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Riverview/Apollo Beach

December 2017 Volume 15, Issue 12 Ph: 657-2418

See Section On Pages 46-55 C E L E B R A T I N G

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Riverview Neighbors Vie For $50,000 Prize On ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight

By Michelle Colesanti

Continued on Page 5

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

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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 ‘LightsCameras-Action’ when the filming took place in early October. Friends and neighbors gath

Photo by Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County Fire Chief, Dennis Jones, takes a peek at the turkey that was dipped into hot oil, just moments before. demonstrating the wrong way to cook the holiday bird, the stillfrozen turkey was lowered into the oil and immediately burst the fryer into flames. The event was part of HCFR’s annual fire safety presentation reminding residents to use caution while cooking this holiday season.


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Riverview Silver Ring Holds Fundraiser For Local Teen Needing Double Lung Transplant

By Kate Quesada

A favorite and care this Riverview restaufamily has showrant is helped a ered their chillocal family this dren with, I feel month. The Silver compelled to do Ring Cafe, something and I famous for its am asking for pressed Cuban your support,” sandwiches and said Neville who friendly service, chose the hosted a December 10, fundraiser on date for the Sunday, fundraiser December 10 to because of the benefit 13-yearTampa Bay old Riverview Buccaneers resident Noelia home football Whitlock who is game. Supplies in need of a dou- Riverview resident Noelia Whitman is waiting for the fundraiser ble lung transfor a double lung transplant and a fundraiser have been donattook place for her at the Silver Ring Cafe on ed by Four Star plant to help her December 10. fight her battle Meats, La with Cystic Fibrosis. Segunda Central Bakery and Captain Noelia, who is one of five medical- Ed’s. For more information, search for ly needy children in her family, is curNoelia’s Warriors Fighting Cystic rently in St. Louis at the Ronald Fibrosis on Facebook. McDonald apartments waiting for the The Silver Ring Cafe is located at transplant with her father, while her 7419 U.S. Hwy 301 in Riverview and mother is home with her siblings. She can be reached at 677-1487. was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at Noelia also has a Go Fund Me two years old and was adopted by her page located at family three years later. In September she was listed for a double lung transplant with St. Louis Children’s Hospital and is undergoing rounds of IV antibiotics every two weeks. “She always has a smile on her face, even on the toughest days,” said her mother, Sheri Whitlock who explains that Noelia is finishing up seventh grade through Florida Virtual Schools, an online homeschooling pro15 gram. “It’s hard to be away from her six siblings. She also has to share mom and dad between two states to NEW HIGH SCHOOL PROPOSED.........PG 4 make this transplant possible.” HOA HOT TOPICS ...............................PG 7 Silver Ring owner Dana Neville is planning to open the restaurant, which WHERE TO SEE LIGHTS ....................PG 11 is usually closed on Sundays, and will NEW PARK .......................................PG 17 donate all proceeds to Noelia and her family. There will also be baked goods ALAFIA DRIVING...............................PG 35 for sale. EYE ON BUSINESS ............................PG 45 “Because I have watched the love

Page 2

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

December 2017

Page 3

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

East Bay High School Students Participate In Waterset Fundraisers

By Candace Rotolo

Members of the club, and have the East Bay High organized a host of School Key Club local projects. The spent time helping students not only neighbors in need learn about comover the munity needs, but Thanksgiving holialso gain valuable day. leadership skills. As part of Waterset by Waterset’s Newland Concerts for a Communities is a Members of the East Bay High School Key Cause series, the master-planned Club donate non-perishable foods to students held a community located Waterset’s annual Concerts for a Cause food food drive to bene- drive to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay. Pictured l- in Apollo Beach. It r: Sean Blumer, Paulina Cantoriano, Taylor fit the community’s Pratt (Club Secretary), Kailey Linton, Jenna features a variety annual Feeding Fulton (Club President), Osose Emuan, and of amenities that Tampa Bay food include a commudrive and also participated in the second nity pool, fitness center, Fit Trail and annual Turkey Trot, which benefits East Greenway. The Waterset information cenBay High School, Doby Elementary ter is located in The Landing Club & Café School and Eisenhower Middle School. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., The students selected to assist and on Sundays from12 Noon to 6 p.m. Waterset because of the community’s There are more than a dozen model long-time involvement at the school homes priced from $200,000’s to over through a quarterly iPad donation pro$600,000. For more information, call 235gram, and sponsorship of the school’s 0154 or visit online annual Teacher Appreciation Breakfast. at “Waterset has done so much for East Newland Communities, actively Bay High and has supported several proj- owns, operates and develops premier ects,” said Mary Ferguson, a teacher at residential master-planned, commercial, East Bay High School and sponsor of the retail, and urban mixed-use real estate Key Club. “We’re so appreciative and across the U.S. Headquartered in San hope to continue to grow our relationship Diego, Calif., Newland and its affiliated with the community in the future.” companies have completed, or have Sponsored by the Kiwanis of South underway, more than 140 diverse real Shore, the East Bay High Key Club estate developments, more than 20 millaunched three years ago to help provide lion square feet of commercial and retail students with an opportunity to earn space, and 175,000 residential units in 14 required community service hours. More states. For more information, visit than 80 students currently participate in

U.S. Postal Service Provides Santa’s Personalized Response To Your Child’s Letter

By Mark Saunders

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and the U.S. Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter — complete with a North Pole postmark.

Here are the steps for your child to get a letter back from Santa:

Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response. Insert the response letter into an envelope and address it to the child. Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope. Affix a First-Class Mail stamp, such as a new Christmas Carols Forever stamp to the envelope. Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope — preferably a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope — with appropriate postage and address it to: North Pole Postmark, Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Drive, Anchorage, AK 99530-9998. Letters from Santa must be received by the Anchorage, AK, postmaster no later than December 15. Santa’s helpers at the Postal Service will take care of the rest. Be sure to share the experience on social media using #LettersFromSanta. Tips: To save paper, write Santa’s response on the back of your child’s letter. If you keep them together, your child

will also be able to recall what he or she wrote. When responding as Santa, make the response as personal as possible by highlighting your child’s accomplishments over the past year, for example, helping around the house, receiving good grades in a particular subject at school or participating in community service activities. This is a great activity to do at Thanksgiving that the whole family can enjoy, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other caregivers. The Letters from Santa program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is ideal for interesting youngsters in letter writing, stamps and penmanship. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.




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Page 4

Volume 15, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

District Hosts Neighborhood Meeting On Proposed Site For New High School Already approved residential growth that is expected to generate additional students has prompted Hillsborough County Public Schools officials to inform adjacent property owners and area residents about the district’s plans to build a new high school in Ruskin/Balm in the South County Area. The neighborhood meeting held on Tuesday, November 7 at Shields Middle School, 15732 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin, collected input from residents on the proposed site for the new school. Attendees were also given facts, and future next steps the district is planning to take in the process. According to school officials, the future high school is projected to open in August 2020. The nearly 47-acre proposed site is located on CR 672 (Balm Rd.) east of U.S. 301, within the East Bay High School attendance boundary across from the Ayersworth and Mirabella subdivision. County Road 672 is the dividing line between attendance boundaries of East Bay and Lennard High School. District officials emphasized that the new school will provide the needed relief to high schools in the area. Currently, nearby Lennard and East Bay High Schools are at or over capacity; 116 per-

By Tamas Mondovics

cent, and 92 percent respectively. Attendance boundaries are yet to be established along with the school’s name, a process to be followed by the School Board’s Policy 7250. One of the most concerning topics for all projects within the county is transportation and traffic impacts, which according to HCPS, are a continual process. “Our District will continue to work with Hillsborough County to address traffic management,” HCPS officials said. Working with the county includes a major modification to change the current zoning, which has been filed with Hillsborough County. The change would allow the proposed site to be used as a high school. Future steps in connection with the project include detailed architectural and site plan; collaborating with Hillsborough County on traffic management; educational programming; principal selection; school naming; bus routes, and attendance boundaries and public outreach. HCPS officials are encouraging residents to share their input on the proposing the coming year. For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools please visit,


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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Holiday Light Fight...Continued From Page 1




By Michelle Colesanti

ered in holiday attire to cheer on the duo and families. The show is set to air on ABC on Monday, December 11 at 8 p.m. Silver and Richards will go up against three other pairs of neighbors across the country to compete for $50,000 and 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 4. Visit for more information on the show. FREE ESTIMATES

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Volume 15, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

-D, 4 s s e r p x Polar E nderland & o Winter W ore… M Michelle Colesanti, d by m Compile s o @ michelle

Association, and the Plant City Bar Association, where he served as President from 20062008. He is 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 serv-

gift for children age 10 and under (while supplies last). Visit terswonderland/

State Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, Has Filed To Run For Attorney General In 2018

State Rep. Ross Spano, now in his third two-year term in the state House, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D becomes the fourth Experience At The Florida candidate to enter the Aquarium Republican primary for The Florida Aquarium is getting in the seat term-limited the holiday spirit and is excited to Attorney General Pam Bondi will vacate feature THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4next year. D Experience at its new 4-D Asked why he's entering what Theater, which recently opened. promises to be a tough primary with The 48-seat 4-D Experience three other well-known candidates, one combines the visual drama of a 3-D from his own home turf, Spano said he film with a variety of sensory effects believes he stands out in the field. built into the seats and the theater "If I felt the right person was environment. The 4-D Experience already in the race I wouldn't have chobrings on-screen images to life with sen to run," he said. "I'm the only one such added effects such as bubbles, that has legislative experience, the conwind and scents for a fully immerservative values and the actual court48-seat 4-D theater recently opened at The The sive cinematic experience. Florida Aquarium new featuringTHE POLAR experience, plus I'm the only one room It is located in the Aquarium’s EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience. with substantial criminal justice experioutdoor plaza by The Splash Pad ing the 13th Judicial Circuit honorably ence." and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 will work tirelessly to uphold the and Spano is an estate planning and p.m. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D Constitution of the United States, as probate attorney, but has served on the Experience® will through January 11, as the Florida Constitution. well House criminal justice subcommittee of 2018. This 13-minute show is a familyJamey Moody is a devoted husthe Judiciary Committee, currently as friendly, modern classic and will be band and father, who understands the chairman. shown multiple times a day. The 4-D needs and challenges our community Spano, 51, is married and has four Theater experience is included in genfaces. children ages 18-25. He graduated eral admission to The Florida Aquarium. from the University of South Florida and Clearwater Marine Aquarium Hosts the Florida State University law school. Jamey Moody To Run For

Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge

Winter’s Wonderland

This Christmas season Clearwater Marine Aquarium is hosting Winter's Plant City Wonderland through native James Saturday December 23. ‘Jamey’ Moody III The aquarium will has filed to run for transform into a Winter Circuit Judge, Wonderland, featuring serving photo opportunities with Hillsborough ‘Winter Claus,’ special County. Santa dive presentaMoody, a tions, and lights and declocal attorney and orations galore. Florida native, On Friday and graduated from Saturday, December 15Plant City High 16 and December 22-23, School and is the it will be open until 9 son of longtime p.m. for a special Sea of Federal Judge Winter’s Wonderland will take place at Lights experience. the Clearwater Marine Aquarium James S. Moody, through Saturday, December 23. After 4 p.m., admission Jr. He received will be only $9.99 on his degrees from the University of these select nights. And for an additionFlorida, and worked in the finance secal $9.99 guests can board the Sea of tor prior to receiving his Juris Lights Boat Cruise to view the holiday Doctor. He was selected to Super lights around Clearwater Bay. Enjoy Lawyers Rising Stars (2011-2014), is a complimentary holiday cookies and a member of the Hillsborough County Bar

Vanish Point Slides Into Adventure Island In 2018

lives when Adventure Island® Tampa Bay’s new epic drop slide, Vanish Point®, opens in March 2018. Inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, the crest of this 70-ft. tower challenges you with two 425 ft. wave paths. Step into one of two skyboxes, and face your fears as the floor disappears beneath you. Or, get horizontal on a 455-ft. long slide ending with a high speed finale. Vanish Point will be located at the center of the park next to another family-favorite thrill slide, Colossal Curl™. Visit for more information.

Saint Anne Food Pantry Food Drive

Volunteers from the Saint Anne Food Pantry will be at the new Publix on Hwy. 41 across from McDonald’s on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10 from 8:30 a.m.– 8 p.m. to collect non-perishable food for the pantry. Please check your cupboards for extra non-perishable food items and drop them off with the volunteers, or when you are shopping in Publix remember BOGO - Buy One, Give One. St. Anne Food Pantry feeds about 400 people every Wednesday and 25 homeless twice a week. The need is great and all in need are welcome. Saint Anne Catholic Church is located at U.S. Hwy. 41 and 11th Ave. N.E. in Ruskin. Visit

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December 2017

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Zoning Changes, Bunco And More Rivercrest Oppose Zoning Changes

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and do not waste any more time or money on this issue." Others, such as Dale Meyer who has lived in Brandon since 1969, admonished the panel for not having done proper planning before the area's population Hundreds of residents attended a Community Engagement exploded. Meeting regarding the Brandon Corridors and Mixed-Use Centers Pilot Project at The Regent in Riverview. Residents' opinions and Additionally, resiconcerns have been heard on the issues. dents such as

ne Pi

Residents are invited to a ladies’

By Kathy L. Collins


Ladies Invited to Bunco Games

bunco game at the Rivercrest Clubhouse monthly, starting January 10 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Bunco, a friendly dice game, strictly for enjoyment and entertainment, is planned to afford women the opportunity to socialize and meet other residents. It is open to women who are Rivercrest residents or who are members of the CDD. They must 18 years of age or older and must have a current, active access card. A minimum of 12 players is desirable with a maximum of 20 total players. Guests will be allowed on a space available basis. To reserve a seat, women should contact the organizer, Dianne Billups at or text 263-8058, no later than January 5. Players are asked to bring $5, which will be used for prize money, their own beverages and light snacks to be shared among the players. After establishing initial interest, the games will take place on the first Wednesday of each month (September-May).

Reversible Lanes No Longer Recommended After Residents Voice Opinions At Meetings


The Riverview HOA and CDD have taken the challenge of objecting to the proposed zoning changes which allow Copart to change the zoning an purchase property to expand their facilities along the U.S. Hwy. 301 frontage of the community. They believe the zoning change would allow excessive dust, noise, overspray lighting, security issues and possible problems with wetland management. CDD representatives encourage all residents to visit the Rivercrest CDD office and view the petition and to attend all county meetings on the subject. They also suggest emailing the County Commissioners of Hillsborough County. The Rivercrest CDD office is located at 11560 Ramble Creek Dr. in Riverview and can be reached at 6723804.

