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September 2017 Volume 16 Issue 9 Ph: 657-2418 C E L E B R A T I N G

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Community Welcomes Medically Retired Army Sgt. Katie Thomas Home

By Tamas Mondovics

was medically retired, following an injury she suffered while stationed in Hawaii, which left her with an anoxic brain injury needing full-time care for the rest of her life. "It's been a long journey for Katie,” Kathy said adding that her daughter spent the last three years at the VA’s Polytrauma Rehabilitation Army Sgt. Katie Thomas joined by her mom Kathy Powers during Center following the life changing accia homecoming ceremony for Katie, who spent the last three years at the VA hospital following an accident she suffered while dent. serving in the Army.



Designer Sunglasses Bingo Fundraiser Supports Infant Water Survival Charity

By Kate Quesada

Florida resisaid Yick. “For many dents know the families, these classimportance of es would not an water safety and option for them withthe scary statisout a voucher or tics associated scholarship.” with infant In addition to drowning. Local Bingo, every ticketcharity Water ed player will also Smart Tots is receive a goodie hosting an event bag with snacks next month from Heavenly where donors and Creations Water Smart Tots is hosting its second annual Designer Sunglasses Bingo fundraiser on Harvest Crisps, samcan have fun September 14 in Valrico. while raising ples from R+F by funds to help teach local children to Amanda McMahon and coupons from swim. The second annual Water Smart Pinot’s Palette and Chick-fil-A Tots Designer Sunglasses Bingo Bloomingdale. Each bag will contain a fundraiser will take place on Thursday, raffle ticket for a chance to win a door September 14 from 6-10 p.m. at River prize of one of six Alex & Ani bracelets Hills Country Club in Valrico. provide by Operation Lotus. DJ Jake “This is our biggest fundraising Dela Cruz will provide music for the event to raise money to provide survival evening. There will also be a 50/50 aucswimming scholarships to financially tion with baskets including Stampin' Up underprivileged children or children with Scrapbooking, Disney, Busch Gardens, special needs in Hillsborough County,” Florida Aquarium, Aquatica, SeaWorld, said Cammie Yick, the Community Medieval Times and WonderWorks tickOutreach Coordinator for Water Smart ets, 2 roundtrip tickets on JetBlue & much Tots who proposed the idea for the more. There will also be appetizers and a event to the charity’s board in 2016. cash bar. Visit or “Last year the event was nearly sold out email and raised more than $8,000. The funds directly benefitted more than 25 children.” In This Water Smart Tots is a non-profit corIssue poration dedicated to eliminating pediatric drowning in Hillsborough County. “With pediatric drowning being the PATRIOT DAY MEMORIAL...................PG 3 leading cause of accidental death TOURETTE SUPPORT GROUPS ...........PG 4 among children ages one to four in Florida, Water Smart Tots was founded ECLIPSE EXPERIENCE..........................PG 9 by local resident Kari Bahour on the HOMESCHOOLING ....................PGS 12‐13 belief that every child deserves the opportunity to learn survival swimming BUS TRANSPORTATION....................PG 27 skills,” said Yick. “Since our inception, CHALKLINES .....................................PG 30 close to 200 children have benefitted from receiving scholarships who would ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT................PG 35 otherwise not have been able to afford EYE ON BUSINESS ............................PG 41 lessons.” “The nationwide average cost for SPORTS CONNECTION...............PGS 38‐39 the 4-6 week specialized swim program is approximately $400-$500 per child,” READ MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE

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It was as if someone ordered the rain to stop and the sun to come out for but a few minutes when Army Sgt. Katie Thomas, 29, arrived to her Lithia Ridge home last month from the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa. As Thomas and her mom Kathy Powers pulled into her driveway Dozens of Lithia Ridge residents welcome home Army Sgt. Katie Thomas now medically retired, following an injury the two were cheered on and welcomed by loved while stationed in Hawaii, which left her with an anoxic brain injury needing 24/7 care for the rest of her life. ones, family and friends along with dozens of flag-waiving resiKathy who has quit her job and dents. moved from Tennessee to Valrico to Katie, the oldest of three, also has be closer to her daughter recalled that two brothers who served in the Army. Katie and her boyfriend were both in She was an operating room specialist the Army and had gone mudding in at Tripler Army Medical Center in Continued On Page 5 Honolulu for nine years before she




Photo by Natalie Wade

On her way to class at Lithia Springs Elementary School, Ella Wade, 5, pauses for a photo last month. Ella is just one of nearly 212,000 students who made their way to school in Hillsborough County to begin the 2017-2018 season.

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

September 2017

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Randall Invites Community To Visit Campo Family YMCA Brings On A New Teacher For Its Adult Spanish Class Annual Patriot Day Memorial By Tatiana Ortiz By Tamas Mondovics

remembered as Patriot Day. Verdi emphasized that this memorial effort allows students to learn the history and make connections with the community, especially the strong military comSince 2009, the memorial project is organized annually by the Randall munity in the Area Youth Service or R.A.Y.S. program and is supported by local busi- Lithia area. nesses. “This is the For the past intent of service-learneight years Randall ing,” she said. “The Middle School stustudents are learning dents have taken relevant content part in remembering through service to oththe victims of the ers.” 2001 9/11 terrorist In 2011 the attacks. R.A.Y.S. program was This year is no recognized by the exception as on KidsVote organization Monday, September as the National Impact 11, 2017, the stuAward recipient. The dents will once project itself was also again take action to recognized by display a giant with a Patriot Day $1,000 grant, a $200 Memorial in the grant from, school yard as and will be receiving a memorial markers Photo by Tamas Mondovics $1,500 grant through for every one of the Youth Service America this year. The 2,977 victims will be placed in the ground funds are used for materials and supplies in the shape of an American flag. associated with it as well as for the variAccording to Randall Middle School ous veterans support projects. social studies teacher and memorial In the past, the memorial effort was director Kristy Verdi, the project organalso joined by Newland Communities to ized through the Randall Area Youth purchase durable pre-colored markers Service (R.A.Y.S.) program since 2009, is and plastic stakes to make the project much more than just an annual event. more sustainable and easier for students “Through their social studies classes to assemble. Home Depot supplied the and by participation in creating the markstorage bins that are used to house the ers along with classroom instruction, the memorial when not in use and Neff students learn about the events, causes Rentals supplied a lift for photography for and impact September 11, 2001 has had the event. on our nation,” Verdi said. The students hope to arrange lighting Verdi explained that the R.A.Y.S. for this year’s display to be visible from class is a service-learning leadership the road at night. elective for 7th and 8th grade students The public is invited to visit the with its course objective to train young memorial anytime after 4:30 on Monday, leaders in community service so that they September 11-14. Visitors are encourmay lead other students and the commuaged to interact with the memorial by nity in volunteer, community service, and reading the student-created biographies service-learning activities. that are attached to the markers. To supSince the students at Randall were port the R.A.Y.S. service-learning projborn after 2001, many do not know what ects, please contact happened on 9/11 and why it is now

A focus group called Hispanos Unidos at Campo Family YMCA started a Spanish class for its adult members 18 and up last fall. It meets in the conference room for an hour the 1st and 2nd Saturday of the month at 9 a.m. Hispanos Unidos aims to work together and connect the whole community through their Spanish language and culture with service. Recently, the class brought on a new instructor named Analia Huber in June of this year. As a Latina, her previous experience portrayed as a good fit to teach this class. Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Huber spoke Spanish in her home. Therefore, the language became very familiar to her. She has lived in the United States for more than 40 years. When Huber moved to the Tampa area she joined Campo Family YMCA and Hispanos Unidos. She fortunately always had the opportunity to continue speaking Spanish in her jobs and neighborhoods. Huber teaches beginner and intermediate level Spanish in her class. Students will learn grammar, conversational pieces, colors, alpha-

bet and much more. Individuals can sign up at Campo Family YMCA Welcome Center. A deadline does not exist because of this open enrollment class. Helen Wong a student from Huber’s Spanish class, expressed her thoughts about what she learned. “Huber applies New adult Spanish classes various methods offered at the that strengthen both Campo Y. listening, speaking and understanding skills. This class motivates me to continue to expand my knowledge of the Spanish language,” Wong said. She also recommends it to anyone interested in taking Spanish. Huber hopes that students who attend her class get excited about learning the language of Spanish because it will expose them to a new culture and foods. “I encourage people to not be afraid to know another language” Huber said. For more information, visit /. It is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Open Monday through Friday 5 a.m.- 10 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.- 6 p.m. Call 684-1371.




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Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Tourette Association Of Florida Offers Online And Traditional Support Groups

By Amanda Boston

The Rotary’s Camp in Brandon hosts the Florida Chapter’s Family Weekend for families affected by Tourette Syndrome. The weekend includes camping activities, seminars and opportunities for connection.

For decades, mainstream media has unfairly characterized Tourette Syndrome as the ‘cursing disorder’ where individuals involuntarily blurt out obscenities. While outbursts of inappropriate words can be a symptom, it only affects 10% of those with Tourette Syndrome. So, what is Tourette Syndrome? The Tourette Association of America (TAA) defines it as a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by sudden involuntary motor and vocal tics. TAA estimates that 1 out of every 160 children between the ages of 5-17 living in the United States has Tourette Syndrome. Founded in 1972, TAA is a nonprofit agency advocating for individuals affected by Tourette and Tic Disorders. State-led chapters under the auspices of the national organization provide local support. Christopher Brown, the chairperson for the TAA Florida Chapter, said, “We focus on advocacy, awareness and support for our families. We have the Family Weekend in Brandon and other events around the state.” In February, the TAA Florida Chapter holds its annual Family Weekend event at the Rotary’s Camp in Brandon. Families across Florida can connect with other families who are dealing with similar issues. The weekend camp offers miniconferences on topics like navigating a 504 Plan, an IEP, and other educational matters. The TAA Florida Chapter also over-



sees support groups—both in person and online. Denise Graf, a Lithia resident and mother of an adolescent with Tourette Syndrome, recently discovered the Tourette Association of Florida Facebook group. “The group has not only provided emotional support and insightful information but has also given us the opportunity to provide support with what we've learned along our journey,” said Graf. Graf also mentioned that the start of the school year often brings increased stress to students with Tourette Syndrome. She explained, “It's a tough time for families as they grow concerned about how their child could become a target of bullying since the symptoms make them ‘different’—causing them to draw attention to themselves.” With the hope to remove stereotypes, TAA initiated a program called Youth Ambassadors. The program trains adolescents with Tourette and Tic Disorders to address and educate elected officials, peers, and schools about the disorder. The goal is to shed some light to this frequently misunderstood disorder. For more information on TAA and Tourette Syndrome, visit To find local events or a support group, visit the TAA Florida Chapter website at The TAA Florida Facebook support group can be found on Facebook at Tourette Association Florida.


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Army Sgt Thomas...Continued From Page 1

By Tamas Mondovics

Katie’s new hard top Jeep, during one rainy day in March 2014. The two were later found unconscious due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Katie’s boyfriend, a decorated officer who did several tours in Afghanistan and was shot a number of different times and not expected to live, died at the scene. The Jeep’s tailpipe reportedly got clogged while the two were navigating through the mud which resulted in the cabin filling with carbon monoxide and robbing them of oxygen. Katie is considered to be in a minimally conscious state. She cannot speak, walk, or sit on her own. “Homecoming day, however, was not a day to mourn the past, though,

but to celebrate that Katie is finally stable enough to allow her to live outside the confines of a hospital,” Kathy said. "This means so much to us," Kathy said of the emotional homecoming adding that the Lithia Ridge community has been very supportive. "I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” At the time of her accident, Katie had completed her college courses and had aspirations of attending Officer Candidate School. To organize Katie’s welcome home, residents were hoping to get as many residents to attend as possible, which became a bit worrisome due to the stormy weather forecast. Rain or no rain, a large crowd patiently waited for Katie as well as enjoyed the singing of the National Anthem by 20-year-old Makaylah Caschette, a neighbor, followed by a baton-twirling routine. The family is also collecting donations towards gift cards for Kathy to get things needed for the house for Katie. For more information and to support the family, please visit

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Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Feld Entertainment, Inc., Brings Newest Disney On Ice Frozen to Tampa

By Vanessa Evans

Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, announced it will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life. Tickets are on sale for Disney On Ice presents Frozen, which visits Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Dr. in Tampa from Friday, September 29 at 7 p.m., Saturday, September 30 at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, October 1 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as Let it Go, Do You Want to Build a Snowman? and Fixer Upper. “In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” said producer Nicole Feld. “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innova-


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tive show elements and world-class skating.” Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee add, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace Frozen has been the experience of a lifetime. And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Feld Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.” In Disney On Ice presents Frozen, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all. To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating. All seats are reserved and tickets are available by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amalie Arena office. Group ticket sales and information, call 866248-8740. Visit

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By Kate Quesada

Bloomingdale HOA Receives County Recognition At Awards Event The more. Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Homeowner’s won in the category Association (HOA) of Neighborhood was recently recogImprovement as it is nized by Hillsborough created a new online County in its annual community standards Neighborhood The Bloomingdale HOA was recognized list addressing the Recognition Award most common comat the recent Hillsborough County program. The associ- Neighborhoods Conference last month. plaints and worked ation, which reprewith the county to inisents 5,200 residents in 32 sub-divisions tiate a codes sweep program. won awards in three of the nine cateThe group also received an award for gories announced at the Hillsborough Neighborhood Communications due to its County Neighborhoods Conference last monthly publication, The Bloomingdale month. Gazette which provides coverage on “These awards recognize those HOA issues, county news and business whose efforts go above and beyond to profiles. The association was also recogmake a difference,” said Hillsborough nized for using a website and social County Community Relations Coordinator media to reach residents. Michelle Van Dyke. Finally, Bloomingdale HOA was also According to Van Dyke, the 2017 recognized as one of the Effective Boards countywide awards program was for prioritizing communication, problemrevamped to reflect the changing ways solving, inclusion, training and strong residents are contributing to their commu- leadership. nities. “Frank discussion is encouraged, vol“The all-new categories recognized unteers are recognized, various commitindividuals, groups and organizations that tees organize a wide variety of events have enriched the quality of life in neighand initiatives and members interact regborhoods through outreach, improvement ularly with government agencies on projects, vomiter work, safety programs, behalf of the community,” said Van Dyke. art, partnerships and board leadership,” For more information on the awards, said Van Dyke. visit or call Nominations were judged by an the Office of Neighborhood Relations at panel that included representatives from 272-5860. For more information on the the public sector, non profit groups, eduBloomingdale HOA, visit www.bloomingcation, neighborhood associations and or call 681-2051.

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Five Tips for Women Business Owners

Women are an integral part of the workforce, but they have had to overcome many obstacles along the way. Of course, challenges still remain, but women’s success in the working world is worth commemorating – which will happen on American Business Women’s Day Sept. 22. Are you a woman considering “setting up shop” on your own? If so, here are five tips to consider: • Balance your goals. It’s possible – perhaps even likely – that your business goals will conflict with your personal financial goals. After all, if you’re purchasing new equipment or services for your business, you’ve got less money – at least for the time being – to put away for your own retirement or your children's education. Hopefully, your investment in your business will pay off in greater income, but, in any case, you will need to balance your personal and professional goals. • Create a retirement plan. As mentioned above, your ability to contribute to a retirement plan may be affected by the amount you put into your business – but that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a retirement plan. In fact, for your future financial security, it’s essential that you launch such a plan. Fortunately, small-business owners have a choice of plans, including an “owner-only” 401(k), SEP-IRA and SIMPLE IRA. Although the various plans have different requirements and contribution limits, they all offer tax-deferred earnings, which means your money has the opportunity to grow faster than if it were placed in a vehicle on which you paid taxes every year. (Taxes are due upon withdrawal, and withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.) Plus, your contributions to a retirement plan may be tax deductible.

• Arrange for “backup.” Virtually all working women are familiar with the conflict between their careers and their roles as caregivers. Women are still more likely than men to drop out of the workforce for an extended period of time to care for young children or elderly parents. And your caregiving responsibilities won’t end just because you are now a business owner. Consequently, you need to have someone you trust available to step in for you when your family obligations call you away from work. • Design a succession plan. When you want to retire, would you like to keep the business in your family? If so, you’ll need to create a succession plan that works for you and whomever you’d like to take control. Such a plan can be complex, so you will need to work with your legal and tax advisors – and you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to work out the details. • Build an emergency fund. Maintaining an adequate cash flow will always be a key task – one that involves your sales, billing cycles, inventory and other elements of your business. One way you can help yourself avoid troubles is to maintain an emergency fund consisting of a few months’ worth of your business expenses. You’ll want to keep this fund in a liquid, low-risk account. Running your own business can be extremely rewarding, but it’s never going to be an easy road. However, with perseverance and careful planning, you can smooth out some of the bumps along the way — and give yourself reason to celebrate American Business Women’s Day. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

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Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

HCSO Crisis Negotiation Team Takes First Place In Two-Day S.E. USA Competition


By Tamas Mondovics

On the second day negotiations teams participated in a six to eight hour practical exercise similar to a real life incident involving a hostage taking. Johnson said that each team was required to work through this incident in an attempt to come to a peaceful resolution. “This exercise requires Members of the HCSO Crisis Negotiation team won the each member of the negotia2017 Bay Area Negotiator's Challenge. tions team to meet specific Members of the Hillsborough County training objectives,” he said adding that the Sheriff's Office (HCSO) Crisis Negotiation team’s success gives testimony to all their Team enjoyed the spotlight after winning efforts, commitment and hard work with the 2017 Bay Area Negotiator's Challenge. one goal in mind; to save lives. The recognition is appropriate as The training was monitored by two negotiators are often in the background judges who were selected based on their attempting to communicate with a violent experience in the negotiations community, or suicidal subject during a standoff and some of them the Tampa Bay Area. work in conjunction with the HCSO SWAT Based on the scoring, the top three Team to save lives. teams were announced including the The two day training event, saw near- HCSO as the first place winner followed ly 100 negotiators from around the southby the Pinellas Park Police Department east representing numerous local, state, and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, and federal law enforcement agencies. respectively. The challenge took place in early August HCSO’s Crisis Negotiation Team is led by the Bay Area Negotiator Group comprised of twelve men and women with (B.A.N.G.) in conjunction with the Florida a diverse background and experience Association of Hostage Negotiators, and level who have been recognized in the HCSO, and held at the University of past by their peers and other professional Tampa. organizations for their efforts in the field of HCSO Det. Danny Johnson, a 15negotiations. year veteran negotiator who takes the lead “The team motto ‘Bringing Calm to of the agency’s 12-member team, empha- Chaos’ is the primary goal of the team in sized that instructors from across the U.S., an effort to bring a peaceful resolution to presented case studies and advanced an incident that has escalated with viotraining topics to assist teams with best lence,” Johnson said. For information, visit practices when dealing with suicidal jects and hostage takers.




