Two Sections, 40 Pages of Community News
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March 2017 C E L E B R A T I N G
Y E A R S
Volume 12, Issue 3 P U B L I S H I N G
County Hosts Ribbon Cutting On New $36M Public Safety Operations Complex By Tamas Mondovics
Osprey Observer 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Brandon, FL 33511-6121
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Hillsborough Chief Dennis County Board of Jones. County Built to the Commissioners, highest hurriemergency cane rating conoperations offistruction stancials, Fire dards, the Rescue person52,000-sq. ft. nel, members of main building the community houses Fire and the media Rescue’s comcelebrated the mand staff, opening of the Emergency County’s New Dispatch Center Public Safety and the highHillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Operations tech Emergency Jones is joined by Florida Division of Emergency Complex Operations Management Director Bryan Koon, along with (PSOC) last to serve Center, County Commissioners, Stacy White, Sandra Murman a Pat Kemp during the ribbon cutting month in residents during ceremony of the county’s brand new Public Safety Brandon. major storms Operations Complex, in Brandon. Following a and other emerribbon cutting ceremony, attendees had a gencies. “This is a really big deal for our chance to tour the new $36 million dollar county,” said Commissioner Sandra facility located at 9450 E. Columbus Dr., Murman whose district touches the counwhich now becomes the new home to ty’s shoreline. “This complex is very Fire Rescue headquarters and the important as safety and security is on the County’s Emergency Operations Center mind of our residents especially during (EOC). hurricane season and safety and security Sitting on 20 acres between U.S. is what this new complex is all about.” Hwy. 301 and Falkenburg Rd. the project While commenting on the need for was funded by the Public Safety the new PSOC, County Commissioner Improvement Bond Project and General Stacy White drew attention to what Revenue funds. While the price tag is makes the new facility functional when high, officials said that the facility brings he said, “This new facility is important, together several major public safety build- but it is the people who work inside ings and critical support functions into one that make the real difference.” location. County Emergency Operations “This is an amazing new facility and Director Preston Cook also emphawill become the center of our community sized the reason for the new complex as aside from our fire stations throughout when he said, “Our citizens now have the county, it brings all of fire rescue’s a facility they deserve.” For information buildings together as well as our governabout Hillsborough County and the ment operations into one location in case new PSOC, visit www.hcflgov.net. of emergency,” said County Fire Rescue
Photo By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County firefighter, Nate Everhardt, demonstrates a quick exit through one of the hatch doors on the new burn tower located at the recently completed $36 million Public Safety Operations Center (PSOC), which now serves as the new home to the County’s Fire Rescue headquarters and the its Emergency Operations Center, (EOC).
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Brandon Relays For A Cancer Cure
By Kate Quesada
Brandon residents have an opportunity to have fun while helping fight cancer this month as the annual Relay for Life takes place at Brandon High School. On Saturday, April 8, students and community members will join teams to walk, camp and participate in fun activities to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. According to the event lead and committee member, Meredith Tucker, 27 teams have already signed up to participate in the event, which has a Disney theme this year and is hoping to raise $20-25,000. The event begins at 4 p.m. with Opening Ceremonies to honor those who have fought cancer and after that, teams are encouraged to have at least one member walking the track at all times to signify the fact that cancer never sleeps. Unlike most other Relays, this event will end at 12 Midnight. “We will have tons of fun themes laps, activities and awesome food lined up for this event,” said Tucker. During the times participants are not walking the track they will be able to join in a large number of other activities planned including a Zumba class, frozen t-shirt contest and Mr. Relay competition. Some events will have small costs with all funds going to the cause. “We encourage the community to
Community members and students from throughout the area will meet at Brandon High School at 4 p.m. on April 8 to participate Relay for Life events raising funds for the American Cancer Society.
get involved by attending the event and supporting the fundraisers that will take place there,” said Tucker. “We really need the community to come out and support to help raise money the day of the event.” One of the highlights of Relay for Life events for participants is the Luminaria Ceremony which will take place at 9 p.m. “During the Luminaria Ceremony we honor survivors and remember those who have lost their battle with cancer,” said Relay for Life Community Manager Samantha Schneider. “It is a
Continued on page 6
In This Issue HOSPITAL EXPANSION .......................PG 3 PUBLIC SAFETY...................................PG 8 SHREDDING & SKATEBOARDING......PG 10 FEED THE BAY ..................................PG 22
EYE ON BUSINESS...........................PG 25 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 29 SUMMER CAMPS.....................PGS 30‐34
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Volume 12, Issue 3
Burns Middle School Celebrates 30 Years Of Excellence With Anniversary Festival
Expanded Emergency Department Unveiled At Brandon Regional Hospital
More than white. 300 alumni, stuBurns’ long dents and staff list of successes along with current includes its Men's and future Burns Choir, which has Middle School recently earned families enjoyed a an overall rating special fun-filled of excellent with event earlier this a superior in month to celesight reading. brate the school’s The Burns 30th anniversary Chamber Choir Burns Middle School located at 615 Brooker with a festival, Rd, in Brandon opened in 1986 as Burns Junior and Intermediate which according High School, but was restructured 10 years later as a middle school represented by the Ladies received to Burns Student Burn’s Bruins as its mascot. straight superiGovernment ors, while the Advanced Ladies Sponsor and event organizer Martin Harrigan, had something for everyone. received straight superiors ‘with distinction’ as they had an accompaniBurns Art Club joined the festivities as the students offered face paint- ment by Bryton Smith on the Cello. Burns students also won the ing and games. The student governrecent Math League Team ment members class offered temporary tattoos, while the Burns PTSA vol- Competition. “Our students, families and teachunteered to operate the 'cake walk,' ers work very well together to support concession stand and silent auction. The school has every reason to be our success,” said current principal Matthew DiPrima, a graduate of the proud of its long history and accomUniversity of South Florida. plishments including its consecutive In 2013, DiPrima followed the "A" rating for the past 15 seasons. Named after Guy O. Burns, known school’s tradition of success in the as “Pop” Burns, a Hillsborough County footsteps of former principals Morris Pate, Linda Kipley, Brenda Nolte, and educator, coach, and assistant princiSue Burkett. Burkett is now serving as pal, the school is located at 615 Bloomingdale High School principal. Brooker Rd. in Brandon. Burns Middle School is currently The school opened its doors to the boasting of its student enrollment of public in 1986 as Burns Junior High 1,250 with capacity at 1,400. School, but was restructured 10 years For information about Burns later as a middle school, represented by the Burn’s Bruins as its mascot with Middle School, visit www.burns.mysdhc.org the colors of navy blue, maroon, and
Brandon residents. A new Regional Hospital radiology suite unveiled the seclocated in the ER ond phase of its means that ER newly expanded patients do not emergency departhave to leave the ment on Monday, ER in order to get February 20. The imaging services. new $20 million The new helipad phase features and elevator take eight new exam patients straight to rooms, four new the trauma room trauma rooms, an treatment area. ambulance According to entrance and a Natalia Diaz, new helipad. Marketing Director Brandon Regional for Brandon Members of the community joined the staff of Regional Hospital, Hospital’s emergency department Brandon Regional Hospital to unveil the new “We are committed emergency department complete with a serves over to the continued rooftop helipad, for faster emergency treatment. 120,000 patients growth and proseach year. perity of the greater Brandon community. “As one of the busiest emergency We want to be the healthcare provider of departments in Florida, we are always choice for residents of the greater seeking new ways to treat patients more Brandon area.” efficiently while maintaining our high qualiDiaz added, ”We continue to invest in ty of care,” said Bland Eng, Brandon program technology such as our new Regional Hospital’s CEO. “This $60 miltranscatheter aortic valve replacement lion ER expansion improves patient care program for cardiology patients and our and experience in the ER. We now have new Mako robot for joint replacement sur53 new private treatment rooms, a gery. The hospital is also proud to be the rooftop helipad and the latest radiology largest employer in the Brandon area.” equipment, which allows us to better The final phase of the hospital’s $60 serve our community,” added, Eng. million emergency department expansion “This ER expansion project demonwill include a 16-room pediatric emerstrates Brandon Regional Hospital’s com- gency department. This is slated for commitment to the future of our community,” pletion in November. said Andrzej Dmowski, M.D., Emergency Brandon Regional Hospital is located Department Medical Director. The at 119 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more expanded ER provides for efficiency and information, please visit the ability to provide faster care to area www.BrandonRegionalHospital.com.
By Tamas Mondovics
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Volume 12, Issue 3
New Flying Locksmiths Ready To Serve It’s a bird, it’s a plane, It’s The Flying Locksmiths! This national franchise was founded in 1946 and has expanded with dozens of locations across the United States thanks to their professionalism and family values. One of the newest locations opened in Brandon this past October by local residents, Tammy and Michael Broussard. The Broussard’s have been actively involved in the community since they moved here in 2004. Both are members of the Riverview and Valrico Chambers of Commerce and Michael is the President-elect of the FishHawk Riverview Rotary Club. The couple is excited to bring a new local business to the area. “We want folks to know that this has been our home, we are part of the community,” said Tammy. Tammy and Michael have been pillars of the local community, dedicating their time to organizations that help those in need. Most notably is the annual Crawfish Festival which Michael and The Rotary Club has been spearheading for the last several years, raising over $20,000 for local charities and scholarships. In addition, Tammy’s 20+ years of leadership and consulting experience in technology and software solutions have given her a unique perspective on the importance of customer satis-
faction. “This is perfect for us,” she said. The Flying Locksmiths offer a wide variety of security solutions and locksmith services for both residential and commercial needs. Their prices range based on the specific needs of each customer with 24/7 availability thanks to a national dispatch center which customers can easily reach by phone. With customer service as their number one priority, The Flying Locksmiths understand the changing locksmith/security industry and offer the most comprehensive inventory available along with the latest technologies and security solutions. From padlocks to Class 5 Security Vault installation, The Flying Locksmiths are here to address your needs. The Flying Locksmiths Tampa South Office has 12 local employees and is looking to add an additional qualified locksmith to the team. Qualified candidates must be second or third generation locksmiths. For information on the services offered by The Flying Locksmiths, or to inquire about current openings, call 813801-3145. The Flying Locksmiths is a fully mobile locksmith/security company, and the office is located at 156 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon.
State-of-the-Art 5th Gear Fitness Offers Popular Fitness Classes, Childcare & More
By Amy Schechter
Have your exercise. Inside New Year’s fitthe yoga studio, ness resolutions a range of classde-railed? Do es are offered you begin exerincluding warm cising only to yoga, tabata lose momentum? yoga, ballet 5th Gear barre, barre conFitness offers tour and pilates something for reformer everyone at all machines, which Angie Williams, Gretchen Trasorras, and Jessica Adams, owners & trainers at 5th Gear incorporate levels of experiFitness. ence with the resistance into goal of working personally with each traditional pilates movements. client to optimize whole fitness, health, Perhaps the cardio equipment is and well-being through training, conthe most impressive. The treadmills sultation, education, and motivation. are curved, allowing the runner to The owners of 5th Gear Fitness control the speed and place more want to inspire change mentally and demand on the user than a traditional physically. Gretchen Trasorras, parttread by forcing you to use more owner and trainer with over 30 years muscles. in the industry, believes that in order to HIIT classes also utilize MyZone see results, clients have a strong need heart rate monitoring technology so for “community relationships formed in coaches know when to push and a positive setting of like-minded peowhen to real you back in. Finally, the ple.” Trasorras advocates what she cardio cycle room with RealRyders, calls “trainer swapping” so clients can stationary bikes that tilt from side to get the full spectrum of expertise. She, side mimicking an outdoor bike and the trainers, and the other owners, requiring much greater core activation Jessica Adams and Angie Williams, than traditional spin bikes. have different skills and expertise from 5th Gear Fitness offers child-care, resistance training, to yoga, to highshower stalls/lockers, and nutrition intensity interval training (HIIT) & counseling. more. The March special includes a St. 5th Gear Fitness offers a range of Patrick’s Day four-leaf clover good individualized training and group class- toward four free visits for new guests. es all founded on "whole fitness" phiExisting clients and new enrollments losophy based on five fundamental fitcan enter to win their part of the pot ness components: cardio, resistance, of gold by referring friends and family. mind/body, nutrition, and corrective Visit www.5gearfit.com.