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Page 7

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Hundreds of area residents have participated in the discussion of the Brandon Corridors and Mixed-Use Centers Pilot Project. Residents have voiced their opinions through emails and attending community engagement meetings. At the last meeting held on Monday, October 30 at The Regent in Riverview, approximately 140 residents appeared. Issues being studied included land use, transit and roads (including reversible lanes on Bloomingdale Ave. which eliminates left turns), widening Lumsden Rd. and intersection improvements. The study showed that while reversible lanes on Bloomingdale could increase capacity in the east/west corridors, it would put undue stress on the north/south corridors. Road widening is an option, but this could prove to be too costly. Finally, improving intersections and redevelopment might be the best options. During the presentation, it was noted that 60 percent of residents travel through the Brandon area to get to the Westshore area or to the USF area, and 16 percent of retail occurs in the Brandon area. Many area residents voiced opinions similar to that of George May who was representing the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association. May said, "Take the reversible lanes issue off the table

Tanya Doran, Executive Director of the Riverview Chamber of Commerce said, “Be mindful of the business community and the impact decisions will have on them and the community overall." Melissa Zornitta, Executive Director of the Planning Commission said, "We were pleased with the fantastic turnout for the October 30 meeting. The feedback received throughout the process at meetings and via email has helped us in developing recommendations and finalizing the study. To that end, reversible lanes on Bloomingdale will not be recommended as a next step. The study will be accepted by the Planning Commission as complete at their December 11 meeting. There will be additional planning, design, and engineering studies by the County, HART or FDOT to implement the transportation improvements that are recommended, like intersection improvements along Bloomingdale, and the land use policy recommendations to encourage redevelopment in areas along SR 60." Residents are urged to continue to voice their opinion on the issues raised by the Brandon Corridors and Mixed-Use Centers Pilot Project (http://plan

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Volume 15, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! On Stage Comes To Lakeland RP Funding Center Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang uncover the true meaning of Christmas in A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! On Stage at the RP Funding Center on Wednesday, December 20 at 7 p.m. A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! On Stage is a fresh take on the timeless classic that gives the audience a completely new way of experiencing the storyline as portrayed by actors who maintain the integrity and spirit of each Peanuts character. This Emmy and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz has been a longstanding tradition, warming the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television over 50 years ago. Now, this live on stage adaptation of the classic animated television special brings all your favorite characters to life - all set to the unforgettable sounds of the Vince Guaraldi musical score.

By Jason Refermat

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! On Stage encompasses each of your favorite scenes from the original animated television show. It even expands the storyline into greater detail with more fun, more music, more finding the true Christmas spirit exploding into a celebration of song as the audience is invited to join the Peanuts gang in singing Christmas favorites. Ticket prices are $42 and $31 (other fees may apply) and are available by visiting the RP Funding Center Box Office, tollfree 888397-0100, and online at The RP Funding Center is located in Lakeland, off I-4 on Lime Street. The RP Funding Center is a short drive from anywhere in Central Florida. Regular box office hours are Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For ticket information, call the Box Office at (863) 834-8111 or visit


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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

SCC Interfaith Council Awards Amazing Grant To Summerfield Elementary

By Amy Schechter

It is no secret ment, problemthat Hillsborough solve, and focus on County Schools connecting whether have had a rough it’s peer to peer, year with regard to teacher to student, the budget; howevor teacher to er, that has not teacher. The ultistopped Kelley Beall mate benefit is so and the staff at many teachers realSummerfield ly feel empowered Photo courtesy of Jay Sparkman by the new skills Elementary from Carmine Alfano, Summerfield Elementary they apply themtrying to keep stuPrincipal; Linda Maslyk, VP of SCC dents first. Beall, selves here and in Interfaith Council; & Kelley Beall Summerfield Elementary Conscious Summerfield’s the home front.” Discipline Coach. Conscious With the fundDiscipline Coach, knew she had to ing, Beall is able to purchase books and explore other options to keep a program materials to provide both teacher and parshe believed in and wanted to share with ent training and ongoing coaching for the thirty new employees at her site, staff. She knows, “It is really helping us twenty of whom were new to teaching. implement this amazing program in terms That is when she applied for a grant from of working on building not only academic the Interfaith Council of Sun City Center, intelligence but also emotional intelliand to her amazement they awarded gence,” a skill necessary to reach the disover $4300. Beall said, “They are an trict’s vision of “preparing students for life.” incredible organization whose generosity Beall wants to thank the entire SCC in this community is a game-changer.” Interfaith Council, especially Doug The SCC Interfaith Council raises funds Campbell, the grant chairperson who was through the sale of items from the Nearly so willing to answer her questions during New Shop in Wimauma and to date have the application process. She also wants awarded over two million dollars in the to thank Summerfield Elementary forms of grants and scholarships. Principal, Carmine Alfano, who has been The Conscious Discipline framework a champion of the program and fantastic is internationally recognized and unique in leader. For info contact Kelley Beall at that it focuses on the adults and changing 671-5115 or our behavior so as to be better models for For info on the Interfaith Council of Sun students. The three tenets include safety, City Center, visit www.interfaithcouncilofconnection, and problem-solving. Beall For info on grants explains, “It helps adults learn new skills from SCC Interfaith Council, contact so we can model, practice, and teach that Douglas Campbell by email or phone at to our children in our schools. We then or 938can better create a safe learning environ1831.

Helping Veterans See a Brighter Future. Budget Blinds, in partnership with Springs Window Fashions, are proud to be the official window coverings supplier for Homes for Our Troops. For more information visit During this season of giving, Budget Blinds of Brandon would like to thank those who give, and have given, their service to our country. Our $1 per window covered campaign to HFOT continues through 2017. Thank you for supporting us, so we can support others!

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

December 2017

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 11

Where To Take The Family To See The Best Local Holiday Lights This Season By Michelle Colesanti

Now that the holidays are upon us, there is a lot of stress just coping with the day to day preparations. Enjoy some simple quality time with friends and family while getting into the holiday spirit. Here are some area light displays for all to enjoy.

Riverview Neighbors Team Up For National Recognition On ABC’s Great American Light Fight

Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru At Hillsborough County Fairgrounds

North Pole Productions presents Wonderland of Lights Drive Thru at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds. The display will be open Thanksgiving night through Saturday, December 30. After driving through the beautiful lights, stop by the Christmas Village for camel and pony rides, North Pole Express train ride, horse drawn wagon rides. Visit with The Wolves of the World. There will be craft and gift vendors too. While enjoying the evening, the family can enjoy hot cocoa and donuts, fried dough, popcorn and cotton candy, funnel cakes, and a selection of fair foods. Vehicles (up to eight passengers) cost $20. For tickets and to view the show schedule, visit

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas back in October at the homes of neighbors’ Rob Silver and Mike Richards. The two were selected to compete in ABC’s holiday reality show, The Great Christmas Light Fight. 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. The reality show presents families and neighborhoods across America who competes against each other to win a cash prize and the coveted Light Fight trophy. The show will air in midDecember. on ABC. Through January 2, you can enjoy the display every night at 9229 and 9231 Sunnyoak Dr. in Riverview. Stop for a few minutes watch the display which is set to music playing through a surround sound system Mike Richards, along with his on the premises. The family and Rob Silver wait for the moment the lights will be display will be lit until turned on during the October about midnight each filming of ABC’s Great night. American Light Fight.

Christmas Lane Brings Holiday Cheer To Tampa Bay Area

Christmas Lane returns to the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds on Friday, November 24. The month long winter wonderland experience will take place until December 24 inside and around the Charlie

Grimes Family can be accessed Agriculture from Lemon St. and Center, 2508 Oak St. W. Oak Ave. in For more inforPlant City. mation, visit The rate displays or on Facebook at feature over Christmas Lane. 1.5 million lights accompanying its largOakdale Light Display er-than-life decoAmong Largest In The U.S. rations that use It has become a tradition in more than the Tampa Bay area for people 168,000 watts of near and far to visit the power. Christmas Lane is a nonOakdale Light Display in St. Petersburg. It profit organization. Volunteers was ranked in the top three nationally by work more than 1,800 hours to NBC’s Today show, presented first in set it up. HGTV’s All Out Christmas Special and Attendees will enjoy new disfeatured in People Magazine. plays, carnival rides, twice weekly living Each year the light display is different Nativities by area churches, expanded adorning about one-half million lights. menu, and nightly performances by local Enjoy the walk-ways, water fountains, performers. computerized light show, animated dolls Hours are Thursday through Sunday and a snowman about three stories high. from 6-10 p.m. each night. Tickets are $5 The most popular item is the large for adults. Children ages 4 to 12 are $3. HO-scale model railroad. It can run 18 Children 3 and under are free. Free trains at one time. The kids love the douadmission will be available on Thursdays ble bubble machines and games. Three for current and former members of the electric meters are needed to handle the military. Friday nights are free admission power. Although the electric bill can run to teachers, first as high as $4,000, responders and law the event is free and enforcement. Every fun for everyone. Visit child who wears the display from his/her league jersey Friday, November 24 or shirt on Saturday’s to Wednesday, will receive free popJanuary 3, 2018 from corn. Seniors receive 6-10 p.m. at 2719 a complimentary cup Oakdale St. in St. of coffee on Sundays. Petersburg. Visit Parking is free and Oakdale Light Display.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

Chamber Ribbon Cuttings Include New Escape Room Theme, Twin Creeks Assisted Living, The Shoe Lab, Start Fresh & AAA Sun City The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce has been busy celebrating its new and present members with ribbon cuttings:

Escape Strategy

Life Balance And Beauty LLC

GRCC members were recently invited to celebrate with new member Life Balance and Beauty LLC, 10013 Water

all ages and all diversities. To meet the steadily growing needs of this full-time, multi-purpose facility, FCC needed more space. It is launching this campaign to reach its goal of $350,000 to purchase an additional building across the street. Visit or call 645-7651. Firehouse Cultural Center is located in Ruskin at 101 1st Ave. NE.

By Michelle Colesanti

Escape Strategy is a great place for team building, celebrations, or a fun night out with friends or family where you must use Photo by Debbie Kirkland, GRCC clues and solve puzzles to AAA celebrates ribbon cutting. find your way out of their AAA’s New Sun City Center The Shoe Lab, Inc. Earns clever rooms. Chamber Location Accreditation For Pedorthics Photo by Ed Booth, Huth and Booth Photography members took advantage of GRCC was invited to celebrate The Shoe Lab, Inc. in Ruskin, has Escape Strategy celebrates ribbon cutting. being at Escape Strategy to with AAA - The Auto Club received accreditation from the American sign up for their own Escape experience. Group (Sun City Center). Works Lane in Riverview. Board for Certification in Orthotics, Manager Alexis Loar invited memChamber members from All were able to tour the Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc., (ABC) bers from the SouthShore Chamber as Riverview and Sun City therapeutic settings and an independent, nonprofit organization well as GRCC to take part in the ribbon Center showed up to celelearn about the different which has been providing facility accredicutting. brate this new location. The services available at Life tation since 1948. Book at Balance and Beauty. honorary ribbon cutter was The Shoe Lab is a Comfort and or call 773-7150. Escape Strategy is retired Navy Commander Co-Owners Brigit Orthopedic Shoe Store. The staff has located at 1312-B Apollo Beach Blvd. in Edward J. Socha. Towey and Fayola Caines fourth generation of Italian Cobblers and a Apollo Beach. It is open Thursday 6-11 AAA still provides memhave incorporated a conlicensed and Certified Pedorthist, and p.m. and Friday–Sunday 10-1 a.m. bers assistance with travel cept that embraces your specializes in comfort and orthopedic needs and bookings, includtotal needs of life including shoes. It also provides the services of Twin Creeks Assisted Living And ing a retail center for lugcounseling, massage, shoe, boot, luggage and leather repair, Photo by Ed Booth, Huth and Memory Care gage and other travel-relatbeauty and wellness. boot repair. Booth Photography Twin Creeks Assisted Living and ed items. AAA members Brigit is a Licensed Mental Life Balance and Beauty Call 516-3353 or visit www.myshoeLLC celebrates ribbon cut- love receiving great disMemory Care, 13470 Boyette Rd. in Health Counselor with a ting. Riverview, is opening in 2018 and recent- vast background in family counts at an array ly celebrated with a ribbon cutting cereof businesses from restaurants counseling and healing. Fayola is a mony. Guests toured the beautiful facilito theme parks and everything Registered Mental Health Therapist Intern ties and tasted some of the delicious food and Licensed Cosmetologist whose focus in between. prepared by the culinary AAA – Sun City team. Center is also a full-serVisit vice Insurance Agency or call including CD's & 278-5800. Annuities. Visit at 4868 Sun City Bodyworks Health & Center Blvd, Sun City Wellness Center’s New Center in the Publix Urban Employee Management, Inc. celebrates ribbon Location plaza. Hours are cutting. GRCC was invited to Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. Photo by Ed Booth, Huth and Booth Photography celebrate with valued – 5:30 p.m. Visit www.autoclubTwin Creeks Assisted Living and Memory Care celebrates ribbon Urban Employee Management, Inc. cutting. member Bodyworks or call 633-4880. Celebrates Third Anniversary Health & Wellness Center. Chamber is on helping others GRCC members celebrated the third members, friends and partners showed embrace total wellness. anniversary of Urban Employee up to celebrate the brand-new location at Visit Management, Inc. Chamber members 522 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Owner Pearl were on hand to partake in the ribbon Chiarenza, was proud to show off her or call 677-1555. cutting ceremony that took place in connew space located within CoWork junction with Start Fresh Counseling Landings in Brandon. Firehouse Cultural Center’s cutting. Owner Pearl Chirenza, as a Center Launches Owners Donna Garrett and Andrew Bodyworks Coach, knows that losing Expansion Bales, was able to spread the word of weight has to be done the right way in The Firehouse Cultural Urban Employee Management to the order to cut body fat and preserve musCenter (FCC) recently hostgroup. It is a locally-owned and operated cle. With her knowledge and coaching ed a ribbon cutting ceremoProfessional Employer Organization techniques, you can have the body you ny to launch its Expansion which helps small businesses outsource want. Campaign. Photo by Ed Booth, Huth and Booth Photography employee administration. Call 760-2881 Firehouse Cultural Center celebrates ribbon cutting for new Call 324-8988 or visit www.bodyIn 2016, FCC served or visit expansion. more than 30,000 people of

December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Drivers And Pedestrians Sought To Participate In The Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot Project

