The 863 Magazine - May & June 2017

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table of CONTENTS May/June 2017

4 Editor + Publisher Letter

863 8



Apropos of Nothing

U.S. Naval Sea Cadets

A genetic reason for not being able to pick dirty clothes up off the floor? It’s scientifically proven.

Pre-teens and teens are learning life skills through the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets program.

By Jamie Beckett

By Meredith Jean Morris



863 Readers’ Art

Be a Goal Digger

Chanique Davis is painting her own path, and quickly. In less than six months, she’s already had her own art show.

Sometimes a goal is a only a symptom-reliever. The real goals can be discovered with honesty digging.

It’s more than a mobile yarn shop. It’s an extension of a community of makers with a passion for fiber.

By Andrea Cruz

By Jai Maa

By Elizabeth Morrissey



Cover: ‘Follow the Fiber’ Truck


Public Art in the Parks

Non-Profit Spotlight

863 FiArt Winners

Downtown Lakeland’s Lemon Street is lined with sculptures.

Lake Wales Care Center: People helping people helping people.

See the place winners, honorable mentions, and people’s choice winner from this year’s 863 FiArt.

Photos By Sergio Cruz



hy not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is? Mark Twain said that. Especially in business, when the risk is usually monetary, investing in something with an uncertain outcome takes a special kind of courage. Winter Haven resident Laura Dobratz already owned a shop full of yarn but she decided to buy a truck, gut it, and make it into a mobile yarn shop. It turned out to be a great business move as the truck is actually a sneak peek for customers who’ve never been to the brick and mortar shop. Her goal of sharing her love of yarn (and selling it) far and wide paid off. The “Follow the Fiber” truck story starts on page 12. Sometimes a goal itself is not what it

seems. Jai Maa explains that being a goal digger requires complete self-honesty. She breaks it down for us to see that a common goal (more money) may not really be the actual goal. Read more page 9. Pre-teens and teens who become U.S. Naval Sea Cadets have a common goal of preparing for their futures. They learn about teamwork, self-control, self-respect, and more. I myself was a League Cadet and then a Sea Cadet. I never joined the Navy but I could be proud I went to two boot camps and worked crowd control at a Blue Angels show. Cadets have opportunities that many kids are not privy to. That story begins on page 7. Our Non-profit Spotlight this issue is the Lake Wales Care Center, which helps so many in Polk get back on their feet.

Editor + Publisher LETTER


Publisher | SERGIO CRUZ


Cover Designer | DEBORAH COKER Art Director | ALEJANDRO F. CRUZ Ad Sales Rep | BOB EDMONDSON


May / June 2017


Sergio Cruz, publisher Andrea Cruz, editor

Cover Photo JD and Laura Dobratz own “Follow the Fiber,” a mobile yarn shop that helps draw customers to their Winter Haven yarn shop, Four Purls. Story page 12. Photo by Andrea Cruz. The 863 Magazine is a product of Polk Media, Inc. For more info visit us online: or

APROPOS of Nothing An Editorial by Jamie Beckett


he art and science of purchasing an appropriate birthday gift has always befuddled me. This is especially true when considering a gift for a woman, perhaps a female member of my own family, for instance. There was a brief period in time when I thought, “No, I don’t want anything this year,” actually meant, “No, I don’t want anything this year.” I am such an idiot. But an idiot with a perfectly good excuse, as you will see. What might appear on the surface to be a simple declarative sentence, is actually a coded message that means, “This is a test, and you better come through on this, buddy, or there’s going to be trouble. Big trouble. You get me?” On the other hand, there are beautiful moments of touching emotion that occur when someone opens the gift you chose so carefully for them, wrapped with a creative