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Local Y Volunteers Honored For Service At 2017 Community Impact Dinner
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Area residents who volunteer their time, talent and treasure to the neighborhood Y were recognized at the Annual Community Impact Dinner. Local Y Volunteers of the Year included Mike Hurlburt from North Brandon Y, Michelle Smith from the Campo Family Y, Robert Lindsey from the Big Bend Y and Larry Eaton from Camp Cristina.
The Tampa YMCA 2017 Community Impact Dinner, is an opportunity for attendees to learn about the Tampa YMCA's real impact on the community. In addition, awards are given to dignitaries and Volunteers of the Year from each of the Tampa YMCA's 15 branches are recognized. From the North Brandon Y, Mike Hurlburt, was selected as Volunteer of the Year. Hurlburt is a past board chair and just stepped down from nine years of service. Hurlburt was one of the driving forces behind the Y's Lopez Exceptional Student Center Christmas Project. Children from the center receive Christmas presents thanks to the efforts of volunteers such as Hurlburt. The Volunteer of the Year from the Campo Family Y is Michelle Smith. As Chair of the Youth Development Committee, Smith was instrumental in getting a large courtyard completely renovated. According to Dwight Kerr, Development Director, "The committee had a dream to convert a dirty unused space into an area which can be used for
exercise, sports and picnics." Kerr added, "The committee had a dream and Smith helped lead the efforts." From the new Big Bend Y, the Volunteer of the Year is Robert Lindsey. He was chair of the Volunteer Board and helped to get it off the ground and make it fully functioning. Kerr said, "Lindsey was a true leader. The board raised and awarded $13,000 in scholarships." The Big Bend Y opened in 2015 and offers youth soccer, basketball and summer camp. The Volunteer of the Year from Tampa YMCA's Camp Cristina is Larry Eaton. According to Mark Battig, the Executive Director for Camp Cristina, “Larry puts the camp and its needs at the forefront of all that he does for us.” In addition to honoring volunteers who go above and beyond for their neighborhood Y, the Tampa YMCA awarded the Community Impact Award to former Hillsborough County School Board member, Doretha Edgecomb. She was recognized for her dedication and positive impact on Tampa Bay residents. Visit www.tampaymca.org. Dr. Amir Boules
POSITIVE COMMUNITY NEWS THROUGHOUT BLOOMINGDALE/FISHHAWK, RIVERVIEW, APOLLO BEACH, BRANDON, AND VALRICO DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
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Volume 12, Issue 3
Brandon Relay For Life ...Continued From Page 1
By Tamas Mondovics
HCSO Detectives Seek Assistance Identifying Suspects In Business Burglaries Hillsborough County The second case Sheriff’s detectives are keepHCSO is seeking assising busy in trying to identify tance is a business bursuspects involved in a pair of glary in which the susBrandon area business burpects cut a hole in the glaries. roof. HCSO spokesperHCSO spokesperson son Cristal Nunez said Debbie Carter said that the that two males were last first case involves suspects seen wearing hooded that detectives say broke into jackets and gloves a local electronics store last attempted entry to the month and stole nearly Indian Jewelry and $150,000 worth of merchan- HCSO detectives search for Boutique located at 803 the suspects in burglary of dise including a large number Indian Jewelry and Boutique E. Brandon Blvd. on and suspects who broke into February 20 at 1:30 a.m. of cell phones. a T-Mobile store. In a press release Carter Nunez said that after said that on November 10, 2016 at several failed attempts to gain entry approximately 1:30 a.m., unknown susthrough a rear door, the suspects used an pects forced entry into the T-Mobile store elevated air conditioning unit to gain located at 815 E. Brandon Blvd. access to the roof and then used an The suspects broke through the con- unknown tool to cut a hole in the roof crete wall at the rear of the business and above the business to gain entry to the once inside rendered the alarm system area between the roof and the interior and its cellular back up inoperable. They ceiling tiles, at which time debris from the forced entry to the safe by using a round ceiling activated the alarm causing the cutting wheel and removed cash, after suspects to flee on foot. which they proceeded to the storage Anyone with information referencing cage for the cell phones and removed these suspects is asked to call the approximately $150,000 worth of cell Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at phones and electronics fleeing in a light 247-8200. Those eligible for a cash color vehicle, similar to a Cadillac CTS, reward call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873four door with a sunroof. TIPS (8477).
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time to grieve for those we have lost, to reflect on our own or loved ones cancer experience and to find hope that tomorrow holds the promise of a cancer-free world.” The tracks go dark during the ceremony and bags can be purchased and decorated the day of the event. Money raised at the event goes to the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without can-
By Kate Quesada
cer and the Hope Lodge which assists cancer patients from out of the area receiving treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center. Residents are encouraged to sign up to participate in either event at www.relayforlife.org, but the community is also encouraged to come out to support the fundraisers at the events, even if they are not part of a team. The events will take place at Brandon High School track, 1011 Victoria St. in Brandon.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
does this continue Mckinnon urged to happen and it’s residents to take just hard to say.” some time and While no review basic safety investigation can tips, including: bring Jacob back, • “Look or take away the when you Lock.” pain each family – Open the rear By Tamas Mondovics member have to door of your car live with, paying or turn around in more attention to your seat to look With temperatures rising during the summer heeding reminders months residents are urged to be aware of behind you just of the dangers of the dangers of summer heat. Even at just 80 to make sure leaving children in degrees outside temperatures, a car can heat everyone is out of “This is everyone’s up to over 120 degrees in less than an hour. parked cars, and the car before nightmare,” Hillsborough raising awareness can be done by all. you lock. Try to make a habit of doing County Sheriff’s Office Many of such reminders are not this even when traveling alone (and it Public Information hard to find including the one posted on could always help you to remember Officer, Larry McKinnon the window at the BFF Kidz day care your purse, sunglasses, or something told reporters shortly center, which reads: "Look before you else, too.) after a two-year-old lock. Never leave a child alone in a car." • Keep something important in Brandon toddler, Jacob According to experts, grim statistics the back seat – Put your purse or walManchego was found forecast dozens of over-heated parkedlet on the seat next to your car-seat. unconscious, in a car at car casualties across the U.S. each sum- This gives you another reason to turn the Oak Park Shopping mer. around and look back, helping to build Center at the corner of The top ten states for such deaths up the habit of looking. W. Lumsden Road and Two-year-old Brandon toddler, Jacob Manchego was found include: Texas, Florida, California, • Always lock the doors – This Kings Ave. in Brandon. unconscious, in a car at the Oak Park Shopping Center at the Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, can help prevent curious kids from The all too familiar corner of W. Lumsden Road and Kings Ave in Brandon in late Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, and getting in a car and getting locked incident is another grim February. After being left in his sister’s car for more than five inside. reminder of the dangers hours, Manchego was transported to Brandon Regional Hospital Oklahoma. where he later died and under criminal investigation. International Parking Institute (IPI) • Keep keys and fobs out of of an overheated car Five hours later, she returned to her Communications noted that while dozens reach – Hang your keys and fobs in a and the importance of vigilance not only car and discovered Jacob unresponsive of children die annually in this tragic way, cabinet or put them somewhere that during the summer months, but year inside. it is most often due to being forgotten in children can’t get to them. round. McKinnon said Silva-Tello removed the backseat by a busy parent or a care• If you see a child in car alone, Temperatures in the Tampa area giver. call 911 – Even on a 75 degree day, the reached the upper-80s the day of the inci- the child from the vehicle and carried him to a dialysis center in the shopping center A car's interior can reportedly rise 43 inside of car can reach 100 degrees dent, tying records for this time of year, where first aid was administered. degrees in an hour and easily top 123 within 10 minutes, and a child’s body authorities said. Paramedics with Hillsborough County degrees on an 80-degree day, even with can overheat three to five times faster According to investigators, Fire Rescue arrived and transported the windows “cracked” open. Within minthan an adult. If you see a child left in Manchego’s 21-year-old half sister, Jacob to Brandon Regional Hospital utes, such sweltering environment can a car alone, call 911 for assistance. It’s Fiorella Vanessa Silva-Tello left the little where he later died. turn lethal for a child whose body temper- far better to be safe than sorry. boy locked inside her gray Chevy “We see this happen over and over ature rises several times faster than an For more information please visit Equinox at around 9 a.m. after she adult’s. NHTSA.org or safercar.gov/heatstroke, arrived to work at BFF Kidz day care cen- again,” said McKinnon visibly upset, adding, “You have to ask yourself why In a way of offering support, or visit www.parking.org. ter, at 733 W. Lumsden Road.
Brandon Toddler Left In Hot Car Becomes Latest Casualty
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Local Attorney Vanessa Bevington Receives Super Star Honor By Kate Quesada
Brandon family law the Hillsborough attorney Vanessa County Bar Association Bevington recently and the Brandon Bar received an honor that Association, works on sets her apart from family law matters, other professionals in while her partner, Allen her field. The partner at Carman handles perCarman and Bevington sonal injury cases. P.A. was selected to the Bevington has worked Super Lawyers 2017 on cases ranging Rising Star list, a disfrom divorce and tinction given to less pre-nuptial agreethan two and a half perments to child supcent of lawyers in the port and paternity state. issues and domestic Bevington, who violence cases. got her law degree “We really get to from Thomas M. know our clients and Cooley Law School in work hard to resolve Brandon family law attorney Michigan and started their issues for them,” Vanessa Bevington was recently selected to the Super Lawyers practicing in 2006, was said Bevington. “Our 2017 Rising Star list. nominated for the list firm is very personable by her peers and was then selected by in the sense that when you hire me, you the research team at Super Lawyers, a are going to get me working on your case rating service of outstanding lawyers, to from start to finish.” receive the honor using a multi-level In addition to working hard for her process including a statewide survey of clients, Bevington also strives to be an lawyers and an independent research active part of the Brandon community. evaluation of candidates. She works with local charities including The Super Lawyer lists are published Metropolitan Ministries and the Salvation nationwide in Super Lawyer Magazines Army and has participated in a mission and feature lawyers from 70 different trip to Haiti. practice areas. Carman and Bevington, P.A. is locat“This award is a great honor,” said ed at 223 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and can be Bevington. “It means a lot to me to be reached at 654-3444. For more informarecognized by my peers and to know that tion, visit www.brandonlegal.com or connot only my clients appreciate my hard tact the office for a free initial consultation. work.” To learn more about the Super Lawyers Bevington, who is a member of the Rising Star list, visit Florida Bar, the Middle District of Florida, www.superlawyers.com.
