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Two Sections, 36 Pages of Community News


on ur ad See o ge 19 Pa


October 2017 1 5




Volume 14, Issue 10 Ph: 657-2418





Enjoy Family Fun, Art, Music & More Veterans Memorial Park To Host Travelling Vietnam Memorial Wall This Fall At The Annual County Fair By Tamas Mondovics By Michelle Colesanti

This year’s Hillsborough County Fair, which runs Thursday-Sunday, October 19-22 and 26-29, promises to be a lot of fun for the entire family.

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

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Fall is in the air, and as the temperatures begin to slightly dip, it is time to get out and enjoy the season. The 2017 Hillsborough County Fair will again take place at the County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover from Thursday to Sunday, October 19-22 and October 26-29. There will be lot of fun for the entire family. Check out exhibits featuring arts, crafts, photography and fine arts, along with an interactive butterfly exhibit and a lot of horticultural displays. Local youth will show off their livestock in shows that will feature cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits. New this year will be the Youth Market Turkey Show and Sale where fairgoers can bid via silent auction on a market turkey raised by the youth exhibitors. Check out the STEM exhibits, featuring science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and demos for kids of all ages. Hometown Hillsborough will feature interactive educational and historic exhibits. Local entertainment will include Gospel Jams on Sundays from 2-5 p.m. Free shows daily include the racing

pigs, which will make you squeal in delight, a firefighter show and a circus. New competitive events include a ‘Back to Your Roots’ gardening project for schools and youth, a Wheelbarrow Decorating Contest, and a Robotics Competition in the Arts and Crafts divisions. The hours for the Fair will be Thursdays from 5-10 p.m., Fridays from 5-11 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.- 11 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Gate admission price is $7 for adults. Students K-12 will cost $5, seniors $4 and children under 5 and military with ID are free. Enjoy Dollar Days on both Thursdays, where the cost is $1 admission at the gate and most rides will be $1. Armband specials for the rides will cost $20 from Friday through Sunday. Special events will also be hosted at the arena costing $10 per event. If purchased in advance at one of the advanced ticket outlets, it also includes gate admission. A Rodeo will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 20 and 21. A Truck and Tractor Pull will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. and a Demo Derby will take place on Sunday, October 29 at 3 p.m. Visit

Photo By Tamas Mondovics Durant Cougars Varsity football kicker Kelly Kash (right) is joined by her friend Savanna Metts, during a recent non-conference game against Newsome. Kash managed to kick two field goals for her team, ending the Alafia River Rivalry with a 42-24 victory. Please see story and photos in this edition.

soring the opening ceremony is the result of a commemorative partnership between the Department of Defense for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, and the Colonel George Mercer Brooke Chapter, which holds two programs annually featuring Vietnam War Veterans discussing the war and those who served. “As the Chapter’s final tribute to the sacrifices made during that conflict, we are proud to sponsor the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall Exhibit at Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa,” Bassett said. United States Air Force, (former), Vietnam Prisoner of War, Captain Michael T. Burns, was selected as the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony. The event is a part of a number special events scheduled to take place at the park. Visitors reflect on the past at the three-quarterResidents were recently invited to scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans learn about the County’s proposal to Memorial. The Wall is scheduled to be on display next month at the Veterans Memorial Park, increase parking availability at the 3602 U.S. Highway 301 North in Tampa. park, the $450,000 project to create parking for an additional 70 to 90 vehiVeterans Memorial Park and Rear cles along with the addition of a secondAdmiral LeRoy Collins Jr. Veterans ary access point for use during special Museum is opening its doors to host the events is clearly a sound addition to the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall this fall. While the most-visited National Park Service site in Washington, D.C., millions of Americans have not seen it or will never see or experience the impact of "The Wall" in their lives. Sponsored by The Colonel George Mercer Brooke Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), opening ceremony for the display is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park, 3602 U.S. Highway 301 North in Tampa. The display stands eight feet high and 240 feet long. Its black, reflective surface is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam and will take its temporary, but rightful place at the park from Tuesday, October 26 – 29. According to Janice A. Bassett, spon-

Continued on Page 5

In This Issue GIFT OF HOPE ....................................PG 3 PUBLIC SAFETY...................................PG 7 HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES ....................PG 8 SEAFOOD FESTIVAL............................PG 9

EYE ON BUSINESS...........................PG 21 CHALKLINES....................................PG 23 SPORTS CONNECTION .............PGS 30‐31


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Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 10

October 2017

Page 3

Valrico Edition

Hurricane Irma Recovery Benefit Dinner Will Be Held At Horizon Christian Church

By Michelle Colesanti

The Women’s Ministry at Horizon Christian Church will hold a Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday, November 4 from 6-8 p.m. to help local families in need of ongoing assistance due to Hurricane Irma.

Members of Horizon Christian Church are serious about helping the community rebuild and return to normal in spite of Hurricane Irma. So many local people were impacted, especially with the flooding issues caused by the Alafia River rising, that many members of Horizon Christian Church have been out in the community doing the physical labor, but church members want to not only offer relief, but help residents rebuild their lives. Recently church members were out delivering and building sheds for families affected to use as storage and to keep. To keep the help coming, Horizon Christian Church will hold a Spaghetti dinner on Saturday, November 4 and invites everyone to attend and enjoy a delicious meal. It will be held from 6-8 p.m. and will be hosted by the Women’s

Ministry. In lieu of cost for the dinner, the Ministry is asking each family to bring a Wal-Mart gift card and a donated personal hygiene item. Dianne Klingler said, “Many families have been given food stamp assistance to help with replenishing food items; however they are still in need of soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene items and baby items such as diapers, wipes and formula. We are also collecting new toys for the children that have been affected and have lost everything.” One hundred per cent of what is received will go directly to the families that have expressed needs to the church. If you or someone that you know is in need of assistance, you can log onto and fill out the form. Both short and long term assistance will be provided to the members of the community. You can also visit the website to make a financial donation to support the church’s efforts. Horizon Christian Church is located at 1720 S. St. Cloud Ave. in Valrico. If you have any questions, please contact Chandra Christie at 966-5347. Services are offered either 9 or 10:30 a.m. Sunday mornings. Services are casual, the music is modern and the people are friendly. Horizon offers a full range of children and student services from the age of infant to high school. Visit or call 689-1457.




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Local Churches Give A Gift Of Hope To Hundreds Of Local Families

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the collection tent on the church property beginning Friday, November 24 from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. with the same hours on Saturday, November 25. The collection period continues through Saturday, December 16 with the weekly drop-off days and times of Last year, Deputy Parks and Deputy Boyer set up a ‘toy shop’ and Wednesday through assisted parents with finding the perfect Christmas gifts for their Friday 4-7 p.m. and children. Saturdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For For a list seven years, of requested the multidonations, visit church outthe Gift of reach known Hope website as Gift of Hope has provided a traditional Christmas meal and gifts to local families struggling to put food on their table. In collaboration with the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) of Brandon, local area churches collect food items, toys and monetary To participate, families must register at either ECHO or the Compassion House with photo identification, proof of residency and donations while social security card or birth certificate for each family member. ECHO registers and sets appointment times for families to at receive the donated items. Additionally, ECHO and the Compassion Melanie Langston is the volunteer House will accept donations during their and registration coordinator for Gift of regular business hours. If you would Hope and said, “We are looking to regisrather make a monetary donation, the ter 800 appointments, which will include option to purchase a turkey through toys for their children, a food bag and a PayPal is available online. gift card to provide the Christmas dinner A multitude of volunteers is needed but more importantly the hope of Jesus to execute an enterprise of this magniChrist.” tude. Beginning on Monday, November 6, For a three-day period, Gift of Hope those who wish to volunteer can register volunteers come together to distribute for an activity and time slot on the Gift of meal items and organize an area filled Hope website. Volunteers must be at with toys so that parents can ‘shop’ for least 14 years old. their children’s Christmas gifts. For families who wish to participate in The Gift of Hope distribution days are Gift of Hope, they must register for an Thursday, December 14 and Friday, appointment at ECHO, located at 507 N. December 15 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Parsons Ave. in Brandon or at the Saturday, December 16 from 9 a.m.-5 Compassion House, located at 206 N. p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Moon Ave. in Brandon. For more informaBrandon, located at 216 N. Parsons Ave. tion, contact Melanie Langston at 661First Baptist Church will also operate 3696 ext. 324 or at as a collection center for meal items or toys. Donations may be dropped off at

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Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

See History On Display At The 40th Annual Pioneer Heritage Day In Plant City

By Kathy L. Collins

Come out to as clogging by historic Plant City Strawberry on Saturday, Express Cloggers November 11 for and Sweet N the 40th Annual Southern Pioneer Heritage Cloggers, dancDay from 9 a.m. ing by Dance to 3 p.m. The day Connection, long, free festival singing by is held at the hisJonathan Davis toric 1914 Plant and other musical City High School performers. Photo by NRG Community Don’t miss the the live performance of NRG at Alumni from the 40th Annual Pioneer Heritage Day on Center (PCHTurkey Creek Saturday, November 11 in downtown Plant City. High School will SCC) located at 605 N. Collins St. in Plant City. share with the community their archive This is the 40th year of this festival collection of the school’s history. and this one will be momentous. “Mr. The Plant City Garden Club will host Henry Bradley Plant,” the gentleman their annual flower show. Guests will be entrepreneur railroad tycoon from invited to vote on their favorite design. Connecticut for whom Plant City was The East Hillsborough Art Guild will named, will arrive for the opening ceredemonstrate artists’ works in The monies in the East Hillsborough Historical Classroom Gallery. The Quintilla Geer Society’s 1931 Chevrolet car. Bruton Archives Center will host their Descendants of pioneering families who annual Bake Sale, and used genealogy have lived in Eastern Hillsborough County books will be for sale. for 100 or more years will be recognized “The Annual Pioneer Heritage Day is by the Centennial Certificate program. a great opportunity for our community to There will be food and craft vendors, come out and enjoy a free day of fun and pioneer exhibits and the display of homeentertainment, to visit the Pioneer made and historic quilts. There will also Museum, Archives Center and Model be live entertainment, bounce-houses, Train Layouts and reminisce and learn hay rides and face painting. about life in the early days of Plant City,” While at Pioneer Day, be sure to visit said Shelby Bender, Executive Director the 1914 PCHSCC Pioneer Heritage and President of the East Hillsborough Museum, the Henry B. Plant Railroad Historical Society. Historical Society’s model train layout, Application forms are available by museum exhibits and heritage demoncontacting the East Hillsborough strations. Live entertainment will include Historical Society at 757-9226 or visit NRG (Next Radical Generation) as well


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Valrico Edition

Veteran’s Memorial...Continued From Page 1 Park, a popular destinations that features several memorials and monuments, while hosting special events and ceremonies throughout the year. The County is also involved with the construction of an 8,000-square-foot Veterans Resource Center on the grounds, which will become the new home for the County’s Consumer and Veterans Services. Additionally, the Park will also host



By Tamas Mondovics

the upcoming Afghanistan Memorial dedication ceremony scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 2017, at 10 a.m. “The Veterans Park Committee is grateful for the success of its recent war memorial dedication ceremonies,” said Afghanistan Memorial Committee member Mark Goujon. For more information, please contact Hillsborough County Consumer and Veterans Services at 2463170.

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Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

ting, e e M e v i t Legisla merican Flute Native Aathering…. G , santi lle Cole e h ic M d by Compile ospreyobserve @ michelle

Hillsborough County Legislative Meeting

er request form is Friday, October 27 by 5 p.m.

