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NEW! Brandon/Winthrop

See Article On Page 35 C E L E B R A T I N G

December 2017 Volume 12, Issue 12 Ph: 657-2418 1 5




Capital Tacos Offers Scratch Kitchen And Opens New Dining Destination Near The Mill

By Michael Smith

Capital’s core menu consists of 25 chef-created signature items with all the ingredients made from scratch every day and served in five different varieties (i.e. The Five Ways To Capital): as a taco, burrito, rice bowl, salad or nachos. The restaurant is also launching a Capital

Capital Tacos has opened a new location at 119 W. Bloomingdale Ave. and John Moore Rd. in Brandon. It joins The Mill and Olde Town Pizzeria.

Brandon location

where all of the tortillas will be made from scratch. Side items include scratch-made Mexican rice, black beans and pinto beans. A variety of beverage options are available, highlighted by a wide-selection of domestic, Mexican and local craft beers, as well as wine, specialty Mexican sodas, iced tea and a mix of its own line of Capital fountain soda flavors. Capital also offers complete kids meal options. The Brandon location is beginning with a “silent opening” with limited hours from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for the remainder of the year (the restaurant will be closed on Christmas Day). In January, the restaurant will shift to a 2-8 p.m. schedule, and then go to full hours in February (Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.). To learn more about Capital Tacos, visit capitaltacos.com. You also can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CapitalTacos.

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

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Capital Tacos has brought its awardwinning combination of traditional Mexican cooking and regional Tex-Mex flavors to Brandon. The restaurant, which also has locations in Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel and New Port Richey, opened its Brandon store at 119 West Bloomingdale Ave., next to Olde Town Pizzeria and The Mill, on Monday, December 18. “Capital Tacos food is freshly prepared and made from scratch, and served in a quick, affordable, friendly way,” said co-owner Josh Luger. The restaurant, which was founded in 2013, has been awarded by Foursquare/Yelp as having a Top 3 taco in the United States (and the top outside of Austin, Texas). “We pride ourselves on being a local, homegrown business that establishes deep ties in the communities we operate in, and can thankfully say that each of the communities we operate in have welcomed us enthusiastically with open arms,” Luger said.

Bakery at the

Photo by Tamas Mondovics

Spoto High School sophomore and member of the Hillsborough County All-County Band, Isaias Martinez, was honored last month for his solo performance by Superintendent Jeff Eakins. Martinez is a nominated member of the State High School Honor Band and ranked near the top of his class with a 4.8 GPA.


Family Event Page 24



Hillsborough County Opens Veterans Resource Center And World War II Memorial

By Tamas Mondovics

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Thursday, December 7 proved to be extra special for Veterans living in Hillsborough County and surrounding communities thanks to the dedication of two brand new additions to the Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Photo by Hillsborough County Museum: the Veterans World War II veterans stand during the dedication ceremoResource Center and the ny of the Veterans Resource Center and the World War II memorial. World War II memorial. A large crowd of including 520 service members from guests including some local WWII veterHillsborough County who died in the war. ans also gathered for the ceremony for The facility salutes U.S. servicemen the 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor at and servicewomen of all eras, and has the park and museum located at 3602 memorials to veterans from the Seminole U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Brandon. Wars through the ongoing War in As it was reported by Hillsborough Afghanistan, County officials said. County communications, event guest The Veterans Memorial Park and speaker Army Maj. Gen. James Dozier Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans said, "It's appropriate for us to make Museum proudly welcomes visitors to these dedications on the 76th anniversary reflect all its memorials of Purple Heart of Pearl Harbor.” recipients, POW/MIA forces, and war While commenting on the lessons dogs, among other exhibits. learned during WWII Dozier added, “We For more information, please visit still live in a very dangerous world. www.HCFLGOV.net. Leadership and preparedness are everything." The new 8,000 sq. ft. Veterans Resource Center offers services for local In This veterans, who number more than 98,300 Issue in Hillsborough County, the largest veteran population among Florida's 67 counties. MILITARY AGRICULTURE TOUR..........PG 3 “The new services center is the result LOCAL GRAD BECOMES TV STAR. ......PG 4 of a unified effort by our local Veterans, Veteran advocates, Hillsborough County EVENING IN MAYBERRY .....................PG 6 government and the State of Florida,” MAYFLOWER DESCENDENT ...............PG 9 said Assistant Hillsborough County Administrator, Dexter Barge during an STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL CONCERTS .PG 10 earlier event. EYE ON BUSINESS ............................PG 25 The building has a multipurpose room for training and events. Funding for CHALKLINESS....................................PG 28 the $2.2 million facility included $1.9 milSPORTS CONNECTION...............PGS 38‐39 lion in grants from Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity. READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE The WWII memorial honors those www.ospreyobserver.com who participated in that global conflict,

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12

December 2017

Page 3

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

WWII Senior And Third Grade Student Bridge The Generation Gap

Hillsborough County’s Military Farm Tours Focus On Careers Beyond The Field

fondly of their visits. After Ralph’s passing, Mary and her sister, Susi Brzezowski, felt strongly that Ralph would like Marcelo to have his model airplane and a photograph of Ralph in his plane. Marcelo’s third grade teacher, Lauren Fechtmann, connected Ralph’s daughters to Marcelo Moreira meets Mary Johnson, who brought him Marcelo and his parents, memorabilia from Ralph Kitchens, her father. Kitchens recently passed away but in the year prior, had become Erika Quesada and good friends with Marcelo. Esteban Moreira. When presenting Ralph’s items A special connection happened on to Marcelo, Mary thanked him for being Valentine’s Day in 2017 between a 9 her dad’s friend. year old boy and a 95 year old man. Marcelo replied, “Ralph was a great When third grade students from guy. I would have liked to spend more Winthrop Charter School visited residents at The Bridges Assisted Living and time with him. I hope what I did will give other kids courage to help other people.” Memory Care Community in February, Marcelo shared with Mary that Ralph student Marcelo Moreira met resident Ralph Kitchens and an immediate friend- had told him ‘to never give up’. “Just like he didn’t give up when he jumped out of ship blossomed. Throughout the year, his airplane and landed in the ocean.” the school’s students would visit with As Fechtmann observed Marcelo residents, participate in themed parties and Mary conversing, she commented, and help make decorations. Marcelo gave Ralph a handmade Valentine’s Day “My entire class said that visiting The Bridges was their favorite part of the card, which hung on the door to Ralph’s year. The chance to be with all the apartment until Ralph passed away on grandparents left an impression on October 7. Ralph and Marcelo shared their pas- everyone.” For more information on Winthrop sion for airplanes and Ralph told Charter School, visit Marcelo about his adventures when he few planes during WWII. He showed him http://www.winthropcharter.org/. For more information on The photographs and a model airplane. Bridges Assisted Living, visit Ralph told his daughter, Mary http://bridgesretirement.com/. Johnson, about Marcelo and spoke

In its contin“The tour will ued effort to take participants to assist its veterans a variety of farming Hillsborough operations and the County has once University of Florida again arranged to Gulf Coast host a free bus Research and tour of local agriEducation Center in culture businesssouthern es to provide milHillsborough Visitors get a tour of the Keel & Curley itary veterans, Winery. The business gave Military Veterans County,” said reservists, transi- an opportunity this month to explore career County options available in the agriculture industry. Agribusiness tioning activeduty personnel, and their spouses an Development Manager, Simon Bollin. opportunity to explore career options in “The tour is an opportunity to support our the agriculture industry. local vets who are now looking to transiHillsborough County has the fourth tion into civilian life.” largest Veteran population in Florida The tour is possible thanks to a partboasting of nearly 100,000. nership between Hillsborough County The Military Agriculture Tour is sched- Economic Development, Hillsborough uled for 8 a.m. on Friday, January 19, County Farm Bureau, Hillsborough 2018, from Hillsborough County County Extension Service and community Extension Service, 5339 County Road partners. 579 in Seffner. Bollin emphasized that at each stop, According to County officials, today’s local officials and participating business agriculture industries increasingly focus owners will highlight the diversity of agrion using technology and management cultural operations in Hillsborough systems for the production of food, mediCounty. cine, consumer products and energy, More information on Military which is playing a significant role in Agriculture Tour community partners and assisting tour participants to be introcareer resources for transitioning veterduced to career paths and job opportunians are available at ties within modern production agriculture HillsboroughCounty.org/Vets2Ag. operations and supporting industries. Pre-registration at During past tours local vets had a www.eventbrite.com/e/military-agriculturechance to visit and meet with local farmtour-tickets-19223128896 is required. ers at such facilities as Fancy Farms Seating is limited. Lunch is provided. Vegetable Farm; Harrell’s Nursery; Oak Contact Simon Bollin, agribusiness Ridge Fish Hatchery, and Keel & Curley development manager, at 276-2735 or Winery. bollins@HillsboroughCounty.org.

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Page 4

Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Annual Rotary Golf Classic Raises Funds For Community, Sponsorships Still Needed

By Michelle Colesanti

Brandon Rotary’s 26th Annual Golf Classic takes place on Thursday, January 18 at Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club.

Grab your golf buddies and sign up for Brandon Rotary’s 26th Annual Charity Golf Classic. It will be held at Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club on Thursday, January 18, 2018. The entry fee of $125 per person includes lunch and drinks on the course, golf and golf carts, two Mulligans and an awards reception dinner after play. The format for the Tournament is four-man scramble (gross and net winners). Food and beverages will be donated by local restaurants and vendors. Registration begins 11:30 a.m. and Shotgun Start at 12:30 p.m. The Rotary Club is also looking for corporate sponsors. For $1,000, a sponsorship will include a foursome in the tournament, plus Hole sponsorship (signage), recognition in awards presentation and club meetings as well as additional signage at the tournament and awards event. You can also become a Hole

Sponsor for $150, and that includes signage on the golf course (tee box) during the tournament. Signage will display your company name and phone number. Brandon Rotary thanks its current Corporate Sponsors: The Bank of Tama, Brandon Regional Hospital, Choice HR, Infinity Landscaping/Lawncare, Marchall Business Accounting, M.E. Wilson, Odiorne Insurance Agency, Rath/Harper & Associates, Rivard Buick/GMC and Vantage Benefits Solutions, Inc. All proceeds from this tournament will go to the Brandon Rotary Club, which was chartered in 1961 and is part of Rotary International (RI). Steve Moran said, “The Club has been recognized as a major contributor in community service and charitable donations providing needed services to the Brandon area. The Golf Tournament is one of three major annual fundraisers. The other two are its Casino Night and Wild Game Dinner. It averages $65,000 annually from these three events.” Please register before January 17, 2018. Your check is your registration. Please make it payable to Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund, P.O. Box 303, Brandon, FL 33509-0303. Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club is located at 2721 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico. For more information on the Golf Tournament, call Moran at 503-2691 or email realtormoran@aol.com.

Bloomingdale Grad Hits The Red Carpet And Stars In Netflix Hit Series

By Kate Quesada

Bloomingdale High School Class of 1996 graduate Beth Dover now stars in the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black.

Fans of the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black (OITNB) will be excited to learn that one of the stars of the show grew up right in our backyard. Actress Beth Dover, who plays Linda Ferguson on the show, spent her teenage years in Valrico and graduated from Bloomingdale High School in 1996. Dover moved to the area after her step-father retired from the Air Force in the early 1990s. Born in Chicago, she had previously moved every two years, even spending time living in South Korea. At 13, she attended Burns Middle School, then Bloomingdale High School and went on to graduate from the University of Florida with a theater degree. “I have fond memories of my high school experience,” said Dover who still has family and friends in the area. “It was a great place to be a young actor.” During her time in Florida, Dover, who was voted Best Smile in her high school class was able to act in Nickelodeon shows including Kenan and Kel and Welcome Freshmen in

Orlando and was active in the Village Players community theatre in Valrico. After college, she moved to New York City and then Los Angeles, where she currently lives with her husband, actor Joe Lo Truglion, and son. Dover filmed a number of shows including Burning Love on E!, New Girl and Fresh Off the Boat. Dover began her roll in OITNB, which has won Golden Globes, Emmys and SAG awards, in the show’s third season. Her character, who works in administration for the company that owns Litchfield Prison and is the girlfriend to Joe Caputo, one of the show’s main characters, has grown over the last two seasons. The fifth season of the show was released in June. “I honestly thought I was going to be in one episode,” said Dover. “I never in a million years thought I would be coming back.” In addition to OITNB, Dover can also be seen currently on Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer and Comedy Central’s Another Period. All five seasons of OITNB can be seen on Netflix. Dover’s advice to aspiring actors is simple, “Stay in class,” she said. “Surround yourself with actors who inspire you. Create work with those people. Do something every day to take you one step closer to your goal, but create a balance in your life because this business is hard and there are no guarantees of success so you’ll want to be happy in your personal life as well.”