By Kathy L. Collins

If you commute ment tracks speed, braking into downtown Tampa distance and other driver and use the Lee Roy data to help improve safety Selmon Expressway, on the road. you may have seen a In exchange for particisign advertising the pating, drivers receive a 30 percent discount on tolls on the Expressway. The Tampa Participants will be Connected Vehicle trained in the use of the Pilot is a pilot project equipment. Moreover, the which seeks to coninstallations will be done nect vehicles, pedesBoth drivers and pedestrians by students at HCC's trians and transit are sought to participate in the Training Campus at the vehicles in an innoTampa Connected Vehicle vative communication Pilot project. Tampa is one of Brandon Campus. They technology which will only three sites in the nation to will be the first in the be selected for the program improve safety and which is funded in part by a nation to learn how to grant from the USDOT. install the equipment. traffic conditions on Pedestrians are also the expressway and sought for the project. The data select roads in downtown Tampa. sought from pedestrians will help to The Tampa Connected Vehicle coordinate things such as signal timPilot is a four-year effort that began in ing. 2015.Tampa is one of just three sites Rob Boelke with the Tampa in the nation to be selected by the Hillsborough Expressway Authority is U.S. Department of Transportation the Outreach and Training Manager Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment for the project. Boelke said, "This is Program. The program seeks to spur the first step before you get to innovation among early adopters of autonomous (self-driving) cars. connected vehicle applications. The Vehicles have to be able to communiother two sites are in New York City cate with one another in order for this and the Interstate 80 corridor in type of technology to work." Boelke Wyoming. added, "Tampa is being very progresDrivers and pedestrians are being sive. We recognize that we have a lot sought to participate in the pilot program. Participants' vehicles will be out- of vehicles on the road, and we have to develop the infrastructure necesfitted with a rearview mirror that can sary for autonomous vehicles." provide audio or visual messages to For more information and to sign drivers and an inboard device and up for this innovative pilot program, antennae that connects the vehicle to please visit roadside units. The installed equip-



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

















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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Honorary Riverview Mayor Crowned - Checks To Charities Given At Riverview Chamber Lunch On Tuesday, November 28, the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) hosted its monthly event at The Regent, 6437 Watson Road in Riverview. Riverview Mortgage was proud to sponsor this November Membership Meeting Luncheon. Pastor Norris Brown, South Bay Community Church, provided the day’s invocation. 2017 GRCC President Elijah Heath CFP, Edward Jones, welcomed everyone to the luncheon and invited his board of directors to introduce themselves to the crowd. Leading the group this month in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was 2017 Honorary Mayor of Riverview Tammy Holmberg. The highlight of the meeting was the presentation of checks to six local charities. These funds were raised through various fundraisers during the race for 2018 Honorary Mayor of Riverview by four outstanding candidates. The race kicked off September 20 and ran into October. Only one Honorary Mayor is crowned, but everyone and every charity is a winner. This year’s 2018 Honorary Mayor of Riverview, Bryan Thatcher of Thatcher Properties, presented checks for $8,130 each to THORN Ministries and to Seeds of Hope. Honorary

Staff Report

Mayor Thatcher also received a Commendation certificate from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners for a job/race well done. Honorary Mayor of Riverview for 2017, Tammy Holmberg, presented the certificate on behalf of the Commissioners. 2018 Honorary Deputy Mayor of Riverview Michael Beiter, Preservation 1st Financial Group, LLC presented checks for $3,913 each to Operation Lotus and South County Spartans Athletic Program. 2018 Honorary Deputy Mayor of Riverview Shirley Bhat presented a check to the Fishhawk-Riverview Rotary club for $7,349 to help support the Club’s C.A.R.T. efforts. 2018 Honorary Deputy Mayor of Riverview Dennis Napoli, Gecko Floor Care, LLC presented a check to Faces of Courage Foundation for $1,462. Sheriff Chad Chronister, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, was also on hand to speak at this luncheon. He spoke about his delight in leading our county and his goals of keeping our communities safe. Crime levels in Hillsborough County are on a good trend and he intends to do his best to keep them there. Visit

Volume 15, Issue 12

HART Promises Additional Comfort And Convenience To Attract Riders

By Tamas Mondovics

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-y to use their has added a number of conveniences to its busses, are smartphones and routs 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).

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Happy Holidays fromOur Family to Yours!

December 2017

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 15

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

By Tamas Mondovics

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 Or named in the Indeed report as one of visit

Serving Our Customers in 4 Locations: Lithia • Big Bend, Riverview • 301, Riverview • Sun City Center

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

December 2017

Page 17

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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

County Hosts Public Meeting For Proposed New Alafia River Park In Riverview

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 commitment the chariof Hope from its annual Partners in Giving Campaign. ty has to helping local people –a commitment The Brenda Wade Real Estate Team shared by The Brenda Wade Team. and its business partners (All American Seeds of Hope is known for it’s annuTitle, All Bay Insurance, American Eagle al FishHawk Turkey Trot 5K fundraiser Mortgage, American Mortgage Services, and has been in the Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection, Brandon/Valrico/Lithia community for over Complete Choice Insurance, DR Horton, seven years and began with local resiFBI Inspection Group, Fifth Third Bank, dent Leda Eaton helping her then high Guaranteed Rate, First Home Bank, Hillsborough Title, Jake Moore Insurance, school students receive meaningful community service hours. Market Prime Mortgage, Old Republic The organization has grown as an Home Protection, Osprey Observer, organization to combat hunger in three RiteRug Flooring, The Rice Financial ways by providing: weekend backpacks Group, United Mutual Funding Corp and of food for school children, boxes of food Willums Home Services), joined together to families on Thursdays, and a weekly for the fifth annual ‘Partners in mobile pantry aimed at short term food Giving’event. Wade and her agents matched every dollar that was contributed relief. Eaton is proud of the impact the charity has had, “Before Hurricane Irma, by the partners during the campaign, so together they could have an impact in the we were a food relief organization. After Hurricane Irma, we added disaster relief community. “Our goal was to raise to our resume. It’s not something I ever $10,000,” said Wade. “And we were so happy to exceed that amount and donate would have planned, but am so thankful we were there. So many volunteers $11,000 to our local charity Seeds of stepped up. It was amazing to be a part Hope.” of the overwhelming groundswell of comSeeds of Hope president Leda munity support.” Eaton was amazed, “I was beyond excitFor more, visit ed to hear the total amount raised! It

Riverview area land from Mosaic Fertilizer residents were last for $2 million, 25 percent month to give their below its appraised value. input into a (The Land Acquisition is Hillsborough County $2,000,000, and Park proposal to create a Design and Construction waterfront community will cost an additional park along the Alafia $1,800,000.) Funding is River. provided by the According to Riverview/Brandon Area County representatives Parks CIP (C83266000). assisting those in Officials added that as attendance during the part of the acquisition open-house format agreement, Mosaic, Inc. meeting at the retains naming rights for Riverview Civic Center, the proposed park. 11020 Park Drive With the completion of Photo courtesy of Hillsborough the acquisition, and park explained that the proCounty posed resource based design finalized, construcArtists rendition shows a pro28-acre park on the posed park along the Alafia River tion will begin within two in Riverview. County officials south side of the Alafia years. park to be completed is about a mile east of expect the As an added amenity within two years. Interstate 75. for County’s ever-growing Officials told residents that easily needs, a $15 million regional accessible, parklands along the urbanTournament Sports Complex on a ized portions of the Alafia River are County-owned property in the Brandon scarce, adding that the Riverview area, area is also in the making. According to with its increasing population, requires officials, the project funded from the additional passive parkland and river Community Investment Tax and General access to accommodate the recreational Revenues will include sports fields, restneeds of this growing community. rooms, concessions, parking, lighting, The new park is promising to storage and maintenance buildings and include a number much-welcomed will provide a regional amateur tournaamenities such as a fishing dock, board- ment sports venue. It is also said to walk, and scenic overlook several paved stimulate economic development within trails, picnic shelters or pavilions along Hillsborough County. with an open play area. Supporting faciliMore information on the Tournament ties including paved parking and restSports Complex will come as it becomes rooms are all in the plan. available. Hillsborough County recently For more on all county projects, approved a contract to purchase the please visit

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Page 18

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

The main course on the menu of fire safety demonstrations was the turkey frying, the wrong way. The subsequent blaze that engulfed the propane gas fryer within a split second was enough visual to remind any self-appointed turkey-fryingexpert not to cut corners, but to cook the bird the right way. During the event, each department covered a safety topic with an interactive demonstration. “Our focus, of course, is safety,”

Volume 15, Issue 12

that include: • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food. • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids Story and Photos By Tamas Mondovics should stay three feet away. • Make sure kids stay away from Frozen Turkey Goes Up In Flames In Fryer Fire During hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could Annual Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Safety Event cause severe burns. • Keep the Florida may floor clear, so not be leading you don’t trip the list of fryer over kids, toys, fire-related accipocketbooks or dents, injuries, or bags. death, but • Keep according to the knives out of National Fire the reach of Protection children. Association, • Be sure (NFPA), the holielectric cords day season from an electric Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Training officer, Chris Stark, lowers the claims the most knife, coffee frozen turkey into hot oil while demonstrating the wrong way to fry the holireported home day bird. In a split second, a massive ball of fire engulfed the fryer. maker, plate cooking fires. Temple Terrace Fire warmer or the second leading cause of Department Deputy Fire In a recent Hillsborough County Firefighter, said Hillsborough County Fire mixer are not Marshal, Michael Hagewood, Nacole Revette, demonstrates home fire deaths. report by the and Fire Inspector Casey Dennis Jones. Chief off the dangling To send a very visual mesChristmas tree fire safety. NFPA, U.S. fire Hannah demonstrated the “Thanksgiving is about cooking, counter within sage about how to safely preimportance and use of home departments responded to an estimated preferably without tragedy. The easy reach of a pare and celebrate the holiday dinner, fire extinguishers. 1,760 home cooking fires on same applies to preparing meals child. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Thanksgiving Day 2015. for special days the rest of the season.” • Keep matches and utility lighters Tampa Fire Rescue, Plant City Fire Thanksgiving continues to be the Demonstrations by the various fire out of the reach of children — up high in Rescue, Temple Terrace Fire peak day for home cooking fires, foldepartments also focused on space a locked cabinet. Department, St. Petersburg Fire lowed by the day before Thanksgiving heater safety and safe home heating; • Never leave children alone in a Rescue, Pinellas Park Fire Department and Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. extinguisher safety; smoke alarms; fire with a lit candle. room and Pasco County Fire Rescue joined The reports said that unattended exit drills; cooking and turkey prepara• Make sure your smoke alarms are forces just prior to Thanksgiving Day to cooking was by far the leading contions safety. working. Test them by pushing the test host a joint media event during the tributing factor in cooking fires and fire On par with food preparation—an button. early morning hours at the Hillsborough deaths while cooking equipment was essential element of any holiday—resiFor more information, please visit County Public Safety Operations involved in almost half of all reported dents are urged to keep in mind some or Hillsborough County Complex, 9450 E. Columbus Dr. in home fires and home fire injuries; it is cooking safety tips compiled by NFPA Fire Rescue at Tampa.

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Page 19

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

An Evening In Mayberry With Rodney Dillard And The Walker Brothers

By Amanda Boston

today’s entertainment world, and they are Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs. Tyler, the not. That’s why people are attracted to youngest, is a senior at Florida State this show.” University and reunites with his brothers Adding to the musical talent are the to play bluegrass performances in his Walker Brothers, Cory (27), Jarrod (25) hometown. and Tyler (21) Walker. The three Durant The event is free, but a donation box High graduates will accompany Dillard will be onsite. New Hope will open its and are the sons of local residents David doors at 5 p.m. with first come first serve and Stacey Walker. In their younger seating. The church is located 121 N. years, The Walker Brothers are rememKnights Ave. in Brandon. bered for their bluegrass performances at For more information, contact the the Strawberry Festival. A few years ago, church at 689-4161 or search ‘The Dillard hired Cory to play with ‘The Dillards’ on Facebook. The Walker Dillards.’ Cory and Jarrod now live in Brothers will also perform at Beef ‘O’ Nashville with burgeoning music careers Brady’s at 812 W. Dr. Martin Luther King The Walker Brothers with Jarrod on the to include performances with the Grand Jr. Blvd. in Seffner on Friday, February 23 mandolin, Cory on the banjo and Tyler Ole Opry and CMA Music Festival. The at 7 p.m. For more information, email on the guitar. two brothers have also played on national David Walker at 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 from Hee Haw, will join her husband as they perform well-known bluegrass Our Family to Yours! songs from the show along with gospel music favorites. Although The Andy Griffith Show in 1968, the show continues ended The bluegrass band, The Dillards, began appearing on The Andy Griffith Show in 1963 with the to appeal to new generations Kids Consignments, reoccurring role as ‘The Darlings,’ a family blue- through its reruns. Dillard expoundgrass band. Entire Purchase Maternity & More! ed on the show’s parallels to Must present coupon. Expires: January 31, 2018 United Methodist Church in Brandon Christianity and its ability to transcend Boys and Girls Sizes Newborn to 16 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 6122 N. US Hwy 41, Apollo Beach • (next to Anytime Fitness) Darlings,” a backwoods family bluegrass way he treated Opie,” said Dillard. (813) 645-4569 • WWW.WEE-BOUTIQUE.COM 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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Page 20

Volume 15, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

CATE Foundation Hopes To Help Those Affected By The Opioid Crisis 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 to offer residents some much 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.

If you or someone you know or love is struggling with addiction to opioids, a new organization located in the South Shore area has been formed to help. The CATE Foundation (Combat Addiction Through Education) was founded in October by a group of like-minded individuals who have been personally affected by the Opioid Crisis. President and co-founder, Tina Patch said, “I want to lessen the chances of another parent going through years of anguish and desperation like I did.” The mission of the CATE Foundation is to educate the community about the scientific nature of addiction; to provide educational and treatment resources for those who are in recovery; to empower those in recovery to be better community members; and to help conquer the stigma of addiction. CATE Foundation will begin holding monthly forums where attendees will discuss ways the community can help combat this epidemic. The forums will feature speakers who are experts in treatment and recovery. Specifically, each forum will have an educational portion which explains to the community why the Opioid Crisis is harmful and why it is happening. The first such forum will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 12 to 9 p.m. at the Event Hall at the Barn at Winthrop located in Riverview. According

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to Patch, "After each forum, a fundraising event will be held. The fundraiser will start with a vendor/business showcase, a quarter auction and a silent auction." The funds raised will go toward opening an outpatient resource center in the South Shore community. The forums will be held at various venues. The cost for vendors will be $25 per table. The CATE Foundation is seeking business vendors for these upcoming forums. The CATE Foundation is a registered Non-Profit Corporation with the state of Florida, and will be a 501 (c )(3) as soon as the IRS approves their application. The CATE Foundation hopes to provide many services for individuals and families dealing with the Opioid Crisis. These will include a resource center; peer, family and group counseling sessions designed to rebuild self-esteem and teach life/coping skills; and provide educational and job opportunities for those in recovery. Additionally, they hope to provide transportation, communication devices, hygiene and clothing for those who are transitioning to work or school. As opioid overdoses continue to rise, the crisis affects the entire community socially, economically and physically. As such, classes on various subjects will be open to the community. For more information on the CATE Foundation, please visit

