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July 2017 Volume 14, Issue 7 Ph: 657-2418


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

By Tatiana Ortiz

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

(W8UFO) said. In total, 44 individuals participated in 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

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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 24-25. 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

Photo By Tamas Mondovics

Nice and cozy in her wagon, Valrico area resident, Lucy Buckler, 3, enjoys the festivities of this year’s Brandon Fourth of July parade. The event organized by the Brandon Community Roundtable, has once again saw thousands of spectators who lined the two-mile parade route.




Phoenix House Opens Newly Renovated Derek Jeter Center In Brandon

By Caitlin Masessa

On Tuesday, Jeter added. With June 6th, Phoenix 140 programs operHouse began a new ating in 11 states, chapter by unveiling Phoenix House has the relocation of the been changing the Derek Jeter Center lives of nearly 3,000 at the newly renoadolescents across vated Heartwood the nation, and no Campus in Brandon. one is more aware of Funded by Derek [Left to Right] Phoenix House VP Maria the impact than Alvarez, Derek Jeter, President of Turn 2 Derek Jeter Center Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation Sharlee Jeter, and Phoenix Foundation, the Graduate Alex House Clinical Director Sonya Buffee celeDerek Jeter Center brate the renovated Derek Jeter Center. Hinderscheid. at Phoenix Becoming addictHouse works to ed to marijuana assist adolesat fifteen-yearscents that are old, Hinderscheid dealing with subdecided to turn stance and alcohis life around by hol abuse and joining Phoenix strives to put House and them back on the becoming a stupath towards a brighter future. “The comdent of the Derek Jeter Center. “I saw an mitment our two organizations, along with opportunity for me to grow as a person,” the hard work and generosity of the Hinderscheid addressed the crowd as he Hillsborough Education Foundation, is to received the Derek Jeter Hillsborough be sure that adolescents who are faced Education Foundation Scholarship, “The with difficulties of substance abuse are Phoenix House doesn’t just address subgiven a second chance,” the Vice stance abuse, they address all the factors President of Phoenix House Maria that it affects.” Now drug-free for two Alvarez spoke of the partnership between Continued on Page 11 Phoenix House and the Turn 2 Foundation. With a relationship that goes back In This nearly a decade, the Founder of the Turn Issue 2 Foundation, Derek Jeter, was in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony along with his sister, and President of TEEN GOSPEL SINGER ........................PG 3 Turn 2, Sharlee Jeter as well as their LOCAL CHURCH DEDICATION............PG 5 father Dr. Sanderson Charles Jeter. “Everyone has bumps in the road, we SHERRIE SIKES RETIRES ....................PG 10 want them [teens] to know that there are PARADE RECAP ................................PG 13 places you can go to for support,” Derek Jeter spoke of the mission his foundation CHALKLINES .....................................PG 28 holds, “Through our partnership with WEDDING GUIDE ......................PGS 29‐37 Phoenix House, we try to supply all of our kids with a strong support system that SPORTS CONNECTION .....................PG 38 leads them down the path to success.” ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 39 “The creation of the Derek Jeter Center at Phoenix House started with the READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE singular hope that it would make a tive impact on people’s lives,” Sharlee

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Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 7

July 2017

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Valrico Edition

Life After Chopped Includes Food Truck For Local Culinary Star Devin Davis

Christian Teen Singer Releases New Single With Social Media Reality Series

At the Davis curage of 21, rently works at Devin Davis the Rolling Pin from Plant Kitchen City has Emporium in already been Brandon, a shining light where he in the culinary teaches a world. class on cookGrowing up ing once a Davis used to month. He watch his loves it there, grandmother because he Davis at a gala in Italy after a truffle food competition, and mother can serve food which is one of the many opportunities he received cook, which after Chopped. His family is to the left, and the owner to people, of the truffle company, Olga Urbani, is the on right. in turn whether newinspired him. In his senior year of high comers or regulars, who he calls his school at Seffner Christian Academy, he “groupies” jokingly. For him serving peowas wondering what to do. Debating ple is the best part of cooking. between being an engineer or a musiDave West the owner and chef at the cian, neither career sat right with his soul. Rolling Pin said “Devin has grown as a It was when his grandmother suggested chef and presenter over the past six he go and try out for the competition years. He is professional, inventive and Chopped on the Food Network did his life cooks well with others. He has great stopermanently change. ries of his culinary experiences and chanOut of 90 students from schools all nels them into his food and his presentaover the country, Davis was one of the tions.” final four who got to appear on Chopped, Davis’ next project is The Kitchen, and won first place. He was thrilled when which will be a food truck with southern he received a $40,000 scholarship to The style food but with a twist. He will have a Art Institute of Tampa, his dream school. revolving menu and use seasonal ingrediOn winning, “Bam, I win and it’s like ents to offer the freshest food to his cusone thing after another; now I’m starting tomers. One item on his menu will be culinary school; now I got news outlets Chinese steam buns, but the country trying to cover me. It was like the whole twist is that it is stuffed with shredded world just blossomed.” beef ribs and pickled okra. Davis finished school at The Art For info about The Kitchen and Davis Institute of Tampa in December 2016. He , visit or on finished his four year degree in two in half Facebook at The Kitchen By Devin Davis. years with honors and a perfect GPA. You can reach him at 480-5919.

Ever since photo shoots. Jordan Denise "As an indeWilliams could pendent label, we speak, the local are always look13-year-old ing for innovative Christian Pop ways to promote Singer has made our artists," said a joyful noise to Julie Silva– the Lord. On Williams, Sunday, July 30, Jordan’s mother, the young singer, and Derlie songwriter and Records Label musician will offiExecutive. "A cially release her social media realsecond single, ity series just Jordan has studied piano for nine years and Outfit of the Day, currently studies under Grammy Award winning made sense as Latin Jazz Pianist, Lannie Battistini. which she an avenue to prodescribed as a “funky rhythm track.” mote Jordan's music on a platform that Leading up to the song’s debut, allows independent labels the visibility Jordan began promoting her new single to compete in a competitive music marthrough a six-week social media reality ket." series, titled The Song. The series preJordan will host a live local performmiered on Saturday, July 1 and airs ance party for the release of Outfit of weekly on social media @Jordan the Day in early August. The single will Denise Williams, YouTube, be submitted by Derlie Records to the and her website 60th Grammys for consideration for a nomination and will be available on The series is an exclusive, behind iTunes and all major online stores the scenes look into Jordan’s journey as worldwide. she prepares to release and promote Jordan is the daughter of Derrick her newest song. The reality series con- Williams, a well-known Gospel and Jazz sists of two parts—a pre-recorded 30Recording Artist, and the host of The minute segment that spotlights video Gospel Voice show, airing nationally clips from rehearsals, photo shoots and every Sunday 12:30 a.m. (EST) on The recording sessions; and a live streaming Christian Television Network. Jordan interactive forum where viewers can also sings as a vocalist in The Gospel personally engage with Jordan. Viewers Voice Band. For more information, visit have the opportunity to help Jordan, make photograph decisions for the or 1-866 DERalbum cover and choose outfits for her LIE (337-5439).

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Valrico 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

Staff Report

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.

Offer ends 7/31/2017

Volume 14, Issue 7

Seffner Native Serves Aboard Navy Warship In Pearl Harbor

By Petty Officer 1st Class James H. Green

A Seffner native and er and bring their different 2005 Armwood High perspectives to our ship, School and 2013 Citadel missions and various chalgraduate, Lt. Josh lenges enable us to be an Neeper is serving in the unstoppable force. The U.S. Navy aboard the personal experiences and guided missile destroyer, values they offer cultivate USS Halsey. an environment in which Neeper works as a determination and creativifire control officer aboard ty helps ensure our continthe guided missile ued success. I am destroyer operating out of extremely honored to have Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. the privilege to lead and A Navy fire control serve with these extraordiLt. Josh Neeper is serving in nary young men and officer is responsible for the ships fire control sys- the U.S. Navy aboard the guided women." missile destroyer, USS Halsey. Approximately 300 tem and the tactical intermen and women serve aboard the ship. faces used to defend the ship and strike Their jobs are highly specialized and group. “I like that my job gives me the ability keep each part of the destroyer running to make a difference by helping others smoothly. They do everything from maingrow professionally and personally,” said taining gas turbine engines and operating Neeper. the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons With the ability to conduct anti-air system to driving the ship and operating warfare, anti-submarine warfare and antismall boats. surface warfare, destroyers are capable “The best thing about serving here is of sustained maritime operations support- I have the ability to work with the crew on ing forward naval presence, maritime a personal level and try to influence posisecurity, sea control, deterrence of tive change,” said Neeper. aggressive actions on U.S. partners Challenging living conditions build around the globe, as well as humanitarian strong fellowship among the crew. The assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt technically advanced, destroyers provide to changing conditions. It is a busy life of credible combat power, at and from the specialized work, watches, and drills. sea. Serving aboard a guided missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness "One of the things that makes our and fosters initiative and integrity. Navy the best in the world, is the diverse “Serving in the Navy fills me with backgrounds of our sailors,” said Cmdr. pride for my country and family,” added David Reyes, Commanding Officer of Neeper. USS Halsey. “Their ability to work togeth-

