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Bloomingdale/FishHawk See O u Ad O n r Page 13

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March 2017 Volume 16, Issue 3 Ph: 657-2418 C E L E B R A T I N G

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Barrington Orchestra To Host Julliard Trained, Trans-Siberian Musician For Workshop

By Kate Quesada



Dynamic Painting Offers $10,000 In Paint Jobs To Celebrate Anniversary

By Nick Nahas

FishHawk single mom Daniella Vetencourt and her sons Diego, 10 and Matias,7, won a Free Exterior Home Paint job in 2015 after she entered an Osprey contest.

If you could paint a perfect picture of a thriving local business that generously gives back to the community, it would be of Rob Silver’s Dynamic Painting USA. The company started back in March 2007 when Silver started booking jobs before he even had employees, and he had to do most of the painting by himself. Today, the interior and exterior house painting business has taken off and Silver now has over 20 employees working for him within a 25-mile radius of the Brandon, Valrico, Fishhawk and Riverview areas. Silver is very appreciative of the local community where he started his company and found success, which has lead to his generosity of giving back to people in need of a helping hand. According to Silver, he has donated on average $2,500-$3,000 of exterior paint jobs every year for close to five years. The campaign, called Painting From the Heart, gives exterior paint jobs to single mothers on Mother’s Day and servicemen or veterans during the holidays. For the last 10 years, he has also given $3,000-$4,000 in certificates to local charities for room makeovers every year. For the 10th anniversary, Silver plans on donating $10,000 in paint jobs. “I don't do it for the recognition, I do it because I love to give back to the community,” he said. “I am very blessed with how my business has progressed, and if I can make a small difference in somebody’s life by giving a paint job away, then I’d love to do that.”

In March, four people will be selected to receive $2,500 worth of free painting. Potential recipients will write a 500-word essay on why they would like a paint job, and must include a picture of their house in order to be eligible. Entry forms will be available at Osprey Observer headquarters. Certain restrictions apply. The idea for the Painting from the Heart campaign started when Silver put an ad on Craigslist trying to get rid of the extra gallons of paint he had. A single mother contacted him asking for just one gallon so that she could paint her garage. It inspired a full donation. “I love helping out others, it’s a great feeling,” he said. In addition to Painting from the Heart, Silver has also been involved as a guardian for Honor Flight of West Central Florida, taking WWII Veterans on a trip to D.C. for the day. For information on Dynamic Painting USA, visit their website at

In This Issue HOA HOT TOPICS ...............................PG 7 YOUTH IN GOVERNMENT. ...............PG 12 MANATEE FESTIVAL .........................PG 16 MOTORING ......................................PG 27 SPORTS CONNECTION...............PGS 32‐33 CHALKLINES .....................................PG 37 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 43 EYE ON BUSINESS...........................PGS 45


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

Postal Customer



orchestra program," said Caballero. "I was really inspired by the excitement I witnessed in the students he was working with and the joy they were exuding through their playing." The cost for the program, including Wood's artist fees, lodging, transportation and other Mark Wood, founder of Electrify Your Strings musical program, is scheduled to hold a workshop for local orchestra students concert related expensnext months. Sponsors are needed to help with funding. es, is approximately $50 per student. Caballero is Orchestra students throughout the hoping to raise these funds through sponarea have an opportunity to learn from a T-shirt sales and a practice-asorships, musician with a very impressive resume thon event. next month thanks to Barrington Middle "When making the decision on School. spending the time and money to bring Barrington Orchestra Director SuLing Mark to our school, one of the deciding Chau Caballero is working to bring Mark factors was that the cost of EYS is conWood, a Julliard trained musician and siderably more affordable than taking stufounding member of the Trans-Siberian dents on a spring trip," said Caballero. Orchestra, who has worked with famous "Secondly, I know that EYS will have musicians from Billy Joel and Paul more of an educational impact on the stuMcCartney to Kanye West and Lenny dents for years to come. It will push them Kravitz, to Lithia to teach students to reach new performance goals, give through his Electrify Your Strings (EYS) them an opportunity to work cooperatively program. "Last year I had the opportunity with students from around the county and to attend the American String Teacher forge lifelong friendships." Association annual conference in Tampa, According to Caballero, there are curand watched a workshop with Mark," said rently 157 students registered to particiCaballero. "He has designed the EYS pate from Barrington and other local midprogram as a way to boost self-esteem dles schools including Benito, Burns, and transform students into more expresRandall and Progress Village. The group sive musicians." is still searching for a venue to host the After watching Wood, Caballero was workshop and anyone with suggestions is motivated to bring him to the area to help encouraged to contact Caballero. her students with the program's two-day Sponsorships will be accepted through workshop and concert in late April. the end of March. For information, visit "Teachers from around the United who worked with Mark have 2017.html or contact Caballero at shared how EYS increases family and community engagement of their school


Photo By Tamas Mondovics

The Chick-fil-A locations at Lake Brandon Village, South Brandon Bloomingdale, Brandon Mall and Valrico-East sent its herd of cows out on community parade last week. The trolley stopped at Campo Family YMCA, Westfield Brandon Mall, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Falkenburg Rd., Progressive Insurance, The MAC Gym & Lowe's Valrico and at the Osprey Observer.

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

Page 2

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

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March 2017

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 3

Sheriff’s Office Partners With Community To Bring Resources To The Homeless

By Amanda Boston

“If anyone has organizations and communimaterial possessions ties together,” explained and sees a brother or Whitney. sister in need but has no The Brandon Elks Lodge, pity on them, how can Brandon Moose Lodge and the love of God be in Salvation Army combined that person?” (1 John forces and resources to dis3:17) On Tuesday, tribute 200 peanut butter and January 31 at Bay Life’s jelly sandwiches, hot meals, Chapel on Martin Luther toiletry bags, blankets and King Blvd, the love of clothing. Bob Blair, an officer God propagated conof the Elks Lodge said, “I am jointly with the spirit of now retired, and my wife and I gratitude as the donate all the time we can to Hillsborough County help out the homeless.” The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Police Volunteers Carol Flood, Charlene Chassee, Elisa Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Thirty-eight years ago, Department held a homeless outreach in Seffner, which provided Blair and Julie Ebert dispensed peanut butter and Tampa Police Blair was homeless and individuals with a “one-stop shop” of services and comforts. jelly sandwiches and hot meals to the homeless.. Department (TPD) and sleeping in his car. He held a local community united job, but was unable to afford for a homeless outreach. housing. Thankfully, a co-workThe Chapel’s parker discovered his plight and ing lot temporarily transoffered him room and board. formed into a “one-stop Blair attributed his comeback to shop” of community his co-worker’s kindness and resource tables dispenssupport. He continued, “I know ing clothing, hot meals, what it takes to bring the dignity housing assistance, back to the homeless...That’s health-screenings, vacciwhy I jumped in with both feet. I nations, backpacks, hairget a little misty just seeing the cuts, identification cards, outpouring of help the homeless toiletry bags and Bibles. get at these events.” Joshua Boyer, a deputy from the Homeless Initiative More than 100 homeless The Women’s Resource Center along with community volun- organized The next Homeless the outreach providing more than 100 individuteers distributed clothing to those in need. individuals registered for Initiative outreach is on als with resources and services. healthcare, mental health care, substance services and received necessities. In Tuesday, March 14 from 10 tion,” explained Boyer. abuse help and permanent housing. addition to the abundance of material a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Target Plaza by Randi Whitney, a homeless liaison Joshua Boyer, a deputy with the resources, the atmosphere was fragrant B Downs Blvd. and Fletcher Ave. If Bruce officer for TPD considers herself an urban Homeless Initiative spearheaded the outwith love, encouragement and hope. you or your organization would like to get camper travel agent. “We try to get them In 2010, HCSO began the Homeless reach. “Our main goal is to see the homeinvolved, contact Deputy Boyer at jboy(the homeless) connected with resources. less get off the street. It’s good to give Initiative with only one deputy. Today, the I don’t have housing or resources, but I them clothes and food, but that is just the program consists of five deputies whose For information about the HCSO can help by navigating them to those band-aide. We need to give them the mission is to assist the homeless with Homeless Initiative, visit its Facebook services. We all work together. That’s the services they need for a long-term soluobtaining identification, food and clothing, page at HCSO Homeless Initiative. way to get things done—by bringing




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Page 4

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

New Rock Steady Boxing Program Helps Fights Back Against Parkinson’s

Alexander Works Magic At Second Generation Family-Owned Dent Houdini

By Michelle Caceres

By Amy Schechter

Over an estimated 10 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a chronic, progressive neurological condition marked by instability and uncontrollable tremors. Currently, there is no cure for this affliction and treatment options aim at managing its symptoms. A diagnosis of Parkinson’s can be frightening and disheartening to say the least, but it does not need to slow you or your spirit down. The men and women who work out with Rock Steady Boxing in Fishhawk are a testimony to the courageous spirit of the Parkinson’s community. FishHawk resident Kathy Glazewski, once a special education teacher, is now a teacher of a different sort. She is a certified personal trainer with a special heart for those with Parkinson’s and uniquely qualified to help them push beyond what they and their families may think they can do. Just like the ending to each class, Glazewski believes, “Hope is in our corner; tough love on our side. That feeling we have is Rock Steady pride.” A national organization, Rock Steady Boxing was founded with the goal to improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s by empowering them to fight back. Each class follows a format of stretching, cardio, strength, and boxing routines. Although cardio may be difficult, Glazewski makes it fun and thematic. In February, she used a relay race format that required participants to balance Valentine’s candies on a spoon and transfer them from one side of the room to the other. As she listed the rules, “No pushing, no tripping, no shoving,” it was hard not to smile when participants whispered, “Don’t take the fun out of it.” She followed this with breathing exercises where clients used straws to suck up a candy and transfer it from one plate to another. “Breathing is important. We need good lung capacity,” Glazewski called out as she assisted a gentleman who was struggling. After that, participants used light weights for interval strength training in their arms

Whether you were in a small fender bender or major collision, Dent Houdini can provide professional repairs at an affordable price.

Boxer Steve Chapdelaine, who has Parkinson’s disease, enjoys the support and camaraderie at Rock Steady Boxing, which is located inside Fishhawk Martial Arts Academy in Lithia.

and legs, which Glazewski varies from week to week. Perhaps the most exciting part though, are the boxing drills. Participants combine cardio, footwork, and bag work to attack their goals, and everyone leaves tired, but with the knowledge that they can do anything they put their minds to. Even those for which the disease has progressed can still participate with the help of a spotter, like the husband whose wife lovingly helps him through every movement. Besides the physical goals, Rock Steady Boxing is about community. Steve Chapdelaine, a boxer, shares, “There’s a big community worldwide, but there aren’t many support groups. This creates an atmosphere of support for each other. We share experiences.” The boxers ranging in age from their fifties to their eighties, but each understands one another. When with a sparring partner, they know when to push and when to hold back. They know there are good days and bad days, but the confirmation that there are others out there to pick you up when you get knocked down makes all the difference. Rock Steady Boxing in Fishhawk wants to extend an open invitation to those in the community living with Parkinson’s as well as their families to join them inside Fishhawk Martial Arts Academy, 15272 Fishhawk Blvd, Lithia. Also, if you would like to donate in some way to this worthy cause, your gift would be appreciated. For information on days/times, call 908-415-0944 or visit or their Facebook page or email

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 or call 728-9674.

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March 2017

Page 5

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Great Food, Wine And Music Await You At Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival




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

7 © Copyright 2012-2013 - Osprey Observer, Inc. No reproduction without written permission.



Marie Gilmore

Tamas Mondovics





Michelle Colesanti

Kathy Collins





Kathi Hayes

Cyndi Cisneros




Denise Graf





Chuck Hoening

Kate Quesada





Patricia Tracy

Carole Fluhart





Kerrie Hoening

Trisha Becker



Melissa Hartmann






Terry Vassalotti





Staff Report

A world of taste Heightz, Justin awaits you at Busch Quiles & Milly Gardens Tampa Bay’s Quezada; third annual Food & Sunday, April 30: Wine Festival, returnTribute Bands (Jimmy ing this spring for an Buffett, Queen, Bon extended nine weeks Jovi and Prince). of chart-topping artists The festival and culinary masterreturns with signature pieces. The popular dishes and exciting Tampa Bay food and new cuisine, including the flavor of more than 65 fine wine festival is includ- Uncork duck tacos, lobster wines, an expanded lineup of over 70 ed with any Annual craft brews and a variety of featured ravioli, bacon mac & cocktails at the Busch Gardens® Food cheese, brown sugar Pass, Fun Card or & Wine Festival. daily admission to the rubbed pork belly, park and runs Saturdays and Sundays, banana foster panna cotta, gator bites, March 4 through April 30. and cabernet-filled chocolates, as well as The biggest names in entertainment an expanded selection of wines, craft will take the stage every weekend with brews and cocktails. the headlining act starting at 7 p.m. on Food and beverage is not includGwazi Field. Artists kicking off the festival ed with park admission and is availinclude: Saturday, March 4: - Daughtry, able for an extra fee. Guests must be Sunday, March 5: Andy Grammer, 21 years of age or older to consume Saturday, March 11: alcoholic beverages. Goo Goo Dolls; Sunday, March 12: For a limited time, if you buy a Kool & The Gang; Saturday, March 18: Busch Gardens Fun Card, get an Young the Giant; Sunday, March 19: Adventure Island Fun Card for free. Jason Isbell & John Hiatt Trio; For those that want even more Saturday, March 25: NBC’s The Voice VIP offerings, the Annual Pass offers finalists Craig Wayne Boyd & Adam unlimited admission all year, free Wakefield, Sunday, March 26: parking, no blackout dates and speEl Gran Combo, Saturday, April 1: cial benefits totaling more than $300. DNCE; Sunday, April 2: Walk Off The With EZpay, Annual Passes start at Earth, Saturday, April 8: Hunter Hayes; just $14 per month for one park, and Sunday, April 9: Daya and Matt $16 per month for both Busch Nathanson; Saturday, April 15: The Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Band Perry; Sunday, April 16: Island. Visit Newsboys; Saturday, April 22: Gilberto Rosa; Sunday, April 23: Lynyrd tampa/food-and-wine/event-info for Skynyrd; Saturday, April 29: Bachata more on the Festival.


If interested in advertising in our Brandon or Valrico editions, please contact us at 813-657-2418. CHRISTIAN VOICE EDITOR

Amanda Boston



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Ad, Story or Press Release that you would like in the next

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please contact Osprey Observer 657-2418.

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Page 6

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Newborn Receives Life-Saving Surgery At Brandon Regional Hospital

By Kathy L. Collins

Recently, a eating problems. baby, Layton According to Akers, Pedrosa, born on "The external arms September 30, were taken off 2016, underwent before Layton was life-saving surgery discharged from the at Brandon NICU. We went Regional Hospital through an 11-week (BRH) in Brandon. consolidation phase Layton was born in which the bone with Isolated Pierre grew and hardened Robin Sequence before the internal hardware was (PRS), a rare set Layton Pedrosa, shown here with his removed on of abnormalities mother, Ricki Ackers, suffered from a rare that affect the head condition known as Isolated Pierre Robin January 4." Sequence. Dr. Mitchell, and face where who is with Tampa Children's ENT and is there is a small lower jaw (micrognathia), affiliated with BRH said, "Children with a tongue that is placed further back than severe PRS and failure to thrive are fortunormal (glossoptosis) and obstruction of nately fairly rare. Additionally, not all chilthe airway. According to Ricki Akers, Layton's dren have to undergo mandibular distracmother, "My pregnancy was perfect. It tion as Layton did." Dr. Mitchell added, was completely shocking when my son "Layton's degree of micrognathia was was born with PRS. When he was born, pretty impressive along with the width of he was not breathing well and was imme- his cleft palate. However, he has been a great healer and has a good family supdiately taken to the NICU (Neonatal port system, along with the fantastic pediIntensive Care Unit). I was absolutely atric anesthesia and NICU nurses and devastated." physicians at BRH. This is why he is getLayton was treated by Dr. Joshua R. ting such a great outcome." Mitchell, M.D. Layton had to undergo a Akers said, "It was a hard month, but mandibular distraction. This is where a I am thankful for all the great doctors, precise incision is made in both sides of the jaw bone. Both an internal and externurses and of course Dr. Mitchell. They nal distractor hardware are placed. Over saved my baby's life. He went from strugthe course of a nine-day period, the exter- gling to breathe and eat, not being able to nal arms were turned a small amount be on his back at all, to being able to do each morning and night. This creates a everything a normal baby can do." gap in which new bone can form thus BRH is located at 119 Oakfield Dr. in expanding the jaw, bringing the tongue Brandon. For information, call 681-5551 forward. This fixes both breathing and or visit

CLS Golf Tournament Supports Funding For New Youth And Children Ministry Facility

By Michelle Colesanti

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 Golfer’s fee is $100 per Bloomingdale Club. person. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with unlimited free range balls. Golf starts at 1 p.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 we had the blessing to finish a new con-

struction 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 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-inone sponsorship is $200, Gold sponsorship-$1,000, Platinum-$3,000 and Diamond-$5,000. More information on each sponsorship level can be found at Cristo La Senda Church is located at 3104 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 571-7174.