Silverhawk Native American Flute Gathering And Arts And Craft Show

The Silverhawk Native American Flute Gathering and Arts and Craft Show will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Withlacoochee River Park located at 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd, in Dade City. Dock Green Silverhawk, long time resident of Plant City, will be hosting this 14th annual event. Come experience the hauntingly beautiful voice of the Native American style flute. Listen to non-stop music of incredible flute players, singers, story

Representative Jake Raburn, Vice Chairman of the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation, announced that the annual meeting will be held on Friday, November 3, at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, Grimes Family Agricultural Center, located at 2508 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City. The meeting will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. and will likely last until 3:30 p.m. The purpose of the meeting will be to hear from local governments and citizens on general issues and gain valuable insight from our constituents, organizations and officials. Citizens, officials, agencies and groups wishing to address the delegation about general issues or local bills will find the appropriate forms on the delegaPlant City resident Dock Green Silverhawk plays the tion website at flute. He organized the Silverhawk Native American The list Flute Gathering taking place October 21-22 at the will be created in the order that Withlacoochee River Park in Dade City. the requests are received. The tellers, and Sacred Thunder Drum. deadline for submitting local bills Sit at one of the picnic tables is Friday, October 20 by 5 p.m. and arranged under the trees as you eat the deadline for submitting the speakand enjoy the entertainment. Bring a

folding chair or blanket to sit on. This park sits in the middle of some of Florida’s beautiful wood lands. You can spend the weekend camping as you enjoy this unique event. This park and offers primitive all the way up to RV camping with facilities. Primitive camping is free. Motels are 15 minutes away in Dade City. Stay Saturday evening and join in on the ‘Friendship Fire.’ The park sits along the beautiful Withlacoochee River which has trails and an authentic 1800 settlement with log cabins, little church, general store, and school house. This cultural event is open to the public and is a family event with no drugs or alcohol allowed. Admission and parking is free. Pets welcome on a leash, but bring baggies to clean up after them. Visit or contact Silverhawk at 7632118 or

Low Cost Preventive Shot Clinic at Kim’s Natural Pet’s In Valrico

A low cost Shot Clinic will be held on Saturday, November 4 from 2-3 p.m. at Kim’s Natural Pet’s, located at 3110 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. For more information, call 684-3663.

Fall Fashion & Bling Show At LC's Cafe & Supper Club

LC's Cafe & Supper Club will hold a Fall Fashion & Bling Show featuring Ronnie's Wraps (one wrap-multiple outfits) and Premier Designs on

Sunday, October 22 from 5-7 p.m. at 1602 Oakfield Dr. #103 in Brandon. Hors d'oeuvres and champagne will be serviced. Tickets cost $10 each and you can purchase them at Half of ticket proceeds go to Hurricane Relief.

Fall Craft Festival At St. Andrew’s Church

St Andrew’s Church Fall Craft Festival, sponsored by the United Methodist Women, will be held on Saturday, October 28 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the corner of Brian Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. Enjoy shopping for the holidays at the vendor booths, and homemade bake goods for sale. Granny's attic will offer you a lot of barely used treasures and don't miss the Café for lunch. Vendors should call Mary Jane at 689-2572.

Fall Festival At Hawthorne Village Retirement Community

Bring the family to Hawthorne Village Retirement Community on Friday, October 27 from 6-8 enjoy fall fun. There will be face painting, a pumpkin carving contest, scavenger hunt, games, bounce house and pumpkin patch photos. Hawthorne Village of Brandon is located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For more information, please call 661-8998 or visit us at

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Page 7

Valrico Edition

By Tamas Mondovics

Florida Sees Tragic Increase In Fatal Pool Or Spa Drownings

By Tamas Mondovics

ings so far this year. Fall has Quoted in the begun and stuUSPSC news dents have gone release Ann Marie back to school Buerkle, Acting prompting parChairman, U.S. ents to focus on transportation Consumer Product and school safeSafety Commission said, “Each one of ty. The end of these deaths is a the summer tragedy, which vacation howevserves as a sobering er, does not reminder of how danmean the end of gerous water can be pool and spa for young children. drowning danger. Even though sumA recent Children are having fun at a local swimming mer is over and chilnews release by pool. As child drowning continues to make headlines, parents and caregivers are urged dren are back in the U.S. to be vigilant and take steps to stop prevent- school, pools are still Consumer able child pool and spa drownings. open in warm weathProduct Safety Commission (USPSC) posted some er states and indoor swim parks. I alarming data for the state of Florida for encourage all families to follow The Pool Safely Campaign and follow the child drowning this summer, drawing simple steps that save lives whenever attention to the continued need for parthey’re enjoying time in or near the ents to remain vigilant. water.” According to the USPSC’s Pool A few reminders, safety tips and Safely campaign, while the nationwide simple steps to keep children safer in summer 2017 child pool and spa is and around the water include: encouraging, there is still much work to • Install a four-sided fence with a be done to stop 100 percent preventaself-closing, self-latching gate around all ble child drowning. pools and spas. The release stated that media • Designate an adult Water reports collected by the USA Swimming Watcher to supervise children at all Foundation, showed at least 163 chiltimes around the water. dren under the age of 15 drowned in a • Learn how to swim and teach swimming pool or spa during summer your child how to swim. 2017 counting from Memorial Day to • Learn how to perform CPR on Labor Day, a nearly 30 percent children and adults. decrease from the 205 children who • Teach children to stay away from drowned in the same time period last pool drains, pipes and other openings to year. avoid entrapments. The report also showed that of the • Ensure any pool or spa you use 163 reports, 112 of the victims or nearly has drain covers that comply with feder70 percent, were children younger than al safety standards. If you do not know, age five. Unfortunately, Florida was especial- ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers. ly hard hit this season as 25 children The Pool Safely campaign was were victims of a fatal pool or spa drowning making it the No.1 state in the launched in 2010 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to nation. raise awareness about pool and spa The data means a more than 50 safety, as mandated by the Virginia percent increase from summer 2016 Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety when there were at least 14 child pool Act. and spa drownings. Visit to take In total, Florida has seen 41 mediareported fatal child pool and spa drown- the Pledge to help prevent drowning.

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Page 8

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 10

Local Halloween Activities Include Tricks, Treats & Dress Up Fun For Kids By Michelle Colesanti Be prepared to enjoy some frightening and not-so-frightening fun around town in October.

Fall Festival At Hawthorne Village Retirement Community Bring the

family to Hawthorne Village Retirement Community on Friday, October 27 from 6-8 enjoy fall fun. There will be face painting, a pumpkin carving

throughout the Aquarium. There will be family-friendly entertainment and a sea of candy in a safe setting. All Aquarium exhibits, including the new outdoor plaza Fin bar and Splash Pad, will be open. The cost is regular admission pricing for adults, kids (11 years and under) in costume are $10 for those not in costume, it is regular admission pricing. Kids 2 and under are free.

Pirate Water Taxi Presents River Of Frights

Stay close to your fearless captain on this journey to uncover the dark secrets hidden amongst the waterways of Tampa. Travel along the haunted passes filled with the sights and sounds of the betrayed and undead. Brave your way through unexYoungsters will enjoy dressing up at pected terrors lurking contest, scavenger the Florida Aquarium’s Guppyween on the river, including hunt, games, event on Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29 from 1-5 p.m. live, interactive enterbounce house and tainment. River of Frights is an intense pumpkin patch photos. adventure and chilling cruise experience! Hawthorne Village of Brandon is Book your tickets in advance to ensure located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in availability. Brandon. For more information, call 661This is a 40 minute cruise into the 8998 or visit unknown. It is recommended for adults and teens, but younger children may attend if parents choose to bring them Family Fun At Florida Aquarium’s (we recommend no kids under 10 and Guppyween kids 18 and younger need an adult with Visit the Florida Aquarium on them). You will experience intense audio, Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29 lighting, low visibility, strobe-lights, fog, from 1-5 p.m. for a spooktacular time at special effects and sudden actions. If you Guppyween, where kids can trick or treat

are sensitive to any of these elements, suffer from asthma, heart conditions, are prone to seizures or any type of medical problem, you are advised not to ride. The cost is $25 plus tax on Thursday and Sundays and $35 plus tax on Friday and Saturday. Boarding time takes place five to ten minutes prior to departing. Cruise times are 7, 8, 9 10 and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 7, 8 9 and 10 p.m. on

Thursday and Sunday nights. Additional boat times may be available based on demand. Cruises may be cancelled without notice due to weather or other cirPrepare for a river cumstances. of frights on the A Boarding Pirate Water Taxi on Photo will be availselect nights in October. able for purchase. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase on board. To purchase tickets, visit Email additional events to

October 2017

Page 9

Valrico Edition

Brandon ’86 Rotary Club Presents Annual Brandon Seafood Festival

By Kathy L. Collins

The Brandon ’86 Brandon ’86 Rotary Club and Rotary Club chair of the will hold its Seafood Festival. 26th Annual “This is our signaBrandon ture fundraising Seafood event that has Festival on raised money for Saturday, the needs of local November 4 charities for over from 11 a.m. 25 years,” added The Brandon ’86 Rotary Club to 3 p.m. at Adkinson. invites the community to come Rotary’s For those out an enjoy a day of food, fun Camp Florida and fellowship at its 26th Annual who wish to Brandon Seafood Festival on located at become sponSaturday, November 4. 1915 Camp sors, there are Florida Rd. in Brandon. The cost to attend many sponsorship levels starting at just is $20 per adult with an advance pur$100. In addition, area businesses can chase ticket or $25 per adult at the door. apply to be a vendor at the event. For For children ages 12 to 17, tickets are more information on becoming a sponsor $10. Children under 12 can get in for $1 or vendor, please contact Adkinson at or a donation of canned goods. The price or includes all you can eat and drink. call 765-9546. The Brandon Seafood Festival feaBrandon ’86 Rotary Club is a service tures southern fried fish, shrimp, hush organization that meets every Friday at 7 puppies, coleslaw, hamburgers and hot a.m. at the Rotary Event Center located dogs. In addition to the all you can eat at 3007 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon. buffet, families can enjoy a pie eating Guests are welcome to attend. “Rotary is contest, human foosball and more. A local about Friendship, Fellowship and DJ will provide music throughout the day. Community. We work together to solve All proceeds from the event benefit local community issues, provide humaniinternational and local charities including tarian aid and to promote goodwill and the Outreach Clinic, ECHO, Everyday peace. Rotary is comprised of local busiBlessings and Rotary’s Camp Florida. ness people who believe that mutual Last year, the Brandon ’86 Rotary Club service is the best way to create thriving was able to donate $9,000. businesses and societies,” said “Brandon ’86 Rotary Club has been Adkinson. working hard to make this a great event Tickets to the Brandon Seafood filled with fun and great food,” said Festival can be purchased at www.branMarlene Adkinson, president-elect of



Allen S. Carman Vanessa A. Bevington Michael J. Finegan FORMER ATTORNEY FOR A MAJOR AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY

















Page 10

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 10

Volunteers Needed To Advocate For Children Through Guardian ad Litem Program

Breakaway Express Brings Mobile Escape Room Brings Mystery To You

According to According to Garcia, Valrico resident Marilyn the volunteer time is Garcia, there are more spent talking to the chilthan 1,500 children in dren and people who foster care in know them including their Hillsborough County parents, teachers and currently. Many have foster families. GAL been removed from Volunteers then gather their families for reainformation related to the sons of abuse, neglect case from all their or abandonment. sources and go to court Guardian ad Litem of Hillsborough with the appointed attorGarcia and the County is looking for volunteers to Guardian ad Litem be voices for children in the foster ney to advocate for the care system. (GAL) organization are children as part of a team working to find volunteers who are willing of experts in each case. to be voices for these children. “GAL Volunteers do not need a speGAL, a program with groups all over cific background or any qualifications,” the country, started in Florida in 1985 and said Garcia who has lived in Valrico since is made of volunteers who 2002. “They just need a are appointed by the court to heart to love children and speak up for the best interest the ability to provide sound of children involved in judgment for what is best dependency court cases. for them.” “There are many people Currently there are involved in helping judges only703 volunteer determine the best solutions guardians in the county to for families, from case manhelp advocate for the thouagers to attorneys,” said sands of children who come Garcia, the Community through the system and Outreach Coordinator and only those deemed the Volunteer Recruiter for highest priorities receive Hillsborough County GAL. Guardian volunteers. “But GAL looks at the situation from the Garcia would love to see the number rise child’s perspective. We speak for the chil- so that 100 percent of the children can be dren who do not have a voice.” represented. GAL volunteers undergo 30 total “There is a whole community of brohours of training in different phases, ken children that need a voice in our including a preliminary face-to-face interneighborhood,” she said. view, and volunteer on average 10 to 15 For information, visit hours of time a month. or call 272-5110.

