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Two Sections, 44 Pages of Community News

NEW! Brandon/Winthrop


PGS 31-39

July 2017


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Volume 12, Issue 7



Ph: 657-2418 P O S I T I V E



Lightning Owner Vinik Invests $6 Million Bloomingdale High School Principal Sue Burkett Wins Brandon Honorary Mayor’s Race Into Upgrades For Ice Sports Forum By Nick Nahas

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the Stanley Cup, and that begins with providing every resource for our players to train and prepare.” Since Vinik bought the team in 2010, he has Photo Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning remained A look at what the new locker room will look like after renovations. committed The Tampa Bay Lightning are breakto making the Lightning a world-class ing ground in September on a new stateorganization. The only thing left for the of-the-art practice facility. The Ice Sports Lightning to improve upon is their practice Forum, where the team currently pracfacility, which is in the works to becoming tices, will add on new features to the facil- one of the better facilities in the NHL. ity including a brand new locker room, According to Brian Breseman, weight room, training room, press room Lightning Director of Public Relations, the and player lounge. It will have new feagoal for the Lightning is to make the playtures that are not currently available at ers as comfortable as possible and proAmalie Arena, including hydrotherapy vide them with the best opportunity to facilities, a video room/theater and a new succeed on the ice. The Forum is located rink dasher system for the North Rink. at the edge of Brandon, close to Amalie These improvements are made posArena in Tampa, where the team plays, sible through a $6 million dollar donation and where the players live. from Lightning owner and chairman, Jeff Since 1997, the Lightning and the Ice Vinik. The Ice Sports Forum has pledged Sports Forum have been partners. The $500,000 in improvements as well. The commitments both parties have made Forum and the Lightning have extended ensure that they will continue the trend for their lease through 2027. The facility is at least another 10 years. expected to be finished in the spring of The 18,000-sq. ft. addition to the 2018. Forum will be bigger than the 14,500-sq. "We have addressed a number of ft. Amalie Arena facility. things as an organization on and off the "I would like to personally thank the ice since purchasing the team in 2010, Ice Sports Forum and owner Tom Bradley but one thing that has not been improved for being a great partner of the organizato this point has been the team's practice tion for more than 20 years,” said Vinik. venue,” said Vinik. “That will change this “We hope to continue the relationship for fall when we break ground. We remain another 20 years or more.” steadfast in our commitment to winning

By Tamas Mondovics

always ask them what can we do in our own community to make it a better place to live and prosper? What a better way to practice what I preach than to get involved with our very own long standing community event and include the students in our efforts.” Burkett’s fundraising campaign focused on three Brandon area charities for children: Bloomingdale High School Academic Foundation, Boys and Girls Bloomingdale High School Principal Sue Burkett Clubs of Tampa Bay and celebrates her recent victory as the new Brandon Honorary Mayor, during the Fourth of July Parade. Burket Center Place Fine Arts and defeated rival local journalist, Linda Chion Kenney by Civic Association. raising $41,601.57 for local charities supporting children. The Community After some well-organized preparaRoundtable originated the race for the tion and a month-long fundraising camtitle of Honorary Mayor of Brandon in paign, Bloomingdale High School 1959. The contest, which begins June 1, Principal Sue Burkett celebrated her vicand concludes at 8 a.m., the morning of tory as the 56th Brandon Honorary Brandon’s Fourth of July Parade, was Mayor. designed to raise funds for charities in the To win the honor of representing her Brandon community. community for a one-year term, from July Each candidate chooses up to three 4, through July 3, Burkett defeated her charities as beneficiaries and the candirival, local journalist Linda Chion Kenney date who raises the most dollars (votes) by raising $41,601.57 for local charities in the 33 day period is then named the supporting children. Honorary Mayor Honorary Mayor of Brandon. Visit Burkett replaced former Honorary Mayor Chuck Burgess and also took her rightful place as a member of The Community Roundtable board. In This Burkett received both her Bachelor Issue and Master degrees from the University of South Florida and began teaching Exceptional Education Students at Plant BUDDY WALK.....................................PG 4 City and Durant High Schools. She CRIME BEAT .......................................PG 6 served as the Assistant Principal at Riverview High School in 2002. PARADE RECAP ..................................PG 9 In 2005, Burkett became the Assistant Principal for Curriculum at TOPSOCCER......................................PG 14 Bloomingdale High School followed by NEW CHARTER SCHOOL .................PG 28 her appointment as Principal of Burns Middle School in 2009 before returning to SPORTS CONNECTION ....................PG 42 Bloomingdale as the Principal in 2013. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 43 Explaining the reason for her desire to take part in the long standing Brandon READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE tradition she wrote, “When the students look to organize philanthropic projects, I

Photo By Tamas Mondovics

Wearing giant Uncle Sam hats, Landon Thorpe, 3, and his sister Aubree, 9 celebrate this year’s Independence Day, during the annual Brandon Fourth of July Parade. The children were among thousands of spectators that braved the heat and lined the two-mile parade route organized by the Brandon Community Roundtable. Please see more event pics in this edition.

Exp. 8/31/17

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Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition


Talk with family members and caregivers about safe ways to handle stressful situations when caring for children.

By Kelley Parris, Executive Director, The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County

In the Tampa Bay area alone, nearly 140 infants died of preventable sleep-related causes over the last five years (2012-2016). Each of these deaths was preventable. Co-sleeping, which means having babies sleep in the same bed as parents, siblings or caregivers, is often the cause of sleep-related infant death. In fact, more infants die in adult beds than anywhere else, and infants are 40 times more likely to die in an adult bed than in their own crib. When co-sleeping, a baby may suffocate if an adult unintentionally rolls on top of them or if the baby slides against a pillow or blanket. Infants can’t roll away or move their heads because they lack the muscle control to move their neck if something like a pillow or stuffed animal is blocking their airway. Pillow-top mattresses, comforters, fluffy pillows, and stuffed animals are a danger to infants in adult beds, as well as in cribs. A pillow or stuffed animal could block their airway — with tragic consequences. Take a few moments to learn the measures you can take today to prevent more sleep-related infants deaths from occurring in our community: • Bring the crib into the parent or caregiver’s room. Sharing a room with a child has almost all of the same benefits of sharing a bed, but without the risks. It’s recommended to bring the baby’s crib, or a smaller bassinet, into the parents’room for the first year of the baby’s life. • Practice the ABCs of safe sleep.The safest way for infants to sleep is Alone on their Backs in a Crib. This minimizes the risk of the infant suffocating, especially if they have not yet developed neck muscle control. • Follow crib setup recommendations. A crib mattress should be firm and fit snugly inside the crib’s frame, and sheets should fit tightly around the mattress. The sleeping area should free of blankets, pillows, bumper pads, s tuffed animals, sleep positioners and toys for children under six months. • Prepare for when your child will not be sleeping at home. If a child sleeps at someone else’s home, such as with grandparents or other caretakers, make sure they have the proper sleeping arrangements by using a crib or pack-n-play with a fitted sheet. Infants should never be placed on a blow up mattress or couch, even if it is temporary. • Learn from the past. As more information becomes available, parents and caregivers must let go of some practices in order to provide children with the safest environment possible for sleeping. We changed our habits about car seats and lead paint; it’s time to change our habits on co-sleeping. Even one preventable child death is too many. Learn more about how you can help keep children in our community safe at The Prevent Needless Deaths Campaign is an awareness campaign made possible by the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Eckerd Kids and the Florida Department of Children and Families.

July 2017

Page 3

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Area Y’s Help Struggling Students Become Proficient In Reading With Summer Program

Local Strawberry Crest Grad Receives $10,000 Horatio Alger Honeywell Scholarship

Summer is starting this young. a fun time for They can get one children, but it is on one help. It also a time increases their fluwhen children ency, comprehenlose a significant sion and writing amount of readskills." ing readiness. Volunteers The problem is include teachers, especially proparents and high found for chilschool students. dren who strug- Bridging The Gap, a one on one reading enrichBridging The is a program gle to read Gap ment program started at Campo Y, has been so successful that a similar program has been of the Y's Social throughout the started at the North Brandon Y. Responsibility school year. Committee. Susan Prestige, owner of It is for these reasons that last sumTutoring Club and chair of the Social mer the Campo Y initiated "Bridging The Gap." This is a program free to members Responsibility Committee, donated the of the Y. Children in kindergarten through curriculum material used in Bridging The Gap. fifth grade spend one to two hours a Kavita Marballi with the Y said, week working one on one with a dedicat"Children who struggle to read get one ed volunteer. The children practice readon one help. We ask the child's teacher ing, writing and even learning Spanish. Last summer's program was so suc- to send a letter outlining the areas they need help." Marballi said, "I have had cessful, that it has been expanded to the parents tell me that because of this proNorth Brandon Y this summer. gram, their child now loves to pick up a The program works thanks to kind book and read." and generous volunteers such as Amber Than Htwe's son attends Bridging Brown, a second grade teacher at The Gap at the Campo Y. Htwe said, Mitchell Elementary. Brown said, "It is "My son is already reading at the first important for children to maintain their grade level. This program has helped get reading over the summer. Over the eight him ready for school." to 10-week summer break, many chilChildren meet on Mondays and dren slide back in their reading level. Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Even two days per week helps maintain Campo Y, and on Thursday and Friday their level." Joan Solomon, a seventh and eighth from 12 to 1 p.m. at the North Brandon Y. If you would like to help by donating grade reading teacher at Randall Middle time or materials for this program, please School, also volunteers with the procontact Marballi at 684-1371, ext. 1606. gram. Solomon said, "It is really neat

Ten students recently received the prestigious 2017 Horatio Alger Honeywell Scholarship recognizing outstanding students committed to pursuing their college degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). The scholarships, sponsored by Honeywell, are awarded to high school seniors who have overcome adversity and are committed to not only their education, but in serving their communities. One of the $10,000 scholarship recipients, Olajide Ogun, resides in Brandon. He currently attends Penn State University, where he is now studying Mechanical Engineering. He spent his early high school years in Maryland, but senior year was spent at Strawberry Crest High School. He is currently a rising sophomore and is looking at earning either a degree in Architectural Engineering or in Computer Science. After graduation he hopes to stay in Florida, but it will depend on where he lands a job. Early on Ogun’s mom brought him to Nigeria for a year. He spent the time in a boarding school there. Visiting a place so different than what he was used to opened up his world to all possibilities. “It was a great experience. I got to see a lot of things I’d never heard about,” he commented. Since the establishment of its schol-

By Kathy L. Collins

By Michelle Colesanti arship program in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has awarded over $125 million in scholarships to students from across the United States and Canada. Business, civic and philanthropic leaders fully fund the organization’s scholarship programs. Dave Cote, Executive Chairman of Honeywell, was inducted into the Association as a lifetime member in 2014 and established the Honeywell Scholarship

that same year. In partnership with Horatio Alger Association, the Honeywell Scholarship program is available to college freshmen enrolled at Honeywell Partner schools or Horatio Alger Collegiate Partner schools. To qualify, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, exhibit strong character and academic promise and display perseverance in overcoming significant personal adversity. The 2017 Horatio Alger Honeywell Scholars have maintained an average GPA of 3.53 while coming from households with an average annual income of $13,593. “It is an honor – for the fourth year in a row – to work alongside the Association to award scholarships to these remarkable and deserving students who are determined to achieve their dreams,” said Cote. For more information about Horatio Alger Association, please visit




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Page 4

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 7

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Host Buddy Walk To Support Down Syndrome Community