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December 2017

Page 21

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

AJ’s Fine Wines To Host Exclusive Holiday Gift Engraving Event

By Amy Schechter

Starting at If you only $30, have not these make swung by perfect keepAJ’s Fine sake gifts for Wines in any special Lithia, you occasion, are missing holiday or out not only business gift. on a great AJ’s selection, Fine Wines but you are also boasts a also missing walk in humithe frienddor on site, liest neighand this year borhood Sindicato wine, liquor, Ajay Jambhekar, owner, with custom engraved bottle of Gentleman Jack. Cigars will and cigar be present at the engraving event represtore in the area. Many Friday’s from 6-9 p.m., adults 21 and older can come by for sented by Gene Tipton who has nearly a different tasting each week, as the store fifty years of education and experience in boasts a bar and patio perfect for socializ- the cigar industry. Jambhekar urges local ing. To find out about the events, visit AJ's professionals and community members to come for this special engraving, tastFine Wine & Liquors on Facebook. ing, and cigar experience on December Ajay Jambhekar, the owner whose 20 from 6-9 p.m. where they can background is in accounting, relates his thoughts on why it is so important to bring exchange business cards, meet neighbors, and pick up their personalized botthe community together: “My objective is tles. Rosati’s Chicago Pizza will also proit that it is not about me; it’s about we. I vide light hor d'oeuvres throughout the believe in supporting small businesses,” evening. and he hopes these opportunities open In addition to its wide selection of up an avenue for networking between wines, cigars, and spirits, AJ’s offers a professionals. From events like these, Jambhekar is wide craft beer selection, gluten free options, organic beer, and a variety of proud to offer a special engraving event your favorites. For information, contact compliments of Jack Daniels just in time Jambhekar at 643-6488 between 10 a.m. for the holidays. Accepting pre-orders and 10 p.m. now, customers can have a personalized AJ’s Fine Wines is located in the message engraved on 750 & 150 bottles Publix Plaza at 3443 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. of Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniels Single in Valrico. Barrel, or Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

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Page 22

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

December 2017

Riverview/Apollo Beach 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 111. 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 will go on sale Thursday, Dec. 7 at 8 a.m. and can be purchased online at, 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 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

2018 LINE UP:

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

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Local Teachers Speak Out On District’s Backdown From Step Pay Increase Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) teachers took their concerns over the District’s plan to forgo a once negotiated raise to the streets last month. Unhappy with the way they fit into HCPS’s

By Tamas Mondovics

ees more than $200 million in pay and benefits increases over the past four years, despite a district financial picture that was not promising,” said HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja, adding that due to such increases, the Randall Middle School teachers, parents and students district’s fund balance, or its savings account, has line the roadway across from the school voicing their concern about the District’s plan to back down from a dropped dramatically as pay plan that would raise teachers’ salaries for most by increased pay has been $4,000 every three years. given out. At the same time funding from the Legislature has not kept current financial future, a small group of Randall Middle School teachers, support- up with the amount needed to pay for additional costs. ed by students and some parents, lined Arja emphasized that the district has the roadway across the schoolyard to balance priorities and budgets annually encouraging motorists and passersby to to focus on all aspects of what it takes to raise awareness of the issue. help students succeed. “It’s a demonstration against the School officials zeroed in on revenue school board’s plan to backtrack from a drying up, that is funding coming into the pay plan that would raise teachers’ district to pay for salaries and the other salaries for most by $4,000 every three things, which are not keeping pace with years,” said Randall business and techgrowth and costs. nology teacher Jonathan Bock. The two main challenges reportedly Bock, who himself has already facing the district are: state Legislature is received the first round of raises added shifting money to charter schools that had that the main concern is that the money supported education in traditional public to be paid out was already negotiated. schools for decades; a growing number “All this was promised,” he said, of students from all backgrounds are adding, “Contract negotiations should be choosing to attend tuition-free charter conducted before the school year starts.” schools, redirecting state education Teacher salaries in the district reportedly money out of traditional public schools. start at $38,000 and max out at around For now—before it moves ahead $66,000, and with more than 14,000 with anything that would involve spending teachers, it is by no means chump more money—the district is promising to change. gather information about its financial picAccording to a recent estimate, ture along with student enrollment. ‘Band jumpers’ (teachers advancing to The School Board has recently the next three-year pay level) would reportedly cost the district nearly $18 mil- scheduled to hold a pair of hearings on its close to $3 billion 2017-18 budget. lion. Bock summed up the effort of the Adding to the mix is annual cost-ofliving increase, pay differentials for teach- group of teachers standing on the roadway with signs in hand hoping for their ers and raises for classroom aides. promised raises when he said, “Our mesIn a recent release to the media sage is, honor what you said.” HCOS officials expressed the school For more information about board’s concern about all county teachHillsborough County Public Schools, ers and students. please visit “Our district has given our employ-

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Page 24

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

See Inside For More News Section 2 of 3 December 2017

Volume 15, Issue 12

Riverview/Apollo Beach

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

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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 To learn more about Vazquez’s endeavor, visit or on Instagram at alexismariephoto.

December 2017

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Page 26

Everyone Welcome As Walk Thru Bethlehem Offers Interactive Event For 31 Years

By Amanda Boston

Kings Avenue Baptist bands and musical acts. Church of Brandon invites Hoyt also mentioned that you and your family to travel new kinds of entertainment back in time to Bethlehem are being introduced to and experience the true this year’s lineup. meaning of Christmas. Its With a production of annual Walk Thru Bethlehem this magnitude and the event takes place nightly weightiness of its mesfrom Thursday, December 7 sage, Hoyt has asked for to Sunday, December 10. monetary donations from For 31 years, Walk Thru area businesses to keep Bethlehem, an interactive the event going. Those town of 20,000 square feet, is who wish to donate can do brought to life with a volunso at the event or online teer cast of actors and anithrough ‘easy tithe’ at mals. The town’s realistic backdrop transports its visiFor the first time, Kings tors to the little town of Avenue is reaching out to Bethlehem where actors the community for additiondramatize the story leading al volunteers. On up to the birth of Jesus Christ. November 4, the commitThe 30-minute journey tee held ‘Bethlehem immerses you into the throes University’ to train new of Jewish life—captivating the recruits. For those who five senses and stirring the missed the training, opportuheart. From the shouts of nities to volunteer are still angry Roman guards to the available. tender moment with baby Walk Thru Bethlehem is Jesus, visitors will feel what it a free family event and is was like on the night of His scheduled for December 7 birth. The journey concludes from 6:30-9:30 p.m.; As visitors Walk Thru Bethlehem, the vendors interact with them to provide a realistic atmosphere of a Jewish town. with proclamation of the good December 8 from 6:30-10 Walk Thru Bethlehem is a gift to community that is completely volunteer-based and reliant on donations. news as it depicts Christ’s p.m.; December 9 from 4-10 The brand-new ‘Walk Thru tion drawing in more than 6,000 people death and resurrection. p.m.; and December 10 from 4-9 p.m. Bethlehem’ app keeps you informed of over the four-day span. On arrival, visitors “We have been working for several The church is located at 2602 S. your place in line, but you must first are given a number designating a guide months to create an environment that will Kings Ave. in Brandon. To volunteer, conregister at the event. The app is availand an appointed tour time. show our community the greatest gift that tact Tracy Hoyt at able for both Android and Apple Due to its popularity, Hoyt noted, “We God has given to each of us in the birth of have long lines so visitors should arrive or the devices. His son,” said Committee Chairperson If you wish to wait on the premises, church at 685-3095. For more informaearly, but we have an app that allows Tracy Hoyt. tion, visit Facebook at Walk Thru Christmas carols will resonate throughthem to get a number and come back Walk Thru Bethlehem is a local tradiBethlehem. out the sanctuary from local school later with their entire group.”

December 2017

Page 27

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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December 2017

Page 28

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

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

Staff Report

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

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December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

h ChanukaAround ons … i t a r b e l e C ore M & n w To

NY deli style the Gardenville Senior food for sale. Center, 6215 Symmes Rd. A in Gibsonton and enjoy a Chanukah holiday celebration. It will Chocolate Gelt take place on Friday, Factory & December 22 at 11:30 Electric a.m. There will also be an , ti n a s le Menorah optional gift exchange. o ichelle C m M y b d e Wiring Call 671-7601 for more co Compil observer. y e r p s o Workshop will information. @ michelle take place on Sunday, December Winter Wonderland At MiraBay Market 17 at 11 a.m. at the Chabad Jewish Discovery Center, 1578 The Winter The MiraBay Market will take place on Sunday, December 17 from 11 Chabad Jewish Discovery Center a.m.-3 p.m. Bloomingdale Ave, in Valrico. The Wonderland at MiraBay Holds Community Events To event is for families with children Market will take place on marines who served in World War I Celebrate Chanukah ages 3-13. The cost is $8 per child. Sunday, December 17 from 11 a.m.-3 one century ago. DAR members A Menorah Lighting at Park The following events will be held p.m. to explore unique, handmade honor veterans year-round, hosting Square in Fishawk Ranch will occur by the Chabad Jewish Discovery gifts, fresh fruits & veggies, and localrecognition events and providing in front of Cool Beans on Sunday, Center to celebrate Chanukah. ly made foods. Meet and support your services for those in need. In 2016, December 17 at 6 p.m. It will feature A Chanukah Festival will take members volunteered Kindling of place at over 420,000 hours giant Winthrop and traveled over 1.2 Menorah, Town Centre million miles in perChocolate on Tuesday forming veterans-relatgelt, Hot December 12 ed activities. Latkes, at 6 p.m. The DAR was founded Chanukah Hillsborough in 1890 to promote Music, County Fire historic preservation, Chanukah Rescue's selfeducation and patriotcrafts and less service to ism. DAR is a nonprofmore. It is the communiit, nonpolitical volunfree of ty will be teer women's service charge. saluted, and organization with over Riverview Kiwanis planting a garden at the Riverview Library in For more a captain honNovember. 185,000 members in information ored with kin3,000 chapters across DAR Member Places American Flags At Local Veteran on these dling the cenGraves in Honor of Veteran’s Day local artisans while finding amazing the world. events, ter flame of gifts for your loved ones. For more information, please email o the Menorah. A fire engine will be on There will be adorable photo email r call 571-8100. hand for everyone to explore and spots, a small snow machine, cute m. learn more about our local heroes. decorations tons of local businesses, DAR Places American Flags At There will be a Mega Gelt Drop as free samples, and much more. Holiday Celebration At Local Veteran Graves the firefighters drop over 1,000 The Market is located at 107 Gardenville Senior Center chocolate gelt coins from the fire In honor of Veterans Day, ladies Manns Harbour Dr. in Apollo Beach. Bring an appetizer or dessert to engine for everyone to enjoy. The from the Alafia River Chapter DAR Visit event will also feature Face Painting, (Daughters of the American Tony the Balloon guy, Hot Latkes, Revolution) gathered at Limona Chanukah craft and more. It is free to Cemetery in Brandon, to place attend. American flags at Chanukah the graves of Klezmer local veterans. Festival & The chapter previMenorah ously worked for Lighting at the many months Sun City helping to clean Center up the cemetery Chamber of and identify veterCommerce ans laid to rest will feature there. Mark McDade The Freylach Health Insurance - Nov. 1 - Dec. 15, 2017 During Life and Health Insurance Agent band. It will Veteran’s Day, Medicare - Oct. 15 - Dec. 7, 2017 FREE! take place on this year national Thursday, NO CHARGE! DAR members .95 Dental $81.55 Michael Hagerman, Children’s Pastor at Destiny December 14 also remembered 2 Church in Ruskin presents a $5,000 check to Rebecca Family $ ms, at 4:30 p.m. Salgado, Principal at Ruskin Elementary School. The the four million Free Exa -rays! donation will help with a covered court project so the U.S. soldiers, Admission is anings, x children can be protected from afternoon sun. le C free. Enjoy sailors and


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Riverview Dr. will be closed Saturday December 23-Monday December 25. Early lesanti, o C e ll holiday e h d by Mic e il p m o closing e C obs @osprey e ll e h will take ic m place at 6 p.m. on December 18-22 and Riverview Woman’s Club Holiday December 26-28. Luncheon At Special Date And For more informaTime tion, call 273-3652. The annual holiday celebration of A thank you goes out to the Riverview Riverview Kiwanis, along Woman’s with Friends of Club will the Riverview have live Library, who plantentertained a garden in ment and November at the lots of fun Riverview Branch networking library. with the Come and members find out informaand guests tion on the on Tuesday, planned new December library. A second 19 at St. public meeting is Joseph's Members of the Alafia River Chapter DAR proudly on the calendar Hospital S., joined in the festivities at the annual Veterans Day for Thursday, parade at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in 6901 Tampa. Email December 14 at Simmons 6:30 p.m. at for more information. Loop in Riverview High Riverview in the Franciscan School. Conference Room. There is complimentary valet parking. Social Media Savviness For Small There will be a Cookie Business Exchange. Bring two dozen of your An interactive workshop on Social favorite cookies, along with the Media Savviness for Small recipe, for exchanging. You can buy Businesses will be held on Thursday, your cookies if you don’t want to December 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the bake. Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 The cost is $15 for members and Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. This guests. Please RSVP no later than interactive workshop will teach you Wednesday, December 13 at how to use social media channels like, Twitter, and LinkedIn to pal. Reservations and pre-payment is reach your target audience. Discover necessary. what your message should be and

heon, c n u L y a Holid Story e f i L , b u l Garden C sses & More… la Writing C

Riverview Garden Club’s January Meeting About Orchids

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its business meeting on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 10 a.m. at 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview. The guest speaker will be Gerri Almond on Orchids. Call 654-6987 for more information.

Updated Library Hours For The Holidays & More The Riverview Library, 10509

how often you should post on a variety of platforms. Attendees will learn how to build brand awareness and develop social media strategy that will produce the best results. Call 204-2602 for more information.

Ten Week Free Life Story Writing Classes Begin In January

Free Life Story Writing/ Memoir Classes sponsored by the Friends of the Library are scheduled to begin in January 2018. The classes will be

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held at the Bloomingdale Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. This awardwinning, 10 week program will be offered in three separate classes which run simultaneously. The first option will begin on Tuesday, January 16, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; the second, Friday, January 19, 1:30-4:30 p.m. and the third, Saturday, January 20, 1:30-4:30 p.m. A brochure giving more informa-

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send an email if you have questions. Spaces are limited and fill up fast.

Apollo Beach Woman’s Club

The Apollo Beach Woman’s Club (ABWC) monthly membership meeting/luncheon is the second Wednesday of the month at 12 Noon (socializing 11:30 a.m.) at Apollo’s Bistro, 6520 Richies Way ini Apollo Beach. Reservations to Sharon Vasquez at 641-7856 or must be made and paid for by the Friday before. The Club thanks the community for supporting of its annual ABWC Holiday Bake Sale scholarship fundraiser in front of Apollo Meats and the Very Best Barber Shop on November 21. The next scholarship fundraiser will be a ‘Paint Party’ on Saturday, January 13 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Apollo’s Bistro. Terrena Conson (art teacher at Thompson Elementary) will instruct. The public is welcome, best suited for older children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Conson will supply the art materials and lead you step-by-step from a blank canvas to a completed masterPresentation of Apollo Beach Woman’s piece. The cost is $35 ($20 back to Club 2017-18 Honorary Memberships to the scholarship fund). Purchase ticket (R)Nancy Vance, former treasurer and (L)Beverly Fletchall, former president/active by January 5. A light brunch will be committee member by (C)Katherine served and Apollo Bistro will open the Cintron, President. bar at 11 a.m. for anyone who would tion about the program is available in like treat themselves to a mimosa or the library foyer. Adult students glass of wine. should plan to attend all 10 classes. Visit www.apollobeachwomanYou may register for the classes at or contact our Membership the library’s ‘Ask Desk’, or by emailChairman Claudia Gassett at 352ing 258-4580, Please for more information on the Club.

