Two Sections, 40 Pages of Community News
C E L E B R A T I N G
Y E A R S
Volume 12, Issue 4
P U B L I S H I N G
P O S I T I V E
Riverview 14 GDX Now Open As Tampa's Destination Movie Theater
By Tamas Mondovics
PRSTD STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID TAMPA, FL PERMIT #2397
When Goodrich Quality Theaters, (GQT) a Grand Rapids, Michiganbased company founded in 1930, chose Riverview Photo courtesy of Tri-North Builders Inc. to build its Dubbed as Tampa's destination theater, Goodrich Quality Theaters, (GQT) Riverview 14 GDX Theater is now open at the southwest corner of I-75 30th locaand Gibsonton Dr. directly east of Super Walmart (exit 250). tion, a $20 Upon arrival, guests are greeted million, state-of-the-art multiplex in by a giant contemporary lobby that Florida, the objective was clear and includes Features, a first-ofproudly non-negotiable; open with no misits-kind, stand-alone restaurant, bar takes. and Gastro-Pub developed by “Our company culture is all about Celebrity Chef Brian Duffy of Bar fanatical attention to detail,” said GQT Rescue and drink specials crafted by Marketing Director, Kelly Nash. “This is mixologist Mike Tipps. The restaurant our first multiplex outside the Midwest has its own entrance, and is also and we wanted to ensure we opened accessible through the lobby and without excuses or errors.” a scratch kitchen perfect for offers Based on Nash’s sentiments, and lunch, dinner and late-night snacks, judging by opening weekend results, with nothing on the menu over $12, the 66,000 sq. ft., Riverview 14 GDX which gives a whole new meaning to (Giant Digital Experience), located at the phrase, “dinner and a movie.” the southwest corner of I-75 and Following her visit on opening Gibsonton Dr. directly east of the weekend, Riverview Honorary Mayor, Super Walmart (exit 250), did not only Tammy Holmberg, said, "This is not meet its goals- but has far surpassed just the movies. Goodrich Riverview its best expectations. 14 is a game changer in the movie The theater features 1,665 elecwatching experience.” tronically reclining seats with snack The lobby features box offices and trays and cup holders and all seats are self-serve ticket kiosks as well as conreserved. cession stands coupled with self-serve “We opened our doors merely two soft drinks and $0.50 popcorn refills. hours after government approvals and Adding to the experience is sold 1,300 tickets within the first 120 Goodrich’s cutting-edge, large format minutes,” Nash said, adding that in its auditoriums with 4K digital projection first weekend, more than 10,000 tickContinued on page 8 ets were sold.
See Ad OOur Pag n e 16
C O M M U N I T Y
N E W S
Popular Paul Sanders Park Reopens After Major RenovationBy Tamas Mondovics 23
Children swing and play at the recently renovated Paul Sander Park, located at 602 W. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. The park has reopened this month.
Brandon’s Paul Sanders Park, home to one of Hillsborough County’s most heavily used playgrounds, reopened the first week of April, following a twomonth renovation and expansion project. Named after long time Brandon resident Paul Sanders, in 1991 the park is known by many as “The Tree Park” thanks to its mature oak trees that provide shade by means of a natural canopy. The news of its closing in early February to upgrade and expand the park located at 602 W. Bloomingdale Ave. was bittersweet for its regular guests, who, while agreeing with the much-needed facelift, had to exercise some patience during the duration of the project. It was no surprise to see a large crowd on opening day welcoming the finished product that includes a brand new playground along with additional play structures. “I love this park,” said Riverview residents Carolyn Napier, who has brought her son and daughter ages five and six to opening day.
The playground features traditional swings and slides along with next-generation playground equipment that encourages children of all abilities to climb, run, and play. To charm the children and those young at heart, the new equipment includes a Tyrannosaurus Rex that appears to be arising from the earth. Additional playground pieces are also designed to help children on the autism spectrum who become overstimulated. While the crowd of children lined up to give the new playground pieces a fair try, there was no shortage of
Continued on page 6
In This Issue SKYTYPERS .........................................PG 4 BELL SCHEDULE PROPOSAL ...............PG 5 ORGAN DONORS..............................PG 13 VINE TO WINE..................................PG 15
CYBER SECURITY.............................PG 20 CHALKLINES....................................PG 30 SUMMER CAMPS.....................PGS 31‐37
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Volume 12, Issue 4
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Brandon Native Supports Navy’s Most Advanced Submarines
By Petty Officer 1st Class James H. Green
A 2006 George include land-based misS. Middleton High siles and aircraft. The School, Naval Ohio-class design Academy 2010 allows the submarines graduate and to operate for 15 or Brandon native is more years between serving aboard the major overhauls. homeport for U.S. Hernandez and Atlantic Fleet’s balother sailors know they listic missile nuclear are part of a legacy submarines. supporting the Navy’s Lt. Jean-Carlos most advanced subHernandez, an marines. "We demand the assistant operations highest standards from officer, is responsiour sailors - both proble for assisting in fessionally and personthe development ally," said Rear Adm. and execution Brandon native Lt. Jean-Carlos Randy Crites, comschedule for five Hernandez. mander, Submarine Group 10 in ballistic missile submarines. Kings Bay. “Their chain of command, “I like that my job allows me to family and our great nation take meet and mentor people from all different backgrounds,” said Hernandez. immense pride in their devotion and service. These sailors are absolutely The mission at Naval Submarine crucial to ensuring our ships and subBase Kings Bay is to provide support to the fleet, fighter and family, accord- marines are operating at their best always mission ready, providing our ing to Navy officials. It is the state-ofnation." the-art home to the Atlantic Fleet's “The best part of this job is you Trident submarines and serves as an get to do a little bit of everything,” integral part of the nation's strategic said Hernandez. “Each day is differdeterrence program. ent and presents its own challenges.” The Navy’s ballistic missile subServing in the Navy, Hernandez is marines, often referred to as learning about leadership and man“boomers,” serve as undetectable aging multiple responsibilities. launch platforms for ballistic missiles. “Serving in the Navy is humbling,” They are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the pre- said Hernandez. “You have to put 100 cise delivery of missiles, and they are percent effort into your small part, which fits into the bigger picture that the only survivable leg of the nation’s completes the mission.” strategic nuclear forces, which also
Marital and Family Law
TECO & People’s Gas Offer $9.99/Month Hot Water Heater Replacement Program By Tamas Mondovics
For the past water heater, four decades, removal and disTampa Electric posal of the old and Peoples Gas heater, and typical (TECO) has been installation that offering a number includes 10 feet of gas piping, 10 feet of energy-efficienof water line in the cy programs to its same location, residential and taxes, and removal business cusand disposal of the tomers. old water heater. According to Tampa Electric Company (TECO) is offering There's little or no TECO officials, money-saving programs involving money down and aside from providreplacement or upgrade of water heaters. no interest. The ing basic services Promoting April as National Safe Digging Month, TECO wants to remind homeowners monthly payment and a variety of to remain safety conscious and call 811 is conveniently programs TECO before digging. added to your encourages its Peoples Gas bill. customers to save energy by using effiA 7-gallon per minute tankless unit is cient appliances. “If they use less electricity, it can help also available for $24.99 per month for 60 months. delay the need to build additional power For information, cost comparisons plants,” said company spokesperson and details about the programs please Cheri Jacobs. email to email@example.com. One of TECO’s appliance-related, Of course when considering any energy-saving programs involves the conupgrade or addition inside or outside of a version of electric water heater to a natuhome or business, safety must always ral gas water offered to both residential come first. and business customers. To encourage its customers to be Jacobs said that residential or business customers who convert their electric safe, Peoples Gas and Tampa Electric also continues to remind homeowners to water heater to a natural gas water call 811 before digging. heater also qualify for rebates. The current reminder is appropriate The residential average cost of a tanduring the month of April, as it marks the kless water heater runs at approximately 10th annual National Safe Digging Month. $675, which Jacobs said, “Can pay for a In a recent release on its website big portion of the cost of installation.” TECO emphasized that no matter the A second, and somewhat more size of the project residents must call 811 recent incentive program is offered to before every digging project. local businesses, who upgrade to a new And for a good reason. energy-efficient electric heat pump or TECO reported that 170,000 underwater heater. Customers are eligible for ground utilities are damaged every year up to $2000 in rebates. across the nation, and one out of every “This is a newer program and has three incidents is the result of failing to been in place for about 5 years,” Jacobs call 811. said. Visit sunshine811.com for more inforIn addition, People’s Gas is offering a mation about 811 and the call-before-youNatural Gas Water Heater Program. For dig process. You also can visit peoplesa standard tank natural gas water heater, gas.com and tampaelectric.com for more customers pay $9.99 a month for 60 safety tips. months and receive a 30 or 40-gallon
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Volume 12, Issue 4
GEICO Skytypers Air Team Makes Florida Home For Winter Season
Join Us For Our
9th Anniversary Sale!
By Marie Gilmore
The World this team,” Famous GEICO describes Arkin, Skytypers Air Show “The planes spend Team was in Tampa the winters in for the Lakeland Florida and we all SUN ’n FUN Int’l have a love of flyFly-In Expo in April ing.” and invited media to In addition to join the team during air show performa practice session ances, the team aboard their WWII does Skytyping of era SNJ-2, 600 messages that are horsepower planes. three miles long Being a bucket-list and can be seen for up adventurer, I volunto 15 miles around. teered and can honestSome of the popular ly say, the ride aboard messages include, the plane was less tur“Geico Welcomes You,” bulent on my stomach in the sky! This mesthan some of the roller sage takes 5 of the coasters at the theme Osprey Observer Managing Editor team’s 6 planes to Marie Gilmore takes a flight with parks. My pilot was ‘type’ and is amazing Geico Skytypers Team Flight Lead team-owner Larry Arkin Larry Arkin during the recent Sun n’ to watch in the sky. who has been flying “We couldn’t do what Fun Fly-In Air Show in Lakeland. commercially for we do without the supAmerican Airlines for 28 years and comes port of our relationship with Geico,” adds from a family of aviators. His team is Arkin. “We are very proud to be connectcomprised of seasoned pilots with comed to the Geico brand.” mercial and military experience with thouThe squadron of six World War II-era sands of flight hours of experience. aircraft performs their low-level precisionDuring our flight with three of the flying demonstration in SNJs that were team’s six planes, we performed close originally used as training aircraft for proximately maneuvers close enough WWII and Korean war pilots. "We considthat I could wave to the other passengers er it an honor to demonstrate the amazand performed some smoke passes ing abilities of these vintage warbirds on above the Fly-in crowds. This was an behalf of our sponsor, GEICO, while exhilarating experience that gave me a sharing a bit of aviation history,” said taste of flying and a huge respect for the Arkin. The team will return to Florida May pilots and their skills. 6-7 for the Ford Lauderdale Air Show. “We have a great camaraderie on Visit www.geicoskytypers.com.
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Hillsborough County School Board To Vote On Proposed Bell Times Change April 25
W W W
O S P R E Y O B S E R V E R
C O M
By Tamas Mondovics
On the heels of the Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Board’s controversial vote to end its courtesy busing, parents and students are again awaiting a decision on another transportation related issue: new bell schedule for the 20172018 school year. In a letter and on the district’s website, Superintendent Jeff Eakins informed parents and guardians of the more HCPS Superintendent Jeff Eakins addresses than 200,000 elementary, parents and teachers about the district’s proposed new bell schedule and will be sent to the School middle and high school stuBoard for a vote on Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30 p.m. dents in the nation’s eighth PROPOSED BELL SCHEDULE FOR 2017-2018 largest district of High school - 7:15 a.m. - 2:10 p.m., Early Release 1:10 p.m. the proposed Middle school - 9:30 a.m. - 4:25 p.m., Early Release 3:25 p.m. change, schedElementary school - 8:35 a.m. - 3:05 p.m., Early Release 2:05 p.m. uled to be brought to a special called School officials said that with high board meeting later this month. schools dismissed nearly an hour earlier “After you have watched the video will allow opportunities for jobs and getand studied the attached proposed bell ting to practice and after-school activities times, we look forward to your feedback sooner, which means the student’s can once again,” Eakins said, while acknowlget home earlier. Elementary students edging that the issue prompts parents are said to gain an extra 15 minutes of and students to have many questions art, music and PE, which school officials and concerns. said improves their overall health and Parents are to review the proposed well-being. changes and email their response to the Middle school and high school studistrict at BellSchedule@sdhc.k12.fl.us. dents will keep a seven period day, which “After we review feedback from our Eakins said affords them the opportunity families, we will create the final recomto take more classes, including Advanced mendation and bring it to our School Placement and electives such as art, Board for a vote on Tuesday, April 25 at music and band to reach their graduation 3:30 p.m. requirements. The request for feedback of the HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja already proposed new schedule seems to added that the change will provide a have caught many parents off guard and more efficient bus schedule, and improve a bit too fast to digest, although the instruction for students due to maintaining process has involved teachers, parents or adding more planning time for teachand students from nearly two dozen ers. schools for some time. Interestingly the Superintendent’s For many the new bell schedule, comments eventually circled back to the which is arguably connected to the disbusses when he said, “Adjusting the bell trict’s changing bus service and efforts to schedule will allow a greater percentage save money, surfaced barely three weeks of school bus drivers to transport three prior to the scheduled vote. tiers of students (elementary, middle and Eakins said that the proposal is high school). This shift translates to a cost “because we have had years of parent, savings of over two and a half million dolstudent and employee concerns around lars for our school district.” the issues of late buses, loss of instrucWhile the topic of busses, student’s tional time, the need for additional teacher safety and bell times continue to be a forplanning time and the need to work within midable foe to many, to Eakins and his the confines of our budget.” staff it is clearly a means to save money Eakins called the current schedule and a promised goal to work toward a 90 unrealistic and that “something had to percent graduation rate by the year 2020. change in order to meet the needs of our For information and full list of new students and properly secure the instrucbell times, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us. tional minute’s necessary.”
