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MAY 2017

FARMHOUSE REFASHIONED / MI CASITA / TAKING ROOT GETTING THE GREEN LIGHT / THE DOCTOR IS IN


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THE LAKELANDER


NO TIME? No problem!

We offer two quick and convenient

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Lake Miriam

Lakeland, FL 33805

Lakeland, FL 33813

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863.284.5000


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Eleven Polk County locations to serve you! Lakeland-Lake Gibson 6625 US 98 North (863) 858-3866 Lake Wales 126 Hwy. 60 W. (863) 676-6515

Lakeland Combee 1225 N. Combee Rd. (863) 665-3111

Lakeland North 1409 N. Florida Ave. (863) 682-8107

Frostproof Ft. Meade 500 N. Scenic Hwy. 1401 Hwy. 17 N. (863) 635-2645 (863) 285-9757

Lakeland Christina 6100 S. Florida Ave. (863) 646-2921

Auburndale 521 Hughes Rd. (863) 967-6602

Eagle Lake 1515 Hwy. 17 S. (863) 294-7749

Haines City 35495 Hwy. 27 (863) 422-3144 1350 N. Broadway (US 98) Bartow (863) 533-1611


WE CAN HELP

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Did you BACK know that Chiropractic can & benefit anyone?PAIN Even children and teens can benefit from | LOWER & NECK PAIN |care KNEE SHOULDER | WORKER’S COMPENSATION comprehensive chiropractic as it prevents and alleviates all types of musculoskeletal pain in young AUTO ACCIDENT INJURIES | SPORTS INJURIES | CERVICAL & LUMBAR SPINAL bodies that are still developing. Chiropractic helps your little one prevent injury and grow up healthy. DECOMPRESSION | MASSAGE | SASTM | SARAPIN INJECTIONS Schedule your family’s complimentary consulation at Lakeland Spine Center , today!

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LAKELAND • 2017

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

70 MAY 2017

DEPARTMENTS 20 NOTE FROM THE EDITOR 22 CONTRIBUTORS 26 PHOTOGRAPHERS 30 METRO 132 OPENINGS 134 EVENTS 138 HISTORY

ON THE COVER This monochromatic and ethereal living room is just a peek into the interior design reface of what was once a modest functional farmhouse. The vibrant interior design that Christian Lee worked on this home will easily serve as inspiration for any Colonial to post-and-beam interior. Photo by Tina Sargeant 12

THE LAKELANDER


Technology may change but relationships shouldn’t.

As ways of communicating continue to evolve, our values remain the same. We are a high-touch wealth advisory firm, providing tailored strategies to meet our clients goals. Let us help to cultivate your unique path.

Start the conversation. Call (863) 904-4745.

THE CORE TEAM:

Chuck Foss • Nathan Dunham • Andrew Foss • Paul Weaver Matte Diaz • Angela Newell • Lisa Burton

COREWEALTHADVISORSINC.COM 231 N KENTUCKY AVE • STE 217 LAKELAND, FLORIDA 33801


TABLE OF CONTENTS

TASTE 46 MI CASITA Celebrating family with a feast of Latin dishes

SPECIAL FEATURE 58 THE DOCTOR IS IN Watson Clinic’s CEO Louis Saco reflects and discusses the future of healthcare in our city

SHELTER 70 FARMHOUSE REFASHIONED Functional, yet modern, interior design


FEEL YOUR BEST. LOOK YOUR BEST. INSPIRING SUMMER CONFIDENCE IN YOU.

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Surgical Procedures of the Body, Breast & Face Non-Surgical facial rejuvenation with Botox, Juvederm, Voluma, Volbello, Belotero and Laser Treatments Dr. Jacob Gerzenshtein is a leading Lakeland, FL plastic surgeon who is dedicated to the pursuit of surgical perfection and complete patient satisfaction. Jacob Gerzenshtein, MD, is a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon who is board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He takes great pride in his reputation as one of the most highly skilled plastic surgeons in Central Florida. Dr. G treats each patient seeking cosmetic surgery with the utmost attentiveness and dedication, an approach that consistently delivers outstanding aesthetic results.

Call to Schedule your appointment (863) 647-2200 or visit our website fineryou.com Finer You PA, Dr. Gerzenshtein 4429 Florida National Dr, Lakeland, FL 33813

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PHILANTHROPY 84 RESTORATION AT THE RANCH The man and ministry behind Leaning W Outreach Ranch tu

STYLE 96 REFOCUS AND REFRESH

84

As seasons change, so should your wardrobe

PEOPLE 108 TAKING ROOT How committing to a city results in personal growth and a community’s health

CULTURE 118 GETTING THE GREEN LIGHT A look at the film industry’s past, present, and future in Lakeland

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EMBRACE THE

UPSIDE OF RISK

With the help of local advisors and comprehensive insurance programs, you can explore the upside of your risk and turn problems into possibilities.

lanierupshaw.com • (863) 686-2113


PUBLISHER Curt Patterson ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS Jason Jacobs, Brandon Patterson Advertising ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Curt Patterson; 863.409.2449 ADVERTISING SALES Jason Jacobs; 863.606.8785 ADVERTISING SALES Brandon Patterson; 863.409.2447 ADVERTISING SALES Nathan Patterson; 863.409.0267 Editorial EDITORIAL DIRECTOR EDITOR

Brandon Patterson Kristin Crosby

CONTRIBUTORS Abdiel Gonzalez, Christian Lee, Adam Spafford, Gina Terry, Robyn Wilson COPY EDITOR Laura Burke OFFICE MANAGER Deb Patterson Design CREATIVE DIRECTOR Daniel Barceló DESIGNER Anushka van Huyssteen Photography PHOTOGRAPHERS Dan Austin, Tiffani Jones, John Kazaklis, Richard Om, Tina Sargeant, Jason Stephens INTERNS

Nicole Curtis, Christine Tran

Circulation CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

Jason Jacobs

General Counsel

Ted W. Weeks IV

Published by Patterson Jacobs Publishing, LLC The Lakelander is published bimonthly by Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission of The Lakelander is prohibited. The Lakelander is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. Contact Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802 863.701.2707 www.thelakelander.com Customer Service: 863.701.2707 Subscription Help: jason@pattersonpublishing.com “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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THE LAKELANDER


Bright & Timeless

A home that reflects you.

With hundreds of design combinations to choose from, you’ll help us design the home that’s perfect for you. Call or visit one of our 7 model homes and design centers conveniently located throughout Polk County

800.496.4096 Or visit mysouthernhome.com to chat live with one of our consultants. $0 Down • $0 Closing Costs • Up to 4,000 SF • From $964/month PITI • From $84/SF Building in 23 communities in North Lakeland, South Lakeland, Winter Haven, Auburndale, Bartow, Lake Wales, as well as, On Your Lot

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FROM THE EDITOR

A NOTE FOR YOU, GRADUATES We have been clients of Thorpe Heating & Cooling for over 30 years. We never hesitate to recommend them to anyone who has a residential heating or cooling need. We love all of their technicians. No matter who they send out they are always polite, respectful and honest. Their technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable. We recently purchased a new AC unit. The installation team was just phenomenal. It was a pleasure having them in our home. We appreciate the honesty and integrity of the company. If anyone at Thorpe makes a mistake they tell you and they correct it. That is so valuable in this day and age when many people don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. Thorpe has treated us like family for many years and we plan on being a part of their family for many years to come. With summer just around the corner, we know that Thorpe will keep us cool all summer long. Alan and Ruth Spinks

Serving All of Lakeland for 35 Years www.thorpeac.com 863-858-2577

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THE LAKELANDER

The day I graduated college, I could not wait to get OUT. (I take that back …) A good year before I graduated (since hopes of graduating in ’06 turned into a desperate attempt to pass and graduate with the class of ’07 at SEU), I was ready to get out. Out of school. Out of never-ending drama (which never seemed to hold much weight for my personal life). And, frankly, out of Lakeland. As unclear as your life plans may be on graduation, you have a very clear idea of how you expect life to be. And coming from a generation that has completely changed exactly how life should be, there are a few points I’d like to leave with you before you take off into the wild. Graduating with degrees in music and theatre (the latter of which now no longer even exists at SEU, for you intrigued aspiring actors), I had an overriding anticipation to step out of college and make it big, to change the world, to pursue my dream of … What? I don’t know what. I didn’t even know then what. Sure, I would likely have told you I wanted to act or sing for a living (but now, thanks to Instastories we all can). In actuality, I had no clue what I wanted to do. But I knew one thing. I didn’t want life to be normal (whatever that meant for me at the time), and I didn’t want to be a receptionist. (Which I inevitably became on my career track — more than once.) I graduated college feeling nothing short of lost.

A few years ago, a young woman, not long out of college, pitched a sitcom idea to HBO for a show on the culture of millennial young girls stepping into adulthood. Summed up in a comically perfect pitch, it noted a common thread of desire for this demographic: “They knew they wanted to be successful, before they knew what they wanted to be successful at.” Needless to say, the show (Girls, created and written by Lena Dunham) managed to relate to this stage of life, having just wrapped up its sixth and final season with a solid following. For many of us, stepping out is nothing but pure confusion. When you’ve been raised through the prime of your life with the idea that a well-developed personal brand identity is necessary before you graduate, the first steps in adult life can feel a bit shaky. To say the least. Granted, there is nothing more powerful than stepping into the world with a concrete vision and seeing it come to life. If you know what that is. So if you don’t know, don’t sweat it. Learn to roll with it. Be navigated by it. Because the earlier you know that you won’t always know what life will hold, the better. If you do expect anything in adulthood, in a career, in love, to quote the very highbrow film, Dan in Real Life, “Expect to be surprised.”

KRISTIN CROSBY, EDITOR


THE SANCTUARY

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THE LAKELANDER

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CONTRIBUTORS KRISTIN CROSBY EDITOR Originally from the North, Kristin Crosby first came to Lakeland to study at Southeastern University. Prior to Patterson Publishing, she worked at Relevant Magazine and as a grant writer for the nonprofit organization LifeNet International, and previous contributor at LifeZette.com, an American news and opinion site based in Washington D.C. As editor, Kristin endeavors to uncover and give voice to the untold stories of this city. kristincrosby.com.

www.bankofcentralflorida.com

ADAM SPAFFORD

COMMERCIAL BANKING TEAM

Adam Spafford came to Lakeland in 1999 to attend Florida Southern College and, except for a 20-month graduate school stint in Massachusetts, has been here since. When he’s not writing page-turners for The Lakelander, he trades stock and index options.

Randy Hollen, SVP

ROBYN WILSON

David Houston, SVP

Robyn Wilson is the owner and founder of The Poor Porker Inc, a DIY lifestyle brand and beignet business based on the simple fact that you really can do anything you want to do if you’re willing to work hard for it. Her awardwinning designs and food have been featured in Food and Wine, Marie Claire, and Glamour magazine. Today, her simple beignet business has expanded to a 6,000-square-foot destination spot in the heart of Lakeland called 801 E. Main.

Marilyn Watson, VP

David Brown, VP

ABDIEL GONZALEZ From a young age, Abdiel Gonzalez was inspired by design and art, and influenced by the colorful culture of his native Hawaii. After moving to Florida in his teens, Abdiel formed an award-winning dance company, No Confusion, for which he received national recognition. His love of fashion developed while earning a bachelor’s in business administration at Florida Southern College. He has managed multimillion-dollar retail establishments, designed stage costumes, and styled high-profile photo shoots. Currently, Abdiel runs Style Instinct by Abdiel, a styling and image consulting business. As a longtime Lakelander, Abdiel gives back by volunteering his talent to local production companies and teaches weekly dance classes at studios here in Lakeland.

Nancy LaFountain, VP Treasury Management

Scott Gardner, VP

CHRISTIAN LEE DOWNTOWN LAKELAND 101 S. Florida Ave. | 863-904-4109 SOUTH LAKELAND 5015 S. Florida Ave. | 863-701-2685 BARTOW 515 N. Broadway Ave. | 863-534-3585

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THE LAKELANDER

Christian Lee is a Mississippi native who moved to Lakeland in 1992. After spending several years raising her family, she re-entered the design and decorating industry. Today, she works with contractors and clients to remodel homes and commercial properties. Christian is passionate about spaces that have soul, and she loves to find ways to make that soul come to life. She is skilled at interior decorating, repurposing antique and vintage furniture, and has designed a line of clothing for the home. To learn more about Christian, go to christianleedesign.com. Follow her on Instagram at Christianleedesigns.


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SAME DAY EMERGENCIES • WE TAKE YOUR INSURANCE • 0% INTEREST FINANCING • DENTAL SAVINGS PLAN • VETERANS & MILITARY DISCOUNTS FOR A FEE ADVERTISED ‘MINIMUM FEE ONLY’ OR FOR FEE SERVICE: THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT WHICH IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED FEE, OR REDUCED FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT.

THE LAKELANDER

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CONTRIBUTORS GINA TERRY Lakeland is home to Gina Terry in many ways — she went to college, met her husband, and had their children here. After earning two graduate degrees and spending several years working full time in writing, including as an educator and marketer, Gina is excited to be able to turn her focus to her family and stay home with her two baby girls during this season of life. When she’s not writing for The Lakelander, she enjoys traveling and rediscovering life’s simple pleasures through her toddler’s eyes.

