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Two Sections, 48 Pages of Community News

Valrico 4

November 2016 Volume 15, Issue 11 Ph: 657-2418 C E L E B R A T I N G

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Festive Christmas Tree Lightings, Movies And Parades Kick Off The Holiday Season

By Kathy L. Collins

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

Postal Customer



On Friday, December 2, gather friends and family and come out to Winthrop Arts’ Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Winthrop Town Centre in Riverview. The tree lighting ceremony will take place from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and a holiday themed movie will be shown on the lawn behind the tree at approximately 7:15 p.m. Bryant Martinez, Winthrop Town Artist and member of the Winthrop Arts’ Board of Visionaries said, "This is the 10th year that we have had a Christmas Tree Lighting in Winthrop. Everyone is invited to Come out and experience some magical holiday fun come and enjoy this great holiday at the many area Christmas Tree Lighting events including the 10th Annual Winthrop Arts Christmas tradition." Winthrop Town Centre Tree Lighting featuring holiday themed entertainment is located at the intersection of by local performers. Bloomingdale Ave. and There is no better way to kick off the Providence Rd. in Riverview. holiday season then to attend one of the The City of Tampa will hold a Tree area's Christmas Tree Lighting events. Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December There are several scheduled during 2 at 6 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Waterfront November and December. Park in downtown Tampa. The event is You can bring the family to Hyde free and includes a count-down to light Park Village in Tampa for the Enchanted the tree with Mayor Bob Buckhorn. A Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, movie will be shown after the lighting in November 19 from 5 to 9 p.m. This free, the park. The 35th Annual Santa Fest will family friendly celebration kicks off the be held the next day, Saturday, holiday season. Everyone will enjoy live December 3 beginning at 11 a.m. folentertainment, food and beverages. Hyde lowed by Santa Fest in Curtis Hixon Park Park Village is located at 1602 W. Snow from 12 to 4 p.m. Ave. in Tampa. On Wednesday, December 7 Center On Thursday, December 1 you will Place will host its 32nd Annual Christmas not want to miss the lighting of the Tree Lighting. Center Place will showcase Community Christmas Tree in historic local dancers and singers at their event. downtown Plant City at McCall Park. This Join the Bloomingdale High School event begins at 5:30 p.m. Come back to Ambassadors as they welcome Santa Plant City on Friday, December 2 for the Claus who will help light the tree and take Annual Christmas Parade from 7 to 9 photos with children. Center Place is p.m. McCall Park is located at 100 N. located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Collins St. in downtown Plant City Brandon.

Photo By Tamas Mondovics Members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office pose for a photo after winning the recent charitable Hoagies for Heroes hoagie building competition against the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue team. The event was part of Wawa’s 100th Florida store grand opening ceremony. HCSO and HCFR both received $1,000 checks to the charities of their choice.


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Garvin Follows Biscuits Success With New Sweet PotatoBy Love Marie Gilmore

Local blogger, chef and cookbook author Jackie Garvin has become nationally recognized for the success of her first ever cookbook, Biscuits and now, just in time for the fall weather, her second cookValrico author Jackie Garvin is book, Sweet thrilled with the Potato Love, is release of her secreleased and ond cookbook, Sweet Potato Love. available on shelves. Garvin is living the dream! As a mom, grandmother and local cooking enthusiast, it was her Syrup and Biscuits blog that first drew the attention of publishers who wanted a cookbook focused on Biscuits. “The success of Biscuits is humbling and heartwarming,” said Garvin. “It’s in the third print run and will be available in paperback next fall.” Sweet Potato Love (Skyhorse Publishing; September 6, 2016; ISBN: 978-1-5107-0966-9; $24.99) contains 60 pages of sweet and savory recipes and is beautifully organized by season to make the most of the freshest produce and weather-based cravings. Seasonal recipes include: Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie, Cranberry Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Banana Sweet Potato Breakfast Bread, Sweet Potato Corn Bread, Barbeque Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, & more. Alongside these delicious sweet-andsavory recipes, author Jackie Garvin provides a touching a personal narrative with full color photographs explaining the life, from harvest to shipment, of the sweet potato and her own family memories. “Somehow, Jackie manages to transform the simple sweet potato into a fabulous ingredient worthy of being showcased at any meal. It’s a potato lover’s dream come true—a real winner,”—said

Melissa Sperka, author of Melissa’s Southern Cookbook. Garvin is well recognized in the Southern Cooking industry and in fact, will be a guest author and speaker on an upcoming Southern Sailings Country Cooking Cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas May 21-28, 2017. For more information, visit www.southernsailings.com. Garvin, a wife and mother, was born in Alabama but moved to Tampa in 1985 and retired after successful careers as a registered nurse, corporate executive, and entrepreneur. In 2011, she created her Southern food blog, Syrup and Biscuits, to chronicle wonderful food memories before they were forgotten. She lives in Valrico, Florida, with her husband and basset hound, Belle. Visit www.syrupandbiscuits.com or find her on Facebook.

In This Issue HOA HOT TOPICS ...............................PG 7 HOLIDAY EVENTS .............................PG 10 CHRISTMAS MUSICAL ......................PG 12 EYE ON BUSINESS ............................PG 25 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE ................PGS 34‐39 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 40 SPORTS CONNECTION.......................PG46



Page 2

Valrico Edition

Volume 15, Issue 11

November 2016

Twin Lakes High School Musician Honored To Play In All American Bowl

By Kate Quesada

When 125 Andrew Luck, high school stuAdrian Peterson dents from and Christian around the McCaffrey country perform made their at the nationalnational debuts ly-broadcast as U.S. Army U.S Army AllAll-Americans. American A total of 330 Marching Band U.S. Army Allhalf-time show Newsome High School Senior Megan Wright was American Bowl on January 7, selected to perform in the marching band at the alumni have 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl half-time show. been selected 2017, Valrico resident Megan Wright will be among in NFL Drafts. The 2016 game drew a them. crowd of 39,121 to the Alamodome. A Newsome High School senior “It is hard to put into words the and marimba player, Wright was official- immense honor I feel to be counted ly asked to join the elite group of musiamongst these people,” said Wright, cians and color guard members and who thanked many people from her given an honorary jacket at a ceremony grandparents to her fellow band memattended by her fellow band members, bers in her acceptance speech. “I can classmates, friends and family last not express the joy I have to represent month. “This is one of the biggest Newsome High School.” Wright’s parannouncements in the history of ents, Lloyd and Heather Wright, were Newsome,” said Principal Carla also honored at the ceremony with an Bruning. award recognizing their role in helping The U.S. Army All-American their daughter realize her musical Marching Band performs each year at dream. “Megan is part of an amazing halftime of the U.S. Army All-American system which has helped her receive Bowl. Band members are chosen not this honor,” said Band Director Michael just because they excel musically, but Miller. “She is part of a great band probecause they are mentally and physigram at a great high school in a great cally agile, they know the importance of district. Not everyone has this support teamwork, and they are able to adapt to system.” challenging situations, similar to U.S. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Army Soldiers. SFC Jimmie Lawson will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. represented the Army at the ceremony EST on Saturday, January 7, 2017. The and spoke about the hard work Wright Bowl, presented by American Family had put in to achieve this honor. “Only Insurance, is owned and produced by the best are selected to participate in All American Games™, a New Jerseythe U.S. Army All-American Bowl,” said based sports marketing and event manLawson. “Students have to be dedicatagement company. For more informaed, motivated and live the Army’s valtion, visit ues every day.” www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com and For 17 years, the U.S. Army Allwww.goarmy.com/events/aab. American Bowl has been one of the Newsome High School is located at nation’s largest and most important high 16550 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. For school football games, serving as the more information on the marching band, launching pad for America’s future colemail Miller at lege and NFL stars. Odell Beckham Jr., nhswolfpackband@gmail.com.

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Valrico Edition

Volume 15, Issue 11

Brandon To Share Movie Market As Two New Theaters Poised To Open This Holiday Season

By Tamas Mondovics

Greater with comfortable, plush, Brandon area powered recliners. residents and “The theater will movie lovers include two auditoriums are now promwith GDX (Giant Digital ised to have no Experience), our premishortage of um large Format (PLF) theater seats screen, much like to fill this holiIMAX, with a screen day season, span of 70 ft. thanks to the wide and feature construction of state of the art two brand new Dolby Atmos theaters; multi-dimensional Riverview sound systems 14 GDX in with discrete sound Gibsonton being pumped out of and Xscape AMC the Regency more than 50 speak20 Theaters have ers,” Nash said. Theaters on been serving Progress Village While Riverview 14 Greater Brandon area residents for the Blvd. past 30 years. Two additional theaters GDX’s opening day is are scheduled to open. Both theaters yet to be determined, are nearing comNash said the company pletion and are said to open on time, to is hoping to welcome its first guests in welcome the holiday crowd. late November. AMC The Regency 20 Theaters, Less than five miles north on located in Regency Square 2496 W Progress Village Blvd., construction is Brandon Blvd, which has been serving only weeks from completion on the $15 the Brandon area and has dominated million Xscape Theaters, the area’s the movie market for more than three third movie and entertainment destinadecades, will now have to share the tion option. road and work a bit harder to keep its When open, the facility, which longtime guests. brings an additional 14 screens (12 regJust 15 minutes south on I-75, on ular auditoriums and two XTREME Gibsonton Drive, Goodrich Quality auditoriums), will effectively raise the Theaters is building Riverview 14 GDX, total number of screens between the a 66,000 sq. ft., facility with 14 screens. three multiplex locations to 48. According to Goodrich Quality Xscape Theaters representative, Theaters Marketing and Creative Scott Bagwell emphasized the wide Director, Kelly Nash, Riverview 14 GDX variety of impressive features and perks will be Tampa Bay’s Largest Screens all that rival all others. “We offer what all

movie lovers want; better picture, better sound and better price,” Bagwell said adding, “We have better seats also.” While each facility pretty much offers the same thing, theater representatives agreed that keeping old guests and winning new ones comes

Xscape Theaters is nearing completion and will feature 14 screens while offering a wide variety of special features to movie goers.

tive with ticket and concession prices.” It is safe to say that the real winners are the local movie goers, who will now have three multiplex theaters, nearly 50 screens, plush seats, great snacks and refreshments along with a truck load of extra special Goodrich Quality Theaters, is now building Riverview 14 GDX one of two new multiplex theaters scheduled to open for the holiday season. amenities to The new theater is featuring 14 screens and a wide range of special choose from as amenities. they look forward down to much more than just the size to a great movie experience during the and number of screens, expanded food upcoming holiday season and beyond. menus, extra wide rows or the plush For more information about AMC The reclining chairs, all of which are actually Regency 20 Theaters, please visit up to each guest’s personal preference. www.amctheatres.com, Riverview 14 “We realize, the Greater Brandon DGX Theaters, please visit area communities will now have more www.goodrichqualitytheaters.com. choices in the area for movie theaters,” For more about Xscape Theaters, Nash said, adding, “We will be competiplease visit www.xscapetheatres.com.

November 2016

Page 5

Valrico Edition

Cross-Bay Ferry Kicks Off Six-Month Program To Test The Waters







By Marie Gilmore

A new pilot service are to program by eventually offer a Tampa Bay South County Ferries, to transdock to transport port residents the 6-8,000 across the bay MacDill staff from the members from Convention Southern Center dock to Hillsborough St. Petersburg County to MacDill Pier hub, is Cross-Bay Ferry policy advisor Ed Turanchik daily. Under curwelcomes community members aboard the rent plans, the underway and Provincetown IV for its inaugural ride between residents will ferry would Tampa and St. Pete. cast their votes for the project by buying tickets to demonstrate if this is a wanted service in our community. The Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project is a regional effort designed to demonstrate water transportation service options to the residents and businesses of the Tampa Bay region, helped in part by a $4.8 million federal transportation grant. The project is a collaboration between St. Petersburg, Tampa, Hillsborough and Pinellas County and will operate for six months accept the current transportation reimbetween the Vinoy Basin in downtown bursement option for military and there St. Petersburg and the Tampa would be no additional cost. Convention Center in downtown But, to showcase the need, the Tampa. current passenger ferry service, operating with the 98-ft. 149-seat Ferry service officially kicked off Provincetown IV, catamaran, is up and on November 1 and local elected offirunning to showcase community cials, representatives from local usage and viability. Chamber of Commerce organizations Frontier Communications has and personnel from MacDill were invitsigned a major sponsorship deal to ed to a special ride to learn more. provide free ride tickets every “We are very thankful to Sandra third Sunday of the month from Murman and all the elected officials November through April. who worked hard to make this hapDubbed “Ride Free Day, Powered pen,” said Ed Turanchik with Akerman by Frontier,” the deal covers the full LLP, policy advisor for the project. “This is a special trip today from South $10 one-way ticket price and will begin Sunday, November 20, and conCounty with some special representatives from MacDill to give them an idea tinue December 18, January 15, February 19, March 19, April 16. of what their transportation could be. Among community supporters and Our intention is to get MacDill up and partners of the Cross-Bay Ferry: The running a.s.a.p. This pilot project is Tampa Bay Times, Frontier very important.” Communications, iHeartMedia, Clear Air Force Tech Sgt. Isaac Dobson Channel Outdoor, the Tampa Bay was on the inaugural ride of the ferry and is excited see its plans to come to Lightning, Tampa Downtown Partnership, St. Petersburg Chamber, South County as an option for comVisit Tampa Bay, Visit St. Petersburg muting to MacDill. “Anything that will Clearwater and The Pirate Water Taxi. save me time and money is welcome Currently rides are $10 per pasfor me,” said the father of a 9-monthsenger each way and bicycles are welold baby who lives in Riverview and come on board for $1 each way. has been assigned to MacDill for six years. “Currently, I take the toll road to Children under 3 ride free. For information and advance tickets, visit work every day.” CrossBayFerry.com. The future hopes for the ferry

7 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon, FL 33511 657-2418, (fax) 657-4469 www.ospreyobserver.com © Copyright 2012-2013 - Osprey Observer, Inc. No reproduction without written permission.



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Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Center Place Holiday Tea Offers Artisan Aesthetics’ Dr. Castor Offers Music, Scones & Devonshire Creme New Cellfina™ Treatment By Kathy L. Collins

Staff Report

Center Place Yummy desserts Fine Arts and will be provided Civic Association by Jute’s Box (Center Place) will Bakery and hold its 6th Annual Moreno’s Bakery. Holiday Tea on Teavana holiday Sunday, teas will be proDecember 4 vided by Orange beginning at 2:30 Home p.m. The cost is Accessories in $35 per person or Valrico. Chick-fil-A $250 for a table of at Lake Brandon eight. Table reser- Gather your friends and family and set a great is also a lunch holiday table at Center Place’s 6th Annual vations must be sponsor. Holiday Tea set to take place on Sunday, made by Attendees will be December 4. November 20. treated to special You can get your tickets by calling 685entertainment by The Southern Company 8888 or email cpfinearts@verizon.net. Chorus, an 18 member local, all women This is an adult only event. This event chorus. always sells out early, so be sure to get In addition to great food and enteryour tickets or tables now. All proceeds tainment, you can enjoy Center Place’s raised fund children’s programs at Center great silent auction. Rodriguez said, “Our Place. fabulous silent auction will be a great This year’s theme is “A Florida place to shop for those unique Christmas Christmas.” Lisa Rodriguez, Marketing gifts, while supporting our non-profit art Director for Center Place explained, “This center at the same time. It is a win-win. offers the sponsored tables an opportuniGift items for all ages will be showcased.” ty to really be creative. For instance, you Center Place is a not-for profit arts could have a beachy Christmas with organization established in 1976. Its items such as shells or one featuring members are dedicated to the promotion gators or manatees. Just have fun. We of fine arts and civic involvement. Center will have special prizes for the most Place offers cultural enrichment opportuunique and most whimsical table.” nities for all ages through a variety of proFor just $50 you can have the talentgrams including original art exhibits, art ed decorators at Center Place set your education and the performing arts. table. Center Place is located at 619 The 6th Annual Holiday Tea will feaVonderburg Dr. in Brandon. For more ture a special holiday lunch including holi- information, please visit www.centerplaceday scones and Devonshire cream. brandon.org.