Community Roundtable Recognizes Deserving People In The Community At Annual Dinner
By Kathy L. Collins
Melissa Chin, a senior at Riverview High School. Chin has a weighted GPA of 6.7. Chin is an active volunteer and established the Best Buddies Chapter at Riverview High School. Melissa Chin, a senior at Riverview High School was honored The Non-Profit with the Maureen Krzanowski Scholarship, Lela Lilyquest, founder of Portamento of Hope, shown here with Lisa Rodriguez, of the Year Award was named the Non-Profit of the Year and Walt Raysick, retired was presented USN was presented with the 2017 Alice B. Tompkins Community Portamento of Service Award at the Annual Community Affairs Dinner. Hope, a local soup Each year, the Community kitchen founded by Lela Lilyquist. In Roundtable, an all-volunteer organization accepting the award, Lilyquist said, that has been serving the greater "When I started this organization, I did not Brandon community for over five know much about feeding the homeless. I decades, holds its Annual Community have since learned that we throw away Affairs Dinner. This dinner is widely antici40 percent of the food supply each year.” pated each year. It is an opportunity for Portamento of Hope accepts 75,000 the community to come together to celepounds of food each year and uses it to brate the past year's accomplishments feed 1,100 homeless each week. Lilyquist and to recognize those in the community added, “I appreciate this award. I am who have given of their time to make the delighted and humbled.” area better. This year's Community Affairs The Alice B. Tompkins Community Dinner was held on Wednesday, Service Award was presented to Walt February 22 at Center Place in Brandon. Raysick, retired USN. In presenting the Jeff Eakins, Superintendent for award, last year’s recipient, Kavita Hillsborough County Schools, served as Marballi said, “This individual has a pasthe keynote speaker. Eakins thanked the sion for all he does including Crime Community Roundtable for providing stuStoppers, Toys for Tots, Eagle Scouts, the dents in Hillsborough County with access Brandon Chamber Military Affairs to community service projects. Eakins Committee and more. He was a key said, “Thank you for all you do to change member in establishing the Veterans the lives and hearts of students.” Memorial Park. For more information on Each year, the Community The Community Roundtable, please visit Roundtable awards the Maureen www.thecommunityroundtable.org or call Krzanowski Scholarship to a deserving 661-4350 or email high school senior. This year's recipient is email@example.com.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
Remi’s Minis Gourmet Coffee and Donut Shop Is Now Open In Winthrop Town Center
County Hosts Free Document Shredding And Skateboarding Contest During Shred Fest
Who doesn't idea for a mini donut like a good, tasty and coffee shop donut? If you are when they were one of the millions traveling in who cannot resist a California. Ben donut, then head explained, "We go over to Remi's out there a couple of Minis, Inc. located times a year and are in Winthrop Town always fascinated Center in Riverview. by the success of Remi's Minis is the donut and food owned and operattruck industry. So, ed by long time we thought we Riverview residents, would give it a try, Ben and Christy but with our own Chambless. twist." Ben added, Ben and Christy Chambless invite you to "We decided to find Remi's Minis is come and try their mini gourmet donuts not your ordinary, and hand crafted coffee beverages at their and outfit a vintage run of the mill cofnew shop located in Winthrop Town Center Airstream travel in Riverview. fee and donut shop. trailer." For one thing, it is housed in a refurThe name, Remi's Minis, comes bished 1963 Airstream Travel Trailerfrom the Chambless' adopted dog, yeah the old silver bullets! Second, it is Remi. They adopted him from the situated in a great community, Winthrop Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Remi Town Center in front of the Art Factory was found tied to a tree and had been at Winthrop Arts. shot over 30 times in the head and face At Remi's Minis you can get a deliwith a BB gun. Remi's loveable face is cious vanilla cake donut topped with perfect for the logo. As a thanks to the delicious ingredients such as maple Humane Society of Tampa Bay, cusicing with bacon, Nutella with fresh tomers will be asked to round up their strawberries and even toasted coconut order and the difference will be donated and caramel. During holidays, seasonal each month. favorites will be offered. Remi's Minis is now open on Remi's Minis also serves locally Winthrop Main Street, behind the Times roasted Blind Tiger coffee. You can get building. Remi's Minis will be open espresso based beverages such as Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. latte, brewed coffee and nitrogento 6 p.m. at 11267 Winthrop Main St. in infused cold brew. Ben and Christy plan Riverview. to locally source the majority of the Visit www.remisminis.com or call ingredients used. 525-7282 and make sure to like them Ben and Christy came up with the on Facebook at Remi's Minis, Inc.
In an effort to reduce stress and promote peace of mind, Hillsborough County hosted Shred Fest 2017 to kick off Consumer Protection Week (March 5-11). The event appropriately named Tear it Up! Shred Paper Clutter and the Competition at Hillsborough took place on March 4 at Apollo Beach Park and Young skaters show off some shredding skills at the Recreation Center and Northwest Skate Park. Hillsborough County is now offering skateboarding lessons at each of its three state-of-the-art included free document skate parks including those in Brandon and Apollo Beach. shredding, with fitness and skateboarding conwaiver is also required, while skaters tests for all ages. 12 and under must also have elbow According to Michelle VanDyke and knee pads. with Hillsborough County Shred Fest 2017 is also the time Communications, “This event allows to remind local skaters to prepare for participants to shred their personal the County’s annual “Best Shredder 3documents and papers and to enjoy a Part Series,” which rewards particiskateboard shredding contest as well pants with great prizes, and of course, as free lunch,” VanDyke said adding some much-valued bragging rights. that attendees are also able to shred The 2017 ‘Best Shredder’ series is their consumer know-how by getting scheduled for Saturday, June 21 and expert advice on a wide variety of topSaturday, August 19 at the Brandon ics, including marine safety and how to and Apollo Beach Skate Parks, choose a life jacket.” respectively. Admission to each park, While Shred Fest 2017 focused on staffed with people who are passiona number of fitness and skateboarding ate about skateboarding, is free. contests, the event specifically drew No motorized boards of any kind attention to the County’s three skate are allowed. Shirt and shoes are parks, which are now offering skaterequired at all times. board lessons for all skill levels, For information on the Skate including beginners as long as they Parks, visit HCFLGov.net/Consumer, have a helmet and board. A notarized or call 671-7635.
By Kathy L. Collins
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Volume 12, Issue 3
G. Fried Flooring America Remains Local Great Food, Wine And Music Await You At Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival Treasure, With Temp Showroom Move Staff Report 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, durable laminate parked smack flooring, sheet vinyl dab in between and vinyl tile. More Brandon Honda than a flooring speand Ferman cialty store, G. Fried Chevrolet on E. Flooring America’s Adamo Dr. for experts are trained more than 17 in flooring sales and years. President design to guarantee Rufus Ashby a unique level of never planned personal service. on moving from G. Fried Flooring America president Rufus Flooring delivery the prime locaAshby said his showroom is moving to a and installation are tion but fate temporary location in the Kmart Shopping always has a Center on W. Brandon Blvd. until a permanent also available. location can be found. “We underway of changing stand how difficult it can be to find just the the best laid plans. The building was sold and in January right flooring and we are here to help,” he said. learned that his lease was not renewed. G. Fried professionals helped Ashby had to be out by February 28. FishHawk Ranch resident Rick Ramirez “It’s been such a unique situation to select and install wood flooring last year have the showroom and warehouse next after water damaged the 1,800 sq. ft. first to each other,” said Ashby. floor of his home. His realtor scoured the available “I had used G. Fried Flooring options. A permanent warehouse and America in the past and knew that I could office space was located on Madison Ave. between Highways 301 and 41. The trust them with this large project,” he said. “They were very professional, clean and I retail location has proved trickier. was extremely satisfied with the finished Until a permanent location is found, product.” the store is moving to a temporary home, G. Fried Flooring America is open a 10,000 sq. ft. space located in the Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., Kmart Shopping Center located at 1516 Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday W. Brandon Blvd. 12 Noon – 4 p.m. Ashby said even though the location For more information, visit is temporary, it will showcase a diverse www.gfriedfa.com or call 628-9630. selection of luxurious carpets in thou-
McAuley Fine Jewelry (Located in the former Martin Jeweler’s)
Same Staff ... Same Location ... Same Trusted Professionals of the former Martin’s Jewelers The staff and jewelers of Martin’s Jewelers will continue to provide you with the same great service and trust in workmanship that you have always enjoyed.
Ed McAuley, Owner Served The Martin Family For Over 10 Years Open Tuesday-Friday 10-6 • Saturday 10-4
813-689-8124 • Oakfield Drive, Brandon (Located in the Atlantic Village Plaza, Kings Avenue & Oakfield Drive)
A world of 29: Bachata taste awaits you Heightz, Justin at Busch Quiles & Milly Gardens Tampa Quezada; Bay’s third annual Sunday, April 30: Food & Wine Tribute Bands Festival, returning (Jimmy Buffett, this spring for an Queen, Bon Jovi extended nine and Prince). weeks of chartThe festival topping artists returns with signature Uncork the flavor of more than 65 fine and culinary mas- wines, an expanded lineup of over 70 craft dishes and exciting terpieces. The brews and a variety of featured cocktails at new cuisine, includthe Busch Gardens® Food & Wine popular Tampa ing duck tacos, lobFestival. Bay food and ster ravioli, bacon wine festival is included with any mac & cheese, brown sugar rubbed Annual Pass, Fun Card or daily admispork belly, banana foster panna cotta, sion to the park and runs Saturdays gator bites, and cabernet-filled chocoand Sundays, March 4 through April lates, as well as an expanded selection 30. of wines, craft brews and cocktails. The biggest names in entertainFood and beverage is not included ment will take the stage every weekwith park admission and is available for end with the headlining act starting at 7 an extra fee. Guests must be 21 years p.m. on Gwazi Field. Artists kicking off of age or older to consume alcoholic the festival include: Kool & The Gang; beverages. Saturday, March 18: Young the Giant; For a limited time, if you buy a Sunday, March 19: Jason Isbell & Busch Gardens Fun Card, get an John Hiatt Trio; Saturday, March 25: Adventure Island Fun Card for free. NBC’s The Voice finalists Craig Wayne For those that want even more VIP Boyd & Adam Wakefield, Sunday, offerings, the Annual Pass offers unlimMarch 26: ited admission all year, free parking, no El Gran Combo, Saturday, April 1: blackout dates and special benefits DNCE; Sunday, April 2: Walk Off The totaling more than $300. With EZpay, Earth, Saturday, April 8: Hunter Annual Passes start at just $14 per Hayes; Sunday, April 9: Daya and month for one park, and $16 per month Matt Nathanson; Saturday, April 15: for both Busch Gardens Tampa Bay The Band Perry; Sunday, April 16: and Adventure Island. Visit seaworldNewsboys; Saturday, April 22: parks.com/en/buschgardensGilberto Santa Rosa; Sunday, April tampa/food-and-wine/event-info for 23: Lynyrd Skynyrd; Saturday, April more on the Festival.
Christian Music Artist Francesca Battistelli Will Perform At Bell Shoals Church
Lottery Hits Close To Home By Lucky Brandon Resident
Contemporary on as a singerChristian music artist songwriter and into Francesca Battistelli will the realm of perform with the Bell Christian music. Shoals’ Worship Choir. The singer has released four The concert begins at Christian albums 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. to spanning a 10-year the church’s state-of-theperiod with each art lighting and sound album echoing difvenue. Attendees can ferent stages of her expect Battistelli to sing life. Since her first her chart-topping album release in Christian songs as well 2004, the musician as a few of her favorite has transitioned from a teen to a Broadway tunes. mother of three. Tickets range from Battistelli is a $14.50 per person for Who: Francesca Battistelli recipient of six main floor seating to What: Christian Music Concert GMA Dove $68 per person for the When: Friday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. Awards and four Artist Circle seating, Grammy nominawhich includes a meet Where: Bell Shoals Baptist Church 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon tions. In 2016, and greet. Due to the popularity of the main- Tickets: www.bellshoals.com she won a stream artist, tickets Grammy and are expected to sell out quickly. said, “I am so honored and humbled Battistelli partnered with True to have been recognized with a North Presents, an agency assemGrammy award for Holy Spirit, a song bling accomplished musicians with that has meant so much to me.” capable church music ministries For additional information on the across the nation. The musicianship artist, please visit her Website at exhibited at these events dazzle audi- www.francescamusic.com. For quesences with a matchless and rewarding tions regarding the concert, please listening experience. contact True North Presents at Battistelli was born into a musical info@TrueNorthPresents.com or call 615-775-1088. You may also visit its family in New York City, but was Website at raised in Florida. At age 15, she was www.truenorthpresents.com. The cona member of the pop music group cert venue is located at 2102 Bell Bella, based out of Orlando. After the pop group dissolved, Battistelli moved Shoals Rd. in Brandon.
A Brandon resident’s lottery winning dreams came true last month when she purchased a scratch-off ticket at a local Publix store. According to The Florida Lottery, Deborah Harvey of Brandon, purchased a Gold Rush Doubler Scratch-Off game ticket at the Valrico Publix, located at 3461 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. The ticket gave her a $1 million prize which she chose to receive as a onetime, lump-sum payment of $745,000. As commission for selling the winning ticket, Publix received a $2,000 bonus. Harvey purchased the ticket for $20. The Gold Rush Doubler features six top prizes of $5 million, 30 prizes of $1 million and more than $752 million in total cash prizes. According to lottery representatives, the game offers more than 16.8 million winning tickets and overall odds of winning one-in-2.99, but the odds of winning the $1 million are 1-in-1,680,000.
By Amanda Boston
By Kate Quesada
Scratch-off games are an important part of the lottery’s portfolio of games, making up approximately 65 percent of ticket sales and generating more than $734 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) in fiscal year 2015-16. According to the Florida Lottery Website, scratch-off tickets with $1 million prizes became available for purchase in 1988 and since then, 565 people have become millionaires from playing the games. The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $31 billion to education and sending more than 750,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 98 percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $52.4 billion in prizes and made more than 1,900 people millionaires. For more information, please visit www.flalottery.com.
BRANDON CATARACT CENTER AND EYE CLINIC Auyanna Gilbert Licensed Aesthetician
Specializing in unique facials and chemical peels that cater to every ethnicity. UNIQUE CHALLENGES FOR SKIN OF EVERY COLOR • Caucasian Skin – premature aging, dryness and rosacea.