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Volume 12, Issue 4
Paul Sanders Park...Continued From Page 1
By Tamas Mondovics
Detectives Seek Assistance Identifying Suspects In Brandon Area Shootings Hillsborough County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a pair of suspects involved in two separate shootings into occupied Brandon and Valrico area homes. The Sheriff’s Office reported that on Friday, March 24, 2017 at approximately 3:30 in the morning, two suspects wearing hoodies with their faces covered knocked on the door of 1107 Mallory Point Dr., in Valrico claiming they were the police. The victim said that she observed the suspects and told them that she was calling the police. Walking away from the front door, the suspects fired multiple gunshots at the house with one round passing through the front window, the Sheriff’s Office said, adding that both suspects then fled the scene in a dark colored smaller four door unknown make vehicle. While, no one inside the residence was injured, detectives said that just minutes later at approximately 3:36 am, a similar incident occurred only a couple blocks away at 1329 Big Pine Dr. in Valrico. No one was injured at that residence. “The two incidents are related and are not random acts,” said HCSO Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon. “The homes were targeted and detectives are following leads to find the suspects. It is worthy of note that so far this year the Sheriff’s Office has reported
a multiple gun related incidents occurring throughout the greater Brandon area, posting alerts about shootings and seeking suspects of from Valrico, Seffner, Plant City , Brandon, Riverview and Tampa. Investigations continue in a number of these cases. McKinnon did zero in on the fact that, while the shootings are not direct results of recent burglaries of businesses and vehicles during which guns were stolen, it draws attention to the need for guns to be protected and or not left in cars. “The most sought after items in vehicle burglaries are guns,” McKinnon said. “There is always a market for them with a good price. So we want to urge everyone to be more vigilant and responsible gun owners.” Anyone with any information reference these suspects is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200 or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of these suspects and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or send a mobile tip using our P3 Tips Mobile application, which is a free download for iPhones, iPads and Droids. You must call Crime Stoppers first to be eligible for a reward.
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many who still just wanted to climb the trees. As part of the renovation, $315,000 was covered by the County Parks and Recreation department's budget for Capital Improvement Projects. Workers also renovated the restrooms and shelters, repaved the parking lot, added sidewalks, and created an additional entrance to improve traffic flow. The facelift is filling up the park daily as it attracts many new families.
By Tamas Mondovics
Napier said she hopes that the park will be a little less crowed after the newness wears down but added, “We have been coming to the this park for the past four years and I am definitely planning on coming back more often, as long as it’s not too crowded.” The park is now open daily from sunrise to sunset. For information about community projects in Hillsborough County, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.
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Help For Quitting Tobacco
Quitting tobacco isn't easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started. Free Community worksite and clinic groups will be offered, with programs covering all forms of tobacco. Free Nicotine replacement patches, gum and lozenges will be available, while supplies last and if medically appropriate. Locally, classes will be available: Monday, May 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Oakfield Medical Plaza, 276 S. Moon Ave., Ste. 260 in Brandon; Tuesday, April 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Pre-registration is required by calling 974-7889. For additional classes, visit www.ahectobacco.com.
The Dance Center’s Summer Programs
The Dance Center (TDC) will be holding many fun and exciting activities and camps this summer for kids between the ages of 6 and 11, who would like to either, learn more about dance, try new styles, or learn new skills. At TDC all day dance camp, you will receive classes in a wide variety of dance styles ranging from acrobatic, ballet, jazz, modern, and Hip-Hop, along with arts and crafts, stretch and conditioning and many more activities. TDC Dance Camp will take place July 10–28. It is located at 161 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. For more information please contact the Administrative Director or Owner of The Dance Center at tdc@brandon-
dance.com, call 684-4282, or visit www.brandondance.com.
Cabot Creamery And The Florida Dairy Farmers Hosted The First Girl Scout Patch Day
Oh,The Places You Can Go When You Read A Book!
Artist, Laure Ferlita, will illustrate how to create and personalize a poster about a favorite book using watercolors or colored markers Saturday, May 6 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Attendees will discuss how books have opened up new worlds for them. The class is free, and supplies will be provided. There is a 20 person limit. Please register at the library Ask Desk or call 273-3652.
(Joshua McKeen). Directed by Aimee Griggs and assisted by two GCS Graduates Emily Pickles and Jasey Stebbins. Performances will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $10. Grace Christian School is located at 1425 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico.
In March, the Cabot Creamery and the Florida Dairy Farmers hosted the first ever Girl Scout Patch Day which included more than 100 Girl Scouts and their families. The free program was part of Cabot’s Scout Patch program that enables Scouts to earn custom-designed patches for various educational activities focused on health, community, business and social responsibility. Girl Scouts who participated and completed the twohour program earned Cabot’s newest patch program “Fueling Head To Toe”, that helped Scouts learn about the importance of healthy eating and exercise in building a healthy body. The Scouts engaged in adult-led fun activities to learn how to build a healthy snack, how to do yoga to strengthen their body and why dairy is a healthy part of a balanced and nutritious diet.
Bring Your Family To See Annie, Jr.
The Grace Christian School Drama Department presents Annie, Jr., an adaptation of one of the world's best-loved musicals. Annie, performed by Brooke Wilson, charms everyone she meets despite her rough start during the Depression-era in New York City. Annie is determined to find her parents who abandoned her at an orphanage run by the cruel, Miss Hannigan (Daviana Denney). When billionaire Oliver Warbucks performed by George Hambos, decides to invite an orphan to his mansion for Christmas, Annie’s whole life begins to change. Despite Miss Hannigan's evil plans concocted with her brother Rooster (Justin Floyd) and his girlfriend Lily (Cameron Givens), Annie befriends President Franklin D Roosevelt and finds a new home alongside Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell (Marianne Samson), and her lovable mutt named Sandy
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Volume 12, Issue 4
The Florida Orchestra Celebrates 50 Years With 2017-18 Season The Florida Orchestra celebrates its milestone 50th season with a blockbuster lineup of concerts ranging from Carmina Burana to the Music of Star Trek & Star Wars under the leadership of Music Director Michael Francis. The 2017-18 season debuts in October and reflects TFO’s deep roots in Tampa Bay while underscoring its bold future, with the debut of two weekend matinee series at the Mahaffey Theater, the world premiere of a major work commissioned by the orchestra, and expansion of its popular Coffee series at Ruth Eckerd Hall. “The Florida Orchestra is a jewel in the crown of Tampa Bay,” said Maestro Michael Francis, who has signed on to lead TFO through the 202021 season. “Our 50th anniversary is a chance for us to celebrate our rich and successful past by performing favorite masterpieces from throughout the years. We will also look to our future with vibrant new works, including a very special anniversary commission by exciting young composer Michael Ippolito, who will capture the spirit of Florida to honor The Florida Orchestra. At the heart of our past and future is the extraordinary talent of The Florida Orchestra musicians, whom we will showcase in a variety of
By Kelly Smith
ways all season long. “Outside the concert halls, we will continue to grow our community programs, which have been so warmly received by everyone. We want to touch even more people this season through the power of music.” Francis leads his third season TFO Music Director brimming with Michael Francis conducts the orchestra. special moments to celebrate the orchestra’s 50th anniversary of bridging the bay with music -- which fittingly started more than five decades ago with an agreement signed on a boat in the middle of Tampa Bay in a merger of the Tampa Philharmonic and the St. Petersburg Symphony. The Florida Orchestra still is the only performing arts organization that unites the bay area, with performances in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. For a look at the full 2017-18 season, visit floridaorchestra.org, where you can purchase subscriptions online, a new feature available this season, or call the TFO Ticket Center at 727-892-3337 or 800-662-7286. Single tickets will go on sale in August.
Apollo Beach Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Brandon Brandon FishHawk Riverview Riverview Riverview NEW STORE! Seffner Valrico Valrico
Goodrich Theater...Continued From Page 1
By Tamas Mondovics
Extra Theater Features:
onto two 70 by 40 foot, floor-to-ceiling screens, * $8 Thrifty Ticket Tuesdays with sound powered by * Frequent MovieGoer (FMG) Rewards Program the Premium Dolby Free popcorn at sign up ATMOS system with more * Party Room Rentals than 60 speakers and * Save a Stub, Get a Tub more than 265 seats each. Bring in any other theatre ticket stub, get a free 85 oz. The 12 additional tub of popcorn valid through May 31. screens feature state-of* Classic Movies on the Big Screen every Sunday and the-art digital projection on Wednesday at 7 p.m.-upcoming: 35-45 ft. screens with the 4/9 & 4/12-The Ten Commandments Trinnov Ovation system. 4/16 & 4/19-Hello, Dolly! “Customers say that * Morning Movies-Every Friday, Saturday and this is the best movie Sunday at 10 a.m. free movies with FMG Rewards experience they have ever membership. See the movie line-up below: 4/7 – 4/9: Kubo & the Two Strings seen,” Nash said. 4/14 – 4/16: Trolls It is safe to say that 4/21 – 4/23: Ice Age: Collision Course while Riverview 14 GDX 4/28 – 4/30: Sing opening was a little delayed, its arrival did by no means disappoint. GQT COO, Martin Betz was also pleased when he said, “The fantastic welcome from across the Tampa Bay area demonstrates its excitement to have our state-of-the-art, familyfriendly fourteen screen cinema experience, as this is our first theater in Florida.” Betz highlighted the theater’s rewards program and free popcorn for people who bring a ticket stub from another theater through May 31. Riverview 14 GDX is hosting its Grand Opening Community VIP Weekend, scheduled for Friday-Sun, April 21-April 23. Moviegoers will receive a popcorn and soft drink combo all weekend for only $4. Visit www.GoodrichQualityTheaters.com. and on Facebook @GoodrichRiverview.
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Volume 12, Issue 4
Taza Mediterranean Grill Brings A High School Students Recognized At Annual Art Show At Center Place Flavorful Taste To Brandon By Kathy L. Collins By Tatiana Ortiz
A scent of mixed herbs Individuals can and other sizzling flavors choose from a filled the nostrils of convariety of gluten sumers as they walked into free and vegetariTaza Mediterranean Grill in an dishes. A wellBrandon. Individuals can known entrée also discover an array of that many order authentic Mediterranean would be the and Middle Eastern foods Mixed Grill. It too. consists of chickOwners en, beef, kifta, a Sam Sadou combination of and his wife grilled vegetables over Tanoor rice Barb Eagle all for $12.99. opened Taza Mediterranean Mediterranean Owner Sam Sadou Grill in sprinkles some of his Village, Beef Shish seasonings onto the Kobob, Baba November Mixed Grill entrée. 2016. Originally Ganouj and born in Algeria, Sadou moved to France Couscous can be considered other popuat 11-years-old. He spent 15 years in lar items on the menu. If individuals want Paris as he continued to sharpen his culi- couscous, it needs to be ordered a day nary skills. Sadou and Eagle had operatahead. ed a couple of restaurants in Chicago, IL, Not only can individuals dine-in, but before opening their current restaurant. they could place an order online for delivThey both reside in Tarpon Springs and ery or pickup. The restaurant offers catercommute six days a week. ing too. A full list of prices and other menu Taza Mediterranean Grill came to items can be found here Brandon for a variation of reasons. “The http://tazamediterraneangrillfl.com/38899. diverse community and the growing busi“The customer makes our restaurant nesses in this area brought us here,” unique since they taste the food and Sadou said. know the freshness of it because it gets As a former Chicago resident, Sadou cooked on the spot,” Sadou said. For information, visit their Facebook knew about Portillo’s Hot Dogs in page Brandon because it too came from there. facebook.com/TazaMediterraneanGrill/. It “We decided to follow owner Dick Portillo is located at 1076 E. Brandon Blvd. Suite and his restaurant,” he said. The 1,150 sq. ft. building can seat 22 107 in Brandon. Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Call 324-7500. diners at Taza Mediterranean Grill.
Students from area high schools entered artwork in the Annual High School Art Show held at Center Place. The prizes for the winners are provided by the GFWC Brandon Service League.
The 2017 High School Art Show was held on Thursday, March 23 at Center Place in Brandon. The GFWC Brandon Service League provides the funding for the winners. Students from area high schools submit entries for 2D, 3D and photography. The high schools represented in this year’s show included East Students from area high schools entered artwork in the Annual Bay, Durant, High School Art Show held at Center Place. The prizes for the Bloomingdale, Plant winners, including the Best of Show art piece “Josephine,” are City, Blake, Armwood provided by the GFWC Brandon Service League. and Newsome. “Little China Town.” The judge for this year’s show was Sikora-Muehl said, “It was a pleasJennie Sikora-Muehl, a ceramic artist ure to jury this show. The work is amazspecializing in hand built tableware and ing. There were so many exceptional sculptures made from earthen clay. entries that it was difficult to choose Best of Show was presented to award winners.” Jesus Vazquez from Bloomingdale High Center Place also presented the School for his piece, “Josephine.” Sikora- 2017 Patricia B. Odiorne Scholarship. Muehl said, “I loved the use of the comic Dawn Galia, Executive Director of Center strip as a back drop against the lines of Place said, “Odiorne’s wide reaching the drawing. The image is well done and civic involvements and many accomaccurate. The shading is beautiful. This plishments could fill a book. She was a piece stood out from the rest making it a dedicated servant of her community.” well-deserved best of show.” This is a $1,000 scholarship given to The first place winner in 2D art was high school seniors. This year two young Brooke Hogue, a student from Durant ladies who are committed to the arts and High School, with her piece “Blooming serving the community split the scholarHope.” In photography, the first place ship. Monica Diaz plans to use the scholwinner was Amanda Scallon from Blake arship in her pursuit of a degree in comHigh School with “Drowning.” The first puter science. Likewise, Abigail place winner in 3D was Maissie Hughes Hernandez will use it to pursue a degree from Blake High School with “Broccoli in behavioral science and the Beast.” For information on the 2017 High The Center Place Fine Arts Award School Art Show and the Patricia B. was given to Desiree Webber from East Odiorne Scholarship, visit centerplaceBay High School for her piece called brandon.org.