By Caitlin Masessa

Since being estabwith superheroes and lished in 2006, the nonprincesses as the parprofit organization ticipants make their F.R.I.E.N.D.S Down way down to the Syndrome West Florida Buccaneers field. has worked to provide Tampa Food educational and support Trucks and YoYo Juice services to families who will provide food while have been impacted by FDSWF’s own Robert the condition as well as Taylor grills ribs and encouraging community pulled pork. The event involvement through is expected to have a events. One of these few local celebrities in events, the Second attendance. With his Annual FDSWF Buddy Super Bowl ring, forBuddy Walk volunteers work to make the First Annual Buddy mer Bucs DE Chuck Families come out to support FDSWF at the First Annual Walk, is slated to occur Walk unforgettable. Buddy Walk in 2016. on October 7 at Raymond Darby will be signing office space to FDSWF, James Stadium. The idea for the Walk autographs and taking pictures. The giving them a place to came to Ann Foyt, the President of raffles will also offer autographed foothost workshops and FDSWF, after welcoming an enthusiballs by QB Jameis Winston, WR Mike meetings. With the donaastic Craig Woodard Sr. “He had Evans, and DE Gerald McCoy. tions raised, the organizaorganized a fundraiser through his The registration fee for the event tion could begin their employer [Springleaf Financial] and is $15 and includes a free t-shirt as Sponsorship Program as raised over $1200 for FRIENDS,” Ann well as admission into the event. well as continue to susFoyt said of the addition, “He came to Down Syndrome individuals and chiltain their current prome in 2016 with the idea of hosting a dren 12 years old and under is free. grams. Buddy Walk.” For the Buddy Walk and beyond, As this year’s Buddy With four people doing the work President Ann Foyt is thrilled to continWalk quickly approaches, of 18, it took the team a mere four ue serving the community. “I have Foyt is prepared to deliver months to secure a location and sponsuch a passion for our DS community a day that is “bigger and sors for the event as well as more and I will not stop until we have grown better” than the successthan 50 volunteers from the University into the organization that our families ful year before. The day of South Florida. “I thought we would can be proud of,” Ann Foyt spoke with will start with a “child have a couple of hundred people to confidence, “We aren’t going anyfriendly” Tailgate Party show up and maybe raise a few thouwhere.” The Second Annual Buddy hosted by DJ Chuck sand dollars,” Foyt spoke of her Walk will be on Saturday, October 7 at The First Annual Buddy Walk in 2016 was a rousing Eckhart. After getting their expectations, “In the end, we had over Raymond James Stadium. success. faces painted by Lola The 860 registered families and over 2,000 To sign up for the Buddy Walk, or stop there. After running an article on Party Girl, the children are welcome to people showed up the day of the walk. if you have any interest in becoming a the Buddy Walk, the St. Pete Times participate in inflatable slides and It was phenomenal.” The supportive volunteer, visit www.dsdonated over $4,000 worth of advertisobstacle courses. The MUCH families raised over $30,000 for the or ing while the Winthrop Group donated Foundation plan to delight the crowd organization, but the good will didn’t

July 2017

Page 5

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

American Radio Relay League Field Day Comes To Davis Park In Brandon





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

By Tatiana Ortiz

The term KC4MMR could be heard repeatedly inside a nearby tent on the grounds of Davis Park in Brandon. Every year on the fourth full weekend in June, a national association called American Radio Relay League conducts a Field Day contest to give Amateur (ham) Radio operators an opportunity to practice emergency communications capabilities and more, which became established in 1933. An affiliate of the American Radio Relay League and partner of the West Central Florida section called Brandon Amateur Radio Society joined in on this exercise that occurred June 2425. During this event, Amateur (ham) Radio operators across North America established temporary stations in public locations to demonstrate the science and skill of it. This free event taught visitors how to communicate without using cell phones or the internet. They also learned about Amateur (ham) Radio and had a chance to speak with people throughout the United States and around the world. Others also learned Morse Code. “Those in attendance gained various benefits such as friendships, continuous learning and the ability to communicate when the cellular, phone and internet goes down,” Scott D. Irwin, Brandon Amateur Radio Society president (W8UFO) said. In total, 44 individuals participated in


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Michelle Colesanti

Kathy Collins





Rodney Clark (KC4MMR) assists Clinton Frantz (KN4DUS) with his ham radio.

this event with 25 of them being visitors. Brandon Amateur Radio Society made 306 Morse Code contacts. They also attained 365 radiotelephone contacts with all of the United States except Alaska, Hawaii and South Dakota. The entire group reached 650 stations as well. For more than 40 years, this society served areas in Hillsborough County such as Brandon, Valrico and more. It provides public service and emergency preparedness communications as well as license classes and radio operator training programs. It specifically provides support for the Community Roundtable’s Brandon Fourth of July parade and the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Office of Emergency Management through their work with Hillsborough County ARES/RACES. To learn more about Brandon Amateur Radio Society, visit

Kathi Hayes

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Page 6

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 7

Sheriff's Office K9 Unit Members Receive Body Armor From National Non Profit By Tamas Mondovics

Deputies Seek Assistance In Identifying Female Suspect In Bell Shoals Church Burglary The Academy was Hillsborough established as an County Sheriff's extension of Bell Office is now Shoals Baptist investigating a Church. Its main burglary that campus in occurred on last Brandon offers month at the Bell VPK, Early Shoals Baptist Learning Center, Church located at Elementary, 2102 Bell Shoals Middle School Road in Brandon. and Extended The female Care. Science, suspect deputies Technology, want to identify is Engineering and approximately 20 Math Education years of age, 5'5" (STEM) is inte- 5"8", 120 - 135 grated into all lbs., has black Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies are grade levels at hair with bangs seeking the community’s help to identify this Bell Shoals female suspect, whom they say broke into Baptist Academy. and was wearing the Bell Shoals Baptist Church Brandon glasses. The Campus last month. According to Hillsborough HCSO the unidentified female gained County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyentry to the church by breaking a one with any information referencing door window with a brick. the suspect to call the Hillsborough Once inside,deputies said the County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200 or suspect rummaged through several anyone with any information regardclassrooms and removed miscellaing the identity and whereabouts of neous items including a black tote this suspect and who wants to be elibag, which has "The Bryan Family" gible for a cash reward is asked to written in silver Sharpie along the call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873handle. TIPS (8477), report anonymously The remainder of the stolen items online at or are still being determined, but accord- send a mobile tip using our P3 Tips ing to HCSO the suspect spent Mobile application, which is a free approximately 15 minutes inside the download for iPhones, iPads and church before leaving through the Droids. same entry point. Please call Crime Stoppers first to Bell Shoals Baptist Church in be eligible for a reward. Brandon is a multi-campus church For more information about the with over 9,000 members in the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Bay area. Bell Shoals please visit

Kind Cancer Care

By Tamas Mondovics

The Hillsborough Canton, OH Police County Sheriff's Office Department". has received some much K9 Zeus, Justice, needed gear to protect Spector, and Max's vests several of its K9 will be embroidered with deputies. the sentiment, "In memoThe agency ry of K9 Ty, California announced recently that City Police Department". its K9s Karlo, Zeus, Delivery of the body Justice, Spector, and armor is expected by the Max will receive bullet end of summer. and stab protective vests “These dogs are not thanks to a charitable just working members of donation from Vested HCSO but are our famiInterest in K9s, Inc., a ly,” McKinnon said. “We 501c (3) non-profit chariowe it to them to do K9 Zeus ty organization that was everything possible to established in 2009 to assist law enforce- protect them while they are in harm’s ment agencies with this potentially lifeway. They are trained to protect our saving body armor for their four-legged deputies and citizens of Hillsborough K9 officers. County. There is an estimated 30,000 law HCSO is thankful for the generosity enforcement K9s throughout the United of Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. located in States. East Taunton, MA, whose mission is to The donation to provide just one pro- provide bullet and stab protective vests tective vest for a law-enforcement K9 is and other assistance to dogs of law $1,050. Each vest has a value between enforcement and related agencies $1,795 - $2,234, a five-year warranty, throughout the United States. and an average weight of four to five lbs. Since its inception, Vested Interest in The program is open to dogs activeK9s, Inc. has reportedly provided over ly employed in the U.S. with law enforce- 2,400 protective vests, in 50 states, ment or related agencies who are certithrough private and corporate donations, fied and at least 20 months of age. at a cost of over $2.1 million dollars. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s For more information or to learn with expired vests, are all eligible to parabout volunteer opportunities, please call ticipate. 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, HCSO Public information Officer, Inc. provides information and accepts Colonel Larry McKinnon explained that tax-deductible donations of any denomiK9 Karlo's vest will be embroidered with nation at or mailed to P.O. the sentiment, "In memory of K9 Jethro, Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

July 2017

Page 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Ruth Eckerd Hall Gets New Facelift

By Kathy L. Collins

and a new West Lobby which will be available for pre and post events. Currently, there is no lobby. According to Klar, “The new lobby is designed to enhance the overall

Phil & Michelle Colesanti visiting the working windmills at Museummolen Schermerhorn inThe Netherlands.

Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater is undergoing a major renovation including adding 10,000 square feet to the West Lobby. The renovations will not only expand the size but enhance patrons’ experience at the iconic performing arts venue.

Ruth Eckerd Hall, a performing arts venue, is located at 1111 N. McMullen Booth Rd. in Clearwater. It is undergoing an extensive renovation. Ruth Eckerd Hall opened in 1983 and serves over 350,000 patrons each year. Like other major venues in the Tampa Bay area, Ruth Eckerd Hall is a major contributor to the local economy. The renovations are headed by local architectural and design firm Klar and Klar Architects, Inc. Steve Klar, founder and co-principal of the firm said, “We are aiming for a finished look that inspires patronage in the arts and educational programs offered which are so vital to our local community’s tourism trade and economy.” This is a large multi-phase project. The five phases will encompass a total project time of over three years. Ruth Eckerd Hall will remain open throughout the renovations. Phases one and two are expected to be completed in the spring of 2018. The changes that will take place at the 73,000 sq. ft. venue include a new and improved entrance to ease traffic,

Michelle with Alicia Martin (past Osprey Observer staff member - now living in England) at Shakespeare’s birth home in Stratford on Avon, UK.

One of the stops on a recent Rhine River cruise, Strasbourg is in the Alsace region of northeastern France.

experience of each patron visiting Ruth Eckerd Hall before and after a performance. It includes more areas to eat, drink, socialize and mingle.” Klar said, “Ruth Eckerd Hall is one of the Tampa Bay area’s premier performing arts centers. It is one of the most successful based on its venue size. The new ‘experience’ will be improved with their new on site preevent dining, more bar and beverage facilities, and a larger Dress Circle Club. There will also be more preevent entertainment provided by Ruth Eckerd Hall in-house educational programs.” Klar and Klar Architects, Inc. is a full-service architectural and interior design firm located in the Tampa Bay area. Since the firm’s inception in 1992, Klar and Klar’s mission has been to enhance the culture of an area through design excellence and create and build an environment that will sustain the test of time. For information, visit

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Page 8

Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Parkinson’s Disease Support Group Hosts Meetings At Hawthorne Rehab A gentleman visiting Hawthorne for speech therapy happened to mention that there seemed to be a lot of support groups in Brandon, but none for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The seed he planted turned into the monthly meetings, which have been very successful and well attended. The first Parkinson’s Disease Support Group was held in October 2016 at Hawthorne Rehab in Brandon. Over 40 people attended, made up of a variety of those with Parkinson’s, family members, caregivers and medical professionals. The presentation for the meeting included speakers from speech, occupational and physical therapy that covered issues faced by those with Parkinson’s, ranging from swallowing and speech problems to balance and walking. Low vision issues were also covered. Comments from the enthusiastic audience ranged from “Great information,” to “You are addressing a need in the community very well, thank you.” From a therapist’s point of view, learning more about how PD impacts people on a daily basis has been extraordinary, both from listening to those with Parkinson’s as well as from their family members. The success of this support group and the interest expressed in continuing led to the decision for monthly meetings


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to be held on the third Thursday of every month at 2 p.m. in Hawthorne’s new Media Center. The format is planned to include a presentation by a medical professional followed by round table discussions for caregivers and those with Parkinson’s to allow for socializing, sharing and questions. The meetings are free of charge and include refreshments. The sad part of this story is that the gentleman who inspired the meetins had a severe fall (one of the impacts of PD), and spent close to six months recovering. Early on, he never knew about the groups, even though the speech therapist attempted on several occasions to contact him. Finally, before the March meeting, the gentleman who sparked the idea for this group, was found. He and his wife were delighted with the news and promised to come. When they arrived, everyone else was seated and listening to a speaker. When the speaker was finished, and prior to breaking into round table discussions where those with PD could talk together and the family members could share tips with each other, he was introduced. It was especially poignant to see his reaction when the entire group gave him a very warm welcome. For information, call 661-8998, press 1 and ask to register for the next event.