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March 2017

Page 7

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

County Hosts Public Meetings For Stormwater Drainage And Watershed Master Plan By Kate Quesada

Garage Sale, Food Truck Rally & More Lamb of God will be collecting baby diapers and On non-perishSaturday able food March 4, the items. FishHawk Parking Trails comfor the event munity will will be availhost its annuable across al garage the street at sale with The next FishHawk Ranch Food Rally, open to anyone, Bevis many items 25 from 5-9 p.m. in the FishHawk Elementary, for purchase will take place March Osprey Club parking lot. but patrons from furniture are encouraged to walk or bike if possiand antiques to tools, sports equipment, ble. Lawn chairs and picnic blankets are toys, clothes and more. welcome as seating is available on a first The community is located at 5555 come, first served basis. FishHawk Trails Dr. in Lithia. For more information on Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally, visit www.tampabayFishHawk Ranch Raises Funds at Contact the Osprey Food Truck Rally Club at 657-6629. From 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, March

FishHawk Trails Hosts Garage Sale

25, FishHawk Ranch will host 15 food trucks offering unique food items in the Osprey Club parking lot. The event will be put on by Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally which has thrown dozens of events to date, specializing in rallies, lunch spots and catering. In addition to the food and a mobile DJ truck, the event will also be a fundraiser for Seeds of Hope Inc. and The Lamb of God Lithia Food Pantry c/o Camp Gladiator. Seeds of Hope will be collecting canned and dried goods while The

New Vendors at FishHawk Market Day

This month's FishHawk Ranch market day will take place on Sunday March 5 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Park Square. There are several new vendors debuting this season and booths will include fresh produce and handmade and homemade items from local businesses. For more information, contact the Osprey Club at 657-6629.

A pair of public open-house format meetings held in Brandon and in Riverview last month allowed area residents to learn about a variety drainage and flood control projects as well as the County’s master plan updates for the Delaney/Archie Creek Watershed located in central Hillsborough County. Armed with maps and background information, County Public Works representatives, were on hand for both meetings to assist attendees with their concerns and questions and input. The Delaney/Archie Creek Watershed drains approximately 36 square miles and is generally bounded on the north by Palm River Road and the CSX railway, to the west by Hillsborough Bay, to the east by Valrico Road, and to the south by the Alafia River. While the majority of the proposed projects for 2017 are planned west of I75, the event presented valuable information about the entire watershed master plan, the process of which began in late 2013. According to Project Manager, Junshan Su, a final report with recommended flood relief projects was completed in late 2016. “Drainage and flood control projects

By Tamas Mondovics

planned for east of I75, including areas of Riverview, Brandon and Valrico will be proposed this time next year,” Su said, adding that the Valrico and east Brandon communities are actually located within the Alafia Watershed. Su also mentioned that Hillsborough County has 17 watersheds dividing up the projects and their timelines. The Delaney/Archie Creek Watershed project budget is $700,000 and is funded through the Stormwater Fee Capital Improvement Program. Both recent meetings gave attendees a chance to review as well as to comment on the proposed plans that are a part of the Countywide Watershed Master Plan Updates. The master plan update provides the County with valuable information on flooding within the watershed, including an updated hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) model that is used by the County, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and local developers as best available information for project analysis and permitting. For more information and watershed maps, please visit the County’s Stormwater Projects page at



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Page 8

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Nature’s Classroom Facility Celebrates Its Annual Open House Event March 25

By Tamas Mondovics

For nearly five The upcoming decades, Nature’s open house event Classroom, called, "Woods, Florida’s outdoor Water, and Wildlife" education program is a considered has been providing once-a-year celeyoung students a bration that is now chance to get upscheduled for close-and-personal Saturday, March 25 with nature to help from 9 a.m. to 4 them reach an p.m. appreciation of the “This event will Hillsborough County sixth grade students environment, while allow the general participate in a hands-on field study of the Hillsborough River Watershed at Nature’s promoting conserpublic to visit the Classroom. The general public to visit the vation and preserschool that is norfacility during its annual once a year open vation. mally reserved for house March 25. Nature’s the environmental Classroom is located Northeast education of all sixth grade public school Hillsborough County on 365 acres provid- students in Hillsborough County,” said ed by the Southwest Florida Water event coordinator Chris Rusnak. Management District (SWFWMD) and Visitors to the school are steadily within the boundary of the Hillsborough growing, and have enjoyed the support of River. local government officials and community Throughout the year, the school leaders. focuses on the Hillsborough River “It is our goal to foster a better underWatershed Field Study catered to sixth standing of the natural world so that we grade students who attend a three-day can have a highly educated voter base to program that covers the habitats, flora, make smart decisions for the future of our fauna, human use and impact field study state, country, and world,” Rusnak said. of the Hillsborough River Watershed. The one day cash only event is $10 School officials said that nearly per carload. Boat rides are $2 per person 15,000 sixth grade students who visit the and will include children’s activities, anioutdoor facility claim approximately mal experiences, hikes, a shoreline sam540,000 hours of ecological and outdoor pling experience, and exhibitors. skills experiences annually. Nature's Classroom is located at Since 2007, Nature's Classroom offi13100 Verges Rd in Thonotosassa, just cials have also opened the school’s doors 1.5 miles east of I-75 of the Fletcher Ave. to the public to raise awareness and Exit. Volunteers are welcome and may funding, which supports the feeding of its contact Mary Spence at 987-6969 or collection of animals on site.

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Volume 16, Issue 3

Couple Celebrates 75 Years Of Marriage

By Kate Quesada

When baby needs a diaper change, do 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.”

March 2017

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

New Mobile Dodgeball Brings The Arena And The Fun To Your Party 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

Staff Report

Dodgem Dodgeball will bring dodgeball arena fun to your party or event.

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

Page 9

New Flying Locksmiths Ready To Serve

By Matt Boniface

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's The Flying Locksmiths. This national franchise was started in 1946 and exploded across the country thanks to their professionalism and family values. Locally, The Flying Locksmith opened for business on October 3, 2016 by Tammy Broussard and her husband, Michael Broussard, President elect of Fishhawk Riverview Rotary Club: of which he has been a member for eight years. They are a part of both the Riverview and Valrico Chamber of Commerce. They offer a wide variety of security solutions and locksmith services for both residential and commercial needs but Michael mentioned that currently, “We primarily work with facilities managers on commercial sites.” Their price ranges vary based on the specific needs of each customer and are available 24 hours a day with a national dispatch center easily reached by phone. Along with their work for a number of local big box stores, much of their work impacts “local drug, alcohol...and assisted living facilities,” according to Michael. Tammy continued, “Keeping patients safe” by fixing and changing locks to ensure that the facilities know where their patients are at all times.

“We want folks to know that this has been our home, we are part of the community,” Tammy said, “we have lived here for a dozen years...this was perfect for us”. Tammy and Michael have been pillars of the local community, dedicating their time to organizations that help those in need. Michael explained that they have recently “spearheaded the crayfish festival that raised over $20,000 for...charities and scholarships.” Tammy has previously been involved in the Software and Technology industry with a strong background in sales. Having such a strong background in technology comes in handy as according to their website, “the locksmith industry is changing; it is not just a mechanical trade, it’s moving quickly to an electronic trade.” The Flying Locksmiths has 12 local employees and are seeking an additional qualified locksmith for their team. They hire only second and third generation locksmiths. Inquiries can be made at their local offices on 156 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. For information, visit or call 24/7: 801-3145.

Page 10

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 3

State-of-the-Art 5th Gear Fitness Offers Popular Fitness Classes, Childcare & More

Local Student Collaborators Have Debut Teen Author Novel Published

Have your mind/body, nutriNew Year’s fittion, and correcness resolutions tive exercise. de-railed? Do Inside the yoga you begin exerstudio, a range of cising only to classes are lose momenoffered including warm yoga, tabatum? ta yoga, ballet 5th Gear barre, barre conFitness offers tour and pilates something for Angie Williams, Gretchen Trasorras, and Jessica Adams, owners & trainers at 5th Gear reformer everyone at all Fitness. machines, which levels of experiincorporate resistance into traditional ence with the goal of working personpilates movements. ally with each client to optimize whole Perhaps the cardio equipment is fitness, health, and well-being through the most impressive. The treadmills training, consultation, education, and are curved, allowing the runner to conmotivation. trol the speed and place more demand The owners of 5th Gear Fitness on the user than a traditional tread by want to inspire change mentally and forcing you to use more muscles. physically. Gretchen Trasorras, partHIIT classes also utilize MyZone owner and trainer with over 30 years in the industry, believes that in order to heart rate monitoring technology so see results, clients have a strong need coaches know when to push and when to real you back in. Finally, the cardio for “community relationships formed in cycle room with RealRyders, stationa positive setting of like-minded peoary bikes that tilt from side to side ple.” Trasorras advocates what she mimicking an outdoor bike and requircalls “trainer swapping” so clients can get the full spectrum of expertise. She, ing much greater core activation than traditional spin bikes. the trainers, and the other owners, 5th Gear Fitness offers child-care, Jessica Adams and Angie Williams, have different skills and expertise from shower stalls/lockers, and nutrition counseling. resistance training, to yoga, to highThe March special includes a St. intensity interval training (HIIT) & Patrick’s Day four-leaf clover good more. toward four free visits for new guests. 5th Gear Fitness offers a range of individualized training and group class- Existing clients and new enrollments can enter to win their part of the pot of es all founded on "whole fitness" phigold by referring friends and family. losophy based on five fundamental fitVisit ness components: cardio, resistance,

Rachel between them Rozet is in her did not stop sophomore their friendship year of high or writing jourschool, and at ney. They visitage 16, is ed each other proud to puband continued lish her debut working on novel Kinda, their project, Sort Of, along which was with co-author finally finished and fellow studuring the sumdent Kate mer of 2016. Luke. Kinda, Sort Both Rozet Of has now and Luke were reached over signed in 1,000 views on December the popular 2016 to The reading site, Polyethnic Wattpad, and is Lithia Resident Rachel Rozet, who is a Publishing, now available sophomore in high school, had her first book, which was for purchase. ‘Kinda, Sort Of,’ recently published. founded by You can find it Melissa Futrell, who started the comon Amazon or pany as a high school business projat ect in the spring of 2014. The compaRozet is now in her sophomore ny specializes in teen authors. year of the International Rozet’s career as an author has Baccalaureate program at Strawberry only just begun. With promising sales Crest High School. “I try to write as for this teen fiction novel, she is now soon as I get home,” Rozet inspired to write future novels within stated. “Sometimes I jot notes down the next couple of years. on my phone when I don’t have my The co-authors started writing computer with me, but whenever I’m when they were in 7th grade at free and I have time to relax, I’m Randall Middle School. They both eager to write more.” worked consecutively for three years, Rozet would like to thank all her editing and joining forces to share amazing literary teachers and family their ideas in order to build the story. for supporting her and leading her to During this time, Luke’s family moved be involved in this industry. to Indiana, but the long distance

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March 2017

Page 11

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Awards Its First Scholarship To HCC College Student

By Tatiana Ortiz

Grab an ager for the hospitalapron and some ity department utensils to test named Frederick out one’s culinary Jaeger at the skills during a Hillsborough cooking class Community College with the Rolling Dale Mabry camPin Kitchen pus. She would Emporium in always ask quesBrandon. It offers tions throughout the cooking classes semester to see if with a wide range any scholarships of topics from became available to desserts, soups strictly just culinary and more for indistudents. Jones met viduals of all ages. Karen West, Renita Jones and Chef West the requirements for present a Wusthof knife set to their Since 1995, the Rolling Pin scholarship winner. this store did get Kitchen Emporium named as the “Culinary Resource” for the Annual Culinary Scholarship and chose Tampa Bay area and the gourmet kitchen to apply through the Hillsborough store regularly stocks 15,000 items. Community College website. “To qualify Owners Chef David West and his for this particular scholarship, students wife Karen recently awarded their first must maintain a 3.0 grade point average scholarship called Rolling Pin Kitchen and much more,” Dave said. Emporium Annual Culinary Scholarship Outside the classroom, Jones with the reward amount of $1200 to attends the Ybor City Saturday Market Renita Jones. She was also presented and sells her cupcakes at a booth with a Wusthof knife set. Jones studies there, for which she began this jourRestaurant Management at Hillsborough ney almost 13-years ago. Jones also Community College. She does affiliate decorates wedding cakes and bakes herself with the Brandon and Dale Mabry an assortment of desserts through the campus. With five classes left, she plans business she owns called Lexi Cakes. to graduate towards the end of fall 2017 To learn more about it, visit www.faceand earn an Associate in Science degree in Restaurant Management. For information, visit rollingpinon“I am very excited and grateful to be It is located at 2080 the first recipient of the Rolling Pin Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Open Kitchen Emporium Annual Culinary Monday- Wednesday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Scholarship,” Jones said. Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Jones learned about the scholarship Sunday 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Call 653through her professor and program man2418.

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Page 12

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

YMCA Teens Attend 60th Annual Florida State Assembly In Tallahassee

By Tamas Mondovics

ideas and not people. “They learn how to take a stand for what they believe in, while still being open-minded and respectful of others’ opinions,” she said. “As young leaders, they also discover how to develop and articulate their point of view, present their argument, and debate the issues in a productive forLocal YMCA Youth In Government program students depart mat. to attend the 60th Annual Florida State Assembly in Students who had the Tallahassee. The event allows students to debate hand- opportunity to attend this drafted legislation, argue court cases as law firms and much more in an enthusiastic display of civic engagement. year’s annual assembly at the state capitol repreIn an effort to showcase local youth sented HB Plant High School, the being involved in civic engagement, the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico, Tampa Metropolitan YMCA sent nearly Oakwood Baptist Church in 100 local high school students involved Bloomingdale, the Plant City Family with the Y’s Youth In Government proYMCA and the Northwest Hillsborough gram to attend the 60th Annual Florida Family YMCA. State Assembly in Tallahassee. Since 1957, the Florida Youth In The three-day, student-run proGovernment program has brought gram and model government session is many students to Tallahassee to hosted in at least 45 states across the debate in the actual Senate and House country this year including an estimatchambers. ed 700 students from across Florida. According officials, senior students By sitting in the very same seats involved with the program are routinely and in the chambers that senators and rewarded with scholarships, college representatives preside, the students credit with two years of involvement, will debate hand-drafted legislation, community recognition as well as the argue court cases as law firms, while self-awareness and confidence to be build leadership skills, gain self-confileaders. dence and discover how the governJunior Youth In Government for ment operates. middle school students attend an “The Y’s Youth In Government is a assembly in April of each year. youth-run, youth-led model government Registration for the program is $75, process designed to prepare students which includes all materials and tee for engaged and active citizenship built shirt. Registration forms can be downon the values of civil debate, statesloaded from the YMCA website. Fall manship and research-based policy Delegate Conference is an additional solutions,” said YMCA Communications $100 to the state program. This Director Lalita Llerena. includes transportation, overnight lodgLlerena added that during the Y’s ing and meals for a weekend trip. dynamic Youth In Government course High school State Assembly takes offered at all YMCA facilities, including place in Tallahassee in 2017. For more the North Brandon Family Y and information please visit www.floriCampo Family Y in Valrico, teens gain the skills necessary to debate against


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Volume 16, Issue 3

Ladies Night Out Promises Fun Evening With Christian Comedian Amberly Neese On Thursday, March 23, Christian comedian Amberly Neese will share her gift of humor and passion for Christ at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon. Armed with comedic flair and candor, Neese will tackle everyday stressors and scenarios from a biblical perspective. Neese said, “I am stoked to speak at this event and cannot wait to meet each of you there. Grab a friend and a Depends undergarment and get ready to giggle.” The food and fun kicks off at 5 p.m. with a shopping EXPO and a sweet supply of chocolate confectionaries and delicious desserts. The main event begins at 7 p.m. when Neese takes center stage to treat the ladies to a time of encouragement and enlightenment in the faith. As a little girl, Neese was known for her sidesplitting storytelling. Yet, it wasn’t until her first speaking engagement at a women’s retreat almost 25 years ago that she realized she could use humor to point others to Jesus. After the retreat, she came home changed. Neese discovered her calling—to remind others of the joy that is found in a life abiding in Christ. “It is his (God’s) design for us to live a life of joy,” said Neese. Renowned as the “joy” lady, Neese’s

By Amanda Boston

infectious laugh and humor delights her audiences all over the country. In addition to her speaking engagements, Neese has written two devotionals books: Fragrance of Faith and Treasure of Trust. She has also been featured in Desiree Carter’s Remarkable Women of Faith, a book of testimonies from godly women. Currently, Neese resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two children. She serves as an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University. She is crazy about her family, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars. If you would like to attend, tickets are $5 per person and available at The event is at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon. FaithTalk 570 & 910 WTBN is sponsoring Ladies Night Out. For more information, please visit the Website above.

March 2017

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 13

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

By Amanda Boston

unifying the community through current struggles. Students, parents and community members are invited to an encouraging evening jampacked 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 careful not to Dr. Stephen Rummage, senior pastor Bell Shoals Baptist Church, played an active role in planning and provided the infringe on the beliefs of others. venue for the November 20 event. “I understand aside personal differences, disthere may be some concern that I will played love for one another, use my platform for some religious and acted as an example of agenda. unity to the rest of the commuBut that’s not what this is about,” nity. explained Spano, “I sense an openIn March, plans are underway for a community event at a ness in the church particularly to get out of our comfort zone and reach local high school. across divides to truly see unity and In Spano’s words, it will be love one another like Christ.” a “Character Pep Rally for If you would like to get involved Unity” and will feature a celebrity or be added to the mailing list, please speaker to be named later. As the contact the office of Rep. Spano at name implies, the rally will spotlight the role of an individual’s character in 744-6256.

