Two Sections, 36 Pages of Community News
Valrico See O u Ad O n r Page 19
February 2017 C E L E B R A T I N G
Y E A R S
Volume 14, Issue 2 Ph: 657-2418
P U B L I S H I N G
Strawberry Festival Offers More Than Food, Music And Iconic Racing Pigs
By Kate Quesada
strawberry milkshakes, corn dogs, Kettle Korn, Amish Doughnuts and chocolate covered bacon. The festival also offers an impressive lineup of musical acts with many free concerts throughout the time and tickets available at an extra cost for headliners including Willie Nelson, 3 Doors Down, Little Big Town, The Bellamy Brothers, Elle King and Patti LaBelle. “We sell about 9,000 seats to every show and offer 3,000 free seats on a first come, first seated basis in the Morrow Steel Free Grandstand,” said McNair. However, events included in the ticket price include something for everyone with seven livestock shows, contests, displays and exhibits. Highlights include the Cabot Strawberry Smoothie event where Cabot Creamery will be creating the World Record Strawberry Smoothie on Friday, March 3 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., ROBOCARS “Big Blue” and “Yellow Jacket,” the Tampa Bay Times Race Zone and nightly entertainment in the Public Showcase Tent. There are also magic, circus and milking shows, pig races and food contests from corn dog and strawberry mashed potato pie eating to strawberry stemming. Times for these events are available on the Website
Continued on Page 10
C O M M U N I T Y
By Tamas Mondovics
The A pair of public Delaney/Archie Creek open-house format Watershed project meetings held in budget is $700,000 Brandon and in and is funded through Riverview last the Stormwater Fee month allowed area Capital Improvement residents to learn Program. about a variety Both recent meetdrainage and flood ings gave attendees a control projects as chance to review as well as the County’s well as to comment on master plan the proposed plans updates for the that are a part of the Delaney/Archie Countywide Creek Watershed Watershed Master located in central Plan Updates. Hillsborough The master plan County. update provides the Armed with County Public Works officials hosted a County with valuable maps and backpair of public meetings last month to discuss proposed water drainage and information on floodground information, flood water control projects. ing within the waterCounty Public shed, including an updated hydrologic Works representatives, were on hand for and hydraulic (H&H) model that is used both meetings to assist attendees with by the County, the Southwest Florida their concerns and questions and input. Water Management District (SWFWMD) The Delaney/Archie Creek and local developers as best available Watershed drains approximately 36 square miles and is generally bounded on information for project analysis and permitting. the north by Palm River Road and the For more information and watershed CSX railway, to the west by Hillsborough maps, please visit the County’s Bay, to the east by Valrico Road, and to Stormwater Projects page at www.hillsthe south by the Alafia River. boroughcounty.org. While the majority of the proposed projects for 2017 are planned west of I75, the event presented valuable information about the entire watershed master In This Issue plan, the process of which began in late 2013. According to Project Manager, PUBLIC SAFETY...................................PG 7 Junshan Su, a final report with recommended flood relief projects was complet75 YEAR ANNIVERSARY......................PG 8 ed in late 2016. MOVIE FILMED LOCAL .......................PG 9 “Drainage and flood control projects planned for east of I-75, including areas TRAFFIC RELIEF ................................PG 10 of Riverview, Brandon and Valrico will be CHALKLINES....................................PG 23 proposed this time next year,” Su said, adding that the Valrico and east Brandon PARK RENOVATION ........................PG 33 communities are actually located within CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL.......PG 34 the Alafia Watershed. Su also mentioned that Hillsborough READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE County has 17 watersheds dividing up the projects and their timelines. www.ospreyobserver.com
Osprey Observer 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Brandon, FL 33511-6121
Photo Courtesy By Tamas Mondovics
Drum Circle Facilitator, Jana Broder, owner of Drum Magic, leads a large group of Chick-fil-A fans a drumming session last month at the newly opened Chick-fil-A restaurant in Valrico. The event was part of the new restaurant’s grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration that awarded the first 100 customers with 52 free meals.
N E W S
County Hosts Public Meetings For Stormwater Drainage And Watershed Master Plan
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The Florida Strawberry Festival, with its delicious food and exciting entertainment, has been a local favorite since 1930 and is back this year from March 212, promising to be better than ever. According to festival Public Relations and Media Representative On Friday, March 3, at 3:30 p.m., the iconic Lauren McNair, Willie Nelson will offer a concert at the the strawberryFlorida Strawberry centered food at Festival, just one of the event is the many headline performers coming to always one of this year’s festival the biggest March 2-12. draws. “We have about 150 food vendors with a wide variety of choices, so there really is something for everyone,” said McNair, who explained that strawberry shortcake is the most popular food item with about 250,000 sold during the 11-day festival last year. McNair added that one of the best ways for strawberry lovers to navigate the event this year is by using the Strawberry Central page on the Website and mobile app. “Visitors can use Strawberry Central to see a complete list of every food item we offer. It is the go-to place for those who come here for all things strawberry,” said McNair. Other popular food items include
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Volume 14, Issue 2
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Fallen Oaks Farms In Valrico Offers Back To Nature Yoga Classes
Plant City’s Wayne Hancock Continues 75 Years Of Seabee Tradition
Living in the our communiBrandon area, it ty, no matter is easy to feel what size their removed from property, enjoy the beauty of the having raised land that surgarden beds rounds us, but or even a Shelley and designer Brian chicken Fehrenbacher coop.” have found a One of way to bring natthe newest ural living to ways the Valrico. family is Yoga at the Farm takes place on Two years helping the Saturday mornings at Fallen Oak Farms in Valrico. ago, the community Fehrenbacher family moved from their get closer to nature is with yoga classes home of 12 years in FishHawk Ranch to for adults and children. The first Yoga at Fallen Oak Farms, a seven-acre property the Farm class took place in early in Valrico. February and Shelley is planning to start “We moved because we wanted to kids’ yoga classes on March 8 with a gargive our three daughters the experience den theme. of living on land,” said Shelley, who has a “I am thrilled to get to combine my Masters degree in elementary education. teaching experience and love of the out“Whether it is caring for our animals or doors into a creative educational proharvesting vegetables from our gardens, gram,” said Shelley. we knew those were lessons we wanted “All three of our daughters are to give them.” involved in the agriculture programs and After settling into the property they FFA at Mulrennan middle school and spent years searching for, the family is Durant High School,” said Shelley. “We've now working to help others experience built a large, functional rabbit hutch for the the benefits of farm life through the sale middle school and plans for a Garden to of artisan projects including garden beds, School Lunch Table are in the works. Our decorative chalkboards, garden and vision is for other private and public pantry doors, designer chicken and rabbit schools in our area to also join in to start coops and play sets. a program.” “Our farm continues to evolve as our To sign up for a yoga class, visit community’s desire for country living turns www.fallenoakfarms.com, itself into a way of life verses a trend,” www.yogaatthefarm.com or call Shelley at said Shelley. “We are seeing people in 541-1111.
“We Build, We asters. Fight” has been the “I am proud of motto of the U. S. the hard work that Navy’s Construction Seabees do every Force, known as the day,” said Rear Adm. “Seabees”, for the Bret Muilenburg, past 75 years. Plant commander, Naval City native Petty Facilities Engineering Officer 1st Class Command. “Their Wayne Hancock, support to the Navy builds and fights and Marine Corps around the world as mission is immeasura member of a naval Petty Office 1st Class Wayne Hancock. able, and we look construction battalion center located in forward to the next seven decades of Port Hueneme, California. service.” Hancock works as a logistics specialSeabees around the world will take ist in the Navy. “As a logistics specialist part in a year-long celebration in 2017 to I'm responsible for the financial aspects of commemorate the group’s 75-year the battalion,” said Hancock. “I balance anniversary. The theme of the celebration the budget and ensure all the logs are up is “Built on History, Constructing the to date. My job is essential because if we Future.” don’t have the funds to support the mis"Seabees deploy around the world sion we won’t be able to ensure mission providing expert expeditionary construcaccomplishment.” tion support on land and under the sea, The jobs of some of the Seabees for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, today have remained unchanged since humanitarian crisis and peace," said World War II, when the Seabees paved Capt. Mike Saum, Commodore, Naval the 10,000-mile road to victory for the Construction Group (NCG) 1. "Seabee allies in the Pacific and in Europe, resiliency, skill, and resolution under hosaccording to Lara Godbille, director of the tile and rough conditions prove our motto U. S. Navy Seabee Museum. 'We Build, We Fight.' The Seabee patch “It's a close knit community and you we wear on our uniform signifies to the get to know everyone,” said Hancock. “I warfighter and civilian alike that they're in like the family-like atmosphere.” good hands." For the past 75 years Seabees have “The anniversary is important served in all American conflicts. They because it gives people a chance to rechave also supported humanitarian efforts ognize the heritage,” said Hancock. “The using their construction skills to help com- Seabees are a unique force because munities around the world following earth- they are critical to the Navy's overall misquakes, hurricanes and other natural dission accomplishment.”
By Kate Quesada
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Volume 14, Issue 2
Rep. Spano Helps Unite Area Churches And Community In Prayer More than a dozen churches from the Tampa Bay area united for an evening of prayer and thanksgiving at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon. In response to the nation’s escalating racial and political divides, the event focused on unifying community and families. Leading the charge was Rep. Ross Spano from the Florida House of Representatives. He expressed, “I had a growing concern and a feeling that I needed to do something. I began to pray about it and met with friends, community leaders and local pastors who share a heart for that same vision of unity. The November 20 event was the first step of a series of meetings that we hope will take place at quarterly intervals.” Dr. Stephen Rummage, senior pastor Bell Shoals Baptist Church, and A.D. Shaw, senior pastor Shekinah Glory Cathedral, share in Spano’s enthusiasm and shouldered key leadership roles in preparation for the UNITED event.
Rummage said, “I believe that the church is the beginning place for real unity in our communities. We have been brought together by God's Son, and we can extend His work of reconciliation and peace to others. The event gathered a diverse group of people from various denominations, races and political views. The evening dedicated a time of prayer to educators, law enforcement, first responders, military, and leaders of the city, state and nation.
Worship teams from the participating churches combined into a mass choir to worship the Lord in song. The church, being the body of Christ, put
Apollo Beach Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Brandon Brandon FishHawk Riverview Riverview Seffner Valrico Valrico
By Amanda Boston
vidual’s character in unifying the community through current struggles. Students, parents and community members are invited to an encouraging evening jam-packed with entertainment from local high school bands, drama teams and choruses. In respect to community events, Spano clarified that although he can’t separate who he is as abeliever from who he is as a leader, he is Dr. Stephen Rummage, senior pastor Bell Shoals Baptist Church, played an active role in planning and provided the careful not to infringe on the venue for the November 20 event. beliefs of others. “I aside personal differences, disunderstand there may be some conplayed love for one another, cern that I will use my platform for and acted as an example of some religious agenda. But that’s not unity to the rest of the commuthis is about,” explained Spano, what nity. “I sense an openness in the church In March, plans are underway for a community event at a particularly to get out of our comfort zone and reach across divides to truly local high school. In Spano’s see unity and love one another like words, it will be a “Character Christ.” Pep Rally for Unity” and will If you would like to get involved feature a celebrity speaker to be or be added to the mailing list, please named later. As the name implies, the contact the office of Rep. Spano at rally will spotlight the role of an indi744-6256.
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Community Foundation Of Tampa Bay Distributes Grants That Focus On Art And Culture
W W W
O S P R E Y O B S E R V E R
C O M
By Kathy L. Collins
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has announced that nearly $65,000 in grants was given to organizations that focus on increasing accessibility to the arts and culture. Several organizations in the South Shore area are lucky recipients of the funds. This will allow for The South Shore Arts Council provides high school students who wish to pursue art in higher learning, receive grants from the greater accessibility Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. to the arts and culThe South Shore Arts Council ture in south Hillsborough County. received a grant in the amount of $3,725 The grants range from community for its High School Art Exhibition. “South theatre groups and orchestras to arts Shore area schools can be overlooked in councils. The organizations have deep certain programming aspects, but this roots in the community, and they will proexhibit gives an opportunity to our local vide valuable programs and cultural conhigh school students to showcase their nections for children and parents. talents to the community,” said Michael The Straz Center received a signifiParker, president of the South Shore Arts cant grant for its Arts Education Council. “This grant from the Community Partnership Program. This makes art Foundation allows us to bring together available to students in kindergarten students that are serious about pursuing through 12th grade. The Straz Center art, and provides cash awards to the winpartners with organizations such as the ning students and funds to their school for Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin and much needed art supplies and activities,” the RCMA Leadership Academy in added Parker. Wimauma. The Pelican Players, a community Heather Hanson and Mark Haggett theatre group of 300 volunteer members from the RCMA Wimauma Academy and located in Sun City Center, received RCMA Leadership Academy said, “Offering arts education to our students is $20,000 for the installation of a portable sound system. critical to their educational and emotional For more information on the growth.” Many grants target just elemenCommunity Foundation of Tampa Bay, tary students. However, this program is please visit www.cftampabay.org. for students in middle school.
