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Volume 14, Issue 5 Ph: 657-2418

P U B L I S H I N G

World War II Army Veteran, & Duplicate Bridge Expert, Turns 101

By Nick Nahas

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

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Walter approximately Pearson has 30 players in the lived an recreational extraordinary building at life. The World Strawberry War II veteran Ridge. turned 101 this According to past February. one of the playAt 29, he voluners in the group, teered to serve partners Walter his country, and Don “win all fighting in the the time.” second World “Walter is an War. He risked energizer bunny his life in the and extremely front lines of sharp for his the battlefields age,” said Joan for eight Rhyne. months. After Walter has Walter and his son, Don, at Walter’s 101st birthday celebration. serving, his been playing the commitment to country, community game for about 92 years, and with all and the American people continued. that experience under his belt, he has For the last 12 years, Walter and achieved the highest level of mastery his son, Don, have sponsored a Toys of the game. The retirement commufor Tots collection party in the nity and other players in the surSouthshore area. Held at the Alley at rounding area celebrate Walter’s Southshore each December, their col- birthday biannually, once on February lection party has become the biggest 5th (his birthday,) and once on August in the state. Just last year, they col5th. The party consists of having dinlected 378 bikes, 100 boxes of toys ner, drinking and playing duplicate and a little over $11,000 in cash. bridge. Walter and Don have also contributed Walter is also the chairman of the to military organizations and churches board of his company, Pearson in the area. “My father being an Army Capital, Inc, which he started back in veteran, wanted to help other people, 1956 in Massachusetts. Walter conand I, myself, have a compassion for tinues to work part-time for his comthose in need,” said Don. “We both pany, researching stocks. The suchave been blessed with more than cessful private money management enough to be able to give back to the firm has over 500 customers, reachcommunity.” ing a total of 26 states today. Don Walter is a celebrated part of the jokes that his father was back at work Strawberry Ridge retirement commuthe next morning after the Super nity, where he currently resides. Bowl, even though they are both Every Monday morning, Walter plays Patriots’ fans and stayed up to watch duplicate bridge, a card game, with the whole game.

Photo By Tamas Mondovics

Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth affiliate, East Bay Youth Athletics (EBYA) Majors 65 Red Sox pitcher Jacob Lockwood is focused while pitching against the Giants last month. Area leagues have enjoyed a solid spring baseball season ahead of this year’s championship tournament.

P O S I T I V E

C O M M U N I T Y

N E W S

County Commission Has Final Say Over Project After Planning Dept. Says No

By Tamas Mondovics

An artist rendition gives a better picture of a 50,000 sq. ft., senior citizen, retirement facility planned on a 10-acre parcel located just west of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Valrico Rd.

The future of a proposed senior citizen retirement residence and assisted living facility to be built in the heart of Valrico is in the hands of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commission. In pursuit of its plans, to build a new facility, Hawthorn Retirement Group, (HRT) an independent and assisted living management company (Not related to Hawthorne Village Retirement Communtiy of Brandon), presented its case for a proposed land use before the Hillsborough County Planning Commission, which has determined that Comprehensive Plan Amendment, HC/CPA 17-05 (proposed land use) is inconsistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the Future of Hillsborough Comprehensive Plan for Unincorporated Hillsborough County. The Planning Commission also resolved to forward its recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for denial of the project during its meeting in June. The effort, however, was not HRT’s first try. In its case summary the Planning Commission staff stated that a similar request, HC/CPA 16-19, was part of the July 2016 Unincorporated Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle. The summary stated that request, RES-4 to RES-9 on the same parcel, was found inconsistent by the Planning Commission and denied by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), adding

that “the applicant has now resubmitted the request as a new Comprehensive Plan Amendment, HC/CPA 17-05.” By the numbers, HRT is requesting to change the nearly 400,000 sq. ft. parcel located on the west side of the intersection of Lithia Pinecrest and Valrico Rd., between Lithia Pinecrest Rd., and Timber Knoll Dr., across from a pond and lift station to build a 53,000 sq. ft., facility with 100 parking places, with a three story building, and room for 145 suites. According to the Planning Commission the primary impact of this change would be to allow more intense uses on the property and increase the

Continued on Page 4

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Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 5


May 2017

Page 3

Valrico Edition

Graduations To Air On TV For First Time In Hillsborough County

Sprouts, PetSmart & Orange Theory Fitness Confirmed To Anchor Old Alberstons Plaza

By Tamas Mondovics

By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County Public Schools officials were pleased to announce this month that for the first time,the district will air all traditional high school graduations live on cable on the Tampa Bay Arts and Education Network (TBAE). Hillsborough County Public Schools will also live stream the graduations for the second year in a row. With graduations held at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, 4800 N. US Hwy. 301 in Tampa, the airing on TV and live stream is an important way to connect families and friends who cannot attend graduation because of distance, military deployment, illness, work obligations or other reasons, school officials said. “High school graduation is one of the

most memorable and lifechanging days in a student’s life,” said Cindy Stuart, School Board chair. “It’s important that our families don’t miss this moment. Being able to provide live coverage to our families and knowing that we can help everyone be a part of this celebration is truly an honor.” Graduation ceremonies will also be archived for viewing on demand at a later time. Graduation ceremonies can be seen on Spectrum Cable channel 635 or Frontier Cable channel 32, or viewed online at graduation.hcpswebcasts.com. For information visit, sdhc.k12.fl.us. *Does not include Exceptional Student Centers, Charter Schools, Career Centers and Virtual School Graduations.

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velopment of the plaza, which by sitting vacant was slowly becoming an eyesore. “I am excited about the upcoming revitalization,” White said, adding, “I have received much correspondence from constituents about that plaza, as well as other vacant plazas Developer, Woerner Equity Group is now redeveloping the former Albertsons Plaza for Sprouts Farmers Market, PetSmart and Orange Theory Fitness slated for early next year.

The long held debate and guessing game about what store(s) if any, might occupy the more than 55,000 sq. ft. former Alberstons grocery store building that has been sitting vacant for the past few years in Valrico is officially over. Developer, Woerner Equity Group, a West Palm Beach Florida-based full service real estate firm that focuses A site map shows the layout and the three on the acquisition and development of new stores including Sprouts Farmers commercial properties with an emphasis Market, PetSmart and Orange Theory on shopping centers, is now redevelopFitness to anchor the former Albertsons Plaza in Valrico. ing the site to house Sprouts Farmers Market, PetSmart and Orange Theory in the area, since being elected to the Fitness. commission. As these plazas sit vacant Renamed, Valrico Landing, the site is for a long period of time, blight begins to located just east of Brandon, at the interset in. You could see that taking hold at section on the northeast corner of Lithia this plaza with things like skid marks from Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave. in kids goofing off at the site and rusted out Valrico. Coupled with signalized access, sign posts at the site.” White was on the entire plaza will feature 155 parking point when he added, “This revitalization spots and will also include one additional will not only offer some exciting retail 4,000 sq. ft. outparcel for rent near the opportunities for citizens, but also put the front of the site. site back in use, which will eliminate Woerner officials confirmed that the blight.” building will be divided into three sections The three new stores in Valrico with Sprouts occupying nearly 30,000 sq. Landing are slated to open early 2018 ft., leaving a little more than 20,000 sq. ft. and will now add to the growing list of for a new PetSmart store. Orange Theory recent upgrades, improvements, renovaFitness will make use of the former 3,500 tions and additions to the neighborhood, sq. ft., liquor store space at the north end including a previously opened-new Wawa of the building closer to Miller Rd. store on the corner of Lithia Pinecrest Happy with the news of the long and Bloomingdale Ave., the grand openawaited redevelopment of the site in the ing of the new 150,000 sq. ft. Walmart heart of their community, many Supercenter along with Chick-fil-A South expressed relief and spoke highly of the Brandon owned by Paul & Tammy choice of new stores. “So very excited Holmberg, Starbuck’s and Wendy’s on about the construction starting on the Bloomingdale Ave., as well as the new Sprouts store (old Albertsons on improvement of the Culbreath and Lithia),” posted Buckhorn Preserve resiBloomingdale Ave. intersection. dent Shawn Bernier on his Facebook BayCare Health System is also planpage shortly after he heard the news. “I ning to build a brand new $25 million was at the Sprouts in Carrollwood, last 160,000 sq. ft. Wellness campus behind week and it is a fabulous store. Kind of the former Albertsons Plaza. like Trader Joes.” For information visit, Hillsborough County Commissioner woernerequity.com. For leasing informaStacy White, whose district includes the tion, contact, Cantrell & Morgan Pete Valrico community, also spoke highly of Fraser at 904-302-6931 or email the renovation, and the need for a redepete@cantrellmorgan.com.

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Page 4

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

Proposed Retirement Community ...Continued From Page 1

By Tamas Mondovics

Li t

allowable density Commissioner and intensity. It Stacy White, added that the whose district proposed amendcovers the site ment would stated, “The change the scale Planning of potential develCommission's opment from subrecommendation urban to more of is an important an urban develfactor to me and I opment pattern, always give which they said staff's recomwould not be mendation due compatible with consideration as I the existing lowam formulating density residenmy own deciA site map shows the location of a proposed tial development sion.” retirement residence by Hawthorn Retirement Group. in the area. Of course In a recent letter to the Commission, the Planning recommendation does not Chuck Sackett of Valrico asked commismean that the project is withdrawn. One sioners for their continued support of of the Commission’s main objective is Timber Knoll residents and “produce a neighborhood protection. Whether the finding that the requested plan amendproject gets approved or denied is ultiment is inconsistent with the mately depends on the BOCC, which is Comprehensive Plan and the surroundyet to consider the input and recommening residential neighborhoods.” dations of other agencies before the final Keeping his comments brief and decision. only on the project’s Comprehensive Visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org. or Plan element, Hillsborough County call 272-5600 for more info.

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May 2017

Page 5

Valrico Edition

Twin Creeks Assisted Living Soon To Open First Florida Community Near FishHawk

W W W

.

O S P R E Y O B S E R V E R

Front view of Twin Creeks Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Residents at Twin Creeks Assisted Living and Memory Care in Riverview can feel right at home with the numerous services and activities that will be provided to them. With plans to open in June 2017, Twin Creeks Assisted Living and Memory Care will be accepting a full refundable $500 deposit to reserve a space. This will also be its first location in Florida. For more than 30 years, Retirement Living Associates, Inc. earned the trust of communities and their families, which spans the entire southern east coast from North Carolina to Florida. Owner and President David Ammons oversees all of the Retirement Living Associates, Inc. communities to make sure it measures to his standards. The organization provides senior living services to more than 2,000 residents in a variety of communities. It will be licensed as an assisted living facility with a standard license. In addition, it will be licensed as an ECC (Extended Congregate Care License). “The Extended Congregate Care License allows residents to age in place.

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Once they move in here it becomes their home,” Shane Potter, NHA, Twin Creeks executive director said. The Riverview location will consist of a 96 bed, 80 apartment assisted living facility with memory care. Out of the 96 beds, 32 beds will be licensed for memory care. Residents can discover numerous community amenities such as a game room, library, fitness room and more. Individuals can also participate in wellness classes, gardening and other activities. The restaurant at Twin Creeks Assisted Living and Memory Care serves nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. What sets this place apart from all other assisted living facilities is that it will implement a program called PAC (Positive Approach to Care) Training through Teepa Snow’s organization. Potter became certified in it and the program will be used in the memory care unit. For information, visit www.twincreeksretire.com. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 551-2333.

.