Stan significant Castor, MD, improvement at Board-Certified three months, Plastic and those results Surgeon, are still evident announced that two years after Cellfina™, the treatment.” In the only FDApivotal study, 96 cleared, minimally invasive procedure clinically proven to treat the primary structural The Cellfina™ System is now being offered at percent of cause of celArtisan Aesthetics’ Dr. Castor Cellfina patients lulite for at least two years, the longest FDA clear- were satisfied after two years surpassing satisfaction rates of other leading ance for a cellulite treatment, is now cellulite treatments. T available at his practice, Artisan he in-office treatment takes less Aesthetics. than an hour, depending on the numThe Cellfina™ System treats the primary structural cause of cellulite, ber of dimples being treated and the the connective bands woven throughpatient’s individual needs. It is a celout fat in the thighs and buttocks. lulite solution that doesn’t involve genThese tight bands pull down the eral anesthesia, so afterward patients are able to go about their day. skin, creating the puckering you see “Cellfina is unique because it on the surface of the skin. Similar to a treats the primary structural cause, it’s rubber band under tension, once a minimally invasive procedure and its released, the treated skin bounces effects last at least two years, the back to smooth itself out in as little as longest FDA clearance for a cellulite three days. treatment,” said Dr. Castor. Cellfina is a straightforward solu“The result is a smoother and tion to cellulite that combines a proven healthier look that gives my patients approach with innovative, proprietary the confidence to wear shorts, yoga technology, for an effective treatment that produces precise, long-lasting pants or a bathing suit again.” results in a single doctor’s office visit. For an appointment or more infor“With Cellfina the results last,” said mation, call 971-2000 or visit Dr. Castor. “Patients typically notice www.DrCastor.com.


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November 2016

Valrico Edition

Page 7

Leaders In Agriculture Honored At County Fair Kickoff Harvest Luncheon

By Kathy L. Collins

Holiday Safety Tips For Your HOA Community With the holidays approaching we have created a list of holiday safety tips for all HOA communities. We know that the holidays can be a busy time of the year and want to ensure everyone’s safety.

Inspect All Stringed Lights

When it’s time to hang up the holiday lights, whether inside or outside your home, or in the community center, look for any old wires, broken sockets, wire bends and bare spots. It’s recommended that you don’t overload any outlets, and connect the string of lights to an extension cord before plugging in the lights. If your HOA has light rules and restrictions, make sure residents are aware of where holiday lights are allowed.

Keep The Holiday Tree Watered

If residents plan on using a live holiday tree, be aware to keep it well watered so it does not dry out. A dried out Christmas tree is a huge safety hazard.

Turn off the holiday lights, both tree and house lights, when you’re not home or sleeping. Not only is it an energy waster, but it can be a potential fire hazard. We suggest that you do not place a holiday tree near a heat source, such as a lit candle. Speaking of lit candles, do not leave them unattended at any time.

Test Smoke Detectors

Remind residents to test all smoke and carbonmonoxide detectors, and if needed, replace their batteries.

Stop Any Mail

If residents plan on going out of town, encourage them to have their mail held at the post office or arrange for a neighbor to pick it up. A full mailbox and a driveway littered with newspapers are signs to prowling thieves that no one is home. Does your HOA have any other events or tips to share? Send them over to Kate Quesada at kquesada@ospreyobserver.com to be featured in next month’s edition.

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The Lifetime Achievement in Agriculture Award went to Tony Ippolito who served as the manager of the Tampa Wholesale Produce Market for over 32 years. Ippolito joins the ranks of an elite fraternity of men and women who are pioneers. The Outstanding Woman in Agriculture went to Susan Dumke of Blues Berry Farm in Plant City. Dumke is an advocate for small farmers as well as their workers. Dumke uses creative practices such as paper birds and recordings as a deterrence to live birds in the fields. Dumke said, “I am humbled. The whole farm gets this award.” The Outstanding Agribusiness is Wish Farms in Plant City. Gary

Since 2000, the Hillsborough County Fair has been honoring pioneers in agriculture at the Annual Harvest Awards Luncheon. This year, the 2016 honorees were recognized on at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds during the kickoff of the County Fair. The luncheon is also considered the kick-off event for the Annual Hillsborough County Fair. This year’s theme of the fair was “Country Pride County Wide.” Dr. Earl Lennard, President of the Hillsborough County Fair explained, “The Harvest Awards were created by the Extension Service to recognize the accomplishments of families, individuals and Outstanding leaders and organization serving the agricultural organizations for community, including the Roy Davis Family, Tony Ippolito, the their commitment to Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation, Wish Farms and Susan Dumke of Blues Berry Farm were recognized at the 2016 agriculture and to Hillsborough County Fair Harvest Awards Lunch. preserve the agricultural heritage of Wishnatzki is the third generation to Hillsborough County. lead the family business that has Dr. Stacy White, a Hillsborough become one of the largest produce County Board of County Commissioner brokers in the nation. who represents Eastern Hillsborough The Public and Community Service County, read a Proclamation that said Award went to Hillsborough County 4in part, “Fairs are an American tradiH Foundation, an all-volunteer organition. Hillsborough County has deep zation that provides members with variagricultural roots and the fair highlights ous camps and scholarships. the skills and talents of the County’s The first recipients of the residents.” Posthumous Memorial Tribute Award This year’s Farm Family of the was given in the memory of Lee and Year was awarded to the Roy Davis Minnie Holcomb, dairy farmers who Family. They run their nursery operawere passionate about agriculture and tion in Dover. The family’s impact promoted 4-H and FFA youth dairy stretches far beyond production agricompetitions. culture. Roy Davis has served on sevFor more information please visit eral boards including the Hillsborough www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com. County Farm Bureau.

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Page 8

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Campo Family YMCA Celebrates Unveiling Of New Outdoor Courtyard

By Tamas Mondovics

some testimonials presented by members of the Campo Y, located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico, Patel spoke passionately about her relationship with and, subsequent desire to support the association, which she said, led to the idea and design of the courtyard. The final product Longtime YMCA member Bella Patel speaks to a sizable group of local residents, YMCA leadership, and staff ultimately turned the members during the unveiling ceremony of the new 15,000 available space into a sq. ft. courtyard at the Campo Family YMCA. The Bella Y Patel Courtyard was the result of Patel’s generous donation safe, purposeful, activiand continued support and will serve as an outdoor ty-centered outdoor exercise and activity area. facility. “The Y was and Members of the Campo Family continues to be a huge presence in YMCA leadership and board of direcfamily’s life,” Patel said. “I have my tors welcomed the community and never forgotten what the Y has done local media last month to celebrate the for me, and I am happy to now be in unveiling of the new Bella Y. Patel the position to give back to them and Courtyard. to support my local YMCA.” “We are celebrating the compleCampo Y board member Rick tion of a much anticipated project that Lewis, gave special thanks to Boy validates our values and commitment Scout Troop 89, which assisted with a to strengthening our youth, families and installation of some of the building and communities,” said Campo Y signage and exercise areas scattered Board of Directors Chair, Cindy Moran. thought the 15,000 sq. ft. yard. Thanks to a generous $45,000 gift “The courtyard will offer a boot to the facility from Bella Patel and her camp exercise area with six dedicated family, the courtyard boasts of several work stations for a new way to get an mature Oak trees that provide a natuchallenging and fun workout efficient, ral canopy, while serving to expand as in an outdoor setting while improving well as improve the facility’s outdoor overall health,” Lewis said. programming for children, teens and The outdoor basketball court and families. concrete/Astroturf pad creates a Following a brief introduction and

Children enjoy one of several exercise stations at the recently opened Bella Y Patel Courtyard at the Campo Family YMCA, in Valrico. The new courtyard was the built after a generous donation of its namesake Bella Patel.

healthy outlet for children to gain new skills, develop a sense of team and connect with positive role models. The outdoor setting offers space for group exercise classes ranging from Yoga to Body Flow. The outdoor grill cooking stations promise to add to the Y’’s variety of curriculum. Officials said YMCA Summer Camp’s educational curriculum will also take place on the new Bella Y. Patel Courtyard, where campers develop a sense of independence as they try new adventures away from home, learn new skills and make new friends.

A portion of the Patel family donation will also go toward the Campo Y’s annual campaign, giving those in need the opportunity to participate in YMCA programs. Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, CEO Tom Looby spoke highly of the Campo Y, its staff and the new courtyard, when he said, “This is one of our leading facilities, which just got better. The courtyard, thanks to generosity of the Patel family, is a wonderful addition to the programs offered here.” For more information about the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and the Campo Family YMCA, please visit www.tampaymca.org.

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November 2016

Page 9

Valrico Edition

Brandon Ballet Presents The Nutcracker At Riverview High School Auditorium

By Kathy L. Collins

Tree.” All of the scenery in Brandon Ballet’s performances is state of the art. There are handCome see the fantastic performances by the highly talented painted backdrops dancers of the Brandon Ballet as they perform their version of the and custom built holiday classic The Nutcracker. props. The cosThe Brandon Ballet will perform the tumes are professionally designed and Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic, The made specifically for this performance. Nutcracker, featuring stunning new choreThis year, Sugar Plum Fairy and ography by Artistic Director, Octavio Snow Queen will be alternated between Martin, fantastic sets and wonderful cosBrandon Ballet’s own professional balleritumes this December. There will be four nas, Chloe Freytag and Sarah Metzler. performances at Riverview High School, The Nutcracker Prince will be danced by located at 11311 Boyette Rd. in Brandon Ballet’s professional dancer, Riverview. On Saturday, December 10 Reid Ginoza. According to Martin, “The performances will be held at 2 p.m. and role of Clara this year is danced by a stu7:30 p.m. On Sunday, December 11 perdent of Brandon Ballet, Hailey Cheren, to formances will be held at 2 p.m. and 5:30 accurately portray the age of the characp.m. ter.” The Nutcracker tells the story of a litMany of the roles in the Brandon tle girl named Clara who is given the gift Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker, will be of a wooden toy nutcracker by her Uncle by two casts to give the audiences the Drosselmeyer. The magic happens when chance to view different artists’ interpretathe toy soldier comes to life and takes tion of the characters. In addition, the Clara on a magical journey through an majority of the cast are Brandon resienchanted winter wonderland where she dents. ‘ encounters dancing snowflakes, an eleMartin said, “Come see and enjoy gant Snow Queen and the majestic what we believe to be the best Sugar Plum Fairy. Nutcracker production in the area. With This year Martin adds a new twist to more than seven backdrops, state of the The Nutcracker story. Martin said, “In this art scenery and props, in the newly year’s version, all of the toys, dolls and updated Riverview Auditorium, this year’s decorations under the tree come to life to new storyline will surely entertain and dance for Clara’s delight. Uncle delight audience members of all ages.” Drosselmeyer uses his magic to make For tickets, www.brandonballet.org or Clara the same size as the toys and dolls. www.tututix.com or call 684-4282. All of Act Two is under the Christmas




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Page 10

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Family Friendly Holiday Events Offered By Center Place Of Brandon

Decorate like a designer, without the designer prices!

By Kathy L. Collins

Center Place in Rodriguez added, Brandon will offer an “We always have a array of family friendgift wrapping station ly fun holiday events where the kids can this December. You wrap their projects will not want to miss as gift for a loved Center Place's time one.” honored holiday Chick-fil-A at events designed to Lake Brandon get everyone into the sponsors lunch for holiday spirit. the children. Santa Come see will be on hand for All of Santa’s Elves will be on hand to help visits so bring your Santa Claus as he get you and your family into the holiday helps light the giant spirit at several event hosted by Center cameras. Parents Place of Brandon including the 9th Santa’s and adults can Christmas Tree Workshop on Saturday, December 17. located on Clayton enjoy lunch sponAve. on Wednesday, December 7 begin- sored by Boston Market for just $5. ning at 7 p.m. In addition to great holiTickets are required for this event, day entertainment courtesy of several and no tickets will be sold at the door. local dancers and singers, you can visit Please bring a new, $10 unwrapped with Santa Claus and even get a photo. Christmas toy in exchange for the ticket Parents please bring your own cameras. to the event. You can get your tickets at You can also enjoy some delicious Center Place. All toys will be donated to refreshments served by the Community ECHO of Brandon. Roundtable. The event is free and open Center Place is also holding a to the community, so come out and Holiday Coloring Contest for children enjoy a holiday tradition that has been ages three, four and five and ages six, taking place for over 30 years. seven and eight. The coloring sheet can Next, Center Place will hold its 9th be picked up at Center Place or you can Annual Santa's Workshop on Saturday, download it at www.centerplacebranDecember 17 beginning at 11 a.m. don.org, Please submit your masterAccording to Lisa Rodriguez, Marketing piece by Monday, December 19. Director for Center Place, “This is our Winners will be contacted prior to special Christmas event for kids, and it Christmas and will receive a one year has been a big hit for many years now.” Family Membership to Center Place. This event is designed for children five Center Place is conveniently locatyears old and up. They will enjoy 10 difed at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. ferent arts and crafts stations and will For more information, please visit make their own individual projects www.centerplacebrandon.org or call including decorating sugar cookies. 685-8888.

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November 2016

Page 11

Valrico Edition

GFWC Brandon Service League Proudly Presents Its Annual Holiday Home Tour

By Kathy L. Collins

With the holiday seaMassage, Facial and son fast approaching, you Spa, The Green will not want to miss the Boutique and at GFWC Brandon Service Greg’s Hallmark. You League’s Annual Holiday can also purchase a Home Tour on Saturday, ticket from a Brandon December 10 from 10 a.m. Service League to 2 p.m. You can tour member. three impressively decoratTicket holders will ed homes. You may even have the opportunity get some great ideas and to shop at the GFWC start some new traditions of Brandon Service your own. League’s Holiday This year’s tour will Gourmet Booth and showcase three whimsical in “Ghosts of and beautifully decorated Christmas Past.” Don’t miss the magic of the homes located in Valrico Swanson said, GFWC Brandon Service League’s “These are two of the near Sydney Rd., in Annual Holiday Home Tour on Riverview just off of Saturday, December 10 from 10 most popular extras a.m. to 2 p.m. Gibsonton Dr. and in on the tour. Our Valrico near Pearson Rd. members are fabuBradlee Swanson, President of the lous bakers which makes the gourmet GFWC Brandon Service League said, booth a must see spot on the tour. The “These homes were selected because of ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past is rapidly the different styles that are representative becoming a popular stop as well. We feaof the owners. Contemporary, traditional ture all varieties of pre-owned and gently and antique are the basic themes of loved Christmas decorations at very reathese homes and the owners are sure to sonable prices.” play up each style with their holiday In addition, the GFWC Brandon décor.” Service League will be offering handSwanson added, “There are lots of made Christmas ornaments for sale at wonderful things about this tour. Each the refreshment booth located in one of home is very different so there is somethe decorated houses. All proceeds from thing for everyone. Traditional trees the GFWC Brandon Service League’s paired with specialty themes, DIY projAnnual Holiday Home Tour are given to ects, antiques and Christmas fun are all Brandon area non-profits and to Brandon part of this year’s tour.” area high school art programs. Tickets to the Holiday Home Tour are For more information on the tour and just $20. Tickets are available at TMarie’s to become a sponsor for as low as $100, Fashion and Gift Boutique, Essentials please contact Swanson at 662-4371.

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Page 12

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Witness The Wonder Of Jesus Through One Man’s Eyes At Bell Shoals Baptist Church

By Amanda Boston vision is a fresh approach to the Christmas message presenting the full Gospel with a modern day emphasis. According to Millsaps, “It’s going to be a memorable and powerful night.” The Bell Shoals’ Worship Choir and


Orchestra is set to tickle the ears of the audience with a more contemporary vibe of Christmas tunes. The ensemble welcomes Dave Cleveland, one of the world’s premier guitarists, who has recorded and toured with top music artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Point of Grace, and Michael W. Smith. In addition to the spectacular music and stage talent, a free app called Offline Lights is available for download. Although the app is not essential for viewing, it will add some fun elements to enhance the audience’s experience. Bell Shoals Baptist Church of Brandon is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon. For more information on the event, please contact the church at 689-4229 or visit www.bellshoals.com/brandon or on social media [Facebook, Instagram & Twitter] @bellshoals.