May / June 2017

flair, and displayed prominently in a place where they would be pleasantly surprised by its discovery. I’ve heard that’s true, in any case. It’s not something I’ve personally experienced. Recently one of my daughters suggested, completely out of the blue, that her preferred birthday gift this year was a DNA testing kit. That, I can do. That makes sense to me. Several family members have spit into a tube in recent years, mostly in an attempt to discover their ancestry. The results have been interesting. My son took the plunge, and we’re still trying to noodle out what the results might mean. He owns and works a hay farm in southern New Jersey, which essentially means he refuses to cut an enormous lawn until it’s long enough to have value to someone who owns livestock. It also keeps the code enforcement crews at bay. Apparently, you can’t cite someone for having an overgrown lawn if the sale of that greenery represents their primary income. It’s an interesting business. I don’t pretend to understand it entirely. My son’s results came back saying he was 78% European, 12% Central or South American, 3% Subsaharan African, and 1% Scandinavian. This concerns us a bit, not only because these results only add up to 94%, but also because his mother is Japanese, from the Hokkaido prefecture, where her family has resided for centuries. I’m thinking one of two possibilities is at play here. One, the lab mixed up his results with those of someone else. Perhaps a trainee or a disgruntled employee was involved somehow. The other option is, the Pump ‘n Pour Convenience

Store in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, isn’t as reliable a DNA testing center as my boy assumes them to be. There are probably other variables I’m not familiar with, too. After all, DNA testing is pretty complicated stuff. When I decided to get my own results, I selected one of the more reputable testing companies. And I’m glad I did. It turns out, I’m 100% European, which isn’t exactly breaking news. But there is a twist to my story. While the entirety of my lineage comes from the European continent, not all my ancestors were from the same country or region. In fact, there weren’t even all human. No kidding. It turns out I’m 4% Neanderthal. A literal descendent of cavemen. Eureka! This is why I am so bad at picking my dirty socks up off the floor and dropping them into the laundry hamper. Now, for the first time I have scientific evidence that it isn’t because I’m lazy, or disrespectful, or misogynistic. It’s in my DNA. When I leave a trail of filthy clothes from the front door through the entire house, ending at the shower, that’s just me exhibiting my family’s cultural heritage. We’re cavemen, for goodness sake. You can’t expect us to bend to the whims of modern western culture in denial of our own traditions and customs. You just can’t. Of course there is one more concern I have now that my princess, my little girl, is taking her own DNA test. It’s unlikely, I’m sure, but it is at least possible that the last genetic surprise I’m in store for might just be to find out that my little girl isn’t really my little girl at all. This might be a bit premature since the results aren’t actually in yet. But if it turns out we’re not actually… you know… related… do I still have to pay for her wedding? Jamie Beckett appears to be an average, everyday guy who just happens to hail from Arizona, Connecticut, New York City, and Central Florida. He wears many hats — pilot, mechanic, writer, politician, musician, stay-at-home dad — often an odd combination of all those things. Frankly, we don’t care. At The 863 Magazine we just keep him around because we think he’s funny. That’s that.

U.S. Naval Sea CADETS: On the March By Meredith Jean Morris

What did you do during summer vacation?” This popular first day of school question gets an unorthodox reply from Jarod Anderson. “How many kids can say they saw a C-130, got to go on a tank, or had culinary training?” the 18-year-old George Jenkins High School student says. “Most other kids think it’s pretty cool.” Anderson is the chief petty officer in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps for the Marvin Shields Seabee Battalion. And, most summers, he attends a one- or twoweek training on a military base, where he learns about aviation, firefighting, photojournalism, ceremonial honor guard, submarines, scuba diving, and more. The Sea Cadets are a federally chartered nonprofit civilian training organization for youth ages 10 through 17, sponsored by the Navy League of the United States and supported by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. When Anderson was 11, he joined the Sun Coast Squadron in Clearwater, after learning about the Sea Cadets at a McDill Air Force Show. “We found out about the Sea Cadets at the booth set up at the show,” says Anderson’s mother, Jennifer Anderson. “We would drive over once a month to the Coast Guard base for the trainings. My youngest was 3, so I didn’t sign up to be involved at the time.”

With their sites possibly set on joining the Navy, U.S. Naval Sea Cadets in formation prepare to graduate from Field Operations at the Green Swamp in Lakeland on MLK Jr. weekend. Photo provided to The 863 Magazine.

In the seven years since Jarod started in the Sea Cadets, Jennifer Anderson says there have been a lot of changes.