Whether you attention to detail in are planning a the room set up, team building theme and puzzles is event or a fun what sets them apart. evening with “We really want to friends, Valrico make our customers resident Eric feel like they are in a Matus and his scene from the partner Sherri D. 1920s,” said Matus. Keith have a “Our rooms are a 4-D, unique and conimmersive experience venient answer from start to finish.” Valrico resident Eric for you. They recommend Matus and his part- that groups are limited Matus and ner Sherri D. Keith Keith recently to six to eight people recently opened BreakAway opened at a time and the Express, a mobile rooms are not set up BreakAway escape room experience. Express, a for young children. mobile escape room offering two Players are given an hour to solve a 1920’s Underground Speakeasy series of themed puzzles using clues, themed rooms with an hour’s worth of hints and strategy to complete multientertainment that can be brought to ple objectives before time runs out. almost any home or office. Matus and Keith constantly monitor After working in the Escape Room players and offer hints and clues industry for some time, Matus came through television screens when up with the mobile concept to make it requested. easier and less stressful for customers Pricing for most experiences is to plan their events. $35 per person; however travel dis“It can be such a headache coordi- tance and number of players can be nating birthday parties and team build- taken into consideration for large ing events, especially figuring out trav- groups. BreakAway Express also sets el logistics,” said Matus. “So we make up at JF Kicks in Valrico on Friday it easy by bringing the fun to you.” evenings offering escape room sesThe climate controlled trailer is sions for $30 per player and each eight and a half ft. high and 34 ft. long customer receives a $5 drink and food and is the only escape room of its kind voucher. Follow BreakAway Express in Florida. But the mobile aspect isn’t on Facebook for scheduled dates. For the only thing that separates more information, visit www.breakBreakAway Express from other escape or call (863) rooms. Matus and Keith feel that their 579-1120.

By Kate Quesada

By Kate Quesada

October 2017

Page 11

Valrico Edition

Budget Blinds Brings Smart Home Technology To Riverview

By Amy Schechter

After two sucadjust when you get cessful careers in the home from work, or corporate world and the lights to come the sucon when cessful you’ll be realization away on a of a dream trip? This is to own a the technolobusiness gy for you. together, Not into techJim and nology? They Elaine have the winTrotter are dow coverexcited to ings to make announce your home the expanfunctional sion of and fashionBudget able. Budget Blinds Riverview Staff (l-r): Robert LaFarga, Blinds with Courtney Akers, Jim Trotter, Elaine Trotter, Sigrid May, & Whether Deon Gordon. their you’re lookRiverview showroom. Budget Blinds ing to upgrade your existing home or has offered professional service to the buy a new one, Budget Blinds can Tampa community for over 20 years, service your needs. Locally, they have and they are excited to make their partnered with Lennar homes where huge variety of stylish window treatBudget Blinds and Lutron are pre-intements including shutters, blinds, grating this smart home technology draperies, shades, window film, and throughout the Tampa Bay area in home accessories like rugs and bedtheir new construction. Trotter ding, convenient to the East explains, “It’s bringing brains to the Hillsborough community. beauty.” Through the end of 2017, Beyond what you may typically receive free app control with a purthink of when you imagine window chase of automated shades through treatments to bring style and comfort Lutron; this offer is good whether you to your home, Budget Blinds has purchase one or install throughout recently partnered with Lutron so that your house. Running through the end you can integrate your life with smart of November 2017, the more you buy, home technology of your choice, like the more you save on everything. Sonos, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Homeowners can save up to 35% off Homekit, to name a few. Elaine Trotter selected window coverings through explains why she and her husband their extensive selection of manufacvolunteered the Tampa franchise as turers. beta testers for this technology that Jim and Elaine both really believe has since rolled out to Budget Blinds in giving back, so you know when you franchises across the country: “With come to Budget Blinds, you are dealthe statistics we’re seeing, over 50% ing with neighbors who have your of consumers will have upgraded their interests in mind: “We feel strongly in homes to smart homes by 2025. We supporting the community that has wanted to be on the cutting edge of supported us. This will be our third that technology.” She and their team year we donate $1 for every window have extensive training and are covering sold for Homes for Our experts in this new field. They work Troops. We believe in this model daily with consumers to find exciting because they reward injured veterans solutions to make your space more mortgage free, specially adapted attractive, comfortable, private, and homes.” energy-efficient. All with the touch of a Visit button or a smart phone, you can con- or trol the lighting, thermostat, shades, call 540-0020. Budget Blinds Serving and even music throughout your Brandon is open Monday- Friday 10 home. Want the shades to spontaa.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 neously close when the sun becomes p.m.. Stop by the showroom in the intense during a certain time of the Lowe’s Plaza at 10437 Gibsonton Dr. day, the thermostat to automatically in Riverview.

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Page 12

Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Nativity’s 48th Annual Novemberfest Returns With Crowd Favorites And New Entertainment, Midway, Music & More Novemberfest is back for its fortyeighth year of fun and family festivities. The time-honored event takes place from Wednesday, November 15 through Sunday, November 19 at the Nativity Catholic Church. Every year Novemberfest draws close to 40,000 peoNovemberfest is a major fundraiser for Nativity With smiles and thumbs up, these children are enjoying ple as it transforms Catholic School and a long time tradition for the the perks of Midway’s unlimited ride armbands. the parish grounds Brandon community. into a carnival-like atmosphere featuring Wednesday night beginning at 7 The merriment continues with p.m., several youth groups will perform Midway rides, games, tents of tasty Midway’s unlimited ride armbands, on Center Stage to compete for the title treats and family-friendly entertainment. are available for purchase at the which of best band. Then on Thursday night at Nativity Catholic School’s new principal, event for $23 or online at $19. For 8 p.m., the band ‘Twist’ will debut as it Mary Myers, reflected on the school’s deeper savjoins this year’s musical acts. largest fundraiser. Nativity is pleased to announce “I am so impressed by the fellowthe return of the crowd favorite ‘Soul ship and shared responsibility that the Cowboys.’ The country rock Circus school and parish have demonstrated band will perform as Friday night’s together in appreciation and support for headliner at 8 p.m. our communities’ youth initiatives, which are the main benefactors of our Novemberfest event,” said Myers. Novemberfest is open Wednesday ings, you can purand Thursday from 4-10 p.m., Friday chase the unlimited ride armbands from 4 p.m.-12 Midnight, Saturday from for $17 and food tickets for $9 from 11 a.m. to 12 Midnight and Sunday from the Nativity Catholic School or 12 Noon to 8 p.m. As always, the Nativity Faith Formation students. On admission, parking and entertainment Myers also announced, “Customary Saturday night, the Plant City are all free. to our event, Novemberfest will honor all country singer Daniel Sprouse will take Brand-new to this year’s entertainour first responders, police and firefightCenter Stage at 8:30 p.m. ment is ‘Battle of the Bands.’ On

Relief from Pollen & Allergies

By Amanda Boston

ers on Thursday night and our military and Nativity Alumni on Sunday night by providing special discounts on armbands that provide free rides all day.” Nativity Catholic Church is located at 705 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. To purchase food tickets and ride armbands, visit Nativity’s website at Search Novemberfest on Facebook or visit the Nativity website.

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October 2017

Page 13

Valrico Edition

Sprouts Farmers Market Confirms Valrico Store Opening in Early 2018 It is official. Sprouts Farmers Market recently announced that it will open a new, nearly 30,000 sq.-ft. store in the longvacant, former Albertson’s location on the northeast corner of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave. in the first quarter of 2018. Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., known for its “healthy should be affordable” belief, opened its first store 15 years ago and specializes in fresh, natural and organic products at prices that are appealing to everyday shoppers, according to the company’s website. Sprouts’ shelves are filled with colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, barrels of wholesome grains, nuts and sweets, gourmet cheeses, meat, seafood, as well as crates of bulk food, vitamins, supplements and more, giving it an indoor farmers’ market-type atmosphere. Stores also feature a deli with freshly prepared foods, bakery, butcher shop, fish market and many organic and gluten-free options. Shoppers will also find more than 1,800 Sprouts Brand items which meet strict ingredient standards. The Valrico store will employ about

By Sharon Still

120 people, according to Sprouts Senior PR Specialist Kalia Pang and is one of 30 new Sprouts locations that will open across the country in 2018 and the fourth Sprouts location in Tampa Bay. Other locations are in south Tampa, Carrollwood and Palm Harbor. To learn more about job opportunities or to apply, visit or call 866-925-2396 for non-managerial roles. In addition to the Sprouts Farmers Market, redevelopment of the Albertson’s building by Woerner Equity Group will also include a 20,107-sq.-ft. PetSmart ( and a 3,555-sq.-ft. Orange Theory Fitness. While there are no details about PetSmart’s opening date, Orange Theory Fitness is offering preopening rates. Visit www.lithiavalrico.orangetheoryfitness .com or call 813-743-4683 for additional information. There also is an outparcel allowing up to 4,000 sq. ft. of building space in the plaza known as Valrico Landings. For parcel sales and development information, contact Gary Housman at 561-8353747, ext. 209 or visit

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Page 14

Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

Flea Market will be held Friday and Saturday, October 20 and 21 at 33527 Ranch Rd. in Dover (off Durant). Venders will sell antiques, vintage wares, refurbished furniture, jewelry, and unique treasures. , nti e Colesa ll e h ic Refreshments, coffee and bard by M m Compile becue will be available. @os michelle This is an old fashioned gathering under the oaks at the 10 acre Patterson Farm and is free to the public. Gates open promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Dinner e u g a e L e ervic Valrico S n, Parkinson’s & Auctio More… Support &

Brandon Regional Hospital Will Observe Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

GFWC Valrico Service League Harvest Dinner & Auction

On Sunday, ‘Let's make a October 15 from difference’ is the 6:30-7:30 goal of the p.m., Brandon GFWC Valrico Regional Service League, Hospital will hold Inc. (VSL) group its annual of ladies. The Pregnancy and main fundraiser Infant Loss The VSL, which makes a difference in the local for the year is Remembrance community, will hold its annual Harvest Dinner the Harvest & Auction on Sunday, November 5 at Center Dinner & Auction Ceremony in Place in Brandon. honor of the more on Sunday, than one million babies who die each November 5 at Center Place, 650 year from miscarriage and still birth. In a Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. symbolic show of support, participants will The last several years, VSL has light a candle to acknowledge their loss. partnered with the Campo YMCA by This year, Dr. Catherine Pitt, OBfunding swimming lessons for children GYN, as well as local parents, will speak whose families cannot afford lessons. at the event. The ceremony is free and "We think it's important that if you open to the public. live in Florida, you should know how to Brandon Regional Hospital is located swim" said President Karen Boraiko. at 119 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. The event Hands on activities of the group will take place at Adam’s Garden on the include educational activities at area north lawn of the hospital. Title I elementary schools and providing clothing and shoes for needy chilFriends And Flea Market dren, Bunco and bingo at area retireThe semi-annual fall Friends and ment homes and participating in Cards

for the Troops. Tickets for the dinner and auction are $30 and may be purchased at Center Place through October 28. The event, sponsored by Terry Fink State Farm Insurance, starts at 5:30 p.m. with catered dinner at 6 p.m. and live auction at 7 p.m. For more information, call Claudia Yake at 685-7998 or Sue Hadden at 685-6160.

Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

tion programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in the assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases.

Xi Theta Zi chapter of Beta Sigma Phi’s service project was collecting diapers The members and baby wipes for LifeCare of Brandon. of Xi Theta Xi A trunk load was delivered by Diane Wray and Peggy Frantz, where they chapter of Beta were greatly accepted and appreciated.

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly support group for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and caregivers on the third Thursday of every month. A variety of speakers will provide information on topics relating to swallowing, balance, walking, speaking, mobility, exercise, self-care, cognition, and memory, all of which can be impacted by Parkinson’s Disease. The next meeting will be held on October 19 at 2 p.m. The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilita-






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Sigma Phi kicked off the beginning of the new sorority year with a dinner hosted by the president, Janet Molen. A delicious variety of meats, side dishes and desserts were provided for all to enjoy. In addition to Janet, the new officers are Flo Ryan; Vice President, Linda Hiltz; Recording Secretary, Peggy Frantz; Corresponding Secretary and Ines Hertz; Treasurer. For more information about the sorority, contact Diane

The Neem Tree Is Topic At Riverview Garden Club’s November Meeting

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its business meeting on Wednesday, November 8 at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be Vickie Parsons on ‘The Neem Tree’. The club is located at the Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr. Call 654-6987 for more information.





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October 2017

Page 15

Valrico Edition

Study Proposes To Eliminate Left Turns On Bloomingdale Avenue


By Kathy L. Collins

If you live in the greater Brandon area, you need to be aware of a study being conducted by the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Planning Commission. It is called Brandon

would require drivers to make endless right turns and find places where they can make u-turns to get to their destination." It should be noted that in its Area residents who are concerned about a study current state, which proposes to eliminate all left turns and u- there are no turns on Bloomingdale Ave. from Lithia Pinecrest exceptions to the to Hwy. 301, gathered in Winthrop on Monday, no left turns. So, September 18 to get more information.

Lit hia ne Pi




e cr

HW 1 Corridor and Mixed-Use Centers Pilot Project. It is especially pertinent to those who travel on Bloomingdale Ave. (in either direction from Lithia Pinecrest Rd. to Hwy 301), Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Bryan Rd. and other area roads. This study includes several recommendations including one to remove median/center turn lanes on Bloomingdale Ave. and turn it into a reversible expressway during peak hours. Essentially, the study proposes to remove all left turns and u-turns on Bloomingdale Ave. Whether you are a resident, business owner or frequent visitor, this will have an impact on you, and it could be a negative impact. Many local business owners, including John and Kay Sullivan, Founders of Winthrop, are concerned about this study and the lack of community involvement in the process. The Sullivans have organized business leaders and residents in the community in an attempt to let the public know about the study and provide them with an opportunity to voice their opinion. They have established for residents to subscribe to and get updates on this issue. John Sullivan said at a recent gathering, "I became aware of the study and realized that not a lot of people were even aware of it. Closing off left turns is not good for any business along Bloomingdale Ave." Sullivan added, "This proposal is not going to help alleviate traffic problems. It will hurt and probably destroy businesses in the area. The plan

if a student is trying to get to Bloomingdale High School, they will not be allowed to make a left turn to get to school. Dr. Nancee Sorenson, President of HCC Brandon lived in Tucson, Arizona where a similar plan was implemented. Dr. Sorenson said, "It caused a lot of confusion with drivers and there were many accidents and near misses. It was a relief when they finally got rid of it. I firmly believe that implementation of this would be detrimental to the area." You can review the entire study at You will find the study under New-Technical Memo 8Mobilty_Options Improvement Evaluation. Residents are urged to review it and contact the County Commissioners and voice their opinion on the plan. There are several public meetings scheduled. The public can attend and get questions answered and voice their opinion on the subject. These include a Brandon Community Engagement Meeting on Monday, October 30 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at The Regent located at 6437 Watson Rd., Room 101 in Riverview. The staff of the Planning Commission and MPO will made a presentation and then take questions and answers. In addition, there will be a meeting on Monday, December 11 from 2-5 p.m. at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd.,18th floor, Planning Commission Board Room in downtown Tampa. You can also provide your comment by visiting

Melissa L Haskins Financial Advisor

Checklist for Helping You Choose a Financial Professional

For reasons likely to remain obscure, October 30 is Checklist Day. But while the origins of this observance may be a mystery, the value of checklists is clear: They help us organize our time and break large jobs into manageable steps. You can use a checklist for just about any significant endeavor – including the task of choosing a financial professional to help you achieve your important goals. Here’s what such a checklist might look like: __Find someone with the proper credentials. Make sure a prospective financial professional has the appropriate securities registrations. __Find someone who has worked with people like you. You’ll want to seek out a financial professional who has experience working with people in circumstances similar to yours – that is, people of your financial status and with essentially the same goals and attitudes toward investing. __Find someone who will communicate with you regularly. During the course of your relationship with a financial professional, you will have many questions: Are my investments performing as they should? Should I change my investment mix? Am I still on track to meet my long-term goals? Plus, you will have changes in your life – new children, new jobs, new activities – that will affect your financial picture and that need to be communicated to your financial professional. Consequently, you need to be sure that whomever you work with is easy to reach and will be in regular contact with you. Many financial professionals meet with their clients at least once a year to discuss the clients’ portfolios and recommend changes, as needed, and also make themselves available, through phone calls and email, for any questions or concerns their clients may have. __Find someone who will honor your preferences. Some financial professionals follow certain philosophies. For example,

you might find one advisor who tends to favor aggressive investing, while another one might be more conservative. There’s nothing wrong with either approach, but you’ll want to be sure that your preferences take precedence in all recommendations and guidance you receive from a financial professional. And many professionals won’t express any of their own preferences at all, but will instead follow a course of action based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. __Find someone connected to other professionals. Your investment plans don’t exist in a vacuum. Over time, you will likely need to integrate elements of your investment strategy with your tax and estate planning strategies. When this happens, you may find it advantageous to have a financial professional who can work with tax and legal professionals to help you meet all your needs in these areas. __Find someone whose compensation structure is acceptable to you. Financial professionals get paid in different ways – through fees, commissions or a combination of both. Which method is best for you, as an investor? There’s no one “right” answer – but you will certainly want to understand exactly how your financial professional will get paid and how this pay structure will affect your interactions with him or her. You may find this checklist to be useful when you interview financial professionals. Take your time and make sure you’re confident about your ultimate choice. After all, you’re hiring someone to help you reach your key goals, such as a comfortable retirement, so you’ll want to get the right person on your side. 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 16

Valrico Edition

all F , s e l a S t Nu re… o M & s l Festiva

Bay Life’s annual Fall Fest with HALOween on Sunday, October 29 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The community-wide festival will feature acres of free games, gigantic bounce houses, candy, delicious lesanti, o C e popcorn, sno-cones, cotton ll e h d by Mic e il p m candy and fun-filled activities o e C obs @osprey e ll e h for all ages. ic m Guests of all ages can take a trolley ride around the campus for its sixth annual HALOween presenting all-new stories and characters. HALOween helps light up the shadows Holiday Craft Bazaar Seeks Crafters through hilarious stories and shows how And Artists God's promises can replace fears. Crafters and artists are being sought Bay Life is located at 1017 Kingsway by Grace United Methodist Church at Rd. in Brandon. Reservations for FishHawk for a Holiday Craft Bazaar HALOween will open up online on on Saturday, November 11. The event, Sunday, October 22 at from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., is sponsored by the For more information, Women of Grace. The church is visit the Bay Life website or call the located at 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in church at 661-3696. Lithia. The fee for a 10 x 10-ft. space is $25, United Methodist Women 47th which will support missions in the comAnnual Pecan Sale munity. The bazaar will be outdoors, and Pecans are available to order vendors will need through to provide their Wednesday, own tent, table November 1. A and chairs. There five pound box of is no admission mammoth halves fee for shoppers. or pieces costs The deadline $45. A one pound for reserving a bag of mammoth booth is Sunday, halves is $10. October Specialty items 15. Visit, or contact event organizer Susan Ferraro at or 361-1724.

Bay Life Church To Host Its Annual Fall Fest With HALOween You and your family are invited to

are also available: chocolate amaretto pecans for $18; praline pecans for $16, and an assortment including pralines, chocolate amaretto and roasted salted peanuts for $20. To order call Mary Baker at 6434493, email or

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visit to order and pay by credit card. Checks payable to UMW can be mailed to P.O. Box 546, Lithia, FL 33547. Only pre-paid pecans are reserved. Others sold on a first come-first served basis. Pick-up is at New Hope United Methodist Church, 121 N. Knights Ave. in Brandon on Saturday, November 11 and Monday, November 13 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The fundraiser benefits local missions such as Family Promise, Cornerstone Ministries and the Women’s Resource Center.

Annual Fall Festival At New Hope UMC

On Sunday, October 29 from 5-7 p.m., New Hope United Methodist Church, 121 N. Knights Ave. in Brandon, will hold its annual Fall Festival. This is a great event for all ages with trunks filled with candy plus free hot dogs, inflatables and free family fun. Follow along the maze of decorated trunks for a safe, fun-filled alternative to Trick-or-Treating. Kids should wear their non-scary costume and invite their friends. Email Shelly Wilson at or visit

Nativity’s 34th Annual Nut Sale

The ladies of St. Francis Circle at

Volume 14, Issue 10

Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon are offering nuts for your holiday baking and gifting, which will be available before Thanksgiving. All prices are per pound: Pecan halves or pieces $9.50, Chocolate Amaretto Pecans, Dark Chocolate covered Pecans, White Chocolate covered Pecans $10, Roasted Salted Cashews $10.00, Pistachios in the shell) $9.50, English Walnuts $8. To order now through Thursday, November 2, call Flo 654-8941 or Janet 655-5506.

Fierce Freedom

Fierce Freedom is taking a deep dive with you so you can step away from fear and what holds you back and open the door to your freedom - the freedom that God intends for his children, the freedom and purpose that God intends for you. Erika Black and Sandy Lee will be the workshop teachers. It will take place Friday, October 20 from 6:30-9 p.m. and Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and will take place at Technology Win, 3439 Brook Crossing Dr. in Brandon. The $20 registration includes materials and lunch on Saturday. Visit to register.

October 2017

Book , n u F l l a Family F Tournament Sale, Golf ore… & MMichelle Colesanti, d by m Compile s o @ michelle

Bloomingdale Library Book Sale

Friends of the Bloomingdale Regional Library will hold a fall book sale on Saturday, November 4 from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. The money raised from the donated books directly funds the Life Story Writing classes and other Bloomingdale Writer’s Connection (BWC) programs at the library. The 2018 ‘Book-A-Day’ calendars will be available at the book sale at $7 each and make good holiday gifts. Bloomingdale Regional Library is located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

First Baptist Brandon Christian Academy Will Hold Soaring Eagle Challenge Walk-A-Thon

On Thursday, November 9, First Baptist Brandon Christian Academy will hold its first Soaring Eagle Challenge Walk-A-Thon at 9:30 a.m. Grades Pre K2 through 8th grade will participate with a goal to raise $15,000 for the school’s technology needs. The Academy seeks local businesses to partner as a sponsor. There are

three levels of sponsorship: Event Sponsor $200, Prize Sponsor $150 and General Sponsor $50. Sponsors name and logo will appear on all event t-shirts, Sponsor banner, school’s social media sites and the newsletter. The school is located at 216 N. Parsons Ave. If you wish to partner or need more information, please contact Frances Brankley at 689-9435. The Academy is a self-supporting, non-profit organization of the First Baptist Church of Brandon. It is dually accredited by ACSI and AdvancEd. Visit

Dennis Akers Memorial Golf Tournament For Prostate Cancer

This golf tournament will be held on Saturday, November 4 with an 8 a.m. shotgun start at the Apollo Beach Golf and Sea Club. The cost is $60 per player and includes golf, hot lunch (with dessert), closest to the pin, and longest drive. If you would like to participate as a golfer or become a contributor or sponsor, please contact Pam Spencer at 7276377 or pick up a sign up sheet at the Apollo Beach golf pro shop.