• Hispanic Skin– hyperpigmentation, scarring, Post In!lammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), and uneven skin tone. • Asian Skin – sensitivity, and more prone to acne discoloration.
• African American or Other Ethnicities of Darker Skin – sensitivity to Post In!lammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), keloid formation, and pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB).
Every ancestry has certain skin challenges speci!ic to it. This signi!icantly affects the type of skin care treatment performed. Treatment intensity varies based on the client and their speci!ic skin challenges.
BRANDON CATARACT CENTER AND EYE CLINIC 403 Vonderburg Dr. • Brandon
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Dynamic Painting Offers $10,000 In Paint Jobs To Celebrate Anniversary
By Nick Nahas
If you could paint do it for the a perfect picture of a recognithriving local business tion, I do it that generously gives because I back to the communilove to ty, it would be of Rob give back Silver’s Dynamic to the Painting communiUSA. The ty,” he company said. “I am started back very in March FishHawk single mom Daniella Vetencourt blessed 2007 when and her sons Diego, 10 and Matias,7, won with how a Free Exterior Home Paint job in 2015 my busiSilver startafter she entered an Osprey contest. ed booking ness has jobs before he even had employees, and progressed, and if I can make a small difhe had to do most of the painting by himference in somebody’s life by giving a self. Today, the interior and exterior house paint job away, then I’d love to do that.” painting business has taken off and Silver In March, four people will be selected now has over 20 employees working for to receive $2,500 worth of free painting. him within a 25-mile radius of the Potential recipients will write a 500-word Brandon, Valrico, Fishhawk and essay on why they would like a paint job, Riverview areas. and must include a picture of their house Silver is very appreciative of the local in order to be eligible. Entry forms will be community where he started his company available at Osprey Observer headquarand found success, which has lead to his ters. Certain restrictions apply. generosity of giving back to people in The idea for the Painting from the need of a helping hand. According to Heart campaign started when Silver put Silver, he has donated on average an ad on Craigslist trying to get rid of the $2,500-$3,000 of exterior paint jobs every extra gallons of paint he had. A single year for close to five years. The cammother contacted him asking for just one paign, called Painting From the Heart, gallon so that she could paint her garage. gives exterior paint jobs to single mothers It inspired a full donation. “I love helping on Mother’s Day and servicemen or vetout others, it’s a great feeling,” he said. erans during the holidays. For the last 10 Painting from the Heart, Silver has years, he has also given $3,000-$4,000 also been involved as a guardian for in certificates to local charities for room Honor Flight of West Central Florida, takmakeovers every year. ing WWII Veterans on a trip to D.C. for For the 10th anniversary, Silver plans the day. For information, visit their website on donating $10,000 in paint jobs. “I don't at http://dynamicpaintingusa.com.
Enter to win a Paint Job!
Why could you use up to $2,500 in free painting! Send us your story and a photo. Email a story approx. 500 words about your painting needs to firstname.lastname@example.org subject line Painting along with a photo. At least 4 winners from the community will be selected as part of Dynamic Painting USA’s 10 year Anniversary Give Away! Name: Address: Phone: Email: Community: Email to win at email@example.com, fax to 657-4469 or mail to 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon, FL 33511.
Follow us on Instagram for more giveaways (@OspreyObserver)
Volume 12, Issue 3
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 to a larger space in attorney Kyle the Park Place Belz, attorney office complex. Jacqueline O. The move is Ellett has joined designed to the firm to assist accommodate a in fulfilling its misgrowing staff, sion. Ellett is a A Ribbon Cutting with the Riverview Chamber house the graduate of of Commerce was recently held to celebrate All Life Legal’s move to a larger location to Stetson Riverview accommodate the growing practice. Mediation and University, where Coordination Center and provide a more she completed the Elder Law collaborative environment in which attor- Concentration Program. Her areas of neys and clients can work together. expertise include Elder Law, Estate Located at 10017 Park Place Ave. Planning, Probate, Trust Administration in Riverview, All Life Legal specializes in and Family Law. Elder Law, a practice area which The larger office space will also addresses the legal issues faced by the host the Riverview Mediation and elderly, including property management, Coordination Center, which provides advance directives, special needs planpre-suit, court-ordered and post-judgning, guardianship, Medicaid planning ment mediation as well as parental and estate planning. coordination services for family law mat“Elder law attorneys have a positive ters. impact on people’s lives when they “I created this as an option for peoneed 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. able to use our experience and help “Mediation resolves conflicts efficiently create a plan to get through that difficult and economically.” time.” “Our clients can be assured that Brandon resident Bob McGough they will receive understanding at a said All Life Legal has assisted him in whole different level,” said Carolan. many matters during the last eight All Life Legal is open Monday years. “They are professional and toThursday 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. and straightforward and have a good comFriday 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Most initial mand of the law,” he said. “It’s a relief to consultations are free of charge. know they are taking care of me.” For more information about All Life McGough said he needed a lawyer, Legal visit www.alllifelegal.com or call but in Carolan he found a lawyer and a 671-4300.
Successful Living Brunch Inspires Entrepreneurs
By Kate Quesada
will leave attendees empowered to break through the barriers holding them back whether as a stay at home mom or a business CEO.” Speakers include Valrico resident Shannon Carlton who opened Co-Work Landing, a co-working space for entrepreneurs, in Brandon last year. “I am inspired every day when I hear other women’s stories of where they have been and where they are now in their lives,” said The Women’s Successful Living Brunch will take Carlton. “From losing more than place April 8 in Brandon. 100 pounds to conquering the Pearl Chiarezza wants to help Appalachian Trail, the Successful Living women overcome the challenges they women are conquering daily and I am face every day, and has brought together excited to be a part of a group that wants a team of inspiring female leaders to do to share their stories to inspire others to just that at the Women’s Successful succeed.” Living Brunch next month in Brandon. Sandy Lee of Sandy Lee Coaching, “In our professional and personal Home Keeper’s International’s Kimberly lives we are going to come up against Solomon, Liz Everett of Liz Everett Style obstacles that will hold us back,” said and The Osprey Observer Managing Chiarezza, a Brandon resident who Editor Marie Gilmore will join Chiarezza founded Women’s Successful Living last and Carlton as the event’s speakers. August. “My goal is to help women realize “These leaders have embraced the that they are not alone if they are finding it need for women to take care of ourselves hard to conquer challenges and achieve first and have been successful in accomgoals.” The Saturday, April 8 brunch, plishing this in their lives,” said Chiarezza. which will take place at The Event Gallery The $55 ticket price includes a bagel in Brandon from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., is breakfast, brunch from catering sponsor the second in what Chiarezza hopes will Livy O’s Catering and 20 minute talks be a quarterly series and will feature a from each speaker, followed by 10 minline-up of six local women who have utes of question time. The event is sponovercome their own sets of challenges to sored in part by Lucyna Aleksandra make a difference in the community. Portraits. Sponsorship opportunities are “We are working to build a local tribe still available. Tickets can be purchased of women who can help and inspire each for an early bird special price of $45 until other,” said Chiarezza, who also estabthe end of March. The Event Gallery is lished and owns Bodyworks Health and located at 524 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Wellness Center. “My hope is that the day Visit www.womensuccessfulliving.com.
Congratulations to our own
for being named a Rising Star for 2017 by Super Lawyers Magazine, a Thomson Reuters Company. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Florida are selected to receive this honor. We are proud to have Vanessa as part of our team! Ms. Bevington offers free consultations regarding any family law related matter including divorce, alimony, time sharing, child support, paternity, domestic violence injunctions, and modifications.
Vanessa A. Bevington You wouldn’t plan your wedding in 48 hours. Why have your loved ones plan your Funeral and cemetery arrangements in 48 hours? It’s time to have the conversation. Schedule Your Pre-Planning Appointment TODAY.
MEMBER OF THE FLORIDA, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, AND BRANDON BAR ASSOCIATIONS
FAMILY LAW DIVORCE/PATERNITY ALIMONY AND CHILD SUPPORT PARENTING PLANS AND TIME-SHARING PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTIONS
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Volume 12, Issue 3
os c n o r B Brandoengistration, Early R gg Events & Easter EMore… anti, Coles ichelle ed by M com Compil spreyobserver. o e@ michell
Grow Into You Family Fun Day At Barnes & Noble
On Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Barnes & Noble in Brandon will host a book fair with Grow Into You, an organization providing assistance for foster children aging out of the foster care system. Supporters will be invited to shop in the store during that time, and Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of the proceeds to the foundation. From 11 a.m.-12 Noon - Beauty and the Beast story time and sing-along. Steve Altier will sign his new book for Young Adults, Lizardville The Ghost Story. Gwen Rollins and her daughter Brittany will sign books from their Molly Tailwagger Series. Brittany (illustrator of the series) will also be demonstrating her drawing talents as well.
Learn Your Psychology Of Color
Join in for a Create Workshop on the Psychology of Color at the
Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, on Saturday, April 1 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Local artist and teacher, Jennifer Hand, will help you explore color, and the impact it can have on your life. You will discover your color preferences, and how to weave them into your life and use them to illustrate your writing. Supplies will be provided, but please bring a poem or story of your own, or a favorite author, to illustrate. Register at the library's Help Desk, or call 273-3652. There is a 15 person limit.
Brandon Broncos Early Registration And Event
The Brandon Broncos will be holding early on-site registration events on Sunday March 26 from 12 Noon-3 p.m. and Wednesday April 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Both football players and cheerleaders are currently being accepted, however some levels are limited on availability. The Broncos will also be holding a free community Easter event on Friday April 14 from 6:30- 8:30 p.m., fun and Easter egg hunt included. Visit www.brandonbroncos.org.
Meet The Easter Bunny At Hawthorne Village’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt Hawthorne Village Retirement Community will hold its annual Easter
Egg Hunt on Friday, April 14 at 11 a.m. Hunt for (over 2,000) eggs and meet and get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. This event is for ages 12 and under. There will be prizes and refreshments. Hawthorne Village is located at 859 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For information, call 661-8998 or visit hawthornevillageofbrandon.com.
Hillsborough Community College To Host Application And Financial Aid Workshops
Hillsborough Community College (HCC) will host two application and financial aid workshops to be held on Saturday, March 25 (Brandon) and Thursday, April 22 (Ybor City) for prospective students and families. Attendees will have the opportunity to work with student services and financial aid counselors to complete their application to HCC and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application (bring 2015 tax return forms). Both events will be held from 9 a.m.-1p.m., in the campus student services building. Volunteers from LEAP Hillsborough College Access Network, will also assist at the event. For information, prospective students are encouraged to contact: Brandon Campus, 10414 E. Columbus Dr. in Tampa; BRenrollment@hccfl.edu or 253-7893; Ybor City Campus, 2112 N. 15th St. in Tampa; YBenrollment@hccfl.edu or 2537690.
Coin & Currency Show
Brandon Coin Club Inc is pleased to announce its next Coin & Currency Show on Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m.3 p.m. at the Brandon Elks Lodge
#2383, located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon. 30 dealers / 45 tables; free admission/parking/door prizes and excellent food available on site. Free coin grab bags for all children under 12 and free appraisals. ICG Grading Service in attendance and offering free verbal opinions and $10 slabbing. For more information, contact Jack Laci at 352-777-6073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Golf Scramble Fundraiser Benefits Royal Family Kids
On Tuesday, April 25 from 5:30-9 p.m., Royal Family Kids Tampa will hold its first annual fundraiser golf scramble at Brandon’s Top Golf. Enjoy golf, a hot breakfast and a keynote speaker. Proceeds support a week of camp for kids that have experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment. Corporate sponsorship is available as well as individual registration. Visit TampaKidsCamp.org or contact Scott Mulhollen, camp director at 641-4141 or email at email@example.com.
Fifth Annual Golf Tournament Hosted By Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church will hold its Fifth Annual Golf Tournament at River Hills Country Club, on Saturday, April 29, at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the winning foursome as well as for Longest Drive and Closest to the Hole Contests. Event concludes with dinner, a raffle and silent auction. To register and for sponsorship, visit www.hiepiscopal.org. All proceeds will benefit the mission and ministries of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
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Bingo At The Bridges
A Bingo to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be held on Saturday, March 25 from 1-3 p.m at The Bridges, 11350 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. The cost is $25 for eight rounds of bingo. Prizes include handbags, wallets and sunglasses (Green Boutique & Optics Soho). There will be a 50/50 raffle and Chinese Auction. Food donated by Chickfil-A and decorations by Party Planet. Seating is limited to 75 people. To ensure your seat, call Donelle White at 967-5757.