“My sister, Jessica, started a small unit at Auburndale High School and grew Continued on page 10


863 Readers’ ART: Chanique Occena Davis By Andrea Cruz


again. Bolstered by the support of her friends and mentors, the 29-year-old mother was encouraged to step out in faith and completely pursue the gift of creativity that God had put inside of her. Posting her newly-created art on social media, Davis says the response was huge. One response was a comment asking when Davis would be showing her art, which she laughed at because she had never considered the idea of having her own art show. Trademarking herself as “The Artist Known As Chanique,” and with no actual painting experience or formal art training, Davis announced last November that she would be having her very first art show in February. Davis says the test came when she was asked to do her first custom piece in December. Literally praying for supernatural ability and asking God to teach her how to paint, Davis began to paint for the very first time ever. Her client loved the piece and Davis’s confidence soared. “I’m a mom so Top right, clockwise: Chanique Davis at a live painting event at 801 E. Main in Lakeland in March; Happy Place; Conquerthe only or; Art Head; Favela de Brasil; Speak Your Mind; Brown Skin time I had Sugar; Mundo Música. Photos provided to The 863 Magazine.

beautiful vintage gold frame hanging in her dining room encompasses a used yet colorful art palette. It was on this palette that Chanique Occena Davis mixed the paints for the 13 original paintings she exhibited at her first-ever art show this past February — and she only started painting last December. Davis identifies with the word “fearless.” Always wanting to be an artist and attend art school, somewhere along the lines the seed of doubt about art making for an actual career crept in and she gave up her dreams, only picking up a pencil, marker, or pastel every now and then for a little drawing. However, last November, feeling unfulfilled, the Lakeland resident made the decision to try her hand at serious art


May / June 2017



Send your art (poetry, photography, paintings, drawings, etc.) to

to paint was at night,” she says. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning, Davis persevered on the 13 pieces for her February deadline. “I just remember stepping back and looking at a piece once it was completed and crying because I couldn’t believe that I actually did something like that,” Davis says. Giving all credit to God for all her accomplishments, Davis makes no apologies for her belief that God took a girl who couldn’t paint and literally made her a painter overnight. Davis now has sold custom pieces, original pieces, prints, and has done several live art performances. “My desire is not just to be successful, but to be significant,” she says. “Success is for self, significance is for others. I want to change people’s lives through every gift I have inside of me. It’s cool to have a gift but if it doesn’t help others than what’s the purpose? I literally want to change the world with art and every gift I have inside of me.” Follow her on Instagram: TheArtistKnownAsChanique.

Break THROUGH Your Threshold “Be a Goal Digger” By Jai Maa


o you love the feeling of abundance, and want to be in relationship with richer forms of prosperity? Do you fly the coop from mediocre opportunities in pursuit of greater advantages? Do you become antsy because you yearn to experience the most extraordinary life possible? Then you, my dear, are a Goal Digger. Don’t be ashamed of it. Let others gossip about the intelligent way you maneuver yourself to higher ground. Perhaps they are envious because they, too, want to achieve more for themselves. But let’s dig a little deeper… what is it that you really want? Let’s play with an example in a question and answer format: Q: What do you want? A: More money. Q: If you had all the money you wanted,

how would you feel? A: Safe. Secure. Wealthy. Q: What would you do with the money? A: I’d travel the world. Q: And after you travel the world, how would you feel? A: Peaceful. Free. Happy. Q: So now you feel safe, secure, wealthy, peaceful, free, and happy. What do you want to create now? A: I want to make a difference in the world. I would want others to feel the joy I feel. Q: What would be the most exciting way for you to make a difference? A: I would love to help children discover their gifts. Q: And once children discover their gifts because of you, what would you create next? A: I would create a school to support children in becoming who they truly are through experiential learning opportunities. So, you thought you wanted a symptomreliever (more money), but what you really want is to live an extraordinary life (creating a school for children to thrive in their gifts). The deeper you dig into your goals, the clearer you become in why you are here on this planet. Hell can be defined as living this life and never discovering the “REAL YOU,” the person you were always meant to be. When we sit around waiting for the money that never comes, the time that never opens up, the person who

