to work with the Osprey staff. We wish them continued success.

Katelyn Massarelli

reporter. “I was able to step into a professional journalistic setting where I was given positive feedback on my writing. During my internship I was given the opportunity to hear just a few of the many stories that make this community so special and it showed me how much I love being able to share them. I can’t say thank you enough to the Osprey Observer for giving me the opportunity to intern this summer,” she commented.

Madeline Sullivan

Katelyn Massarelli Madeline Sullivan graduated graduated from from Newsome High School after Bloomingdale High spending her freshman year at School in 2015 and is Coronado High School in San Katelyn Massarelli now a sophomore Diego and sophomore and junior attending the University of Tampa as a years at Bolton High School in Memphis. journalism major. She currently attends the University According to Massarelli, after she of South graduates from college she hopes to conFlorida and is tinue throughout her career as a journalmajoring in ist. “Reporting will always be something communicathat I love and enjoy doing,” she noted. tions with a She is hoping to attend graduate concentration school and continue to expand her knowlin culture and edge on journalism so she can become a media. professor. Sullivan’s Massarelli said, “My journalism hope after teacher at Bloomingdale and my profesgraduation is sors at the University of Tampa have to continue played a huge role in why I want to be a writing, preferMadeline Sullivan journalist. I want to be able to share my ably for a magknowledge and experiences with future azine, and to eventually become an editor journalists and help them become sucone day. She also plans on going back to cessful.” school to become a college professor. Massarelli said that interning this Sullivan said “I really enjoyed internsummer has made her a more confident ing this summer. Interning has taught me

new skills in organization and time management. It has also allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and really get to know people. The deadlines felt challenging at times but it was very rewarding when I turned everything in on time. I have also noticed a big improvement in my writing as well.”

my anxieties about speaking with strangers in order to acquire new information. Although I was initially nervous about being an intern, I found I grew into it quickly and I am proud of the accomplishments I made.”

Ivy Velazquez

Ivy Velazquez graduated from Newsome Jillian Tumlin High School and currentJillian Tumlin graduated from ly attends the University the IB program at Strawberry of Tampa (UT) majoring Crest High School and is now in journalism. starting her second year at the Velazquez is also in University of Central Florida, the ROTC program at although she is technically a junUT, so when she graduIvy Velazquez ior because of college credits ates from college, she earned in high school. She is curhopes to serve in the rently a hospitality major. National Guard and to have a civilian job Tumlin said that she has no plans yet as a reporter for a newspaper. after graduaRegarding the summer internship, tion because Velazquez said, “It was a great experilife constantly ence. Everyone at the Osprey throws curve Observer was very friendly and helpful balls, making it throughout my time interning. I feel I was difficult to disable to learn more about what being a cern exactly reporter entails and it helped put me out what she of my comfort zone through the interwants to do in views, as that has always been a bit of a the future. “I weak point for me. I also really enjoyed suppose my the opportunities and variety of stories I ultimate hope was able to do; before I'd only ever been Jillian Tumlin after graduaon a school newspaper so it was great tion is to be being able to do local news stories that satisfied with myself,” Tumlin noted. went beyond what was happening on Regarding her internship, Tumlin campus. I'm going to be one of the A&E said, “As for my thoughts on interning this editors for the paper at UT and I feel that I summer: it was definitely an unforgettable will be a more capable editor with this experience that required me to abandon experience under my belt.”