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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Experiencing Totality Eclipses Any Local Experience & Is Worth The Drive The wind kicks up as the temperature begins to drop; just enough to notice on a hot and humid southern day. Shadows cast in the muted light entertain those waiting for the main event. A minute before totality, the duller light begins to fade quickly. Oohs and ahs are heard throughout the crowd. Some cheer; some remain silent in reflection. Everyone peers upward with glasses waiting for the moment when they can finally remove them. As darkness descends and nothing can be seen through the glasses, the time has come Local residents from Kestral Ridge and friends Photo by Kris Lemoins gather together to watch the partial eclipse to bear witness with our eyes (and soul) Totality Picture. locally where it maxed out at 86%. to one of earth’s most magnificent shows – the total solar eclipse. Most long weekends and vacations take a bit of planning, but preparing for a trip to see a total eclipse holds a host of other issues to be dealt with. I decided to join my son Matt on an eight hour trip to Columbia, South Carolina to view the total eclipse on August 21. He originally planned to take this trip alone; but the mama in me decided that he needed company for the long drive. So, less than two months prior to the big event, I was scrambling to find a hotel room. Rooms still available were offered at prices to match the event Michelle Colesanti and son Matt – astronomical! We found a hotel about Darkness descends upon the crowd at the Colesanti stand in front of the South State Museum in Columbia, SC during the 15 to 20 minutes from the downtown Carolina State Museum anticipating the total solar eclipse. area. upcoming total solar eclipse. The hotel finally booked, we were Columbia is home to the University 78th Street Library in Tampa where ready to go – until we found out that the of South Carolina and welcomes football Craig MacDougal gave a 30 minute glasses purchased from Amazon were crowds that come each fall see the presentation that was interesting and not certified as proper protecpossibly Gamecocks play. The stadium holds just educational. Free glasses were given tion. Panic ensued as we tried to find over 80,000, but for the Eclipse, the city out to all participants. We had our glassglasses at the last moment. We didn’t was expecting over 600,000 to attend es, now we could breathe easier. It want to travel all that way and chance the various events planned over the turned out that glasses were given out not finding them. We took a class at the weekend and into Monday. at various locations. By eclipse day, my

By Michelle Colesanti

son and I were sporting three different pair each. We spent some wonderful bonding time during the long road trip as well as visiting the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens and attending some free seminars by visiting professors at the University of South Carolina. Eclipse day was spent at the South Carolina State Museum, which was hosting a large event capping off at about 3000 people. Given the 100 degree heat, we were thankful for the air conditioned museum which had great exhibits, a planetarium show and 4 D movies to entertain while waiting for what we all were there for. Weather had been the main concern as there was originally a 40% chance of showers. On the actual day, a few clouds were in the sky when the partial eclipse began. A little nervous that cloud cover would obscure our view at totality, we were excited when the clouds dissipated and the view was incredible. The time for totality neared. We had 2 ½ minutes to take in as much as possible; to see something that many never get to witness in their lifetime. For me it was emotional and awe-inspiring, but mostly otherworldly. The best celestial sight seen with the naked eye left me realizing how lucky I was to be standing there, and that we are all small in this infinite universe, but we are all significant. The next total eclipse to reach the United States will take place on April 8, 2024 from Texas and arcing up through the New England states. I hope to be there.

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Page 10

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

September 2017

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 11

The Mill Expands Culinary Experience With Second Location In Brandon

FX Fitness Studio Hosts First 5K Race To Help End Hunger

To the craftsman's delight of approach to Brandon and cooking with surrounding area everything residents, a new made from inrestaurant known house to feed for its "rustic and nourish Americana," cuiyour soul. sine with “People Southern and instantly bond locally inspired over food, and flavor, coupled when they go with its avantout to a garde cocktails, restaurant, came to town they want all last month. their senses to The Mill come alive,” Restaurant Dorsey said. “I Award-winning Chef Ted Dorsey, right, is joined by opened its seclove it when I managing partner Jason Griffin and director of ond location in a step out of the operations Brady Engh, during opening week of The Mill, a restaurant’s second location in Brandon. kitchen and 4,200 square Located at 109 W. Bloomingdale Ave. The restaufeet corner see the smiles rant features a rustic Americana cuisine with a space including from all our Southern and locally inspired flavor. a patio at 109 W. patrons in the Bloomingdale Ave. dining room. It is in the former the connection Sluggers between people Neighborhood Bar and food that and Grill spot. keeps us motivatThanks to local ed to do what we artist Istvan Torok do every day.” and his team at Local resiTorok Studios, a 20 dents and among foot tall mural feathe very first turing parts from an guests Ray and old mill have been Maria Rivera incorporated to were clearly reflect an artsy impressed. “steam-punk” look." “We honestly The Mill opened are going to it first location on come back,” Ray Central Ave. in St. said. “Everything Petersburg in 2015, we had tonight and has been honwas delicious and ored by the Golden Spoon Award for we are both comfortable about the Best New Restaurant in all of Florida. future of this new restaurant.” Award-winning chef, Chef Ted Dorsey Confident of its success Griffin and Managing Partner, Jason Griffin emphasized The Mill’s rightful place in have also been joined by Brady Engh the community when he said, “We as the Director of Operations. believe that Brandon and its rapidly By the numbers, the new restauexpanding population deserve the very rant boasts of 180 seats, with 150 best and we plan on bringing our pasinside and 30 outside offering creative sion for food and craft cocktails here. cuisine in a relaxed environment. We love what we built in St. Petersburg From its appetizers of watermelon and we are excited to bring our unique and feta bruschetta, blue crab crodining experience to Brandon.” quettes and sweet pea hummus to dinThe Brandon location will be servners featuring Dorsey’s smoke braised ing dinner nightly: Tuesday - Saturday boar ribs, cider braised mussels, honey 4 p.m.-10 p.m. and on Sunday 4 p.m.seared tuna or a crowd-favorite, meat9 p.m. The Mill is closed on Mondays. loaf Wellington and charcuterie plates. For more information or reservaDorsey described the menu as a tions, visit

Ready, Set, Go! On Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 a.m., runners can lace up their sneakers for the first annual FX Fitness Race To Help End Hunger. The 5K race takes place outside the FX Fitness Studio in Brandon. Owner Drew Preiss is pumped to pair his passion for fitness with feeding the less fortunate. “I enjoy helping other people, that's why I got into the fitness industry to begin with. And now to have this opportunity, it is a huge blessing,” said Owner Drew Preiss of FX Fitness Studio and members Preiss. fight to end hunger with a 5K race that supports the nonPreiss linked up with profit organization Feeding Tampa Bay. Feeding Tampa Bay, a nonStudio is collecting non-perishable food profit organization that acts as a large donations that may be dropped off at his food bank for frontline food dispensing studio in Brandon. He also has set up a organizations. It helps replenish the local website for monetary donations that can pantries in soup kitchens, mobile food be found at trucks, Boys & Girls Clubs and churches. revealed he was shocked to disrace-to-end-hunger2. For the three highcover that more than 700,000 people in est amounts donated, Preiss will conthe Tampa Bay area are food insecure— tribute free unlimited membership monthmeaning they are unable to obtain ly packages for one, three and six month enough food because of limited finances. intervals. After hearing the alarming statistic, To register, visit and Preiss felt compelled to step into action search FX Fitness Race To End Hunger. by organizing a charity race. “I’ve always Early registration is $20 per runner, which wanted to put together a race but didn’t includes a shirt. The studio and race start know where to start. I am excited to have is located at 932 W. Lumsden Rd. the support of my studio members. I hope in Brandon. For information, visit the stuto make an impact on my members and dio’s Facebook page @FXFitnessStudio. the community.” To find out more about Feeding Tampa In addition to the race, FX Fitness Bay, visit

By Tamas Mondovics

By Amanda Boston

Brandon Homeschool Fellowship Feels Like Family For Members

By Michael Smith

Field trips are a great place to build friendships.

When Bridee Manning was looking for a new homeschool support group about seven years ago, she tried several groups in the area but none of them seemed like a good fit for her family. Then she checked out Brandon Homeschool Fellowship (BHSF), a Christian homeschool support group that has been encouraging and supporting homeschool families in the Brandon area for almost 30 years. She felt at home in the group right away and has never left. “[BHSF] was the one that fit, it was the one that was ‘family’ right off. They embraced me, they said hello to me, they accepted me and my [two] children,” Manning said at BHSF’s annual kick-off Friday, August 4, at First Baptist Church of Riverview. “It’s more than just a homeschool group, it’s a family.” And even though her children have graduated from high school she is still part of the group. “You’re connected with these people forever.” Brandon Homeschool Fellowship

plans regular extracurricular activities for children and parents, and members enjoy a weekly park fellowship day on Thursdays during the school year. Members share information relevant to homeschool families on the group’s online member forum. BHSF also has several clubs that plan field trips and activities (elementary, middle school, high school and mom’s social). The group has an initiative called MUM (Moms Uplifting Moms) in which an experienced homeschool mom commits to mentor a new homeschool mom for the school year. Membership is open to homeschool families whose oldest child is at least K4 and up. Those interested in becoming a member are invited to come to BHSF’s weekly park fellowship day at Saladino Park, located at 1705 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. during the 2017-18 school year. Welcome Team members will be available to answer questions and help you register. The membership fee is $45 per family. Each family is required to choose two service areas in which to serve. This can be setting up or cleaning up for a party, planning a field trip, or helping with a fair. For more information about Brandon Homeschool Fellowship, visit its newly redesigned website at

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Helping Homeschoolers Is A Labor Of Love For Tampa Bay HEAT Founder

By Michael Smith

When Teresa blessed. God has His Manganello founded hand on this organizaTampa Bay HEAT tion, and I do it because seven years ago, I love people and want she never imagined to glorify God.” the homeschool supHEAT, which stands port group would for Home Education become what it is Activities Teams, opertoday. ates the Homeschool Manganello Resource Center at 307 decided to form S. Parsons Ave. in HEAT in May 2010 Brandon, where it proafter discovering that vides classes, clubs and homesupport to the communischoolers ty. were Manganello said her unable to organization’s greatest compete in challenge is a lack of Photo courtesy of Erin the Florida facility and parking Rhodes, Emagine High Photography space at the Julia Rohm learns to do sutures using a School Homeschool Resource femur bone during an Anatomy class offered Athletic Center. She also said it’s at the Homeschool Resource Center. Association very costly to rent facili(FHSAA) once they reached high ties for the many events that HEAT school. Now HEAT is one of only four holds off-site. Her dream is to have a homeschooling groups competing in the larger facility with a gym. FHSAA. Its girls volleyball team has She is thankful for the parents who advanced to the State Final Four during support the ministry by volunteering, the past three seasons. whether it’s by planning a field trip or HEAT’s membership grew to 500 helping out at the Homeschool families in 2016, and in addition to athResource Center. letics the nonprofit group also offers Manganello said the group is open activities for preschool through high to all families in the area and registraschool, including the arts, academics, tion is open throughout the year. “We clubs, field trips and special events. are a Christian organization, but we wel“I never thought when I did this it come everybody,” she said. was going to be a full-time ministry; For information, visit tampabaythat’s what it turned into,” Manganello or email said. “I think we’ve been so incredibly

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Bell Shoals Baptist Church Provides Support For Christian Homeschoolers

Veritas Brings Hybrid Homeschool Program To Brandon

For more than 20 years Bell Shoals Baptist Church has provided resources and support for Christian homeschool families. In 1995 the Brandon Campus of Bell Shoals formed its Photo by Nancy Bailey FISH (Families ANCHOR members pose for a group picture last year. Instructing Students option is available for high schoolers. at Home) ministry, and in spring 2016 for the fall semester run from Classes ANCHOR (A Nurturing Christian 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Monday for Homeschool ORganization) was founded 12 weeks. at the church’s Apollo Beach Campus. Church membership is not required ANCHOR was started by Apollo be a member of ANCHOR. ANCHOR to Beach Campus Minister of Preschool and Vice Chairwoman Stephanie Demorest Children Rebeka Corgan and Co-op seen several families start attending has Director Nikki Hollifield, and was modeled the Apollo Beach Campus after joining after FISH. Membership, which is open the homeschool group. year-round, runs from June 1-May 31 and “ANCHOR indirectly provides memis $30 annually. ANCHOR members bers with a preview to some of the Bell receive a discount on membership to the Shoals facilities and church events and Florida Parent Educators Association and also gives them some friendly faces so are able to participate in events, field trips it’s easier to build connections when and clubs (book, Spanish, yearbook, church on Sunday,” she said. attending community service and LEGO). Demorest, who has three children ANCHOR has a minimum of one 12, 4 and 1½), started home(ages group event (movie night, STEAM fair, schooling last year. Bible bee, creative arts festival) per “Since the beginning, ANCHOR has month and one field trip per month been an outstanding support system that (Jubilee Gymnastics, Lowry Park Zoo, made homeschooling effective, has Hydro Harvest Farms, Veterans Park). enjoyable and rewarding,” she said. Co-op registration (ANCHOR memVisit or bership required) is an additional $10 per email semester per child (cap of $30). The coTo learn more about Bell Shoals Baptist op consists of three elective classes for Church, go to babies through 12th grade. A drop-off

Area homework and school families have administer a new educational quizzes and option available to tests. them. Veritas Veritas Florida, a Florida hybrid school that Administrator combines homeRobin Hair schooling and classMcEuen said room instruction, the hybrid Photo courtesy of Veritas Florida started its second model offers At Veritas Florida, Christian, year of holding classexperienced teachers with homeschool degrees lead a traditional es at Southside families “the classroom for homeschool best of both Baptist Church, locatstudents. ed at 415 W. worlds.” Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, on Tuesday, Last year Morgendee Meachem August 15. As part of the Veritas Classical Flannery and her husband were looking Schools family, Veritas Florida offers to revamp their homeschool curriculum homeschooling families a unique comple- when they discovered Veritas Classical ment to their home-study programs with Schools. an emphasis on a classical Christian She contacted Veritas Florida about model of education. bringing its program to Brandon. McEuen Christian, experienced teachers with agreed, and Flannery’s twin sons started degrees lead a traditional classroom that attending classes at Southside Baptist meets from 9-2 p.m. on Tuesdays Church. “It was a perfect fit for our family (Humanities) and from 12:30-3 p.m. on as it has an emphasis on a classical Thursdays (math). There is an optional Christian education that glorifies Christ Humanities help day available on and models character and virtue throughWednesdays. Humanities classes consist out every subject and the academic stanof history, grammar, literature/composidards remain high,” Flannery said. tion, Bible, logic, geography, “Few decisions have more impact in vocabulary/spelling, cultural literacy/art my children’s lives than the education that and handwriting (cursive). I chose for them. We are so very lucky to Veritas Florida functions in the role of have Veritas in Brandon.” a tutor, assisting parents in their educaThe Brandon campus of Veritas tional roles. Students receive grades and Florida is enrolling students from kinderreport cards, and they are provided with garten through sixth grade, which will last weekly assignment sheets outlining work 33 weeks and run though mid-May. to complete at home. Teachers grade For info, visit

By Michael Smith

By Michael Smith

Page 14

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

G. Fried Flooring America Celebrates New Location Near Target With HGTV Star

Local Boy Scouts Trek Through New Mexico Wilderness

It is an excitlocation our cusing time to be a tomers could get to member of the G. easily and where Fried Flooring they liked to shop.” America Team. G. Fried Flooring Not only did the America is an indeflooring company pendent retailer that recently open a is part of the Flooring new sales room America Co-Op, on Brandon Town which has more than Center Dr., but Retail Sales Manager Keith Ogden, Sales 400 members and they are also wel- Associates Kevin Lamb and Judy Trice and 800 stores in the General Manager Mike Solmonson are coming HGTV USA and Canada. welcoming HGTC Designer Jennifer designer and tele“This gives us Bertrand to G. Fried Flooring America’s vision host tremendous buying grand opening. Jennifer Bertrand to the grand opening on power,” said Ashby. “We pride ourselves September 8 and 9. on service as well as our products.” Located in the Target anchored-shopThe new location allows Flooring ping center, between Honey Baked Ham America to employ a sales team of seven and The Mattress Firm, Flooring and offer residential replacement, insurAmerica’s new showroom is 5,700 sq. ft. ance restoration, building and commercial displaying some of the many carpets, work. In addition, the company has a tiles, hardwoods, luxury vinyl tiles and 14,000 sq. ft. warehouse for administralaminates offered by the company. tive employees and to store product and “We were able to start fresh with this load installers. location and we were able to show our “We always offer installation on all best selling products by installing display the products we sell,” said Ashby. “We floors as well as showing them in samhave both certified sales professionals ples,” said G. Fried Flooring America and certified installation crews.” President Rufus Ashby. “We also installed During the grand opening celebrathe newest and best lighting so our custion, Bertrand, who is Flooring America’s tomers can really see the true colors of corporate spokesperson in addition to the products in our location.” being featured on HGTV, will set appointAshby opened his first flooring store ments with designers and home owners. in the Brandon area in 1982, but worked A portion of all sales during the grand out of one location from 2000 until opening will be given to the Ronald February this year when the shopping McDonald House. center was sold and his lease was not Visit or call 624renewed. 3675. The new showroom is located at “We wanted to be in Brandon in a 231 Brandon Town Center Dr.