never changes to be the way we want them to be, life passes us by. We think that something outside of us needs to change before we pursue our greatest dream, but nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that needs to change is you. Underneath all of the external things we want, are the feelings we hope these things will get us. As in the example above, the feelings being sought through external experiences are security, peace, happiness and so on. Since all feelings are inside of you, what would it be like to connect with those feelings now and move forward creating what you truly want? A true Goal Digger digs deep inside of themselves to find what needs changing from within, and becomes unstoppable in everything they create. They dig deeply into why they want what they want, and they know that surface desires are insatiable temporary fixes. A true Goal Digger is on a mission for self-realization and greatness, and will leave this life celebrating all they have become. Enlightenment Challenge: What do you want more than anything, and what way of being is holding you back? Dig deep. Do you need to stop complaining in order to connect with responsibility? Do you need to stop giving your power away in order to connect with leadership? Do you need to stop worrying in order to connect with trust and security? Stop making excuses, uncover the real you, and move forward in your deepest calling.

Jai Maa is a touring author and enlightenment facilitator who inspires others to create their visions with no compromise. An interfaith minister and native of Polk County, she travels with her cat companions teaching others how to co-create with God and live their own version of Heaven on Earth. Jai Maa is a regular instructor at THE SELF Center in Winter Haven. For more info visit


Sea CADETS, continued from pg. 7

it,” Jennifer Anderson says. “Then Jessica moved to Lakeland and worked on growing the group there up to 20 kids. When my youngest was old enough to sign up, I decided, ‘I’m going to sign up, too.’” Jennifer Anderson started as the personnel officer for the group. “I would do recruiting,” she says. “I’d go to events to set up pamphlets and talk to people about the cadets. Now, I’m the training officer. So, I set up drills and decide what we do each month. Each month it’s something different. One month will be fun, the next will be more classwork or business work.” The events cover a wide range of activities to prepare the cadets for careers in and out of the military. “We learned about marksmanship, and went to the gun range,” Jennifer Anderson says of a recent activity. “We had an expert, a certified sharp-shooter lead the instruction.”

Top: PO2 Carlos The cadets meet one Sancen Henderweekend each month son, 14, sits for at the Lakeland Police his unit’s uniform portrait. Bottom: Department training Sea Cadets in facility for training in the color guard perform the openthe field and in the ing flag ceremony classroom, but there are at a Detroit Tigers also other opportunities vs. Atlanta Braves in March. Photos for involvement. provided to The “It’s good because 863 Magazine. only once a month is mandatory, but you can do as much as you want,” says Christie Henderson, whose son, Carlos Sancen Henderson, 14, is a Sea Cadet. “There are voluntary things about six to eight times a

month. My son has earned 97 community service hours just from Sea Cadet activities.”

On Stands Now with The 863 Magazine!

A mind, body, soul magazine focused on the local health industry. Be healthy. Be happy. 10

May / June 2017

Henderson says the Sea Cadets program was recommended to her by her son’s Jewett Academy Middle School guidance counselor. “At first, I was intimidated by the program because I don’t have any military background and no interest in the military,” she says. “I had thoughts about boot camps for bad kids, but it’s not that at all. It’s really all about learning to work in groups, and as a team, getting career opportunities, learning drills and training.” Henderson says she’s seen a change in her son since he joined the Sea Cadets three years ago. “I have seen him getting more mature, he’s relishing responsibilities and being a leader with the younger cadets,” she says. “He’s seeing how his behavior can affect others. He’s making friends with other kids his age and older than him who have goals, and he’s starting to develop goals, too. He says he wants to be a marine.” While the Sea Cadets program grooms participants in the ways of the military, enlisting after completing the program is not required. “They don’t have to enlist, but they have the option to enlist as E3 in the Navy, Coast Guard or Marines,” Jennifer Anderson says. “If you’re in JROTC at one of the high schools, you get to enter as E3, but only in the Army. Our program gives you three options.” Even without plans to enlist, the Sea Cadets program offers opportunities for students that are transferrable to many careers. Jarod Anderson is most proud of his scuba diving training. “When I was 11, I got scuba certified and it changed my life,” he says. The dive training has taken Jarod Anderson to great depths – literally. “I have dived down to 100 feet in the ocean, I got to dive in the Epcot aquarium,