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Plant City Entertainment Presents Last Roundup Of The Guacamole Queens By Kathy L. Collins
Plant City and Rex’s Exes) which Entertainment will were performed by present the third many of the same cast show in the and directed by Kay Jones, Hope and Secord, hijinks are cerWooten trilogy tain to ensue in this about the southern-fried comedy. Verdeen family of Secord said, “It has Sweetgum, Texas truly become a labor of this May. If you love to breathe life and are looking for a humor into the words of good laugh, come these three well-known Plant City Entertainment will present see Last Roundup and beloved authors. Last Round Up of the Guacamole of the Guacamole Queens the first two weekends in May. Jones, Hope and will laugh and have a great time Wooten visited Plant Queens beginning You with family and friends as you are on Friday, May 5 City Entertainment entertained by the hijinks of the Verdeen cousins. at 8 p.m. Plant when we were in proCity Entertainment duction for Rex’s Exes. is located at 101 N. It was an honor and priviThomas St. in Plant City. lege for us to personally Plant City meet the people whose Entertainment is offering work we truly love to pera special price of two form. We invite everyone to tickets for $20 for opencome to our show and ing night only and availlaugh long and loud at the able at the door. love and chaos that is part Other performances of the Verdeen family and will be held on Friday, their family business, Wide May 12, Saturday, May 6 Bride, wedding gowns for and 13 at 8 p.m. Sunday performances Texas-sized women.” on May 7 and 14 will be held at 2 p.m. Dodie White, president of Plant City Tickets are just $16 for adults and $14 for Entertainment said, “You need to be preseniors 60 and over and students 18 and pared to laugh at these zany characters under. when you come to see Last Round Up of In this last play of the triology, the Guacamole Queens. The cast and Gaynelle, Peaches and Jimmie Wyvette, crew have worked very hard to make the Verdeen cousins, are hustling to sure this is a fun night for everyone. It will organize a high school reunion before the be an evening to remember.” old building is demolished. As with the For more information and to get tickfirst two plays (The Red Velvet Cake War ets, please visit www.pceshows.com.
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Volume 12, Issue 4
Grace Christian To Honor Founder With $5 Million High School Expansion
By Amanda Boston
Since grades. By Grace adding a secChristian ond gymnasiSchool opened um, we will be its doors in able to engage 1974, it has the elementary sustained a students in solid reputaexciting intertion for acascholastic demic excelleagues, prolence. Its rigorvide a greater ous curriculum capacity for all is taught from of our sports a biblical teams, and be worldview the new home Grace Christian School is situated on 26 acres of land off of N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. while in a of the Grace structured but Christian School caring environment. In addition to Patriots varsity sports.” In honor of the preparing its students scholastically, the school’s founder, Dr. Robert R. school has an intentional focus on charGustafson, the new facility will bear his acter development with emphasis on name. Gustafson, the beloved founder, moral living, patriotism and civic duty. administrator, pastor, and baseball The more than 40 years of educacoach passed away in January 2016. He tional success has multiplied its student was a visionary with a passion for population—causing the original school Christian education. His legacy lives on building to swell at its seams. In through the Grace Christian School as it response to the growth, Grace Christian continues to provide students with a finalized plans for a two-year construchigh-quality Christian education. tion project to expand the high school “Unfortunately, we had to turn away campus. The new facility includes a high students last year,” said McKeen. “But school building, which will house 12 with a new building, we will have the classrooms, two auditoriums, administra- capacity for 400 more students.” To tive offices and a gymnasium. With a donate to the building fund, please conprice tag of five million dollars, the tact the school at 689-8815. Donations school is actively campaigning for funds. are tax deductible. Administrator Barry McKeen of Grace Christian School is located at Grace Christian explained, “The facility 1425 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. will increase our student capacity and Registration is open for the 2017-2018 expand our ability to provide new proschool year. For information visit grams in sports for students of all www.gracechristianschool.com.
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Super Heroes Needed To Sign Up And Be Organ Donors
By Michelle Colesanti
Have you ever it was a chapter of his thought what it story that lifted might be like to weights from our become a super shoulders while a hero? You can give machine literally worked to compenthe gift of life to sate what his body another person by could not do.” signing up to She then had the become an organ, opportunity to give life tissue and eye once again to her son donor through by donating her kidLifeLink of Florida. ney to him. This independent, “We’ve come a non-profit organiza- Evan Ranieri is now a healthy 6 year old long way, our family is tion is dedicated to Kindergarten student thanks to his mom’s donation of her kidney four years strong and we have serving patients in ago. April is ‘Donate a Life’ month and all learned to accept need of transplant everyone is encouraged to consider therapy. signing up as a potential organ donor. kidney disease. Someday it will haunt April is ‘Donate us again because having a chronic illa Life’ month. In the U.S., over 118,000 ness doesn’t go away. However, God people currently wait for a lifesaving uses our deepest pain as a launching organ transplant. Over 5,600 are pad for our greatest calling,” added Floridians. Melissa. The Rainieri’s are a local family that Today Evan is a healthy and enerknows all too well the importance of getic 6 year Kindergartener living life to organ donors. Born in 2011, their son Evan was diagnosed with stage 4 chron- the fullest. He is no longer tube fed and ic Kidney Disease as a result of hypopla- has had surgery to remove his dialysis catheters. sia. Evan spent his first month in the The family has now become an NICU at Tampa General Hospital and active advocate for LifeLink Foundation. underwent his first surgery at four days All major religions support donation old. The battle was endless and he spent and there are no costs to the donor’s many hours on dialysis. Evan’s mom Melissa said, “We were family. To save lives as an organ and tissue donor, register told that dialysis was a bridge to transplant and while transplant was not a cure at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org, or say that the ultimate goal was to get Evan big “yes” to donation when getting or renewing your driver license or state identificaenough to receive a kidney. Our prior thoughts of dialysis were our biggest mis- tion card at your local driver license office. conception. Although the days were long
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Volume 12, Issue 4
The Art Factory At Winthrop Arts Offers First Ever Summer Camp
Bloomingdale Student Receives Football Scholarship To Southern Illinois
If you have a first ever child between the Winthrop Arts ages of five and Summer Fest 18, who is artistic on Saturday, and creative and June 24 in would like to try a Winthrop unique summer Common. camp, then sign Martinez them up for said, "Imagine Summer Camp at Art Factory and the Art Factory summer camp Children will have lots of fun working with pro- coming togeth(Winthrop Arts). fessional artists like Bryant Martinez at the The camp will run er for a wild Summer Camp at the Art Factory this June. from June 5 until and fantastic June 23. Campers can choose to extravaganza." Martinez added, "I attend all three or one or two weeks. love art, Winthrop and all of our stuEach week is $75 per camper, and dents. I am really looking forward to there is a $35 registration fee per fam- collaborating with the students on the ily. public art piece." Children will have the opportunity Katharine Sullivan-Dawes, to spend three weeks working with Director of Everything for Winthrop professional artists. Arts said, "We are thrilled to offer Bryant Martinez, the Winthrop summer camp this year and believe Town Artist, will lead campers in a fun that our three options are very unique. week of drawing and painting during To celebrate all of the accomplishthe week of June 5 to 9. Then, during ments at summer camp, we look forthe week of June 12 to 16, campers ward to the Winthrop Arts Summer will become real artists as they assist Fest and hope that the community will Martinez in designing, creating and come and celebrate with us." producing a large scale-public mural The Art Factory, a program of on the back of a building located with- Winthrop Arts, is an after-school arts in Winthrop Town Center. program for children ages five to 18. During the week of June 19 to 23, Students are welcome to take a comcampers will learn all about the magic plimentary class at the Art Factory of storytelling in many different forms, before signing up or registering, For including creative writing. Students more information on Summer Camp at will collaborate to create a special the Art Factory or for the after school performance that will be presented, program, visit www.winthroparts.org or along with the public art piece, at the call 758-5161.
Sam Skinner 2 receiving and 1 has taken the interception proverbial bull by return). Skinner the horns, facing had his best seaadversity in his son under current young football Bloomingdale career with a tenahead coach, Max cious, unrelenting Warner. He played approach. Skinner wide receiver, leaves defensive end, Bloomingdale High outside lineSam Skinner and his family on National School as the allbacker, tight end Recruiting Day as he signed his Letter of Intent to play football for Southern Illinois time sack leader, and wildcat quarUniversity. eager to take on a terback, along much tougher task — to play college foot- with recording a career high 11 sacks and ball at its highest level. being a captain and team leader last seaSkinner has always had a natural son. “Sam was the heart and soul of our love for the game of football. He started football team last year,” Warner said. playing when he was 9-years-old and in Skinner has left a great legacy at the 4th grade. He picked up the game Bloomingdale. He is one of the most decwhen his father, Michael Skinner, was orated athletes in Bloomingdale history, deployed to Iraq. His career started in with countless accolades. He won the Maryland, where he played youth football varsity academic award all four years and in the Rockville League before moving to won the defensive and team MVP for the Florida and playing for the Brandon Bulls last season. He made 1st Team AllRavens and Steelers. District and the All-Hillsborough County His first high school season under 1st team last year, was a Bill Minahan head coach John Booth was a Award Winner Finalist and is also the allsuccess.The Bulls went 6-4, and Skinner time sack leader for the Bulls with 28 recorded 3 sacks. The next season, career sacks. Bloomingdale had its best season in Skinner received a full-ride football school history, going 9-2 despite replacing scholarship to Southern Illinois University, their head coach. Skinner was a big reaaccomplishing his lifelong dream of playson for the team’s success, recording 57 ing D-1 football. Skinner said. “I think it’s a total tackles (15 tackles for loss) and 6.5 great fit, and I’m just really happy with sacks in 10 games played. how things turned out.” He will major in The 6’3” Skinner had to expand his history and play for the Salukis next fall role with the team in his final two seasons alongside fellow Bloomingdale teammate in order to help them compete, scoring six Dalton Carde, and they will be roomtotal touchdowns last season (3 rushing, mates as well.
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Trey Curry Foundation 10th Annual Vine To Wine Goes Tropical
By Kathy L. Collins
The Trey $400,000 commitCurry ment to the buildFoundation is ing of the Trey proud to present Curry House at A the 10th Annual Kid’s Place last Vine to Wine on year, so now we Friday, May 12 are focusing on at The Regent continuing our relalocated at 6437 tionship with A Watson Rd. in Kid’s Place. As a Riverview beginfamily, we love the ning at 7 p.m. A satisfaction that it VIP Reception brings to all of us will be held at 6 The 10th Annual Vine to Wine will be held to continue to supon Friday, May 12 at The Regent in p.m. Advance port the children in Riverview. You can sample fine wines tickets are $100 provided by Breakthru Beverages (formerly need in our comand must be known as Premier Beverage) and feast on munity.” delectable treats created by Chef Dave West purchased by Curry added, of the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium. Sunday, April 30. “Since starting the After this date, tickets are $125 includ- foundation, we have given away over ing those purchased at the door. $700,000 to local charities. Our main Tickets can be purchased online at commitment to date has been to A www.treycurryfoundation.org. Kid’s Place, but we also donate to the This year, Vine to Wine is going YMCA, CCA of Florida and to Joshua tropical with its theme. Wines will be House. In addition, we have two sepaprovided by Breakthru Beverages (forrate endowments at HCC, one of merly known as Premier Beverage) which is in partnership with Chef Dave throughout the evening. Chef Dave West and the Rolling Pin. Our focus West of the Rolling Pin Kitchen has always been towards helping chilEmporium in Brandon will once again dren in need. We look forward to conbe preparing a delectable array of tinuing to do this.” savory treats. Curry said, “Paul Thomasson and The Trey Curry Foundation was Tim Thompson from Extravaganza founded in 2008 in honor and memory Productions have created another of Terry and Clif Curry's son, Trey. unique theme complete with waterfalls Proceeds from the annual Vine To and tiki bars to make the room feel like Wine event benefit A Kid’s Place in a tropical paradise.” Brandon. Mary Beth Curry, Executive For more information, please visit Director of the Trey Curry Foundation www.treycurryfoundation.com or call explained, "We completed our 655-0269.
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Our Family Caring For Your Family
Volume 12, Issue 4
ds, i h c r O n Clinic Oon’s Support ParkinsNetworking & Group, More… santi, Cole ichelle ed by M com Compil spreyobserver. o e@ michell
Master Gardener Clinic Gives Advice On Orchids
On Wednesday, May 3, from 6:30- 7:30 p.m., there will be a Master Gardeners Clinic on Dividing and Potting Orchids given by Master Gardener Verna Dickey at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. This will be the last program for the 2016-2017 calendar year. This event is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Master Gardner Program of the Hillsborough County Extension, University of Florida, IFAS Extension.
Declutter And Organize Your Closets On A Budget
Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 West Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in their assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases. The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. For more information or to register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.5 p.m.).
friendship. As part of this small sorority, both women have found new friends and companionship amongst the other women and their husbands. They both feel a renewed sense of purpose in contributing their efforts to fundraisers which benefit local Brandon charities such as Nativity Food Pantry, Outreach Clinic and so many more. There are also afternoon and evening socials to enjoy the company of others while exploring our community, and a common bond of working together to help those who need it
Brandon/Riverview/Apollo Beach and surrounding areas meeting the second Thursday of every month at 11:45 a.m. for lunch. The meeting will now take place at Shrimp Boat Grille in Plaza Bella at 1020 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. All business types are invited. Visit www.swatnetworking.com for more information.