EMILY ROGERS Emily Rogers is the founder of Emily Rogers Consulting + Coaching. Her passions are purposeful living and mindful leading. As a coach, she empowers others to live and lead in alignment with their core values, grow personally and professionally, and realize their full potential in purposeful and balanced ways. Follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn, and visit emilyrogers.com for helpful resources and insights.

PHOTOGRAPHERS TINA SARGEANT

Lakeland’s Premier

Tina Sargeant has been professionally capturing the moments, events, and people of our region for the last seven years and photographing for The Lakelander since issue one. Tina’s photography is driven by the ability to suspend time and create emotion, and her work embodies a passion for anthropology – people, culture, and stories. sargeantstudios.com

COFFEE HOUSE & CASUAL EATERY

DAN AUSTIN Dan Austin is a Florida native photographer. He specializes in a unique style that combines the spirit of his subject with a detailed attention to lighting. Through this, Dan achieves a unique and well thought out aesthetic that can be seen in his images. danaustinphotography.com

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THE LAKELANDER


Looking for a

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Dr. Faeza Kazmier wants to help you look and feel your best with real, natural results. Choose procedures from a range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options and watch your confidence grow by leaps and bounds!

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PHOTOGRAPHERS TIFFANI JONES

Let Us Be Your Guide To Homeownership

Growing up, Tiffani Jones could never get lost in the wonder of a storybook. Then one day she realized she could let her mind imagine a wondrous story through imagery. Photography gives Tiffani a tangible voice with her audience. After a wonderful 15-year nursing career, she left the art of nursing for the art of creating. She’s a life-long Lakelander, where she raises three energetic children with her husband. iamtiffanijones.com

JOHN KAZAKLIS John Kazaklis was born and raised in the DC Metro Area and came to Lakeland to study at Southeastern University in 2007. After graduating, John decided to make Lakeland his home because of the great quality of life and close-knit community. His fascination with different cultures and travel made him passionate about visual storytelling and sharing stories that typically go untold. He is currently the program director at Catapult Lakeland. istoria.life

RICHARD OM

With over 100 years of combined Mortgage experience

Richard Om was born in San Jose, California, but grew up in Tampa. A student at Southeastern University, he moved to Lakeland in 2014 to pursue a bachelor’s in organizational leadership. In the meantime, he works at SEU’s specialty coffee shop, Portico, as well as being the creative director for DS Collective, a newly founded arts nonprofit based out of Orlando. Richard loves photographing close, in-action moments of community and hopes to use his degree and photography to inspire people to do what they love. instagram.com/richardjom

JASON STEPHENS

Taylor Caffey President/Owner

110 E. PINE STREET LAKELAND, FL 33801 863.603.0999 INFO@LANDMARK-MTG.COM

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THE LAKELANDER

Jason Stephens is a native Florida boy who lives in Lakeland with his beautiful wife, Jess, and daughter, Isla. Whether it’s from 500 feet up in a helicopter, on a boat cutting through the water, or locked down on a tripod, Jason loves to be behind the camera capturing the moments that pass in front of his lens. jasonstephensphotography.com


WE CAN HELP....BEFORE IT’S GONE.

THE LAKELANDER

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Maybe all you need

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THE LAKELANDER


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THE LAKELANDER

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NEW AND NOTABLE IN LAKELAND

MAYBE WE COULD ALL DO WITH A LITTLE BRUSH-UP ON OUR SOCIAL GRACES.

GENUINE, AUTHENTIC, SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY While summers are strictly “me” time, it may be the best time of year to keep a warm welcome to visitors passing through.

I

n the months soon approaching — that most glorious, highly anticipated, at times wretchedly sweltering Florida summer — Lakeland seems to become a resting stop for what could easily be recognized as the holiday capital of the world. (While, granted, you may think Christmas when you hear the word holiday, for the rest of the world it simply translates as a reason to celebrate vacating the everyday life.) Caught between a tourist-inundated Orlando, the snowbird Tampa hideaway, and a celebrityinfiltrated deluxe Miami, living in a frugal, family-friendly lodging location come mid-June can begin to feel as if our city is caught in a Bermuda Triangle of sun-deprived global tourists. Likely, the influx of visitors throughout the summer can be felt on your morning commute hitting I-4 towards Orlando, stuck on the in-between stomping grounds from one amusement park to the next, or even standing in a longer line than usual at 801 East Main for your Saturday beignet morning ritual. If we’ve spent enough time in Lakeland, we may feel we could spot a tourist a mile away. And what can follow, particularly in the midst of humid workdays with summer soon approaching, is a twinge of annoyance when we’re randomly stopped for directions, or patiently waiting as visitors peruse the Concord Coffee menu, delaying us minutes from the 30

THE LAKELANDER

In recent years, in an effort to advise readers preparing for summer getaways, Condé Nast surveyed The Top 10 Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the U.S. In 2016 the list of friendliest cities was topped with Charleston, South Carolina, at number one; Park City, Utah, at number two; and Savannah, Georgia, at number three. While Florida did not make the top 10 list (apparently not everyone can be happy and friendly all the time, not even where dreams come true), it also did not make the Top 10 Unfriendliest Cities (whose names will remain, tactfully, unmentioned). Regardless, being nearly an hour away from a vacation central of the world, it’s a wonder most visitors don’t feel more welcomed throughout Central Florida. Just weeks after the wrap of the globally attended Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In Expo and headed into, no doubt, Florida’s most economically fruitful season of the year, maybe we could all do with a little brush-up on our social graces. Maybe our visitors could benefit from an attentiveness that surpasses expected common gestures and an emotional intelligence that seeks beyond a self-interest. As Lakeland grows, fewer of us can claim being born and raised solely here (though many can still proudly claim they were, in fact, made in Lakeland). Many of us can easily relate to coming to a new place, feeling out of your element and navigating your way through a new city. Whether or not someone is passing through to a five-star resort in Orlando or cozying up at the new Holiday Inn Express on South Florida Avenue, there is no telling what kind of situation visitors may be vacating from as they pass through. There is a genuine beauty of the collaborative, thoughtful, and authentically friendly nature of our area. Come summer, when vacations are underway and our coffee shops are flooded with unfamiliar faces, there’s no reason we can’t share a warm, welcoming spirit to those we don’t know … and even those we already do. With a little authentic Southern hospitality, maybe we could grow a bit beyond a casual gesture of, “Bless your heart.” (That is, of course, unless you really mean it.)

Photo: Boston Public Library / THE TICHNOR BROTHERS POSTCARD COLLECTION

METRO

cold brew we knew we wanted before we even got in line. It’s common with the influx of tourists passing by to feel a bit more claustrophobic, a bit more irritable, and a lot less patient, possibly if only with a twinge of jealousy at the root of it, that European visitors get to lounge in our local sunshine as we rush on to our next shift at work. Deep down inside, we know we really just wish we could jump out of our work attire and join them for that trip to Disney World or Clearwater Beach we’ve been pushing back all year. (And if you do manage to take advantage of surrounding amusements parks and beaches more than once through this crazy season, you’re well ahead of the rest of us.)


I would feel horrible if I were the reason why my granddaughter got the flu. That’s why I believe that getting my annual flu shot is the first and best way to protect us both.

WINTER HAVEN :: 863.299.2630 550 POPE AVE NW :: STE 200 LAKELAND :: 863.644.7337 3240 S. FLORIDA AVE :: STE 101


METRO

PRIZES TOTALING $10,000 AT LAKELAND SHARK TANK

JUST THE BEGINNING

A group of bright local entrepreneurs ranging from ages 12 to 17 recently competed in a Shark Tank Event on April 5, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce at Southeastern University. YEA! (Young Entrepreneurs Academy) led 15 students through a 30-week program leading up to the event, involving more than 20 local businesses. Students were equipped from concept to development of idea and ultimately to prepare a five-minute presentation before a panel of local investors. One competitor pitched an app that would track school buses. “My mother is always worried if the bus is late,” said Niriham Shah. Other pitches included an LED-lit pencil grip, monthly candy subscription for sweets from around the world, and an innovation to alleviates back pain. Of the many monetary awards, the largest sum of $5,337 was awarded to Niriham Shah. Shah was selected to attend the Saunders Scholars semifinals, where more than 100 finalists will compete for the next competition in Washington, D.C., held at the 2017 America’s Small Business Summit.

What is the reason for the Yacht Club rebuild? Jason Heacock: Of course, we all wanted to

save the club, but through a lengthy process the board had to evaluate the feasibility of it. The cost to effectively renovate exceeded the budget we were working in. At that point we had to consider a new building. Through our architect and general contractor we found that that project could happen within our budget. Kimberly Ruthven: It wasn’t just that we

wanted to renovate. We need to be relevant and have amenities to attract young families and people. There was a lot of damage and rot — it was a large footprint we were dealing with. So, our ultimate goal is to greatly improve services and amenities. Now that the walls have been torn down, to your knowledge, what was their prior condition? Jason: The club building, with its wood

framing and as close to the lake as it was, was in close proximity to a moist environment and created problems with the ballroom floor, as well as a fair amount of termite damage over time. Even some newer additions had rot and insect damage. And when you add up all the components, the contingency you need for

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Photo: Getty Images / GERARDO MORA

After the removal of the historic Lakeland Yacht & Country Club, first opened in 1924, many are questioning why. So, to clear the air, we spoke with board member Jason Heacock and secretary Kimberly Ruthven to hear just where the future of the yacht club is headed. unforeseen items is a big unknown. Kimberly: It was important for us to retain

as much inside the building as possible, even if just to repurpose them. There were a lot of beautiful arched windows, and as we considered them, they crumbled. We saved what we could. But it became clear there was a lot of damage. Still, we’re salvaging every piece we can. We were able to preserve the front doors, coral stone fireplace, stained glass windows, interior arches, and columns. What new feature in the future plan are you most excited for members to come and experience? Kimberly: As a grandmother, I’m certainly

looking forward to that splash area, which will be so awesome, as well as the new pool and Veranda bar. The club is significant to our community. So many bring business clients to meet here, in front of that beautiful lake, and tell them why they should choose Lakeland. The banquet is used for formal and nonprofit events. So ultimately our purpose and vision is the same, to be a social setting for friends to get together. As our sign says, the building is just the beginning.

PETS RESCUED AT GRAND SLAM ADOPTION EVENT Both lovers of dogs, supermodel Kate Upton and fiancé Justin Verlander, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, hosted a recent SPCA adoption event. On March 18 the couple held their third annual Grand Slam Adoption Event, providing live music, free T-shirts, and face painting, in support of charities for the SPCA, K9s for Warriors, and Wins for Warriors. “A lot of shelter dogs get a bad rap,” says Upton, “but it’s so important for people looking for dogs to check out shelters.” Upton is passionate to encourage the importance of animals “to bringing people together, for happiness, and for healing.” This healing is most evident in the lives of veterans experiencing PTSD, as well as the pups rescued at the event, now provided with a home. The event was a huge success, with many dogs adopted and raising funds and awareness for these organizations to continue providing help. Stay tuned for the 2018 Grand Slam Adoption event!

GRACEFUL GRAINS

18K FOR KALEN

Debra Bershak, a local baker, started an organic, small-batch bakery two years ago that has been a growing success. Every Saturday at the Downtown Farmers Curb Market you can find Graceful Grains selling delicious, award-winning treats that are filled with wholesome, nutritious ingredients. • gracefulgrains.com

In honor of Kalen Kirk, who died last year after being struck by a vehicle while walking to his bus stop, Kalen’s family hosted an 18k race on April 22. The memory of Kalen and his passion for those in need was honored as all funds raised provided 18 pairs of shoes for 18 schools and childcare centers.

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STAYCATION 03

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n a recent Fresh Air interview on NPR, lexicographer and Merriam-Webster Associate Editor Kory Stamper explained the origins of the seemingly contemporary slang word “staycation,” added to the dictionary in recent years. The word actually dates back to 1944, used in a beer ad, presenting the stay-cation as something you do as your patriotic duty to help preserve money and boost your local economy. So, we would like to encourage you to do your due diligence and offer you plenty of reasons why a staycation would be well worth your time. After all, it is your patriotic duty.

01 STREAMSONG RESORT

02 POLK THEATRE

03 LEGO LAND

Book a tee time, spa day, bass fishing, maybe even some archery (to channel your inner Katniss), or why not the whole package deal? This glorious piece of land is a little slice of heaven too close to home to not visit.

One of Florida’s few historic theatres still standing, stop by this iconic landmark to enjoy of-the-moment indies underneath a blanket of stars, with fresh popcorn, after a brief cinema pipe-organ prescreening serenade.

Why take the kids all the way to Orlando when your family can enjoy amusements right outside the city at this theme and recently opened water park?

04 FLYING TIGERS

05 FAMILY FUN CENTER

The Detroit Tigers may be done playing until Spring Training 2018, but live games don’t have to end there. Spend a sunny evening out at a ball game to watch Detroit’s Minor League Flying Tigers play all summer at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

For the little kids and big kids alike, this nostalgic arcade and mini-golf is the place to play all your worries away … and maybe a walk down memory lane.

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Love handles? Handled.

SculpSure helps you safely reduce stubborn fat in problem areas such as the belly and love handles with a treatment plan that is customized to the results you desire. Schedule your free consultation today!

www.VivaVitality.com 1826 N. Crystal Lake Dr Lakeland , FL 33801 (863) 450-4060


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STAYCATION 2017 06

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06 FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT CENTER

07 EXPLORATIONS V CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Some of the beauty surrounding Lake Hollingsworth is thanks to the world-renowned work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Though we pass by it most weeks, take a few hours to explore the creations of this famed architect.