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ECHO’s Seeks Employers & Job Seekers For Next Job Fair September 14

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 ECHO Job Fair. April 13. Supervisor of 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 14. force development,” said Sharmaine For more information, visit Burr, ECHO Director of Social 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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July 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Page 9

Brandon Celebrates 60 Years Of Success During Fourth Of July Parade

By Tamas Mondovics

than $41,000 to win An endless supply of the honor. bead necklaces and There was also candy, cheering and no shortage of local music all under a sea of government offiRed, White and Blue, cials who took part marked another successin the parade while ful Fourth of July parade passing out beads in Brandon, hosted once and candy coupled again by the Brandon with the free flow of Community Roundtable. handshakes. As Florida’s largest Hillsborough Independence Day County Parade, the annual Commissioners Brandon tradition is now Sandra Murman celebrating more than 60 years, drawing a large Members of the Brandon Broncos youth cheerleading squad carry and Stacy White, Young spectators line the street hoping to collect candy the organization’s banner during the Brandon Parade. both made sure crowd of spectators. and beads as the more than 100 groups accompanied by they were visible to This year was no their colorful floats make their way down the two-mile their constituents. exception as thousands of parade route during the Parade in Brandon. As it is the case at every area residents parade, the festivities would not lined the roadway be complete without young and welcoming the old decked out in the colors of the more than 100 day, sitting, standing or being held groups that paradby their parents while taking their ed down the nearrightful place amongst the thouly two mile joursands. ney, which began The Community Roundtable on Lumsden Rd., meets the second Wednesday of continued north on every month at 6:30 p.m. Parsons Ave. then The meetings are located turned left onto at Center Place (Brandon Library), Robertson St. located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in before finishing at Brandon, promoting its mission Buckingham Pl. to “To instill a sense of community complete the A large crowd cheer on this year’s Brandon Fourth of July parade. and pride for the Greater Brandon event. The event celebrated 60 years of community success. area through participation, memWhile the parBrian Rice as the Father of the Year, bership and volunteerism.” ticipating groups included dozens of Mallorie Vivirito, 9 smiles during this year’s and Bloomingdale High School Brandon July 4th parade. The event saw thouFor more information please returning favorites and many new Principal Sue Burkett as the winner sands of spectators who lined the two-mile route. visit www.thecommunityroundones, the event once again featured of this year’s Brandon Honorary Mayor’s race. Burkett raised more some of the local winners such as

Page 10

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 7

July 2017

Page 11

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

New Chapter Of Outdoors At Last Youth Adventure Organized In Plant City Outdoors At Last Youth Adventure (OALYA), is a national organization based out of North Carolina and established by Dale Dodson, who works hard to make a child’s wish come true. Whether it is a weekend of fishing or hunting, the members of OALYA do not rest until the child and family have their day in the woods or on the water. Most of the children served by the organization have disabilities or come from military families. Recently a new chapter, Florida’s Youth At Heart, began in Plant City. The late Milton Varn of the Rocking V Ranch and better known as “Cowboy”, with his heart for children and the woods, felt a need to have a chapter in Plant City. The one and only mission of Outdoors At Last Youth Adventure is to make the outdoors possible for any young person no matter their ability. “It has been a blessing for me to be involved with such a wonderful organization that is about helping children and their families fulfill their dream”, said

By Joyce Bliss

board member Tiffany Christie of the recently formed FYAHC. “I feel good about carrying on “Cowboy’s” dream,” she continued. Dale Dodson, President and founder of Outdoors At Last Youth Adventure said, “These children are special and need special care, but we do not focus on the disability because that would defeat the purpose.” Dodson continued, “They want to be looked at as just kids without having a disability.” Whether it is a hog, deer or turkey hunt, or a day out on the water to catch a prize trophy fish, FYAHC pays for the transportation, lodging, meals and the child goes home with a bag full of useful goodies and a life time of memories. The FYAHC will be holding its first annual banquet on Saturday, July 29 at the Plant City Elks Lodge. There will be a fifty-fifty raffle, drawings and an auction. All proceeds will go to the FYAHC to sponsor children with a dream. Seating is limited. For more information about the banquet or to make a donation, call Tiffany Christie at 650-1322 or Alyssa Brown at 480-1348.



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Page 12

Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Women’s Weekend Pajama Retreat Offers Networking, Wine-Tasting & Inspiration When Brandon resident Pearl Chiarenza went through a hard time, she attended a women’s retreat that changed her life. She is now using her knowledge to put on a similar event with the goal of helping other women. The event, Women’s Successful Living Launch Your Dreams PJ Retreat, will take place at the Harborside Speakers Cheryl Polote-Williamson, Shannon Carlton, Angela Suites at Little Dieleone, Lennise Germany, Jennifer Denita Capeheart-Meningall, Harbor in Rhonda McDaniel, Lisa Pulliam and Connie Going will join organizer Pearl Chiarenza at the Women’s Successful Living Launch Your Ruskin from Dreams PJ Retreat in Ruskin next month. Friday August 18-Sunday August 20 offering a variety 2016 and also owns Bodyworks Health of events from wine tasting to yoga and and Wellness Center, the event is for any woman over 16 who is looking to insight from eight inspirational speakmake a change in her life. ers. “College students, stay at home “Far too many women talk about moms or corporate executives, the fact the future, but never take the necesremains, once you desire something sary steps to transform the future into exciting, then this program is for you,” their reality,” said Chiarenza. “I want to she said. “We have speakers who will help show women what I have done to inspire you to stay on track while your create a more meaningful life.” vision is in view, help you see yourself According to Chiarenza, who as the beautiful person others see and founded Women’s Successful Living in

motivate you to complete your transformation.” Of the eight speakers who will be talking about how they transformed their dreams, five are community leaders local to the Brandon area and two are traveling to the retreat from Texas. The speakers include Cheryl Polote-Williamson, a certified life coach, multi-bestselling author and entrepreneur; Shannon Carlton, singlemom to two teenage daughters and founder of a co-working space in Brandon and Angela Dieleone a “look expert” and consultant who travels the country speaking at corporate events, golf clubs and business schools. They will be joined by Lennise Germany, who spent 15 years in the healthcare field and is now living her dream, Jennifer Denita-Capeheart-Meningall, founder of Epiphany Leads, Inc., a Christian faith-based firm that offers services in personal, professional and organizational coaching and consulting and Rhonda McDaniel, owner of A Caring Touch Skin Therapy in Brandon.

By Kate Quesada

Rounding out the list of speakers are Lisa Pulliam, author of Toes in the Sand, My Journey from Domestic Engineer to Entrepreneur, and Connie Going, 25-year veteran of the Child Welfare System. “I can completely empathize with women wanting more because there was a point when I felt lost, stuck and unfulfilled,” said Chiarenza who has seen her clients lose more than 8,000 pounds. “Everything changed for me when I came to an event just like this, got involved with a team of extraordinary people and began living my future in my present. Now I am motivated to pay it forward and share this experience.” Tickets to the event are available at and more information is available at Rooms at Harborside Suites at Little Harbor are available at a discounted rate to retreat attendees. For more information, contact Chiarenza at 3248988.

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July 2017

Page 13

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Area 5 School Superintendent Sherrie Sikes Retires After 43 Years Of Service After 43 years working in the Hillsborough County Public Schools, Sherrie Sikes will retire as Hillsborough County School’s Area 5 Superintendent. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, but raised in Brandon, Sikes is a friendly woman who is passionate about children and the schools she has grown to love. Sikes is a product of the Hillsborough County Schools having attended Mitchell Yates, Horace Mann Middle School and Brandon High School, where she graduated in the class of 1970. She then went on to attend the University of Tampa (UT) and received her Bachelor’s degree. While attending UT, she was Miss University of Tampa and captain of the cheerleading squad for three years. She went back to college two more times in her career to get her Masters in Guidance, and then a degree in Administration. Sikes career is expansive and commendable. She started as a Physical Education teacher at Brandon High where she won the Teacher of the Year award. She then went on to be a guidance counselor at Plant City High School. When both Bloomingdale and Durant High Schools opened, she was part of each school’s inaugural staff. She was the chair of the Guidance Department and Assistant Principal at Bloomingdale High School. At Durant High School she was the Assistant Principal of Curriculum and eventually Principal. Sikes headed downtown to take

By Brittany Wallace

lead her.

Top left: Sherrie on the left with one of her principal Sue Burkett at Bloomingdale high school graduation in 2015. Top right: Sherrie on the right with her father and mother Don and Mary Fritz, with her younger siblings to the left Patti Gerdich, Carol Gerdich, and Ronnie Fritz. Right: Sherrie and her husband Dan Sikes sharing a moment with their grandughter Zie.

the General Director of Secondary Education position, but then moved back to become the Superintendent of Area 5. Sikes stayed active in each of the schools she served. This year alone, she made over 400 visits to her schools visiting with the teachers and students. A student’s hug could make her day. When asked if there was a moment in her career that stood out she replied, “Yes, at Durant High School when I was the APC Assistant Principal of Curriculum, we beat every high school in the county with the highest HSCT scores.” When asked her thoughts on retirement, she said, “It’s exciting, but sad leaving the students, teachers,

secretaries, bus drivers, custodians.” Not only has she enjoyed a successful career, Sikes is married to Dan and has two lovely daughters. According to Sikes, her oldest daugh-

ter Krista and youngest daughter Julie are the best gift she has received. She also has beautiful granddaughter Zie, who is Julie’s daughter, that she loves very much. Sikes had nonstop praise for all the amazing staff in her schools, in particular her principals. She said her faith in God has led her through life, and will continue to

Her future endeavors will include travel, running, which is one her hobbies, and spending time with her family, especially her precious granddaughter Zie. For info on Hills. County Schools, visit Sikes wants to thank the Osprey Observer for its coverage and positive news reporting of the local schools that she served while Superintendent of Area 5.

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 7

The Piecemakers Guild Shares Warmth To Community Through Quilting

TOPSoccer Gives Special Needs Kids A Chance To Play Soccer

The last thing most time to go outside the borpeople in Florida’s July ders of America and heat would be thinking donated quilts to an about are quilts for orphanage in Kenya. warmth. But not the Humbly, Klein noted, Piecemakers Quilt Guild of “Those quilts were made Brandon who are hard at with fabrics from Africa work making quilts. with original patterns Candance Klein, designed by members.” President of the “The Audrey Gantous Piecemakers Quilt Guild of Christmas Stocking Project Brandon, said, “From the donates over 100 filled very beginning the guild stockings each year to the has had a tradition of Hillsborough County charitable donations, Sheriff’s beginning with quiltDepartment”, ed ornaments for the explained Klein. Festival of Trees.” They are handed The Guild was out by the officers to founded in children whom may September 1989 by otherwise not Claudia Ingram with The Piecemakers Guild of Brandon made receive anything or quilts to be sent to the Flying Kites only 25 ladies. The very little for Orphanage in Kenya. The stockings are Christmas. Guild is now 130 donated to the Hillsborough County members strong. This wonderful Sheriff's Department to be handed out. “The first donagroup of ladies are tion of quilts was in 1992 to the victims of always ever ready, graciously willing and Hurricane Andrew”, explained Klein. with big hearts able to share quilting inforSince then, every year the members of mation and skill to those who are willing the Guild decide on what charities to to learn and then in turn pass their knowldonate to for the year. Past recipients edge on. This is steeped in their guild’s have been A Kid’s Place, Joshua House, mission, along with promoting interest, Brandon Regional Hospital Neonatal appreciation and education in quilting. Intensive Care Unit and Quilts of Valor. They also carry out high standards of Members from smaller groups within design and technique in each quilt that is the Guild, called “Bee” groups, craft and crafted. donate quilts to the local dialysis center. The Guild meets on the second They also give “Fidget Quilts” to Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Alzheimer’s and autism patients. First United Methodist Church, located at Last year the ladies decided it was 120 Knights Ave. in Brandon.

When asked about his greatest satisfaction from TOPSoccer Muzyk said, “The opportunity for mental and physically challenged kids to enjoy the sport of soccer.” TOPSoccer is for boys and girls ages five and up with disabilities. It is a relaxed program, meaning no practices, no keeping score, and no team standings. It is all about the fun of the game. This program is corporately and individually sponsored, so there is no cost to the parent. The kids enjoying at day out in the sun playing The West Florida Flames Soccer soccer at a session of TOPSoccer. League (WFFSL) allows the proTOPSoccer in Brandon is a fall program in its clubhouse and on the fields. gram allowing young athletes with mental They are the recreational parent club that or physical disabilities to train and play TOPSoccer operates under. soccer. This TOPSoccer program has All are eagerly welcome to been recognized as both the 2010 and including volunteer coaches, TOPSoccer, 2015 TOPSoccer Program of the year, by and high school students interested in the Florida Youth Soccer Association. service. All that is needed for community The organization is proud about this, but this is for a volunteer to go to one of the the program goes deeper than the registrations for more information. awards. This season of TOPSoccer will start The Brandon program was estab9 at 9 a.m. and run through September lished in 1998 by Ken Muzyk, Frank November 18 at the WFFSL field. Figari, Al Snaider, and Fred Englehardt Registrations will take place on Friday who were previously on the Board of August 11, 18, and 25 from 6-8 p.m., directors for Brandon Area Youth Soccer Saturday August 12, 19, and 26 from 9-11 League. They organized groups for boys a.m. at the WFFSL clubhouse located at and girls as well as a coed group, but did S Kings Ave. in Brandon. At regis3104 not have a group for children with disabilitration all players must show a copy of ties. Not wanting those children to feel left their IEP. out, they started the local TOPSoccer. For information, email Fred The goal is to make young athletes with Englehardt at, and disabilities feel valued and successful in on Facebook at Florida Youth Soccer and also US Youth Soccer.