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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Brenda Wade Real Estate Partners With Businesses To Benefit Seeds Of Hope




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

By Barb Kern

raised! It really takes a village to support all that we do as an all-volunteer organization.” In September, Seeds of Hope led relief efforts for Alafia residents affected by flooding from Hurricane Irma. Those ongoing efforts highlighted the The Brenda Wade Real Estate Team donated $11,000 to Seeds of Hope from its annual Partners in Giving Campaign. commitment the charity has to helping The Brenda Wade Real Estate Team local people –a commitment shared by and its business partners (All American The Brenda Wade Team. Title, All Bay Insurance, American Eagle Seeds of Hope is known for it’s Mortgage, American Mortgage Services, annual FishHawk Turkey Trot 5K Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection, fundraiser and has been in the Complete Choice Insurance, DR Horton, Brandon/Valrico/Lithia community for FBI Inspection Group, Fifth Third Bank, over seven years and began with local Guaranteed Rate, First Home Bank, Hillsborough Title, Jake Moore Insurance, resident Leda Eaton helping her then high school students receive meaningMarket Prime Mortgage, Old Republic ful community service hours. Home Protection, Osprey Observer, Seeds of Hope has grown as an RiteRug Flooring, The Rice Financial organization to combat hunger in three Group, United Mutual Funding Corp and ways by providing: weekend backWillums Home Services), joined together packs of food for school children, for the fifth annual ‘Partners in Giving’ boxes of food to families on event. Wade and her agents matched Thursdays, and a weekly mobile every dollar that was contributed by the pantry aimed at short term food relief. partners during the campaign, so togethEaton is proud of the impact the er they could have an impact in the comcharity has had, “Before Hurricane munity. “Our goal was to raise $10,000,” Irma, we were a food relief organizasaid Wade. “And we were so happy to tion. After Hurricane Irma, we added exceed that amount and donate disaster relief to our resume. It’s not $11,000 to our local charity Seeds of something I ever would have planned, Hope.” but am so thankful we were there. So Seeds of Hope president Leda many volunteers stepped up.” Eaton was amazed, “I was beyond For more, visit www.sohopefl.org. excited to hear the total amount



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Page 6

Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

An Evening In Mayberry With Rodney Dillard And The Walker Brothers

By Amanda Boston

today’s entertainment world, and they are not. That’s why people are attracted to this show.” Adding to the musical talent are the Walker Brothers, Cory (27), Jarrod (25) and Tyler (21) Walker. The three Durant High graduates will accompany Dillard and are the sons of local residents David and Stacey Walker. In their younger years, The Walker Brothers are remembered for their bluegrass performances at the Strawberry Festival. A few years ago, Dillard hired Cory to play with ‘The Dillards.’ Cory and Jarrod now live in Nashville with burgeoning music careers The Walker Brothers with Jarrod on the to include performances with the Grand mandolin, Cory on the banjo and Tyler Ole Opry and CMA Music Festival. The on the guitar. two brothers have also played on national Dillard will engage the audience television with bluegrass icons Earl with his musical talents and share stories from his experience on the show. The intimate evening will also provide an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. His wife Beverly Cotton-Dillard, a renowned banjo player who often appeared on Hee Haw, will join her husband as they perform well-known bluegrass songs from the show along with gospel music favorites. Although The Andy Griffith Show ended in 1968, the show continues The bluegrass band, The Dillards, began appearing on The Andy Griffith Show in 1963 with the to appeal to new generations reoccurring role as ‘The Darlings,’ a family blue- through its reruns. Dillard expoundgrass band. ed on the show’s parallels to United Methodist Church in Brandon Christianity and its ability to transcend invites you to ‘An Evening In Mayberry,’ time. with cast member Rodney Dillard. Dillard “The show portrayed family values— and his bluegrass band, The Dillards, Christian values, and Andy personified played a reoccurring role as ‘The the fruit of the Spirit, especially with the Darlings,” a backwoods family bluegrass way he treated Opie,” said Dillard. band, on The Andy Griffith Show. “People are trying to find these values in With its unmistakable whistled theme song and wholesome script, The Andy Griffith Show transports audiences back to a simpler time—to the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina. On Sunday, January 7 at 6 p.m., New Hope


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Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs. Tyler, the youngest, is a senior at Florida State University and reunites with his brothers to play bluegrass performances in his hometown. The event is free, but a donation box will be onsite. New Hope will open its doors at 5 p.m. with first come first serve seating. The church is located 121 N. Knights Ave. in Brandon. For more information, contact the church at 689-4161 or search ‘The Dillards’ on Facebook. The Walker Brothers will also perform at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s at 812 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Seffner on Friday, February 23 at 7 p.m. For more information, email David Walker at davidloydwalker@gmail.com.

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December 2017

Worry...But Don’t Panic About Aging Parents Around The Holidays


By Laurie E. Ohall, Board Certified Elder Law Attorney

The holidays are upon us, and many will be traveling to spend time with their families. This tends to be a time where, if the kids haven't seen mom or dad in a while, they might be a little surprised at the changes that are taking place. For instance, the parent may appear more forgetful than usual, or maybe they have lost a lot of weight and look frail. This can be a wake-up call to children who question what they can do to help their parents. Here are a few tips: 1. Do not panic. Showing your parents that you are worried and concerned is not necessarily a good thing. Come up with a plan for how to help them. 2. Look for resources in your area. In Florida, the Elder Helpline (1866-96-ELDER) offers information about resources available in your area. They can help individuals find nutrition and meal programs, in-home services for seniors, and much more. 3. Find out if your parents have basic estate planning documents. Why? If your parents have not signed a Durable Power of Attorney and a Health Care Designation, no

one has the authority to make financial or health care decisions for them. If you wait until it is too late (when they can no longer sign), you may have to go to court to be appointed their guardian. This can be very expensive and emotional. A qualified Elder Law attorney can prepare these documents. 4. If your parent agrees, take them to their doctor while you are in town. You can get a better idea of your parent's medication needs and whether the doctor feels there are any medical issues that need to be addressed. 5. If your parent is really bad, you may need to have a conversation with him or her about moving closer to family or perhaps moving to assisted living. A geriatric care manager can help evaluate what is appropriate for your parent's needs and can also help with placement in assisted living. 6. Please do not forget that your parents are adults. It is a fine line that we walk when we tell them what they must do versus suggesting what might be best. They raised you. They did a good job of raising you - don't forget that.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition



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Page 8

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12

By Tamas Mondovics

Home And Shopping Safety Takes Center Stage During Holiday Season The 2017 holiday season is in full swing as local officials including members of law enforcement and fire rescue offer residents some appropriate safety tips. The Sheriff’s office emphasized that with the potential for thefts more frequent, and the distractions the holiday season brings, many forget the basics about safety; at home or when out shopping.

Shopping Tips:

*Lock your car doors and roll up your windows. *Limit the amount of cash you carry. If possible, pay for your purchases with a credit or debit card *Limit the amount of jewelry you wear. *Keep your purse close to your body and your wallet in an inside jacket pocket if possible. *Place all packages in your trunk, so they are not visible to individuals walking close to your vehicle. *Remember where you are parked, and have your car keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. *Don't leave cell phones, purses or other items in your parked car where they will not be visible.


*Use in a populated area and pay constant attention to your surroundings. *If possible, go during daylight hours.

*If anyone is lurking near the machine, pass it up and find another. *Remember to retrieve your credit/debit card after a transaction.


*Be cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your home. *Don't display gifts where they can be visible from a window or doorway. *Leave a light or television on when away from home. *Be wary of strangers coming to your door. *Do not leave boxes from gifts outside for the trash collector.


*Before you leave, contact HCSO with the dates of departure and return. Your home will be periodically checked by deputies patrolling your area. *Notify the post office to hold your mail or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspaper daily. *Move valuables so that they won't be visible from windows. *Have someone pick up flyers and circulars from your doorway. *Leave your number with a trusted neighbor. Always report any/all suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity to local law enforcement or HCSO’s NonEmergency Dispatch at 247-8200. In the event of an emergency dial 911.

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December 2017

Page 9

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Local Brandon Mayflower Descendant Becomes Organization’s Florida Governor

Staff Report

Local Brandon Mayflower resident and voyage. John Mayflower Billington has the Descendant, James distinction of being Preston, was electthe Pilgrim hanged ed in November to for murder at the serve the Florida Plymouth Colony. State Society of Luckily he had a Mayflower son who married Descendants as Francis Eaton’s Governor for the daughter.” three year term Preston had a (2017–2020). great great grandfaJames Preston ther (7th generawas a Sergeant for tion), William 30 years with the Canedy, who was a Brandon resident James Preston was Captain in the Tampa Police recently elected to serve the Florida Department, and British Army and State Society of Mayflower retired in September Descendents as Governor for a three fought in the French year term. of 2003. and Indian Wars. He is also the Governor of his His son, also William Canedy (6th own colony, Edward Fuller (named generation) fought with the American after Pilgrim Edward Fuller), that Militia during the American meets in Polk County. He has been a Revolution. member since 2007. “We found a great grandfather The Florida Mayflower Society is who was Captain of a steamship carcomprised of 1,411 members in 17 rying passengers all along the New local colonies across Florida. All have England coast, and a grandfather all traced their lineage through proven who died while training pilots in the genealogy back to one of the brave U.S. Army Air Corp after fighting in Pilgrim passengers on the historic WWI.” Mayflower. The mission of the Mayflower According to Preston, finding the Society is to perpetuate the ideals roots, researching and learning the and principles of the Pilgrim forefavibrant history that comes to life of thers. It is estimated that six million the many generations of family that people today may have links to a came from a Pilgrim has been very Pilgrim. The year 2020 will mark 400 interesting. “In my case, I found two years since that voyage. Visit Pilgrim families, Francis Eaton and www.flmayflower.com or www.theJohn Billington, who survived the mayflowersociety.org.

Bloomingdale’s Rajun’ Bull Band Receives Superior At FBA 31 Straight Years

By Amy Fluty

Bloomingdale’s Rajun’ Bull Band received a Superior rating for the 31st year in a row at the FBA Marching MPA on November 4.

The Florida Bandmaster Association (FBA) Marching MPA for District 7 was held at Gaither High School in November. The Bloomingdale High School Rajun’ Bull Band and Crimson Guard received a superior rating for the 31st year in a row. This year the Rajun Bull Band’s show was Tales of Kings and Castles with music selections from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Gladiator and Game of Thrones. Many hours of hard work were put in by the students, directors and volunteers. The Rajun’ Bull band is under the direction of Jon Sever with Billy Sullivan and Coleen Petree directing the Crimson Guard. Band Director Sever had this to say, “The kids did a great job with the diversity of all of the storms and cancellations and for that reason, I am particularly proud of this


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program.” On Saturday, December 9 the band participated in the Snow on 7th parade in Ybor City. This was a fun event for the whole family and kicked off the holiday season. On Thursday, December 14, the band performed its winter concert at Bloomingdale High School. A collection of new unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots was held at the concert, which made people feel the holiday spirit of giving. Lori Brown has been a band mom and volunteer for many years. “Our family has been a part of the Rajun Bull marching band for the past nine years. Each of our three children played in the marching band all four years of high school and absolutely loved doing so. Watching the kid’s progress each season over the years has been amazing to see. The band is awesome and if you ever get the opportunity to watch them perform or to volunteer, I highly recommend you do so.” On Saturday, January 27, 2018 the band will be holding the ‘Running of the Bulls’ 5K run at Bloomingdale High School, 1700 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Visit www.facebook.com/bloomingdalebulls5k/. The fee for this event is $30 and you can register for the run at https://fitniche.com/event/running-bulls5k/. Proceeds will go to the Band.





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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Headline Entertainment Lineup Announced For 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival

By Kate Quesada

The Florida Strawberry Festival released its lineup of headline entertainment artists performing on the Wish Farms Soundstage at the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival. The 11-day community event will take place from March 1-11. Over 24 headline entertainment artists perform every year on the Wish Farms Soundstage and comprise one of the most popular attractions at the event, Davis said. Advance tickets for admission and for headline entertainment shows are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com, at the Amscot Main Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City or by calling 754-1996. “The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Building New Memories!’ with a strong emphasis on the construction of our new GT Grandstands seating area,” said Florida Strawberry Festival President Paul Davis. The event’s board of directors

Thursday, March 1 Friday, March 2 Saturday, March 3 Sunday, March 4 Monday, March 5 Tuesday, March 6 Wednesday, March 7 Thursday, March 8

Saturday, March 10 Sunday, March 11

Takara Sushi Offers Unique Asian-Inspired American Cuisine

By Michael Smith

Takara Sushi Some of Takara’s owner Eugenia Yu most popular menu describes the food her items include Spicy restaurant serves as Tuna Nachos, Crab “one-of-a-kind, AsianRangoon, Baby Back inspired American cuiRibs, Surf and Turf sine with a twist.” Roll, and Bul-go-gee Yu’s history as a Sliders. Yu said restaurateur in Takara’s menu offers Brandon dates back something for everyto 2003, when she The Jabadahut roll features tempura one, including chilgrouper, avocado, cucumber, krab opened her first dren. salad, topped with tuna, served with restaurant, Tsunami Yu, a USF gradutempura scallops, krab salad, eel Sushi & Hibachi Grill. ate, who came to sauce, yum yum sauce and spicy sweet chili sauce. The eatery proved to Florida from Hong be very popular from Kong as an exchange the time it opened to when she sold it in student in 1997, designed the interior of 2009. the restaurant building, which was formerIn 2012 Yu opened ly occupied by Poblanos Mexican Grill and Bar. Takara Sushi near the She said Takara, University of South Florida which means ‘treasure’ in in Tampa. Wanting a locaJapanese, offers ‘a comtion with a full-liquor bar plete and memorable dinand more seating and to ing experience.’ be closer to home, the “It’s an elegant-yet-casual place Valrico resident and mother of two moved Takara Sushi to a standalone building in where anyone can come in, relax, feel the Oak Park Plaza at the corner of calm, comfortable and enjoy their time South Kings Ave. and West Lumsden Rd. spent with their friends and families over in December 2016. some great food, drinks and music. It’s an Takara Sushi, located at 795 West awesome place to hang out like no other Lumsden Rd., celebrated its one-year in Brandon.” anniversary on December 20 with half off As a restaurant owner, Yu enjoys everything and music from Josh Wesley being able to work with people who take on the outdoor patio. pride in what they do every day while The restaurant, which seats 200, mentoring and assisting them toward offers happy hour food and drink specials their goals. Monday to Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information about Takara and Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon- Sushi, call 662-6618 or visit 5 p.m. TakaraSushiTampa.com.