Riverview Garden Club
The Riverview Garden Club will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at the Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview. The guest speaker will be National Day Lily Judge Linda Sample. She will discuss Growing Day Lilies in the Tampa Bay Area. First time attendance is free and parking is free. For more information, call Harriet at 727-6567.
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. Upcoming meetings include April 20, May 18, June 15, and July 20. 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 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in the assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low 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. For more information or to register, call 661-8998 MondayFriday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Daughters of the American Revolution Alafia River Chapter Meets Locally
The Alafia River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) meets the first Thursday evening of the month in Brandon. DAR is a nonprofit, nonpolitical volunteer women's service organization, whose mission is to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Any woman over 18 years old who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. For info, email registrarAlafiaDAR@gmail.com. Upcoming meetings are April 6, May
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4, September 7, October 5, November 2, and December 7.
Brandon on Monday, March 27 from 6-10 p.m. for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (honoring 7 yr. old Vinnie, one of 30 thouRehearsal Venue Change For Plant sand children and young adults in the US City Community Chorale living with and fighting Cystic Fibrosis). The cost is $25 per person or $85 for a Plant City Community Chorale will foursome. Cost is $15 for kids 10 and begin rehearsals at a new venue under. Enjoy live DJ, hole-in-one conon Monday, March 27. The Chorale will tests, silent auction and much more. hold rehearsals at Holy Innocents’ The BIG Purple Toilet is another Episcopal Church at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in fundraiser supporting Valrico. For several years, efforts in the Cystic the Chorale has rehearsed Fibrosis fight. Pay $15 at First to send the toilet to a Presbyterian friend, a neighbor, etc. Church in Plant The recipient then City, but the pays $15 to forward it Chorale has to someone else or grown over the $30 to forward it and years, adding purchase a "plumbing" more members policy, insurance from different areas, and issued by Odiorne Holy Innocents’ will be more Insurance, to prevent centrally-located. The the toilet from being Chorale hopes to attract back to them. We sent new singers in the ValricoHonorary Mayor of Brandon, call this fundraiser Chuck Burgess stands by The Brandon area. The BIG Purple Toilet, which is used Cystic "Eliminating Chorale’s next concert is in supporting efforts to raise Fibrosis." Follow on on Saturday, March 25, at funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Facebook: Foundation. Holy Innocents’. Call 493SweetAndSaltyKisses 1979 or visit pccchorale.org. for upcoming events and to follow the Garage Sale Will Help Raise Funds To adventures of the BIG Purple Toilet.
Support Motorcycle Safety
FL1-B of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association will be holding a garage sale on Saturday, April 8 at 2213 Ray Rd. in Valrico from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Funds are being raised in support of Motorcycle safety within the local area.
Stop Putting-A-Round-It’s time For A Cure A fundraiser will be held at Ace Driving Range, 820 S. Kings Ave. in
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Enjoy Spring Friends and Flea on Friday, March 31 and April 1, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., at 2706 Ranch Rd, off Durant Rd. Admission and parking are free. A variety of venders will be available selling antiques, vintage, florist items such as arbors and candelabras, and all kinds of treasures. Barbecue will be for sale. This event is rain or shine. For info, call Jackie at 689-3031.
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Lenten Mission Speaker Comes To St. Stephen Catholic Church
Dr. Ann Garrido, a Catholic writer, educator, administrator and communications consultant will be the Lenten Mission Speaker at St. Stephen Catholic Church, Monday to Wednesday, April 3-5 at 7 p.m. each night. She will speak about “Redeeming Conflict. “Come reflect on what the Christian tradition has to teach us about conflict done well,” Garrido said. St. Stephen is located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico. Visit www.StStephenCatholic.org.
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 http://1529878.toastmastersclubs.org/.
Impact Hosts Auditions For Impact’s
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The third annual Impact’s Got Talent 2017 will be held on Friday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale High School. Grades K-12 can audition for this fun-filled event. Singers, dancers, musicians, theater, soloist, groups are all welcome. The grand prize is $250. Trophies will be awarded to 1st & 2nd place in each category as well as prizes for certain awards. Acts must be three minutes or under and you must audition with the act you would be performing the night of the event. You may audition a cappella or with a track. Contestants selected pay a registration fee of $15 per person (solos & duets), $10 each person for groups of three or more to help offset the cost of trophies and prizes. Auditions will take place on Sunday, March 26 at 1 p.m. Visit www.WhatIsImpact.com or contact Ali Kagey at 454-9125 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment time.
Teen Impact Accepting Applications For Summer Staff
Join the Teen IMPACT Presentation Team where you will learn and present educational skits on the benefits of healthy relationships. Students may earn Bright Futures Hours for participation. Applications are available at www.whatisimpact.com/events. Application deadline if Friday, March 31. Teen IMPACT is a group of high school
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Whistle Stop Crop Scrapbooking Event
Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church is hosting its Whistle Stop Crop on Friday, March 31 from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Registration fees include workspace and for Friday dinner at 6:30 p.m. and snacks. For Saturday, a light breakfast, lunch and a dessert buffet. You must bring your own supplies. Registration fees for both days is $55 (Friday only $25, Saturday only $30); Early registration (by March 24) is $45. Proceeds from this event will benefit Holy Innocents summer mission trips. It will be held at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Register at www.hiepiscopal.org. Call 689-3130.
Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon
The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection luncheon My best friend is in her 70’s and can’t remember didly will feature Jill Andrew from Superior Residences in Brandon. The luncheon on Monday, April 10 is nondenominational
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and no membership is required. It will take place from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. The cost is $15 and first time guests pay $10. The luncheon will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in the Special Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. Please call Lillie at 740-0098 for a reservation or informa-
Upcoming Events At Congregation Beth Shalom
Passover-Palooza! – Sunday, April 9 from 4-5:30 p.m. - A fun and unique event to get you in the Passover spirit. Take part in matzo ball soup and charoset tastings, sing Dayenu to Take me out to the Seder,” and enjoy crafts and magic for kids. This will take place at the Mira Bay Clubhouse, Point Harbor Ln. in Apollo Beach. Community Seder - Tuesday, April 11 at 6 p.m. - Catered by Puff’nStuff Catering, serving matzo ball soup, chicken marsala, potato kugel, honey glazed carrots, and fresh baked peach cobbler. Gefilte Fish will be available, as well as a vegetarian plate. Cost is $36 per adult, $18 per child 5–12 years old, and children under 5 are free, no meal provided. Call the office at 6816547 to make your reservations. Welcome the Sabbath at Congregation Beth Shalom on Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. Oneg (nosh and mingle) follow services. Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
Program Offers Support To Quit Tobacco Disney On Ice Presents Newest Show,
Worlds of Enchantment
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 help people over the age Tobacco Cessation of 18 overcome their Specialist/Systems Brittany McNaughton is the tobacco dependence. “I Change Coordinator at the Tobacco Cessation would absolutely recomUSF AHEC Tobacco Specialist/Systems Change Coordinator at the USF AHEC Program Office. According mend Tobacco Free Tobacco Program Office. Florida to anyone,” said to McNaughton, tobacco Moore. “I do not think I would have been use is the leading cause of preventable successful without them.” death and disease in the United States. Several tools are available to ensure Smokers are more likely than nonsmokthat 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 gers of tobacco use, the benefits of quitFloridians. Potential members are ting, the challenges of quitting, aids for encouraged to pre-register for classes quitting, as well as support for quitting. and come willing to quit. “The vision of Members are educated on the health the program is to create a Tobacco Free effects related to tobacco use, but more Florida,” said McNaughton. importantly, participants are taught how Visit beneficial quitting tobacco is and what to www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.
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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 www.disneyonice.com/worlds-of-enchantment, Ticketmaster or by phone at 800745-3000.
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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
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Volume 12, Issue 3
Feed The Bay Outreach Helps Fill Local Food Pantries March 26
By Amanda Boston
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. 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
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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 www.feedthebay.org or contact Melanie Langston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
March 2017 Brandon/Winthrop
CHALKLINES....................................PG 28 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 29 SUMMER CAMPS.....................PGS 30‐34 SPORTS CONNECTION ....................PG 36 MARCH 2017
Volume 12, Issue 3
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL..............PG 39
A Local Artists Exhibit To Benefit Alzheimer Foundation At 22 Moons
On Saturday, April 1 from 6-9 p.m., The Gallery at 22 Moons will present a Local Artists Exhibit, which will benefit the Alzheimer Foundation Benefit and will include a Wine & Cheese Degustation. 22 Moons is located at 3110 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Ste.103 in Valrico. Call 530-4549 for more information.
Guardian Advocacy Workshop For Parents Of Adult Children With Developmental Disabilities
A Guardian Advocacy Workshop will be held Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m.-12 Noon at F.R.I.E.N.D.S Down Syndrome Tampa conference room, located at 1219 Millennium Pkwy. in Brandon. If your child is turning (or has turned) 18, and has been diagnosed with a developmental disability (intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, or Prader-Willi syndrome), and continues to need your help to make financial, educational and health care decisions, you will likely need to petition the court to become a Guardian Advocate over your child. Speakers will be spe-
down from Winn-Dixie. Order at www.robongivalrico.com or call 6622997.
Encore By David Weekley Homes Delivers Engaging Lifestyle
One year after its launch, Encore at FishHawk Ranch is Fresh hand-rolled sushi is a specialty at delivering an exciting, Robongi, which recently opened in the active lifestyle for resiWinn-Dixie Plaza on SR 60. Attorneys Laurie OHall and Dana dents. As FishHawk Kemper will hold a Guardian experience, with an Ranch’s only 55+ lifestyle community, Advocacy Workshop on Saturday, emphasis on educating Encore by David Weekley Homes feaApril 22 from 10 a.m.-12 Noon at 1219 Millennium Pkwy. in Brandon. the public, makes CBC tures three series of homes that offer the perfect destination an ideal balance of livability and outcial needs planning for everyone from the beer nerd to standing design so you can enjoy the attorneys, Dana Kemper and Laurie novice. It is located at 1937 W. lifestyle you want, in a home that is as OHall. Admission is free. Seating limBrandon Blvd. in Brandon. Visit beautiful as it is accommodating. ited to 25 spots. To RSVP, call email@example.com or Daily activities are planned by a full8503 or visit call 413-4951. time Lifestyle Director. Enjoy the Ohalllaw.com/guardianadvocacywork5,000-sq. ft. amenity center, The shop. Robongi Sushi Wok & Grill Now Oasis, where you can host a party in Open In Valrico the entertainment room, meet friends New Ownership At Craft Beer From classic Wok selections to fresh on the great lawn for yoga, swim in Cellar Brandon hand-rolled sushi, Robongi is Valrico's the adult-only pool or enjoy a game of Craft Beer Cellar (CBC) Brandon top destination for great Asian Fusion bocce or pickle ball. announces major changes under the Cuisine. Check out the delicious The community offers a variety of direction of new ownership. CBC Bento Box Special--served with your Homes ready for immediShowcase Brandon is the lone craft-beer-only choice of soup or salad, three pieces ate move-in. Or, choose from awardbottle shop in the area and features of shumai, garlic shrimp, rice and a winning floor plans to build from the more than 600 unique beers. It feasushi roll of your choice. ground up and enjoy the amenities tures 12 rotating taps for both growler Robongi is located at 2519 E. SR Encore has to offer while your new fills and on-premise, highlighted by 60 in Valrico, near the corner of FL-60 beer you won’t find at big-box tap and S. Miller Rd., just a few doors Continued On Next Page houses. Thirty years of combined beer
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Volume 12, Issue 3
Business Column Continued............. home is being built. For more information about Encore by David Weekley Homes at FishHawk Ranch, contact 422-6175.