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Donate to the Afghanistan Memorial Which Will Be Dedicated At Veterans Park
In 2013 Marine Families helped raise funds to erect the Iraq Memorial at the Veterans Park in Tampa. It is currently participating in the completion of the Afghanistan Memorial which will be dedicated on February 25. These two memorials hold very special places in our heart because these are the two wars that have waged on during the life of the organization. A majority of members, loved ones, and supporters have served, sacrificed or given their all. Help make sure none of them are ever forgotten by donating to help Marine Families meet its $600 commitment. Donations can be made by visiting www.marinefamilies.org/donate or Afghanistan Memorial Fundraiser on Facebook.
Hillsborough County Helps Students Achieve Higher Education Goals Through Scholarships
Achieving a higher education is an important life goal for young people and their families. Hillsborough County Social Services has partnered with the Community Action Board to offer scholarships for up to $5,000 to eligible students wishing to continue their education by attending an institution of higher learning. Scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 school year will be accepted through Friday, March 31. Recipients will be notified in writing prior to the start of the fall semester. Applicants who meet the following eligibility requirements may be awarded a scholarship: Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 22, and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent (16year-olds may apply if they are graduating seniors). Applicants must reside in Hillsborough County. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0. The applicant’s household income must fall within 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). The following criteria will also be used to evaluate applicants: Community service and school involvement, applica-
tion and letters of recommendation, academic record (transcript), essay response, and panel interview participation. Application materials can be downloaded at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/social-services/education-and-training/action-folder/apply-for-a-scholarship. Detailed instructions on how to apply can also be found on the page. Students may submit completed applications online, via mail, or hand deliver applications in person to any County Community Resource Center. Mailed applications can be sent to P.O. Box 1110, Department of Social Services 24th Floor, Attention Sylvia Wint, Tampa, FL 33601. In 2016, 52 scholarships totaling $260,000 were awarded to Hillsborough County students through Hillsborough County Social Services.
Hillsborough County Extension Offering Free Tax Preparation Help
Hillsborough County Extension is now scheduling appointments for residents who need expert help in preparing their federal income tax returns. The free service is available to individuals and families whose Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is no more than $64,000. AGI does not include money contributed to tax deductible retirement plans, or certain other adjustments. IRS-certified volunteers can provide access to a self-guided tax preparation program, as well as one-on-one assistance. Appointments are required, and are available Tuesdays and Thursdays from February 7 through April 11, between 2-7 p.m. On the following Saturdays: February 11, 18, March 4 & 18, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To schedule an appointment, contact Denise Kantak at 744-5519 ext. 54141 or kantakd@HCFLGov.net. Hillsborough County Extension is located at 5339 CR 579 in Seffner.
Awareness (The Alliance) will hold its first community awareness walk in Tampa on Sunday, March 5. Held at the Raymond James Stadium, registration for “celebrating everyBODY” will begin at 9 a.m. Guest speaker, McCall Dempsey, will share her story of hope and healing from a 15-year battle with an eating disorder. The Alliance is expecting more than 300 walkers and community resource exhibitors to be participating. In addition there will be live music, free snacks/drinks, and an arts & crafts area. The Alliance is proud to partner with the Tampa Bay chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals to help spread the word about this important cause and make this walk a huge success. The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs and activities aimed at outreach, education, political advocacy, and early intervention for all eating disorders. Since its establishment in 2000, the Alliance has offered presentations on eating disorders, positive body image, and self esteem to more than 250,000 individuals throughout Florida & nationwide. One of the most important missions of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness is connecting those seeking help with resources and information to assist them in their recovery. Each year this organization publishes a comprehensive referral guide of U.S. treatment pro-
grams and regional eating disorders specialists. This invaluable resource will be distributed to Tampa-area middle & high schools, colleges, social service agencies, doctors offices, and made available online. Monies generated through this event will also be used to establish a free support group in Tampa for those who struggle with this deadly disorder. Visit www.allianceforeatingdisorders.c om to register.
Impact Hosts Auditions for Impact’s Got Talent
The third annual Impact’s Got Talent 2017 will be held on Friday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale High School. Krades K-12 are encouraged to audition for this fun-filled event. Singers, dancers, musicians, theater, soloist, groups are all welcome. The grand prize is $250. Trophies will be awarded to 1st & 2nd place in each category as well as prizes for certain awards. Acts must be three minutes or under and you must audition with the act you would be performing the night of the event. You may audition a cappella or with a track. Contestants selected for the event will be asked to pay a registration fee of $15 per person (solos & duets), $10 each person for groups of three or more to help offset the cost of trophies and prizes. Visit www.WhatIsImpact.com or contact Ali Kagey at 454-9125 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment time. Teen IMPACT is a group of high school teens committed to saying YES to healthy relationships and a positive future by saying NO to premarital sex, drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
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County Promotes Year-Round Vigilance During Severe Weather Awareness Week winds, lightning, hail and a few strong, long-track tornadoes left at least 20 people dead in three states, not to
A satellite image shown by the National Weather Service (NWS) of an organized and powerful squall line, which in some areas produced winds of 60-80 mph along with isolated tornadoes, hail and heavy rain made its way across the southeast U.S. ahead of a cold front last month, reminded residents of the importance to be prepared yearround.
Hurricane season may be over, but an organized and powerful squall line, which in some areas produced winds of 60-80 mph made its way across the southeast U.S. ahead of a cold front last month, causing a severe weather outbreak. According to emergency management officials, on its way to the Tampa Bay region the storm produced hazardous conditions thanks to strong
mention the high cost of property damage. Interestingly, the weather event, which quickly reminded residents of the need to be prepared at all times, came just in time for the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week, January 23-27. Hillsborough County has joined state emergency officials in promoting and calling attention to the importance of being prepared year-round.
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“It’s easy to forget that we get our fair share of hazardous conditions year-round,” said Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Preston Cook. Cook emphasized that while a great effort is put into promoting hurricane awareness, many end up focusing their preparedness efforts only on the hurricane season. “Other types of severe weather can be just as devastating,” he said. To change such outlook County officials hope that promoting Severe Weather Awareness Week, which calls attention to potential hazards, how to prepare, and how to survive, will help widen residents’ weather outlook. The lineup for the week included a few tips which are listed below: Lightning - If you hear thunder, go indoors. Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after thunder stops. If you are outside in a storm, do not use trees for cover. Marine Hazards and Rip Currents. - Before boating, check forecasts well ahead of time. Be sure everyone is wearing a life jacket, and have a VHF marine band radio on board. Never swim against a rip current. To escape
the current, swim parallel to the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle toward the shore. Tornadoes and Thunderstorms Have a family emergency plan that includes where to go if a tornado threatens. During a tornado, go to an interior room without windows, and if possible, on the lowest floor of the building. Never stay in an automobile. Hurricanes and Flooding Have a family emergency kit, and a plan that includes where you will go if you evacuate. If a flood occurs, move to higher ground immediately. Stay away from flooded roads. Turn around; don’t drown. Temperature Extremes and Wildfires - in hot weather, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, and drink plenty of water. In cold weather, protect people, pets, plants, and pipes. When wildfire conditions exist, take steps to minimize potential damage to your home, such as removing pine needles and dry leaves within five ft. of the structure. For more information, including the County’s Disaster Planning Guide, please visit www.HCFLGov.net/StaySafe. Hillsborough County’s official notification system for emergency messages and urgent information is HCFL Alert. Residents are urged to sign up to receive messages by email, phone, and text, at HCFLGov.net/HCFLAlert, or call 272-6602.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
Couple Celebrates 75 Years Of Marriage Allegria Italiana Offers Authentic By Kate Quesada Family Recipes In Welcoming Location When baby needs a diaper change, do Nestled at the intersection of Oakfield and Corner Drives near Brandon Regional Hospital, Allegria Italiana Ristorante brings the culture, food and feel of Italy to Brandon. The restaurant is owned by the Dragoneti family, who share their decades of Vito Dragonetti’s Allegria Italiana Ristorante in experience and Brandon serves up passion to the authentic Italian cuisine. creation of Italian cuisine. Many of the items on the menu are authentic recipes passed down through generations of Italian families. Matriarch Mamma Rosa’s sauce recipe graces the menu in several dishes. It’s not just her recipes that can be found at the restaurant. The 85-year-old can be found most nights sitting in the dining room, enjoying the overall atmosphere and ready to chat with customers. “She brings some of that Italian authenticity to the restaurant,” said owner and son Vito Dragonetti. From their roots in Italy, the Dragonetti family began their restaurant venture in New York in the 1970’s, where they owned pizzerias, trattorias and steakhouses. A commercial broker, Eddie Arnold,
By Michelle Caceres
told Dragonetti that Brandon had a need for a family-owned Italian restaurant with great food. The New Yorker left the Big Apple and moved to Florida. Allegria has been open almost three years. “We have lasted because we know how to take care of our customers,” said Dragonetti, who emphasizes
the importance of the entire dining experience at his restaurant. “We are a small restaurant and take pride in our food,” he said. “Plan to spend an hour and a half eating and enjoying good food, the atmosphere and good conversation with your dining companions.” Dragonetti is doing something right. TripAdvisor ratings are extremely favorable and the restaurant earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2015 and 2016. Allegria is open Monday – Thursday 3:30 p.m.–9 p.m., Friday 3:30 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday 4:30 p.m. –10 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m.–8 p.m. Reservations are required on the weekends and lunch may be added soon. Visit www.allegriaitaliana.com, or call 651-1166.
Richard and it. If floors need vacuuming, do it. Lois Coates Admire her and praise her for moved to making your house a home.” Valrico in He also emphasizes the 1968, importance of faith, commitment Brandon to wedding vows and showing Blvd. had love in words and action. only two lanes and Lumsden Rd. was a dirt trail between Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Richard and Lois Coates of Valrico and Valrico recently celebrated their 75th Rd. There wedding anniversary. wasn’t a “Keep your wedding vows,” he McDonald’s in sight. The couple is celesaid. “A wife is a treasured thing. Give her brating their 75th anniversary this year compliments on housekeeping and and credits their long marriage to faith appearance. Tell her how much you are and commitment. blessed to have her as your wife and tell Both raised in Florida, Richard and her you love her at least twice a day.” Lois met when he asked her to skate with Both Lois and Richard will also celehim at Tampa’s Sweetheart Skating Rink. brate their 96th birthdays this year and They knew each other only 78 days are proud to call Valrico home. before marrying on January 11, 1942 in “When we moved here it was a lot of High Springs, Florida. They went on to orange groves and pastures with cattle have five children, four girls and a boy still grazing,” said Richard. “We used to and nine grandchildren, while Richard live in the country, but now we have the worked in the railroad industry and Lois big city atmosphere. Conveniences and spent many years working for the City of everything are just a short ride away. We Tampa as Playground Director for the no longer need to go into Tampa for anyJackson Heights Playground. thing.” The couple’s daughter, Rhonda Richard, who is a World War II veterCoates Noland, admires her parents’ an, serving in the Pacific Theater for more marriage and hopes others will learn from than three years, has plenty of advice for them and their sense of community. couples looking for a long, healthy mar“Mom and dad worked together as a riage. team at home, church and in the neigh“It is very important that husbands borhood schools and playground,” she help your wives with household chores, said. “They have an inspirational love and especially the babies,” he said. “If the story.”