By Joyce Bliss

By Brittany Wallace

July 2017

Page 15

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

John And Kay Sullivan Host A Good Turn Reception To Benefit Boy Scouts

By Kathy L. Collins

John and added, "In this Kay Sullivan, house, we founders of the respect the community of Scouts." Winthrop, Kay's hosted a Good father, Turn renowned St. Reception at Petersburg civil their home in rights attorney, June. The Gardner event raised Beckett, was a money and Scout. Kay said, celebrated the "My father good works of John Sullivan and Kay Sullivan, shown here with Jeff never attained the Boy Scouts Davis (L) and Bill Davis (R ), hosted a Good Turn the rank of Reception to benefit the Boy Scouts of America, The Eagle Scout. I of Greater event raised over $12,000 for the Boy Scouts. Tampa Bay recently found Area Council. a recommendation letter for him that This council is a combination of the read 'Garner did not obtain the rank Gulf Ridge and the West Central Florida because he was so busy teaching other councils which merged one year ago. boys because his troop did not have a The combined councils had over 100 Scout Master.'" It is this type of history years of history. The new council serves that inspires the Sullivans to support the thousands of boys in nine counties. Scouts. Bill Davis, Scout Executive with the Scouting has many traditions and Greater Tampa Bay Council said, "Last one of them is the Good Turn. Davis year we served more young people as a explained, "We have a tradition in new council than the two councils did Scouting where a boy starts out the day separately the previous year. We experi- with a Good Turn coin in one pocket and enced a nine percent growth in Cub moves it to the other pocket when he Scouting. The synergy created by comcompletes a good turn (deed)." Good bining our resources is creating new Turn coins were presented to both John opportunities for young people." and Kay. Scouting is important to both John The event raised $12,000. The and Kay Sullivan. John has served as Sullivans did not want to receive a custreasurer for both councils. John said. tomary gift for hosting the event. Instead, "We support a limited number of organia Scout who could not afford to go to zations, and they have to meet a lot of camp, will be able to attend. criteria. That includes good stewardship For information on the Boy Scouts, of money that is donated to them." John visit

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Page 16

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 7

July 2017

Page 17

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Residents Seek Answers For South County Topgolf Tourney Seeks Participants To Help Transportation Woes At Meeting Raise Money For Attack Survivor By Tamas Mondovics

As expected, Southern Hillsborough County area residents came out in force to attend a recent town hall meeting seeking answers for the county’s ongoing and ever increasing transportation issues. The joint meeting hosted by Commissioners Stacy Hillsborough County Commissioners Sandra Murman and Stacy White, left, are joined by a panel of representatives from HART, White (District 4), and FDOT, County Public Works and Engineering all facing a large crowd of south county residents during a recent transportation Sandra Murman town hall meeting at Lennard High School. (District 1), held on Monday, June 26 at Lennard High School address these pressing transportation issues. in Ruskin gave a clear testimony to all A major concern on the table—pendpresent of the magnitude of the problem ing public hearings and board review— at hand even as officials are tasked with HART is reportedly planning to roll out 34 balancing population growth with traffic, routes in October, down from the existing transportation and mobility woes and a 41. budget deficit. Eagan said, that some of the routes The panel of officials including will be new; some will stay as is while othHillsborough Area Regional Transit ers will be altered or merged, as the new (HART) Chief Executive Officer Katherine network is promising better travel time Eagan, Florida Department of and more direct trips. Transportation Planning and “We are in the middle of a reboot to Environmental Administrator Ed help residents with their transportation McKinney, Jacobs Engineering Planning Eagan said, adding, “With the problems,” and PD&E Group Director Scott Pringle, upcoming changes the overall service County Administrator Mike Merrill and should improve.” But not everyone several members of the County Public agreed with or believes in HART’s plans. Works and Transportation staff faced Summerfield, Riverview resident nearly 200 in attendance, all with serious Cristal Primous, currently drives to a bus concerns and plenty to share. stop in Gibsonton just to board the 47LX “We are glad to see a large crowd of HART bus and ride for about 30 minutes folks many of whom feel disconnected to her downtown job. and deserve to know what we are doing Primous expressed her concerns on their behalf,” Murman said. “South about HART’s plans of rolling out its new County residents are dealing with gridbus network which will cut 20 percent of locks, congestions and delays that we its current routes. “They are talking about cannot ignore.” cutting or merging 47LX,” she said. “If While mentioning progress and they do, my commute will take nearly two upcoming projects such as widening 19th and a half hours. I think you can underAve., Big Bend Rd. and Apollo Beach stand my problem.” Blvd., Murman said things are getting betPrimous hoped that by actually listenter, but as a whole the county is far from ing to residents, county officials will take being done. into consideration the difficulties in south “Step one is better roads, step two is county. better transit,” Murman said, adding that Although boasting of its increasing the pressure is on, but that it is only the ridership, HART is facing the same issues beginning. as most in the county—money. Commissioner White agreed with the White and Murman have promised to sentiment that South County is in need of take the comments and concerns of their much more attention, when he said, “I am constituents seriously, while HART has on the record stating that South County is scheduled a series of public meetings this a red headed stepchild and we got to pay summer to give feedback on its proposed better attention.” new routes. A public hearing is also White added that he is also on the scheduled for July 26 before the staff to record to say that the community needs a present the plan to the HART board in strong voice and he and Commissioner August. Visit Murman want to give ear to residents and

Staff Report

Enjoy a fun locomotor exercises to recollect summer night at the act of walking again. To furthe Second ther accomplish this goal, she Annual Hope also executes a number of differClassic, a benefit ent strengthening and balance for Bloomingdale exercises. Library Attack “Throughout Queena's time Survivor Queena, at Stay in Step, it has been an which will be incredible experience being able held on Sunday, to see how much she's excelled August 6 from 5-9 from her therap.m. at Topgolf py. The strides Tampa, 10690 she has taken Palm River Rd. have been an Participants will inspiration to all enjoy an allof us. The Stay American buffet, in Step staff is private cash bar, extremely excitLibrary attack survivor Queena relies on 50/50 raffle, silent community ed to see what generosity to help fund her physical auction, and of Queena will be therapy that insurance won’t cover. course golf. able to accomplish in the near future,” Money raised will be donated to the said Mike Lopez, Stay in Step Trainer family to help pay for ongoing medical, Technician. therapy, and homecare Queena’s sister, Anna Donato, expenses. Players hit golf balls containing has started a 501c3 non-profit organizacomputer microchips that track each tion called Hope Heals The Brain Inc. in shot’s accuracy and distance while also hopes to continue raising funds and awarding points for hitting targets on the awareness for families and individuals outfield. The venue offers an upscale, affected by traumatic brain injury in the laid-back experience with an impressive Central Florida region. food and drink menu. To register online and pay by credit For the last nine years, Queena has card, visit relied on the generosity of the community To register by mail and pay by check, to fund her continuous physical and occu- visit to downpational therapy sessions. load the form. The registration deadline Stay in Step Spinal Cord Injury is Monday July 25. The costs Recovery Center provides a very special, are: Sixsome $400; Individual $75; hands-on and effective variation of physiSpectator/Dinner Only $30. Contact cal therapy where Queena has made Donato at or 956great strides. She performs a variety of 3822.

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Page 18

Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Phoenix House Opens Newly Renovated Derek Jeter Center In Brandon

By Caitlin Masessa

On Tuesday, around by joining June 6th, Phoenix Phoenix House and House began a becoming a student new chapter by of the Derek Jeter unveiling the reloCenter. “I saw an cation of the Derek opportunity for me to Jeter Center at the grow as a person,” newly renovated Hinderscheid Heartwood addressed the crowd Campus in [Left to Right] Phoenix House VP Maria as he received the Alvarez, Derek Jeter, President of Turn 2 Derek Jeter Brandon. Funded Foundation Sharlee Jeter, and Phoenix by Derek Jeter’s Hillsborough House Clinical Director Sonya Buffee celeTurn 2 Foundation, Education brate the renovated Derek Jeter Center. the Derek Jeter Foundation Center at Scholarship, Phoenix House “The Phoenix works to assist House doesn’t adolescents that just address subare dealing with stance abuse, substance and they address all alcohol abuse the factors that it and strives to affects.” Now put them back on the path towards a drug-free for two years, and a graduate brighter future. “The commitment our with honors from Gaither High School two organizations, along with the hard with plans to attend the University of work and generosity of the Hillsborough Central Florida in the Fall, Hinderscheid Education Foundation, is to be sure that thanks Phoenix House for being there adolescents who are faced with difficulwhen he needed them the most. “The ties of substance abuse are given a sec- Phoenix House and Derek Jeter Center ond chance,” the Vice President of have my eternal gratitude,” Hinderscheid Phoenix House Maria Alvarez spoke of beamed. the partnership between Phoenix House With this renovation, the Derek Jeter and the Turn 2 Foundation. Center nearly doubles its size than what With a relationship that goes back it was six months ago at West Waters nearly a decade, the Founder of the Avenue. “With the opening of this center, Turn 2 Foundation, Derek Jeter, was in we will be able to ensure brighter futures attendance for the ribbon cutting cerefor more young people than we ever mony along with his sister, and dreamed of,” Sharlee Jeter spoke of the President of Turn 2, Sharlee Jeter as larger size of the Center. The relocation well as their father Dr. Sanderson within the Heartwood Campus also Charles Jeter. “Everyone has bumps in works to destroy the false assumption the road, we want them [teens] to know that addiction is a moral failing. “Since that there are places you can go to for our new location is in a medical comsupport,” Derek Jeter spoke of the misplex, it reinforces the fact that addiction sion his foundation holds, “Through our is a disease,” Phoenix House partnership with Phoenix House, we try Communications Director Ashley to supply all of our kids with a strong Womble explained. support system that leads them down Along with the rededication ceremothe path to success.” ny, Derek and Sharlee Jeter announced “The creation of the Derek Jeter that the Turn 2 Foundation will donate Center at Phoenix House started with an additional one-hundred and fifty thouthe singular hope that it would make a sand dollars to the Derek Jeter Center, positive impact on people’s lives,” bringing their total contribution to one Sharlee Jeter added. With 140 promillion dollars. “What Phoenix House grams operating in 11 states, Phoenix has accomplished over the years is House has been changing the lives of remarkable,” Derek Jeter said, “[Phoenix nearly 3,000 adolescents across the House] continues to change lives and nation, and no one is more aware of the we’re dedicated to being partners for impact than Derek Jeter Center years to come.” Graduate Alex Hinderscheid. Becoming The Derek Jeter Center at Phoenix addicted to marijuana at fifteen-yearsHouse is located on 510 Vonderburg Dr. old, Hinderscheid decided to turn his life Suite #301, Brandon, FL 33511.

Requiem Maritime Memorials Scatters Remains At Sea With Tribute Sailing

By Caitlin Masessa

When it comes to where you want to spend eternity, the high seas may not be on your list. However, due to the soaring cost of funerals and dwindling cemetery space, the spreading of cremated remains in the sea has become a common tribute for families to put their loved ones to rest. Although this path may be new to most of the public, Captain Denny Fackler has always been aware of the desire for the sea to be a final resting place. “I always wanted to be cremated and spread in the sea,” the Naval Veteran stated, “A lot of people do, but I saw that there wasn’t a boat that only did ashes spreading instead of combination of fishing and party or site seeing in the area that provides such a wish.” Seeing the need for a vessel to take to the seas and fulfill the dying wishes of loved ones lost, Captain Fackler founded Requiem Maritime Memorials, a service that takes a loved one’s remains to sea and gives the family closure as they say one last goodbye. Sailing out Little Harbor Marina in Ruskin, abroad the 27’ Tollycraft Motor Yacht, which has the capacity to carry the crew and up to six passengers, Requiem Maritime Memorials will perform the spreading of ashes as well as any memorial service the family may want. Since its’ founding, Requiem’s goal has been to provide for any personal and religious beliefs to the extent possible. “We look at it as a Celebration of Life,” Captain Fackler explained of the memorials aboard the boat, “We’ll play music, and I’ll do a reading or say a prayer if that’s what the family wants.” The trip, which takes an hour and thirty minutes to get to the designated three miles from land, comes in the form of two packages, one of

which that does not require for families to be present. The Captain’s Service, which is the most frequently requested option, has Captain Fackler undertake the voyage alone. Requiem promises to fulfill requests the family may have for specific prayers, readings, or other ceremonies that are wanted from the deceased. While both packages start at $195, the Captain’s Service provides a ten-percent discount to Veterans while the Family Memorial Services adds $150 per person attending. “Usually about thirty-percent of families want to attend,” Fackler deduced, “It all depends on what they’re comfortable with.” Comfort isn’t the only reason for choosing the sea over a cemetery. “Cremation is much more affordable than a burial,” Fackler explained, “[Being spread at sea] is also environmentally-friendly.” To keep up with the needs of the environment, Requiem requires that all items put into the ocean, such as urns, notes, and flowers, be biodegradable. Fackler also sees the service as more convenient for families that live in different areas of the nation. “It’s hard to get everyone together when tragedy hits,” Fackler said. Despite Requiem making the time of loss as smooth as possible, Captain Fackler is aware of the taboo attitude that is attached with the planning, and preparing, of memorial services. “It’s hard but you have to sit down and have that talk,” Fackler stated when confronted about how to prepare for the last goodbye, “You have to be able to see into the next Generation.” Although the conversation is hard to hear, and participate in, Requiem Memorial Services will be there to help you, and your loved ones, achieve closure so that you may keep on living. To learn more about Requiem Maritime Memorials, and the pricing of their packages, visit their website at You may also contact Captain Denny Fackler directly at 598-1586.