By Michelle Colesanti Specialty Fitness Boutiques For Reviving Women
Kara Birkey, founder and visionary behind Flow Fitness, has created a fresh concept for women in the workU.S. News & World Report out industry. Flow Fitness provides Recognizes Hawthorne Health And women with a variety of specialty fitRehab Of ness classes fueled Brandon by pure music within Hawthorne a virtuous environHealth and ment. Opening Rehab of Saturday, March 25, Brandon has Flow Fitness will be been recogRiverview’s first spenized as a Top cialty fitness bouNursing Home tique for women. for 2016-2017 Birkley, having by U.S. News & served as an adminWorld Report, a istrative assistant leading expert Visit David Weekley Homes 55+ community for a top-selling gym Encore at FishHawk Ranch. in evaluation owner for more than and rating of 10 years felt the health care providers across the coun- time was right for something fresh in try. Ratings are based on information this trending industry. from the Centers for Medicare and Envision a Medicaid services. place to get Only 13% of facilities receive the your sweat on Best Nursing Home designation, and then take a which represents a 41% decrease little time to from prior year. “This is a wonderful rejuvenate honor to be recognized as a top nursyourself in the ing home, especially in light of the state of the art more stringent criteria. “Our dedicat“REVIVE ed, caring staff work hard every day to ROOM”. enrich the lives of our residents, and Flow this award validates their efforts,” said Fitness offers a variety of trending Hawthorne Executive Director, Joseph classes guided by genuine and knowlCassiba. edgeable instructors, covering a range of amazing and Mari Colgan, REALTOR GTR achievable President, Now Affiliated With health and fitYellowfin Realty ness benefits that suit you. Mari Colgan, REALTOR and Flow 2017 GTR President-Elect is now Fitness is locataffiliated with Yellowfin Realty in the ed at 11331 US Winthrop Town Center Office. Hwy 301 S., As a seasoned professional Ste. 101 (north REALTOR®, Colgan brings over 18 of Symmes Rd.) years of real estate experience to in Riverview. the Yellowfin Realty family. She Call 374-3019 knows that choosing a real estate Mari Cogan, Realtor GTR or visit agent who has the tools, skills and President, Now Affilated www.flowfitexperience to make your dreams with Yellowfin Realty. come true can be as challenging as nessboutique.com. the home buying and selling process itself. Colgan wants to make it simple UBREAKIFIX Opens Second Area for you. She is a Christian REALLocation In Brandon TOR® who holds integrity and ethics to the highest standard. At UBREAKIFIX, it is understood She and hushow traumatic it band Donnie can be when you reside in the break one of your Bloomingdale electronic devices, community. They be it your cell have three grown phone or note pad. children and two The staff is there to grandchildren. help you get it Yellowfin repaired quickly. Realty is located UBREAKIFIX servStorefront of the UBREAKIFIX Brandon at 11256 Winthrop location at 2492 W. Brandon Blvd. ices all brands of Main St. in electronics, repairRiverview. Call 229-8862 or visit yeling cracked screens, water lowfinrealty.com. damage, and much more. Cell phone accessories are also available. Flow Fitness Puts New Spin On Owners Bryant, Michael and
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play. U-Pick blueberries will be available from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be live entertainment and over 100 food & craft vendors. Limited Edition Strawberry Shortcake wine will also be available. Admission is free, but parking costs $10 ($5 from 8-10 a.m.) Keel & Curley Winery is located at 5210 Thonotosassa Rd. in Plant City.
Premier Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services Now Open
New Mediterranean Grill Opens
Taza is a new Mediterranean Grill restaurant specializing in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Food. It also offers catering and delivery. Taza is committed to providing you the best experience where you can experience dishes such as Hummus, Falafel, Spinach Pie, Mixed Grill, Shawerma, and Tabouli. Vegeterian and vegan options are offered. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Come and check out Taza Mediterranean Grill at 1076 E. Brandon Bl. Ste 107 in Brandon (next to Walmart and behind Good Will). Call 324-7500 or visit www.tazamediterraneangrill.com.
Amazing Kidz Therapy, located at 4312 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico, provides premier pediatric occupational therapy services to children from birth to the age of 18. Owner Kathleen Pici, OTR/L, CAS, said, “Quality care and customer experience are the cornerstones on which we are founded.” Services are provided within a comfortable and relaxed setting in which children and their families can feel at home, allowing for a maximum therapeutic benefit. Specialties and Programs include: Handwriting Support, Fine Motor Coordination and Strengthening, Strengthening and Postural Control, Sensory Processing Integration, Visual Motor/Perceptual Skills, Self Care, Life and Social Skills, Animal Assisted Social Skills Groups, Pre-Vocational Training, and Certified Autism Specialist. Hours are Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 298-9298 or visit www.AmazingKidZtherapy.com.
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 Annual Blueberry including property manFestival At Keel & agement for anyone Curley Winery who has investment properties that they Blueberries are the star attraction as Keel need managed or for & Curley Winery celeanyone who isn’t ready brates its 10th Annual to sell but has to move away. Blueberry Festival. The Blueberry “I pride myself on personal service to all Festival has become Amazing Kidz Therapy in Valrico so popular that for offers pediatric occupational thera- my customers and put py services to children in individ- all of my effort into 2017, it is being ual and group settings. extended over two helping them in selling, buying or property weekends: Friday and Saturday, April 14 & 15 and Saturday management,” said Smith. and Sunday, April 22 & 23 from 8 a.m.Yellowfin Realty Group is located 6 p.m. at 801 W. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. To contact Smith, call 368This is a fun day for all ages and will include a kid’s area for children to 4568.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics
STEM Fair Student Showcased, All-Florida Academic Team & Hillsborough County Scholarships Offered Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair Showcases Local Students
The 2017 Hillsborough Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Fair, the largest in the Southeast, concluded last month with two awards ceremonies at the Tampa Convention Center honoring the outstanding work of many local talents. The competition saw more than 2,100 students from all grade levels who have displayed 1,700 projects in three divisions, to be reviewed by 600 judges. “This is not a single day event. Students have spent months or even years working on their projects,” said Larry Plank, director for K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education. Some of the area elementary school winners included Bevis student Arnav Chavda, who received the Urban E Recycling Excellence Award for his project; Recycle The Rays. The Busch Gardens Award went to Brooker Elementary student Sienna Ryan for her project: Oil Slick, while the Great Explorations Award went to Apollo Beach Elementary student, Gavin Smoak for his project; It's Shake'n Time! Middle and high school winners are scheduled to be hosted by Bristol-Myers Squibb for a day of learning with scientists and engineers focused upon careers in STEM and strategies for success in the State of Florida Science and Engineering Fair to be held later in March. “We thank our sponsors, particularly Bristol-Myers Squibb, Stantec, and TECO, as well as the nearly 600 judges who assisted this week during our three days at the Tampa Convention Center,” Plank said. For more information about STEM
P.O. Box 6099 • Brandon, FL 33508
education in Hillsborough County please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.
HCC Students Selected To The 2017 All-Florida Academic Team
Hillsborough Community College (HCC) was pleased to announce last month that eight of its students had been selected to the 2017 All-Florida Academic Team. According to school officials the students were selected for their academic achievement, leadership and service to their community. HCC’s eight students, who were among 127 students selected from across the state to receive the honor, included: Abdoulaye Ba, Melissa De La Cruz, Nicole Liberato, Imane Malih, Emily Otten, Abigayle Renk, Allen Rogers and Lance Wood. Selecting the small group of students is particularly noteworthy considering the fact that Hillsborough Community College serves more than 45,000 students annually on five campuses across the region. HCC campuses located Brandon, and Ruskin, Plant City, Ybor City as well as on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Each student who has earned the honor to be selected was first nominated by his or her respective college to the All-USA Academic Team competition sponsored by USA Today and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. To recognize the students’ outstanding achievements the All-Florida Academic Team Awards ceremony is hosted by The Florida College System on Friday, April 7, in Tallahassee. For more information about AFAT, please visit www.fldoe.org.
Hillsborough County Helps Students Achieve Higher Education Goals Through Scholarships
Hillsborough County Social Services and the Community Action Board recently joined forces to assist local students with their goal of achieving a higher education. The County is now offering scholarships for up to $5,000 to eligible students wishing to continue their education by attending an institution of higher learning. In 2016, 52 scholarships totaling $260,000 were awarded to Hillsborough County students through Hillsborough County Social Services. According to officials, scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 school
year will be accepted through Friday, March 31. Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 22, and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Sixteen year-old students who are graduating seniors may also apply. Applicants must reside in Hillsborough County, must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 whose household income falls within 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Applicants will also be evaluated on their community service and school involvement, application and letters of recommendation, academic record (transcript) and essay response. Application materials can be downloaded on the Scholarship Application page on the County website, which also provides detailed instructions on how to apply. 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. Scholarship recipients will be notified in writing prior to the start of the fall semester.
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Artists Compete In Center Place Inaugural National Contemporary Juried Competition And Exhibition
Tampa’s Oldest Theatre Welcomes Its Youngest Moviegoers For Family Favorite Films
talent that has taken root Center Place of in our local community Brandon recently held and beyond continues to its first National inspire me. Each work of Contemporary Juried art was carefully selected Competition and for its exploration and Exhibition- Square’s mastery of concept, Off. The competition material and technique.” drew many submisKozlowski is an sions and approxiDawn Galia (L), Executive Director curator and independent mately 20 artists from of Center Place, congratulated Center Place’s Inaugural National has over 12 years of as far away as Contemporary Juried Competition curatorial and gallery California were selectand Exhibition- Square’s Off experience with a speed to compete. There Winners. Also shown, Leslie Jennings, Barry Goodman, Deborah cialty in contemporary were five winners Biasetti and Leonard Brzezinski. ceramics. Her most selected by juror, recent exhibition, The Wildlife Project, is Elizabeth Kozlowski. The five won a total travelling nationally and debuted at the of $950 in prize money. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft The five winners were Leonard in the fall of 2015. Center Place’s Brzezinski, who won Best of Show. Square’s Off was a unique competition Brzezinski hails from San Jose, and exhibition in that all of the artwork California. First place went to Tiffany had to be in the shape of a square. Sikora from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Center Place asked the artists to “think Second place was awarded to Deborah outside of the BOX as you create a Biasetti of Riverview. Third place went to unique square piece of art.” Barry Goodman of St. Petersburg, and Center Place was created by the Leslie Jennings of Tampa received an community in 1976 and has been an honorable mention award. advocate and fierce promoter of the arts Juror, Kozlowski said of the artwork ever since. Center Place is celebrating its and judging, “It was a pleasure to serve 40th year as a not-for-profit cultural arts as the 2017 juror for the Inaugural center proudly serving the greater National Contemporary Juried Brandon area. For information on Center Competition and Exhibition, Center Place and to see what exhibits and Place’s Square’s Off. It was a daunting events are coming up, visit centerplacetask to choose the final works from the brandon.org or call 685-8888. many accomplished submissions. The
The Tampa Theatre adults alike, so bring the whole is proud to announce family. the return of the popular On Sunday, April 9 come Family Favorites classic see the 1985 classic, Peemovie series. The Wee’s Big Adventure. The Tampa Theatre will offer movie features a brilliant, a discounted kid’s ticket bizarre road trip set in a world at just $8 for ages 12 without functioning grown-ups. and younger. Adult tickThis is the movie that catapultets are just $10. Movies ed the careers of Tim Burton will be shown at 3 p.m. and Danny Elfman and introJill Witecki, duced us to a totally original Marketing Director for species of absurdist comedy the Tampa Theatre that is funny no matter what The Tampa Theatre’s kidsaid, “This is the only age. inspired movies series is back. classic movie series for Then, on Sunday, April 16 which we offer a child’s price.” Witecki come see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang staradded, “While many of our summer and ring Dick Van Dyke in an Edwardian-era holiday classic offerings are family-friendmusical as charming, slapsticky ly, this is the series that we program Englishman who is good with kids. specifically with families in mind. I want On Sunday, April 23 you can bring parents to be able to introduce their kids the family to see Pete’s Dragon. This is a to some of their own favorite movies from memorable film with animated characters childhood and to see them again on the inserted into a live action movie. The big screen.” movie has strong character performances The fun series kicks off on Sunday, and was a step forward for the art form March 26 with Steven Spielberg’s timeback in 1977. less classic, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Finally, the series closes out with The The story of a lost and magical visitor Princess Bride on Sunday, April 30. This from long way away, trying to return movie is truly a timeless classic that home, continues to captivate viewers of everyone, adults and children alike, will all ages. simply love. The Tampa Theatre is locatNext on Sunday, April 2, come see ed at 711 N. Franklin St. in downtown Michael Jordan in the 1996 classic Space Tampa. For information and to buy tickJam. This movie appeals to kids and ets, please visit www.tampatheatre.org.