Page 14

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Holiday Builders Considers Home Owners An Extension Of Their Family

By Tatiana Ortiz

For and Waterleaf more than locations in 30 years, Riverview the Holiday recently became Builders the two new company additions. For a can be list of other locaknown as tions, visit being https://www.holiexcellent in new home A unique feabuilding ture that Holiday An example of a home in the Riverview community with a repBuilders offers for Holiday Builders. utation of superior customer service. would be its two-year builder warranty With its solid foundation, Holiday after purchase. The company builds Builders focuses on constructing qual- single family homes in the Tampa ity new homes of lasting value. Today, area with prices that range from more than 35,000 families choose $190,000 to the low to mid Holiday Builders because of the com$300,000’s. For this particular area, pany’s attributes stated above. square footage begins at 1,477 sq. ft. “We make sure that the results of and goes to 3,192 sq. ft. Individuals each customer experience becomes can search on the Holiday Builders great and that the homeowners website for more building prices receive regular updates,” Division around the state. Holiday Builders Sales Manager for Tampa Marcus also provides a wide selection of Smith said. options and upgrades too. In 1984, Holiday Builders opened Holiday Builders was named to its first Showcase home and sold 76 the Top Builder 100 list on various homes in the first year of business. occasions and by JD Power and Throughout the 1990’s, growth contin- Associates for “Highest Quality” for ued with an expansion in numerous new home building. The company was parts of Florida. Interested buyers can awarded as the “101 Best Employers” find Holiday Builders in Alabama as and the “50 Best Companies to Work well. In 1999, the company’s employFor.” ees purchased Holiday Builders from Visit Holiday Builders Park Creek its founder, which made the company Community located in Riverview at the first 100% employee owned 10512 Park Meadowbrooke Dr. Open homebuilder in the United States. In Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.- 6 June 2016, Holiday Builders began p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.- 6 p.m. Call operation in Tampa. The Park Creek 866-235-5675.

Program Offers Support To Quit Tobacco

By Nick Nahas

July 7, 2013 is an expect when quitting. The important day for Lenny facilitator of the class Moore — that’s the day guides participants as they nearly four years ago identify triggers and withthat he quit smoking. He drawal symptoms, and reached his goal with the brainstorms ways to cope help of the Tobacco Free with these changes. Florida Quit Your Way “Tobacco Free Program. The organizaFlorida’s mission is to cretion provides free nicoate a healthy, sustainable, tine replacement patchtobacco-free environment es, gum and lozenges, for all Floridians,” said as well as counseling to Brittany McNaughton, the Tobacco Cessation help people over the age Specialist/Systems of 18 overcome their Brittany McNaughton is the Change Coordinator at the tobacco dependence. “I Tobacco Cessation USF AHEC Tobacco would absolutely recomSpecialist/Systems Change Coordinator at the USF AHEC Program Office. According mend Tobacco Free Tobacco Program Office. to McNaughton, tobacco Florida to anyone,” said use is the leading cause of preventable Moore. “I do not think I would have been death and disease in the United States. successful without them.” Smokers are more likely than nonsmokSeveral tools are available to ensure that clients are successful in quitting all ers to develop heart disease, stroke and forms of tobacco. Participants can talk to lung cancer. It also harms nearly every a quit coach over the phone, or they can organ of the body. register for group sessions with others tryThe Tobacco Free Florida Area ing to achieve the same goal. Web Quit is Health Education Center Cessation another option where virtual tips are avail- Program is a statewide network consistable 24/7. The text messaging program ing of five program offices at the provides tips and practical advice in conUniversity of Florida, University of Miami, junction with email tips and a quit guide. University of South Florida (USF), Nova All these options allow people to make Southeastern University and Florida State use of the tools that best fit their lifestyle. University, and 10 affiliated regional Five topics are touched on during a AHEC Centers. Group Quit session, including the danThe program provides services to all Floridians. Potential members are gers of tobacco use, the benefits of quitencouraged to pre-register for classes ting, the challenges of quitting, aids for and come willing to quit. “The vision of quitting, as well as support for quitting. the program is to create a Tobacco Free Members are educated on the health Florida,” said McNaughton. effects related to tobacco use, but more Visit importantly, participants are taught how beneficial quitting tobacco is and what to


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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

My Social Spa Brings Good Clean Fun Night Out To Boca & River Hills Events

By Debra Massaro

take in fresh food and $5 drinks, and enjoy laughter while creating memories and handmade spa items. Since opening, the Spa has held over 20 events and assisted in creating over 800 bath bombs including seasonal scents like My Social Spa offers a fun night out where participants create pumpkin and ginscented bath bombs, sugar body scrubs, and other fun, fresh gerbread. and natural skin pampering products. “We wanted to Riverview welcomes some good continue our expertise in entertainclean fun for Ladies’ Night Out and ment and noticed people really wantMom and Me events. It’s called My ed experiences, so we brought Social Spa, and it has participants together the craze of do-it-yourself, glowing. without the hassle, to fun and trendy My Social Spa, founded by Valrico places like the bar,” Heruska residents Laura and Rich Heruska, explained. offers a fun night out where partici“For a busy mom of three, it was pants create scented bath bombs, a match made in heaven.” sugar body scrubs, and other fun, Monthly events are presently held fresh and natural skin pampering prod- at Boca Restaurant in Winthrop and ucts. No experience is necessary, and the River Hills Country Club in all materials are provided including the Riverview. Private parties and large use of the signature turquoise aprons. events are also available. Prior to opening the Spa in 2016, The business is growing. Heruska the couple owned AirHeads explained, “We see this expanding in Trampoline Arena, a growing chain of local bars, restaurants, and country Family Entertainment Centers. The clubs.” idea for the do-it-yourself social spa Tickets for the monthly events are emerged from a desire to change the $29.95 per person. Tickets for Mom & way friends come together. Me events are $49.95 COMBO, which Employees, called “Sparistas,” do the is admission for a parent and child. behind the scenes work of preparing Registration on Facebook, www.faceingredients and gathering supplies, or by visiting allowing participants to socialize,




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Page 16

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 3

The 25th Anniversary Manatee Festival Of The Arts Offers Art, Food, Music And More This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts and the 2017 event promises to be better than ever with food and entertainment for the whole family. Taking place at Ruskin's E.G. Simmons Park on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the event is expected to draw 10,000 people from all over the Tampa Bay. For the first time this year, the SouthShore Chamber is partnering with local art organizations the Firehouse Cultural Center and SouthShore Arts Council on the cultural aspects of the festival. "We have no doubt that this event is going to be the best ever," said Southshore Chamber Executive Director Melanie Rimes. "We are used to planning events, but our area of expertise is not art. With the art organizations taking the lead on those aspects, it is a perfect fit and is sure to be a festival to remember." In addition to 100 artist booths, many of which are new to the festival, there will be a large children's area sponsored, organized and run by the Firehouse Cultural Center. The area, which is free and according to

By Kate Quesada

Rimes has doubled since last year, will offer fish prints, color sandcastle sculptures, design boards, manatee drawing horses, story-telling from the Ruskin Library, sun prints, face painting and balloon art from Jumbo the Pirate.There will also be art

work on display from local schools and Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach, will have a hands on

kids area. The entertainment stage will showcase music from Emily Joy at 11 a.m. on Saturday, followed by live demonstrations from Tampa Bay Martial Arts Academy at 12 Noon. At 1 p.m. there will be a dance performance by Armetta's Gan Jete Studio of

Dance in Apollo Beach and 1:45 p.m. will offer a concert from Opera Tampa. The entertainment for the day will end at 3 p.m. with Victoria Ginty and Ladyhawke. On Sunday, the music will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with Luis Garcia from Rumba Brothers, Latin Jazz and Flamenco Fusion, with Pinpoint Jazz following at 12:45 p.m. The Damon Fowler Band will take the stage at 3:15 p.m. Cold beer and wine will be available at three locations throughout the event and food will be available from Buttman BBQ, Mullet Shack, C&S Specialties, Stanford Jerky, Bearcakes, Kona Ice, OI Kentucky Concessions, Skoops, TLC Concessions, Poppin Don's Old Fashioned Ice Cream and more. "This festival is unique because there is something for everyone," said Rimes. "We involve everyone, not only the arts community and not only the chamber business community. Everyone can be there." For more information, contact the chamber at 645-1366 or visit

March 2017

Page 17

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

AMVETS To Host Casino Night Fundraiser


By Kathy L. Collins

that sponsorships, which start at $200, will cover the costs to put on the event. Renda said, "The Athena House was chosen as the benefactor for several reasons. Ending homelessness for veterans, along with suicide prevention, is a top priority." Renda Members of AMVETS Post 44 invite everyone to their first ever Casino Night Fundraiser on Friday, March 10. All funds raised added, "Women vetwill benefit The Athena House, a facility for homeless female erans often fall veterans. through the cracks." AMVETS (American Veterans) Post Athena House, the first in the nation and 44, which is located in Plant City, will hold the only one in Florida, is a 16-bed transiits first ever Casino Night. "Bets For Vets" tional housing facility. Women can stay will be held on Friday, March 10 from 5 to for up to 24 months. They are provided 9 p.m. at the Post located at 5521 SR 60 with counseling and life skill classes. In East on Plant City. Proceeds raised at the addition, they are given educational and event will benefit The Athena House, a vocational training which allows them to special housing facility for female veterre-enter the job market. ans. AMVETS is the oldest veterans Attendees simply make a $20 donaservice organization in the nation and tion at the door and in exchange they is comprised of veterans who have receive 5,000 points in the form of gamserved their country. The Sons of ing chips to wager at any of the Las AMVETS and Ladies Auxiliary are Vegas style gaming tables. You can try subordinate groups for veterans’ family your luck at blackjack, roulette, craps or members. Texas hold-em style poker. At the end of Throughout the year, AMVETS the night, attendees can turn in their organizes several fundraisers to help remaining chips for raffle tickets. support veteran causes or quality of In addition to fabulous gaming, atten- life programs in the community. This dees can treat themselves to a delicious includes Friday night dinners, an pulled pork BBQ dinner complete with all Annual Golf Tournament on April 14, of the fixings and dessert for just $5. the annual Patriot Day Celebration John Renda with AMVETS Post 44 and 9/11 Remembrance at Veterans said, "This is the first time that we have Memorial Park. They also host the held a casino night fundraiser. We are only police escorted Toys for Tots Toy very excited about it." Renda explained Ride in November.

Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

Melissa L Haskins Financial Advisor

It’s tax time again – which for many Americans means that a tax refund is on its way. If you’re going to get a refund this year, how can you use the money to your best advantage? Of course, it’s always tempting to spend the check from Uncle Sam on something fun. But a tax refund could be sizable – the average amount in 2016 was $2,857, according to the IRS – so putting this money to work could help boost your progress toward your financial goals. Here are some possibilities for using your refund: • Help fund your IRA. If you were to receive a tax refund of $2,857, you’d have slightly more than half of the $5,500 annual IRA contribution limit for 2017, although, if you are 50 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000. Consequently, you may find it much easier to fully fund your IRA for the year — and you should do exactly that, because an IRA is a great retirement savings vehicle. If you have a traditional IRA, your contributions may be fully or partially deductible, depending on your income, while your earnings can grow tax deferred. (Taxes are due upon withdrawal, and withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.) With a Roth IRA, your contributions are not deductible, but your earnings are distributed taxfree, provided you don’t start taking withdrawals until you’re 59½ and you’ve had your account at least five years. • Help diversify your portfolio. If a market downturn hits one asset class, and that’s where you keep most of your money, you could take a big hit. Owning an array of investments – such as stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, and so on – can help prepare your portfolio to weather the effects of market volatility, By adding new investments,

or increasing your holdings of existing investments, you may be able to further diversify your portfolio – and you can use your refund for this purpose. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification, by itself, can’t guarantee profits or protect against loss.) • Contribute to a 529 plan. If you have children or grandchildren whom you’d like to help send to college, consider using your tax refund to help fund a 529 plan. Your 529 plan contributions may be deductible from your state taxes, and your earnings are distributed tax-free, provided they are used for qualified higher education expenses. (However, withdrawals not used for higher education expenses may be subject to both income tax and a 10% penalty.) • Pay off some debts. You can help improve your financial picture by reducing your debt load – but it may make sense to prioritize these debts. For example, rather than make an extra mortgage payment, you might want to first tackle those debts or loans that carry a high interest rate and that don’t allow you to deduct interest payments. After all, your monthly mortgage payment will remain the same even if you make an extra payment, but if you can get rid of some smaller debts, you will free up some cash that you could use to invest for your future. Think carefully about how to use your tax refund. It represents an opportunity that you won’t want to waste. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor

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Page 18

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale Children’s House Montessori School Helps Children Bloom

By Kate Quesada

By Tamas Mondovics

HCSO Seizes 66 Firearms, Arrests Dozens In ThreeMonth Undercover Weapons Investigation Members of “I can’t say the State enough about Attorney's Office the undercover of the 13th operation that Judicial Circuit, was done the Federal here,” Gee Bureau of said emphasizAlcohol, Tobacco, ing the outFirearms and standing work Explosives (ATF) accomplished and United by the men States Attorney's and women Office for the who took part Middle District of in the hand to Florida were all hand transacDuring a recent press conference, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee shares the results of a tions as the on hand last 12-week undercover weapons investigation. month to discuss offenders were the conclusion of a major criminal inves- delivering loaded guns, which Gee said tigation that resulted in the seizure of were “really easy to buy.” dozens of firearms, illegal drugs and the “If you want to predict violent crime arrest of multiple suspects in you can always look at the number of Hillsborough County. firearms that are readily available on the Hillsborough County Sheriff David street that people can just walk up and Gee told reporters during the press con- buy,” he said, adding that the investigaference at the HCSO Special tion and its success is just the beginning Investigation Division, 2224 N. and more work is going to be done. “We Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa, that the uniare going to put a lot of resources into fied effort between the agencies this during the year.” involved resulted in the seizure of 66 According to HCSO, aggravated firearms from 51 offenders. assault in Hillsborough County has Gee said that detectives posed as increased about 11 percent last year, a convicted felons and tried to buy guns significant increase. from people during the 12-week period, Another concern was the fact that which he said was easy to do as nearly while a large amount of weapons were 60 people told undercover detectives recovered during the operation, none of that they could get them guns. them were from the pair of recent gun When done, the operation seized shop burglaries. 42 handguns, 15 riffles and nine shot“The firearms recovered during the guns, seven of which were reported 12-week operation, a relatively short stolen. amount of time, is alarming.” Gee said. A total of 188 firearm and drugFor more information about the related charges have reportedly been Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, filed in connection with the case. please visit


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Education is a bits, fish, sugar family business at gliders, a hamster Bloomingdale and a boa conChildren's House, strictor," said a Brandon school Waggonerproviding a Montalvo. "We Montessori based also have gopher education to chiltortoises that live dren from six around the months to third grounds and have grade. our classrooms Owner surrounding a Terjiana beautiful courtyard Waggonerwith bottle brush Montalvo's mother The Bloomingdale Children's House on Kings trees which are Ave. in Brandon offers children from six Juliette Johnson, home to squirrels, months to third grade a Montessori education. many birds, espewho has more than 40 years experience in Montessori cially cardinals, and butterflies." education, and step-father Tim Johnson The school, which currently has 65 are both lead teachers at the school students, allows the children to plant, which opened its doors in September water and feed their flower and vegetable 2011. Classes are set up by age group gardens. and all lead teachers have at least one "Our outdoor environment is very Montessori training certificate. much an extension of our indoor environ"We encourage everyone to become ment," said Waggoner-Montalvo. "We familiar with Dr. Maria Montessori's work," love for the children to be outside and we said Waggoner-Montalvo, who currently teach them how to ride scooters and teaches the VPK class and is pursuing a roller blade." certification for lower elementary educaStudents can also take harp and tion. "She believed that children wished to piano lessons, art classes, Tumble Bus, be taught to do things for themselves, Soccer Shots, music classes, cooking and that all education is self-education." classes and dance weekly. The school's mission is to help every Full day or part-time schedules are child love to learn and the staff at available and summer programs are Bloomingdale Children's House do this by offered with different themes each year. offering their students many different Bloomingdale Children's House is ways to grow academically and personal- located at 3920 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon. ly throughout the school day. For more information, call 685-0009 or "In our school we have animals, visit including presently ducks, chickens,

March 2017

Feed The Bay Outreach On March 26 Helps Fill Local Food Pantries

County Now Offers Annual Regional Print-At-Home Park Passes Online

By Tamas Mondovics

On the heels comes just as of a series of prime camping meetings about season begins in the future of its Hillsborough regional parks, County. With Hillsborough moderate temCounty officials peratures, lower are offering a humidity, and great way to fewer bugs enjoy hiking, fishthrough March, it ing, birdwatching, is an ideal time and a host of for outdoor other outdoor adventures. Residents enjoy a visit to a Hillsborough County activities. Camping for Regional Park. To make the visiting of its 10 regional parks easier, County officials now offer the general pubTo encourannual passes that can be purchased online. age visiting its lic is offered at parks, County officials are urging resinearby regional parks including: Edward dents to take advantage of annual park Medard, 6140 Turkey Creek Rd. in Plant passes that are now available for easier City as well as E.G. Simmons, 2401 19th purchase online. Ave., N. W., in Ruskin, Lithia Springs, “Purchasing an annual pass used to 3932 Lithia Springs Rd. in Lithia and require going to the regional park adminAlderman’s Ford, 100 Alderman’s Ford istrative office and completing the paperPark Dr, in Plant City, and requires an work and payment on site,” said Todd additional fee. Prat with Hillsborough County County Regional parks also include: Communications department. Eureka Springs, Lake, Lake Rogers, Now, outdoor enthusiasts can skip Lettuce Lake, Upper Tampa Bay and the the trip and buy an annual pass from their Upper Tampa Bay Trail. computer or mobile device. The annual Active duty members and honorably pass allows free access to the County’s discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed 10 regional parks. The cost is $50 for an Forces, National Guard, or Reserves who individual pass and $100 for families. live in Hillsborough County, active duty Pratt said that the permit is issued in members of first-responders who live or the form of a transferrable tag that hangs work in Hillsborough County as well as from a vehicle’s rear view mirror. Hillsborough County BOCC Employees Currently, the daily entry fee are offered a 25 percent annual regional for Hillsborough County Regional Parks is park pass discount. $2 per day with up to eight people in a For info about the County’s regional vehicle. Timing, of course, is everything parks, visit or call as the new, more convenient system 987-6240.