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On Monday, November 6 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., bring your families to discover the lives of settlers in rural Florida before the turn of the 20th century through hands-on activities that would have been familiar to a child growing up in a Florida farming community over 100 years ago. Historically dressed interpreters will lead each activity discussing its historical significance. Homeschool Day activities are designed to capture the interests of students of all ages. Groups can tour at their own pace and choose their level of participation. Cracker Country is Tampa’s only living history museum and is located on the Florida State Fairgrounds. It was founded with the purpose of preserving Florida’s rural heritage in 1978 by Mildred W. & Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. The museum holds a collection of 13 original buildings dating from 1870-1912 which were relocated from across the state of Florida. Buildings range from public buildings like the Terry Store and Okahumpka Train Depot, to private buildings like the Carlton and Smith homes. Today, the historically furnished buildings recreate the lifestyles of the past, and costumed interpreters portray daily living as Florida pioneers. Tickets cost $8 per person 4 years old and up, children 3 years old and younger will be admitted for free. Advance ticket purchase recommended. Enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Rd. Service Entrance for free parking.


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the person with the diagnosis and their family. This three-part series, which will take place on Tuesday, October 31, and November 7 and Friday, November 17 from 10 a.m.-12 Noon, is geared for people with early stage Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia and their care partner. Kim Schaub, Program Specialist with the Alzheimer's Association, will lead a discussion on what you need to know, what you need to plan and what you can do to navigate this chapter of your life. During this program topics covered with include: Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss; Partnering with your medical team; Effective communication and telling others about the diagnosis; Coping with changes and making decisions; Daily strategies and safety issues; Opportunities for supporting research; and Resources for people with early-stage dementia. The Living with Alzheimer’s Educational Series will be held at The Bridges Retirement Community, located



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Page 17

Valrico Edition

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Valrico Edition

Local Painter Celebrates 15 Years; Offers Free Paint Job To Local First Responder Don’s Bay Area Painting Inc. recently announced that it will paint the exterior of a local hero’s home for free as a token of appreciation for their service and commitment. The local-based company needs your help to identify which hero in our community will receive the recognition and the free house painting. It was 15 years ago this November when Don Murray set out to follow his dream to be a professional painter. Murray said, “Our community is full of people that have committed their lives to serving our country and our community. We want to do our part and give back to those that have given so much.” It was the sacrifice of our hometown heroes who gave up their dreams that gave local painters like Murray and other small business owners the chance to follow their dreams. Painting a home in Florida is not only for curb appeal to get a home ready to sell. Murray explained that homes in Florida are most susceptible to costly repairs due to weather, insect and other damage, which can be avoided by properly maintaining the exterior of the home. Too often, Tampa homeowners fail to repair stucco cracks, seal joint cracks or

By Scott Michie

replace wood rot. Painting a home by a licensed painting contractor not only keeps your home looking fresh, but ensures that these common issues are fixed before they cause costly damage to the home. For a veteran or a retired first responder with a fixed retirement income, the expense to properly maintain a home in Florida can become too costly. Murray believes there is someone in the community that has a need without the means. He wants to use his painting company to meet the

need. To apply visit from veterans of U.S. armed forces, retired first responders such as police officers, firefighters and paramedics and their widows in order to be considered for the free exterior house repaint giveaway. The paint will be donated by Porter Paints. The deadline to submit an entry is 11:59 pm EST on December 31 and the winner will be announced on January 15, 2018. Murray said heroes who qualify, but are not the officially selected hero, will be eligible to receive a discount to repaint their house.

Volume 14, Issue 10

Beginning October 7th

October 2017

Page 19

Valrico Edition

County Hosts Opioid Crisis Summit After 197 Fatal Overdoses Logged In 2016

By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough propose major legislaCounty officials tion during the upcomwelcomed meming session and more bers of the medthan $50 million as part ical, mental health of his 2018-2019 recand law enforceommended budget to ment community combat opioid abuse in Florida. during a recent The proposed legissummit entitled lation will include plac“The State of the ing a three-day limit on Opioid Crisis in prescribed opioids, Hillsborough Hillsborough County Commissioner strict conditions unless County.’’ Sandra Murman addresses her audience during the 2017 Hillsborough County are met for a seven-day The summit Opioid Crisis Summit. supply. The legislation was held at will also require all healthcare professionTPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N. 50th St. in Tampa, organized by Suncoast als that prescribe or dispense medication to participate in the Florida Prescription Community Health Centers and included Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide panel discussions with the Hillsborough database that monitors controlled subCounty State Attorney’s Office, the stance prescriptions. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Scott said that additional reforms to the Hillsborough County Medical fight unlicensed pain management clinics, Examiner’s Office. require continuing education courses on Hillsborough County Commissioner responsibly prescribing opioids and creatSandra Murman played a major role in ing new opportunities for federal grant bringing the event to the community, focusing on opioid overdoses in the coun- funding are in the works. Scott’s proposed investment of more ty which, according to local officials began to spike in late 2014. In 2016, the majority than $50 million is said to include funding for substance abuse treatment, counselof the county’s 197 fatal drug overdoses ing and recovery services, and the Florida involved opioid use, County officials said. Violent Crime and Drug Control Council. As recorded by the Hillsborough Attorney General Pam Bondi said, County Medical Examiner an increasing “We are in the midst of a national opioid number of fatal overdoses involve heroin crisis claiming lives in Florida, and we and fentanyl. From January 1 through must do everything we can to stop drug July 31 of 2017 there were reportedly 35 abuse and save lives.” deaths associated with fentanyl. For more information about While the effort to address the problem reached Hillsborough County, Florida Hillsborough County please visit Gov. Rick Scott also announced plans to

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Page 20

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 10

InThis Section


CHALKLINES....................................PG 23 FATHER DAUGHTER BALL................PG 27 KIDS THEATER WORKSHOP.............PG 29 SPORTS CONNECTION .............PGS 30‐31 October 2017

Volume 14, Issue 10

Ph: 657-2418

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 34

Ribbon Cutting For G. Fried Celebrates New Location

G. Fried Flooring America celebrated its new location at 231 Brandon Town Center Dr. (near Target). The new 5,700 sq. ft. showroom displays many carpets, tiles, hardwoods, luxury vinyl tiles and laminates A ribbon cutting was recently held to celebrate G.Fried offered by the company. Flooring America’s new location at 231 Brandon Town Photo courtesy of Ed Booth, Huth and Booth Photography Kraftologee celebrated its Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting Center Dr. "We always offer event. installation on all the returned from heading up culinary products we sell, "said G. Fried with which to color and draw while tours in Sicily and the Amalfi Coast On a recently Tasty Suitcase culinary Cinzia tour, Judy White enjoys cooking with Flooring America. “We have both certi- with exciting plans for expanded over a adults can enjoy a glass of fine wine, Chef Antonino Aiello of Quanto Basta fied sales professionals and certified pint of local beer or a mug of made-toCooking School in Sorrento, Italy. gourmet culinary exploration opportunities at installation crews." meal every order coffee. Should hunger strike, Tasty Venues. During the Grand Opening celeSaturday evening at 6 p.m. where you crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-theOn the recent Tasty Suitcase culibration, HGTV Design Star winner can share your foodie or travel experiinside Panini sandwiches can be nary tour, travel participants enjoyed Jennifer Bertrand was at the store for ences, discuss current food-related pressed, filled up with grilled chicken deluxe accommodations, historic sites an exclusive VIP reception. topics, and connect with like-minded and pesto or house-made meatballs and architecture, gorgeous views, Starting on Friday, September 8 at farms and markets, Michelin-starred members of the community in a conand fresh mozzarella. the store’s grand opening event and vivial atmosphere. Whether you have kids or not restaurants and cooking classes. running through Tuesday, October 31, Call 381-4999. Visit on Facebook Kraftologee welcomes everyone. At Tasty Venues, located at 951 E. a portion of all sales will be donated to Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, you can at Tasty Venues or at www.mytastyvLocated at 10312 Bloomingdale Ave., the Ronald McDonald House Charities now enjoy brunch on Saturday, which Ste. 101 in Riverview, it is open of Tampa Bay, Inc. Tuesday to Friday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m., has joined the popular Sunday Call 642-3675 or visit Adults And Kids Enjoy Kraftologee Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Brunch. Both days take place from 11 Sunday from 12 Noon-8 p.m. Kraftologee has created a unique a.m.-2 p.m. Call 252-3106 or visit space where the little ones can skip Cooking classes are held every Tasty Venues Launches New and on back to the supervised play area to Thursday and Friday evening at 6 p.m. Culinary Experiences Facebook. build LEGO models, play with cars or Dinner with the Chef is an extraorChef Cinzia Cripe recently dolls, or grab a rainbow of crayons dinary opportunity to engage with Chef

Continued on Next Page

Page 22

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 10

An open house will be held on ing child to help him/her grow academSaturday, October 28 from 12 Noon ically. The benefits of working with one 3 p.m. Feel free to bring your student at a time By Michelle Colesanti pets and have some fun. are profound: I can Eddie Bull’s is an edible dessert Adoptions will be available determine what that will satisfy your cravings for raw through St. Francis Society method of learning cookie dough. The cookie dough is Animal Rescue. works best for them edible as it is created with pasteurized Bostick’s plan to open and tailor my eggs and heat treated flour. At Eddie Poochie's Pet Hotel has instruction towards been in the works for many those concepts that years. She wanted to proare both relevant vide the best quality care and interesting to and wanted to offer her clients peace their everyday lives.” of mind when leaving their furry Adkins has 12 years experience friends. as an elementary teacher in the The hotel is situated on her propHillsborough County schools. She erty, located at 2405 holds a Masters Crosby Rd. in Valrico, Degree in Education so you may rest Curriculum and assured your pet will Instruction and a be monitored day and Bachelors Degree in night. Psychology. The T Marie’s Valrico Sunday Bostick has always Contact Adkins at Market begins its new season on October 22. had a passion for ani956-6895 or mals. In the past, Bull’s you’ll enjoy cookie dough Bostick has worked served, scooped, and topped just like Masquerade Charity with several local resan ice cream sundae. Ball Will Benefit cue groups. Since the restaurant will be locatTeens In Foster Throughout the years ed within Collins Produce, Eddie Bull’s Care she has been known will continue to serve ice cream, milkfor nursing sick aniFred Astaire shakes, strawberry shortcakes and a mals back to health Dance Studio of variety of lunch specials. and placing them into Brandon is reaching Collins Produce, Eddie Bull’s and their forever homes. out to teens in foster YoYo Juice have the She has also rescued care this Halloween. same owners. That several animals from The ballroom dance means you can get your known kill shelters. studio is partnering favorite no-added sugar However, her passion with local non-profit Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s smoothies and a fresh is not limited to the res- Masquerade Charity Ball on Friday, Grow Into You ‘Just Juice’ at a second October 27 from 8-10 p.m. is open Foundation for a cue of domesticated to the public and will benefit Grow location. animals; she has most glamorous Into You Foundation. You can pick up and recently rescued severMasquerade Charity take home pre-packaged al farm animals from horrible condiBall. This fundraising event will take dough to eat whenever tions. place Friday, October 27 from 8-10 you like at several Tampa Bay area For more information or to reserve p.m. at the Brandon studio, and is locations. space now or for the upcoming holiopen to the community. Soon you will be able to order days, call 526-2857 or email Attendees may dress for the occaat Visit sion to enjoy an evening of dancing, and have it shipped to your door. It is including a group dance class, general also available in party-size tubs or dancing, pro ballroom demonstrations, have their ‘scoopers’ Elementary School Tutoring spotlight dances and a very special come to your Offered performance by four teens in foster event with the Local care. These teens have been working dough and your resident with Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s certifavorite topJacqueline fied instructors to showcase an unforpings. Adkins is gettable routine. Tickets for the now offering Masquerade are $25 per person. In Your Animal’s elementary addition to a night of dance there is a Care Is tutoring serv- catered menu, multiple prize drawings Priority At ices for and additional opportunities to sponsor New Pet grades K-6. teens in foster care. Hotel Adkins For more information about the Poochie's Pet Hotel, located said, “I would Masquerade, or on how to sponsor in Valrico, is owned and operated love the these wonderful teens, please contact by longtime resident Melissa Jacqueline Adkins is offering ele- opportunity Fred Astaire Dance Studio Brandon Bostick. Poochie's Pet Hotel mentary tutoring services locally. to work with at 438-5963, or visit offers dog boarding, pet boarding your and doggy daycare.