Top: Cadets relax I’ve been in some of the for chow at Field springs, Weeki Wachee, and Operations at the Green Swamp on I’ve dived to a shipwreck,” MLK Jr. weekend. he says. “I’m advanced nitrox Bottom: Cadets certified, so I can go deeper line up in preparation to do the than you can with just passing of the flag regular oxygen.” ceremony at the With plans to enlist in unit’s annual banquet in February. either the Coast Guard or Photos provided to the Navy, Jarod Anderson The 863 Magazine. says he wants to be a rescue diver. “If someone was considering joining (the Sea Cadets), I’d tell them whatever your interests, you can do them here,” he says. “You don’t have to enlist. Whatever you want to do, this program is going to make you look good.” To learn more about the local Sea Cadet unit, called USNCC Marvin Shields Seabee Battalion, visit


Follow the Fiber YARN Truck By Elizabeth Morrissey | Photos by Andrea Cruz


e all know about the ever popular food trucks, but what about a yarn truck? A local truck called “Follow the Fiber” is one of less than a dozen trucks in the country — and the only one in Florida — that is filled with yarn and travels around to destinations that might not have a good yarn shop nearby. A mobile extension of Four Purls Yarn Shop in downtown Winter Haven, owners JD and Laura Dobratz say the truck brings the best of yarn and fiber to knitters and crocheters in and around Central Florida. “We wanted to bring our yarn shop to other people,” says JD Dobratz, whose name tag says Truck Master. “There are food trucks, so we thought why can’t we do it with yarn.” So they gutted a truck three years ago and added shelves, flooring, and wrapped the truck with their logo. It now holds roughly 2,000 skeins of yarn. All different colors and types of yarn can be found aboard the 20-foot truck. Laura Dobratz is the driving force behind the truck’s very existence. Deciding to add a truck to her shop, which already boasts Central Florida’s largest selection of yarn and fiber, was a no-brainer. “We have a lot of customers that travel an hour or more to shop and I hear over and over again, ‘I wish you were closer, we don’t have anywhere to buy good yarn around us,’” Laura Dobratz says. “One day it hit me, I could have a store in every town around us, it just had to be movable and only open once in while.” Follow the Fiber makes its way to events at least once a week in the winter months, which can often mean the Dobratzes are working seven days a week. They take a break over summer because of the heat and go back out in the community in the fall. JD Dobratz says the closest yarn shop to Four Purls is about an hour away so the truck also helps with advertising their brick and mortar store. “A truck is the perfect complement to the store full of yarn,” Laura Dobratz continues. “It is our lifeline. It gives people an idea of what we carry in the store. The truck is pretty essential to the success of the shop, we rely on the travelers that it brings back to the shop.” Both the shop and the


May / June 2017

truck carry brands that cannot be found at big box stores, such as yarns that have been hand-dyed or milled with high quality fibers.

Some who happen upon the truck by accident would never never have thought to seek out a proper yarn shop or even know that better yarn does exist.

“Men are particularly intrigued,” says Laura Dobratz. “When we attend markets, couples (who do not knit, crochet, etc.) will stop and the husband will want to go

up into the truck and look around. We can pack a fair amount of yarn in the truck so it makes for a very impressive ‘booth’ at fiber festivals and events that we attend.”

Roughly 2,000 skeins of yarn can fit into the ‘Follow the Fiber’ yarn truck — the only yarn truck in the state of Florida.

“When (customers) come to the truck they know from the brands we carry in it that the drive to the store will be worth it because it can only get better,” Laura Dobratz says. “Having a big store also means that we can rotate the inventory so that every time we take the truck out they can see new things.” The truck makes regular stops at different fiber events, conferences, markets, and if a local knitting/crochet group is big enough, they can book the truck to come directly to their meeting place. Some of the places people will find ‘Follow the Fiber’ is the Mount Dora Village Sunday Market, The Black Sheep in Orlando, and large annual events in the state like the Florida Fiber In and Distaff Day. ‘Follow the Fiber’ became a regular on the third Saturday of each month at The Black Sheep in the College Park area of Orlando when the store started focusing more on needlepoint, but still wanted to offer yarn to its customers. “It works better to partner with them,” says Judy Dziuban, an employee of the Black Sheep in Orlando. “It certainly helps our business. It’s a very beneficial, reciprocal relationship.” If a customer makes a request for a specific type of yarn, they can call Four Purls and they will bring it the next time they roll into town. The truck has been to 55 plus communities for their residents and knitting groups. “We cater to certain groups and what they might want,” JD Dobratz says. “Mobile businesses are expanding. It’s expensive to run a store. “We could probably have it out a few times a week but we lack the staff,” he says, adding that they may hire more people in the future. The couple also enjoys partnering with coffee shops, cafes, breweries and other businesses. “It’s mutually beneficial,” he says. Customers can grab a coffee or snack and snag some yarn for a project. Even though the truck is a regular sight now for longtime customers in Polk County, it’s still somewhat of a novelty. Laura Dobratz says that truck is just plain fun and she says the look on someone’s face seeing the truck for the first time never gets old. “I feel proud and excited that I’ve brought a bit of joy to their day,” she says. “What is really exciting, though, is when I see the same person walk into the shop for Continued on page 17