A crew of this crew,” noted local teenage the Lead Adult Boy Scouts and Advisor Ken their leaders Haxton. recently went The Scouts on a life changendured tough ing summer challenges includtrek through the ing backpacking Sangre de in bear and mounCristo tain lion territory, Mountains at Scouts from Troop 632 spent 11 days this summer steep climbs, and Philmont Scout often-inclement at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Ranch in weather. Cimarron, New Mexico. Philmont covers “They may meet only one other group 214 sq. miles of vast wilderness with trails of Scouts on the trail in an entire day of that climb from 6,500 ft. to as high as hiking,” according to Backpacker 12,441 ft. During the late-July trek, 10 Magazine. “Even in the most crowded youth and adult members of Boy Scout destinations, each Scout group camps in Troop 632 hiked 98-1/2 miles over 11 isolation, out of sight and sound of all days. other groups.” The crew made what The group of Scouts and their adviamounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with sors carried everything they needed to their trip to Philmont. survive during the trek on their backs James Allinder, who is the Trek Crew while hiking from camp to camp. They Leader said, “Our whole crew enjoyed the participated in backcountry programs trip. We had the opportunity to do things along the way including black powder and that many people would never dream of .30-06 rifle shooting, archery, fly-fishing, doing. Hiking the Rocky Mountains with a bouldering, tomahawk throwing and great group of friends is something I will horseback riding. The trek included a con- never forget.” servation project where the Scouts The Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts learned and participated in the upkeep of of America’s premier high adventure camp Philmont’s ecosystem. and the largest youth camp in the world “This was a tremendous experience, serving nearly one million participants and it was great to watch this incredible since 1938. group of young men work together to conBoy Scout Troop 632 meets Monday quer rugged terrain, some rough weather, evenings at Fishhawk Fellowship Church. and numerous challenges along the way. If you are interested in an active local Boy For any Boy Scout, past or present, Scout Troop, please contact Michael Philmont Scout Ranch is a bucket list “Doc” Hodges at docitem. I am humbled to have been a part of

By Kate Quesada

Staff Report

September 2017

Page 15

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

No Hiding Places At Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream

Staff Report

ter and cannibalistic creatures feast on the weak. Wasteland -Dare to enter through the perils of the post apocalyptic Wasteland where scenes of past and present atrocities still linger in an abandoned strip of roadway. Rush through the rotting piles of debris, because those who remain will do the unimaginable to survive and make escape nearly impossible for newcomers. Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens will take place from September Playground - A 22 through October 29. paranormal playBusch Gardens® Tampa Bay’s iconic ground lurks in the shadows of Howl-OHalloween event, Howl-O-Scream®, Scream 2017. returns for 19 menacing nights with two Guests have nowhere to hide - not new haunted houses, five terrifying scare even on Busch Gardens’ top thrill rides in zones and pulse-pounding thrill rides in the dark - including the all-new spin the dark, some of which are “infected” coaster, Cobra’s Curse®. Infested with with roaming creatures in the night. cringe-worthy zombies and spine-chilling From post-apocalyptic worlds to creatures, thrill rides will double down with unwanted universes, Howl-O-Scream suspense as empty seats get filled with 2017 returns with two new haunted hous- roaming creatures in the night. es designed to terrify: Undead Arena: Howl-O-Scream 2017 runs select Live and Demented Dimensions. nights from September 22 through Not even the streets are safe HowlOctober 29. Operating event hours O-Scream’s infamous scare zones are are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets start at amped up and swarming with creatures $39.99, plus tax; with special offers for in the night: Busch Gardens Pass Members. Facebook Fans Name Scare Zone Additionally, out-of-towners can take See what happens when savage school advantage of great vacation packages, kids punish their cruel headmaster. This like the Overnight Fright or Wild & Wicked year, Howl-O-Scream gave Facebook Weekend packages. Visit fans the power to choose the name of an abandoned schoolhouse-inspired scare Howl-O-Scream 2017 is a separatezone. ly-ticketed night event. No costumes are Carnie Camp - The backstage area allowed. For information, of an old carnival breathes new life with visit or call 884its dirty inhabitants. Eerie street-fair music 4FUN. Follow on Facebook, Snap fills the air, as spine-chilling fairground Chat, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. performers prowl for new test subjects to Join the conversation be featured in the next spectacle of this using#NowhereToHide. horrid attraction. Meat Market - Watch a band of sinis-

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Page 16

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

Enjoy A Relaxing Dining Experience At The New Crossroads Seafood And Steakhouse

By Michelle Colesanti

Are you in the mood for a good steak Can Eat will help prior to your event for decorating and or seafood, but can’t find anywhere local Crab Legs’ you get preparations. Bone then helps to coordito help you satisfy that craving? on ready for nate all of the deliveries on the day of Crossroads Seafood and Sundays. that perfect the event. Steakhouse recently opened just east of Starting in day. The grounds surrounding Rt. 39 in Plant City, and with its warm and September, Pricing Crossroads boasts five beautiful acres rustic atmosphere, you can now enjoy a Tuesday’s for the hall where you can choose to hold your relaxing date or a night out with your will be rental is wedding ceremony outdoors under the friends. With seating for about 200 peoOyster $2500 for live oak trees and open pasture. Night. ple, you won’t have to worry about long a five hour UM Catering offers full service Come waits, so reservations are not necessary. time limit catering both on and off site. on out on Laura Nogle’s many years at on Food cooked to order on the smokThursday Carrabbas and Olive Garden have Saturday ers and grills behind the restaurant can helped her be used for prepare for outdoor her new role weddings, as the ceremonies Laura Nogle, Assistant Kitchen Manager and Head Line Assistant and large Cook, Mike Taylor, Assistant Manager and Susan Bone, Kitchen parties. Catering Director. Manager and Looking Head Line to the Cook. She future, the enjoys being restaurant hands-on plans to and spends host outmany hours door parties Property Behind the Restaurant and Dining Room at Crossroads Seafood and and conat the restauCatering Hall which can be used for wedSteakhouse rant making certs dings, parties and corporate events. sure everybehind the restaurant. The outdoor area and nights and thing is perfect along with Mike Taylor, will be utilized mostly in the months of Sunday and $1500 during the week. enjoy Acoustic Jazz from 6-10 p.m. while who is the Assistant Manager. October through May. Catering Director, Susan Bone, hanindulging yourself with the Prime Rib speNot a steak or seafood fan? Don’t Lake Hall and the outdoor venues dles all of the events, including the coordidespair. There are many other choices on cial. are also now booking for holiday parnation of everything from the food to the Happy Hour takes place Tuesday to the menu to choose from, and for the little ties. DJ, table linens. She loves what she Saturday from 4-6 p.m., and all day on ones there is a Kids Menu. Crossroads Seafood and Steak is does. Sunday – two for one on well drafts and Crossroads Seafood & Steakhouse According to Bone, “I met the owner located at 106 SR 60 E. in Plant City. house wines. is open Tuesday from 4-9 p.m., Call 756-5699 or visit on Facebook at at a networking event after recently Right next door to the restaurant is Wednesday and Thursday from 4-10 Crossroads Seafood and Steakhouse moving back from Denver and wanted p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4-11 p.m. Blake Hall, the perfect venue for your to do something fun.” She is passionate Plant City. wedding, party or corporate event. The and on Sunday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. It is For your catering needs, you can about what she is doing and does not Hall is about 6,000 sq. ft. and can hold up closed on Mondays. reach Bone at 644-6888 or info@umcaconsider it work. to 200 people. A bride’s room and suites Start your week off right with ‘All You The hall can be accessed a day

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September 2017

Page 17

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Troy University Offers Flexible Schedules To Non-Traditional Students By Nick Nahas the service members and A long-standing just do what we can in relationship with the order to assist them in military led Troy University in Alabama earning their degrees and to offer extension progressing in their educlasses at nearby milication.” tary bases in the The rare opportunity 1950s. Those classes to earn a degree from a traditional university that have evolved and has an NCAA Division 1 expanded into 20 Troy football program in the Service Centers in Sunbelt Conference, as seven U.S. states, well as sororities and fraincluding one in ternities, from afar is Tampa. something that makes Troy offers a wide Troy University unique variety of classes and from other online prodegree plans at the Photo courtesy of Ed Siler grams out there. Troy graduate and underTroy University professors getting also makes classes as graduate levels. A ready for class. flexible as possible for students who have Masters of Science in Counseling and different needs than the average stuPsychology in Clinical Mental Health dents, such as those that may have fulldegree is offered at the Tampa campus. time jobs and can't attend regularly. The Other degree plans are offered online as in-class programs are only offered on well. All of the Tampa Bay region online evenings and the weekends for maxistudents are provided support by the Service Center, such as proctored exams mum flexibility. The online classes that are offered are very adaptable as well. and assistance from the staff. Students are also allowed to select the To accommodate the large military presence in Tampa, Troy offers programs, amount of credit hours per semester that they want to take, even if it’s just one as well as scholarships for military stuclass. dents. The Military and Family According to Siler, because Troy is a Scholarship Program reduces the tuition state school, their cost is very competirate for all active duty members and their spouses and dependents, for both gradu- tive. Also, since they have the Service Centers in Florida and they are so conate and undergraduate programs. nected to this area, they do not have an According to Ed Siler, area coordinaout-of-state tuition rate for Florida resitor for Troy University, this is about a 50 dents. percent tuition discount off of the regular Classes begin on August 14 and regtuition rate. “Troy has been very tied to istration goes through August 21. Visit the military for quite some time,” Siler said. “We see it more as a duty to serve

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Page 18

Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Your Guide To Choosing The Best Florida Orchestra Concerts By Kelly Smith

From the office to the legendary Ray school to politics, life is Charles, with hits like I crazy. Beethoven can Can't Stop Loving You, Hit help. Feel the pure joy of the Road Jack and Beethoven’s Symphony Georgia on My Mind. No. 9 with its triumphant Celebrate the one and Ode to Joy on Friday to only Ella Fitzgerald in the Sundday,September 30Singin' and Swingin': A October 2 at opening Century of Ella concert weekend of The Florida (Friday to Sunday, April Orchestra, conducted by 21-23), and honor the Music Director Michael great tradition of pops conFrancis and featuring the certs with Great American Photo by JM Lennon Pops: From Fiedler to Master Chorale of Tampa The Florida Orchestra perBay. But don’t stop there. Williams (Friday to forms with The Master It’s easy to Compose Your Sunday, November 18-20). Chorale. Own series of concerts to Need a visual: The last all season long. It’s just $25 a ticket whole family will flip for Cirque de la for some of the best reserved seats when Symphonie, with acrobats performing in you buy three or more concerts (regularly front of (and above!) the orchestra while $30 and $45 tickets). Mix and match from they play symphonic favorites (Friday to 23 classical Masterworks and crowdSunday, October 7-9, with a Saturday pleasing Pops concerts. Here’s a guide: matinee). There’s nothing more festive All Beethoven, all the time: Just pick than our annual Holiday Pops Friday to all five Beethoven concerts and you're Sunday, December 9-11 with two matidone. In addition to Beethoven's nees). The Dali Experience will tantalize Symphony No. 9 (September 30-October all your senses, with music that inspired 2), there’s Beethoven's Violin Concerto Salvador Dali, featuring superstar classiwith TFO Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer cal guitarist and heartthrob MILOS, (Friday to Sunday, December 2-4); images of Dali’s paintings and dancers Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 (Friday to (Friday to Sunday, March 3-5). Sunday, February 17-19); Beethoven & How to Compose Your Own series: Rachmaninoff (Friday to Sunday, March Choose from 23 classical and pops pro31-April 2); and Beethoven's Emperor grams at (service Concerto with Dejan Lazic on piano charges apply). Get single tickets at (Friday to Sunday, May 19-21). or 727-892Pay tribute in the Ray Charles, 3337. The orchestra regularly performs at Motown and Beyond! concert (Friday to the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey Sunday, October 28-30), nobody pulls it Theater in St. Petersburg, and Ruth off quite like Ellis Hall, whose mentor was Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

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Page 19

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Valrico Family Thrilled To Open Second Zaxby’s With New Gibsonton Location

By Nick Nahas

In March own business, 2003, Matt has been a Wortman big help giving made his him advice. dreams come Wortman has true when he bought the bought his rights for two more restaufirst Zaxby’s rants, but chain restauplans to open rant in Valrico. only one more On April 3rd of restaurant in this year, he Hillsborough expanded, building off Zaxby’s stellar staff getting County. He wants people the success of ready for the opening. to know what his restaurant has to his first store. offer. “We try to put love and care into The current our restaurant like a family would, Valrico resiand we just want to do the best for all dent opened his second restaurant in Gibsonton, in the guests that come in and want to enjoy the excellent food that we prothe Riverview 14 Shopping and vide,” Wortman said. Entertainment Center, near the Wortman is focused on making Goodrich GDX movie theater. his Zaxby’s restaurant a desirable Wortman became interested in place for families to eat, along with owning a Zaxby’s chain when he worked for the company while he was great customer service. “I expect great customer service, excellent food in college in Georgia, he said. He and any complaints to be solved made an offhand comment to his mom about one day wanting to own a immediately if somebody has a bad experience,” Wortman said. “I want Zaxby’s. He said his family was very the management team to do the best supportive and helped make his that they can to correct the mistakes dream become a reality. that were made.” He moved to Valrico in 2002 and Zaxby’s is a fast-food restaurant went into business with his mom, and that specializes in chicken wings, together, they purchased their first chicken fingers, sandwiches, salads restaurant. The family-owned busiand more. It also offers special dipness has had success, which led to ping sauces and catering is available the opening of the second store 14 as well. It primarily operates in the years later. Wortman said his father, south with more than 800 locations. Robert, who previously owned his

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Page 20

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

County To Buy Additional Land For More Parking At Veterans Park

By Tamas Mondovics

Program funding; the $200,000 for site improvements, that is part of $560,000 in additional funds recommended for 2018 CIP. If approved, the property will be purchased by October 2017 followed by design from October 2017 to April 2018. The estimated seven-month-long A site plan shows a nearly two-acre parcel scheduled to be construction is purchased for additional parking space at Veterans Park and scheduled for April Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum. County 2018 to October officials hope to complete the project by fall 2018. 2018. Residents were invited last month to The museum and park are popular learn about the County’s proposal to destinations, featuring several memoriincrease parking availability at Veterans als and monuments, and hosting a Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. number of special events and cereVeterans Museum. monies throughout the year. The open-house format meeting Officials emphasized that the hosted by Hillsborough County Real 8,000-sq. ft. Veterans Resource Center Estate and Facilities Services, was held currently also under construction on the at the museum, 3602 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in grounds will become the new home for Tampa, with project displays available for the County’s Consumer and Veterans viewing, giving residents a chance to Services. review plans, ask questions, and comAs funds become available future ment on a proposal to buy a 1.85-acre plans also call for a 14,000 to 16,000 parcel at 3801 Danny Bryan Blvd. sq. ft. addition for educational use and According to officials, the purchase of museum exhibits. the parcel is the first step in the $450,000 “The new services center is the project to create parking for an additional result of a unified effort by our local 70 to 90 vehicles along with the addition Veterans, Veteran advocates, of a secondary access point for use durHillsborough County government and ing special events. the state of Florida,” said Assistant The project is included within the Hillsborough County Administartor, existing Veterans Memorial Park Capital Dexter Barge. Improvement Project and is planned to be It will include a multi-purpose room funded by two sources. A State of Florida for uses such as training and special Department of Economic Development events. grant awarded to the County in the 2017No interruptions to park activities 2018 legislative session, $250,000 of are anticipated during planned conwhich is for land purchase, part of a struction. $388,000 grant that includes Veterans For more information, please visit Resource Center enhancements. the County’s Veterans Memorial Park Money for the project also comes Expansion – Additional Parking project from the County Parks Impact Fee webpage at

Cleaning Services

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Volume 16, Issue 9

By Dr. Rob Norman

F l o r iodrsaThe Serenova Tract Outdo

American Alligator sis Alligator mississippien

The can combine your Serenova visit with a hike or Tract is a bike at the adjacent park of Jay B. Starkey 6,533 acres. Wilderness Park. If It has you want to expand approxiyour biking and hikmately 21 ing, both parks have miles of access to the 42great multimile paved Suncoast use trails. Trail. The parks are I have been to this located wonderful park many on the times, hiking and on bicywestern cle, and truly enjoy the section of scenic views and parts of the Great mostly untouched native Florida Florida. If you like campBirding ing, equestrian and primiand tive campsites with picnic Wildlife tables, fire rings and/or Trail, grills are available. There develSerenova Tract has about 21 miles of multiare also good fishing oped by use trails. opportunities in the park’s the local various lakes. chapter of Audubon Society, and I often see horses and riders on nearly 150 species of birds have the designated or marked equestrian been identified. Another nearby park trails. Each rider must carry proof of is the Crews Lake Wilderness Park, their horse’s current negative which I will cover in an upcoming Coggins test. If you have a horsestory. drawn buggy, riding requires a free The entrance is in central Pasco day-use reservation for buggy access County off SR 52 just west of behind a locked gate. As with bicycle Suncoast Parkway across from riders, Florida law requires equestriHayes Road, on the south side of ans under 16 to wear helmets. You road. The address is 14900 SR 52 can also able to have dogs on this Land O’ Lakes. trail, but they must be kept on leash. Come out and enjoy The Great If you have time and energy, you Florida Outdoors!