Dukes of Hazard John Schneider Signs On To Movie Filming Locally, The Favorite Producers of the Clearwater based film, The Favorite, announced that they are in preproduction and set to start shooting in late February in the greater Tampa Bay region. John Schneider has a Cast and crew role in the upcoming Christian based film, The are being Favorite, which is set to selected with start shooting locally. He John Schneider, is known for his roles on Dukes of Hazard, being selected Smallville and Tyler as one of the Perry’s Have and Have lead roles in Nots. the movie. John is known for his roles on Dukes of Hazard, Smallville and Tyler Perry’s Have and Have Nots. The Favorite is based upon the true story of Luke Bernard, a local pastor’s son, who nearly died from a car accident in Los Angeles just after he was cast in a new television series. Luke amazed his surgeons and nurses by recovering from severe brain trauma in less than a year. While literally relearning to walk, talk, and write, he was inspired in a dream to write a movie screenplay about two brothers each seeking to be their father’s favorite son. The result was a screenplay that amazed veterans of the film industry in Hollywood. In 2016, the novelized screenplay was published by
By Marie Gilmore
Evergreen Press. Producer Daniel Bernard, Luke’s father, and the founder of Somebody Cares, Tampa Bay, said, “We didn’t The Favorite is based upon the true story of even find out Luke Bernard, a local Luke had pastor’s son, who nearly been in a died from a car accident in Los Angeles just after near fatal he was cast in a new accident for television series. three days. When we got to the hospital his injuries were even worse than we had imagined. We believe that his recovery and the film based upon his experience can bring great hope to many by demonstrating the power of faith and prayer. The movie will be released in the fall of 2017 or beginning of 2018. Shooting will be focused primarily in Pinellas County in February with 25 speaking roles cast including: BENJAMIN: Luke Bernard, LUKE: Matthew Fahey, DANIEL: John Schneider, ASHLEY: Mollee Gray and MIKE FRASER: Jeff Hardy. For more information or to interview the author, email email@example.com or contact Daniel Bernard at 727-421-4132. Visit www.thefavoritemovie.com for latest news updates.
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Strawberry Festival...Continued From Page 1
By Kate Quesada
under the “Free success. “The people Entertainment” of Plant City are very tab. proud of our agriculMcNair rectural roots, so the ommends the whole area works SunnyBell Kiddie hard to make sure the Korral for families festival is a success,” with young chilsaid McNair. “We dren. have about 2,500 vol“It is an area unteers from the comseparate from the munity, some main midway that of whom is smaller and even take offers rides just vacation time for kids,” said McNair. from their “Children will also want to jobs so they see the Belmont Festival can volunteer of Magic, the New Circus here, who Incredible, the Florida want to conStrawberry Growers tribute whatThe Florida Strawberry Festival will take Association Strawberry place in Plant City March 2-12 this year. ever they can Production Display, which to make sure is a great agricultural education experivisitors to Plant City receive a warm welence, and Robinson’s Racing Pigs.” come and have a good experience There is also a Youth Strawberry here.” Stemming Contest on Saturday, March 4. For information on the festival, visit The schedule for all of these events can www.flstrawberryfestival.com or call 752also be found on the Website at 9194. Tickets to the event can be purwww.flstrawberryfestival.com. chased at the gate for $10 for adults and McNair credits the support of the $5 for children 6-12. Fairgrounds are community for the festival’s continued located at 303 N. Lemon St. in Plant City.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
BOCC Approves Plan To Expedite $600M In Traffic Congestion Relief Over 10 Years
By Tamas Mondovics
During its widening projects regularly schedlike Big Bend and uled meeting Bell Shoals Rds. early February, While, supportHillsborough ers of a future Lithia County Board of Pinecrest Rd. widenCounty ing project claim better traffic flow, safer Commission roads and improved approved a plan quality of life, oppoto accelerate nents disagree, delivery of its recently enacted Hillsborough County commissioners approved pointing to the exact a plan to speed up the implementation of the opposite outcome for policy that deditraffic congestion relief. residents and cated $600 milmotorists. lion towards countywide transportation David Wilson, Chairman of the infrastructure improvements within the Metropolitan Planning Organization next 10 year years. Citizen’s Advisory Committee (MPO “We have taken a critical first step CAC), which provides input and recomprioritizing and funding our immediate mendations to the MPO Board, weighed transportation needs in Hillsborough in on the issue mentioning that in October County,” said County Commissioner 2016, the County completed a study on Sandra Murman. “I’m pleased with what we did here in making sure we start these the expansion of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. “The main issue is the acquisition of right projects in the first few years, rather than away to complete the project,” Wilson later in the process.” said adding that there is no immediate According to County officials, the $600 million transportation plan, which will dates for Lithia Pinecrest Rd. widening efforts. also see an additional estimated $100 As the Chairman of the MPO CAC, million in mobility fees, is a commitment Wilson adds, “I want to help increase the to right-of-way maintenance, road resurcommunity’s voice by engaging them facing, bridge repairs and sidewalk directly through meetings and social repairs, and includes an accelerated delivery of 51 signal/intersection improve- media. I do have a particular interest in making sure our most vulnerable are able ments, roadway improvements around to maneuver through our system. Our schools, filling in sidewalk gaps and elderly, disabled, and safety of children is adding sidewalks near schools. The approved plan now promises the something I watch extremely closely.” For more information about fast tracking of some of the more troubleHillsborough County projects please visit, some congestion relief projects such as Lithia Pinecrest Rd. as well as other road- www.HCFLGov.net.
FX Fitness Studio Challenges You To A Healthier And Active Lifestyle
By Michelle Colesanti
Always helping as many inspired by living people as possible the active and live a healthier and healthy lifestyle, more-fit lifestyle. I Drew Preiss and want FX Fitness to wife Ashleigh now be known as a share this fitness place that anyone can come to, journey as the regardless of what owners of the new your current fitness FX Fitness Studio level is, and walk in Brandon. out feeling and The FX Effect looking better”. Training Method is FX Fitness isn’t a cross training just a luxury fitness style of fitness constudio. The cross sisting of group training style of classes, Yoga, workouts will chalboot camps, one Drew Preiss (along with his wife Ashleigh) lenge you and push on one personal are the owners of FX Fitness Studio in training, along with Brandon, which will be holding its Grand your limits in an environment that a monthly 3D body Opening celebration on Saturday, February 11. you feel safe and assessment. comfortable in. “Each member has Back in 2011, Drew, an ISSA their own set of goals to achieve, and Certified Personal Trainer, formerly worked with big box gyms, but decided we are there to guide them to the results they desire,” he said. to start his own business by doing Prices can range from $15 for a boot camps on the side. drop-in class to $149 per month for With the recent soft opening of FX unlimited access to all the classes and Fitness Studio in January, the Preiss’ monthly assessments. look forward to the upcoming grand The facility is 2800 sq. ft. Hours opening celebration which will be held are Monday to Thursday from 5:30 on Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m. A a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 5:30 a.m. free FX Boot Camp class will kick off to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to the fun at 9 a.m. You are invited to 1 p.m. It is closed on Sunday. come in and try the class and check FX Fitness is located at 932 W. out the Studio. An FX Founders membership special will be available during Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 643-7007 or email the grand opening. firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit According to Drew, “I want to www.fxfitnessstudio.com. make a big impact on our area by
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Armor Guard Painting Offers A High Level Of Protection For Your Home
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Owning a home cially designed to is a wonderful thing. ensure that the exteAll homeowners rior of your home is know that their maximally protected homes require a lot against the elements. of maintenance to The process protect their investis extensive. First, ment, and that an inspection of includes painting the home is comYou can count on both the interior and pleted. Then, a Armor Guard the exterior of the three to six-inch Painting & Coating to provide home. trench is dug a high level of protection to both the inteIf you could opt around the perimeter rior and exterior of your home thus profor a method of pro- tecting it from the harsh Florida elements. of the home to pretection that is guaranteed for a longer vent ground moisture from seeping into period, would you choose it? Armor the foundation which causes cracks. Guard Painting & Coating offers that Next, the home is pressure washed, extra level of protection. Armor Guard patches and repairs are done and the Painting & Coating is one of Florida’s home is masked off. Then, the largest exterior and interior painting and primer/sealer is applied. A final coat is coating companies serving most of centhen applied and the trim is done. The tral and southern Florida, including right crew will then clean up the property, and here in the greater Brandon area. a Completion Certificate is completed. Armor Guard Painting & Coating In addition to painting and coating the offers a variety of options using superior exterior and interior of your home, Armor products that extend the longevity of the Guard Painting & Coating can also proprotection the products give your home. tect your pool deck and pavers, roof, They are specially formulated to withgarage floor and windows. stand Florida’s harsh sub-tropical climate. Armor Guard Painting & Coating is a They include the Armor Coat systems family owned business. Rodney that provide guaranteed protection for 10 Yavorsky, the owner, has more than 20 or 20 years. Armor Guard Painting & years of experience in the industry. Coating also offers an exterior standard Yavorsky said, “We have perfected the coating system that is guaranteed for 10 process of protecting both the interior and years and exterior painting systems that exterior of your home. Call us today and last seven, five or three years. we will get you scheduled and your projRegardless of the system you ect completed within days.” choose, you get Armor Guard Painting & Visit www.armorguard.net or call 727Coating’s 10 step process. This is spe501-1264.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
CLS Golf Tournament Supports Funding For New Youth And Children Ministry Facility Iglesia Cristo La Senda (CLS), an institution with strong Christian values, will host its third annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, March 18 at Bloomingdale Golfers Club, 4113 Great Golfers Place in Third annual CLS Golf Valrico. Tournament on Saturday, March 18 at The entry Bloomingdale Golfer’s fee is $100 per Club. person. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with unlimited free range balls. Golf starts at 1p.m. Meet special guest, former Yankee Pitcher Ramiro Mendoza, a five-time World Series champion. All golfers will receive 18 holes of golf, grab bags featuring a golf shirt from Mendoza’s company, MENDOZA55. There will be a Hole in One for $10,000. Enjoy snacks throughout the event. Included is an awards ceremony, dinner, contests, raffles, sport memorabilia, prizes and more. “This activity is very close to my heart, it is not only my church, but it is also a project that is focus towards the Youth and Children Ministry. It will also bring our community together keeping in mind that our youth and children are our future, said Mendoza.” Pastor Sergio Peralta said, “Recently
By Michelle Colesanti
we had the blessing to finish a new construction for our new sanctuary. That has increased the assistance of families with young children and youth. For that same reason, we need a new facility for them so they can be able to do their activities and spiritual growth.” All the funds from the Golf Tournament go toward the new building and will benefit not only the children and youth, but also the community with free family and marriage counseling, free music classes for children and adults, computer classes, English classes and spiritual. “We will also have the space to have a complete food bank; right now we do serve on Sunday to the less fortunate,” Pastor Peralta added. You can register online at www.iglesiacls.com or pay by check to: Iglesia Cristo La Senda, 3104 Bryan Rd., Brandon, FL 33511. Deadline to enter is Friday, March 10. The church is also looking for sponsors for the tournament. A hole-in-one sponsorship is $200, Gold sponsorship$1,000, Platinum-$3,000 and Diamond$5,000. More information on each sponsorship level can be found at www.iglesiacls.com. Cristo La Senda Church is located at 3104 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more information, please call 571-7174.
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Torah And Tea: Understanding The Jewish Roots Of The Christian Faith
Volume 14, Issue 2
GED class. “We estimate seeing an additional 500 families a year, simply by keeping our lights on, one night a week” says Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders. ECHO’s new night time hours will allow the organization to help those families who work during the day but still need services. ECHO provides food and clothing for residents of Eastern Hillsborough County who have experienced a recent emergency. Since its inception in 1987, ECHO has served more than 180,000 Brandon area residents. Along with immediate resources, ECHO also provides an array of educational classes and basic social services. For more information contact ECHO at 685-0935 ext. 8000.