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Bell Shoals Baptist Church invites you to experience The Wonder of Jesus Through One Man’s Eyes, a musical and theatrical production, at the Brandon campus on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 at Bell Shoals Worship Choir and Orchestra 6:00 p.m. This Christmas performance is presented from a unique perspective as it retells the story of Jesus’ life through one of his disciples. The event is free, open to the public, and suitable for all ages. This year’s production is not your typical Christmas pageantry with its cast fashioned in archaic costumes gathered around the babe in the manger. But rest assured, the play is biblically sound and transports the audience back 2000 years to the birth of Jesus. The story also continues with a depiction of Jesus’s ministry, death, and resurrection through the eyes of Simon Peter. The Wonder of Jesus Through One Man’s Eyes is the brainchild of Worship Pastor Jason Millsaps, who began collaborating in February with long time friend and award-winning Christian narrator and scriptwriter, Mac McConnell. The multi-talented McConnell, also known for his brilliant 6 one-man dramas, will portray Simon Peter in the production. Millsaps’


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November 2016

Valrico Edition

Kings Avenue Baptist Church Celebrates 30 Years With Annual Walk Thru Bethlehem

By Amanda Boston

This year Thru Bethlehem as marks 30 years realistic as possible. for Kings Avenue Don’t be surprised if Baptist Church’s the Roman guards annual Walk Thru harass you or if you Bethlehem. are asked to pay Thursday, your taxes.” December 8 Gallops, who through Sunday, has been involved December 11, the since its inception, story of Jesus’ also reminisced on birth, death, and Walk Thru Bethlehem is a family tradition for a side story develresurrection is the Gallops family. Pictured above, on the left, oping over the past is key organizer, David Gallops with his illustrated with a 30 years, “My childaughter and son. guided 45dren have grown minute interactive tour through biblical up on the set; they have played the parts scenes of Bethlehem. The little town of from baby Jesus to a Roman soldier.” Bethlehem is brought to life by town merWalk Thru Bethlehem is not only a yearly chants, tax collectors, Roman soldiers, tradition for the Gallops family; it has also shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and of course, evolved into a Christmas tradition for the a baby Jesus. A camel, sheep, and donlocal community. key also join the cast to create an authenOver the four nights, the free familyticate atmosphere. friendly event draws a sizeable crowd A production of this magnitude upwards of 7,000 visitors. In order to requires over 300 volunteers. Since 1986, avoid longer wait times, it is recommendKings Avenue congregants have faithfully ed to arrive earlier in the evening. Upon created and staged the live scenes with arrival, visitors are given a number desigthe purpose of sharing the true meaning nating a guide and an appointed tour of Christmas. The dramatized depiction of time. While waiting for an assigned tour, the Gospel has changed lives. Over the visitors can enjoy holiday tunes reverberpast 30 years, the event has prompted ating from the local school bands while numerous visitors to rededicate their lives partaking in a variety of food concessions. or accept Christ for the first time. Sandra Walk Thru Bethlehem is scheduled Rodriquez, the coordinator for costumes for Thursday, December 8, from 6:30 to and props, echoed King Avenue’s motiva- 9:30 p.m.; Friday, December 9, from 6:30 tion, “It is a lot of work, but if one person to 10 p.m.; Saturday, December 10, from is saved, it’s all worth it.” 4 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, December 11, David Gallops, one of the main from 4 to 9 p.m. The church is located at organizers, emphasized the authenticity 2602 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon. Contact of the event; “We try to make the Walk the church office at 685-3095.

Page 13

Shop Local And Visit Florida Santa At Holiday Expo By Marie Gilmore mine the best decorated flamingos to be ‘crowned’ during the event. Families will enjoy music, shop the local business booths, enjoy games and pick up a few treats for Holiday gift giving. “We wanted to host an event that help introduce our businesses to the community and also make it fun for parents and families this holiday Florida Santa will be on hand with his Flock of Corporate Flamingos at the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber Holiday Fest & season,” said Expo held on Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon at Valrico/FishHawk Park Square. Chamber Event Celebrate the holidays in true Florida Coordinator Bridget Jenkins Wilson, style and pick up a few items from local owner of Cardinal Roofing. vendors to fill that holiday wish list at the Sign up at WWW.VALRICOFISHsecond Shop Local-Holiday Expo at HAWK.ORG. Chamber member booths: FishHawk’s Park Square on Saturday, $50 for members with corporate chalDecember 3, 9 a.m.-12 Noon. lenge flamingo. Non-chamber member The idea of an old-fashioned, family booths: $100 with corporate challenge fun expo with Florida Santa, games, flamingo. Proceeds from the event will treats for kids, business booths and local benefit Center Place Fine Arts & Civic crafters, all gathering for a holiday event Center. was developed and the first annual Shop FishHawk Park Square is located in Local Holiday Expo was created last the heart of FishHawk Ranch at the coryear. ner of Dorman Rd. and Churchside Dr. Join more than 50 local business The event is free to attend. booths and take a photo with Florida Business booths are still available Santa and his sleigh pulled by a 'Flock of and cost $50 for Chamber members and Flamingos', which have been decorated $100 for nonmembers and include a by local businesses Holiday Flamingo Flamingo to decorate and a 10x10 space Challenge. Each flamingo is sponsored at the event. Email questions by a local business and judges will deterto Bridget@cardinalroofingandsolar.com.

Page 14

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Tucker Family Says Many Thanks For Ten Years Of Stocking Hope

Staff Report

Ten years There are many ago the grief ways you can particifrom the loss pate in this project of a child from making your own became the tax deductible donacatalyst to tion at www.givingbring hope to hopethroughfaith.org to hosting a holiday families facparty at your office or ing cancer. home and encouragThe Giving ing friends to bring a Hope through gift card or donation to Faith fill a stocking. A gift of Foundation $1,500 provides packbegan with a ages to a family for a mission to support families facing pediatric cancer with financial, spiritual and emotional support. In Sherry and Dirk Tucker started the Giving Hope through Faith those ten Foundation after losing their years, over year. A gift of $500 will purchase son to pediatric cancer 10 years ago. $1 million has dinner for 20 of our families. A gift been raised with over 600 families of $100 provides five boxes of smiles being served. “We are beyond grateful and a gift of $50 gives a night at the for the amazing support we have movies for one of our families. received from the Brandon area,” states The families receive monthly care Sherry Tucker, President of the founda- packages containing gift cards and tion. “We were so determined to bring messages of hope, once a month for a good from this terrible tragedy and year. The foundation is operating on a because of so many family, friends and volunteer basis with ninety-six cents of strangers coming together to help us, every dollar received going out to the we have been able to bring much need- families that are assisted. ed help to many families. We are on To learn more about the foundation target to serve 75 families in 2016 if we or the Stockings of Hope project, can raise $40,000 dollars with our please visit www.givinghopethroughStockings of Hope Project this holiday faith.org or contact Sherry or Dirk season.” Tucker at 685-6773.


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November 2016

Page 15

Valrico Edition

New Bridges Dental Continues Dr. Rahal Success In Bloomingdale

By Kate Quesada

University of Florida College When Dr. Laura Coyle Bridges opened of Dentistry. She served as the doors of her dental class president for three office on Lithia years and was awarded the Pinecrest Rd. in Delta Dental Senior September, she was Leadership Award. In the achieving a life-long years since receiving her dream. degree, she has worked in “I have lived in the both corporate dentistry and Brandon area since private practice environments 1987,” said Coyle and she recently worked in a Bridges, who graduatpractice with four dentist and ed from Bloomingdale almost 30 High School. “I have employworked very hard to ees. be able to purchase One and run my own pracof the Valrico resident and Bloomingdale High School tice here.” ways graduate Dr. Laura Coyle Bridges recently opened When Coyle a dental office on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Coyle Bridges heard that Dr. Bridges Rahal, who had owned and operated his believes her new office is different from dental office in the same location for 27 other dentists in the area is the way it years, was retiring, she jumped at the uses technology to ease patient discomchance to open her own practice in the fort and reduce anxiety. area where she and her husband Brad “One aspect of our practice that is raise their five children. relevant to almost everyone is our use of “We are so excited to offer dental The Wand,” said Coyle Bridges, referring care to the community we love,” said to a product from Milestone Scientific that Coyle Bridges. “We have only been open uses a needle the size of a hair to proa few weeks, but are already doing what vide local anesthesia for patients. “With we can to be a great part of the commuThe Wand we can numb only one tooth nity by sponsoring local events like the at a time which allows the patient to suffer Buckhorn Color Run and fundraisers at much less discomfort and even allows us Bell Shoals Baptist where our children go to work on both sides of the mouth in to school.” succession meaning fewer visits. It also Coyle Bridges received an underlets the patient leave without a numb graduate degree from Florida State face.” Bridges Dental is located at 3646 University, a degree in Biomedical Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and can be reached Science from the University of South at 654-3399. For more information, visit Florida and graduated from The www.bridgesdental.com.

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Page 16

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

County Promotes Local Trails Through New Hiking Program

By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough recent press County officials release. “The trails are hoping to lure are spread residents out from throughout the the living rooms County so people to the great outcan hike near doors and take a home or explore hike. new areas.” Advertised on Parks officials its newly emphasized that redesigned webPhoto Courtesy of Hillsborough County the listed hikes A group of residents from the Brandon Park range in length site, representaand Recreation Center hike the Bobcat Trail at from less than half tives of the Upper Tampa Bay Park, one of 19 sites County’s Parks a mile to four miles earmarked for the five-month Hiking Spree program. and Recreation and include such have unveiled a new program that they popular regional parks as Lettuce Lake, say encourages people to exercise, get Upper Tampa Bay, and Lithia Springs. out in the fresh air, and experience nature Take advantage of the lesser-known by exploring the numerous parks and pre- scenic parks, such as Blackwater Creek serves, including a Rolling Acres Fitness and Alafia Scrub preserves, that are also trail in Valrico, at 707 S. Miller Rd. on the list. Appropriately named, The Hiking Each of the 20 trails in the Hiking Spree, the program features 20 hikes and Spree program is classified by rank and is supported by Friends of the County severity as A-All Purpose, B-Basic or CParks, a nonprofit organization that startPrimitive; with the rating of 1-Easy, 2ed in 1988 to promote financial and comModerate, 3-Strenuous. munity support to the County’s Parks and Participants are allowed to create Recreation department. one other trail of their choice and for the After an online registration, residents sake of safety are to dress appropriately who are able to complete at least eight of and bring plenty of water. the hikes between November 1 and Those who have completed at least March 3 will receive a patch, or a medaleight hikes can turn in their forms at All lion for a walking stick from the People’s Life Center or locally at Brandon Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Center, 510 E. Sadie St. in Recreation department. Brandon and Gardenville Recreation “The Hiking Spree Program is Center, 6215 Symmes Rd. in Gibsonton. designed to introduce people to the Completed forms can also be mailed County’s varied parks and preserves,” to: HCPRD Hiking Spree, All People’s Life said Todd Pratt with Hillsborough County Center, 6105 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL Communications and Digital Media in a 33617.

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November 2016

Page 17

Valrico Edition

Superintendent Announces Cost Cuts As School District Looks To Balance $2.8B Budget

Cookson Hills Toy Run Celebrates 23 Years Of Helping Those In Need In The Community

Hillsborough After praising County is reprethe Hillsborough senting the County School nation’s eight District, Eakins largest schools said, “Parents, you districts and as trust us to educate such, there is no your children. That shortage of is a decision that issues to you do not take address, includlightly, and it is Hillsborough County School District ing the dreaded something that is Superintendent Jeff Eakins, right, is joined by balancing of the at the forefront of district Chief of Staff, Alberto Vazquez to district’s nearly $3 discuss cost saving measures that will directly our minds each affect teachers and staff. billion budget. and every day.” While the actual amount of savings Eakins then drew attention to the varies, depending on whose report one is need for changes and explained that, reading, the district has hired, Gibson while the expenditures have increased Consulting Group to find ways to save the revenue allocated to the district by money. the state has not. The county has reportedly paid “It is important that we ally our Gibson more than $800,000 to do an effi- expenditures with the priorities of the disciency audit, which outlined a nearly trict, so that the classroom experience for $100 million annual savings from cuts, every chid is second to none,” he said. $10 million of which could be saved from “For years, the district has used its the teacher hiring freeze, while the rest emergency reserve to cover reoccurring could come from cuts in the clerical, expenses and existing programs,” Eakins transportation, custodial and teaching said adding the district has nearly divisions. 213,000 students. To address the issue and the growAside from some of the Gibson recing concerns of job loss, Superintendent ommendations and current changes in Jeff Eakins released a message on palce, additional cost saving measures YouTube last month, reassuring parents proposed by the district include, the and teachers that while changes have to adjustment of custodial shift hours, be made, education won’t be harmed by reducing courtesy busing as well as putany potential cuts. ting controls on all expenditures. “We have to make sure that the very “These changes may directly affect best teachers are in front of our students some of our employees,” Eakins said. every single day, and then we have to In closing, Eakins asked for input to take a look at all the other employees,” suggestionbox@sdhc.k12.fl.us. or by Eakins said. calling (844) 787-3970.

creation and success, people wanted the event back the way it was. They wanted the ‘traditions’ Bill and I created through the years that made the event a 21year success. Those that stepped in when Bill was sick and I was his caregiver did wonders having little or no experience. I am very grateful that they did so or a great event would have become just a memory.” The toy run will be held The Cookson Hills Toy Run has become a yearly on Sunday, December 4. The tradition in the Brandon community. The run has been helping forgotten veterans, children (newborns beginning of the run will be held to 18-years-old), special need individuals (all ages) and seniors in our area for 23 years. This year the from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, located toy run will take place on Sunday, December 4. at 1810 Front St. in Valrico. The Cookson Hills Toy Run has “We are asking those attending for a become a yearly tradition in the Brandon donation of $15 a bike and rider, $10 pascommunity. The run has been helping for- senger including a toy which will include a gotten veterans, children (newborns to free T-shirt and free lunch at Veteran's 18-years-old), special need individuals (all Memorial Park,” Brown said. “Auctions ages) and seniors in our area for 23 and raffles begin at 10:30 a.m., with the years. “The down home make you feel ride starting a 1 p.m at Veteran’s good all over Cookson Hills Toy Run will Memorial Park.” The Main Event begins be different this year and we are hoping at 1 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Park. everyone joining will agree,” said Sheri “Christmas gifts are passed out to those Brown, the creator of the toy run.” As invited to receive and are opened about always, the toy run is open to anyone 2:30 p.m. in your presence,” Brown said. who wants to make a difference in the life “The event comes to an end about 4:30 of those less fortunate.” p.m.” Last year Brown had to step Brown is looking for event spondown from running the Toy Run that she sors to help with food and gifts for the and her husband, Bill created because he guests who come to the toy run. If you was ill. He passed away in November would like to help, you can contact Brown 2015 from pancreatic cancer. “I was at 643-5758 or email her at cooksonasked to come back by some of those toyrun@aol.com. To learn more about the that had run it last year,” Brown said. “Bill Cookson Hills Toy Run, you can visit their and I put our hearts and souls into the webpage at www.cooksonhillstoyrun.com.

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Page 18

Valrico Edition

By Tamas Mondovics

High School Senior Arrested For Bringing Loaded Gun To School, Burglars Arrested & More Valrico Man Among Three Arrested for Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detectives were able to catch three thieves including Richard H. Svenson of Valrico, whom they say broke into a home while the homeowners were home. Officials said that between October 10 at 10:30 pm and October 11 at 6:00 am, Svenson, 46, joined by Kevin T. Barker, 41 and Danielle M. Zazulia, 43 both of Plant City retrieved the garage door opener from the victim's unsecured vehicle. After opening the garage door with the opener, the trio of thieves entered the victim's residence through an unlocked garage door while the victims were sleeping. Oncxe inside the home, the suspects removed a laptop, a Fossil watch and a wallet, containing credit cards. Within hours of the burglary, the suspects began using the victim's credit cards at two Walmart stores located at 1208 E. Brandon Boulevard and 11720 E. Dr Martin Luther King

Boulevard as well as Tobacco Depot in Plant City, detectives said. Detectives were able to identify and arrest the thieves who were charged with Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling and Grand Theft Third Degree.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Investigators Seek Suspects Who Brutally Killed Family of Deer

FWC investigators are searching for suspect(s) involved with the brutal killing of a family of deer Bucky, Rosie and Katie, who lived at the at Nature`s Classroom located at 13100 Verges Road in Thonotosassa, last month. Law Enforcement officials said that during the early morning hours of Monday, October 3, 2016, the subject(s) entered a fenced enclosure and once inside, brutally beat three captive wildlife deer with a blunt object.

The two adult deer, Bucky and Rosie, were found dead by a staff caretaker when she arrived at work, while the third younger female deer Katie, was treated by a veterinarian for her injuries, however, she died the next day. The family of deer were considered as pets to both the staff and the children that visited the park each day. Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the unknown suspect(s) involved in this case. Anyone with any information regarding the identity of the suspect(s) and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application. Crime Stoppers must be contacted first in order to be eligible for a cash reward.

Volume 15, Issue 11

For more information regard the specific case, please contact the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Public Information Officer James Boogaerts at 495-1456. For additional information regarding Crime Stoppers, please call Crime Stoppers Law Enforcement Coordinator Kelly McLaren at 4429300 or email kmclaren@hcso.tampa.fl.us.

Bloomingdale High School Senior Arrested After he Brings Loaded Gun to School

Bloomingdale Senior High School administrators received an anonymous tip earlier this month that one of their students has brought a loaded gun to school. A search by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office School Resource Deputies was immediately conducted and a loaded Glock 43 was discovered inside the book bag of 17 yearold Antonio Deakwon Simon. Bloomingdale High School is located at 1700 Bloomingdale Avenue in Valrico. Simon was placed under arrest and charged with Possession of a Firearm on School Grounds and a Minor in Possession of a weapon. For more information about Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, please visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.