2018 LINE UP:

10:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 10:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

broke ground on the project in March, and construction is expected to be complete by the end of the month. The new bleacher-style seating will accommodate 9,200 total guests, is closer to the stage and will be more comfortable for guests, Davis said. Another change with the construction project is that the event will no longer offer free seating to headline shows. “This was an extremely difficult decision for us,” said Davis. “But we absolutely had to construct new seating. And when you start crunching the numbers, there was just no way economically for us to offer free seats any longer.” The 83rd Annual Florida Strawberry Festival will take place March 1-11. Beginning in January, specials, discounts and free entertainment will be announced at www.flstrawberryfestival.com.

Volume 12, Issue 12

3:30 7:30 3:30 7:30

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

3:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra Oak Ridge Boys DNCE Jerry Lee Lewis Justin Moore and Dylan Scott Cam Big & Rich Lee Greenwood REBA McENTIRE Jimmy Fortune Josh Turner Gaither Vocal Band Casting Crowns Engelbert Humperdinck Trace Adkins The Lettermen Drifters, Platters and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters I Love the 90s Tour featuring Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc and Salt-N-Pepa Charley Pride Earth, Wind & Fire Sawyer Brown Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Anthony Hamilton Chase Bryant Brad Paisley

Riverview | Wesley Chapel | Carrollwood Westchase | South Tampa

December 2017

Page 11

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Healthy Hearing Expo In Brandon To Offer Innovative Products To Try

Staff Report

hearing aid without first purchasing it, negating any chance to compare performances. Audiologists will conduct hearing screenings and consultations to guide attendees on which hearing aid models are best suited for their needs and merit comparing in their trials. San Francisco based NeoSensory, Inc., a developer of sensory substituA Healthy Hearing Expo will offer unprecedented consumer opportunity to try and compare advanced hearing technologies tion wearable prodon Saturday, February 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the First ucts for individuals, Presbyterian Church of Brandon at 121 Carver Ave. will make its first The second Brandon Healthy East Coast appearance, allowing attenHearing Expo will offer unprecedented dees to test the new ‘wearable’ vest consumer opportunity to try and comand wrist devices that enable the user pare advanced hearing technologies, to hear through skin conduction. The including innovative new ‘wearables’. company, which is on the cutting edge The Expo will take place on of neuroscience, claims these prodSaturday, February 3 from 9 a.m.-3 ucts offer the functionality of a p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church cochlear implant, without the need for of Brandon at 121 Carver Ave. surgery, at a fraction of the cost. Edward Ogiba, Chair of the Consumers can also explore a wide Healthy Hearing Expo and HLAA range of wireless accessories that Tampa Bay Advisory Board said, “The connect hearing aids directly to mobile Healthy Hearing Expo offers conphones, TVs, and someone’s voice sumers an unprecedented opportunity across the table in a noisy restaurant to try and compare a wide variety of and deliver added clarity and speech the leading hearing aids and all sorts of understanding. other advanced hearing technology in Numerous support groups for risk–free, highly supportive environhard-of-hearing and deaf people and ment. In the marketplace you cannot their families will be available, as well try hearing aids without first buying as resources who provide financial them, making comparison shopping assistance to those who cannot afford impossible. At our once-a-year clinic, hearing aids. everything is free from admission to There are 260,000 people with product trials, to consultations from hearing loss in Hillsborough County hearing professionals who will educate and 86% do not seek the treatment you and answer your questions and that could improve their quality of life not try to sell you a thing.” largely because they feel pressured or You can check out the latest hearoverwhelmed when exploring soluing aid technology, as well as learn tions. The Healthy Hearing Expo is about a wide array of wireless accessales-free zone structured to provide sories, cochlear implants, and assistive the added mentoring, guidance and listening devices. Some 40 exhibitors support many need to freely and fully will make this the largest consumer understand options. hearing health event in the Tampa Bay Attendees wishing to try hearing area. The Healthy Hearing Expo will aids at the expo can get pre-event host some key firsts in Florida. guidance on how to eliminate the line Attendees will have opportunity to for a hearing screenings by contacting try and compare a wide variety of hearHLAAhelp@gmail.com or 941-706ing aids from the leading manufactur4312. ers. Consumers currently cannot try a



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

















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Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Scouts Spend Weekend In History Aboard WWII Aircraft Carrier By Marie Gilmore Valrico Troop 61 Boy Scouts spent Veteran’s Day camping aboard the USS Yorktown, WWII Aircraft Carrier while participating in a unique campout adventure available to youth. This is not the troop’s first time traveling from Valrico to Charleston, South Carolina where the Boy Scouts from Troop 61 Valrico spent two nights sleeping Yorktown has been a sigaboard the WWII Aircraft Carrier, the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. nificant part of the Patriot’s Point complex for 30 years, but this year, the trip happened to be on Veteran’s Day which gave the boys a unique opportunity to be onboard for the special day. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, JROTC, churches, schools, and other youth groups have the opportunity to sleep in the berths that sailors once occupied and immerse themselves into the lives of heroes. With packages that include lodging, meals and an educational activity, groups are offered a unique opportunity to stay aboard. The scouts had the opportunity time.” to meet WWII Navy Veteran Bill In Wilkerson, 95, who was a pilot and addition flew Hellcats while serving aboard the Yorktown in 1944. He completed 70 land- to sleeping and enjoying meals aboard the ship, Scouts have access to the entire ings and still has stories to tell. Patriot’s Point complex including the “It was hot on board,” said Bill, who Vietnam Experience Exhibit, WWII volunteers several hours a day talking to destroyer, the USS Laffey, a Cold War visitors at the museum. “We were doing submarine, the USS Clamagore and at our job and serving on board the ship but least 20 historical aircraft. there was no air conditioning at that Once the scouts arrived on

Friday night, movies were shown on board and the scouts were able to explore all decks except the flight deck, which is closed after dark. For the two-night stay, campers sleep in typical WWII style barracks. On Saturday morning, scouts were fed breakfast in the galley and then took a ride across Charleston Harbor to Fort Sumter National Monument. This was an add-on educational experience for the


scouts. Back onboard, scouts were offered a bag lunch and free time to explore the complex until dinner time when another hot meal was offered. After 6:30 p.m., the complex closes to the public and the scouts have the ship to themselves. Exhibits, historical artifacts and five self-guided tours which include boiler room, laundry, dentist, shoe cobbler, munitions storage and more are available until 11 p.m. each evening for the scouts to explore. The USS Yorktown is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II and was commissioned in April 1943. It participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. Late in her career, she served as a recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission, and was used in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, which recreated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; and in the science fiction film The Philadelphia Experiment. Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970 and in 1975 became a museum ship at Patriots Point, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She is a National Historic Landmark. For information, visit www.patriotspoint.org.


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Page 13

Valrico Sprouts Announces February Opening, Hiring To Fill 120 Jobs

By Tamas Mondovics

The longEmployment awaited Sprouts opportunities Farmers Market in include: the heart of Department Valrico is reaching Managers, its competition Assistant and is now slated Department Managers and to open late Clerks (Produce, February 2018. Meat and The new Seafood, Grocery, 30,000-sq. ft. Bakery, Vitamins store located at The soon to open Valrico Sprouts Fresh Market and Body Care 3315 Lithia Pinecrest Road is is now hiring to fill approximately 120 full- and and more), part-time positions to be ready for late the fifth Sprouts in February, 2018 opening. The store is located at Cashiers, the renamed Valrico Landing Plaza on the Courtesy Clerks, Florida promising northeast corner of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Backup Receiver, to meet the growBloomingdale Ave. Administrative ing local demand Coordinator and Scan Coordinator for fresh, natural and organic foods at The company also boasts of addigreat prices. tional perks including competitive pay, The store, in the now renamed excellent benefits, team member disValrico Landing Plaza, will anchor the counts along with career advancement 55,000 sq. ft. former Albertsons grocery opportunities. store building that has been vacant for In 2016, Sprouts’ team members the past half decade. Currently scheduled reportedly saved more than $9 million to open on Wednesday, February 21 at 7 a.m., Sprouts will schedule a grand open- through store discounts and received $150,000 in scholarships. Sprouts cusing celebration at a later date. tomers can enjoy more than 1,800 While offering its much-talked-about fresh produce and specialty products, the Sprouts Brand products. The new Valrico store will feature an new store is also boasting of bringing in-house butcher who prepares handapproximately 120 full- and part-time crafted sausages daily and assists cuscareer opportunities to the area. According to company officials, work- tomers with special cuts of meat and seafood seasoning. The Vitamins and ing at Sprouts comes with a specific requirement; that is to share a passion for Body Care Department features more than 7,500 cutting-edge vitamin and body healthy eating and the fresh, natural and care products made with sustainable and organic products offered throughout the ethically sourced ingredients. store under Sprouts’ “Healthy Living for Visit sprouts.com/stores/search. Less” approach to grocery shopping.

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Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

AAA: Don’t Be Fueled: Premium Not Always Worth The Price

Staff Report

AAA Most tested released new vehicles showed research that a modest improveshows paying-up ment in fuel econofor premium may my and performnot be worth the ance. extra money, Since premium unless your vehigasoline costs 20cle absolutely 25% more than regrequires it. ular, the fuel econoIn a study my improvements released last recorded during year, AAA found AAA testing do not that consumers offset the potential extra cost to purwasted nearly chase premium $2.1 billion dolgasoline. lars fueling vehi"Sometimes cles with higherconsumers think octane gasoline. they are giving their While some vehicle a boost by vehicles are buying a higherdesigned to run grade gasoline than on premium what is required,” octane gasoline, others Paying for premium gas may not be worth the said Mark Jenkins, extra money if your car does not require it. spokesman, AAA – simply recomThe Auto Club mend it. AAA set Group. “AAA already out to determine proved that there is the effects of using no benefit to using premium gasoline premium gasoline in in vehicles that cars designed to run recommend it, and on regular. Now we whether the benefits in fuel econocan confidently say my and horsepowthat unless the vehier are worth the cle manufacturer higher price at the requires it, or you Audi pump. drive in demanding AAA tested a conditions, motorists variety of vehicles who buy premium that recommend, are wasting money at but do not the pump." require the use of Last year, nearly premium (91 1.5 million new vehioctane or higher) cles sold in the gasoline. United States recomA series of mend, but do not tests were conrequire, premium ducted to detergasoline. mine whether the The trend toward Miata use of premium recommending or gasoline resulted requiring higherin improved fuel economy and increased octane fuel continues to rise as manufacperformance. turers work toward meeting stringent Although AAA has already proven CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel that these vehicles are unlikely to see any Economy) standards. benefit from using premium gasoline durDrivers of vehicles that require premiing typical city or highway driving, laboraum gasoline should always use it. tory and on-road tests were performed to Daily national, state, and metro gas simulate extreme driving scenarios such price averages can be found as towing, hauling cargo and aggressive at Gasprices.aaa.com or download the acceleration. AAA Mobile App.