July 2017

Page 5

Valrico Edition

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






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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 congregation entering into the darkened Pictured is St. Stephen Catholic Church’s sancchurch, the sprinkling of Holy Water tuary, which was formally dedicated on Thursday, June 29 through a formal ceremony. and the anointing of the altar with oil. In May, the St. Stephen Parish St. Stephen Parish now resides at 10118 unofficially opened the church’s doors to St. Stephen Cir. in Riverview. the community when it hosted the In addition to the brand-new church famous Broadway-style musical, The building, the St. Stephen Parish welCross and the Light. Guests in attencomes a new priest. On Saturday, July 1, dance experienced the building’s excepFr. Dermot Dunne of St. Cecelia Roman tional architectural design that houses Catholic Church in Clearwater assumes plenty of space with a seating capacity of the priesthood at St. Stephen Catholic 1,500 people. Church. In fact, the two pastors are “These are not just buildings but swapping parishes with Fr. Schneider places for the people of God,” said Fr. assuming the priesthood at St. Cecelia. Robert Schneider of St. Stephen who Furthermore, the parish ushers in a was instrumental in the church building new Mass schedule that begins on project. “We are not just building a beauSaturday, July 1. Weekend Mass times tiful church or a very functional Family are Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at Life Center—the purpose is to build up a 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. stronger parish and have a stronger Weekday Mass is held in the Chapel sense of community and discipleship,” he daily at 8:30 a.m. and on Tuesday at explained. 6:30 p.m. Ever since the St. Stephen Catholic For more information on St. Stephen School opened in 2001, the church and Catholic Church, call 689-4900 or visit school have existed on two different The church is campuses. However, after years of planlocated just off of Boyette Rd. in ning, budgeting and building, the entire Riverview.


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Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

The Tampa Theatre Presents Annual Summer Classic Movie Lineup The Tampa Theatre's 26th Annual Summer Classic Movie Series features beloved classic films, and there is no better way to see a classic movie then in a classic theatre. The Tampa Theatre is a protected landmark and one of America's best-preserved movie palaces. First up on Sunday, July 2 come see the 1930 classic, All Quiet On The Western Front. When it opened in 1930, Variety called it a "harrow-


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directness. It follows new soldiers from their romantic enlistment, through their brutal combat, to their shattering return home. Then, come see the Academy Award winning film The Sting on Sunday, July 9. The Sting is by any measure one of the most successful movies of all time. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won seven. It was a gigantic box office smash hit. The film stars Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Robert Shaw. It is a beautifully appointed period piece, delicate plotted and dripping with charisma; it is an all-time American Classic. On Sunday, July 16, you can see Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur. Contrary to the way films were usually made at that time and not yet a distinctive trademark for Hitchcock, Saboteur was shot largely on location. Hitchcock's innovative use of composite shots and groundbreaking camera trickery captivates and disorients audiences to this day. Next, on Sunday, July 23 you

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can see Mel Brooks in Young Frankenstein. This movie retells the story of a differently pronounced Dr. Frankenstein played by Gene Wilder and his henchmen as Dr. Frankenstein creates life and then loses control of it much to the villagers' dismay. Next, you can see It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World on Sunday, July 30. This movie is, more than anything, big. It stars nearly every comedian alive in 1963 including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hacket, Ethel Merman, Jonathan Winters and many more. According to Jill Witecki with the Tampa Theatre, "The Tampa Theatre is presenting this film in a brand-new expert restoration with an additional 30 minutes of footage thought lost for more than 50 years." All films are shown at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for Tampa a Theatre members. The Tampa Theatre is located at 711 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa. This is part two of a three-part series.

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Valrico Edition

MOSI Set To Launch Visioning Phase For New Downtown Science Center

By Grayson Kamm

Exploring a hands-on exhibit.

The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) recently announced that it will begin the next steps in its transition to a downtown Tampa location after August 13. MOSI is working with its key stakeholders; the public, the MOSI Board of Directors, Hillsborough County, and the Vinik Family Foundation to carry out a community-wide effort to craft a vision for the new Downtown MOSI facility, with input from people across Tampa Bay and subject-matter experts from around the world. This effort will be led by a Transition Task Force composed of representatives from MOSI’s Board, County staff, and the Vinik Family Foundation. It will reconfigure MOSI in its current location into a re-imagined, financially sustainable science center that will continue to deliver the high-quality science learning the community expects from MOSI. This will serve as a proof-ofconcept testing ground for fresh ideas that may be implemented in the new Downtown facility. “This is the next step toward transi-

tioning to a new worldclass MOSI in Downtown Tampa,” said incoming MOSI Board Chair Robert Thomas, CEO of 2 Rivers Ranch. “We’re going to be asking for everyone’s ideas — we want them to dream and envision how their new science center will help Tampa Bay get ready for the challenges of the future.” MOSI’s Summer Science Camps and other signature education programs will continue without interruption through this summer and beyond. MOSI’s major summer experience Cardboard Space Adventures will run through Sunday, August 13.. After August 13, during what is typically its “slow season,” MOSI will reconfigure its operations into a re-imagined space on its Fowler Avenue campus. MOSI will re-launch in late fall with a lower ticket price, and guests will continue to see many of their favorite MOSI experiences, including The Saunders Planetarium, Mission: Moonbase, and more than 100 hands-on science exhibits. “Our community needs a great science learning resource like MOSI. Reconfiguring it this fall will keep MOSI’s important education work going, while making MOSI financially stable in preparation for its move to downtown Tampa in about five years,” Thomas said. MOSI is located at 4801 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa. Visit or call 9876000.

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Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Jehovah’s Witnesses Launch 2017 “Don’t Give Up!” Three-Day Summer Convention Series At Fairgrounds And Invite Public To Attend

By Tamas Mondovics

As part of its annual practice, 52 parts and will be presented in a and that he is now ruling Jehovah’s Witnesses have once again variety of formats, including interas King of God’s heavenly scheduled to hold a series of three-day views and brief discourses featuring Kingdom, which will soon summer conventions with the rather simhow God “supplies endurance” to bring peace to the entire ple, but powerful theme “Don’t Give Up!” all sorts of people, even today. — earth. The first of five conventions, three (Romans 15:5.) Additionally, it is their English and two Spanish, each expected Short videos are also designed belief that Jesus never to see nearly 6,000 in attendance is to help attendees discover how the claimed equality with God scheduled for the weekend of Friday, July Bible and even nature teach lesand thus is not part of a 14, at the Florida State Fairgrounds, sons about how to endure. Trinity. Expo Hall, 4800 U.S. 301, in Tampa. The Public Bible Discourse Jehovah’s Witnesses Judging by the content, the focus of entitled “Never Give Up Hope!” is are found at all level of this year’s program, center on the chalarranged to be given at each consociety; they do not physilenges in life, which the vention on Sunday cally separate themselves witnesses say can rob morning. from those who do not people of peace and Additionally, one share their beliefs. They even cause some to segment of a threelive, work and go to school Members of Jehovah’s Witnesses attend a regional convention. think about giving up part feature film entiwith people of different relion themselves or even tled, Remember the gious beliefs, but they Admission to each event is free and on God. Wife of Lot will be shown emphasize following Jesus’ example of no collections are taken. According to a each afternoon. being “no part of the world” by avoiding Jehovah’s Witnesses are members release on the According to the the unchristian prejudices and controverof a worldwide Christian religion who Witnesses website Witnesses, the muchsies that divide mankind today.—John actively share with others information, the 2017 conanticipated concluding talk about God, whose name is Jehovah, and 17:15, 16. vention shows how to on Sunday afternoon entiThe dates for the three three-day about his Son, Jesus Christ. They view enjoy a happy life now tled “Keep in Expectation English conventions are July 14-16, July first-century Christianity as their model and gain a real hope . . . It Will Not Be Late!” is 21-23 and July 28-30. Two, three-day and that living by Bible principles gives for the future. based on the scripture Spanish language conventions are also purpose to life, promotes strong family “More than 30,000 found at Habakkuk 2:3 scheduled to be held at the Fair Grounds ties, and develops productive and honest persons attended our and is expected to starting on Friday, August 4 and Friday, citizens. conventions last year strengthen all in attenAugust 11, 2017. It is the Bible, upon which Jehovah's from the Tampa area,” dance to endure and not “It is our purpose this year, that our Witnesses base all their beliefs, including Entitled, “Don’t Give Up!” give up. said Joseph Lavore, a to will benefit both Witnesses convention that Jehovah is the only true God, the Jehovah’s Witnesses expect to spokesman of As in years past, the and non-Witnesses because it promises see more than 30,000 in attenCreator of all things and that Jesus is the dance for their annual Regional Witnesses in the Tampa Jehovah’s Witnesses to empower individuals not only to keep Son of God. Convention. in the Tampa area. Bay area and around the enduring but also to cope with challenges The Witnesses believe that Jesus “We hope to have an even larger audiworld are participating in a campaign to in a productive way,” Lavore said. came to earth from heaven and gave his ence this year.” personally invite the general public from For more information, visit perfect human life as a ransom sacrifice, The three-day program is divided into their communities to attend.