Business Column Continued............. Return Of The Valrico Sunday Market

The Valrico Sunday Market outside of TMarie’s will begin again on October 22 from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. The seasonal market under the grandfather oaks returns as a weekly event that offers fun in the sun, shopping and serves as a gathering place families and friends to bond, mingle and buy local. Fifty artisans are expected to showcase jewelry, wood works, glass, candles, flowers, baked goods, kid’s gifts, knife sharpening and more. There is a food court with live music. The Sunday Market is located at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. (just south of Bloomingdale Ave.) For more information, call 5300922 or visit

Get Latest Styles And Trends At Pk Barber & Salon

Pk Barber & Salon is a full service hair salon where families come and get all their hair services done in a relaxing atmosphere. It services men, women, children and seniors with all types of hair service ranging from a simple blowout to a sophisticated hair cut or a transformation color that you desire. Some of the stylists have over 20 years professional experience to fulfill all your needs, from a simple hair cut to highlights, a trendy ombre' or balayage color transformation. Pk Barber & Salon offers top quality service at an affordable price. There is special pricing for senior, military and first responders. It is located by the Neighborhood Walmart Market and behind Kauffman Tire on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Lumsden Rd. For more information or to make an appointment, call 643-3888. Visit

Mooooove Over Ice Cream, Eddie Bull’s Is Moving In

Scott and Rose Laviano, along with their son, Scottie, announce the opening of Eddie Bull’s Cookie Dough, located at 2810 SR-60 E. in Valrico.

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October 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 23

Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

Valrico Area Schools Readjust Post Hurricane Irma & Free Lunch Offered Through October 20 District Provides Free School LunchTo All Students Until October 20

Hillsborough County Public Schools officials have announced a plan to provide free school lunch through October 20, to all students regardless of their eligibility status. The temporary change spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is to make it easier for school districts affected by Hurricane Irma to feed students. The initiative is said to potentially impact more than 1,800 schools and 1.4 million children across Florida. According to officials the HCPS’s Student Nutrition Services team provided 34,000 meals per day to evacuees at more than 40 of its schools serving as shelters during Hurricane Irma. More than 29,000 of our neighbors sought shelter in one of our schools. In a recent press release school officials emphasized that as many families lost power during the storm access to hot meals for a period of time was limited. Shortages of certain food products across the state also added to the already challenging situation. “The free school lunches, in addition to the free breakfast, which is already in place for all children, will ensure students have healthy, nutritious meals during this time of need,” wrote Tanya Arja in a release.

Students will only need to enter their student ID number after getting their meal in the lunch line. For more information, visit

dents) to make up for missed time is changing early release days. Hillsborough County Public Schools annually build additional instructional time District To Use into its calendar Early Release each year. Days For Makeup According to With years of experience under her belt, Time After Hillsborough County Public Schools principal HCPS Cindy Guy has been appointed to take the helm spokesperson Hurricane Irma at Gibsonton Elementary School. Tanya Arja, Early Hillsborough Release Days provide valuable planning County Public School officials have decidtime for teachers, and wrote in a press ed to convert four Early Release Days that, “This option was coordinatreleases into regular school days, beginning on ed with the Hillsborough Classroom Monday, October 23, to make up for Teachers Association, to make sure it missed classroom time due to Hurricane would preserve other teacher work days Irma. and vacation days, while also allowing Officials said that instead of dismissour students to get the class time they ing an hour early, schools will dismiss at need.” normal time on the following dates: For more information, visit Monday, October 23, October 30, November 6 and November 13, which they said will allow students at all grade levels to meet the state’s requirements for HCPS Holds Bell Schedule Meetings time spent in class during the first semesHurricane Irma prompted a number ter. of meetings to be rescheduled including To finalize its decision the district sent the School Board meeting originally a survey directed to employees and famischeduled for Tuesday, September 12, lies for feedback, which proved that the which was rescheduled to Tuesday, most popular option (78% of responSeptember 19.

Due to this change, the district has also rescheduled its town hall style public meetings in connection with the 2018-2019 Bell Schedule. The two meetings were held on Thursday, September 21, at the Riverview High School cafeteria, 11311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview and on Tuesday, September 26, at Jefferson High School media center, 4401 Cypress St., in Tampa. According to the district, thousands of students arrive late to school because the current arrival and dismissal schedule does not allow buses enough time to run their routes. HCPS reported that last year, 12,000 students were late to school every day. School officials also extended the new bell schedule survey to gather input from parents, students, district employees and the community through the end of the month of September. Nearly 30,000 people have reportedly shared their thoughts using the survey. The School Board is said to vote on a final bell schedule on Tuesday, October 17, which according to HCPS will give families nearly a year to make needed adjustments to their schedules. Visit

Page 24

Valrico Edition

The Rolling Pin of Brandon Shares Business Expertise With Retailers In Las Vegas

By Joyce Bliss

Dave West ables as well as partand wife Karen nering with local manuare the owners of facturers were areas Brandon’s wellthat West was able to known Rolling Pin delve into. A question Kitchen and answer from the Emporium. “We audience was held with have been here discussions including since 1995”, he successes and failures, noted. along with “how-to and [Dave] West where-to go” queswas chosen, tions. The event lasted along with Mary about 90 minutes and Dave West, owner of Brandon’s Rolling Moore from the was well attended. Pin Kitchen Emporium was recently Cook’s “It was an honor invited to share his expertise as a successful retailer of consumables. Warehouse in to be chosen to speak Atlanta, by the Gourmet Retailer and share our success, thoughts and Magazine to speak at the Las Vegas vision for this topic in the gourmet speMarket. cialty retailer world”, West commented. “Taking a Bigger Bite” was the subWest has been a chef for 15 years. ject of the discussion and forum inviting He earned his degree at the French him to give his views from an independCulinary Institute where he won the ent retailer’s position regarding the conJacques Pepin Award and received a sumables market. Grand Diploma. West said, “The event was presented West commented that, “We have by Anna Wolfe, Editor and Chief of some guests who consider us one of the Gourmet Retailer.” The event was hostbest places to eat in Brandon”. ed by the Las Vegas Home and Some of the specialty food items Housewares Market. He was selected that are carried in the store include due to his focus on consumables within jams, jellies, sauces and mixes. He and his venues. The lifetime and warranty of his wife Karen also carry a variety of hard goods at one time held most of cheeses, spices, salts, peppers and West’s inventory. He has changed his rubs. focus to consumables to mix into his “We stock approximately 15,000 inventory. “Consumables are any item kitchen items in a 3,500-sq. ft. retail that customers will use up and then store, West noted.” return to us to repurchase,” enlightened For information about the Rolling West. Pin Kitchen Emporium, it’s onsite cookSampling items, partnerships with ing classes or offerings, call 653-2418 or vendors, using social media for consumvisit

Volume 14, Issue 10

Melissa Haskins, Edward Jones, Fully Invested In Client’s Future By Amy Schechter

Too often, famiaccountants or lies and individuals attorneys, whom put off seeking out her clients want to investment advice have involved with and let their most their investments. solid earning years Because she is slip away. Melissa committed to also Haskins, financial educating clients, advisor with her team offers a Edward Jones, monthly coffee club knows you cannot the second Friday get those years of every month held back, and she from 8:30 to 9:30 wants to help her a.m. at her branch clients prepare for a office. This is a solid future. chance for clients to In the financial hear an update on services industry for the current market 12 years and raised and participate in locally, she invests Melissa Haskins grew up in the local valuable networking in her clients to community and loves helping people with one another. make solid decisions in their investunderstand their Additionally, somements as an Edward Jones advisor. individual needs, so thing that really sets that they can capitalize on their Haskins apart and demonstrates her futures. Haskins knows she and her investment in the community is her branch are set apart from the rest: commitment to volunteering. She is “We’re local in the community, and the current President of the people like that face to face. Most Valrico/Fishhawk Chamber of times, you can walk in not even Commerce, she sits on the board needing an appointment.” She spewith ECHO and the University of cializes in helping individuals and Tampa Fellows, and she is also the businesses plan for retirement, creat- director of the Successful Women ing plans for college savings, organAligning Together (SWAT) organizaizing estate and legacy strategies, tion. and offering insurance and annuities. For more information or to make It is important for her to really get to an appointment, call 685-5294 or visit know the unique situations of her her Facebook page at clients so she can best reach your goals. She also welcomes haskins2/. Her office is located at any trusted professionals, such as 1068 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

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October 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 25

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

RobZFitness Moves Fitness & Training Studio To New FishHawk Blvd. Location

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

her lose 35 pounds in the past ten months. Sweeting became a client last year after a trip to California to see her son, a warrant officer in the Navy. He lives in a twostory home and noticed how climbing the stairs caused her to become short of breath. “He told me I had to go home and find someplace to exercise,” said Sweeting, who came home and signed up with RobZFitness. When she worried storm Sharon Sweeting works on muscle strength at RobZFitness, at its new location on FishHawk Blvd. surge from Hurricane Irma would destroy some belongings in her After more than 11 years nestled in home, she boxed the important things up the Stein-Mart anchored Lithia Crossing and moved them to her own home’s secshopping center, RobZFitness is moving ond floor. “It took me no time and I could to FishHawk Ranch. Its new location at easily do it,” she said. 16315 FishHawk Blvd., west of RobZFitness offers free fitness evaluWalgreen’s and across the street from the ations, where he discusses goals and FishHawk Sports Complex, features a expectations, measures weight and body 2,600 square foot state-of-the art personfat, determines endurance, strength and al training and group fitness studio. “I’m a FishHawk resident and most of flexibility and discusses expected outcomes. To celebrate its 11th year in busimy clients live here so it seemed like the ness, any new personal training client perfect marriage to move my studio who signs up for three months or longer here,” said owner Rob Zulkoski. before October 31st will get 11% off perThe new location will give him the sonal training memberships. ability to expand his program offerings. In addition to personal training, the “With the FishHawk Sports Complex studio offers group training and aeroacross the street we’ll be able utilize the bics/Bootcamp/Les Mills fitness classes. fields and the expansive trail system.” RobZFitness is open Monday – RobZFitness has a proven track Thursday 5 a.m. – 8 p.m. On Friday and record for helping clients achieve their fitness and weight loss goals and has more Saturday, it stays open until the last client finishes their training session. than a hundred testimonials online. For more information about Rob Z Palm River resident Sharon Fitness call 571-3700 or visit www.rob-zSweeting would follow Zulkoski where, especially since he has helped