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Page 19

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Orange To Close Its Doors After 11 Years By Kathy L. Collins

items. She gets to know the artists who create the pieces that she sells. “So much of this store has been a part of me,” said Ploor. Orange Home Décor has become a gathering place. In addition to selling unique, artistic items, Ploor has been an Debbie Ploor, owner of Orange Home Décor, enjoyed every ardent supporter of minute of her 11-year journey. However, in order to be able to various community spend more quality time with her family, Ploor has made the non-profits. She has painful decision to close her store by Monday, July 31. opened the store and It is with a heavy heart that held countless events benefitting Debbie Ploor, owner of Orange Home that serve the commuorganizations Décor in Valrico, is closing her nity. “It has been an honor to serve beloved store. Orange Home Décor, community. I want to thank everythe located at 1046 Bloomingdale Ave., one for the love and support they will officially close on Monday, July have shown me over the years. I 31. hope they enjoyed it as much as I Ploor is closing the store in order have,” added Ploor. to spend more quality time with her Ploor sent a note to all of her husband of 39 years, Rick, who has customers and friends advising them been diagnosed with cancer. Ploor of her decision. Within minutes of also wants to have the flexibility to sending the note, she was flooded visit their daughters, Allison and with notes expressing love for her Sarah who live in New York and San and the store. Ploor said, “The people Francisco, respectively. Ploor said, “I make the store. That is what I will am sad about closing the store, but I the most.” miss have no regrets. I would have regretPloor has marked down the items ted it if I had never opened the store the store, so if you have ever wantin 11 years ago.” ed an artistic piece for your home, Ploor added, “When I started the now is the time to get to Orange store, I could not find the items I sell Home Décor. She plans to stay conwithout going to South Tampa or nected with the community. Sarasota.” Ploor has done all of the For more information, please visit buying for the store over the last 11 years. She does more than just buy

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Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Summerfield Crossing Golf Club Hosts Tournament To Raise Money For Stand-Up Golf Cart Two years ago Jason Blanchard had a bad skiing accident, shattering his leg in the process. Blanchard, Photos by Jason Blanchard who has The Para Golfer will allow easier access to the course for owned and disabled or injured players. helped run the Summerfield Crossings Golf Club since 2003 and has been a golf club professional for over 20 years, could not walk for about six months after his injury. During that time, Blanchard had a close friend whose brother became paralyzed from the waist down after a terrible car accident. Blanchard’s injury put things into perspective for him. He was not able to play the game that he loved while he recovered. He then thought of the man that was now paralyzed, who would never be able to walk again. After hosting a golf tournament at his club to help raise money for his friend’s brother’s medical expenses, he saw a piece of equipment called the Para Golfer. It is a golf cart that can help people who are injured or disabled stand and play golf. It became his mission to purchase a Para Golfer unit for his golf course, so that people with disabilities would be able to play as well. “When I saw how happy and elated her brother was to be able stand up and play golf again, it tore at my heartstrings,” said Blanchard. “I know how hard it was for



By Nick Nahas

me to be able to walk again, and I just can’t imagine not being able to ever walk again, or to not be able to play the game that I love and have loved my whole life.” Blanchard is hosting a tournament on Saturday, July 22 at 7 a.m. at Summerfield Crossings Golf Club in Riverview to help raise money to purchase a Para The Para Golfer is a Golfer unit for golf cart that helps dis- his golf course. abled golfers stand and The unit costs play. about $26,000. Prizes include a weekend for four at Port St. Lucie, home of the PGA Golf Club, with three rounds of golf, a hotel room and food, and a four-day cruise. Raffle tickets will cost $20 each, and 1,000 tickets will be sold. Breakfast, lunch and complimentary drinks will be provided as well. Additional money raised from the tournament will be donated to the Stand Up and Play Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose sole goal is to get these units out to as many places as possible. For information about this cause, or if you would like to register to play golf at this event, buy raffle tickets or donate, visit Blanchard’s website at Or you can reach the club at 671-3311.




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July 2017

Page 21

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

St. Stephen Holds Special Dedication For Much-Anticipated New Building

By Amanda Boston

St. Stephen Catholic Church has a 14-foot cross affixed to the roof and an interior space of 30,726 square feet.

With more than a decade in the making, St. Stephen Catholic Church dedicated its new building in a formal and symbolic ceremony performed by Bishop Emeritus Robert N. Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The solemn rite of dedication took place on Thursday, June 29 at 7 p.m., setting apart the church as a place of worship. The ancient ceremony observed dramatic rituals that included the conSt. Stephen Catholic Church’s sanctuary, gregation entering into the darkened which was formally dedicated on Thursday, church, the sprinkling of Holy Water June 29 through a formal ceremony. and the anointing of the altar with oil. at 10118 St. Stephen Cir. in Riverview. In May, the St. Stephen Parish In addition to the brand-new unofficially opened the church’s doors to church building, the St. Stephen the community when it hosted the Parish welcomes a new priest. On famous Broadway-style musical, The Saturday, July 1, Fr. Dermot Dunne of Cross and the Light. Guests in attenSt. Cecelia Roman Catholic Church in dance experienced the building’s excepClearwater assumes the priesthood at tional architectural design that houses St. Stephen Catholic Church. In fact, plenty of space with a seating capacity the two pastors are swapping parishes of 1,500 people. with Fr. Schneider assuming the “These are not just buildings but priesthood at St. Cecelia. places for the people of God,” said Fr. Furthermore, the parish ushers in Robert Schneider of St. Stephen who a new Mass schedule that begins on was instrumental in the church building Saturday, July 1. Weekend Mass times project. “We are not just building a are Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday beautiful church or a very functional at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Family Life Center—the purpose is to Weekday Mass is held in the Chapel build up a stronger parish and have a daily at 8:30 a.m. and on Tuesday at stronger sense of community and disci6:30 p.m. pleship,” he explained. For more information on St. Ever since the St. Stephen Catholic Stephen Catholic Church, call 689School opened in 2001, the church and 4900 or visit school have existed on two different The campuses. However, after years of church is located just off of Boyette planning, budgeting and building, the Rd. in Riverview. entire St. Stephen Parish now resides

Family-Oriented Bakery Enjoys Sweet Success At Petite Madelyn

By Caitlin Masessa

Summer is in same feeling of full swing and independence like there’s no better my own mom gave way to celebrate us.” than by treating Keeping the yourself and your working families of the community in family to the baked goods mind, the Malins made with love by celebrate $1 the folks at Petite Cupcake Day Madelyn’s Bakery can be found in the Madelyn’s Bakery. PetiteShoppes every Tuesday. at Bloomingdale Plaza. Petite Madelyn’s Seeing the idea as specializes in a way to introduce cakes, pastries, them to the area in a unique fashion, cupcakes, and the once-a-week more customized sweet soon treats that will became a staple to leave you wanting more. their business. “It’s After 24 years a great way for of traveling the new people to try Bakery Owners Megan and Dennis Marlin world with the milius and to thank pose with their treats. tary, Marine Corps Veteran Dennis Malin the regulars for their business,” Megan and wife Megan Malin decided it was time smiled. to plant their roots in Florida. “We were With new faces filtering into the baklooking for something that kept us close ery every day, Megan and Dennis Malin want their patrons to know that they will to home and gave our family something stable,” Megan Malin, whose father was a never stop going beyond the call for Marine as well, stated, “It was a great treats. “We’re going to work to provide opportunity.” For the Malins, and their four that one item they can’t find anywhere children, the importance of family shines else or that they don’t want to make any through with each pastry they make. longer,” Megan spoke of the mission drivMegan’s desire to have her children ing Petite Madelyn’s Bakery, “Just involved can be traced back to how her because it’s not in my case doesn’t mean own mother taught her the importance of we won’t make it for you.” being innovative. “My mother taught me Petite Madelyn’s Bakery is located at 1017 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, in the how to bake bread, how to make homeShoppes at Bloomingdale Plaza, open made pasta, and sew my own clothing. I Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. started that with all my children,” Megan and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. spoke, “I wanted my kids to have that

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 7

Sunday’s Soulful Supper Serves Up A Christian Teen Singer Releases New Sophisticated Dinner Show Single With Social Media Reality Series By Amanda Boston

Ever since Jordan with Jordan. Viewers Denise Williams could will have the opportuspeak, the local 13nity to help Jordan year-old Christian Pop make photograph Singer has made a joydecisions for the ful noise to the Lord. album cover and On Sunday, August 29, choose outfits for her the young singer, photo shoots. songwriter and musi"As an independcian will officially ent label, we are release her second always looking for single, Outfit of the innovative ways to Day, which she promote our artists," described as a “funky said Julie Silva– rhythm track.” Williams, Jordan’s Leading up to the mother, and Derlie song’s debut, Jordan Records Label began promoting her Executive. "A social new single through a media reality series six-week social media just made sense as reality series, titled The Jordan recently discovered a gift for an avenue to promote the acoustic guitar and has begun to Jordan's music on a Song. The series preaccompany herself. platform that allows miered on Saturday, independent labels the visibility to comJuly 15 and airs weekly on social media pete in a competitive music market." @Jordan Denise Williams, YouTube, The single will be submitted by Derlie and her website jordanRecords to the 60th Grammys for Beginning on eration for a nomination and will be availSunday, July 30, the first 100 fans to sign able on iTunes and all major online stores up for her VIP mailing list will receive a worldwide. free download of the new single and be Jordan is the daughter of Derrick the first to view her jewelry line. Williams, a well-known Gospel and Jazz The series is an exclusive, behind Recording Artist, and the host of The the scenes look into Jordan’s journey as Gospel Voice show, airing nationally she prepares to release and promote her every Sunday 12:30 a.m. (EST) on The newest song. The reality series consists Christian Television Network. Jordan also of two parts—a pre-recorded 30-minute sings as a vocalist in The Gospel Voice segment that spotlights video clips from Band. For more information, visit www.jorrehearsals, photo shoots and recording, www.derlieresessions; and a live streaming interactive forum where viewers personally engaged or 1-866 DERLIE (337-5439).

By Amanda Boston

The Gospel wall and upperVoice and Derlie level seating that Records joined overlooks the the Dulcet stage. Restaurant in The dinner New Port Richey shows are held on to create an the 4th Sunday of upscale dinner each month with a show filled with seating time from worship and Sunday’s Soulful Supper is a 3 to 6 p.m. The praise titled dinner and show experience next show will be featuring the music of Sunday’s Soulful held on Sunday, Derek Williams and The Gospel 27. New Supper. Local August Voice Band. resident and Port Richey’s musician Derrick Williams will perform live Mayor Rob Marlowe attended the soft Christian music infused with Gospel, Jazz, opening held in June and said, “It was a Blues, Rock and Soul music. “We wanted great show, and I enjoyed meeting the perto create a gospel experience featuring a formers afterward.” ‘dinner show’ with the Holy Spirit as the Executive Chef Layton Smith of the featured act,” said Williams. Dulcet Restaurant designed a signature For the past nine years, Williams has dinner menu for the suppers featuring hosted The Gospel Voice music show, chicken, beef, fish and vegetarian entrees which airs on Sundays 12:30 a.m. (EST) along with assorted desserts. A signature on Christian Television Network (CTN). drink called the Fruit of the Spirit, a nonWilliams is also nationally known for his alcoholic beverage infused with tropical stage performance as The Rabbi in the fruit flavors, is offered a’ la carte. musical The Rock and The Rabbi. Julie Ticket prices start at $35/person and Silva-Williams, the Executive Producer of children 12 and older welcome to attend. The Gospel Voice, explained, “The next The ticket includes a dinner entrée and logical step was to bring Derrick and The show. Tax and gratuities are not included in Gospel Voice TV Ministry to life where ticket prices. Upper Room seating is availaudiences can experience live what they able at $40 per ticket. VIP seating is availwatch on TV.” able. Advance ticket are $32.99 for groups The charismatic show is modeled of 15 or more. Tickets are available at after the world famous House of Blues or Gospel Brunch in Disney Springs. The Dulcet Restaurant is Sunday Suppers will take place at the located at 6220 Grand Blvd. in New Port Dulcet Restaurant in downtown New Port Richey. For info, contact Julie SilvaRichey. The restaurant offers an exception- Williams, at Derlie Records, Inc. at deral dining experience with a glass waterfall or 1-866-337-5439.