While the kids may be driving you a little loopy, with summer just underway, this spot is a perfect location for the little ones to be amused and grow in learning. And it may save Mom some sanity while you’re at it.

09 BELLA VISTA SPA

10 ZAGSTER BIKE TOUR OF LAKELAND

Wipe away the stress of the summer (we see you, Moms and Dads) with a visit to one of the city’s premiere spas. From body wraps to facials and massages, this spa provides it all without leaving the comforts of town.

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Now with park and lake-to-lake bike paths, you’ll have fun renting a bike. Take a little ride for yourself, and see the city from a whole new perspective.

08 THE TERRACE HOTEL Whether you need a last-minute getaway or a breather from the children, this historic hotel that overlooks Lake Mirror has it all.


Get back on course faster with robotic-assisted surgery.

Learn more about relieving joint pain at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, the only hospital in Polk County offering minimally invasive robotic arm-assisted joint replacement. The benefits of robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery may include less scarring, faster healing, and a quicker return to your active life when compared to traditional surgery.* To speak with our Joint Coordinator about joint replacement surgery, upcoming seminars, or to schedule an appointment, call 863-422-BONE (2663).

HeartofFlorida.com/Joints * Patient results may vary. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks and benefits of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation. Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center is owned in part by physicians.


METRO

CULTURE COLUMN Engage Lakeland’s Arts Community

THE LAST FIVE YEARS

The gallery’s opening exhibition featured Steven Felix-Jager’s Blue Sky, running until May 17th.

Come see the emotionally stirring musical about two New Yorkers who, in the course of five years, fall in and out of love. MAY 3-4, 7:30 P.M LAKELAND COMMUNITY THEATRE

MY TOWN: ART FROM OUR HOMELESS NEIGHBORS An inspiring contest where 32 cameras were distributed to the homeless in Lakeland so they could capture their everyday lives through photography. See the exhibit and experience this unique perspective. MAY 5 - JUNE 2, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF LAKELAND

CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: PINK FLOYD These incredible musicians work hard to recreate every sound of the classic album Dark Side of the Moon - Animal. If you’re a Pink Floyd fan, you won’t want to miss this. MAY 11, 8 P.M. - 10 P.M. THE LAKELAND CENTER

MIDFLORIDA MAYFAIRE BY THE LAKE Every year, one of the largest and oldest outdoor art festivals in Central Florida takes place at Lake Morton. Join for live entertainment, great food, and around 160 artists represented. MAY 13-14, 9 A.M. - 4 P.M. LAKE MORTON

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ART/ifacts fter sitting idle for 35 years collecting dust, the large, historic warehouse off of Massachusetts Avenue has been transformed into a beautiful, modern space with high ceilings and wide windows, providing local artists the opportunity of studio workspace at an affordable rate. ART/ifacts is Lakeland’s newest nonprofit art studio that promotes collaboration and creativity, not only for the individual artist but the entire community. The studio holds a modern gallery space to showcase the work of up-andcoming local contemporary artists. White walls covered in paintings with explosive colors encourage collective reflection and conversation for the city. At its first exhibition by local artist Steven Felix-Jager, Elizabeth Hults, who runs ART/ifacts was beaming. “I love it. It surpasses all my expectations,” she says. What inspired Hults to take the big step of creating the studio was to offer affordable resources and programs to contemporary artists as well as the public. “Art has a track record of elevating culture: It inspires. It moves. It enacts change. Art expands the mind and asks you to pause. To think.” Located in the heart of a lower-income part of town, ART/ifacts, Haus 820, and

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other surrounding new businesses tend to stand out, but with good intention. “An active arts community engages and educates the public and enhances the quality of life of its citizens,” says Hults. “It denotes the economic health and viability of a city.” The hope is to bring in more investment to reinvigorate that part of town and provide financial support for the community. Hults believes that art benefits everyone and causes students to “have higher gradepoint averages, lower[s] dropout rates, inspires social change, improves healthcare, sparks creativity, promotes tourism, [and] strengthens the economy.” As a nonprofit organization, ART/ ifacts offers endless positive results for our community: an affordable space for artists to grow, an increase in investment and tourism, the revival of a historic building, and an opportunity for a city to, not only see, but experience the power of art. “I hope it emboldens the creative community and triggers a sort of renaissance, if you will,” says Hults. “I’ve seen too many talented individuals leave Lakeland because they were under the impression there was no way to succeed in a creative profession here.” As Hults suggests, before moving to another city, perhaps the best opportunities are right here.


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METRO to support this cultural growth may not only have an immediate impact on our artistic community, but a lasting impact in the future of where our priorities lie as a city. “Where one’s resources are, therein also lies their heart,” notes Hults. With any driven and visionary artist, there is always hope. Plus, we all know how drastically governments can change overnight.

HOW YOU CAN HELP FUND LOCAL ARTS

A SHIFT FOR THE ARTS Recent government budget cuts will drastically change the future for the local arts. But as the population of creatives feel they are just beginning to thrive, how can we, as a city, continue to support our cultural development?

As

the local art scene continues to develop with new music venues, art galleries, and creative groups, government funding for the arts in 2017 has recently been drastically cut. Organizations like the Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland Community Theatre, and the Polk Theatre are left to look elsewhere for financial support. “Any loss of funding right now is a serious concern for us,” says Holly Parrish, vice president of the board of directors for the Lakeland Community Theatre. “These large budget cuts not only cause concern for these artistic venues and employees, but for the city as a whole.” Throughout history, art has played a significant role in cultural healing, stimulus, and common empathy. Whether seeing an image, reading a poem, or listening to a song, art communicates and offers perspective through an array of untraditional mediums. “Art evokes emotion, sparks discussion, and enables us to express ourselves,” says Lorrie Walker, PR consultant for the Polk Museum of Art. As local government cuts budgets of already underfunded programs, organizations must now decide “whether to scale back programs or seek other funding sources,” she says. If the decision is made to cut programs, the economic state of Lakeland could be greatly affected. The arts draws tourism and economic growth. As the emphasis on art rises, so will economics because it attracts those who are highly educated, and often, wealthy. “The arts are an important part of 40

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the equation when it comes to the full, well-rounded development of our youth and our society as a whole,” says Polk Museum of Art Executive Director Claire Orologas. With less funding to sustain employees, those working for such organizations are left overextended and unable to provide the same services due to a lack of time and tight budgets. “It stacks the odds ever further against smaller startup entities,” says Liz Hults, director of the recently opened ART/ifacts Studio. “Resources were already stretched thin and hard to come by. It’s disheartening. But I’ve never been one to shy away from adversity.” As most artists are familiar with the face of challenge, organizations all plan to continue and seek funding elsewhere. Yet with many asking for the same grants, financial support may become sparser unless some things change. Lakeland’s Florida Dance Theatre will receive no government funding for the 2017 fiscal year. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed and thinking positively,” says Artistic Director Carol Krajacic-Erkes. She’s hopeful, “but in the back of my mind I know it doesn’t look good.” Not only has the arts culture benefited our present, but it also helps us record our history, notes Walker. Though these cuts are a devastating blow to recent creative developments, there is a way to maintain momentum. Lakeland has grown more profitable and focused on small business with the expansion of art. As funding will be more difficult to attain, our efforts

1. INVEST IN WHAT ALREADY EXISTS. Whether it’s by attending events, purchasing art pieces, registering for classes, or simply giving a generous donation, all can assist in the rebuilding of financial support lost in the cutting of government funding. 2. SPONSOR ANNUAL EVENTS. For any business eager to network and invest back into the community, follow the lead of the likes of Chuck Foss of Core Wealth, who has made an influential impact doing just that. He says, “Supporting the arts is a part of our [business] culture for many reasons. Aside from our team’s own individual interests in the arts, we see the clear relationship between a vibrant arts community and a thriving business community. Whether it is a performance at the Lakeland Community Theatre, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, or an exhibition, we want to share those experiences with our friends and clients. Those experiences can help develop strong relationships. I can’t think of a better way to relate to another person than through the arts.” 3. GIVE A LITTLE TIME. Budget cuts often mean fewer employees, so to keep the same programs alive without overextending workers, volunteer. Any help will make a huge difference! 4. USE YOUR VOICE. Write your state and federal elected officials emphasizing how important the arts are to you personally and to the city, encouraging them to find ways to fund the arts.


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METRO

WORK. LIFE. BALANCE. Because balance takes place in the midst of action.

WRITTEN BY EMILY ROGERS

reating and maintaining a work-life balance is unique for each of us. It requires an ongoing commitment to life-giving choices that generate fulfillment and joy. Like walking a tightrope that requires careful consideration with each step — as we choose how to expand our time and energy, moment by moment — we are either moving toward a greater sense of alignment or away from it. For decades, women have been talking about work-life balance and constantly seeking to find it between the demands of work, families, and personal priorities. Men are starting to join in on the balance conversation as well, as suggested in a recent Wall Street Journal article by Rachel Feintzeig, “Male CEOs Tell Us Their WorkLife Rules.” Now, even men are questioning the traditional divides between their professional lives and personal well-being. Fundamentally, as humans, balance is essential to our well-being, fulfillment, and overall ability to consistently perform at the highest levels. Continuing to churn through life as it swirls around us without being mindful of balance often leads to increased stress, unhappiness, and burnout. For years, I tried to achieve a fixed state of balance by keeping life and work compartmentalized. My assumption was that if I nurtured each compartment with equal amounts of attention, my life would

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SEVEN STEPS TO BRING YOU CLOSER TO A WORK-LIFE BALANCE:

grow like a well-tended garden — orderly, in rows, with no plant creeping into a neighboring section, and certainly no weeds cluttering my well-planned space. My discovery has been that when life and work are interconnected, fluid, and sometimes a bit disorderly, I feel the most alive, creative, and whole. When I am being the best version of myself, I move toward balance gracefully and playfully, constantly adjusting and assessing with a sense of curiosity, stretching myself to try something new. Sometimes losing balance along the way, yet being gentle with myself as I refocus on making choices that reflect my true priorities. Rarely do I achieve a perfect state of balance, but as I make choices that take me a step closer to my definition of balance, they begin to keep me there for longer periods of time. And it’s there where energy and creativity surge.

A RICH STATE OF BEING, BALANCE REQUIRES CONTINUAL MONITORING AND THOUGHTFUL TUNING AS PRIORITIES CHANGE.

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Gain perspective by assessing the various components of your life. Using a wheel of life that’s provided in my Self-Directed Guide to Creating Work-Life Balance, on a scale of 1-10 , 10 being the most satisfied, how satisfied are you currently with your health, career, personal relationships, finances, and environment?

Identify your highest priorities and practice saying no to the requests and distractions that aren’t aligned with them. As Stephen Covey says, “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage — pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”

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Heed the warning signs of stress and burnout such as frequent illness, irritability, and fatigue. Practice self-care. Be especially gentle on yourself and others during these times.

Create more time for the things that bring you joy. What things make you smile? Who in your life makes you laugh? Make more time for these feel-good endorphins every day. This alone can be very impactful.

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Make time to renew regularly and without guilt: take a short walk, read for pleasure, meditate, disconnect from your devices, or spend a few moments in nature. Makes these a habit for every day.

Pausing and reflecting periodically. This will allow you to take notice of the impact of your choices and actions, and allow the good you’re doing your body, mind, and spirit to soak in.

7. Continue to refine and adjust your unique approach to achieving balance. It’s a neverending yet immensely rewarding journey.

Intentionally cultivating balance in your life will create powerful results. You will find yourself in an expansive, free-flowing, and highly energetic state doing the things that bring you the greatest joy, achieving what matters most, and living life to its fullest. Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create. Learn more at emilyrogers.com.

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Welcome to the family, Platinum Bank customers.

DALE DREYER Regional President/Central Florida KEN ELY Senior Vice President/Lakeland Area Executive 44

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Platinum Bank is now CenterState and we’re excited to be able to serve you better than ever. Welcome, Platinum Bank customers and to those considering a local-decisions, community-focused bank, we invite you to come see what we’re all about.

CORE VALUES: Local Market Driven Long Term Horizon World Class Service Relationship Banking Faith & Family 1

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Downtown Branch: 500 S. Florida Ave. | Ste. 100 | Lakeland | 863-683-2300 Lake Miriam Branch: 4719 S. Florida Ave. | Lakeland | 863-648-0900

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CenterStateBank.com


TASTE


SOMETIMES THE MOST MEMORABLE MEALS REQUIRE NO MORE THAN MINIMAL PREP, GOOD COMPANY, AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS. AND WITH MORE DAYS THAN NOT FULL OF SUNSHINE, THERE’S NO REASON WHY SUCH MEMORABLE MEALS CAN’T HAPPEN MORE OFTEN.

written by robyn wilson photography by tiffani jones styled by lisa malott rowing up, my father always told me, “You know, Robyn, we may not have a lot of money, but we sure are rich in love.” Boy, was he right about that. Nothing brings me more joy than lovingly making tasty food for my family and friends, and enjoying it with them. What an honor it is to spend quality time together. Throwing a good celebration doesn’t mean we have to celebrate beyond our means. After all, in my opinion, the tastiest dishes are often the simplest. Few ingredients prepared well and with lots of love are key. When I was young, my family took yearly trips to Los Angeles to visit my grandparents. I marveled at the beauty of Latin culture. Families in my grandmother’s neighborhood regularly got together al fresco and enjoyed each other’s company while sharing beautiful, homemade food. The smells wafted through the air. Judging by the glorious aroma and the smiles, love was most definitely the main ingredient. Join me as I celebrate family with a beautiful feast of Latin dishes, recipes I have collected and shared throughout the years. Enjoy!