November 2016

Valrico Edition

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Alafia Lighted Boat Parade And Chili Cook-Off Kicks Off Holiday Season

By Sharon Still

It’s that time the children and of year again. The local community holiday season is vendors will be disupon us and all of playing their busithe wonderful nesses. community events “The Boat that go with it. Parade is great Mark your calencommunity event dars for Saturday, because we are December 3 for able to celebrate Advanced Auto Air owners Tammy and Rick the season with an the 33rd Annual Connolly and their decorated boat, Santa Alafia Lighted Ducky and Power Trip, will be participating in event unique to Boat Parade and the Alafia Lighted Boat Parade for the second our natural time this year. Chili Cook-Off put resources, our on by The Rotary Club of FishHawkrivers, in particular,” said Dr. Kim Tyson, Riverview. chairman of the Boat Parade Committee This year’s lighted boat parade will for the Rotary Club of FishHawkkick off at Williams Park Boat Ramp, Riverview. “Everyone can enjoy the deco9425 U.S. Hwy. 41 and the boats will rated boats and taste some great chili in travel down the river to the Diddy, circle our cook-off, which engages our commuaround and make their way back to the nity to participate on many levels.” final destination, River’s Edge Lounge & There are still spots available for venMarina, located at 6226 Ohio Ave. in dors as well as sponsorship Gibsonton, where there will be an awards opportunities. All proceeds from this ceremony. event will fund charitable projects such as Tammy and Rick Connolly, owners of our Clean Water and Latrine Project in Advanced Auto Air in Gibsonton, will be Honduras, Friends of the County Parks, participating for their second year. “We've Head Start Reading, ECHO, Brandon gone from watching it on friends’ docks Outreach Clinic and scholarships for local over the years to now participating and it high school seniors, among others. is so much fun,” said Tammy. “We love Boaters interested in participating in the Alafia Boat Parade and all the great the Boat Parade this year, should contact people that come together to put it on.” Mike Broussard at The Rotary Club of FishHawkMichaelBroussard34@yahoo.com. Riverview is partnering with the Boaters are asked to make a $25 donaHillsborough County Parks and tion while members of the community are Recreation Department to hold the Chili also encouraged to show their support by Cook-Off and viewing of the Boat Parade making donations. For more information, at the Riverview Civic Center, from 5-8 contact Dr. Tyson at p.m. Santa will be on-site for photos with hummingbird133@verizon.net.


Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

The Palms Church Builds Strong Relationships In Its Christian Community By Tatiana Ortiz

What began as a dream through the words spoken from God, led to a spiritual journey that flourished into something more. The Lead Pastor Dr. Daniel Stahl from The Palms Church in Brandon, shared how God wanted him to pastor a church. This all came into fruition six years ago, which continues today as a strong foundation in the area. “As a transdenominational church, we emphasize on being a Christian community,” Stahl said. In 2010, The Palms Church opened its doors. At The Palms Church, their mission aims to extend the love, hope and healing that Jesus Christ offers to individuals through a personal relationship with Himself and the church. This church does fellowship with the Florida Baptist Convention and supports various recovery ministries. “We help people turn setbacks into comebacks,” Stahl said. Stahl was born in Leitchfield, Kentucky. He graduated from Western Kentucky University and earned his Master’s Degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Then he continued his education through Fuller Theology Seminary in Pasadena, California and earned his Doctorate of Ministry Degree there. In 1980, he

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moved to Brandon to work with students at Bell Shoals Baptist Church. In 2010, he moved back to Brandon from Indiana to start The Palms Church. Stahl wants the community to know that The Palms Church offers a place that welcomes non-perfect individuals and their families to experience the love and power of Jesus. The Palms Church does provide a variety of ministries such as Life Groups, Revive Ladies Ministry, Epic Love for 6th through 12th grade and much more. Pastor Mary Stahl from The Palms Church works alongside her husband Daniel as the head of the women’s ministry. She uses her passion, gifting and humor to communicate her commitment to this calling in small groups, conferences and weekly services. Mary also participates in the teaching preaching team at The Palms Church. Her true identity can be found in encouraging others to live for Christ. “Our women’s ministry here is very strong,” Daniel said. For more information about service times, visit http://www.thepalmschurch.com. It is located at 207 New Hope Rd. in Brandon.

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November 2016

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Valrico Edition

Campo Family YMCA Celebrates Hispanic Heritage with the Community

By Tatiana Ortiz

Individuals genesis behind the at the Campo group would be to Family YMCA work together and connect the whole in Valrico, community through sprung from their Spanish lantheir seats to guage and culture dance together to the rhythm of a catchy beat at the Attendees dancing at the Hispanic Hispanic Heritage event. Heritage celebration. Members and non-members of the Campo Family YMCA attended. As part of the celebration, attendees had the opportunity to consume foods from various Hispanic cultures such as A table displayed with artifacts from the Puerto Rico, Panama and much more. Hispanic cultures. “The purpose of the event is to share Hispanic culture and traditions with with service. Member Services the YMCA family and friends,” Associate Representative Marcela Gonzalez at Membership Director Kavita Marballi said. Campo Family YMCA, started Hispanos A focus group at the Campo Family Unidos and leads it. YMCA called Hispanos Unidos hosted “She developed a connection to the event. With 280 participants, this will serve the Hispanic community for the last be the first year that the YMCA invited the 10 years,” Marballi said. Gonzalez mencommunity. The last couple of years it did tions her thoughts and what she would honor the Hispanic Heritage, which show- like the community to grasp. cased a variety of activities. “I am proud to be the leader of This event had 30 local business Hispanos Unidos and what the group did sponsors that supplied items such as this year with their hardwork and support. flowers, food, beverages, gift cards and I also want the community to see how photography. For instance, Love Story much we enjoy working together and livFlorist from Riverview provided the flowing in the United States,” Gonzalez said. ers. Juicy Juice distributor owner Hugo For more information, visit Munoz and family contributed to the bevhttp://www.ymca.net. It is located at 3414 erages. Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Hours of operaIn March of this year, Hispanos tion are Monday through Friday 5 a.m.Unidos formed at the Campo Family 10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. and YMCA with its Hispanic members. The Sunday 12 p.m.- 6 p.m. Call 684-1371.

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Valrico Edition

Volume 15, Issue 11

Volunteers Are Needed For Christmas Baskets For Seniors By Sandy Meyer

Caregiver’s Helping Hand, Inc. is reaching out to the community for help with its Christmas Senior Gift Baskets program. Caregiver’s will be delivering care baskets to local senior nursing homes, resident centers, and senior living facilities at Christmastime. This year the organization is looking to provide the baskets for 20 centers and includes gifts for more Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to deliver baskets, sing carols and bring joy to seniors this than a 1,000 men and Christmas season. women. and has added new centers each year. Caregiver's Helping Hand, Inc. is a Richedean Hills-Ackbar is the founder of non-profit volunteer organization with a Caregiver’s, and this is one of the many mission to always give a helping hand projects she takes on each year. “The wherever it can in the community. Its Intergenerational Program has been help- idea came from seeing the need for visitors in the senior centers. Most of the ing local seniors since June 15, 2001. seniors have no one to visit with them Volunteers of all ages are needed to and are forgotten once placed in a nursdeliver gifts and sing Christmas Carols. Additionally, Caregiver’s needs the follow- ing home or senior living facility,” said Hills-Achbar. ing items donated: wrapping paper, Caregiver’s will begin delivering the lotions, shower gel, body wash, sweaters, baskets on Saturday, December 3 at socks and T-shirts for men and women which time volunteers will visit three care and pictures for walls. Cash donations are also needed to purchase the gifts and centers. Additional delivery dates include Saturday, December 10; Thursday, cards and Caregiver’s is hoping to raise December 15; Saturday, December 17, the $3,500 needed to meet its goal this Sunday, December 18 and Monday, year. Last year Caregiver’s was able to December 19. For more information, purchase socks for all the seniors thanks please visit www.chhincvolunteers.org. to a donation from its major sponsor, the “This is a great time to bring the Tampa Yankees. whole family out to teach our kids what This is the 15th year for the Christmas is all about. GIVING TO OTHChristmas Senior Gift Baskets program which began with Ybor Health and Rehab ERS!” concluded Hills-Ackbar.

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Valrico Edition

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WOW Fresh And Fast Celebrates Two Years In Brandon

By Kate Quesada

Serving fresh has been open and food, fast, is a some choices are winning recipe for seasonal and only WOW Fresh and available for a short Fast, a Brandon time. restaurant offering “We started high quality meals out slow with our from salads and menu so that we sandwiches to could really get a pizzas and burgfeel for what the ers, which celecustomers here brated its second WOW Fresh and Fast Manager Ryan Castle would want. Over and his team recently celebrated two years at the two years we anniversary last the restaurant's Brandon location. month. have added so “We can make our food fast and it is much to it, and it has been great fun figurgood because it is always fresh,” said ing out the flavor combinations people Director of Operations Bill Kadow. “All of enjoy the most,” said Kadow, who has our meals are made to order or just worked in the restaurant business since made. We don’t have microwaves or he was 16 years old and also operates serve anything lukewarm.” the Carrollwood WOW Fresh and Fast Some of Kadow’s favorite items on location which celebrates its one year the menu are the garlic parmesan chickanniversary this month. en wings, which he describes as “life A family business, with Kadow’s changing,” the Southwest Chicken father, Bill Kadow Sr., as president, WOW Sandwich, and the menu-staple cheese Fresh and Fast is working hard to burger. He also raves about the homebecome an important part of the commumade ice cream sandwich which uses a nity by setting up spirit nights and cooking fresh baked rocky road cookie and vanilla at events with local schools and donating ice cream. to charities such as the Joshua House “Our menu has something for everyand the Gramatica Family Foundation. one’s palate,” said Kadow. “We have “We have been in the restaurant some people who come in every week business long enough to know that comand order the same dish because they munity is where your business comes love it so much, but others who come in from,” said Kadow. “Brandon is such a all the time and order something different great place for us to share our food.” because they love all of our food and WOW Fresh and Fast is located at want to make sure they aren’t missing 1426 W. Brandon Blvd. and can be any of it.” reached at 864-8008. Visit Many of the menu items have been www.wowthatsfresh.com to see the menu added over the two years the restaurant and for more information.

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Valrico Edition

Volume 15, Issue 11


November 2016

Volume 15, Issue 11

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section

GIFT GUIDE..............................PGS 34�39 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 40 COUNTY MEETINGS........................PG 42 HOLIDAY THEME PARKS ..................PG44 SPORTS CONNECTION. ...................PG 46 RUN FOR REFUGEES .......................PG 47

FAOPA Offers Digital Photography And Interior Decorating Classes This Fall

According to Carole Fluhart, whose sister resides at The Bridges, "I have found The Bridges to be a community full of energy and activi-

New Veterinarian Joins Mobile Vet Clinic of Brandon

Dr. Nicole will be taking over the mobile appointments while Dr. Anthony New classes are taking place this is at the office all day taking appointfall at The Florida Academy of the ments. This means way more availabilPerforming Arts. ity for you and your pet. The Brandon A Digital Photography class will Mobile Vet Clinic is now able to take take place Monday, November 28, same day or next day appointments. December 5, 12 & 19 from 6:30-8:30 Dr. Nicole is originally from a small p.m. Join professional photographer town in Maine. Charlena Beacom to learn about what She received all those buttons are on the camera, as her bachelor well as lighting, positioning subjects degree in and much more. The cost is $120 for Animal each four week session. Science from A Do It Yourself Interior Decorating Citrus Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tampa recently held a ribbon cutting the University class will take place with Char with the Valrico FishHawk Chamber of Commerce. For more information, of Maine, and call 314-7800 or visit CitrusCleanTampa.com. Beacom, who will share her tips and then went to tricks. The class will take place on friends and staff. To further the exciteRoss Tuesday, December 6, 13 and 20 from ties. I particularly like their ment of the night, the Just Two Duo University 6:30-8:30 p.m. The wonderful music program, performed music from the School of cost for the three which I know to be so 40s, 50s and 60s. "We Veterinary week class is $90. beneficial to the wellhave a wonderful commuMedicine for Classes are held being of people of all nity of residents, family her Veterinary at Music Showcase, ages. I have peace of and staff. We all feel degree. Since 402 Oakfield Dr. in mind knowing that my blessed to be part of The this school is Brandon. To register family member is wellBridges family", states in the for any of the classtaken care of and is expeDonna Steiermann, Caribbean, Dr. es, visit faopa.org or riencing excellent quality Executive Director at The Nicole had to call 490-2787. Veterinarian: Dr. Nicole is taking over the of life." Bridges. do her clinical Brandon Mobile Vet Clinic’s mobile The Bridges The Bridges opened year at the appointments. Local Business Celebrates Seventh Retirement Community is their doors in October 2009 and have University of Year Anniversary located at 11202 Dewhurst Dr. in since grown their community to over Florida and that is where she fell in The Bridges Retirement Riverview and is dedicated to provid90 assisted living and memory care love with the state. Since graduating in Community recently celebrated its sev- residents. Residents enjoy a variety of ing health care and housing for the 2011, Dr. Nicole has experience in difenth anniversary with a special elderly. activities, wellness programs, social evening affair for residents, family, events and sharing meals with friends. Continued on Next Page

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Valrico Edition

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

By Michelle Colesanti

ferent areas of Veterinary medicine including private practice, shelter work, corporate practice, and mobile euthanasia/hospice work. She loves creating bonds with you and your pet because she wants this to be a lifelong partnership. Her interests are in general medicine/surgery, alternative medicine (acupuncture/chiropractic), behavior, pain management, end of life/hospice care. Dr. Nicole and her husband love the outdoors, traveling, finding new eateries around town. They have two dogs, Killian and Apollo, and one cat named Chevy. The Mobile Vet Clinic of Brandon is a full service veterinary clinic offering the convenience of an animal hospital at its location at the intersection on Bloomingdale and John Moore or coming to you in a fully equipped mobile van to take care of all of your pet care needs. For more information call 6438130 or visit brandonmobilevet.com.

Newly Remodeled Walmart Supercenter Celebrates Grand Reopening

The newly remodeled Walmart Supercenter located at 11720 E Dr. Martin Luther King recently held a grand reopening. The project represents Walmart’s reinvestment in the store, its customers, and the community. The store includes a remodeled pharmacy and electronic sections. Customers can also expect a new and improved customer service center with Money Services and Walmart Pickup. Shopping is more convenient than ever as Seffner residents can shop millions of items on Walmart.com, many of which can be shipped for free to any Walmart store through Walmart Pickup. The Seffner store is debuting a brand new baby department. For the past year, Walmart has continued to focus on price and quality brands that give expecting parents and family’s access to products they trust at the low prices they expect. This year, the retailer has expanded its offering of known brands on its shelves in store and online. The store includes a remodeled pharmacy with a full range of products, immunizations, and services. Walmart pharmacists are ready to assist customers with product and prescription questions. Seffner residents can easily transfer prescriptions and order refills

on the go with the Walmart mobile app. “We are looking forward to re-introducing our store to the community with expanded offerings and a fresh look. Our everyday low prices will remain the same, but we’re adding greater convenience and a new and improved local grocery shopping experience,” said store manager Mitch Hughes.

of HCC on July 1, 2010. Founded in 1968, HCC is currently the seventh largest community college in Florida’s state college system, serving more than 45,000 students each year at its five campuses and three centers. HCC offers more than 160 academic programs, including 30 associate in arts transfer tracks and over 130 workforce programs, has an annual budget of

Volume 15, Issue 11

For more information, call 727501-1264 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Season of Giving: Always Best Care Hosts Online Food Drive