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Valrico Edition

Kraftologee Brings New Concept Of Craft Cellar, Coffee House And Kids Playzone With only a wall separating craft beers and kid friendly entertainment, Kraftologee, a new craft beer, coffee house and kids creative playzone, has opened a space for both parents and kids to unwind. Longtime friends John Fontana and Chris Harman have co-collaborated to conKraftologee owners Chris struct a busi- Harman & John Fontana. Happy customer Isabella ness that Escobar enjoys the kids combines craft room. quality drinks, food and glittery, colorful crafts. “We’ve been working on this concept for two years,” Harman said. “I’m most excited to see the kids enjoy it.” Fontana and Harman come together as a creative team that bring two different skill sets to the table. Fontana has experience doing kid friendly Lego-themed events with his business Bricks 4 Kidz. Harman is a talented musician. “We don’t have microwave pizza,” describes Harman. “Here, its all craft beers and high-end quality choices.” Their success is a team effort. With a barista trained directly from the famed Buddy Brew Coffee, experienced cooks

By Abigail Baker

and concoctions created by individuals with experience in the food and beverage industry, parents are drawn to healthy, quality choices. Kraftologee has a $10 per hour fee for the children’s craft rooms and a traditional check-in system but it is not a daycare. Parents must stay in the building and children must be pottytrained and able to work well beside others. “We had ideas, then we would come in and reform our ideas,” Fontana said. “We’re a new concept, still growing and changing.” Rooms are designated for children ages 3-5 and 5-10. A visit to their Facebook page will reveal over 1,400 followers, a five star rating and reviews stacked with positive experiences and compliments to the local coffee shop. For the latest information, visit Kraftologee is located in the corner of the plaza on Gornto Lake and Bloomingdale Ave. at 10312 Bloomingdale Ave. Suite 101. Call 252-3106 or visit



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Page 10

Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico 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


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 lead

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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July 2017

Valrico Edition

At Pho Viet, Vietnamese Cuisine Becomes A Staple In Brandon

By Caitlin Masessa

If you’re authentic looking for a Vietnamese meal. “I fresh twist on focus on bringing the classic higher quality food dishes of to my customers,” North and Pham told of his South goal. Vietnam, do While it may be not look any impossible for Pham further than to choose his own The dining room of Pho Viet is spacious and Pho Viet, a item from favorite welcoming. Pho Viet sits proudly on West restaurant the menu, he does Brandon Blvd. devoted to recommend that introducing new customers try the Vietnamese cuisine very dish the establishto the Brandon ment his named after; the area. Sitting at Pho Soup. “I use beef 1202 W. Brandon because it has a good Blvd., near where flavor,” Pham gave a an old Pizza Hut short summary of what used to be, the makes his Pho the best, location promises a “It’s also healthier than relaxed dining experience that is only most options.” enhanced by the friendly staff as they Although foodies can only find Pho offer customers a cultural experience Viet in Brandon, Pham does aspire to through the variety of dishes offered. expand his business so that more peoAfter getting his start in the culiple will be able to enjoy his healthy nary business as a chef at his family’s approach to Vietnamese cuisine. “I’m restaurant, Pho Viet owner Thienan still looking for the right locations,” Pham decided that it was time to take Pham spoke of finding the right fit for the risk of opening his own spot. “My his business. sister owned a restaurant,” Pham To savor the best Vietnamese cuiexplained how he got into the busisine that Brandon has to offer, visit ness, “But it was my friend who Pho Viet Monday through Thursday encouraged me to open a place for from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. The establishmyself.” Since the opening of Pho Viet, ment is also open from Friday to as well as throughout his entire career, Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. as well Pham has never stopped striving as on Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. towards being the best option when it Pho Viet is located on 1202 W comes to satisfying the craving for an Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511.

Page 11

Derek Jeter...Continued From Page 1 By Caitlin Masessa

years, and a graduate with honors from Gaither High School with plans to attend the University of Central Florida in the Fall, Hinderscheid thanks Phoenix House for being there when he needed them the most. “The Phoenix House and Derek Jeter Center have my eternal gratitude,” Hinderscheid beamed. With this renovation, the Derek Jeter Center nearly doubles its size than what it was six months ago at West Waters Avenue. “With the opening of this center, we will be able to ensure brighter futures for more young people than we ever dreamed of,” Sharlee Jeter spoke of the larger size of the Center. The relocation within the Heartwood Campus also works to destroy the false assumption that addiction is a moral failing. “Since our

new location is in a medical complex, it reinforces the fact that addiction is a disease,” Phoenix House Communications Director Ashley Womble explained. Along with the rededication ceremony, Derek and Sharlee Jeter announced that the Turn 2 Foundation will donate an additional one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the Derek Jeter Center, bringing their total contribution to one million dollars. “What Phoenix House has accomplished over the years is remarkable,” Derek Jeter said, “[Phoenix House] continues to change lives and we’re dedicated to being partners for years to come.” The Derek Jeter Center at Phoenix House is located on 510 Vonderburg Dr. Suite #301, Brandon, FL 33511.

Page 12

Valrico Edition

Ruth Eckerd Hall Gets A 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

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,

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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Volume 14, Issue 7

Residents Seek Answers For South County Transportation Woes At Meeting

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 (HART) Chief Executive Officer Katherine ers will be altered or merged, as the new 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 problems,” Eagan said, adding, “With the 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 upcoming projects such as widening 19th they do, my commute will take nearly two and a half hours. I think you can underAve., Big Bend Rd. and Apollo Beach Blvd., Murman said things are getting bet- stand my problem.” Primous 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. Commissioner White agreed with the as most in the county—money. White and Murman have promised to sentiment that South County is in need of much more attention, when he said, “I am take the comments and concerns of their on the record stating that South County is constituents seriously, while HART has a red headed stepchild and we got to pay scheduled a series of public meetings this summer to give feedback on its proposed better attention.” new routes. A public hearing is also White added that he is also on the record to say that the community needs a scheduled for July 26 before the staff to present the plan to the HART board in strong voice and he and Commissioner Murman want to give ear to residents and August. Visit

July 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 13

Brandon Community Roundtable Fourth Of July Parade Draws Thousands, Burkett Announced As New Honorary Mayor By Tamas Mondovics

An endless supply of bead necklaces and candy, cheering and music, all under a sea of red, white and blue, marked another successful Fourth of July parade in Brandon, hosted once again by the Brandon Community Roundtable. As Florida’s largest Independence Day Parade, the annual Brandon tradition is now celebrating more than 60 years, drawing a large Spectators line the street as the close to 100 groups many accompanied by their colorful floats make their way crowd of spectators. down the two-mile parade route during the 2017 Fourth of This year was no July Parade in Brandon. The event is celebrating 60 exception as thousands of years of community success. area residents lined the roadway welcoming the more than 100 groups that paraded down the nearly two mile journey, which began on Lumsden Rd., continued north on Parsons Ave. then turned left onto Robertson St. before finishing at Buckingham Pl. to complete the event. While the participating groups included dozens of returning favorites and many new ones, the event once again featured some of the local winners such as Mallorie Vivirito, 9 of Valrico is happy as she Brian Rice as the Father of the reaches for a bead being passed out during this Year, and Bloomingdale High years July 4th Parade in Brandon. The event saw thousands of spectators who lined the two-mile School Principal Sue Burkett as route. the winner of this year’s Brandon There was also no shortage of Honorary Mayor’s race. Burkett razed local government officials who took more than $41,000 to win the honor.