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September 2016

Page 37

Valrico Edition

Brandon Foundation’s Angels Program Connects Community Members In Need

By Libby Hopkins

and talents to serve someone in need.” The program’s first Evening of Hope was held in November of 2006 and they were able to create a database of Foundation Angels that continue to help families in our community every single day. “Our Angel Teams and Angel Providers often tell us how wonderful they feel to be able to help someone in need with their service and in return, they receive the greatest blessing,” Brewer said. The Foundation Angel Program is unique in that they match businesses The Brandon Foundation is hosting its 2016 and individuals in the Brandon comEvening of Hope and Charity Check Presentation on Friday, November 4. munity with individuals in need. “Most times the providers offer their services There is an old saying that goes, “If for free or deeply discounted,” Brewer we were all like angels, the world would said. “We ask our community to be the be a heavenly place.” To many in the eyes and ears and to submit a family in Brandon community, the Brandon need on our website. Our team leaders Foundation’s board members are considthen review the requests, ensure they are ered the angels that walk among us. The legitimate needs and then disburse the mission of the Brandon Foundation is to request to our team leaders who lead our improve the quality of life and shape the Angel Teams.” future of our community by creating public Once a team has accepted a family, awareness, developing resources and they will make a home visit to assess supporting initiatives that address local their needs and begin coordinating servicneeds. They do this through their Angels es with the Angel Providers. Program. To learn more about the Brandon “The Foundation Angel Program was and the Foundation Angel Foundation created in 2006 after several of us experiProgram, visit enced the loss of family members to the www.brandonfoundation.org or call 689devastating disease of cancer,” said the 6889. The foundation will be hosting its foundation’s Executive Director, Liz Evening of Hope and Charity Check 2016 Brewer. “We wanted to create a program Presentation on Friday, November 4 at that would engage our entire community The Regent. The Brandon Foundation is to help one another. While a business located at 1210 Millennium Pkwy. Ste. may not be able to write a check to spon2010 in Brandon. sor an event, they can give of their time

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Page 38

Valrico Edition

PRESS

Authorized:

Reporter

Tamas

Mondovics

tamas@ ver.com ospreyobser

Volume 13, Issue 9

Sports Connection 657-2418 www.ospreyobserver.com

Rd. Pinecrest11 900 Lithia n, FL 335 Brando -24 18 657 r.com rve bse eyo www.ospr

Cougars Show Strength During Early Season Non-Conference Win Against Spoto

By Tamas Mondovics

Gottman summed up his optimism of the 2016 fall season when he said, “We are looking to compete and win some big games this year. It will be a great season.” Durant is traditionally supported by their fans as well as a talented 18-member cheerleading squad with Savanna Sortore at the helm, who is now starting her third year as program coach. Sharing Gottman’s sentiments, Sortore also spoke highly of her athletes, focusing on this season with much confidence. “We are getting stronger and with four seniors taking With four seniors and coach Savanna Sortore at the helm, the 18-member Durant Cougars cheer squad the lead, we are much better is ready to support its team as well as to turn in a competitive season. than last year,” Sortore said. and rushed for 108 yards and had 18 with a 6-4 overall, and 3more information about For receiving yards. Potter also put on 3 district record. For Durant team athletics, visit www.maxthe show for the fans by finding the Gottman it was a year he preps.com. end zone three times and throwing is all too eager to forget.

Durant High School Cougars football team had a tough start of the new season, but has undoubtedly regained a great measure of confidence following a 33-0 shutout victory against the Spoto Spartans earlier this month. Spared by Hurricane Hermine, which by game time found its way further north allowing Cougars stadium and the field to dry out, the game came on the heels of a season opener 17-7 loss to the Hillsborough Terriers a week earlier. According to program Head Coach Mike Gottman, while a wakeup call for the team, the loss was no reflection on what it is capable of doing this season. “We had some opportunities and missed some plays which cost us the game,” said Gottman, who is starting his 13th year coaching the Cougars at Durant. “We squandered 14 points against the Terries last week. It would have made a huge differDurant High School senior wide receiver ence.” Brandon Myers goes high for catch and Durant the first touchdown of the night during an ended the early season home game against the Spoto Spartans. last season

“I am glad that season is over,” he said adding, “We have a much better program, better atmosphere and a new set of kids.” Backing his upbeat attitude and visible optimism, Gottman proudly named a number of key players including, senior wide receiver Brandon Myers, senior tight end Steven Witchoskey, junior running back, Jake Harris and Cougars talented junior quarterback Carlton Potter. While Myers lived up to his reputation with a couple of touchdown catches in the first and early in the second quarter, Harris took his turn

for 121 yards with zero interceptions.

Spoto’s drive is halted by the Cougars d-line during a recent non-conference game. Durant had a rough season opener game but its 33-0 win against Spoto gives testimony to the program’s strength and a promising season.