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September 2017

Page 21

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

SWAT Celebrating Success & Sisterhood By Amy Schechter

at 1020 Bloomingdale Ave, Valrico, 33596. Haskins is excited for the big anniversary celebration Thursday, September 14, and hopes to see a host of new faces in addition to current members. Guests are always welcome, but all need to RSVP online. The cost to register covers your lunch. Current Brandon S.W.A.T. members pay $14.75, vis-



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The Brandon Chapter of Successful Women Aligning Together (S.W.A.T.) is celebrating its two-year anniversary. One of seven chapters across the west coast of Florida, the networking organization now boasts over 300 members and continues to grow. Brandon’s chapter seeks local female business professionals to join them for its anniversary luncheon. Under the leadership of Dr. Robyn Spirtas, founder and CEO, and Deb Gerard, executive director, S.W.A.T. was founded with the idea to bring female professionals together to support one another in their business endeavors as well as in personal growth and friendship. Melissa Haskins, Director of Brandon’s chapter and local Edward Jones financial advisor says, “In general, I find you get a lot more out of a women’s networking group. It’s more of like a sisterhood. It’s all about relationships and getting to know each other.” Meetings are held the second Thursday of every month from 11:45AM until 1:15PM at the Shrimp Boat located

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Page 22

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

Barrington Middle School Teacher Attends Summer Program At Space Camp

Enjoy Family Fun At Annual Barbeque That Will Benefit New Horizons Group Home

Teachers from 33 countries and 45 states including Barrington Middle School 6th grade science teacher Cynthia Fleming were accepted to attend a weeklong space camp at the United States Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama earlier this summer. Participants of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered at the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA) enjoyed space education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities involving engineering and aerospace. The academy is a scholarship program that inspires middle school math and science teachers to become more effective educators in STEM. Barrington Middle School sci“As a 6th grade General ence teacher Cynthia Science teacher it was a Fleming was selected tremendous honor to have been to attend the 2017 Honeywell Educators chosen as so many teachers at Space Academy apply but only about 200 are (HESA), a weeklong accepted each year,” said space camp at the United States Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama. Fleming an 18-year veteran teacher in southeast to install a solar panel on our trip to Mars Hillsborough County. while experiencing one-third gravity,” “Honeywell has given me the best Fleming said. professional development training that a The curriculum additionally covered Science teacher could experience. I am the history of US space exploration featruly appreciative and thankful.” turing stories of people who worked for Fleming applied for HESA last NASA and helped develop the USA September and was notified of her Space Industry, including Astronaut acceptance by Honeywell in January Clayton Anderson. 2017. According to the Department of HESA representatives emphasized Education, only 16 percent of high school that the one thing all teachers in attenseniors are interested in pursuing STEM, dance have in common is that they’re on yet the National Science Foundation a mission to learn new ways to bring states that 80 percent of available jobs in STEM to the classroom next fall. the next several years will require some To accomplish her mission Fleming math and science skills. “HESA aims to had to complete 45 hours of classroom re-ignite teachers’ passions for STEM and and laboratory instruction focused on sciencourage students to seek a STEM ence, space exploration and leadership career,” said HESA representative Emma skills development that included high-per- Johnson formance jet simulation, rocketry and a Since 2004, more than 3 million stunew coding mission to launch them, a dents have been reached and inspired by scenario-based space mission, land and 2,776 math and science HESA alumni water survival training as well as interacfrom 62 countries and 52 US states and tive flight dynamics programs just to territories. name a few. “It was an amazing time meeting While she enjoyed building rockets, educators from around the world,” constructing heat shields, performed simFleming said, adding ulated missions on the Space Shuttle and “I would encourage all Math and a mission to Mars involving navigation, Science teachers who are passionate not to mention flight simulations, space about learning to apply to Honeywell next experiments all the time working in a September. The industry is clearly looking team environment, Fleming shared her for teachers that want to excite the next favorite experience that is safe to say generation of engineers and astronauts many would put on the top of their list. ready to go to Mars.” “My favorite adventure was putting For more information please visit on a space suit and doing a 'space walk'

New will be catered by Horizons Group BubbaQue’s. Homes will hold Tickets are $15 in its annual baradvance or $20 at beque and the door. For silent auction on information on Saturday, purchasing tickets September 30 in advance, call from 11:30 a.m. the New Horizons to 2:30 p.m. office at 571-2690 This is the or Brenda Watkins major fundraiser at 653-2466. for New The silent Ted Eisenhart at Square 1 Burgers & Bar recently treated the residents of New Horizons Group Horizons, a auction will Homes were recently treated to dinner. non-profit include a wide organization that opervariety of items, with ates two homes for something to please developmentally chalevery taste and pocketlenged adults, most of book. All proceeds from whom work in the the auction will go to community or in proNew Horizons Group grams. The faithHomes. based organization According to Brenda was started in 1992, Watkins, “We are fortuThe barbeque patio was built by Austin Chancey for his Eagle Scout nate to have the Dennis with the first home project. opening in 1999. Lee Band performing It currently has the Alice Storms again this year. Dennis has been a great Home filled with eight men, five ladies in supporter of the special needs communithe Mary Lou Creamer Home, and six ty for many years. Violinist Stephanie men eagerly awaiting a move-in date for Simon will also be performing. The enterthe Peter and Brenda Watkins Home, tainment will be something you will not which is ready and waiting for a new want to miss.” license from AHCA. The hope is that the The keepsake ornaments that New men will be in the home by the BBQ. Horizons still has will be available at the The barbeque will take place at the BBQ/Silent Auction and are also available Central Baptist Christian School gymnasi- at McAuley Fine Jewelry on Oakfield um, 402 E. Windhorst Rd., Brandon. Drive, previously Martin’s Jewelers and at The meal includes a pulled pork barNew Horizons, or you may call Brenda becue sandwich with mac and cheese, Watkins at 653-2466. All ornaments are baked beans, beverage and dessert, and $10.

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September 2017

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 23

Page 24

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

See Inside For More News Section 2 of 3 September 2017

Volume 16, Issue 9


Bikes For Christ Ministry Provides Repaired Bikes For The Less Fortunate, Upcoming Fundraiser Will Help With Repairs

By Amanda Boston

With its clever catchphrase, ‘Helps with Transportation on the Road to Salvation,’ the nonprofit organization Bikes For Christ puts bikes and Bibles into the hands of those less fortunate. In March 2016, local resident Patrick (Pat) Pat Simmons, founder of Bikes For Christ, recently Simmons couhanded out bikes and Bibles with the Tampa pled his love for Homeless Outreach. The event benefited homeless Christ with his veterans. passion for Promise, Women’s Resource cycling to start up the organization. Center and more. Simmons explained, "I saw a need “The bicycles are just a for transportation within the homeless segue to our real purpose, communities, especially for the ones which is getting the Word of who are trying to better themselves and God into these people’s get their lives back on track. They needhands. We plant the seed, ed transportation to get to a job or a docand hopefully, they continue tor." to grow in Christ,” remarked The organization not only provides Simmons. bikes to the homeless but also to veterLast December, ans and underprivileged children. It Simmons teamed up with accepts donated bicycles from David Burtt, another avid Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco cyclist with a heart to share Counties and then redistributes them the gospel. At the time, Burtt, through several different agencies. Bikes who is the music minister at For Christ collaborates with Tampa First Baptist Dover, Homeless Outreach, Hillsborough was also seeking to start a bicycle County Sheriff’s Office, Amazing Love ministry. In fact, Burtt was in the Ministries, ECHO, A Kid’s Place, Family process of converting a back room of

dream come true," he said. Bikes For Christ is always accepting road worthy bikes, but it also relies on monetary donations to purchase bike parts and Bibles. On Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9, Bikes For Christ will hold a During a Metropolitan Ministries vendor fundraising event fair, David Burtt met a family from Puerto Rico who had recently moved to at Keith’s Oaks Tampa and had no transportation. Burtt Bar and Grill in provided the entire family with bikes. Brandon from 6 to the 10 p.m. church into a The entertainment will include live bike repair music, raffles, prizes, items for aucshop. tion and a vendor fair in the courtWith nearly yard. Friday night’s entertainment will 85% of the feature the Eddie Wright Band and donated bicyother musical guests. Saturday cles requiring night’s entertainment will include maintenance, musical guests and Karaoke. All proSimmons ceeds from the event go to Bikes For asserts that Christ. their partnerFor more information, visit ship is more or call 533than happen9177. stance. "David To donate a bike, you can drop it joining with off at University Bicycle Center, locatBikes For Christ has been a blessing, ed at 1220 E. Fletcher Ave. in Tampa. and the opening of the bicycle repair To make a monetary donation, visit its shop has been an even greater website and click donate.


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Page 26

Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Joint Effort To Bring Library Resources To More Than 200,000 Students

Florida Hawks Soccer Club Kicks Off Fall Season With Food Truck Event

Thanks to a to use a wide partnership variety of online between resources and Hillsborough learning tools County Public from the public Schools (HCPS) library system. and the Their sevendigit student ID Hillsborough number is all County Public they’ll need. Library HAAL Pass Cooperative Hillsborough County Officials celebrate the intro- will enable (HCPLC), more duction of HAAL Pass to students. every K-12 than 200,000 students including charter school students, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) student expanded public have the chance to tackle the 20172018 school year with a powerful tool in library access to more than a million books, 57,800 audiobooks, 91,360 the palm of their hands. DVDs, 50,290 newspapers and magaSchool officials are boasting of zines, 37,500 music CDs, and nearly what they appropriately named HAAL Pass (Hillsborough All Access Libraries) 288,000 eBooks. Excited about the which they said opens a world of learn- new initiative, HCPS Deputy Superintendent Van Ayres said the ing and additional resources to each HAAL Pass means four times the numstudent. ber of school-age children will now For high school students, these have Hillsborough County library cards resources mean access to test-prep and expands access to quality educamaterials such as study guides for the tional resources. SAT and ACT college entrance exams. “This is about just one number,” Science students can do research with Ayres said. “The student’s ID number, National Geographic for Kids or or lunch number, will provide access to Science Online, and every student will many more educational resources in be able to choose to learn a new lanthe Hillsborough County Public Library guage or get tutoring assistance by system. This is a super exciting time using their new, easy-to-use access. Through the new initiative, students for us. We rely on great partners in this district, and HAAL Pass is just one enrolled in grades K-12 in the public example of what a great partnership schools system, including charter we have with the public library.” schools, don’t need to be library card For information, visit holders – or even apply for a card – in order to check out books, printed mate- or and type “go library” in the search box. rials, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, or

The Florida Hawks gram, coordinated FC (FHFC) soccer club with local schools. is kicking off its fall seaIn addition, the son by helping out food bank offers those in need. The major food districlub, which offers recrebutions to help ational and competitive families with chilsoccer teams, is hostdren before long ing a community school breaks and event at its includes distribuFishHawk Florida Hawks FC soccer club is tions at back-tohosting its Fall Kick Off event on school times and Sports Complex Friday, September 8, with fields on Friday, during seasonal community fun and a donation September 8 weather changes. drive to help Seeds of Hope. offering fun for “Programmatically, our focus is the the community while collecting non-perish- development of kids in soccer, however, able items for Seeds of Hope. one of our core club philosophies is that The event, which is open to the entire we are also a public service organization,” community, will offer food trucks, games said club Vice President, Mike Thomas. and bounce houses, raffles and music “Our participation in providing support for along with spirit wear and customization the Seeds of Hope program not only solidfrom Camden Elizabeth Boutique. Food ifies that philosophy but is an important trucks will include Mr C’s Grilled Cheese, reminder to our kids and parents that we Bay Street Burgers, Craving Donuts, all should look for ways to improve our Nico’s Arepas Grill and Cheesesteak community.” Truck. FHFC offers competitive soccer for “Our Spring Kick Off was so much fun boys and girls from six to 18 years of age that we decided to kick off our fall season and recreational teams from four to 11 for both our competitive and recreational years of age. There are also adult recreprograms with a fun event for the entire ational programs for players 19 and older. community to enjoy,” said Club Admin Sign-ups are now underway for the Annette Collins. “We are also teaming up fall recreational teams and some competiwith Seeds of Hope to have people bring tive teams have limited spots available. non-perishable items so we can help stock For more information to sign up, visit the pantry that feeds more than 100 or call 436-9377. lies a week.” The Fall Kick Off event will take place at Seeds of Hope, Inc., which is based in the new soccer fields at the FishHawk Lithia, distributes food to those in need Sports Complex, located at 16112 through a mobile pantry, a weekly distribuFishHawk Blvd. from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, tion and through the backpack of food pro- September 8.

By Tamas Mondovics

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September 2017

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 27

Transportation And Student-Safety Takes Center Stage At Start Of 2017-2018 School Year

By Tamas Mondovics

Local law enforcement officials, gerous situations for students and and more than 1,700 vehischool district staff and school administra- motorists. cle magnets to local law tors are urging area residents to be alert, Aside from the banners warning enforcement officers at use extra caution, and adhere to the giant all to be vigilant, the District spent their annual back to school banner in front of Randall Middle School, nearly $15,000 to extend the sidemeeting. which warns motorists to “Watch Out for walk at Randall, as well as installed a Signs and magnets Our Walkers and Bikers.” number of bicycle racks at the cost of were distributed in an effort Thanks to Hillsborough County $1,800 each. to alert drivers to be extra Public School eliminating its long standWhile parents quickly mobilized cautious for pedestrians ing courtesy busing, the start of the 2017- their efforts in order to assist their and bicyclists before, dur2018 school year presented plenty of children’s safe travels to and from ing and after school hours. concerns and worry for parents and stuschool, it took no time for Officials said that dents. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s AAA’s School’s Open – On August 10, 2017, an estimated deputies to recognize the need to Drive Carefully, awareness 6,700 Hillsborough County middle and give a hand to the hundreds of stucampaign was designed to high school students who are living within dents now crossing already busy curb a trend of unsafe drivtwo-miles of their assigned school are intersections. ing behavior in school now making their way to class by means HCPS spokesperson, Tanya Arja, zones and neighborhoods of either walking, biking or being dropped said that elementary courtesy busing, that can lead to children’s off and picked up. injury and death. The number of The Sheriff’s Office course includes the also made arrangements 1,000 plus FishHawk to beef up its presence on Ranch area students the roadways as deputies attending Newsome are scheduled to be out in High, Randall and force, in patrol cruisers, Barrington Middle motorcycles and unmarked schools who until last vehicles keeping a close year have received eye on motorists who don't courtesy busing, but know or, don't heed state according to school laws regarding stopping for district officials do not a school bus. now meet the state’s “The goal is to keep Randall Middle School students cross a busy street to school on the first day of the 2017-2018 season. The end of courtesy hazardous criteria. our children safe through busing and the return of thousands of students prompted transportation and student-safety to take center stage in Hillsborough The effect of the education and enforceCounty. Motorists are urged to slow down, be vigilant and watch out for walkers and bikers. extra pedestrian ment,” HCSO Cpl. Larry count on area roadbut many parents feel that no amount of McKinnon said in connection with the ways was immediately felt including will also end at the start of the 2018-19 saving is worth it if it comes at the cost of agency’s annual school bus safety camalready failed roads, slowing traffic, and school year. School officials estimate the student safety. paign. at many spots such as at the intersection total saving at nearly $10 million. To assist with the effort, AAA’s Auto For more information on Florida's of FishHawk Blvd., and FishHawk The estimated savings are substanClub Group Traffic Safety Foundation has school bus laws, visit:http://floridaschoolCrossing Blvd. in Lithia has created dantial, and can be used in the classrooms, donated approximately 500 yard signs

Page 28

Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

ament, n r u o T f l o Charity G ions & t a t n e s e r Medical P More…

healthy living and relationships to teens through Teen Impact, to parents through the Parent Program, and ti, n a s le o to teachers and other ichelle C com M y b d youth leaders through r. e ve Compil reyobser p s o @ classroom education. e michell Dinner is complimentary. There will be an appeal for financial support at the end of the evening. Award Winning Program Offered For more information on At The Bridges hosting a table or sponsorThe award-wining program, “A ship opportunities, please Matter of Balance: Managing visit Concerns About Falls” will be offered or contact Bill Kagey at 600-9446 at The Bridges Assisted Living Community in partnership with Senior Box Gardens Is Topic At Riverview Connection Center, Inc. This free four Garden Club’s First Seasonal week program emphasizes practical Meeting strategies to manage falls. Participants The Riverview Garden Club is will learn to view falls as controllable. having its first business meeting of the They will set goals for increasing activ- season on Wednesday, September 13 ity, make changes to reduce fall risks, at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be and exercise to increase strength and Randy Potters on Box Gardens. The balance. Anyone interested in improvclub's address is Riverview Civic ing their balance, flexibility and Center, 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview. strength or that have restricted activiCall 654-6987 for more information. ties because of falling concerns are encouraged to attend. Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Classes will be held Disease Support Group every Wednesday and Friday from Hawthorne Health & September 6–September 29 from 9Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly 11 a.m. in the Clubhouse at The support group for those diagnosed Bridges. Space is limited. Please call with Parkinson’s Disease and careJanet at 413-8900 for more informagivers on the third Thursday of every tion. month.