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Page 19

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

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Feed The Bay is a multi-church effort with hundreds of volunteers uniting to feed the hungry.

Feed The Bay is an annual community-wide outreach where local churches and businesses team up with Publix Super Markets to collect thousands of pounds of food for local food agencies throughout the Tampa Bay area. This year, the event takes place on Sunday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with participation from 34 churches, 14 food agencies and 15 Publix Super Markets. For more than a decade, this event has stocked the pantry shelves of local food agencies such as the Women’s Resource Center, ECHO and the United Food Bank. So how does it work? The coordinated effort offers a simple yet effective process to purchase the food items. Participating shoppers are provided a grocery list of requested items. Immediately after the shopper purchases the food, volunteers waiting outside load the donated food onto a semi-truck. At 2 p.m., the loaded food truck sets out to a predetermined agency, where another group of volunteers is waiting to unload and sort the food onto the pantry shelves.



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By the next morning, the food agency is ready to serve with a replenished pantry. Melanie Langston, the event coordinator at Bay Life Church in Brandon has led the charge of this operation since 2011. “I fell in love with Feed The Bay the first time I saw it simply because it was so laser focused and so easy for the whole family to get involved....It is a teachable moment. It is simply going and being the hands and feet of Christ,” said Langston. The one-day event yields instant and visible results of replenished pantries in food agencies across the Bay, but it also spawns long-standing desirable effects in other ways. Cheryl Hickman, founder and executive director of the Women’s Resource Center of Tampa explained, “ We normally have close to 100 volunteers that help on that day. We help mostly single parent moms get reestablished with employment, housing and healthcare. Once they (the volunteers) understand that we don’t just need food but also clothes, household items, furniture, they begin to see the whole picture.” Volunteers must be at least 14 years old, but children are welcome to participate alongside their parents. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please visit or contact Melanie Langston at


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Page 20

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Upcoming 9th Annual Winthrop Arts Fest And Market Expected To Be Biggest Yet

Golf For Kids Classic Tournament Helps Send Kids With Epilepsy To Camp

The Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Market is a perfect opportunity for the community to see fine arts and handmade artisan goods. You can invest in art and meet the artist or artisan who created it. The Winthrop Arts The 9th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Festival and Artisan Market Market will be held on the weekend of March 25 and 26 is a juried show. Awards for in Winthrop Common in Winthrop Town Centre in Riverview. Come out and see a great array of art, hand- Best of Show, First, crafted artisan goods, food and entertainment. Second, Third and The 9th Annual Winthrop Arts Honorable Mention are awarded. This Festival and Artisan Market will be held year, there is over $3,000 available in on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, prize money. Individuals and companies March 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the can also be involved in awarding artists Winthrop Common at Winthrop Town by becoming a Friend of Winthrop Arts. Centre located at the corner of Hadley This unique level of sponsorship is just Commons and Winthrop Commerce Ave. $125. You get to support the arts in two in Riverview (behind Boca and Ciccio’s). ways- an individual artist gets a portion of “As we enter the ninth year of our the sponsorship and a portion goes to festival, we are really inspired by the skill Winthrop Arts, Inc. level and creativity of our participants,” “The popular and anticipated said Katharine Sullivan-Dawes, Director Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Market of Everything at Winthrop Arts, Inc. “We is a great experience in which our comhave seen the quality go up every year munity comes together each year in celeand we are extremely proud of the artists bration and support of the arts,” said Kay and artisans we are showcasing this Sullivan, president of the Winthrop Arts year,” added Sullivan-Dawes. Board of Visionaries. In addition to art, you will find deli“As a new non-profit, we are continucious treats provided by some the fine ally expanding our programming and restaurants located within Winthrop Town events. The Art Factory offers programs Centre. The restaurants include Boca, including an after school arts program, art Ciccio Cali, EATS American Grill, Moe’s for homeschool students, and art for senand Remi’s Minis. There will also be veniors,” added Sullivan. dors offering kettle corn and shaved ice. For information on the 9th Annual There will be live entertainment on Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Market, Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. by the including becoming a sponsor, please group, Tropic. visit

Following a potentially life threattradition to give ening seizure back to the comoccurs. munity it serves, Executive the National Director at Epilepsy Association of Services Foundation Insurance and Tom Orth said, Financial “Having an opportuAdvisors (NAIFA) nity to attend Camp Tampa has partBoggy Creek with nered with the family members Epilepsy under medically Foundation for supervised condiover 28 years to tions allows afflicted Andrew Holz, Toni Stanaland, Connie help raise funds children a chance to Mosleyand, and Bryon Holz enjoyed last year’s Charity Golf Tournament which helped interact and enjoy a through a Golf to raise money for the Epilepsy Service For Kids Charity Foundation. This year’s tournament will take normal vacation Golf Tournament place at Bloomingdale Golfers Club on Friday, experience.” April 28. on Friday, April While the charity 28. Funds raised go to help send children golf outing is directed primarily for the and young adults and their families to benefit of children, epilepsy has a proCamp Boggy Creek, founded by Paul found effect on over 60,000 local citizens. Newman. The Charity Golf Classic will take According to local financial advisor place at Bloomingdale Golfers Club, 4113 and this year’s President Elect of NAIFA, Great Golfers Place in Valrico. Thomas Brophy, “Our 127 year old assoRegistration and lunch begins at 11:30 ciation represents the interest of main a.m. with Shotgun Start at 1 p.m. Dinner street America, not Wall Street. Our follows play at 5:30 p.m. clients are composed of all ages, races, The cost is $100 per golfer or $360 sexes, religions, ethnicities, and economic for a foursome. Fees include lunch, dinstrata. In addition to providing continuing ner, prizes and one complementary education for our members, we actively greens fee at one of seven championship advocate for the interests of our clients in courses and more. Washington DC and Tallahassee.” Sponsorships and donations for The Epilepsy Services Foundation, a event bags or raffles also appreciated. non-profit, serves the needs of over Submit payments and registration to 16,000 children in a six country area surESF, 4628 North Armenia Ave., Tampa, rounding Tampa that are affected with FL 33603-2706, or online at http://epilepepilepsy. Unlike many other disabilities, For more informaepilepsy is invisible on the surface until a tion, call 374-8907.

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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 21

Page 22

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Fallen Oaks Farms In Valrico Offers Back To Nature Yoga Classes

By Kate Quesada

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, itself into a way of life verses a trend,” or call Shelley at said Shelley. “We are seeing people in 541-1111.

Volume 16, Issue 3

The GFWC Brandon Service League Is Excited To Hold Its Third Annual Spring Fashion Fling

By Kathy L. Collins

The GFWC The money that Brandon Service the non-profits League, a service receive is funded by organization that the Annual Holiday has been serving Home Tour which the greater takes place in Brandon area for December. The over 50 years, is 2017 Holiday Home hosting its Third Tour will be held on Annual Spring Saturday, December 9. The Fashion Fling on local non-profits Saturday, April 1 Celebrate with GFWC Brandon Service who will receive at 11:30 a.m. The League members, Glenda Thurow, Diane Burnett, Dianne Foerster and Candy Jackson, checks this year event will take as they support the greater Brandon communi- include the Boys & place at the ty at their upcoming Third Annual Spring Embassy Suites Girls Club of Fashion Fling on Saturday, April 1 at the Embassy Suites located at 10220 Palm River Brandon, The located at 10220 Rd. in Tampa. Palm River Rd. in Outreach Clinic, Tampa. The cost to attend is $35. ECHO, LifeCare of Brandon, New The afternoon festivities include a Horizon's Group Home and Brandon fashion show with fashions provided by Women's Resource Center. TMarie's Fashion & Gift Boutique, a deliSwanson said, "We choose to support these organizations because they cious lunch, a 50/50 drawing and opporsupport the community. Each of these tunity baskets. Bradlee Swanson, presiorganizations offer a vital service, and we dent of the GFWC Brandon Service want to help them help as many people in League said, “We are thrilled to be working with TMarie’s Fashion & Gift Boutique the greater Brandon area as possible.” for the fashion show. We love the idea of Swanson added, "The importance of partnering with a local company.” service organizations giving back to the This is also an opportunity for the local community cannot be overstated. club to honor their 2016 Holiday Home The help that we offer could be the differTour Charities and present checks to the ence between whether someone eats local non-profits. In addition, the club that day or gets medical attention or clothpresents three scholarships to deserving ing or shelter.” women. The scholarships include The You can get tickets to the Annual Claire and Reynolds Bryan Scholarship Spring Fashion Fling at TMarie's Fashion & Gift Boutique, located at 3407 Lithia for the Arts, The Pat and Lee Elam Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico or from any memScholarship for the Renaissance Woman and the Brandon Service League Women ber of the League. Visit in Education Scholarship.

March 2017

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 23

Page 24

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 3

See Inside For More News Section 2 of 3 March 2017

Volume 16, Issue 3


Dine Through Italy And Sicily With Tasty Suitcase Travel Tours

By Michelle Colesanti

When most people think of visiting deluxe the tour. Mark normal cities and towns. He enjoyed visItaly, the thought of good food is high on accommodahad recently iting the fishing villages, farms and green the list of reasons to visit this scenically tions, and first retired and houses. beautiful and highly cultured country. class restauthey had Cinzia plans to offer five or six trips Cinzia Cripe knows this first hand. Born in rants. another trip a year and will also expand to other Bergamo, a town in northern Italy, she Debora scheduled, but areas in Europe, including a trip to Paris. came to the U.S. in 1990, first settling with Felton, a really wanted The groups consist of at least 10 her husband in North Dakota. She has Sales to visit Sicily. people, but no more than 16. She also lived in Florida for the last 20 years, but Associate at “We were offers her services to private groups of returns annually to her homeland to visit Rolling Pin, friends with 10 or more, where the trips are cusfamily. traveled with Cinzia and tomized according to the requests of the As a chef, who owned her own Cinzia’s group very interested travelers. restaurant, Luna Rosa, when she first to Sicily in in the concept Her next tour will be to Sicily moved to the area, sharing her love of September of food, the from August 26 to September 5. The cooking comes naturally to her. She cur2016. “As a culture and the deadline to sign up for this tour is Modica is known as the capital of Sicilian chocolate. rently works as a chef at Rolling Pin Food USF Emporium, but her main love remains with combining cooking, travel and food. Cinzia started receiving requests from catering customers to bring groups to Italy. She loved the idea of sharing her culture and food with others, and has been Cooking Classes at the hotel are part of the Sicily tour. offering trips for the last year and a history so Wednesday, March 15. It will be followed One of the places visited on the Sicily tour. The dining room at the hotel in Sicily half. chose to go by another one to Sorrento and the used to be a chapel. She said, “I don’t want to do anything Humanities with her. We’d Amalfi Coast from September 9-17, with tourist related, my trips offer time visiting major with a Food Studies Certificate, I do it again in a heartbeat,” Kathy noted. a signup deadline of Monday, March 20. farms and wineries where you can give was given this trip as a gift from my brothShe was impressed with the welcoming For information on the tours, and time and attention to the flavors – to get er and friends so that I could experience spirit of the people. upcoming dates and deadlines, call the essence of the trip.” the influence of other cultures through the Mark thought Sicily was interesting 298-9538 or email Each tour offers sightseeing, cooking food. I fell in love with the country.” because it is a place of so many different Visit classes with Michelin Star Chefs, super Kathy and Mark Nixon were also on cultures from the Roman Coliseum to

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Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Remi’s Minis Gourmet Coffee and Donut Shop Is Set To Open In Winthrop Town Center

By Kathy L. Collins

Who doesn't like idea for a mini donut a good, tasty donut? and coffee shop If you are one of the when they were millions who cannot traveling in resist a donut, then California. Ben head over to Remi's explained, "We go Minis, Inc. located in out there a couple of Winthrop Town times a year and are Center in Riverview. always fascinated by Remi's Minis is the success of the owned and operated donut and food truck by long time industry. So, we Riverview residents, thought we would Ben and Christy give it a try, but with Chambless. our own twist." Ben Remi's Minis is added, "We decided Ben and Christy Chambless invite you to to find and outfit a not your ordinary, come and try their mini gourmet donuts run of the mill coffee and vintage Airstream hand crafted coffee beverages at their and donut shop. For new shop located in Winthrop Town Center travel trailer." in Riverview. one thing, it is The name, housed in a refurbished 1963 Airstream Remi's Minis, comes from the Travel Trailer- yeah the old silver bullets! Chambless' adopted dog, Remi. They Second, it is situated in a great commuadopted him from the Humane Society of nity, Winthrop Town Center in front of the Tampa Bay. Remi was found tied to a Art Factory at Winthrop Arts. tree and had been shot over 30 times in At Remi's Minis you can get a delithe head and face with a BB gun. Remi's cious vanilla cake donut topped with deli- loveable face is perfect for the logo. As a cious ingredients such as maple icing thanks to the Humane Society of Tampa with bacon, Nutella with fresh strawberBay, customers will be asked to round up ries and even toasted coconut and their order and the difference will be caramel. During holidays, seasonal donated each month. favorites will be offered. Remi's Minis will officially open in Remi's Minis will also serve locally late February. Remi's Minis will be open roasted Blind Tiger coffee. You can get Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to espresso based beverages such as latte, 6 p.m. They are located at 11267 brewed coffee and nitrogen-infused cold Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. brew. Ben and Christy plan to locally For more information, please visit source the majority of the ingredients or call 525-7282 and used. make sure to like them on Facebook at Ben and Christy came up with the Remi's Minis, Inc.

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March 2017

Page 27

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition



WITH FLORIDA YARD EXPERT Lynn Barber, Hillsborough County Extension Community Water Wise Awards Program The 2017 Community Water Wise Awards, sponsored by Tampa Bay Water, recognize individuals and businesses committed to conserving our water resources and protecting the environment by using Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) principles. There are nine FFL principles which include: right plant right place, water efficiently, fertilize appropriately, mulch, attract wildlife, manage yard pests responsibly, recycle, reduce stormwater runoff and protect the waterfront. Many of these principles are used as part of the landscape evaluation process for this award program. The retention of existing trees and vegetation is evaluated, as are landscape design, utilization of mulch and plant selection. Stormwater runoff prevention and efficient irrigation techniques are reviewed, including rain gardens, rainwater harvesting and functioning rain sensor devices. Winning landscapes balance attractive designs with plants, landscape elements and water efficient irrigation techniques that have a positive impact on our environment.

You can view photographs of past winners at and watch a short video which includes several of them. The deadline for entries is June 30, so you can complete an application now, submit it and get a head start on the 2017 contest. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete the application and submit on-line to Attaching a photo or two is helpful. On-site landscape evaluations will be scheduled and conducted in May and early June with homeowners and business owners present. Winning entries will receive a handmade mosaic stepping stone for homeowners or a plaque option for businesses. If you have questions regarding the Community Water Wise Award program, please contact me at 744-5519 x 54105. For more information about the nine principles of the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program or for assistance with gardening-related questions, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County at 744-5519, visit our website at: for upcoming workshops.

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Jaguar F-PACE – THIS CAT IS A THRILLER OF A RIDE A pergrandiose formance cabin is a hidcrossover den shifter from Jaguar? dial that You bet! The majestically all-new Fpops out from Pace S, a a center consupercharged sole nook into growler, can the palm of take off from your hand. 0 to 60 mph With the Fin 5.1 secPace, Jaguar F-PACE (S) onds with a top has introduced speed of 155 mph. InControl Touch Tires: 255/50R20 Under the Pro for audio, naviWheelbase: 113.2 inches hood of this nippy gation and phone Length: 186.3 inches cat resides a 3.0readings that Weight: 4,015 pounds liter V-6 engine appear on a 10.2Fuel capacity: 16.6 gallons blasting off 380 inch tablet-style City: 18 mpg horsepower @ screen. The 12.36500 rpm and 332 inch instrument Highway: 23 mpg pounds-feet of Web site: cluster houses a torque @ 4500 large centered rpm. It is mated to analog speedomean impeccable 8-speed automatic transter. Other standard comforts are 14-way mission, which also can be shifted via power front heated/cooled seats, electricsteering wheel-mounted paddles. A dourecline rear seats, power tilt-and-telescopble wishbone front and integral link rear ic steering column and panoramic roof, suspension with Adaptive Dynamics rear power sunshade and an astonishing active damping improves balance, han825-watt Meridian sound system. dling and grip by automatically adjusting Safety features include dual front and firmness. Apart from normal and eco side airbags, side curtain airbag, fourdrives, you can pick dynamic (for a sporty wheel antilock brakes with Electronic feel) and Adaptive Surface Response (for Brake Distribution, dynamic stability and dealing with slippery conditions during electronic traction control, active frontwinter). It helps that the lighter electrohead restraints, lane keep assist, mechanical power steering is eager to rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring change directions when you turn the system and daytime running lights. And wheel. then there is Torque Vectoring by braking, Ensconced on the light aluminum which maximizes control through even structure of the performance-oriented the tightest corners. SUV is an intimidating and upright front The thriller-of-a-ride displays remarkmesh grille, flanked by slender but striking able agility, briskness and response rarely LEDs, muscular hood, short overhang found in five-seater crossovers. Throw in and a sleek roofline. The S badge on the a cabin packed with tech- and luxuryrear trunk lid is a giveaway that this is no laden goodies and you have a perfectlyordinary Jag. Press the start button/stop rounded SUV. Fully loaded at $65,745. button and enjoy the sound as the engine Jaquar of Tampa is located at 320 E. purrs to life. Lending credence to the Fletcher Ave. in Tampa.