December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Local Bakers Offer Holiday Cookie Works Of Art For Shop Local Gift With the holidays approaching and many occasions calling for sweet treats, these local entrepreneurs take cookie making to the next level creating custom works of art that taste great too.

your own dozen cookies,” said Williams. “We work on several together and decorate each cookie in sections. Everyone leaves with beautifully decorated cookies they made themselves.” The group is limited to 10 people and classes range from one-and-ahalf to two hours. In addition to regular adult classes, Williams also offers kids’ classes at Cool Beans and has a “Cookies for Santa” class planned this month. Search The Sugared Owl on Facebook, for more information, or contact Williams by emailing at

The Butter Tree

By Kate Quesada

make cookies for the party. They were such a success that she decided to turn her hobby into a business and 2 Little Sweets was born. “After months of practicing at night while my girls slept, so I wouldn’t be chasing them and baking, I began posting my creations on social media,” said Escobar. “Friends and neighbors began showing interest in the cookies and asked if I would sell them. Escobar’s cookies are custom orders to any design, color or size. “It is a labor of love,” she said, noting that each cookie is hand decorated and freshly baked. “It is a consuming and long process with cookie dough, icing, mixing, baking, decorating and packing.” 2 Little Sweets requests a minimum order of a dozen cookies, but can make any number higher than 12. “All the decorated cookies are custom and because they are custom, you won’t find my cookies to look, taste or feel like the cookies you would find at the supermarket,” said Escobar, who especially enjoys when her customers send her pictures of them enjoying her products. For more information, contact Escobar at or search 2 Little Sweets on Facebook.

FishHawk resident Erin Cowan Custom cookies baked and decorated by Erin Cowan of The Butter Tree. owns and operates The Butter Tree, specializing in custom decorated sugar cookies for any occasion from birthday parties to weddings and showers. Cowan, a former lawyer who practiced in New York City 2 Little Sweets before moving to When FishHawk resFlorida, started the ident Paula Escobar’s business to keep youngest daughter busy while staying turned one four years home with her chilKerry Williams of The Sugared Owl creates custom cookies based on customer ago, she decided to dren. requests. “I got started after late sugar cookrandomly coming across a blog post ies for the holiabout decorated sugar cookies in days. All cookies 2001,” said Cowan. “I have no profesare decoded sional training and am self-taught with a “Frankenfrom trial and error.” frosting,” which The Butter Tree offers vanilla or is a mixture of almond sugar cookies with royal Royal Icing and icing. Each cookie is custom, hand glaze. created and takes several days to “Customers make as Cowan works from scratch, contact me for baking, coloring the icing and then any theme they decorating and drying each cookie. would like and we She asks for at least three or four work to come up days advance notice for orders. with the designs For more information, search The they want,” said FishHawk resident Paula Escobar makes cookies of any size, color and design. Butter Tree on Facebook, or call Williams. (646) 522-8952. The Sugared Owl began offering cookie classThe Sugared Owl es, which have In addition to making decorated been hosted in sugar cookies, Kerry Williams of The Cool Beans cofSugared Owl, also offers Make and fee shop in Take classes, where residents can FishHawk and learn to work with Royal Icing and Kraftology in pick up the techniques used to make Brandon, a year their own delicious works of art. ago. Williams, a FishHawk residents has “You gather been decorating cookies for four some friends and Chequita Burgess makes beautifully decorated cookies through her business C&C years and offers vanilla/orange, vanilCookie Factory. come decorate la/almond, peanut butter and choco-

Chequita Burgess of C&C Cookie Factory C&C Cookie Factory started making cookies five years ago for her friends, family, teachers, coaches and neighbors, but her delicious works of art were such a success that she started selling them last year. C&C Cookie Factory is a registered Florida Cottage Bakery operating out of Burgess’ home. “My signature product is my vanilla almond cookies, since they seem to be the preferred flavor,” said Burgess who also offers chocolate, chocolate coffee, peanut butter, pumpkin spice and pumpkin heath. For more information or to order, search C&C Cookie Factory on Facebook.

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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 The event officially hosted by the Randall Middle School Hawks held at the Newsome High school saw nearly 200 talented boys and girls student-athletes and was. Members of the Randall Middle School Hawks Track team pause for a photo during the 2017 Cluster held last While all six programs month at Newsome High School. The student-athletes turned in a solid performwere pleased to welcome area programs including ance, this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spotlight Shields, Eisenhower, Barrington, Rogers and Burns to measure up their strengths. landed on three south county area schools: Shields, Eisenhower, and Barrington the spotlight 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, Burns Middle School students stand ready December 6, 2017, hosted by Jefferson to compete in the 800-meter event during Middle School. the 2017 Fall Cluster Track Meet. The County meet will host the top three event winners from the recent cluster. As for the girls' teams, athletes representing Burns, Barrington, Randal, and Shields took the spotlight during this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cluster meet. Other then Rodgers Middle, all participating schools had athletes For more information about posting second, and third place wins in Barrington, Randall and Burns Middle the various events. schools, please visit Please see a full list of winners in this article.

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition


Connection Twins Win Special Olympic Gold And Bulls End Season Stories and Photos By Tamas Mondovics

Local Twins Win Gold At Special Olympics National Tennis Championship

Fourth Quarter Interception Ends Bulls Third Post Season Appearance

Two local teens and each won gold and Brandon Sports medals in level five singles. and Aquatic Center Currently, Bryan (BSAC) ‘Tennis For and Ryan train at the Fun’ athletes Bryan BSAC ‘Tennis For Fisher, and his twin, Fun’ program, a free Ryan, 31, were chotennis clinic for mensen to compete in the tally handicapped athSpecial Olympics letes. The twins joined North America tennis BSAC in the 2002championship held at 2003 season at the the Vandermeer age of 16. “They are Tennis club, Hilton amazing individuals Head Island, South Bryan Fisher, and his twin, who give back to our Carolina in late Ryan enjoyed the spotlight after community by volunOctober. winning first place in level five singles during the Special teering at ECHO,” said The tournament Olympics North America Tennis Brandon area resident was a national tennis Championship. Judy Moore. championship that Run entirely by self motivated saw 120 athletes from around the United States, who have competed in and willing volunteers ‘Tennis For Fun’ is now in its 18th year. levels one through five in singles, Congratulations Bryan and Ryan. doubles, and unified matchplay. The Visit twins turned in a solid performance

That the fans that have Bloomingdale Bulls filled the bleachvarsity football ers to the tilt, conteam enjoyed one fidence of attendof its best season ing a great playoff this fall, which game, which at includes the prothe end between gram’s third post the two teams season appearcombined nearly ance in school his1,000 yards of tory, there is no offense. question. Sadly, less Bloomingdale running back Charles Montgomery breaks through the Titans d-line than 30 yards Unfortunately, for a first down. the Bulls managed from the Titans’ to put up a strong fight, they were unable end zone, Bloomingdale’s chances of to take down their first post season oppo- advancing were halted in the fourth quarnent, Tampa Bay Tech Titans (10-1), the ter when quarterback Tyler Hunter hurled No. 2 seed that won its 10th consecutive a pass down the field only to be interceptcontest after defeating Bloomingdale 42ed by TBT’s Jeremiah Brown. The Titans 22. Bloomingdale lost to TBT earlier in the returned the gift in the next drive for an season 49-21, but were ready and confi80-yard TD run by Treshaun Ward. dent to once again face the Titans. Minutes later Bloomingdale fans “We are excited to make school hiswere crushed to see the interception of tory tonight,” Bulls coach Max Warner another one of Turner’s passes that said prior to the game. “We started the sealed the game with another 18-yard season 0-2, but our seniors did an outTBT touchdown. standing job to lead the team to this playBloomingdale may now have to wait off game. for the next season to go farther, but its On its way to regionals, season success is not without praise from Bloomingdale (7-4), the No. 7-ranked fans, teachers and school administration, team, defeated its Class 7A, District 9 all proud of the winning program, which rival Durant 21-15 and set up the proended the season with an outstanding 5gram for a round-two against the Titans in 1 district record. the 7A region three quarterfinal game. For information, please visit The scoreless first quarter gave Bulls’

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December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Worry...But Don’t Panic About Aging Alafia Driving Academy Helps Makes Parents Around The Holidays New Drivers Road Safe & Test Ready 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.

By Marie Gilmore

Can you 4,500 hours on the remember your 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 Nesmith left the IT was easy to market in order to park… just find go into business the furthest spot for himself. Alafia Driving in the parking lot, “What I love Academy owner Cole Nesmith poses best about this far away from with FishHawk student Cross Gilmore who other cars business is workearned his license after completing lessons. because when ing with new drivthose doors opened, they needed space. ers and breaking them out of their shells,” Fast forward to our local community adds Nesmith who grew up in Hawaii and with hundreds of teens graduating from is an Air Force Veteran. “A lot of kids are Learner’s Permit to Driver’s License on a really withdrawn and giving them the freedaily basis. Driver’s Ed is an option if dom to get out and drive really opens up available but offers limited ‘real world’ their world.” driving opportunities. To fill the gap, a priBrand new drivers typically need anyvate company such as Alafia Driving where between five to eight lessons to Academy with its own vehicles, its own complete the training. The student is instructors and an actual curriculum that picked up and dropped off from home doesn’t include the words ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ and lessons are typically 45 minutes to are a great option and peace of mind for one hour each. Alafia Driving Academy parents of those new drivers. provides the vehicle equipped with an And, as Alafia Driving Academy instructor brake and state-of-the-art safety owner Cole Nesmith will tell you, although features. Vehicles in the fleet include new they have a superb curriculum to follow Mazda CX-5 SUV’s. for new drivers, that only makes up half of In addition, Alafia has a stick shift his business. The other half range in age vehicle available for training and offers a from 24-74 years old and are also need DMV prep. Alafia Driving Academy is a the reinforcement for merging, parking, Valrico-based business and is celebrating collision avoidance and staying safe on four years in business. Currently, it has the roadways. five instructors, including two Veterans, “We’ve had more than eleven hunoffering lessons. Visit www.alafiadrivingadred local students through our school,” or call 438-9712. Lessons said Nesmith, “This represents more than are offered 7 days per week up to 9 p.m.

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December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach 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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December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Bayshore Automotive Offers Custom Jeeps For Holidays Are you having a difficult time shopping for the hard to buy for person on your holiday list? Brandon resident Kevin Champ suggests you think about a custom Jeep or truck. Champ, general manager of Bayshore Automotive on E. Adamo Dr., has many satisfied customers all over the country who have purchased custom vehicles as surprises for family members for the holidays or birthdays and anniversaries. “Our products are specialized,” said Champ. “If you’re looking for something no one else has, you’ve come to the right place.” Under owner FishHawk resident Darren Vivolo, Bayshore Automotive, opened in 2000 specializing in high-end, difficult to find European vehicles, and began offering customized Jeeps and trucks out of a 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse about five years ago. Technicians at Bayshore Automotive take basic vehicles, usually Jeep Wranglers, and fix up the exteriors and interiors with a variety of packages, most commonly including paint jobs or vehicle wraps, wheels, tires, hood upgrades, lights and lifts. “Our vehicles are like custom built homes on wheels,” said Champ. “Many of our customers want to have something to show off their personality and there are so many ways we can do that.” In addition to customizing the outside of the vehicle, Bayshore Automotive can

By Kate Quesada

Darren Vivolo, Kevin Champ, April Champ and Emily Hall, the team at Bayshore Automotive offer vehicle customizations in their Adamo Dr. warehouse.

also upgrade the inside with electronics including cameras and navigation systems and personal color combinations including leather and upholstery. Turbo charges can also be added to increase horsepower. Customers can supply the technicians with their own previously purchased vehicle or can chose from one of the approximately 50 vehicles at various stages of customization in the warehouse. In addition to Jeeps, Toyota Tundras and GMC four-wheel-drive vehicles are also popular choices for customization. In addition to local business, Bayshore has customers around the country. “One of our recent buyers owns a jewelry store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills,” said Champ. Bayshore Automotive is located at 2801 E. Adamo Dr. and can be reached at 241-4000. Visit

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December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Campo Family YMCA Held Its Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration

By Tatiana Ortiz

The flags of 23 supplied numerous various countries pool floats and more. such as Puerto In addition, a Rico, Venezuela new eight-week proand Argentina just gram began over the to name a few did summer at Campo get raised inside the Family YMCA called gymnasium at Spanish for Kids. Campo Family The program teachYMCA in Valrico to es youth ages six to commemorate the eight how to read Second Annual songs in Spanish, Hispanic Heritage learn various event. More than dances, pronouns, Spanish for Kids students featuring Zue 200 individuals colors and much Simpson (on the left with white hat) and Alex Ambrosio (on the right with attended, which more. The students striped shirt). consisted of memin Spanish for Kids bers and non-members. This celebration conducted two dance performances durbrought people together as they ing the Hispanic Heritage event. exchanged smiles, danced or consumed “Students also learn empowerment foods. in a sense that they too can do it when A focus group called Hispanos learning Spanish,” said Zue Simpson, Unidos at Campo Family YMCA develSpanish for Kids instructor at Campo oped the idea for the event. In March Family YMCA. 2016, Hispanos Unidos became estabThe next class with Spanish for Kids lished by the Hispanic members at will meet on February 7, 2018, from 3:30Campo Family YMCA. The Hispanos 4:30 p.m. Visit the Facebook page Unidos group strives to connect the com- to learn munity through the Spanish language more. and its culture. “Overall, such a wonderful opportuni“With being so diverse, we do not ty for the Hispanos Unidos as an organidiscriminate against any countries,” said zation to embrace the needs in the entire Veronica Hernandez, Coordinator of community,” said Rob Gray, Vice Hispanos Unidos at Campo Family President of Operations at YMCA. YMCA. For more information, visit www.tamFurthermore, Hernandez shared that It is located this event had 35 business sponsors. at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Open These businesses either donated food, Monday through Friday 5 a.m.- 10 p.m., water, prizes or money towards it. For Saturday 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 example, Pinch a Penny Pool Patio Spa p.m.- 6 p.m. Call 684-1371.