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Spicy lime-cured cucumber and habanero 1 yellow onion, halved, sliced into 1/8-inch half moons 1 English cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch slices 1 habanero chili, seeded, and cut as thinly as possible 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano Kosher salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Allow to marinate for 2 hours, stirring once midway through.

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5 tomatillos, cut in half, with hulls removed 2 jalapeĂąos, halved 4 cups water 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion, plus 1 1/2 cups sliced 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 poblano chili, seeded, and cut into strips 2 1/2 pounds pork butt, fat trimmed, cut into 3-inch cubes Corn tortillas, the fresher the better Chopped white onion, cilantro, and lime wedges for serving

taco


Combine the tomatillos, jalapeĂąos, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes or until the tomatillos and jalapeĂąos are soft. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Place the contents in a blender. Add the cilantro, chopped onion, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth. Using a clean pot, place over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the poblano chili and sliced onions. Stir occasionally, cook until soft. Add the pork and the blended tomatillo mixture. Bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently and stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch the goodness. Cook for 2 1/2 hours or until you can pull apart the meat with a fork. Using two forks, shred the meat into pieces. Serve with tortillas, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped onion, and lime.

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"the tastiest dishes are often the simplest. few ingredients prepared well and with lots of love are key."

Jarritos is a popular Mexican soft-drink brand known for its tropical-fruit-flavored sodas. Be sure to stock up on these easy refreshments for the summer!

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Dinner Is Served! Ribs Served nightly!


At The Twisted Teapot, we are dedicated to providing an unforgettable afternoon tea experience with quality food and exceptional service. Here, the customer comes first; whether it's catering to a special need or delivering a truly unforgettable experience for a special occasion. If you have any questions, concerns, or inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us or stop by!

OPEN TUES-SAT 11AM- 3PM Reservations are highly recommended

863.299.5000 200 1ST ST. SOUTH, WINTER HAVEN, FL 33880

twistedteapot.com

www.facebook.com/ TwistedTeapotWH


Sweet corn salsa with tomatoes and basil 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears) 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, seeded 1 cup diced english cucumber, do not peel 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeĂąo, seed before chopping 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1/2 cup chopped basil 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and chill for 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.

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Flor de jamaica Ice 2 ounces agave tequila 1 ounce agave syrup 1/2 ounce lime juice 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice 1/2 ounce brewed hibiscus tea 1 lemon wedge

Fill a tumbler and a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, agave syrup, lime juice, lemon juice and tea. Shake. Strain into your tumbler and garnish with lemon.

Additional recipes from this delicious feast are online at thelakelander.com.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

The Doctor is in. WATSON CLINIC HAS BEEN MAKING LAKELANDERS WELL FOR GENERATIONS. IN THE MONTHS FOLLOWING THE CLINIC’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY, CEO LOUIS SACO REFLECTS ON THE PAST AND TELLS US ABOUT THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE IN OUR CITY.

by Adam Spafford photography by John Kazaklis


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Dr. The Lakelander: Tell us about your role. What led you to your work with Watson Clinic? Louis Saco: I am the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Watson Clinic. I also have an active practice as a gastroenterologist. I attended Georgetown University Medical School and Georgetown University’s Internal Medicine residency program. I completed training in gastroenterology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases, Chapel Hill. I specialize in gastroenterology, which is the treatment of intestinal diseases. I see patients at the Main Clinic location as well as Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center (LRH). I perform procedures such as colonoscopies at the Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center and 60

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at LRH. I also work to support and strengthen Watson Clinic’s involvement in the community. I serve as a member of the board of directors for VISTE (Volunteers in Service to the Elderly), chairman of the Watson Clinic Foundation, and as a trustee on the board of Florida Southern College. I serve as the team physician for the Detroit Tigers Florida operations and the Lakeland Flying Tigers. TL: Tell us the history of Watson Clinic. LS: The Watson Clinic was started in 1941 by Drs. Herman Watson, Samuel Edgar Watson, Jere Annis, Henry Fuller, and John Kibler. Watson Clinic started with a few offices in the Marble Arcade building in downtown Lakeland. Today we’ve expanded to 19

locations across Polk, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties. We have close to 300 physicians and providers recruited from the best medical schools and facilities around the world across more than 40 medical and surgical specialties. TL: What is Watson Clinic’s mission? LS: Our founders saw the tremendous medical advances that were taking place and being offered to patients in the largest metropolitan areas of the United States. They believed the people of Lakeland and surrounding communities deserved that same caliber of care, but delivered in a personable, compassionate manner that was reflective of their small-town values. That mission continues to motivate us and define who we are today. The

Watson Clinic mission is to provide comprehensive medical services of the highest quality, in the most safe and cost-effective manner, while constantly improving excellence in the best interest of patient care. Our brand of one-stop excellent healthcare is our passion. TL: What changes have you made during your tenure as CEO? LS: I became the CEO of Watson Clinic in January 2002. In 2003, we opened the Watson Clinic Cancer & Research Center. We are proud to be the only cancer center in the state of Florida to receive the 2016 “Outstanding Achievement Award” from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. We also received our threeyear “gold status” reaccreditation from the same organization. This


Watson Clinic originated in 1941 and was first housed in the historic Marble Arcade Building in downtown Lakeland.

award is only given to facilities that set a gold standard for excellence in cancer care. The Watson Clinic’s cancer center also received this award following their previous evaluation in 2013. So far this year, the Commission on Cancer has surveyed a total of 239 cancer facilities across the country. The results of our evaluation sets us apart, not only as the state’s sole recipient of the “Outstanding Achievement Award,” but also as the only free-standing facility in Florida to have achieved gold status in reaccreditation. This is the highest level of achievement possible across every judging category. Since its inception, the Watson Clinic Cancer & Research Center has been affiliated with Moffitt Cancer Center. In 2006, we opened the Watson

Clinic Women’s Center, which provides expert compassionate women’s care in breast cancer detection and treatment using 3D mammography, breast surgery, and plastic and reconstructive surgery services. In 2009, we opened our Bella Vista Building, offering a diverse range of specialties including ENT, our hearing center, dermatology specialties, facial plastic surgery, and our beautiful women’s services center with OB-GYN physicians. We even have an adjacent day spa in the building. On the north side of our Main Clinic building we have instituted an Urgent Care facility which is state-of-the-art and open seven days a week. In September of 2015, we opened our Watson Clinic Highlands location, which is ushering in a new era of healthcare excellence for residents in South Lakeland and surrounding communities. This center houses family practice, OBGYN, dermatology, pediatrics, ENT, a hearing center, and has a lab and x-ray capabilities including CT scan on-site. Our very popular seven-daya-week XpressCare walk-in clinic is also housed at this location. Construction has already begun on Phase II of the Highlands complex. It will house orthopaedic doctors, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, and an MRI center.


I have always regarded my role as CEO as being rooted in the mission set forth by our founding fathers 75 years ago. We will continue to deliver the most advanced care available and do so with the small-town values that make patients feel like they are part of a larger family. I think this has been best reflected in the fact that Watson Clinic was awarded by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) with the designation of their highest level ranking — as a level 3 patientcentered medical facility. We are very proud to have received their highest ranking and feel that it validates all that we are trying to accomplish in providing for the healthcare needs of our community. We are seeing third and fourth

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generations of patients at the Watson Clinic. That’s what it is all about. As the healthcare needs of our community change and grow, and technology advances, we will also continue to advance and provide excellence in medical care for our community. TL: The Clinic has undergone significant changes in the last few years. What have you added? LS: Our expansions take place solely based on the healthcare needs of the communities we serve. Our population in South Lakeland, Bartow, and surrounding communities continues to grow, and so does their need for comprehensive, quality care. For this reason, we’ve constructed one of our most

In 1958, Watson Clinic moved into the newly constructed Main Clinic location on Lakeland Hills Boulevard. To this day, it remains the central hub of the clinic's operations.

“We’re honored by [our patients’] loyalty, and we work every day to meet and exceed the sacred responsibility of caring for them and their families.”


Finish in as few as 16 months or at your own pace

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Watson Clinic co-founder Dr. Jere Annis speaking to colleagues.

“The Watson Clinic mission is to provide comprehensive medical services of the highest quality, in the most safe and costeffective manner, while constantly improving excellence in the best interest of patient care.� 64

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Aerial view of Watson Clinic Main circa 1969

impressive facilities — Watson Clinic Highlands — which is convenient to those patients and offers the type of services they’re looking for: family medicine, dermatology, XpressCare walk-in clinic, OB-GYN, pediatrics, and ENT services. Building II will be complete soon and will have more specialties as mentioned above. Just down the road from our Highlands location, we’ve opened the Watson Clinic Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine facility. Whether patients are looking for injury prevention techniques, joint repair and replacement, or they’re in need of physical rehabilitation, they can access our exceptional team of orthopaedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers all from this location. It also puts us closer to many of the high school teams we provide care for. These services are already at our Center for Rehabilitative Medicine on the north side of Lakeland, but this marks the first time they have been made more accessible to our patients in South Lakeland, Bartow, and other communities in that area. At our Watson Clinic Bartow location,we are adding more physicians and specialties on a continuing basis. At the present, we provide family medicine, endocrinology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and podiatry. Adjacent to that location is the Watson Clinic Bartow gynecology facility, which just opened in recent months. There, women of all ages can receive

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exceptional care for everything from routine gynecologic care to complex bladder-health concerns. TL: Watson Clinic just celebrated its 75th anniversary. To what do you attribute its longevity? LS: Our patients are like members of our extended family, and many of our patients feel the same way about us. We’ve treated their parents and grandparents; we deliver their children and provide them with comprehensive care as they’re growing up. We’re honored by their loyalty, and we work every day to meet and exceed the sacred responsibility of caring for them and their families. We’ve built a tradition of healthcare excellence at Watson Clinic that continues to influence other medical facilities across the United States. And none of that would have been possible without the strong support of our community from the very beginning.

F O U R O F WAT S O N C L I N I C ' S L A K E L A N D L O C AT I O N S

Watson Clinic Bella Vista Building

Watson Clinic Main

Watson Clinic Cancer & Research Center

Watson Clinic Highlands

1755 North Florida Avenue Lakeland, FL 33805

1730 Lakeland Hills Boulevard Lakeland, FL 33805

1600 Lakeland Hills Boulevard Lakeland, FL 33805

2300 East County Road 540A Lakeland, FL 33813


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Watson Clinic has been making Lakelanders well for generations.

TL: What’s the best thing about doing business in Lakeland? What’s challenging? LS: For more than 75 years, Watson Clinic has been an integral part of the community. The city itself has always been supportive and accommodating to us in all of our endeavors. They know we are focused on strengthening the well-being and vitality of the Lakeland community. TL: What are Watson Clinic’s future plans? LS: As I mentioned earlier, construction is currently underway

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on Phase II of our Highlands complex, which will bring more physicians, specialties, and greater convenience than ever before for patients in South Lakeland, Bartow, and the surrounding communities. More expansion is sure to follow. TL: Any final thoughts? LS: We at the Watson Clinic are committed to providing excellence in medical care to meet the needs of our growing community. We sincerely thank each and every one of our patients for providing us with an opportunity to care for them.


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SHELTER

Farmhouse R E F A S H I O N E D


THERE IS SOMETHING SOOTHING AND COMFORTING IN FARMHOUSE DESIGN. WHETHER IT BE OUR OWN GRANDMOTHER’S ORIGINAL HOME, THOSE DEPICTED IN THE ICONIC MAYBERRY USA, OR NOSTALGIC RANCH-STYLE WEDDINGS AS OF LATE, MOST OF US CAN RELATE. ALL THINGS FROM CHURCH, APPLE PIE, ROCKING CHAIRS ON THE FRONT PORCH, TO CHILDREN RUNNING BAREFOOT CHASING BUTTERFLIES REMIND US OF ENDLESS FAMILY MEMORIES FOUND IN THE FARMHOUSE. TAKE A VISIT WITH CHRISTIAN LEE THROUGH THIS MODERNIZED AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGN TO INSPIRE EVEN YOUR MOST RUSTIC BARNWOOD HAVEN.

WRITTEN BY CHRISTIAN LEE PHOTOGRAPHY BY TINA SARGEANT

T

he American farmhouse dates back to the early 1700 colonials. Farmhouse design is sturdy and straightforward, characterized by a large covered front porch and a centrally located front door. A horizontal gable roof often extends over the porch and is intercepted by second-story dormer windows. Square columns support the flared roof and add a symmetrical feel to the efficient design. The house plan is generally functional and minimal. The covered porches help cool the interiors and provide a transitional shaded gathering place outdoors for family and friends. This was particularly important in the days before air conditioning. And the dorm windows help natural light penetrate the second floor and provide additional living space. Traditional and functional white clapboard siding adds a robust feel to the finished exterior. Sometimes, the way we live defies expectations. Several years ago, Brett

and Leslie Blondell, a progressive young Lakeland couple, saw two acres of land and imagined a modern take on the traditional farmhouse. They wanted to maintain and protect the historic elements of farmhouse design while reimagining and updating those aspects necessary for their growing family. They planned to marry the feel and warmth of the traditional with the practical and functional expectations of today’s modern living. The Blondells designed a home that fit the bill, and then hired me to help furnish and finish it. They had a very clear vision for each room and shared this on a modern-day inspiration board. Leslie set up a separate, private Instagram account for the two of us so that we could share photographs and keep them all accessible for easy reference in one location. If you are thinking of decorating and furnishing a new or existing home, the more photos and sources of inspiration (tile pieces, fabric swatches, paint samples, etc.) you can collect, the more direction it will give your designer to help you to achieve your goals. Due to a well-sourced Instagram storyboard, I understood what the homeowners wanted as we progressed, and we quickly learned to share a vision for the finished home. We started with the hard surfaces and worked our way through the house. We decided early on that we needed to use shiplap either


LIGHT FIXTURES WERE SELECTED IN WHITE AND S O F T G R AY, WITH THE GOAL IN MIND TO SHAKE UP THE TRADITIONAL NOTIONS OF FARMHOUSE INTERIORS.