A variety of speakers will provide information on topics relating to swallowing, balance, walking, speaking, Impact Program, Inc. is pleased to mobility, exercise, self-care, cognition, announce its and memory, all upcoming, of which can be semi-formal, impacted by annual Impact Parkinson’s Celebration Disease. fundraising dinThe next ner on meeting will Thursday, take place on September 21 September 21 at The Regent, from 2-3 p.m. at 6437 Watson the Media Rd. in Center at Riverview. Hawthorne. The Doors open at Impact Program, Inc. will hold its annual speaker will be 6 p.m., program Impact Celebration on September 21 at The Pam Cooper, Regent. at 6:30 p.m. ARNP and the Learn how topic is Parkinson’s Phychosis and this nonprofit organization is impacting how PD affects emotions. today's teens by educating and The support group is free of empowering them to make positive life charge and open to those who have choices and to avoid high risk behavbeen diagnosed with the disease, famiors. The Impact Program serves ily members, caregivers and anyone Hillsborough County public and private with an interest in learning more about schools, YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, Parkinson’s. Parks & Recreation Centers, and comHawthorne Health & Rehabilitation munity organizations by promoting

Impact Program, Inc. Announces Annual Impact Celebration

tance. To reserve your seat, please call The Bridges at 413-8900, or to learn more about the SHINE Program, please call the Elder Helpline at 800-963-5337.

A Free Laser Tag Event For Families At FishHawk's Cross Park

Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For more information or to register, call 6618998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Charity Golf Tournament To Benefit St. Judes

Amazing Kidz Therapy is hosting a Charity Golf Tournament at River Hills Country Club on Friday, September 15 at 1 p.m. The cost is $100 per player or $400 for a team. The cost includes greens and cart fees, lunch and dinner, skills contests, prizes, raffles and more. All proceeds will benefit St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Register at For more information, email Kathleen.Pici@AmazingKidZtherapy.c om.

The Bridges Assisted Living Community Hosts Free Medicare Presentation

Local residents are invited to attend a ‘Medicare Basics’ presentation on Tuesday, September 19 from 1- 2 p.m. at The Bridges Assisted Living Community, 11350 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. Conducted by specially-trained volunteers of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders), this presentation will provide detailed information on the basics of the Medicare program; including Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and financial assistance programs. SHINE volunteers will also be available to answer questions and provide enrollment or benefit application assis-

Next Level Church FishHawk has paired up with Stealth Mobile Laser Tag to sponsor a free Laser Tag event for families on Friday, September 15 from 6-8 p.m. The event takes place at FishHawk's Cross Park, located at the corner of Dorman and FishHawk Crossing Blvd. To register for this event, please visit For the past three years, Next Level Church (NLC) has been among the top 10 fastest-growing churches in America. NLC exists to be a Loving, Relevant, and Life-Giving church. It continues to live out its mission by opening new locations to reach as many people as possible with the hope and love found in Jesus. NLC is currently assembling a team in preparation for a launch in FishHawk. If you are interested in learning more about Next Level Church, check out You can also email or call the FishHawk Location Pastor at and 740225-3095.

Protect Yourself From “Scams, Schemes And Scoundrels” Program

The fraud business is booming. Learn how to avoid being a victim when you attend “Scams, Schemes and Scoundrels” held on Thursday, September 14 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Debbie Brown, Investigator for the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency, will present the latest information on recent scams, home solicitations, hiring a contractor, tax return fraud, data breaches and ID theft. Education and information is considered the first line of defense in the battle to protect consumers from victimization. In addition to a power packed program, she will provide numerous take-home materials to help you avoid losing your hard earned money to these schemes. The workshop, held at The Bridges, 11350 Bloomingdale Ave., Riverview, is free to attend and includes lunch. Space is limited. Call Janet Noah at 4138900 to reserve your seat.

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Golf Tournament Benefits Campo YMCA You are invited to participate in this year’s Campo Family YMCA Annual Golf Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, September 30 at Riverhills Country Club in Valrico. All the proceeds from this golf tournament stay local and have a lasting impact on our neighbors in the community. The Tampa Metropolitan YMCA is a Four-Star Charity and is a 501(c)(3) organization. A portion of the sponsorship is tax-deductible and donors will receive a tax receipt for contributions. For information, contact Kavita Marballi at 684-1371 Ext. 1606 or

Saint Stephen Catholic Church Blue Mass will be held on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Blue Mass To Be Held At Saint Stephen Catholic Church

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paper crafting projects in a well-lit and fun atmosphere. Your registration fee is tax deductible and includes dinner and dessert on Friday, continental breakfast, home cooked lunch, drinks and snacks all day, plus scrapbook/crop space, swap table, goody bags and door prizes on Saturday. This year’s crop will be Friday, October 6 from 6:30–11 p.m. and/or Saturday, October 7 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Receive a discount by registering early by October 1. The cost is $25 for Friday night, $30 for Saturday, or $45 for both. Late registrations, late payments and walk-ins are welcome with registration fee of $30 for Friday night, $35 for Saturday or $55 for both, if space is available. Registration is open. Sign up at Space is limited and not reserved until paid in full. Please email Patty Fuller at for more information.


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garage sale fundraiser hosted by Seffner Presbyterian Church to raise money to help homeless families. The garage sale will be held Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16 from 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. Please donate

garage sale items the week preceding the sale at 1906 East Lenna Ave. in Seffner. For information about Family Promise or garage sale donations, visit or email

A “Blue Mass” is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. This mass is celebrated for the spiritual intentions of police, firefighters, EMS, state troopers and all other first responders. The Blue Mass dates back to 1934 in Washington, DC. It is a common tradition in the northeast United States and has recently been extended throughout the rest of the country. St. Stephen is located at 10118 Saint Stephen Circle in Riverview.



Page 29

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition


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Total Solar Eclipse Adds To Exciting Start Of 2017-2018 School Year On Monday, August 21, North America was treated to an eclipse of the sun. The much-anticipated event was a perfect addition to science class activities in area schools, supported by the community in various ways. Anyone within the path of totality was able to see one of nature’s most aweinspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. According to NASA officials this path, where the moon completely covers the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere the corona - stretched from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path could see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk, which allowed teachers, students and area businesses to make sure that the special event will not be forgotten anytime soon. Local schools such as Lithia Springs Elementary and Randall Middle School enjoyed support from businesses. Through the generosity of their partnerships with NASA and Janet's Planet, Randall received 1,600 certified eclipse glasses from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. In addition, two teachers at the school, in partnership with Janet's Planet, NASA and the Norwegian Space Agency, were part of a team that traveled to Newberry, South Carolina, to broadcast live as they celebrated the 2017 Eclipse Fest and the Path of Totality. The live broadcast reached Randall

Annual Back To School Press Conference

Superintendent Jeff Eakins, School Board members, students and staff welcomed the media to its annual Hillsborough County Public Schools Back to School news conference, on Monday, August 7, at 10:30 a.m., at Ben Hill Middle School, located at 5200 Ehrlich Rd., Tampa. The event is an opportunity for the Eakins to share some of the district’s goals for the upcoming school year, including the district’s promised efforts to continue building a strong school culture at each school while providing an engaging curriculum for the more than Hallie Thebeau, 6, and Rebekah Haddad,13, of 212,000 students. FishHawk in Lithia FL, “Through the dedication of the experience the 2017 eclipse. district’s teachers, administrators and other schools in Hillsborough County and throughout Norway for many students and support staff both at the schools and at the district level, Hillsborough to experience the brilliance of the event. County Public Schools continues to Lithia Springs Elementary also arranged for an after-school-viewing event. increase the district’s graduation rate,” said HCPS communications The school purchased 200 pairs of officer Grayson Kamm. eclipse glasses, while three local busiKamm emphasized that the most nesses sponsored t-shirts for the teachers recent graduation rate increased 3 who helped supervise. Parents were also percentage points to 79.1 percent invited to take part and the district currently has 996 Randall Middle School is located at more graduates than in the prior 16510 FishHawk Blvd., in Lithia. Lithia year. Springs Elementary School is located at Visit 4332 Lynx Paw Tr., in Valrico.

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District Boasts Of More “A” Schools      

Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) officials were pleased to posts the results of the 2016-2017 school grades, released last month by the Florida Department of Education, which they said showed students making tremendous gains. This release demonstrates that HCPS administrators, teachers and support staff are dedicated to student success and advocate for every child, officials said. During the 2016-2017 school year 51 traditional schools were graded “A” in 2017, up by 10 from 2016. Also, 38 traditional schools were graded “B”, 15 traditional schools improved their grade from a “D” to a “C” and there were fewer "F" traditional schools, dropping to 3 from 7 in 2016. Seven of the district’s turnaround schools, as defined by the state, have improved and are now in a monitoring status. Just Elementary went from a “D” to a “B”, while Jennings and Van Buren Middle, and Gibsonton, Lockhart Magnet and Reddick Elementary Schools all went from a “D” to a “C”. The 2016-17 school grades, district grades and school improvement ratings are now available at

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September 2017

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 31

Superior Residences Activities Director Wins Director Of Year Award At Conference

The Rolling Pin of Brandon Keeps Cookin’ In Las Vegas

Individuals two years Andrew maintained at Superior his position as the Activities Residences of Director. He began his journey Brandon at Superior Residences of Memory Care Brandon Memory Care 15 years sang along to ago and played the piano. their theme Andrew also attends song called You Mulberry United Methodist Are My Church and directs music there. Sunshine as He has been playing organ and Activities piano in church since 1974. To Director Bill add, during his college years he Andrew softly majored in music and started played it on the his lessons at the age of four! piano. Andrew What he loves most about recently won the his role at Superior Residences Life Enrichment of Brandon Director of the Memory Care Activities Director Year award at would be Bill Andrew at the 2017 Senior when he plays Superior Living piano and the Residences of Brandon Memory Conference on the residents Care wins Life Enrichment sing along with him. In addition to that, July 28. This Director of the Year award. conference took Andrew enjoys sitting at the table with place at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in the residents to converse with them. Boca Raton, Florida from July 26- 28 with Superior Residences of Brandon the sponsor being Florida Argentum. Memory Care offers a homelike commuHe had no idea about his nomination nity for all levels of Alzheimer’s and other for this particular award and shared his dementia-related diagnosis. These prothoughts about it. grams and services here utilize the latest “I felt elated and very humble to knowledge and therapeutic techniques. It receive the Life Enrichment Director of does provide amenities too. Superior the Year award. Definitely an honor to Residences of Brandon Memory Care represent the state of Florida,” Andrew also encourages family involvement and said. community activities. Andrew resides in the Riverview For information, visit www.superioarea and has been highly involved with Located at The Greater Riverview Chamber of 1819 Providence Ridge Blvd. in Brandon. Commerce for many years. For the last Call 657-8587.

Dave West ables as well as partand wife Karen nering with local manuare the owners of facturers were areas Brandon’s wellthat West was able to known Rolling Pin delve into. A question Kitchen and answer from the Emporium. “We audience was held with discussions including have been here successes and failures, since 1995”, he along with “how-to and noted. where-to go” ques[Dave] West tions. The event lasted was chosen, Dave West, owner of Brandon’s Rolling about 90 minutes and along with Mary Pin Kitchen Emporium was recently was well attended. Moore from the invited to share his expertise as a “It was an honor to Cook’s successful retailer of consumables. be chosen to speak and share our sucWarehouse in Atlanta, by the Gourmet cess, thoughts and vision for this topic in Retailer Magazine to speak at the Las the gourmet specialty retailer world”, Vegas Market. West commented. “Taking a Bigger Bite” was the subWest has been a chef for 15 years. ject of the discussion and forum inviting He earned his degree at the French him to give his views from an independCulinary Institute where he won the ent retailer’s position regarding the conJacques Pepin Award and received a sumables market. West said, “The event was presented grant diploma. West commented that, “We have by Anna Wolfe, Editor and Chief of some guests who consider us one of the Gourmet Retailer.” The event was hostbest places to eat in Brandon”. ed by the Las Vegas Home and Some of the specialty food items that Housewares Market. He was selected are carried in the store include jams, jeldue to his focus on consumables within lies, sauces and mixes. He and his wife his venues. The lifetime and warranty of Karen also carry a variety of cheeses. hard goods at one time held most of Spices, salts, peppers and rubs are in West’s inventory. He has changed his abundance too. focus to consumables to mix into his “We stock approximately 15,000 inventory. “Consumables are any item kitchen items in a 35,000-sq. ft. retail that customers will use up and then store, West noted.” return to us to repurchase, enlightened For information about the Rolling Pin West.” Kitchen Emporium, call 653-2418 or visit Sampling items, partnerships with vendors, using social media for consum-

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Page 32

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

September 2017

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 33

Paradise Found As Lagoon Community Breaks Ground At Southshore Bay A new resort-style community has broken ground in the Southshore area which will offer a style of master-planned community living, never before seen with its unique five-acre Crystal Lagoon pool. Southshore Bay, the newest lagoon community by Metro Places, is excited to showcase the world’s top amenity with its Crystal Lagoon by Metro Lagoons centerpiece to its family-friendly community and builders are ready to reserve home sites. The new lagoon is well under construction and located in Wimauma at the intersection of Hwy 674 and Hwy 301, directly across from the Sereno community. Homes have broken ground and models will soon open to showcase a future build-out with more than 2,000 homes starting in mid $200’s. The centerpiece of the community will be the lagoon itself with over five acres of fresh water and a waterfront lifestyle. Amenities will include Adventure Bay, Sunset Beach, Treasure Point and Gasparilla Island along with a zero entry, sandy beach with activities for all ages. Residents will be able to kayak, paddle board and even sail small boats. The first time Metro Development President Greg Singleton stood on the edge of a Crystal Lagoon, the view and crystal clear water amazed him. “Wow, this is clearly a game changer”, he said. Construction of the first lagoon community is currently underway in Wesley Chapel at a development named Epperson,

which currently offers the first Crystal Lagoon in the U.S. Southshore Bay will be the second lagoon development in partnership with Metro. Singleton added, "We want families to live here. Families with

By Patricia Tracy

with sensors and small injectors that keep the lagoon crystal clear. Plans are underway for four Metro Lagoons projects in West Central Florida, exclusive to Metro Places. Two of these lagoons will be in Pasco County just north of SR54 and to Southshore Bay will offer a 5 acre the east of ICrystal Lagoon pool. 75, including the separate and children Epperson gated active adult can live and Miranda section. in the prinot too far Metro mary from the Development area and community Group is located still be of Union in Tampa and has close to Park. been in business grandparSouthshore over 20 years, ents who can be residing in the Bay lagoon bringing some of Active Adult Community." Southern in the most innovaThe community will also include Hillsborough tive technologies miles of trails for biking and walking, County, just and amenities to a dog park and golf cart paths and a east of USLagoon site plan. home builders Zen Garden. A community coordinaon SR301 and home buyers. Metro has been tor will be on site to work with resi674, will be situated directly across active bringing to the area Sereno, dents for planning private functions the street from Sereno and, also a Park Creek, Waterleaf, Cypress such as weddings and events. community in Lee County in North Creek and Epperson to mention a Onsite restaurants and entertainment Myers called Brightwater, just one Ft. few. are also planned for the future. mile east of I-75 from exit 143. Crystal Lagoons was founded in “Get in line early, the lagoon Southshore Bay lagoon comple2007 by Fernando Fischmann, a real effect is real”, added Singleton. tion is planned for summer 2018. For estate developer with a biochemistry Current Southshore Bay Builders more info, visit or background who invested millions on include D.R. Horton, Holiday Builders for further informaa 20-acre lagoon along the Chilean and Lennar Homes which will build tion. coastline. He patented technology

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Page 34

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

Twin Lakes Community Presents 8th Annual Art In The Park, Open To Public

Certified Master Cleaners At Accent American Perfect For Any Job

Twin Association, in Lakes in conjunction with Valrico will Lisa Harmon of host its 8th Homewood Real Annual Art In Estate, are putThe Park on ting on the 8th Saturday, Annual Art in the September 30 Park. from 10 a.m. This has to 2 p.m. Art become one of in the Park is Twin Lakes’ best set to take social activities place in the of the year with beautiful Everyone is welcome to come to Zenia Park in the great participaZenia Park, community of Twin Lakes in Valrico as they host the tion from the 8th Art in the Park on Saturday, September 30 from community as home of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. gigantic and well as the surbeautiful old oak trees. Twin Lakes is rounding communities.” Bialas added, located east of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. at “In the past, we have had many difthe end of Bloomingdale Ave. The ferent forms of art from homemade event is open and free to the commu- cookies to painted art to hang on your nity. wall. We also have various food venBoth artists and vendors of all dors and live entertainment. Each kinds are encouraged to attend and year about 50 to 60 various vendors share their creativity with the commu- and close to 500 people attend.” nity. Artists and vendors can set up Zenia Park is a perfect venue for space anywhere within the 11 acre an art festival of this kind. It is shady park. A fee of $10 is charged to nonand beautiful and filled with oaks that residents to offset the cost of hosting are over 100 years old. the arts event. However, there is no Bialas said, “As always, residents charge for Twin Lakes residents. of Twin Lakes are encouraged to Vendors must bring all of their supshowcase their arts and crafts at no plies, including table, chairs and tent charge. Non-residents are also eligi(not required). Electricity is limited ble to reserve a space for just $10 and available on a first come, first payable on the day of the event. serve basis. This is a great bargain The only requirement to reserve a for artists and vendors. space is that the request must be Joanne Bialas, Chair of the Twin made in advance by email to Lakes CSAC said, “The Twin Lakes” of Brandon Home Owners

When your home’s carpeting and interior is damaged, there’s an easy way to determine who to hire to remedy it: check the credentials. Lisa Jordan, co-owner of Accent American Cleaning & Disaster Restoration, has the long list of the company’s credentials on the back of her business card. She said her husband, co-owner Ken Jordan, is the man for any job. “If he can’t get it clean, then it’s not getting clean,” Lisa said. In 1985, Ken was in search for work. He went on a ride along with a carpet cleaning service after seeing a help wanted ad, but realized something wasn’t right: the business would estimate a cheap price for a job and then jack up the price upon arrival. Frustrated and wanting to be his own boss, Ken bought used equipment and started his own business. Years later after meeting a master cleaner from Pinellas County, Ken became a master cleaner and restorer, earning the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Ken won an international spot and stain removal contest five times, and is often called on by area law firms to be an expert witness on cleaning and restoration in court.