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Page 28

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Allegria Italiana Offers Authentic Family Recipes In Welcoming Location 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,


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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

Why could you use up to $2,500 in free painting! Send us your story and a photo. 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, or call 651-1166.

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March 2017

Page 29

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

ette, v r o C w e Win A N Litem Seeks ad Guardian rs & More… santi, Voluntee elle Cole h d by Mic m Compile s o @ e ll e mich

St. Patrick’s Day Social At Brandon Community Center

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 Community Center located at 502 E. Sadie St. This event is free. For more information or to RSVP (by Thursday, March 9), please call 734-4806 and ask for Maria or call Linda at 6620255.

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2017 Corvette Grand Sport Raffle

You could own a brand new Corvette Grand Sport for as little as $5. The red Corvette Grand Sport will be raffled off on Sunday, March 12 at 5 p.m. at Stingray Chevrolet's vehicle display on the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds. This 2017 model, valued at about $70,000, includes the following features: Tickets for the drawing are $5 each and are available for purchase through March 12 at and at the Stingray Chevrolet dealership located off exit 22 on I-4 in Plant City.

Tickets can also be purchased all 11 days of the Florida Strawberry Festival at Stingray Chevrolet's vehicle display on the event grounds. This opportunity is made possible by Steve and Susan Hurley of Stingray Chevrolet, who have donated a vehicle for this raffle for the past eight years. All proceeds from the raffle benefit Unity in the Community, a Plant City organization that contributes to local youth organizations and other groups who provide assistance to underprivileged families.

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

(16-year-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, application and letters of recommendation, academic record (transcript), essay response, and panel interview participation. Application materials can be downloaded at 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.

Guardian ad Litem Program Seeks Volunteers

Hundreds of Child Advocates are urgently needed for abused and neglected children. These children need a caring person to stand up and be their ‘voice’ in the courtroom and to advocate for them in the child welfare system. As a child advocate, the Guardian ad Litem visits the child/children every month, becomes familiar with the circumstances regarding the family, and makes recommendations to the court to help ensure the child/children remain in a safe and stable environment. Attend an information session: Thursday, March 2 at 3:30 p.m. at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, 330 Pauls Dr., Ste. 100 in Brandon and Thursday, March 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

For more information, call 2725110 or visit

“Now Hear This Entertainment” Podcast Hits Three Year Mark

The weekly “Now Hear This Entertainment” (NHTE) podcast hit its three-year anniversary on February 17. “This is another great milestone for NHTE,” said show host Bruce Wawrzyniak. “There have been so many highlights over these first three years and I maintain my enthusiasm for the show’s continued growth and success.” The podcast has been delivered on-time, every Wednesday, to the tune of 158 episodes as of February 15. It is available for free at as well as on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, and TuneIn Radio, among other platforms, the show has gotten listeners from 125 countries, spanning all five regions of the world (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania). The show is typically recorded each week at Crystal Blue Sound Studios in Dover.

Community Prayer Vigil For Queena And Her Family

The family of the Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor, Queena, is requesting the presence of the community on Sunday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m. at the Multi Purpose Center at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. With the power of prayer and the continued support from the community, it will help carry the family through this difficult time. On March 9, the man convicted of Queena's attack could have his sentence changed as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding cases of juvenile offenders. Morris was sentenced to 65 years, but a U.S. Supreme Court decision now says sentencing juveniles to life or lengthy prison times can be cruel and unusual. On February 9, both sides presented their arguments.The Judge did not deliver his sentence that day as anticipated. On March 9, he will deliver his written sentence after having time to consider all things. This new sentence could result in less time or more time in prison. Visit to learn more about her incredible journey and to donate to her fund.

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pport u S s ’ n o s Parkin Club Seeks oin Group, C , Wild Game Members More… Night & e Colesanti, hell d by Mic m Compile s o @ e michell

Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly support group for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and caregivers on the third Thursday of every month. The next meeting is March 16. Physical, speech and occupational therapists will discuss treatment for issues related to balance, swallowing, talking and other skills that can be affected by Parkinson’s Disease. Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 West Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in their assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases. The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. To register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Brandon Coin Club meets the third Tuesday of every month at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, located at 331 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, Room 421 in the Disciple Hall. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. Conversation starts at 6:30 p.m. After the meeting, an auction is held for all ages. The next meeting will take place on March 21. Call 719-5192.

SWAT Presents Check To Women’s Resource Center At the Annual “Boots and Bling” Celebration for SWAT Networking at IMG Golf Club in January, CEO, Dr.

Robyn Spirtas and SWAT Executive Director, Deb Gerard presented a check to attendee, Ashely Brown, the CEO of the Women’s Resource Center for close to

$3000. SWAT Networking always gives to a charity but it was a special connection to give to another organization that supports women’s successes. SWAT, Successful Women Aligning Together is a unique women’s net-

The Brandon Newcomers Club meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at the Brandon Community Center on Sadie Street at 9:30 am. This month it will be on March 15. All women are welcome (either long time residents or new to the community). Many interesting activities are offered...Arts & Crafts; Bridge; Bunco; Dominoes; Flick Chicks; Girl's Night Out; Hand & Foot; and Out and About and more. Each meeting is entertaining and informative. On Wednesday, March 27 at 9 a.m. will be FUN AND GAMES. Enjoy coffee from 9-9:30 a.m. Dr. Robyn Spirtas and SWAT Executive Director, Deb Gerard presand then you can ents a check to attendee, Ashely Brown, the CEO of the Women’s play a game of your Resource Center for close to $3000. choice - Bridge, Dominoes or Hand and Bunco, working organization of 300 profesfrom 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch will sional women. then be served and prizes given out. The Brandon/Riverview chapter Sign up by first week in March. For meets the second Thursday of each more information, call Re at 643-3281. month at the Italian Kitchen Grill &

Brandon Coin Club Seeks New Members

Café, located at 6915 US Highway 301 S in Riverview. The next meeting will take place on March 9 at 11:45 a.m. Guests are always welcome. For more information, call 941-799-1766 or visit

Casino Night To Benefit Tampa Crossroads Athena House

Bets for Vets Casino Night will take place on Friday, March 10 from 69 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.

Newcomers March Events

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rt the dai tors inn is Cool! te.wrhem re Clea ..

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

41st Annual Wild Game Night

The 41st Annual Wild Game Night sponsored by the Rotary Club of Brandon will take place on Friday, March 3 at 6 p.m. at Lupton’s Boggy Bottom Ranch, located at 8407 Lupton Pl. in Plant City. This is a stag event. The cost is $100 donation and includes wild game buffet dinner, open

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Bootleggers BrewworX, Brandon’s only Brewery where you can enjoy craft beer and learn to brew it yourself, invites you to celebrate and participate in this year’s Tampa Bay Beer Week during the first full week of March. Local brewers, distributors, and vendors celebrate beer. This year, why not brew your own? Before local musicians begin to play and the food truck rallies the food on Sunday, March 5 from 12 Noon-9 p.m., right outside Bootleggers BrewworX, you can get a jump on the hops by creating your own mix under the tutelage of the staff. Be sure to call ahead and reserve your brewing slot. The brew pub also will host the International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day on Wednesday, March 8. After home brewing beer together for more than 12 years, Valrico neighbors and friends, Mike Pitts and Shaun Goeckner, bought Bootleggers Brewworx in 2015. Last summer the duo added a pub to Brandon’s only brewery, featuring 30 taps and creating what might be a first for the Tampa Bay Area, a public place to make beer and drink beer under the same roof. Pitts is an airline pilot and Goeckner, who owns a tech firm, is a self-described beer geek, who can steep, mash and sparge some mean hops. Bootleggers Brewworx is located at 650 Oakfield Dr. Call 643-9463 or visit

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March 2017

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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

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

Staff Report

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 or call 571-8100.

Christian Music Artist Francesca Battistelli Will Perform At Bell Shoals Church Contemporary Christian music artist Francesca Battistelli will perform with the Bell Shoals’ Worship Choir on Friday, April 28 at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. to the church’s state-of-the-art lighting and sound venue. Attendees can expect Battistelli to sing her chart-topping Christian songs as well as a few of her favorite Broadway tunes. Tickets are available at ranging from $14.50 per person for main floor seating to $68 per person for the Artist Circle seating, which includes a meet and greet. Due to the popularity of the mainstream artist, tickets are expected to sell out quickly. Battistelli partnered with True North Presents, an agency assembling accomplished musicians with capable church music ministries across the nation. The musicianship exhibited at these events dazzle audiences with a matchless and rewarding listening experience. Battistelli was born into a musical family in New York City, but was raised in Florida. At age 15, she was a member of the pop music group Bella, based out of Orlando. After the pop group dissolved, Battistelli moved on as a singer-songwriter and into the

By Amanda Boston

realm of Christian music. The singer has released four Christian albums spanning a 10-year period with each album echoing different stages of her life. Since her first album release in 2004, the musician has transitioned from a teen to a mother of three. Battistelli is a recipient of six GMA Dove Awards and four Grammy nominations. In 2016, she won a Grammy and said, “I am so honored and humbled to have been recognized with a Grammy award for Holy Spirit, a song that has meant so much to me.” For additional information on the artist, please visit her Website at For questions regarding the concert, please contact True North Presents at or call 615-775-1088. You may also visit its Website at The concert venue is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon.


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Newsome, Bloomingdale Face Off in Early Season Conference Bout

By Tamas Mondonvics

The Newsome High School Lady Wolves lacrosse team led by program head coach Chris Crusey, is off to a strong start.

The high spirited Bloomingdale High School Lady Bulls lacrosse team, led by program head coach Sarah Ginn, gathered for a photo just moments prior to hosting district rival Newsome.

Area high school boys On the boys’ side of the and girls lacrosse programs aisle, the night played out begin their fourth season as much the same, with an official Florida High Newsome’s 18-6 win. School Athletic Association While the result was a (FHSAA) sport. clear testimony to the proIn a single Class standgram’s strength, Newsome is ing, teams assigned to not without flaw, something District 14, includes that Blackburn was ready to Newsome, Bloomingdale, admit. Durant, All Saints’ Academy “We had a strong win but and Tampa Bay Tech. played a little sloppy tonight,” Ready to face off its he said. conference rival, Trailing behind nearly a Bloomingdale welcomed dozen goals by halftime, Newsome for a pair of Bulls head coach Matt games at Charley Harris staBorowski reminded his playdium, both of which revealed Lady Bulls Kelsey Penn and Lady Wolves Katie Ward ers that while as a team they battles for the ball during a recent district game. the need for the host team are getting better, there is a to tighten the belt. iors, Maya Usher and Paris need to work harder, move Newsome’s strength was unques- Broussard along with sophomore faster, and improve on oneNewsome Wolves Cameron Kitchiner controls the attack tionable, as both of its boy and girl attacker Grace Hobson. during a conference game against Bloomingdale. on-one defense. teams led by coaches Eric Facing its much stronger oppo“We have to practice what so high spirit. They just love the Blackcburn, and Chris Crusey nent, the Bloomingdale Lady Bulls led we need to work on,” Borowski said. game.” respectively dominated the competiby program head coach, Sarah Ginn, The 2016-2017 regular season Proud of the her team’s passion tion right from the start. had to contend with a tough 10-1 will run until the end of March. Teams for the sport, Ginn spoke highly of “We are off to a great start,” loss, but played all four quarters of will face off again at the district toursenior team captains Jessica Kelley, Crusey said, adding that his now the game with so much heart that it nament to advance to region and Jessica Jenkins and Kara West, while well-balanced defending district was a delight to watch. state games. For more information also mentioned a pair of talented champion team lost a number of sen“We have a lot to work on and about the season, please visit freshmen, Kelsey Penn and Brianna iors, but is ready for the 2016-2017 grow, but we will pull through this Demeno. season with a full roster led by senseason,” Ginn said. “These girls are

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Story by Tamas Mondovics

LeBarre Becomes Newsome’s First Hillsborough County Wrestling Champion

Newsome Girls Soccer Welcomes Oviedo For Class 5A State Semifinal

Newsome High School senior wrestler Joe LeBarre, center, is joined by program Head Coach Stephen Gilbert and Assistant Coach, Chandler Dobler after winning the Hillsborough County Wrestling Championship. To earn the title, LeBarre defeated Brandon Eagles’ Noah Ridley in the 145 lbs. weight class.

Newsome High School senior, Joe LeBarre cannot complain too much about his wrestling record, which is filled with dozens of victories. Winning, of course is always sweet, but when it sets a new precedent it is even better. For the first time in his wrestling career, LeBarre won the Hillsborough County championship, which thanks to his commitment, hard work, dedication and obvious talent, is also the first county wrestling title for his school. “I am very proud of my accomplishment of becoming a county champion because I have worked very hard over the years,” LeBarre said, adding, “It is also cool to be the first Newsome wrestler to win a county championship.” To sweeten the deal, LeBarre secured the championship victory by defeating Brandon High School Eagles’ Noah Ridley in the 145 lbs. weight class. “Ridley is a tough competitor to whom I lost earlier in the season, so this victory meant a lot,” he said. Also proud of her son’s accomplishments is Kelly LeBarre who mentioned that Joey is not the first in the family to make a name for himself on the mat, and whose success has a lot to do with his older brother Thomas, also a former Newsome wrestler. “Following in his big brother’s footsteps, Joe traded in his baseball

gear at age 12 when he realized that wrestling is more than just a team sport,” Kelly said. “Those who wrestle understand that individual success has no limitations.” Aside from his regular season wins, Joey’s long road to the county title included several previous close calls. Since securing his rightful place as a freshman on the Newsome varsity team, Joey has won 169 high school matches and place third, fourth and second during the Hillsborough County championships for the past three years respectively. Joey’s district record for the same time period included placing second and fourth as well as last year’s district title victory. Joey is currently ranked No.6 in the state, reached the regional qualifier in the past three consecutive years and was also last season’s state qualifier. Newsome’s Head Coach, Stephen Gilbert and Assistant Coach, Chandler Dobler both look forward to Joe competing for a state championship scheduled for the first week of March. True to his goals of following in his brother’s footsteps Joey said, “I have always wanted to join the military so I plan to enlist in the United States Army after I graduate in May. For more information about Newsome athletics, please visit,

Photo By Tamas Mondovics

Chased by Oviedo Lions junior midfielder Madison Allen, Newsome sophomore Grace Ward controls the ball during the first half of the Class 5A state semifinal game. While sporting one of its best seasons in school history, the Lady Wolves’ quest for the state title ended with a 3-0 loss against the Lions.

Reaching the state semifinals, the 2016-2017 season was arguably one of best for the Newsome High School girls soccer program. Sporting a lineup of players which has also formed the team that reached this point for the second time in a row, and is considered by many as one of the best in school history, the Lady Wolves posted a 20-1-3 season. Unfortunately, the Wolves quest for the coveted state tile was halted by defending state champion, Oviedo Lions (21-0-1) after a tough 3-0 loss. Newsome head coach Kelly Townsend told reporters the fact that the team’s only loss all season came during the state semifinals, not to mention playing the defending champs, “We have a lot to be proud of.” With the first goal in the third minute, Oviedo turned on the heat right from the start. Rattling Newsome’s defense, the Lions pushed even harder scoring the game’s second goal just three minutes later. Shaken by the sudden disadvantage at such a pivotal game,

Newsome needed a break that didn't come. Instead another shock in a form of another Lions header found its way in the back of the Wolves net in the 33rd minute, which sealed the game, effectively ending Newsome’s otherwise awesome season. With Newsome behind it, Oviedo moved on to defeat Boca Raton 3-1 and to win its second state championship in a row, preserving its No.1 state ranking while moving its national ranking to No.2. As has been the case in years past, Newsome is by no means done. Although losing a number of key senior players this year including Addison Ura, Madison Rowe and Lauren Evans, Coach Townsend is committed to returning to lead the program on its quest for the title with a talented team. Among Newsome’s standouts this year was sophomore Sophie Shrader, who scored 36 goals in 24 games and managed to tie the single-season school record set last year by Lindsey Eaton. For more information, please visit or

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Volume 16, Issue 3

March 2017

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 35

Dukes of Hazard John Schneider Signs On G. Fried Flooring America Remains Local Treasure, With Temp Showroom Move 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 or contact Daniel Bernard at 727-421-4132. Visit for latest news updates.