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By Amy Schechter

cials, especially on weekends when they are known to order specialty fish varieties not found at other restaurants. Like them on Facebook to stay up to date: For questions or carryout, please call 443-5640 or visit online at Open Monday-Saturday 3:30 to 9 p.m., Sticky Rice Sushi is located at 11351 Big Bend Rd., Riverview, 33579. Sticky Rice owners Annie Cheun and Daniel Sweeten.

scratch. People have tasted the difference. Cheun sums up their goal: “We aim for quality of our food products. Whatever we feed you, we would feed to ourselves and our own children.” They also offer a variety of Thai dishes for people who have not taken the plunge into raw fish, as sushi actually refers to rice, not the fish. Be on the lookout for chef spe-


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TECO Manatee Viewing Center Celebrates Awareness Month, Opens For 31st Season

By Sandy Meyer

Generally, as Enjoying the water the holiday temperatures season with decrease, a day on the the Trout water is fishing picks something a up. In our lot of area, look for Floridians fish in the get to do. deeper We are fortubends of the nate to have river systolerable tems, back weather conbays, and ditions on around most days in structure or Tampa Bay. oyster bars. Fishing As with the through Snook, a live December Pilchard will can certainly get the job be tough, done. but targeting Andy Biller had a great trip with Capt. Travis Yaeckel catching a limit of Speckled Sea Trout including this 23” However, a the right beauty. shrimp or species with pinfish will do just as well in most help in your success on the water. cases. One trick that I always do Snook and Speckled Sea Trout are when we are Trout fishing is loosentwo of my favorites this time of year. Snook have already made a pres- ing the drags on my reels. They have ence in their ‘winter time’ refuge loca- a very soft lip and most anglers have a tendency to pull hooks on the tions and the bite has been on fire. smaller fish…and the bigger ones pull We have been targeting these fish themselves off the hook with violent primarily in residential canals and our head shakes. river systems. Luckily enough, bait By loosening the drag on your has still been prevalent and allowed us to have an abundance of Pilchards reel, you can increase your catch ratio significantly. If you don’t have (scaled sardines, greenbacks, white the luxury of having enough live bait bait) to serve on the menu. Depending on the conditions and tide, to chum or using shrimp, try a popping cork to get the fish excited. The live chumming can vary in how probag limit for Speckled Trout is a total ductive it really is. This time of year, (four) per angler with a minimum Snook will not always respond in a length of 15” and only (one) fish feeding frenzy in comparison to the measuring over 20”. Spring. To find fish, focus on deeper canals paying attention to points and cover. A free-lined bait will be my bait Captain Travis Yaeckel is a native resiof choice, and on the colder days I dent of the SouthShore area and charters will add a split shot to get the bait to full time for Redfish, Snook, Trout, and the bottom, where the fish are. Tarpon. He is owner and operator of Instinct Fishing Co.,based out of lower Tampa Bay. Speckled Sea Trout will also be To book a charter, call 830-FISH or visit highlighted throughout the bay this Catch him on month. On recent charters, we have Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show on bagged several limits with a large Sunday mornings from 8-9 a.m. at 1040 amount of fish between 18” and 20”. a.m. Sports Talk the Team.

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Tampa Electric’s (TECO) award-winning Manatee Viewing Center has opened its doors for its 31st season this month. Considering that November is also Manatee Awareness Month the timing of the event each year is by no means coincidence. According to TECO officials the center has welcomed more than 5 million visitors since 1986 Photo Courtesy of TECO Visitors can see the manatees up close from multiple boardand with some walks. Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center is now open recent new addiuntil mid-April. tions there is and deaths that reportedly continue plenty for all ages to learn and to rise. The boating public is urged enjoy. to be on the alert and prevent strikes Each year, the 50-acre Manatee to manatees. Manatees also face Viewing Center draws an average of dangers from prolonged colder tem275,000 visitors – including about or die from red tide outperatures, 10,000 schoolchildren. breaks. In a recent article posted on the None of this should mean only centers Facebook page Stan Kroh, doom and gloom for the muchmanager of Land and Stewardship favored creature as the public can Programs for Tampa Electric was be actively engaged in manatee and quoted to say, “We’re proud to be habitat protection. the showcase for Tampa Electric’s “Education and public awareness commitment to environmental stewremain the key to savings manatee ardship.” lives,” said Patrick Rose, Executive When the temperature of Tampa Director of Save the Manatee Club Bay dips to or below 68 degrees the in a recent release. “The public center is perfect for the gentle giants should learn about their plight, and as they gather in the clean, warm how protecting them is in all our best water discharge canal of TECO’s Big interests. We should understand our Bend Power Station. role as responsible stewards of manVisitors can see the mammals— atees and their habitat, and how it sometimes by the hundreds—up can be beneficial to those things we close from multiple boardwalks and hold dear.” vantage points. Of course, there is The Manatee Viewing Center’s more to just viewing the manatees, regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. which leads to the purpose of every day from November 1 through Manatee Awareness. April 15. Closed on Thanksgiving, For manatee enthusiasts it is Christmas and Easter. Parking and also a time to celebrate Florida’s admission are free. For info, visit beloved, iconic, marine mammal and or to shed light on the many challenges call 813-228-4289 or savethemanaimperiled manatees face daily, including watercraft-related injuries

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December 2017

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

liday o H s r e f f RCMA O es And Krafts oki o C , s d r a C ore… , M & a t n a olesanti With S ichelle C

Page 40

Rohini Rustogi’s three Montessori schools rallied together contributing their M coin collections y db m Compile to help their @os michelle cause. Together, over $2,700 was raised in a single day. Children’s Christmas Art Supports Parents and Farmworker Family Programs PostApollo Beach Author/Illustrator Laurel grandparents Irma MacQuarrie from Little Lamb Tales shared lined the tracks Zayra Alvarez, a fourth-grader, didher tips and techniques on how to write and illustrate your own book with fourth graders, to cheer on the n’t simply draw a Christmas tree; she during the Great American Teach-In at joyful riders. drew a pyramid of them, each laden Collins Elementary School. The school with a different Florida crop. holds its yearly trike event on Veteran’s socks. That’s not surprising at RCMA, Day, accommodating families’ schedEvent, which serves the by ules. After all riders have had their presented children of lowMacaroni Kid turn, the entire student body and faculincome families in and Playtime, ty all set out to march in a patriotic farm communities is for ages 10 parade to show their respect. across Florida. Low under. & This was the 12th year these income does not Children at the Brandon, Riverview and RSVP by purschools have hosted the fall Trike-ASouthShore Montessori Schools rode their mean low creativity bikes to help others. your raising a collective $47,000 for chasing Thon, or low Christmas joy, tickets online local families in their community. Giving externship in and Zayra and other at to others is a valuable lesson practiced Puerto Rico children proved that /. You must purchase tickets in in the Brandon, Riverview and when Hurricane in this year’s RCMA Montessori Schools’ classadvance. The cost is $12 first child/ $8 SouthShore Maria devastated Christmas card rooms every day. This demonstration siblings. the island. designs. of kindness and respect has lasting Playtime is located at 6124 N. US “This deciRCMA will see Hwy. 41 in Apollo Beach. effects. The sense of joy leads to sion to help the Christmas cards improved behavior and positive relathose in Puerto through Friday, Children At Local Montessori tionships. Children embrace the conRico was personDecember 15. A catSchools Make A Difference of tolerance, empathy and even cepts al to many of us alog is available philanthropy at a young age, affecting at WMU-Cooley,” Children at the Brandon, Riverview, Students unload items donated by WMUpositive change in our world…one child said Mendez. and SouthShore Montessori Schools and cards may be Cooley faculty, staff and students to help at a time. set out to make a difference in the lives ordered there at $15 those needing help in Puerto Rico. Pictured “Because of our For more information on how to of others. In November, the eager two(left-right) are Olivia Hood, Theresa Ferriolo, personal connecper box, plus shipand Amanda Mendez. support the school’s Relay for Life tions, we were eight year olds rode tricycles and bicyping. To order an Team, contact The Brandon Montessori cles in their school parking lots to help exclusive card with a customized greet- motivated to help in any way possible. I School at 655-9300. want to thank everyone who not only cancer patients. The young students of ing and/or logo, contact Sonia Tighe at donated or (321) their time, 214-5245. but their Proceeds help the nonprofit money and RCMA, based in Immokalee, resources.” Get your holiday cards from operate child-care centers, charter RCMA schools and after-school proCookies & Crafts & More With grams in 21 Florida counties. In fact, each $15 sale of Christmas cards qual- Santa On Wednesday, December 13 from ifies RCMA for $240 in matching fund5:30-7:30 p.m., join in at Playtime for ing from the state. some holiday fun and visit with Santa at Playtime in Apollo Beach.There will WMU-Cooley Law Students Send be snow, a meet & greet with Santa, Needed Goods To Puerto Rico photos, cookie decorating, crafts to Law students at WMU-Cooley Law take home, treats, indoor & outdoor School’s Tampa Bay campus raised nearly $600 to purchase canned foods, activities, vendors, and more. Vander Shots Photography will personal hygiene products, pet food, take photos of the kids with Santa and batteries and clothes for many families each family will receive a digital copy who have been affected by Hurricane by email. Maria in Puerto Rico. Children will be making ‘Reindeer The items purchased are in supFood’ to sprinkle on their lawns for port of Course of Action Puerto Rico, a non-profit organization in the Tampa Bay area that is partnering with Homeland Intelligence Technologies, Inc. to deliver needed items to the island of Puerto Rico. The efforts at WMUCooley were led by Amanda Mendez. The idea to help those in Puerto Rico was in response to the impact the storm had on many friends and family members of law school students, including fellow student Lavinia Gonzalez, who was working at her

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December 2017

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With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

SouthShore Regional Library Displays Artwork Of Two Local Artists

Music And Comedy Featured At The Firehouse Pub At The Firehouse Cultural Center In Ruskin

and get up in the morning and notice the sun reflecting on the clouds,” Jackson said. The beauty of the area has resurrected Jackson’s passion for photography. “I love getting an idea and assembling the parts in Photoshop and being able to create almost anything The current bi-monthly art exhibit at the John Crawford Gallery at that inspires me. I the SouthShore Regional Library in Ruskin is a wonderful collec- like to tell a story tion of artwork produced by two outstanding local artists, Larry while at the same Jackson and Dave Smith. keeping the time The John Crawford Gallery at the subject matter as simple as possible SouthShore Regional Library in Ruskin is creating interest and emotion to the while hosting an art exhibit featuring the artwork viewer,” added Jackson. of two local artists, Larry Jackson and Smith is a self-taught artist who conDave Smith. The exhibit is a lovely curatcentrates in watercolors. According to his ed show that is available for viewing artist statement, Smith said, "When I was through the end of December. living in the Southwest many years ago, I The artwork of Jackson is a collection took a workshop with a wonderful waterof photographs and photos that have color artist, and I have been working with been manipulated. The results are strikever since.” watercolor ing. Jackson is a gifted artist whose skills Smith has loved art since childhood. were recognized at an early age. Despite While serving in the Marines, he kept a his artistic talents, Jackson pursued other log book and while stationed in Okinawa interests. Luckily for us, Jackson returned in 1976, he re-discovered the joy of drawto art at the age of 71. Jackson said, "I ing. Since then, he was drawn and prodid not know if I still had the gift." He did. duced many lithographs. His last commisHe entered several pieces into a show, sion was for General Schwartzkof during and they were selected as top entries in a Desert Storm. Smith produced a series of show in Southern California. 15 combat art prints depicting the forces While on a trip to Southeast Asia, in use during the conflict. Jackson discovered electronic drawing. Smith currently concentrates on the He is inspired by the views surrounding reflections of water, boats and wildlife. his home in Little Harbor in Ruskin. The SouthShore Regional Library is “Lately I have been inspired by the beaulocated at 15816 Beth Shields Way in tiful sceneries and sunsets. I would sit out Ruskin. every night and watch the sun go down

who specializes in clean comedy. Bray is a unique comedian whose performance creates a memorable experience. On Saturday, January 20 you can listen to the wonderful music of O Som Do Jazz. This group recaptures the Make 2018 the year that you enjoy all that the Firehouse Cultural Center has spirit of the to offer including the many events featuring local musicians and comedians. You can listen to the sultry sounds of O Som Do Jazz on Saturday, January 1960’s and 20 at the Firehouse Pub. 1979’s Brazilian The Firehouse Pub Bossa Nova, Samba at the Firehouse and MPB. Cultural Center in Georgia Vahue, Ruskin is a great place Executive Director for for local entertainment. the Firehouse Cultural Each month, the Center said, “You can Firehouse Pub features expect exceptional local singers and entertainment at the comedians on select Firehouse Pub.” Vahue Friday and Saturday added, “We encourage nights. All shows begin the community to at 7:30 p.m. become a member of the Firehouse On Saturday, December 16, the Cultural Center, and you will save on Firehouse Pub will hold a holiday ticket pricing for all shows. concert featuring Valerie Gillespie and Memberships support our many free her Jazz Ensemble. Gillespie is an community programs. Plus, it is all tax accomplished musician who has perdeductible.” formed alongside celebrities such as Advance tickets to the concerts Joan Rivers and Diana Ross. are $18 for members and $23 for The Firehouse Pub will kick off non-members. Day of tickets for 2018 with a concert by the Charlie members are $23 and $28 for nonMorris Band on Saturday, January 13. members. The Charlie Morris Band delivers Advance tickets to the comedy energetic yet laid back original tunes shows are $15 for members and $18 which are a blend of Blues, Country for non-members. Day of tickets are and Florida Swamp Music. $20 for members and $25 for nonCome out on Friday, January 19 members. for Girls Night Out featuring comediThe Firehouse Pub is communal ans, Aniria and Rene Bray. Aniria seating, so you will get to know fellow moved to this country from El lovers of good entertainment. A cash Salvador when she was just six years bar and refreshments are available. old. Her comedy expresses the “in The Firehouse Cultural Center is your face” truths about cultural differlocated at 101 1st Ave. NE in Ruskin. ences, dating, kids, sex and how men For more information and to get tickand women relate. ets to any events, please visit Bray is a top-rated club comedian


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December 2017

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December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Outdoor Ice Skating Now Available In Downtown Tampa

By Kathy L. Collins

The yearly which features tradition of outdoor Kahwa Coffee, ice skating has Mise Waterfront returned to downBar and Whatever town Tampa. This Pops. This is a fun year’s Winter holiday activity for Village will include 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 able at the Winter Village in Curtis Hixon Park and just love it.” free event set to in downtown Tampa now through Friday, January 5, 2018. Rent skates take place on and get 90 minutes Saturday, on the ice for just $13. Group rates are December 23 at 6 p.m.) and more. The available and you can rent the rink for a Winter Village and ice skating take place private party by contacting Rachel in Curtis Hixon Park which is situated Radawec at rradawec@tampasdownalong the Hillsborough River at 600 N. or call 221-3686. Ashley Dr. in 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 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 day snack at the Café at Winter Village


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December 2017

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Riverview/Apollo Beach

December 2017

Volume 15, Issue12

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Inside Pages Belz Law, PLLC Offers Elder Law Services