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Lisa and Ken Jordan, Accent American Cleaning & Disaster Restoration.

Lisa explained that while other masters of the craft are now soley instructors, Ken takes his thousands of hours in the classroom and field to each Accent American client. “He’s the one on the job,” Lisa said. “He’s the one supervising everything, his knowledge is there in the field; when you call us, and you’re the one getting all that knowledge in your home.” Accent American clients include professional work spaces, realty and doctor’s offices, as well as residential spaces. Ken and Lisa are currently working on the kitchens at Tropicana Field, a client Lisa said they earned through referral. Service members, including military, police, firefighters and EMS, will always receive a 10% discount on any cleaning services. Accent American is also giving anyone who uses their cleaning services a 10% discount through Labor Day. Be sure to like the Accent American Facebook page for more specials.

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September 2017

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 35

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Create Your Own Beautiful Pumpkin Canvas At Center Place Painting Party

A Call To Artists Is Issued For Center Place’s 2nd Annual Square’s Off Exhibit

Center Place has ware clay. Galia said, changed some of its "Jennie has taught many upcoming holiday offerclasses. She has participatings. The first new event ed and worked with many is the Pumpkin Painting master potters and has Party set to take place worked side by side with the on Saturday, September native potters of Nepal. She 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 is an amazing talent, and p.m. The cost to attend we are so lucky to have her is $10 per person, and here at Center Place." this includes all materiSpace for Center als. Place's Pumpkin Painting Everyone in the Everyone will love the experi- Party is limited to 75 peoence of painting this beautiful ple. Each person must purcommunity (ages six pumpkin at Center Place's and up) is invited to chase a ticket in order to Pumpkin Painting Party on come and paint along participate. Saturday, September 23. with Jennie, an art "This is a great event instructor at Center Place. You will not for the whole family that is also very only have a great time, but you will walk affordable. Since we are an art facility, we away with a beautiful pumpkin canvas. like to offer art related events," said Galia. According to Dawn Galia, Center "if children love the Pumpkin Painting Place's Executive Director, "We wanted to Party, they can take Jennie's Wet and hold an event in September so that peoWild Creation class this fall. It is offered ple can hang their painted pumpkin canevery Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. starting vas as decoration for the month of in September. The children can paint canOctober." vases from start to finish over the four Galia added, "This is an event that week class time. Jennie always love input mom, dad, grandparents and child can all from the students regarding what they attend together." Attendees will paint an 8 would like to paint," added Galia. 1/2" x 11" canvas. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. If you would The Pumpkin Painting Party will be like to participate in Center Place's led by Jennie Sikora-Muehl, a ceramics Pumpkin Painting Party, please visit artist who specializes in hand built ware and sculptures made from earthen-

Center frames must Place Fine be smooth Arts and and black Civic and ready Association, for hanging Inc. has on the wall. issued a Entries Call To must be the Artists for complete their annual and original national work of the contempoartist. No rary compekits or comtition and mercially Center Place Fine Arts invites artists from all over the exhibitdesigned area and beyond to enter their national, contemporary art exhibit, Square’s Off. The public can come meet the work will be Square’s artists at an artists’ reception on Friday, February 23, Off. This is accepted. 2018. the second All work year for the competition and exhibit must have been completed in the last which was well received in its inaugutwo years and not have been exhibited ral year. previously at Center Place. This exhibit is a juried show. This According to Square’s Off year the juror is Christine Renc-Carter. Coordinator, Jennie Sikora-Muehl, Renc-Carter is from a family of artists. “Square’s Off is a very modern and She balances her time between being unique show in that all the participata museum curator at the Leepaing pieces are square. Last year’s Ratner Museum of Art in Tarpon show was so well received. We had Springs and being an artist. She has entries from all over the United States nearly 20 years of experience working as well as many from Florida. Many of in museums and galleries. the out of state artists attended the The deadline to enter is Friday, reception. We are still receiving posiOctober 27. The entry fee is $35 and tive feedback.” artists can enter up to three pieces. Sikora-Muehl added, “Because The Square’s Off exhibit will be on dis- this is a national juried art show, we play at Center Place from Friday, had great art from all over the country. January 12 through Wednesday, However, that should not deter local February 28, 2018. An artists’ recepartists from entering. It is open to all tion will be held at Center Place on artists and every piece has a chance Friday, February 23, 2018. At that to be accepted into the show.” time, awards will be given in the Fo information on Center Place amounts of $500, $250, $100 and Square’s Off exhibit and for entry $50. forms, visit or All entries must not exceed 18” by call 685-8888 or email center18”. The minimum size is 5” x 5”. All


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pare To e r P s r e t t Globetro ment u c o D e e r ,F Entertain More… & g n i d d e Shr olesanti, eC Michell y b om d e il bserver.c o Comp y e r p s @o michelle

Andrew Learned For Congress Hires Campaign Staff

Andrew Learned for Congress is excited to announce several key campaign hires. Joining the team are Rosalind Moffett, Campaign Manager; Tristan Pike, Campaign Coordinator; and, Ashley Motley, Creative & Social Media Director. About the team, Andrew said, “I am excited to have so quickly grown our grassroots campaign to now be able to field the most talented and experienced campaign team in the region. It is a testament to the energy and resolve to bring a new generation of leadership to Washington.” The campaign ended its first three weeks of fundraising to report the best grassroots support of the Democratic candidates in the primary with 144 individual supporters. By contrast, Republican Dennis Ross raised .2%


Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

from grassroots donors. “This shows exactly what we are about, bringing the voices of everyday working families to Washington,” said Rosalind. The campaign also signed on with Blue Ticket Consulting from St. Petersburg. “Bringing Tom and his team onboard with us is a huge win in helping continue to lead the democratic effort to gather the resources we’ll need to flip what we know is the closest swing district in the Tampa Bay region,” Andrew commented when asked about this consultant hire. Andrew Learned is a Democrat running in Congressional District 15 in the 2018 election. District 15 includes parts of three counties, Hillsborough, Polk and Lake and the seat is currently held by Rep. Dennis Ross. More information about Learned can be found at

feats like, breaking nine Guinness World Records in a single day and netting the highest basketball shot ever recorded in North American from staggering 583-ft. in the air from the Tower of Americas in San Antonio. Tickets start at $23 and can be purchased at,, by phone at 800-7453000 or the McDonald’s® Ticket Office at AMALIE Arena. Visit

Free Document Shredding At The Bloomingdale Regional Library

Securely destroying documents is a critical step in preventing identify theft. In partnership with Legal Shred, a NAID AAA Certified shredding service, the library is hosting a free paper-

shredding event on Saturday, September 23 from 10 a.m.-12 Noon to help keep your personal information secure! Bring up to three boxes of paper materials to be shredded by Legal Shred’s mobile truck on the east side of the Bloomingdale parking lot. Documents may be brought in bags, boxes, or any other type of container, which will be emptied and returned to you. Please make sure that there are NO plastics, CDs, DVDs, x-rays, hard drives, 3 ring binders, binder clips, or anything else mixed in. Staples, paper clips, and even file folders with a metal strip through them are acceptable. Bloomingdale Library is located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

Harlem Globetrotters Bring 2017 World Tour To Amalie Arena

The worldwide icons synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment – the Harlem Globetrotters will bring their show to AMALIE Arena in Tampa on Friday, December 8 at 7 p.m. as part of their 2017 World Tour. The Globetrotters are continuing an epic 2017 season as they prepare to bring their awe-inspiring talents to Tampa. This season alone, the Globetrotters conquered incredible

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September 2017

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Tampa Bay Thunder 12u Seeks Players

Tampa Bay Thunder is looking for a few 12u players for the fall 2017 season. The Thunder is a family-oriented team that focuses on developing players. Practice takes place two to three times per week and games take place two to three weekends per month. The team practices in the Plant City/Pinecrest/Lithia area and most games are played locally. All players are welcome. If you love the game, want to work hard to get better and still keep the fun in the game, call or text Coach Tony at 731-3299 or email

Programs Forming Now For Fun With Bots

Live & Learn Compounding Pharmacy is pleased to host Fun With Bots. The highly regarded robotics and technology programs are an exceptional opportunity for students to embrace programming and technology. Their hands-on programs are loosely structured to allow students the freedom to explore and learn technology such as

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

CAD design, robotics, and 3D printing. Featuring LEGO MINDSTORMS, LEGO WeDo, Arduino, and other technology, students at any level will be challenged while making friends and having fun. This program is open to students in grades 1 through 8 and space is limited. For more information and to register, visit

MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) 2017-2018 Season

Ever feel exhausted in the midst of the joys and challenges that come with your little ones? MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) is a community of women like you that can help. MOPS meets at FishHawk Fellowship Church, 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia on the first and third Tuesdays monthly from September through May. The first meeting for 20172018 is Tuesday, September 5, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. A typical meeting includes food and fellowship, a guest speaker with topics relevant to a mom of a preschooler, creative activities and/ or games, and small-group discussions to connect with other moms. At FishHawk Fellowship Church, MOPS seeks to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers

Common Myths About Using Travel Agents When it comes to using a travel agent, many people are hesitant. The reasons may differ, but can be categorized into three common myths: Myth #1: Agents cost extra. Truth #1: Agents often save you money. They have access to discounts, specials, and often a rapport with various vendors. Myth #2: You can do a better job booking on your own. Truth #2: Agents are industry experts. They have training, have traveled extensively, and can look across multiple vendors to find you the best fit. Myth #3: Agents only work out of a store front. Truth #3: Agents work at your convenience. They are flexible in their availability. Travel agents, like all professionals, have numerous certifications, attend yearly training, take ship tours, and visit properties so that they can better recommendations for their clients. “Having the ability to look across multiple vendors, I am able to find a vacation that my client did not imagine that is a perfect match,” said Jenifer Breaux, Dream Vacations franchise owner and vacation specialist in Lithia. “I have also saved them money and time because I helped find their vacation saving them hours of time researching. I have a recent client, a family of 25, who plans a yearly family vacation, whose interests are vast. I was able to help narrow the focus and now they are life-long clients.” For more information or to be matched with the vacation of your dreams, please call Jenifer Breaux of Dream Vacations at 813.667.7000 or visit

About Dream Vacations Launched in 2016, Dream Vacations A CruiseOne Company is a franchise opportunity that is part of World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure Travel Company. Dream Vacations franchisees have unrivaled buying power to offer the best prices and exclusive offers when selling memorable vacation experiences such as cruises, resort stays and land tours.

to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ. When you come to MOPS, your children are lovingly cared for in our free on-site childcare. In addition to the MOPS meetings, we also schedule regular play dates and "Moms Night Out" events for MOPS members. For more information and to sign up, go to and search "MOPS", or email

Recruiting the Community For Family Events Benefiting NonProfits

A kickoff community event will be held on Sunday September 17 from 12 Noon-4 p.m. at The Barn at Winthrop, located at 11349 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. This first free family event will showcase Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as they bring the programs to create new packs and troops. The goal is to have these events on the third Sunday of every month beginning in December. Each event will promote a different non-profit that is doing something to support our community. In addition there will be vendors, food trucks, bounce house and activities for the kids. For a list of vendors or to find out more information, visit 862837705/ or email

National Bike Your Park Day Ride At Little Manatee River State Park

Join in for a Ranger led group bike ride in celebration of National Bike

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Your Park Day on Saturday, September 30 at 5 p.m. The ride will begin with a short safety discussion and then embark on the main park drive as it winds through Little Manatee River State Park. There will be ample opportunities to see wildlife such as White-tailed Deer, Gopher tortoise, and the Southern black racer, plus a chance to see a spectacular sunset at the end of the ride. Persons of all ages and abilities are welcome. The group ride will cover four to six miles, and last approximately 1 1/2 hours. Bring your own bike, or reserve a rental bike from the Ranger Station. For additional information please visit or call the Ranger Station at 671-5005.

Golf Tournament Will Benefit Newsome Boys Basketball

The Newsome Boys Basketball Team is holding a Golf Tournament and Fundraiser on Sunday, October 8 at Bloomingdale Golfers Club. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a Shotgun start at 1 p.m. The Tournament will be a scramble format with a Newsome basketball team member as your caddy for each 4some. A postgame meal will be served with awards, door prizes, raffles and a silent auction. The tournament proceeds will provide the basketball team with equipment, team camp entries and an end of year award banquet. Sponsorships and Golf Packages are available. For information, please contact Eddie Johnson at 230-1429 or email

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Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition






tamas@ ospreyobser

Sports Connection 657-2418

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

Photos Submitted by Hillsborough County

Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay Program Posts Record Setting Day At Junior Nationals

By Tamas Mondovics

athletes competed in track and field, swimming, archery, and weightlifting. In all, Eric Lowry, 17, of Land O’ Lakes, Danielle Kanas, 12, of Lutz, and 15-year-old Logan Krepop of Parrish won 18 gold, 11 silver, and four bronze medals. One of the gold medals came when Danielle shattered the old national record in the javelin by a stunning six meters. “They worked so Eric Lowry a member of the Hillsborough County Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay competes in the under 18 category during the National Junior Disability Championships. hard in practice, and their hard work really Paralympic Sport Tampa paid off,” Chasanoff Bay, a program of said. “They were Hillsborough County Parks very focused and and Recreation, enjoyed the very supportive of spotlight last month, after a each other. You record setting day during the Members of Hillsborough County’s Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay Small division team assistant coach Dave Lowry, Eric Lawry, could see the effort National Junior Disability Logan, Krepop, Danielle Kanas and program director they put forth.’’ Championships. Andy Chasanoff. pose for a photo following its successful participaA signature proThe tournament was tion during the National Junior Disability Championships. gram of Hillsborough held July 16-22 in Middleton, County’s Parks and Wisconsin, with hundreds of Recreation, athletes from across the Paralympic Sport country participating. Tampa Bay offers The Adaptive Sports year-round sports USA Junior Nationals is for and recreation proathletes ages 6 to 22 with grams to promote physical disabilities and is healthy lifestyles, the oldest and largest continindependence, and uously held competitive personal growth for sports event in the country. people with physical When it was over the disabilities. Hillsborough County team in For info on its Small Team Division postHillsborough County ed nine national records Parks and along with top team honors. Recreation According to the sports Paralympic Sport coordinator for Paralympic Logan Krepop competes in the under 16 category durTampa Bay visit Sport Tampa Bay, Andy ing the Paralympic National Junior Disability Danielle Kanas, 12, competes in the under 14 shot-put event the Chasanoff, the team’s three Championships. National Junior Disability Championships.