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The home is an interwoven mosaic of traditional farmhouse architecture with just the right measure of modern style.

on entire walls or to the chair rails, depending on the room. We selected quartz countertops for the kitchen. Complementing the custom, white shaker cabinetry, it is low maintenance and perfect for an active, young family. We used shades of white Carrera marble in the bathrooms with varied patterns. Some were herringbone. Some were offset brick patterns. I appreciated the continuity of the materials but did not want it expressed the same way in every bathroom. We put down gray wide-plank hardwood floors throughout the house except in the laundry room where we placed black-and-white cement tile. The cement tile serves as more practical and durable flooring for a laundry room.

I selected light fixtures for the ceilings and picked out white and soft-gray paint colors for warmth, with the goal in mind to shake up our traditional notions of farmhouse interiors. So, we also put a goldpatterned wallpaper on the ceiling in one of the kids’ bedrooms and a wood-patterned panel in another kid’s bathroom. We used marble and patterned tile backsplashes, installed a trough sink in a bathroom, and generally had fun with interesting patterns and textures. We looked for any excuse to hang cool wallpaper. The furnishings and furniture needed to be arranged to accommodate large gatherings for Bible study and fellowship. We intended a place that would be comfortable and inviting. So we

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I love the fact that the children are taking piano lessons on the same piano that their father grew up playing. drew on the classic yet chic elegance of Anthropologie for inspiration. I found a beautiful ivory-colored leather Chesterfield sofa in Tampa, matching it with two wingback chairs covered in oatmeal linen. I discovered a perfect, oversized blackleather ottoman in one of my outof-town honeypots and placed it in front of the sofa. I love the contrast of colors and placed everything on the layered contrasting textures of custom sisal and Moroccan rugs. We custom-designed and constructed a number of furniture pieces. We built an entry table of painted wood with a natural wood

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top. We liked concrete tops and bases because of their durability and tried to use them whenever we could. The kitchen island is huge with tons of storage underneath, serving a dual purpose as a buffet for parties and a work station for food preparation. It also had to be long enough to anchor the large room and provide a place for the kids to eat and do homework. We splurged on high-end indooroutdoor Janus et Cie wicker furniture for its comfort and durability around the pool. Once again, the family had a need to accommodate church gatherings for pool parties and fellowship and wanted a place


THE PIANO WAS PROMINENTLY PLACED FOR ITS FREQUENT USE AND TREASURED SENTIMENTS.

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BATHROOMS ARE A CENTRAL POINT TO BREAK UP THE CONTINUITY OF MATERIALS THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE, SUCH AS THE MARBLED PAT TERNED TILE BACKSPLASHES AND THE TROUGH SINKS I N THIS ROOM.


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HIGH-END INDOOR-OUTDOOR WICKER FURNITURE WAS CHOSEN FOR ITS COMFORT AND DURABILITY AROUND THE POOL.

for people to hang out. I found an enormous, custom-made naturalwood table for 10, with matching custom benches to complement the wicker furniture for the back porch. In order to create an ambience of comfort and style, I like to mix and match unique elegant furniture, custom pieces, and vintage. I found an old apothecary cabinet and traditional vintage chair with charcoal fabric for a small gallery, a mid-century desk for the office, and a six-foot-long workmen’s bench for the foot of the master room bed. Since Brett is a church worship leader and musician, we prominently placed the piano he grew up with in the living room. I

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love the fact that the children are taking piano lessons on the same piano that their father grew up playing. For its history and family sentiments, it’s a rich piece to center the room around. A perfect blend of traditional and modern, the home is an interwoven mosaic of traditional farmhouse architecture with just the right measure of modern style. A Chesterfield sensibility insinuated with dollops of quartz and edgy wallpaper. A kind of elevated and refined Anthropologie matched with comfortable living. This combination has created a home that is as warm and welcoming as the faithful family that built it.


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WDER BRO O S. R C

Southgate Center | 2633 S. Florida Ave. | 863-683-6702 Sandpiper Plaza | 6549 N. Socrum Loop Rd. | 863-859-9909

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WDER BRO O S. R C

2 Lakeland Locations Southgate Center 2633 S. Florida Ave. | 863-683-6702 Sandpiper Plaza 6549 N. Socrum Loop Rd. | 863-859-9909

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A NATURAL WOOD ENTRY TABLE, AS WELL AS MANY OTHER PIECES T H R O U G H O U T, WERE CUSTOMDESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED.

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Extended 7am to 7pm Drive Thru and Saturday Hours


LAKELAND REALTORS® BOARD OF DIRECTORS LEFT TO RIGHT FRONT ROW: LISA RUIZ-CASTANET, DAWNA STONE, SEAN HARPER, KYLE MILLER, JIM STEINBAUER, MARIE HANNA, SHANNON CORNELL, CHRISTIE MCSWAIN, ANDREA DOCKERY, LISA REINSTETLE, TAMMY GRAHAM (NOT PICTURED: KYLE VREELAND, RICHARD DEMPSEY) 82

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WHEN BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE, TIMING IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT … THE TIME TO BUY OR SELL IS NOW! The spring buying season is in full swing with strong demand and limited supply. The current inventory of single-family housing supply is 3.6 months (5.5 months is considered a balanced market). With the current demand, it will take 3.6 months to completely sell our existing inventory, making this a sellers’ market. Many sellers, in varying price ranges, are experiencing multiple offers, and prices continue to rise, currently up 10% over last year! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE MARKET CONDITIONS AND LIST YOUR HOME WITH A REALTOR ® TODAY! THE LAKELAND REALTORS ® WOULD LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO OUR “OPEN HOUSEWEEKEND” EVENT. ARE YOU A FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER? LOOKING TO UPGRADE? MOVING TO THE AREA AND NOT SURE WHERE TO LOOK? WITH OVER 100 HOMES AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING DURING THIS EVENT, WE ARE POSITIVE YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING YOU CAN CALL HOME! If you’re looking to buy, get more information, or just browse the current inventory, look for the blue and white balloons and open house signs, during the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, June 3rd and 4th, or visit www.LakelandOpenHouseWeekend.com for more information. This is a great opportunity to view multiple homes on the market, floorplans, and neighborhoods during this specially designated weekend ... AND learn more about what the beautiful city of Lakeland has to offer.

See you June 3rd and 4th! - Dawna Stone, 2017 President, Lakeland REALTORS® To view an interactive map and find homes available for viewing June 3rd and 4th, visit www.lakelandopenhouseweekend.com. Dawna Stone, 2017 President, Lakeland REALTORS®

LAKELAND ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® 820 SOUTH FLORIDA AVE STE 100 LAKELAND, FL 33801 863-687-6111 LAKELANDREALTORS.ORG

LOOK FOR THE WHITE & BLUE BALLOONS! indicating homes open for viewing


PHILANTHROPY

Written by Gina Terry Photography by Jason Stephens


HIDDEN FAR DOWN NORTH FLORIDA AVENUE IS A BIT OF LAND TO CAPTURE RESPITE, A SPACE TO CHASE WORRIES AWAY RIDING HORSEBACK, A BRIEF VENTURE TO RETREAT FROM EVERYDAY LIFE: A PLACE CALLED LEANING W OUTREACH RANCH.

A

sign toppled over, broken branches scattered, the grill tarp blown askew — just some of the damage from the previous evening’s winds and rain at the Leaning W Outreach Ranch on Earnest Road in North Lakeland. “I’m in the process of trying to get everything put back right,” founder and owner Richard Wilder explains, surveying the landscape. That seems to be the mantra of all that happens at the Leaning W: to get everything put back right. Wilder is the sole caretaker at the Leaning W, and he shoulders the responsibility of caring not just for the 18.5-acre property, but also for the thousands of veterans and at-risk youth who have passed through his gates, approximately 4,000 in total during the outreach’s nearly six years of operation. He says, “I tell the veterans and kids that visit, ‘When you come through the gates out there, leave your problems on that side of the gate.’” Wilder considers the Leaning W to be a retreat, a place to get away. THE LAKELANDER

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There’s no medical personnel, no rooms for counseling sessions, just wide-open spaces for clearing your mind and healing from your past — all at your own pace. “Here you can relax,” says Wilder. “There are no cares, no worries. You don’t have the traffic and the noise. Your mind can just roam to a degree — get things straight. Any time you want to leave, you can get up and leave. You don’t have to worry about restrictions.” A Vietnam veteran diagnosed with PTSD, the idea for the organization came to Wilder during the early ’90s while volunteering with the disabled at Ember Ranch in Polk City. As Wilder spent time working with the horses there, he noticed it helped him to relax. Soon after, a doctor recommended to Wilder that he spend an hour a week riding horses to help manage his condition. “The horses don’t care who you are or what problems you might have. Just to put your hands on them is relaxing. That one hour a week turned into half a day, which turned into all day, which turned into every day. A change came over me,” Wilder says. Although he had already been working with veterans and at-risk youth for years, Wilder was granted nonprofit status and officially opened the Leaning W’s gates in October 2011. He has always had an open-door policy for anyone who wants to visit, from Boy Scout troops to corporate executive teams, asking only that you let him know you’re on your way. “It’s not just a place for veterans to come. It’s not just a place for at-risk kids to come. It’s a place for anyone who needs to get away and try to think.” The serene setting is perfect for just that. A lake for fishing flanks the winding entrance on one side, trees on the other. Horses, hammocks, a horseshoe pit, and a grilling area are all available for visitors to use and enjoy, whether they’re just there for the day or plan to camp out overnight. Wilder himself is also available for anyone unfamiliar with horses who wants to learn to ride or gain confidence in interacting with them. The best part? It’s all free. Wilder doesn’t charge visitors anything for using 86

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Diagnosed with PTSD, Vietnam Veteran Wilder was encouraged by his doctor to give horseback riding a try to help manage stress.

“IT’S NOT JUST A PLACE FOR VETERANS TO COME. IT’S NOT JUST A PLACE FOR AT-RISK KIDS TO COME. IT’S A PLACE FOR ANYONE WHO NEEDS TO GET AWAY AND TRY TO THINK.”

the facility — nor does he accept any sort of outside funding to maintain the Leaning W, though he has been offered it in the past and been encouraged to grow his organization through those means. Funding his operations personally allows him to keep the focus of the place on his original vision: helping others. “At many other organizations, over 50 percent of the funding is going to administrative fees and salaries. What about the veterans?” Wilder asked. “I don’t want to get funded and then have this turn into something else.” With his limited resources, Wilder is adept at finding new uses for old items. The feed room next to the horse stalls is a repurposed porch. The arena — known as the Bucket Arena by regulars — features a perimeter of tires and buckets from a trash dump he removed from the property’s entrance as well as bleachers and cones donated by the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Orlando.


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The round pen, which is used to train horses in a confined space, is made of brush that has been cleared from the property over the years. Wilder views the building and rebuilding of the pen’s walls as the brush settles to be a therapy tool. “Just the act of going around to collect the branches and piling them up and getting the thing round again is therapeutic. There’s no right and no wrong way, but it’s the act of engaging your mind so that you can try to learn to focus again.” According to Wilder, learning to concentrate is essential to managing PTSD. “Your mind is constantly racing all the time. You have to learn to focus.” Most of the ranch’s maintenance is seen to by Wilder, who rises as early as 5 a.m. and works, at times, until 10 p.m. to stay on top of cutting the grass, caring for the six horses, and tending to the other necessary jobs around the Leaning W and his personal property — which is in addition to his responsibilities as a historical reenactment soldier and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post commander. He enjoys and appreciates the work, however, because it helps him stay physically fit, having recently celebrated his 66th birthday.

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Visitors do chip in at times, though. Some of the veterans helped him put together the ranch’s barn, and Wilder always invites the kids to work alongside him, mucking out the stalls, grooming the horses, and rebuilding the round pen, among other tasks. For the at-risk youth sent to the Leaning W to fulfill community-service requirements, Wilder takes a “no nonsense” approach. Each is asked to write a 250-word essay titled “The Consequences of My Actions,” with one copy going to Wilder, one going to the probation officer, and one kept by the juvenile offender. After completing their community service, many choose to return to the ranch to spend time with Wilder and the horses, even several years later — known by him as his kids. However, if they get into trouble again, they’re not welcome back at the Leaning W until they’ve once again served their time and fulfilled any service requirements. And if they happen to be sent to the At-risk youth sent to fulfill community-service requirements are welcome to return.