By Michelle Caceres

G. Fried sands of colors and Flooring patterns, exotic and America’s showdomestic hardroom and warewoods, intricately house have been patterned tile, parked smack durable laminate dab in between flooring, sheet vinyl Brandon Honda and vinyl tile. More and Ferman than a flooring speChevrolet on E. cialty store, G. Fried Adamo Dr. for Flooring America’s more than 17 experts are trained years. President in flooring sales and Rufus Ashby design to guarantee never planned a unique level of on moving from personal service. G. Fried Flooring America president Rufus the prime locaFlooring delivery Ashby said his showroom is moving to a tion but fate and installation are temporary location in the Kmart Shopping always has a Center on W. Brandon Blvd. until a permanent also available. location can be found. way of changing “We underthe best laid plans. stand how difficult it can be to find just the The building was sold and in January right flooring and we are here to help,” he learned that his lease was not renewed. said. Ashby had to be out by February 28. G. Fried professionals helped “It’s been such a unique situation to FishHawk Ranch resident Rick Ramirez have the showroom and warehouse next select and install wood flooring last year to each other,” said Ashby. after water damaged the 1,800 sq. ft. first His realtor scoured the available floor of his home. options. A permanent warehouse and “I had used G. Fried Flooring office space was located on Madison America in the past and knew that I could Ave. between Highways 301 and 41. The trust them with this large project,” he said. retail location has proved trickier. “They were very professional, clean and I Until a permanent location is found, was extremely satisfied with the finished the store is moving to a temporary home, product.” a 10,000 sq. ft. space located in the G. Fried Flooring America is open Kmart Shopping Center located at 1516 Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., W. Brandon Blvd. Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday Ashby said even though the location 12 Noon – 4 p.m. is temporary, it will showcase a diverse For more information, visit selection of luxurious carpets in or call 628-9630.

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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

The Florida Orchestra Goes From Concert Hall To Racetrack By Kelly Smith

Even die-hard Director Michael spring breakers need a Francis. refuge from the beach. Mahler’s The Florida Orchestra Resurrection Symphony (Friday offers a variety of cool to Sunday, March ways to add in some music, from the concert 17-19): This will hall to the racetrack. make spring break And what would spring epic for sure. More break be without Happy than 250 people Hour? The largest properform Mahler’s fessional orchestra in emotional Spanish classical guitarist Cañizares Florida has it all, with Symphony No. 2, will perform in The Dali Experience concerts in Tampa, St. Resurrection, featurfrom March 3-5. Petersburg and Clearwater. ing the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, The Dalí Experience (Friday to under the baton of Michael Francis conSunday, March 3-5) Make your visit to St. ducts. Petersburg’s Salvador Dali Museum comHappy Hour Concert (Thursday, plete with a concert dedicated to music March 23): Tired of the crazy spring break that inspired one of the greatest artists of traffic jam? Let the music move you the 20th century. It’s a surreal night for instead. Have happy hour with The your senses, with Spanish classical guiFlorida Orchestra at the Straz Center in tarist Cañizares, dancers and artwork. Tampa. Start with free drinks from Stella Music Director Michael Francis conducts. Artois and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, along Kids 5-18 get in free to this and all Tampa with appetizers, before an hour-long conBay Times Masterworks concerts. cert. Linger afterward to meet TFO musiFree Concert at Sebring International cians. This is the final concert in the Raceway (Saturday, March 11): Spring series: Scheherazade, with Maestro break will be going full tilt with The Florida Francis as your guide. Doors and bars Orchestra’s first-ever concert at Sebring open at 5:30 p.m. It is $35 general admission and is presented by Smith & International Raceway to kick off the Associates Real Estate. track’s biggest race week of the year, the Masterworks and Pops tickets are 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of $15, $30 and $45 at Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. or 727-892-3337 and 1-800-662-7286. The free, speed-themed concert features music from Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost The orchestra regularly performs at the Ark, William Tell Overture, Mendelssohn’s Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Symphony No. 4 and Flight of the Clearwater. Bumblebee, all conducted by Music

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Volume 16, Issue 3

March 2017

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Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

Stem Fair Showcases Local Students, Finalists Announced For Awards & More Team. According to school officials Instructional Support Employee of the Year Finalists the students were selected for their • Nancy Alexander, Wimauma Elementary School The 2017 Hillsborough Regional academic achievement, leadership • Terranique Ragins, Franklin Boys Preparatory Science, Technology, Engineering School service to their community. and and Math (STEM) Fair, the largest in • Roma Soogrim-EsteMcDonald, Muller Elementary HCC’s eight students, who the Southeast concluded last month Magnet School were among 127 students selected with two awards ceremonies at the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Finalists from across the state to receive the Tampa Convention Center honoring • Olivia Williams Holcombe, Colson Elementary honor, included: Abdoulaye Ba, • Aaron Lee Berry, Alonso High School the outstanding work of many local Melissa De La Cruz, Nicole • Pedro Castrejon, Jefferson High School talent. Teacher of the Year Finalists Imane Malih, Emily Otten, Liberato, The competition saw more than • Carrie D. Donatelli, Turner Bartels K- 8 Abigayle Renk, Allen Rogers and 2,100 students from all grade levels • Katerina M. Pawloski, Tinker K-8 Lance Wood. who have displayed 1,700 projects in • Lauren Schnebly Hackworth, Mitchell Elementary Selecting the small group of School three divisions, to be reviewed by 600 is particularly noteworthy students • Maria Torres-Crosby, Memorial Middle School judges. • Elizabeth Walker, Spoto High School considering the fact that “This is not a single day event. • Cathelyn Gregoire, Armwood High School Hillsborough Community College Students have spent months or even serves more than 45,000 students STEM and strategies for success in the years working on their projects,” said on five campuses across the annually State of Florida Science and Engineering Larry Plank, director for K-12 Science, region. Fair to be held later in March. Technology, Engineering and HCC campuses located Brandon, “We thank our sponsors, particularly Mathematics Education. and Ruskin, Plant City, Ybor City as well Bristol-Myers Squibb, Stantec, and Some of the area elementary school as on Dale Mabry Hwy. in Tampa, TECO, as well as the nearly 600 judges winners included Bevis student Arnav Hillsborough Community College is assisted this week during our three who Chavda who received the Urban E by the Commission on accredited days at the Tampa Convention Center,” Recycling Excellence Award for his projColleges of the Southern Association of said. Plank ect; Recycle The Rays. Colleges and Schools. For more information about STEM The Busch Gardens Award went to Each student who has earned the Brooker Elementary student Sienna Ryan education in Hillsborough County please to be selected was first nominated honor visit for her project: Oil Slick, while the Great by his or her respective college to the AllExplorations Award went to Apollo Beach Academic Team competition sponUSA HCC Students Selected To The 2017 Elementary student, Gavin Smoak for his sored by USA Today and the Phi Theta All-Florida Academic Team project; It's Shake'n Time! Kappa International Honor Society. Middle and high school winners are Hillsborough Community College To recognize the students’ outstandscheduled to be hosted by Bristol-Myers (HCC) was pleased to announce last ing achievements the All-Florida Squibb for a day of learning with scientists month that eight of its students had been Academic Team Awards ceremony is and engineers focused upon careers in selected to the 2017 All-Florida Academic hosted by The Florida College System on Friday, April 7, 2017, in Tallahassee, Florida. For more information about AFAT, please visit

Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair Showcases Local Students        

Finalists For Excellence In Education Awards:

HCPS Schools Recognized As Five Star Schools

HCPS officials were pleased to announce that more than 90 of the schools within the district have earned the Five Star School Award for the 2015-16

school year by the Florida Department of Education. Statewide nearly 700 schools were recognized. Some of the local elementary schools on the list recognized included Cimino, Lithia Springs, Pinecrest, Brooker and Valrico, just to name a few. Florida’s Education Commissioner, Pam Stewart, said that the involvement of the community and family are critical to the success of students. “I am grateful for the parents, caregivers and community members who invest their time in our state’s schools,” Stewart said. To gain the Five-Star School recognition, a school must show achievement in all of benchmark areas as well as in five specific categories, including volunteerism and family involvement. The school must also receive a grade of a “C” or better, or a satisfactory improvement rating for the year being recognized.

2017 Excellence In Education Awards Finalists Enjoy Spotlight

Hillsborough County Public Schools officials posted last month the names of twelve finalists of the 2017 Excellence in Education Awards. Each year, all area schools nominate the top candidates for three categories, including, the Ida S. baker Diversity Educator of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the year and Teacher of the Year. The finalists were notified of the news in surprise visits earlier this month at their school and were joined by Superintendent Eakins, School Board members, Hillsborough Education Foundation, sponsors and school district staff. The winners were announced during the annual Awards ceremony on Tuesday, February 28 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

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Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Teen s t s o H t c Impa itions, Aud s Open ster Toastma& ore… M e s u Ho lesanti, helle Co d by Mic m Compile s o @ e ll miche

Spirited Toastmasters Open House

Spirited Toastmasters meets on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at 7 p.m. at Saint Stephen School, 10424 St Stephen Cir, in Riverview. Anyone can drop in to see how Toastmasters can help improve your speaking and leadership skills in a friendly and supporting environment. Visitors are welcome to attend Spirited Toastmasters’ Open House on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. More information can be found at

with and values towards Israel and the Middle East. March 14, 7:30 pm. Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. Call 681-6547 for more information.

Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon Will Make You Smile

The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection March luncheon “Irish Eyes are Smiling” welcomes all ladies. on Monday, March 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will take place in Bell Shoals Baptist Church Special Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. Luncheon and entertainment cost $15. First time guests pay $10. No membership is required for this nondenominational event, but a reservation due to limited seating is requested by Friday, March

Upcoming Events At Congregation Beth Shalom

Shabbat services take place on Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. Oneg (nosh and mingle) follows services. All are welcome. Purim Spiel - Sunday, March 12. We will shake our ‘groogers’ as we retell the story of Queen Esther, the Jews and our foe, Haman. All are welcome to this family-friendly event. Call the office for exact time. Life Learn Israel iengage Rabbi Torop will present another fascinating session as we continue to gain insight into our relationship



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Family Reunion For Will Take Place At Rugged Cross Youth Ranch

Come out for some inspirational country music on as summer staff for Teen Friday, March 17 at 7 Earn Bright Futures for participating IMPACT p.m. at Rugged Cross Youth Ranch, located at 21 Corbett healthy relationships and a positive future by saying no to premarital sex, drugs, Rd. in Lithia. tobacco and alcohol. The concert will featuring Mike Holmes, Nashville recording artist Jayc Teen Impact Accepting Applications Harold, Country Music Hall of Fame Richard Kiser, Travis Lewis, Jack Cooper, For Summer Staff David Speagle, Paul Bovee, Dan Join the Teen IMPACT Presentation Sullivan, Comedian Juanita Lolita, God's Team where you will learn and present Company and K'lyn. For more informaeducational skits on the benefits of tion, call 967-3046. healthy relationships. Students may earn Bright Futures Hours for participation. Impact Hosts Auditions For Impact’s Applications are available at Got Talent Application deadline if Friday, March 31. The third annual Impact’s Got Talent Teen IMPACT is a group of high school 2017 will be held on Friday, May 5 at 6:30 teens committed to saying YES to healthy p.m. at Bloomingdale High School. relationships and a positive future by sayKrades K-12 are encouraged to audiing NO to premarital sex, drugs, tobacco tion for this fun-filled event. Singers, and alcohol. dancers, musicians, theater, soloist, groups are all welcome. The grand prize is $250. Trophies will be awarded to 1st & Whistle Stop Crop Scrapbooking Event 2nd place in each category as well as prizes for certain awards. Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church Acts must be three minutes or under is hosting its Whistle Stop Crop on and you must audition with the act you Friday, March 31 from 6:30 p.m.-10 would be performing the night of the p.m. and Saturday, April 1 from 9 event. You may audition a cappella or a.m.- 4 p.m. Registration fees include with a track. Contestants selected for the workspace and for Friday dinner at event will be asked to pay a registration 6:30 p.m. and snacks. For Saturday, fee of $15 per person (solos & duets), a light breakfast, lunch and a dessert $10 each person for groups of three or buffet. You must bring your own supmore to help offset the cost of trophies plies. Registration fees for both days and prizes. Auditions will take place on is $55 (Friday only $25, Saturday only Sunday, March 26 at 1 p.m. $30); Early registration (by March 24) Visit or contact is $45. Proceeds from this event will Ali Kagey at 454-9125 benefit Holy Innocents summer misor for an sion trips. It will be held at Holy appointment time. Innocents Episcopal Church, 604 N. Teen IMPACT is a group of high Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Register at school teens committed to saying YES to Call 689-3130.

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March 2017

Page 39

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

The Creative Artist Gallery Welcomes Artists And The Community

By Kathy L. Collins

The happens at the Creative Artist Creative Artist Gallery Gallery, Martin Located at 933 has regular art E. Brandon exhibits. The Blvd. in current show is Brandon is a called “For the unique art Love of Art.” gallery. Artists were Vanessa given the Martin, a phoopportunity to The Creative Artist Gallery in Brandon offers a tographer, is show artwork the owner and unique space for artists to show their work. The cur- which shows rent exhibit, “For the Love of Art” is available until opened the subjects about March 6. gallery last which they are April. Martin offers a space that is dedi- passionate. The show is up until March cated to new artists in the community. 6. The next show will be “Mardi Gras” It is a space where artists can exhibit and will feature artwork that celebrates their work in a lovely gallery setting. the artist’s take on the fun of Mardi In the time that the Creative Artist Gras. This show opens on March 10. Gallery has been open, Martin has In addition to partnering with been busy putting on shows and partorganizations and hosting art exhibits, nering with organizations such as the Martin has started a magazine called, Arts Therapy Program at the James A. The Creative Artist. Martin said, “I startHaley VA Hospital. Martin said, ed the magazine as another way to “Meeting the people that run the Arts market some of the artists that come Therapy program has been the highthrough the gallery. For new artists that light so far. Being able to give these are not known, it gives them a way to veterans a place to show their art has share their story and work with peoreally been awarding. Also, being able ple.” The magazine includes an Around to help them financially, even it is a Town section which features places small amount, is very rewarding. I am that show art work and inspire artists. happy to be able to raise awareness Artists can participate by submitabout the program as well.” ting art which can be chosen as the Since opening, Martin has also cover art. Martin said, “It is free to been able to give many artists a space enter and is another great way to marto show their work and share their ket an artist’s artwork.” The Creative expertise through teaching the next Artist can be found online at Magcloud generation of artists. or through www.thecreativeartistAs artists are the center of all that

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Page 40

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 2

The Masonic Park & Youth Camp, where this event is being held, consists of 2O4 acres of wilderness sitting directly on the Little Manatee River. The park is managed and owned by the 17 Masonic Lodges in Hillsborough County. The Masons have been giving back to the youth for years. To register online, visit or call (352) 588-4597.

various model trains, hobbies collectibles, and die-cast cars, trading cards memorable and o much more. There lle C y Miche b d e il will be a running p ve Com reyobser p s o @ e train layout. Bring michell your children to the show. Have a chance to enter a drawing to win a gift certificate to Spring Fling At Alafia Elementary an upcoming School show. Alafia Elementary is hosting its Breakfast and annual Spring Fling on Friday, March lunch will be sold. On Wednesday, February 22, the Newsome National Technical Honor 3 from 4-7:30 p.m. Enjoy carnival Help Sprocket Live A Admission is Society held an annual induction ceremony to congratulate the inductees on their achievements. games and prizes, inflatables, an Normal Life $5 for adults. obstacle course, a bottle flipping conKids12 & under Sprocket is a 2 year old Strawberry Ridge Clubhouse, 3419 test, a basket auction in support of free. Credit Cards accepted. are male rescued by Cat Call. He kept State Road 60 East, Valrico; and Relay for Life, and more. The food If interested of becoming a vendeveloping sinus infections, unconThursday May 4, 7 p.m. at United truck lineup includes: Kona Ice call Joe at 727-244-1341. dor, trolled sneezing, upper respiratory Methodist Church of Sun City Center, of Valrico, The Revolution Ice Cream Visit infections as well as weight loss. He 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W., Sun City Company, Boom Boom was taken to a Specialist, where it Center. Box, Merica Food Truck, Krepelicious, was discovered he has a back upper A $5 suggested donation asked at Help For Quitting Tobacco Brooklyn Joe’s Italian jaw Cleft Quitting Tobacco isn’t easy. the door. Reservations are not Ice, and Craving Palate, very Finding help should be. Tobacco Free required for any concerts. Donuts. hard to EHCB is a full-sized concert band Florida offers free tools and services The event is open see. As he to help you get started. Free that has been entertaining the Tampa to the public, chews, Community worksite and clinic groups Bay area since 2009. For more inforwith wristbands sold at excess food will be offered with programs covering mation about the band, the door - $10 for the goes into all forms of tobacco. Free Nicotine email, first band, $5 each his sinus replacement patches, gum and visit or call 569-1771. additional and allow and nasal lozenges will be available, while supfor unlimited access to cavity causToy Train, Collectible And Hobby plies last and if medically appropriate. games and ing him to Locally, classes will be available on Show/Sale inflatables. sneeze out Monday, March 20 and Monday, April Come out to the Toy Train, Alafia Elementary food which 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Oakfield Collectible and Hobby Show/Sale on will also be celebrating results in Plaza, 276 S. Moon Ave., Medical Saturday, March 4 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. our community heroes constant Ste. 260 in Brandon. at the Hillsborough County – a fire engine, a K-9 infections. Pre-registration is required by Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Rd. unit and handler, and How he calling 974-7889 or visit ahectobacin Dover. Sprocket is in need of surgery to a military static display Two year old managed to help him live a normal life. Vendors will be on hand selling will be present. survived alone outside was a surprise to the Little Manatee River Mud vet. He is in need of surgery to corEndeavor Run rect this condition in order to live a On Saturday, March 25, Mud normal life. We are a very small resEndeavor travels down to the Little cue and need help raising funds for Manatee River for a scenic 5k mud this surgery. Any help would be obstacle run. appreciated. To help, visit www.youIt will be held at The Masonic & Youth Camp, located at 18050 ters-739258. US Hwy. 301 S. in Wimauma, and will run from 8-11 a.m. Market Hours: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Eastern Hillsborough Community This run will test the elite comBand Spring Concerts Park Square @ FishHawk Ranch petitor as well as the average runner The Eastern Hillsborough for Spectators with a unique course design that (16144 Churchview Dr. Lithia) Community Band will perform three and Shoppers! includes winding trails through and concerts as part of its 2017 Spring 40 + unique vendors alongside the beautiful river and 15+ Concert Series in the Brandon area challenging but fun obstacles. and Sun City Center. MARKET RUNS THE THE FIRST SUNDAY Whether you are pushing yourself to Performance dates and locations OF EVERY MONTH THROUGH MAY. complete this new 5k challenge for are: Thursday, March 30, 7 p.m. at time or for fun, when it's all said and Logan Hall, New Hope United For more information, call 813-657-6629. done, you will leave with another Methodist Church, 115 Knights Ave., great Mud Endeavor experience. Brandon; Thursday, April 27, 7 p.m. at