Join in for tea and cookies on the second Monday of every month beginning Monday, February 13 from 10 Brandon Christian Women’s a.m.-12 Noon to learn about the Connection Luncheon Will Make restoration of, and our connection You Smile to, the Promised Land, the people The Brandon Christian Women’s of God, and the scriptures of Connection March luncheon “Irish Israel. Eyes are Smiling” welcomes all Call Beth at 857-7818 if you ladies. on Monday, March 13 from 11 have any questions and to RSVP. a.m. to 1 p.m. It will take place in Childcare is not available for this Sprocket: Two year old Sprocket is in need of surBell Shoals Baptist Church Special event. gery to help him live a normal life. Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Help Sprocket Live A Normal Life Torah and Tea will take place Rd. in Brandon. Brandon. Sprocket is a 2 year old male that at Beit Shuvat Zion / For Zion’s Sake Luncheon and entertainment cost Cat Call rescued a few months ago. Ministry, located at 1010 John Moore ECHO Will Open Its Doors Tuesday He kept developing sinus infections, $15. First time guests pay $10. No Nights membership is required for uncontrolled sneezing, upper respiraEmergency Care Help this nondenominational tory infections as well as weight loss. Organization (ECHO) of event, but a reservation He was taken to a Specialist, where it Brandon is excited to due to limited seating is was discovered he has a back upper announce that for the first requested by Friday, March jaw Cleft Palate, very hard to see. As time in 30 years, it will 3. Please call Lillie at 740he chews, excess food goes into his have night time hours. 0098 for reservation. sinus and nasal cavity causing him to Along with their regular sneeze out food which results in conhours of Monday - Friday, Riverview Garden Club stant infections. How he managed to 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Plant & Rummage Sale survive alone outside was a surprise ECHO will also be open On Saturday, February to the vet. He is in need of surgery to every from 5 -7 p.m. 25, the Riverview Garden correct this condition in order to live a Clients will be able to Club will hold its annual normal life. We are a very small resreceive the same services Plant & Rummage sale cue and need help raising funds for offered during the day. This this surgery. Any help would be apprefrom 8 a.m.-2 p.m. or until includes, shopping for food sold out. Cash only. ciated. To help, visit and clothing. ECHO will Clothing, toys jewelry, www.youcaring.com/catcallincmainRiverview Garden Club Plant & Rummage Sale also be offering a night time headquarters-739258. household items, baked
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New Mobile Dodgeball Brings The Arena And The Fun To Your Party Staff Report
Thinking of something different to do for your child’s next birthday or family event? Dodgem Dodgeball, a mobile dodgeball arena will bring the fun to you. All you need is a 28'x48' area available. Both children and adults love to play. All levels of play are encouraged and it’s managed during the games in a unique way so it’s fun and safe for all. Owner Bob Bacon said, “For mixed levels we have the older kids and adults throw and catch with their non dominant hand and playing on their knees with the really little kids that want to play as well.” Mobile Dodgeball specializes in birthday parties, school functions, churches, colleges, block parties, corporate functions, festivals, leagues and tournaments. It is a very unique business that uses light weight foam balls with a soft coating that eliminates the chance of injury along with a flexible arena. According to Bacon, “It has been a great thing to do with my family, teaching work values, communications, and ethics to my boys while they also earn some extra money.” He works with together with the family enjoying the communication during these events, developing their relationship further – “Something I will cherish forever.” The boys have a lot of fun coordinating the games and even playing at times when the other kids want
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them to play. The arenas take approximately 15-20 minutes to set up either outdoors and indoors. Either way, it creates a fun atmosphere to play the popular game without the risks that are normally associated with it. This game can be played on grass, in a gym, large room, or even on concrete. Mobile Dodgeball will take care of the setup, including equipment and referee, who will keep things moving. The system features continuous play so people can drop out and jump in as they like. At pay-for-play events, a participant can play as much as they like, with prices ranging from $10 to $50 such as festivals and fundraising events. Events typically run $200 to $300 depending on the length of the event, number of arenas, and the season. Dodgem Dodgeball hosts a program called Dodge Bullying within the schools, where anti-bullying lessons are taught as well as discussing sportsmanship and invites the children to play dodgeball in a new way. For information call 240-6690 or visit www.dodgemdodgeball.com.
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Are you a “do-it-yourselfer”? If you can take care of home repairs, lawn work and other types of maintenance by yourself, you’ll save money and probably gain satisfaction. But you will almost certainly need some help in other areas of your life – one of which may be investing. In fact, you could benefit from the services of a professional financial advisor at several points in your life: • When you’re starting out in your career – When you land your first “career-type” job, you will have some financial decisions to make: Should I participate in my employer’s 401(k) or other retirement plan? (Hint: Yes!) If so, how much should I contribute? How can I juggle saving for retirement with paying off student loans? These are the types of questions you can answer with the help of a financial advisor. • When you’re saving for important goals – Whether you’re saving for a down payment on your first home, or for your children’s college education, or for your own comfortable retirement, you’ll face many choices. A financial advisor – someone with experience in helping people work toward these goals – can assist you in making the choices most appropriate for your individual situation. • When you’re experiencing a personal “milestone” – Like everyone, you’ll go through many major life events. Some will be joyful, such as marriage and the arrival of children, while others may be unpleasant or sad, such as divorce or the death of a loved one. But virtually all these events carry with them some type of financial component – establishing new investment accounts, purchasing sufficient insurance, naming and changing of beneficiaries, and so on. A financial advisor who truly understands you and your needs can help you make appropriate moves for all your milestones.
• When you’re close to retirement – As you near retirement, you’ll have several issues to consider: About how much income will you need each year? When should you start taking Social Security? How much can you afford to withdraw annually from your IRA and 401(k)? A financial advisor has the tools, training and experience to explore alternatives and suggest suitable moves for you. • When you’re retired – Even after you retire, you’ve got plenty to think about, in terms of financial moves. For one thing, you need to ensure that your investment portfolio provides you with both sufficient income for your desired lifestyle and adequate growth potential to help you stay ahead of inflation. What’s the correct balance of investments for your needs? Are there investments that can provide you with rising income without exposing you to undue risk? Once you’re retired, you just won’t get a lot of “do-overs,” so getting the right help is important. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you may not get it right each and every time. But you won’t pay much of a price (except, perhaps in embarrassment) if that chair you built collapses under a stack of newspapers. However, you also know when it’s time to call in a professional – and that’s whom you need when it comes to building your financial future. So, get the assistance you need, when you need it, from a financial advisor. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor
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Landon O’Donnell Selected To Attend Final Tryout For National Team
Volume 14, Issue 2
Buckhorn Springs Over 50 Men’s 7.5 COMBO Team recently won the Florida USTA Championship in Daytona Beach.
Inspiration Academy (Bradenton) 6th canvas board illustrating their life journey. grader, Landon O’Donnell, was selected Supplies will be provided for this free in September to attend a final tryout for class, which is open to the public. USA Baseball’s 2017 National Team folStudents may also bring photos or other lowing the completion of the National personal mementos to enhance their art Team Identification Series (NTIS) at the journey board. Please register for this National Training Complex in Cary, North class at the Bloomingdale Library's Help Carolina from August 10 – 28. USA Baseball reported that, “The 2016 NTIS saw 1,271 athletes compete in 242 games, skills testing, and on-field evaluations under the direction of USA Baseball scouts. Using the NTIS and the American Elite Baseball Championship – formerly known as the 13U National Team Identification Series – as selection vehicles, USA Baseball selected four players to the 18U National Team Trials, six players to the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars, and 12 players each to the 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP), 15U National Team Trials, 14U NTDP, and the 12U National Team Trials in 2017.” The Cribbs family, along with other Grace Christian O’Donnell, an infielder/catchSchool families enjoyed visiting Hawthorne Village bringing cheers to the residents over the holidays. er/pitcher on Inspiration Academy’s Mason, Great Grandpa Fred Gavin, and Ethan enjoy middle school baseball team, will time spent together. be one of 36 young men trying out for eighteen spots on the 12U National Desk. There is a 12 person limit. team who will compete in Taiwan next year. “It was really intense. If you made a Buckhorn Springs Men’s Over 50 7.5 mistake or didn’t run something out, you COMBO Wins State Championship weren’t picked,” O’Donnell said, “I’m realThe Buckhorn Springs Men's 7.5 ly excited. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” COMBO (age 50 and over) team recently Landon lived in Valrico and attended won the Florida State USTA Buckhorn Elementary school from K-5 Championship at Daytona Beach with a and graduated in 2016. perfect record against teams from throughout Florida. Buckhorn's team was Free Life Story Class Based On Poem captained by Jay Bortner. Team members Where I’m From At Bloomingdale were Jay Bortner, Barry Shollenberger, Library Chris Haughee, Chris Walker, Jim Art instructor, Joley Billa, will teach a Schneider, Terry Tetzlaff, John Figlewski, class based on the poem, Where I'm Marshall Veatch, Aubrey Whitaker, Joe From by George Ella Lyon, using the par- Panfilio, Herb Nold and Joe Izzo. ticipants' own life story lyrics at the Bloomingdale Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Foundation Christian Academy Ave. in Valrico, on Saturday, March Golfers Off To Great Season 4 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Room 8. The first Golf Tournament of the seaAttendees will construct an 11" by 14"
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son for Foundation Christian Academy took place at Terrance Hills Golf Club in Temple Terrace in January. They all played well, but what was even more impressive was the amazing display of good sportsmanship and camaraderie displayed by all of these impressive youth.
St. Patrick’s Day Social At Brandon Community Center
The Eastern Hillsborough Community Band will perform three concerts as part of its 2017 Spring Concert Series in the Brandon area and Sun City Center. Performance dates and locations are: Thursday, March 30, 7 p.m, Logan Hall, New Hope United Methodist Church, 115 Knights Ave. in Brandon. A $5 suggested donation at the door; Thursday, April 27, 7 p.m.; Strawberry Ridge Clubhouse, 3419 SR 60 E. Valrico. $5 suggested donation at the door; Thursday May 4, 7 p.m., United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W., Sun City
A St. Patrick’s Day Social and Event, Lunch and Dance will take place on Monday, March 13 at 11 a.m. at the Brandon Foundation Christian Academy display good sportsmanship at first golf tournament. Community Center located at 502 E. Sadie St. This event is free. Center. A $5 suggested donation at the For information or to RSVP (by door. Reservations are not required for Thursday, March 9), please call Maria at any concerts. 734-4806 or Linda at 662-0255. EHCB is a full-sized concert band The Buckhorn Springs team also that has been entertaining the Tampa won the Hillsborough County USTA Bay area since 2009. For more informaLeague competition earlier in the year to tion, email email@example.com, visit qualify for the State Championships. www.ehcb.org or call 569-1771.
Seville 275 CLEANERS By Kate Quesada
Buckhorn HOA Offers Two Scholarships For Neighborhood Students The Buckhorn Association's Homeowners dedication to Association is education is one proud to more factor that announce that it makes our will be sponsorBuckhorn neighing one or two borhood a quality $500 cash colplace to live, lege scholarships work and play.” again this year to The completgraduating high ed application school seniors must be submitwho live in the ted along with all Valrico neighborthe required hood. attachments to The scholarstudent’s public ship applications high school's are now available College Career The Buckhorn HOA is proud to offer two $500 cash scholarships for students. in the Guidance Counselor. Deadline to apply is Friday, March 3. Counselor's Graduating senoffice in the area high schools as iors from private or charter schools well as on our Buckhorn website, should mail their completed applicahttp://www.buckhorn.us/. Residents tion to: Buckhorn Homeowners can also visit the Website to view Association, Attention Scholarship the eligibility requirements and how Committee, P.O. Box 1586, Valrico, to apply. Florida, 33595. All scholarship appli“Our scholarships recognize the cations are due no later than Friday, hard work and dedication of our high March 3. The scholarship winners school seniors and their desire to will be announced at the annual further their education at the college Buckhorn Homeowners Association or university of their choice,” said meeting in April. Maria Singfield, Buckhorn For more information, contact Homeowners Scholarship Chair. Singfield at singfield@Verizon.net or “Buckhorn Homeowners 294-0272.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
Chabad Of Brandon’s Upcoming Events To Include "Purim In The Stadium" “Purim in the Stadium” is Chabad of Brandon's creative twist to this year’s community celebration of Purim, the holiday commemorating the Jewish people’s salvation in Persia of old. The festivities will be held at Chabad Jewish Discovery Center, located at 1578 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico on Sunday, March 12 at 4:30 p.m. featuring fun sportthemed activities and your favorite stadium foods. Billed as the most joyous date on the Jewish calendar, the daylong holiday commemorates the nullification in 356 B.C.E. of a Persian decree calling for the extermination of the Jewish people throughout the Persian Empire as told in the biblical Book of Esther. Chabad’s original spin on this age-old holiday has helped bring the spirit of Purim to Brandon year after year. "It combines ancient Jewish traditions with a modern twist," said Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin, Director of Chabad of Brandon. "We focus on doing interesting and innovative programs that will maximize the enjoyment for young and old alike, yet still keeping with the holiday theme." The event is a community-wide program, and all are welcome to join, regardless of Jewish affiliation or background. Participants will enjoy beef franks in a soft pretzel bun, Philly "cheese" steaks, nachos and more of your favorite stadium
foods. In addition, the celebration will feature sport themed interactive activities and childfriendly reading of the Book of Esther, known in Hebrew as the Megillah. "The event is focused primarily on spirit, fun, and tradition." said Tzippy Rubashkin, program director at Chabad who helped organize the event. "Everyone is sure to have a great time." In the spirit of Purim, participants are encouraged to come in costume. The cost is $18 per person or $60 per family. A pre-Purim event, PURIM UNMASKED, will help women and girls uncover the meaning behind the Purim costume. This will take place on Sunday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. Design and decorate elaborate masks to be used as a wall hanging or as a costume and explore the story of Purim as it is told, unmasked. Taste delicious Hamantaschen and Purim treats. It is $10 per person. A multimedia Megillah reading followed by a luncheon featuring NY bagels, lox, whitefish salad and all the trimmings will take place on Sunday, March 12 at 12:45 p.m. This is free of charge, but RSVP is required. To RSVP, please visit jewishbrandon.com/rsvp or call 571-8100.