EAST MAIN STREET

DESIGN DISTRICT The East Main Design District is on the fringe of the downtown core with all the urban amenities. Businesses seeking to establish or relocate to the district will find an affordable, bohemian, flexible and unique setting ripe for infill development, with a shabby-chic vibe. East Main Street Design District aims to showcase unique businesses, integrate live/work spaces, attract start-up entrepreneurs and develop an active restaurant scene.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR INCENTIVES ··· (863) 834-6011 lcra@lakelandgov.net lakelandcra.net

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“THE HORSES DON’T CARE WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT PROBLEMS YOU MIGHT HAVE.

Richard Wilder Owner of Leaning W Outreach Ranch

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kid FRIENDLY And we’ll see mom & dad too.

smile by Dr. John Paul

2024 Edgewood Dr. South Lakeland, FL 33803 863.665.6201 smilebydrpaul.com THE LAKELANDER

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Leaning W to complete that service, Wilder pulls out the essays as a reminder. “For every action, there’s a reaction,” says Wilder, a lesson in consequences that he feels is vital for at-risk youth to learn, having himself been in trouble with the law years prior. In fact, that seems to be the secret to Wilder’s effectiveness and the positive impact he has had on so many: his commitment to learning from life’s challenges and the ability to relate to the ranch’s visitors because of similar past experiences. “Some things you just don’t have to explain,” he says. “A lot of times what we need, particularly in the case of veterans, is a place to go where there’s someone who understands how you feel.” Wilder makes himself available to his guests in case anyone needs to talk, though he does ask his visitors not to pry uninvited into each other’s lives and problems. “What I try to be is a sounding board,” he says.

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The ranch is maintained by Wilder, who many days rises as early as 5 a.m. and works until 10 p.m.


Whitestone Academy is a fully accredited private non-profit Christian school. We offer non-denominational, Bible-based teaching through all academic subjects while striving for academic excellence in an inviting family atmosphere.

When you’re here, you’re family!

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For Wilder, sitting back and listening can be a challenge, however. “I like to run my mouth,” he says, laughing. This is why he cites patience as his greatest lesson learned through founding and operating Leaning W Outreach. His hope for the future of the ranch is to keep it operational and personally funded — possibly even to find someone to continue on his mission for the place, whether it’s in Lakeland or elsewhere. “If there’s even one person out here a month, then that’s good. It will have been worth it.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LEANING W OUTREACH RANCH AND TO SCHEDULE A VISIT, CALL 863.255.8663. THE RANCH IS LOCATED AT 2620 EARNEST ROAD, LAKELAND, FL 33809.

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“A lot of times what we need, particularly in the case of veterans, is a place to go where there’s someone who understands how you feel,” says Wilder.


The Arts Visual Arts Strings, Theater, Dance

Lower School STEAM Discovery Zone Outdoor Classroom

Middle School Tech & Design Daily Advisory Program

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Individualized, project-based learning College preparatory curriculum PreSchool 2 - Grade 12 Growing leaders through innovation and collaboration Weekly Chapel services with student involvement Daily recess & outdoor exploration Proud to be a Leader in Me school World Languages beginning in PreSchool 2 Conveniently located off the Polk Parkway with bus transportation in Lakeland and Winter Haven

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THE LAKELANDER 95 All Saints Academy inspires independent thinkers, principled leaders, and humble learners.


STYLE

ON HER necklace K. Scott tee and trousers 5th and Hall ON HIM tee, trousers, and jacket 5th and Hall

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REFOCUS AND REFRESH AS SEASONS CHANGE, SO SHOULD YOUR WARDROBE

So the spring season is coming to an end and you missed Mother Nature’s reminder to prune the old and refresh with something new. Maybe you still haven’t given your house that deep clean, your truck that much needed detailing, or, more importantly, shed your winter wardrobe. Well, you are not alone. It’s hard to force your favorite suede boots into hibernation while trying to figure out what kind of jacket to wear in this schizophrenic Florida tropic-spring weather. On top of that, you’ve got a jam-packed daily schedule with zero free time to transition your closet for that light, bright, and airy spring (that’s ready for summer) vibe. There are two kinds of people in this world: the first

juggles a crazy work schedule, demanding kids, a needy spouse, therapy sessions, hobbies (if you have time to spare), all while most days forgetting to just breathe. The second does all of the above, but looks good while doing it. How, you ask? Surprisingly, it doesn’t require you to completely derail your packed schedule, and you don’t have to travel 45 miles outside of town for quality me time.We do a bang-up job prioritizing and scheduling our life to the minute, so one must simply understand the importance of me and of the message your outward image projects. According to a comprehensive research on communication by sociolinguist Albert Mehrabian, 55 percent of your message is transmitted by your appearance.

This message shouldn’t just be reserved for an important interview or a sexy date night, it’s something that should be part of your daily interactions. So ’tis the season to refocus and refresh, and that is exactly what we did. We selected two special members of the Lakeland community who wear many hats, and do it successfully, but needed a little nudge to freshen up their style and grooming process. Using only the most talented local beauty, grooming, and style professionals, we took our friends on a style scavenger hunt through our beautiful city to salons, barber shops, tailors, and boutiques. Don’t worry, we documented the entire journey so you too can refocus and refresh your style, too.

ST YLED AND WRITTEN BY Abdiel Gonzalez PHOTOGRAPH Y BY Dan Austin


“NOTHING SAYS E F FORTL E SS SUMME R STYLE LIKE SUN - K ISSE D HAIR AND A BRONZE D FAC E .” 01 Balayage is a technique for highlighting the hair where the dye is painted on to create a graduated, natural-looking effect. Because there is no hard dye line, it also gives you a little more time between touch-ups which is perfect for our busy lives.

Before we started, Kerri Ann had never colored her hair before and spent little to no time on herself. This hard-working mother was a perfect canvas for change, and her courage to try new things was the ideal start for this journey.

KERRI ANN GRIFFIN HAIR:

MAKEUP:

Jenna Bessinger at Liquid Hair Studio

Jadacy Shepard for Pinup Cosmetics at Klasè Hair Boutique

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WARDROBE PROVIDED BY: Hattie’s Branches Boutique & 5th and Hall


“IF YOU LIKE IT, TRY IT ON! MOST OF THE CLOTHES THAT MAKE PEOPLE FEEL THE BEST ARE ONES THAT THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE TRIED WITHOUT A LITTLE PUSH. IF ONLY I HAD A DOLLAR EVERY TIME I HEARD, ‘I WOULD HAVE NEVER PUT THIS ON, BUT I LOVE IT …’”

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lkldrcreative.com | 863.701.2707 THE LAKELANDER 101


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PEOPLE

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THIS CITY CONTINUES TO BECOME A WONDERFUL PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK BECAUSE SO MANY OF US HAVE COMMITTED TO REMAIN LAKELANDERS. WE SAT DOWN WITH TIM RICE, DEAN NEDERVELD, AND TIMO STRAWBRIDGE — ALL FOUNDING MEMBERS OF TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN WHO’VE COMMITTED THEIR LIVES TO THE CITY — TO TALK ABOUT PUTTING DOWN ROOTS AND THE GOOD FRUITS OF PEACE THAT COME OF IT.

The Lakelander: What’s so important and valuable about committing to the place you live? Tim Rice: When I was in seminary I attended a talk by theologian Dr. James Montgomery Boice. He described our modern mobility in ways I’d never considered. Dr. Boice held that we see the opportunities that mobility presents, but rarely count the costs. He asked us to think about the social effects in a place if nobody stayed — if people were rootless. I imagine Boice’s rootlessness like a bonsai tree. It’s no different than the tree in the forest, but it’s been purposely stunted. You uproot it, trim its roots, plant it again, and repeat the process. Repeated uprooting stunts its growth. It’s no different with our connectedness. Many people have never thought about our mobility in those terms. The two main reasons people leave their

homes are a raise or a promotion. In effect, it indicates that money and status mean more to me than my neighbor. Dr. Boice asked, “If everyone moves, who will stay?’’ Then he related a well-known verse from Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Few people know the verses just before it, [where] God tells the Israelites to build houses, plant vineyards, raise families, to put down roots and live. Keep in mind that this command comes to exiles in Babylon. So to an ancient Jewish worldview in which the closest earthly experience of hell imaginable is that being carried out of the land — which was synonymous with God’s presence — and subjugated in the capital city of your enemies, this command must have been particularly difficult.

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(left to right ) Timo Strawbridge, Dean Nederveld, and Tim Rice have all commited to establishling their lives in Lakeland for the long haul.

But then the Lord says something weightier: He commands them to seek the welfare, the peace — the shalom — of the city to which He has carried them. God introduces a radical concept to the exiles: in the city’s shalom, they would find their shalom. It ties my experience of shalom to my neighbor’s shalom. Boice’s point was if God could call the Israelites to Babylon, to settle there, surely, He could call us to seek peace in the place we live now. We don’t typically love the people with whom we interact. Typically, we position ourselves to get the most benefit extracted for ourselves. We’re consumers. We’re not trained to seek the shalom. We think, I’m in this community to advance my career, get a degree, and go on. It’s a step on my ladder. Communities aren’t places I seek to invest in, but rather places I seek to connect and advance myself. So, in a sense, we don’t often love our neighbors as much as we use them. TL: How did that change what you thought of Lakeland? Tim Rice: I began to think, Well, I’m in Lakeland ... should I stay here? These new ideas were revolutionary for me. I had never been asked questions like the ones Dr. Boice had asked. I began to think about how unrooted I’d been, how effectively narcissistic I’d been, how I hadn’t thought about my city or my neighbors. I’d lived in five houses by the time I was six years old. Then I continued to move many times as a teenager, college student, and young adult. I had come to Lakeland when a youth pastor job at First Presbyterian became available, and Julie [Tim’s wife] and I thought we’d be here for two years. I had only been focused on getting a job, pursuing a doctorate, and becoming a professor. But Dr. Boice’s words sparked a profound vision about what could change if I had a rooted mentality. My head was just exploding with considerations and possibilities. So, two years became four years, and, ultimately, we committed our lives

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to Lakeland. Dr. Boice and some of the leadership of the 10th Baptist Church in Philadelphia vowed that they would die in Philadelphia, and he fulfilled that vow. But our dynamic of mobility is so normative now that we can easily see its benefits: refugees can flee a war-torn land, you can pursue opportunity, and so on. Mobility seems to equal freedom. But I encourage them to think of the costs of unfettered mobility. Few of us live where we were born; few people stay. If that becomes a prevailing cultural trend, the culture becomes rootless. It becomes difficult to attack embedded problems like multigenerational poverty or racism or rampant dissolution of the family. Those problems must be solved by people who stay because solutions take time to take root. Tim Keller (best-selling author and founder of Redeemer Church in New York City) observed a city isn’t a place — it’s people.

“GIVEN THE NEEDS WE SEE AROUND TOWN, I THINK THE GREATEST NEED IS TO STAY.” — TIM RICE


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Dean Nederveld: My experience is a little different because I moved here as a little boy and my dad started a business in the mid-1970s. I started to work with him when I became an engineer. I always had an inkling that I’d be in Lakeland long-term. So it was growing up here, having family here, it was all of those things that made me want to stay here. It was intuitive that shared history was valuable. Timo Strawbridge: When Tim talks about that stuff, it comes right out of his soul. For me it’s in my DNA because I was born here and so were many of my relatives. There was a Strawbridge at Lakeland High from 1959 to 1980, and now there are 135 of us from my parents down. I would say that I need to be where I’m known. I think there’s a marvelous mercy and grace that comes from knowing people over time. My ability to behave in ways that I would want to is greatly affected by the people I’m with. When I went to college — to a place I wasn’t known — there wasn’t the demand for transparency that I had at home. There wasn’t anyone to walk into my life and intervene. In the little neighborhood on the south end of town that I grew up in, if you got caught by someone else’s parents doing something wrong, they’d discipline you as severely as your own parents! They didn’t call and ask. So, being known in the community has helped bolster my marriage, raise my daughter, and helped loved me and care for me. Community is just that powerful, and to have community, you have to be there. Dean Nederveld: I think it’s even deeper than the concept of staying in one place. It’s more like the concept of embedding, of rooting. I remember visiting the Bowery Mission in New York a year ago. A volunteer at the Bowery told us about the compelling feeling he had to help the homeless and hungry. So to assuage the feeling, he’d go in, maybe hand out a few sandwiches, and leave. He never stayed, not even long enough to have a conversation, let alone to develop relationships or become a neighbor to the people he was helping. He said it was unsatisfying, as if something wasn’t right. He finally realized that if he wanted to make a difference, he had to be there, literally stay there. So he began to make a shift to becoming a part of the neighborhood, not just to commute there. He knew if he was really going to make a difference in the people’s lives, then he really need to be a part of their lives. TL: You committed to live and to work downtown. Why? Tim Rice: Well, because the things that shape any city, other than its geography, are the five Cs: Civic life; Cultural leaders, like arts, press, and educators; its mix of Class, the rich and poor; Commerce, business owners and employees; and its Color, the dynamic of races and ethnicities. It’s the greatest concentration of opportunities and conflicts. Considering At Black & Brew

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Tim Rice (above) is the lead pastor and director of church planting at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

those dynamics, you have to ask yourself, “What’s it like to have corrupt government? What’s it like to have a bad boss or employees? What’s the typical interaction between the races?” It’s all poisoned by self-interest. What changes, if they aren’t domineering or possessive, is now a person who works in a government or business role can begin to think and live differently because they don’t think of the city as existing for them. What does it mean to be a cultural leader and not think about your own name, or an artist that isn’t simply trying to become famous? Isaiah says that God has engraved your name on His hand. The most important person in the universe knows you, and He holds you dear enough to write your name on His hand. And it’s interesting that Scripture uses an artistic term to describe that. So then you can do your work free from self-interest; you don’t have to become famous. You can create art, not to become famous, but to beautify what’s ugly. You become a writer or an educator not to become published but to eradicate ignorance. So if those dynamics are what shape any city, if the problem is self-interest, if the hope is the love and grace of Jesus, then where is the civic center of Lakeland?