July 2017

Page 23

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Phil and Michelle Colesanti reenact the famed Beatles crossing at Abbey Road while vacationing in London.

View from the Reisling Vineyards overlooking the small town of Bacharach, located on the Rhine River in Germany.

View of the Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church) from the Kapellbruchke (Chapel Bridge) in Lucerne, Switzerland.

For Best Experience, Practice Vigilance And Safety During Overseas Summer Travels According to Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” My husband Phil and I recently returned from a two week Tauck Rhine River cruise on the beautiful MS Grace, taking us from the city of Basel, Switzerland up to Amsterdam, Netherlands. After the cruise, we made plans to spend a few days in London, one of my favorite cities. Since our return, everyone asks me how we could travel to Europe, especially to London, given the recent terrorist attacks that seem to take place regularly. These attacks are unpredictable and frightening, but should they keep you from visit-

ing Europe? Practicing vigilance should be something that you do no matter where you travel whether in the U.S. or overseas. Always pay attention to your surroundings. Sometimes this gets lost in the wonder of seeing famous landmarks and sites for the first time. Common sense says to keep your passport in a safe place such as your hotel/ship safe; don’t carry it through the streets as you sightsee or shop. Make sure you have a scanned copy of your passport in your suitcase. I always keep a picture of the front page on my phone too. Ladies should carry their purses with the strap diagonally placed over the shoulder so that it is harder for someone to grab it. Don’t carry all of your money with you. Separate your money and credit cards.

By Michelle Colesanti

Backpacks are a great option if you are carrying cameras and other heavier items, but make sure that your money, credit cards and ID’s are not easy targets if someone were to come from behind and attempt to get into your pack. If you are a man, do not keep your wallet in your back pocket so that someone could easily grab it. Our travels took us to London just one week after the attack at the London Bridge and Borough Market. The U.K. elections had just taken place and there was much turmoil within the United Kingdom. Our plans were already made and despite our fears, we decided to continue on. I am glad that we did. It is a lot different when you are looking at things from the inside out. Just as in the U.S., I could immediately sense the resiliency of the residents.

I had trepidations about riding the London Underground, but people going about their daily business made me realize that life goes on. No one seemed to be giving in to the fears that they must face daily. I was happy to see that there were plenty of other Americans and foreign tourists that chose to visit despite recent events. The acts of terrorism that have become so commonplace, especially in Europe, is something unpredictable, but if you look realistically at the statistics, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning near your home on a hot Florida afternoon. If your dream has always been to visit this part of the world – to see the Dutch Masters painted by Rembrandt at the Riiks Museum or to visit the Alps in Switzerland or Austria; then go!






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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

Volume 12, Issue 7



July 2017

Volume 12, Issue 7

Ph: 657-2418

New Active Adult Care In Brandon

Active Adult Care is operated by Claudia Alur, a doctor of Physical Therapy with over 20 years experience in Home Health Care and is licensed and accredited by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Its mission is to provide a supervised, safe, secure and interactive place outside the home to elderly and younger people with disabilities that enhances their overall quality of life in a loving environment with the necessary support to age in place and prevent institutionalization while offering the caregivers a much-needed relief from Mathnasium Brandon’s first scholarship winner is their demanding responsibilities, knowNewsome graduate Daniel Harkins. ing their loved one is in good hands. Spanish is spoken. It is located at Active Adult Care believes in making 909 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more a positive impact in people’s lives by information, email offering exceptional Adult Day Care or call 571ices with an impressive array of coordi1227. nated benefits from nutritious meals, physical activity and exerciese, cognitive Valrico/FishHawk Chamber Names stimulation and social interaction. Its purFirst Scholarship Winner pose is to maximize the value of one’s Congratulations to Newsome graduexperience while receiving the necessary ate, Daniel Harkins, who won the support to age in place with a sincere Valrico/FishHawk Chamber’s first scholarcommitment to the participants, caregiver ship offering. and the community we serve without According to Mathnasium Brandon’s regards of color, creed or age. owner, Becky McDaniels, “Daniel is an Supportive and optional services amazing young man who contributed to include: Speech, Physical, and our community in many ways throughout Occupational Therapy his high school career. One of many Skilled Nursing, and modified diets or examples would be the fact that Daniel diets based on normal diet and designed was one of three founders and the treasto meet the requirements of a given situaurer of the Red Cross Club at Newsome tion.

High School.” As a member of this organization Daniel realized that Newsome did not have a club like this to help solve real world emergencies in his local area and he wanted to make a difference. He not only was able to put his dream of making a difference into action, but also realized that working as a team developing plans and acting on them was very fulfilling. He will be attending FSU beginning this summer. Visit For more information on the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber, visit

Tasty Venues Offers Culinary Journeys In Cooking And Home Décor And Food Products

Tasty Venues recently opened at 951 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Owners Cinzia and Mark Cripe, along with Debora Felton and Susan Hastings, opened the café to offer food exploration classes that will take guests on culinary journeys throughout the world’s finest cuisines. It was established to share beautiful

food and beautiful goods related to food in recognition of the connections are created around a shared table. You will be delighted as you watch a masterful chef prepare a meal in front of you and be inspired when you engage in cooking with the Chef. The café offers lunch Monday through Friday. It also offers home décor and gifts, books, imported luxury foods and teas from around the world, plus everything to make entertaining lovely and easy. Hours are Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 381-4999. Visit

Weight Loss & Wellness Centers

Garcia Weight Loss is a dedicated team of physicians and staff with a passion for helping people look and feel healthier, younger, and to achieve the right weight. Come celebrate its new Brandon office at 403 S. Kings Ave., Ste. 220, as well as its new beauty, health, and weight loss offerings on Tuesday, August 22 from 5-8 p.m. All sorts of products and services to help you look and feel your best will be given away. Come grab a bite, chat with Dr. Garcia, and you could walk away with a freebie. Hours are Monday, Thursday &

Continued On Next Page

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Page 26

Business Column Continued............. Friday: 9-5, Tuesday: 8-4, and Wednesday: 10:30-6:30. Services offered are Weight Loss and Wellness, DNA Health and Fitness Programs, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Aesthetic Services, and Skin Care Products. RSVP or call 982-3042.

Open House Provides Information On Joining The Healthcare Profession Join the healthcare profession and become a CNA through the CNA Training and Testing Center in Brandon. It offers quality, affordable, accelerated, and convenient training to become a CNA with its one week CNA exam prep course. After completing the prep course, students will be prepared to challenge the licensing exam to become CNAs registered in Florida. The Training Center also offers training in Medication Assistance, Phlebotomy, and American Heart Association CPR. The CNA Training and Testing Center will host an open house to pre-enroll students for its training courses on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Classes will begin on July 31 and new CNA classes will begin weekly, day and evening class are available. CNA Training and Testing Center is located at 744 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Visit or call 955-4287.

Personal Finance For Teens

Are you concerned your child will never move out of their bedroom? Bring your teen on Tuesday, August 29 and join us as Lori Nadglowski, MBA, CFP® discusses the financial lessons your child will need to be financially independent. This presentation covers basic financial principals, identifies the three most important decisions your child will make that determines their financial well being, and the important conversations to have with your children about money. This presentation will take place at CoWork Landing, located at 522 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Call 252-0799 or visit

Ferrell Building Group Custom Home Builder Opens New Office Design Center Mark Ferrell, President of Ferrell

Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

By Michelle Colesanti

Building Group has recently opened the Office Design Center at 902 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., in Brandon in the Five Points Plaza. The center will house offices and a showroom design center, a place to meet clients where they can pick out the type of materials to be used, flooring, cabinets, doors, fixtures and more. Ferrell has been a craftsman and general contractor for over 30 years in the Tampa Bay area. He said, “Tampa is my home, and my passion is building beautiful homes with detail in mind. I started out as form carpenter, working on the high rises in downtown Tampa, and over the years, became a finish carpenter and general carpenter and ultimately a custom builder.” Call 212-3689 or visit

The Way 2 Dance Hosts Affordable Dance Classes At The Regent

Join affordable, fun and easy Salsa, Ballroom and Swing group classes for both beginners and intermediates at The Regent every Tuesday beginning August 8 from 6-9 p.m. At 6 p.m., enjoy Elements of Dance/Warm up Dance Exercises/Tango; at 7 p.m. – Cha-Cha-Cha and at 8 p.m. – Salsa/Bachata/Merengue. The cost is $88 per person per month for all classes or $60 per person for one dance per month or $18 per person for one class drop in. Walk-ins are welcome and the first class is free. Attire is business casual (no gym clothes); dance shoes/leather sole shoes and bring a bottle of water. Visit

Two Year Anniversary For Sunshine Real Estate Of Tampa Bay LLC

When Tina Guinn and Theresa Evans opened Sunshine Real Estate of Tampa Bay, they decided to be boutique style for the unique opportunity to serve the local community. Many may consider a “boutique” firm to cater to high end only or possibly too small Realtor Theresa Evans is a Florida to break into the competitive real estate native and has lived in the Tampa Bay market. In reality, boutique firms are area for 26 years. “I feel right at home in extremely specialized businesses with the real estate market. My experience is being centered on customer service and on all sides of the transaction. I'm very professionalism. Your community is your excited to help my community with all boutique firm’s community. Your boutique their real estate needs,” she commented. firm will typically be committed to the Sunshine Real Estate of Tampa Bay community because their business only volunteers their time at various organizadoes well if the community does well. tions throughout the area. Proud member Broker Tina of Homes for Guinn was born Heroes, part and raised in the of their comTampa Bay area mission goes and her family has back to local been here for Heroes in the many generations. military She said, “With (active, having over 18 retired, years experience reserves), , in real estate and law enforcefive years experiment, fireence working with fighters, EMT, a custom home teachers and builder, I am sure healthcare Tina Guinn, Broker and Theresa Evans, Realtor, to find the perfect workers partner at Sunshine Real Estate of Tampa Bay. place for you to Since joining call home. Homes for Heroes a year ago, they have Contact me for help selling your existing given their Hero clients a total of $10,374 home and I will help you find your new back at closing. home in this beautiful Tampa Bay area.”

REVE Eclectic Boutique Now Open In Brandon

Pizzazz Concepts LLC is pleased to announce the opening of REVE Eclectic Boutique in the Oakfield Square Plaza, 211 S Moon Ave. in Brandon. REVE offers a unique shopping experience and caters to DIY Brides. A variety of wedding packages are offered to save brides time and money. REVE offers wedding accessories, special occasion fashion jewelry, the latest trendy fashion jewelry, along with jeans and denim fashion accessories. Call 643-6446 or visit www.reveeclec-

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July 2017

Page 27

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

St. Joseph’s Hosting “Christmas In July” Donation Drive To Collect Joy For Kids

Staff Report

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is collecting toys and donations for kids.

St. Joseph's Children's Hospital treats thousands of Tampa Bay’s children every year. Whether they arrive by ambulance, are recovering from open-heart surgery or undergoing cancer treatment, they receive the finest medical treatment, emotional support and loving care available. But they have other special needs play and distraction from their illness that are met with the help of generous people throughout the community. “Medical settings are a new, unfamiliar world for most children,” said Jazleen Vecchiarelli, manager of clinical services for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. “Providing them with fun activities like art and music therapy, developmental play or movie nights can bring a momentary escape from the hospital experience and their illness.” Join St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s “Christmas in July” donation drive and help provide comfort to pediatric patients throughout the year.