Hillsborough County Commissioners Sandra Murman and Stacy White both made sure they were visible to their constituents. As is the case at every parade, the festivities would not be complete without young and old decked out in the colors of the day, sitting, standing or being held by their parents while taking Hillsborough County Commissioner (District 4) Stacy White their rightful place passes out beads to young parade goers during the 2017 Fourth of July Parade in Brandon. amongst the thousands. The Community Roundtable meets the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are located at Center Place (Brandon Library), located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon, promoting its mission. “To instill a sense of community Brandon area residents Steven Vallejo (17), Mcayla Alban (17), and pride for the Tracy, Elbert and Landon (11) Pirtle, wave to the camera during Greater Brandon area the 2017 Fourth of July Parade in Brandon. through participation, part in the parade while passing out membership and volunteerism.” beads and candy coupled with the For more information please visit free flow of handshakes.

Page 14

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 7

July 2017

Valrico Edition

Page 15

International Award Winning Nature & Wildlife Photographer: Local Community Treasure

Family-Oriented Bakery Enjoys Sweet Success At Petite Madelyn

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

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

By Tamas Mondovics

By Caitlin Masessa


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Page 16

Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico 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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July 2017

Page 17

Valrico Edition

rt o p p u S s ’ n Parkinso cholarships Group, S & More… Awarded olesanti,

pational therapists will Newsome High – discuss treatment for Christine Torsone, issues related to balBloomingdale – Kaitlyn ance, swallowing, talking Muldar, Armwood High and other skills that can Destiny Pilcher, Brandon be affected by High - Lorissa Wright, Parkinson’s Disease. Tampa Bay Tech - Jaylyn Hawthorne Health Daniels, and Strawberry C & Rehabilitation Crest High - Ericka e ll y Miche b d e il Center, located at 851 Rivera. p e Com observ @osprey W. Lumsden Rd. in ROTC Medals are michelle Brandon, is a skilled awarded to student nursing facility with inpatient cadets of outstanding and outpatient rehabilitation programs ability and achievement This year's recipients of the Riverview Garden Club’s including speech, physical and occuin high school JROTC scholarships are Erin Hanson, Kayla La Torre, Victoria Kappa Kappa Chapter Of Kappa pational therapies. Hawthorne also programs of the Army, Torres-Smith of Lennard Sr. High and Jacob Ross of Durant Sr. High. Delta Phi Installs New Officers hosts a dementia support group in Navy, Air Force, and Recently Kappa Kappa Chapter of the assisted living facility, as well as Marine Corps. They are Kappa Delta Phi held its 2017–2018 past meetings for those dealing with selected by their JROTC officer installation. It also distributed strokes, diabetes, low vision and leaders and meet the folsome of its community donations. other diseases. lowing criteria: Recipients The first was presented to Edwina The Parkinson’s Disease support must have demonstrated Reddick, Executive Director of Family group is free and open to those who loyalty and patriotism and Promise of Greater Brandon, which is have been diagnosed with the disearned a record of military committed to empower homeless fam- ease, family members, caregivers and scholastic achievement ilies, obtain sustainable housing, and and anyone with an interest in learnduring their participation in lasting independence by partnering ing more about Parkinson’s. For more an ROTC program; students with area Christian congregations and information or to register, call 661must be in the upper 25% local resources. 8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 of their classes in ROTC The second was presented to p.m. and in academic subjects; Mary Ann Massollio, Executive and they must have shown Alafia River Chapter DAR National Defense Chair Roberta Jordan with student Matthew Floyd, Durant HS qualities of dependability Director, 1Voice Foundation, which RGC Scholarship Awards supports children with cancer and Ceremony and good character, adherDAR Recognizes JROTC Students their families by connecting them with The Riverview Garden Club ence to military discipline, leadership From Local High Schools financial, ability and a fundamental and patriotThe Alafia River Chapter of the emotional Daughters of the American Revolution ic understanding of the importance of and educaROTC training. (DAR) is pleased to announce the tional CARE If you are a woman age 18 years winners of its JROTC award to while fundor older and believe you are a direct JROTC students at seven local high ing research schools in Hillsborough County. These lineal descendant of someone who for tomoraided in the American Revolution, students were recognized for their row’s CURE. DAR can assist you with your excellence in academics, character, Kappa genealogical research. Email us at leadership, and military discipline. Kappa will Durant High – Matthew Floyd, make also make addi2017/18 Local Kappa Delta Phi Officers inducted (R-L): Lily Barney, tional donaPresident, Kay Garcia, Vice President, Nancy Brooker, Treasurer, tions over Colleen Barney, Secretary, Janis Morgan, Guard, Betty Harper, the next Mistress of Ceremonies, and Nancy Kelley, Historian. Missing: Geri Clark, Monitor. month to other local (RGC) raises monies for scholarships charities within the community. during its annual Plant and Rummage Sale in February. This year the club Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s gave four seniors who met the RGC Disease Support Group guidelines, $1,000 each. This year's Hawthorne Health & recipients are: Erin Hanson, Kayla La Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly Torre, Victoria Torres-Smith of support group for those with Lennard Sr. High and Jacob Ross of Parkinson’s Disease and caregivers Durant Sr. High. The RGC club on the third Thursday of every month. assumes an active role in the commuThe next meeting will take place on nity, awarding grants to Community July 20 from 2-3 p.m. in the Media Gardens also. Monthly meetings are Center with speaker Mary Blackinton, open to the public and guest speakers PT, EdD, GCS, CEEAA, associate provoke those in attendance to learn professor at NOVA University. more about our shared environment The topic will be balance and as well as encourage our continued walking. Physical, speech and occulove of gardening.

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Page 18

Valrico Edition

t, u O t h g i Ladies Nouse, Job Open H More… Fair &ichelle Colesanti, Compiled by M michelle@osprey

Ladies Night Out Benefits LifeCare

On Thursday, July 27 from 6:30-9 p.m., the LifeCare Network will host its annual Latte for Life—a Ladies Night Out fundraiser at the Regent, located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. Guests will have the opportunity to sample specialty desserts and coffees while enjoying live music entertainment and a guest speaker. The night will also feature client testimonies, a ministry update and an opportunity to give financially to the organization. LifeCare’s mission statement is “to lead those we serve to the unconditional love of Christ as we protect the sanctity of human life, promote biblical sexuality, and proclaim God’s plan for marriage and the family.” Ladies can register to attend as guests or host a table of eight. For information or to sign up, visit or call 654-0491.

Membership Committee Hosts Annual Open House

games. B’nai ans, transitioning military Mitzvah personnel, National preparation is Guard members, supportive to Reserve members and child and military spouses. family. RecruitMilitary has Older held 21 events in Tampa, teenagers drawing 8,819 attenare invited dees and 846 The Plant City Community Chorale seeks new members for the fall season. It to particiexhibitors. “Last year, rehearses at Holy Innocents Church in Valrico. pate in BESTY, a 52% of veteran job seeknational social fun and educational proers expected to secure an interview folVeterans Job Fair Held In Tampa grams. Adult programs include Men’s lowing a DAV RecruitMilitary job fair. RecruitMilitary helps military veterClub, Page Turners book club, and Bibles Employers were expected to extend as ans and military spouses connect with and Bagels, among others. many as 40,300 interviews and more employers seeking to attract, hire and The congregation’s spiritual leader, than 12,560 job offers,” said retain America’s best talent. It will host a Rabbi Betsy Torop, provides an environRecruitMilitary Senior Vice President of Veterans Job Fair on Thursday, July 20 ment where all can learn and grow spiriSales Rob Arndt. “DAV RecruitMilitary job from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Amalie Arena, tually, a place to affirm fairs offer the opportunity to meet a varilocated at 401 Channelside Dr. in beliefs without rejectety of veteran candidates face-to-face, Tampa. ing those who doubt assess their skills, and even interview This is a free hiring event for veteror question. them on the spot for available positions.” For more information, visit, call 681-6547, or contact Gail Verlin at 988-8193.

Newly Patented Product Invented by a Local Resident!