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Live A Happier, Healthier Life With Holistic Health And Wellness
By Amy Schechter
Anyone who suffers changes she made not from reccurring only reduced the fremigraines knows the quency and severity of world may consist of her migraines, but they dealing with acute pain helped her achieve and waiting for the next healthy weight loss, increased her energy, time it will interrupt your and reduced her stress life. These debilitating levels. She knew she headaches are often had to share what she accompanied by light found with others, espesensitivity, nausea/vomcially those struggling to iting, and disorientation. wean themselves off of Some of us are lucky to medications who need never experience that the type of extended kind of suffering, but support beyond hospital millions are plagued by Lynne Wadsworth Certified Holistic Health Coach rehabilitation programs: stress, obesity, and loss of energy. Thankfully, there are steps you “I don’t do this for the dollar sign. I know it can work and that people can reach can take right now to reduce all of these what I have reached.” problems. Lynne Wadsworth, owner of She offers individual and group sesHolistic Health and Wellness and Board sions tailored to help you walk your indiCertified Holistic Health Coach, knows vidual path with health which include live firsthand the benefits of a natural support sessions, email support and approach to pain relief. Having experienced chronic migraines after the birth of weekly newsletters, and healthy recipes. Wadsworth is confident in these proher first child, at one time she believed grams: “I don’t put people through things her life would always require prescription I don’t do myself. People connect to lose medication to reach normalcy. Wadsworth explains that medication sim- weight and have a healthier lifestyle, and ply wasn’t the route she wanted, “I began in learning what I have learned, you get the added benefit of relieving migraines my own more natural and holistic and other pain/inflammation, stress relief, search.” better sleep, and overall better quality of Her journey took her from self-study life.” to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Contact Wadsworth at 340-1368 or where she learned just how important the by email at email@example.com. food we eat can be to our overall health. “It’s the body-mind-spirit. It’s not going on Visit holistic-healthandwellness.com/ and on facebook.com/holistichealthandwella diet. It’s a lifestyle change that bring nessllc for upcoming classes. about changes,” Wadsworth shares. The
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CHALKLINES....................................PG 23 CHARITY FOR HOMELESS ...............PG 24 SPORTS CONNECTION ....................PG 30 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 31 February 2017
Kids Raise $35,000 For Schools Nationwide
Volume 14, Issue 2
The Greater Brandon Area students in grades 2 to 5 put their math skills on display, earning money for local schools and winning prizes for themselves in the Mathnasium of Brandon 2016 TriMathlon math competition. By participating in the event, Mathnasium TriMathlon contestants nationwide raised a total of $35,000 to benefit schools across the country. The top three Mathnasium of Brandon winThe winners of Mathnasium Valrico TriMathlon. ners in each grade were: Chance Fowler, Valrico Academy Grade 5: Jackson Simoneau, Valrico Academy -1st Place; Christian 3rd Place. For more information on Arango, Boyette Springs Elementary Mathnasium of Brandon, please con2nd Place, Meera Nair, Grace tact Becky McDaniels at 655-6284) or Christian School - 3rd Place. firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Grade 4: Tyler Weeks, Valrico www.mathnasium.com/Brandon. Academy - 1st Place, Arjun Ramachandran, Pride Elementary Tampa Electric Completes Large2nd Place, Ananda Ravinder, Scale Solar Array At Legoland® Heritage Elementary - 3rd Place. Florida Resort Grade 3: Sebastian Koontz, Valrico Academy - 1st Place, Nathan Tampa Electric today unveiled a Simoneau, Valrico Academy 1.8-megawatt solar canopy at 2nd Place, Rohan Dash, Turner LEGOLAND® Florida Resort that is Elementary - 3rd Place. producing electricity – and shade – Grade 2: Brennen Osterberger, for visitors at the popular Winter Valrico Academy - 1st Place, Jaiden Haven vacation destination. Walton, Valrico Academy - 2nd Place, The 12 rows of solar panels over
YOUNG ARTISTS .............................PG 34 Tampa Electric owns the PV array, and the electricity it produces goes to the grid, benefiting the company’s 730,000 customers. The solar array can generate enough electricity from the sun to power the resort’s 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel. “We’re delighted to partner with Tampa Electric on this smart, innovative project,” said Adrian Jones, general manager of Tampa Electric is proud to partner with LEGOLAND LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Florida Resort. “It not only benefits guests the resort’s preferred parking lot, with shade for their vehicles, but it’s adjacent to the iconic theme park also a terrific demonstration of what entrance, can produce enough eleccan be achieved when businesses tricity to power more than 200 homes combine their skills and resources.” and enough shade for more than 600 Visit www.legoland.com/florida/ vehicles. It’s Tampa Electric’s second large-scale, community-sited photoHawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s voltaic (PV) array to be installed in its Disease Support Group territory, and its first large-scale array Hawthorne Health & in Polk County. Center hosts a monthly Rehabilitation “We are proud to be a partner support group for those who are diagwith LEGOLAND Florida Resort on nosed with Parkinson’s Disease and this project,” said Gordon Gillette, their caregivers. The meetings are president and CEO of Tampa Electric. held on the third Wednesday of every “This is an exciting example of how month from 2-3 p.m. in Hawthorne community partners can work togethHealth & Rehabilitation’s Media er to demonstrate the benefits of Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden solar energy and the role it plays in our energy future.”
Continued on Next Page
Business Column Continued.............
By Michelle Colesanti
Rd. in Brandon. sports injury repair without the need Physical, speech and occupafor surgery; and Ultra-violet, intrational therapists will discuss treatment venous (UV-IV) light therapy for hard for issues related to balance, swalto treat viral/bacterial infections; and lowing, talking and other skills that Vit C IV ozone treatment as a comcan be affected by Parkinson’s plementary cancer treatment, among Disease. others. Hawthorne Health & Office Manager Sunny Sia said, Rehabilitation Center is a skilled nurs- “We’ve been successfully healing ing facility with inpatient and outpapatients for the past three years at tient rehabilitation programs including our Apollo Beach location and needed speech, physical and occupational a bigger space to house our new therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in their assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects nearly one million Americans. The disease, on average, appears around 60 years old, but 5-10 percent of cases are early-onset, beginning Holistic Medical Care Clinic is now located at before age 50. As the disease pro205 W. Morgan St. in Brandon. gresses, it can severely affect balance, eating, talking, and most daily state of the art ETC Bara-med XD activities. hyperbaric oxygen chamber which will The Parkinson’s Disease support be on commission by the end of group is free of charge and open to February.” those who have been diagnosed with New patients are currently being the disease, their family members, accepted. Please call 398-0470 or caregivers and anyone with an intervisit http://holisticmedicalcare.net. est in learning more about Parkinson’s. For more information or New Location For Tampa Bay Acu specific directions, call 661-8998 ext Health and Spine 204 on Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.Tampa Bay Acu Health and Spine 5 p.m. is the acupuncture clinic of Stephen Dell-Jones, a Doctor of Oriental Holistic Medical Care Clinic Medicine. Dr. Steve has been servMoves To New State Of The Art ing the Valrico and Brandon area for Location In Brandon three years, and has just moved to a Holistic Medical Care Clinic LLC new location: Derm Aroma Spa on now has a new central location in 1201 Oakfield Dr., Ste. 101 in Brandon, serving all of Tampa Bay. Brandon. This acupuncture practice is Located at 205 W. Morgan St. in devoted to helping rid you of pain natBrandon, Holistic Medical Care Clinic urally and quickly. The clinic treats will still offer best of class, excellent sinusitis, neck and back injuries, medical care utilizing integrative med- arthritis, migraines, digestive disoricine, a conventional/Western blend ders, GERD, fatigue, hypothyroid, of medicine and complementary therneuropathy and other internal disorapies. It is a healing-oriented mediders. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, cine that considers the whole person, point injection therapy (biopuncture) including all aspects of lifestyle and are used, and nutrition lab testing to emphasizes natural healing methods provide customized alternative medivs. pharmaco/chemical-based, invacine to help you reach your health sive treatment modality. goals. You can reach the clinic Alternative natural procedures at (727) 482-4942. The clinic is include hyperbaric oxygen therapy open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturda (HBOT) for wound care after plastic y by appointment.Visit www.tamsurgery or C-section scar recovery or pabayacuhealthandspine.com. brain neurogenesis; Prolozone/PRP Insurance accepted whenever possitherapy for quick back/shoulder or ble.
Dog Daycare Games – Fun Competition That Highlights Skills Used To Keep Dogs Safe
Volume 14, Issue 2
Community Affairs Dinner Hosted By The Community Roundtable
The Community Roundtable This announces Jeff Eakins, winter, proSuperintendent of fessional Hillsborough County pet care Schools, will be the businesskeynote speaker at its es, like Community Affairs Canine Dinner, scheduled for Cabana, Wednesday, February 22 will show at Center Place. Seats are priced at that certain $45 dollars or a table skills used sponsorship is availby excelable. Cocktails begin at 6 lent dayp.m. and dinner starts promptly at 7 p.m. care facilities, including teaching In addition to the dogs to sit, come, speaker, a Greater and wait at the Brandon area resident, gate, all within a controlled environcharity, and high school ment, can be senior will each be honaccomplished withored. Presentations are in three categories: out fear or intimidation and keep Alice B. Tompkins dogs safe while Community Service Award - to a person providing they play together. exemplary service to the The Daycare local community; Games, designed Non-Profit of the Year by Robin Bennett, Award - to a charity having and Susan Briggs, a positive impact in the the co-founders of Brandon area during the The Dog Gurus, is Jeff Eakins, Superintendent of past year; and focused on proving Hillsborough County Schools, will be Maureen who is best at prothe keynote speaker at its Krzanowski Scholarship viding these skills Community Affairs Dinner. - presented to a graduto the dogs in their ating high school student dedicated to care. “The dogs love to play these community service in addition to their games and we wanted to recognize academic the handlers and facilities taking the accomplishments.Roundtable2008@a best care of their pets by having a ol.com or call 661-4350. Previous friendly competition,” explained Award Banquet winners may be Briggs. viewed at “We’re hoping to take home the Gold, just like in the Olympics.” stat- TheCommunityRoundtable.org. ed Angie Pickren, owner of locally New Location For Tampa Bay Acu owned, Canine Cabana. Health and Spine Daycare has become a growing industry and Canine Cabana is dediTampa Bay Acu Health and Spine cated to raising the bar of safety in is the acupuncture clinic of Stephen off-leash play, teaching owners how Dell-Jones, a Doctor of Oriental to know when their dog is happy, Medicine. Dr. Steve has been serving and helping to reduce the number of the Valrico and Brandon area for three dog fatalities that occur every year years, and has just moved to a new in dog daycares and dog parks. location: Derm Aroma Spa on 1201 Canine Cabana is a premium pet Oakfield Dr., Ste. 101 in Brandon. The lodging facility providing award-winclinic treats sinusitis, neck and back ning, superior care and a state of injuries, arthritis, migraines, digestive the art facility including more than a disorders, GERD and other internal half-acre of beautiful outdoor play disorders. Acupuncture, herbal mediyards. cine, point injection therapy (biopuncCanine Cabana is located at ture) are used, and nutrition lab test9708 Carr Rd. in Riverview. For ing to help you reach your health more information,please contact goals. You can reach the clinic at Angie Pickren at 672-9663 or e-mail (727) 482-4942. Visit www.tampabayher at directly at email@example.com. Insurance bana.biz. accepted whenever possible.
Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics
Nature’s Classroom Celebrates Annual Open House Event, Five Star Schools Nature’s Classroom Celebrates Annual “Woods, Water, And Wildlife” Open House Event
For nearly five decades, Nature’s Classroom, Florida’s outdoor education program has been providing young students a chance to get up-close-and-personal with nature to help them reach an appreciation of the environment, while promoting conservation and preservation. Hillsborough County sixth grade students participate in a hands on field study of the Hillsborough River Nature’s Classroom is Watershed at Nature’s Classroom, Florida’s outdoor located Northeast education program locate in Thonotosassa Fl. Hillsborough County on Nature’s Classroom is inviting the general public to visit the facility during its annual once a year open 365 acres provided by the house next month. Southwest Florida Water Management District 13100 Verges Rd in Thonotosassa, (SWFWMD) and within the boundary FL, just 1.5 miles east of I-75 of of the Hillsborough River. the Fletcher Avenue Exit. Throughout the year the school Volunteers are welcome and may focuses on the Hillsborough River contact Mary Spence at Watershed Field Study catered to firstname.lastname@example.org. or call sixth grade students who attend a 3987-6969. day program that covers the habitats, flora, fauna, human use and impact District Announces 2017 field study of the Hillsborough River Excellence In Education Awards Watershed. Finalists According to school officials, nearHillsborough County Public ly 15,000 sixth grade students claim Schools officials were pleased to post approximately 540,000 hours of ecothe names of twelve finalists of the logical and outdoor skills experiences 2017 Excellence in Education annually. Awards. Since 2007, Nature's Classroom District officials explained that officials have opened the school’s each year, all area schools nominate doors to the community to raise the top candidates for three cateawareness and founding, which supgories, including, the Ida S. baker ports the feeding of its collection of Diversity Educator of the Year, animals on site. The open house Instructional Support Employee of the event called, "Woods, Water, and year and Teacher of the Year. Wildlife" is a once a year celebration The finalists were notified of the now scheduled for Saturday, March news in surprise visits earlier this 25, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. month at their school and were joined The one day cash only event is by Superintendent Eakins, School $10 per carload. Boat rides are $2 per Board members, Hillsborough person and will include childrens' Education Foundation, sponsors and activities, animal experiences, hikes, a school district staff. shoreline sampling experience, and The winners of will be announced exhibitors. at the Awards ceremony planned for Nature's Classroom is located at Tuesday, February 28 at the David A.
Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
schools on the list recognized included Cimino, Lithia Springs, Pinecrest, Brooker and Valrico, just to name a few. HCPS Schools Florida’s Education Recognized As Five Star Commissioner, Pam Stewart, said that Schools the involvement of the community and Hillsborough County family are critical to the success of Public Schools officials were students. pleased to announce that “I am grateful for the parents, more than 90 of the schools caregivers and community members within the district have who invest their time in our state’s earned the Five Star School schools,” Stewart said. Award for the 2015-16 To gain the Five-Star School school year by the Florida recognition, a school must show Department of Education. achievement in all Finalists For Excellence In Education Awards: of benchmark areas Instructional Support Employee of the Year Finalists as well as in five • Nancy Alexander, Wimauma Elementary School specific categories, • Terranique Ragins, Franklin Boys Preparatory School • Roma Soogrim-EsteMcDonald, Muller Elementary Magnet School including volunIda S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Finalists teerism and family • Olivia Williams Holcombe, Colson Elementary involvement. • Aaron Lee Berry, Alonso High School The school • Pedro Castrejon, Jefferson High School Teacher of the Year Finalists must also receive a • Carrie D. Donatelli, Turner Bartels K- 8 grade of a “C” or • Katerina M. Pawloski, Tinker K-8 better, or a satisfac• Lauren Schnebly Hackworth, Mitchell Elementary School tory improvement • Maria Torres-Crosby, Memorial Middle School rating for the year • Elizabeth Walker, Spoto High School • Cathelyn Gregoire, Armwood High School being recognized. For the list of schools in Hillsborough County that Statewide nearly 700 schools were received the honor, visit recognized. www.fldoe.org. Some of the local elementary
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Volume 14, Issue 2
Family Promise Graduations Help Keep Homeless Families Together Two “A terweeks before rible storm Christmas, destroyed DyAnn the campDalton, a site and all mother of of our three was things. In down-and-out the parkwith no place ing lot, we to go. She started explained, “I praying. had a really We called hard time around to finding help. different Family shelters, Promise was but Family the first place Promise that got me was the the practical only place In September 2016, Shaun and Althea Weller with their children, Joshua, Kaleb where we help I needand Naomi celebrated their graduation and move into an apartment. ed, and it was could all In purquick.” In stay together,” said Mr. Weller. suit of a Hillsborough In September 2016, Shaun and John Hamman, a single father of two daughters potential County, 18 Althea Weller graduated from the prograduated from the Family Promise program in job, Shaun percent of the November 2016. gram. Today, the dual-income family and Althea homeless are resides in regular rent housing as nishes room and Weller families. opposed to low-income housing. “God board for the entire along with Family Promise of Greater Brandon family in temporary answered our prayers. We learned how their three is a non-profit public charity partnering to budget and won’t end up in the same spaces offered by children with local churches and resource cenplace again,” affirmed Shaun. local congregations. packed up ters to help homeless families attain Family Promise of Greater Brandon John Hamman, a and relocat- operates with minimal staffing. The drivpermanent sustainable housing. The single father of two ed from 90-day program is not a short-term fix. ing force behind the organization is its daughters encountered countless Mobile, Alabama to the Tampa Bay It equips families with a plan to become closed doors until he knocked on kindhearted volunteers, congregations area. Unfortunately, the anticipated self-sufficient through its hands-on train- Family Promises’ door. Edwina and donors. The organization is locally employment was delayed for a few ing in financial literacy and case-byfunded through donations, grants and Reddick, the director of Family Promise weeks. With no cash flow, the family case management of resources and fundraising events. Without volunteers explained, “There are not many prostayed at a local campground and wait- and donors, Family Promise would cease services. grams designed to keep the family ed for the work to begin. But misfortune to exist. To find out more how you can A vast majority of homeless sheltogether, especially for single dads. struck again—this time in the form of a ters separate families based on gender donate or volunteer, call 681-6170 or visit Keeping the family together increases storm. and age. However, Family Promise furFamilyPromiseBrandon.org. stability for the children.”
SWALLOWING AND SPEECH THERAPY CORNER by Dustie Lynch, M.B.A., M.S., CCC/SLP
Q: I've been constantly clearing my throat lately and it’s effecting my voice
quite a bit. I suck on mints which seems to help, and though I've been tracking all the food I eat, I can’t isolate what’s causing the problem. Help!
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It sounds like you may have laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) which can be confirmed by a visit to an Ear Nose & Throat specialist (ENT). LPR is a condition that occurs in a person who may also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or “heartburn” as it’s more commonly known. Depending on the state of the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and lower esophageal sphincter (LES), either backflow from the esophagus or acid from the stomach can travel back up the esophagus. When backflow or stomach acid gets to the throat, it is called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). This can affect vocal health, decreasing volume and causing a hoarse quality.
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Symptoms of LPR include the sensation of something in the throat, hoarseness caused by continual throat clearing, sore throat, and sometimes swallowing difficulty. Interestingly, sucking on mints, which may provide immediate relief due to the fact that you’re constantly swallowing, are a major cause of LPR! According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “mints can actually relax the sphincter muscle which closes off the stomach from the esophagus (Jan 20, 2015).”
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So ditch the mints, which includes peppermint, spearmint, mint ice cream, mint chewing gum! you get the point. Other foods which can contribute to LPR are coffee, alcohol, chocolate (bummer!), carbonated beverages, citrus juices, tomato products and high-fat foods. And if modifying your diet doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to visit your ENT. Dustie Lynch is a speech and language pathologist working at Hawthorne Health & Rehab Center in Brandon, and specializes in swallowing, speech and cognitive impairments for both inpatient and outpatient adults. Other potential Q&A’s could include simple strategies to mitigate swallowing problems, short term memory tips, information on how speech therapy can help people Parkinson’s improve their vocal volume, how to help those with hearing loss understand others better, dealing with GERD issues, methods to help maintain cognitive skills, dealing with insomnia, etc.
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McAuley Fine Jewelry Opens In Brandon
By Michelle Caceres
Martin’s His jourJewelers, the ney to the jewiconic store that elry trade has served the wound Brandon area for through other 62 years, has professions. shuttered its “I’ve sold doors. Customers things from insurance to looking for the appliances, same level of superior craftsMcAuley Fine Jewelry (formerly Martin’s Jewelers) but was miserowner Ed McAuley is prepared to continue the lega- able because manship will be cy of fine jewelry craftsmanship. these were pleased to learn that McAuley Fine Jewelry will continue in things customers had to buy,” said McAuley. its place, with many of the same staff Lutz resident Michelle Townsend was ready to provide the superior level of referred to McAuley when she was in the service and workmanship that Martin’s market for a piece of custom jewelry. Her customers have come to expect from the mother, who passed away in 2004, had store. These include watch repairman Mike left her several pieces of jewelry and she Martin (Joe’s cousin), who has more than wanted to use them to create a wedding 33 years’ experience, store manager Don ring set for her anniversary. “Ed was able to take the idea that Korte, a local artisan with 46 years’ expewas in my head and construct it into a rience, Rob Comfort, a third generation tangible thing,” she said. master jeweler with more than 37 years’ Townsend was so pleased she’s experience (17 of those at Martin’s already thinking about her next custom Jewelers) that specializes in custom piece. ‘McAuley Fine Jewelry specializes pieces, Seudatt “Deo” Gajadhar, a bench in custom design work and is definitely jeweler with more than 50 years’ experithe store I will be turning to,” she comence (18 with Martin’s) and an accommented. The shop also specializes in jewplished goldsmith, Wayne Simmons, whose 31 years’ experience is reflected in elry repairs. “Martin’s was so successful for so his outstanding work and Pam Simmons long because customers trusted us to (Joe’s daughter), who has been in the take care of their jewelry that same way business for 15 years. McAuley Fine Jewelry, located at 664 we would take care of our mom’s,” said McAuley. McAuley Fine Jewelry is open Oakfield Dr. in the Atlantic Village Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Shopping Center on the corner of Kings Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ave. and Oakfield Dr., is owned by Ed Visit www.mcauleyfinejewelry.com, McAuley, who spent a decade as call 689-8124 or visit its Facebook page Martin’s’ assistant manager before taking at McAuley Fine Jewelry. over the mantle of owner.
T Marie’s Sunday Market Seeks Vendors For Weekly Afternoon Outdoor Events
By Kathy L. Collins
local artisans, artists and food vendors. There are 60 booth spaces available for each market and are available for just $30. The vendors, artists and artisans change each week so there is always variety at the market. In addition to the booths, local businesses such as AJ's Fine Wine and Liquors have embraced the market and open their businesses to the attendees. "You can get some delicious food from one of our vendors and then enjoy a glass of wine T Marie Benchley and Kirk Gladwyn (shown on AJ's outdoor patio," said here with Paisley), owners of T Marie’s Fashion Benchley. & Gift Boutique started T Marie’s Valrico Benchley and Gladwyn are longSunday Market to offer families a fun activity every Sunday with 60 artists, artisans and time residents of Valrico. They are vendors selling one of a kind items. both civic minded and want to give If you are looking for a fun, family back to the community. "The market is and pet friendly activity on a Sunday that our way of giving local artists, artisans is close to home, try attending the weekly and food vendors an opportunity sell their Valrico Sunday Markets hosted by T goods," said Benchley. Marie's Fashion & Gifts Boutique, located T Marie's opened two years ago. It is at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. In Varico. T a lovely space that offers unique clothes, Marie's Valrico Sunday Market takes accessories and gifts. "This store is for all place weekly (weather permitting) from 10 women. I want them to feel beautiful and a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday now through offer an escape," said Benchley. "Anytime the end of May. The markets will pick you combine puppies, champagne and back up in October. chocolate, you cannot lose," added T Marie's owners, T Marie Benchley Benchley. and Kirk Gladwyn, started the Sunday The setting is just lovely for a Sunday Markets so that families could have a fun Market. The majestic oaks offer shade activity that also helps local vendors, artiand tranquility. sans and artists. "We wanted to give famThere are some spaces available, ilies something to do locally every but given the success of the market thus Sunday," explained Benchley. The far, vendor spaces will go fast. If you are Sunday Markets started on January 15, interested in becoming involved as an and since then, over 500 people have artist, artisan or food vendor, contact T gone to each market. Marie at 530-0922. Applications can be The Sunday Market is composed of picked up in the store.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
Alexander Works Magic At Second Faith In Community Restored By Houdini Local Restoration 1 Business Owner Generation Family-Owned Dent By Michelle Caceres By Nick Nahas
Many people have formances, and they curdreams and aspirations rently attend every Florida of owning their own Gator home game so that company. Dave Adams they can enjoy listening to has fulfilled those the “Pride of the Sunshine” dreams and has thrived Gator Marching Band. along the way. Adams' sense of giving Restoration 1 of Tampa back to the community Bay is a locally owned extends past the local comand operated small munity. Some of his team business with roots in recently went to St. the Southeast Augustine to help with flood Hillsborough area. damage from Hurricane The company speMatthew. “It was devastatPhoto By Dave Adams ing to see house after cializes in the remediaDave Adams purchased the tion and restoration of house, and street after Restoration 1 of Tampa Bay franchise in July of 2016. residential and comstreet of people’s personal mercial properties for damage caused by possessions set out to the curb for the water, fire, smoke or mold. According to county to take to the landfill,” said Adams. Adams, the company works directly with “Not just furniture and carpets, but cloththe customer’s insurance company so ing, pictures, books, etc. — things that that the customer can focus on getting could never be replaced. It was just hearttheir home back to its original state. “Our breaking. To get a heartfelt thank you and goal is to help homeowners that may not even hugs from my clients as we worked know where to turn when disaster on and completed their homes was one strikes,” said Adams. of the most gratifying experiences of my Family and community are a major professional career.” emphasis of Adams’ motivations. He has The experiences that Adams had worked for both small businesses and have given him invaluable knowledge large corporations in the same field about how to handle these disasters before taking a chance of owning and properly. He emphasizes that insurance operating his own business after his companies want people to act as quickly youngest son left for college at the as possible to save further damage to University of Florida. Adams has been their homes. married to his wife, Heidi, for 25 years, “I look forward to one day having and they have lived in the Valrico area enough extra time and money that we with their two sons, Zach and Sam, for 22 can give back to the community through years. Adams and his wife spent a lot of volunteer activities and donations.” For their free time watching their sons’ travel information, you can visit www.restorasoccer games and high school band pertion1.com/tampa-bay/.