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Page 26

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 10

October 2017

Page 27

Valrico Edition

Enjoy Lasting Memories At Fourth Annual Father Daughter Ball

By Michelle Colesanti

When a disaster like submitted by Irma strikes, we are Monday, reminded of what is most October 16. important; those we love. Jones said, Possessions can be “With the hustle replaced, power can and bustle of come and go, but as long modern society and continas our loved ones are ual advancements in techsafe we have all we need. nology, both quality and For the last three quantity time with those years Made Wonderfully who matter most, often get Inc. has hosted events pushed to the back with the sole purpose of Made Wonderfully is hosting burner. Our M*A*S*H its Fourth Annual Father strengthening the family (Mother And Son Hangout) Daughter Ball on Saturday, event in May and our bond. November 4 from 6-10 p.m. Its Fourth Annual Father Daughter Ball in at The Regent. Father Daughter Ball will soon take place November are thoughtfully planned to and promises to create lasting and joyful provide bonding and memory building memories for fathers and their daughters moments for each of our participants.” of all ages. The Ball will take place on Made Wonderfully Inc. is a 501(c)3 Saturday, November 4 from 6-10 p.m. at organization whose mission is The Regent, located at 6437 Watson to inspire youth and families to Rd. in Riverview. The unlock their God-given value evening will include a meal, and potential, through fun, dessert bar, candy bar, prizes character enriching programs and much more. and events. Made Wonderfully Inc. The organization plans plans to help 10 families affectto expand its community outreach ed by Hurricane Irma with free to fulfill even more needs by adding a tickets to the Ball. husband/wife and a family event in the Nicolle Jones, Executive Director, near future along with the Life Lessons asks the community to nominate a family Learned in the Kitchen Program. or their own family by contacting Made The cost of the Father Daughter Ball Wonderfully with their #AfterIrma stories. is $40 per Father/Daughter couple. Each Submissions can be done through additional daughter is $10 each. After Facebook at Made Wonderfully Inc., October 28, the price will increase to $50 Instagram or on the website's contact each couple and $15 each additional page. Please include at least one picture daughter. To purchase tickets, visit of how Irma impacted your family or the For family you nominate. Entries must be more information, call 419-7829.

Brandon Walmart Celebrates First Training Academy Graduation

By Tamas Mondovics

department-specific training. “The training helps department managers and hourly supervisors to benefit in two specific ways, which in turn benefit our customers,” said Walmart About 70 Brandon area Walmart managers and department super- spokesperson visors from 26 store locations attended the first Walmart Training Erica Jones. “Our Academy in Brandon. The completion of the two-week long course associates gain was celebrated with an all out cap and gown graduation. both core retail Brandon area’s first Walmart Training skills, and the skills and knowledge to run Academy opened as well as celebrated their specific department. The Academies its first graduating class. are part of Walmart’s $2.7 billion commitThe two-week long class, hosted at ment to its associates.” the company’s Brandon store at 11110 “Our training academies help provide Causeway Blvd. welcomed 70 associassociates with the skills they need to ates in lead positions from 26 area stores succeed and advance, while creating a and is just one of 200 Training better and more consistent customer Academies Walmart has scheduled to experience,” said Walmart Academy open across the country by the end of Manager Daniel Honores. “Skills training 2017. increases productivity, confidence and Each academy is said to train assoknowledge which leads to greater job ciates from approximately 25 nearby satisfaction, personal and professional stores. growth and helps make working at Excited about the course, officials Walmart a smart career choice.” explained that Walmart Training “As they are returning to their own Academies are a dedicated facility locatstore locations, academy graduates are ed in, or adjacent to, a Walmart much more confident of running their Supercenter where the company’s frontdepartments,” Jones added. line supervisors will receive hands-on Walmart is reportedly training more training that combines the classroom and than 140,000 associates per year. the sales floor. Additional information about Walmart Areas of study include leadership, can be found at on merchandising, operations, technology Facebook @walmart and on Twitter at and customer service, in addition to the @walmart.

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Page 28

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 10

October 2017

Page 29

Valrico Edition

Music Showcase And FAOPA Offer A Great Fall Lineup Of Groups And Workshops

By Kathy L. Collins

Music Showcase in Brandon and the Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) have announced a wonderful and exciting season. There is truly something for everyone. New this year, violinists with at least one year of experience can join Violin Rockestra. According to Jeanne Machine Violin Rockestra Director, “Violin Rockestra is an ensemble focusing on alternative music made playable for violin. We focus mostly on rock, jazz and pop genres. We also learn about basic composition and write original music.” Machin added, “I started this program to enrich the musical experience of violinists and provide them with experiences not typically available in traditional orchestra settings.” Violin Rockestra meets on Saturdays

for a part in the Jr. Showcase Players’ production of Elf Jr. which will be held in December. Jr. Showcase Players meet on Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. High school aged students can participate in a not yet named production as part of the Showcase Players. They meet on Saturdays from 3 to 6 p.m. Their performance will be held in January. Students, ages 7 and up, who like to sing can try out for Show Choir which meets on Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Show Choir combines music from all genres and decades with choreography. Students gain stage presence, ear training and have fun performing with a singing team. Little lovers of music (ages 4 to 10), can participate in a “free” workshop called Music Makers. In this workshop, children can strum a guitar or sound a trumPhoto courtesy of Paul Storm pet. The workFAOPA and Music Showcase offer children and adults the opportunity to shop is offered express their creativity. Students who perform in the Musical Theatre program make musicals such as Beauty and the Beast or the Lion King on the second come alive on stage. Saturday of from 9 to 10 a.m. A performance is each month. Registration is required. planned for December. Music Showcase also offers classes If your children are into Musical and workshops on digital photography Theatre, then Music Showcase has a and interior design. group for them. Students ages 5 to 12 For more information on availability can audition for a part in the FAOPA and cost to attend one or more of the Players’ production of Annie Jr. which will above fun groups and workshops, please be performed in December. FAOPA call 490-ARTS (2787) or visit Players meet on Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. Music Showcase is located at 402 Middle school students can audition Oakfield Dr. in Brandon.

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Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition





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Durant Cougars 42, Newsome Wolves 24 In Alafia River Rivalry By Tamas Mondovics

Senior fullback, David Tabakovic gets the first down for Durant against Newsome during a recent game.

Durant senior running back Cameron Myers is about to break through the Wolves defense during the recent non- yards per conference game. Myers led the Cougars to a 42-24 win.

The Durant High School Cougars varsity football program led by Head Coach Mike Gottman cannot complain too much about the way things are going for the program, which despite the recent stormy weather, has managed to maintain its winning momentum. Adding to the strong season start, the Cougars visited the Newsome Wolves to play a non-conference game, mainly to match up each other’s strengths and to crown the winner of the bout the team coaches named the Alafia River Rivalry. While a decent matchup, Durant dominated Newsome, ending the rivalry with a 42-24 final score in the Cougars favor. Durant running back Cameron Myers, who is averaging nearly 140

game, Durant senior quarterback Carlton was unstoppable, Potter hands off the football to Myers for a 20-yard carry against Newsome. leaving the Newsome defense in his track, been a great rivalry,” Gottman said amassing 15 carries just minutes before game start, for almost 300 yards adding “It’s gonna come down to without missing a the team who makes the least misbeat, not to mention takes.” scoring four times Gottman emphasized his prebefore he was done. diction of the game when he said Interestingly, it his team can be successful when was the Wolves that the players put in the work so they took an early 10-7 can deserve the win. lead with a 45-yard “This game is about pride,” he field goal by Spencer said. Shrader. The Cougars hope to earn Unfortunately, Cougars junior kicker, Kelly Kash scores the extra point for her another district title and advance to with Myers supported team during a recent game against Newsome. Regionals. by Cougars’ fullback and had to settle for their first loss of For more information about high David Tabakovic, the Wolves, led by the season. school football, please visit www.maxHead Coach Kenneth Hiscock, had “Playing Newsome has always no chance of maintaining the lead

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October 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 31

Sports Connection Two Local Tennis Clubs Compete For Championships By Nick Nahas

Photo courtesy of Jackie Caouette

The FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club won the three-day USTA Florida Sectional Championship on August 11-13. They went 7-0 in the regular season. The ladies dominated the competition, only losing nine individual matches out of 70 total matches throughout the entire regular and championship season.

Two local UTSA tennis clubs will compete for national and state championships in their respective conferences. A women’s tennis team representing the Fishhawk Ranch Tennis Club won the three-day USTA Florida Sectional Championship in Lake Nona, Orlando, on August 11-13. The 18 and over level 3.0 USTA team will compete in Nationals from October 20-22 in Surprise, Arizona. The squad, lead by team captain, Jackie Caouette, had an outstanding regular season, going undefeated and winning all seven of their matches in the process. They then won their two local playoff games to qualify for Sectionals, where they won all five of their matches

to qualify for Nationals. “It’s definitely a big deal to make Nationals,” said Caouette. “My mother made nationals twice, so I’m excited to follow in her footsteps.” The ladies not only won, but they dominated the competition, only losing nine individual matches out of 70 total matches throughout the entire regular and championship seasons. Each team match consisted of two lines of singles and three lines of doubles. They are the first team from the Fishhawk Tennis Center to ever qualify for USTA Nationals, and they are the only 3.0 team from Florida to qualify for Nationals. They have 15 women on their team, including Caouette, Ashley Toohey, Nikki Kipp,

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over, managed to go undefeated in the regular season, finishing 60. The squad, lead by team captain, Luis Ferrey, qualified for Sectionals after winning the league by defeating the Avila Country Club two sets to one in the Championship. Ferrey, who has been playing tennis for over 40 years, came to Photo courtesy of Luis Ferrey the River Hills The River Hills Country Club will compete in Sectionals from Country Club December 8th-10th in Lake Nona, Orlando. from another Shannon Deck, Kelly Oldham, Pam club after several players left, and he Smith, Monica Eiermann, Agnes Lirag, assembled his current team, which has Kim Ortmeier, Andrea Cammarata, 16 players. The members, in addition to Tabetha Vandeboe, Alison Dominic, Ferrey, are Jay Bortner, Edgar Alvarez, Wendy Bartlett, Christine Merrill and Brad Duncan, Alvin Macasinag, Ernie Christina Sharp. “We are going to bring Pabon, Ben DeBrocke, Jeffrey Wong, the National Title home to Florida,” said Bruce Reilly, Gavin Smith, James Caoutte. Schneider, John Figlewski, Curt Kenyon, In addition to the Fishhawk Ranch Craig Swartz, Barry Shollenberger and Tennis Club women making it to Ken Chin. Nationals, the men from the River Hills Ferrey hopes that his team can bring Country Club will compete in Sectionals home the state title. This league does not from December 8-10 in Lake Nona, have a Nationals event. “We are expectOrlando. The 7.5 men’s combo team con- ed to go all the way because we are an sisting of players age 25-65, competing in undefeated team, but it’s not going to be the USTA adult league of players 18 and easy,” said Ferrey.