This holiday season, Always Best Care® Senior Services of Hillsborough County, located at 1210 Millennium Parkway, Ste. 1034 in Brandon and Always Best Care of Tampa Bay, located at 6015 Williamsburg Way in Tampa, are hosting an online food drive to combat local hunger. Now through December13, the two Bay Area franchises encourage residents to visit the website https://yougivegoods.com/, an innovative company that connects tangible giving to community HCC needs through a free, easyPresident to-use online service, and Dr. Ken select from a variety of Atwater to Café Cuba, 3240 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico, recently held a ribbon cutting with the goods to purchase for Valrico FishHawk Chamber of Commerce. For more info, call 655-6499 or visit on donation. Serve As Facebook. Always Best Care of Chair of the Hillsborough County will be Tampa Hillsborough Economic over $168 million and employs more benefitting http://www.cornerthan 2300. Over 84 percent of HCC Development Corporation stonekidsinc.org/. Always Best Care of graduates stay in the local community, Hillsborough Community College Tampa Bay will be benefitting St. and, together, HCC and its former stu(HCC) is proud to announce President Vincent De Paul Society at St. Paul dents contribute more than $1.1 billion Dr. Ken Atwater as the newly-elected Catholic Church - https://yougivegin added income and economic impact oods.com/abc-tampa. chairman of the Tampa Hillsborough to Hillsborough County. HCC is also Economic Development Corporation All donations will culminate in a the tenth largest associate degree pro- one-day delivery to the respective (EDC). Dr. Atwater accepted his posiducing two-year institution in the coun- charities. tion during the 2016 annual meeting try. where the Tampa Hillsborough EDC Always Best Care is one of the Dr. Atwater earned his Ph.D. from celebrated another great year of excitnation's leading providers of non-medSouthern Illinois University, and Master ical in-home care, assisted living ing economic growth and community and Bachelor of Science degrees from success. placement and skilled home health Murray State University in Murray, “I am honored to assume the mancare. Kentucky. tle of leadership for the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Appreciation Luncheon Hosted By Multiple Services Offered By Armor Corporation,” said Dr. Ken Atwater. “I The Brandon Foundation look forward to offering support for the Guard Painting & Coating, LLC The Brandon Foundation hosted a important work they do to enhance the Armor Guard Painting & Coating is “Sponsor and Volunteer Appreciation economic viability of our community.” a full service painting company offering Luncheon” on Tuesday, September 20, In addition to being a part of the interior and exterior painting and coatsponsored by Longhorn Steakhouse leadership of the Tampa Hillsborough ings. The painting/coating of tile roofs, Brandon and held at The Bridges. EDC, he is past chairman of the board pool decks, garage floors and driveOver 80 guests attended the event and of directors of the American ways are offered along with other serv- enjoyed a delicious meal, video Association of Community Colleges ices for interior including wall paper slideshow of foundation activities (AACC) and serves on the Museum of removal, popcorn removal, drywall through the past years. Executive Science & Industry’s National Board repairs and texture. Director, Liz Brewer, shared “this event and the CEO Council. Free in-home inspections are was to show our amazing volunteers Between his commitment to eduoffered along with a free written estiand sponsors how much we truly cation and to the multitude of local mate. There are written warranties on appreciate everything they do to help organizations, it is clear that Dr. all work and special discounts are us achieve our mission at the Brandon Atwater and the community at HCC offered for veterans and seniors. Foundation”. are invested in seeing the Tampa and Online specials from $250 to $550 off For more information about the Hillsborough County community reach are offered. Visit www.armorguard.net Foundation and this community event, new heights. for more details. Ask about the “show visit www.BrandonFoundation.org or He became the seventh president home” discount as well. call 689-6889.

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November 2016

Valrico Edition

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Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

Naming For Elementary “C”, Students Excel On AP Exams & Graduation Rates and NOPE Holds Candlelight Vigil Armwood, Plant City, Riverview High Schools to Host District Financial Aid Night

school or after attending the financial aid workshops. For more information about HCPS please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Placement (AP) exams and scoring at a pass rate of 3, 4, or 5 continues to increase, givHillsborough County Public Schools ing students more officials announced plans to host several opportunities for higher Financial Aid Workshops for seniors and education. their families. HCPS Students Taking By the numbers, The workshops that scheduled to be district officials said Excelling on AP and held at eight area high school locations that the number of Exams among them Armwood, Plant City and HCPS students taking AP exams Riverview High, are promising to provide Speaking highly of teachers throughincreased by 7 percentage points from an overview on how to apply for postsecout the nation, President Barack Obama last year. In addition, the number of stuondary financial aid. was quoted, “We recently learned that dents earning a pass rate of 3, 4, or 5 Each event will be conducted by a America’s high school graduation rate increased by 4 percentage points. university or college financial aid expert. went up to 83 percent…the highest on The district is especially proud of the The workshops will cover the Free record.” Obama added, “Teachers results from its Hispanic and Application for Federal Student Aid deserve more than our gratitude, they African American students. (FAFSA), deadlines, state scholarships deserve our full support.” The number of Hispanic and Bright Futures Scholarships. Of course, higher graduation rates students taking AP exams All workshops will be from 6:00 p.m. are not the only way to measure success increased by 18 percentage until 8:00 p.m. and will be held in the on the part of students and teachers. points over last year while school’s auditorium. In a recent report, Hillsborough maintaining a 44% pass rate. According HCPS officials the district, County Public Schools officials were African American students in collaboration with LEAP – Hillsborough pleased to announce that the number of scoring a 3, 4, or 5 went from College Access Network, Boys & Girls HCPS students taking Advanced 18% two years ago to Clubs of Tampa Bay, 28% this past year, a 10 Financial Aid Workshops: Hillsborough Community percentage point gain. College and United Way Thursday, November 10, 2016 Tuesday, November 15, 2016 “We continue to Suncoast, is also participating Freedom High School Riverview High School push for open access 17410 Commerce Park Blvd., Tampa 11311 Boyette Rd., Riverview in a series of FAFSA Labs into our Advanced where students and families Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Thursday, December 1, 2016 Placement classes at our Armwood High School Jefferson High School can get support from college high schools. These 12000 E. US Highway 92, Seffner 4401 Cypress St., Tampa representatives and trained results show our students Monday, December 5, 2016 Tuesday, December 6, 2016 community volunteers. are looking for more Gaither High School Plant City High School Families can get informa16200 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa One Raider Place, Plant City opportunities and our tion on the labs through their

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teachers and staff are giving them the support they need,” said Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins. For more information please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

NOPE Holds Candlelight Vigil

Hillsborough County Public Schools, NOPE of Hillsborough, the Tampa Police Department, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office hosted the 6th Annual Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Candle Light Vigil, last month at Hillsborough High School. The emotional event is held annually to honor the lives lost due to drug and alcohol related incidents, to honor those who have lost a loved one to accidental overdose death and to help those suffering from the disease of addiction. The NOPE Memorial Wall has more than 500 photos of young people who have lost their lives due to drug or alcohol related causes. School officials said that the goal of NOPE is to reach the community through prevention and education. NOPE has been diligently offering presentations to Hillsborough County Public Schools middle and high school students throughout the year. Please visit www.nopetaskforce.org.

November 2016

Valrico Edition

hild C , r i a F Health cility Opens, Care Faations For Don & More.. Wreaths nti, Compiled by Michelle Colesa om michelle@ospreyobserver.c

Health Fair And Yard Sale At Rivers Of Life Church Ministries

A Health Fair and Yard Sale will be held at Rivers of Life Church Ministries, 301 N. Lakewood Dr. in Brandon on Saturday, November 19. The yard sale will begin at 8 a.m. and the free Health Fair at 9 a.m. Representatives from TGH will be available to test blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol. A pharmacist will be available to answer your questions. The Florida Blood Mobile will be attending and giving out t-shirts for blood donations. There will be free hot dogs and snacks. The ROL Silver Steppers (Seniors Line Dancing Team) will give demonstrations at 10 and 11 a.m. Reserve a space in the yard sale by calling the church office 643-3848.

A Gift For Families Of The Fields

A state-of-the art child-care center for children of strawberry pickers and other low-income farm workers welcomed its first children on October 31. The new $3.6 million, 15,000-sq. ft. center triples the capacity of

Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) in Dover. Some 70 children attended; a number that could swell to 172 by the peak of the area’s strawberry harvest in February. Since 1995, RCMA has operated a childcare center nearby that accommodates 88 children. It has maintained the longest waiting lists among the 68 centers that RCMA operates statewide. RCMA plans to move the older center, a cluster of modular buildings, to a rear corner of the six-acre home of the new center. It will reopen there. RCMA’s operations in Dover are funded by the federal Migrant & Seasonal Head Start program, which focuses on families that migrate for the summer harvests, or work in seasonal agriculture. The Immokalee-based RCMA is Florida’s largest nonprofit child-care provider. Founded in Homestead in 1965, RCMA expanded to Ruskin, in Hillsborough County, in 1974 at the urging of a Catholic nun. Visit www.rcma.net/.

What’s Happening At Congregation Beth Shalom

Welcome the Sabbath at Congregation Beth Shalom on Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. Oneg (nosh and mingle) follows services. All are welcome. Page Turners – On Monday, November 21 from 6-7:30 p.m., join in for conversation and lite dinner as The


Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru Hillsborough County Fairgrounds Opens Thanksgiving Night Nov. 24th thru Sat. Dec 31st 6pm ‐ 9pm Sun ‐ Thurs. | 6pm ‐ 10pm Fri. & Sat.

After driving thru the beautiful lights, stop by The Christmas Village and Enjoy: • • • • • •

Hot Cocoa & Donuts Kettle Korn Kona Ice goodies Popcorn & Cotton Candy Funnel Cakes A selection of Fair foods & more

• North Pole Express Train Ride • Pony Rides • Horse Drawn Wagon Rides • Visit with The Wolves of the World • Shop, Craft & Gift Vendors

Vehicles (up to eight passengers) $20 Tickets for the drive thru can be purchased at www.thewonderlando!lights.com

Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis is discussed. Her first novel speaks to the Jewish community in Memphis, Tennessee.

Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. Call 681-6547.

Scout Troop Seeks Donations For Wreath Around America Day

Boy Scout Troop 665 in Brandon is securing donations to purchase and place wreaths at Bay Pines National Cemetery. Wreaths are $15. The troop will be placing them at Bay Pines gravesites on National Wreaths across America Day – Saturday December 17. To give online on behalf of Troop 665: http://give.wreathsacrossamerica.org/goto/FL0197P-BSA To pay by check, make your check or money order payable to “Wreaths across America”, mark “Group FL0197P & Location FLBPNB” on the check and mail to: Wreaths across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623.

Help For Quitting Tobacco

Quitting tobacco isn't easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free

Page 29

Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started. 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 at: Thursday, December 1 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of College Hill, 3838 N. 29th St. in Tampa, Monday, December 12 from 5:30-7:30 at USF – Area Health Education Center, 3535 Fletcher Ave., Ste. MDT 1400 in Tampa, and Tuesday, December 13 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Robert W. Saunders Library, 1505 Nebraska Ave. in Tampa. Pre-registration is required by calling 974-7889. For additional classes, visit www.ahectobacco.com/calendar.

Adopt A Pet Event At Floor & Decor

A Pet Adoption event will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Floor and Decor Store, 10059 E. Adamo Dr. in Brandon. Come out and give a deserving pet their forever home. This adoption event supports Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. Donations accepted: towels, fleece material or small fleece cat blankets, quick snap dog collars, cat scratchers, sturdy leashes (no retractables), Dentastix brand dog treats, Kong brand toys, dog harnesses, milk bones, ping pong balls and other waterproof cat toys, dry and canned food for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, peanut butter, honey, broth, and unscented baby wipes.

Page 30

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Tickets are available at the McDonald’s® Ticket Office at AMALIE Arena, Ticketmaster outlets and at Ticketmaster.com. Order tickets by calling 800-745nti, a s le 3000. Ticket prices o C lle y Miche r.com b d e are $25, $35, $55 il p erve Com preyobs s o @ and $85. Prices e ll miche do not include facility fee or service charges. Group discounts available by calling 301-6900. Concert Band Presents Christmas

ts, r e c n o C Holiday le, Holiday Craft Sack Lunch & Pot Lu ore… M

Concert In Brandon

A Christmas Concert will be presented by the Eastern Hillsborough Community Band (EHCB) on Thursday, December 15 at 7 p.m. at New Hope United Methodist Church, Logan Hall, 115 Knights Ave. in Brandon. A $5 suggested donation requested. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. the night of the concert. Reservations are not required. For more information, emailinfo@ehcb.org, visit www.ehcb.org or call 569-1771.

Annual Holiday Pot Luck Lunch At Brandon Community Center The Brandon Community Center is hosting its Annual Holiday Pot Luck Lunch. The event will feature local entertainment from church choruses, elementary schools, local musicians, and community residents. Please come and share the holidays on Friday December 9. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. with coffee. Entertainment begins at 10 a.m., and lunch is served at 11 a.m. Please sign up at 502 E. Sadie St. or call 636-8179 for more details.

Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular Live

Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular comes to Amalie® Arena on Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. This fun-filled family holiday event features the cast of Cirque Musica together with all-time favorite holiday songs performed by a live orchestra. It is a concert and visual experience where audiences journey into a world of high-flying adventure with amazing acrobats, aerialists, and holiday cheer. The show blends the spellbinding grace and dare-devil athleticism of today’s greatest circus performers with the sensory majesty of the greatest holiday music of all time.

Picture Yourself At The Florida State Fair

The Florida State Fair Authority invites people across the state and beyond to “Picture Yourself at the Florida State Fair” – the theme for the 2017 event, slated for February 9-20. “We want both loyal patrons and those who have not yet experienced the Fair to join us in making memories that will last a lifetime,” said Cheryl Flood, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority. The Fair Authority also has confirmed that the Country Gold tour once again will be returning to the

sale December 1. For more inform For more information, visit www.FloridaStateFair.com or follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter.

Plant City Community Chorale Presents Holiday Concert

The Plant City Community Chorale will present its annual Believe! A Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 10th, 7:30 PM, at Eastside Baptist Church, 1318 E. Calhoun St., Plant City. This annual Christmas presentation is once again sponsored by Hopewell Funeral & Memorial Gardens. In addition to timehonored classics such as O Holy Night, Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, and White Christmas, the concert will include the beloved Spanish The Plant City Community Chorale will present its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 10 at Eastside carol, A La Baptist Church. Nanita Nana and the Visit amaliearena.com or call 301Fair in 2017. A fan favorite, the 2017 sprightly Catalan dance carol, Fum, 2500 for more information. concerts will boast some of the Fum, Fum. biggest names to join the tour, includUnder the direction of Claudia Kappa Kappa Brandon Chapter ing Johnny Lee, Bobby Bare, the Bolano Becerra, the Chorale continAccepting New Members Gatlin Brothers and Marty Haggard ues to grow both musically and in Kappa Delta Phi Sorority is a (son of the legendary Merle numbers, promising to make your national organization dedicated to Haggard), as well as Leroy Van Dyke spirit bright this Christmas. providing opportunities and experiof “Auctioneer” and “Walk on By” Tickets are available at www.pccences that inspire women to greatfame. Tickets for the 2017 Fair and chorale.org/buy-tickets/ or call 813ness. Several fundraisers are held the Country Gold Tour go on 417-2808. annually to benefit charities in the Brandon area. Each month features a different social where members get to have fun while catching up with their fellow sisters. New store NOW OPEN at Big Bend and 301 Brandon chapter of Kappa Kappa is looking for new members to join. Bring in this ad for 10% off any one item. Please call Lily Barney at 681-6006.


First Annual Holiday Craft & Gift Sale

The first annual Holiday Craft & Gift Sale for Four Sisters Crafts and Such will take place on Saturday, November 19 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 1317 Borden Ct. in Valrico. Come and check out a large selection of unique handmade holiday gift ideas at affordable prices. Homemade items, such as quilts, aprons, pot holders, casserole carriers, dish cloths, hair accessories, jewelry, handmade greeting cards and more.

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Page 31

Valrico Edition

Riding Bikes And Raising Money For Children In Need


By Amy Schechter

New York Times bestseller, H. Jackson Brown, Jr. urges us to “[r]emember that children… and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” Children truly liken to flowers and have the potential to blossom into creative, productive adults, yet many youth experience abuse and neglect right here in the Tampa area and require additional care from a responsible, loving adult in order to grow. That is where the Guardian ad Litem program enters. Through the unique relationships they form Come out and support Hillsborough's children at the 6th Annual Guardian Toy Run and Toy with their children, guardian’s ad Drive. litem are volunteers who act as voices for children who are experidonation or meet at the after-party encing the stress of shuffling through slated to begin at 12 Noon at One the child welfare system, and they Night Stand Smokehouse, 1602 Hwy. need your support. 60 in Valrico. The entrance fee per As a result, the 6th Annual person is $15 plus one new toy which Guardian Toy Run and Toy Drive covers food and drinks, a raffle ticket, hopes to make a positive difference. and a t-shirt. It is sure to be a fantastic Bryan Taylor began organizing the autumn ride, and more importantly, all event with his family after his father proceeds will be donated to provide had been a guardian ad litem for a toys, batteries, and gift cards to chilnumber of years. Guardian’s ad litem dren with the holidays soon approachtry to provide gifts for their children’s ing. birthdays and holidays. Taylor notes, Taylor also hopes to plant a “There’s not a huge bunch of them, so seed in the hearts of the community: they are very reliant on getting dona“There’s such a shortage of guardians tions, especially at Christmas time. too because a lot of people don’t know They have a toy quota, but it’s never what they are. We need guardians. filled. It’s something the guardians Becoming a guardian ad litem, you want to do to give that child a toy from can take on as many cases as you a person they trust and they know is want and have time for.” Of the 3,100 acting in their best interests.” In children in Hillsborough in the dependHillsborough county alone, there are ency court system, over 1,300 do not over 3,100 children in the dependency have a guardian ad litem to act with court system, all of whom have had their best interests in mind. He hopes someone close to them let them down some will attend the after party if only and may be living with relatives or with to talk with other guardians. You have foster families. Besides the relationthe opportunity to change a child’s life ship guardians ad litem form with their in this role, not just make their day. To children and the advocacy they proregister for the event, make a donavide on their behalves, there is so tion, and more information, visit much the volunteers want to do to http://guardiantoyrun.org/ and email brighten their lives, and collecting toys the completed form to is one small way they can make a big info@guardiantoyrun.org or fax it to difference. 866-955-8125. You may also contact The Toy Run and Drive will be Bryan Taylor at 400-0448 or check out held Saturday, November 19 beginning the excited chatter on Facebook at at 10 a.m. at Tampa PC Networks, https://www.facebook.com/guardiansto located at 11946 Boyette Rd. in yrun?fref=ts. For more info on becomRiverview. Although the event itself is ing the voice of a child in need and to designed for motorcycles, those withvolunteer as a guardian ad litem, visit out bikes are welcome to make a www.galtampa.org or vfcgal.org.