Whether you were in a small fender bender or major collision, Dent Houdini can provide professional repairs at an affordable price.
Lithia resident Mike Alexander grew up surrounded by dented cars and trucks. More than 15 years ago his father, Troy Alexander, founded Dent Houdini, a body shop that has removed thousands of dents, dings and scratches from local vehicles. “I loved to watch my dad work,” said Mike. As he got older, his dad taught him how to remove the dents and sand and buff out the paint. When he got in accidents, which happened from time to time, he would help his father fix his car. “The work just resonated with me,” he said. One of the last college classes he took required him to write a paper: his topic was the auto body business. After his father underwent hip surgery, he offered Dent Houdini to his son, who enthusiastically took over the family business. He and Angel Morgado, who has 35 years’ experience in the body repair business (more than 10 years with Dent Houdini), specialize in every
level of body repair, from fender benders to highspeed collisions. Repairs can be made at their shop, located at 1050 Jameson Rd. in Lithia or, if the damages are minor, from their mobile paint and body repair service. “In a matter of minutes we can magically make dents and dings disappear,” said Mike. Dent Houdini helps a lot of families whose inexperienced first-time drivers get into accidents. Some families don’t want to go through insurance because they don’t want their premiums to increase; Dent Houdini offers them professional results at an affordable price. Some families file insurance claims; they help those families by saving them money on their insurance deductibles. “Either way they get the same professional results,” he said. Estimates are free and can be obtained from their mobile service, by visiting their shop or by snapping a photo of the damage and texting it to Dent Houdini along with your name and address. “We promptly respond to all requests,” said Mike. For more information about Dent Houdini visit www.denthoudini.com or call 728-9674.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
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Volume 14, Issue 2
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Sports Connection 657-2418 www.ospreyobserver.com
Durant Hosts Freedom Patriots For Lacrosse Season Opener
By Tamas Mondovics
Supported not to do,” by a small, but she said. enthusiastic Klinger group of parents emphasized and fans, Durant that the High School game openhosted the er did reveal Freedom that the girls Patriots for a need to non-conference work more lacrosse game on cleaner at Cougars scoop of the Stadium. ground balls The Durant High School girls lacrosse team gathers for Cougars captain, Colton McNabb runs past as well as to The pair of the Patriots defense during a home season a photo just minutes before hosting Freedom High boys and girls School Lady Patriots for a season opener non-confer- opener non-conference game earlier this settle their Cougars Nick Albano (14) skillfully scoops up month. ence game. season opener nerves and the ball while getting some pressure from The Lady Cougars are led by program head coach night ended games was the adrenaline. Patriots senior Collin Payton (22) during a and Durant graduate Kiara Klinger defeated Freedom on a much school’s fourth recent game. At the end the score counts and 21-6. higher note. Klinger was pleased with the way season as an and, of course, Immediately following the boys’ FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic things turned. what need to fix,” he said. Klinger’s girls defeated Freedom game Association) sport. “I am proud of the girls,” she said. While the boy’s team played a 21-6. In the wake of a preseason jam“We will only improve and play better solid settled defense, its offensive “We played well,” Klinger said, boree, fourth-year program head at each game.” turnovers led to transition opportunities adding that she was able to get all 25 coach, Andrew Madden and his 22 In a single Class, District 14 standfor its opponent ending the game with of her players in the game and by the players that fill the boy’s team roster ing, Durant is facing a tough line-up Freedom’s 7-6 win. second half all her starters were on were ready to face off the Patriots. that includes Newsome, Bloomingdale, “All in all a good first game with bench giving the less experienced the Madden called the game a “good All Saints’ Academy and Tampa Bay some easy to fix mistakes,” Madden players some much-needed game measuring stick” to start the 2016Tech. said. time. 2017 spring season. For more information about the As for the Lady Cougars, led by “With every game we can learn “This game helps us to see how season, please visit fourth-year program head coach and something, whether it is what to do or we are doing, what we are doing well www.maxpreps.com. Durant graduate, Kiara Klinger, the
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With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins
Local Resident, Steve Altier Pens A Young Adult Novel, Lizardville The Ghost Story
Lurline Tanner Exhibits Several Large Scale Paintings At Bruton Memorial Library
Fishing Creek. On the first Steve Altier, night, as the boys gather an author and around the campfire, local resident, Parker shares a story that has written and happened nearly 80 years published his ago, the legend of the Ax fourth book, Factory murders. Lizardville The Soon after, strange Ghost Story, a things begin to happen. young adult The boys do not realize novel for children they have awakened the ages eight to 12. spirit world. One boy, Altier's three Jimmy comes face to face other books have with a ghost named been illustrated Annabelle who is searchchildren's books. Steve Altier's fourth ing for something that the Altier said, book is a young boys are hiding. "It is much larger adult novel, According to Altier, "I than the chilLizardville The Ghost Story. grew up in a small moundren's books I have done. Lizardville The Ghost Story tain town in central Pennsylvania. My buddies and I used to love fishing and was nominated for the 2016 Best Indie camping, and during the summer we Book by Shelf Unbound Media." Altier would swim in the local creek. The added, "I think this story tugs at your area had the remnants of an old ax emotions, like nothing else I have ever factory and broken down dam," said done. It has plenty of tense moments, Altier. "I took some of my childhood along with a great adventure story." experiences and incorporated that into Lizardville The Ghost Story tells a ghost story set in the 1970's," added the story of John Malone, father of Altier. Zack and Daniel. John decides to Altier's books can be found at locashare a family secret that he has kept tions such as Amazon, Barnes and locked away, a secret the changed his Noble and Books-A-Million. You can life forever. The story occurs in a small visit Altier's website or order autoPennsylvania town called Lizardviile. A graphed copies at http://www.stevealtiyoung John and his friends set out on er.com. a camping trip along the banks of Big
has placed on The display a series February art of eight acrylic exhibit at the paintings. Her Bruton primary focus is Memorial nature and local Library in hisvistas.” LaPorta toric downtown added, “The Plant City is a The wonderful artwork of local resident and artist, are pieces fabulous collec- Lurline Tanner is on display this month at the Bruton bright, colorful tion of paintings Memorial Library. and crisp. They possess a Kinkadian created by long time Plant City resident, Lurline Tanner. The exhibit is available for quality that blends the beauty of nature with a sense of nostalgia.” viewing during the normal operating Tanner grew up in the area and hours of the Bruton Memorial Library. attended Plant City schools. Works of art Tanner’s exhibit features eight large such as these are treasures that are best scale acrylic paintings. Tanner selected put on display for all to see. The exhibit paintings are of the Hillsborough River, will be up through the end of February, so her grandfather’s homestead, magnolias, take a moment to stop in and soak up the Abrahams Falls, her grandson, Wesley Tanner, the Smoky Mountains Falls, Lake bright, fantastic colors and wonderful views. You might just end up feeling just a Pierce and a Tennessee cabin. bit nostalgic. Her style brings out striking details in Each month, the art wall at the each painting. One that really demonstrates her technique features a magnolia Bruton Memorial Library features the artflower. You can literally see every detail of work of a talented East Hillsborough artist or the collective works of an arts organithe flower. The painting consists of an initial blossom, a partial blossom and the full zation. If you wish to have your work featured at the library, simply submit an flower which even depicts the stamen application along with either a sample of that have recently fallen off of the flower. your work or photographs of your work to Tanner’s excellent use of color really the Library Director. Applications can be draws the viewer into the paintings. found at www.plantcitygov.com/Library or Amanda LaPorta, Adult Services visit the front desk. Librarian for the Bruton Memorial Library The Bruton Memorial Library is locatsaid of Tanner’s paintings and the exhibit, ed at 302 W. McLendon St. in Plant City. “Lurline Tanner is a Plant City local who
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Volume 14, Issue 2
asino C d n A s ’ o ing Bunco’s, B se Funds For i Nights Ra & More… ity Commun lesanti, helle Co d by Mic m Compile preyobserver.co s o @ michelle
The G.F.W.C. Valrico Service League Will Hold "Puttin' On The Ritz Bunco"
provide donation items or items to be used for a silent auction. To donate or to register for the event or for more information, visit www.growintoyou.org/golf, or contact Erin NeSmith at email@example.com or 9664582.
Casino Night To Benefit Tampa Crossroads Athena House
Bets for Vets Casino Night will take place on Friday, March 10 from 6-9 p.m. at the Amvets Post 44, 5521 S.R. 60 E. in Plant City. Five thousand chips for $20 per person or $35 per couple. Enjoy food, fun and prizes. Play Black Jack, Roulette, Craps, Texas Hold-Em and more. Casino Night benefits Tampa Crossroads Athena House.
Tuesday Night Bingo Open To The Public
Tuesday night Bingo is open to both members and nonmembers of the Brandon Mosse Lodge #1880. Doors open at the Brandon Moose Lodge North Hall at 5:30 p.m. First number is called at 6:30 sharp. The cost is $10 and food is available for sale before the games start, coffee and popcorn all night. Every week there are over 20 games and depending on how many players there are, $700 to $1,000 is given out weekly. The Brandon Moose Lodge is located at 804 S Miller Rd. in Valrico.
Valrico Service League will host its “Puttin’ On The Ritz” Bunco Night on Tuesday, March 7, 6-7 p.m.
A night of fun, food and prizes will be held at the G.F.W.C. Valrico Service League's Putting on the Ritz Bunco, sponsored by USAmeriBank-Brandon Branch. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 7th, 6-7 p.m. Social Time/Dinner and Bunco starting at 7 p.m, to be held at Center Place Fine Arts Center, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. Tickets cost $20 which will include light dinner, drinks and The Valrico Service League will hold its annual Bunco prizes. on Tuesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. at Center Place to help Tickets may be purchased at raise funds to support local children and families needCenter Place or contact Claudia ing assistance in the community. Yake at 685-7998. Proceeds Charity Golf Tournament For help support local school children and Foundation That Mentors Teens families in need in our community. In the Aging From Foster System past year, the group has supported A Grow Into You Foundation Inc., a Kids Place, Brandon Outreach, Campo local non-profit, recently started by certiYMCA, Cards for the Troops, Center fied Life Coach, Erin NeSmith CPC, ELIPlace, Apostles Village, Family Promise MP, will be hosting a golf tournament and provided books, educational activifundraiser on Saturday, March 18. Grow ties, food, clothing and shoes for Title I Into You Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) elementary school children.
aimed at providing coaching and mentoring to teens currently in the foster care system about to age out, or have recently aged out of the system. Most of the teens aging out of the foster care system have little to no support, and at the age of 18 find themselves struggling to figure out their next steps. As a coach with Grow Into You Foundation Inc., Erin NeSmith works one on one or in small groups with these teens to help them develop the skills they need to be independent adults. The foundation currently provides coaching to three foster care group homes in the Tampa Bay area, as well as working with several individual teens aged out or soon to age out. It is looking to expand so it can provide services to more teens. In order to expand, the foundation is looking to partner with local businesses, individuals and organizations to financially support these coaching services. The golf tournament will be held at River Hills Country Club at 1 p.m. to raise funds to provide services to more teens. Local businesses are being sought to
BSAC’s Casino Night
Brandon Sports & Aquatic Center (BSAC) will hold its annual BSAC Casino Night on Friday, February 17 from 7-11 p.m. at The Regent, 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. Whether you are a seasoned poker player or just want to have a fun night, this is the place to be. Enjoy games of roulette, craps, and black jack. There will be silent & vertical auctions. Admission is $50 a ticket with open bar. Visit www.mybsac.org. Contact Curt Lorden at 394-1876 or CLorden@LincLoan.com.