2017 Camps Offer Many Options To Keep Kids Engaged This Summer It’s only the start of spring, but before you know, the dog days of summer will be upon us. What can you do to keep the kids entertained? Where can they go to try new things, learn how to swim, meet new friends and have great adventures and even learn about places and cultures far away? There are many options to choose from locally that will fit the bill. The staff at the Osprey Observer has collected the top recommendations for local summer camps and created this special pull out section. Maybe your kids would like to spend the summer “horsing around.” R&R Ranch offers just that opportunity, and not just to learn to horseback ride, but also about the care of the horses. At Music Showcase, music and theatre take the stage and so can your child. Musicals such as The Lion King Jr. and Legally Blonde Jr. will be offered, and your child can hold starring roles in these and other popular musicals offered from the Florida Academy of Performing Arts for children ages 5 and up. The local YMCAs will offer many types of camps which mix fun along with great learning experiences. With choices of half or full day camps, there is something for everyone. LEGOs and robotics take center stage at the camps offered by TechplayZone. Introduce your kids to hands-on fun
that will both enrich and entertainment them. Camp Superkids at A Child’s Haven offers field trips twice a week. Do you want your kids to retain the math skills they learned during the school year? Mathnasium is the place to help give them a strong start in the fall. For dates, prices and registration information on these and more, turn the page and enjoy this special section and have a great summer. Your kids will use a lot of STEAM by enjoying the science and tech camps offered this summer by MOSI. Your kids can experiment with many different things that will be offered. For the artist in your family, sign them up for workshops to learn about painting, drawing, pottery, modeling and more at Center Place Fine Arts. With weekly themes utilizing agespecific activities and field trips that make BSAC unique, your kids will enjoy every moment of summer camp. Did we miss one? Let us know by e-mailing subject line “Summer Camp” to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be sure to add our full listing online.
New Summer Camp At The Suncoast Youth Conservation Center In Apollo Beach By Kathy L. Collins grades six through eight will get to experience the camp the week of June 12. The center will then offer Kayak Adventures the week of June 19 for children in grades three to five, and then the week of June 26 for children in grades six to eight. Summer camps at the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Suncoast Apollo Beach will provide exciting opportunities for children to learn about marine life and the coastal environment while they campers will take participating in fun activities such as fishing and kayaking this excursions through summer. the mangroves of Are you looking for a fun, unique and Newman Branch Creek paddling their exciting summer camp for your child this own sit-on-top kayak. In the fishing camp, summer? The Suncoast Youth students will have a chance to catch a Conservation Center in Apollo Beach is "linker" snook or possibly release a redoffering summer camps for children in fish and go home with a fishing rod and third grade to fifth grade and those in tackle box at the end of the week. Kayak sixth grade through eighth grade. adventurers will gain invaluable boating The Suncoast Youth Conservation and seamanship skills that will help earn Center is a hands-on marine science cen- them a safe boating certificate. ter that is part of a much larger statewide The cost is $190 per week per child. network of youth conservation centers. The center is located at 505 Estuary Their mission is the create the next genShore Lane in Apollo Beach. eration that cares about Florida's natural Please visit wwwfyccn.com/sunresources. The Suncoast Youth coast for more information and to regConservation Center will offer Saltwater ister your child for an exciting summer Fish Camp for children in grades three to experience. If you have questions, five the week of June 5. Children in please call 922-7969.
Get Ready For Kids ‘R’ Kids Most Interactive Summer Adventure Ever
Discover and explore a unique camp each week. During Kids R Kids 10 week summer camp series, campers will explore their hidden talkents, potential passions and intriguing interests. Each boy and girl will experience art and cooking, engineering and community service and everything in-between. This summer camp is all about the journey to discover what suits each camper’s personality – the quest to discover what they like best. Kids R Kids Valrico is located at 4321 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico. Call 657-6200. Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy of Circa / FishHawk is located at 5815 Kids Crossing Dr. in Lithia. Call 654-7000. For info on both locations, visit http://krkvalrico.com/.
Find Fun Activities For Your Budding Artists At Center Place Fine Arts
Who knew that art could be so much fun? This summer, you can sign up your budding artists, ages 7 to 16, for workshops at Center Place Fine Arts. Learn about painting, drawing, pottery, modeling and more. Workshops include Art Journaling, Art Mural, Build a Beach Party, Charm,
Etiquette & Modeling, Collage, Creative 3-D Masks, Cruise around the World, Fantasy Sculptures, Paper Schulpures, Pet Sculptures, Print Makimg, Project Role-Model, Recycled Art, Space Art and Wet & Wild Canvases. Classes are offered from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register today by calling 685-8888 or visit www.centerplacebrfandon.org.
Mathnasium Now Enrolling For Summer
You can keep your kids on track this
summer by enrolling them at Mathnasium. The summer programs are designed to combat summer learning loss. Through their time spent during the summer at Mathnasium, your kids will retain all they learned in math
• 6 Weeks Through 12 Years • Full & Part Time Options • Open: M-F 6am to 6:30pm • Creative Curriculum for Infants & Toddlers • ABC Mouse Computer Technology • Brainwaves Curriculum • APPLE Accreditation • STEAM Curriculum • Security Code Access Entry • FREE Internet Viewing of Your Child’s Day • Outdoor Playgrounds with Water Park • Before & After School Care: 6-12 Years Stowers, Valrico Academy, FishHawk Creek, Bevis, Lithia Springs, Alafia, Cimino, and Foundation Christian
• Nutritious Meals & Snacks: Low Salt & Sugar • Spanish & Music Included • Trained Professional Staff, Certified in First Aid & CPR • Extracurricular Programs
class this year giving them a strong start in the fall. For information on mini-summer camps and summer fun nights, call 655-6284. Visit mathnasium.com/Brandon for more information. Mathnasium offers help in math, enrichment, and test prep as well as homework help. It is located at 1048 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.
MOSI Offers Lots Of Choice Science And Tech Camps
When school is out, MOSI is in. Get in-depth and hands-on with your favorite Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) subjects or try something totally new. Enjoy hands-on experience and building projects. From extracting DNA to launching rockets and building robots, we are about creating the experiences that expand interests and make dreams a reality. Doing real science with the tools and technologies used by industry professionals is just one way MOSI Summer Science Camps inspire our campers with a can-do attitude that can last a lifetime. Real science coupled with exciting experiments, simulations,
explorations, and inventions will help you discover the innovator within. Instruction in the camps are by certified teachers and experienced science and technology educators in a positive environment. There will be opportunities to conduct experiments and use cutting-edge equipment and technology. Your kids will have access to current science and technology in one of the best science centers in the world. Summer Camp at MOSI will take place from Tuesday, May 29 through Wednesday, August 9. Upgrades available for extended care from 7– 9 a.m. and 4–6 p.m. and daily hot lunches are available. Register online at MOSI.org or call 987-6000 for more information. MOSI is located at 4801 E Fowler Ave. in Tampa
Enjoy Music And More This Summer At The Florida Academy f Performing Arts
Full and half day camps are available for kids ages 5 and up at The Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) at Music Showcase. Kids will enjoy drums, acting, guitar, field trips, singing and games and more. Musical Theatre productions of The Lion King Experience, Jr., Legally
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Two Great Locations!
CIRCA FISHHAWK 813-654-7000 5815 Kids Crossing Drive
(Located next to Stowers Elementary and Mosaic)
VALRICO 813-657-6200 4321 Lynx Paw Trail (Located across fromLithia Springs Elementary)
NOW ENROLLING SUMMER & FALL VPK Voluntary Pre Kindergarten 2017-18
“FREE 3 Hr Program with “Pay for rest of day” Option • Accelerated Pre-K Curriculum with Math, Science, Spanish, Music, Sign Language & More • Preparation for National Kindergarten Standards • Must be 4 years old by September 1, 2017 • Must be Florida resident • Class times: Tuesday - Friday, 8:30am - 12:15pm
Blonde the Musical, Jr., Winnie the Pooh Kids and Doctor Dolittle Jr. will all take place this summer. For more information, call 4902787 or visit faopa.org.
Kids Will Enjoy Horsing Around At R&R Ranch
R&R Ranch is a family-owned and operated horse ranch specializing in horse experiences for the young child and beginner riders. Campers range in age from 6-12. They will enjoy daily trail rides and hay rides along with receiving an education on grooming and the care of the horses and farm animals Kids will also enjoy a bounce castle, movies and popcorn in the air conditioned camp house, a petting zoo with baby bunnies, chicks, ducks and baby pigs, arts, crafts, and more. The cost for camp, which takes place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. is $195 per week or $50 per day. Early and late pickup can be arranged. Spaces are limited. Camp runs from Monday, May 29 through Friday, August 4. R&R Ranch is located at 9805
Bryant Rd. in Lithia. For more information, visit rrranchlithia.com or call 6553819.
Your Kids Will Enjoy The Best Summer Ever At Y Camps
The local YMCAâ€™s are offering a Passport to the Best Summer Ever from Tuesday, May 30 through Friday, August 4. Get ready for the total camp experience. Day Camp is separated by grade level and features a rotation of diverse activities including indoor games, outdoor recreation, team challenges, structured and free swim. The themes change weekly and range from Super Heroes to Around the World and everything in between. Specialty camps are for kids looking for something different. Choose from any number of skills and specialties. Sports camps are for the kid who is an athlete at heart. It is for those looking to try a new sport, or those simply curious about sports in general. The camps are full of fun with an amphasis on team work, sportsmanship and fundamentals. Aquatic camps include swim les-
sons and lots of fun water adventures guaranteed to keep kids active and engaged. Teen camps are for those looking to develop leadership skills. Gymnastic camps are for all skill levels from beginner to advance. Adaptive camps are available for campers with special needs insuring fun and inclusion for all. For more information on the North Brandon location, call 685-5402,
Campo Family location, call 684-1371, Camp Cristina, call 677-8400 or register online at tampaymca.org.
TechPlayzone Offers Hands-On Technology Enrichment In Fun & Safe Environment
TechPlayzone has led the charge for engaging young people in science, technology, engineering, and math since 2005. With an increased demand for hands-on technology enrichment,
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Award W inning STEM Camps Since 2005 Where Bright & Creative Kids Play to Learn
TechPlayzone has continued to provide families with excellent curriculum, and fun in a safe environment for all kids. Give your child a high-tech advantage at TechPlayzone this summer. TechPlayzone Engineering Camp TechPlayzone is pleased to partner with the Doolittle Institute to offer an engineering camp for young people in 2nd-12th grades. This will allow campers to build and program drone quad-copter robots, self-driving cars with sensors, and 3d print objects for use with Tetrix Robotics Systems. This camp has been developed for kids who enjoy problem-solving, designing, and building and will take place at 1528 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Camps are weekly from Monday, June 5-Friday, August 4. The cost is $150 per week from 9 a.m.-12 Noon or 1-4 p.m. TechPlayzone STEM Camp TechPlayzone is pleased to partner with Families Instructing Students at
Home (FISH) to offer an amazing STEM camp for all young people in 2nd-7th grade. TechPlayzone Camp at Bell Shoals Baptist church includes hands-on science experiments, LEGO Mindstorms Robotics, and Minecraft for Engineers. Campers rotate through handson activities. Each week is a different theme and campers enjoy different challenges every week. It will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church - The Annex, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon from 9 a.m.-12 Noon. This camp is for ages 711 and costs $125 per week. It will run Monday to Friday, July 10-14, July 24-28, and July 31-August 4. More details and camp descriptions will be available at www.techplayzone.com. For more info, call 684-7329 or email email@example.com.
Your Kids Will Enjoy Camp Superkids At A Child’s Haven
Different themed camps will keep your kids busy at A Child’s Haven. Camp is for ages K5 through 5th
K5-5th Grade Arts & Crafts • Friendship Play • Academic Summer Fun • Music Sports & Games • Character & Manners • Ice Cream Social • Pizza Parties Bouncy House & Giant Slide • Outdoor Water Play
(Upcoming K5 - 5th Grade Campers)
Includes 2 Weekly Field Trips & All Activities
grade. Each week there will be two weekly field trips. Your kids will enjoy a healthy lunch and snacks along with fun academic summer studies, character building, awesome friendships, an arcade recreation room and lots of other fun activities. The cost is $125 per week and includes all field trips and activity fees. A Child’s Haven is located at 1520 Brentwood Hills Blvd. in Valrico. For more information call 684-1622 or visit www.AChildsHavenSchool.com.