Is E-Voting For Your Business Community
Last July, a new Florida law took effect allowing community associa-
Finding The Missing Piece
Geri Clark has been happily retired for several years, but felt like something was missing her life. When girlfriend Melinda and her mom Lynnette suggested she join Kappa Kappa Chapter of Kappa Delta Phi
The Brandon Chapter of SWAT Networking meets the second Thursday each On Monday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m., month at 11:45 a.m. at The Shrimp Boat. kick off Money most. tions to conduct elections and other Smart Week with The Kappa Kappa Brandon, votes online. While online voting is professional organchapter of Kappa Delta Phi is convenient and may increase owner izer Pam Hopener. looking is looking for new memparticipation, it can also present new She will share bers. Would you like to meet challenges to the community. This organizational and some truly wonderful women and event will help your board navigate time management make lifetime friends with a minithis new technology. tips on how to mum time commitment? Please It will take place At Center Place become more call Lily Barney at 681-6006. Fine Arts and Civic Association, locatstructured on a ed at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon tight budget using SWAT Networking Lunch on Tuesday, April 25. Registration and ingenuity and easy Meeting Moves To Shrimp social hour will be from 5:30-6:30 techniques. This Boat p.m. Program runs from 6:30-8 pm. free event is for The Brandon Chapter of Instructor is Attorney Steve Mezer. teens and adults Appetizers and beverages will be Successful Women Aligning and will take place Together (SWAT) Networking has served. at Bloomingdale Kappa Kappa Brandon, chapter of Kappa Delta Phil is currently looking outgrown their space. SWAT is a RSVP online at https://form.jotRegional Library, for new members. unique sisterhood of professional form.com/jessiejreams/e-voting-event. located at 1906 women that is comprised of excluFor more information, contact John Sorority, she realized this might be Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Rowles, LCAM at sively women entrepreneurs and just what she has been looking for. business women from the firstname.lastname@example.org. Lynnette Zink has been a member of Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Kappa Kappa, a philanthropic based Disease Support Group sorority, since 1966. She has seen Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly many members come and go support group for those who are diag- throughout the years, and was excited to see “new blood” join the organinosed with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers on the third Thursday zation. When Betty Harper’s friend of every month. Upcoming meetings Janice heard that Betty was looking include April 20, May 18, June 15, for new members to join Kappa and July 20. Physical, speech and Kappa, her first thought was that she occupational therapists will discuss wanted to help a good friend. Betty treatment for issues related to baland Janice carpool to the meetings ance, swallowing, talking and other and now share this common bond in skills that can be affected by addition to other aspects of their Parkinson’s Disease. 19007 Dorman Rd. Lithia, FL 33547
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Volume 12, Issue 4
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Annual Walk For Life
LifeCare Network's Annual Walk For Life is on Saturday, May 6 from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Join in for family fun activities, music, walk for life and a kids fun run. This year's event will be held at a new location, Brandon High School, 1101 Victoria St. in Brandon. The Annual Walk For Life is an easy, fun way to get involved and make a difference for life. You can help LifeCare advance its mission to protect and preserve the Sanctity of Human Life by signing up to participate. Everyone is welcome. Join in as a pledge-raising walker or register for the kid’s fun run. Walkers and runners are encouraged to get sponsors to help them reach their fundraising goal. The Walk For Life inspires a culture of life in our community. The event will also include refreshments, bounce houses, face painting, balloons, and music from a live band. For more information, visit www.lifecarenetwork.net/runwalk.php or contact Jessica at 6540491 or you may email her at Jessica@LifeCareNetwork.net.
Community And Families United Worship And Prayer Service
Join in for a Community and Family United Worship and Prayer Service to be held on Sunday, May 7 from 6-8 p.m. at Brown Memorial Church of God in Christ, located at 2313 E. 27th Ave. in Tampa. Host Pastor is Bishop Matthew Williams. Call 744-6256 for details.
Luncheon For Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Features Summer Fashions
The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection is finishing this season’s luncheons on Monday, May 8 with a fashion show, Summer Fun Fashions, by Bon Worth. The luncheon and entertainment is $15. First time guests pay $10. There is no membership required and it is interdenominational; all ladies are warmly welcomed. The luncheon will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in the Special Event Center, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. A reservation is requested by Monday, May 1. Please call Lillie at 740-0098. Lunches and bible studies will commence again in September.
Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. Call 681-6547 for more information.
John Maxwell Team Global Youth Initiative To Serve 500,000
Half a million young people will be served in April through The John Maxwell Team Global Youth Initiative. The series of events is being held
Family-Friendly Evening Of Song At Congregation Beth Shalom
On Saturday, May 13 at 7 p.m., join in an evening of song presented by members of the congregation. This is a family-friendly event.
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Pilkington Announces Candidacy For US Florida House District 15
Greg Pilkington, a Polk County resident and member of Leadership Lake Wales Class 21, has announced that he is running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. Republican Congressman Dennis Ross, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, and was one of the current administration’s earliest supporters, represents Florida's 15th Congressional District. For more information on the Greg Pilkington for Congress campaign, email PilkingtonforCongress@gmail.com.
Tampa YMCA Invites Families To Take Charge During Free Healthy Kids Day® Events
On Saturday, April 29, the community is invited to free Healthy Kids Day® events hosted at nine Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA locations from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The goal of Healthy Kids Day is to teach healthy habits for kids and families; encourage physical and mental play and inspire a lifetime love of exercise. When the school year ends, kids’ physical and educational health worsens. Data shows kids fall behind academically every summer because they don't have access to learning opportunities. By fifth grade, lower-income children are two to three school years behind middle/upper-income students. In addition, the average child gains body mass index (BMI) nearly twice as fast during the summer as during the school year.
“At the Y, we believe charged up kids achieve amazing things. We see it all the time. When a child is healthy, happy, motivated and excited…watch out…because something amazing is inevitably going to result,” said Communications Director Lalita Llerena. “As that child grows and fulfills their full potential, they will truly make the world a better place for everyone.” Healthy Kids Day is a free community event to help parents begin thinking early about ways to keep their kids both physically and intellectually active this summer. It is the largest event of its kind in the nation, taking place at over 1,600 Ys committed to taking on summer to address critical gaps in health and education. Each participating YMCA has more information on what type of free activities and food they’ll offer during their Healthy Kids Day event. Visit www.tampaymca.org/locations/.
Healthy Living Challenge At Campo Y
Join Campo Family YMCA for a healthy living challenge to support its Annual Campaign as well as to provide healthy fun ending with a celebration including prizes, food fun and more. This challenge will be from Saturday, April 22 to Friday, May 19. Each participant logs their total “Healthy Minutes” spent at the Y with a goal of completing the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 active minutes each week. Try for the Y Mini Triathlon. Challenge Day Triathlon will take place on Saturday, May 20. You can participate as an individual or team. Your distance will be tracked for prizes. Triathlon includes 20 minute treadmill run, 20 minute bike ride in the spin studio and 20 minute lap swim in the pool. Celebration day on May 20 will include prizes and drawings for those who participated in either event. Campo Y is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Call 684-1371 for more information.
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Support A Kid's Place By Attending Vintage Hollywood Black Tie Gala
By Kathy L. Collins
The Annual Fostering Hope Vintage Hollywood Black Tie Gala, which benefits A Kid's Place, will take place on Saturday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Epicurean Hotel located in the trendy neighborhood of Hyde Park in Tampa. Sponsorships Join A Kid’s Place supporters, Tom beginning at $500 Sansone and his wife, Cathy Unruh, A Kid’s Place CEO, Virginia Johnson and her husband, Doug Scrivner at the and tickets are Fostering Hope Vintage Hollywood Black Tie Gala to benefit A available, but Kid's Place on Saturday, May 13. space is limited. provided. Since its inception, over Individual tickets are $300 per person. 125,000 bed nights have been recorded. The Epicurean Hotel is located at 1207 A Kid's Place is a 60-bed facility S. Howard Ave. in Tampa. made up of five 3200 sq. ft. homes. The black-tie event will feature a They accept children from newborn bubbly bar and champagne tower, cigar through 18 years old. A Kid's Place utibar, photo booth and walk of fame. lizes the live-in house parent model Music will be provided by The Shawn which provides children with consistent Brown Band with poolside dancing caregivers and family style living. under the stars. In addition, a sumptuMary Berg, Community Specialist for ous dinner will feature classic dishes reA Kid’s Place said, “The children who imagined with a menu developed in colcome into foster care are traumatized, laboration with the legendary Bern’s and they have endured life experiences Steak House. that most of us cannot fully comprehend. A Kid's Place was the vision of These are innocent children who grow Dottie Berger MacKinnon. She wanted up with abuse and neglect and, for some to establish a place where sibling groups children, even abandonment by the very who had been removed from their people who they look up to for love, prohomes due to abuse, neglect, or abantection and guidance. For information, donment are able to stay together in a reserve tickets or become a sponsor, safe, stable, home-like environment until visit akidsplacetb.org. a more permanent placement could be
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Cyber Security Takes Center Stage During Brandon Chamber Luncheon With a topic of cyber security on its program, the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host its monthly Synergy membership luncheon. On the first Tuesday of each month, the luncheon is held at The Regent, 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. A good example of the Chamber’s continued effort to benefit its members was the invitation of FBI special agent A.J. Gilman, who thanks to his expertise on the Bureau’s cyber security squad, addressed the subject, which was very much on the minds of all present. The Chamber has had its ups and downs lately, including the most recent incident affecting all of its members when hackers attacked its computer system. “They had stolen everything,” said Christine Michaels, Brandon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “Years worth of valuable data had been lost.” Michaels explained that the Chamber leadership had no idea how to recover what was lost, eventually prompting the board to turn to DataCorps Technology Solutions a local Brandon IT Services Company and its CEO, Angel Rojas. “I called Angel and I said, ‘Can you please come help us?’ He came right away, dropped other appointments,” Michaels recalled the events during the luncheon, adding, “He literally dropped
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Volume 12, Issue 4
By Tamas Mondovics
everything to do whatever was needed to help the Chamber in its hour of need.” Rojas also developed a program to help reconnect members who had lost touch with the Chamber, affectively strengthening the group as a whole. “All of our businesses are vulnerable,” Gilman said. In sharing some quick tips that the lunch hour time-frame allotted, Gilman first mentioned that each attack is a result of a combination of a number of steps. “It’s never just one thing that leads to an attack,” he said, “A big problem is over confidence and lack of vigilance when it comes to updates in hardware and software, and security,” he said. Gilman emphasized that the Bureau first focuses on larger establishments that affect many such as energy companies or financial institutions, while added that these larger facilities can also recover easier and faster as they can afford paying off hackers who through ransom ware may hold businesses hostage by stealing data or shooting the whole system down. Lunch was provided by Cater Tampa and the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4. For more information about the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce visit brandonchamber.com.
Scout Builds Firepit For New Horizons Group Home Austin Chancey has been a part of scouting since the 1st grade. At first, it was just a group activity for him, but he later realized he was learning valuable life skills and lessons that he would take with him through his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, the The work site for the highest rank and barbecue pit that will be built at New honor a scout can Horizons Group Home achieve. “The for disabled men and Scouts have women. taught me life lessons, how to respect people, even if somebody disrespects you, you want to show everybody that you are different from other people,” said Chancey. “You have to stay true to your own character.” Chancey, now 17, lives in Seffner and attends Grace Christian School in Valrico, where he is captain of the soccer team. For his Eagle Scout Project, he is building a barbecue pit at New Horizons Group Home for disabled men and women located at Clay Ave. and Parsons Ave. The resources to build the pit are estimated to cost around $10,000. Chancey has already had some experience helping out with other scout’s Eagle Projects in the past, which
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has given him an idea about the time and effort it takes to be successful in this endeavor. Austin is accepting donations and is asking local business to contribute to the community project. He expects to have the project done before June. “I realize the hard work and dedication each Eagle Scout had to
Residents of New Horizons Group Home
undergo to complete their projects,” Chancey said. “I accept the challenge that my Eagle Scout Project will bring to me.” While accomplishing these many feats, Chancey has done it while managing his dyslexia. “I will always have dyslexia, but with the knowledge and tools I have been provided, I will have a successful future,” Chancey said. If you would like to donate to this cause, checks should be made payable to Austin Chancey, Eagle Scout Project. Checks can be sent to P.O. Box 7124, Seffner, 33583.
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Volume 12, Issue 4
Our Residents Are Always On The Move!
Students And Seniors Come Together To Create Unique Art For Exhibit
By Kathy L. Collins
Residents of The Bridges (l) and students from the Art Factory at Winthrop Arts (r) are collaborating on Bridging The Generations Art Show.
The residents of The Bridges Retirement Community are joining forces with the students from the Art Factory at Winthrop Arts to produce a unique crossgenerational art exhibit. The exhibit is called Bridging The Generations Art Show and will be held on Tuesday, May 2 at The Bridges Clubhouse, located at 11202 Dewhurst Dr. in Riverview from 6:30 to 8 p.m. All members of the community are invited to attend and view artwork created by children and adults. There will be portraits painted by the students and residents, jewelry and mosaics. In addition, a short film produced by the students of the Art Factory called Willie Wonka and the Art Factory will be shown along with props and costumes made especially for the movie. While the event is free and open to the community, The Bridges will be selling bagged cookies and fudge. The proceeds will be donated to Winthrop Arts to establish a scholarship fund to allow students to attend art class-
es at the Art Factory. The Art Factory at Winthrop Arts is an after school art program. It is also a place where home school students and senior citizens from The Bridges come to create art. The Art Factory opened in October 2016 and the residents from The Bridges have been attending art classes for several months. "Bridging the Generations, a special collaboration between the residents of The Bridges and students from the Art Factory, provides a wonderful opportunity for seniors and children to develop meaningful connections through creativity and artistic expression," said Donna Steiermann, Executive Director of The Bridges Retirement Community. Steiermann added, "The Bridges has always valued residents' artistic expression by offering a wide array of programming designed to encourage imagination, creativity and most of all pure enjoyment." "The opportunity to grow the arts across the generations is a wonderful opportunity," said Bryant Martinez, the Winthrop Town Artist. Martinez added, "There is no age limit when it comes to art. This is a wonderful opportunity to share each other's art." This will be a night complete with all types of art, culinary delights from The Bridges' Chef Clyde and even a student led film. Visit bridgesretirement.com or call 413-8900 and www.winthroparts.org or call 758-5161.