Put Thanksgiving Lessons to Work in Your Financial Plans Melissa L Haskins Financial Advisor

Thanksgiving is almost here. Over the years, this holiday has taken on a variety of meanings, most of them centered on family, caring and sharing. You can carry these same values past Thanksgiving into your daily life – and you can certainly incorporate them into your financial strategies for taking care of your loved ones. So, here are a few suggestions: • Protect your family. If something were to happen to you, could your family pay the mortgage? Could your children still afford to go to college someday? To protect your family’s current lifestyle and long-term goals, you may well need to maintain adequate life and disability insurance. Your employer may offer these types of protection as employee benefits, but the coverage might be insufficient for your needs. Consequently, you might need to supplement your employer-paid insurance with additional policies. • Invest in your children. If you have young children, and you’d like to see them go to college someday, you may want to start putting money away toward that goal. You can save and invest for college in a variety of ways, but one popular method is through a 529 plan, which offers high contribution limits and potential tax advantages. Plus, a 529 plan gives you significant control and flexibility: – if you establish a plan for one child, but he or she decides not to go to college, you can name another child as the recipient. • Be generous. You don’t have to be a millionaire to make meaningful financial gifts to your family. For example, if you have grown children, consider helping them fund their IRAs. You can’t contribute directly to a child’s IRA, but you can write checks to your children for that purpose –

though, of course, they are then free to do whatever they want with the money. It’s not always easy for a young person to “max out” on an IRA, which has an annual contribution limit of $5,500 for workers under 50, so any help you can give your children in this area should be greatly appreciated. • Safeguard your own financial independence. Almost certainly, one of the most undesirable outcomes you can imagine is to become financially dependent on your grown children. Even if you save and invest diligently throughout your working years, you could still be vulnerable to financial dependency if you need an extensive period of long-term care, such as a nursing home stay. These costs can be enormous, and Medicare typically pays only a small percentage, and usually for just a limited time. To protect your financial freedom, you should explore ways of addressing long-term alternatives that may be appropriate for your situation. • Communicate your wishes to your family. At some point in your life, you will need to draw up your estate plans, which could include a will, a living trust, a durable power of attorney, a health care directive and other documents. To be fair to your children and other family members, and to avoid hurt feelings, you should clearly communicate your plans and your wishes while you are still around. Thanksgiving means more than turkey and football. And if you can successfully apply the lessons of this holiday to your financial plans, both you and your family will have reason to be thankful. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor

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Page 32

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Foster Parents Sought For Children In Need Of Specialized Therapeutic Homes

Get In Step To Help Joshuacord Raise Funds For Refugees

Staff Report

By Kathy L. Collins

H.E.A.D.S. (Healing Educational many excellent agencies in the area. Alternatives for Deserving Students) is Our uniqueness derives from our family an organization with over 70 mental owned team approach, and our 'Delta health therapists that provide in-home Angels' trademark, that we hope therapy to children, adults and families. denotes the importance of this elite They have been providing this care to team to the children we serve along foster homes and mental health servicwith our commitment to providing comes to children in Florida since 1993. prehensive training and clinical support They are partnering with Eckerd and to the children in our care and their fosare expanding its services in to ter parents." Hillsborough County. They are seeking Parents in the program receive 63 foster parents hours of pre-serfor their STFC vice training and (Specialized one hour of addiTherapeutic tional, ongoing Foster Care) training each program. month thereafter. According There are no fees to Ted Waller, for training. H.E.A.D.S.(Healing Educational Alternatives for CEO, Parents who Deserving Students) is seeking foster parents for children in need of specialized therapeutic "Hundreds of are accepted are homes. H.E.A.D.S. excels at creating a team children in compensated a approach with highly trained foster parents. As a Hillsborough daily rate of $50 result, traumatized children in foster care are able to realize their full potential. County are to $65 per day. needing This must not be STFC. Eckerd provides services to the family's only source of income. All approximately 2900 children in our prospective parents must be able to county. Approximately 10 percent of pass a thorough background check. those children are in need of specialThose interested in becoming fosized therapeutic homes." ter parents for this special group of chilH.E.A.D.S. STFC program currentdren, should call Dee Dee Parker, ly has 20 therapeutic foster homes in STFC Coordinator at 754-5555. There Polk County and provides 24 hour ther- will be an informal informational sesapeutic support for children that have sion on November 28. Please call been abused. Waller added, "The foster Parker for more information on times parents in our organization are called and location. 'Delta Angels' a term coined by the fact H.E.A.D.S. is located at 1001 E. that they are angels on earth for the Baker St., #100 in Plant City. For more children in their care." information, please visit According to Waller, "There are www.headsusa.com.

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Christians will band together to support those in the Middle East being persecuted for their faith at the upcoming Freedom Run.

You can help support Joshuacord’s efforts to help refugees in the Middle East by stepping up to participate in its Fourth Annual Joshua 1:9 Freedom Run 5K. The event kicks off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 19 at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave. in Tampa. Families, children, serious runners, supporters and cheerleaders are encouraged to attend. There will be a separate start at 8:10 a.m. for walkers and strollers. Spirit FM (90.5 FM) will be onsite to promote the festivities. Joshuacord’s mission is to help those persecuted for their Christian faith, especially in the Middle East and Africa. Proceeds for the 5K will go to families and children who are living in refugee camps in the Middle East. Because of sponsor support, $5,700 was raised from last year’s run and 100% of it was donated to help these families. Monies raised from this year’s 5K will be donated to the same group as they still have many unmet needs. At the run, organizers will also be collecting baby blankets, gloves, and hats to ship to moms and families in refugee camps.


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Joshuacord Founder Patrick Carberry, through his military experience and work with the government, witnessed first-hand the lack of religious freedom due to Islamic extremism and put together Joshuacord to raise awareness. “As most of you have seen, there is more media attention on the urgent issue of Christians being persecuted in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Africa,” noted Carberry. He added that the goal is to get the community engaged, raise awareness and provide hope, prayers, financial and material aid to the Christians in those countries. The 5K Freedom Run is made possible through sponsors, the support of local churches and pastors and all those who participate on race day. “We are so appreciative for your prayers, time and support,” commented Carberry. Registration fee is $25 if completed by November 17 and $30 on race day. Active duty members pay $20. The one mile Fun Run/Walk is $15 preregistration. To register, visit http://www.active.com or download the registration form to mail from www.joshuacord.org/5k. This is a great opportunity for the Tampa community to come together and impact a crisis occurring to Christians in the Middle East. Joshuacord is a non-profit 501(c)(3) located at 3433 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Visit www.joshuacord.org or call 202643-8588 or on Facebook.

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November 2016

Valrico Edition

Page 33

A Little Dog With A Big Dream – Harley’s Heroes Promotes Puppy Mill Awareness never see the light of day, and are usually killed when they are of no more value to the breeders. The sad fact is that every year, it's estimated that over two million puppies originate from puppy mills, while well over one million are killed in shelters annually because they are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Education on puppy mills Anne Cogley, who recently started the local chapter been the focus for Harley’s has of Harley’s Heroes stands with her own mill survivor dogs, along with Harley and his owners, Rudi and Heroes. Harley, a Chihuahua, Dan Taylor, at last year’s 2015 AHA Hero Dog lived in a cramped, filthy cage Award in Vero Beach. in a puppy mill where he lost an When pets are adopted, they eye. After 10 years he was freed and become part of the family. Just as you received much needed medical care want your kids to be healthy, you want eventually finding his ‘fur’ever home your new furry family member to have and lots of love with Rudi and Dan had its early start in a healthy and lovTaylor. Harley spent his remaining ing environment. years working hard to educate children If your dog was born in one of the and adults about puppy mills. Harley estimated 10,000 puppy mills across personally participated in the freeing of the U.S., chances are it did not get that more than 700 dogs from puppy mills great start in life. across the Midwest, and helped raise A puppy mill is a commercial dogmoney that gave freedom to hundreds breeding facility where profit is the primore. ority; not the health and welfare of the Sadly, Harley passed away in animals. March 2016, but his legacy lives on. He About 99% of puppies sold in pet continues to inspire hope and confistore come from mills. Most of these dence in people of all ages who can dogs live their whole lives in small relate to his less-than-perfect appearcages in buildings, barns and sheds ance. He continues to be the voice for with no heating or cooling. They are not hundreds of thousands of dogs still livsocialized or cared for, but most of all ing in cages in puppy mills. Rudi and they lack in love and attention. Dan initiated Harley's Puppy Mill Action Dogs used for breeding in the mills and Awareness Project in September

By Michelle Colesanti

as a nationwide grass roots effort to educate the public about puppy mills. A local Valrico chapter was recently started by Valrico resident Anne Cogley. “I've followed Harley on social media for almost four years, loved him, and

immediately wanted to support and share his dream ‘no more puppy mills’. I believe that if puppy mills did not exist, there would be 75% fewer dogs in shelters/rescues thus making homeless dogs a thing of the past.” Last December, Cogley had the honor of meeting Harley and his family shortly after he had won the 2015 AHA Hero Dog Award. “At this point, several Valrico friends and I decided to join to help make #Harleysdream come true,” continued Cogley. To date there are over 100 groups in 42 states nationwide and in Canada. After all, as Harley has been quoted saying "Educate yourself so that you can educate others". For more information visit harleypuppymilldog.com or email Yorkiemumsy@hotmail.com.

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By Marie Gilmore This holiday season, the Osprey Observer is partnering with local businesses to highlight the best of Shop

Advertising Sales Manager. “We have never done a program like this in the paper and we are excited to share some of the treasures from our local small businesses with our readers.” Bridget Jenkins Wilson, owner of Cardinal Roofing and a member of the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber will host the Shop Local Holiday Commerce said Expo on Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m.-12 noon. the Chamber is also focused on encouraging local Local gift giving. The campaign is shopping this holiday season and in called, the Osprey Observer, A Few of Our Favorite Things and we have gone face has a Shop Local Holiday Expo coming up on Saturday, December 3, 9 to local businesses and asked them to a.m.-12 Noon at Park Square in give us ideas of a few of the top items FishHawk Ranch. “Anything we can do available this holiday season. to keep our local businesses in the From now until December 16, we spotlight is great for our community,” will be collecting Our Favorite Things she said. “And, this is a great opportuall throughout the community and putting them together in one giant gift bas- nity for Osprey Observer readers to have a chance to win an amazing holiket that will be given out in a day gift.” Sweepstakes for our readers. To enter, email Sweepstakes to “We have so many great items contest@ospreyobserver.com or fill out coming in and someone is going to be the entry form and send in by mail, fax very excited to receive all of these or email. Good luck and thank you for great items from the businesses in our shopping local! community,” said Kerrie Hoening,


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Be Happy Boutique seeks out gift and apparel items that give back to the world.

Invest In Gifts That Give Back To The World At Be Happy Boutique As you enter Be Happy Boutique, warm teas perfume the air and guests are surrounded by fashionable, unique lines of apparel, shoes, accessories, home décor, specialty gifts, and candles. Positive energy radiates throughout the entire space, and best of all you will find something here for every taste and every budget. Owner Tonya Antaki seeks out items that give back to the world in

some way so you can feel good knowing that the gifts you purchase will have additional impact around the world. A great gift idea for your special friend or family member is Jewelry Snug. It is the perfect gift for the girl who has everything. This is for the friend who loves to travel and look good when she arrives at her destination. (Don't forget to buy yourself one!)

A Few Of Your Favorite Things Can Be Found At Music Showcase Music is the international language that is understood and enjoyed by all. Share your love of music by offering voice or instrument lessons to your favorite student.

By Michelle Colesanti

Instrument rentals start at $10 (if you don’t want to make a purchase). If you sign up online, the instrument will be delivered to your school. All of your music needs can be found at Music Showcase, which offers competitive pricing on sheet music and books, inhouse repair shop, private and group lessons. Is your child interested in musical theatre, acting, or maybe photography? Sign them up at the Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase. Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, call 685-5998 or visit MusicShowcaseOnline.com and FAOPA.org. Gift Basket Item: Music Lessons Certificate Value $70

Holiday Coin Collections, A Daydreams Day Spa Escape & New Sporting Goods Corbin’s Stamp Journey To Tranquility & Coin Can At DayDreams Day Help You Start Spa With all the stress Treasured Family Heirloom the holidays bring, what Are you lookbetter gift for someone ing for the perfect (or yourself) is to keepsake gift for escape for a few hours a family with a to DayDreams Day Spa new baby? & Bath Shop. You can Maybe you are make that possible with interested in a gift card to starting a new Daydreams. family tradition by There are many difcommemorating the Christmas seaferent types of spa packages to son each year. Holiday coin collecchoose from including massage thertions are the perfect way. One ounce apy, body, therapy, skin car therapy, pure silver coins are available for nail and pedicure treatments. There $29.95 in a gift box or also as an is also a shop that includes spa ornament that can be disproducts. played. Pevonia Corbin’s Coins is locatSkin ed at 209 N. Kings Ave. in Care Brandon and is open products Monday to Friday from 9 are a.m. to 4 p.m. and offered. Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 Gift p.m. certifiDayDreams Day Spa gift certificates make Gift Basket Item: 1 oz. Silver Christmas Coin Value $30

excellent holiday gifts.

cates are available at the Spa, located at 658 Oakfield

Dr. in Brandon or online at www.daydreamsdayspa.com. A second DayDreams location is in Lakeland at 1463 Town Center Dr. For more information on this location, call 863-686-5859. Gift Basket Item: The Tranquility Journey “Escape to Tranquility” when you indulge in this 80 minute Relaxation Massage. The pampering continues with a Hydrating Heated Hand Therapy Treatment and Serenity Hot Stone Foot Massage that will relax the muscles, allowing for a therapeutic experience. Total Time is 95 minutes. Value $135 FishHawk Sporting Goods Offers New And Gently Used Apparel & Equipment FishHawk Sporting Goods is a new store that recently opened at 13446 Boyhette Rd. in Riverview (RiverSprings plaza at FishHawk and Boyette Rds. It is a locally owned family business, and offers a local alternative for all of your fami-

By Michelle Colesanti

ly’s sporting good needs in a family friendly environment that is close to home and offers competitive pricing. You will find new and gently used sporting apparel and equipment for all sports. These will make great gifts for your favorite young athletes this holiday season. For more information, call 3249161 or visit FHSportingGoods.com. Gift Basket Item: New Football

New Holiday Fashion & Gifts At TMarie’s And The Gift Of Health From The Campo Y

By Michelle Colesanti

Find Your Perfect Holiday Ensemble At TMaries Fashion & Gifts Boutique TMaries Fashion & Gifts Boutique is your one stop shop for all of your favorite fashion outfits and accessories for the upcoming

holiday season. While you are in there shopping for those party clothes, you will also find many accessories including jewelry that would make great gifts for friends and family members. Some brands available at TMaries include Tribal, Elan, Catherine Barclay, Julian Chang, French Dressing Jeans and Cabana Life. T. Marie’s Fashion & Gift Boutique is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 Noon-5 p.m. It is located at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. For more information, call 530-0922. Visit www.TMariesfashions.com Gift Basket Item: Luxurious blue velvet evening bag with Swarovski crystal embellishment and peacock design

ship to someone, you are letting them know how much you care and want them to live their healthiest lives. Campo Y offers many exercise options for all ages and body types. Many family programs and camps are offered including child care while you work out. Other programs are also offered. For many, Campo Y becomes like a second home. Campo Y is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. It is open Monday to Friday from 5 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 Noon-6 p.m. For more information, call 684-1371. Visit www.tampaymca.org/locations/campo.