You can make a difference by helping to brighten the spirits of hospitalized kids by donating a patient experience, activity or distraction item online at Monetary donations can be made in any denomination and are greatly appreciated. Become an event sponsor. Corporate sponsorships are available starting at just $1,000. Start or join a “Christmas in July” team. You can host your own online fundraiser and enlist your friends, family and coworkers to meet a goal. Fundraising ideas include bake sales, raffles, jeans day at the office, and walk/run/bike activities. Become one St. Joseph’s community partners, and get your customers involved in “Christmas in July” through a donation of percentage of sales, register campaigns and spirit nights. Toys and donations can be dropped off in the circular drive in front of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, located at 3001 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Tampa during the special “Christmas in July” community event on Friday, July 28 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is well known throughout the southeast United States as a leader in pediatric heart and cancer care. With 80 pediatric physician specialists representing 25 medical and surgical disciplines, the staff offers the care St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is known for. Call 872-0979 or visit

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Page 28

Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

New BridgePrep Charter School Plans Fall Opening For Hwy. 301 Location

International Award Winning Nature & Wildlife Photographer: Local Community Treasure

Residents believes in a who travel the student-cenU.S. Hwy. 301 tered educationcorridor freal philosophy quently will that emphasizes have noticed hands on learnthe large ing and students school building who actively under conparticipate. struction at the “We believe in the whole sturoad’s busy dent approach intersection to learning,” said with Jacobs, who Bloomingdale also explained Ave. in BridgePrep Academy will open its doors to more Riverview. The than 700 students next month at the intersection of that BridgePrep location, to the U.S. Hwy. 301 and Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. is a STEAM school that additionally offers every stusouth of Wolfe’s Produce Market, will dent one hour of Spanish language open next month as BridgePrep instruction every day. Academy, a kindergarten through eighth As a charter school, students at grade public charter school. BridgePrep do not pay tuition. The school, under direction of principal Keith Jacobs, is the 15th Florida cam- Hillsborough County charter schools are pus BridgePrep, with one other location in independent public schools operated by a non-profit organization. They hire their Hillsborough County. They are all SACS own teachers, design their own academic Accredited High Performing Charter program and control their own finances. Schools. The building, which will be able They have their own board of directors to hold 950 students, is state of the art that makes the decisions for the school, offering technology in every classroom but all charter schools must provide a curand two large computer labs. There will riculum that meets the Florida and also be a baseball field and multiple basSunshine State Standards. ketball courts. “We are really excited to become a More than 700 students in kinderpart of the diverse Riverview community,” garten through sixth grade have currently said Jacobs, who is beginning his 14th received spots through the traditional charter school lottery system with approx- year as an educator and ninth in school imately 200 more expected to join them in administration. The school is located at 6211 S. U.S. the next few years. Applications are availHwy. 301 in Riverview, call 370-1910 or able on the school’s website. visit According to Jacobs, BridgePrep

Thanks to because of his today’s technoloallegiance to the gy, it seems dark-side (Nikon everyone is a Lenses), Shadle, photographer. 59, is known for Easy to use, his work appearpoint-and-shoot ing in a long list of cameras along publications with fully autoincluding, Awake mated semi-proMagazine (2nd fessional equip- International award-winning nature and wildlife largest circulated photographer James Shadle of Valrico. ment allow magazine in the many to enjoy world), Popular capturing a favorite moment of a loved Photography, Outdoor Photographer, one or an awesome sunset. National Geographic Adventure Some go as far as saying that capMagazine, National Wildlife Magazine turing a great shot is just luck, or that it just to name a few. is just the matter of being at the right A true local community treasure, place at the right time. While this is true Shadle has been featured as one of to some degree, the work of Valrico res- Florida’s 21 most intriguing people by ident and international award-winning the Florida Monthly Magazine as well as nature and wildlife photographer James Shutterbug Magazine, in the Shadle testifies to the reality that it takes St.Petersburg Times and the Tampa much more than simply pressing down Tribune. the shutter button. Many of his impressive work “When it comes to gear or skill, the appeared on the cover of major publicaanswer is you need both, however skill tions featuring bird and wildlife. and knowledge of your subject is much As for getting just the right shot of a more important than your gear,” Shadle bald eagle or a roseate spoonbill, said, while steering his pontoon boat Shadle emphasized the need to know during a recent early morning trip on the where birds live and forage. What time Alafia River as he made his way out to of year, what the wind and the tides are Tampa Bay. The trip, which he called doing, even the phase of the moon and one of the best times to shoot, began at yes a lot of patience. 6 a.m. at the Williams Park boat ramp in While there are no shortage of interRiverview. esting, intriguing, and talented people A professional nature photographer, living in every community, finding one of photography and workshop conductor, Shadle’s caliber is a real community Florida freshwater wetlands master nattreasure. uralist, Captain - US Merchant Marine, For images and information visit who is often called Darth Vader Shadle at

By Kate Quesada

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July 2017

Page 29

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

es Senior Gamll Craft n, Fa o i t a r t s i g e R dors & n e V s k e e S Show Moree…lle Colesanti, h d by Mic Compile b o osprey @ e ll e h mic

Holy Innocent’s Fall Whistle Stop Craft Show Sees Vendors

Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church is accepting vendor signups for its 10th annual fall Whistle Stop Craft Show on Saturday, November 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The event will be held on the church grounds at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Both inside and outside locations are available. The fee for an inside location, which accommodates one six foot table and two chairs is $35 and $30 for an outside 12X12 space, which is well shaded. Interested vendors can register for a spot at Any questions please contact the church during normal business hours at 689-3130.

Registration Begins For Hillsborough County Senior Games

They'll be swimming, power lifting, and running as fast as they can. Or as they see it, just another day in the life of Hillsborough County's best senior athletes. Registration has begun for this the 37th Annual Senior Games, organized by Hillsborough County, and partnering with Friends of the County Parks, City of Tampa, and City of Temple Terrace. The games

take place Oct. 220 throughout the Tampa Bay area. The games typically attract more than 650 athletes competing in more than 40 sports and leisure events, including tennis, pickleball, track and field, softball, cycling, powerlifting, golf, and more. The Plant City Community Chorale seeks new members for the fall season. It rehearses at Contestants must be 50 or Holy Innocents Church in Valrico. over, and the games typically tor of this non-auditioned group three Rehearsals are held on Mondays 7attract athletes competing well into years ago, and as word of her enthusi9:30 p.m. at Holy Innocents' Episcopal their 90s. The competitions serve as asm and professional expertise has Church, located at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in a qualifier for the Florida Senior spread, the chorale has grown to more Valrico. Games. than 30 members. For more information, visit Registration is required. A Parks Presenting four concerts per year,, Facebook: Plant & Recreation account is required to the Chorale performs a wide variety of City Community Chorale or register. Visit, from great classical works to contact dents/recreation-and-culture/recrevarious contemporary selections. m or 417-2808. ation/senior-games.


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Come have fun, drink tequila and celebrate Christmas in July on Tuesday, July 25 from 6-9 p.m. at the Centre Club, 123 S. Westshore Blvd. in Tampa. Raffle tickets and silent auction will benefit Freedom to Walk Foundation. Cost is $29 and includes admission, a margarita and appetizers. Get tickets at


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Page 30

Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

ent, m a n r u o T f l Go youts r T l l a b y e l l Vo outs y r T l l a b e s Travel Ba ore… ti, &M e Colesan y Michell db Compile preyobse s o @ e ll e mich

The Tampa Bay Young Marines Are Looking For A Few Good Kids

teenager is a part of a proactive and positive sport, those teens have higher self-esteem, higher goals, and a better sense of connection to their community. “This is absolutely something we wanted to get behind.” Victoria said on why they started HVA. The Head Coach and Club Director Brian played competitive volleyball since age 18 and has been a head volleyball coach for the past seven years at East Bay High School. Visit for registration times which vary per age bracket.

The Tampa Bay Young Marines unit is part of a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and selfdiscipline, so its The Young Marines meet on Wednesday evenings from 6members can live and 8:30 p.m. in Tampa. Students age 8 through high school are promote a healthy, welcome to join. drug-free lifestyle. The Tampa Bay Young Marines presently Charity Golf Tournament To Benefit meet Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m.St. Judes 8:30 p.m. at the US Marine Reserves Amazing Kidz Therapy is hosting a located at 5121 W. Gandy Blvd. in Charity Golf Tournament at River Hills Tampa. For more information please Country Club on Friday, September 15 at contact the Unit Commander 1 p.m. at or visit The cost is $100 per player or $400 for a team. The cost includes greens and cart fees, lunch and dinner, skills conTryouts Coming Up For Hurricane tests, prizes, raffles and more. Volleyball Academy All proceeds will benefit St. Jude’s Two local teachers, Victoria and Research Hospital. Register at Brian Adams are heading into their For ond season of Hurricane Volleyball more information, email Academy (HVA), a club created to encourage students and families to focus on teambuilding, Seffner Chamber To community and Welcome New healthy Teachers At Breakfast activity. Tryouts Come out and will be held at show your support at Central Baptist the Seffner Area New Church, 402 E. Teacher’s Welcome Windhorst Rd. in Breakfast on Tuesday, Brandon August 8 at Armwood on Saturday, High school, 12000 E. August 5. US Hwy 92 in Seffner. The doors open at This husband and wife duo got the 8:30 a.m. with program starting at 9 a.m. idea to start the club by seeing the impact Sponsors are needed to provide that team sports have on the youth in donated items for goody bags and raffles. their schools. Both currently work at East Email for more Bay High School and have been teaching information. in Hillsborough for over 10 years. When a

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Happily Ever After Begins At T. Marie’s Boutique With the summer wedding season in full swing, one of the biggest stresses for bridal party members and guests alike is what to wear on the big day. But T Marie’s Fashion and Gift Boutique in Valrico has the answer to all wedding wardrobe dilemmas. According to store manager Lindsey Ress, the boutique, which is celebrating its second anniversary this month, offers wedding clothing suitable for events from black tie galas to casual beach weddings. “We have styles, fits and colors for all occasions,” said Ress. One of T Marie’s most popular services is tuxedo and suit rental. According to Ress, the store offers rentals for weekends or longer periods of designer names such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Tony Bowls. Customers should plan to come in for a fitting at least seven days before the event date at which time they can pick from a

ordered for children, and if five groomsmen order their tuxedos at T Marie, the groom’s suit is free. The store also offers outfits for mothers of the bride and groom, bridesmaids and wedding guests. Designers such as Terani, Man Cheri and MacDuggel are popular

T Marie’s Fashion and Gift Boutique in Valrico offers tuxedo rental and wedding clothing from black tie to casual.

wide variety of styles, fits and colors. “We can even coordinate with bridesmaids dresses,” said Ress. Suits and tuxedos can also be

among bridal party members of all ages and multiples of the dresses can be ordered in different sizes and colors. “We have something for

By Kate Quesada

guests at every type of wedding from black tie to extremely casual,” said Ress. Wedding guests can shop the wide range of choices in the boutique and through the store’s website which offers an extensive on-line inventory. In addition to wedding clothing, the store, with its marble floors and crystal chandeliers, sells casual and resort wear for honeymoons and even unique gifts. “Our store is a beautiful onestop-shop for weddings,” said Less, who added to make sure to check out the dressing rooms. “Our goal is to make shoppers feel like a princess.” T Marie’s is located at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico and can be reached at 530-0922. For more information or to shop online, visit

Dreams Really Do Come True At The Regent A couple’s wedding day is one of the most important days of their lives and picking the perfect venue is challenging in itself. Just in the Riverview area is an event venue built in 2011 with the locals in mind called The Regent. It’s available for not-for-profit events, high school prom and homecomings, and weddings. This venue’s neutral coloring is designed to mesh with the wants and needs of the clients while still standing out with Victorian style elements such as the beautifully architectured statues seen in one of its ballrooms. Couples are given the choice to have just their reception or their ceremony and reception at the Regent. The venue offers its outdoor courtyard, terrace and ballrooms, designed to hold up to 500 people for a wedding party with abilities to combine the two ballrooms for larger weddings, for ceremonies and receptions. The venue is run by Executive Director Julie

By Katelyn Massarelli

Photo (right) courtesy Kendra Conner Photography The Regent design and neutral coloring makes it easy for clients to make their dream wedding a reality.

Juteau, Event Coordinator Zach Steward and Event Manager Christina Smith. They are available to help plan the ideal wedding that corresponds to the venue. Their involvement in a wedding planning depends on the clients’ needs. “We are as involved or

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removed as a client wants us to be,” Juteau said. “We work together to make it happen.” According to Juteau, they make great connections with their clients’ during the process and many will even come back to have baby showers. The Regent team gets the chance to connect with their clients’ during the entire process. “The connections we make leading up to a bride and groom’s wedding day make it an emotional day for me,” Juteau said. “It’s a happy day that we are able to help contribute to.” The Regent is located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. For pricing or booking for wedding ceremonies and receptions, visit or call 571-2494. Discounts on weddings of 15 percent are offered for military always and 25 percent discounts for weddings held on Friday or Sunday.