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

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Page 6

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

d County Fair Harvest Awar Seeks Applicants, County Summer Camps & More…, santi lle Cole e h ic M d by r.com Compile ospreyobserve @ e michell

Hillsborough County Fair Seeking Applicants For Harvest Awards

The Hillsborough County Fair is seeking nominations for this year’s Harvest Awards which will kick off the 2017 County Fair on Thursday, October 19 in the new air-conditioned fairgrounds pavilion east of Brandon on Hwy. 60 and Sydney Washer Rd. This is the 17th year the awards have been presented to the outstanding Farm Family and the Lifetime Achievement recipients for outstanding accomplishments and contributions in the field of agriculture in Hillsborough County. Other categories include Outstanding Agribusiness, Outstanding Public & Community Service, Urban Agriculture/Agriculturist, Young Farmer/Rancher/Nurseryman who are 40 and under, and Outstanding Woman in Agriculture. A posthumous category is also available to honor an individual no longer living. A total of five awards will be given during the luncheon in

October. Receiving last year’s awards were the Roy Davis family, Tony Ippolito, Susan Dumke, Wish Farms, Lee and Mini Holcomb, and the Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation. Saturday, July 1 is the submission deadline for nominations. Nomination forms are available at the County Extension Office, the Farm Bureau Office, Soil Conservation Office, Strawberry Growers Assoc. Office, and at www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com. Forms can be submitted by email: hillsboroughcountyfair@verizon.net, or mailed to: Harvest Awards, c/o Hillsborough County Fair, P.O. Box 100, Sydney, FL 33587. Call 7373247.

Hillsborough Aims To Feed More Hungry Kids This Summer

Hunger doesn’t take the summer off. Neither do efforts to get food to the children who need it. Hillsborough County is once again participating in the Summer Food Service Program, which provides free nutritious lunches and afternoon snacks to children at more than 50 sites throughout the county. In an effort to make sure no child goes without a meal, this year’s program has been lengthened by eight days, from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, August 4. The Summer Food Service Program will provide a balanced meal during summer vacation when school meals are not available. The meals and snacks will be offered at local parks and other community locations to children under 18. Applications are not required. Nearby

approved sites can be found online, or for more information, email summerfoodprogram@HCFLGov.net or call 276-8625. The Summer Food Service program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered locally by Hillsborough County’s Aging Services. The department has expanded its “More than a Meal’’ concept to the summer program and, along with the food, will provide fun and interactive nutrition education to promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Also new this year: More "grab and go'' meals that are ready to eat but also healthy.

County Parks Offer Summer Camps For Kids

Want to keep your kids engaged and

active over their summer break? Let them try archery. Or play basketball. Or work on interesting, challenging craft projects. All those activities are available at Hillsborough County’s popular summer camps for children. Open registration for the camps has begun. Camps are offered for kids ages 6-12, and from 12-15, and adaptive recreation for ages 5-22. The camps are open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday from June 5August 4. Children can learn, play, and grow in a safe and supervised environment as they explore new places and activities with their peers. The camps offer arts and crafts, sports, and other recreational activities to keep kids entertained and physically active. Rates for a two-week session are $76, or $60 with a reduced lunch letter, and $40 with a free lunch letter. For more information, visit HCFLGov.net/SummerCamps. Parents are encouraged to register early as some camps fill up quickly.

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May 2017

Page 7

Valrico Edition

Bay Area Officials Launch Regional Campaign To Combat Recycling Confusion

By Tamas Mondovics

By Tamas Mondovics

HCSO Arrest Two Suspects In Ace Hardware 41 Firearm Burglary Investigation Hillsborough County Sheriff’s detectives arrested two men in connection with last month’s burglary of Ace Hardware, 10415 Highway 39 South in Lithia, which became the latest casualty involving the stealing of firearms. On May 3, HCSO detectives developed probable cause to search the residence at 1607 Carson White Lane in Ruskin, and discovered 37 handguns, 14 of which had serial numbers removed, as well as 2 rifles, mask and gloves. According to HCSO, as a result of the investigation, Garrett Mitchell, 21 and Christopher Jenke, 34, were both arrested and charged with armed burglary of a business and 46 counts of grand theft firearm HCSO said that Mitchell was additionally charged with 14 counts of possession of a firearm with an altered serial number. Of the 39 firearms recovered at Mitchell’s residence, 22 were confirmed stolen from Ace Hardware through serial number identification. Due to 14 of the firearms having the serial numbers removed, further investigation is need to needed to confirm, although detectives said the weapons are the same make, model and caliber as what was taken from the original burglary that occurred on Friday, April 7 at approximately 3:55 a.m. Detectives said that the suspects

entered the store by snapping a chain lock with a cutter at the garden center entrance located on the north side of the business. After smashing the glass door to the garden center, they then cut a second set of chain locks with a cutter which was securing the entrance. HCSO said that there was little doubt about what the thieves wanted as once inside, the suspects proceeded to the rear of the store where the gun store is located. It is noteworthy that gun related crimes such as gun theft, robberies committed using weapons and shootings, have made more headlines in recent months than one cares to count. While the shootings are not a direct results of recent burglaries of businesses and vehicles during which guns were stolen, it draws attention to the need for guns to be protected. “The most sought after items in vehicle burglaries are guns,” said Hillsborough County Detective and Public Information Officer, Larry McKinnon said. “There is always a market for them with a good price. So we want to urge everyone to be more vigilant and responsible gun owners.” As always the Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the public’s assistance in these cases. For information, visit www.HCSO.Tampa.fl.us.

Area residents damage, creates who have been health and safety recycling for hazards for workdecades or just ers, reduces the started are now amount of recyurged to make sure clables that can be they are recycling recovered, and correctly. increases the cost For the first time of the recycling working together on process. a single recycling Therefore, all campaign, recyclables should Hillsborough County be placed in recyFor information, visit has joined forces cling carts and TampaBayRecycles.org or HCFLGov.net/Recycling. with Pinellas municipal drop-off County, the City of Tampa, and the City containers loosely, not bagged. In a of St. Petersburg and officially launched recent press release, officials also a regional effort designed teach Tampa emphasized that utilizing reusable bags Bay area residents about one particular, is more eco-friendly than using disposuniversal problem – plastic bags in able plastic bags when shopping. Of recycling. course, plastic bags can still be reused While, Hillsborough and Pinellas for other purposes around the house, counties now recycle the same items recycled at participating retailers, or disthey face the same challenge of conposed of in garbage carts. tamination, that is attempting to recycle Currently, all four jurisdictions parsoiled items or materials our programs ticipating in the regional recycling effort do not accept. use Waste-to-Energy facilities for trash To accomplish their goal of educatdisposal, turning garbage into renewing the public, county officials, are using able electricity. a regional multimedia public education Curbside and residential recycling campaign featuring a new bay-spansystems are only designed to ning video and co-branded webpage, process certain items, including: TampaBayRecycles.org which they said •Clean and empty plastic bottles and will provide correct recycling information containers and encourage residents to keep recy•Clean and empty aluminum cans cling bag-free, no matter where they •Clean and empty glass bottles and jars are in the Tampa Bay area. •Dry paper, newspaper, and junk mail Officials said that plastic bags and •Clean and empty metal container bagged recyclables aren’t recycled •Clean and empty milk and juice carbecause they can’t be efficiently sorted tons by recycling equipment. •Dry flattened cardboard Plastic bags tangle in the sorting •Dry paperboard boxes (such as cereal equipment, which causes equipment boxes)

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Page 8

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 5

Journalism Students From Grace Christian Tour Osprey Observer Offices In April,the Grace Christian School’s Journalism class visited the offices of Osprey Observer Community Newspapers in Brandon. We learned about what the paper does, how it does it, and what makes it different from other papers. For the tour, our class split into two smaller groups. My group was Managing Editor Marie Gilmore shows Grace Christian taken into a smaller room to read a newspaper cover to by Marie Gilmore, the edi- Journalism students howcover. tor and publisher, where we watched a short historical video first. After that we read some of the current edition of the newspaper, and were asked a couple questions. We were challenged with naming different logos on a piece of paper, and almost everyone got every single question right. This challenge was used for the purpose of explaining how marketing and advertising are so effective. After this, our groups switched and we got to meet the Layout Editor Kathi Hayes shows journalism students people who are behind the from Grace Christian School how to layout a newspaper. scenes at Osprey Observer. We Patricia Tracy, Director of met the Director of Marketing, Marketing, manages all the marketing Assignment Editor, Billing Manager, activities, campaigns, and advertiseLayout Editor, and the Multimedia ments. Michelle Colesanti, News Editor. They explained to us Assignment Editor, assigns the editowhat each person did and how they rial to freelancers. Terry Vassalotti, did their jobs. A couple questions Billing Manager, bills people or comwere asked and they were answered panies for advertising in the paper. in detail and explained fully.

By Marshall Gatlin

ness card, 3. Find our Assignment Editor and name one column of our newspaper and get a pen from her, 4. Find our Billing Manager and name one way our clients can pay for ads, and then receive a baggie from her, 5. Find our Layout Editor, tell her how many papers we publish, and then get a notebook from her, 6. Find our Multimedia News Editor, tell her one way our readers can get the news, and then receive a treat from her, 7. Before leaving, find our Managing Editor and tell her your favorite part of the tour, and 8. At the bottom it read "Have fun. Thank you for visiting us at the Osprey Observer !" I asked some students what Grace Christian School Journalism students toured the offices of Osprey Observer newspa- they thought about it and I got pers to learn more about journalism. responses like, "Very fun and She can do this many ways, includeducational," "Nice people," "Fun and ing mail and online. Kathi Hayes, interesting."One kid said he liked that Layout Editor, uses a program to put just because the facility was smaller the newspaper together by putting that it didn't mean they couldn't make articles and advertisements into a a lot of newspaper issues. Our layout. Cyndi Cisneros, Multimedia teacher, Mrs. Rebecca McKeen said, News Editor, sends out the paper in "The staff was extremely friendly and email form to people who have folinformative." lowed the Osprey Observer and use Overall, the trip was educational, a smartphone or tablet. fun, and displayed every virtue a At last we went on a scavenger newspaper staff should have. I hunt that tricked some kids. Before enjoyed the tour and believe everywe got them, Cisneroswarned us to one else did. The staff were outstandread all the instructions, but a couple ing and made it fun to learn. of kids didn’t. The instructions were: Marshall Gatlin is a fifth grade 1. Read all the instructions first, 2. student at Grace Christian School Find the Director of Marketing and and is interested in pursueing a name one fun place that advertises in career in journalism. our newspaper, and receive a busi-


May 2017

Page 9

Valrico Edition

ECHO’s Seeks Employers & Job Seekers For Next Job Fair September 24

By Tatiana Ortiz

Job seekdance with more ers dressed in than 30 employprofessional ers and service attire at their agencies. visit to the Individuals Boys & Girls searching for a Club in job could speak Brandon durwith employers ing ECHO’s from the (Emergency Hillsborough Care Help County Sheriff’s Organization) Office, fourth annual Hillsborough Job Fair on Hillsborough County Public Schools table at the County April 13. Supervisor of ECHO Job Fair. Through this free event the first 25 Elections, Bank of America and much candidates received a portfolio, assis- more. It gave the job seekers an tance with their resumes and more. opportunity to network and learn In September of 2015, ECHO about these employers and service held their first job fair. ECHO does agencies in hopes to land employthis twice a year, once in the spring ment. The sponsors of the job fair and the other in the fall. The mission included Twin Creeks Assisted Living at ECHO would be to assist residents and Memory Care, Boys & Girls Club, of Eastern Hillsborough County in cri- Braille Works and more. sis with emergency food, clothing and “I came to the ECHO Job Fair offer access to life-stabilizing probecause I need a job and like the fact grams and resources. Since 1987, it that I can talk with employers face-tohelped more than 180,000 Brandon face,” Nataly Cabrera said. area residents with food and clothing. “The ECHO Job Fair seemed well Bank of America gave ECHO a put together and it did not gear $25,000 grant for the Job for Jobs towards one sector,” said Melody program. that will go towards their Fuller, with the Job for Job program workforce development, which caters at ECHO. She started with them in to its Job for Job program. 2016. “The $25,000 grant from Bank of Join ECHO and their next job fair, America will go towards our workwhich will be held on September 24. force development,” said Sharmaine For more information, visit Burr, ECHO Director of Social https://echofl.org/about/. It is located Services. at 507 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon. This job fair had 169 in attenHours vary. Call 685-0935.