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Volume 12, Issue 4
Reflexology Now Offered At DayDreams Day Spa
DayDreams Day Spa now offers 80 minute Reflexology with Foot Bath for $95. This therapy uses pressure applied to carefully selected reflex points in both feet and hands to unlock tension and stress. This treatment will stimulate circulation, relieve stress, promote relaxation, and release energy through your entire body. Book a 45 minute hand or foot Reflexology for 45 minutes for $50. This treatment is used to stimulate the therapeutic nature of reflexes found in the hands or feet in order to balance the body and restore proper circulation. This is a standalone treatment performed on the hands or feet. DayDreams Day Spa & Bath Shop is located at 658 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information or to book an appointment, call 657-2992 or visit http://daydreamsdayspa.com/.
Governor Scott Awards Small Business Javi’s Salsa With Business Ambassador Award
Governor Rick Scott recently recognized Javi’s Salsa with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award. President and founder, Javier Nava, started the family-owned business with his wife and children in the Brandon area. Javi’s Salsa is now distributed to stores throughout Florida. Governor Scott said, “I’m proud to
recognize Javi’s Salsa with the Business Ambassador Award. We work hard to cut taxes so we can make Florida a great place for small businesses like Javi’s Salsa to succeed.” For information on Javi’s Salsa, visit www.javisauthenticsalsa.com/.
Teachers’ Helper Closes After 33 Years
After 33 years in business, Teachers’ Helper will be closing its doors at the end of April. The store has enjoyed serving the extended community for all of those years. Shearon Bailey and her staff have helped thousands over the past eleven years find the right item to decorate a bulletin board or science fair board, assist in finding math manipulatives, and to help with art projects. The store, a finalist for small business of the year for three years, has
SPORTS CONNECTION .............PGS 42‐43 years of experience, owning and running Italian-American restaurants in the Carolinas. The secret homemade recipes for delicious sauces and meatballs, as well as the fresh salads and delicious garlic bread, are what sets Alfredo’s apart from other restaurants. “We take pride in serving our customers an appetizing meal so delicious, they will feel as if they are eating in the comfort of their homes,” said Fayez. Brandon resident Javier Nava receives the The restaurant has gained popuGovernor’s Business Ambassador Award from larity through word of mouth maintainGovernor Rick Scott for his family-owned busiing just a minimal online presence. ness, Javi’s Salsa. A lunch and dinner menu is developed a reputation of excellent cusoffered with pick-up available. It also tomer service. It has been a pleasure to offers catering for parties of 10 or more meet so many dedicated parents and people. For those who prefer delivery, teachers over the years, but for several they can order through Mobile Meals. reasons it is time to close. There are plenty of choices for both Originally opened in 1984 and locatlunch and dinner. For lunch, enjoy appeed at 109 Margaret St., Teachers’ Helper tizers, salads, sandwiches with your moved to 622 Oakfield Dr. in choice of a side of fries or small spaghetti November of 2012. The store along with pasta and pizza choices. For has supplied teaching supplies to dinner, pasta dishes come with a large the Brandon area as well as salad and garlic bread. There is also a most of the 50 and internationally meat and seafood menu. through the store website. Alfredo’s is located at 905 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. The hours are Homemade Recipes At Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Family-Owned Alfredo’s Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 Italian Cuisine Keep Customers p.m. and Sunday from 5-9 p.m. Call 530Happy 0687. Visit on Facebook at Alfredo’s Alfredo’s Italian Cuisine is a small Italian Cuisine. family owned Italian-American restaurant located at 905 E. Brandon Blvd., in Continued On Next Page Brandon. Owner Frank Fayez has 30
Volume 12, Issue 4
been open seven who need an office away years. Last August, from office; everything the owners began from masseuses to real By Michelle Colesanti an expansion estate agents and everyproject and added where in between. She another 1600 sq. recently opened The Hill ft., which included Valley Office Suites, a small tap bar located at 1211 Tech with 30 beers on Blvd. in Tampa. tap and a variety It offers a profesPhoto Courtesy of Kyle Fleming sional atmosphere in a of wines. Photography Bootleggers relaxed setting. Privacy, Ribbon Cutting held in January for Hill Brewworx was rekey coded locks on the Valley Office Suites. branded to doors and secure wifi Track Urgent Care’s ribbon cutting was held include the addition of a Brew on connections are in every office. April 10. Premise area for teaching Conference rooms that are beautiful, folks how to make beer. comfortable and fully equipped to teleThat means you can go conference will be available. The Hill there for all the supplies, Valley Office Suites offer temporary and equipment, classes and space permanent offices with 6,500 sq. ft. of to brew Beer, Wine, Cider & space with 15 offices to choose from. Mead. If interesting in renting a suite or for In December they more information on The Hill Valley received Federal Brewers Office Suites visit patients are seen on a firstNotice to brew and sell their tampaflexspace.com or call 848-4071. come, first-served basis. own Beer on tap. So come For more information Asana Yoga Offers Support For The on up and see what the Fast Track Urgent Care, Craft Beer Craze is all Community Through Donations visit www.fasttrackurgentabout. Call or stop by to Asana Yoga wants to bring the care.com or call 925-1903 register for your private community together to support each brew party today. other as well as provide the opportunity New Brewhouse In Bootleggers Brewworx to support a local non-profit organizaBrandon is located at 650 Oakfield tion. Donations will be accepted at the Bootleggers Brewworx Rd. in Brandon. For more community classes and given to the is a progressive homebrew information, call 643-9463 charitable organization chosen for that supply store which offers a or visit day. Please visit Asana Yoga Facebook full line of ingredients and http://brewworx.com/. page for additional details. For those supplies for making beer, interested in sharing their love of yoga wine, cider or mead. David Farner, new executive Enjoy Breakfast And through teaching, Asana offers a Yoga manager at Brandon Honda The new facility will Lunch At LC’s Café And Alliance approved 200 hour teacher allow you to make your Supperclub training program allowing you to gain own custom libation in a state of the art LC’s Café and Supperclub, located knowledge in various styles of yoga indoor temperature controlled environat 1602 Oakfield Dr., #103 in Brandon while learning to teach authentically ment with the aid of a friendly Brew (in the Divine Design complex) is open through your own voice. Master to help ensure that you make the for breakfast and lunch; Tuesday to For more information on the trainFriday from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and for ing program as well as to view the curSaturday Brunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. rent schedule of classes, please visit www.asanayogaofbrandon.com. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. Free delivery to a two mile radius is offered along with catering Brandon Honda Hires David Farner to local businesses for lunch or dinAs Executive Manager ner meetings. Sam Raabe is pleased to best custom creation possible. All equipThe Cafe is also available for speannounce that David Farner has been ment needed is provided. You will be cial events or meeting room during the hired as an executive manager at walked through every step of the process. afternoon and evening hours for up to Brandon Honda, a Morgan Auto Group Bootleggers Homebrew Supply has 35 guests. dealership. Formerly with Toyota of There is also a monthly RSVP-only Tampa Bay for 10 years, another Supperclub in the evening. For more • Water, Fire, Smoke & Mold Morgan Auto Group store, he served in information, call 526-9395 or visit Remediation and Restoration a variety of sales, finance and managewww.lcscafe.com. Facebook - lcscafe• Residential & Commercial Buildings ment roles. In his new position as an andsupperclub. • 24/7 Emergency Service executive manager at Brandon Honda, • Licensed and Insured Farner works closely with sales and Shared Meeting Space Available At • Trained and Certified Technicians finance associates to finalize automoNew Hill Valley Office Suites • Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed bile lease and purchase agreements • Locally Owned & Operated Local resident Jaime Goujon wantthat best meet customers’ needs. For ed to create a meeting place for all more information, call 664-1234 or visit www.BrandonHonda.com/. types of small businesses, even those
Business Column Continued............. Classes and Programs To Help Improve Your Personal And Professional Life
Co-Work Landing, located at 522 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon, is offering classes and programs designed to improve areas of your personal and professional life. Upcoming events include a MasterMind Group, which is Fast designed to help you navigate through challenges using the collective intelligence of others. These groups will be held the second Thursday of each month, 12 Noon–1:30 p.m., starting May 11. Additional classes include Yoga Classes on Monday mornings, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., as well as a Self-Defense Class, May 23 from 6-8 p.m. CoWork Landing is a shared, affordable, workspace solution for work-from-home professionals and educational opportunities for entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as a quiet, professional meeting space for one-on-one and small groups in the Brandon and surrounding communities. For more information on Co-Work Landing, its workspace and classes, visit www.igscommunity.com or contact Shannon at 924-4679 or Shannon@igscommunity.com.
Convenient & Affordable Health Care Offered At Fast Track Urgent Care
A ribbon cutting was recently held by the Riverview Chamber of Commerce welcoming Fast Track Urgent Care Center to its new location at 11406 S. US Hwy. 301. At Fast Track Urgent Care Center, the staff is passionate about healthcare and provides the highest level of service. If your primary care physician is booked for weeks or you want to avoid a long wait at a hospital emergency room, visit the clinic to receive comprehensive medical care on your schedule. It is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and
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Family Promise Fundraiser Generates Homelessness Awareness By Amanda Boston
Rain or to reflect on the diffishine, Family culties and uncerPromise of tainties afflicting the homeless. Greater Brandon “The night was will conduct its truly humbling. You fourth annual Box Car City event to could get a glimpse into the struggle of raise funds to finding shelter and help homeless provisions for those families and genwho battle homeerate awareness lessness,” said in the community. Participants spend a night in boxes, tents, or Carrie Simmons, a The fundraising cars in order to better understand the chalparticipant from last event will take lenges homeless families encounter. year. Simmons is a place from Friday, volunteer host coordinator for Grace April 28 at 4 p.m. until Saturday, April 29 Community United Methodist Church in at 7 a.m. on the grounds of First Lithia. As a host coordinator, she works Presbyterian Church of Brandon. as the liaison between her church and For one night, participants are temporarily transported into another reality—a Family Promise in regard to accommodalife of a homeless person. The registration tions and meals. Grace Community is one of 17 supporting churches lending fee is $25 per person to sleep on the space for interim lodging. Simmons will property in a tent, car or box. The fees camp out again this year to share in the benefit the Family Promise organization daily challenges homeless families face. whose mission is “to empower homeless families to obtain sustainable housing and She said, “Taking part in this experience puts you temporarily in the shoes of the lasting independence by partnering with homeless. This one night reminded me area Christian congregations and local that I am blessed and I can support this resources.” program. Box Car City opened my eyes The event is open to the public and to the huge opportunity we have to help attracts a wide-variety of participants families with children right here in our including entire families. The cardboard Brandon area.” city comes alive as arriving participants To find out more Box Car City or how create makeshift sleeping arrangements to support Family Promise, visit out of tents and cardboard boxes. At dinnertime, participants are provid- www.FamilyPromiseBrandon.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call ed a simple meal and lights are out at 10 681-6170. Registration forms are availp.m. At sunrise, breakfast is served and the city dismantled. With a lack of modern able online and available on the day of the event. amenities, the night offers plenty of time
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Volume 12, Issue 4
Brandon Attorney Runs For LLS Local Residents Raise Funds For MS With Bike Ride Woman Of The Year By Kate Quesada By Kate Quesada Donelle “Now it is White is looking my time to for support in shine as a her campaign Woman of the for Leukemia Year candidate and Lymphoma for the Society’s (LLS) Leukemia and Woman of the Lymphoma Year, but it is Society with donations, not my aggressive votes, that she goal,” said needs. White. White is run“Research into ning against blood cancers seven other is the most far women from the reaching Suncoast because it Chapter of LLS impacts across to see who can the board. All raise the most types of canmoney for the cer can be charity before helped by the culmination knowing more of the campaign about how the on June 3. disease affects Brandon resident Donelle White is running for Every dollar the blood.” the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year. raised during According the campaign is to the LLS webequal to a vote and the person with site, through programs like Woman the most votes wins the title and of the Year, LLS has invested more the honor of bringing in much need- than $1 billion in research to ed funds to fight the disease. advance breakthrough therapies for An attorney with the B. Lee blood cancers. It also states that Elam P.A. law group in Brandon, almost half of the new anti-cancer White has a long history of drugs approved by the U.S. FDA fundraising that started after she from 2000 through 2013 were origilost her special needs daughter nal designed to treat blood cancers almost 20 years ago. and LLS has helped advance most “She passed away at three and of them. a half. Through her whole life, I batWhite and her campaign team tled to get her all benefits she was have scheduled a number of events entitled to, but health insurance to help raise funds including a sucdidn’t cover it all,” said White. “This cessful bingo night that kicked off was the beginning of my advocacy her campaign in March and a night for children with medical issues.” at Hamburger Mary’s in early April. Since that time, White has She also has planned many small worked with the early intervention business parties with proceeds program and Children’s Medical going to the charity and is working Services, served as president of to schedule a movie night in May. the Board of Infants and Young “I feel so supported by the Children and participated in the Brandon community,” said White. Mrs. Florida International pageant “No one has hesitated to help me, to bring attention to the underfundthey’ve given so graciously.” ing of these programs in Florida. In addition to monetary donaWhite is also a cancer survivor tions for her campaign, White is who, since becoming cancer free in also looking for silent auction and 2004, has worked with various can- live auction prizes which will raise cer foundations including working much needed funds during the celeas co-chair of the Brandon chapter bration gala in June. Anyone interof the American Cancer Society and ested in helping can call 967-5757 walking 60 miles in the Susan G. or search her name at Komen 3-Day Walk. www.mwoy.org.