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December 2017

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Keller Williams Realty Moves In To Five-Story Valrico Office Building

Metro Development Fills First Crystal Lagoon In U.S., Lennar Releases Active-Adult Floorplans

By Kate Quesada

Staff Report

building due to it’s centralized location and ease of parking. “It is very important to us that we have a location that works for our agents and customers,” said Lisa Spencer, Keller Williams broker and team leader. “The

Metro Development Group recently began to fill the first Crystal Lagoon in the nation at the new Metro Places community of Epperson in Wesley Chapel. It will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and is the first of four Lagoons Metro Development Group is building in Florida. A Grand Opening Celebration is being planned for early spring 2018 where Olympic Greg Singleton, President of Metro Development Group, Swimmer and 23-time stands near pond location at the Epperson Community being developed in Wesley Chapel. The Nation’s first Gold-Medalist Michael Crystal Lagoon is scheduled to open in early spring Phelps is scheduled to 2018. It will take 45 to 60 days to fill the lagoon with 15 appear. Phelps recently million gallons of water. signed with Crystal gle-family homes will open for sale in Lagoons as its Global Ambassador to January and the villas will begin selling bring swimming and water sports to in March. more communities around the world Lennar’s single-family homes in via Crystal Lagoons’ industry-leading the community range from 1,683-2,775 technology. sq. ft. The villas in the Homeowners have community are one- or begun to move into two-story, two-bedEpperson, which will room homes with a have approximately one-car garage and 2,000 homes upon flex space or a loft. completion, and will be The homes will the first residential include ULTRAFi, community in the which will provide Connected City. internet speeds The centerpiece of up to one of the resort-style gigabit per seccommunity will be ond. Residents the 7.5 acre tropican use multiple cal lagoon providing devices at once and it families hours of enterwill not slow down tainment, relaxation the internet speed. and beachfront views “We are looking right in their backyard. forward to bringing Metro this exciting amenity Development Group to the U.S. for the first will soon break ground time ever,” said Greg on a second Lagoon at Singleton, President, Metro the Metro Places community Development Group. “Filling the Southshore Bay in Wimauma in early Lagoon at Epperson is the first step as 2018. Metro continues to raise the bar and Lennar Releases Active Adult bring cutting-edge technologies to our Floorplans other communities, including Lennar Homes announced that it ULTRAFi.” will build its first Tampa Bay area For more information on Lennar active-adult homes in the new homes in this community, call 877Montage at the SouthShore Bay com205-1328 or visit LennarTampa.com. munity. Visit The floorplans have been www.MetroDevelopmentGroup.com designed with ‘aging in place’ in mind. and www.MetroPlaces.com for more Montage at SouthShore Bay will have information on the new lagoon comeight model homes, featuring both sinmunities. gle-family homes and villas. The sin-

Keller Williams Partner Steve Moran, pictured with wife, Rhonda, and Keller Williams Broker and Team Leader Lisa Spencer.

It has been almost 10 years since construction was completed on the exterior of the five-story building located at 2350 E. S.R. 60 in Valrico and last month it finally received its first tenants. The team from Keller Williams Brandon/Suburban Tampa and Plant City already occupy the bottom floor of the building and are in the process of building out the second floor to make offices and classrooms for their 300 real estate agents. Located next to the Valrico post office, near the intersection of S.R. 60 and Miller Rd., the Angelica Tower building is owned by National Properties Trust and has five approximately 10,000 sq. ft. floors and a large parking lot. Space that is hard to find in the area. Keller Williams Partner and Brandon resident Steve Moran moved into his office on the bottom floor of the building last month after closing his former location on Lithia Center Lane in Valrico. “After driving by this building for so many years, it is so exciting that we are here,” said Moran, who refers to the building as “The Glass Skyscraper of Valrico.” Keller Williams is moving all of its agents from the Brandon, Suburban Tampa and Plant City offices into the

Page 15

space allows us to offer convenience to our buyers and sellers, something Keller Williams is prioritizing more and more.” The new location will offer spacious window offices for the group’s top agents and eight-by-eight, glasswalled offices for other Realtors. In addition, the location will feature a reception area, classrooms for continuing education for agents, meeting spaces and a kitchen. “It is rare to have this much parking space and visibility,” said Moran, who graduated from Brandon High School and has worked in real estate in the area for 23 years. “This is going to be a great move for our team.” The three remaining floors, each about 10,000 sq. ft., are in shell condition for customized build-out. Anyone interested in renting, should contact Megan Lawler with Colliers International at 221-2290. Contact Moran at 661-2476 or visit www.stevemoran.com for more information on his Real Estate business.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12

HART Promises Additional Comfort And Convenience To Attract Riders

Area YMCA Named Top Nonprofit Employer, Seeking Part-Time, Full-Time Staff

Hillsborough tomers at MTC, Area Regional UATC, Netp@ark Transit Authority and Northwest (HART) officials transfer centers." have been workThe agency ing diligently to is promising this attract riders. roll-out of Wi-Fi Recent technology as the changes and foundation of the updates, includupcoming smart ing new, consolicard program, dated routes as where passenwell as free Wi-Fi A HART rider attaches his bicycle to the front gers will be able on all of its of the bus on his way to work. The agency has to use their added a number of conveniences to its routs smartphones and busses, are and busses to attract riders. promising more dedicated comfortable and convenient trips for account-based cards to travel not only riders. the HART system but throughout the HART’s latest addition is expandTampa Bay area region. ing the availability of free wireless HARTFlex and HARTPlus vehicles Internet service to include the TECO will also receive free Wi-Fi soon. Line Streetcar System and the The recent update comes on the agency's top transit and transfer cenheels of the announcement of the ters. future departure of HART CEO Recently, HART added compliKatharine Eagan, after nearly eight mentary Wi-Fi on all fixed-route buses, years of service. but now, TECO Line Streetcar passenEagan is leaving behind a legacy gers and HART riders can check of innovation and a strong foundation emails, stream music or watch movies for future growth. on their commute. "As I look back on my tenure, I'm "This is another significant step grateful for the opportunity I've had to toward expanding technology that not work with so many great people, and I only allows HART to provide more am extremely proud of what we services to its customers, but expands achieved together," Eagan said. the HART commitment to innovative Eagan will be taking on a transit technology and solutions throughout leadership role in a new community. our system," said HART CFO Jeff For questions or comments about Seward. "We are pleased to offer this our Wi-Fi service, please contact enhanced amenity to our TECO Line Customer Service at 254-HART Streetcar System riders and our cus(4278).

With its conthe top nonprofits tinued efforts to to work for,” said bring quality proYMCA gramming to resispokesperson dents throughout Lalita Llerena. Hillsborough “Here in Tampa County, Tampa Bay, our Y has a Metropolitan Area tremendous hisYMCA facility tory as the City’s projects have oldest nonprofit, made headlines and we have Photo courtesy of YMCA in recent months. The Tampa area Y was recently named one of been evolving the best nonprofit employers. A case in over the last 129 point is the Y’s $16.4 million, Spurlino years as we strive to serve the everFamily YMCA at Big Bend Road, changing needs of our community.” named after its lead donor. The recognition is also timely in The future facility will include that the Tampa Metropolitan Area approximately 32,500 sq. ft. of indoor YMCA is currently looking for several space plus an outdoor aquatic center part-time and full-time staff. for the growing SouthShore communiSeveral positions are available at ty to enjoy for years to come. many of our 18 locations across Included in the long list of benefits Hillsborough and East Pasco counthe future facility is promising to bring ties.” is the promotion of economic developLlerena added that the Tampa Y ment by providing more than 125 jobs, is looking for talented, energetic indiwhile creating a community hub and viduals who are committed to excelbringing together diverse groups of lence in serving community members. people for the common good. The Y boasts 154 full-time and Appropriately, the Y was recently 1,210 part-time staff throughout Tampa honored and named one of the best Bay. nonprofits to work for in 2017. As for the benefits, the Y offers Indeed, the world’s number one tremendous opportunities to make a job site, reviewed data from 15 million difference as rewarding positions are company reviews and reportedly available in executive leadership, wellnamed the top15 nonprofits that give ness, aquatics, sports, administration, their employees the very best work membership and program manageexperience while empowering them to ment. serve their communities. For more information, contact “The YMCA is honored to be Jen.Federico@tampaymca.org. Or named in the Indeed report as one of visit www.tampaymca.org.

By Tamas Mondovics

By Tamas Mondovics

December 2017

Page 17

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

ter a e h T D 4 ght i l F , e c n e i Exper For Veterans Mission More… & santi, lle Cole he d by Mic rver.com e il p m o C obse @osprey e ll e h ic m

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience At The Florida Aquarium

the conservative values and the actual courtroom experience, plus I'm the only one with substantial criminal justice experience." Spano is an estate planning and probate attorney, but has served on the House criminal justice subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, currently as chairman. Spano, 51, is married and has four children ages 18-25. He graduated from the University of South Florida and the Florida State University law school.

Veteran. Option 3. Veteran unaccompanied by a Guardian sponsors himself or herself and donates $250 for a seat on the mission. For Options 2 and 3, the Veteran must be physically capable of completing the mission without assistance such as a walker, wheelchair or other mobility device. This does not preclude another veteran accompanying a veteran needing assistance. Veterans wishing to participate are urged to submit an application as soon as possible. Visit PolkVeteransCouncil.com to download an application.

admitted to practice in the State Courts of Florida, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Jamey is a volunteer attorney with Bay Area Legal Services, Rotary member, Federalist Society and Florida Justice Association member, committee member of the Planning Board of Plant City, and former board member of AMI Kids Tampa. He is committed to serving the 13th Judicial Circuit honorably and will work tirelessly to uphold the

The Florida Aquarium is getting in the holiday spirit and is excited to feature THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience at its new 4-D Moody To Run For Theater, which recently opened. Circuit Judge The 48-seat 4-D Plant City native Experience combines the James ‘Jamey’ Moody III visual drama of a 3-D film has filed to run for Circuit with a variety of sensory Judge, serving effects built into the seats Hillsborough County. and the theater environMoody, a local attorney ment. The 4-D Experience and Florida native, gradubrings on-screen images ated from Plant City High The 48-seat 4-D theater recently opened at The Florida Aquarium to life with such added School and is the son of new featuringTHE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience. effects such as bubbles, longtime Federal Judge wind and scents for a fully immersive James S. Moody, Jr. He received Yellow Ribbon Flight To Honor cinematic experience. his degrees from the University of Veterans The 4-D Theater is located in the Florida, and worked in the finance sec- Constitution of the United States, as well as the Florida Constitution. The Yellow Ribbon mission taking Aquarium’s outdoor plaza by The tor prior to receiving his Juris Jamey Moody is a devoted husVeterans from Lakeland Linder Airport Splash Pad and is open daily from 10 Doctor. He was selected to Super band and father, who understands the to Washington DC will take place on a.m. to 4:30 p.m. THE POLAR Lawyers Rising Stars (2011-2014), is a and challenges our community needs April 11, 2018. EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience® will member of the Hillsborough County faces. Jamey will serve the residents The mission will be a one day through January 11, 2018. This 13Bar Association, and the Plant City Bar of Hillsborough County with the highevent departing early in the morning minute show is a family-friendly, modAssociation, where he served as est integrity, discipline, and dedication. and returning that day. ern classic and will be shown multiple President from 2006-2008. He is The mission will take place during times a day. The 4-D Theater experithe Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in. All Veterans ence is included in general admission who have not participated in a previto The Florida Aquarium. Locally Owned ous Honor Flight or Flight to Honor are by a Winthrop Resident eligible. State Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, At the request of numerous veterHas Filed To Run For Attorney ans of the Vietnam and later eras, General In 2018 options were created that a veteran State Rep. Ross Spano, now in may select to participate on the mishis third two-year term in the state sion. House, becomes the fourth candidate Option 1. Veteran accompanied by to enter the Republican primary for the a Guardian. This is primarily for a seat term-limited Attorney General Veteran requiring physical assistance Pam Bondi will vacate next year. and/or a Guardian specifically requestAsked why he's entering what ing to accompany a particular promises to be a tough primary with Veteran. The Guardian donates $450 three other well-known candidates, for the opportunity. No cost to the one from his own home turf, Spano Veteran. (or) said he believes he stands out in the Option 2. Veteran unaccompanied field. by a Guardian, but sponsored by a "If I felt the right person was Must present this coupon. One time use only. family member, employer, organization already in the race I wouldn't have or friend. The sponsor contributes chosen to run," he said. "I'm the only $250 for a seat on the mission for the one that has legislative experience,

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

ss, o L t h g i e W air F b o J , g n GardeniMore… & ti, lesan helle Co ic M y b d m Compile preyobserver.co s o @ e ll e mich

TOPS Weight Loss Support Group

Non-profit weight loss support group, TOPS, shares ideas about nutrition and low calorie choices. There are speaker programs, contests, prizes and fun while getting healthier and thinner. The cost is $6 per month and $34 a year for the National Club. Meetings are held on Tuesday’s from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, located at 121 Carver St.(behind Bills Pharmacy). There is no cost to attend your first meeting. For more information, call Elizabeth at 924-1512.

Master Gardener Clinic At Bloomingdale Regional Library – Are Your Garden Bugs Good Or Bad?

On Wednesday, January 3, 2018 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., there will be a Master Gardener Clinic on Good Bugs/Bad Bugs:/Intergrated Pest Management given by the Hillsborough County Extension Environmental Horticultural Agent and Master Gardener Nicole Pinson at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906

Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. The clinic is free and will address the question; Are those bugs in your yard helpful, harmful, or harmless? It will help you learn to identify common yard insects - good and bad and friendly ways to manage them. This event is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Master Gardner Program of the Hillsborough County Extension, University of Florida, IFAS Extension.