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Page 10

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 5


May 2017

Page 11

Valrico Edition

Enjoy The Urban Life By Biking Trailways In Downtown Tampa

Staff Report

tour on the first Saturday of each month with knowledgeable tour guides taking you to a variety of destinations. Each tour begins at 10 a.m. and is two hours long. Meet at the Kahwa Coffee location on the corner of N. Tampa St. and E. Polk St. There is a $5 suggested donation. With the Selmon Greenway, the Riverwalk, the Convention Center area, the Enjoy biking in downtown Tampa by renting one of backside of the Waterside the 300 blue bikes scattered among 30 hubs in down- Marriott, and the bike lanes on town Tampa. Cass St., downtown Tampa It has long been documented that bikers have plenty of routes that are biking makes people happier, that it ele- free and clear of car traffic. These vates mood and can be an incredible routes are scenic with opportunities to way to alleviate stress. There is somestop and play at green spaces, to thing special about the freedom of getwatch University rowing crews and to ting on your bike in the fresh air and drool over the docked yachts. escaping the news, cell phones and Coast Bike Share is a convenient emails of the day. But for biking to way to get out on a bicycle without havmake us happy, we have to feel safe. ing to cart your own bike in your car. According to the Tampa Simply find one of the 300 blue bikes Hillsborough Expressway Authority, scattered among 30 hubs and reserve there are organizations and companies using a mobile app, or at the bike using all over downtown Tampa, along with its keypad. city planners that are attempting to The Tampa Downtown Partnership make our urban experience one where has over 250 places to park your bike we can safely and easily hop on bikes throughout downtown Tampa with three and explore the downtown. self-repair stations in high traffic areas. Florida Bike Tours offers an Urban Another idea for biking in downRestaurant Bike Tour once a month town Tampa is to skip the standard conthrough downtown Tampa. For $15, you crete routes and take your biking to the can meet with other bikers and enjoy water. Tampa Water Bikes is great small food samples at selected restauexercise and a fun and unique way to rant destinations in downtown Tampa. bike the “waterway” of downtown History Bike Tampa offers a free Tampa.

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Page 12

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

TGH Celebrates Healthplex Grand Opening, Emergency Services Offered

By Tamas Mondovics

emphasized that patients will be able to come to the Healthplex to treat a cold, rather than waiting and winding up at the TGH Emergency Department with pneumonia. The Healthplex first opened its Emergency Center, which includes 20 private beds and two resuscitation bays open around the clock to treat adult and pediatric patients, while the on-site helipad is promising to allow Aeromed to Residents watch as the Aeromed chopper lands at the newly opened TGH Brandon Healthplex.

After nearly two years in the making, including land acquisition, planning, design and construction, TGH Brandon Healthplex, Tampa General Hospital’s first state-of-the-art, off-site, outpatient medical center is now open. Designed to be a convenient destination for patients to access a broad spectrum of quality health care services – all under one roof—the long anticipated 130,000 sq. ft., four-story comprehensive ambulatory center is located at 10740 Palm River Rd. near Topgolf. TGH officials said that the new facility will house the hospital’s first free-standing adult and pediatric emergency departments, a helipad, surgery center, diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and physician offices. It will provide easy access to outpatient ambulatory care. “This is really Tampa General’s first major step into the new world of health care, which is bringing health care to you,” said John A. Brabson Jr. chairman of the TGH Board of Directors. “Our goal is to offer the same excellent care, but to do it in a more efficient way, and in a more convenient way for you.” TGH Brandon Healthplex celebrated the start of the multi-phased opening with a free, community open house, giving guests a chance for a sneak peek of the facility. The event saw representatives from the Tampa Bay Rays, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Top Golf, iFly indoor skydiving, and the American Heart Association. Radio station WQYK provided music, while food was offered by Chick-Fil-A and Brandon’s Corner Bakery Café. Boasting of the benefits, Brabson

fly patients needing more advanced medical care to the main hospital on Davis Islands for treatment. TGH spokesperson John Dunn said that the Healthplex Ambulatory Outpatient Surgery Center has seen its first case mid-April, and will provide a variety of same-day surgeries for adults and pediatric patients. The surgery center features six operating rooms with space to add two more in the future, and two endoscopy rooms. It also includes 13 recovery rooms and 24 pre-and-post-procedure bays. Additional services include the fullservice laboratory to provide a wide range of lab tests, an Imaging Services area, which includes digital X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds. A full-service pharmacy is currently available for patients, employees, and later offered to the public, is now located on the first floor and accepts most major health insurance plans. A café area is next to the pharmacy and sells beverages, salads, snacks, soups and other items. The new building also has room for offices for Tampa General Medical Group (TGMG) and USF primary and specialty care physicians. For more information, visit www.tghhealthplex.com.

“GREEN Hillsborough” Community Meeting Hosted By Commissioner Pat Kemp

By Tamas Mondovics

In hopes of learning more about the County’s plans and its promised commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability, more than three dozen residents attended a recent meeting Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp (District 6 hosted by Countywide) talks to residents while hosting “Green Hillsborough” Community Discussion. The meeting was supported by a 6Hillsborough member panel, focusing on the County’s promised commitment to County environmental, economic and social sustainability. Commissioner Manager Travis Barnes and County Patricia “Pat” Kemp, (District 6 Extension Director Stephen Gran. Countywide). After a brief introduction the panel Appropriately called “Green attempted to bring those present up Hillsborough” the meeting was held at to par with past, current and future the Bloomingdale Regional Public projects within their own departments. Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in According to officials the County Valrico, in early May, and was the saves more than $3.4 million second in a series of community conannually by reducing its energy use versations Kemp has planned to host and costs, thanks to its efforts of throughout the county. using recycled materials in building “I have been pleased to learn construction, the use of solar panels about the investment of Hillsborough on County facilities as well as the County in sustainable programs and installation of LED traffic signals, just practices,” Kemp said. “There is a to name a few. strong foundation to build upon, and I Some of the County’s most recent intend to fast-track the ‘greening’ of accomplishments include: motion county government during my time as sensitive lighting, water efficient a Commissioner.” plumbing as well as the installation of To ensure that departments seven electric car charging stations in essential to Kemp’s goals were repre2011 throughout the County. sented, the 6-member panel discusReportedly, the County has elimision highlighted some of the County’s nated 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide sustainability programs including emissions since 2003. cooling systems, LED lighting, bioThe question and answer portion solids composting, electric vehicle of the Kemp’s discussion, however, charging stations, solar panel sysshed some light on what was really tems, the cooking oil recycling effort on the minds of area residents, (CORE). including concerns about local traffic Kemp said that her goal is to and transportation, issues related to show residents how the County is schools and safety along with growth working on moving to a 100 percent management, or lack of, on the part sustainable future in Hillsborough of local government officials. County, while saving taxpayer dollars Kemp was elected to the County and creating green jobs. Commission in 2016. She currently The panel included Assistant also serves on the Juvenile Justice County Administrator Tom Fass, who Board and the Public Safety was joined by Energy Manager Coordinating Council, which was led Randy Klindworth, Environmental by former County Commissioner Protection Commission Sustainability Kevin Beckner. Coordinator Michelle Jenkins, County For more information about Kemp Public Utilities Program Manager Joe and Green Hillsborough, please visit Squitier, Public Works (Solid Waste) www.HCFLGOV.net. Project Manager Ron Wiesman, Public Works (Solid Waste) Recycling

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May 2017

Page 13

Valrico Edition

Brandon Beer Cellar & Tasting Bar Gets Crafty With Renovations

Kristen Chenoweth Supports Local NonProfit For First Anniversary Celebration

Joel Bigham, drinking a fine craft owner and operator beer. of Craft Beer Cellar, The store located at 1937 boasts a tasting bar Brandon Blvd. in with 12 taps on a Brandon, has a rearotating basis, and son to say, eight cooler doors “Cheers!” His franwith bottled beers chise location, to appeal to any which has been palate. Customers open since 2014, is can drink anything constantly evolving from the cooler onCraft Beer Cellar renosite for a small to best serve the vations will include a open fee, or they Brandon area. new bar, additional Known for craft tables, and a wood wall for a relaxed atmos- can stop in to grab phere. some packaged beer education and excellence, the store keeps customers beer on their way to the beach. supplied with package to go brews and The store’s success is partially a one of the most diversified tap lists in result of the plethora of Local Florida town in a relaxed environment. beers available since Bigham tries to Customers can enjoy samples and keep at least eight Florida beers on tap at peruse over 600 beers before filling their all times. “I do my best to support local growlers to take with them or to enjoy a Florida breweries. There are over 70 of 12oz pour at the bar. them between Sarasota and Brooksville, Bigham, who purchased the approxi- and the number is growing,” Bigham said. In addition to the physical changes mately 1,800 sq. ft. Brandon bottle shop taking place, Bigham has also ramped up from its original owner in September 2016, is excited to be renovating the store the store’s social media presence since and expects to have a new bar, and addi- taking ownership. Customers looking to discover the latest beer releases or take tional seating by the end of June 2017. “The store was mostly promoted in part in upcoming tastings can be the first the past as just a bottle shop. I have to know on facebook.com/cbcbrandon, enhanced the environment, adding to the visit craftbeercellar.com/stores/fl/brandon/ bottle selection and making the layout or call 413-9451. Store hours are Monday more open, and we really encourage cus- through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., tomers to drink on site,” Bigham said. Thursday through Saturday 11am to 10 While the store does not serve food, pm, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. patrons are welcome to bring their own Customer can enjoy $1 off 32 oz. growler and enjoy music and conversation while fills on Sundays and Mondays.

Love Light for Life celebrate and learn about (LL4L), a local the non-profit. There will 501(c)(3) non-profit, be raffles and silent aucreceived support from tions at the event and a superstar within its Chenoweth’s donations, first year of being including an autographed established. copy of her book, A Little Bit Wicked, and an autoFor the president graphed album, The Art of of the organization, Elegance, will be availKristen Burris, this able. was a once-in-a-lifeAlong with time opportunity to get Kristin Chenoweth and Kristen donations, Chenoweth’s to know Tony Award Burris meet after a recent concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall. other items will include a and Emmy Award Tampa Bay Buccaneers Autographed winning star, Kristin Chenoweth. She NFL Football - #54 Lavonte David, a could not resist sharing her non-profit’s Tampa Bay Lightning Autographed NHL mission with the celebrity when they Hockey Puck - #27 Jonathan Drouin and recently met at Ruth Eckerd Hall after Autographed Hat - #23 J.T. Brown, a Chenoweth’s concert. Tampa Bay Rays Family Package, a According to Burris, “Our mission is MisFit fitness tracker, Too Faced makeup, to make the world a better place by unitJuicy Couture perfume, Kendra Scott jewing positive, like-minded individuals to elry and more. spread love, compassion, understanding, Raffle tickets will be available for $5 tolerance and respect to all of each or five tickets for $20. A bracelet humanity/animals worldwide through designed by Isle Coast will be available service projects, charitable events, comwith 20% of proceeds going to LL4L. munity support, random acts of kindness Supporters can use cash or card at the and more.” event for purchases or donations. This is exactly the type of organizaBurris said, “The event will be a fun tion that Chenoweth likes to represent. celebration with friends, family and supBurris works for HSN and was invited for porters to eat, drink, mingle and raise a company cocktail party after her recent money for the organization. Please come performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall. join the celebration to show your support Chenoweth learned about LL4L, loved and to “Light Up Life with Love.” the concept and wanted to help support World of Beer Brandon is located at it. An event celebrating LL4L’s first anniversary will take place at the World of 2878 Providence Lakes Blvd. in Brandon. For information, visit lovelightforlife.com or Beer Brandon on Sunday, June 25 from email info@lovelightforlife.com. 3-6 p.m. All are invited to come out and

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Page 14

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

Helps t n e v E k Scrap Boo rate America Celeb ore… Missions, M & t r e c on olesanti, Chorale C helle C d by Mic rver.com e il p m o C obse @osprey michelle

Scrapbooking Event At Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church

Plant City

Plant City Community Chorale will present its fourth annual concert dedicated to America, sponsored by Hopewell Memorial Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens, at St. Clement Catholic Church on Saturday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. Conducted by Claudia Bolaño Becerra, the concert paints a musical portrait of the American landscape, as vast and varied as its regions and people. With selections from the hills of Kentucky, the plains of the Midwest, the streets of New Orleans,

and battlefields around the world, this tribute to America resounds with the spirit of our country. Tickets are available at www.pcccchorale.org, from any Chorale member, or by calling 4172808.