THEME: NATIONAL PARKS ACROSS 1. Trattoria staple 6. *The ____ River, Voyageurs National Park 9. Mowgli’s friend Bagheera 13. Grouchy Muppet 14. Simon & Garfunkel, e.g. 15. Echo sounder 16. Doled out cards 17. Singer Yoko 18. Q in PDQ 19. *Home to Devil’s Garden 21. *Every ____-grader gets a free pass 23. Family truck? 24. *____ Royale National Park in Michigan 25. Geological Society of America 28. Reduced Instruction Set Computer 30. Make slightly wet 35. Ice crystals 37. Alice Waters’ “____ Panisse” 39. Apprehensive 40. Deborah Kerr to Yul Brynner’s King Mongkut 41. Skeleton leg part 43. Military no-show 44. Nigerian money 46. Earth’s satellite 47. First queen of Carthage 48. Broadband predecessor 50. Pot contribution 52. Sophomore’s grade 53. Breathe after a race 55. Not in good health 57. *”Into the Wild” park 60. *Oldest national park east of Mississippi 63. Capital of Vietnam 64. British mom 66. Where to steel a kiss? 68. Passion 69. “Farewell” to Birdie 70. Church topper 71. Office furniture 72. Asian capital 73. Alleviated DOWN 1. Pea container 2. On a cruise 3. Harry Potter’s mark 4. Face powder mineral, pl. 5. Head of the Round Table 6. “Without further ____,” pl. 7. *Going-to-the-____ Road in Glacier


May / June 2017

National Park 8. Hooves, alt. spelling 9. For, in France 10. Gram or pound 11. Speed of an object divided by speed of sound 12. One of Indiana Jones’ quests 15. Cry like a piglet 20. Give the boot 22. Like Methuselah 24. Watercraft with skis 25. *Canyon or Teton 26. Moses’ mountain 27. Embryo sacs 29. Door-stopping wedge 31. *Lake in Nevada desert 32. Small European gull 33. Make a canyon, e.g. 34. Leg cover

36. “Me and ___ and the Dying Girl” 38. *The Virgin River cuts through it 42. Mad hatter’s act 45. Live-in helper 49. Chum 51. Go by 54. Not in my backyard, in text 56. Parkinson’s disease drug 57. Truth alternative 58. Odds and ____ 59. Barnes & Noble reader 60. End of grace 61. Author Murdoch 62. Homesteader’s measure 63. Owned 65. Sailor’s affirmative 67. He had Crossword solution on page 22.

Public ART in the Parks: Downtown Lakeland Photos by Sergio Cruz

As part of the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition, these works of art line Lemon Street in downtown Lakeland between South Florida and Massachusetts. The sculptures change annually and come from artists all over the nation. For more info on the Lakeland pieces visit Watch for downtown Winter Haven’s public art in the July / August issue of The 863 Magazine. Upper left, clockwise: Zihuatanejo by Adam Walls; St. Prego by Russell Bellamy; Issue by M. Esse; Ribbon of Steel #10: Twisting a Tree by Michael Russell; Celestial Motion by Hanna Jubran; Split Decision by Mike Hansel; and You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out by Joni Younkins-Herzog.