Kyle Belz, Esq. provides compassionate and diligent legal elder care services to individuals and families coping with aging, death, and other life events. He regularly works cases involving probate, guardianship, estate planning, and elder law litigation. Belz Law is located at 137 S. Pebble Beach Blvd., Ste. 202C in Sun City Center. Hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 296-1296 or visit

Connie’s Home Décor & Design

Design services at Connie’s Home Décor & Design offers home interior accessories, furniture, lighting, rugs, pictures, mirrors and more. Services include color, flooring, room design and redesigns, upholstery, window treatments. An in-house florist creates one of a kind silk and natural floral arrangements; and plants for events. According to owner Connie Kennedy, “We provide solutions to the most important place in your life, your Home. Our beautiful store has quality, new pieces, and offers friendly service to meet your


Jersey Mikes is located at 10175 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview. Hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Call 405-4300 or visit Online and call-in ordering is availConnie Kennedy is the At a check presentation in Teddy Bear Roundup: Drop off able. If you are owner of Connie’s Home November, Jersey Mike’s Subs unwrapped teddy bears at Partners in interested in setDécor & Design (Riverview) donated $5,359 to its Allergy & Asthma Care for the Tampa new neighboring schools. Rough Riders’ Teddy Bear Round-Up. ting up a fundraishousing needs.” er, please contact Wednesday and Her experience is significant in Leo Davies at Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m.helping redesign your home or display 3:p.m. and Thursday and Friday from your lifestyle through design. Most Kid Friendly’ Booth Trophy 9:30-5:30 p.m. Call 331-3543 or visit As an entrepreneur, Kennedy has To Partners In Allergy & Asthma Goes owned a Mortgage and Investment Care Company, Real Estate and Remodeling Partners in Allergy & Asthma Care Jersey Mikes Open In Riverview With companies, and Home Décor/Design won the’Most Kid Friendly’ trophy for its Bang A Business; she is a Specialist in Home booth at the Riverview Chamber of Bill Atkins and Rick Barrett opened Consulting. Her background includes Commerce's Trick or Treat Street, their seventh Jersey Mikes store in building, remodeling, staging and designthe tradition of serving children Continuing October, offering fresh made subs and ing luxury properties, condos and multiand families in the community, it is now cheesesteaks and catering to the unit homes, expanding across the United an official drop-off site for the Tampa Riverview area. Marketing Coordinator, States. She has bought and sold over Rough Riders' Teddy Bear Round-Up; Leo Davies, headed a local fundraiser for 300 homes and has redesigned over 150 accepting new, unwrapped teddy bears the grand opening. Local elementary homes in this area since moving to for distribution to children in area hospischools, Collins, Summerfield Crossings Florida in 2011. Kennedy has tremendous veterans groups, and senior citizens. tals, and Doby were all asked to participate. mortgage knowledge, having been a Donations are accepted The schools were given coupon cards Mortgage Broker and Real Estate through December 14. that offered a free sub with a $2 donation Investor, and Owned a Real Estate It is located at 13105 Elk Mountain to their school. Parents, students and facCompany, and is registered with NMLS. Dr. in Riverview and 3658 Lithia Pinecrest ulty all participated. All of those donations Connie’s Home Décor & Design is Rd. in Valrico. went back to the schools. Doby raised located at 3818 Sun City Center Blvd., in Call 681-6537 or visit www.partnersi$2,456.32, Collins raised $2,092.71 and the Home Depot Shopping Plaza in Summerfield Crossings earned $809.58. Ruskin. The hours are Monday-

Annual Holiday Sweepstakes Highlights Best Of Shop Local be very excited to receive all of these great items from the businesses in our community,” said Kerrie Hoening, Advertising Sales Manager. “Last year was the first time we have ever done a program like this in the paper and we e z d Pri are excited to the GranThings e m a c e , FL b Our Favorite ia h it share some of L f . o rs l is family o p L o ca al retaile the treasures from The Dav of the 2016 Sh zes from 25 loc winners pstakes with pri our local small businesses with our Swee readers.” Bridget Jenkins Wilson, owner of Cardinal Roofing and a member of his holiday season, the Osprey the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Observer is once again partnering Commerce said the Chamber is with local businesses to highlight the also focused on encouraging local best of Shop Local gift giving. shopping this holiday season and in The campaign is called, A Few fact has a Shop Local Holiday Expo of Our Favorite Things and we have coming up on Saturday, December gone to the best of our local busi9, 9 a.m.-12 Noon at Park Square in nesses and asked them to give us FishHawk Ranch. ideas of a few of the top items “Anything we can do to keep available this holiday season. our local businesses in the spotlight From now until mid-December, is great for our community,” she we will be collecting Our Favorite said. “And, this is a great opportuniThings all throughout the communi- ty for Osprey Observer readers to ty and putting them together in have a chance to win an amazing one giant gift basket that will be holiday gift.” given out in a Sweepstakes for our Already gathered this season, readers. gifts include a Ladies Seiko Watch “We have so many great items from McAuley’s Fine Jewelry valued coming in and someone is going to at $350 and a custom outdoor fire


pit from Outdoor Impressions valued at $850. A pure Silver Christmas Coin from Corbin’s Coins valued at $30, DayDreams Day Spa Journey To Tranquility valued at $135, custom framing certificates from FastFrame, a Swarovski Crystal necklace from TMarie’s Boutique and a ukulele from Music Showcase, just to name a few of the great treasures already gathered together. Last year, more than 450 residents entered the Sweepstakes

By Marie Gilmore

and the Grand Prize, valued at more than $3,500, was awarded just before Christmas to FishHawk resident Tim Davis. To enter this year, email Sweepstakes to or fill out the entry form and send in by mail, fax or email. Good luck and thank you for shopping local! No purchase or contribution is necessary to enter and contest is subject to all rules & regulations as required by the State of Florida.

Legendary Kicking Coach Tom Feely

813-205-5008 Visit for more info!

Kick! Punt! Snap!

Private and Group Lessons Gift Certificates Available Whether you are a novice or a professional athlete looking to fine tune your skills, Feely Athletics will help you improve your game.

Holiday Coin Collections, A Daydreams Day Spa Escape & New Sporting Goods a gift card to Daydreams. Corbin’s Stamp & Coin Is Your With many different Source For Treasured types of spa Family Heirlooms packages to If you are looking for the choose from perfect gift - maybe for a famincluding ily with a new baby or to celmassage ebrate a momentous occatherapy, sion, a special coin may be body, therathe perfect keepsake? Start a py, skin car therapy, nail new family tradition by comand pedicure treatmemorating the Christmas ments, waxings & season each year. Holiday brows, airbrush tanning, coin collections are the permaternity fect way. One ounce pure silservices, ver coins are available for services for $29.95 in a gift box or also as men and for an ornament teens and that can be more, there is displayed. something for Corbin’s everyone. The Coins is shop in located at Daydreams also offers 209 N. Kings Ave. in Brandon and is open Monday to Gift Basket spa products which would also make Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 Item: 1 oz. great gifts. Pevonia p.m. and Saturday from 9 Pure Silver Skin Care products a.m. to 1 p.m. Christmas are offered. Coin Gift certificates are available Journey To Tranquility At Value: $30 at the Spa, located at 658 Oakfield DayDreams Day Spa With all the stress the holiDr. in Brandon or online at www.daydays bring, what better gift for one (or yourself) is to escape for a few A second DayDreams location is hours to DayDreams Day Spa & Bath in Lakeland at 1463 Town Center Dr. Shop. You can make that possible with For more information on this location,


Stamp & Coin

call 863686-5859.

Enhance Your Photos At Fast Frame For The

Perfect Holiday Gift Did you take a special picture this year while you spent time with your family, maybe on vacation or at a special event? Surprise your family this year with a wonderful family picture specially framed to order commemorating this special shared time. Once you have that beautiful photo, a frame becomes part of the bigger picture, so it’s imporGift Basket Item: tant to make sure Tranquility Journey in that it brings out Spa - 95 minute mas- the photo in just sage, hand therapy the right way. and hot stone foot When cusmassage. tomers bring in Value: $135 their personal items and they are not sure about how to decorate their art,

By Michelle Colesanti

Fast Frame owner Alex Roche helps to educate them on how to enhance their item through framing. He offers competitive pricing and has been assisting customers with frames for more than 28 years. Fast Frame also offers oil paint stretches, shadow boxes, needle points, restoration and repairs and cor-

porate art. Fast Frame has been a part of the community Gift Basket for 15 years. Item: Two $40 For more Gift Cards for information, Framing visit www.fastValue: $80 or call Roche at 655-6400. Fast Frame is located at 6128 Winthrop Town Center Ave. in Riverview. Hours of operation are Sunday and Monday by appointment only with 24-hour notice and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Apparel that tells the story of you in ALL sizes XS - 3X Being UNIQUE stands out in ANY crowd!

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Shoppes at Lithia 3455 Lithia Pinecrest Rd Valrico 813-571-7200 Riverview Bell Plaza 10273 Big Bend Rd Riverview 813-672-6111 *Cannot be combined with any other offer. Restrictions may apply. See store for details. Edible®, Edible Arrangements®, the Fruit Basket Logo are registered trademarks of Edible IP, LLC. © 2017 Edible IP, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rolling Pin Cooking Class Gift Certificate, TMarie’s Special Gifts & Musical Music Showcase It is also Brandon’s Big Green ‘Eggheadquarters,’ the ultimate cooking experience. Rolling Pin Emporium is open for private events too. Gift cards are also available. Rolling Pin is located at 2080 Gift Basket Item: Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Gift Bundle of Items Call 653-2418 or visit & Cooking Class Certificates for more information.

Great Gift Ideas And Classes Help Make Rolling Pin A Great Stop For Holiday Gift Needs If you are stuck coming up with creative gift ideas, make a visit to Rolling Pin and to find something for every chef in your life. Rolling Pin offers a gourmet retail store and cooking classValue: $547 ($447 es. Retail; $100 Stop by and browse Find Your Perfect the extensive collection of Cooking Classes) Holiday Ensemble At classic and unique kitchenTMaries Fashion & Gifts Boutique ware. You will find everything TMaries Fashion & Gifts from barware, bakeware, aprons, Boutique is towels & mitts, coffees & teas, cookyour one stop ware, electrics, gadgets, gifts for entertaining, knives & cutting boards, shop for all of your favorite outdoor cooking and more. Enjoy fashion outfits shopping in the specialty food and and acceswine departments. There are many great reasons to sories for the attend Rolling Pin’s cooking classes - upcoming holiday season. It offers a wide variety whether you enjoy cooking – or just of casual fashions, resort wear, plus eating - from great date nights to size fashions, swim suits and cover learning about new foods, this is a ups, accessories, shoes, gifts, formal great gift idea anyone would be dresses, and prom/homecoming excited to receive.

dresses, to help you define your own unique style. While you are in there shopping for those party clothes, you will also find many accessories including jewelry that would also make great gifts for friends and family members. Some brands available at TMaries include Tribal, Elan, Catherine Barclay, Julian Chang, French Dressing Jeans

Gift Basket Item:

30 inch 14K Gold Plated Chain and Statement Necklace with Swarovski Crystal Cabana Life. Gift Encrusted Rose Medallion and Large White Seashell Pearl. Certificates are also Value: $117 available. T. Marie’s Fashion & Gift Boutique is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 Noon-5 p.m. It is located at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. For more information, call 530-0922. Visit

Voted by Florida Trend Magazine as the Best New Restaurant in Florida!


with the purchase of 2 entrees every Saturday limit one per table (offer expires 12/31/2017)

By Michelle Colesanti

A Few Of Your Favorite Things Can Be Found At Music Showcase Music is the international language that is understood and enjoyed by all. Share your love of music by offering voice or instrument lessons to your favorite student. Instrument rentals start at $10 (if you don’t want to make a purchase). If you sign up online, the instrument will be delivered to your school. All of your music needs can be found at Music Showcase, which offers competitive pricing on sheet music and books. There is an in-house repair shop, and private and group lessons are offered.

LC’s Cafe Holiday Catering, McAuley Fine Jewelry Seiko Watch & Feely Athletics Is your child interested in musical theatre, acting, or maybe photography? Sign them up at the Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase. Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, call 685-5998 or visit and

home where LC’s Café will host with a waiter and attendant in your kitchen. Hours are Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday Brunch from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. It is closed on Sunday and Gift Basket Monday. Item: Ukelele LC’s Café is locatand Gift Card ed near Divine Value: $70 Spa at 1602 Designs (Ukelele $50 Oakfield Dr. #103 in and Gift Card Enjoy Home-Style Latin Brandon. Call 526-9395 $20) Inspired Holiday Catering or email From LC’s Cafe Enjoy simple, sweet and savory home style cooked, McAuley Fine Jewelry Is A Gem Latin inspired In The Community Gift Basket foods. LC’s This season design something Item: Catering Café will be uniquely ‘you’ to surprise your speglad to cater Gift Certificate cial someone. your upcomValue: $50 McAuley Fine ing holiday Jewelry (located in (with $250 party either at the former Martin’s order) your work office Jewelers) will help or home. The staff is flexiyou plan your cusble in helping you to enjoy tom made piece of perfect meals to help celJewelry. Jewelry ebrate the season. repairs are also Enjoy holiday events done on premises. in the privacy of your own McCauley Fine

By Michelle Colesanti

Whether a one-on-one instruction on a Saturday or a week long camp or combine featuring hundreds of youths, Feely is nationally known for teaching the fundamentals and techniques of kicking and punting. To date, roughly 15 of Feely’s Gift Basket students have played profesItem: Seiko sional football. His most Ladies Watch notable pupil is son Jay Feely, Value: $350 a Jesuit High grad who went on to play 16 years in the professional ranks, including 14 in the Jewelry is NFL. “I know there’s nobody who’s located done more in the state of Florida to on help kids get better in the last 15 Oakfield Drive, in the Atlantic Village Plaza, Kings Ave. & Oakfield years from a kicking and punting standpoint,” Jay Feely said of his Dr. father. It is open from Tuesday to If your child is interested in Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and sports, help them achieve their Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. dream. Call 205-5008 or email Call 689-8124 or visit Gift Basket Visit Item: Triplex for more information.

Feely Athletics Will Take Your Budding Athlete To Stealth Tee The Next Level Value: $65 Jesuit and national kicking coach Tom Feely has coached hundreds, perhaps thousands of youths in various sports, but he is known especially for his work in football.

Custom Firepit From Outdoor Impressions & Birthday Party Celebration At The Alley Outdoor Impressions Will Help You Create The Perfect Outdoor Space To Enjoy YearRound With the beautiful weather that we enjoy year-round, it makes sense to have an outdoor kitchen area specially created for you. The designers at Outdoor Impressions specialize in customizing the details of your outdoor kitchen to your specific needs and taste; everything from the location of appliances in the outdoor kitchen build, to the materials and color schemes that best compliment your home and outdoor living space. It also specializes in paver driveways, patios, walkways, entryways, pergolas, arbors, water features, fire pits, fire places and design services.