Become A Host Family For A French Student

Host Families are Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church needed in the is hosting a Whistle Brandon, Valrico, Stop Crop to celebrate Riverview and National Scrap Tampa Booking Day on areas from Saturday, June 3 from Friday, July 7 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. The through registration fee of $35 Thursday, July includes workspace, a 27. light breakfast, and Host lunch. You must bring Families have Nikolai Berntsen of Valrico recently found the Osprey your own supplies. Observer’s hidden Geocache. varied reasons Proceeds from this for participating make excellent hosts. event will benefit Holy in this amazing cultural exchange Trips are planned twice a week to Innocents summer opportunity. Some have traveled include theme parks, shopping, Plant City Community Chorale will hold a concert on Saturday, June mission trips. The extensively, but others simply beaches and picnics. Most of all they 10 to celebrate America. event will be held at love foreign language and culhave the chance to learn some of our Holy Innocents ture. Others see the hosting culture, improve on their English and Episcopal Church, 604 experience as one that will making lasting friendships with you N. Valrico Rd. in expose their children to internaand your family. Valrico. tional people, ideas, and lanAll students come with their own You can register at guage. monies and trips already paid for; all www.hiepiscopal.org. Host Families come from we ask is that you provide them with For information, call both the city and the suburbs a bed to sleep on and involve them in 689-3130 during norand may be working, stay-atyour family activities. mal business hours. home, or retired families. Most Please call or 449-3308 or email host families have teenagers at ecitampa@hotmail.com.for more info This is America home, but many have younger or if you are able to host. Chorale Concert In children or no children, and still

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May 2017

Page 15

Valrico Edition

FINANCIAL FOCUS Smart Investing

By Kate Quesada

Neighborhood Mini-Grants Now Available From Hillsborough County Could your neighborhood use a new sign or a bench? The Hillsborough County office of Neighborhood Relations recently opened its application period for minigrants which will award $96,000 to groups throughout the county with the goal of improving and strengthening neighborhoods. According to the Neighborhood Relations Office, groups have recently sought money for duck and bat houses, a butterfly garden and a rack for storing residents’ kayaks, among other requests. Valrico’s River Hills community spent its grant money from 2016 on bird houses for the Purple Martin Swallow and a nesting platform for Ospreys. However, Neighborhood Relations Office states that the grants are not just for physical enhancements, the program’s goal is to bring neighbors together and bolster community pride Grants will be awarded for up to $2,500, but groups that apply must be pre-registered with the office of neighborhood relations and applicants must take a mandatory online orienta-

tion, which is offered twice a month, before applying. The program began in 1988 and funds are allocated to it by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. “We urge neighborhood leaders to think creatively when brainstorming about projects and types of community involvement,” said a Neighborhood Relations press release, which also explained that applications are evaluated by a committee which uses questions to rank each request. Applications for grants to fund food or drinks, infrastructure projects, cameras or electronics and those that can be funded through another source, are not considered for minigrants. However, grants are frequently given to help host community events, establish neighborhood watch programs and train neighborhood leaders to be more effective. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Friday, August 4. For more information, call 272-5860 or visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.

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Toward Your Goals

It’s Kentucky Derby time again. Even if you’re not much of a horse racing fan, you might appreciate all the Derby’s pageantry – the mint juleps, the women’s beautiful hats, the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home,” and so on. But if you look beyond the hoopla, you’ll realize just how much work it takes to put on such an event. And the efforts of one group in particular – the jockeys – may be able to provide you with some lessons in life – and in investing. For starters, consider the stamina the jockeys show as they steer 1,000-pound thoroughbreds around the track at Churchill Downs. Riding a racehorse is difficult, demanding and dangerous, requiring enormous endurance on the part of the jockey. And in many areas of life, you too will need to show some staying power. That’s certainly true when you invest. You need the fortitude to keep on investing, in good markets and bad ones, and during all the phases of your life – even after you’ve retired. It might not always be easy – during turbulent markets, you may be tempted to take a “time out” – but the most successful investors are usually the most persistent ones. Here’s another trait shown by Kentucky Derby jockeys: vision. Jockeys must be able to spot the spaces they need to go through to gain the position they want. In other words, they see where they want to go. As an investor, you need this same ability. To illustrate: What do you want your retirement to look like? Will you stay close to home and volunteer? Will you travel the world? Will you even open a small business? You need to envision your goals if you’re going to achieve them.

Strategy is also important to jockeys. They all want to win the race, but they employ different methods. For example, three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel’s strategy usually involves riding his horse on the rail at the inside of the track – so much so that his nickname is “Bo’rail.” As an investor, you need a strategy that’s appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. Such a strategy will involve choosing a suitable mix of investments, reviewing your portfolio’s progress at regular intervals, and making changes as necessary. Finally, jockeys need knowledge. Is the track in good shape? How has the horse been behaving lately? What’s the weather going to be at post time? To be a good investor, you also need plenty of knowledge. You’ll need to pose some questions about individual investments you’re considering: How will this investment perform under different market environments? Will this investment fit well into my portfolio, or do I already have others similar to it? Is this an investment I can hold for the long term? And you’ll also need to learn about yourself as an investor: What is my tolerance for risk? Am I fully considering all my goals, such as college for my kids, my own retirement and the type of legacy I’d like to leave? There’s no shortage of questions for active investors to ask – and the best investors never stop learning. You can learn a lot from Kentucky Derby jockeys. By applying some of their skills and habits to your investment activities, you can keep moving toward your goals – and you won’t even have to run in circles. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor

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Page 16

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

ner n i D d n a Concert ss On a l C , r e s i Fundra s & More… oot R w e r b santi, e H lle Cole

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Page 17

Valrico Edition

chool S p l e H o ve T the n I Book Dri s m a r g mer Pro m u S , s d i K ore… Arts & M

Durant High School Student Accepted To The Air Force Academy

The Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information on all summer programs or to sign up, call 4902787 or visit faopa.org.

Durant High School student headed to the US Air Force Academy. ti, n Maxemillian (Max) Griffith, a s le o eC Michell com y b 17, will be reporting to d e il ver. Comp reyobser p s Colorado Springs, o @ e michell Colorado on June 29 to start his college career in hopes of being a pilot. Max is a member of the NHS, Spanish NHS, Honor Court, captain of the Donate Books To Student Run Book Lacrosse team for two years and Drive Brandon ’86 graduating in the Joey Woodward, a Rotary Club top 12% of his seventh grade student at Hosts Easter class. He has Immanuel Lutheran Egg Hunt At maintained his School is holding a book Members of the Brandon ’86 Rotary Club and Interact Club of Durant High Everyday 5.3 GPA while School host Easter Egg Hunt at Everyday Blessings. drive. He and sister Jilly Blessings playing sports, have begun the drive working 25 The Brandon Jeanne Machin said, “Our beginning viowith 140 of their own hours per week, main’86 Rotary Club hosted an Easter Egg lin camp will help first time students gain books and now want to taining a busy social Hunt on April 8 for the children of an understanding of the basics, learn share with other kids. life, volunteering at Everyday Blessings, a foster care facility proper technique and develop a solid They have chosen The Boys and Girls in Thonotasassa that focuses on keeping foundation for everything from reading to help both Lopez and Club of Brandon, together. The children were treatsiblings notes to budding musicianship.” The Ruskin Elementary Habitat For Humanity ed to an egg hunt and lunch. The Interact camp runs Monday to Friday, July 24-July schools and plan to and Relay for Life just Club of Durant High School also partici28 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon and children can donate collected books to name a few. Max pated in the event. stay for the whole day for more musical throughout May. hopes to inspire and be “We are so grateful to be able to activities in the afternoon. The camp They are hoping to a positive role model work with Everyday Blessings to create includes the use of a violin for the week. send books home with for other kids in our memories for the children they serve,” Children who have already played 450 students Lopez community. says Marlene Adkinson, Vice President of Max Griffith was accepted to the the violin for a year can sign up for rock Elementary and 900 stuAir Force Academy in Colorado Brandon ’86 Rotary Club. “It’s a blessthe violin camp, which runs Monday to Friday, Springs. dents at Ruskin New Summer ing to watch the joy on the children’s July 31-August 4. Campers will play pop, Elementary. Programs At The Florida Academy of and we look forward to hosting this faces, rock, and jazz music, and learn to play Drop off locations are at: Olin Mott the Performing Arts event every year.” with background tracks. at 528 W. in Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, The Brandon ’86 Rotary Club raises Children can learn to play violin this These are just two of the camps PDQ at 134 S. Gornto Lake Rd. in money to support Everyday Blessings summer at The Florida Academy of the offered by the Florida Academy of the Brandon, Osprey Observer – 918 Lithia other local charities during their and Performing Arts (FAOPA), which will be Performing Arts. There are musical thePinecrest Rd. in Brandon, and Immanuel annual Brandon Seafood Festival and offering a new week-long camp this sumatre camps as well as week-long full-day Lutheran School at 2913 John Moore Rd. mer for children in grades 3-5. They will Partee Golf Tournament. The club meets music camps called Music and More for in Brandon. For more information, call every Friday at 7 a.m., at the Grace learn how to play a violin, how to read children ages 5 and up. 833-9923. Place, 732 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. music, and learn music theory. Director

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Page 18

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

Osprey Observer Community Newspaper Honored With BOCC Commendation For 15th AnniversaryBy Kate Quesada

The Osprey Observer staff received an exciting honor from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) last month. The team, led by Managing Editor Marie Gilmore, was given a Commendation from the BOCC celebrating the publication’s 15th anniversary and recognizing its impact on the community. At the April 5 BOCC meeting in downtown Tampa, members of the Osprey Observer staff were recognized by County Commissioner Stacy White and were presented with a plaque commemorating the commendation and congratulating the newspaper on its 15th anniversary. The plaque also recognized the publication for providing informative local news to the community. During the BOCC’s regular meetings, commissioners often give out proclamations and commendations to recognize important dates and causes and to celebrate significant contributions of businesses, groups and individuals to the people of Hillsborough County. “Commissioners are free to choose recognitions as they wish and commissioners choose to recognize individuals, groups and businesses for a variety of reasons,” said White, who explained during the meeting that he looks forward to receiving the Osprey Observer in his mailbox every month. “I decided to recognize the Osprey Observer for this milestone anniversary because it is a

“We are honored and humbled to have been recommended for a Commendation by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners,” said Gilmore. “It was so nice to be acknowledged for the work that we do and for the positive news that we provide to our readers in Southeast Hillsborough County. This was a highlight of our 15 years of publishing community news.” For more information on the Hillsborough County BOCC, visit hillsboroughcounty.org or call 272-5660.

Staff members from The Osprey Observer attended a recent meeting of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners where they were given a Commendation by Commissioner Stacy White.

successful small business in the district that I represent and a popular news outlet that reports meaningful, positive news about our community.” White also gave audience members a brief history of the Osprey Observer, stating that since 2002, the direct-mailed community newspaper has been committed to producing thought-provoking features and highlighting news and activities in Southeast Hillsborough County including FishHawk, Riverview, Valrico, Brandon and Apollo Beach. “Through many hours of hard work

and dedication and with the help of a dedicated team of 16 professionals, the Observer has transformed from a fourpage hand-delivered newsletter to its current five monthly editions with more than 200 pages mailed into more than 70,000 mailboxes each month,” said White during the meeting. “I am thankful for the jobs that the Osprey Observer provides, for its support of our community and for keeping our community well informed.” Gilmore received the plaque and spoke at the meeting on behalf of the team.