Community Chorale Seeks Singers For Fall Season

If you love to sing and perform but have not found a local choral group, now is your chance to find out if this established chorale is for you. The fall season begins on Monday, August 21 under the direction of the prestigious Claudia Bolaño, who became the director of this non-auditioned group three years ago, and as word of her enthusiasm and professional expertise has spread, the chorale has grown to more than 30 members. Presenting four concerts per year, the Chorale performs a wide variety of music, from great classical works to various contemporary selections. Rehearsals are

On Sunday, August 13, the membership committee will host Congregation Beth Shalom’s an informative and fun Open House from 9:30 a.m.-12 Noon. This reform synagogue offers programs for children and adults. Founded in 1992, it strives to welcome unaffiliated Jews into the community regardless of sexual preferences or a partner’s religion. Its motto is “a stranger no more.” All are invited to have a breakfast nosh and Congregation Beth Shalom offers many religious and social learn about the conprograms to members. gregation. held on Mondays 7-9:30 p.m. at Holy As an active reform synagogue, proInnocents' Episcopal Church, located at grams range from religious and social 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. programs for toddlers to adults. The For more information, visit www.pccHebrew school offers classes for Pre-K, Facebook: Plant City through 10th grade in a warm creative environment. The youngest children enjoy Community Chorale or contact pccthe Torah Tots program, where they begin or 4172808. to learn through songs, stories and

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Page 19

Valrico Edition

FINANCIAL FOCUS Declare Your Financial Independence Day

By Tamas Mondovics

HCSO Deputies Enforce Reduction Of Celebratory Gunfire Using ShotSpotter As celebratory gunfire remains a serious problem in many communities, particularly on the July 4th weekend, local officials including the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office pleaded with citizens to assist with creating an environment that enhances safety and security. In a press release ahead of this year’s Independence Day, HCSO information office alerted residents of the fact that celebratory gunfire often lead to tragic results when innocent people are hit by the bullets and are injured or killed. “The reality is, that any bullet discharged from a gun, even into the sky, must land somewhere, and when it does, there is significant risk of injury or death,” said HCSO Public Information Officer, Debbie Carter. To that end the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office utilizes the ShotSpotter gunfire alerts and analysis solution to detect and locate gunfire incidents and gather gunfire intelligence and data to fight crime and violence in Hillsborough County. The Sheriff’s office said that ShotSpotter gunfire alert data and intelligence also provides the detectives and deputies with more forensic evidence leading to more thorough investigations

and increased prosecutions for gun-related crime, in addition to enhancing crime analysis and data-driven policing capabilities, helping improve public safety and security The agency said that this solution provides real-time gunshot location data, enabling informed decisions for faster and more accurate emergency response, while improving intelligence and increasing first responder safety. A constant reminder of the tragic consequences of celebratory gunfire is young Wimauma resident Diego Duran, who was struck in the head by a stray bullet on the wake of the New Year of 2012 as he was watching fireworks at his home. Diego’s tragedy contributed to the launching of Bullet Free Sky a non-profit organization with the goal to educate the public and raise awareness on the dangers of Celebratory Gunfire. To raise awareness and remind everyone about the dangers of the irresponsible celebration of shooting a gun up in the air, Bullet Free Sky now has an educational video to send a message to everyone regarding the dangers of Celebratory Gunfire. Visit For information about Bullet Free Sky, visit

Melissa L Haskins Financial Advisor

We’re getting close to the Fourth of July, when we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in this country. The U.S. constitution grants us many of these liberties, but we have to earn others – such as our financial freedom. What steps can you take to achieve the financial independence you need to reach your long-term goals? For starters, always work to build your resources. Contribute as much as you can afford to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. At a minimum, put in enough to earn your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered. If you don’t take advantage of this match, you are essentially leaving money on the table. While how much you invest is an essential factor in gaining your financial freedom, how you invest your money is equally important. So make sure you have sufficient growth potential in all your accounts. While growth-oriented investments, such as stocks and stock-based vehicles, carry investment risk, you can help moderate this risk by also including other investments, such as bonds. Another way to gain your financial independence is to liberate yourself from the shackles of debt. This isn’t always easy, of course – most of us have experienced times when our cash flow simply wasn’t sufficient to meet our expenses, so we had to take on some type of debt, either through a credit card or a loan. But the more you can control your debts, the more money you’ll have to save and invest for your future. One way to manage your debt load is to build an emergency fund, containing three to six months’worth of living expenses, which you can use to pay unexpected costs such as a major car

repair or a large medical bill. Ideally, you should keep this money in a liquid, low-risk account, so you can access the funds quickly and without penalty. Aside from possibly helping you control your debts, an emergency fund also may enable you to avoid dipping into your long-term investments to pay for short-term needs. Thus far, we’ve only discussed achieving your financial freedom through methods of saving and investing. But you also need to consider your protection needs, too. If you were to become ill or suffer a serious injury, and you could not work for a while, your financial security could be jeopardized. Your employer might offer you disability insurance as an employee benefit, but it may not be enough for your needs, so you might need to purchase some additional coverage on your own. And to help ensure your family’s financial security, you’ll also need sufficient life insurance. You also might want to protect yourself from the catastrophic costs of long-term care, such as an extended nursing home stay. The average annual cost for a private room in a nursing home is more than $92,000, according to the 2016 Cost of Care Study issued by the insurance company Genworth. And Medicare generally covers only a small percentage of these expenses. You may want to consult with a financial professional to learn about ways you can protect yourself from the long-term care burden. By following these suggestions, you can go a long way toward declaring your own financial independence. Consider taking action soon. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor

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Page 20

Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

ch a e r t u O k Backpac onations, Seeks D n Space I Woman & More… on i t a t n e s e Pr ichelle Colesanti, Compiled by M michelle@osprey

Local Participants Help Bring Team USA To Victory At Arnold Palmer Cup

Jimmy Stanger of Tampa, (University of Virginia), John Coultas of Valrico, (Florida Southern) and Team USA celebrate a 19.5-11.5 victory at the Arnold Palmer Cup over Team Europe at Atlanta Athletic Club. The annual tournament was founded by the late golfing legend Arnold Palmer and matches the top collegiate golfers from the United States and Europe against each other in a Ryder Cup style event. The Arnold Palmer Cup is a signature event of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation - entrusted to carry on the legacy of Mr. Palmer’s lifetime commitment to philanthropy. The event provides a platform for perpetuating Arnold Palmer’s commitment to youth development and the growth of amateur/collegiate golf.

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

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 self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Tampa Bay Young Marines presently meet Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the US Marine Reserves located at 5121 W. Gandy Blvd. in Tampa. For more information please contact the Unit Commander at or visit

YMCA Backpack Outreach Event To Help Deserving Families Each summer, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA teams up with

the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) to help pre-qualified Greater Brandon area students, in grades K12, with backpacks stuffed with The Young Marines essential supplies for meet on Wednesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. in Tampa. Student’s ages 8 the school year. The YMCA through high school are welcome to join. Backpack Outreach Event is designed for pre-registered middle/upper-income peers. families facing financial hardship or recovQualified families can register by conering from job loss, fire or another qualifytacting Kavita Marballi at ing emergency. or 684This year, the goal is collect 1,100 1371 ext. 1606. donated backpacks and fill them with age-appropriate school supplies for NASA Legend Nicole Stott Will Give each pre-registered child. During the “Women in Space” event, each family will also receive free Presentation at MOSI healthy snacks, health screenings, insurClearwater native ance signups, crafts and fun activities. and NASA Legend A $20 donation helps send one stuNicole Stott will share dent back to school with a backpack full stories of her inspiring of school supplies. Community members path to space, her life as can also donate backpacks, pocket foldan astronaut and artist, ers, college-rule paper and wide-rule and the pioneering role paper. Drop-off locations are YMCA of female explorers during Women in Space, a special appearance Saturday, July 22 from 2-4 p.m. at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI). The award-winning IMAX® film A Beautiful Planet, which was filmed by Stott’s fellow astronauts on the International Space Station, is also part of the special event. Guests with a ticket to the 2 p.m. Women in Space presentation can also add-on an optional meet-and-greet Golfers on Team USA

Camp Cristina, Campo Family YMCA and North Brandon Family YMCA. Checks can be made out to Campo YMCA and should reference "backpack event." On Saturday, July 29 from 9–11 a.m. an event open to pre-registered families only will be held at Camp Cristina in Riverview. The Tampa YMCA is committed to giving students the supplies they need in order to succeed in school. Thanks to ECHO and other community partners, the Tampa Y is able to provide more children the opportunity to start school with the resources to be successful. It’s part of the Y’s efforts to close the academic achievement gap between children from lowerincome households and their

opportunity from 12-1:30 p.m. to get an autograph, take a photo, and spend time one-on-one with Stott, who earned the nickname “The Artistic Astronaut” after becoming the first person to paint a work of art in space. The cost is $20 for nonmembers. Add on Tickets for Meet & Greet available. Tickets are available at or by calling 987-6000.