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February 2017

Page 41

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

National Blood Donor Month Applies To All Dogs And Cats Who Can Become Donors Too

By Libby Hopkins

February was National Negative is a uniBlood Donor month, so pets in versal blood type the Tampa Bay area and and is safe to be beyond are lining up to do their given to any part. Why on earth are pets other dog. Cats donating blood you ask? have three differBecause just like humans, dogs ent blood types: and cats often need blood A, B, and AB. transfusions during emergenType A is the cies or surgery. Many pets most common donate blood so other pets can with type B found live. “To make sure our patients in about five perhave access to blood products cent of the popuright away, we have an inlation. There is house blood bank,” said Dr. no universal Dee Ann Dugger, of BluePearl blood type for Specialty & Emergency Pet cats.” be collected at the BluePearl Specialty & Emergency Pet Hospital in Brandon, which is located at 607 Hospital and the founder of the Blood donations canLumsden To donate, Professional Center. To schedule a donation appointment, call 571-3303. Tampa Blood Bank prodogs and cats Blood for dogs and cats is very but cat and dog blood is still in very high gram. “We couldn’t do it without the dogs demand in pet hospitals across the must be in good health and must meet much in demand and it is often used in and cats who participate, as well as our certain other requirements that can be emergencies, such as a pet who has sufUnited States. “With one single donation, donor parents who are all just wonderful found on the BluePearl website. Cats fered trauma or gone through surgery. An up to three pet lives can be saved,” said people.” and dogs who donate also get some interesting fact to point out is that cats Dugger. “Every new donor helps combat BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a benefits, at no cost to their owners. have different blood types just like nationwide blood shortages. In many national provider of emergency and speThese include a free physical exam, humans. “Dogs have a numbered blood cases, blood donated at BluePearl is cialty pet care, currently hosts thriving pet used directly for emergencies within our complete blood work-up and tests for typing system called Dog Erythrocyte blood banks in Seattle, Houston and heartworm and other infectious diseases. Antigen (DEA) system. DEA 1.1 is the own hospitals. This eliminates the need Tampa. Hundreds of active donor pets Visit the Tampa Blood Bank program’s main blood type and dogs can be posito order blood from external sources, so help save thousands of lives every year, website at tive or negative,” Dugger said. “DEA 1.1 pets get medical care much faster.”



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Page 42

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 3

March 2017

Page 43

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

GFWC Brandon Service League Hosts 26th Annual Alice Storms Very Special Arts Festival

Members of GFWC Brandon Service League, including founding member Alice Storms (seated in wheelchair), are dedicated to serving the community. Members volunteered at the 26th Annual Alice Storms Very Special Arts Festival. This event provides special needs children from schools in Eastern Hillsborough County an opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities.

On Tuesday, February 21, the GFWC Brandon Service League (BSL) held its 26th Annual Alice Storms Very Special Arts Festival at First Baptist Church of Brandon. This event gives special needs children, from elementary schools in Eastern Hillsborough County, an opportunity to go on a fun field day filled with arts and crafts and entertainment. This year 134 students attended the event. The children were assisted by BSL members and high school students from Durant High School and Brandon High School ROTC. The children engaged in six craft activities including hat making. They could also get their face painted and play with bubbles. For the first time, two magicians came to the event to entertain the children. Alexis Lawlor, Alexia Nyiri and Alianet Valdes, are juniors from Durant High School and members of Students All Connected. They volunteered to work the event. Nyiri said, “With a lot of service projects, you just give out stuff. Here, you get to interact with the children, and it is more rewarding. You get to see smiles on their faces.” Diane Burnett, Very Special Arts Chair said, "I have been volunteering at this event for nine years. For us, it

is fun and very rewarding.” Burnett added, “For special needs children, this is their only field trip.” Bradlee Swanson, President of BSL said, "We are so thankful to all of the volunteers and the support we receive for this event. Without their support, we could not hold this event. I am delighted that we can do this for another year.” As Swanson said, this event would not be possible without contributions from organizations within the community. This includes First Baptist Church of Brandon who provided the venue; Caspers Company (McDonald's) provided the food for the children; and Chick-fil-A (Paul and Tammy Holmberg) provided food for the volunteers and sent the beloved Cow to entertain the children. The GFWC Brandon Service League has been serving the greater Brandon area for over 50 years. BSL is a diverse group made up of women of all ages and includes mothers, grandmothers, working women and non-working women. The Very Special Arts event is just one of many service projects that the members undertake each year. If you would like more information on BSL, please visit

Art Celebrated At 12th Annual Celebrate The Season Of Art Show At FishHawk Creek family and friends. We build on these golden moments when children transform into young adults. Many of my students have entered schools for the arts. It is a foundation of creativity that enables people to excel in so many FishHawk Creek Elementary students created wonderful works of art which were on display at the 12th Annual Celebrate the Season of Art Show on areas of January 26. life. We celebrate For the past 12 years, students at and create opportunities and occaFishHawk Creek Elementary School sions to unite with a vision of beauty can experience what it is like to have a gallery show when their work is dis- and accomplishment,” said Bunk. Bunk holds a M.Ed. in Integrated played at the Annual Celebrate the Art Education. Bunk is a painter and Season of Art Show. The exhibit was now an author. Bunk recently pubheld on January 26. lished The Song of Anchee, a book The students are taught by Art about a Chinese artist. Bunk said, Specialist, Patricia Bunk. This year’s “My character lives in the mountains exhibit featured abstracts. Bunk has of China and is found painting in her been teaching art for 12 years. Some studio. The Emperor’s guards capture of her students are now beginning to graduate. “I have dedicated a solid 12 her, and she is eventually released to follow her heart and dream.” Bunk years of my life to students that have added, “The moral of the story is to moved all over the country as well as never give up.” military families that have brought art Bunk explained, “This is translatto other countries.” Bunk added, “To ed into traditional Chinese. My date, 6,000 seeds were planted and reviews have been by highly qualified the flowers blossomed into a garden. teachers and a Chinese parent It is back to the garden and the purhelped my see how traditional pose of our life that creates a great Chinese characters and sentences legacy.” are written. I taught Sumi e ink wash Over the years, Celebrate the painting techniques to my students Season of Art Show has grown. This year, over 1,000 people came togeth- and integrated this as a study on er to experience the arts. “Art impacts Ancient Chinese Culture.” The Song of Anchee can be entire families and communities genfound on Amazon. erating joy and gathering together

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Page 44

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition


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March 2017

Volume 16, Issue 3

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section FLY‐IN & EXPO ................................PG 48 5K COLOR RUN. ..............................PG 49 TRAFFIC RELIEF...............................PG 52 DRAG QUEEN BINGO......................PG 54

Visit David Weekley Homes 55+ community Encore at FishHawk Ranch.

Encore By David Weekley Homes Delivers Engaging Lifestyle

One year after its launch, Encore at FishHawk Ranch is delivering an exciting, active lifestyle for residents. As FishHawk Ranch’s only 55+ lifestyle community, Encore by David Weekley Homes features three series of homes that offer an ideal balance of livability and outstanding design so you can enjoy the lifestyle you want, in a home that is as beautiful as it is accommodating. Daily activities are planned by a full-time Lifestyle Director. Enjoy the 5,000-sq. ft. amenity center, The Oasis, where you can host a party in the entertainment room, meet friends on the great lawn for yoga, swim in the adultonly pool or enjoy a game of bocce or pickle ball. If you are ready to jump into the energetic lifestyle of Encore at FishHawk Ranch, the community offers a variety of Showcase Homes ready for immediate move-in. Or, choose from our award-winning floor plans to build from the ground up and enjoy the amenities Encore has to

Visit Kim’s Natural Pet Foods for all of your pet’s needs.

offer while your new home is being built. For more information about Encore by David Weekley Homes at FishHawk Ranch, contact 813-4226175.

Kim’s Natural Pet Foods Is Your Local Source For All Your Pet’s Needs

A Ribbon Cutting was recently held to celebrate the grand opening of

FishHawk Sporting Goods in the RiverSprings Plaza. as FishHawk Sporting Goods Celebrates well as unique natural chews and With Ribbon Cutting treats, including a frozen section featuring all natural raw food diets. Bruce and Dantys Bohan, owners of All foods are American made, the newly opened FishHawk Sporting corn, wheat, soy, and gluten free. Goods, recently celebrated their Grand You will find natural remedies for Opening with a ribbon cutting hosted by worms, fleas and ticks. the Valrico FishHawk Chamber of Kim’s also offers a wide variCommerce. It is located at 13446 Boyette ety of toys, dog and cat bedding, Rd. in the RiverSprings Plaza at the corapparel and supplies. ner of Boyette Rd and FishHawk Blvd. It While visiting the store, you offers new and gently used sporting can get free and helpful advice on goods for every athlete in your family. For Have you tried the newly the nutrition and health of your more information, visit them on Facebook opened Rosati's Pizza in the pets. or call 324-9161. Shoppes of Lithia Publix plaza Kim’s Natural Pet Foods is near AJ's Fine Wines? It's Chicago Deep Dish delivery & located at 3110 Lithia Pinecrest Get Cash For Your Gently Used take-out with a family recipe in Rd. Apparel And Handbags At Style sauce since 1964.

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Valrico (next to Subway). For more information, call 6843663 or visit


Local women now have a place to bring their gently used fashionable clothing, shoes and handbags and get paid cash on the spot. Unlike typical

Continued on next page

Page 46

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Business Column Continued................... consignment stores, no appointments are necessary and Style Encore buys all seasons, all day every day. Style Encore is open Monday to Saturday from10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 Noon-5 p.m. It is located at 1983 West Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. Visit and on Facebook.

Twin Creeks Assisted Living And Memory Care To Open

Opening in spring 2017, Twin Creeks will be a beautiful new Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Riverview. At Twin Creeks, the professionalism of the staff, the quality of the care, and the richness of the activities programs will all set this community apart. Each resident is treasured, learning their individual histories so bright futures can be created, and put a safe, rewarding life in financial reach for many seniors. If you are interested in exploring life with increased fulfillment, flexibility and peace of mind, then now is the time for you and your loved ones to take a look at Twin Creeks. Explore the possibilities at Twin Creeks by visiting our newly opened Sales Center, located at 13426 Boyette Rd. in Riverview from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (evenings and weekends by appointment). Call 343-4663. Visit and

Special Education Advocacy And Tutoring Offered

Owner, Dr. Donna Montgomery of Pathways Special Education Advocacy helps parents of children with disabilities navigate the special education process to ensure their child receives a free and appropriate public education. It is located at 16311 Chapman Crossing Dr. in Lithia. Hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For more info, call 534-0836 or visit

Career Job Fair & Resource Expo

A Career Job Fair & Resource Expo will take place on Monday, March 27 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County Board Room. Red Carpet USA Entertainment & Events is partnering with Hillsborough County NAACP, The Flyer, and Aarrow Sign Spinners.

By Michelle Colesanti

Children’s Board of Hillsborough County is located at 1002 Palm Ave. in Tampa. For more information, call 9438583 or email

Residential & House Cleaning Services Offered By Royal Maid Service

Royal Maid Service offers both residential and commercial house cleaning services. According to owners Sam & Neil Beesley, “We aim to build a strong and enduring maid service by delivering to our customers a professional service that is always fair, efficient, helpful and responsive. We are committed to building the loyalty of our customers and ensuring that the satisfaction of their needs is central to everything we do.” Hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-12 Noon. Call 999-4929 for an appointment. Visit

Bloomingdale Square Shopping Center Update

With the closing of the Walmart store and other small businesses at the Bloomingdale Square Shopping Center, located at Bloomingdale Ave. and Bell Shoals Rd., there have been many rumors about what will be coming into the plaza. According to Leasing Agent for Regency Centers, Marc Elias, “We have a full redevelopment planned for Bloomingdale Square Shopping Center. However, due to confidentiality agreements, I am unable to release further information at this time.” As soon as any information is released, we will let our readers know.

All Life's Memories Announces Fun FlipBook Booths

All Life's Memories, a local company co-owned by Kathleene Hardy and Pam Wise, that Custom Designs Photobooks, now offers Fun FlipBook Booths for special events. FlipBook Booths are all the rage for Proms, Quinceaneras, Wedding Receptions, Corporate Events, Mitzvahs, Family Reunions or any other event

Volume 16, Issue 3

reduction in childhood drowning is encouraging news to local agencies, including the Tampa YMCA and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, collaborating to help eliminate drowning cases among local youth. “Seventy-one percent of the world is water and kids are 100 percent curious,” said Association Aquatics Experience Executive Amanda Walker. Royal Maid Service offers residential and commercial house “The Tampa YMCA cleaning services. believes a child’s safety in where folks gather to have fun. and around water should never be left to Different from photo booths that prochance. We’re committed to providing the duce a strip of still photos, Flipbook free Safety Around Water program annubooths take seven-second videos of your ally in the spring to help keep kids stay guests dancing, singing or just having fun. safe at the beach, pool, lake and while From that video, a 60 page, business boating." card size booklet is produced. When flipSafety Around Water will be open to ping through the pages, your guests' beginners and non-swimmers, ages 3-12 videos come to life! This booklet is proyears. During the free four-day course, duced on the spot for your guests to take certified instructors teach children a home as a party favor or fun souvenir of sequenced set of skills that will reduce your event. The staff, props, music, and the risk of drowning and give them confithe fun are provided. All you provide is a dence in and around water. YMCA mem10' x 10' space and access to a power bership is not required; however, pre-regoutlet. istration is required due to limited space. Co-owner Kathleene Hardy said, "We Participants must be present on the first can even design coupons/or advertising day of class and bring their own swimsuit for a sponsoring company as the cover, and towel. or back cover to the booklets, which Times vary based on location. For make them great for fundraising events more information, visit as well. We are very pleased to offer our FlipBooks as a whole new level of ming/water-safety/ or contact Campo fun for customers in the Tampa Bay Family YMCA, 3414 Culbreath Rd. area." inValrico by calling 684-1371. There are many sizes and styles to choose from to Bleu Salon meet everyone's needs. Named To Salon Visit Today 200 for Bleu Salon in more information or call 662Valrico, owned by 4064 for more information. Michael Jonson recently was Tampa YMCA Offers Free named to the “Safety Around Water” Salon Today 200 Lessons by Salon Today, The Tampa Metropolitan the leading busiArea YMCA is offering ness media for free Safety Around Water lessons to chilsalon and spa owners. dren from Monday to Thursday, March The magazine’s 20th annual Salon 13-16 to coinToday 200 issue profiled the selected cide with salons in its January 2017 edition. Hillsborough The 200 salons were honored for County Public their best business practices from Schools spring applications submitted by Salon Today break. This readers, who represent the 20,000 annual program top-producing salons and spas in the comes on the country. heels of new Bleu Salon is located at 3451 data showing the drowning rate among Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Call children in Hillsborough County, ages 0-6, 651-4020 or visit http://www.bleusawas reduced by 50 percent in 2016. This

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March 2017

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Page 47

Page 48

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 3

2017 SUN ‘n FUN International Fly- In & Expo To Take Flight In Lakeland Mark your calendars for aviation’s season opener during the 43rd Annual SUN ‘n FUN International FlyIn & Expo presented by Visit Florida from Tuesday to Sunday, April 4-9 in Lakeland. The Fly-In is SUN ‘n FUN’s largest fundraiser for the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a 25acre, 11 building campus dedicated to aerospace and STEM education. Approximately 200,000 guests, exhibitors, volunteers, sponsors and performers are expected to attend. Proceeds from the event support numerous community activities in addition to ACE. This year, you are Cleared to Land on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus. Fly- In or drive- in, you are not going to want to miss the once in a lifetime chances SUN ‘n FUN is going to bring to you this year. “This is the largest air show in the south,” said SUN ‘n FUN Executive Director John “Lites” Leenhouts. “This is also our largest fundraising event with proceeds going back into our Central Florida Aerospace Academy where we’re teaching the next generation of young people to be pilots and/or have careers in aviation.”

Staff Report

SUN ‘n FUN welcomes our French Allies on Tuesday April 4, as the French National Team, Patrouille de France, performs during the airshow.

The world-renowned Blue Angels will be welcomed back to the SUN ‘n FUN stage. The team will perform Friday to Sunday.