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May 2017

Page 19

Valrico Edition

Student Plans Father/Daughter Dance To Raise Funds For Children’s Home

HCSO Celebrates Ribbon Cutting For New District 5 Patrol Office

Seven-year-old the world have the chance Gabryelle Lane has to smile at least once with been working for my Gabby Care years to help those Packages.” less fortunate than The care packages her. This month she include hygiene items such is inviting others to a toothbrushes, mouthwash and toothpaste, join her while having soaps, shower gel, fun with their family. deodorant, lotions, hair The second grade items and socks. student is hosting “She is very passionGabby’s first annual ate about helping anyone Father Daughter in need,” said Kenya. “She Dance on Father’s really wants to reach as Day, Sunday, June many little girls as possible 18, at the Regent in Gabryelle Lane, a seven-year-old Brandon resident, is organizing a in Tampa and the surRiverview to benefit the Hope Children’s father daughter dance at the Regent rounding areas.” in Riverview on Father’s Day. The dance, which will Center in Tampa. include catered food from M&R Catering “We are calling all fathers, grandfaCompany, will be hosted by Ebone Cruz, thers, uncles and father figures to purpresident and founder of Hat-Attitude and chase a ticket and bring their little formerly of WTMP radio, and will feature princesses out for a good cause,” said speakers including Jessie McNeil, who Kenya Lane, Gabryelle’s mother. according to Kenya is a “dynamic man, Gabryelle started her own non-profit, great father, motivational speaker, pastor, Gabby Cares, recently to raise funds for the care packages she creates and deliv- author, entrepreneur and community ers to young girls in state homes, shelters leader.” He will be speaking on the topic of A Father’s Love. and those who are homeless throughout Attendees will enter the dance on a the area. She decided to organize a dance to help the girls at Hope Children’s red carpet and will have their pictures Center after visiting the residents over the taken in a princess chair. Each girl holidays to bring donations from an angel attending the event will also receive a ttree at Kenya’s work. The center does not shirt as a take home gift to remember the night. receive state funding, so it relies only on For information, call Kenya at 516donations from the public. 9405 or email gabbycares@hotmail.com “These people live without a lot of or search for Gabby Cares on Facebook daily essentials that we often take for Tickets must be purchased in advance of granted,” said Gabryelle. “My mission is the event. to make sure less fortunate kids all over

Hillsborough ly affect and reshape District IV, the department’s largest County Sheriff’s district, is to begin serving Office celebrated the residents this spring. official opening of its long awaited new Within its more than 400 District V Patrol square miles, District IV, Office, earlier this served nearly 300,000 resimonth. dents, in the communities of Commanded by Ruskin, Riverview, Apollo Major Kyle Beach, Progress Village, Robinson, the new Lithia, FishHawk facility is located at Bloomingdale. Hillsborough 10128 Windhorst The changing County Sheriff boundaries affecting one Rd. in Tampa off David Gee and County substation is the Falkenburg Rd. in Commissioner Bloomingdale HCSO’s Pine Brook Stacy White, cut Community Substation Complex across the ribbon for the opening of the from the departlocated 3622 Erindale Sheriff’s office new District V facility. ment’s District II Dr. in Valrico, formerly a office. District IV station under Major Robert District V now serves communities, Bullera, which recently welcomed HCSO within Dr. King Blvd. to the north, Alafia Deputy James Brodie as the community’s River to the south, from Lithia Pinecrest new full time resource deputy. Rd. to the east and Tampa city limits to Since May 8, the Bloomingdale subthe west, including Progress Village, station and its staff including Brodie, Bloomingdale and northern Riverview Detective James Howell and Resource along with its substations. Officer Sandra Capitano now serve the Robinson recalled that in 2015 community under Robinson in District V. Sheriff David Gee and HCSO Chief District IV will continue to cover communiDeputy Jose Docobo put together a ties south of the river such as Lithia, working group to devise a plan how to FishHawk, Gibsonton, Apollo Beach, manage and to stay ahead of growth Ruskin, and southern Riverview including throughout Hillsborough County. Balm, Wimauma and Sun City Center. “We have analyzed data, crime Valrico area residents continue to be trend, calls for service and came to the serviced by HCSO’s District II office. conclusion that we needed a fifth district, “District V is about people who put to better serve our citizens,” Robinson their lives on the line to serve, as well as partnering with people in our communities said. who deserve, to feel safe and secure in It was also determined that the additheir neighborhoods,” Robinson added. tion of a new district, which will specifical-

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May 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 20


InThis Section

Valrico

FISHING TOURNAMENT .................PG 27 SUMMER MOVIES ..........................PG 32 ESCAPE ROOM................................PG 33 May 2017

Volume 14, Issue 5

New Product Offered By Brandon Hearing Centers

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home? They really want your attention and you want to give them your attention, but you still Brandon Hearing have to get your work done. Centers is pleased to CoWork Landing (CWL) is the perannounce the introduction of fect solution. Just for the summer Opn (TM) to their product CWL is offering three month memoffering. Oticon Opn is a berships for those parents who breakthrough hearing device just need a place to work while the on the market categorized kids are home for the summer. by offering 30 percent better CWL is a shared workspace at 522 speech understanding, Oakfield Dr. in Brandon that can reducing listening effort by Patty Paddock at Brandon be your office away from home for 20 percent, and helping Hearing Center. Shannon Carlton, owner of CoWork a few hours a week or for a few users to remember 20 perLanding at 522 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon Mental weeks of the summer. Stop by for cent more of their conversation (Le Brandon. a tour or call Shannon at 924-4679 Goff et al 2016 Opn Clinical Evidence Health Offers Outpatient BMH is located at 421 or shannon@igscommunity.com. White Paper, Oticon, Inc.) with the Shane Raymond, owner of the Behavioral Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in high efficiency of technology embedBrandon Mental Health Counseling. Health Brandon and also at 787 Zaxby’s Opens Second Location ded in this tiny device. Counseling Cortaro Dr. in Sun City Oticon Opn offers an easy conOwner Matt Wortman and wife Center. The hours are Monday to Brandon Mental Health (BMH) nectivity to a variety of mobile phones Cori own and operate Friday from 9 a.m.-5 has been a leading provider of mental and other IOS and Android devices. the Zaxby’s fast casual p.m. health therapy in Hillsborough County Audio is streamed directly to the restaurant at 2028 E. Call 315 8648 or for nearly 10 years. According to hearing aids using a modified version SR 60 in Valrico. They visit www.brandonmenowner, Shane Raymond, “Our mission of Bluetooth technology developed recently opened anothtalhealth.com to learn dictates that we ‘meet the client especially for hearing aids. With the er Zaxby’s location more about services where the client is.’ We strive to profree, downloadable Oticon On App, next to the Goodrich offered. vide an atmosphere that is comfortwearers can control volume, proTheater in Riverview. able and conducive to change. grams or device selection and other Zaxby’s is noted Summer Services are provided to young chilfunctions with just a tap on their for its delicious chicken Memberships dren through older adults and everymobile phones. fingers, wings, sandOffered At CoWork one in between. Whether help is To make an appointment to have wiches and salads in a Landing needed for a child with ADHD, an your hearing tested or to discuss fun, offbeat atmosolder adult with depression or a couDo you work from home? During whether the Oticon Opn is right for phere. ple unable to communicate, our team the school year, it's quiet and all is you, call Patty Paddock at Brandon As of April, Zaxby’s has grown to of experienced clinicians is able to well, but what about the summer Hearing Centers at 681-2622 or visit more than 800 locations in 17 states help.” months when the kids are brandonhearingcenters.com. Continued on Next Page


Page 22

Valrico Edition

Business Column Continued............. and is headquartered in Athens, Georgia. For more information, visit zaxbys.com or zaxbysfranchising.com. Store hours are: MondayThursday from 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m.2 a.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m.11 p.m. The new Zaxby’s is located at 10610 Strathmore Shores Pl. in Gibsonton. Call 280-9175 or visit www.zaxbys.com/locations/fl/gibsonton/10580-new-eastbay-rd/.

By Michelle Colesanti

be displayed in their main lobby. Make online donations via the PACCC website as well. Canine Cabana is a premium pet lodging facility offering overnight accommodations, doggie daycare, and training. It is located at 9708 Carr Rd. in Riverview. Contact Pickren at 672-9663 or angie@caninecabana.biz

located at 3239 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. The hours are Monday to Thursday from 5-9 p.m., Friday from 4-6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information call 6435332 or visit 5thdimensiondancecenter.com.

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there for your picking. Choose your favorite fruit and owner Caesar Mejia will whip up a smoothie. Stop by for a sandwich or empanada and coffee. It is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and is located at 160 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon. Call 643-3655.

First Annual Strategies For Life Health Fair

One Year Anniversary Celebration At The Creative Artist Gallery

The Creative Artist Gallery is celebrating its one year Canine Cabana anniverProudly Becomes Part sary with Of The PACCC a celeCanine Cabana is bration excited to announce that on Sarah Hill, Canine Tuesday, Cabana’s Lodging May 16 Supervisor, has earned from her Certified 6:30Professional Animal 8:30 Care Provider (CPACP) p.m. and Sarah Hill, Canine Cabana’s Lodging Supervisor, everyone through Professional recently earned her CPACP Certification from Animal Care Certification is invited. PACCC. Council (PACCC). For more PACCC was created to respond to information, call 863-514-0223 or the need of helping pet parents idenemail tify professional pet care services thecreativeartistgallery@gmail.com. providers that invest in education with The Creative Artist Gallery is located a priority on providing high quality pet at 933 E Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. care. Along with PACCC, 5th Dimension Dance Canine Center Offers Many Dance Cabana has a Styles strong belief 5th Dimension Dance in educating Center is offers both recrepet parents ational and competitive team about the dance including ballet, hipimportance of hop, lyrical/contemporary, seeking certijazz, modern, tap, and core fied professionals when choosing strength dance for ages 2-18. someone to care for their pet. Owners Alexis Johnson, Chris ‘As a founding and current board Johnson, Christi Johnson, Bobby member for PACCC, I am excited to Welsby, and Michelle Welsby agree have our first team member complete that 5th Dimension Dance Center and pass her exam and become a strives to provide a stimulating enviCertified Professional Animal Care ronment, focused on providing stuProvider,’ stated Angie Pickrendents of all ages with a unique, CPACP, co-owner of Canine Cabana. healthy and challenging dance experiFor more information, please visit ence. It is devoted to developing each www.paccert.org. student’s potential with a first-rate During May, Canine Cabana will dance education, while encouraging accept donations for PACCC and creativity and personal, artistic allowing pet parents to get involved in growth. By participating in the dance making a positive difference in the program, students will have the capalives of pets. During normal lobby bility to experience an increase in hours, anyone wanting to make a their overall, physical and mental donation to PACCC can purchase a well-being. heart with their dog’s name that will 5th Dimension Dance Center is

Volume 14, Issue 5

From Black Tie To BBQ - Cater Tampa Offers It All

Cater Tampa caterers are committed to quality and decadence in every bite. All food is made from the freshest ingredients—nothing is frozen. No processed meats are used and all roasts are prepared in-house. Many orders are prepared on-site. The business was founded over 15 years ago, and caters to special events hosting for between 10 and 10,000 patrons. Owner, Adam Harris, trained under a five-star Cordon Bleu™ chef in the 1980s, where he learned indispensable skill sets that were sharpened for more than 30 years. Cater Tampa does it all, including piping hot lunch drop-offs for pharmaceutical reps and corporate events, breakfast catering, sandwich trays, and more for local offices. For corporate events, Cater Tampa includes entrées for sitdown or buffet-style events. There are many selections to choose from include seafood, poultry and beef. Cater Tampa offers a new take on wedding catering. Its meals are served buffetstyle and it supplies the china, silverware and all serving equipment as well as tables, linens and the decorations. Cater Tampa is located at 1903 E. SR 60 Ste. in Valrico. For more information, visit www.catertampa.com or call 906-0222.