7th Annual Christmas In July With A Taste Of Tequila

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

Seffner Chamber To Welcome New Teachers At Breakfast

Come out and show your support at the Seffner Area New Teacher’s Welcome Breakfast on Tuesday, August 8 at Armwood High school, 12000 E. US Hwy 92 in Seffner. The doors open at 8:30 a.m. with program starting at 9 a.m. Sponsors are needed to provide donated items for goody bags and raffles. Email for more information.

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July 2017

Page 21

Valrico 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, the community. I want to thank everylocated at 1046 Bloomingdale Ave., for the love and support they one 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 the store. That is what I will make am sad about closing the store, but I miss the most.” have no regrets. I would have regretPloor has marked down the items ted it if I had never opened the store in the store, so if you have ever want11 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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Page 22

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 7

July 2017

Page 23

Valrico Edition

2Infinity Offers Trampolines, Activities And Indoor Fun Worth The Lakeland Trip

By Kate Quesada

Lawerence, is the only location of its kind, it is part of a large family of parks called CircusTrix. “We make parks all over the globe and are a driving force behind improving safety in trampoline parks,” said Nielson. “It is such a new industry so we feel it is our responsibility to make sure these parks 2Infinity, a trampoline park in Lakeland, offers 50,000 sq. are done right. We have ft. of indoor actives for all age groups. assembled a team of the Keeping the family entertained durworld’s most experienced safety ing the hot, and often wet, Florida experts to train and certify our employsummer can be a challenge, but ees.” 2Infinity, a new trampoline park in In order to make the experience as Lakeland has adrenaline pumping fun positive as possible for customers, for kids of all ages. 2Infinity has specific times for different “We are the largest trampoline age groups. From 9-10 a.m. Mondaypark in the world right now at 50,000 Saturday, the park is reserved only for sq. ft.,” said Operator Ty Nielson, who children under six years old and their explains that there are too many areas parents, and on Friday and Saturday of the park to count. “We have a large nights from 9 p.m.-12 Midnight, guests open jump area, a dodge ball arena, a 15 years and older are invited for rock wall, a warped wall, foam pit tramClubNights where the lights go out and polines, a trapeze area, an extreme laser lights are on. Open jump takes swing, the ninja warrior obstacle place Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-10 course, the best SuperTramp in the p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-9 state of Florida, Slam Dunk Hoops, a p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Parkour Pit and a brand new Airtrack.” The clean, open park also has The park, located off U.S. Hwy. 98 drinks available for purchase and seatN. in Lakeland, is about a 45 minute ing areas throughout for parents to drive from the Bloomingdale/FishHawk relax while their children have fun. area and offers an experience uniquely “After taking my three kids, ages different from other trampoline parks. five, seven and nine, to 2Infinity with “People expect us to say that our their friends, I decided that next time attractions make us different,” said we visit, I’m playing too,” said Nielson. “While that is true, we have FishHawk resident Amy Johnston. amazing attractions, we believe that 2Infinity, located at 6220 U.S. Hwy. what really makes us different is our 98 N. in Lakeland, also hosts birthday Flight Crew Family. We have the best parties and team building events. staff in the world and they will do anyTickets, for either one or two hour sesthing to make sure you have an amazsions, can be purchased in advance to ing experience. If they have to dance, reserve a spot or on arrival. For more juggle balls, make you laugh, they will information, call (863) 333-0445 or visit do it.” Although 2Infinity, created by Case

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Page 24

Valrico Edition

Volume 14, Issue 7


July 2017

Volume 14, Issue 7

Ph: 657-2418


Open House Provides Information On Joining The Healthcare Profession

Budget Blinds Awards James And Elaine Trotter Franchisee Of The Year

Do you want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant Budget (CNA), but don’t know Blinds, an internawhere to start? Don’t tional window covhave a lot of time to ering franchise spend in a classroom or with nearly 1,100 spend a lot of money? territories across Join the healthcare proNorth America, fession and become a recently James and Elaine Trotter, franchise own- announced James CNA through the CNA ers of three territories - Brandon, North and Elaine Trotter Training and Testing Tampa and Land O Lakes, was named as Center in Brandon. Franchisee of the Year for Budget Blinds. as Franchisee of It offers quality, the Year, a top affordable, accelerated, and convenient recognition and award bestowed upon a training to become a CNA with its one local franchise owner with the best overall week CNA exam prep course. After comsales volume in a single calendar year. pleting the prep course, students will be The Trotters, franchise owners of prepared to challenge the licensing exam three territories in the Brandon, North to become CNAs registered in Florida. Tampa and Land O Lakes area, have The Training Center also offers training in owned their Budget Blinds’ businesses Medication Assistance, Phlebotomy, and since purchasing Budget Blinds in Tampa American Heart Association CPR. in October, 2008. This past year, in 2016, Beginning on July 17, CNA Training and they achieved the highest sales volume in Testing Center will host an open house to the company’s history and improved by a pre-enroll students for its training courses double-digit percentage over 2015. on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 “It is a great honor to receive this p.m. Classes will begin on July 31 and prestigious award as Franchisee of the new CNA classes will begin weekly, day Year,” said Elaine Trotter. “Both Jim and and evening class are available. I, as well as our entire staff, appreciate CNA Training and Testing Center is the opportunities of business ownership located at 744 W. Brandon Blvd. in in the Budget Blinds network. Not only do Brandon. Visit www.cnatrainingandtestwe have strong ties with our fellow or call 955-4287 to learn chisees and staff at the corporate office, more. we have wonderful customers and friends in the community.”

Active members family health. of their local church For more informagroup and local busition, please visit healthyness associations, the or for an Trotters are also appointment, call 540involved in Habitat for 5005. Humanity, the Pediatric Cancer New Active Adult Care Foundation, In Brandon Metropolitan Ministries Active Adult Care is and the national operated by Claudia Alur, Veteran cause, a doctor of Physical Homes for Our Therapy with over 20 Troops. “We feel years experience in blessed to give back Home Health Care and to our community and is licensed and accreditOwners – Drs. Martha and Watson help others in need,” Ducatel recently opened their new ed by the Agency for said Jim Trotter. medical and dental office in Brandon. Health Care Services include Administration (AHCA). expert measuring, professional installation Its mission is to provide a supervised, and products backed by the best warsafe, secure and interactive place outside ranties in the industry. Budget Blinds also the home to elderly and younger people offers commercial window covering soluwith disabilities that enhances their overall tions. quality of life in a loving environment with Visit for the necessary support to age in place more information. and prevent institutionalization while offer-

Healthy Bodies Medical And Dental Center Hosts Grand Opening Event

Owners Dr. Martha Ducatel and Dr. Watson Ducatel are proud to announce the opening of Healthy Bodies Medical and Dental, a new concept office offering full medical and dental services located at 3415 Brook Crossing Dr. in Brandon. Healthy Bodies Medical and Dental Center is a center with the purpose of optimizing its patient’s health. Its belief is that the oral and physical state is important to personal health, happiness and

ing the caregivers a much-needed relief from their demanding responsibilities, knowing their loved one is in good hands. Active Adult Care believes in making a positive impact in people’s lives by offering exceptional Adult Day Care services with an impressive array of coordinated benefits from nutritious meals, physical activity and exerciese, cognitive stimulation and social interaction. Its purpose is to maximize the value of one’s experience while receiving the necessary

Continued on Next Page

Page 26

Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Business Column Continued............. Locally-Owned Tranquility Groundscape support to age in place with a sincere commitment to the participants, caregiver and the community we serve without regards of color, creed or age. Supportive and optional services include: Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy Skilled Nursing, and modified diets or diets based on normal diet and designed to meet the requirements of a given situation. Spanish is spoken. It is located at 909 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more information, email or call 5711227.