Learn About Orchids At Riverview Garden Club’s January Meeting

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its business meeting on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be Gerri Almond on Orchids. The club's address is Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview. Call 6546987 for more information.

Veterans Job Fair Tampa

RecruitMilitary helps military veterans and military spouses connect with employers that seek to attract, hire and retain America’s best talent. RecruitMilitary and DAV will host a Veterans Job Fair on Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Armature Works, 1910 N. Ola Ave. in Tampa. This is a free hiring event for veterans, transitioning military personnel,

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Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

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, selfcare, cognition, and memory, all of which can be impacted by Parkinson’s Disease. The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in the assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low

Volume 12, Issue 12

vision and other diseases. For more information or to register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bass Fishing Club Looking For Members

North Tampa Bass Club is looking for new boaters and non-boaters to this friendly fishing club serving the Tampa area for 30 years. It is a draw format. Anglers and co-anglers are randomly paired and fish as a team. Established in 1988, it continues to promote the values of a friendly fishing club with the goal of education, conservation, community service and enhancing the sport of Bass Fishing. Monthly meetings and tournaments help build camaraderie and teach new fishermen the techniques necessary to compete. NTBC is the host for the annual Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) bass tournament and started the Tampa Bay Junior Bass Club for 11-18 year olds. Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Gaspar's Patio bar and Grill at 8448 N. 56th St. in Temple Terrace. The next meeting will be on January 9. Visit www.northtampabassclub.com or call Steve Jarrett, President (Valrico resident) at 391-4105.

December 2017

Page 19

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

mic, o C p U d Stan istory H s e r u t a Fe Luncheon ding Dresses & Of Wed ore… M olesanti,

comedy…intentionally,’ returns to Derry by popular demand in a program open to all in the community and universally enjoyable. There’s a reason why Sirius/XM satellite radio plays helle C Rabbi Bob Alper’s comedy bits d by Mic rver.com e il p m o e C s b o y several times daily, e r @osp michelle often sandwiched between Bob Newhart and Jerry Seinfeld: Bob’s unique background…he’s an ordained rabbi who served A History of Wedding Dresses congregations for 14 years Featured At BCWC’s January and holds a doctorate from Lunch Princeton Theological The Brandon Christian Women’s Seminary…prepared him well Connection’s January luncheon will for a 28 year comedy career feature a display and history of with wonderfully unique mateWedding Dresses by Leigh Anne rial presented in a way that’s intelliWright. The Luncheon will take place gent, sophisticated, and 100% clean. on Monday, January 8 from He is the 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Bell Shoals author of three Baptist Church in the Special books that further Event Center, located at 2102 showcase his conBell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. siderable talents: This is a nondenominational Life Doesn't Get event and no membership is Any Better Than required. The cost is $15 This, an inspiraand first time guests pay tional collection $10. A reservation is requestnow in its fifth ed due to limited seating. printing, the Please call Lillie at 740award-winning full0098 for information. color cartoon book A Rabbi Rabbi/Stand Up Comic Confesses, and Appearing At Congregation the newly-pubBeth Shalom lished Thanks. I Enjoy 90 minutes of non- Rabbi Bob Alper’s appears as a Needed That. He stand up comedian. stop laughter at Congregation has also produced Beth Shalom of Brandon, 706 two best-selling comedy CDs, and a Bryan Rd. in Brandon on Saturday, 102-minute DVD, What are you…a January 6, when ‘the world’s only comedian? practicing clergyman doing stand-up Tickets are on sale and cost $20

in advance and $25 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m. Call 681-6547 for more information or visit www.bethshalom-brandon.org and follow the link to purchase tickets online.

Southside Baptist Church To Celebrate Its 50 Year Anniversary

Due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, the September celebration was canceled. Former and current church members are invited to attend the 50th Anniversary celebration of Southside Baptist Church on Sunday, January 14 at 10 a.m. The festivities will begin with a memories program with guest speakers. The celebration will conclude with a catered lunch where friends both from the past and present can mingle. For more information and to RSVP, visit southsidebrandon.org/sbc50 or call the church office at 689-6049. Southside Baptist Church is located at 415 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon.

Congregation Beth Shalom Presents An Evening With Author Morris Wolff, Esq.

Meet and hear Morris Wolff,

Dr. Amir Boules

Esq. who unraveled the mystery of Raoul Wallenberg’s disappearance and sued the former Soviet Union for Wallenberg’s release. It will take place at Congregation Beth Shalom, 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon on Saturday, January 20 at 7 p.m. Raoul Wallenberg, a Righteous Christian who saved thousands of Jewish lives during WWII mysteriously disappeared when the Soviet Union liberated Hungary. Wolff has been awarded the United Nations Peace Award for Humanitarian Service, and the National Council of Christian and Jews Medal for humanitarian service for his work in contributing to the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964. A private wine and cheese event will kick off the evening. Tickets for the private event are $18. Wolff will present highlights from his book, Whatever Happened to Raoul Wallenberg and will autograph copies for sale. Donations appreciated and all are welcome. Please RSVP to the congregation office, at 681-6547.

Christmas Eve Services At Journey Church

Journey Church will be holding two services on Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24. The regular service will take place at 9 a.m. and a candlelight service will be held at 5 p.m. Journey Church is located at 1310 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 699-8262 or visit www.journey7.com.

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Page 20

Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

ter a e h T D 4 ght i l F , e c n e i Exper For Veterans Mission More… & santi, lle Cole

award-winning, games, and watching 10 week program the Polar Express will be offered in movie. Children can three separate come dressed in their classes which run pajamas and participate simultaneously. in a pajama contest. The first option It will take place at e h ic will begin Music Showcase, 402 M d by m Compile preyobserver.co on Tuesday, Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. @os michelle January 16, 10:30 The cost is $35/child. a.m.- 1:30 p.m.; Register at musicshowthe caseonline.com. second, Friday, Scrapbooking Event At January 19, 1:30Brandon Girl Holy Innocent’s 4:30 p.m. and the Crowned Our Saturday, Episcopal Church third, Little Miss Florida Benefits Missions January 20, 1:30Universal Beauty 4:30 p.m. A Holy Innocent’s 0-2 Robert (l) and Ronald Ramos recently brochure giving Episcopal Church is Aaliyah represented the Lee Jacobs Martial more information Arts School at Disney’s Wild World of hosting a weekend Yarbrough, 34 about the proSports tournament. The tournament scrapbooking event months, recently gram is available was in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Ronald took on Friday, January19 competed in 2nd in two divisions and Robert took from 6:30-10 in the library Florida's Our Little 1st in two divisions. foyer. Adult stup.m. and Saturday, Miss Scholarship dents should plan to attend all 10 January 20 from 9 a.m.-6 Competition and classes. You may register for the p.m. Registration fees include workshe competed classes at the library’s ‘Ask Desk’, or Week Free Life Story Ten space and, for Friday a light dinner; against girls from all by emailing Writing Classes Begin In for Saturday a light breakfast, lunch, over the state of LifeWritersBloom@msn.com. Please January drinks and dessert. You must bring Aaliya Yarbrough was Florida vying for the crowned Our Little Miss send an email if you have your own supplies. Registration fees Free Life title, Our Little Miss Florida’s Universal Beauty questions. Spaces both days are $45 (Friday only is for Story Writing/ Florida's Universal 0-2. are limited and fill up $25 and Saturday only is $30). There Memoir Beauty 0-2. fast. will be raffle prizes and a Creative Classes, sponThe competition is a non-glitz, Memories rep will be there on family-oriented scholarship competition sored by the Polar Express Saturday for some make-and-takes. Friends of the that promotes inner beauty and self Pajama Party Proceeds from this event will benLibrary, are schedconfidence. Aaliyah won in her age Enjoy a night of efit Holy Innocents mission trips. The uled to begin in division and was crowned the 2017holiday fun on Friday, event will be held at Holy Innocents January 2018. The 2018 Florida's Universal Beauty 0-2. December 22 from 6- Episcopal Church, 604 N. Valrico Rd. classes will be 10 p.m. for children in Valrico. You can register Local Youngster Represents Florida held at the ages 5-12 that will at www.hiepiscopal.org. For more Bloomingdale In Miss 2017 World’s Universal include making info, call the church during business Library, 1906 Beauty Competition crafts, drinking hot hours at 689-3130. Bloomingdale Ave. Nevaeh Yarbrough is the Our Little Nevaeh Yarbrough at the Tomb of the chocolate, playing in Valrico. This Miss 2017 World's Universal Beauty 02. She competed at an all-natural Scholarship Competition at the World level, representing Florida, and won the overall 0-2 title in January. She has spent the year volunteering in her community, totaling 40 hours of community service, with 10 required hours needed to receive her Scholarship this January when she crowns her successor. She recently had the distinct honor of participating in the Public Wreath Laying Ceremony in Arlington, Virginia at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, while representing Florida and her World title with OLM. It was an emotionally moving ceremony and has opened the door for teaching children the importance of remembering and honoring those who have served our country and continue to defend us so we can be free.

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Free Education Resources Now Available At New 24/7 PBS KIDS Channel

By Allison Alvarez Hedrick

Parents and provide educational teachers in West resources that help Central Florida now children learn to read, have access to thouwrite and think criticalsands of free educaly,” said Susan tional resources with Howarth, president the addition of the and CEO of WEDU 24/7 PBS KIDS PBS. “Adding PBS channel on WEDU. KIDS allows us even More than 130,000 more opportunities to free online resources help the children in our including educational communities learn and videos, games and grow.” Check lesson plans are WEDU now out available for educabroadcasts PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger’s shows 24 hours a day tors and parents to use as a companion and offers a live Neighborhood on WEDU’s new PBS to popular PBS stream, making it easy Kids channel. KIDS programs like for children to watch Sesame Street, Arthur, and Daniel Tiger’s their favorite series during primetime and Neighborhood, which are now broadcast other after-school hours when viewing on the new PBS KIDS channel. The free among families is high. PBS KIDS is resources are available at available on digital channel 3.5 and florida.pbslearningmedia.org. Frontier channel 473. WEDU PBS is Research shows these educational working with other cable providers to add resources make a difference. Students the new channel. The PBS KIDS live outperformed national assessment norms stream can be accessed online at by 10 percent on average when these www.wedu.org/kids/. resources were integrated into existing For more information about the curriculum, according to a 2015 study by resources available for educators in the Education Development Center’s WEDU PBS’s 16-county coverage area, Center for Children and Technology. Plus, contact Gail Taylor, Director of parents rank PBS KIDS above all other Educational Services, at kids’ television networks in preparing chilgtaylor@wedu.org. Parents and teachers dren for school, helping them develop the can also receive information on upcoming educational skills they need to succeed, kids events, educator workshops and and modeling positive behavior, accordwebinars, and receive monthly lesson ing to a 2016 survey. plans, education resources and parenting “For nearly 60 years, WEDU PBS tips by signing up for WEDU PBS’s has worked with parents and teachers to monthly Kids and Education newsletter.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12

December 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Page 23

Alafia Driving Academy Helps Makes Outdoor Ice Skating Now Available In New Drivers Road Safe & Test Ready Downtown Tampa By Marie Gilmore

Can you than 4,500 hours remember your on the road.” first car? Mine Alafia Driving was a 1981 Ford Academy was LTD with two launched four doors and autoyears ago after matic steering. It Dolmseth left the was easy to IT market in order park… just find to go into business the furthest for himself. Alafia Driving spot in the Lessons are Academy owner Cole Dolmseth parking lot, far scheduled online poses with FishHawk student Cross Gilmore. away from other and the student cars because when those doors opened, and parent receive email and text they needed space. reminders of the upcoming appointment. Fast forward to our local community “What I love best about this business with hundreds of teens graduating from is working with new drivers and breaking Learner’s Permit to Driver’s License on a them out of their shells,” adds Dolmseth daily basis. Driver’s Ed is an option if who grew up in Hawaii and is an Air available but offers limited ‘real world’ Force Veteran. “A lot of kids are really driving opportunities. To fill the gap, a priwithdrawn and giving them the freedom vate company such as Alafia Driving to get out and drive really opens up their Academy with its own vehicles, its own world.” instructors and an actual curriculum that Brand new drivers typically need anydoesn’t include the words ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ where between five to eight hours to are a great option and peace of mind for complete the training. The student is parents of those new drivers. picked up and dropped off from home And, as Alafia Driving Academy and lessons are typically 60-90 minutes owner Cole Dolmseth will tell you, each. although they have a superb curriculum In addition, Alafia has a stick shift to follow for new drivers, that only makes vehicle available for training and offers a up half of his business. The other half DMV prep. In fact, for an extra fee, an range in age from 24-74 years old and Alafia instructor will escort the student to are also need the reinforcement for merg- the DMV for the test. ing, parking, collision avoidance, Alafia Driving Academy is a ValricoInterstate driving, hard braking and staybased business. Currently, it has five ing safe on the roadways. instructors, including two Veterans, offer“We’ve had more than eleven huning lessons throughout Eastern dred local students through our school,” Hillsborough. Visit www.alafiadrivingacadsaid Dolmseth, “This represents more emy.com or call 438-9712.