Hurricane Preparedness LIST


urricane season officially starts on June 1. Don’t get caught unprepared. Here is a list of essential items to have on hand just in case. Keep in mind this list is not comprehensive; your family may have different requirements. Saved food and water should be replaced each year. Even canned food and bottled water can go bad.

General Items Flashlight(s) Rechargeable batteries or extra batteries Solar-powered battery and phone charger Battery-operated radio and lantern(s) Candles, matches / lighters First-aid kit (incl. antibiotic ointment) Manual can opener Camp stove and fuel / sterno / kettle Solar oven / Rocket stove (see YouTube) Disposable plates, cups, silverware Bagged ice (keep items in fridge cool) Water for food prep, flushing toilets, and bathing Prescription and non-prescription medications (such as aspirin, antacid, laxative, anti-diarrhea, vitamins, etc.) Full tank of gas for evacuation

Extra cash, extra blankets, rain gear

as toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant, etc.

Food (prepare for minimum of 3 days)

Don’t forget about food, water, and medication for your pets.

Drinking water - min. 1 gal / person / day Water purification tablets (if told to boil tap water) Ready-to-eat canned food (single serving is best) Foods that don’t require refrigeration or cooking (think PB&J, pasta, dried soup mixes, dried fruit, energy bars, snacks, comfort foods, etc.) Instant coffee, tea, canned juices Pedialyte for hydration restoration Baby food / formula

For info on local shelters, important phone numbers, and other hurricanerelated info, visit and click on the “Hurricane Preparedness 2017” image. Print out info ahead of time and keep with your supplies.

Personal Hygiene Toilet paper, paper towels Hand sanitizer, baby wipes / towelettes Feminine supplies Daily items such

Visit for info on local shelters and important phone numbers.


May / June 2017

YARN Truck, continued from pg. 13

JD and Laura Dobratz stand in their yarn truck with the youngest of their four children, Thomas, 8.

the first time because they visited the truck and just had to see the shop, too.”

“People are usually a bit shocked that they can walk up into the truck and that it’s full of yarn,” Laura Dobratz says. “Sometimes people are like, ‘So you bought a truck and filled it with yarn and now you drive around and sell the yarn out of your truck?’ And “Follow the Fiber” is a 20-foot mobile yarn shop, an extension of Four Purls Yarn Shop in Winter Haven. I’m like, well, when you say it like that great way to meet and hang out with other it does sound a bit crazy, but yes,” she says knitters, crocheters, weavers, and spinners,” laughing. she says. “What fiber artist doesn’t want to Four Purls Yarn Shop opened in walk up into a big truck and be totally 2010 and business has been better than surrounded by yarn and roving? Plus if ever. “We’ve seen an increase in interest in your town doesn’t have a yarn shop it’s a

Continued on page 22




ake Wales Care Center is a faith-based community service organization that demonstrates Christ’s love by building bridges between people in need and people with a desire to serve. The center’s main office is located at 140 East Park Ave. in Lake Wales. In addition, the center operates two thrift stores, which aid in its efforts to connect with the community at large. Like most American cities or towns, Lake Wales has needy people – for whatever reason, they need food, clothing, medical help, shelter, homebound care, or mentoring. However, Lake Wales also has compassionate people — people who recognize and honor the Biblical instruction to help a neighbor in need. They are willing to give generously of their time, their resources, their talents, and their expertise. Between these two groups, however, there exists a wide gulf. How does one group reach the other without the risk of lost time, wasted resources, and misplaced effort? That is where Lake Wales Care Center functions by bridging the gap, enabling one group to reach the other. Staff at the Care Center and volunteers give of their time and talents in a most practical way — they become the ‘people helping people helping people.’ Lake Wales Care Center is a dynamic ministry providing a holistic approach by meeting the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs of area residents. Physical… assistance with tangible