Rosatis Offers Fresh Home Made Chicago Style Italian Pizza And More

Rosatis offers real food using fresh ingredients with dough and sauces made fresh every day using homemade recipes passed down from generations. These

P.O. Box 6099 • Brandon, FL 33508


By Michelle Colesanti

are the same recipes as the Rosatis’ Chicago locations. The crispy traditional thin crust is the most popular. To personalize it, add the good Chicago sausage to it along with a plethora of other fresh ingredients. The infamous Chicago Deep Dish is offered as well. Try the Chicken Parm, which comes as a pasta dish or sandwich. You can add the hot gardinera to the Rosatis Chef Sandwich, which has a light layer of au jus on it. Rosatis wings are big and a top seller as well as the Fried Ravioli. Enjoy menu items from appetizers to pastas with homemade sauces, a Caesar or Spinach Gorgonzola Salad to name a few. For dessert, try a cannoli or cinnamon sticks that come with homemade cream cheese icing for dipping. Rosatis is located at 3437 Lithia Pincrest Rd. in the Shoppes of Lithia near Publix. Call 643-1003 or visit

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Offers Unique, Affordable Design

By Katelyn Massarelli

make recommendations based on the property and the customers budget. Tranquility thinks ahead to make sure that the clients landscape is only being done once. “We listen to Tranquility Groundscape does full landscaping and landscape design. see what [the Ray Burke, owner of Tranquility customers] want and what they have Groundscape, started in lawn care at with the free estimate,” Burke said. “We 15 years old in New Jersey. He knew give them an idea of what we are able that he was never going to be an office to do with design and name a few guy and wanted something different options and let them take a look at difeveryday. Now in Florida, Tranquility ferent things we can incorporate and Groundscape offered Burke the chance see what they like.” to get into landscaping with the client in One thing it does not do is fertilizamind. tion or spraying to get rid of weeds. “A huge reason I’m getting into the Tranquility works to keep chemicals out landscaping is that each house is differ- of his landscaping process. ent and I get to design completely difWith landscaping, there is someferent each time,” Burke said. “I wanted thing new to work with for each properto have something different each day.” ty, according to Burke. Each property Burke works closely with homehas different aspects and each client owners and realtors to create the ideal has different wants and needs which landscape design for the particular makes each landscape design different. home. The usual work he deals with is Burke, licensed and insured offers landscapes where everything is overlawn maintenance, landscaping, irrigagrown or reinstalling new landscape. tion and sod for residential and comTranquility Groundscape works to cremercial. ate the landscape under the price Just a few of the areas Tranquility range acceptable to the client. Groundscape has covered in the past Tranquility Groundscape gives a are FishHawk, Bloomingdale, River free consultation, so clients can Hills, Treasure Island, Riverview and express their wants as far as what they Apollo Beach. want to keep and get rid of for the new For a consultation, Burke can be landscape design. Tranquility will then reached at (813) 523-9204.


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July 2017

Valrico Edition

Oakfield Dental Offers Easy Saturday Appointments And Much More

By Sharon Still

Providing highServices available quality dental care in a include general, cosmetic, stress-free environment preventative and restorais the motto at Oakfield tive dentistry as well as Dental, which Dr. Amir extractions and implants. Boules opened in “We believe in not only 2016. getting patients to healthier teeth, but also to a “We offer a patientmore confident smile,” he focused approach and said adding that the office passion to make denalso offers tistry something comZoom fortable and even Whitening, enjoyable, rather than which is an insomething to be office whitening feared,” said Dr. Dr. Amir Boules, Owner of Oakfield treatment that gives Boules. “We believe Dental, with his wife Melanie. The couple married just over a month instant results; Minor that a child's early ago. Tooth Movement (MTM); experiences at the dental office is formative in setting the and, Invisalign, which use clear trays to person up for dental health in the future straighten teeth. and one of our greatest joys is seeing a The office is completely digital, dental-phobic patient little by little become including x-rays, which minimizes radiation exposure to the patient. less fearful of seeing the dentist.” While Dr. Boules has been busy with From the moment guests enter the his new practice over the past year, he office, from the coffee and tea bar to also recently married his wife Melanie, essential oil diffusers to full-wall windows who he met in dental school. She is joinwith views of plants and birds in each ing the practice on Fridays and brings room; it is obvious that the goal is to crewith her, her experience working with chilate a comfortable environment. dren as well as with Invisalign. “Our biggest asset is our team, Oakfield Dental is located at 1457 whom I hand-picked for their attention to Oakfield Dr. Hours are Mondaydetail, compassion and genuine desire to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9 others,” he added. 4 p.m. Fridays are nicknamed "Kid Adding to all of that, Oakfield Dental also offers Saturday appointments from 9 Friendly Friday." Although the office sees children every day of the week, on a.m.-4 p.m. “We chose to open on Fridays, the staff decorates the office to Saturdays because we work ourselves be more comfortable to its young friends. and know how inconvenient it is to take Visit or call off a day of work for a doctor's appoint813-906-8808 for further information. ment,” Dr. Boules explained.

Page 27

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Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

Story by Tamas Mondovics

Healthy Meals During Summer Break & Changes Ahead Of 2017-2018 Season Students To Receive Healthy Meals During The Summer Break

To make sure students receive nutritionally balanced meals this summer, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Student Nutrition Services (SNS) are now offering several opportunities as it rolls out its Movin’ Meals summer food service program. For the past six years, SNS has been bringing food into communities through its Movin’ Meals “food buses” providing thousands of meals. According to school officials, five retired and renovated district school buses have been selected to deliver meals into neighborhoods offering breakfast and lunch until Wednesday, August 2. Students can eat on the air-conditioned buses. The purpose of the annual summer program is to reach communities where children may not have access to a neighborhood school or park. The buses will stop at a number of locations throughout the area, including some serving the Brandon and Valrico Lithia communities. Hillsborough County Public Schools also offers the Extended School Year program, providing students breakfast and lunch at no cost at schools that provide summer school programs. Monday

Jeff Eakins announced a number principal changes involving eight schools for the 2017-18 school year. The changes were approved by the School Board on May 2. According to school officials, the selection process for new principals involves understanding the particular needs of a school and then seeking to New principal assignments began on June 5. Principal Appointments: -Lisa Varnum, Principal of Children line up to receive free lunch as part of the County’s summer food program. Thanks to the pro- Thonotosassa Elementary School, gram during the summer months nearly 4,000 free served at Yates Elementary School meals are served. as Assistant Principal for Elementary through Thursday, in select schools this Instruction summer, all children 18 years old and -Mary Hewett, Principal of Nelson younger can come to an open school, Elementary School, served at Nelson regardless of whether the child is enrolled Elementary School as the Assistant in summer school. Principal for Elementary Instruction For more information, please contact Principal Transfers: Tanya Arja in the Communications Office -Mary Freitas, Principal of Sickles at 272-4060. High School, served as Principal of Lennard High School New Principals And Assistant -Joanne Griffiths, Principal of Cimino Principals To Take The Lead At Local Elementary School, served as Principal of Schools Cahoon Elementary Magnet Each year principals retire, move or School earn promotions leaving a vacancy to be During its May 2, meeting the School filled with transfers or new appointments. Board also approved the appointments of As the 2016-2017 school years nine veteran assistant principals who reached its completion, Superintendent answered the call to transfer to a high

needs school. HCPS officials also emphasized that because of the investment in leadership at high needs schools, Hillsborough County Public Schools seeks to change the trajectory for students and lead them to the path of success. The newly transferred administrators to high-need schools bring a desire to support our students, families and community, school officials said. Assistant Principal Transfers: -Brad Brooks, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Shields Middle School, served as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Webb Middle School -Willie Hughes, Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Robles Elementary School, served as Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Clair Mel Elementary School -Jeanine Sadler, Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Clair Mel Elementary School, served as Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Stowers Elementary School -Robert Stingone, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Shields Middle School served as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Dowdell Middle School For a complete list of changes please visit

ASK THE EXPERT! Dana C. Kemper Elder Law Attorney In the Law Office Of Laurie Ohall 813-438-8503 Dana C. Kemper received her B.A. in English from Ohio State University in 1991 and her Paralegal Certificate in Litigation Management from The Institute for Paralegal Studies (f/k/a The Philadelphia Institute) in 1992. She obtained her Juris Doctorate degree, cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law in May 2007. Ms. Kemper began her career in law as a paralegal and has worked in the areas of Social Security Disability, insurance defense, nursing home negligence, and medical malpractice. Since 2001, she has worked as a paralegal and practiced as an attorney in the area of Elder Law. She is a member of the Elder Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections of the Florida Bar, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Kemper grew up in North Canton, Ohio and moved to Florida in 1993. She enjoys running, biking, reading and watching Ohio State football.