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“FEW OF US LIVE WHERE WE WERE BORN; FEW PEOPLE STAY. IF THAT BECOMES A PREVAILING CULTURAL TREND, THE CULTURE BECOMES ROOTLESS. IT BECOMES DIFFICULT TO ATTACK EMBEDDED PROBLEMS LIKE MULTIGENERATIONAL POVERTY OR RACISM OR RAMPANT DISSOLUTION OF THE FAMILY. THOSE PROBLEMS MUST BE SOLVED BY PEOPLE WHO STAY, BECAUSE SOLUTIONS TAKE TIME TO TAKE ROOT.”

— TIM RICE


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Where’s the commercial center? Where’s the closest proximity of rich and poor? The greatest potential of ethnic mixing? It’s all downtown, and that’s why we’re here. TL: Are there benefits for people who don’t belong to an institution or community who have committed to the city? Dean Nederveld: We hope that’s what activities like Pics on the Promenade do — benefit our neighbors even if they don’t come to Trinity. Pics started when the economy was tanking and people had less money to go out to dinner and see a movie with their spouses or families. Providing a free movie and a nice evening in one of Lakeland’s most picturesque spots was a great way to impact the city. Tim Rice: I’d point to Tim Mitchell and Parker Street Ministries. There’s a funny phenomenon, I remember reading about it from Steven Ambrose in his book on D-Day, that the plan of D-Day had literally been blown up within the first 15 minutes and the leaders had all been killed. You might recall the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan where the gates on the boats are opened and all the people in front are all mowed down. Well, the boats were stacked with all the officers at the front. So who’s left? These 17- and 18-year-old privates. But what would happen is that somebody would make a dash across the beach, and after that first person went, invariably two or three others would follow. So this spontaneous initiative took place along a several mile-long front, where small groups of half a dozen young men were being led by a brave 18-year-old who would simply go first. Tim Mitchell was 19 years old when he moved into Parker Street, and now look at that ministry. Somebody had the guts to go first. Our hope

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as a church is that those people would have a heart for the city so that they would go first into trying to solve a problem. We hope that we’d catalyze people all over the city. That if a student saw a problem in school, he or she would be the first to address it. And somebody will follow. Go first into the problem in your neighborhood and somebody will probably throw in with you. We hope to encourage people when they have a family in need, that they lend a hand, and others are likely to follow. TL: How would you encourage people to take root? Dean Nederveld: You’re doing your future family a favor to put down roots here. The shared history isn’t something to break free of, but it grows richer over time. Lakeland is a great place for that. Timo Strawbridge: The skill of being known so that people can be a blessing to you is hard work. I can’t be in a place for just a short time and find people who know me that well or with whom I have enough trust. So that’s how I would encourage people. Tim Rice: It’s an invitation. It’s not a requirement or a handcuff or a prison sentence. If no one’s ever asked you to consider staying in Lakeland before, I am. I’m committed to dying here. Of course, God could make it clear that that’s not the plan, but it would have to be extraordinary. Because given the needs we see around town, I think the greatest need is to stay. But if you haven’t figured out if you’re staying in Lakeland or not, you still need to consider the bonsai tree and how uprooting affects it. Eventually, if you aren’t to be stunted, you’ll need to root somewhere, and when you do, will you live in such a way that you see your joy tied to your neighbor’s joy? When you seek the shalom of your neighbor, in their shalom you’ll find yours.


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CULTURE

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While it may seem an unlikely place for a production company whose targeted clientele wouldn’t hesitate to take them aboard private jets to document their luxury vacations along the coasts of Italy, Indie Atlantic had targeted and moved to Lakeland well before our city became known as an evolving hub for artists and creatives. “And that was the goal,” says its co-founder Andy McEntire “We came to Lakeland because it wasn’t a saturated market, it’s accessible — close to the airport — for clients we needed to fly to. And we just really wanted to be around people who were honest and actually cared about each other.” Clearly, Southgate’s brief debut in Edward Scissorhands is not necessarily the draw for filmmakers to flock to the city. (Yes, Johnny Depp has in fact roamed the paths of the same shopping center where you buy groceries.) In actuality, filmmakers rarely flock to many places in Florida; regardless, filmmaking is becoming an undeniable element of our cultural development. Whether we are aware of this or not. Filmmakers such as Indie Atlantic, NFocus, and

Fractal Features have found a current of inspiration and an economical foundation basing their studios in Lakeland. There is a composition to the city one can’t quite point out until you’ve stepped out of it for a time. One that offers a kind of Vada Sultenfuss, My Girl nostalgia — a tight-knit, seemingly small town (Lakeland can often be deceiving in size). One that has managed to grow visionary, yet grounded in recent years. (Though, to be clear, My Girl was filmed in Bartow and Plant City, it’s hard to imagine that Lakeland wasn’t passed along the way.) While Lakeland as a home base for a production company is obviously a wise economical choice, in the grand scheme of things this may not even be its top selling point. For many filmmakers, like Indie Atlantic, it’s these minute qualities which create a kind of blank canvas a filmmaker seeks out. (There’s a reason why The Walking Dead continues to be filmed in rural Georgia.) College town that we are, local schools and universities are making more space for this interest to be studied and explored.

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A N EDUCATION Wrapping up its ninth year just this past season, Southeastern University’s Revolution Film Festival offers students exposure to professional producers, cinematographers, even stuntmen to greater understand the nuts and bolts of the industry. “Students are able to hear and interact with professional filmmakers,” says SEU film professor

Christopher Clark, such as this year’s keynote speaker, Anne Marie Gillen, producer of Fried Green Tomatoes. Attended by aspiring filmmakers and students locally, as well as from Winter Park to Tallahassee, the festival’s actual filmmaking competition appears to be its biggest draw. “This year’s submissions came from just about every continent in the world,” notes Clark, “local, regional, and national on short films for the high school, college, and professional categories.” When young aspiring French filmmakers submit fascinating foreign documentaries on French beekeepers and their enchanting apiaries, you can’t help but recognize there is something brewing in the cinematic culture within these scaled-down city limits. When small-town stability meets a piqued interest in cinematic pursuits, it brings a whole new meaning to the impact of local arts and culture. Nothing can impact the soul quite like a story. And film may be the visual universal language for storytelling. One that can outlive us all. While there was a time film pursuits seemed to have the highest stakes and greatest occupational risks (it still very well may), the opportunities are ever evolving and shifting in favor of those who have their sights set on the big screen. In recent years, a handful of local filmmakers have paved the way to make film production as a career a viable opportunity.

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A COM M UN IT Y INVES T M E N T In 2009, director, producer, and screenwriter, Joe O’Brien, along with production company NFocus, set out to make his first feature-length film, Endure. A fully funded production, the support of silent investors allowed the freelance director Joe O’Brien and team at NFocus, Jim Carleton and Rob Tritton, to step onto a three-week set right here in Lakeland with a primarily local crew, including cinematographer Stephen Campbell (director of photography for The Walking Dead) and a star-studded cast with entire creative freedom. Looking back at the experience from beginning to end, Joe O’Brien says, “We found out that filmmaking really starts with asking for money. So we did some of that and got a little bit of money to hire a couple actors.”

(left to right) Director of Indie Atlantic Andy McEntire and Creative Director Pete Gill on set

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(left to right) Actor Devon Sawa (star of films such as Little Giants, Tom & Huck, and Wild America) on the set Endure with Director Joe O’Brien.

SEU’s Revolution Film Festival’s keynote speaker and producer of Fried Green Tomatoes, Anne Marie Gillen

“I think, because we had invested in our community, when we wanted to give something a try, they did that too, and supported us.” — JOE O’BRIEN


Some 10 drafts into a fully baked screenplay, Joe O’Brien took it to potential investors to possibly recruit some talent and money. “I think, because we had invested in our community, when we wanted to give something a try, they did that too, and supported us,” he says. After meetings in Los Angeles and a series of offers, the film landed on its leading cast: Judd Nelson (famed from The Breakfast Club), Tom Arnold, Joey Lauren Adams, and Devon Sawa (Little Giants, Wild America, anyone?). A crime drama, the story follows a veteran detective, played by Nelson, who discovers a disturbing photo of a young woman and sets out on a search to find her. Over the course of three weeks, 10 hours a day, including a 16-hour shoot into the night, the filming was quickly wrapped up under a month and onto the next step: distribution.

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D I S T RI BU T ION “I don’t think we had any aspirations for a theatrical release,” says Tritton. “Back then, the money would be in DVDs. And even then DVDs were starting to diminish; we really expected the revenue to come internationally. Because that’s where you

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have all these territories and countries that will license it for TV and however else they find use for it there.” Though, the film did really well domestically. That process took a year, “finding the right distributor and then doing the deal, and then delivering it. There’s a lot of specifications to deliver.” By 2010, Redbox took on Endure as an exclusive release in 30,000 kiosks across the country. For the first three weeks, the film was listed as one of the top 10 rentals and later on was distributed to HBO and Cinemax.

04.

A CATCH-22 In recent months, Fractal Features has been in post production with the film, At The End of the Day. With a nearly $250,000 micro budget, the film was locally cast and shot just this year. Since 2011, director, editor, and screenwriter Kevin O’Brien had filmed and produced over 100 short films for Christian organizations and churches. With the dream of a full-length feature film, he completed a draft by 2014, the film was cast in 2015, and due to funding didn’t begin filming until February 2017. A year and a half later, with the needed funds underway, Fractal Features

(above) Director Kevin O’Brien on the set of the recently filmed At The End of The Day


This year, after its third round of funding, Fractal Features was greenlit to begin filming At the End of the Day.

“It was the long game. Everything is a long game. Some people rush that, but the goal was to be financially stable before we went to that next level.”

With the exception of a select few cast members from out of town, such as Tom Nowicki (actor from The Blind Side and Remember the Titans), At the End of the Day’s cast and crew remained primarily local.

Filmed this past February in the historic Federal Building, this micro-budget film was locally shot in under a month.

Fractal Features’ first full-length feature film currently undergoes edits as it prepares for film-festival season.

— ANDY MCENTIRE

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was launched and the film was greenlit. At the End of the Day tells the story of a conservative professor of a small-town Christian college who finds himself in a gay support group to protest the launch of an LGBT homeless teen shelter. “Ultimately,” Kevin O’Brien says, “the film is about listening to the stories of others and valuing their experiences as much as we value our own.” With a nearly entirely local cast, this four-year pursuit led to a 21-day shoot (which included one day of filming in Orlando). Now in the third round of campaigning, the film prepares for distribution with the goal of entering film festivals later this fall. In whole, Kevin O’Brien says the journey has been more taxing, more costly, and more fulfilling than anything he’s ever done in his life. “The entire process is a big catch-22. Everything is dependent on everything else.” Even if he had the chance to film elsewhere, he’s quite confident any other location wouldn’t have been as ideal. “Every film M. Night Shyamalan has made takes place in the area of his home [Philadelphia], and I love that model. Lakeland obviously isn’t as big, but the idea of making stories where you live is awesome, especially with a micro budget.”

05.

B R A N D P ERC EP T ION Brother and sister Andy McEntire and Katie Wiatt founded and spearheaded Indie Atlantic in 2006, when McEntire was still in college in West Palm. Three years ahead of McEntire, Wiatt had attended Dreyfoos School of the Arts for film production. 124 THE LAKELANDER

“We started in a garage. Literally. I’m not just saying that; it was an actual garage,” McEntire states plainly. Founded in 2006, Indie Atlantic began with Andy, Katie, and Matt Wiatt (Katie’s husband.) “When I graduated college I moved to Jacksonville to live with them,” says McEntire. “So I stayed with them for free, to get the company off the ground. Which was awesome because I had no money at the time.” Taking on a variety of projects for nonprofit organizations, weddings, etc., much of their work grew to be centered on high-end clients, sending the company across the globe from South Korea to Italy. “We spent years working with people who we ‘can’t mention,’ to huge insurance companies, a lot of the richest golfers in the world, to people even richer who control the coal mines in the U.S. Not just wealthy people, but influential people. And a lot of them are great people; they’re just not that happy.” While the company was rapidly growing successful in its array of commercial and private clients, McEntire points out one week in particular as essentially the pivotal point in his life, and no doubt, the future of Indie Atlantic. “I was interviewing kids that were in forced prostitution — young women, refugees from Nicaragua,” says McEntire. “They were in the slums of Costa Rica, in the bajo, the lowest of the low essentially.” Within a day after documenting in San Ramón Costa Rica, McEntire arrived back at Palm Beach International airport, just to take off again. “I’m literally packing and repacking, then hopping on a client’s private plane, heading to Italy. You go from these people who have nothing to the top 50 richest people in the world, so it’s a major culture shock. We sit down in this private plane and stewards are handing out steak dinners. Meanwhile, the client says, ‘So tell me, what have you been up to?’ I said,

‘Well, I’ve been in Costa Rica, documenting these kids in poverty … ’ And she cuts in with, “Well, why would you do that?” and immediately returns to attend to her steak. And that was the end of the conversation. Right then I knew she was more interested in the steak on her plate than people’s lives being changed. And that was the realization for me: I don’t want to be stuck in this wealthy lifestyle.” What would appear to offer all that a filmmaker could dream of (surrounded by the sun, the water, the wealth), where Indie Atlantic was headed wasn’t quite where they saw themselves growing as a company, or even as families and individuals. “So we decided to change what we were doing,” says McEntire. Considering a relocation, Lakeland developer David Bunch was instrumental in encouraging the team to make the move to Lakeland. McEntire recalls, “Bunch told us, ‘I promise if you come here you’ll double your profits.’ And we certainly have. “We moved to Lakeland because we wanted to be in a place that pushed us to be better and surround ourselves with individuals who are just good people. It’s really cut-throat in South Florida. We knew we wanted to work in commercial production, moving away from the lifestyle side of things.” “I felt that we could really invest here, too,” says Wiatt. “We felt like we could do something to give back as well.” “So we maintain a lot of these clients still, but we started to shoot commercials, brand stories, and now with Katie branching off into our first featured film, it’s always been a dream of ours,” says McEntire. “But we’ve always said, ‘Baby steps,’ not just, ‘Hey, let’s do it!’” The crew of Indie Atlantic (above)


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Call today for an appointment 863.686.7330 Or visit our office in the Lake Aston Sales Center Tuesdays & Thursdays beginning February 3 THE LAKELANDER 125


06.