A different kind of gift idea for friends or family could be Outdoor Impression’s 30 inch Munich fire pit. Whether roasting marshmallows or sipping wine, memories are

Gift Basket

sure to be Item: created Outdoor Fire year after Pit year with Value: $800 this great feature added to any outdoor living space. Outdoor Impressions is located at 10020 Carr Rd. in Riverview. Call 6846817 for more information. It is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Family Fun Awaits At The Alley At

Southshore With over 42,000 sq. ft. of fun, the Alley should be your first choice in family entertainment during the holidays. There are 32 bowling

Locally Owned and Operated Perfect for Kitchen Tools and Cooking Classes

Ever ything Cooking and Entertaining Gourmet Foods and Boutique Wines Cooking Classes, Private Parties & Corporate Events

Brandon’s Big Green “EggQuarters”

LEARN • COOK • ENTERTAIN 813-653-2418 2080 Badlands Dr. Brandon, Fl 33511 Sun 10-6, Thurs-Sat Sun11-6, 11-6Mon-Wed , Mon-Tue 1 0-6, W ed-Sat 1010-9 -9 "#1 Rated Cooking Classes & Kitchen Store"

By Michelle Colesanti

lanes along with a Hurricane Have fun at Route 66 Mini Alley 8 Lane Executive Bowling, Tin Pan Alley Arcade Gift Basket Suite. But bowling is and Billiards too. Stuff your only the beginning of kid’s stockings with passes Item: Birthday all the fun. While to go bowling. Party For Up there, you can also The Alley is open To 12 People enjoy Alley Kat’s Pub to Thursday from 9 Sunday Value: & Grill or Alley Scoops a.m.-12 Midnight and Friday $129.99 Ice Cream if you just and Saturday from 9 a.m.want a snack. If you want 2:30 a.m. It is located at 10221 to host a private holiday party, Big Bend Rd. in Riverview. Call there is a private space for that 672-8353 or visit http://thealleyatpurpose. Professional catering is on-site.

Christmas C ins 1oz Pure Silver



Gift Boxed or Ornaments


Stamp & Coin 209 N. Kings Ave. Brandon, Florida 33510


Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm

Sat 9am - 1pm

*Silver prices subject to change.

Backyard Birdseed Squirrel Buster Feeder, Bliss Brows & Daniella’s Mobile Massage By Michelle Colesanti

Nature Lovers Will Delight In Gifts From Backyard Birdseed Backyard Birdseed is your go-to place for your friends and family who enjoy watching nature close up. It carries a wide array of products to increase backyard (and front yard) enjoyment for Gift Basket children, famiItem: Squirrel lies, and birders of Buster all ages. Value: $50 Premium birdseed, bird baths, bird and bat houses, hummingbird feeders and patio and garden décor are all available. In case you do not know what the perfect gift would be for your nature lover, gift certificates are also available. Backyard Birdseed is located at 3642 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. (next to Car Wash on the Greens) in Valrico. It is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and closed Sundays. Call 816-2473 or visit Give Yourself Gift Of Financial

ral beauty, and you Success With Help From Pearson Give A Gift Of Mobile never need to worry Capital, Inc. Relaxation about smudges or Pearson Capital, Inc. is a unique, priDeep Tissue, Neuromuscular, Pre-natal Daniella's Mobile and Sports Massage reapplying. vate, financial investMassage In addition to ment comoffers Deep Convenient, Mobile Massage permanent makeup with Flexible Scheduling pany that Tissue, the office offers micro fully underP needling, eyelash extenstands the Neuromuscular, Prenatal Gift Basket sions, lash lifts and brow highly competitive and Sports Massage. Her goal is to Item: One Hour artistry. Bliss Permanent money manageprovide pain and stress relief thru Gift Basket Free Massage Cosmetics recently ment industry. Item: Apollo’s therapeutic massage all in the Value: $65 launched its new eyeWith many years Bistro Gift Card convenience of your home. She is brow makeup products on of investment a professional, licensed Massage Value: $40 November 1. experience, Therapist and has 15 years of experiTo view descriptions and photos of Pearson Capital has proven to ence as well as a background in Physical the services offered, visit clients that hard work and dedication is Therapy. Online appointthe foundation to success. The highly Daniella offers flexible scheduling. motivated team at our company works To schedule an appointment or to get ment booking is also available. For more information, call 523-0435. The office is individually with clients to design fully gift certificates, which make great holiday located at 101 Flamingo Dr. Suite E in diversified and customized investment gifts, call 323-4901or email Apollo portfolios while seeking attractive, Visit on Facebook Beach. term returns. at Daniella’s Mobile Massage. Since 2005, Pearson Capital annually sponsors a Marine’s Toys for Tots colBliss Permanent Cosmetics Enhance Your Natural Beauty With No Need lection. In this season, it focuses on givTo Reapply ing back to the community. A ‘Toys for Tots’ party will be held at How would you like to look your The Alley, located at 10221 Big Bend Rd. best at all times? Bliss Permanent Gift Basket in Riverview on Saturday, December 9 Cosmetics specialBliss from 1-5 p.m. Entry is one unwrapped toy izes in permanent Complimentary per person. There will be lots of food, makeup—a form of Flawless Brow or music and toys. cosmetic tattooing Deluxe Brow Pearson Capital is located at 6431 used to enhance your Treatment Rubia Circle in Apollo Beach. Call 641facial features. Value: $35 Permanent makeup brings out your natu7575 or visit

Give The Gift of


This Holiday Season!

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BUY $25 Get $5 FREE BUY $50 Get $10 FREE BUY $100 Get $25 FREE *Not to be used in the Pro Shop

813-672-8353 • 10221 Big Bend Rd, Riverview, FL Sunday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM | Friday - Saturday 9:00 AM - 2:30 AM

Big Green Egg Spices At Pinch A Penny, Sweet Treats & Professional Photography FishHawk Pinch-APenny Has Egg-cellent Christmas Ideas For your cooking enthusiast, FishHawk Pinch-A-Penny has got you covered. The 4-1 Big Green Egg grills, Gift Basket roasts, bakes and Item:A collection smokes a variety of of Big Green Egg food from desserts Sauces & Spices to burgers. Pinch-AValue: $110 Penny has all the accessories you need along with sauces and seasonings to boot. Now through Dec 31, the store is having a 15 percent sale on all Big Green Egg grills and accessories. Pinch-a-Penny is located across from Newsome High School at 16715 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. Call 6553700.

By Michelle Colesanti

pocket and matching eye mask, a soft organic pillow case that says “Always Kiss Me Goodnight” and a Sphynx Portable Razor, a 3 in 1 portable shaving razor for the girl who is on the go. Never miss out because of a missed spot; go to Facebook at Be Happy Boutique to see a video of how this razor works. Be Happy Boutique is located at 11369 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview. Call 677-2300 or visit

Tasteful Gifts From Edible Be Happy Boutique Offers Arrangements Make Great Unique Gifts In A Friendly Gift Certificate Holiday Treats Atmosphere Sleep What better way to Be Happy Boutique Ensemble— say you care than with a Value: $100 healthy and tasteful gift of offers unique selections of apparel, shoes, accessories, fresh fruit. With many gifts, home décor and more. assortments from Edible There is something for everyone’s Arrangements, you will find sometaste and budget. A great gift idea is thing for everyone on your gift list. a Sleep Ensemble, which includes Choose from many beautiful a set of ‘Sleep with Dogs’ organic holiday gift baskets such as the cotton pajamas with cell phone Christmas Tree Bouquet or the tra-

tographer behind ditional AU Professional Delicious Photography, Celebration® brought this boubouquet tique style studio to recipe, honthe area, and speeydew, cancializes in glamour, taloupe, boudoir and high strawberries, and grapes scattered school senior portraits. throughout a beautiful arrangement Your day of pampering will include a to create an eye-catching and wowprofessional hair and makeup artist, worthy effect. and to experience what it is like Edible Arrangements can to be a model for the day. Gift Certificate Receive the right amount of be found locally in the for a Shoppes at Lithia, located love and attention, with guidChocolate at 3455 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. ance in posing so you end Dipped Fruit up with images that they will in Valrico (571-7200), and also at 10273 Big Bend Rd. in Box: $35 love and treasure for a lifetime. Riverview (Bell Plaza)(672-6111) The Studio specializes in showing or order online at www.edithe client how beautiful they really Boutique Style Studio Offers Glamour Makeover The holidays are a perfect time to give yourself a gift of pampering, along with a full glamour makeover. As you glow from your special day, the photos taken will make a great gift to your family or special someone. Amber Urioste, the owner and pho-

Gift Basket are, and of their transformation with a before Item: Gift and after photo. Certificate This will also make a Value: $50 great gift for the special woman in your life. Call Urioste at 784-1845 to book a session.


813-530-0922 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd Valrico (at Bloomingdale) HOURS: Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm | Sunday 10am-5pm

Missy’s Ink Permanent Cosmetics & Don’t Forget The Pets This Holiday Season receiving Enhance Your Beauty This some new Holiday Season At Missy’s Ink toys and Never let them see you withsnacks and out your makeup. Look your Pets Supply best every day all of the time Plus is the with permanent makeup. perfect place Missy Duncan is fully certito find the perfied in Microblading (hair fect gift. simulation of eyebrows), lip The store is color enhancement and lip smaller by liner, eyelash enhancement choice and the and eyeliner, powder brows, shelves are Gift Basket and hair simulation of the stocked with scalp. just the right products Item: Spa From the minute you walk in specifically chosen to Services you feel at ease and pampered. help get you in and out The staff takes time to make and get home happy. It Value: 20% has the largest selection sure you are comfortable and Off pleased. of natural, holistic and Missy’s Ink is located at 1104 N. human grade foods, Parsons Ave., Ste. B in Brandon. Call along with a friend659-0648 or email missy@misGift Basket ly knowledgeable Visit team to help you Item: Glo Fish with all your Aquarium pet’s needs. Shop Pet Supplies Plus This There is a selfHoliday Season For All Your Pet service dog wash - Value: $50 Needs you wash your pet, Holiday gift shopping is not just for your two legged family and friends. Your pets will enjoy

By Michelle Colesanti

they clean up the mess. You can also join the Dirty Dog Wash Club for half the price of a regular wash and don’t forget its Nail Trim Club too. You can also find everything you need for your small pets, bird, fish and reptiles. Every other Sunday a pet shot clinic

is held from 1-2:30 p.m. Pet Supplies Plus is located in the Valrico Commons Plaza at 1937 E. S.R. 60 in Brandon (at Valrico Rd.). It is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 540-0645.

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Give The Gift Of Health With Campo Y Membership, Craft Beer At Bootleggers

By Michelle Colesanti

Give The Gift Of Health At Campo Y Gift Basket The start of a New Year holds a lot of promise. Everyone 3 Month Family makes resolutions to eat healthiMembership er and to exercise more. This year, it is time to do something Value: $246 about it. Give a gift of a Campo Y membership to someone you care about to help them to live their healthiVisit est lives. Campo Y offers many exercise options for all ages and body types Quality Life Massage Therapy Can such as Yoga, cycling, Pilates, aeroHelp Relieve Stress During The bics and much more. Hectic Season Many programs and camps are In this stressful holiday season, offered for the family including child Massage can help heal by increasing care while you work out. There are a circulation to an area. It can help lot of sports opportunities for the kids relieve tension and relieve pain. It such as basketball, volleyball and induces relaxation and has been more. shown to have positive The local effects on brain chemistry, Campo Y is truly a part of our commuincluding the production of nity so make it a serotonin and dopamine. part of your family. Call to schedule a Campo Y is locatSwedish, deep ed at 3414 Gift Basket tissue, ACE Culbreath Rd. in Massage Item: Lira Valrico. It is open Cupping, Monday to Friday Clinical Body Bamboo from 5 a.m.-10 Spa Products Fusion p.m., Saturday Massage or from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. therapeutic and Sunday from Value: $50 12 Noon-6 p.m. massage therapy For more informain the Riverview/SouthShore tion, call 684-1371. area office.

Owner Leslie Forrester is also a gifted massage therapist. She committed to learning and understanding the purpose of each massage technique. Give yourself the gift of relaxation this holiday season or purchase a gift card for a friend or family member. Quality Life Massage Therapy is located at 10015 Park Place Ave. in Riverview. Hours are Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Times are available by appointment only. Call


New In Brandon, The Mill Adds Top-Notch Dining Experience The Mill in Brandon recently opened in Brandon to the excitement of those already familiar with the restaurant in St. Petersburg which first opened its doors in 2015. The Brandon location at 109 W. Bloomingdale Ave. is its second one and the first on this side of the Bay.

6128 Winthrop Town Center Ave.


(813) 655-6400 ↑1820s Photo &

Autographed Letters

→Wedding Gift from

Grandmother to Grandson


501-7568 or online at

Oil Paint Stretches Shadow Boxes Needle Points Restoration & Repairs Corporate Art 15 Years In The Area



BIG SALE for all

Big Green Egg

Grills & Accessories

15% OFF

ft ur i G Yo t a on st! e e r G Anyoniday Li

Offer expires 12/31/17

Lithia/FishHawk 16715 FishHawk Blvd.

for Hol


(Across from Newsome High School)

Visit our website at WWW.PINCHAPENNY.COM

Lic# CPC1458117

Dine Out At The MILL And Visit The Salt Grotto To Breath Easy This Holiday Season The Mill is the type of place to enjoy special occasions or celebrations with your friends and family. The menu consists of creative southern-influenced dishes. This holiday season why not celebrate by trying something new. Gift cards are also a great idea. The hours are Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from 4-10 p.m. It is closed on Monday. To make a reservation, call 6038786 or visit

Visit The Salt Grotto And Breathe Easier This Holiday Season Breathe easier this holiday season. Relax in luxury at The Salt Grotto. Dig your toes into the sand like salt and fill your lungs with safe, naturally salty air. With each breath, inhale micro-particles that holistically address respiratory and skin ailments. Give the gift of good health to your

loved ones. There are both adult and children’s Salt Room Therapy. Other gift ideas include unique salt related gifts including Himalayan Salt Lamps, cooking

Gift Basket Item: Gift Card

stones, seasonings bath salts and soaps. Value: $50 The Salt Grotto is located in Plaza Bella Shopping Center, 1026 Salt Grotto Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Basket & Gift Call 324-8946 or visit Certificates

Value: $58

Give The The Gift of a Quality Massage • Swedish & Deep Tissue • Neuromuscular Therapy • Myofascial Release • Bamboo Massage

Instant Online Gift Cer tifi ficcates

• ACE Vacutherapy & Cupping 5 Star-Rated Therapist on

10015 Park Place Ave Riverview Leslie Forrester Owner and Licensed Massage Therapist

813-501-7568 Lic.#MA64365/MM33021

Page 56

Riverview/Apollo Beach Edition

Volume 15, Issue 12

Profile for Osprey Observer

Osprey Observer 2017-12 Riverview/Apollo Beach  

Osprey Observer 2017-12 Riverview/Apollo Beach