By Kathy L. Collins

The yearly trawhich features dition of outdoor Kahwa Coffee, ice skating has Mise Waterfront returned to downBar and Whatever town Tampa. This Pops. year’s Winter This is a fun Village will include holiday activity for the whole family. Winter Village Chrissy Nieves, a Shops, extended resident of dates, the Winter Winthrop in Village Express, Riverview said, movies, lighted Ice skating, holiday shopping and more avail- “We go every year boat parade (a free able at the Winter Village in Curtis Hixon Park and just love it.” event set to take in downtown Tampa now through Friday, January 5, 2018. Rent skates place on Saturday, and get 90 minDecember 23 at 6 utes on the ice for just $13. Group rates p.m.) and more. The Winter Village and are available and you can rent the rink for ice skating take place in Curtis Hixon a private party by contacting Rachel Park which is situated along the Hillsborough River at 600 N. Ashley Dr. in Radawec at rradawec@tampasdowntown.com or call 221-3686. downtown Tampa. The ice skating rink will be open The temporary ice skating rink and Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 Winter Village will be up through Friday, p.m. On Friday the hours are 4 to 10 p.m. January 5, 2018. The Winter Village On Saturday, come out anytime between Shops are made up of 10 local mer10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and on Sunday from chants. The pop up holiday shopping 12 to 9 p.m. During school breaks, the experience allows shoppers to get an rink is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday assortment of holiday decorations and through Saturday and 12 to 9 p.m. on gifts including apparel, handmade toys, Sunday. The rink will be open on jewelry and dog accessories. Christmas Eve from 12 to 6 p.m. and on New this year is the Winter Village Christmas Day from 4 to 10 p.m. Hours Express. You can hop on a holiday vary for the Winter Village Shops. themed streetcar in either Ybor City (at In addition to all of this, you can quarter past the hour) or at the Whiting Station (at quarter till the hour). Roundtrip enjoy outdoor movies on select Friday and Saturday nights thanks to the Tampa tickets are $5. The Streetcar runs from Theatre. Visit www.tampatheatre.org for a 3:15 to 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, November list of the movies and showing times. 19 and 26 and December 3, 10 and 17. For more information, please visit You can also treat yourself to a holiwww.wintervillagetampa.com. day snack at the Café at Winter Village

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12


December 2017

Volume 12, Issue 12

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section

CHALKLINES....................................PG 28 FIXER UPPER DONATES...................PG 32 TV LIGHT SHOW .............................PG 35

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT....................PG 37 SPORTS CONNECTION....................PG 38‐39

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tions early. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/create-your-lifevision-board-workshop-tickets39345129341?aff=es2. CoWork Landing has one office available for the business owner who needs a one-person office in a collaborative work environment centrally located in Brandon. If you are interested, please call Shannon at 924-4679.

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Master Garage Door Company Celebrates Two Decades Of Service

Master Garage Door Company recently celebrated 20 years of service.


Attend Vision Board Party To Help Define Your Ideas

Most of us have fleeting ideas of what we want to be, do or have in our lives; but they remain just that: fleeting. After all, who has the time to intentionally get clear about what we want to create? A Vision Board is a way to see your own ideas to yourself, to anchor to your dreams and allow the magic of manifestation to work in your life. This event will take place on Saturday, January 13 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at CoWork Landing, 522 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. It will include brunch, mimosas and new friends. Seating is limited to 20 so make your reserva-

In November, Master Garage Door Company celebrated 20 years of service. “It’s been an incredible journey,” said Steve Manning, owner of Master Garage Door. “When we started, we wanted our business to be known for honest, trustworthy service, and that’s carried us through all these years. We are grateful for our customers and our community” Manning, along with his wife, Tawnie Manning, founded their family business in Gibsonton in 1997 and relocated to Brandon in 1998. Master Garage Door operates in Hillsborough County. They sell and repair garage doors and related accessories, such as springs and garage door openers. They respond to both routine and emergency service calls.

Continued on Next Page

Page 26

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

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

By Michelle Colesanti

“Most people don’t often think about their garage door systems. It’s easy to take them for granted. But all that changes immediately when there’s a problem with the system. When people are unable to use Photo courtesy of Ed Booth, Huth and Booth Photography their cars or Nothing Bundt Cakes celebrates its grand opening. enter or secure their please every palate. Pick-up and Go homes through their garages, it's a or have a seat and relax, there is major problem,” said Steve Manning. something for everybody at the Big “Garage door systems are more Red Barn. Enjoy seasonal activities on than just conveniences — they’re the grounds, shop the fresh produce important parts of daily life,” said and meat market, browse a menu of Tawnie Manning. “We love providing fresh prepared to-go meals for lunch our community with the support and or dinner, you will love the new expeservices needed to keep their homes rience at Remi’s Minis and the Big and businesses functioning.” Red Barn. It is open Monday through Call 684-7744. Visit Saturday 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. and closed www.MasterGarageDoor.com. on Sunday. Call 525-7282. Visit Remi’s Minis at its original Remi’s Minis Opens Second location, 11267 Winthrop Main Street Location At The Big Red Barn in Riverview Tuesday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Visit Delicious aromas are in the air as www.remisminis.com. Remi’s Minis is mixing it up, the batter that is, with the Big Red Barn located Nothing Bundt Cakes Celebrates near the intersection of Gibsonton Rd. Grand Opening and I-75. The gourmet mini delights you have come to know and love at Nothing Bundt Cakes stores have Winthrop opened up all Plaza are over the country now easier as and now they Remi’s are open right branches out here in to new Riverview. places. Greater Remi’s Riverview recently celeChamber of brated its Commerce grand open(GRCC) is ing at the Big thrilled to have Red Barn, them as a mem10070 Fern ber and part of Hill Dr. in their family. Riverview. Members from Satisfy your Riverview and own sweet Brandon tooth craving Chambers, or pick up a along with pre-order for your next party, reunion friends, family and staff of Nothing or wedding, Remi’s offers its full menu Bundt Cakes showed up recently to of traditional and specialty creations to celebrate with them as they cut the

ceremonial ribbon. This makes the second store for owners, Teresa and Robert Shuffield, their first store is located in Orlando. Nothing Bundt Cakes creates cakes using hand-crafted recipes that not only remind you of home, but also open you to a new world. At Nothing Bundt Cakes, you get real eggs, butter and cream cheese in every cake. Check out the homey feeling store at 11238 Sullivan Street in Winthrop Town Centre where there are always free samples available. Everything you need to make your party complete is available. You can pick up your card, party plates, candles and more while you are picking out your favorite cake. The hardest part is choosing from the 10 delicious varieties. Visit www.nothingbundtcakes.com or call 409-2394 to place your order ahead of time.

Bahama Breeze’s New Year’s Eve Junkanoo Jam And New Year’s Day Recovery

Volume 12, Issue 12

Little Greek Fresh Grill Celebrates Third Anniversary

Tampa-based Little Greek Fresh Grill, a fast-casual Greek restaurant with an American influence recently celebrated its third anniversary. The owner/operator is Frank “Foti” Gianniosis. “Little Greek Fresh Grill has established a great home in the Valrico-Lithia area,” said Nick Vojnovic, Little Greek Fresh Grill president and local Valrico River Hills resident. Little Greek Fresh Grill emphasizes fresh Greek dishes created from generations of traditional family recipes, with its chicken items among the most popular. The Valrico location at 3474 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. is open Sunday to

Guests can enjoy a CaribbeanPhoto courtesy of Ed Booth, Huth and Booth Photography inspired New Twin Creeks Assisted Living And Memory Care Year’s Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Friday Eve Junkanoo celebration featuring and Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. live music and giveaways while sippin’ and offers dine-in, take-out and cateron Legendary Island Cocktails starting ing. at $2.18 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Call 685-0819 or visit littlegreekLegendary Island Cocktail menu freshgrill.com. includes the following: Gombay Smash, Painkiller, Yuka Hula Hickey Twin Creeks Assisted Living And Dula, Zombie and Dark ‘N Stormy. Memory Care Visit Twin Creeks Assisted Living and www.bahamabreeze.com/events/what- Memory Care, 13470 Boyette Rd. in is-the-junkanoo-parade. Riverview, is opening in 2018 and On New Year’s Day, come recover recently celebrated with a ribbon cutin the islands with Bahama Breeze ting ceremony. Guests toured the and sip on the ‘What a Bloody Mary’” beautiful facilities and tasted some of – an island-twist to the traditional the delicious food prepared by the culihangover cure – starting at $7.99 all nary team. day. Visit twincreeksretire.com or call 278-5800.

December 2017

Page 27

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Daley & Associates Provides World-Class Medical Care In A Personal Way

By Nick Nahas

Dr. currently Andrew Chairman of Daley has the Quality always had a Council and passion for was the Chief helping his of Staff of patients. As a Brandon result, he Regional formed his Hospital. own traditionAccording al internal to the website, medical pracpatients of Dr. Daley celebrates the one-year anniversary of opening his practice in Brandon. tice, Daley & Daley & Associates Prime Medical Tampa Bay, in Associates enjoy a full range of compre2013 in Bradenton. In 2015, he opened hensive health services, including prevenhis second location in Brandon, where he tative health and wellness counseling and currently lives. “We want to treat the diabetic teaching. The electronic medical patient as if they are a part of a larger records used by the practice ensure effifamily,” Daley said. “My practice extends cient access and accurate safekeeping beyond the four walls; it also extends while maintaining the highest standards care to the outpatients’ home.” for the privacy and security of records. Dr. Since graduating from medical Daley is currently accepting new patients. school at the University of Connecticut in For customers’ convenience, most 1997, he has been practicing medicine commercial insurance, including Aetna, for over 20 years. Daley, an Air Force vet- AvMed, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, eran, moved to the Brandon area when CIGNA, Humana, Tricare, and United he was assigned to MacDill Air Force Healthcare are accepted. Traditional Base back in 2003. He was a major in Medicare as well as the following the Air Force, as well as a physician and Medicare Advantage plans: Aetna, Blue Chief of Internal Medicine. Before he Cross and Blue Shield, CIGNA, Freedom started his own practice, he was a manHealthcare, Humana PPO, and United aging partner at Cornerstone Medicare of Healthcare Medicare Complete are also Brandon for eight years. accepted. Daley has had a decorated career in “I’d like to feel like I am a part of the medical field. He currently sits on the something much bigger,” said Daley. “I’d board at Brandon Regional Hospital and like the opportunity to give the kind of has chaired the Diabetes Performance care that my family and I have received in Improvements Committee. Daley was the past.” also past chair and is a current member For more information call Dr. Daley’s of the Hospital Board of Trustees. He is office at 530-0903.

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Page 28

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12

Story by Tamas Mondovics

Students Safety, Teachers Recognition And Buccaneer Academies Bring 2017 To A Close Spoto High Hosts Mock DUI Crash Awareness Presentation

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Community Outreach Division, in conjunction with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue presented a Mock DUI crash to students at Spoto High School earlier this month. The 30-45 minute program demonstrated the dangers of drunk driving including the realities of what may occur during Students watch a mock DUI crash scene involving student fatality. The event emphasized the realities of a crash involving an impaired what can occur when individuals drink and drive. The event corresponded with the winter holiday season. driver. Spoto High School stuThe Hillsborough Education dents willingly played the roles of the Foundation traveled to schools around vehicle drivers and passengers. the county last month to surprise 13 The presentation is put on by top-notch educators as finalists for this HCSO in conjunction with HCFR and year’s Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator our outstanding community partners at of the Year, Instructional Support TGH Aeromed, Professional Towing, Employee of the Year and Teacher of and Blount and Curry Funeral Homes. the Year awards. The Sheriff’s Office has been conThe 13 finalists, including Dover ducting Mock DUI Crash events for Elementary School, Bilingual Spanish nearly 15 years as it visits about four Aide, Miriam Velez-Herandez, represchools per year. sent the best of the best in “If possible, the presentation aims Hillsborough County Public Schools. to accommodate a school safety event Velez-Hernandez is one of four such as a buckle-up event, homecomInstructional Support Employee of the ing or holiday season,” said HCSO Year finalists. Public Information Officer Larry A winner in each category will be McKinnon. named at the 2018 Excellence in According to the Sheriff's Office, Education Awards presented by the the well-received program continues Suncoast Credit Union on January 16, making its way through all the local 2018 at the Straz Center for the high schools as the sad, but very Performing Arts. effective presentation demonstrates 2018 Excellence in Education the reality of what can happen when Facts: drinking and driving. ◦ Total Nominees – 650 Student Sarah Walker agreed as ◦ Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator she emphasized that the program of the Year (IDA) – 211 made its point well, adding that while ◦ Instructional Support Employee at first some of the students did not of the Year (ISEOY) – 203 take the event seriously, things quickly ◦ Teacher of the Year (TOY) – 236 changed as they watched the student ◦ Finalists – 13 (four finalists for killed in the crash removed. IDA, four finalists for ISEOY; five finalFor more information about the ists for TOY) Sheriff's Office Mock DUI Crash event, For a complete list and more inforplease visit, www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. mation about the 2018 Excellence in Education Awards, visit www.educaDover Teacher Among tionfoundation.com.