Residents from the Valrico area are using their legs to raise funds to fight Multiple Sclerosis (MS) next month as they participate in Bike MS: The Citrus Tour, a 100-plus mile bike ride from The Fantasy of Flight in Polk City To the Omni Champion’s Gate in Orlando and back. The tour, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, is now in its 30th year and attracts approximately 1,000 participants, raising between $600,000 and $800,000 annu- Residents from the Valrico area are raising funds to combat ally. Most riders bike Multiple Sclerosis next month at Bike MS: The Citrus Tour. we know that 100 plus miles is 100 miles the first day of the event and can then chose whether to do 25, nowhere near as difficult as confronting a life time with MS,” said 50 or 75 miles the second day. Barone. “The National MS Society FishHawk resident Stephen gives us all a reason to hope, though. Barone heads Team Grace, the secIn addition to supporting novel ond largest team in the event, with research projects around the globe, more than 40 members from around they also provide much needed eduthe Brandon/Valrico area. The team’s cation, programs and services to goal is to raise $50,000 through everyone who is affected by MS, fundraisers and donations. “We are a group of friends, neigh- including the diagnosed, their friends and families and the healthcare probors and families from all over the fessionals who work with them.” central Florida area,” said Barone. Valrico resident and realtor with “We are casual recreational bike ridKeller Williams Realty South Shore ers, cycling enthusiasts, non-riding David Harbough is also participating volunteers, triathletes and people with in the tour as an individual. MS who use their bikes to fight and “Every year I ride for the eight fundraise, in spite of this nefarious people I know affected by MS,” said disease.” Harbough, who trains for 16 weeks Each participant in the tour must before the event, biking most days on raise at least $250 with the money his lunch break. “The event is very going directly to research programs well organized and a great way to and services for people impacted by raise funds for a disease that impacts MS, a disease of the nervous system many people very differently.” that interrupts the flow of information Team Grace is still looking for within the brain and between the members and volunteers to add to brain and body. Millions of people are their group. For more information on affected by MS to varying degrees the tour or to donate, visit www.bikewith unpredictable symptoms ranging flc.nationalmssociety.org. Search from numbness and tingling to blindTeam Grace or David Harbaugh to ness and paralysis. find their fundraising pages. “We ride the bike tour because
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Adult Art Students Showcase Their Artwork At Center Place
Dr. Amir Boules
By Kathy L. Collins
The April Adult art classes exhibit at Center are available from Place of Brandon September through features the artMay and on a limitwork of adult stued basis during the dents who take summer. Classes classes from the are open to everytalented instrucone and no prior tors at Center experience is necesPlace. The sary. The cost to instructors take art classes at include Judy Center Place is very Johnson, Kathy reasonable. Classes Durdin, Kathleen meet one day per Durham, Greg week and are genAdult art students, who take classes from erally priced at $10 Manley, Ron talented instructors at Center Place, are Grote and displaying their artwork this month at Center per classes. Center Place members Meletha Everett. Place in Brandon. receive a discountAll of the instructors are professional artists. ed price. The media that the instructors teach Galia stated, "Many of the students are varied but include watercolor, oil, have been taking classes here at Center mixed media, pencil, acrylic, watercolor Place for over 10 years. It is amazing to on Yupo and pen and ink. The artwork on see how they have progressed over the display is original and unique. years." Dawn Galia, Executive Director of Center Place was established in Center Place said, "This show is organ1976 and has been serving the greater ized so that the adult students who take Brandon community ever since. Center art classes here at Center Place have an Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in opportunity to experience what it is like to Brandon. In addition to adult art classes, be a part of a professional art show." Center Place offers children's art classes, Galia added, "The students learn about art therapy, live children's theatre and the application process, and how to prop- seasonal events for the community. erly size and mat a painting." Center Place is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit If you have ever dreamed of painting and is supported by the generosity of the community. or drawing like a professional, consider For more information on the adult art taking classes at Center Place. The classes offered at Center Place, please instructors all have years of experience visit www.centerplacebrandon.org or call and will show you techniques and how to 685-8888. use many different kinds of media.
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Volume 12, Issue 4
Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics
Strawberry Crest ROTC Students Inspires Fellow Cadets, HCPS Announces Winners & Magnet School Kudos Strawberry Crest High School JROTC Cadet Shows Courage In Face Of Personal Obstacles
Strawberry Crest High School (SCHS) JROTC Cadet Damiyan Garcia was recently recognized by his fellow cadets for setting an outstanding example of courage while battling personal obstacles. Garcia was the first Freshman Cadet promoted to the rank of Corporal this year and serves as an inspiration for all cadets. In fact, the Corps of Cadets has dedicated the remainder of the JROTC school year to Cadet Corporal Garcia. Dealing with brain cancer, the SCHS freshman has impressed many by demonstrating a positive attitude and is enjoying the support of his fellow cadets, students, and faculty and staff, school officials said, adding that Garcia’s cancer was reportedly in remission last year, but has returned more aggressively. Despite the pain from radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Garcia is known for always having a smile on his face. SCHS recently presented the young cadet with a congratulatory card for his recent promotion to the rank of Corporal, signed by many of the Charger cadets who are committed to keeping Garcia motivated during his continued fight against cancer.“Cadet Damiyan Garcia is a leader with a cando attitude who never quits and never fails his team. He is an inspiration to all,” said Strawberry Crest High School JROTC Army Instructor First Sergeant, Lashawn Lyas. Donations have poured in from groups and individuals to help the Garcia Family off-set expenses. If you are interested in helping Damiyan’s family offset his medical expenses, there is a Go Fund Me account set up in his name at www.gofundme.com/brain-cancer-battle. For more updates about Damiyan, please call Lt. Col. (Ret.) John Ingraham at 707-7522 ext. 263 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the SCHS website to find out more about the school.
District Hosts Series Of School Transportation Resource Fair
With school transportation concerns making headlines in recent months, Hillsborough County Public Schools officials began hosting a series School Transportation Resource Fairs at school sites throughout the District. The next scheduled fair is to take place at Eisenhower Middle School, 7620 Old Big Bend Rd., Gibsonton, on Wednesday, April 19, in the school cafeteria from 5:30-7 p.m. According to Jeff Eakins each event provides resources to parents including a list of alternative school transportation options, including walking school buses and bike trains. “These are options where a group of children walk to school with one or
more adults,” Eakins said, during a brief instructional video promoting the school transportation fair. ‘“A variation on the walking school bus is a bicycle train where adults supervise a group of children riding their bikes to school.” Eakins added that parents can find more information on creating such options on the Florida Department of Transportation’s Safe Route to School website. Eakins emphasized that the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority TBARTA provides access to a list of names and contact information of school parents who are interested in assisting with the alternative transportation programs. Lisa Silva of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) one of the presenting partners for the event is a liaison for the School Transportation Working Group. “We want to provide resources to parents,” Silva said. “We already have these great partners participating in our school transportation working group so we wanted to bring it all together. Our goal is to hear parents' concerns and give them some educational materials and information.” HCPS is encouraging parents to attend one of the remaining School Transportation Resource Fairs. Officials said that whether a child walks, bikes, gets a ride or takes the bus, families will find promotional materials, information and helpful tips at these events, along with representatives from HCPS and various other state and local agencies and organizations who will be on hand to answer questions and concerns. For more information parents are encouraged to visit the district’s website at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us and type ‘alternative transportation’ in the search engine.
County Public Schools can choose. Magnet Schools of Excellence Awards recipients included Riverhills Elementary Magnet School, Orange Grove, Stewart, and Williams middle magnet schools; Rampello K-8 School; and Tampa Bay Technical High School.
Strawberry Crest High School (SCHS) JROTC freshmen Cadet Damiyan Garcia, receives a certificate of promotion to the rank of Corporal. Garcia is battling brain cancer and is an outstanding example of courage to his fellow cadets.
Magnet Schools of Distinction awards recipients included, Cahoon,
Dunbar, Lee, Lincoln, MacFarlane, Muller, and Shore elementary magnet schools; Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy, Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy, Progress Village and Walker middle magnet schools; and Blake, Jefferson and Middleton high schools.
HCPS Announces Excellence In Education Winners
Three top educators and support staff were recently honored as winners of the 2017 Excellence in Education Awards . Representatives of the Hillsborough Education Foundation and Hillsborough County Public Schools presented the awards at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The 2017 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year award went to Pedro Castrejon of Jefferson High School. The 2017 Instructional Support Employee of the Year award went to Terranique Ragins, Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy Middle School. The 2017 Teacher of the Year award went to Memorial Middle School teacher Maria Torres Crosby. For more information about the winners visit www.sdhgc.k12.fl.us.
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Magnet Schools Receive National Recognition
Magnet Schools of America (MSA) has recognized a list of Hillsborough County public magnet schools and programs as Magnet Schools of Excellence or Magnet Schools of Distinction. According to district officials the awards recognize member magnet schools and programs that demonstrate a commitment to high academic standards, curriculum innovation, desegregation/diversity efforts, specialized teaching staffs, and parent and community involvement. Magnet programs are one of the many options families in Hillsborough
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2017 Camps Offer Many Options To Keep Kids Engaged This Summer It’s only the start of spring, but before you know, the dog days of summer will be upon us. What can you do to keep the kids entertained? Where can they go to try new things, learn how to swim, meet new friends and have great adventures and even learn about places and cultures far away? There are many options to choose from locally that will fit the bill. The staff at the Osprey Observer has collected the top recommendations for local summer camps and created this special pull out section. Maybe your kids would like to spend the summer “horsing around.” R&R Ranch offers just that opportunity, and not just to learn to horseback ride, but also about the care of the horses. At Music Showcase, music and theatre take the stage and so can your child. Musicals such as The Lion King Jr. and Legally Blonde Jr. will be offered, and your child can hold starring roles in these and other popular musicals offered from the Florida Academy of Performing Arts for children ages 5 and up. The local YMCAs will offer many types of camps which mix fun along with great learning experiences. With choices of half or full day camps, there is something for everyone. LEGOs and robotics take center stage at the camps offered by TechplayZone. Introduce your kids to hands-on fun
that will both enrich and entertainment them. Camp Superkids at A Child’s Haven offers field trips twice a week. Do you want your kids to retain the math skills they learned during the school year? Mathnasium is the place to help give them a strong start in the fall. For dates, prices and registration information on these and more, turn the page and enjoy this special section and have a great summer. Your kids will use a lot of STEAM by enjoying the science and tech camps offered this summer by MOSI. Your kids can experiment with many different things that will be offered. For the artist in your family, sign them up for workshops to learn about painting, drawing, pottery, modeling and more at Center Place Fine Arts. With weekly themes utilizing agespecific activities and field trips that make BSAC unique, your kids will enjoy every moment of summer camp. Did we miss one? Let us know by e-mailing subject line “Summer Camp” to email@example.com and we will be sure to add our full listing online.
Find Fun Activities For Your Budding Artists At Center Place Fine Arts
Who knew that art could be so much fun? This summer, you can sign up your budding artists, ages 7 to 16, for workshops at Center Place Fine Arts. Learn about painting, drawing, pottery, modeling and more. Workshops include Art Journaling, Art Mural, Build a Beach Party, Charm, Etiquette & Modeling, Collage, Creative 3-D Masks, Cruise around the World, Fantasy Sculptures, Paper Schulpures, Pet Sculptures, Print Makimg, Project Role-Model, Recycled Art, Space Art and Wet & Wild Canvases. Classes are offered from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register today by calling 685-8888 or visit www.centerplacebrfandon.org.
MOSI Offers Lots Of Choice Science And Tech Camps
When school is out, MOSI is in. Get in-depth and hands-on with your favorite Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) subjects or try something totally new. Enjoy hands-on
experience and building projects. From extracting DNA to launching rockets and building robots, we are about creating the experiences that expand interests and make dreams a reality. Doing real science with the tools and technologies used by industry professionals is just one way MOSI Summer Science Camps inspire our campers with a can-do attitude that can last a lifetime. Real science coupled with exciting experiments, simulations, explorations, and inventions will help you discover the innovator within. Instruction in the camps are by certified teachers and experienced science and technology educators in a positive environment. There will be opportunities to conduct experiments and
use cutting-edge equipment and technology. Your kids will have access to current science and technology in one of the best science centers in the world. Summer Camp at MOSI will take place from Tuesday, May 29 through Wednesday, August 9. Upgrades available for extended care from 7–9 a.m. and 4–6 p.m. and daily hot lunches are available. Register online at MOSI.org or call 987-6000 for more information. MOSI is located at 4801 E Fowler Ave. in Tampa.
Enjoy Music And More This Summer At The Florida Academy Of Performing Arts Full and half day camps are available for kids ages 5 and up at The Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) at Music Showcase. Kids will enjoy drums, acting, guitar, field trips, singing and games and more. Musical Theatre productions of The Lion King Experience, Jr., Legally Blonde the Musical, Jr., Winnie the Pooh Kids and Doctor Dolittle Jr. will all take place this summer. For more information, call 4902787 or visit faopa.org.
Your Kids Will Enjoy The Best Summer Ever At Y Camps
The local YMCA’s are offering a Passport to the Best Summer Ever from Tuesday, May 30 through Friday, August 4. Get ready for the total camp experience. Day Camp is separated by grade level and features a rota-
tion of diverse activities including indoor games, outdoor recreation, team challenges, structured and free swim. The themes change weekly and range from Super
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Heroes to Around the World and everything in between. Specialty camps are for kids looking for something different.