Fresh Produce Can Be Found At Eliana’s Market

Eliana’s Market has the freshest produce around. Selections of papaya, mango, kiwi and more are

Riverview Family Medicine, Health and Nutrition, along with Fusion Healthcare and Susan Hunter, Lifestyle Coach, would like to invite you to the first annual Strategies for Life Health Fair on Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be free screenings: Blood Pressure Heart Rate, Blood Sugar Oxygen saturation, BMI Fit Test, and Balance Stroke Risk. The Health Fair will take place at Florida Medical Clinic, located at 6037 Winthrop Commerce Ave., Ste. 201 in Riverview.

Pet Vaccination Clinic At Kim’s Natural Pets

EZ Pet Low Cost Pet Vaccination will hold a pet vaccination clinic on Saturday, June 3 from 2-3 p.m. Kim’s Natural Foods is located at 3110 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, just north of Bloomingdale Rd. Call 6843663 to confirm.

The National Association Of Distinguished Counsel

Lynette Silon-Laguna of All Family Law Group, P.A., has been selected to the 2017 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC). NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate. Members are thoroughly vetted by a research team, selected by a blue ribbon panel of attorneys with podium status from independently neutral organizations, and approved by a judicial review board a exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Due to the incredible selectivity of the appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in NADC.

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May 2017

Page 23

Valrico Edition

Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

Home School International Cultural Fair, Special Athletic Awards & More Local Students Among HCC Collegiate Academy First Cohort Graduates

Hillsborough Community College's (HCC) was proud to announce the first graduating class of Collegiate Academy students during the 48th Annual HCC Commencement Exercises, earlier this month. The graduates who have completed 60 college credits at HCC in addition to their required high school class schedules included 100 students from Armwood, Leto and Lennard High Schools. Collegiate Academy graduates are a cohort that start in ninth grade and follow a rigorous curriculum that enables students to graduate with their associate in arts degree prior to graduating high school. The Collegiate Academy program not only expedites the time to obtaining a bachelor's degree, but it allows students and their families to earn a savings of about $6,000 in college tuition. HCC serves more than 45,000 students annually at its five campuses located throughout Tampa Bay. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit hccfl.edu.

Local Home School Group Hosts First Annual International Cultural Fair Area home school students and their

families with Brighter Light Learning filled For the past eight years the recently renovated community meetthe Hillsborough County ing room at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Schools Student Library last month to host the group’s first Nutrition Services (SNS) annual International Cultural Fair. Department has gathered Organized by the parents, the stuhundreds of students from dents managed to feature, display as well schools around the district as offer a brief presentation on nearly a to taste and rate new dozen countries of their choice. menu items for the upcomPresentations included photos, crafts ing season. and in most cases a taste of traditional Keeping with the annuethnic foods representing each country. al tradition, SNS hosted its To allow home school students addieighth annual Fresh tional opportunities for association and Flavors – Food for Body interaction Brighter Light Learning holds and Mind Expo. regular monthly craft fairs and field trips The two-day event as well as weekly play time at local parks Home school students with Brighter Light Group pose for a offered the nearly 150 stuphoto during the group’s first annual International Cultural Fair dents 20 new food items and community centers. held at the Bloomingdale Regional Library last month. Brighter Light is currently in the to test ahead of the 2017Wynne Tye followed by the athletes process of building its website, 2018 school year menu. The new flarecital of the Special Olympics Oath; ‘Let www.brighterlightgroup.com. vors to test included Creamy Tomato me win, But if I cannot win, Let me be Soup with Homemade Croutons, brave in the attempt.’ Hillsborough Schools Recognize Mediterranean Veggie Wafflewich, and Students and their teams were recStudent Athletes with Disabilities durKorean Beef Tacos with Asian Slaw. ognized on stage as they were presented ing 11th Annual Special Olympics Students were asked to rate each with their letters. Athletic Letter Awards Ceremony item on a scale of Love It, Like It, or The ceremony acknowledges the Dislike It, based on the item’s appearBloomingdale High School, 1700 E sportsmanship, commitment and perseance, smell and taste. Bloomingdale Ave, Valrico hosted the verance displayed by our student athletes The tasting helps SNS to provide annual Special Olympics Athletic Letter on and off the field. healthy menus that are based on stuAwards Ceremony. For more information, visit dent preferences. The event welcomed 323 students www.sdhc.fl.us. Each participating student also with disabilities from 20 high schools from received a goodie bag and a chance to Hillsborough County Public Schools. The Hillsborough County Public Schools win a FitBit fitness tracker. ceremony kicked-off with greetings from Hosts 8th Annual ‘Love It, Like It Or For more information about SNS, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Dislike It?’ Fresh Flavors Expo please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us. Access, Opportunity & Alternatives

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Page 24

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

Mother And Daughter Duo Team Up As LuLaRoe Fashion Consultants

By Abby Baker

Mother demand for specifDaughter Duo Amy ic patterns. Each and Suzy consultant is given Wiesenhart, are different colors and currently running a prints, so each LuLaRoe business home business out of Amy’s home has a unique in Brandon. edge. A “unicorn” is The LuLaRoe a rare print that is clothing line has sought out by a swept the nation customer. It could with comfortable inbe a donut-printed home lines of colleggings or a orful leggings and starfish-decorated printed fabrics, and maxi skirt. the mother and Amy was a daughter pair are LuLaRoe cusAmy Wiesenhart (left) and mother Suzy adding their own tomer long before Wiesenhart (right) in front of their personal personal twist on she began selling LuLaRoe collection. the trend. it. “It’s versatile At age 30, Amy is a community serv- and so comfy,” Amy said. “My wardrobe ice officer and a hair dresser. She started was almost filled, before I even started selling the popular clothing line in selling it.” January. Suzy is retired and began helpWhen a friend urged her to try selling, and now fills in when her daughter is ing, she ordered about 300 pieces of the busy at one of her other two jobs. brand last fall. In December, she woke up “You’re never too old to look good,” to six or seven towering boxes at her said Suzy. “Comfort is number one, but it door, all stuffed with LuLaRoe. kind of takes you out of your comfort “I bought a house and I have a guest zone.” bedroom,” Amy said. From a spare guest While the famous ‘buttery’ leggings bedroom to a working business filled with and flowing dresses have been popping colorful racks and shopping bags, the up more frequently than ever, you can’t mother and daughter team are active and buy these pieces in a store. LuLaRoe is looking to grow their personal line further. strictly in-home. Fashion consultants can Draped in vibrant dresses and layered show off their line with Facebook auctextures, the two have a method for their tions, live sales or with the Wiesenhart’s dynamic partnership. favorite, in-home selling parties. To shop their collection, join the Every print in the company is only group at www.facebook.com/groups/amyrepeated about 2,000 times, creating a wiese or follow Lularoeamywiese.

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May 2017

Page 25

Valrico Edition

Kim’s Natural Pet Foods Allows Your Pet To Live Holistically By Amy Schechter

According to hip and to a 2015 joint irritation, Harris Poll, or an animal three in five with an Americans appetite in have at least need of one pet in the weight conhousehold, and trol. She is nearly all pet knowledgeowners considable about er their pets to allergies, diabe family. betic care, That’s a lot of and a plethoanimals, and Kim's Natural Pet Foods, family owned and operated. ra of other pet not surprisingly, needs. “I just pet owners want what is best for their love it,” she said. “I try to find foods in furry family members. But what if you’re order to specialize for my customers’ not quite sure what to do to help your needs.” On top of that, Albright buys pet live its happiest, healthiest life? Turn 100 percent U.S. produced pet foods, to Kim’s Natural Pet Foods. mostly from companies that are famiKim Albright and her family own and ly owned and operated themselves. operate Kim’s Natural Pet Foods, the She is passionate about quality and only pet supply store to offer entirely refuses to sell products from compaholistic items in the Brandon/Valrico nies who have issued recalls. area. It’s unique because they are not a Want to know the best time to franchise; Albright wants to maintain that stop by? The first Saturday of every personal touch that is so important. As a month, Albright hosts a shot clinic pet owner herself she said, “I won’t sell it from 2-3 p.m. where pet owners can if I won’t feed it myself.” Their pet foods purchase low-cost vaccinations contain real ingredients, like meat, fish, and/or preventative medicines, like and vegetables, never byproducts. They heartworm and flea treatments, at are also corn, wheat, soy, and gluten cost. Normal business hours are free. Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 Spend five minutes in the store, and p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. you’ll be glad you did. Albright seeks to It is closed on Sundays. match your pet’s food to his or her speFor information call 684-FOOD cific health needs. She takes the time to (3663) or visit kimsnaturalpetfoods understand the history of your pet, so .com or search Kim’s Natural Pet she can make recommendations based Foods on Facebook. on whether you have a critter with a It is located at 3110 Lithia sensitive stomach, a breed sensitive Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico.

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Page 26

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 5


May 2017

Page 27

Valrico Edition

Local Anglers Will Participate In World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament Staff Report

Nestled between Pass. Festivities will Sarasota and Fort commence with an Myers on Southwest awards ceremony held Florida’s Gulf Coast, downtown on the Punta Friday night. Gorda/Englewood The sport fishing fun Beach area is a preand competition in mier Florida ecoCharlotte Harbor though tourism destination. It isn’t just for the offers the best of grownups this summer. Florida’s world-class Kids can reel in big fun fishing all in one and fish too at place. With inshore the Gasparilla Island mangroves, grass Kids Classic Tarpon flats, open waters in Tournament, which will the harbor, and the be held Saturday, June Gasparilla Island will host the World’s offshore action in the 10. The world’s greatest Richest Tarpon Tournament on Thursday and Friday, May 25 and 26. kids fishing tournament Gulf of Mexico, the area offers several different ways to expe- for children ages 15 and under, not only rience Florida fishing at its finest. Of will 100 percent of the entry fees be which, one of the area’s best-kept secrets donated to charities helping other kids is how great tarpon fishing is in Charlotte and families, but more than $10,000 in Harbor during the summer months, this prizes will be awarded to participating year being no exception. captains and anglers. In addition to the This May, avid anglers, including tournament competition, there will be many from the local area, will visit complimentary food and drinks, exhibits, Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande Pass and a family interactive art show. with hopes of reeling in the silver king at Internationally renowned as one of the The World’s Richest Tarpon the world’s top sport fishing destinations, Tournament. This year marks the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach’s 35th anniversary of the two-day tournaCharlotte Harbor sits on Florida’s secondment, which boasts $80,000 in prize largest marine estuary and is often money and is being held on Thursday referred to as the Tarpon Capitol of the and Friday, May 25-26. Festivities begin World. Peak season for tarpon fishing is on Wednesday evening with the annual May and June, however, the destination Captains’ Meeting, where captains and is a year-round ecological breeding anglers gather to discuss the rules of the ground for numerous fish, such as Snook, tournament and socialize before the com- Redfish, Grouper, Snapper, King Fish, petition begins. Fishing will take place on Barracuda and Mackerel. For information, Thursday and Friday in Boca Grand visit worldsrichesttarpon.com.