Hillsborough’s 2018 Excellence In Education Awards Finalists

Buccaneers Players Honor Local

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Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) were honored last month by two Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, Keith Tandy and Kevin Pamphile. The two were selected to represent the Bucs Care Foundation, featuring Hillsborough County Public Schools Buccaneer Academies on custom cleats during the 2017 season’s first December home game. According to HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja, players across the NFL have the opportunity to design cleats

featuring causes near and dear to their hearts. Hillsborough County Public Schools boasts of 24 schools including Lithia Springs and Bevis Elementary schools located in Valrico and FishHawk respectively, designated as a Buccaneer Academy serving close to 14,000 students. Buccaneers players and cheerleaders visit the Bucs Academies throughout the school year to provide academic support and encourage students to strive for excellence. The ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign is just another way to support students in Hillsborough County and show the Buccaneers commitment to the children of this community. Keith Tandy’s cleats even feature the names of all 24 Buccaneers Academies. “I chose to get involved with the Bucs Care Foundation so that I can make a difference in the Tampa Bay area,” said Keith Tandy. “Working with the Bucs Care Foundation gives me the opportunity to volunteer in the local Tampa Bay Community and give back to kids,” said Kevin Pamphile. For more information, please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

December 2017

Page 29

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

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Page 30

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12

Bluegrass, Patsy Cline Tribute Show And More Are Offered At The Florida Opry In Plant City

The Florida Aquarium And London Museum Team Up To Save Coral Reefs

The Florida Florida Strawberry Opry will continFestival for a numue its 2017ber of years. 2018 season "The Florida with Southern Opry is a family Express friendly live music Bluegrass Band concert venue that on Saturday, is held right here January 6. in our community," Southern said Shelby The Southern Express Bluegrass Band will per- Bender, President Express form at the Florida Opry on Saturday, January 6. Bluegrass Band The Florida Opry is housed in the historic 1914 and Executive is one of the Director of the Plant City High School Community Center. premier Florida East Hillsborough bluegrass bands. It’s members all have Historical Society. "Our professional long and distinguished backgrounds in musicians are highly regarded in music bluegrass. The band is comprised of showcases throughout the southeast five very accomplished members who and beyond," added Bender. are talented both instrumentally and The Florida Opry is one of the vocally. many programs that the East There will be two shows in Hillsborough Historical Society funds February. The first one is a Patsy Cline and operates. "In hosting the Florida Tribute Show on Saturday, February 3. Opry, the East Hillsborough Historical There will also be a fundraising comedy Society is striving to keep live music, show. The date of the comedy show will it's legends and history a part of what be announced. we offer to the community. We offer In April, the Florida Opry will feature venue where entertainment is affordLarry Mangum, a singer songwriter with able and suitable for everyone," added over five decades of performing folk, Bender. rock, country and Americana. Mangum All Florida Opry shows begin at 6 has lived in Florida since 1970. He has p.m. Tickets to the Florida Opry are $15 released 10 albums of original music for adults and $8 for students. You can and two live albums since 1980. reserve tickets by calling 757-9226 or Mangum is also an award-winning email info@thefloridaopry.com. songwriter. You can pay for and pick up the The Florida Opry's Master of tickets by visiting the East Hillsborough Ceremonies is Randy Scott, a Plant Historical Society office located at the City native who is a singer-songwriter. 1914 Plant City High School He sings both country and gospel Community Center at 605 N. Collins St. infused music and has performed at the in downtown Plant City.

Reef Tract. The Florida The new Aquarium and partnership with the Horniman The Florida Museum and Aquarium takes Gardens, based the research proin London, have tocols developed joined forces to in the Horniman’s save coral reefs lab in Forest Hill, by spawning south London, (reproducing) and applies them corals in a lab – in The Florida a major techPhoto Courtesy of The Florida Aquarium nique to aid coral Keri O'Neil at The Florida Aquarium's Center for Aquarium’s stateConservation with coral that has grown in the lab of-the-art coral restoration that from wild spawning. conservation has only been nursery in Apollo Beach. accomplished at the Horniman. “Project Coral is ‘game-changing,’ Corals in the wild reproduce by allowing us to spawn corals on site, crereleasing their eggs and sperm into the water at the same time, which is an event ate multiple spawning events across the year and drastically speed up restoration that is increasingly more uncertain given work to ensure the survival of Florida’s the changing climate. This wild spawning reef,” said Scott Graves, Director of The event only happens once per year, which Florida Aquarium’s Center for has meant opportunities for research Conservation. have been limited – until now. Corals bred at The Florida Aquarium Keri O’Neil, The Florida Aquarium’s using Project Coral techniques – all from Coral Nursery Manager, recently visited species listed as threatened under the the Horniman to learn their techniques of U.S. Endangered Species Act – will be growing corals in a lab setting and braintransplanted into the ocean to restore the storm ideas of how to transport future Florida Reef off the state’s south eastern coral fragments to Florida for restoration coast. purposes. “This partnership with The Florida The Horniman Aquarium started Project Coral and in 2013 became Aquarium is Project Coral’s first opportunity to make a ‘real world’ change, and the first organization globally to prewe look forward to seeing the positive dictably induce coral spawning in a fully effects our work together will have on closed aquarium lab setting. Now The Florida’s reefs” said Jamie Craggs, Florida Aquarium is providing even more Aquarium Curator at the Horniman expertise to enhance this project with Museum and Gardens. plans to plant the lab-grown coral fragVisit www.flaquarium.org. ments to coral reefs along the Florida

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Page 31

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Feely Athletics Paves Way For Kicking & Punting Students To Get To NFL

By Nick Nahas

Tom Feely has Feely Athletics, the premade an impact on mier kicking, snapping many young lives, and punting school in the whether it is in the classU.S. Fifteen of Feely’s room or on the football students have made it to field. Feely, a National the NFL, most notably, Board Certified teacher Jay, who played for 14 and counselor, is the seasons in the league only person in his field and is now a football with that honor. He has commentator and analyst been coaching sports for for CBS. Other students most of his life, including include current NFL punPhoto courtesy of Tom Feely football for 47 years and Matt Boscher and ters Tom Feely is the founder of three state champiFeely Athletics, the premier kick- Brad Pinion and kicker ing, snapping and punting school Cody Parkey. onships. in the U.S. Feely, a father of six In 2014, Feely’s life sons took a special interest in kicking changed forever. He was in great physiwhen his son, Jay Feely, wanted to trancal shape, having run several marathons sition from soccer to football when he and triathlons as an adult and was also was in high school. “I had already considered a healthy eater. At the age of coached high school football for about 20 62, he was sent to the hospital after havyears when he was dubbed the JV kicker, ing chest pains, and doctors determined but I knew nothing about kicking, so that because of his genetics, he would together we embarked on a journey to need multiple bypass operations for his learn from the few experts of the day,” heart. “Now I am in better shape than I said Feely. With the combination of what was 30 years ago, and 40 pounds lighter. they learned from the kicking gurus and I have made drastic lifestyle changes, Tom’s background in sports psychology, which have made a huge difference.” they were able to come up with a formula Feely has used his new lease on life for success. to continue to make a difference in young “We developed a distinct approach to lives. He is now retired from teaching and kicking that helped me weather the ebbs counseling and spends a lot of his time and flows of the position,” said Jay Feely. training football players. His company, “I was successful because I was mentally Feely Athletics, has become a success, tough and that is directly attributable to and has helped many athletes gain colmy father.” lege scholarships and even make it to the After his success with Jay and the NFL. knowledge he had gained about the For more information, or if you would mechanics of kicking, Tom began teachlike to sign up for lessons, visit ing other students. He later founded FeelyAthletics.com.

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Page 32

Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Fixer Upper’s Chip & Joanna Gaines Sponsor Valrico Woman To Climb To New Heights With Her Non Profit Dreams

Coinciding with the release of his new book Capital Gaines, Chip Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper launched his ChipStarter contest. The contest invited others with big dreams to pitch their ideas through a two-minute video with the hopes of receiving financial backing. Chip and his wife Joanna star on a reality television show in Waco, Texas where they take the worst house on the block and transform it into something beautiful. The two have been transparent about their faith in God and continuously acknowledge God for their success. Likewise, the couple has not forgotten those who came alongside them financially and invested in their dream. From this posture of gratitude, Chip and Joanna conceived the ChipStarter contest as a way to give back by making someone else’s dream a reality. After reviewing more than 2,700 video submissions, the couple selected six finalists and flew them to the Lone Star State for the big reveal. Alexis Vazquez, a Bloomingdale High School graduate, was one of the six finalists. Since a sophomore in high school, Vazquez has owned her own photography business. The 24-year-old is a visual storyteller who creates narratives through use of photography. Vazquez’s love for God and her craft have led her to trot around the globe as a missionary serving others and chronicling their stories of faith. For the past four years, Vazquez

has volunteered ties, so I as a photograthought why not pher for the Tim climb a mounTebow’s tain. I hope to Celebrity Gala inspire others to and Golf Classic conquer their in Jacksonville. own mounThrough her tains," remarked service with the Vazquez. Tim Tebow Vazquez Foundation, continued, “I Vazquez withave this goal Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines present nessed of raising Alexis Vazquez a $14,000 check to support her metaphorical $25,000 for the endeavor to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. mountains move foundation, and through faith in my mentality Jesus Christ. was to go big “I got a kick in or stay home. I the gut from the wanted to do Holy Spirit,” said something Vazquez. “I felt that I knew that I was to take only God everything I could do.” learned about With little mountains spiritumomentum in ally and apply it sponsorship, physically. So I Vazquez decided that I asked God to would climb a show up big. mountain while He did. fundraising Through a $25,000 for the subscriber Tim Tebow email from the Alexis and Tim: Every March, Alexis Vazquez serves as a volunteer photographer at Tim Tebow’s Fixer Upper Foundation.” Celebrity Gala and Golf Classic in Jacksonville. Vazquez show, she disaspires to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro, covered the ChipStarter contest. The the highest freestanding mountain in email detailed the contest and in it had the world. one phrase, which immediately caught “People run marathons for chariher attention. The email asked, "Want

By Amanda Boston

to climb a mountain?" Vazquez viewed this as a sign from God and submitted her video. On October 10, Vazquez received word that she was a finalist. Chip and Joanna flew Vazquez along with the other finalists to Waco to pitch their dreams. Instead of one winner, all six finalists went home as winners. Vazquez was awarded $14,000 to assist with expenses related to the climb and jumpstart her fundraising campaign for the Tim Tebow Foundation. The ChipStarter winnings will be more than enough to cover her climbing expenses. “It was so surreal while at the same time, it felt so natural. The way they are portrayed on TV with Chip as the goofy one and Joanna as a little more reserved is exactly how they are in reality. They were amazing in person and so encouraging," said Vazquez. Vazquez would like to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2018 but still needs to achieve her goal of $25,000 for Tim Tebow Foundation. To donate, visit Vazquez’s Ascent to Mount Kilimanjaro’s donation page at https://community.timtebowfoundation.o rg/fundraise/team?ftid=112303. All donations go directly to the Tim Tebow Foundation’s outreach initiatives. For more information on the Tim Tebow Foundation, visit www.timtebowfoundation.org. To learn more about Vazquez’s endeavor, visit www.alexismarie-photography.com/ or on Instagram at alexismariephoto.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Page 33

Page 34

Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Cirque du Soleil Announces New Touring Show Under The Big Top, VOLTA™

Staff Report

VOLTA™ is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible. It celebrates freedom as a movement. Photo by Patrice Lamoureux WAZ, a popular Tickets are now on sale for Cirque du Soleil VOLTA™ premiergame show host, has ing on February 14, 2018 in the Big Top at the Tampa Greyhound Track. lost touch with his Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to inner self in the pursuit of fame, pulling announce a new production that will others in the trap of instant glory. But as premiere Wednesday, February 14, doubt sets in, WAZ is enlightened by 2018 and running through Sunday, childhood memories as he encounters March 4 at the Tampa Greyhound ‘free spirits’ who open doors to his inner Track. soul he has long kept shut. On his highCirque du Soleil VOLTA™, written voltage search for meaning, will WAZ and directed by Bastien Alexandre and find the courage to relinquish his fame, with Jean Guibert as the director of crereconnect with his true self, and shine ation. International electronic group M83 bright? as composer and musical director VOLTA™ is Cirque du Soleil’s brings his space-age future pop sound 41st original production since 1984, and to the Cirque du Soleil stage for the first its 18th show presented under the Big time ever. The show will be presented Top. The company has brought wonder under the Big Top at the Tampa and delight to more than 160 million Greyhound Track. The VOLTA™ name spectators in more than 400 cities on six refers to a sudden about-face, a change continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to in emotion or idea often used in poetry. 4,000 employees, including 1,300 perIt also speaks to the jolt of energy delivforming artists from close to 50 different ered through the show. countries. VOLTA™ tells a spellbinding story The Tampa Greyhound track is about the freedom to choose and the located at 8300 N. Nebraska Ave. thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in Tickets are available to purchase now part by the adventurous spirit that fuels by visiting cirquedusoleil.com/volta or the culture of action sports, the show calling 1-877-924-7783. Tickets are weaves the adrenaline rush of acrobatavailable starting from $37. Visit on ics into a visually striking world driven Facebook at Facebook.com/VOLTA. by a stirring melodic score.

