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The 863 Magazine

Editor | Publisher Note


ello and welcome to our anniversary issue. The 863 Magazine is now officially four years old and is entering its fifth year of publishing. We would like to thank our readers and advertisers for all their support, kind words of appreciation, and testimonials. And a big shout out to our writers, contributors, and staff, who absolutely rock. They are the best and we are lucky to have them on our team. We’ve given the layout a makeover in honor of our anniversary and plan to have a different editor / publisher photo in each issue this year to celebrate. Because why not? You’ll find an explanation of each photo below. Our cover story this issue is about how a Winter Haven couple has become nearly self-sustaining, having turned their

single acre backyard into an oasis of a garden, complete with animals that provide the only fertilizer used. It’s a goal of many to grow a few veggies in their yard and this local couple is proof that, with a little patience, knowledge, and a lot of elbow grease, this growing goal can be achieved. Turn to page 12 for that story. Elbow grease by volunteers is a large part of how the Lake Wales Little Theatre has grown over the past 39 successful years — that and donations. Now going into their 40th season, those who’ve been there during the growing pains take a look back on it all and reminisce about how they’ve kept the dream alive and the opportunities on cue. That story page 14.

our third article. Citizen CPR in Lakeland is making it their mission to train as many people as possible in the life saving technique. Story page 8. The Non-profit spotlight this issue is PACE Center for Girls, which helps at-risk girls in the county through education, counseling, training, and advocacy. Have a spectacular summer, 863’ers!

Staying alive thanks to the efforts of someone trained in CPR is the topic of

Sergio & Andrea Cruz Publisher | Editor



Sergio Cruz |

Alejandro F. Cruz |

Jamie Beckett Andrea Cruz Sergio Cruz Christie Henderson Donna Kelly Jai Maa Meredith Jean Morris Elizabeth Morrisey

Cover Designer

On the cover

Deborah Coker

Self-sustainability is the theme of one Winter Haven couple’s backyard. Growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even raising animals on a single acre — it’s a microfarm in a residential area. Story page 12. Photo by Andrea Cruz.

Editor Andrea Cruz |

Art Director

Ad Sales Bob Edmondson |

Editor | Publisher photo Sergio and Andrea’s first selfie before ‘selfies’ were a thing. The date was June 23, 1996, and they had just met the day before at a bus stop about a block away from where this picture was taken, at Pioneer Square in the center of downtown Portland, Oregon.

The 863 Magazine is a product of Polk Media, Inc. For more info visit us online: or

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The 863 Magazine - July & August 2017  

Useful Yards: Sustainability in a Backyard; Lake Wales Little Theatre: Looking ahead at its 40th Season; CPR: Life Saving technique taught t...

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