TechPlayzone Offers Hands-On Technology Enrichment In Fun & Safe Environment
Choose from any number of skills and specialties. Sports camps are for the kid who is an athlete at heart. It is for those looking to try a new sport, or those simply curious about sports in general. The camps are full of fun with an emphasis on team work, sportsmanship and fundamentals. Aquatic camps include swim lessons and lots of fun water adventures guaranteed to keep kids active and engaged. Teen camps are for those looking to develop leadership skills. Gymnastic camps are for all skill levels from beginner to advance. Adaptive camps are available for campers with special needs ensuring fun and inclusion for all. For info on the North Brandon location, call 685-5402, Campo Family location, call 684-1371, Camp Cristina, call 677-8400 or please register online at tampaymca.org.
charge for engaging young people in science, technology, engineering, and math since 2005. With an increased demand for hands-on technology enrichment, TechPlayzone has continued to provide families with excellent curriculum, and fun in a safe environment for all kids. Give your child a hightech advantage at TechPlayzone this summer. TechPlayzone Engineering Camp - TechPlayzone is pleased to partner with the Doolittle Institute to offer an engineering camp for young people in 2nd-12th grades. This will allow campers to build and program drone quad-copter robots, self-driving cars with sensors, and 3D print objects for use with Tetrix Robotics Systems. This camp has been developed for kids who enjoy problem-solving, designing, and building and will take place at 1528 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Camps are weekly from Monday, June 5-Friday, August 4. The cost is $150 per week from 9 a.m.-12 Noon
TechPlayzone has led the
or 1-4 p.m. TechPlayzone STEM Camp TechPlayzone is pleased to partner with Families Instructing Students at Home (FISH) to offer an amazing STEM camp for all young people in 2nd-7th grade. TechPlayzone Camp at Bell Shoals Baptist Church includes hands-on science experiments, LEGO Mindstorms Robotics, and Minecraft for Engineers. Campers rotate through hands-on activities. Each week is a different theme and campers enjoy different challenges every week. It will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church - The Annex, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon from 9 a.m.-12 Noon. This camp is for ages 7-11 and costs $125 per week. It will run Monday to Friday, July 10-14, July 24-28, and July 31-August 4. For information, visit techplayzone.com, call 684-7329 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ostingers Baseball Camp Will Hold Three Sessions This Summer
Ostingers Baseball Camp will give your child ages 7-14 years old a better understanding of the game
of baseball, through instruction, drills, and games. Having a good time while learning the fundamentals will be the main focus of the camp. The instructors have 30 years combined professional playing and coaching experience. Kids will receive daily fundamental drills and activities for: Throwing, Pitching, Hitting, Fielding, Base Running, and Mental Game. There will be games at the end of the week to evaluate progress. Session 1 will take place
Monday-Friday June 5 to 9, Session 2 â€“ Monday-Friday, July 10-14 and Session 3 from Monday-Friday, July 24-28. Camp will take place at FishHawk Sports Complex from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 pm. The cost is $175 per camper. Second child costs $125. Space is limited so register early to hold your spot. Call 737-3000 or visit www.OstingBaseball.com.
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Bloomingdale Ave.). For more information or to register, please call 643-5332 or email email@example.com. Visit www.5thdimensiondancecenter.com.
5th Dimension Dance Center Focuses on Summer Intensives
If your child is interested in dance, 5th Dimension Dance Center strives to provide a stimulating environment, focused on providing students of all ages with a unique, healthy and challenging dance experience. Intensives will be held this summer on: Monday to Friday, June 5-9 and also Monday to Friday, June 12-16 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for ages 9 & up. Competition Team Auditions will be held at the end of each week of intensives and again on Saturday, July 15. A Mini Camp will be held Monday to Friday June 19-23 from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon for ages 8 and under. 5th Dimension Dance Center is located at 3239 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico (just north of
Arts & Crafts • Friendship Play • Academic Summer Fun • Music Sports & Games • Character & Manners • Ice Cream Social • Pizza Parties Bouncy House & Giant Slide • Outdoor Water Play
(Upcoming K5 - 5th Grade Campers)
Includes 2 Weekly Field Trips & All Activities
Mathnasium Now Enrolling For Summer
You can keep your kids on track this summer by enrolling them at Mathnasium. The summer programs are designed to combat summer learning loss. Through their time spent during the summer at Mathnasium, your kids will retain all
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they learned in math class this year giving them a strong start in the fall. For information on mini-summer camps and summer fun nights, call 655-6284. Visit mathnasium.com/Brandon for more information. Mathnasium offers help in math, enrichment, and test prep as well as homework help. It is located at 1048 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.
Patel Conservatory Offers Dance, Theater And Music Camps, Classes
The Straz Center’s Patel summer classes and camps in Dance, Theater and Music will take place at Patel Conservatory, which is located at the STRAZ in downtown Tampa. Patel believes that every student, regardless of age or experience, deserves the opportunity to participate in the performing arts and discover their creative potential. The Conservatory offers nationally recognized intensives, camps and classes. Whether your child is skilled in the arts or wants to participate for the very first time, it offers a fun-filled summer for students of all ages and skill levels at this state-of-the-art facility. There is a required $35 registration fee per student, or $60 per family. This fee is waived for Straz Center annual donors. To become a Straz Center donor, visit patelconservatory.org or call 222-1040. Register online at patelconservato-
ry.org or call 222-1040 or in person at the Patel Conservatory Admissions Office/Chairmen’s Library. You can also register by mail: Download the Registration Form from patelconservatory.org and mail with payment to: Patel Conservatory Admissions Office Attn: Admissions Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL 33602 For more information, visit patelconservatory.org.
engineering and community service, Spanish and Music. This summer camp is all about the journey to discover what suits each camper’s personality – the quest to discover what they like best. Kids will enjoy outdoor play-
It is now enrolling for summer camp. The cost is $160 per week and includes meals, trips and transportation. Kids R Kids Valrico is located at 4321 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico. Call 657-6200. Kids 'R' Kids Learning
grounds with a water park. Trained professionals that are certified in CPR and first aid are on staff. There is security code access entry and free Internet viewing of your child’s day.
Academy of Circa/FishHawk is located at 5815 Kids Crossing Dr. in Lithia. Call 654-7000. Visit www.krkvalrico.com.
FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club Offers Tennis For All Levels Of Skill
FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club is offering its 5th Annual Tennis Camp for your child ages 6 and up. Full day camps include plenty of tennis games and fun. Kids cool down in an air conditioned event room, and during lunch times engage in other fun outdoor and indoor games. On Fridays, campers walk down to the Starling pool and game room for a nice finish to the week. All levels from Beginning to Advanced. Register online at FishHawkRanchTennisClub. com or call the Pro Shop at 681-4000.
Get Ready For Kids ‘R’ Kids Most Interactive Summer Adventure Ever
Discover and explore a unique camp each week. During Kids R Kids 10 week summer camp series, campers will explore their hidden talents, potential passions and intriguing interests. Each boy and girl will experience art and cooking,
3239 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. | Valrico, FL (just north of Bloomingdale Ave.)
(813) 643-5332 firstname.lastname@example.org
5th Dimension Dance Center
June 5th - 9th Intensives 9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Ages 9 & up June 12th - 16th Intensives 9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Ages 9 & up June 19th - 23rd Mini Intensives 8:00 am - 12:00 pm - Ages 8 & under Competition Team Auditions will be held at the end of each week of intensives and again on July 15th. Please call or email for registration and pricing information today!!!
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Our instructors have 30 years combined professional playing and coaching experience.
Session 1 June 5-9 (M-F)
Session 2 July 10-14 (M-F)
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Location: FishHawk Sports Complex Space is Limited Age Group: 7 - 14 yrs Register Early Time: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm to hold your spot! Cost: $175/camper **(Second Child $125) **Multi week discounts
Daily Instruction • Games • Pitching/Catching Fundamentals Addressed • Drills For More Information:
Call 813.737.3000 or visit our website at www.OstingBaseball.com
30 through Wednesday, August 9. Full day camps run from 7 a.m.6:30 p.m. and half day camps from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or from 16:30 p.m. BSAC is located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon. For more information, call 689-0908 or visit www.mybsac.org.
BSAC Offers A Lot Of Fun Activities For Kids This Summer
What can you do to keep your kids active and happy this summer? Splash into summer with the best summer camp around. At Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) your child gets the old-fashioned camp experience you had as a child, with some modern technology, like Wii Challenge Competitions, thrown in. BSAC has the most comprehensive summer camp in the greater Brandon area for ages 3 to 14. With weekly themes come corresponding age-specific activities and field trips that make our summer camp unique.. In addition, each child has the opportunity to experience all of the sports that you have come to expect at BSAC; swimming, tennis, diving and more. Lunches and snacks can be brought from home or purchased from the full concession bar. Camp runs from Tuesday, May
Bloomingdale near Rt. 301). For information, call 628-0541 or visit www.MorningGloryPreschool.org.
in Valrico. For more information, call 438-5980 or visit PrimroseBloomingdale.com.
Primrose Schools® Present Summer Adventure Club
Let your kids, ages 5 to 10, experience the excitement of Primrose Schools® Summer Adventure Club where imaginations are free to run wild. Get ready for engineering design challenges, discoveries, outdoor exploration and more. Exciting field trips will also be included. Space is limited. Primrose School of Bloomingdale is located at 180 Bloomingdale Ave. !
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Your kids, ages K5-5th grade, will enjoy the Kids Club! at Morning Glory Summer Camp. They will enjoy arts & crafts, friendship play, academic summer fun, music, sports & games, character & manners, ice cream social pizza parties, bouncy house and giant slide and outdoor water play. Sign up today for $115 per week. The price includes two weekly field trips and all activities. Morning Glory is located at 6001 Christy Lane (off
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After-School Fuel for Busy Families After a long day at school, kids need a chance to unwind. Often that downtime involves physical activity, and a nutritious snack is the perfect way to make sure kids are ready to take on their free time with gusto then recharge to keep going until bedtime. A busy schedule may make the temptation for unhealthy convenience snacks strong, but it is actually easier than you think to refuel with good-for-you foods on the go. One simple trick: use kids’ favorite ingredients in unexpected ways. For example, these Chocolate Banana Muffins show that a glass isn’t the only way to enjoy chocolate milk. When you use a nutrient-rich option like TruMoo Chocolate Milk, you can feel great about serving up these muffins to your whole family. It’s a nutritious and delicious treat for adults and kids alike, whether you enjoy it on its own – served cold or hot – or as an addition to recipes. It is made with fresh white milk sourced from local dairies, pure cocoa and just enough natural sugar to make it taste great, it's a nutritious and delicious treat for adults and kids alike. What’s more, there’s no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial growth hormones and no GMO ingredients. "The protein, vitamins, minerals and great taste in TruMoo Chocolate Milk can help kids meet their nutritional score
Courtesy of Family Features
in every pour," registered dietitian Leslie Bonci said. "The protein and carbohydrates included is the perfect ratio to help replace electrolytes lost after engaging in after-school sports." Find more delicious afterschool and after-sports snack ideas at TruMoo.com. Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe courtesy of the Mommy Hates Cooking blog on behalf of TruMoo Yield: 18 muffins 1 cup all-purpose flour or glutenfree all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 cup baking cocoa 1 1/2 cups TruMoo Chocolate Milk 4 tablespoons butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs 3 medium bananas old-fashioned rolled oats Heat oven to 350 F. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cocoa. Add in milk, butter, vanilla and eggs. Continue mixing until batter is formed. Mix in bananas. Add spoonful of batter to greased muffin tins; fill about halfway full then sprinkle batter with rolled oats. Bake 25 minutes, or until golden on top.
NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS Call today to schedule an appointment.
631 W. Lumsden Rd. | Brandon, FL 33511
Volume 12, Issue 4
With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins
Another Successful Year For Annual Winthrop Arts Festival And Artisan Market
History Center Puts Fairyland Sculptures On Display
Winthrop Arts The 9th was able to give out Annual Winthrop $4,000 in awards this Arts Festival and year. Katharine Artisan Market Sullivan-Dawes, was held over the Director of weekend of March Everything for 24 and 25 in Winthrop Arts said, beautiful Winthrop Jinsheng Song of Ft. McCoy, FL was award- "We had a high level Common in ed Best of Show at the 9th Annual Winthrop Riverview. Arts Festival and Artisan Market held over of artistic talent this the weekend of March 24 and 25 in beautiful year, and we were Residents who Winthrop Common in Riverview. proud to award over came out met $4,000 to our winning artists, including many talented artists, enjoyed good food $2,500 to our Best of Show artist, from Winthrop restaurants including Jinsheng Song. We more than doubled Boca, Ciccio Cali's, Moe's and EATS our prize money from last year's festival American Grille. They also listened to great music. Children had fun doing crafts and we are so grateful to our sponsors." This year's winners were Jinsheng at the Art Factory booth and the Blake Song (Ft. McCoy, FL), Best of Show; High School tent. Barbara Wiley (Riverview), First Place; The Winthrop Arts Festival and Diane Stover (Brooksville), Second Place; Artisan Market is a juried fine arts show, Rachel Ratcliff (Clearwater), Third Place; The three judges for this year's show and Ralph Lopez ( Valrico), Honorable were Dr. Rick Gaspar, Professor of Mass Mention. Communications at HCC Ybor Campus; Community members sponsored Michelle Moseley, Senior Development awards for artists in the Friends of Officer at the John and Mable Ringling Winthrop category and these winners Museum of Art in Sarasota; and Kay included Lenny Cabanero-Harvey Sullivan, president of the Winthrop Arts (Winthrop Board of Visionaries); Sam Board of Visionaries and co- founder of Evenson (Osprey Observer); Angela Winthrop. Sulick (Children's Kastle); Seth SullivanSullivan said on behalf of the judges, Dawes (A & A Alarm); Paul Sumberg "The judges were impressed with the high caliber of new and returning artists. It (Yellow Fin Realty); and Jan Herman (Center State Bank). took us about three and a half hours to For more information, please visit select the 2017 winners. However, we www.winthroparts.org. were unanimous in our decisions."