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Business Sponsors Sought For The 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show
County Closes Paul Sanders ‘Tree’ Park To Begin Two Month Park Renovation Project
The East self-esteem, Hillsborough motivation, Art Guild aesthetic (EHAG) is awareness, seeking local cultural expobusinesses to sure, creativity, participate in and improved the Business emotional Leader’s expression.” Choice Crumley Awards for added, "The the 2017 Florida Florida Strawberry Strawberry Join businesses such as the Osprey Observer to support Festival Fine Festival Fine Art Show in the arts and local artists by becoming a Business Leader's Choice Award Sponsor for the 2017 Florida Art Show, Plant City is a Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show. which will run perfect venue from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, for professional artists. It is an equally March 12 at the Florida Strawberry good venue for amateur artists as well as Festival Grounds in Plant City. they gain the experience of presenting The Business Leader’s Choice their work in a competitive show.” Award is just $75. Businesses are invited Crumley said, “This art show offers the to the show and have the unique opportu- additional benefit of thousands of festival nity to act as a judge and select an entry attendees who will see what great local to win the award. The winning artist is artists we have to offer. Last year, over given a Golden Rosette Ribbon with the 500,000 visited the Florida Strawberry sponsor’s name on the back as well as Festival.” $50 is prize money. The remaining $25 is The Osprey Observer, thanks to the donated in the business’ name to the generosity of publisher, Marie Gilmore, EHAG Grant Fund for continued educahas been a Business Leader’s Choice tion in visual arts. Award Sponsor since 2012. Karen Crumley, Chairperson of the At that time, there were only a few 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art sponsors. Today, this has become a sigShow said, "It is important to keep the nificant and prestigious aspect of the arts thriving in our community. This awards given at the Florida Strawberry defines our society. In part, the arts are Festival Fine Art Show. the basic cultural heritage of every To become a Business Leader’s American.” Crumley added, “Everyone Choice Award Sponsor for 2017, please has an imagination. Through art, children call 924-3829. For information, visit and adults can create visual manifestawww.flostrawberryfestival.com or tions of abstract ideas thus promoting www.EHAGfinearts.com.
Hillsborough tion and expansion County has temhas been on the porarily closed County’s Community and began a two Project roster for month long renosome time, and vation project of when complete, the one the largest new playground will and most heavily sport engineered used parks in wood fiber Brandon. in an The improved makeover at Paul Paul Sanders Park is getting a playfacelift and is scheduled to be Sanders Park, ground temporarily closed until the end of March. 602 W. surfacing Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon, named system, which they say is designed to after long time Brandon resident Paul be enjoyed by children of all abilities. Sanders three years before his death in “The new equipment includes traditional 1991—is promising to upgrade as well as swings and slides along with a next-genexpand the park, while virtually replacing eration playground equipment that all of the playground equipment and encourages children to climb, run, and adding additional play structures, county play,” said County spokesperson Todd officials said. Pratt. Famous for its mature oak trees that The $315,000 project covered by provide shade by means of a natural the County Parks and Recreation canopy, the park has been the favorite department's budget for Capital hangout for the thousands of visitors it Improvement Projects also includes rensees annually. Picnic tables throughout ovating the restrooms, repaving the the park have been used for birthday par- parking lot, adding sidewalks, and creatties and family gatherings. ing an additional entrance on the northThe facelift is a much welcomed and west side of the park to improve traffic anticipated project for many of its regular flow, which will come in handy. guests including Lithia resident Jinifer Hillsborough County Parks Services Leichner who said, “I love this park. I manager, Kyla Booher confirmed that have great memories growing up as a the park will be closed to the public durteenager visiting this park and as an adult ing the duration of the project from bringing my children here. It is a beautiful Wednesday, February 1, to Friday, park and I am glad the county is putting March 31. the effort into making sure it stays that For information about community way.” projects in Hillsborough County, visit County officials said that the renovawww.hillsboroughcounty.org.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
Lithia Author Tells Her Story In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident
By Amanda Boston
Does the clay say to the potter, “what are you making me?” In this allegory, God represents the potter while the clay symbolizes humans. The Bible often uses symbolism to reinforce God’s message. Have you ever looked up to God and said, “Why did you make me like this?” The December release of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident shares 101 inspirational stories about loving yourself and your body. Emme, the first plus-size supermodel is one of the co-authors. In the book’s introduction she wrote, “Each story is unique, but we learn this universal lesson from all of them: We are all perfectly imperfect. And to strive to attain someone’s narrow idea of perfection sets us up for failure and a lifetime of unhappiness.” Wendy Keppley, a Lithia resident is one of the writers contributing to the 101 stories. With a career in counseling and instruction from the Florida Writer’s Association, Keppley was primed to tell her story. She said,
Co-author and plus-size supermodel, Emme graces the cover of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s newest book Curvy & Confident.
the negative ones, really happens, although you may not realize it for decades.” In the book, Keppley recounts her bouts of insecurity over her towering height and broad shoulders. Over the years, she recognized and asserted, “What is most important is how a person chooses to believe and live, no matter what.” With the desire to inspire, Keppley will continue to use her counseling experience to compose additional short stories focusing on the joy of living and the importance of one’s beliefs. As we approach this Valentine’s Day and celebrate love, remember to love yourself for who you are and how the Wendy Keppley of Lithia shares her experi- Potter made you. For more information, ences in the latest Chicken Soup for the visit the Chicken Soup for the Soul Soul: Curvy & Confident. Website at chickensoup.com. Chicken “I always learn from my own writing as Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident is well as the writing of others. I learned available for purchase from Amazon, that growing from our experiences, even Barnes & Nobles and Indie Bound.
P.O. Box 6099 • Brandon, FL 33508
Young Artists Adorn The Walls Of Hospital’s Newly Refurbished Pediatric Center Unit
By Kathy L. Collins
In Brandon December for a speRegional cial signing event. The Hospital’s newly young artists were refurbished asked to personalize Pediatric Center their artwork with their Unit, the original autographs. The artartwork of 15 work will now become a permanent installayoung area artists tion on the Pediatric adorn the walls. Center Unit. The artwork was In commenting on submitted during Area children who participated in the event, Jenny the hospital’s first Brandon Regional Hospital’s art contest Bregman, Child Life ever Easter Egg for the newly refurbished Pediatric Hunt back in Center Unit were asked to personalize Specialist said, “We March. Over 300 their winning artwork with their signature. know that the patients in the pediatric unit will be excited to submissions came in from children see that kids, just like them in the comfrom Brandon, Valrico, Riverview, munity, created the artwork on their FishHawk, Wimauma and Dover. The walls.” young artists ranged in age from four Brandon Regional Hospital is a to 13 years old. member of HCA West Florida Division. Children were encouraged to paint Brandon Regional Hospital is a 422 something and participate in the conbed acute facility that offers a number test. The children were given a prompt of specialty services including The to paint something that makes them Pediatric Center. The Pediatric Center happy, and of the 300 submissions, 15 includes a dedicated Emergency were selected. Artwork was selected Room, a 15 bed inpatient unit, an eight based on originality, creativity and bed Intensive Care Unit and a Level III artistic ability. Winners received an Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. award and recognition at a dessert The hospital also offers the latest reception. advancements in cardiovascular surThe artwork was judged by memgery and minimally invasive techniques bers of the hospital’s Pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Board. This board performed at the Heart and Vascular is composed of a group of former pedi- Center. The Women’s Center, which includes Baby Suites, is a state of the atric patients and their families who art unit. collaborate with clinicians and hospital Brandon Regional Hospital is staff on policy and program decisions located at 119 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. related to the Pediatric Center Unit. For more information, please visit The winners were also asked to www.brandonregionalhospital.com. return to the hospital this past
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Family Honors Memory Of Well-Loved Cretes With New Backyard Birdseed Business
By Kate Quesada
Most Florida local birding commuwildlife lovers know nity has been great that feeding birds in and nothing but supyour backyard is not portive.” as easy as just buyBisesto, who runs ing a feeder and the store with help some seed. That’s from his wife Heather, a first grade teacher, where long-time is a sixth generation Valrico resident and Floridian who grew up owner of Backyard across the street from Birdseed, Brian the new Wal-Mart Bisesto can help. Valrico residents Brian and Heather store in Valrico. Bisesto, who preBisesto own Backyard Birdseed on “When I was five viously owned a conLithia Pinecrest Rd. years old, Mr. Willy used to cut my hair struction company, started the business two doors down from our shop’s current last year when the community lost Rich location,” he added. and Tanya Crete, owners of the popular The store stocks bird and wildlife Rich’s Backyard Birds, in a car accident. related items from books and garden “After years of being a customer of decor to quality feeders for every back Rich’s and sharing birding stories, he yard, in addition to many varieties of bird and his wife were in a horrible car acciseed. Current deals include a special dent and are no longer with us,” said where if you buy 10 bags of seed you get Bisesto. “The local birding community was devastated to say the least. We lost the eleventh free and if you buy a feeder, you get two pounds of seed to get you a huge part of our community and two started. “I think what brought me to ownof the nicest people you could ever ing the store is Rich's smile,” said Bisesto. meet.” When Crete’s sister closed the “As a business owner myself, when I doors to Rich’s Backyard Birds, Bisesto asked Rich how business was, all he approached her with an idea. could do was smile ear to ear. That sight “I went to her to get her blessing to sell seed door to door in our local area,” never left my mind and when the accident happened, I knew it was my job to keep said Bisesto. “She gave me her overthe feeders full and begin smiling like whelming approval, so that evening my Rich.” wife and I ordered 1,200 pounds of Backyard Birdseed is located at 3642 seed and started Backyard Birdseed, Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and is open MondayLLC. After many deliveries, everyone Friday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 asked when we were going to open the a.m.- 4 p.m. For information, call 816store. One thing led to another and I BIRD or visit sold my construction company and leased the same location Rich had. The www.backyardbirdseed.com.
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New Citrus Carpet & Tile Cleaning Offers Natural Alternative
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Per the Organic ing your situaConsumers tion to when Association in the Citrus Carpet & past, “cleaning prodTile Cleaning ucts were responsiarrive at your ble for nearly 10% of door. His onall toxic exposures going special of three rooms for reported to U.S. $99 is an excelPoison Control lent deal you will Centers, accounting want to make a for 206,636 calls. Of part of your these, 120,434 expoPhoto By Linda Chion Kenny spring cleaning. sures involved chilJim Hirz is the owner of Citrus Carpet & Although a dren under six…” Tile Cleaning. relative newRecently, individuals comer, Hirz immediately sought to and families have turned to safer cleaning chemicals, which is why Jim Hirz pur- involve himself in bettering the community. A 16-year member sued a natural solution in Atlanta, he now when he expanded Citrus serves as the presiCarpet & Tile Cleaning to dent-elect and memthe Brandon, Lithia, and bership chair of the Valrico area. Kiwanis Club of Great His company proBrandon, who provides an invaluable servvides support to 25 ice honed over the last local elementary eight years that brings a schools encouraging students to grow citrus-based cleanser using the oils their citizenship skills. He is also a memderived from the skins of fruit. He deems ber of the Fishhawk/Valrico Chamber of it “nature’s solvent,” and besides a Commerce. He says, “My goal is to be sparkling clean floor, your house is percompletely involved in the community. fumed with a wonderful citrus scent. Hirz Immediately, I want to grow roots and has a plan to help get your floors looking like new all while keeping you, your fami- connections. Giving back forms a complete experience to how I relate to the ly, and your pets safe. place I live.” If you are looking for excelMore than that guarantee, Hirz lence in product and service, coupled prides himself on integrity: “Instead of with integrity, Hirz is your man. estimates, I give exact-imates.” For pricing, free estimates, and Transparency in his pricing is very imporquestions, visit citruscleantampa.com/ or tant to him. Prices will not change between the phone conversation describ- call 314-7800.
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Volume 14, Issue 2
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POND VIEW! Wonderful lot in the magnificent neighborhood of Dogwood Hills! Come out and take a look! You will love the tree-lined, shady streets! Just minutes away from shopping, dining and entertainment! Zoned for great schools! $85,000
! G EWN N TI S LI
GREAT HOME IN BOYETTE SPRINGS! 4/3/2 + pool/spa home with separate formals, remodeled kitchen with maple cabinets, granite counters & stainless appliances! New A/C in 2007 & water heater in 2009! Fully fenced yard! $275,000
! G EWIN N T S LI
THIRD ACRE LOT ON QUIET STREET CLOSE TO BRANDON! 4/3/2 + sunroom home that has it all! Wood floors, wood-burning fireplace & remodeled kitchen & baths! Newer A/C & water softener! 100% WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE! $325,000
! G EWN N TI S LI
GATED BELLEFONTE BEAUTY WITH BRAND NEW ROOF! 4/5/3 + office + pool/spa home on 1.87 acres! Wood floors, Mahogany wood doors, formals with vaulted Pecky Cypress wood ceiling, library with wood walls from tobacco plantation in Kentucky & more! $575,000
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