Art Nalls will bring the only civilian Harrier on the airshow circuit in for the weekend on April 7-9. On Wednesday, April 5, Stallion 51 will arrive in impressive formation for what is promising to be the largest assembly of P-51 Mustangs in over a decade. Event attractions include improved and increased flightline viewing areas, daily autograph session with performers, Thunder Alley Vintage Jet Display, Warbirds in Review showcase series, B-1 Bomber static display, and much more. A twilight midweek airshow is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5th. The evening program on Saturday, April 8 will include fireworks with a night air show. Attendees are encouraged to use hashtags #SnF17 and #LoveFL on social media while posting about the Fly-In. Air show and workshop schedules, camping reservations, registration for activities, and ticketing information can be found on the SUN ‘n FUN website at Keep up with all the fun on and

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March 2017

Page 49

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Center Place To Host Paint The Town 5k Color Run At County Fairgrounds Center Place's 33rd Annual Patron Event is set for Saturday, April 1. This year, this great family friendly, fun event is color run. For the first time, thanks to the popularity of the event, Center Place’s 5k run will be held at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds located at 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover. Lisa Rodriguez, Director of Marketing for Center Place said, “This year we will have color stations placed throughout the run as well as at the finish line. Come dressed to get color splashed on you.” Rodriguez added, “We moved this event to the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds to have more space, lots of parking and a cool running trail to accommodate more runners and walkers. There will be free, fun activities for the entire family. We will even have a children’s obstacle course.” Paint The Town 5k is a timed race. There will be prizes and ribbons awarded for the three fastest times for men, women and children. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the race starts promptly at 8 a.m. If you

By Kathy L. Collins

are not a runner, you can still participate with the Family Fun Walk and Children's Obstacle Course. Registration for this is at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. If you preregister by March 6, the cost to enter

provided by Mike & Sandy’s Fun Time Food. They will offer cotton candy, candy apples, snow cones and hot dogs. YOYO Juice will also be on hand to offer healthy smoothies, sandwiches and wraps. Center Place will also have a great silent auction with a "Buy-It-Now" option, raffle baskets and fun art activities. Center Place is a great community resource for the greater Brandon area. They provide art classes for children and adults, children’s theatre, special events with an artistic twist and even Be a supporter of the arts and join fellow community members at Center Place's Paint The Town 5k Color Run art therapy for those with special needs. on Saturday, April 1. So come out and the 5k is $30 per person and the help support Center Place, an arts walk/run is $20. organization that has been serving Runners and walkers can registhe greater Brandon area for over 40 ter for the event at www.centeryears. The first 100 runFor more information and to regners and walkers who pre-register will ister for the fun Paint The Town 5k receive a t-shirt. Color Run, please visit www.centerIn addition to the run, walk and or call 685-8888. obstacle course, there will be food

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Page 50

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 3

March 2017

Page 51

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Family-Owned FishHawk Pinch-A-Penny Thanks Community For 10 Years In Business

By Kathy L. Collins

When Larry, Their business Kathy and Jimmy philosophy is simple Rutledge opened - build and maintain the FishHawk a business that the Pinch-A-Penny community can located at 16715 count on for years FishHawk Blvd. in to come and do this Lithia back in 2008, with honesty, they did not know integrity and what to expect. dependability. This Now, as they enter philosophy is prac10 years in busiticed every day ness, they are without fail by Larry, thankful to all those FishHawk Pinch-A-Penny owners, Jimmy, Kathy, Jimmy and Kathy and Larry Rutledge, are thankful to in the community their employees. the community for supporting their business for 10 years. who welcomed Owning and them and supported them operating a small family business is not Owning this business is a second an easy task. Doing it well, while at the career for Larry Rutledge who retired same time always being there to lend a from the Financial Services (Insurance hand is quite an accomplishment. "I am and Investment) sector. Rutledge said, thankful to the residents of the "In my previous life, I was never in the FishHawk, River Hills and Bloomingdale same city for more than a few days and communities," said Rutledge. The was never really a part of a community. Rutledge family will once again host When that world ended, I wanted to be their Annual Eggfest on Saturday, March a part of something.” Rutledge 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At the 7th added,”We decided that we wanted to Annual Eggfest, come see the Big open a business in an area that was Green Egg in action and enjoy a cookgrowing. It has really worked out for us. out. People in this community are just great. All who come to the Eggfest are Everyone is willing to help one another." invited to participate in a raffle to receive Rutledge said, “It has been refreshing to a mini Green Egg. Proceeds from the see how nice people are. It has raffle will be donated to Seeds of Hope, renewed my faith in fellow man." an organization located in Lithia that disThe Rutledge’s treat every custributes food in three ways-through a tomer like a friend. They know their cus- mobile food pantry, a once a week food tomers by name and are always willing distribution and a backpack program. to lend a hand to those who need it. Visit or call There is always a Rutledge at the store 655-3700. For information on Seeds of to greet you warmly and genuinely. Hope, visit

Yellowfin Realty Realtors McGinnis and Smith Ready To Serve Customers Property Manager And Realtor Barbara McGinnis At Yellowfin Realty

By Michelle Colesanti Yellowfin Realty’s Kimberly Smith

Realtor Kimberly Smith is at Yellowfin Realty Group. She lists properties for sale, and helps buyers find homes whether resale or new construction. She also does property manIf you are agement for anyone who has looking for a investment properties that they property managneed managed or for anyone who er or realtor to isn’t ready to sell but has to move take care of your real estate Barbara McGinnis is with away for a job, change in family needs, Barbara the Yellowfin Realty Group. lives or any other reason. She will take care of McGinnis at handling all Yellowfin Realty can help. aspects of “Every client is unique, and that is the manageexactly how I will treat you. The most ment from important factor in choosing a realtor finding a tenis choosing someone you are comfortant, collecting able with and can trust. the rents, McGinnis is an experienced negodepositing tiator, knowledgeable in all aspects of rent funds buying and selling process will coordiinto the nate and have a constant line of comowner’s munications with you. “To account, me communiKimberly Smith is with the handling Yellowfin Realty Group. cation is the repairs, key for a sucmove outs, evictions and any other cessful transoccurrences. “I pride myself on peraction and sonal service to all my customers and long term put all of my effort into helping them in relationships. I can proudly say a large selling, buying or property managepercent of my current business comes ment,” said Smith. from past customers referring their Yellowfin Realty Group is located family friends and coworkers to me,” at 801 W. Bloomingdale Ave. in she added. Call 220-4339 or email Brandon. To contact Smith, call 4568.


MARCH 11-12, 2017 • Juried Fine Arts & Crafts Show • FREE! Kid’s Firehouse Art Station • 12 Local Food Vendors • Beer/Wine • Commercial & Non-Profit Vendors

Expires 4/30/2017

Hours: Sat. & Sun. • 10am - 5pm Admission: Adults $5 • Under 12yrs FREE Where: E.G. Simmons Park 2401 19th Ave NW, Ruskin FL 33570 For more information: (813) 645-1366

LIVE MUSIC DAILY Saturday, March 11th

• 11 am - Emily Joy • 12 pm - Tampa Bay Martial Arts Academy Demonstrations • 1 pm - Dance Performances by Gran Jete Dance Studio • 1:45 pm - Opera Tampa • 3 pm - Victoria Ginty and Ladyhawke

Sunday, March 12th • 10:30 am - Luis Garcia of Rumba Brothers • 12:45 pm - Pinpoint • 3:15 pm - The Damon Fowler Band

25th Anniversary Event Over 100 Artists!

Stream • Jim & Cora Simon • Tampa Crossite & Landscape • Artful Conceptions • Legal Shred • HCC SouthShore South Bay Hospital • Krewe of the SouthShore Marauders • The Home Depot There is a $2 entry fee, per carload, to enter E.G. Simmons Park. This fee goes directly to Hillsborough County Parks & Rec

Page 52

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

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, supporters of a future Lithia Hillsborough Pinecrest Rd. widenCounty Board of ing project claim betCounty ter 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-

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March 2017

Page 53

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

All Life Legal Expands And Is On The Move In Riverview By Michelle Caceres

Riverviewgood friend too. based All Life In addition to Legal has moved Carolan and attorto a larger space ney Kyle Belz, in the Park Place attorney office complex. Jacqueline O. The move is Ellett has joined the firm to assist designed to in fulfilling its misaccommodate a sion. Ellett is a growing staff, A Ribbon Cutting with the Riverview Chamber graduate of house the of Commerce was recently held to celebrate All Life Legal’s move to a larger location to Stetson Riverview accommodate the growing practice. University, where Mediation and Coordination Center and provide a more she completed the Elder Law collaborative environment in which attor- Concentration Program. Her areas of expertise include Elder Law, Estate neys and clients can work together. Planning, Probate, Trust Administration Located at 10017 Park Place Ave. in Riverview, All Life Legal specializes in and Family Law. The larger office space will also Elder Law, a practice area which host the Riverview Mediation and addresses the legal issues faced by the elderly, including property management, Coordination Center, which provides pre-suit, court-ordered and post-judgadvance directives, special needs planment mediation as well as parental ning, guardianship, Medicaid planning coordination services for family law matand estate planning. “Elder law attorneys have a positive ters. “I created this as an option for peoimpact on people’s lives when they need help the most,” said attorney Karla ple who want to avoid lengthy litigation Carolan. “When in a time of crisis, we’re for family law issues,” said Carolan. “Mediation resolves conflicts efficiently able to use our experience and help and economically.” create a plan to get through that difficult “Our clients can be assured that time.” they will receive understanding at a Brandon resident Bob McGough whole different level,” said Carolan. said All Life Legal has assisted him in All Life Legal is open Monday many matters during the last eight toThursday 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. and years. “They are professional and Friday 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Most initial straightforward and have a good command of the law,” he said. “It’s a relief to consultations are free of charge. For more information about All Life know they are taking care of me.” McGough said he needed a lawyer, Legal visit or call 671-4300. but in Carolan he found a lawyer and a

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Page 54

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

Drag Queen Bingo Raises Funds For Women’s Club

By Kate Quesada

What could believes it is be better than a a show not night of great to be entertainment for missed. a great cause? “Some The Riverview people Women’s Club squirm (RWC) has when they organized just hear the that with its Drag words Drag Queen Bingo Queen event taking Bingo,” she place Thursday said. “But March 9, at The ours is nothRegent in ing like The Riverview Women’s Club is hosting a Drag Queen what they Riverview. Bingo event to raise money for scholarships for local The may think. women on March 9 at The Regent in Riverview. evening of fun, Our particiwhich starts when doors open at 5:30 pants are well respected business men p.m., includes a catered dinner, cash bar, and women who are very passionate 10 games of bingo and entertainment about their community. They are continufrom local business men and women in ally giving back, even when that means costume. wearing a dress.” Funds from the event benefit the Tickets are available to the show for RWC’s Scholarship Fund, which last year $40 a person or $350 for a table of eight. gave five local students $1,000 scholarDinner will be provided by Coastal ships. Catering. Many sponsorship opportunities “All the money raised at the event are still available for the event which is stays in the community to help students anticipated to attract more than 450 attend a school of higher education,” said guests. Melissa Hartmann, RWC vice president. “The memories I have of my previous “This year we hope to be able to exceed bingo nights are priceless,” said last year’s five scholarships and be able Hartmann, who is co-chairing the event to provide funds to a local woman who is with Robin Richter. “The show was fanhoping to go back to college.” tastic. So fantastic that we raised just shy According to Hartmann, bingo winof $6,000 in four hours.” ners will receive a prize from a local busiFor more information, call Hartmann ness including Pinot’s Palette, The Alley, at 833-7470. The Regent is located at Lu La Roe, The Osprey Observer and a 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. To purvariety of restaurants and spas. chase tickets, visit www.riverviewwomenAs for the entertainment, Hartmann

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Disney On Ice Presents Newest Show, Worlds of Enchantment Staff Report

Enter the dazzling world of Disney magic LIVE ON ICE! Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment at Amalie Arena on Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen and the crew of Disney® Pixar’s Cars race across the ice. Dive into adventure with Ariel and The Little Mermaid’s undersea kingdom. The toys are also back in town with heroic action when Buzz, Woody, Jessie and the Disney® Pixar Toy Story gang escape Sunnyside Daycare in their most daring adventure. Plus, enter the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and pals Olaf and Kristoff from Disney’s Frozen as they learn that true love comes from within. Prior to the performance, get warmed up for the show and be your best with exclusive moves taught by the mouse that started it all at Mickey’s Dance-Along Pre-Show. The backstage warm-up will

be brought to the ice. The skating athletes of Disney On Ice will remind everyone that getting active can help you to be your best. Your whole family will dance and laugh as Mickey Mouse and the Disney On Ice performers teach the audience a new dance routine you will only learn LIVE at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment. From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment. Ages Two and older require ticket. Costumes are not permitted for guests 14 years and older. Show times vary and will be noted on your ticket, so make sure you arrive a few minutes early so you don’t miss a minute of this exciting way to get ready for the show. Amalie Arena is located at 401 Channelside Dr. in Tampa. Ticket prices start at $18. Purchase tickets at, Ticketmaster or by phone at 800-745-3000.

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March 2017

Page 55

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

STEVE MORAN P.A. 813-661-2476

Mother/Daughter Duo Pens Children's Books By Kate Quesada

Gwen Rollings baskets," said Gwen. "Our loves to write. Her goal is to establish an daughter Brittany ongoing fund that would Rollings loves to illusallow us to put Molly trate. The duo recently Tailwagger in the hands of published a series of children who cannot afford children's books that to buy picture books. not only showcases Brittany and I feel blessed their talents, but also that God has allowed us to brings joy to young do what we love and crereaders that may not ate stories we hope with usually have access to encourage, comfort, books. inspire and put smiles on With their rescue little faces going through Chihuahua dog Molly difficult times." for inspiration, the Both Gwen and Apollo Beach resiBrittany started working on dents published a their skills at a young age. Local author and illustrator duo In sixth grade, Gwen series of books about Gwen and Brittany Rollings Molly Tailwagger for wrote her first play which recently held a book signing at children approximately her class performed for Barnes and Noble for their four to eight years old children's series Molly Tailwagger. the school. However, her with an uplifting story line and colorful writing took a back seat to marriage and illustrations. family for 30 years until her children were "Our dream is for parents to read the grown and her husband retired from the books with their little ones, turning the Marine Corps. She wrote multiple other pages and lingering as they talk about the books for adults, including a book of poetpictures of Molly Tailwagger and her ry, before teaming up with her youngest adventures," said Gwen. "But perhaps daughter for the Molly Tailwagger series. even more important to us is to give the "Writing children's books turns out to books to children who need them most." be the best career I've ever had," said Gwen and Brittany are working to Gwen. "I write the story; then we discuss donate their books to young readers who my vision of what illustrations would work do not traditionally have access to a lot of well. Brittany draws a series of characters reading materials. In addition to giving and we make decisions based on our copies of their books to local hospitals, mutual agreement." they would like to be able to help charities The duo's fifth book is currently in like Metropolitan Ministries fill at least 250 publication. Easter baskets with their stories this year. Visit for more "Unfortunately, we don't personally information or to help with the fund to have enough books for that number of donate books to children in need.

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Page 56

Volume 16, Issue 3

Bloomingdale/ FishHawk Edition

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ONE OF A KIND CUSTOM HOME IN FISH HAWK TRAILS! 5/4/3 + office + bonus + pool/spa home sitting on 1/2 acre lot with no backdoor neighbors! Coveted in-law suite with kitchenette! Wood floors, fireplace & upgraded kitchen! Fully fenced! $589,000 ! EW E N RIC P

BLOOMINGDALE BEAUTY! 4/2/2 + pool home that offers fenced yard & is just minutes to Bloomingdale East Park! French doors, wood look tile floors, pool re-marcited in 2016, new A/C & hot water heater in 2014, new pool pump in 2015! Great home! $225,000 ! EW E N RIC P

ADORABLE HOME ON 5.1 PRIVATE ACRES! Home offers 3 beds, 2 baths + office! Over 1,800 sq ft with new roof & A/C, will give you move-in peace of mind! Zoned for great schools! Come and live in your private paradise! $247,500


DAVID WEEKLEY "WELTNER" FLOOR PLAN! 4/3.5/2 + office + bonus home directly across from community amenities! Crown, hickory hardwood floors, French doors & kitchen with 42" maple cabinets, granite & stainless appliances! $330,000

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CUSTOM BUILT, DESIGNER HOME IN FISH HAWK TRAILS! 4/3.5/3 + office + bonus + pool home on oversized lot! This home offers many features & would make a great family home! Over 4,300 sq.ft gives you ample room for you & your family! $609,000 ! EW E N RIC P

WONDERFUL "COVE" LOCATION IN BLOOMINGDALE! Small cul-de-sac street on 0.35 acres lot! 4/3/3 home with wood floors, separate formals, brick fireplace & kitchen with granite counters & stainless appliances! New roof & water heater in 2014! $315,000 ! EW E N RIC P

OVERSIZED LOT ON 14TH HOLE IN GATED RIVER HILLS! 5/3.5/2 + pool home on cul-de-sac street! Exterior painted in 2013 & side-entry garage! Bruce hardwood floors, crown, plantation shutters & huge kitchen! New A/C in 2011! $375,000


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OVERSIZED CONSERVATION LOT IN FISHHAWK RANCH! 5/3.5/3 + bonus + 2015 pool home at the end of a cul-de-sac! Wood & travertine floors throughout, French doors, combination formals, split floor plan! Newer A/C units & windows! $435,000


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CARDEL BEAUTY IN FISHHAWK RANCH! 3/2/2 + bonus home just a short bike ride to Bevis elementary! Freshly painted interior in 2015, new flooring & kitchen with raised panel wood cabinets, island, granite & stainless appliances! Screened patio! $324,000 ! G EWN N TI S LI

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Profile for Osprey Observer

Osprey Observer 2017-3 Bloomingdale/FishHawk  

Osprey Observer 2017-3 Bloomingdale/FishHawk