Fairy tale ures will encourage scenes from one parents to slow down of Tampa's early and share stories with tourist attractions, their children, then it is Fairyland, are on all worth it. That is display at the what I hope will hapTampa Bay pen," added History Center. Gonzmart. "Finding Fairyland: Fairyland, which opened in 1957, was Rediscovering Come and see figures from one of Tampa’s attached to Lowry Tampa's Lost earliest tourist attractions, Fairyland, at the Park Zoo. It was a Theme Park" is Tampa Bay History Center. open now through favorite for local famiMay 21 at the History Center located at lies. They would enter via Rainbow 801 Old Water St. in downtown Tampa. Bridge and encounter a 20-foot high Old Once upon a time, characters includ- Woman in the Shoe and Mary's Little Red ing Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Schoolhouse. You could then take a Humpty Dumpty and Little Red Riding winding path past vignettes from 11 differHood, frolicked near the Hillsborough ent nursery rhymes. River at a place called Fairyland. After Of the temporary exhibit at the Fairyland closed in the late 1990's, the History Center, Rodney Kite-Powell, the History Center Curator said, "It is a fabled figurines disappeared, but they throwback to a simpler time in Tampa. remained in the memories of many residents, including Richard Gonzmart. It is also a fun look at our more recent Gonzmart is a fourth-generation past." Tampa restaurateur. He plans to restore The exhibit will also include family the figurines and put them on public disphotos taken at Fairyland over its 30 play. There are 11 scenes from classic years in existence. If you have family fairy tales. photos from Fairyland and want to "I wanted to save these figures share them with the exhibit and the because I wanted to share them with my public, submit them to fairylandexhibgrandchildren and with the children of email@example.com. Tampa," explained Gonzmart. "I rememFor information on this exhibit and others at the Tampa Bay History ber going to Fairyland with my parents Center, visit tampabayhistorycenter.org when I was a child and it was magical to or call 228-0097. me. If restoring and displaying these fig-
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Center Place’s Bet A Buck Auction Is A Fun Way To Support The Arts
New Show, Flip My Florida Yard Helps Disabled Veteran Enjoy His Outdoor Space
By Michelle Colesanti
By Kathy L. Collins
Center Place will ing the Florida host Bet A Buck Aquarium. There will Charity Auction For also be opportunities to The Arts on Friday, bid on a two night stay May 5 from 6:30 to at Siesta Key 9:30 p.m. at Center Bungalows, golf fourPlace located at 619 somes and even a 32 Vonderburg Dr. in inch Samsung Smart Brandon. This is a fun TV. and inexpensive way In addition to bidto get great stuff and ding on great items support the arts at the such as these, attensame time. Auction dees will enjoy a deliitems have been cious dinner and open Dawn Galia, Executive Director donated by local busifor Center Place, invites you to bar. support the arts, have a great nesses. Last year, Center and bid on fantastic items at Place raised $5,000. time How does Bet A Center Place’s Bet A Buck Charity Buck work? Upon Auction For The Arts on Friday, This year, organizers May 5. arrival, you rent a padhope to double this. All dle. This is the device that gives you funds raised at Bet A Buck, help supthe opportunity to bid on fun and excit- port the wonderful programming at ing items. When an item comes up, Center Place. Galia explained, “Center you put $1, $2 or $3 in the bucket. The Place is celebrating our 40th year in amount you put in depends on the the Brandon community. We offer value of the auctioned item. Paddles summer camps for children and art are just $10 per person. Additional workshops for children and adults. We paddles cost just $5 per person. hire local artists as our instructors. We Dawn Galia, Executive Director for have a different artist exhibit in the Center Place said, “It is a unique and Mook Gallery every month. In addition super fun event to raise dollars for the to all of this, we have 75 children’s arts. If you want something unique and theatre productions each year and fun, join us for Bet A Buck.” Galia bring in over 15,000 children to see added, “We had a wonderful turnout live theatre.” last year and hope to have a great This is an event that is perfect for turnout this year as well. This year we both women and men. There is limited will have a list of items that will be seating, so pick up your tickets or auctioned off that evening.” make a reservation today. At Center Place’s Bet A Buck, you For more information, please visit can bid on all kinds of items including www.centerplacebrandon.org or call tickets to many area attractions includ- 685-8888.
being done, they were sent off to enjoy the day at The Florida Aquarium. The work was done by a team from the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association, and led by Thonotosassa-based Tampa Bay Landscaping and Horticulture Services. Flip My Florida Yard has also redone yards in Bradenton, A yard in Riverview was recently transformed to make it accessible for a 25 year old wheelchair bound veteran thanks to the new TV series Flip My Florida Yard with Chad Crawford.
Riverview resident, Brandon Walker, a 25 year old wheelchair-bound veteran and his parents, recently received a backyard landscaping overhaul thanks to Flip My Florida Yard, a new weekly TV series which recently aired its first episode nationally on Fox Sports Sun and locally on WTSP-Channel 10. The yard work, completed in one day, was done in the Park Creek neighborhood and is estimated to be worth $50,000. The work included constructing a lot of outdoor living spaces to give Walker easy access to the backyard, which includes a hot tub and pergola. Walker said, “My new yard is super rad. There’s a workout area for me, and I'm able to go out there independently. I loved the crew and how they designed the yard to be so accessible for me.” The Walker’s had recently closed on their home, and were selected for Flip My Yard after they submitted information describing their yard and their son’s story. The yard work is completely free to the family, and while the work was
Newberry (near Gainesville), Oviedo (near Orlando) and Fort Lauderdale. The family will also get one year of free pest control. The host of the show, Chad Crawford, was onsite during the overhaul. He is also the host of How to do Florida with Chad Crawford. Flip My Florida Yard is created by the Crawford Media Group, and is also responsible for the Emmy-award winning show How to Do Florida. The new series will challenge the way Floridians view their role in preserving the state’s water through education. A native, Florida-friendly yard requires less chemicals, fertilizer and watering. To get a taste of the new series, visit the trailer at https://Vimeo.com/187992983. The Riverview episode will likely air the last week in April.
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Volume 12, Issue 4
The Outreach Clinic Presents Its 6th Annual Kentucky Derby Party
By Kathy L. Collins
The Outreach fundraiser is a Clinic will host its wonderful opportu6th Annual nity to bring Kentucky Derby awareness about Party on Saturday, The Outreach May 6 from 5 to 9 Clinic and the p.m. at The important role we Regent, located at play in keeping 6437 Watson Rd. our community in Riverview. healthy.” Meegan Tickets are $100 added, “All monies per person. raised will be used Get dressed up and join others for free medical Attendees can as they raise awareness about care for the low sip on Mint The Outreach Clinic. Juleps and other income uninsured. refreshments, enjoy great food and have This event is truly a funfilled FUNraiser. It lots of fun. All proceeds will benefit the is a great way to support a very important Outreach Clinic, the area's only clinic pro- need in our community and have some viding free health care to the low income fun at the same time.” uninsured. The Kentucky Derby Party is The The Outreach Clinic's 6th Annual Outreach Clinic’s biggest fundraiser. The Kentucky Derby Party is a fun and excitclinic, which serves all residents of ing event. Your ticket includes compliHillsborough County, exists thanks to the mentary valet parking, food and open bar. generosity of individuals, local organizaAttendees can enjoy delicious Kentucky tions and churches. Derby food such as Kentucky hot browns The mission of The Outreach Clinic is and dessert and coffee bars. Sip on a to manage and improve the health of the mint julep while you watch the historic low income, uninsured in Hillsborough Kentucky Derby live on a big screen. County. The clinic provides much needed No Kentucky Derby party would be healthcare to those who do not have complete without fancy hats and wellhealth insurance and cannot afford dressed ladies and gentlemen. Ladies, healthcare. Most of those who are served come dressed up in your finest and put have either a part-time job, receive only on your fanciest hat and compete in the min. wage, unemployment compensation Most Beautiful Hat Contest and Most or are receiving Social Security Disability. Creative Ladies’ Hat Contest. Gentlemen The Outreach Clinic is located at 517 can vie to win the Dapper Gentlemen N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon. For more Contest. information and to get tickets, please call Debbie Meegan, Executive Director 654-1388 or visit of The Outreach Clinic said, “This www.theoutreachclinic.com.
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BYSA Players Hit Hard as Season Nears Championship Playoff ration for its annual summer With its weeklong, inbaseball and softball camp, league tournament and which will consist of four sepachampionship game-day rate programs catered to four fast approaching, batting age groups. was strong at the Of course BYSA’s success Bloomingdale Youth could not be possible without its Sports Association (BYSA) committed and willing volunbaseball and softball comteers. plex. “We appreciate our volunClosing in on the 2017 teers very much,” said BYSA spring season, hundreds board member Stacy Donahue, of young players, guided Bloomingdale Fury’s, Ava Velasco (10U) connects with the who has served on the Athletic by their coaches and ball for a base hit against the Lightning during a recent Booster Club at Bloomingdale watched closely by their game. for the past four years and is the parents are pushing Bloomingdale Giants Owen Donahue (Major 70) through each game now more joins the list of base hits during a recent game day current president of the Cimino than ever. at the BYSA complex. The leauge is gearing up for Elementary PTA and its season ending tournament and championship Bloomingdale High PTSA. The league itself is divided game day scheduled for Saturday, May 13. Donahue is also the team mom into eight baseball divisions Valrico, working toward their final reg- for the girls lacrosse team at including T-ball (ages 4-6), ular season game scheduled for Bloomingdale. Rookie B (ages 6-7), Rookie A Saturday, May 5, 2017, prior to the To meet its mission, the league is (age 8), Minor (age 9), Major season-ending tourney. currently seeking to fill some of its 60 (ages 10-12), Major 70 For the past three seasons, BYSA board positions, and is hosting a (ages 11-12) Juniors (ages 13has been operating as a Cal number of events, including its 15), and Senior (ages 16-18). Ripken/Babe Ruth organization, General Membership Annual meeting The organization is also joined by two other leagues, North scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at proud of its talented young Bloomingdale Rays Tony Campodonico (Seniors) gets Brandon and East Bay, that have also 7:00 pm at the Bloomingdale Civic ladies who play in four 8-U to to first base with this hit against the Fishhawk. The decided to switch their affiliation from Center. Rays struggled during the game but are on track to 16-U softball divisions. Little League to play under the Cal finish a solid season. For more information about the BYSA is also hosting its Ripken logo. The teams play on eight fields Bloomingdale Youth Sports Bambino Buddy Ball, a special needs The league is also making prepalocated at 2215 Bloomingdale Ave. in Association, visit www.bysafl.com. program offered in the spring.
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Story and photos by Tamas Mondovics
Jesuit Wins Hillsborough County Schools Spring Baseball Trophy
Tampa YMCA Beats First Coast To Win Treadmill Tuesday Challenge
The Jesuit Menendez decided it Tigers defeated was time to get serithe equally talentous and to replace ed Alonso Ravens the young player with 5-2 to win the 37th senior Jeffrey Hillsborough Hankanson who took County School’s the mound with a Tony Saladino vengeance striking High School out five of the first six Baseball batters and finished Tournament hostthe night with three ed last month at more; two in the sevJesuit senior Jeffrey Hankanson pitches Brandon High against Alonso taking over in the third inning enth including the and led his team to a 5-2 tourney win for the final out to end the School. second time in school history. The victory game while allowing proved to be a sweet accomplishment for only two hits. the Tigers, nearly three decades in the In the seventh, Tigers’ Garrett making as the last time the program won Sheppard woke everyone up with his the Saladino title was in 1986, with former homer, which was followed by two more head coach John Crumbley, although the RBIs from junior McGuire Weaver and program reportedly had not been a regusenior Alex Mocny. lar participant in the event. As it is the case each year, the tourIt is noteworthy that while coaching nament has once again provided fans of Steinbrenner, Crumbley, also won the all ages the opportunity, to participate in spring tournament last year and topped and enjoy a variety of baseball-related off the season the 2016 Class 8A state activities in a nostalgic, family oriented title. and safe atmosphere. As for Alonso High with four Saladino “It is a celebration of the sport,” said championship titles already under its belt Tony Saladino, adding that the tourney since 2009, the Raves (2016 runner up) will now continue as a living memorial of led by program head coach Landy Faedo his wife, tournament matriarch, Bertha had high hopes for a better outcome. Saladino, whose absence never goes With two runs in the first inning, the unnoticed by anyone. Bertha died in early Ravens actually came out strong, and 2016—surrounded by friends and family. have managed to maintain their lead until She was 84. the fifth. On the other hand, Jesuit sportFor information about the Saladino ed junior varsity pitcher Cristian Troncoso baseball tournament visit tonysaladiin the first two inning, when coach Miguel nobaseballtounament.com.
For the tion. second time in By the a row, the numbers, an Tampa estimated Metropolitan 1,630 Tampa Area YMCA Bay resiwaged a dents surfriendly compassed First petition with Coast by Jacksonville’s about 21 YMCA of miles after Members of the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA push through completing Florida’s First a 30-minute treadmill workout, while participating in the nearly 3,358 Coast, which annual Treadmill Tuesday Challenge. The event saw more than 3,200 participants in 13 Tampa area Y facili- total miles once again ties joined by others via social media in a friendly comduring the resulted in petition between the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA 12-hour much more and Jacksonville’s YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. event. First than just logCoast’s, 1,580 residents logged 3,337 ging numbers. miles. The wager was forged between Of the 3,210 total participants, 94 Tampa Y CEO Tom Looby and First Coast Y CEO Eric Mann. joined by uploading a post-workout photo When it was over, the 30-minute of treadmill dashboard displaying the total treadmill workout known as Treadmill distance, tagging @TampaYMCA and Tuesday Challenge, boasted of approxiusing #TreadmillTuesday. mately 3,210 Floridians amassing nearly Area Y facilities joining the challenge 6,700 miles all to encourage healthier included the North Brandon Family lifestyles and to inspire community memYMCA, which boasted of 91 participants bers to become more physically active. logging in a total of 206.87 miles. The While last year’s event went to its Campo Family YMCA saw 224 particirival, Tampa Y was pleased to announcpants log 456.52 miles. ing its win this year, and reclaimed its “The remarkable turnout of the bragging rights. The victory also gives Treadmill Tuesday Challenge has once testimony to the Y’s role in and support of again demonstrated the importance of community involvement in improving the community’s desire to pursue healthy Florida’s health and well-being,” Looby living. said. “ Based upon the agreement Mann is For more information, please visit now expected to wear the Tampa Bay Bucs team jersey for social media interac- www.tampaymca.org.
Valrico Sunday Market
Our seasonal market under the grandfather oaks is a weekly event that offers fun in the sun, fresh shopping and serves as a gathering place for families and friends to bond, mingle and buy local. 50 Artisans- Jewelry, Wood Works, Glass, Candles, Flowers, Foods, Pet Products, Clothing, Soaps, Fruits & Vegetables, Baked Goods, Kids Gifts, Knife Sharpening and more.
Food Court with Live Music
and even Free face painting and balloons for the kids.
Every Sunday 9:30am to 3:00pm 3407 Lithia Pinecrest (just south of Bloomingdale) 813-530-0922
Offer ends 5/30/2017
Volume 12, Issue 4