September 2016

Page 39

Valrico Edition

Sports

Connection

Bloomingdale Lady Bulls Promise Strong Start & Finish Story and photos by Tamas Mondovics

Bloomingdale High School Lady Bulls volleyball team closed last season with a disappointing 3-2 district playoff loss to Strawberry Crest. The girls were up by two games, but failed to keep the momentum going, ending the otherwise solid season with a 14-5 overall and 5-2 district record. But, that was then, and this is a brand new season, under third-year program Head Coach Claudia Cabrera, and her assistant coaches. “I have full confidence in the girls’ ability and determination to go much farther this year,” Cabrera said during a recent practice. “We will be focusing a little bit on everything, but we have great leadership and a positive spirit on and off the court.” Cabrera’s confidence stems from a great turnout for the 2016-2017 season’s tryout, which saw close to three dozen students, of which 30 were selected to make up this year’s Class 8A District 9 varsity and junior varsity teams. “I see a lot of potential in these players and I believe that my way Bloomingdale Senior High School Girls of coaching helps Volleyball Coach Claudia Cabrera directs them achieve their her team during a recent practice.

Bloomingdale Senior High School Lady Bulls Volleyball team pause for a photo during a recent practice ahead of the 2016-2017 season.

goals,” she said. The Bulls are facing a tough district, which once again includes Strawberry Crest, and nearby district rival Durant. The girls also face Plant City, East Bay, Lennard, and Tampa Bay Tech. The good thing is that this year’s team has three returning seniors; Emily Doyle, Natalie Mack and Andrea Brito, who bring

both experience and leadership to the program and are ready to take on the Spartans and the Cougars. “We had a tough loss at the end of last year, which we are not about to repeat,” Doyle said, adding that the team is much more experienced as well as determined to do better. “Our goal this season is to play every game strong from start

We always thought we were in fairly good shape for our age (both 63). We had been fitness walking for years or using a gym for our daily workouts. Our eating habits, however, had deteriorated over time, and we found we snacked a lot at night and NOT on healthy foods. We finally acknowledged that we were overweight and no longer as toned and fit as we wanted to be. It had gotten to the point that photos of us were not exactly ‘complimentary’ – shadows would simply not cover our pudginess! BEFORE AFTER About this time, we started noticing several of our friends were looking fitter, healthier, and happier and we asked questions to try and discover their secret. It turned out that each had been transformed at RobZFitness, so we summoned up our courage and marched our not-so-svelte bodies to his facility for a fitness evaluation which (unfortunately) validated our concerns. After Rob explained his proven program of nutrition, cardio, and weight training, we signed up and began our training that same week. Our personal trainer, Taylor, was awesome! He constantly assessed our progress, and cheerfully pushed us to improve (completely tuning out our stereo whining). We worked very hard every session and Taylor continually introduced new exercises to challenge and motivate us, increase our strength, and improve our muscle tone. No time to get bored! Bottom line – we are so excited with our progress. After 3 months of intense training, there has been a huge change in the way we look and feel. Bob’s body fat dropped from 25.8% to 13.5% after 12 weeks, and he lost 20+ lbs. Chris lost just shy of 20 lbs, and her body fat percentage went from 32.4% to 19.4%! We no longer mind having our picture taken! We eat healthier foods; we have more energy; and we are committed to continuing on this path so that we remain toned and fit. We promise…try it and you’ll be so glad you did!! Bob & Christine Garrett

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to finish.” Brito agreed when she added that as a team the girls are much closer and are like a family, which she believes is vital for success. “We are here to support each other, which helps especially when things are not going well on or off the court,” Brito said. Emphasizing that all credit goes to Coach Cabrera and her faith in the team’s success, Mack put things in perspective when she said during a quick break from practice, “She pushes us hard and is tough on practice, but it is what we need. She wants the best for us.” There is little doubt the girls are hungry to reach this year’s district round for a chance to prove their titleworthiness as well as their desire to go farther. While there is much work to be done, it is safe to say that the team is ready to give it all from start to finish. Fo more information about the Bloomingdale girls volleyball proWith confidence of a strong season from start gram, visit to finish, Bloomingdale Senior High School www.max seniors Emily Doyle, Natalie Mack and Andrea Brito are ready to lead this year’s vol- preps.com.

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Page 40

Volume 13, Issue 9

Valrico Edition

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Osprey Observer 2016-09 Valrico