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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

Shoppes at Lithia 3455 Lithia Pinecrest Rd Valrico 813-571-7200 Bell Plaza 10273 Big Bend Rd Riverview 813-672-6111

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 Southshore uncorked is unique and menus, visit or call brings high quality, handcrafted 906-0222. European style wine at affordable Fancy That Linens prices. Fancy That Specialty Linens is “Our events held in our winery include hosting wine clubs, special family owned and operated, and has been serving the Tampa Bay events i.e. open mic nights, jazz area since 2002. The company pronights, private parties in our tasting/event room, as well as assisting vides quality linens at affordable prices with outstanding customer our clients in the creation of their service. The company is owned by own handcrafted wine,” said Sue Williams who started as an Kathy.The store offers wine makemployee and worked her way up ing, in home supplies and private to buying the business! “We have parties. Custom labels can also be the knowledge and expertise needcreated. Visit ed to bring your vision to fruition,” or call she said. “By hiring us, there are no 649-9466 for full details. hidden fees or extra charges! Cater Tampa From White To see a full selection of linen Glove to BBQ Adam Harris loves to feed peo- colors offered, call 973-9990 or visit ple. His infectious smile lights up

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Call Don’t lift a finger — get expert service plus our no-questions-asked warranty. With Budget Blinds, you can relax, because you’ve chosen a very exclusive combination of design-driven products, expert service, no-surprises pricing,and our no-questions-asked warranty: the best in the business. We’re the largest custom window covering company in North America, and that means more buying power, and more choices. We bring the store to you and take care of it all, measure and install. And our no-surprises pricing delivers an upfront price that is a custom fit for you. We believe everyone at every budget deserves style and service. And that’s a beautiful place to be.

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813-445-7121• Showroom Hours: Mon. - Fri. 10:00 - 5:00 | Sat. 10:00 - 3:00 *Applies to selected window treatments and Norman and PureVu shutters, and PureVu SmartFit and cordless honeycomb shades. Ask for details. Not valid with any other offers, discounts, or coupons. Offer good at initial time of estimate only. At participating franchises only. 2017 Budget Blinds, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Budget Blinds is a trademark of Budget Blinds, LLC and a Home Franchise Concepts Brand. Each franchise independently owned and operated. Sale expires 8/31/17

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Page 38

Valrico Edition


Sports Connection





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Rd. Pinecrest11 918 Lithia n, FL 335 Brando -24 18 657 rve bse eyo www.ospr

Bell Creek Academy Football Gear Up For Fall Season

BCA Varsity football team takes the field cheers on by the BCA cheerleading squad.

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. Smith 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 group athletically with no behavioral issues. These kids are respectful and teachable. I am proud of

... “Relax ke a t l ’l we it.” care of

Volume 14, Issue 7

them and thankful for a chance to coach them.” 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, the first of which 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, visit Sponsors are encouraged to contact Smith directly at 777-5828 or by email at

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Community Rallies To Support Durant Graduate’s Olympic Dream ing numerous Thanks to high school his athletic records. skills and talHaftom’s ent, former athletic success Durant High includes his School gradu2015 fourth ate and track place finish (at champion, age 16) during Haftom the state chamFliegelman, pionship after 18, of Valrico, beating 2,139 has but one runners. dream he "For me, it hopes one day all goes back to soon will my biological become a parents passing reality; to be so early in my the best long life,” he said. distance run“They never witner and run in nessed my talthe Olympics. ents, so with Assisted that, all I want is by close carto do nothing ing friends, more than Haftom is to make them working on proud, each day raising money I use my running and seeking Durant High School graduate Haftom the support of Fliegelman, runs in a recent local cross country abilities to do his community event, which he unquestionably dominated. The that, I wanted to young runner is now seeking community support to help him of his goal of returning to his homeland Ethiopia make my mother a legend.” with the cost where a college scholarship awaits him as a Giving testiof purchasing stepping stone toward his dream of becoming an Olympian runner. mony to the a plane ticket community and to the human spirit and to cover some of his travel Haftom had not only reached but expenses back to Ethiopia where a exceeded his original goal of college scholarship awaits him. $1,800, and raising nearly $3,000 Born in Mekele, capital of (at time of writing this article). Tigray province in Ethopia and, folWhile his travel costs are now lowing the passing of both his parcovered, it is safe to say that conents, Haftom became an orphan tinued support for some additional until he and his siblings were school and living expenses are adopted. much appreciated. Sharing his goals and dreams Giving credit to close caring from the heart while struggling with friends, Haftom said, “My life is a the English language, the young true testament to what you can do runner expressed himself passionwith a little bit of faith, and… move ately on his ‘Go Fund Me’ page, the mountains that life presents.” explaining that while overcoming To visit Haftom’s Go Fund Me language barriers and challenges Page and to donate please visit, from his adoptive family, he ued to pursue and persevere to attain his dreams of running, break- .

July 2017

Page 39

Valrico Edition

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Shrek The Musical Comes Alive As Plant City Entertainment Presents The Fairy Tale Adventure

The Artwork Of Local Artist Melvin Beall On Display At Bruton Memorial Library

Plant City Entertainment is very excitEntertainment is proud to ed to produce Shrek The present Shrek The Musical Musical. Our goal for all of this month. Based on the our summer musicals is to Oscar-winning involve as many youth, DreamWorks Animation adults and families as posfilm, Shrek The Musical is sible. We want everyone a Tony Award winning fairy who is involved to have a tale adventure featuring all positive experience and a great summer. They all new songs. Shrek The Musical brings all of the Plant City Entertainment pres- spend a tremendous beloved characters from ents the fairy tale adventure, amount of their summer at Shrek The Musical, three the theatre learning lines, the film to stage. weekends in July. music, dances, rehearsing Shrek The Musical and preparing the set for the show.” will be presented beginning on Friday, White added, “Shrek The Musical is July 14 at 8 p.m. Thereafter, shows will one of the largest shows we have ever be held on Saturday, July 15 at 8 p.m. undertaken, and most definitely, it is the and on Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m. Additional shows will be held on Friday, most expensive with the extensive cosJuly 21 and 28 and Saturday, July 22 and tumes and make up. We have produced 29. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 many very large musicals including Les p.m. Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. will be Miserable, Hello Dolly, Jesus Christ held on July 23 and 30. Superstar, Beauty and the Beast, South Tickets for adults are $18. Students Pacific and Legally Blonde. We are very under 18 and Seniors over 60 are $14. excited to include Shrek The Musical to Tickets can be purchased online at our production list.” Shrek The Musical is ($1 convenience fee directed by Oliver Sprague. “I am so very applies) or at Hardee’s Fashions located proud of my cast and crew for putting at 1501 N. Wheeler St. in Plant City. together such a magical production of Depending on availability, tickets may be Shrek The Musical,” said Sprague. available at the door one hour before Plant City Entertainment is located at 101 N. Thomas St. For information, visit each performance. or email info@pceDodie White, president of Plant City Entertainment said, “Plant City

This month’s art realism. In particular, his exhibit at the Bruton colored pencil rendition Memorial Library in of grapes and an ink historic downtown drawing of a ship at sea Plant City features the demonstrate thorough artwork of local artist, attention to color, light Melvin Beall. The and movement.” exhibit contains 14 LaPorta added, “Beall’s framed works. It is an animal studies likewise interesting collection. convey great potential. Beall’s work shows The whimsical and colorful artwork of Two of his pieces conMelvin Beall, is on display through the tain roosters that are fine attention to month of July at the Bruton Memorial exceptionally lifelike.” details and color in Library in Plant City. each piece. Local artists who Beall is a Florida native who has are interested in having their artwork feabeen drawing for two years. His primary tured at the Bruton Memorial Library need medium is colored pencil. He also uses only to visit the information desk and ink pen and graphite pencil. The pieces request an application. featured at the library utilize all three Bruton Memorial Library strives to mediums. In addition, the piece alternate have many great events and programs between still life and animal depictions. that will help to bring the community Each month, Bruton Memorial Library together. features the artwork of an artist or organiLaPorta said, “The library displays zation who resides in Eastern the work of local artists year-round, and Hillsborough County. The exhibit is a nice will continue to offer creative, art-oriented addition to the library and gives the public adult programming through the summer. an opportunity to view fine art created by In particular, a musical performance by someone from the community. the Crabgrass Cowboys in late July and a Amanda LaPorta is the Adult scrapbooking class in early August are Services Librarian at the Bruton Memorial not to be missed.” The Bruton Memorial Library which is a member of the Library is located at 302 McLendon St. in Hillsborough County Public Library downtown Plant City. For information, call Cooperative. LaPorta said, “Beall’s art 757-9215 or visit was selected for its stark simplicity and

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Volume 14, Issue 7

Valrico Edition

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Osprey Observer 2017-7 Valrico  
Osprey Observer 2017-7 Valrico