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 39

Brandon Skatepark Hosts Best Shredder Contest By Tamas Mondovics

The secBeach. The Apollo ond, and tradiBeach park is designed for tionally the largest, of the beginners and three-contest offers a street-like Best Shredder experience. skateboard tourCounty offinament will was cials said that the held in early idea of the annual August at the contest is to showcase the Brandon Skate area's most talentPark, 5720 Young skaters at the Brandon Skate Park show ed skaters and Providence off their skills during a recent competition. the County's three Road, in skateboard parks as the sport gets Brandon. increasingly popular. The annual Best Event organizers expected a large Shredder event helps fuel the excitement. turnout and were not disappointed giving As reported by the Hillsborough testimony to the park’s rightful place in the community, which when completed came County communications, Zackary Monson, 19, an accomplished skater at the cost of $500,000. from Valrico, is a regular at Brandon Each year, the Best Shredder tourney brings together Hillsborough County’s Skate Park who has recently displayed top skateboarders to compete in a streetsome of his skills at an exhibition at style contest that features prizes for first, Apollo Beach Skate Park, and is strongly second, and third place, and names a considering a run for Best Shredder said, Best Shredder in each division for the "I just love it. I’ll keep doing it until the day I die or my legs fall off.” overall series. The tournament is organNew this year at each event is the ized by Hillsborough County's Parks and best-trick exhibitions during midpoint Recreation, and feature skateboardingbreaks. Skaters who execute the best related vendors and exhibits. tricks earn prizes, but the maneuvers The Brandon tournament is the secwon't count toward the Best Shredder ond, and the largest, of the three tournacompetition. ments that make up the Best Shredder First place winners at the Brandon contest, which this year began on March contest included Sam Christoff (8 and 18, at the Jackson Springs Skate Park, under), Tommy Lee (9 - 12), Paris Kilby the County’s newest course located at (13 - 15), and Sly Sullivan (16 and up). 8612 Jackson Springs Road in Tampa. For information, visit The final event is scheduled or call (813) 744September 30, at Apollo Beach Skate 5319. Park, 664 Golf and Sea Blvd. in Apollo

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9


September 2017

Volume 16, Issue 9

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InThis Section GET THE DIRT. ................................PG 43 MOTORING TAMPA BAY.................PG 45 COOL BEANS HOSTS ARTIST ...........PG 48 SUMMER INTERNS .........................PG 49 NEW DOCTOR AT WOMEN’S CARE PG 50

An Eclectic Boutique For Your Wedding Needs – REVE

Visit Reve, which is an eclectic boutique located at 211 S. Moon Ave., directly across the street from Brandon Regional Hospital. Reve offers a unique, elegant collection of quality products at affordable prices. Reve is owned by Christy Jackson-Collins. You will find many items not only for weddings, but for other events at the boutique. Check out wedding accessories including bridal veils, unity candle sets, cake toppers, blusher veils, bridal beach sandals, bridal bouquets, decorative bra straps, bridal belts, bridal and special occasion jewelry sets, decorative shoulder chains, Quinceanera and prom tiaras, Quinceanera rings, bridal and special occasion hair jewelry, birthday cake toppers, cake knife sets in English and Spanish, beach wedding flip flops, bridal shawls, bridal totes, ring bearer pillows, and much more. Wedding Packages are available to save Brides-to-Be both time and money starting at just $60. Hours are Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Call 643-6446 or visit, or on Facebook at

tomers and a good community to build a small business.” Pinch a Penny is located at

Pinch-a-Penny FishHawk held a Customer Appreciation Night at a recent Rays game.

Pinch-a-Penny Hosts Customer Appreciation Night At Rays Game

Pinch a Penny in FishHawk recently held a Customer Appreciation Night and customers and team members enjoyed an evening game, transportation and even came home with Rays baseball hats from the event. Although the Rays didn’t bring home the win vs. the Cleveland Indians that night, the group enjoyed food, fun and a great night out together. “We had a great time with our customers,” said Jimmy Rutledge whose parents Larry and Kathy make up the ownership team of the store. “In the third inning, we had an announcement about our group on the Jumbo Tron,” said Jim. “Everyone got a hat with the Rays Hat Club and this night is something we do to let everyone know we appreciate the support from our cus-

16715 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. Call 655-3700 or visit

Tuesday Night Market Kicks Off At 22 Moons

Come experience the magic and artistry of the Tuesday Night Market at 22 Moons, located at 3110 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. With farmer and artisan markets becoming so popular, owners Kebbie Rosenberg and Maria Malec of Socializing with a Purpose are spearheading the market. 22 Moons is the place for fine and artisan craftsmanship, antiques,

classes and so much more. It is the ideal location to accommodate the busy lives of families-on-the-go and support local farmers, artisans, food trucks and more. The Market will run weekly and kicks off on September 12 and will run through December 2017 from 3-7 p.m. and pickup again from February to May 2018. The market will include live music and vendors who provide fresh local organic produce, eggs, food artisans, handcrafted jewelry, vintage wares, small batch specialty, candles, soaps, and greeting cards, essential oils, accessories and so much more. Let your children unwind after school and enjoy face painting while mama gets some relaxing henna done. Forget about cooking dinner by eating in or taking to go delicious choices from our eclectic food truck offerings. Ten percent of vendor sales will be donated to a local charitable cause. If Kebbie Rosenberg you know a family and Maria Malec will or group who could hold a weekly use such assisTuesday Night Market at 22 Moons, tance or if you are 3110 Lithia Pinecrest looking for a vendRd. It will kick off ing opportunity, September 12.

Continued on Next Page

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Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Business Column Continued............. please contact the market coordinator, Kebbie Rosenberg at 993-6901.

Sound Exchange of Brandon Move To To Pinellas Park In Merger

By Michelle Colesanti

experience “how their donations ECHO through our community. Additional parking will be provided at well-marked locations and Sheriff Deputies will be on hand to assist with traffic. Come and learn about ECHO’s new programs and the many resources offered to help clients become self-sufficient. There will be music and refreshments to add to the festivities.

Sound Exchange, a Tampa Bay area independent record store chain open since 1987, has announced that it will merge its Brandon and Pinellas Park stores into a 6,400 sq. ft. building at the corner of 66th St. N. and 86th Ave. N. in Pinellas Park. The new location will open at the beginning of October. Members of the Brandon store staff have been offered jobs in the Tampa or new Pinellas Park locations. Jim Butcher and Ron Stoy, who started the Brandon store together in 1992, are both eager to spend semi-retirement in racing cars (Jim) and A ribbon cutting was recently held for Meredith Tucker’s LuLaRoe Boutique. restoring vintage stereo equipment (Ron). Ron said, “We thank our Brandon- Valrico/FH Chamber Holds Ribbon area customers for 25 years of patronage Cutting for LuLaRoe Boutique and hope that you will venture to the Meredith Tucker was proud to share Tampa or Pinellas Park stores in the near in the ribbon cutting of her LuLaRoe future.” Boutique. LuLaRoe is a fashion brand To welcome Brandon-area customers with comfortable, affordable and stylish to other Sound Exchange locations, the clothing that is sold by a national network company is offering people with Brandon, of Independent Fashion Retailers. Valrico, Riverview, Lithia, Seffner, and Tucker started with LuLaRoe in 2015 Plant City addresses 10% off purchases in order to be the first person to open at the Tampa and Pinellas Park stores, every box, and be the first to see new from September 15 until the end of 2017. inventory. It quickly evolved into a full time Just show your driver’s license at the reg- opportunity to support her family, spend ister for the discount. more time with her daughter and have Visit www.soundexchangetamfun and flexibility in her schedule. She opens her home boutique for personal styling sessions by appointment, but also Local Business Chambers To hosts regular live sales via Facebook and Celebrate ECHO’s 30 Years of other social media marketing. Community Service For more information, contact Tucker On Thursday, September 7, ECHO at 601-2269 or of Brandon (Emergency Care Help Organization) will partner with the Brandon, Riverview, Seffner, and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony To Valrico/Fishhawk Chambers of Celebrate Opening of Play-Dates Commerce to celebrate 30 years of servOn Saturday, September 16 at 9:30 ice to residents of Hillsborough County. a.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony will be The event will be held from 5:30–7:30 held to introduce Play-Dates, an indoor p.m. at ECHO, 507 N. Parsons Ave. in play center for children 5 years old or Brandon. younger who desire an imaginative, chalThe fun will then commence, as lenging, and fun environment in which to attendees in groups of 5 are taken on a exercise, play, and explore. The mission fast-paced excursion through ECHO to is to provide parents and caregivers an

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environment where their child can explore freely, feel satisfaction from self-selection, and interact with other children. This environment has toys and activities that will spark imagination and nurture overall development. Parents can rest assured knowing their child is playing in a clean, safe environment, that is easy to get to and doesn't require an all day commitment. In addition to open play, daily enrichment classes and birthday parties are offered. The enrichment classes focus on literature, fine/gross motor skills, creativity, and movement. All classes are age-appropriate and expose children to learning and discovery. Enrichment classes are free with paid admission. Socks are required for children and parents. Admission costs are: ages 1-5 years $10; ages 6-11 months $6.25; ages 0-5 months are free with a paid sibling. Ages 0-5 months are $6.25 without a paid sibling. Each admission includes two free adults. Additional adults are $3.50 Play-Dates is located at 1040 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Call 4385248 or visit

Strategy & Analysis – Regional Operations. “Given his vast experience, we’re thrilled to have Kyle on board,” said Joe Lupo, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa’s President. “We’re looking forward to seeing the positive effect his efforts will have on the Tampa Bay community and guests of Seminole Hard Rock Tampa.” Dunavant holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi. Please visit

New Ownership For Royal Maid Service

Austrian Entrepreneur, Mike Honsa recently became the new owner of Royal Maid Service and has hired special management to help make Royal Maid the best in the industry. Stacy Serrano is the general manager. All the staff are specially trained and before anyone is hired, they are background checked, vetted and insured – as well as bonded and fully licensed. The Royal Maid staff is always on time and uses the best machines and products in the industry. Residential and New Vice President cleaning Commercial of Marketing At are available 24 Seminole Hard hours a day; seven Rock Hotel & days a week on Casino request and at no Seminole Hard extra cost. Rock Hotel & Casino To show cusTampa has named tomers the new qualKyle Dunavant its ity of service offered new Vice President of by the new manageMarketing. ment team, get 50% Dunavant brings off of your first three more than a cleanings. decade of Royal Maid servmarketing ice is a nationwide 5 experience Star rated franchise in the casiwith over 25 years in no industry. business. He spent For more inforthree years mation, call 999as Vice Kyle Dunavant was 4929 or email Honsa President of Marketing at recently named new VP of at mike@honMarketing at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Casino in St. Hotel & Casino. or Louis and was at MGM Serrano at Resorts International for Visit eight years holding various roles with the final year as Director of Marketing

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September 2017

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition


WITH FLORIDA YARD EXPERT Lynn Barber, Hillsborough County Extension Yes, it’s back to school time already. Did you know that the Hillsborough County Extension Service has a School and Community Garden program coordinator? Lisa Meredith fills this role and is the person to contact. She has a list of resources that will help teachers and community garden leaders investigate available grant funding, can meet with you to evaluate your site conditions, make recommendations on what and when to plant, and provide you with materials to make the process easier to manage and navigate. They are an educational institution and don’t provide labor, but can provide the name of other organization(s) that may be able to assist you. School gardens are great because they help build self-esteem, encourage learning, provide interactive lessons, teach life skills, provide a sense of ownership, allow youth to learn where food comes from, and enhance science and environmental knowledge. Community gardens are beneficial because they provide access to fresh food, promote exercise and nutrition, work well for people with limited yard space, revitalize neighborhoods,

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decrease crime and stress, provide an opportunity to connect with others, and control food production. Meredith has been involved with dozens of school and community gardens. Each one is unique and tailored to the style of the gardeners and serve the purpose of teaching how food is produced. School teachers are very innovative in using plants and gardens as teaching tools. Whether container gardening or utilizing the landscape around the school, these gardens show students how important plants are to butterfly populations and to us as consumers of what we grow. If your school or community is interested in more information about these types of gardens, please contact Meredith at 744-5519 x 54146, or email For assistance with horticultural questions, call: 744-5519 or visit the Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 CR 579 in Seffner. There are several demonstration gardens on site. More gardening information is available at:, and

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

Chabad Jewish Discovery Center Offers Melissa Haskins, Edward Jones, Free High Holiday Services Fully Invested In Client’s Future Staff Report By Amy Schechter

Too often, famiaccountants or lies and individuals attorneys, whom put off seeking out her clients want to investment advice have involved with and let their most their investments. solid earning years Because she is slip away. Melissa committed to also Haskins, financial educating clients, advisor with her team offers a Edward Jones, monthly coffee club knows you cannot the second Friday get those years of every month held back, and she from 8:30 to 9:30 wants to help her a.m. at branch. This clients prepare for is a chance for a solid future. clients to hear an In the financial update on the curservices industry rent market and for 12 years and participate in valuraised locally, she able networking Melissa Haskins grew up in the local invests in her community and loves helping people with one another. make solid decisions in their investclients to underAdditionally, somements as an Edward Jones advisor. stand their individthing that really sets ual needs, so that they can capitalize Haskins apart and demonstrates her in their futures. Haskins knows she investment in the community is her and her branch are set apart from the commitment to volunteering. She is rest: “We’re local in the community, the current President of the and people like that face to face. Valrico/Fishhawk Chamber of Most times, you can walk in not even Commerce, she sits on the board needing an appointment.” She spewith ECHO and the University of cializes in helping individuals and Tampa Fellows, and she is also the businesses plan for retirement, creat- director of the Successful Women ing plans for college savings, organAligning Together (SWAT) organizaizing estate and legacy strategies, tion. and offering insurance and annuities. For more information or to make It is important for her to really get to an appointment, call 685-5294 or visit know the unique situations of her her Facebook page at clients so she can best reach your goals. She also welcomes haskins2/. Her office is located at any trusted professionals, such as 1068 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar is nearing, and there are still many Jews who have no plans to attend services. Some are not affiliated with a synagogue; others are looking for enjoyable, meaningful and inspiring services, while others will be in town visiting their families and loved ones; and a sizable percentage simply don’t feel comfortable in a synagogue setting. There are also some who cannot afford the cost of services. Whatever the case is, many of these would-be worshippers are feeling the pangs associated with being left out of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar. Chabad Jewish Discovery Center, the local Valrico branch of the largest Jewish outreach organization in the world, has presented its own High Holiday services option, providing services at no charge for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in a warm and inclusive setting. Chabad's services are "user-friendly," making it enjoyable and meaningful for both the beginner and the advanced. Song, commentary and the use of English-Hebrew prayer books, enable those of all levels to become active participants in the services. "According to Jewish tradition, on the Jewish New Year, the doors of Heaven

are open. God accepts prayers from everyone,” said Chabad Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin, who is the Rabbi at the Chabad Jewish Discovery Center. "The least we can do is open our doors as well, to the entire community. Whether someone can afford to pay or not, whether he/she is familiar with a synagogue or has never been to one, we will do our best to ensure that everyone is made to feel welcome." Rosh Hashanah begins this year after sundown on Wednesday, September 20 and extends until nightfall on September 22. Yom Kippur begins this year at sundown on the eve of Friday, September 29 and extends until nightfall on September 30. Services will be held at the Jewish Discovery Center, located at 1578 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Space is limited. To reserve a space, register online at or call Chabad Jewish Discovery Center at 571-8100. There is no charge for services. For more information on the Jewish High Holidays, visit To find High Holiday services in hundreds of cities throughout the world, visit yServices.

September 2017

The Tampa Theatre Presents "Wine's World" This September

By Kathy L. Collins

The Tampa Tickets for the Theatre presWine Pairing are ents its Annual $275 for individuals WineFest this and $500 for a September with pair. a fun theme of On Sunday, “Wine's World”. September 10, Join Wayne and come see the Mike Garth and warm Myers/Dana up the couch for Carvey classic, three days of Wayne's World at wine, food and 3 p.m. The film is The Tampa Theatre's WineFest 2016 will take place this movies and celebrating its 25th September with a fun theme of help support the anniversary. "Wine's World." Have fun enjoying historic movie Guests can opt for great food, exceptional wines and fun while helping support a local, palace, the upstairs seating for historic landmark. Tampa Theatre. just $10 or for the WineFest kicks off on Friday, "We're Not Worthy" VIP ticket which gets September 8 with a two-tiered Wine you a spot on the stage deck and unlimitTasting. You get to taste dozens of boued mimosas and crullers at the exclusive tique wines and sample fare from deck bar. Tampa's top independent restaurants WineFest is the landmark theatre's such as American Social Tampa, Carne biggest annual fundraiser. Event chair, Chop House, Ceviche, Little Donut Michael Stanton said, "The WineFest House, On Swann and more. committee gets to create these excellent In addition to food and wine, you will annual events that benefit the historic have the opportunity to bid on premium movie palace's artistic, educational and silent auction items. community programs, as well as the 90Tickets for the Premium Tasting are year-old movie palace's ongoing preser$90 and for the Grand Tasting, tickets are vation and restoration. We're not worthy! $55. Premium Tasting begins at 7 p.m. We're not worthy!" and the Grand Tasting begins at 8 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress as On Saturday, September 9, the their favorite character or come in Tampa Theatre's historic stage will be Wayne's World-inspired costumes. The expanded to seat more than 275 for an Wine Tasting and Pairing events and VIP elegant Wine Pairing. The multi-course "We're Not Worthy" deck are restricted to menu, created and catered by Mise en guests ages 21 and older. Place chef, Marty Blitz, will feature delecFor more information and to get ticktable small plates expertly paired with ets, please visit exquisite wines.