BSAC Offers A Lot Of Fun Activities For Kids This Summer
What can you do to keep your kids active and happy this summer? Splash into summer with the best summer camp around. At Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) your child gets the old-fashioned camp experience you had as a child, with some modern technology, like Wii Challenge Competitions, thrown in. BSAC has the most comprehensive summer camp in the greater Brandon area for ages 3 to 14. With weekly themes come corresponding age-specific activities and field trips that make our summer camp unique. In addition, each child has the opportunity to experience all of the sports
Volume 12, Issue 3
that you have come to expect at BSAC; swimming, tennis, diving and more. Lunches and snacks can be brought from home or purchased from the full concession bar. Camp runs from Tuesday, May 30 through Wednesday, August 9. Full day camps run from 7 a.m.6:30 p.m. and half day camps from 7 a.m.12:30 p.m. or from 1-6:30 p.m. BSAC is located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon. For more information, call 689-0908 or visit www.mybsac.org.
Kids Club! Weekly Summer Camp Includes Field Trips
Your kids, ages K5-5th grade, will enjoy the Kids Club! at Morning Glory Summer Camp. They will enjoy arts & crafts, friendship play, academic summer fun, music, sports & games, character & manners, ice cream social pizza parties, bouncy house and giant slide and outdoor water play. Sign up today for $115 per week. The price includes two weekly field trips and all activities. Morning Glory is located at 6001 Christy Lane (off Bloomingdale near Rt. 301). For information, call 6280541 or visit www.MorningGloryPreschool.org.
Volume 12, Issue 3
P R E SS
Mondovics tamas@ er.com ospreyobserv
Sports Connection 657-2418 www.ospreyobserver.com
Rd. Pinecrest11 918 Lithian, FL 335 Brando -24 18 657 bserver.com www.ospreyo
Strong Dogs Wheelchair Basketball Team Aims For National Tournament
Story And Photos By Nick Nahas
15. Gordon, who was born “Everybody talks with spina bifida, is thrilled about LeBron being with the chance to play the the greatest basketsport. “Growing up, I got tired ball player in the of just watching my friends world, but let him try play and I didn’t know about to play basketball in a adaptive sports at the time, wheelchair and see so I did some research and how he does,” said found the team,” he said. Wayne Bozeman, The Strong Dogs are head coach of the ranked fifth in the county in Tampa Bay Strong Division II in the National Dogs wheelchair basWheelchair Basketball ketball team. Association. They recently Bozeman became the hosted a six-team Sunshine leader of the start-up Shootout Wheelchair team nine years ago Basketball Tournament after inquiries from where they went 2-2. some injured veterans Currently, they practice two at the VA Hospital. hours a day, twice a week Bozeman works as a at the All People’s Life Recreation Therapist Center on 6105 E. Sligh with the Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, in pursuit of County Parks and their eighth consecutive Recreation appearance in the National Department. The Strong Dogs The Strong Dogs are ranked fifth in the national for Division II. They have built a family atmosphere and compete in sever- Wheelchair Basketball al tournaments during the season. Robert Gordon has been with the Tampa Bay Strong Dogs since he was 15. Association tournament, compete as part of which will be held March Paralympic Sport everybody, “Bozeman said. “It’s not bifida and others who are amputees 29-April 2 in Louisville, Kentucky. Tampa Bay, a signature program of about their disability, it’s about their or have spinal cord injuries. Four of Some people may view adaptive Hillsborough County Parks & ability.” the players are injured veterans. “To sports as an inspiration, but to the Recreation. The team is comprised of me, they are the best basketball playFor the players on the team, this players, this is an opportunity to play 17 players, some of whom have spina ers out there, not just our guys, but adaptive sport has given them an sports and to be active. opportunity that they normally would“It’s a great honor to coach these n't be able to pursue, to travel and men,” said Bozeman. “I think it’s the play in a competitive league and to hardest basketball game in the showcase their skills and abilities. world.” Robert Gordon, a 21-year-old resiBoth Bozeman and Gordon dent of St. Petersburg and current encourage people to come out and student at St. Pete College majoring watch the team play. For more inforin Communications, is one of the mation, search on Facebook for its team’s leaders and has played for the page at @tbsdofficial. Strong Dogs on and off since he was
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Saladino High School Baseball Tourney Reaches 37th Season
The McLane Middle School Music Program Inspires Local Students
Following a ment the educatumultuous and tional, recreational emotionally and baseball charged year, opportunities for Hillsborough players, coaches, County School’s fans and spectaTony Saladino tors. High School Each year, the Baseball tournament showTournament has cases nearly 800 reached its 37th players and gives consecutive seabaseball scouts son. representing Major This year’s League teams and Steinbrenner Warriors senior pitcher Al event hosted a many college Alberger pitches against the Alonso Ravens total of 55 games during last year’s Annual Saladino Baseball coaches from Tournament at Brandon High School. played between throughout the 32 public high country in attenschool teams during spring break at dance the opportunity to find their next Brandon (headquarters), Jesuit, Jefferson pick. Adding to the annual baseball fun, and Newsome High Schools from March the event also includes the traditional 11 through March 17. home run derby championship held prior Befitting its fame and long history, the to the tournaments championship game. annual week-long, round-robin tournaTournament’s matriarch, Bertha ment provided fans and spectators of all Saladino, who has been the engine that ages an opportunity not only to be a propelled the event forward each year for spectator, but to participate in and enjoy a the past three and a half decades, was variety of baseball-related activities in a greatly missed. Bertha’s absence never patriotic, nostalgic, family-oriented, educa- goes unnoticed by anyone who has had tional and safe atmosphere. a chance to taste the tournament’s spirit, “This is much more than just a touranchored by her unmatched generosity, nament,” said Tony Saladino. “It is a cele- kindness and love of her family friends, bration of the sport, while it keeps the kids fans the media and, of course, the young and all who love baseball busy and, out players. of mischief during spring break.” Leaving behind her husband Tony of Saladino’s sentiments are clearly 52 years and a large family, Bertha sufemphasized in the tourney’s online invita- fered a heart attack before she died in tion as it mentions that the event helps early 2016—surrounded by friends and keep local high school players close to family. She was 84. home, thanks to the countless activities For tournament results, visit tonysaland memorabilia displays that suppleadinobaseballtounament.com.
Philosopher Confucius once said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Music can also inspire, just like it has inspired the students who are a part of The McLane Viking Music Program at McLane Middle School in Brandon. The program has seen amazing sucThe Viking Band at McLane Middle School has grown cess and growth over the last from 40 students to over 140 musicians in just over a two years under the direction year with new band director, Alex C. Pedigo at its helm. of Alex C. Pedigo, the mentality that we have,” Pedigo said. “At school’s band director. Since Pedigo McLane, we have a motto Be Viking joined the McLane family the band has Strong. In the band that equates to not gone from 30-40 young musicians to making excuses, not feeling bad when more than 140 young musicians working we fail, but to keep pushing forward and hard every day to become the best musibe the best that you can be. Also, we cians they can be in the class and on want to prove to the county that McLane stage. is a strong school with a lot of great “The Viking Music program used to things happening, and all we want is peobe a power house music program in the ple to help us continue to be great.” 80’s receiving superiors, and excellence Pedigo hopes McLane will have one at their music evaluations, but with the of the strongest music programs in the changing of time and people moving in county. “I want to bring back orchestra, the mid 2000’s, the program took a hit choir, jazz band, and guitar,” Pedigo said. and stop receiving those ratings and start- “I want students to feel like they have a ed receiving fair’s, and poor’s,” Pedigo home/safe space in school where they said. “When I arrived at McLane in the can express themselves and let go of the 2015-2016 school year, the band protroubles that bind them throughout the gram was small.” day. I would also like to see 50 percent of In the 2015-2016 school year, the the school population in the arts.” To learn band added 54 new 6th graders and was more about The McLane Viking Music awarded its highest rating at the music Program, visit www.mclane.mysdhc.org. assessment. In 2016-2017 the music pro- The band will hold an end of the year gram jumped to 150 students. In the concert on Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at 2017 music assessment, it was awarded Brandon H.S. McLane Middle School is superior, the highest rating in 15 years. “I located at 306 N. Knights Ave. in believe we are accomplishing this by the Brandon.
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Volume 12, Issue 3
The Village Players Community Theatre Presents Seussical The Musical
By Kathy L. Collins
The characters Village from the Players will beloved bring to life books.” the beloved Barber characters of added, “I Dr. Seuss as want our they present patrons to sit Seussical the back and Musical enjoy the beginning on fantasy of Friday, The Village Players will present Seussical the Musical Seussical this spring. You will not want to miss as the talented March 31 the Musical local actors of the Village Players bring the beloved Dr. and watch with their Seuss characters to life on stage. new tradithe charaction, Dinner and a Show. Doors open at ters come to life. The show is fun, funny 7 p.m. and dinner is served immediately. and whimsical.” This is definitely a show The show begins at 8 p.m. The sponsor for the whole family to enjoy together. for the Opening Night Dinner and a Pierce said, “It’s a family night out togethShow is Chick-fil-A. er sharing childhood memories with The show will also be shown on friends and family.” Saturday, April 1, 8 and 15; Friday, April 7 Tickets for Opening Night Dinner and 14 at 8 p.m. There will be two matiand a Show are $30. All proceeds from nees on Sunday, April 2 and 9 at 3 p.m. this night will go toward renovation and Seussical the Musical involves a maintenance of the historical James large cast. All of the actors are from the McCabe Theatre. According to Pierce, community and are incredibly talented. “We are currently giving the building a Gail Pierce with the Village Players face lift.” All renovations and maintesaid, “Many grew up with Dr. Seuss nance that need to be done on a historic books. The generations that followed building are costly and ongoing. also enjoyed the animated movies. This Tickets for the other shows are $18 is definitely family entertainment at its for general admission and $15 for stubest.” Pierce added, “We hope our dents, military with identification and senpatrons will leave the theatre with a smile iors. Groups of 10 or more are also $15 on their face, humming a tune and recall- but must be reserved in advance. ing memories from their childhood.” The James McCabe Theatre is Todd Barber directs the show. located at 506 5th St. in Valrico. Barber said, “Directing Seussical the For tickets and other information, Musical is a way to get creative and please call the box office at 480-3141 or bring to life the well-known Dr. Seuss visit www.thevillageplayersvalrico.com.
Village Early Learning Center Hosts International FestivalBy Kate Quesada
Students of cate our community,” all ages are invitsaid Beamer. ed to learn about Country-specific more than 40 entertainment will also countries from take place at the festiaround the world val with performances on Saturday, April scheduled from Team K Martial Arts, Sweet 8 at the Village n’ Southern Early Learning Cloggers, Center in Tampa Taiko, Brandon at its Hawaiian sixth annual International Dreamers, a Festival. Venezuelan The event, which is singing duo and sponsored by The Village Grandfather Na Family Foundation (VFF), Since Academy will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. of Irish Dance. featuring information about “There are countries from Poland to many opportuniUkraine and Spain to El The Village Early Learning Center in ties for families Salvador, entertainment, Brandon is hosting its sixth annual International Festival on Saturday, and kids to get crafts, food and much April 8 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. actively more. involved,” said Beamer. “The VFF is a non-profit organization Admission to the event is free and dedicated to promoting literacy in the according to Beamer, the first 200 chilBrandon community,” said festival coordidren in attendance will receive a passport nator Marlena Beamer. “We sponsor this event every year in an effort to further cul- that will enable them to receive a stamp from each country they visit. The VFF will tural awareness, understanding, dialogue also provide a free book for the first 100 and cooperation.” families to arrive. According to Beamer, each classFood will be available to purchase room in the Early Learning Center, and areas throughout the school, will be deco- from Faedo’s On the Go, offering authentic Cuban sandwiches, Deviled Crab, and rated to represent a particular country with table displays of history, local cuisine, Sawadee Thai Food. The Village Early Learning Center, customs, fun facts and free crafts. offering child care to children from infants “With the diversity of our school, to VPK, is located at 3741 Canoga Park many countries are chosen because we Dr. in Brandon. For more information, visit have Village families from these areas www.villageelc.com or call 651-0779. that will be available Festival day to edu-
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Volume 12, Issue 3