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Planning an event can be daunting but with one group of local professionals, years of experience in making dreams come true for couples, families and great celebrations makes event planning a breeze. ABC Event Planning Craig Beckinger worked in corporate America for more than 20 years planning events, catering meetings and occasions. When he ventured out to start his own business, he knew he wanted to be approachable and to take the stress out of event planning so that guests of honor could really enjoy their special day. His company, ABC Event Planning Inc. has planned events from 5-500 people and can take care of every detail from the carpet below the guests feet to the chandelier hanging from the ceiling to the Candy Bar for guest keepsake. And, he doesn’t do it alone, Beckinger has gathered a team of local specialties to help him make every event special. Majestic Photography Makes Memories Last Kevin King, owner of Majestic Photography loves to take amazing photos. Retired from the Air Force, King has a heart for the

By Marie Gilmore

military and Veterans and has been in business full-time since 2009. “I enjoy capturing peoples’ memories,” said King. “I’m a wedding and family portrait photographer.” Photography packages start at $75 and headshot photos start at $25. For details, visit or call 6037520. Southshore Uncorked Steve and Kathy Lieberman were already successful realtors with ReMax South Shore Realty when they followed their dream and opened a winery and boutique offering custom wine making and custom labels in the heart of South Shore. The store, called

Southshore uncorked is unique and brings high quality, handcrafted European style wine at affordable prices. “Our events held in our winery include hosting wine clubs, special events i.e. open mic nights, jazz nights, private parties in our tasting/event room, as well as assisting our clients in the creation of their own handcrafted wine,” said Kathy.The store offers wine making, in home supplies and private parties. Custom labels can also be created. Visit or call 649-9466 for full details. Cater Tampa From White Glove to BBQ Adam Harris loves to feed peo-

ple. His infectious smile lights up any room when people are happy with the food he and his team make for them. He opened Cater Tampa and The Chateau, an events Venue in Brandon this year and has already made an impact with his custom Omelet stations and perfect appetizer presentations. He can cater events up to 50 people at his location or for any size from private home to giant event venue. For details and menus, visit or call 906-0222. Fancy That Linens Fancy That Specialty Linens is family owned and operated, and has been serving the Tampa Bay area since 2002. The company provides quality linens at affordable prices with outstanding customer service. The company is owned by Sue Williams who started as an employee and worked her way up to buying the business! “We have the knowledge and expertise needed to bring your vision to fruition,” she said. “By hiring us, there are no hidden fees or extra charges! To see a full selection of linen colors offered, call 973-9990 or visit

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

or F p u o r G t r Suppo oin C , s ’ n o s n i k Par re… Show & MelleoColesanti, h d by Mic Compile reyobserv p s o @ e ll miche

Kappa Kappa Chapter Of Kappa Delta Phi Installs New Officers

Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in the assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases. The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and

Volume 12, Issue 7

Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon. 30 dealers/45 tables; free admission/parking/door prizes and excellent food available on site. Free coin grab bags for all children under 12 and free appraisals. ICG Grading Service in attendance and offering free verbal opinions and $10 slabbing. For more information, contact Jack Laci at 352-777-6073 or

14 Year Old Vocal Powerhouse,

Recently Kappa Kappa Chapter Alafia River Chapter DAR Regent Rebecca Johnston Estacia, Releases First Album, I of Kappa Delta Phi held its 2017– Am Estacia with student Kaitlyn Muldar, Bloomingdale HS. 2018 officer installation. Kappa Local fourteen year old are selected by their Kappa also distributed singer/songwriter, up and coming Pop JROTC leaders and some of its community artist Estacia, released her first album meet the following cridonations. titled I Am Estacia on her birthday, Recipients must teria: The first was pre5. The album includes Speak to July have demonstrated loysented to Edwina Me, her first original single released and patriotism and alty Reddick, Executive earned a record of mili- in 2016, plus another seven original Director, Family songs co-written with her producer, tary and scholastic Promise of Greater Grammy® Award Winning Pianist, achievement during Brandon. Family Lannie Battistini who owns and opertheir participation in an Promise is committed ates Hands In Motion Music ROTC program; to empower homeless Productions and Advertising Media Students must be in families, obtain susAgency. One of the songs is a bilinthe upper 25% of their tainable housing, and gual crossover with Estacia singing in ROTC and classes lasting independence parts of the song in Spanish. I Am in academic subjects; Kappa Delta Phi Officers inducted (R-L): Lily Barney, President, Kay Garcia, by partnering with area Vice President, Nancy Brooker, Treasurer, Colleen Barney, Secretary, Janis Estacia will be available on iTunes they must have and Christian congregaMorgan, Guard, Betty Harper, Mistress of Ceremonies, and Nancy Kelley, and all major online music stores shown qualities of tions and local Historian. Missing: Geri Clark, Monitor. worldwide. “Estacia has put in long dependability and good resources. open to those who have been diaghours and nights into this new album. character, adherence to military disciThe second was presented to nosed with the disease, family memBalancing pline, leadership Mary Ann Massollio, Executive bers, caregivers and anyone with an her career ability and a fundaDirector, 1Voice Foundation. The interest in learning more about with school, mental and patriotic cause of the 1Voice Foundation is to Parkinson’s. For more information or athletics, understanding of the support children with cancer and their to register, call 661-8998 Mondayand comimportance of ROTC families by connecting them with Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. munity training. financial, emotional and educational involvement Congratulations CARE while funding research for DAR Recognizes JROTC Students has been to all this year’s tomorrow’s CURE. Kappa Kappa From Local High Schools no easy Alafia River Chapter Chapter provided dessert for the chilThe Alafia River Chapter of the pathway. At DAR winners for dren and families who attended a fun Daughters of the American Revolution such a JROTC students. / equine physical therapy day at (DAR) is pleased to announce the young age, If you are a Quantum Leap Farm, Inc. during winners of their JROTC award to she is a woman age 18 Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. JROTC students at seven local high focused, years or older and Kappa Kappa Chapter is happy to schools in Hillsborough County. determined, believe you are a report it will make additional donaThese students were recognized for and hard direct lineal descentions over the next month to other their excellence in academics, charworker. She dant of someone local charities within the community. acter, leadership, and military discireally has who aided in the pline. pushed the American Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Durant High – Matthew Floyd, envelope Revolution, DAR Disease Support Group Newsome High – Christine Torsone, stepping can assist you with Hawthorne Health & Local area 14 year old Pop artist Estacia Bloomingdale – Kaitlyn Muldar, outside of your genealogical recently released her first album I Am Estacia. Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly Armwood High - Destiny Pilcher, her own research. Email us support group for those diagnosed Brandon High - Lorissa Wright, comfort zone vocally. My team and I at with Parkinson’s Disease and careTampa Bay Tech - Jaylyn Daniels, have been working very hard for the givers on the third Thursday of every and Strawberry Crest High - Ericka past two years to do all we can do to Coin & Currency Show month. Physical, speech and occupa- Rivera. Brandon Coin Club Inc., A 501 (C) get her name out to the world,” said tional therapists will discuss treatment ROTC Medals are awarded to her producer, Lannie Battistini. 7 non-profit organization, is pleased for issues related to balance, swalstudent cadets of outstanding ability Watch for her official CD Release to announce its next Coin & Currency lowing, talking and other skills that and achievement in high school concert which will be in the fall in the Show on Saturday, August 5 from 9 can be affected by Parkinson’s JROTC programs of the Army, Navy, Tampa Bay area, specific date and a.m.-3 p.m. at the Brandon Elks Disease. Air Force, and Marine Corps. They location TBD. Lodge #2383, located at 800 Hawthorne Health &

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

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Volume 12, Issue 7

Brandon/Winthrop Edition





Mondovics tamas@ ospreyobserv

Sports Connection 657-2418

Rd. Pinecrest11 918 Lithian, FL 335 Brando -24 18 657 www.ospreyo

Private Charter High School Gears Up For Fall Football Season Pulling students from communities including Valrico, Brandon, Lithia, Riverview and Apollo Beach, Bell Creek Academy (BCA) tuition-free public charter school, 13221 Boyette Rd. in Riverview has been enjoying the spotlight thanks to the recent success of its various academic and athletic programs. The school opened its doors four years ago and has just graduated its first class of seniors the majority of whom are ready to attend area universities this fall. BCA has also made great strides athletically, including the Panthers football program, which recently joined the Sunshine State Athletic Conference (SSAC) and is now gearing up for its second season under program head coach Jason Smith, who said that in the wake of a 2-7, 2016-2017 record the team is ever more committed, dedicated and ready to learn. “We have learned a lot last year and have plenty to work on, but we are building the program and have every confidence in our success,” Smith said, adding that while the team is learning the basics and fundamentals, the players make the process exemplary. “This is the best

Photo By Chris Sharp

Bell Creek Academy quarterback, Damon Mercilliott takes the play into his own hands as he runs the ball for a first down during a recent game. The Panthers are ready for the fall in hopes of a season success.

group athletically with no behavioral issues. These kids are respectful and teachable. I am proud of them and thankful for a chance to coach them.”

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With a current roster of 30 plus players, and since the program does not receive funding from the school, the Panthers are relying on and are seeking

local support and corporate sponsors to cover the costs associated with each game. They are thankful to the FishHawk Sports Complex for allowing the team to play its home games at its fields. The first game is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, against First Academy (Leesburg). For the 2017-2018 season, BCA is scheduled to play seven regular season games as well as the playoffs with Canterbury (Fort Myers, FL), St. Edward's (Vero Beach, FL) and Keswick Christian (St. Petersburg, FL) on its district game lineup. With two new assistant coaches on the roster, the Panthers are focused on developing a winning mindset, under the motto; Embrace the Target. It is safe to say BCA varsity football will be a pleasure to follow during the upcoming years as it grows, develops, and takes its rightful place on the local high school football scene. For information about Bell Creek and Valrico Academies visit Sponsors are encouraged to contact Smith directly at 777-5828 or by email at

July 2017

Brandon/Winthrop Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Local Designer’s Fashion Collection Showcased At Benefit Fashion Show based on the On Friday, research I did, I June 23 Flora, a found it a very liberFashion Show ating era for many produced by the people. The clothes House of Gam from that time are was held at The actually making a Regent in comeback on Riverview. Photo Courtesy of Mayham MagazineGamalier famous runways.” Several hundred Calderon, Creative Director of the House of The House of people attended Gam, showcased his first fashion collection at Flora, a benefit fashion show held at The Gam clothing collecthe magical and Regent in June. tion will be available energetic show. A for sale online at portion of the proceeds, $1,300, will be beginning on July 20. The collection has donated to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, a something for everyone for all budgets local non-profit that uses 100 percent of including t-shirts, skirts, gowns and suits. its proceeds to help make the community Flora was an interesting and eclectic cleaner, greener and more livable. show. In addition to the fashions, there House of Gam is the creation of were dancers from the 5th Dimension Gamalier Calderon, a resident of Dance Studio and a concert by the rising Riverview. This is the third fashion show Indie Band, The Infinite Eights. produced by Calderon as Creative Calderon got into fashion in his sophDirector of the House of Gam. This year’s omore year at Riverview High School. “I show, however, held special meaning for began to use fashion as a way to express Calderon as his own unique design colmyself. I started doing research on lection of clothing was shown for the first designers and shows and by my senior time. year, I was assisting with the costumes There were three other designers for plays. After I graduated, I could not who showcased their designs including afford to go to fashion school, so I did an Queenay Price who showed evening internship with stylist, Tamy Lugo. I then wear. Marisol Perez’ collection showstarted House of Gam as a fashion blog. cased repurposed clothing, and Gloria After covering local shows and designers, Guitierrez showcased Couture bodysuits. I began shifting onto design,” said The House of Gam collection was Calderon. inspired by the 1970’s. Calderon Please visit explained, “I chose the 70’s because,

Page 43

Large Mixed Media Mural Being Created In Winthrop Is Collaboration Of Artists Of All Ages Bryant to the Art Factory Summer Martinez, the Camp, including the Winthrop Town instructors, determined Artist and lead what their spirit animal is. instructor at the Repina (the doe), a Art Factory, an Winthrop Arts intern, has arts education been instrumental in creatprogram of ing and constructing the Winthrop Arts, is mural. Repina said, "This collaborating with collaboration between the other artists to children and older artists Tim Hoffmeister, Bryant Martinez and has been an inspirational produce the Vita Repina are creating the largest largest mixed journey." Repina added, mixed media in Eastern Hillsborough media mural in "It is not just a mural. We County in Winthrop. Eastern Hillsborough County. These are striving to bring people together include Vita Repina and Tim Hoffmeister, through art so that they can create somecampers from the Art Factory Summer thing of their own." Camp and those who attend the Art Hoffmeister (the eagle) said, "I have Factory throughout the year. totally enjoyed being able to collaborate The mural is located on the back of with 50 plus kids on this project. To be a the newest building being built in the part of this mixed media project has truly community of Winthrop in Riverview. been inspirational." The theme of the mural revolves Martinez (the bear) said, "I was truly around spirit animals and the love of art inspired by the young artists. They and music. This mural is a part of a larger brought out the creativity in all of us. I scheme of public art strategically placed think they were energized to know art is throughout the community of Winthrop. real. They are truly artists." The other art can be found behind Boca, Martinez added, "We are honored Ciccio's and the Egg and I. There are that parents found us and let their chilalso public pieces located on and next to dren grow in the arts with us. This mural the Brandon Lakes Animal Clinic building. showcases Winthrop as a true art haven." Children as young as five, who took Winthrop Arts is a non-profit arts part in the three weeks of the Art Factory organization which also hosts an Annual Summer Camp, had an artistic hand in Arts Festival and Artisan Market every creating the mural. Everyone who came March. Visit

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Brandon/Winthrop Edition

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Volume 12, Issue 7

Profile for Osprey Observer

Osprey Observer 2017-7 Brandon/Winthrop  

Osprey Observer 2017-7 Brandon/Winthrop