Fast Track Urgent Care Offers Quick Healthcare Without The Hassle By Amy Schechter

Going to patient schedthe doctor can ules and within be an unpleaspatients’ budgant experience. ets. True care, One is often not profit, is at unwell when the center of you find yourtheir business self waiting in a model and the crowded area customer is with other sick always most people. Your important. appointment The first runs behind thing you notice Fast Track Urgent Care Now Open in Riverview. schedule and when you walk you should be leaving to get to work or in is the warm, welcoming environment, get the kids to school. Perhaps work is more like a lounge filled with stunning artpiling up because you had to leave the work than a doctor’s office. Dr. Nanda office early to meet an unreasonable explains the vision: “This is where I want appointment time. These were all probto bring my mom. I want our patients to lems Dr. Daron G. Diecidue decided to say this is the single best medical care solve when he started Fast Track Urgent I’ve gotten in my life.” Care Center in 2005. Born and raised in From here, doctors are able to treat the Tampa area, Dr. Diecidue wanted a variety of common illnesses, such as customer service and care to be at the respiratory or stomach ailments, as well heart of his practice, and since opening as treatments and tests such as blood his practice, it has expanded to include draws and x-rays. Appointments are six, soon to be eight locations, with the offered seven days a week from 8 a.m. newest location right here in Riverview. until 8 p.m. Are you going to school? He and his staff are most definitely doing Working? Hours are offered that meet something right. your needs. Don’t want to wait? You can Dr. Paul Nanda, the medical director call the office or go online to request a explained the changing face of urgent Fast Pass. Most major insurance is care and the need for all patients to accepted and special discounted rates to receive “evidence-based, patient-focused, uninsured patients. Walk-ins are welcost-effective healthcare,” even if they come. only see a doctor in times of illness or For information, visit www.fasttrackuremergency. Owned and operated by or call 925-1903. The physicians, they employ those who pracRiverview office is located in an outparcel tice family medicine and are committed to in the new Publix lot at 11406 US Hwy forming lasting relationships and educat301 S. in Riverview. Facebook at ing their patients all while working with

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Page 45

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

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Page 46

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

Classic Stone Gallery Offers Quality Work at Affordable Prices

East Hillsborough Ducks Unlimited Chapter Invite You To Dinner And Auction

Sergio tion, but they Plazza of can get the Classic Stone whole job done Gallery prides when it comes himself on to a kitchen or being able to bathroom offer quality remodel involvcraftsmanship ing stone. at a great price Plazza said for granite, his company quartz, and has one of the marble biggest fabricabecause he tion shops in cuts out the Tampa. They This is a Kristallis quarzite kitchen countertop back- order their middle man. lit with LED lights. The familystone from overowned business supplies, designs and seas and cut in bulk so they can pass the installs kitchen and bathroom countertops savings on to the customer. In addition, and backsplashes with high quality stone. they cut by the square-foot, so that the They do both commercial and residential customer doesn’t have to buy full flats. work. Foregoing a fancy showroom can also The Plazza family has worked in this help them keep costs low. industry for over 40 years with its roots in Customers can visit their website Sicily, Italy back in the 70s. Tampa at The webbecame their destination of choice after site is very interactive and user-friendthey saw a business opportunity with the ly. Potential customers can view the lack of competition in the area. About 10 inventory on the site, including sorting years ago, Sergio and his dad, Steve, by color, level and type of granite they along with several other family members, are looking for. They also have photos formed their own company, which is now of their projects, which include known as Classic Stone Gallery. “We do kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces and really good, custom, handmade work at a staircases in addition to outdoor projvery affordable price,” Plazza said. ects. The company’s contact informaLocated on Adamo Drive between tion is available and they do free Orient Rd. and 50th St., Classic Stone quotes as well. Gallery can also do tile work in the bathPlazza is happy with the way the room, on the floor or wall, and can procompany is going and hopes for convide the tile as well. According to Plazza, tinued prosperity. “We want to stay they can virtually do any stone work. gainfully employed, and we just hope Their main specialty is countertop fabrica- for success in general,” Plazza said.

The East world they had Hillsborough seen so ravaged Chapter of Ducks by war. Through Unlimited (DU) of efforts such as Hillsborough the “Duk-A-Nikel” County will host its program, individannual Dinner and ual hunting camps would Auction raise money and on Thursday, contribute it to September 14, at Ducks Unlimited. the Plant City From those Armory located at 4004 Airport Rd. in Incoming East Hillsborough Ducks Unlimited humble beginArea Chairman Wayne Tasler presents Ron nings, Ducks Plant City. Happy and Christen Sanders with a 1920's duck Unlimited has hour starts at 6 decoy for their leadership and generous support to Ducks Unlimited. conserved more p.m., dinner served than 14 million acres thanks in part to the at 7:15 p.m., with raffles and auctions to contributions from more than a million follow. current supporters across the contiRich Wheeler said, "For our 30th nent. Guided by science and dedicated to anniversary Dinner and Auction last year program efficiency, DU works toward the in 2016, we got back to our roots by havvision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies ing it in the Plant City Armory. It was with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forevattended by more than 150 local conserer. vationists, sportsmen, sportswomen, and Wayne Tasler, East Hillsborough their families. Our goal is to continue to Volunteer Area Chairman stated, “In raise money and awareness for habitat January 2017, Ducks Unlimited celebratpreservation. Please plan on joining us ed 80 years of conservation efforts. Join again this year at the Plant City Armory." us as we celebrate 31 years of wetlands Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s conservation and restoration efforts here largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually in Hillsborough County. Get in on all of the action including door prizes, multiple disappearing waterfowl habitats. With the raffles and both live and silent auctions. farmland literally ‘blowing away’ during the horrific dust storms of the 1930’s Dust We’ll have fishing and hunting trips, top quality coolers, limited edition guns, and Bowl, Ducks Unlimited was born in 1937 this year’s hottest DU merchandise availas a first line effort to restore our wetable.” For info, visit When the veterans returned from da/events/46002/east-hillsborough-dinner World War II, there emerged a ground swell of rank-and-file members who want- or email or call 727-743-8810. ed to make a positive difference in the

By Nick Nahas

Staff Report

September 2017

Page 47

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

The Harbaugh Realty Team Makes Personalized Service Their Motto

By Sandy Meyer

Anyone who ness is very personhas bought or sold a al. We take it perhome can attest to sonally and we care the stress associatabout our clients,” ed these types of said David. “If large transactions. someone is dealing There are many with us, they will be decisions to be dealing with us, not made along the way an assistant, not a regardless which transaction coordiend of the transacnator,” added tion you are on and Bonnie. having a realtor that They believe it is on your side is of is this personalized the utmost imporaspect that sets tance. David and them apart from so Bonnie Harbaugh, many other realtors. of the Harbaugh Not only do they Team at Keller stay with their David and Bonnie’s extensive Williams Realty clients through the experience and personalized entire real estate South Shore are the certifications, approach set them apart from many other team that will be on transaction, more realtors. your side. often than not they David and Bonnie understand the end up with new friends. In fact, the couunique needs of both buyers and sellers ple just attended a former client’s 20 year because together they have nearly 50 military retirement ceremony at Camp years of combined experience in real Lejeune in North Carolina. “Most of our estate. David’s career in real estate past clients are referrals from past clients began in Denver, Colorado in 1990 and or repeat business,” said Bonnie. Bonnie joined him in the business six The Harbaugh’s are the entire real years later in 1996. The couple built a estate team so as a client you know that successful practice with RE/MAX in the you will be dealing only with them Denver area, winning many awards along throughout the entire process. With the the way, before bringing their expertise to greater presence of online real estate the Florida area in 2003. sites, they believe in the value of face to The Harbaugh’s were able to seamface transactions. lessly and successfully relocate their real To find out more about what the estate business in the Tampa area Harbaugh Team can offer you, visit because their client’s know that they have or their best interests at heart. “Our busicall 654-3709.

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Page 48

Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Original Artwork Adorns The Walls Of New Cool Beans Coffee Shop In Park Square

By Kathy L. Collins

Cool Beans States. is a neighborAccording to hood coffee Corley, "Everything at shop located in Cool Beams from the Park Square in floor mats to the hats Lithia. In addition the employees wear, to serving great reflects Genta's origicoffee, libations nal artwork that can and food, Cool be found throughout Beans is also Cool Beans." home to some Corley added, really cool origi"Having art from a nal art created Cool Beans in Park Square in Lithia, owned local artist sets us by Sarasota by Scott Corley shown here with some of the apart from others. I original artwork created by Ron Genta, offers did not want people artist, Ron great coffee, delicious food and a fantastic Genta. seeing commercial art atmosphere. Genta is a that they had seen "household" name in many restaurants in somewhere else. This is all original." the Sarasota area which is how Scott The name "Cool Beans" accurately Corley, owner of Cool Beans, found him. reflects the atmosphere at this fun, local "His art appealed to me. I knew I was and independent coffee shop. Since building a restaurant and had to have opening in May, the menu at Cool Beans some of his art in it." Corley added, "I has been expanded to include full lunch, took a walk with Ron in Sarasota. We and they offer cooked to order breakfast went to all of the different restaurants sandwiches. where his art is located. It was like walkAll tips collected at Cool Beans are ing with the Mayor of New York City. It directly donated to the local non-profit, was fun." Seeds of Hope. To date $1,500 has been All of the artwork is original and can donated. be purchased directly from Genta who Cool Beans is open from 6 a.m. to 9 visited the site of the restaurant while it p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and was being built to get the vibe of the Wednesday. It is open until 11 p.m. on restaurant. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Live Genta is a graduate of the Ringling music from local bands is offered School of Art and Design in Sarasota. Thursday-Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. Genta spent 20 years working and living Genta will be at Cool Beans on in Hawaii. He creates boldly-designed Friday, Septemer 22, 7 p.m. to meet cuscolorful paintings that are fun. Genta's tomers and discuss his artwork, visit artwork can be found in numerous Like Cool Beans on vate collections throughout the United Facebook @cooltothebean.

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Summer Interns At The Osprey Observer Really Get It Write

By Brittany Wallace

This sumObserver through mer at Osprey freelance writing. Observer has led She also wants to great opportuto ultimately look nities for two for jobs in journalgirls, Caitlin ism outside of Masessa and I, Florida. I am Brittany who interned Wallace, a stuhere for the sumdent who just mer. Masessa earned an assostarted in May, ciate degree at while I began in Hillsborough June. Masessa, Community who I only knew College, and will for a short time, be heading to the was a caring girl, University of and amazing Florida this fall. I writer. I am have had the grateful to have pleasure of met her at the interning at the Osprey Observer. Journalism students Brittany Wallace (left) and Osprey Observer. Caitlin Masessa (right) spent their summer internMy mother Masessa, ing at The Osprey Observer. had told me multiwho is currently a ple times to ask for an internship at the senior at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Communications with a minor Osprey Observer, but took me six months to actually go in. I am so grateful I did. in Creative Writing said, “Not only did the paper give me a hands-on experience on This internship has allowed me to become more comfortable with my writseeing how a monthly newspaper got printed, but it also gave me the opportuni- ing, as well having the privilege to see my words in print. ty to stretch my journalistic muscles”. Summer was more interesting Masessa was happy to find out this because of the lovely women at the internship wasn’t her just being someOsprey Observer. I had the chance to one’s assistant. She had insightful and interview Sherrie Sykes, who recently learning opportunities at Osprey retired as the Area 5 School Observer. She got to attend a Derek Jeter press conference, and write multiple Superintendent, and who was amazing to meet. I also met the local winner of features and business profiles. Chopped, Devin Davis. Not to mention The Osprey Observer has allowed learning about how vibrant my communiMasessa to grow as a person. She was able to become more educated about her ty is. My goal is to become a journalist, community. It has also helped her erase her fears of graduating next summer. She and that is why I am majoring in journalism at University of Florida. I can say has become less scared of graduation confidently that my time at Osprey and her future because of it. Observer helped me on that route to my Masessa said, “I appreciate the time dream. I would just like to say a thank everyone took to help me learn and do you to everyone there, and the help was the best work.” appreciated. She plans after graduation to continue her relationship with the Osprey

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Page 50

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 16, Issue 9

McGinnis Law Firm Puts Clients First With Family & Marital Law Practice

Women’s Care Welcomes New OBGYN Doctor To It’s Area Medical Team

Wendy McGinnis practices McGinnis knew all areas of family law, since the 7th grade including divorce cases, that she wanted to paternity cases, adopbecome a lawyer. tions, name changes and “My parents would domestic violence cases always tell me that as well. According to I was good at makMcGinnis, she is very ing arguments,” hands-on with her she said. In 2001, clients. They deal directly she fulfilled her with her and aren’t dreams, becoming passed off to a paralegal licensed in Florida or assistant. She is also to practice family a certified family medialaw. tor. “I am there for my McGinnis went clients, advocating for to the University of their best interests and Delaware for her their rights under the undergraduate law,” she said. schooling, majoring McGinnis lives with in political science her husband and four and minoring in kids in the Brandon area. French, and then She likes to volunteer in Wendy McGinnis has been attended Seton her spare time to help the practicing family law for 16 years. West Florida Flames Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey Soccer Club. She also enjoys particito get her law degree. pating in races, such as the Fishhawk In November 2007, McGinnis Turkey Trot 5K and the Gasparilla started her own law firm, McGinnis Distance Classic. Law Firm. For 10 years now, You can call 800-768-2026 to McGinnis has served the greater schedule a free initial consultation Tampa area, specializing in family with McGinnis Law Firm. Their office law. According to McGinnis, the six hours are Monday through Friday years prior to owning the practice, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and she worked for several private law weekend appointments are available firms that also practiced family law, by request. helping her learn the ins and outs of For more information, you can the business, which assisted her in visit the McGinnis Law Firm website starting her firm. at

The team at Hormone Women’s Care Replacement Therapy Florida’s Brandon, (HRT) and minor inLithia, Plant City office surgeries can be and Big Bend performed with the offices welcomed a assistance of an anesnew doctor last thesiologist at some month. Dr. Lauren locations. Flu shots are Davis joined the also available for group in late patients. August after “Our goal is to recently completing offer high quality health her OBGYN resicare while making our dency at Bayfront patients feel comfortWomen’s Care Florida welcomed new doctor, Lauren Davis to its team last Health Hospital in able,” said Denton, month. St. Petersburg. who explained that the Davis, who obtained her Doctorate of offices in each of the four locations have Medicine at Boston University’s School of themed exam rooms. Medicine, was the Administrative Chief The group also uses Patient Portals Resident during her time at Bayfront to electronically store paperwork and let Health and is also certified in Robotic customers schedule appointments and Surgery. access information. “We are very excited to welcome Dr. “Not only does the Patient Portal Davis to our team,” said Women’s Care mean that our patients can access inforAdministrator, Melanie Denton. “We feel mation on their own schedule, it also cuts that she will be a great addition to our down on office wait times,” said Denton. staff, bringing her own perspective and “We realize that our patients’ time is as experience.” important as our doctor’s and staff’s time Davis, who joins six additional docand hope the emphasis we place on this tors and three nurse practitioners at reflects that.” Women’s Care’s four area offices, will Doctors from Women’s Care work at work mostly out of the group’s Big Bend both Brandon Regional and St. Joseph’s and Brandon locations. South hospitals. Women’s Care has been offering This month, Women’s Care is also health care to females in the Brandon expanding it’s hours at the Brandon area for more than 30 years, focusing on office, located at 731 S. Parsons Ave., on obstetrics and gynecology, including inTuesdays and Wednesdays to make office bone density testing and mammog- scheduling more convenient for patients. raphy screenings and sonograms. Two of For more information, visit www.womenWomen’s Care’s doctors are certified in or call 681-9171.

By Nick Nahas

By Kate Quesada

16715 FishHawk Boulevard (Across from Newsome High School) Lic # CPC 1458117

Lithia / FishHawk


September 2017

Page 51

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Longtime Campo Y Volunteer Ayden Thomas Honored During Anniversary Celebration

By Staff Report

including serving as communications and Y stewardship coordinator, working closely with facility sponsors and program promoters. Over the years, Ayden has learned computer and people Photo courtesy of YMCA skills. She Campo YMCA volunteer, Ayden Thomas, center, is joined by fellow volunteers and Y representatives during a recent surprise anniversary cele- also helps to bration, recognizing her seven years of hard work, commitment and plan special dedication while serving the Y and the community. events and From coaching sports teams, plan- gives presentations at board meetings. ning events, raising funds and handling “When I first started seven years dozens of key responsibilities, YMCA ago, I didn't know much about the Y volunteers serve an important role in and didn't really know what the letters association’s daily function. meant, but I am so thankful for the According to a recent report nearly opportunity and what working here 9,000 volunteers motivated by their helped me achieve.” desire to give back to their local comY officials acknowledged that if it munity, donate an estimated quarter weren’t for her willingness and volunmillion dollars worth of time to the teer spirit, Ayden would be stuck inside Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA annuher home all day, while her mother ally. works full-time. One such long-time volunteer who Campo YMCA VP of Operations has earned her local YMCA staff as Rob Gray emphasized Ayden’s exemwell as the community’s respect and plary attitude when he said, “One thing admiration is Campo Y volunteer that struck me and continues to Ayden Thomas. impress me is Ayden’s smile and posiTo acknowledge her seven years tive spirit every time she comes to of dedicated service, Thomas, 31, who work. She has done this 16 hours a enjoys great support from her mom week for seven years straight.” Kim, was recognized late last month As an added benefit, volunteering during a special surprise anniversary at the Y has given Ayden a way to celebration hosted by the Campo Y meet new people in a friendly welcomstaff. ing environment, to improve her deciAyden was born with Spina bifida sion-making and time management and is wheelchair bound. skills not to mention gaining a whole lot What she lacks in mobility, she of self-awareness. makes up for in spirit, including the Her mom agreed when she said, “I more than 5,000 volunteer hours that have seen Ayden’s self-confidence she has logged at the Campo Y, not to grow and her willingness to try new mention the thousands of dollars that things expand.” she had a hand in raising for the faciliTo sum up her appreciation for the ty. opportunity to be an integral part of the “I love working here,” Ayden said. Campo Y family as well as to serve her “The Y gave me an opportunity and I community Ayden said, “It has been a have grown so much from where I healthy experience and a blessing. The have started, which of course has a lot Y has been there for me for the past to do with the positive environment that seven years, and I don't see myself I work in.” going anywhere anytime soon.” Known for her happy, outgoing and For more information about the positive attitude, Ayden currently hanCampo YMCA, please visit www.tamdles a wide range of assignments

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Page 52

Volume 16, Issue 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

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Osprey Observer 2017-9 Bloomingdale/FishHawk