Expires 7/31/2017


Page 28

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

After Public Input, County Superintendent Recommends Postponing Implementation Of Student Bell Times Changes To 2018-2019 Season

By Tamas Mondovics

Last month, Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins informed district families, staff and community members with his final recommendation to wait one year before making district wide changes. Eakin’s note reached the community just days ahead of a Special Called Board Meeting on Tuesday, April 25, during which the school board approved with a 6 to 1 vote for the new 2018-2019 bell time schedule. The 20172018 bell time schedule will not change. Eakins emphasized that the proposed bell time changes are necessary because the district’s current arrival and dismissal times do not allow enough time for bus drivers to get students to and from school on time and stated that the district must correct this in order to secure the appropriate number of instructional minutes for students. Less than a month earlier, Eakins informed parents and guardians of the more than 200,000 elementary, middle and high school students in the nation’s eighth largest district of the proposed bell time change asking all to review it and send in their input so a final recommendation can be brought to the School

Counting the potential benefits school officials noted that with high schools dismissed nearly an hour earlier will allow opportunities for jobs and getting to practice and after-school

Board for a vote. “After you have watched the video and studied the attached proposed bell times, we look forward to your feedback once again,” Eakins said, while acknowledging that the issue prompts parents and students to have many questions and concerns. The request for a feedback of the already proposed new schedule seems to have caught many parents off guard, a great number of whom are still dealing with the whiplash of the School Board’s controversial vote to end its courtesy busing. School officials said that the proposed bell time changes are based on feedback from teachers, parents and students involving nearly two dozen schools over a considerable time. Eakins called the current schedule unrealistic, and that, “Something had to change in order to meet the needs of our students and properly secure the instructional minutes necessary.”

electives such as Art, Music and Band to reach their graduation requirements. HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja added that the change will provide a more efficient bus schedule, and improve instruction for students due to maintaining or adding more planning time for teachers. As expected, Eakins comments eventually circled back to the buses when he said, “Adjusting the bell schedule will allow a greater percentage of school bus drivers to transport three tiers of students (Elementary, Middle and High School). This shift translates to a cost savings of over two and a half million dollars for the school district, officials said. While the topic of buses, students’ safety and bell times continue to be a formidable foe to many, Hillsborough County Public Schools to Eakins and his staff it is clearly Superintendent Jeff Eakins addresses parents and teachers about the district’s proposed new a means to save money and a bell schedule. promised goal to work toward a 90 percent graduation rate by the year activities sooner, which means the stu2020. dents can get home earlier. At the end, Eakins recommended Elementary students are said to to wait one year before making any gain an extra 15 minutes of Art, Music change to the bell schedule, stating and PE, which school officials said that the additional time will allow the improves their overall health and wellschool district and families to make being. any necessary adjustments and clariMiddle school and high school stufy questions or concerns. dents will keep a seven period day The 2018-2019 recommended which Eakins said affords them the bell times are posted online at opportunity to take more classes, sdhc.k12.fl.us/newsdesk. including Advanced Placement and


May 2017

Page 29

Valrico Edition

Barbara McGinnis, The Mother In Mother-Daughter Yellowfin Realty Team

Kim Smith, The Daughter In Mother-Daughter Yellowfin Realty Team

REALTOR® Barbara McGinnis’ personality is as vibrant as her bejeweled glasses. She made them herself, she said, with tiny red, white and blue gems for a patriotic look. McGinnis obtained her real estate license in 1985, after raising her three children, and has been serving the Tampa Bay real estate market ever since. She started working for Yellowfin Realty in 2014, and splits her time between helping people list or buy a home and managing rental properties. She specializes in first-time home buyers, although she’s always happy to see repeat buyers or customers from the past. According to McGinnis, the most important part of working with new home buyers is to remain patient. The average buyer sees eight to ten homes before finding the one that will be a future home. “We keep looking until that smile crosses their face that they just can’t wipe off, and they light up like a Christmas tree,” McGinnis said. Right now, there are “more buyers than homes to buy,” said McGinnis. “We’re absolutely blowing up.” Because of the market, where it can be hard for buyers to find existing homes

It was Kim Smith’s mother, Brandon REALTOR® Barbara McGinnis, who convinced Smith to take the real estate licensing exam. By that point, Smith already had a wealth of knowledge on the subject, but in a way that made studying for the exam more difficult. “The book does it one way,” Smith said, “but the reality is totally different.” Now a REALTOR® herself, Smith works closely with McGinnis on the sale, purchase, and management of properties. They work so closely, in fact, that they share an office – and on days when her two daughters are off from school, they can be found around the office, too. Smith was pregnant with her second daughter when she learned that her employer was downsizing, and she started working with McGinnis a few months after her daughter was born. Smith grew up in Seffner, went to Armwood High School, and now lives on the same homestead property where she was raised. Family is clearly very important to Smith and McGinnis, and their proximity while working together means that they often finish each other’s sentences. Smith talks about the growth in Brandon, for example, and reminisces about a time

By Alicia Thompson

in their price range and desired location, many are turning to developing communities. Especially in those situations, McGinnis said, a realtor is essential for navigating the contracts, inspection, and other aspects of the process. “Most homebuilders will tell you that 80 percent are from realtors bringing someone in,” McGinnis said. “We know where communities are, we know the amenities. We know how to take the back roads.” McGinnis calls Yellowfin Realty “phenomenal,” and loves that it’s familyowned. She works with her daughter, Kim Smith, which helps to keep them always available for their clients. They share an office and bounce ideas off each other, although it means that it can be difficult to step away from work. “When we’re on vacation,” McGinnis said, “it’s a rolling business.” Yellowfin Realty was established in 2009, and is headquartered at 11256 Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. McGinnis and Smith both work out of the nearby office located at 801 W. Bloomingdale Ave. Call 229-8862 or visit yellowfinrealty.com.

By Alicia Thompson

when Highway 60 was only two lanes wide. “But as big as Brandon is getting, it’s still a bedroom community,” McGinnis pointed out. It’s that smalltown feel that both Smith and McGinnis enjoy about Brandon. However, they also caution about scams that arise when an area experiences such rapid growth. “Rentals go in hours,” Smith said, and there have been a rash of ads on Craigslist that offer low monthly rates, and then the supposed landlord collects deposits from multiple people for a property that’s not even available. “People need to make sure they’re dealing with a reputable real estate company,” Smith said. It’s one reason she and her mother are passionate about helping local residents find properties to live. Yellowfin Realty was established in 2009, and is headquartered at 11256 Winthrop Main St. in Riverview. Smith and McGinnis both work out of the nearby office located at 801 W. Bloomingdale Ave. Call 229-8862 or visit yellowfinrealty.com.

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Page 30

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

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Bloomingdale Bulls Fall To East Bay IndiansIn District Title Game

By Tamas Mondovics

Bloomingdale Lady Bulls quarterback Miya Franklin (18) gets focused on a pass down the center during this year’s girls flag football district final game against East Bay.

After three consecutive district titles, and a 13-14 loss to local rival East Bay, the Bloomingdale Girls Flag Football team led by program head coach Michael Lankford had to settle for second place, which has affectively halted the girl's chance to advance to this year’s regional’s in hopes of a state appearance. The last time the two teams met was in 2015, when the much stronger Bulls had the upper hand and defeated the Indians 27-6 to win their sec-

East Bay Lady Indians wide receiver Sara Hostelley (22) gets the first down with this run against Bloomingdale during this 2016-2017 spring flag football district championship game.

ond district tile in a row. The Lady Bull’s winning streak continued in 2016 with a powerful 207 victory over the Plant City Raiders to claim the 2A District 6 championship victory; the program’s third in as many years. This season, however, was undoubtedly and rightfully East Bay’s’ as the well-balanced and talented team led by head coach Michael Cooper reclaimed the coveted trophy with a perfect 7-0 district record.

East Bay Indians running back, Shawnari Lynch has nowhere to run, thanks to the Bloomingdale Bulls solid defense.

Coming down to a final shootout, the game hosted by East Bay could have gone either way and was as good and as exciting as high school sports can get. When it was over, East Bay did not only play its ninth district championship game, but won its sixth district title, and posted its 100th win, in 11 years. “I have enjoyed coaching many talented players in the past and we had great teams, but as I said at the

beginning of the season, this is by far the best team that we have ever had,” Cooper said. “They deserve it. They have worked hard and kept the right attitude all for the love of the game.” While the Lady Bulls must now wait until next year for a rematch, the Indians—with nothing to lose— advanced to the post season with a shot at the state title. For information about girl’s flag football, visit www.fhsaa.org.

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May 2017

Page 31

Valrico Edition

Sports Connection Story and photos by Tamas Mondovics

Local Cal Ripken Babe Ruth Youth Baseball Leagues Post Spring Season Success Area Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth youth baseball and softball leagues have enjoyed another successful spring season, which now comes to a close with the annual week- Bloomingdale Giants Owen Donahue (Major 70) joins FishHawk Youth Baseball Mets (Minors) Calvin the list of base hits during a recent game day at the Kuba, connects with the ball for a home run long, inBYSA complex. against the Red Sox during a recent in-league league playgame. league’s success offs and championship game day. could not be posLiving up to the reputation, batting sible without its was strong at all four area leagues committed and that includes the Bloomingdale Youth willing volunSports Association (BYSA) 2215 teers. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, the North “We appreciBrandon Youth Baseball (NBYB) 2929 ate our volunS Kingsway Rd, in Seffner, the teers very much,” FishHawk Youth Baseball (FYB) 16120 said BYSA board Fishhawk Blvd. in Lithia, and the East member Stacy Bay Youth Athletics (EBYA) 13012 Donahue. Bullfrog Creek Rd, in Gibsonton. Now in its Drawing players from second year as a Bloomingdale, Valrico and surrounding Cal Ripken, Babe communities, BYSA, is now sporting Ruth affiliate, East Bay Youth Athletics Junior Nationals Eli its third season under the Cal Ripken East Bay Youth Palmer slides into home base during the regular logo. The league is divided into eight season’s final game against the Blue Jays. Baseball has also baseball divisions. Of course, the boasted of one of

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as our players are able to grow under the direction of the Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth logo,” EBYA president Stacy Elizondo said. Celebrating its tenth season as a Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth affiliate, the FishHawk Youth Baseball league currently boasts of approximately 550 Bloomingdale Fury’s, Ava Velasco baseball and 250 (10U) connects with the ball for a base hit against the Lightning during softball players, a recent game. divided into six diviits best seasions from T-ball, rookie, minor, major, sons with junior and senior, four softball divinearly 700 sions. players makFYB President Mike Love, said ing use of that the league is proud of its players eight fields at and volunteers, who are all “showing the recently, great support” for the program that partially renhas grown to be one of the largest in ovated park the Hillsborough County. complex. FYB is preparing to host its end of “We year tournament on Saturday, May 19. have enjoyed For information please visit a good combysafl.com., petitive seafishhawkyouthbaseball.org., nbyb.biz., son already and eastbayyouthathletics.org.


Page 32

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

AMC Continues Partnership With Holmberg Chick-fil-A For Summer Movie Camp Program This summer once again, children enrolled in summer camps will enjoy cool mornings in the air conditioning and a choice of two or three great feature length movies on the big screen. The annual School’s Out For The Summer Chick-fil-A Summer Fun Flicks is back to benefit area literacy initiatives. For eight Tuesdays over the summer, camps, organizations and groups can buy tickets for kids to see the movies for $1-which is then donated to non-profits in the community. Each week, the movie will start at 10 a.m. with doors opening at 9 a.m.

By Marie Gilmore

“This is a great way that we can partner with the local movie theatre to do a great campaign and do something good for the community at the same time,” said Tammy Holmberg. Last year, Derrick Brooks Charities and Metropolitan Ministries received checks for more than $6,000 from the campaign. Kavita Marballi, Y AMC and Chick-fil-A have partnered again this summer to offer Literacy Coordinator the Summer Fun Flicks program with eight weeks of great was thrilled to be movies including the Harry Potter series for summer camps. selected for this year's spe- charity and said, “This donation will cial price of $4.48 including tax, only allow our children access to reading during the Summer Fun Flicks. and tools for literacy.” Chick-fil-A Lake Brandon Village Camps and programs should plan and Brandon South owners Paul and to purchase tickets in advance and Tammy Holmberg are happy to partner tickets will be available at the AMC with AMC Brandon General Manager Regency box office. Groups purchasHal Garrett for another Summer Fun ing 25 tickets or more will receive Flicks campaign. reserved seating.