Page 32

Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

All Family Law Group Named Top 10 Best Firms & Best Female Attorneys

By Nick Nahas

The All Silon-Laguna, Family Law they charge Group was reasonable founded in and competi1997 to protive rates. “Our vide effective, services are amicable and tailored to empathetic resolve your legal soluindividual cirtions to legal cumstances,” issues includSilon-Laguna ing divorce, said. “We Attorneys Ginger L. Dugan (from left), Monica P. Da Silva and Lynette Silon-Laguna. family law, gather inforrelative adoptions, and eventumation regarding your particular ally Chapter 7 personal banksituation at your free initial conruptcy. According to founding sultation and throughout your attorney Lynette Silon-Laguna, case.” the firm has recently added The All Family Law Group criminal defense to its areas of was selected by the American practice and employs an expeInstitute of Family Law Attorneys rienced attorney who has been as one of the 10 Best Law practicing exclusively in criminal Firms in client satisfaction in defense since 1996. “We have 2017, and as one of the 10 Best highly qualified attorneys and Female Attorneys in 2017. In legal staff to assist us in reaching our goal addition, the National Association of of providing excellent legal services for Distinguished Counsel selected the group our clients,” Silon-Laguna said. as part of the Nation’s Top One Percent The firm prides itself on being reliable for 2015-2017, and the firm was also and timely in communicating with clients selected by The National Advocates for and expediting their cases through the Top 100 Lawyers, as well as also having legal process. They strive to provide cost- a BBB A+ Rating since 2009. effective legal services by working toward The All Family Law Group provides an amicable solution, when possible, to legal services to all of Hillsborough and avoid expensive litigation. “When cases Pinellas Counties and MacDill Air Force cannot be amicably resolved,” she said, Base. “we will aggressively represent you to The firm’s main office is located in attain the best result possible.” Riverview on Highway 301 just south of The practice provides a free initial Bloomingdale Avenue. Contact the firm consultation to discuss options either in by email at, or person or by telephone. According to by phone at 672-1900.

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Page 33

Valrico Edition

Doral Dental Expands Practice With New Dentist & Expanded Location

Center Place Presents Bet A Buck Charity Auction For The Arts

Doral Dental has Doral Dental is a relocated to a new, largmodern dental practice er space at 16627 that uses the most curFishHawk Blvd., Suite rent technologies and 102, behind Taco Bell innovations. Dr. Kerry and adjacent to Smith, DDO, said his CrossFit for Glory. It practice’s commitment to has also added a docproviding the highest tor to its growing pracstandard of personalized tice, Dr. Felipe Salles, care with a gentle, effiDDS, who in addition to cient and professional general dentistry spemanner. “Patients find cializes in implant surour atmosphere calming, geries and aesthetic the staff friendly and our treatments. dental services excepDoral Dental at FishHawk has “I’m glad to have tional,” he said. “Our goal moved its practice to 16627 joined a practice with FishHawk Blvd., Suite 102 and Dr. with every patient is to such a good reputation Felipe Salles has joined the team. restore them to optimal for quality and affordoral health.” able dentistry and especially for being Patients also find the practice very able to help expand its services,” he said. trustworthy. Patient Rob Gardener visited Salles is board-certified and a mem- the practice for a second opinion and ber of the ADA (American Dental was very happy he did. “My former denAssociation, FDA (Florida Dental tist, a large statewide practice, was trying Association), AAID (American Academy to sell me an expensive crown,” he said. of Implant Dentistry), AO (Academy of Dr. Smith was able to treat and fill the Osseointegration), AACD (American cavity without requiring an unnecessary Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and also crown. “I received excellent service all speaks four languages. around.” He also specializes in Botox injecDoral Dental is open Monday – tions for cosmetic and therapeutic treatThursday 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday ments. 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. “It has been shown that Botox can It accepts most PPO (preferred provide non-invasive yet effective sympprovider organization) and indemnity tom relief for individuals with TMJ,” he insurance company dental plans as well said. as cash, check, CareCredit, Visa, Dentists are the best injectors of any MasterCard, American Express and health-care provider, having been trained Discover. on proper injection techniques from the Visit or call very beginning of their careers. 681-6200 for more information or appt.

Center items, golf outPlace will ings, TV, a hold one of Coach travel its signature bag to Cuban fundraising cigars and even events, Bet a beach geta Buck away. There is Charity simply someAuction for thing for everythe Arts on one. Saturday, Rodriguez October 14 explained, “The from 6:30 to money raised at 9:30 p.m. at this event goes Center back into our art Place locatprograms. This Support the arts and Center Place. Get your friends is how we keep ed at 619 and family together and head to Center Place on Vonderburg the doors open. Saturday, October 14 for their very fun event, Bet a Buck Charity Auction for the Arts. Dr. in We get no fundBrandon. ing from state, This is a great way to bid on really cool federal or local government. We rely soleitems and support the arts. Auction items ly on private donations, memberships, have been donated from local businesssponsors, special fundraising events and es. rentals of the space.” Bet a Buck Charity Auction for the By joining in on this fun event, you Arts is fun for both men and women. The help support Center Place, a non-profit cost is just $15. For that you get an auccommunity art center that has been in the tion paddle, finger foods and beer and community for over 40 years. wine. You can purchase additional padRodriguez said, “In addition to giving dles for $5. Space is limited, so pick up easy access to the arts, we also provide your paddle at Center Place or make a a much needed rental facility for wedreservation by calling 685-8888. dings, parties, corporate meetings and Lisa Rodriguez, Marketing Director more at a reasonable rate. We are also for Center Place said, “The last Bet a used by other non-profit organizations for Buck was a fantastic event. So much so, meetings and their special fundraisers. that we had many requests for another We are all encompassing; thus, our name one, so we scheduled one for the fall.” - the Place in the Center of our communiThere will be many items up for aucty.” tion from restaurant gift cards, original artPlease visit www.centerplacebranwork from local artists, massages, fashion or call 685-8888.

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Page 34

Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Suncoast Credit Union Presents Winthrop Arts Annual Children’s Art Show

Young artists ages 5 to 18 can enter one piece of artwork in the Winthrop Arts Annual Children’s Art Show. The show is sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union.

Children ages 5 to 18 are encouraged to enter artwork in Winthrop Arts Annual Children’s Art Show presented by Suncoast Credit Union. The show, which is judged, features and celebrates the creativity of the area’s young artists. Children may enter original artwork in any medium. All they need to do is use their creativity. The art show is open to all students living in the greater Brandon area. Children can enter one piece. There is a $5 entry fee. There are three age categories for entries and prizes- ages 5 to 8; ages 9 to 13; and ages 14 to 18. All entries must be submitted by Monday, October 23 at 6 p.m. at the Art Factory located at 11267 Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. This year the show is sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union. Significant awards are available for Best of Show (one overall) and First, Second and Third Place in each age category. Mary McDonald, Community Relations Director for Suncoast Credit Union said, “At Suncoast Credit Union, we support the arts as

they align with our mission to promote the education, health and emotional wellbeing of children.” McDonald added, “The Winthrop Arts Children’s Art Show provides a creative opportunity for children to dream and express themselves outside of a normal day. We believe this supports and promotes healthy emotional growth. Since 1990, our Foundation has assisted similar efforts with $19 million reinvested in the 21 counties we serve. We look forward to the colors, interpretations and visual mediums these students will exhibit during the show.” An artists’ reception will be held at the Art Factory, the education program of Winthrop Arts, on Thursday, October 26 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Awards will be given at 7 p.m. The reception is an opportunity for the children to showcase their artwork. Bryant Martinez, the Winthrop Town Artist and lead instructor at the Art Factory said, “I look forward to this show each year. I love seeing what the children produce.” All artwork entered must be accompanied by an artist’s statement. Information and the registration form can be found at For information, call Kathy at 758-5161 or email

Center Place Presents Christmas Card Lane And Holiday Stroll This year, year. Prizes will be awarded for the Center Place best cards.” will kick off the holiday season At the event on with an exciting Sunday, November new event, 12, there will be Christmas Card something fun for the entire family. Lane and There will be venHoliday Stroll. dors outside The event will around Clayton take place on Lake. Inside Sunday, Come out and kick off the holiday season at Center Place’s new event- Christmas Card Lane Center Place, busiNovember 12 and Holiday Stroll. Businesses and other area from 10 a.m. to organizations can participate as vendors or by ness vendors will be offering a free, 4 p.m. Life creating a Life Size Holiday Card. Area residents can enjoy a day of holiday shopping, arts hands-on holiday Size Holiday and crafts and a visit from Santa. Cards, created craft project. by area businesses, non-profits and Outside vendors will need to bring a civic organizations, will be displayed tent, tables and chairs. No electricity is along Clayton Lake and South Parsons provided. Ave. throughout the holiday season. What would a holiday event be without Santa and Lisa Rodriguez, music? Jolly Old St. Marketing Director Nick will make a special for Center Place appearance, so parents said, “We want to should bring their camhold a large, arts eras to snap a priceless related holiday kickoff event that our photo. In addition, there entire community will be local choirs and could take part in musicians entertaining and enjoy.” This is a on the outdoor lakeside great opportunity for deck at Center Place. businesses, non-profits and other local “We want everyone of all ages to organizations to showcase their busicome out to the event and enjoy kicking ness or organization by participating in off the holiday season. We are a huge either the Life Size Holiday Cards or suburban area, but we still long for that hosting a vendor space at the event. small hometown feeling. Let’s come According to Lisa Rodriguez, “With together and create something special the Life Size Holiday Cards, we are for our community,” said Rodriguez. bringing back a tradition from years ago To participate as a vendor or showwhen we lined the streets of Brandon case your Life Size Holiday Card, with giant Christmas Cards. We are please visit asking local businesses, clubs,, or call profits to make and paint a holiday 685-8888 or email greeting card for this festive time of the

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October 2017

Page 35

Valrico Edition

FishHawk Fellowship Continues To Sponsor Annual Joshua 1:9 Freedom Run

By Amanda Boston

The fifth annuCorey al Joshua 1:9 Duncan, the Freedom Run will Missions Pastor take place on at FishHawk Saturday, Fellowship, said, November 18 at “We as a church the Al Lopez Park come alongside in Tampa. The 5K Joshuacord to race begins at 8 help inform and a.m. with runners, mobilize individwalkers and virtual uals to take The annual Joshua 1:9 Freedom Run takes place at Tampa’s Al Lopez Park to raises funds action on behalf participants comfor persecuted Christians in the Middle East. of those who ing together to raise funds and awareness for those per- face persecution for their faith and trust in secuted for their Christian faith in the Jesus Christ.” Middle East and Africa. Last year’s race raised more than The 5K Freedom Run is a chip-timed $5,700 with 100 percent of the registrarace with its start and finish line at the Al tion fees donated to the Foundation for Lopez Park, located at 4810 N. Himes Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle Ave. in Tampa. Participants may register East (FRRME). FRRME provides emerthe morning of the race or online at gency relief to persecuted Christians who or are living in refugee camps in the Middle The early registration East. Registration fees from this year’s fee is $25 and $20 for active duty military. race will once again support the efforts of After November 14, the registration fee is FRRME. Also, on race day, participants $30. may donate baby blankets, gloves, mitAll 5K registrants, including virtual tens and hats, which will be mailed to racers, will receive a Dri-FIT t-shirt in Christian refugees. appreciation for their support. The race is However, Carberry’s efforts do not a family-friendly event incorporating a stop with the Freedom Run. Earlier this one-mile fun run at 9 a.m. The fee is $15 year, he paired up with Film Director per child and free for those less than 5 Jordan Allott of In Altum Productions to years old. begin filming an expository documentary Joshuacord’s founder Patrick about the Persecuted Church in the Carberry established the nonprofit organi- Middle East. The documentary Christians zation in 2011, and then in 2012, he inau- in the Mirror has not yet been released, gurated the Joshua 1:9 Freedom Run. but a trailer will be distributed to all race Every year since, FishHawk Fellowship participants. Church has sponsored the Freedom Run For info about Joshuacord and the through funding and race day volunteers. run, visit

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Page 36

Volume 14, Issue 10

Valrico Edition

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Osprey Observer 2017-10 Valrico  

Osprey Observer 2017-10 Valrico