Value $128 Gift the Gift of Health At Campo Y The start of a new year holds a lot of promise. Everyone makes resolutions to eat healthier and to exercise more. This year, it is time to do something about it. By giving a gift of a Campo Y A great holiday gift idea is a membermembership to the local Y!

Gift Basket Item: Family Membership for three months Value $250

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Backyard Birdseed Gifts For Nature Lovers, Tasteful Fruit Bouquets & DK’s Outlet Find Great Gift Ideas for Nature Lovers and Birders At Backyard Birdseed

Fly on by to check out the great gift ideas for the nature lovers in your life. A great gift idea is the Squirrel Buster bird feeder, which helps to limit squirrels from making claim to the food. Backyard Birdseed carries premium seed for all types of feeders depending on what type of birds you are trying to attract. You can also mix your own blend birdseed. A wide array of other products is also carried to increase backyard (and front yard) enjoyment for children and birders of all ages., find ideas and problem-solvers for your outdoor living spaces, and discover activities and tools for indoor learning and fun. Backyard Birdseed is located at 3642 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico (next to Carwash on the Green). It is open

Tuesday-Friday from 12 Noon-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It is closed on Monday. For more information, call 816-BIRD (2473) or visit www.BackyardBirdseed.com and on FB: Backyard Birdseed.

Gift Basket Item: Squirrel Buster & Food Value $50


Tasteful Gifts From Edible Arrangements Make Great Holiday

What better way to say you care than with a healthy and tasteful gift of fresh fruit. With many assortments from Edible Arrangements, you will find something for everyone on your gift list. Choose from many beautiful holiday gift baskets such as the Christmas Tree Bouquet, which is decorated with can-

taloupe, “ornaments” made of Swizzle Apple Fruit Truffles®, small pineapple star “lights”, a large pineapple star tree topper, and a Merry Christmas Gourmet Belgian Chocolate Pop; or an adorable snowman keepsake with a Season’s Greetings Celebration™ bouquet featuring gourmet chocolate dipped pineapple stars, reindeer, and strawberries. Following the traditional Delicious Celebration® bouquet recipe, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes are scattered throughout to create an eye-catching and wowworthy effect. There are many other eye-catching and delicious choices. Edible Arrangements can be found locally in the Shoppes at Lithia, located at 3455 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico (5717200), and also at 10273 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview (Bell Plaza) (672-6111) or order online at www.ediblearrangements.com.

Gift Basket Item: 12-count chocolate covered fruit.

By Michelle Colesanti Shop Pet Supplies Plus This Holiday Season For All Your Pet Needs Holiday gift shopping is not just for your two legged family and friends. Your pets will enjoy receiving some new toys and snacks and Pets Supply Plus is the perfect place to find the perfect gift. If you are planning to welcome a new pet member to your family this holiday season, Pet Supplies Plus is the perfect spot to pick up any supplies and goodies for your new family member.

You will find everything you might need for dogs, cats, smaller pets, reptiles, birds, and fish. Pet Supplies Plus is located at 1937 E. S.R. 60 in Brandon. It is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 540-0645.

Great Gift Ideas And Classes Help Make Rolling Pin A Great Stop For Holiday Gift Needs

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Pin and you will find something for every chef in your life. Rolling PIn offers a gourmet retail store, cooking classes, Open for Private events, gift cards and lots of great holiday gift items. If you are looking to bring wine to your host or hostess, Rolling Pin has many choices of quality wines. There are many great reasons to attend Rolling Pin’s cooking classes whether you enjoy cooking – or just eating - from great date nights to learning about new foods, this is a great gift idea for everyone. It is also Brandon’s Big Green ‘Eggheadquarters’, the ultimate cooking experience.

Rolling Pin’s Favorite Things basket will include items for a Florida-style holiday season, with a fun, novelty food-truck cutting board and a poultry grilling rack for cooking your bird outdoors. These are complemented by everything you need to make the feast flavorful with a subtropical twist. Rolling Pin is located at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Call 653-2418 or visit http://rollingpinonline.com/ for more information.

Gift Basket Item: Small Basket Including $100 Cooking Class GC And $100 In Products Value $200 Enjoy Outdoor Time With Great Gift Ideas From Recreational Pools

What’s on your holiday gift list? Recreation Pools, Spas & More can

help you. Are you looking for spas and hot tubs? It has Tampa Bay’s largest selection – Bullfrog, Calder, Sunrise, Dream maker & more. Maybe your dad wants a Big Green Egg (maybe he doesn’t know it yet)! Visit and see the big selection of the most versatile outdoor barbeque on the market. It is the ultimate cooking experience and dad will love you for it. Recreational pools also offer custom built outdoor kitchens. It is located at 509 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Call 324-8824 or visit www.recreationalpoolsspasandmore.com.

Martin’s Jewelers Offers Fine Jewelry For The Special People On Your Gift List

Martin’s Jewelers has been a staple in the Brandon area for the last 61 years. It will soon be closing its doors and must liquidate its entire inventory. Great offers on fine jewelry will make you happen and will thrill that special person on your gift list. Come on in to receive up to 60% off on custom jewelry designs and watches. Martin’s Jewelers is located at 664 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon and is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 681-2298 or visit www.martinsjewelry.com.

Gift Basket Item: A Set of 7mm Freshwater Pearls (Necklace, Bracelet, & Earrings). Value $135

Gift Basket Item: Pool Lounge Value $50

HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm • Sun 12pm-5pm


www.TMariesFashions.com 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd Valrico (at Bloomingdale)

Page 40

Valrico Edition

Volume 15, Issue 11

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Plant City Entertainment Presents The Game's Afoot Or Holmes For The Holidays

Plant City Resident's Artwork Featured At Bruton Memorial Library

Plant City Plant City Entertainment will Entertainment verpresent Ken sion, Steven Bucko Ludwig's award stars as Gillette along winning mystery, with Theresa Miller The Game's Afoot as Martha Gillette or Holmes For The and Cindy Miller-Ray Holidays over two as Inspector Goring. weekends in The Game's Afoot or November. Come see a classic whodunit as the actors Holmes For The from Plant City Entertainment perform the Holidays is directed Performances will award winning The Game's Afoot or Holmes be held on Friday, by April Golombek For The Holidays. November 11 and who said, "The show 18, Saturday, November 12 and 19 and is a fast paced whodunit with laugh until Sunday, November 13 and 20. The you cry moments thrown in. The cast is Friday and Saturday performances will be an incredibly talented group of people at 8 p.m., and the Sunday performances who have just been a joy to work with, will be at 2 p.m. All performances are held and I know they will leave the audience at the Plant City Entertainment Theatre wanting to come back for more." located at 101 N. Thomas St. in historic Dodie White, president of the Plant downtown Plant City. City Entertainment Board of Managers The Game's Afoot or Holmes For said, "Plant City Entertainment has been The Holidays is the winner of the 2012 a community theatre since 1980. We conEdgar Award For Best Play by the tinue to do quality shows at an affordable Mystery Writers of America. The main price." White added, "We all work as volcharacter is William Gillette, an actor best unteers including the 14 member Board known for his portrayal of Sherlock of Managers, directors, actors, technical Holmes. Gillette is wounded following an and stage crew. We all give our time and attempt on his life at a performance. talents for the good of the shows." While recuperating at his mansion in Tickets to The Game's Afoot or Connecticut, he invites friends over for Holmes For The Holidays are $16 for Christmas Eve. When a murder occurs at adults; $14 for students 18 and under and the mansion, Gillette puts his Sherlock seniors 60 and older. You can get your skills to test to solve the crime. In the tickets at www.pceshows.com.

Long Wagner has time Plant been painting for City resident, eight years. He Richard was the winner of Wagner, is a Best of Show at wonderful this year's painter. The Hillsborough community is County Fair Fine lucky to be Arts Show. In able to view addition, his beautiful Wagner's work Plant City resident, Richard Wagner, is the featured works of art artist at this month's art exhibit at the Bruton Memorial was showcased as they are at the fair. Six of Library in downtown Plant City. featured in Wagner's pieces the November exhibit at the Bruton were featured in a displayed called Memorial Library in historic downtown "Images of Hillsborough County." The Plant City. images focused on life in Plant City and Wagner is showing 17 pieces of stun- showed the city as it once was during a ning oil and acrylic pieces. His paintings quieter time. are clear and crisp and all tell a story. Wagner has also entered and shown Amanda LaPorta, the Adult Services work at the Florida Strawberry Festival Librarian said, "Wagner's paintings feaFine Art Show. ture scenes and faces of daily life in the Wagner is available for commissions. early 20th century. His paintings have a You can contact him at 757-6356. bold, cinematic quality that chiefly utilizes If you are a local artist who would like primary colors and bold brush strokes." the opportunity to display your work in a LaPorta added, "Wagner's subject of public setting such as the Bruton choice is the Great Depression, and he Memorial Library, please visit the front desires to portray the pain and hope desk at the library located at 302 W. experienced during such a trying time in McLendon St. in Plant City, and request America's history." an artist's application. Wagner's pieces are large framed For more information about the art pieces. Some depict people and places exhibits at the Bruton Memorial Library, while others show lovely, snowy scenes. please call 757-9215.

November 2016

Angeloni Offers One Stop Financial Shop By Kate Quesada Asset manferred member on agement, preAngie’s List. retirement and “We have estate planning access to all the services. For experts at our finmany, these gertips and words are intimiresolve and/or dating and almost plan around like a foreign lanalmost any finanguage, but cial, insurance and Riverview resident estate tax issue Howie Angeloni, that may be on owner of the Tax your horizon,” Riverview resident Howie Angeloni has created a said Howie. Advisory Group one-stop financial center at the Angeloni Tax and TAG According to Advisory Group on Balm Riverview Rd. Investment Howie, one of the Advisors LLC, has created a one-stop main strengths of his company is that shop in Riverview to help residents with they make sure they know each of their all their financial needs. customers personally and figure out the After 21 years in the U.S. Air Force, best financial plan for them. “We work Howie decided that a career in financial with each and every one of our clients to and tax advisory would be the perfect design a personal financial plan based on match for his love of numbers and desire their goals and desires,” he said. to help others. He opened his office more Clients range from residents wanting than 15 years ago and has been assistto make large investments to those who ing clients with every aspect of their finan- do not have a lot of assets but want to cial well-being ever since. make sure what they do have is not wast“The entire focus of this organization ed. is client prosperity,” said Howie. “We offer “My favorite clients are the moms a tremendous amount of services all and dads who don’t think they have under one roof to help our clients in all enough money to invest. That’s sad. facets of financial planning; starting from Every dollar is important to me and I pre-retirement through retirement and full make sure my clients know that,” said estate and tax planning.” Howie, whose children and grandchildren Howie is a member of the Riverview all live in the Riverview area. Chamber of Commerce. He holds licensAngeloni Tax Advisory Group, which es for insurance, investments and long is planning an expansion later this year, is term care and is a member of the located at 11932 Balm Riverview Rd. in National Association of Insurance, Riverview and can be reached at 626Financial Advisors with an A+ rating from 7575. For more information, visit the Better Business Bureau, and is a pre- www.riverviewfinancialplanning.com.





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By Matt Boniface Are you one of the many that talk with your hands? Have you ever wanted to learn another language? There’s a local group that can help you with both. Students and community members alike are welcomed to join ‘TAMPA ASL Socials’. This group of community members meets on a regular basis to patron businesses, meet new people and converse; they do this all in American Sign Language Christina Perricone, Joseph Cacciatore, Christina (ASL). It meets every Coppola and Brianna Greene signing ‘I love you’ at a recent meet-up. Thursday in the food court of the Westfield Brandon Mall are encouraged to attend and learn. starting at 6:30 p.m. and on Fridays at College students are encouraged to 6:30 p.m. on a rotating schedule of local attend these events to fulfill a requirerestaurants in the surrounding Tampa ment for their classes. Caitlyn area. Due to graduation of the students Pashnick, an HCC student, “My involved, meetings take a hiatus after teacher requires five observation jourThanksgiving and begin again the second nals per semester... [and] I’ve always week of January. wanted to learn it.” She began studying “Everyone is welcomed, from kids to sign language in August and seeks to adults,” said Joseph Cacciatore, one of use what she learns as a dispatcher for the group's regular members. An average the sheriff’s department, where she meet-up will have roughly 15 to 20 attencurrently works. dees ranging in proficiency from those Elias Goutoufas, ASL Instructor at just beginning to learn sign language to Hillsborough Community College, “Our fully fluent. Members can be hearing, ASL events are open to everyone who hard of hearing or deaf. loves American Sign Language.” Elias There is one major rule at these is the group’s Community Events events: No “Voicing,” meaning no talking Informer and attends the Friday meetwith your mouth. Out of respect for the ups on a regular basis. deaf members, the group encourages all For more Information visit attendees to speak using only sign lanwww.aslevents.info or join the guage. “Turn it off,” Joseph explained. No Facebook Group ‘Tampa ASL Socials.’ one expects attendees to be experts in Event times and locations are updated sign language. People of all skill levels regularly in both locations.




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Valrico Edition

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Page 42

Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

Community Law Enforcement Workshop, Animal Abuser Registry Now In Effect & More…

Commissioners (BOCC), United Way Suncoast, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the School District of Hillsborough County. In the next 12 months, Hillsborough County will sponsor a total of eight workshops: five for Compiled by Michelle Colesanti, adults, two for youth, and one michelle@ospreyobserver.com leadership retreat for elected officials and community leaders. The workshops, approved First Hillsborough County in August by the BOCC, are free and Community Law Enforcement open to the public, with limited space Workshop In December available. Dates and locations for the final The first Hillsborough County seven workshops have not yet been Community-Law Enforcement Workshop, determined. originally scheduled for Oct. 17-18, has been rescheduled for Monday Annual Holiday Pot Luck Lunch At and Tuesday, December 5-6 at Clair-Mel Brandon Community Center Elementary School, 1025 S. 78th Street The Brandon Community Center is in Tampa. The workshop will still be held hosting its Annual Holiday Pot Luck from 5-8:45 p.m., and the theme is The event will feature local enterLunch. “Community and tainment from church Law Enforcement choruses, elementary working together schools, local musitoward greater intercians, and community cultural understandresidents. Please come ing.” and share the holidays The new deadon Friday December 9. line to pre-register Doors open at 9:30 for the workshop a.m. with coffee. is Tuesday, Entertainment begins November 29. at 10 a.m., and lunch is Twelve Hillsborough served at 11 a.m. Please sign up at 502 County Sheriff’s Office deputies and 45 E. Sadie St. or call 636-8179 for more citizen attendees will be pre-registered details. from a pool of persons who pre-register. Call 272-5720 or email WilliamsLA@hillsFlorida Strawberry Festival boroughcounty.org or JenkinsAD@hillsboroughcounty.org to request an invitaAnnounces 2017 Theme tion to attend the workshop. The Florida Strawberry Festival The Community-Law Enforcement released today the theme for its 82nd Workshops are sponsored by the annual event – “We’re Playing Your Hillsborough County Board of County Song!” “Yes, it highlights our entertain-

ment,” said General Manager Paul Davis. “But most of all, it points to our focus of providing what our visitors like.” A new theme is created for each year’s festival to offer patrons a glimpse of the experience they will have at the 11 day event. It also unifies vendors, FFA chapters, organizations, corporate partners and exhibitors who create parade floats and displays throughout the celebration, said Davis. The festival’s strawberry character featured in each year’s theme artwork is an iconic part of the event’s branding and advertising efforts. In this theme’s artwork, he wears a baseball cap and sunglasses and plays a guitar. “It is our goal for every person who walks through our gate to leave satisfied, knowing we offered them something that they personally enjoy,” said Davis. “We think this theme reflects that well.”

Animal Abuser Registry Now In Effect In Hillsborough

Hillsborough County’s Animal Abuser Registry Ordinance recently went into effect, marking an important step in the County’s effort to prevent abusive owners from possessing or working with animals. “Most owners consider their pets to be family members,” said County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, who championed the ordinance. “This registry not only protects animals, but it can identify, and maybe even prevent, violence against humans, too. I’m very proud of

the new law.” Under the new regulations, convicted animal abusers are required to register in person for the Animal Abuser Registry within 10 business days of their conviction. Appointments to register can be made by calling 272-5760 or emailing RegistryManager@HCFLGov.net. By law, a Hillsborough resident convicted of animal abuse in any Florida county cannot own, possess, or live in the same home or on the same property as an animal, cannot work with a companion animal, with or without compensation, and must renew their registration annually while on the Registry. Those convicted of animal abuse will remain on the Registry for the following time periods after their release from incarceration or, if not incarcerated, from the date of their conviction: Misdemeanor Animal Abuse: three years; Felony Animal Abuse: five years; second or subsequent conviction of Misdemeanor or Felony Animal Abuse: 10 years. The Animal Abuser Registry will contain the names, residence, photo, and other related information of those living in the county who are convicted of an offense after November 1, 2016. The ordinance requires any Hillsborough County resident or vendor to check the Registry for any transaction involving an animal, and bans the sale, adoption, transfer, or exchange of any animal to a person on the Registry. When buying from a commercial operation, a pet buyer must sign an affidavit affirming they do not meet the criteria to be on the Animal Abuser Registry.