The Summer Fun Flicks is hosted at AMC Regency 20 Theaters, 2496 West Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Call 685-3396. Tickets can be purchased in advance. In addition, AMC Kids pack popcorn and a drink are available for a

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May 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 33

Indulge At The Spa At Brandon Eye Clinic With Signature Pampering Services

New Time Trapped Escape Room Offers Groups A ‘Roaring’ Experience

Brandon resiglowing complexion, dent Lena Grant is reduce the appearwell- acquainted ance of sun damage with Brandon and melasma, Cataract Center improve skin texture, and Eye Clinic. stimulate collagen Although she is an production, reduce extremely satisfied acne and minimize patient, the treatacne scarring. ments she receives Gilbert offers the on the building’s full spa experience, second floor leave including hot towels, her feeling relaxed aromatherapy, relaxwith improved skin ing music, and a tone and texture. heated bed. “Even That’s because though I am in a Brandon Cataract medical office I proCenter and Eye vide the niceties you Clinic offers skinget in a spa,” said care services by Gilbert. “You still Diana Jackson relaxes at Brandon Eye licensed aesthetiClinic while licensed aesthetician Auyanna receive the spa expeGilbert hydrates her skin with a luxurious rience.” cian Auyanna milk mask. Gilbert. After her She works exclueye appointments, Grant indulges in sively with Rhonda Allison Skincare prodGilbert’s anti-aging facial. ucts, a professional line. “I am confident “It’s convenient to be able to schedwith this line because they offer a produle my eye appointment and facial back uct that delivers spectacular results,” she to back,” said Grant. “It’s one more way I said. take care of myself and my skin has In addition to facials, Gilbert offers never looked better.” exfoliation services, hot stone back theraUsing her training and experience, py, eyebrow tinting and waxing services. Gilbert analyzes each client’s skin needs The Spa is located at 403 and offers an individualized treatment Vonderburg Dr., Ste. 101 in Brandon. regimen. Most of her clients have one or Office hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 5 more of four main skin concerns: antip.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-12 p.m. aging, redness or rosacea (sensitivity), For more information about skin care hyperpigmentation and acne. services offered at Brandon Cataract and Brandon Eye Clinic’s signature skin Eye Clinic or to schedule an appointcare treatments can help diminish fine ment, call 681-1122 or visit www.branlines and wrinkles, create a smooth and doneye.com.

minute game of wits and intelligence,” Kevin said. Before you begin, you will receive directions on how to play. “There are clues hidden everywhere,” Kevin added. “You have to think outside the box.” According to Kristina, “Our puzzles are difficult enough to keep you occupied the whole game but fun Kristina and Kevin Knott recently opened the Time Trapped Escape Room in Brandon. enough when you are done you will If you are lookwant to play another ing to make a quick one.” get-away, look no Five Osprey further than Observer team Brandon’s new Time members recently Trapped Escape put this to the test. Room for a fun and We had to make fully immersive intersense of all the difactive experience. Spend bonding time Five staff members of the Osprey Observer ferent clues, figure recently checked out the new Time out the puzzles and with your family, Trapped Escape Room as team building. riddles, and crack friends or team at the codes. After about 48 minutes – sucwork. cess! Advertising Rep Kerrie Hoening The new Escape Room, called The Mobster’s Speakeasy, fully immerses you said, “We love the Escape Room concept into the 1920’s. The task is to gain access and each one is different from the last.” By June, three additional themed rooms to the Speakeasy known as the ‘21 Club’ will be open. so that you can find evidence of Lucky Time Trapped Escape Room is locatLuciano’s crime and escape before he ed on 9270 Bay Plaza Blvd., Ste. 6330 in returns - all in 60 minutes. This room Tampa. It is located directly behind the holds up to six players. Clarion Inn Hotel off of Adamo Dr. For Kevin and Kristina Knott own and more information, call 372-1190. operate Time Trapped Escape Room. Admission is $28 per person. Book a Kevin has lived in the area for over 25 game using the promo code OSPREY to years. Both he and his wife enjoy particireceive 25 percent off your first game. pating in Escape Rooms and wanted to Booking is done online at www.timebring the experience to the local commutrapped.com or the Time Trapped Escape nity. Everything you need to make your Room Facebook page. escape is inside the rooms. “It’s a 60

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ASK THE EXPERT! Danielle Creech, Esquire Law Offices of Emma Hemness, P.A. 205 N Parsons Avenue, Brandon, Florida 33510 813.661.5297 (LAWS) | 813.689.8725 FAX Danielle is now an associate attorney for the Law Office of Emma Hemness, P.A. working directly with Mrs. Hemness to help with handling Estate Planning, Asset Protection Planning, Special Needs Planning, and Medicaid Qualification. In 2010, Danielle graduated cum laude from the University of North Florida earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English and minor in Political Science. While earning her undergraduate degree, she was in the Honors Program, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. In May 2013, Danielle graduated from Stetson University College of Law. While in law school, Danielle was an executive board member for two years of the legal fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, a judicial intern for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s Probate, Guardianship, Trust, and Mental Health Division, and a member of the ABA Law Student Division and Elder Law Society. In 2014, Danielle co-authored a book with Attorney Alan Gassman of Gassman Law Associates entitled “The Florida Legal Guide for Same Sex Couples.

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Page 34

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 5

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

East Hillsborough Art Guild Celebrates 25 Years Of Supporting The Arts In Plant City On Monday, May 1, members of the East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) gathered for their Annual End of the Year Banquet. The celebration was held at the Plant City Woman’s Club located at 1110 N. Wheeler St. in historic downtown Plant City. At the annual affair, members of EHAG celebrate the successes of the year, install new board members and award scholarships. The banquet is also an opportunity to recognize the hardworking members of the club who make The officers and members of the board of everything possible. EHAG for the 2017-2018 year were installed on Monday, May 1 at EHAG’s Annual Banquet This year’s banquet was especially in Plant City. celebratory as EHAG is celebrating its 25th year of promoting and advocating Justin. Pam West will serve as secrethe arts in Plant City. Two special people This year, EHAG was able to award tary. were recognized at the banquet. to three deserving scholarships four Eleanore McDade founded EHAG back to an organization and artists emerging in 1992 and has worked tirelessly ever The first scholararts. the supports that since to ensure the success of the organiElliot, a stuBrianne to awarded was ship zation. Karen Crumley took on the difficult will use Elliot University. Sail Full at dent role of chairing the Annual Fine Arts her educontinue to scholarship $300 the Show at the Florida Strawberry Festival. computer in degree a of pursuit in cation Past president and EHAG Art Guild Grant graphics and traditional studio art. Chairman, PaulaAndra Aigner said, “We Rylee Marchese is a high school stuwould not have a guild without these two who will use her $300 scholarship to dent ladies.” a summer art camp. In awarding attend Meletha Everett installed the new offiAigner said, “Rhylee has scholarship, the cers for the 2017-2018 board. Installed as school who is willing to at teacher art an president for the upcoming year is Loretta schedule to make sure class her change Burns. Tina Wooster was installed as vice classes. I agree with her in is Rhylee that president. Treasurer will be Colleen

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Development thanked EHAG for their support and said, “Everyone knows the power of art.” Also in attendance with Hattab was Kaila Hansley and her parents, Earnest and Nila. Earnest said, “MacDonald Training Center is a very beneficial place for adults with disabilities. It helps them to be a part of the community.” EHAG’s mission is to enrich the human spirit and lives of others through EHAG was able to award four scholarships the promotion, development and enjoythis year including one to the MacDonald ment of visual arts. EHAG achieves this Training Center who was represented by goal through several means. They host Kaila Hansley and Rita Hattab, Director of their Art Around Town which is a collecDevelopment. tion of exhibits throughout Plant City. The her on that. Rhylee wants to work more prominent exhibit is at the Classroom on her art to improve it and to show it.” Gallery located in the 1914 Plant City Camila Nima-Gonzalez is a middle High School Community Center located school student who was awarded a gift at 605 N. Collins St. in downtown Plant card for supplies and five free art classes City. The Classroom Gallery is open with Betty Fairbanks, a long-time member Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1 to of EHAG member. Aigner said, “Camila 5 p.m. The exhibit rotates every 60 to 90 wants to further her art career and sell days. some of her work at our Christmas EHAG also sponsors the Annual Show.” Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show The last scholarship of $300 was and an annual Christmas Show. awarded to the MacDonald Training EHAG meets on the last Monday in Center. The mission of the MacDonald August, the first Monday in October, Training Center is to empower people November, January, February, April and with disabilities to lead the lives they May from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Woman’s choose. One of the ways they do this is Club of Plant City. For more information through their Fine Arts Studio located in and to become a member, please visit Plant City. Rita Hattab, Director of www.ehagfinearts.com


May 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 35

Bridges Dental Launches New Affordable Local High School Student Earns Way To Monthly Wellness Dental Plan Equestrian Nationals Bridges Dental, a Valrico-based full-service dental practice founded and owned by Dr. Laura Coyle Bridges, recently announced a unique monthly wellness plan will be offered for all of their present and future patients living without dental insurance. Developed to provide a sustainable and affordable path to healthier teeth for patients without dental insurance coverage, the Bridges Dental Wellness Plan will provide everyone with the ability to maintain a regular hygiene schedule and to complete needed dental treatments. “Too many individuals in our country today forgo visiting the dentist because they don’t have dental insurance or their current benefit plan doesn’t cover the dental treatments they need,” said Dr. Bridges. “That’s perfectly understandable, especially with the costs associated with quality dental care. What makes us different here at Bridges Dental is that we, unlike big insurance companies, have built our business with the best interest of the patient at heart and that means creating affordable payment plans that accommodate different income levels.” The Wellness Plans will come with three different options: the lowest plan

Staff Report

available at $20 per month including two annual cleanings, xrays, and exams, while the top plan is available at $29.99 per month including all of the annual cleaning benefits plus 40 percent off of all major work. None of the plans have maximums attached or waiting periods for approval. The average annual savings ranges from $503 for the Silver Plan to over $1,000 on the Platinum Plan. “Our goal is to provide everyone access to the best dental care,” said Dr. Bridges. “That starts by making it affordable for the everyday family. I was raised in, live in and raise my family in this community and am honored to practice here and serve the residents of this amazing family community.” Dr. Bridges has been a resident of Brandon for the past 30 years. She earned an undergraduate degree from Florida State University, a degree in Biomedical Science from the University of South Florida and graduated with her doctorate in dental medicine from the University of Florida College Dentistry. Bridges Dental is located at 3646 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. For information on Bridges Dental, visit bridgesdental.com.

Staff Report

Alexa Fritsch, a my bucket list for high school junior at a while and Foundation Christian knowing I finally Academy in Valrico, accomplished has earned her way this goal is excitto Nationals in the ing. I kept an Interscholastic open mind about Equestrian the horses I was Association (IEA) riding and no competition. IEA is matter what hapa national organizapened I always tion with over 12,500 came out with a members that prosmile," said vides an opportunity Alexa. for high school and Alexa commiddle school petes in the High School student Alexa Fritsch recently participated in Nationals in the Interscholastic Hunter division equestrian athletes Equestrian Association competition. to join a riding team which judges a and compete in a format that is similar to rider’s equitation, which includes how well the collegiate equestrian competition you are able to work with the horse and structure. the rider’s position and skill level. The Not many high schools have equescompetition in this division includes jumptrian programs, so the IEA provides an ing and flat classes. Alexa earned her opportunity for riders to compete as part way to Regionals in Florida and placed of a team at local, regional, zone and 2nd earning her way to Zone finals for the national levels. Alexa has been riding for second year in a row. The top two comover eight years and trains at Sleepy petitors in each division at Regionals earn Oaks Farm in Plant City with trainer Julie their way to Zone 4 finals which includes Castonguay Iglesias. IEA follows the colseven southern states. legiate riding format where the horses are Alexa traveled to Tryon, NC in March supplied by the sponsoring venue and to compete in Zone 4 finals. She finished each student draws a horse. The rider is in the top 3 in her division at Zone finals not familiar with the horse and has to which qualified her for Nationals which quickly adjust to the horse and compete were held at the Lexington Equestrian immediately upon mounting the horse. Center in Lexington, Virginia from April This format can be challenging but pro21–23. vides an incredible opportunity for the ridIEA competition is a terrific way for ers to test their skills and ride many differ- high school equestrian athletes to coment horses. pete on a team and have an opportunity "Going to IEA Nationals has been on to see what riding in college could be like.


Page 36

Volume 14, Issue 5

Valrico Edition

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Osprey Observer 2017-5 Valrico