TA K I N G F LIGH T After years of experience working with nonprofits and Fortune 500 businesses the likes of Coca Cola, Publix, and Red Bull, Indie Atlantic’s next project began filming last summer and is anticipated to launch them into its grandest scale of storytelling yet. While Hidden Figures may have just tapped into the intrigue of the female influence in aviation history, Indie Atlantic’s first feature-length documentary explores the first female pilots in American history and those few who continue to shape its future. “Katie’s story, Fly Like a Girl, is on a whole different level,” says McEntire. “It’s the first national, international, interest we’re getting.” During her time teaching fourth grade, while juggling Indie Atlantic nights and weekends, Wiatt quickly picked up on the many girls in class who lacked confidence, particularly in math and science. And who seemed too quick to own up to it. “A young girl once said to me, ‘Girls just aren’t good in math.’ And it really bothered me. So it kind of became my goal as a teacher to change that perception for young women.” Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) at the time, Wiatt also had a great interest in aviation. “I went to Sun ‘n Fun and completely fell in love.” As she continued to read and explore the topic, influences like Patty Wagstaff, the first woman to win the title of US National Aerobatic champion and one of the few people to win it three times, further inspired Wiatt to bring this untold story to life. Paying tribute to the history of women in aviation, the documentary will center on Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu, one of the first WASPs (Womens Airforce Service Pilots) during WWII; Patty Wagstaff; and Olivia Lisbon, graduate of Central Florida Aerospace Academy and one of Polk State Aerospace program’s first graduates. Fly Like a Girl also sets out to explore how women are currently impacting aviation so we can look to the future. “Right now,” Wiatt explains, “of the pilot population, only six percent are women. And that, to me, is a problem.” In the next 10 years it’s anticipated pilots and aviation personnel will soon face a massive shortage. “We rely on our aviation for deliveries, travel, and endless other ways,” Wiatt says. “So if we’re not using 51 percent of our population to help solve this problem, then we’re not going to get anywhere. We

126 THE LAKELANDER

A Documentary Film now in Production

want to examine why more women don’t want to explore aviation as a career.” In the works filming since last summer, Fly Like a Girl is currently in its last round of funding. And Wiatt and McEntire are eager to get this off the ground. “People like the WASPs aren’t getting any younger, and we realized we have to get these interviews before it’s too late,” says McEntire. In promotion of the film, a trailer was released early this year and recently highlighted on Mashable, giving the film a great deal of national exposure. “We know we’re not some big Hollywood film company,” admits McEntire, “so we kind of had to prove it to ourselves, could we even do this?” In its final round of funding, the team will set out to complete its filming in time for festival season. McEntire says the plan is to take Fly Like a Girl to

To learn how you can fund the final days of production for Indie Atlantic’s Fly Like a Girl, visit flylikeagirl.film.


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Sundance, Tribeca … your film-festival heavy hitters. “We have the opportunity to get some interviews this summer with some pretty major people in California, Chicago, D.C., Houston. So for it to become reality we need corporate, personal funding. Even just $10 funding.”

Indie Atlantic Creative Director Pete Gill, operating the camera on set

07.

T H E LON G GAME From concept, to funding, casting, filming, production, distribution, the film industry is not for the faint of heart. (Though ironically so many creatives tend to be.) As each filmmaker in the city notes who’s been successful in seeing their film come to life, it’s just as much business as it is story that makes a full length feature film a reality. “The biggest thing business-side, is overhead down, revenue up,” says McEntire. “And the other side is (to quote longtime Methodist, Lakeland-born and -raised Evelyn Willis), ‘You have to have a dream to have a dream come true.’ It sounds very basic, but really it changed my life the first day I heard that, because we’re all given different dreams. “It was the long game,” McEntire continues. “Everything is a long game. Some people rush that, but the goal was to be financially stable before we went to that next level.” “It’s chess, not checkers,” Wiatt adds. “I think I finally embraced — I have a left brain and a right brain — I had to figure out the business side of meeting people and getting the work,” says McEntire. “But I think it entails being honest with people, learning that a handshake still counts, and delivering better than they ever thought was possible. And knowing it’s going to take time. You cannot just come out swinging. “In general, I’ve seen film companies come and go because they rush themselves or they bought too much equipment. But it’s about having a plan and adapting quickly. We knew we wanted to do feature films, but we didn’t know how to do it. So that’s why we’re just now getting into it. And Fly Like a Girl had the right idea. “Some people wonder why we took the approach to this, but it’s a story that needs to be told and that’s what Indie Atlantic was founded on. I’ve never done things normal. And I always said I didn’t want Hollywood to make me. I wanted to make it before I went to Hollywood.”

“Katie’s story, Fly Like a Girl, is on a whole different level. It’s the first national, international, interest we’re getting.” — ANDY MCENTIRE

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OPENINGS & COMING SOON

OPEN COB & PEN

Location: 1221 South Florida Avenue The stately Tudor house in Dixieland is a gathering place for the city. Serving craft beers and fine food, this smoke-free bar is all about keeping good company.

CONCORD COFFEE Location: 1037 South Florida Avenue Concord Coffee has expanded their shop to roast their own coffee, giving locals a look into the roasting process.

EXPLORATIONS V CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Location: 109 North Kentucky Avenue With their brand-new music and soundstudio exhibit, Explorations V Children’s Museum is the perfect place to bring your kids.

FLORIDINO’S

Location: 804 East Memorial Boulevard In addition to delicious pizzas and wings, Floridino’s offers a variety of Italian favorites, including pasta, calzones, salads, and more.

HAUS 820

Location: 820 North Massachusetts Avenue HAUS 820 stands as a unique venue capturing the diversity of Lakeland by hosting a variety of events, including weddings, corporate parties, and markets.

HILLCREST COFFEE

Location: 119 Hillcrest Street In this beautiful, remodeled Dixieland historic home, order your favorite drink and enjoy live music performed by local artists.

JERSEY MIKE’S

Location: 3801 U.S. 98 North Jersey Mike’s is known nationally for its tasty subs and quality service. If you’re looking for an affordable and delicious lunch spot, check it out. 132 THE LAKELANDER

LAKELAND ESCAPE ROOM Location: 308 East Pine Street If you’re an avid gamer, always up for a challenge, this latest entertainment destination just might be the thrill you’re seeking. Part game, part story-telling, part team-building, the Escape Room is a logic-based, real-life game. Solve mysteries and escape a room in a set timeframe. Sure to liven up your next date night or family outing.

LITTLE GREEK FRESH GRILL

Location: 4756 South Florida Avenue Tampa-based, fast and casual, this Greek restaurant serves a variety of authentic Mediterranean appetizers and entrees.

LKLD LIVE

Location: 202 North Massachusetts Avenue LKLDLive is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to enhance and engage local artists. Come out and enjoy the diverse styles and performances hosted by the new venue.

POSTO 9’S ROOFTOP LOUNGE

Location: 215 East Main Street Enjoy live music, cocktails, and delicious food while overlooking the beautiful city of Lakeland on Posto 9’s rooftop lounge.

PREMIER REALTY NETWORK INC.

Location: 1301 Grasslands Boulevard, Building 100 Premier Realty Network has expanded to a second office in the Grasslands area. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to sell, or wanting to relocate, they can help.

PUBLIX FIELD AT JOKER MERCHANT STADIUM

Location: 2301 Lakeland Hills Boulevard The Detroit Tigers have been an important part of Lakeland for years. Holding their Spring Training here has added to our city’s economy, but seeing them play at this worldclass facility is more exciting than ever. With a $40-million renovation that took over 15 months to complete, it is sure to be a great experience for the team’s fans.

TOP BUTTONS UPSCALE THRIFT BOUTIQUE Location: 236 North Kentucky Avenue A nonprofit organization purposed to promote positive body image, healthy selfesteem, and modesty among young women. Top Buttons programs offers styling services, confidence-boosting educational sessions, and a wardrobe of properly fitted attire to at-risk girls in our community. All of the proceeds from the boutique go back into this nonprofit organization. Open for public shopping EVERY SATURDAY from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations may be dropped off at the boutique during public shopping hours.

ZARZA LATIN FOOD & GRILL

Location: 4648 Cleveland Heights Boulevard Located in the Shoppes at Hallam plaza, Zarza specializes in grilled chicken, steak, and seafood, as well as arepas, black beans and rice, fajitas, and yucca fries.

COMING SOON BEYA

Location: Lakeland Square Mall Date: early June 2017 Lakeland’s newest accessory haven. With walls lined with color-coordinated accessories ranging from earrings to scarves, adding elegance or color to your wardrobe at an affordable price has never been easier.

CRANE’S CROSSING

Location: 1037 Florida Ave S. Lakeland, FL 33803 Date: to be announced Chef Michiyo Crane will be serving international cuisine from all over the world, working with a chef from France to create an incredible menu.


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EVENTS CALENDAR

RECURRING EVENTS EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT PUB RUN @ RED DOOR LAKELAND 6:15 p.m. - 7 p.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY DIXIELAND TWILIGHT MARKET 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. EVERY SATURDAY MORNING MITCHELL’S PUB RUN 7 a.m. - 8 a.m. EVERY SATURDAY MORNING BLACK & BREW FUN RUN 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. EVERY SATURDAY DOWNTOWN FARMERS CURB MARKET 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. MAY MAY 3-4 THE LAST FIVE YEARS 7:30 p.m. lakelandcommunitytheatre.com MAY 4 NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK CELEBRATION Pre-reservation required 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. business.lakelandchamber.com MAY 4 MAYOR’S PRAYER BREAKFAST 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. thelakelandcenter.com MAY 5 TRIALS + MR HANDSOME + THOTH 8 p.m. -11 p.m. squareup.com/store/lkldlive

134 THE LAKELANDER

MAY 6 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY Colisuem of Comics 10 a.m.-7 p.m. MAY 6 BELLA VIXEN CLASSICS 7 p.m. -11 p.m. squareup.com/store/lkldlive MAY 6 THE KENTUCKY DERBY DAY 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. business.lakelandchamber.com MAY 11 CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE - PINK FLOYD 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. thelakelandcenter.com MAY 12 POPS BY THE LAKE 8 p.m. -10 p.m. business.lakelandchamber.com MAY 12 KIDS ARTISTIC REVUE 4:00 P.M. thelakelandcenter.com MAY 13 - 14 MIDFLORIDA MAYFAIRE BY THE LAKE 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. polkmuseumofart.org MAY 15-16 ROCK OF AGES AUDITIONS 6 p.m. lakelandcommunitytheatre.com MAY 20 LIVE GREEN LAKELAND ECO-FESTIVAL 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. business.lakelandchamber.com MAY 26 DIXIELAND LAST FRIDAY 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. business.lakelandchamber.com

JUNE JUNE 3 SGT. PEPPER’S REDUX 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. squareup.com/store/lkldlive JUNE 3 FIRST SATURDAY SHINDIG 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. business.lakelandchamber.com JUNE 5 LKLD CREATIVE MAKERS 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. instagram.com/lkldcreative JUNE 9 AN EVENING WITH LADY MOONBEAM 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. squareup.com/store/lkldlive


let us help bring your vision to life

photo by Jordan Weiland Photography

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Since 1972 We’ve treated them like family.

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All Creatures Animal Clinic NOW ACCEPTING PATIENTS!

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HISTORY

December 1925 The first high-rise office building in the downtown area, the Marble Arcade is shown here under construction on the corner of Kentucky Avenue and Lemon Street. The Marble Arcade was the first location for Watson Clinic. Photo courtesy of Lakeland Public Library 138 THE LAKELANDER


years of

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THE LAKELANDER 139


There's Nothing More Refreshing than

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Watson Clinic’s Bella Vista Spa is the perfect place to enjoy the highest levels of personalized attention. Pamper your body, mind and spirit with world-class treatments provided by expert therapists. We also offer monthly spa specials, service packages and group discounts. • Body Treatments

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Profile for The Lakelander

The Lakelander | May 2017  

The Lakelander | May 2017