Hidden Holiday Dangers in Your Home - Safety Tips to Safeguard Your Pets The holiday season is here, and it is always a good idea to take a few simple, yet important precautions to protect our family members.

Seasonal Safety

Holiday paraphernalia can be extremely dangerous to cats and dogs. Some animals, especially puppies and kittens who are teething, love to chew, but electrical cords and tree lights can lead to serious burns and fatal shocks. It is best to cover or tack cords down to prevent this. A good rule of thumb is that if any part or all of your holiday decorations will fit in a pet's mouth, then it is potentially dangerous. Be sure to keep in mind tinsel, ornaments, rubber bands, balloons, strings, and ribbons out of your pet's reach. Read warnings on items like spray-on snow. Never put ribbons around an animal's neck or allow pets to play with plastic or foil wrappings. Inquisitive young animals like kittens can suffocate in plastic, and in older animals, it can get caught in their intestinal tracts.

Look Before You Cook

Be careful in your kitchen, too. Cookies, turkey trimmings, desserts, and other rich holiday foods can upset the gastrointestinal tracts of your pets and lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or even pancreatitis. Never give bones from turkey, chicken, pork, or fish to pets because

By Michelle Caceres

these bones can splinter and cause serious injury. Chocolate is a food that contains theobromine, a powerful stimulant that can be toxic to pets. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are especially dangerous. Alcoholic beverages can be toxic too, so watch out for pets trying to sneak a sip of your eggnog, beer or other beverages.

Beautiful, But Deadly

Many plants are toxic to pets, including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron, dieffenbachia, lilies, elephant ear, eucalyptus, spider plants, azalea, ivy, amaryllis, pyracantha, oleander, boxwood, Jerusalem cherry, and plant bulbs. Be sure to keep these poisonous plants out of your pet's reach.

Hot Topics

Watch out for hot irons, coffee pots, stove burners, potpourri, candles, and space heaters. Sometimes the pleasant aromas overcome common sense, and your pets may try to get too close and get burned. Other times they just want to feel warm, so if you have a fireplace, be sure to use a screen when you light a fire. As long as you use common sense and remember that pets-much like young children-are very curious, you will know what critical steps you should take to ensure that your family and your pets will spend a joyous-and-safe-holiday together.

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December 2017

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Riverview Neighbors Proud To Appear On ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight

By Michelle Colesanti

If you stop by 9229 and 9231 Sunnyoak Dr. in Riverview on any night between now and January 2, you will no doubt see a light display that will bring your holiday spirit to life. Rob Silver and neighbor Mike Richards, who have been neighbors for five years, teamed up to bring their synchronized light show to the community after spending years trying to outshine each other. Deciding to work together this year, they applied to appear on ABC’s annual holiday reality show, The Great Christmas Light Fight, and were chosen for the competition. They teamed up and spent months decorating their homes in an amazing display with the hopes of beating out other national contestants in the first ‘neighbors’ battle to be aired on the show. According to Silver, win or lose, this is a win-win situation. “I go crazy every year anyway with lights and this was a better reason to do more. I’m able to share with everyone nationwide.” There was plenty

of ‘Lights-CamerasAction’ when the filming took place in early October. Friends and neighbors gathered in holiday attire to cheer on the duo and families. The show air

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oned ABC on Monday, December 11 at 8 p.m. where the neighbors learned they didn’t take home the top $50,000 prize but are still winners in the local community.

Silver and Richards were up against three other pairs of neighbors across the country for the coveted Light Fight trophy. Judge Taniya Nayak will make the decision as to which family earns the honor. Both Silver and Richards have always been great neighbors, but working closely together to come up with creative ideas has made them become even better buddies. According to Richards, they will plan to continue the lighting tradition going forward. “It is so nice to see all the family’s and kids outside enjoying the lights every night.” While enjoying holiday festivities this season, stop for a few minutes with your family and friends to watch the display, which is set to music playing through a surround sound system on the premises. It will stay lit until about midnight each night. The Great Christmas Light Fight will premiere this year on Monday, December Visit http://abc.go.com/shows/thegreat-christmas-light-fight for more information on the show.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 12

December 2017

Page 37

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Campo Family YMCA Offers Art Instruction For Adults

Area residents who love to create art gather at the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to create art under the instruction of Jennifer Hand.

The Campo Family YMCA is about more than just physical fitness. The Campo Family YMCA offers an art class for adults 17 years and older. The group meets every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campo Family YMCA located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. The art group has been meeting for more than 15 years. They continued to meet even after their long-time instructor, Minette Webster, passed away. The art group is now led by Art Instructor, Jennifer Hand. “My goal in teaching this class is to encourage creativity,” said Hand. This is a very diverse group of artists. Some of them have been artists for a long time, while some of them dabbled in art and others took up art upon retirement. Hand has a bachelor’s degree in art and education and a master’s degree in art integration. She teaches all art media including basic watercolor, acrylic landscapes and portraits. The group works on one to two projects per month. They are currently working on abstracts. Hand said, “It is hard for older adults to think in abstracts. They tend to want to draw what they see. This requires a whole dif-

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ferent way of thinking.” The next project will be a favorite of the group. They will work on portraits for the Memory Project. This is a non-profit that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges such as violence and natural disasters. The group participates in the Memory Project every January. Hand said, “It is a very moving experience.” Hand added, “The members of the group did not think that they could do this. However, after working on it for a month, they find that they can in fact create a portrait.” Gretchen Elizabeth, a resident of Lithia, has been attending the group for two years. “The class is so varied. Jennifer is so talented in teaching us,” said Elizabeth. Susan Starnes from Brandon has been creating art with the group for five years. Starnes said, “We just love Jennifer. She has so much integrity. She is conscientious in teaching.” The art class at the Campo Family YMCA is a fee based class and fees vary. For more information, please contact Kavita Marballi at 684-1371 ext. 1606.

History Center Exhibit Maps The FloridaCuba Connection If you are other documents. In looking for total, there are something fun more than 50 maps to do over the in the exhibit. They holidays, conhighlight the sider visiting Spanish and British the Tampa occupations of Bay History Cuba and Florida in Center in the 15th and 18th downtown centuries. They Tampa to see also highlight the the exhibit feadevelopment of rail turing rare and steam ship maps spanlines that fostered ning five centrade and travel in turies of interthe 19th and early action 20th centuries. between Cuba There are also and Florida. tourist maps of The exhibit is Cuba printed in available for both the 1930’s and viewing as recently as through 2016. Sunday, There are also You can see maps such as the Map of the Plant beautiful color lithoJanuary 28, System of Railway, Steamers and Steamship 2018. graphs which Lines in the Tampa Bay History Center’s current Many exhibit, Gateways to the Caribbean: Mapping the depict the British Florida-Cuba Connection now on exhibit through attack on Havana believe that Sunday, January 28, 2018. the connecin 1762. In this tion between attack, the British Florida and Cuba began with Fidel seized control of the island and wrested Castro’s takeover in 1959. For others, Florida away from Spain. There is a print especially those living in Tampa, it began by Cuban artist, Ibrahim Miranda, which 70 years earlier with the arrival of the was created at the University of South cigar industry and Florida’s Graphics founding of Ybor City in Studio in 2012. The 1886. Others think it exhibit also includes began in the 1850’s several tourist and travel when the McKay family maps which are on loan started shipping cattle to the History Center from Tampa’s Ballast from the History Center Point to Havana. located in South Florida. However, accordFor anyone interesting to Manny Leto the ed in Florida history, this Director of Marketing for the History is an excellent exhibit to view along with Center, “In Gateways to the Caribbean: the fantastic permanent exhibits which Mapping the Florida-Cuba Connection, are housed at the History Center. you will find an unbroken thread between The Tampa Bay History Center is the Sunshine State and the island nation located at 801 Old Water St. in downtown dating back nearly 500 years.” Tampa. For more information on this Gateways to the Caribbean charts exhibit, hours, ticket prices and directions five centuries of connections and interacto the History Center, please visit tions between Florida and Cuba through www.tampabayhistorycenter.org. rare and original maps, lithographs and

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Volume 12, Issue 12

Sports Connection 657-2418 www.ospreyobserver.com

Shields, Eisenhower Boys Show Strength At Six-Way Fall Cluster Track Meet Hosted By Randall Middle School Young athletes from Shields, Eisenhower, Barrington, Rogers, Randall and Burns Middle Schools got a chance to measure up their skills during the 2017 Fall Cluster Track Meet. The event was officially hosted by Randall Middle School Hawks and held at Newsome High School, saw nearly 200 talented boy and girl student-athletes and was. While all six programs turned in a solid performMembers of the Randall Middle School Hawks Track team pause for a photo during the 2017 Cluster held last ance, this year’s spotlight month at Newsome High School. The student-athletes landed on three south county were pleased to welcome area programs including area schools: Shields, Shields, Eisenhower, Barrington, Rogers and Burns to Eisenhower and Barrington. Shields and Eisenhower Middle boys managed to post first and second place individual winners in all eight events. Shields posted first place winners in the long jump, shot put, 100m and 200m. Shields also posted a second place win in the 100m and the 4x100m relay. Eisenhower boys won first place in 800m, won 4x200m relay, 400m and 4x100m relay. The fall Cluster was also a qualifier for the upcoming countywide Track and Field meet scheduled for Wednesday, December 6, 2017, hosted by Jefferson Middle School. Burns Middle School students stand ready The County meet will host the top to compete in the 800-meter event during the 2017 Fall Cluster Track Meet. three event winners from the recent cluster. As for the girls' teams, athletes representing Burns, Barrington, Randall and Shields took the spotlight during this year’s Cluster meet. Other then Rodgers Middle, all participating schools had athletes posting second, and third place wins in the various events. Please see a full list of winners in this article. Eisenhower, Shields and Burns Middle For more information about schools, please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us. Barrington, Randall, Rodgers,

December 2017

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Sports Connection Story by Tamas Mondovics

Season Ends With Armwood Loss To Miami Northwestern In 6-A Region Championship By Tamas Mondovics That the 2017 fall high school varsity football season managed to post some excellent results, there is little doubt. Area schools including Bloomingdale, Durant, Armwood quarterback Devin Black takes matters into his own hands Newsome, East and gets the first down during a recent game. The Hawks managed to reach the 2017 Class 6A region three state championship game Bay and but suffered a 21-16 loss to Miami Northwestern. Armwood all have worked hard and made their marks on the season. Interestingly the teams that got the most attention this year included the Bloomingdale Bulls and the Armwood High School Hawks. The Hawks (Overall 14-1 District 5-0 National Rank 32, State (FL) Rank 6) began the season with new program head coach Evan Bloomingdale High School varsity football players Jon Davis, following the Catala, Hunter Delones and Tyler Hunter meet up with local departure of former rival Durant for a fall conference game. head coach Sean

Newsome senior Patrick Jolly runs the ball for a first down during a recent game against Riverview.

Callahan, who led the program to a pair of state championships. Without looking back, Armwood plowed through the regular season and then the postseason to meet region three opponent Miami Northwestern Bulls for the title game on Friday, December 8, 2017. While the Hawks managed to get an early boost with a 9-0 lead, the Bulls managed to hold Armwood to only 150 total yards and to win the state title 21-16 in front of nearly

6,000 fans. The loss was the first of the season for the Hawks. As for Bloomingdale, the season was as exciting as it could get. The Bulls began with a two-game loss but turned things around to prove their right to appear in the postseason after defeating Class 7A, District 9 rival Durant 21-15. The win set up the program for a round-two, against the Titans in the 7A region three quarterfinal game; the Bulls’ third postseason appearance in school history. Unfortunately, to win its 10th consecutive contest, the Titans (10-1, No. 2 seed) defeated Bloomingdale 4222. It was the Bulls second lost to TBT. The first loss came early in the season 49-21. The Brandon Eagles, under program head coach Isaac Anderson, closed the season with an overall 4-7, District 1-4 record. The Durant Cougars under head coach Mike Gottman ended the year with an overall 7-4, district 3-3 record, closely followed by East Bay (Overall 5-4 District 3-3) and Newsome (Overall 6-4 District 4-2) With its rather disappointing overall 112, district 0-6 record, the Riverview Sharks hope for a better outcome next year. For a full list of teams and results, please visit www.maxpreps.com.

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Volume 12, Issue 12

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

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Osprey Observer 2017-12 Brandon/Winthrop  

Osprey Observer 2017-12 Brandon/Winthrop