May / June 2017

goods, financial needs, housing, etc., is provided to help meet immediate needs and provide on-going care. Emotional… one-on-one and group activities help individuals strengthen their self-esteem and attitude. Relational… assist individuals in becoming self-sufficient, productive members of their community. Spiritual… communicate God’s love to meet the most important of all human needs. The Lake Wales Care Center serves as a local “clearing house” for mobilizing community resources. Area churches, businesses, service clubs and families are able to channel their resources and energy through one central agency in order to meet local needs. Volunteers are a vital part of the programs offered through Care Center. During 2016, nearly 2,200 volunteers served an astounding 92,102 hours of service, bringing the cumulative hours to 1,097,754 hours. These remarkable people help with everything from home repairs, delivering food, organizing and displaying donated items in the thrift stores, assisting in the office, wrapping gifts, packing food boxes, picking up donations, tutoring, mentoring youth, serving meals, sponsoring families, evangelism, and home visits, just to name a few. We consider our volunteers local missionaries as they serve their community. Our Lake Wales Thrift Store is located

at 201 N Scenic Hwy. in Lake Wales. The phone number is 863-678-0245. Our second thrift store is Dundee Thrift Store and it is located at 27889 US Hwy 27 in Dundee. The phone number is 863-4396000. For more information about Lake Wales Care Center or how to become a member of the “caring” team contact 863-676-6678 or, or visit Follow us on Facebook on the following pages: @ Lake Wales Care Center; @Lake Wales Care Center Dundee Thrift Store; @Lake Wales Care Center online sales; and @ KPAchristianbookstore.

Tell Us

About a Non-Profit


YARN Truck, continued from pg. 17

knitting and crocheting,” says JD Dobratz. He and his wife moved to Winter Haven from Michigan 12 years ago. “(Laura) had a need for quality yarn and didn’t want to drive far.” With the shop itself, JD and Laura Dobratz have provided a place for creative individuals in the community to gather. “Hopefully people feel like it’s an extension of our living room,” he says. “To me that is almost as important as the yarn — the friendships that form over wool and needles,” Laura Dobratz

says. “Sometimes, because we are in towns without yarn shops, the people who visit the truck have never been in a ‘real’ yarn shop, they have no idea how wonderfully beautiful yarn can be. All they know is the craft store and it’s a big difference.” From 12 years old to 97 years old, the use of yarn for all different projects is growing in popularity. “There are more knitters than golfers in the US,” says Laura Dobratz. “It’s very trendy,” her husband continues. “It’s not your grandma’s knitting.” Four Purls holds knit nights on Tuesdays with nationally known teachers, classes, and special events. The bulk of their clients are retirement age and even a handful of males sometimes try it out. “The The yarn found on the Follow the Fiber yarn truck and in Four Purls Yarn Shop is a higher quality than that sold in big box stores.


May / June 2017

community is growing. More people are utilizing the shop to relax and be creative.” As for the future of the ‘Follow the Fiber’ yarn truck, the Dobratzes say they have plans to eventually upgrade the truck so they can travel farther distances. For more information on Four Purls Yarn Shop and the ‘Follow the Fiber’ truck visit

Crossword on page 14.

Photos by Oliver Cruz

The 863 Local FiArt Fest 2017 - Thank You!

1st Place - Betsy Bohrer Lakeland, Fl.

2nd Place - Tammy Archer Sebring, Fl.

3rd Place - Ingrid Brandt Lakeland, Fl.

Congratulations to the top three place winners, five honorable mentions, and the People’s Choice winner of The 863 Local FiArt Fest!

Treefish (James Meade / Shawn Hennecy) - Lakeland, Fl.


he 863 Local FiArt Fest is a free community event featuring artists from Polk Co. and other counties in Central Florida. This year’s event was held on April 15 in downtown Winter Haven. Sponsored by Alfa

Demetric Denmark Winter Haven, Fl.

Brenda Cline Lakeland, Fl.

Romeo FIAT of Winter Haven and The 863 Magazine, the pet- and family-friendly event featured more than 60 local artists and food trucks, a kids art area, and live music. Save the date for next year: April 21, 2018.

Angel Sims Auburndale, Fl.

People’s Choice Award: Chanique Davis See Chanique’s story page 8.

Suzi Harr Eustis, Fl.

Also a very special thank you to Tinia Clark of Sidestreet Studio in Winter Haven for judging the artist vendors this year.

Save the Date! 4th Annual 863 Local FiArt Fest: April 21, 2018

Thank You to these Community Business Sponsors for Supporting Local Arts!

137 Landings Blvd, Winter Haven 863-293-4280

Interested in being an artist, performer, vendor, or sponsor next year? Visit


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