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November 2016

Page 43

Valrico Edition

Sunflower Cafe In Stein Mart Plaza Offers Something For Everyone

By Kate Quesada

When putting together the menu for their Valrico restaurant, The Sunflower Cafe, co-owners Tatsu Horikawa and Kumi Tamura wanted to make sure they had something for every budget and taste. It seems evident that they have achieved this and more in their The staff at Sunflower Cafe on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. welcome customers every day for lunch and dinner with sushi and popular cafe on Lithia Japanese inspired dishes. Pinecrest Rd. “We want our restaurant to be some- FishHawk residents who have worked together for many years, are really enjoywhere everyone feels comfortable,” said ing their new space and location in the Horikawa, who is also the cafe’s chef. Stein-Mart and The Fresh Market“We welcome all age groups from little anchored plaza. “Because the location is children to older people.” small, we can pay a lot of attention to Open seven days a week for lunch every customer,” said Horikawa, who and dinner, the restaurant offers a full added that every member of their staff sushi menu and Japanese inspired cuifeels the same way. “Everyone who sine with dishes ranging from Horikawa’s works here is a special part of our team. favorite fried rice, to hibachi, teriyaki individual really takes pride in their Each meals and a large variety of fish, seafood, work.” meat and vegetarian entrees. Horikawa Sunflower Cafe also offers lunch speemphasizes that all the food is made to cials including a popular bento box menu order with the highest quality ingredients, which includes a choice of entree, a and that their goal is to make sure that soup, salad and rice or vegetable and every customer is satisfied every time combos with soup and salad. Beer, sushi they visit. wine and saki are also available. “As owners, we have to make sure For more information, visit www.sunthat dining out is worth it for our cusflowercafe.net or call 657-8744. tomers,” said Horikawa. “We want to make the experience special and the food Sunflower Cafe is located at 3452 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and is open Monday-Friday so good that people don’t walk out of 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., here thinking that they should have just Saturday 12 Noon-9 p.m. and Sunday 12 stayed home.” Noon-8:30 p.m. Horikawa and Tamura, both

Breathe Easy In Stress Free Atmosphere Of The Salt Grotto Staff Report

This cold and flu "People don't realize season, try The Salt how important the Grotto, located in treatments are for Plaza Bella at 1026 their immune system Bloomingdale Ave. in as a health preventaValrico for a 100% tive." natural, safe and Customer Marie drug-free, respiratory Gilmore is a big fan relief option. Upon and purchased a walking in the door, Children’s Room customers are welPackage, "I became a comed by soothing customer because I Himalayan Salt lamps had a stuffy 18-monthand the subtle aroma old and I didn't want The Salt Grotto incorporates Halo of Essential to medicate (Salt) therapy with Himalayan Pink Oils. Treatment rooms Salt to bring a healing, immune system him. Instead he have sand-like pink played quietly in the boosting and relaxing treatment to customers. salt on the floors, and Children's Therapy walls are lined with art Room while I drank made from rocks of Himalayan green tea and after 45 minutes, his conSalt. During the 30-45 minute sessions, gestion was clear and even I felt betcustom Halogenerators release 100% ter. We really look forward to our sespure pharmaceutical-grade salt to create sions." a dry aerosol that works as an antiAdditional treatments offered at The inflammatory as well as clearing mucus. Salt Grotto include a Far Infrared Sauna, At the Salt Grotto, halo (salt) therapy Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy. sessions are offered in multiple formats Dr. Stephen Dell-Jones, acupuncturwith and Adult Room, Children's Room ist, provides private and group sessions and Private Salt Bed. The Adult Room dedicated to naturally treating multiple offers 45 minutes of pure relaxation in a health concerns including arthritis, anxizero gravity lounge chair. ety, joint pain, and more. Group sesThe private Salt Bed Chamber is a sions are held in the Adult Salt Room great way to ease stress while treating where clients receive a salt therapy sesskin conditions caused by bacteria or sion at the same time. fungus, such as eczema, psoriasis and Massage therapist, Ilena Benjamin, acne. provides The Salt Grotto's clients with Owner Debbie Austerman purtreatments and services that will encourchased The Salt Grotto just over a year age relaxation and aid in healing. ago and is proud of the healing properFor more information, visit thesaltties her business offers. "We provide an grotto.com. You can book an appointall-natural treatment," Austerman said. ment online or call 324-8946.

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Volume 15, Issue 11

Local Theme Parks Provide Family-Friendly Holiday Fun During Christmas Season ‘Tis The Season For Christmas Town At Busch Gardens Tampa

The annual holiday tradition, Christmas Town™, returns to Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay with more than two million twinkling lights, festive treats, holiday entertainment and unique attractions, including the all-new addition of the beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The popular event takes place on 23 select dates from Friday, November 25 to Saturday, December 31, with fan-favorite entertainment and new twists: New this year is Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, located in the Celestial Crossing. Meet and take photos with Rudolph, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble. Play holiday games and indulge in Yuletide treats while scenes of the beloved story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer come to life. Enjoy Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola®. Guests can also expect the return of fan-favorite shows including Christmas on Ice, Carol of the Bells light show and the Holiday Hills Brass Band. Christmas Town is open until 10 p.m. on select dates and will close at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For New Year’s Eve, the event will remain open until 1 a.m. Christmas Town is included with any annual pass, Fun Card or daily admission to the park. Guests who purchase their 2017 Fun Card now can visit Busch Gardens for the remainder of 2016 for no additional cost, including the popular Christmas Town event.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party At The Magic Kingdom

Join Mickey for live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and an oh-so-jolly holiday parade at his very merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy fun, magic, cheer and enchantment for guests of every age. Held from 7 p.m.-12 Midnight at Magic Kingdom Park, this annual yuletide event will take place on November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27 and 29 and December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 22. Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto are dropping by dressed in their Christmas best. Peter Pan is flying in from Never Land, Alice and the White Rabbit are hurrying over from Wonderland and Woody and Jessie from Toy Story are galloping in for this holiday ho ho hoedown. Plus, Snow White and Dopey, Pinocchio, Jiminy

Cricket and many more surprise guests will be stopping by. This joyous performance is the perfect yuletide treat to share with your family. Your favorite characters will ring and sing in the holidays with carols old and new. You’ll witness the splendor of Cinderella Castle aglow with enchanting and ever-changing holiday illuminations. Feel the warmth and wonder of the season as this unforgettable performance is Christmas-wrapped up in one sensational, snowy, show-stopping finale. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a separate admission ticket. Prices vary depending on your chosen day to visit. For more info on prices and to purchase tickets, visit disneyworld.disney.go.com/events/mickeys-very-merrychristmas.

Celebrate The Holidays At Universal Studios Florida And Islands Of Adventure

Many people will never get to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, but can experience it here. Universal Studios Florida® comes alive during the holidays from December 3 to January 1 with balloons and floats beyond your imagination, marching bands, Santa, and seasonal sing-alongs for the little ones. The fun continues with Grinchmas™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, featuring the Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular. You can really get into the spirit by enjoying performances by Mannheim Steamroller on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. Join Barney™ and his friends for a magical musical show full of songs at "A Day In The Park With Barney™!" Located inside Universal Studios Florida ® . Grab your sunglasses and get ready to rock and roll. Jake and Elwood perform festive favorites like "Santa Claus is Coming To Town," "Blue Christmas," and more with snow on Delancey Street in

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

Universal Studios ® at the end of each show. For more information on holiday events, visit https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Holidays/Overview.aspx.

Sea World’s Christmas Celebration

The season meets the sea at SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration on select days from November 25 to December 31. At SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration™ carols fill the air, a sea of lighted trees sparkles over the lake in a wintery, watery wonderland, and worldfamous skaters twirl on ice. Enjoy stunning live shows, and delightful entertainment inspired by the natural world, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is where holiday memories are made. Stroll the lakeside Christmas Market and savor the cinnamon and spice holiday scents of delicious treats as you shop for unique, artisancrafted gifts. O Wondrous Night® is a 30minute show features puppetry and dance against the backdrop of traditional Christmas music that will charm, entertain and delight people from all walks of life. SeaWorld® invites you to experience the power and beauty of the Shamu family in a nighttime holiday show, Shamu® Christmas Miracles. New this year, you can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Rudolph leads the way to Christmas joy and holiday fun with allnew ways of making spirits bright. Christmas comes to life on a stage of ice, jewels and light as skaters dazzle and delight in this show-stopping, ice skating extravaganza in Winter Wonderland On Ice. The other stars of the show are the towering fountains of water dancing on the lake and fireworks that light up the night sky after the last ice show of the evening. Take a walk through a wintery, watery wonderland and immerse yourself in a sea of holiday trees. For more information, visit https://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworldorlando/christmas/.

ICE! At Gaylord Palms Features A Charlie Brown Christmas

New for 2016 is ICE! Featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz. Watch Charlie Brown rediscover the true meaning of Christmas as the beloved classic story unfolds through interactive ice sculptures and displays. Experience the Peanuts gang in iconic scenes such as their holiday play rehearsal, Snoopy’s decorated doghouse and Charlie Brown choosing the perfect Christmas tree. Everything is handcarved from two million pounds of ice. Other attractions include a walkthrough holiday attraction, kept at a chilly 9 degrees, four ice slides, The Frostbite

Factory (live carving zone) and a Nativity scene carved from crystal clear ice. Enjoy Alpine Rush Snow Tubing in the Alpine Village and zoom down an eight-lane tubing hill that's fun for all ages and is covered in real snow. Christmas in Orlando is fun for the entire family. Gaylord Palms Resort is located at 6000 W. Osceola Pkwy. in Kissimmee. ICE! will run Friday, November 18 through Sunday, January 1. For more info, visit www.marriott.com.

Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland

Bricktacular is Legoland’s annual holiday celebration. It returns to deck the halls with a 30-ft.-tall Christmas tree made of thousands of LEGO® and DUPLO® bricks, festive decorations, a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh, holiday-themed scavenger hunts with prizes, and opportunities to build with LEGO alongside Master Model Builders. Meet LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier during daily park appearances and end the evening with a not-so-silent-night fireworks spectacular set to classic Christmas melodies. Bricktacular will take place on December 17-18, 24-25, 26-30. Purchase tickets at www.legoland.com/florida/buy-tickets/admission-tickets/.

Florida Aquarium Holds Aqua Eve

Come celebrate New Year's Eve, Saturday, December 31, with a splash at The Florida Aquarium’s Aqua Eve. Enjoy fantastic live music, complimentary food, beer and wine along with a champagne toast - and the best view in town for an amazing fireworks display at midnight. The Florida Aquarium's Aqua Eve party is the premiere New Year's Eve party in Tampa to ring in 2017. Early Entrance is 8: 30-9 p.m. Main event runs from 9 p.m. -1 a.m. Ages 21 and over only; ID required. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.flaquarium.org/eventcalendar/Aqua-Eve.aspx or call 2734000.

Christmas in the Wild At Lowry Park Zoo

The traditions of Christmas will be abundant at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo this holiday season! Be immersed in a festival of lights shining brightly. Encounter amazing animals at night, enjoy Christmas carolers and live entertainment, and marvel at the skills of artisans. You can sample holiday treats and seasonal refreshments at the Christmas Lodge. Visit Santa, and have a merry and memorable evening at this magical holiday event in the unique setting of the Zoo at night. Enjoy Christmas in the Wild on November 25-25, December 2-3, 910, 16-23 and 26-30. Lowry Park will be open until 10 p.m. Zoo Members and Pay for A Day Ticket holders enjoy free and unlimited access to Christmas in the Wild. Visit www.lowryparkzoo.org/events/christmas-in-the-wild or call 935-8552.

November 2016

Valrico Edition

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Cougars Reach Playoffs As Local Teams Conclude 2016 Fall Football Season By Tamas Mondovics The first Friday of November marked the end of the 2016-2017 regular season for most Hillsborough County high school football teams. With the exception of high school football power houses such as Armwood and Plant, both of whom are continuing to lead the region as state title contenders, it is encouraging to see local teams pushing trough the season for a chance to appear in the playoffs. One of those local teams that had every reason to be optimistic of post

coach Max Warner, and enjoyed a much better season than the last one. East Bay posted a 2-4 district record, followed by Lennard and Riverview (1-5) and Spoto 0-4. Plant City had a chance, but ended the season at 4-2. The Brandon Eagles finished their conference at 2-3, while the Strawberry Crest Chargers winless season means that the program can only have one direction to go when they return next year. Perhaps the ups and downs of each season is what makes high school athletics exciting, as it promises no assurance of the season’s outcome. For more information

pointing 277 conference game loss to district champion, Tampa Bay Tech. The Cougars concluded the regular season with a 8-3 win against

Armwood Hawks, running back Erin Collins takes the handoff from QB Devin Black during a regular season game against Bloomingdale. The Hawks advanced to the playoffs with a 9-1, 5-0 record, only falling to Plant in game four.

King, a much needed boost ahead of the program’s first away playoff game of the season at East Lake during the region quarterfinals. While understandably disappointed—due to some uncharacteristic mistakes that led the disBloomingdale Bulls junior quarterback Tyler Hunter, focuses on a pass during a regular season game against trict title slip trough the Armwood. The Bulls had a much improved season with a Cougar’s fingers— 3-3 district record. Gottman was pleased season success is the Durant High with his team’s effort and overall attiSchool Cougars led by program head tude, which he expressed right from coach Mike Gottman who is in his 13th the start. year coaching the team. Sadly, aside from Durant, local Durant dominated the district by teams like Newsome, Bloomingdale, ending the Class 7A, District 9 regular East Bay, Riverview, Lennard, Spoto, season with an 8-2 overall and a 5-1 and Plant City, will have to wait until district record, which includes a seven- next year to share the Cougars sucgame winning streak prior to a disapcess.

The Newsome Wolves led by Kenneth Hiscock, worked hard, but managed just to break even, ending the season with a 3-3 district Plant City takes the field against East Bay during a 2016 fall regular season game. The Raiders pushed hard and ended the season with a 4-2 record. district record. The Bloomingdale Bulls (3-3) were led this year by newly hired program head

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November 2016

Get In Step To Help Joshuacord Raise Funds For Refugees

Staff Report

Christians will band together to support those in the Middle East being persecuted for their faith at the upcoming Freedom Run.

You can help support Joshuacord’s efforts to help refugees in the Middle East by stepping up to participate in its Fourth Annual Joshua 1:9 Freedom Run 5K. The event kicks off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 19 at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave. in Tampa. Families, children, serious runners, supporters and cheerleaders are encouraged to attend. There will be a separate start at 8:10 a.m. for walkers and strollers. Spirit FM (90.5 FM) will be onsite to promote the festivities. Joshuacord’s mission is to help those persecuted for their Christian faith, especially in the Middle East and Africa. Proceeds for the 5K will go to families and children who are living in refugee camps in the Middle East. Because of sponsor support, $5,700 was raised from last year’s run and 100% of it was donated to help these families. Monies raised from this year’s 5K will be donated to the same group as they still have many unmet needs. At the run, organizers will also be collecting baby blankets, gloves, and hats to ship to moms and families in refugee camps.

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Joshuacord Founder Patrick Carberry, through his military experience and work with the government, witnessed first-hand the lack of religious freedom due to Islamic extremism and put together Joshuacord to raise awareness. “As most of you have seen, there is more media attention on the urgent issue of Christians being persecuted in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Africa,” noted Carberry. He added that the goal is to get the community engaged, raise awareness and provide hope, prayers, financial and material aid to the Christians in those countries. The 5K Freedom Run is made possible through sponsors, the support of local churches and pastors and all those who participate on race day. “We are so appreciative for your prayers, time and support,” commented Carberry. Registration fee is $25 if completed by November 17 and $30 on race day. Active duty members pay $20. The one mile Fun Run/Walk is $15 preregistration. To register, visit http://www.active.com or download the registration form to mail from www.joshuacord.org/5k. This is a great opportunity for the Tampa community to come together and impact a crisis occurring to Christians in the Middle East. Joshuacord is a non-profit 501(c)(3) located at 3433 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Visit www.joshuacord.org or call 202643-8588 or on Facebook.

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Volume 15, Issue 11

Valrico Edition

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Osprey Observer 2016-11 Valrico  

Osprey Observer 2016-11 Valrico